Thinking of getting married onboard a cruise ship? "There's no better vacation and romantic experience than a cruise with the one you love," according to former Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) CEO Colin Veitch. "For decades, NCL has offered wedding, honeymoon, and anniversary packages on board all of our ships, filled with special touches like breakfast in bed, a massage for two, and a cozy dinner with views of paradise."
Can You Celebrate a Wedding on a Norwegian Cruise Line?
Yes. When a ship is in port, onboard wedding ceremonies are normally performed in the Norwegian ship’s chapel (if there is one), the library, or a lounge. Receptions are held afterward in one of the cruise ship’s lounges, which are closed for privacy. Weddings are not performed at sea. Onshore weddings are normally performed on a beach or at a garden. Each port of call has unique locations that a wedding planner can locate and secure for a couple.
Keep in mind that you will have to book your cruise and your wedding separately.
Wedding packages are tailored to a couple's needs and can range from a small ceremony and mini-reception, to a sit-down lunch, to a multi-course meal when a ship is in port. Priority check-in is provided to guests having a ceremony on embarkation day if they arrive at the cruise terminal between 10:00 am and 10:30 am to meet with the on-site wedding coordinator who ushers them through priority check-in.
Or bring family and friends along for a larger destination wedding and have the ceremony situated at a port of call.
Elements in a Wedding Package
Norwegian Cruise Line offers four wedding packages. There is a standard one for onboard ceremonies as well as a symbolic ceremony (for couples who have gotten married legally e taking place at a beach, a harborside ceremony, and a destination ceremony.
All of the ceremonies are performed either by the ship's captain or a local non-denominational marriage officiant. They include a wedding coordinator at the ceremony, bride's bouquet and groom's boutonniere, sparkling wine, small cake, and other perks. Available add-ons such as specialty flowers, music, videography, transportation, tuxedo rental, and reception menus increase the cost of the relatively affordable basic package.
Norwegian Cruise Lines subcontracts its wedding business to Royal Ocean Events planners handle arrangements. The same company also handles weddings for Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Carnival Cruise ships.
Consult their Wedding Brochure for prices, options, menus, and more.
Honeymoon Cruise Packages
The standard honeymoon package includes sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries in the stateroom upon embarkation, canapés delivered to the cabin one evening, a keepsake photograph, a dozen red roses, a romantic dinner for two in the Le Bistro. The deluxe honeymoon package includes all of those perks plus breakfast in bed on one day and two 25-minute Mandara Spa half-body massages.
Deluxe Romance Package
Couples can celebrate their anniversary aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line with a deluxe package that includes sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries in the stateroom upon embarkation, canapés delivered to the cabin one evening, a dozen red roses, breakfast in bed one morning, keepsake formal portrait, and dinner for two in Le Bistro, two 25-minute Mandara Spa half-body massages and tea service in your stateroom on the afternoon of your choice.
Both a less-expensive romance package and a more expensive one are available.
Vow renewal programs seem to vary from ship to ship and are included as part of the activity list at sea. A while ago on Norwegian Sky, we joined in a free group vow renewal led by a Christian officiant, which made one of us extremely uncomfortable because of its religiosity. On the Norwegian Dawn, there was a fee to participate in the vow renewal ceremony. The current vow renewal ceremony includes:
- Bottle of Sparkling Wine, Chocolate Covered Strawberries & Canapés in Stateroom
- Vows Ceremony Performed by a Ship Officer
- Ceremony Music
- One Single Red Rose
- Couples' Cake
- Champagne Toast
- Keepsake Vow Renewal Certificate
- 8 x 10 Professional Portrait in an Engraved Frame
More About Norwegian Cruise Line
One of the most affordable cruise lines, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) offers many roundtrip cruises from U.S. and Canadian ports.
So, depending where you live, you may be able to drive (or in some cases, taxi) to the port without having to board a plane.
The line’s innovative “freestyle cruising” concept — marked by open seating, extended restaurant hours, multiple alternative dining spots (as many as 29 per ship), and resort-casual attire at night — makes for a relaxing, varied vacation.
NCL’s fleet of 16 ships sails to more than 140 ports around the world. Most feature a Monte Carlo-style casino, spa, lavish production shows, an Internet café, and a wide array of activities and entertainment from morning to night.
Modern and brightly decorated -- even on ships' hulls -- Norwegian Cruise Line ships attract passengers of all ages.