Celebrity Cruises was the first ma­jor cruise­liner to hold a same-sex wed­ding on­board – so what can you ex­pect from a cer­e­mony at sea?

Gay Times Magazine - - CULTURE - Image cour­tesy of Celebrity Cruises Words Lewis Cor­ner

Imag­ine if or­gan­is­ing your wed­ding wasn’t much more stress than book­ing your next lux­ury trip abroad. Well, it ac­tu­ally doesn’t have to be.

Celebrity Cruises be­came one of the first ma­jor cruise lin­ers to of­fer same-sex mar­riages, hav­ing al­ready played host to a fabulous gay wed­ding on board their Celebrity Equinox ship ear­lier this year.

If you want to cel­e­brate your union with your part­ner in front of a trop­i­cal back­drop while sail­ing the high sea, Celebrity Cruises will make sure it goes with­out a hitch. The cake? Don’t worry about it. Dec­o­ra­tion? Sorted. Hon­ey­moon? It starts the sec­ond you say “I do.”

Gay Times caught up with Guest Re­la­tions Man­ager Julie to talk about the ad­van­tages of get­ting mar­ried aboard a Celebrity Cruises ship, and all of the op­tions cou­ples have when it comes to putting to­gether their dream big day.

What’s the best part of hav­ing a wed­ding on a cruise ship?

First of all, why wouldn’t you? What a fan­tas­tic back­drop – not only in­ter­nally – but also ex­ter­nally with the ports of call and the out­side views. Also, you have the cap­tain. How unique and how dif­fer­ent to have the cap­tain of the cruise ship marry you.

Celebrity Cruises was the first ma­jor cruise liner to have an LGBTQ wed­ding at sea – how was the big day?

It was fan­tas­tic. Ben and Fran­cisco got mar­ried aboard the Celebrity Equinox. They had their fam­ily on board and it was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Ev­ery­body re­ally bought into it. Ev­ery­body from guests and crew to the of­fi­cers re­ally loved the fact we had the same-sex mar­riage on the Equinox.

Why should LGBTQ cou­ples con­sider get­ting mar­ried on a Celebrity Cruises ship?

First of all you’ve got the ship, which is beau­ti­ful. All of our ships are stun­ning. I think ev­ery­body should get mar­ried on a cruise ship. We take the pain out of it for you. We make it easy, we make it beau­ti­ful, and over­all just an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

What’s ac­tu­ally in­cluded in a Celebrity Cruises wed­ding pack­age?

When you get mar­ried on board a Celebrity Cruises ship sev­eral things are in­cluded. You have the cake, you have the cham­pagne, and you have the re­cep­tion. The re­cep­tion can ac­tu­ally be the venue of your choice. You have mu­sic – and that can be live mu­sic. We also dec­o­rate your suite when you go back to your room with petals, or some­thing ex­cit­ing. We make it all ro­man­tic for you.

Can cou­ples book on­board per­form­ers for the entertainment?

I would strongly su‘est that if you want a live per­for­mance to lets us know in ad­vance. But of course, we have live per­form­ers that are very will­ing to per­form at the wed­ding.

How much can cou­ples tailor the wed­ding to their own taste?

The guests can ac­tu­ally cus­tomise their wed­ding quite a bit. There re­ally aren’t many re­stric­tions. As long as it’s do-able, we can do it. They can have dec­o­ra­tions of their choice if they want to bring them. If it’s some­thing we can pro­vide, we can do it for them. To be hon­est, we can make it big, we can make it small, we can make it tra­di­tional, we can make it fan­tasy if they like. What­ever they want and what­ever they bring with them, we can use. We can make it as spe­cial as they want.

Which types of wed­ding cer­e­monies do you of­fer on board? Are they all re­li­gious, or do you of­fer al­ter­na­tive ser­vices too?

The wed­ding ser­vices we of­fer on board are nup­tial wed­dings done by the cap­tain. Or we have vow re­newals. I know a lot of guests like re­li­gious cer­e­monies, but the cap­tain does do a nup­tial wed­ding. With the vow re­newals, cou­ples can also do that with the cruise di­rec­tor.

Which venues are avail­able to cou­ples for the wed­ding on board?

The venues on board the ship that cou­ples can get mar­ried in... there is ac­tu­ally no re­stric­tion! As long as it looks beau­ti­ful and it’s man­age­able, they can get mar­ried in any venue on the ship. We can make it hap­pen. The most pop­u­lar venue is Blu – one of our beau­ti­ful din­ings rooms – be­cause it has the most stun­ning decor in­side. It also has an in­cred­i­ble view from the restau­rant it­self, and it’s one of our per­sonal favourites on the ship.

How do cou­ples usu­ally like to plan the voy­age around the wed­ding?

I think cou­ples gen­er­ally like to get mar­ried at the be­gin­ning of the cruise. How­ever, we have to be out at sea and we have to be a cer­tain nau­ti­cal mileage out in the ocean for the wed­ding to take place on board. So it de­pends where the sea day falls. If it falls to­wards the be­gin­ning of the cruise, they tend to have the wed­ding then and en­joy the hon­ey­moon for the re­main­der of the trip. Or if the sea days falls in the mid­dle, then they en­joy it before and af­ter­wards! So it lit­er­ally de­pends where the ship is lo­cated.

In terms of tim­ings for the wed­ding, can the party go on into the early hours?

With the wed­ding tim­ing, we tend to do it when the venue that they choose is not be­ing utilised by the reg­u­lar guests on board. So as long as the venue isn’t be­ing used, there is no time limit. We can adapt ac­cord­ingly. Ob­vi­ously if it’s in one of the restau­rants, those venues need to be used by reg­u­lar guests at times. But some­times cou­ples will get mar­ried in a venue, and then re­lo­cate up­stairs to our Sky Lounge for the after party. So ev­ery­thing is pos­si­ble.

What are the top des­ti­na­tions that cou­ples like to get mar­ried at?

First of all it’s on board the ship – and in any of the ports of call. Grand Cay­man is very pop­u­lar. Of course we can pull into any of the ports of call, but cou­ples gen­er­ally like to get mar­ried on board be­cause there are such a great se­lec­tion of views for them to choose from.

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