Carnival Ecstacy Beach/Destination Wedding Questions?

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#1
20 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
Hi Everyone!

This is my first time on the board, so please forgive me if I missed a post about this:

I am trying to plan a wedding for Labor Day 2013 on the Carnival Ecstacy. I am getting a little overwhelmed because:

1) I have called Carnival twice and was supposed to get additional materials emailed to me, to no avail
2) I am trying to decide between two locations but often feel rushed on the phone with Carnival
3) I am not sure ifI am even asking all the right questions when I call

SO, hopefully someone here can help! Basically I am trying to choose between getting married in Nassau or Half Moon Cay. From what Iunderstand, Nassau sounds better because there are more options and flexibility, but Half Moon Cay seems very low maintenance and beautiful. Are there any brides who have experienced the Nassau or HMCay wedding?

Also, I would like a reception, but dont want it to be repetitive (i.e. go to the reception to eat and dance when we can go to the formal dinner and dance afterwards-- does that make sense?). I am thinking I will do the beach Nassau wedding with a 2hr receptionand dj afterwards. Does anyone have sample pricing for this? Also, how does seating work if you are not booking as a group? I wanted to book the cruise as a group, but group reservations seems so inflexible that it is looking easier to just book individually. HOWEVER, I was hoping our guests could sit at the same tables during formal dining. Has anyone gone through this?

This is my first month and a 1/2 of planning and, with all the info I've gotten, I still feel lost!

Help me, Carnival Brides!
#2
14,220 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
1. It appears this often takes a long time.

2. HMC is beautiful, but be advised this port will be missed, due to not being able to tender if the weather/seas are bad, more often than Nassau

3. If you want to get married in Nassau, and you don't like the service you are receiving from Carnival, why not work with a local wedding planner in Nassau instead?

4. Suggest you find a good TA to handle group bookings. They can link your dining so you are sitting near each other. I wouldn't consider doing this yourself. You will have all the headaches. Let someone else deal with this aspect.
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#3
Marietta, Georgia
33 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
I am also getting married while on the Ecstasy. I am getting married on the beach in Key West and reception back on the ship. I didn't like the service Carnival was offering so I went through a private company on Key West and then just booked the reception on the ship through carnival. We are doing the 2 hour reception and it was $800 then the DJ who was an additional $135.

I didn't have a problem getting through, maybe they're really busy right now. Best of luck and feel free if you have anymore questions.
#4
20 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
Thanks for the advice! When are you getting married on the Ecstacy??

Did you just do a randomly search on the internet for your private company in Key West?
#5
20 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
Originally posted by 6rugrats
1. It appears this often takes a long time.

2. HMC is beautiful, but be advised this port will be missed, due to not being able to tender if the weather/seas are bad, more often than Nassau

3. If you want to get married in Nassau, and you don't like the service you are receiving from Carnival, why not work with a local wedding planner in Nassau instead?

4. Suggest you find a good TA to handle group bookings. They can link your dining so you are sitting near each other. I wouldn't consider doing this yourself. You will have all the headaches. Let someone else deal with this aspect.

Great advice about HMC!!! I think that will help me decide on Nassau even more!

That was great advice. I think that is what I'll do, look into a private agency to see pricing and accomodations.

THANK YOU for the advice for the TA for seating- I tried to ask Carnival and they were NO HELP in figuring out how I would handle that!
#6
Marietta, Georgia
33 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
I'm getting married on the October 26-31 sailing. I actually did research on Cruise critic and the people I went with had high recommendations plus they donate to the national autism society (I'm a special education teacher so that really hits home) so it was perfect fit.
#7
Raleigh, NC
75 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
I posted a pretty long review of my wedding on the Ecstasy a few weeks ago. I got married in Nassau... a lot of your questions will probably be answered if you check it out. It might be a few posts down or on the next page. CONGRATS!
#8
Sonora, CA
55 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Hello and Congrats!!

My husband and I were married on the beach in the Bahamas Dec 2010. I recall the wedding being around 1-2pm, back on the boat by 1:30 or so. Then we had a 2 hour reception (back on the Carnival Dream) with amazing hor derves (spelling?) open bar, cake, dancing, all of the wedding standards maybe 2-4ish. Then we booked the steakhouse on the ship for our wedding dinner. You can't officially do this, but we had 50 sailing guests, so we took up almost the entire steakhouse, so they shut the place down for us. They even worked with me in advance on seating arrangements and set up seating name cards, etc. So we had an amazing dinner and open bar, speeches, etc there also...then everyone went out dancing afterwards. It was quite literally the perfect night. Carnival planned everything, I did not use an outside planner, I'm not sure why you would need to. I'm sure it would increase your costs. Everyone we worked with through carnival was amazing.... the wedding planners, coordinators, photographers, etc.

There is a full review on this website back somewhere near Jan 2011 if u go back that far. The link to my pics are on there also.

Good luck and let me know if you have any further questions.

Steph

PS keep in mind there is a residency requirement in the bahamas... you have to be in bahamanian waters for 24 hours to be able to be legally married there. My husband and i were not, so we were legally married on our balcony in FL the day before our wedding, then technically our wedding was symbolic.
#9
20 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
I was wondering if anyone knew...

When I spoke to a Carnival rep they mentioned I did not have to have the reception immediately following the wedding, in case I wanted to give guests time to freshen up.

I was wondering-- do you HAVE to leave the beach immediately following the ceremony? I really wanted to take pictures on the beach and have maybe 30 minutes to "hang out".

Did you (brides) get rushed off the beach, once the ceremony was over? It seems so quick to just have the ceremony and leave! I am not sure of how Carnival would handle that, but I'd really like more time on the beach and I'm interested in your experiences.