The 7 Best Cruises for Weddingsby Fran Golden | January 03, 2017
Cruise lines make it easy to get married on board — most have onboard wedding planners who can see to the details, no matter if you are looking for an intimate affair or a more elaborate event on the ship or even in port. Plus, getting married while on a cruise also means that your honeymoon has already started even before you say "I do." Here are our seven favorite ships for weddings, and exactly which itineraries to choose.
1. Harmony of the Seas
Make a statement by getting married on Royal Caribbean's largest ship in the world. Say "I do" while your ship is docked in Fort Lauderdale, where even your guests who won't be cruising can come on board for the ceremony. As you leave the port, the horns and cheers from locals on shore can be part of your celebration, and the sail-away makes a great "just married" photo op. Best of all, you'll spend the rest of the week on a Caribbean honeymoon: The ship does year-round, one-week Western Caribbean sailings.
2. Celebrity Reflection
Book a Mediterranean cruise on Celebrity Reflection for your nuptials and you can have your ceremony during a 10-day cruise from Rome to the Greek isles. The captain will officiate, and the ceremony can be done on board. The prime spot is the Lawn Club on the top deck, where you can exchange vows while standing on the real grass under a billowing white wedding canopy.
3. Queen Mary 2
Cunard's historic ocean liners have been sailing transatlantic between New York and Southampton, England, for generations, but you actually couldn't legally get married on board until 2011. That's when the fleet registered in Bermuda, allowing for weddings en-route with the captain officiating.
Arrange your ceremony on the recently renovated Queen Mary 2, where elegant wedding ceremony spots include the Atlantic Room, an enclosed observation area on deck 11 with a wall of windows providing ocean views over the bow as you cross the ocean. Depending on which direction you are sailing, you can continue the honeymoon in London or New York.
4. Carnival Sunshine
One of the most idyllic locales for a Caribbean wedding is the perfect little white wedding chapel on Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. The island is reserved for cruise passengers and you can get there on Carnival Sunshine during five-day sailings from Port Canaveral from January to April. Back on the ship, toast to your future with mojitos and salsa dancing at the Havana Bar.
Eurodam cruises in Alaska from late April to September, and you can arrange for a ceremony that incorporates the state's natural wonders. Say, on a glacier. The line can arrange for a helicopter from Juneau that will bring your wedding party to the top of a glacier so that you can tie the knot as Mother Nature at her icy finest acts as witness to your nuptials.
6. Regal Princess
Princess Cruises inspired "The Love Boat" and continues to push romance. Regal Princess has a dedicated wedding chapel, where the captain can officiate your wedding at sea. For some pretty colorful photos, tie the knot during one of the ship's five-day New England and Canada cruises from New York in October, where the fall foliage will serve as your backdrop.
7. Pride of America
This the only ship cruising the Hawaiian Islands year-round, and Norwegian Cruise Line offers weddings while the ship is in port in Honolulu, Maui, and Kauai, and the packages include a local non-denominational officiant. You can also opt for a wedding on shore, including a ceremony on the beach.
Fran Golden is a Cleveland-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.