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Wedding Crusies: How Good Are They?

Have you and your betrothed given any thought to getting married on a cruise?

It can, and does, happen. In fact, one of the Princess Lines ships, the Grand Princess (and the folks that brought you the Love Boat) even has a wedding chapel.

Most cruises, however, while they may offer a wedding cruise, are actually going to perform the ceremony on land. You may marry at the port from which you are leaving or a port of call along the way.

Your cruise line wedding can cost anywhere from a low $300 to $75 for each guest attending. The $300 budget wedding provides the ceremony itself, the services of a notary, witnesses to the event, as well as cake and champagne. The upper end of the spectrum includes a bountiful buffet as well as open bar for your guests and yourself and spouse.

Once you book a wedding cruise you'll be assigned a ship wedding consultant who will help with all arrangements. As part of your wedding package you'll be able to choose wedding flowers and music. You'll also have your own choice of photographer.

Wedding cruises are very popular. To book yours you'll need to give your travel agent and the cruise line of your choice at least a year's notice, and 18 months would be preferable.

One thing you'll have to be aware of is that taking part in shipboard nuptials necessitates your being issued a marriage certificate of the home port of the ship line. If married aboard the Grand Princess, for example, your marriage license will be from Liberia. Make sure that your home state will accept this as a valid certificate.

There are so many cruise lines from which to choose - the most prominent being the aforementioned Princess Lines, Carnival Cruise Ships, Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean.

Carnival Cruise Lines, for example, offers two types of packages for your dream wedding. You can choose a shipboard wedding, either small or for up to 100 guests, in the area of your choice, from a vast array of luxurious ship lounges. Besides the ceremony, this package includes boutonniere for the groom, bouquet for the bride, cake cutting and wedding topper, champagne toast, wedding march, sparkling wine served in beautiful keepsake champagne flutes, and photographer. These packages are $750 and up. You can also add an open bar and reception with hors d'oeuvres, as well as a magnificently sumptuous sit down lunch for you and your wedding guests. The ports of call you can choose from for your wedding ceremony include Montego Bay, Tampa, Vancouver, Catalina, Grand Cayman, San Juan and several other beautiful romantic sites.

A Carnival Island Destination Wedding, in contrast, includes transport to and from the wedding site of your choice - fantastic exotic places like Barbados, Montego Bay, Cozumel, San Juan, the island of Saint Thomas and Nassau. These romantic island nuptials start at just under $1000.

Robert Michael is a writer for Relax Cruises which is an excellent place to find cruise links, resources and articles. For more information go to:

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