By Michael Coleman
Tying the knot at sea is as old as cruising itself. Gentle ocean breezes and picture-perfect sunsets put many a couple in the mood to say “I Do.”
Whether sailing off the coast of an idyllic Tahitian island, cruising the Amazon or exchanging vows in the sun-drenched Caribbean, what’s not to like about getting married at sea?
Crew members at Princess Cruises have just upped the ante, making it even easier for would-be brides and grooms to walk the aisle with an expanded “Tie the Knot At Sea” wedding program on all 15 of their ships.
Â Offered originally on the line’s larger vessels – those with formal wedding chapels – the romantic option is now available aboard Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess, Regal Princess, Pacific Princess and Tahitian Princess. The ships have all been reflagged to a Bermuda registry, the authority under which each marriage is legally certified.Â
“Our wedding program not only gives couples the opportunity to be married by the captain, but they can also customize the wedding of their dreams,” said Jan Swartz, Princess’ senior vice president of customer service and sales.Â
“We joined about 1,000 couples in matrimony last year with only part of our fleet involved in the program. Now, every ship in our fleet can offer weddings – including those that sail to some very exotic worldwide destinations.”Â
The line’s wedding-at-sea program began in 1998 with the launch of Grand Princess and has grown each year, said Swartz.
Princess offers a variety of ceremony options, including, on larger vessels, an onboard wedding chapel decorated in flowers and candlelight for the special day. Other romantic shipboard locations are available, as well, and ceremonies include a number of special touches that bring together the talents of the ship’s chefs, musicians and photographers.
Each wedding includes live music, champagne, bridal bouquet and groom’s matching boutonniere, a photo package with canvas portrait, a wedding cake, a souvenir wedding certificate and the services of Princess’ onboard wedding coordinators to make sure the day runs smoothly.
The happy couple can also customize their event with a variety of food and beverage, floral, photography and video choices. They can also choose to add pre-ceremony spa treatments for the bride or take advantage of the ship’s tuxedo rental program for the groom, among a host of other options.
Of course, once the ceremony and reception are over, the honeymoon cruise is just beginning. Couples can enjoy the start of their married life lounging in a tropical paradise, visiting a cosmopolitan city or just spending time together on their own private balcony.
Not ready to get hitched just yet?
Princess is also offering a new “Engagement Under the Stars” package where couples can enjoy movie-star status when they agree to tie the knot. Men, or women, can pop the question with a personal video proposal shown on a giant, 300-square-foot outdoor LED movie screen on select vessels – Crown Princess, Caribbean Princess, Grand Princess, Sea Princess and Emerald Princess scheduled to debut in April 2007.
They’ll also enjoy a special romantic dinner, amenities, and keepsake items to remember the special, at-sea engagement.
Could the line’s wedding package and honeymoon cruise be far behind?