Weddings

Royal Caribbean wedding commercial prominently features gay couple

In:
31Jan2016

Royal Caribbean produces a lot of commercials, and one of its newer commercials features a gay couple getting married on a Royal Caribbean ship.

Royal Caribbean wants everyone to consider getting married on a Royal Caribbean ship, and uses couple "Gabriel and Blair" to show how fun and special a wedding at sea can be.

Royal Caribbean describes this advertisement simply as, "You’ve never settled for the ordinary. Your greatest adventure yet should be no different. Venture far from the beaten path with a Royal Caribbean wedding ceremony. Royal Weddings amenities include complimentary planning to ensure every moment becomes a cherished memory for you and your special someone. Discover the breathtaking possibilities onboard and across the world."

Tip of the hat to Instinct Magazine for alerting us to this commercial.

10 tips for an amazing Royal Caribbean wedding

In:
Category: 
27Aug2015

Did you know you can get married on a Royal Caribbean cruise?  It is true and if you want to tie the knot onboard your cruise, these tips may help you in the planning process.

1. Spread the word about your wedding registry but watch the calendar

Royal Caribbean will provide you with a wedding registry, just like most stores.  On there, you can list shore excursions, beverage packages, specialty restaurant reservations and more.

You can also put up your bios on the internet-based registry and it is a great tool to send to guests and friends about your wedding, even the ones who may not be able to join you onboard.

The important thing to remember about a wedding registry is let your guests know that the registry will close one week before your sail date so all the purchases made can be sent to your ship.

This means, all purchases need to be made before one week prior to your cruise and friends and family tend to wait until the last minute to make purchases, so you will want to warn them of the deadline.

2. Wait to make pre-cruise purchases

With the wedding registry, once the gifts start coming in, you might be tempted to start pre-booking things on your cruise but you should wait.

Services, packages and gifts that can be pre-purchased before your cruise, such as spa treatments or beverage packages, should not be purchased until you receive the complete list of who bought you what.

This usually occurs a week before the cruise and if you happen to purchase these items before you get the list, you will have to pay for these items out of pocket.

3. Wait to send thank you cards until after the wedding

When someone purchases you an item off your Royal Caribbean wedding registry, you will usually get an email with a notification that it happened but you should wait for the full list.

While the email notifications are helpful, in practice not all purchases end up generating an email notification, so before you start sending out thank you notes, wait for the complete list of what you received off the registry to ensure you do not omit a gift someone purchased for you.

4. Use a travel agent

If you are the bride and groom, you have plenty of things to worry about, so coordinating your friends and family's cruise reservations should not be one of them.

In general, we are big fans of using a travel agent to book a Royal Caribbean cruise but when you are traveling with a wedding party, use a travel agent that can help you and your group all along the way.

Very likely you will have new cruisers, who tend to have lots of questions.  A travel agent will be there to answer those questions and all of this makes your life easier.

Remember, travel agent services are free to you (Royal Caribbean pays them), so you have nothing to lose and lots of your own time to regain!

5. Consider creating a group booking

Along the lines of using a travel agent, if your wedding party is large enough, consider creating a group booking.

You will need to have at least 8 staterooms to get a group.

By having a group, it makes coordinating lots of Royal Caribbean activities much simpler, such as dining arrangements.

In addition, groups can sometimes qualify for lower pricing or other specials.  

When creating a group, be sure to use a travel agent because they should have experience in this and it will be one less thing for you to worry about.

6. Ask LOTS Of questions

As you might imagine, there is a lot that goes into any wedding and a Royal Caribbean wedding is no different.

Be sure to call the Royal Romance department multiple times and ask lots of questions BEFORE you pick your wedding package.

Ask them about every detail and any concerns you have.  You want to ensure what you want is what you are booking.

You should call multiple times to verify what you are looking for.  It is important before you put any money down that you ask all the questions you might have.  

7. Read the marriage certificate requirements

When you are deciding if you want to get married on a Royal Caribbean ship or in port, there are different government requirements depending on where you select.

Some locations (such as at sea), you have to go to the Bahamas within 60 days to get your license.  If you get married in port, such as your embarkation port, you only have to travel to somewhere in the state from where you leave.

8. Consider getting married at one of your port stops

While you can get married on a Royal Caribbean ship or at one of their private islands, you should also at least consider the option of getting married at one of the ports you are visiting.

By expanding your wedding location search to the ports you are visiting, you can not only get more choice in your wedding location, but also more flexibility in price.

As an example, you could pick a resort at one of the ports you are going to and potentially save a lot of money or expand  the options of your wedding location beyond what Royal Caribbean can offer.

9. Be prepared to plan quickly

When you book a Royal Caribbean wedding, your wedding planner will call you around 30 days before your wedding and then you will have until about a week before your sailing to plan it all.  

This means you have a 3 week window to plan your Royal Caribbean wedding.

You will need to know the details ahead of time so you can plan as quickly as possible.

Your wedding planner is available via phone and email but email might be a better idea so you have your discussions in writing.

10. Be flexible

This may be the most important tip: try to be as flexible and adaptable as you can be with the entire process.

Unfortunately, things can go wrong in the process between your planner at Royal Caribbean headquarters and what ends up on your ship.

You have to be flexible with the process. Perhaps there was a hurricane that means the island you were planning to visit is no longer an option or the cake you ordered is not exactly what gets delivered.

Speak to your onboard wedding representative to coordinate the process.  They are there to help, so try your best to "go with the flow" and understand things can change or be impacted so be as flexible as you can.

Royal Caribbean offers new weddings at sea

In:
Category: 
31Oct2012

Royal Caribbean is now offering weddings and vow renewals in a new program called "Sweethearts at Sea".  The Bahamas has cleared Royal Caribbean to conduct legal weddings aboard their cruise ships while at sea.  

Couples wishing to share this special moment with friends and family can enjoy the Sweethearts at Sea promotional offer, inclusive of a ceremony performed by the Captain, photography and more, when booking 12 or more staterooms on a 2013 Royal Caribbean International sailing during the special introductory offer.

Royal Caribbean CEO Adam Goldstein commented on the news, "Thanks to the support of the Bahamas, our guests can now be married during the course of their Royal Caribbean cruise and bask in the romance of the sea as they exchange their vows. Royal Caribbean's staff and crew will cater the affair with our world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service to help make the day extra special for the couple and their guests.”

Couples will work with the Royal Romance team of wedding specialists that will work with you to create an event that reflects the desires of the bride and groom.The Royal Romance team assists in wedding planning services, including any legal requirements pre-departure, and once onboard, the Royal Romance Coordinator ensures every last detail is taken care of for the special moment.

Brides and grooms looking to marry onboard a Royal Caribbean ship will be married in a manner that is legally recognized by the Bahamas through the newly passed Marriage Act. The act allows for marriages while in international waters, which is defined as outside the 12-mile limit of the territorial waters of any nation. The actual location of the ship when the marriage takes place is then recorded in the Marriage Record book of the Bahamas.

Couples have several customizable Royal Romance Package options that celebrate their big day and include all the essentials for creating the perfect wedding. For example, the Royal Romance at Sea package includes: the ceremony performed by the ship’s captain, a groom’s boutonniere, a rose bouquet for the bride, freshly-made cake, recorded music and a live soloist during ceremony, wine at the ceremony, dinner for the bride and groom at an onboard specialty restaurant, photography services, plus champagne and strawberries in the couple’s stateroom.

The Sweethearts at Seas promotion offers couples a complimentary Romance at Sea package when they share their happy memories with family and friends and their wedding party books 12 or more staterooms on a 2013 cruise of five nights or longer. Those couples booking 25 or more staterooms can enjoy the above, plus a complimentary stateroom upgrade, bar service and an hors d’oeuvres reception.

The Sweethearts at Seas is now available to be booked for cruises starting January 1, 2013. For more information about the Royal Romance Programvisit us at www.RoyalCaribbean.com/weddings or call 888-WED-RCCL (888-933-7225).

Royal Caribbean offering wedding packages in Brazil

In:
12Jun2012

Royal Caribbean will offer in 2012/2013 cruise season the option for customers to get married onboard its ships.

Splendour of the Seas arrives in Brazil on December 9 and will offer three choices of wedding packages: Royal Package, Royal Happiness and Royal Romance Eternity.

The ceremony lasts approximately one hour and is performed by one of the officers of the ship while the ship is moored in one of the ports allowed - Santos, Rio de Janeiro or Salvador.

In addition to the guests who can accompany them on the cruise, the couple can invite up to 40 guests not cruising to attend the celebration, and reservations must be made ​​up to two months in advance. 

More information on the Brazil wedding packages are available online.

Royal Caribbean offers wedding packages for Brazilian cruises

In:
23Aug2011

Royal Caribbean will offer options in the 2011/2012 season to perform weddings onboard their ships that sail from Brazil. The bride and groom may hold the marriage ceremony on the Splendour of the Seas or Vision of the Seas, with three different package options: the Royal Happiness, the Royal and Royal Romance Eternity.

The symbolic ceremony lasts approximately one hour and is performed by one of the officers while the ship is moored in one of the authorized ports - Santos, Rio de Janeiro or Salvador. In addition to the guests who may accompany them on the cruise, the couple can invite up to 40 guests not to attend the celebration and reservations must be made up to two months in advance.

The partners Bedaque Marina Barbosa and Tamara were responsible for all training of the crew that will perform the symbolic ceremony.  There is also the choice of suppliers - as a band, cake and favors - enclosed in the package.  

Weddings on a cruise a rising trend

In:
11Jun2010

Destination weddings, or weddings that take place somewhere other than home, have always been an intriguing option for couples looking to tie the knot but according to a recent report by thestar.com, weddings on cruise ships have increased in popularity by 10% in the past few years because of affordability, the convenience of having your wedding and honeymoon in one place, and the exotic locations you can have your wedding held.

Valery Rene, manager of on-board revenue for Royal Caribbean says that they handle "about 1,000 weddings a year and can meet many other special requests.”  Certainly it's hard to argue with the price as the average cruise wedding ceremony and reception with Royal Caribbean costs about $10,000 for a 100-person event, excluding the cruise costs and airfare for sailing guests. Considering the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is now between $21,000 and $24,000, that is a real bargain.

For those looking to get hitched on their next cruise, the basic wedding package on Royal Caribbean starts at about $2,000 and includes three hours of planning with a consultant, priority check-in, non-denominational official, ceremony, recorded music, bridal bouquet, marriage certificate, photographer (but not photos; they’re purchased separately) and more.

We help the couple decide whether they would like a shipboard or shoreside wedding and then choose which destination and ship that works for them and their budget,” says Rene. “We often do weddings that cost more than $20,000 and a recent lavish wedding we did was well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. There were about 180 sailing guests.”

Given all that $10,000 gets you, it's hard to go wrong with that option and it's hard for your wedding guests to argue with "forcing" them to go on a cruise.