I have spent at least 700 hours researching my first cruise (and still haven't booked it yet) Just when I find a cruise line I think I might like I read all the negatives. Scares me into looking some more. I plan on cruising in Feb and want to get married on the cruise...taking a child and parents with us and all have put there trust in me (none have ever cruised before. I have to tell you after reading all the boards I don't even want a "inside cabin" I need a balcony and now so does the future mother-in-law. Any practical advice would be helpful. Since we are all first timers does it really matter what cruiseline we pick? We won't have that high of expectations...
As I side note...planning a wedding on the cruise can be sticky unless you are ready to book..need to be booked before you can plan anything but they limit the number able to get married on most cruises....Well the saga will continue....as my co-workers (sick of hearing about cruising) say...book the cruise already!!!!
Exactly what ships are you looking at doing for this wedding cruise? If you can swing a balcony cabin they are very nice, really adds to the total cruising expierence, nice way to start cruising. A lot of people actually don't mind an inside cabin, but its just not for me. Have you looked into Princess for your wedding, some of their ships have actual wedding chapels and from what I've heard do a nice job at getting wedding together.
Book the cruise already <wink>. Just kidding. Look, any cruise you book will be fantastic since it's a first cruise. A balcony cabin is a luxury many people will pay extra for but some of the newer ships, Carnival Pride and Legend, are built with the majority of rooms having balconies. These you can book without paying a lot of extra for them.
We always get the least expensive outside room because Mrs. Thomas gets claustrophobic not having a window. Sometimes we get upgraded to balcony but I don't think I'd pay the extra money for it because we just don't spend that much time in the room. And others, justifiably, use the same argument for booking inside cabins. Some prefer to book inside cabins to save the money for other things because they realize the cabin is just for sleeping and changing clothes.
Are you going to need to fly to the port? If you're in driving range of the port you can get some really good deals booking at the last minute. I just posted on another board a Norwegian Majesty cruise of 4-nights out of Miami on 11/18 with inside cabins at $28 per person. Yes, I said $28 per person. Port charges and taxes are $144. Not suggesting this cruise for you, at all, just offering it as an example of last minute deals if you don't have to arrange flight schedules.
I have looked at every cruise line at this point and still somewhat unsure...just when I talk about a cruise with the other cruisers(future-mother-in-law) they have certain requests...We have smokers, golfers and snorkelers and the kid. I have been looking at Costa cruises surprisingly...I've heard bad things about every cruise line so I am not worried what others think.
Wow $28 a person...I wish I had vacation time now. But not until late Feb or early March for the cruise.
And yes we have to fly in from multiple cities for the big event....
I have to say that I have gotten great ideas thru the boards...going with a TA rather than online booking engine...
You will hear negative comments about almost every cruise line, almost every ship, almost every itinerary.
Keep in mind that for every negative comment that's posted, there are probably a gazillion (scientific term) people that don't post about what they liked.
I'm wondering why, if you have spent 700 hours, you don't have better answers?
Here are the questions:
Can we get married on the ship?
Do we have to get married by a local officiant while the ship is still in port?
What licenses, etc. do we need if we are not residents of the state where the ship is ported?
Can we get married by the Captain or other officiant in the middle of the ocean?
Can we get married on a port stop?
What licenses, etc. do we need?
Will the wedding/marriage be legal EVERYWHERE?
What it all comes down to, except for the cost, is what's legal and what any cruise line/port stop can provide as far as a legal marriage is concerned. And what arrangements/legal documents/etc. you need to organize ahead of time.
Taking it to the limit, marriages (and divorces) in places that are not your place of residence may be looked at askance by the locals in case of problems.
My suggestion? (And this is VERY serious.) Get married by a Clerk of the Peace in your home town so you KNOW it's legal then just have fun with the big party on the ship or ashore. You can recreate the ceremony (nobody has to know you've already done the deed) but you will have the security of a non-offshore marriage.
I have most of the wedding answers ...just doesn't make sense to me that you must book the cruise before you can speak with anyone regarding the wedding portion. Since that is the main reason for the cruise I would have liked to seen examples of where on the ship you get married. I skipped many cruises that were too tight lipped about the wedding part. As for getteing married at home. Not happening. My wedding was cancelled last year due to Sept 11 and my wedding was to be Sept 22. So this is our way of having a special wedding and getting away from the stigma of last year
Definately see that there are negatives about every line and ship and itinerary...But just going to go and have a good time regardless.
Carnival Legend & Pride offer beautiful Wedding Chapels as does the Grand & Golden Princess. Both lines will provide a wonderful experience for all ages of your group. Feb. 15 is school vacation week in many states in New England and of course prime Winter vacation time, thus airfare and flights are already booked up at a premium cost. An Eastern Caribbean itinerary may be a little cool in February (we were in Nassau the last week of February and I wish I had brought casual slacks.) Pick a good travel agent that you feel comfortable working with. Stop trying to please everyone and narrow down your choices. Let the TA make the calls to the cruise lines. You are correct they only do so many weddings on board per cruise. You can also get married on shore; St. Thomas is a US territory, San Juan is US, Barbados has weddings in many of their beautiful floral/orchid gardens, too. Let a Wedding Planner help you at the cruise line.
Best of Luck - may 2003 be the beginning of a brand new life together for you both.
You probably will find that the arrangements are far easier if you opt for a wedding at sea, as the cruise line handles all the arrangements for you and an unexpected change in itinerary will not disrupt your wedding plans. There's also no problem with legality because the cruise lines have ensured both the legality of their weddings at sea and the recognition of those marriages throughout the United States and Canada before advertising the wedding packages in North America. If you opt for a wedding in a port of call instead, you probably will be dealing with a separate wedding planner and a change in itinerary (due to political turmoil, weather, or whatever else) could disrupt your wedding.
The following Princess ships will offer weddings at sea in February 2003 (itinerary indicated in parentheses).
>> MV Grand Princess ("Western Caribbean" RT from Fort Lauderdale)
>> MV Golden Princess ("Eastern Caribbean" RT from Fort Lauderdale)
>> MV Star Princess ("Mexican Riviera" RT from Los Angeles)
>> MV Coral Princess ("Panama Canal" RT from Fort Lauderdale)
Of these choices, I think that MV Coral Princess will be the best option if you can swing the ten-day itinerary. Princess is a solid line with an excellent cruise experience. For the record, all Princess ships that are either under construction or on order also will offer weddings at sea when they enter service.
I understand that other lines have started offering weddings at sea on some of their newer vessels, but I don't know which ships of which lines offer this service.
Re: Re: Re: Scared to death after reading boards!Re:Costa At
My wife & I are booked on Costa for March outside room w/veranda for $1,050 each
(7 days) incl's tax, port charges etc.. We too have read over a hundred reviews all on
this ship only. We have formed the opinion that nobody is completely happy with
their cruise. All have one gripe or another. So apparently unless you pay thousands
for a top of the line cruise you have to make your cruise work. Enjoy, after all it is a
vacation and getting married is one of the happiest moments in your life, so this
will make the cruise one of the happiest things you'll do. This will be our 1st cruise,
so we will have fun even if the waiter spills a few drop of wine, the food isn't
totally what we expect or the service seams subpar. after all we will be on VACATION.
I hope this in someway helps.
For everyone that has seen my past posts I'm not shouting it's just that everything
I do at work on the computer is in caps and I'm not used to using the shift key.
Book a cruise that's convenient and affordable, don't read any more reviews and have a wonderful time.
I just sailed on the Star Princess and felt similarly panicked after reading many reviews. No, everything was't perfect, but overall it was fabulous. Being on the water was great, service was lovely and just the fun of being on a first cruise can't be beat. I'd do it again in a minute.
When I hear of a disease outbreak on a ship, it is usually a Holland America, Disney, or other ship. I don't hear about Princess ships having such problems. I'm going on a Princess Cruise soon, to avoid the dirty water, tainted air, etc, which cause problems on other lines.