We got married aboard the carnival fantasy in our hometown of Charleston, SC and everything went perfect. We feel like we got a lot for the amount of money spent $6k total (wedding, reception, honeymoon, and rehearsal dinner. We used my uncle's Charter bus company to carry all of sailing guest , wedding party, and some of our non sailing guest to the port, back to their cars after the wedding, and also to pick up back up when we came back to Charleston. His charge was $0 (He did it as a wedding gift) but we passed around a tip basket for the driver and came up with $335 and gave that to him as a thank you gift. When we arrived to the port the port crew unloaded our luggage. I got off the bus so that I wouldn't end up seeing the bride before the wedding and got into a 15 passenger van. That went smoothly then we went in for check in and arrived on the ship at 11:45am (I was the last person to check in) had to be ready out of my stateroom by 1245 and that was no problem for me. My groomsmen came partially dressed due to them having white jackets and bridesmaid came fully dressed and ready to go. When we came down I met back up with coordinator and she told me we had the largest wedding ever on the carnival fantasy 34 sailing guest and 102 non sailing guest. Since we had the only wedding scheduled for that day we asked if they would allow more non sailing guest and was granted. We had a lot of people for a Carnival ship wedding but it was very hard actually getting it down to that amount of people but carnival capped us at 102 non sailing and would not bulge. The wedding was in the Universe Lounge and it was a lil on the huge side for the amount of people we had (seats 800) but everyone sat where they wanted to and was comfortable. The wedding went smooth and our music was played right on time. While our guests were being escorted to the forum lounge for the reception we were taking pics with carnival photographer and our personal photographer. We are glad we hired a outside photographer because her pics looked 10 times better than Carnivals photographers pics (Aneris Photography’ out of Charleston, SC) most of Carnival pics were dark for some reason. We only actually only bought 8 of carnivals pics and it was the ones we took while on the ship deck because we didn’t have enough time to take those shots with our personal photographer because she was a non-sailing guest.
Ok I got off track. When our guest arrived at the forum lounge the were greeted with a glass of champagne then they were seated. The first dance, groom mother, and bride father dance went perfect. My only complaint about the wedding reception was the dj needed a little guidance as far as what type of music to play so I gave him about 5 songs to playing and he had it already on his playlist and played those songs and he caught on to what he wanted to hear and everyone was dancing the evening away. The food was great and plentiful a lot of our non-sailing guest ate on the lido before the wedding so they didn’t have much of an appetite for anything else So plenty food was left over. They were not being stingy with the alcohol they were passing that stuff out and taking drink orders like they wanted to give the alcohol away. I was surprised. Some of my guest said they had 8 and 12 drinks and when they said they didn’t want any more the servers were asking “are you sure you don’t want anymore” . That was good to hear. Everyone was having such a good time the coordinator gave us an extra 10minutes to party before the non-sailing guest were escorted off. Once they were off the ship I received a call saying carnival had 15 passenger vans sitting outside of the terminal to escort everyone back to the charter bus and their cars.
I did not know about this but my guest that drove were charged $12 to park after leaving. I was told by carnival parking in Charleston was free for our guest.
Final thoughts and Info
*I recommend it.
*Wedding looks like it costed more than it did our guest thinks we paid a fortune.
*Don’t forget to give the dj atleast 5 songs you would like to hear at your reception as a guideline. We told him r&b but he was playing rap and other music that we listened to but weren't appropriate for a wedding reception.
*Cake was Great
*Don’t spend a lot of time worry about things because Carnival has that covered
*BRING YOUR OWN PHOTOGRAPHER!! Carnival photographers looked like the paparazzi while taking pics but pics looked average at best. Our photographer told us that she told Carnival photographers in order for yall to take good pics with the red lighting in the Forum Lounge they would have to adjust their camera or turn the red light off. She said they just looked at her. My only guess is that carnival trains their photographers to snap shots but they have limited knowledge of how to adjust their camera for different environments.
*You don’t have to buy any of Carnival picture packages you can buy pictures individually. (I did not know this until before the wedding, but since the photographer is included in the packages why not allow them to snap pics. We opted our of their photographer but later cancelled that
*If less than 3 weddings are scheduled the same day as yours you can have more than 50 non sailing guest but they wont allow you to request it until 60 days out
*A 1.5 hour reception feels like a 3-4 hour reception.
*Your non Sailing guest will be mad they didn’t sail.
12 of our guest did not show up but we are receiving a refund for those people because during that week the weather was bad with the ice storms and snow carnival was giving out complimentary refunds for wedding guest that couldn't make it due to the weather.
My professional pics by Aneris Photography aren't done yet but I have some pics from my personal camera that I had one of my family members using. I will Post a few as soon as I figure out how to.