Norwegian Cruise Lines Loves Weddings at Sea

Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Lines
Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Lines

Norwegian Cruise Line announced three new, customizable destination wedding experiences for guests wishing to celebrate their nuptials on one of Norwegian’s ships or in one of the line’s spectacular destinations. In partnership with Vancouver-based Royal Ocean Events, Norwegian offers couples the opportunity to have the wedding of a lifetime during their cruise, whether they choose to tie the knot overlooking the sparkling ocean, atop a majestic glacier in Alaska, or under a canopy of palm trees on an exotic Caribbean beach.

Couples planning their dream destination wedding with Norwegian can choose from three wedding ceremony options: “Symbolic,” performed on board while at sea; “Harborside,” performed on board while the ship is docked in select ports of call; or “Destination,” performed on shore in select ports of call.

Ceremonies are available in a wide range of ports — including Norwegian’s domestic embarkation ports, as well as beautiful destinations in Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. From a romantic, intimate ceremony in Santorini, Greece to an elaborate portside affair with hundreds of guests, brides and grooms sailing with Norwegian can commemorate the most important day of their life as they’ve always imagined it.

With packages starting at $1600, Royal Ocean Events offers everything that couples need for their perfect celebration. The happy couple can relax, as an experienced wedding coordinator will assist them every step of the way during the planning process and, once on board, they will enjoy their big day stress free, as Norwegian’s on-site wedding coordinators handle all of the day’s details.

All packages include an officiant or ship officer to perform the ceremony, on-site wedding coordinator, private ceremony location, ceremony vows, bride’s bouquet and groom’s boutonniere, prerecorded ceremony music, a bottle of sparkling wine, keepsake wedding certificate and wedding cake.

Norwegian also offers a wide selection of enhancements and services that couples can choose from to further personalize their celebration, including spa and beauty treatments, flowers (including custom orders), décor and ceremony enhancements, live music, photography and videography, transportation to and from the ship or wedding location, priority check-in, and a variety of wedding reception options, ranging from an elegant cocktail reception with gourmet selections and open bar to a four-course sit-down luncheon with wine service.

For couples who wish to re-confirm their love while at sea, Norwegian’s “Vow Renewal” package offers married couples the opportunity to celebrate their love all over again with a group vow renewal ceremony performed by a crew member. The package starts at $299 and includes a bottle of private-selection sparkling wine, a celebration cake for two, a commemorative vow renewal certificate, dinner for two in the line’s very romantic signature French Restaurant, Le Bistro, an 8×10 professional portrait, sparkling wine and chocolate-covered strawberries delivered to their stateroom and a bouquet of flowers or $50 on board credit to use towards photo prints. Those couples who want a more personal experience can select the “Deluxe Vow Renewal,” offering a private ceremony by the ship’s Captain, an invitation from the Captain to tour the bridge while the ship is in port, plus all of the amenities included in the Vow Renewal package.

For those looking to “pop the question” while at sea, Norwegian and Royal Ocean Weddings can arrange the ultimate proposal. The “Engagement” package includes an ideal proposal setting onboard, a bouquet of classic red roses, sparkling wine and strawberries waiting for the couple in their stateroom, two 25-minute half-body Swedish massages, in-room tea service, breakfast-in-bed for two, and dinner for two in Le Bistro, with pricing starting at $399.

Honeymooners, too, can take advantage of all that Norwegian’s Freestyle Cruising has to offer including romantic dinners for two in the line’s signature restaurants; pampering couples spa treatments in Norwegian’s award-winning Mandara Spas; and adventurous excursions in exciting ports of call.

For more details on weddings with Norwegian, visit www.nclweddings.com.

Second Breakaway Ship Announced

Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Lines
Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Lines

Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that it has confirmed an order for a second “Breakaway Plus” cruise ship with MEYER WERFT GMBH of Papenburg, Germany for delivery in spring 2017. Along with the first Breakaway Plus ship, which is scheduled for delivery in October 2015, these two new vessels will be the largest in the line’s fleet at approximately 163,000 gross tons and 4,200 passenger berths each and will be similar in design and innovation to the line’s current Breakaway class, the first of which, Norwegian Breakaway, launched in New York in early May.

The combined contract cost of the two Breakaway Plus class ships is approximately €1.4 billion. The company has export credit financing in place that provides financing for 80 percent of the contract price.

“The incredible response we’ve received from guests, travel agents and media regarding Norwegian Breakaway only reinforced our decision to add a second Breakaway Plus vessel to our fleet,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “With groundbreaking elements, yet to be announced, and an additional deck to incorporate further innovations, our two Breakaway Plus ships will provide guests even more ways to experience all that the new Norwegian has to offer.”

MEYER WERFT delivered Norwegian Breakaway, the first of Norwegian’s two new 146,600 gross ton, 4,000-passenger Breakaway class vessels on April 25, 2013; and will deliver Norwegian Getaway, in mid-January 2014.

“We’re very pleased to build all these innovative ships for Norwegian Cruise Line,” said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of MEYER WERFT.

Prior to the Breakaway class ships, MEYER WERFT built Norwegian’s four Jewel-class ships – Norwegian Gem delivered in 2007, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Jade delivered in 2006, and Norwegian Jewel delivered in 2005. These two new Breakaway Plus vessels on order will be the tenth and eleventh that the Company will build with MEYER WERFT.

For more information contact your travel agent or go to breakaway.ncl.com

A More Extensive List of Ships with Special Needs Accessibility is Coming Soon

Special Needs Group (SNG) is adding all accessible ships in the fleets of three Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. family members (Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises) to its Web portal/accessibility content resource. This includes accessibility information for Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas, scheduled to begin sailing from Cape Liberty, N.J. in November 2014.

The one-stop portal is available to both travel professionals and consumers. It consist of an extensive list of ships’ accessibility features available in the cruise industry. It provides helpful information including:

Number of accessible staterooms
Accessible stateroom features
Food & Beverage venues accessibility
Recreational facilities accessibility
Much more

SNG will launch Royal Caribbean International on the portal on Monday, July 15; Celebrity Cruises on Monday, July 22 and Azamara Club Cruises on Monday, July 29. On Monday, Aug. 5, SNG will launch Holland America Line® on the portal. It will continue to add one cruise line per month through the end of 2013, and until all ships with accessible features utilized by the North American market have been included.

All ships in the Norwegian Cruise Line® fleet were launched on the portal in April 2013.

SNG President and CEO Andrew Garnett said, “By continuing to add ships/cruise lines to our accessibility content resource, we’re reinforcing our corporate responsibility to help educate travel professionals, as well as the traveling public, that individuals with special needs have the ability to travel now more than ever before. The content that we create and provide is mainly informational as opposed to commercially-driven, allowing individuals with special needs to choose the most appropriate ship/cruise for them.”

Earlier in 2013, SNG also introduced three collateral assets – Ship Accessibility Checklist™, Mobility Scooter/Power Chair Etiquette™, and Scooter/Power Chair Do’s and Don’ts™ – to better assist professional travel agents to serve Americans with disabilities and special needs. Special Needs Group is the only mobility and oxygen equipment supplier that is approved to deliver to all major cruise lines.

For more information about the SNG Certified Accessible Travel Advocate program, SNG Travel Agent Affiliate Program and the SNG Resource Center, please call 1-800-513-4515 or visit www.specialneedsgroup.com/agents.