Hey everyone! We just got back from our wedding cruise on Sunday and I couldn't wait to share it with you all! All the cruise reviews I read were extremely helpful (thank you past brides for your amazing reviews!) so I wanted to give back and share my experiences! So I'll give you some highlights and dive right in!
Where I am from: Virginia
Which port: Miami
Which ship: Carnival Glory
Wedding date: December 9, 2012
Where was ceremony/reception: Green Room/Golden Dining Room
Type of reception: Embarkation day sit down luncheon
Food: App- shrimp with cesar, Pasta- Spaghetti, Main- Beef wellington, Dessert- Passion fruit and our wedding cake (Mixed tiers with strawberry)
Wedding coordinator: Marlene
Number of guests: 43 (29 sailing and 14 non-sailing)
Hair/Makeup artist: Rendezvous by Beauty- Renata
Where I stayed the night before: La Quinta Inn Miami Airport East
THE BIG DAY
So my mom and I wake up around 5:30, partially due to excitement and partially because we needed to get ready for the day. Renata came by around 6:30 to do our make up and hair and let me tell you, she is AMAZING! Worth every single penny. I don't usually wear a lot of make up, if at all, so I was a bit nervous because I didn't want ti too heavy, but she listened and got it just right. I looked like a totally different person. I highly highly recommend her if you are getting married in the Miami area, whether you're a cruise bride or not. I don't have them on my computer yet but I will post pics soon so you can see her work, I can't stress how great she is. As she was doing our make up and hair we had people stopping by and asking questions or picking something up (even my then-fiance!). Our shuttle was scheduled for 9:00 am, we called the hotel ahead of time and reserved the first one out (they offered a free shuttle to the port and we had enough people to fill it, so we didn't want to share haha), and we were finished with hair and make up just in time to make it! My friend said afterward that they almost left without us!
When we got to the port, we dropped our bags off, and went right inside to check in. It was a lot easier than I thought, we all just got in line, showed our passports, put our bags through the scanner, and that was that. All the guests who weren't sailing, were pulled aside and given a badge to wear, but then we all, at our own pace, were led upstairs to get our sign and sail cards. The only hiccup was Ben's (my now husband) grandfather was not on the guest list when he should have been; he had to be re-added the Tuesday before and I called the wedding agent I was working with to add him, she took my credit card (to charge the $25 fee) and after all that he still wasn't on the list. What ended up happening was that the wedding planner (Marlene) took his information and Ben and I signed off on him coming. So, if you have any last minute changes to the guest list, don't bother calling Carnival, just have them show up and they can be let in with your permission. After that there was a lot of waiting, because remember we left the hotel at 9, getting there at 9:20. Ben and I met with Marlene and our officiant to go over things, but mainly we just sat and talked to our guests. Surprisingly, Marlene offered to take our guest book and cake topper and set it up for us, which I was not expecting but was very happy about! They took all of the wedding guests (which included a second wedding that was on the boat that day) into a secluded part of the terminal while we waited to board.
Everyone was called around 11:45 to board, and we walked through the main terminal onto the boat. I got ready in our honeymoon suite, and Ben got ready in his parents room. I had a few people in the room with me, helping get me ready, and to keep me company (I've learned through CC how bored some girls got bored waiting). Akshay came and took a few "getting ready" photos, and a couple with my mom and brother, he also had me make a list of all the immediate family members for pictures following the ceremony. Then Marlene came and got us and we all walked down. Two of my best friends were there in my last final moments before I walked down the aisle, and they totally made me cry right before! And I was doing so well! The hostess and Marlene calmed me down and we went on with the ceremony.
The ceremony was short, we chose to do a reading and a blessing, and we wrote our own vows. Following the ceremony, we went out into the hallway and had a moment to ourselves, then were called back in for family pictures. Akshay called up the family members for the various posed photos, then they sent everyone to the dining room and we made our grand entrance.
Marlene set up the guest book and topper perfectly! She even went around as people were eating to make sure everyone signed it. We cut the cake and drank champagne, then sat down to lunch. We sat at our own table (a small one just for two), just so we could be fair to everyone. The food was good, but I couldn't eat as much as I wanted because my dress was so tight! The cake was very very good though
Our officiant asked us who we wanted to sign our marriage license, and we picked our mothers, so they sat us down and took some pictures of that. After the meal, all non-sailing guests were asked to leave and we said our good byes. Then Akshay took us around the ship to take more pictures of just the two of us, and they came out amazing!! A lot better than I expected. He called us down the Wednesday to look at our photos, and we took a day to decide which package we wanted, then had everything by Saturday.
We were recognized all week around the ship because they saw us taking pictures in our tux and dress, and my family got us on The Game of Love (The Newlywed Game) so we got a lot of congratulations that week and it was great! We had a really great time, and wouldn't have done our wedding any other way. It wasn't stressful, it was a cheaper option and we had a week-long reception
No regrets! Please let me know if you have any questions at all (I know I had tons!) and I will try to post some pics with this