With their uniqueness, novelty and romantic setting, cruise weddings hold a magical allure of their own. There is something about being in the open sea, surrounded by serene waters that makes your heart flutter, more so when you are with your better half. The idea of exchanging vows between an azure sky above and the deep blue sea below, with the waves gently lapping against your love boat is truly a breathtaking one.
Cruise weddings can be a tad on the pricier side though. But they also can be worth every cent of your money. Think of spending one of the most special days of your life in style, luxury and in a truly memorable way! Little wonder then that affluent Indians are warming up to the idea of having their wedding of a lifetime on a cruise. Varun Chadha, the CEO of Tirun Travel Marketing, says, “Indian couples, their friends and families and wedding planners are much more willing and desirous of experimenting with novel ideas today to make their wedding celebrations stand out from the crowd. And cruise weddings have become a popular way of doing that.”
Besides, considering that many cruise lines can assist in a gamut of services ranging from booking onshore wedding venues to managing the ceremony, the entire affair becomes stress-free, which is one of the biggest draws of a cruise wedding. In fact, in many cruise wedding packages, all a couple has to do is show up for the festivities!
Taking care of every detail
So what are the advantages of getting married on a cruise? Chadha replies, “While being innovative, cruise weddings also offer several logistical benefits and are more cost-effective and hassle-free, as almost all the services associated with the wedding are provided on board by some of the best cruise liners. Furthermore, they offer entertainment options across all age groups.”
Tirun Travel Marketing is the exclusive India representative for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Sailing within Asia, their cruise ships offer a humongous guest capacity, which ranges from 2,500-4,000, together with all the amenities required for a perfect wedding, including spa services, photography, decor, gift delivery services, entertainment and hospitality by specially-trained crew members, and much more. That apart, their venues have been designed keeping in mind the requirements of hosting wedding functions. They even boast myriad entertainment facilities including gaming arcades, adventure sports, and sound and light shows, which not only make them perfect for celebrations but also for a memorable vacation for the invitees.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises, owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., on the other hand, has travel partners who can help with choosing the perfect onshore location for the ceremony at any of the ship’s ports of call. “Weddings are managed through our group booking services,” says Manoj Singh, Country Head – India, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “We can assist with accommodation bookings, cocktail parties andother wedding events on board, entertainment, wedding venues and any other on-board request,” continues Singh. “As for onshore events, couples can either arrange the venue independently, or through our travel partners, who can assist them with identifying the best onshore venues.”
Regent Seven Seas Cruises, in fact, is coming up with the Seven Seas Splendor, an incredible and intimate luxury cruise ship, in 2020, so opt for it if you are planning to tie the knot then. Singh recommends a voyage from Rome to Barcelona, or even Venice to Rome, which can suffuse an aura of splendour and magnificence to your cruise wedding, amidst picturesque settings.
Before you tie the knot at sea
So how do cruise weddings work? While the nuptials usually take place at an onshore site chosen beforehand, the pre- and post-wedding celebrations happen on the ship. Even if you have a phenomenal budget, you should look into the nitty-gritty and plan it well. Splurging too comes with guidelines, after all! Enquire whether or not your cruise provides wedding planning services as well. Additionally, enquire about whether seasonal charges exist. Another issue to take into consideration is what maritime boundary does that part of the sea where you choose to get married falls. Is your marriage legal if performed there? Another filter comes in on the question of whether you want your wedding to be officiated by the captain of the ship. Thus, it’s important that you do thorough research before going for a cruise wedding.
Icing on the cake
A very important part of wedding celebrations is the culinary delights it promises. While on a ship or off it, the taste buds crave for delicious food and never forget what has been served. Here, Jalesh Cruises gives an authentic Indian touch to its services, with international flair and class, which has also been garnering it a plethora of global guests. The touch of Indian tradition and culture is evident in their kitchens too.
Talking about the forthcoming season, Jurgen Bailom, President and CEO, Jalesh Cruises, says, “Jalesh Cruises is prepared and ready to welcome bookings for the upcoming wedding season. We have multiple offerings—such as the various venues—on board the Karnika, our cruise ship, and multiple and exotic cuisines ranging from Italian and Mexican to Chinese, Indian and Continental, to suit the palates of Indian and foreign guests. We also have a special menu for Jain guests on board. Customised food requests for Marwaris and other Indian guests are also provided on request. Decoration of the mandap and other areas is also offered on board.” Jalesh Cruises can also provide venues for different ceremonies and rituals of Indian weddings, irrespective of which community one belongs to, while their in-house wedding photographers ensure that every moment of the ceremony has been captured.
Royal Caribbean Cruises offers specially curated Indian menus to guests keeping in mind their special dietary requirements. Chadha adds, “The Indian menu in two of our ships—Quantum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas—has been curated by celebrity chef Ranveer Brar.”
Weddings no doubt have their own inimitable charm, with two souls coming together for a lifetime, surrounded by the ones they love. And cruise weddings are taking the fun and excitement several notches higher with their varied offerings. So why not hold hands and take the plunge amidst the sea and sail into the sunset together? It’s the most special day of your life, after all!