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How to Propose on a Cruise Ship

by Kayla Becker | September 06, 2016

1. Decide if you want the proposal to be private.

When you’re in the planning stage, the number one question you need to ask yourself is: Do you (and, more importantly, your future spouse) want this moment to be public or private?

If you’re the type who wants this to be an intimate moment, pick a secluded spot, arrange for dinner for two, or have your stateroom decorated and pop the question in the privacy of your balcony.

Craig Davis proposed to Melissa Knox on Norwegian Escape in April in an intimate moment at the back of the ship. He'd told her they were going to pose for pictures, then got on one knee, and had new friends capture the moment. “If I had to do it all over again," Melissa said, "I wouldn't change a thing."

The ship's crew continued to celebrate the couple in the days to come. After the proposal, their room was filled with a different gift from the line every night, including complimentary bottles of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and notes from the captain.

2. If you want something public and dramatic, get the cruise line involved

If you want to profess your love to the entire ship, there are plenty of opportunities for a very public moment you can share with many of your fellow shipmates, from a video that's shown on deck to a flash mob that involves other cruisers. Regardless of what you dream up, you'll need to ask for help.

Once you’ve got an idea in mind, set up a meeting with the cruise director through guest services to see if he or she can help make the proposal happen.

Tyler Gray, a cruise director for Norwegian Cruise Line who is currently on Norwegian Escape has helped arrange countless proposals over his time at the line — roughly one every other week. “The biggest thing for us is sitting down together, talking about ideas, and helping make it happen,” Gray said. “And we always find a way to make it special.”

In the past few months, he has helped plan some pretty unforgettable moments. The most unusual: He rigged a poolside Mr. Sexy Legs competition so the lucky lady was a judge, and when her future fiancé came parading out last, he dropped to one knee and popped the question.

Gray's signature move takes place during a “random prize drawing” at the end of a theater show on the last night of a sailing. The future bride is told she has won a prize and is asked to stand up. Then her boyfriend takes a knee, Gray queues up the music, and the waitstaff pops open bottles of champagne.

Kayla Becker

Kayla Becker is a New York City-based contributor to ShermansCruise and the assistant editor for the site.

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