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  #1  
Old July 12th, 2009, 04:53 PM
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Question Wedding at Sea - by Captain, legal or not?

Hope NCL experts or future brides can help ........ I have spent hours researching, but still not certain. I've called NCL and they refer you to a wedding planning company. There is not much info on the wedding thread, but I will ask over there.

Can you legally get married at sea officiated by the Captain?

I found one article that noted if the ship was registered in Bermuda, then the Captain could marry you at sea. We don't want a harborside or dock side wedding. If we can't get married by the Captain while sailing, then we'll plan something else. We'd be sailing out of Miami.

Thanks for your help!

Diane

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  #2  
Old July 12th, 2009, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by CruiseNut7 View Post
Hope NCL experts or future brides can help ........ I have spent hours researching, but still not certain. I've called NCL and they refer you to a wedding planning company. There is not much info on the wedding thread, but I will ask over there.

Can you legally get married at sea officiated by the Captain?

I found one article that noted if the ship was registered in Bermuda, then the Captain could marry you at sea. We don't want a harborside or dock side wedding. If we can't get married by the Captain while sailing, then we'll plan something else. We'd be sailing out of Miami.

Thanks for your help!

Diane

Sorry, you can't get married at sea by the Captain.

I've read there are two exceptions, neither of which applies to you:

(1) Captains of Japanese ships are permitted to marry couples holding Japanese passports.

(2) Captains of ships registered in Bermuda can legally perform marriages. No NCL ship is registered in Bermuda.

Last edited by njhorseman; July 12th, 2009 at 05:01 PM.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 05:10 PM
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I just found this on the BEST CRUISES FOR WEDDINGS section of CC. Looks like I may have a chance on Princess or Celebrity.

If you want to get married at sea by the captain, you're limited to only a handful of cruise lines, due to legal limitations that are based on ships' countries of registry. New to the "can officiate" list are Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises, whose ships are now registered in Malta. Princess Cruises' captains are also able to marry couples at sea; its ships are registered to Bermuda.

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  #4  
Old July 12th, 2009, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by CruiseNut7 View Post
I just found this on the BEST CRUISES FOR WEDDINGS section of CC. Looks like I may have a chance on Princess or Celebrity.

If you want to get married at sea by the captain, you're limited to only a handful of cruise lines, due to legal limitations that are based on ships' countries of registry. New to the "can officiate" list are Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises, whose ships are now registered in Malta. Princess Cruises' captains are also able to marry couples at sea; its ships are registered to Bermuda.


I don't know where some of the "information" on this CC section comes from, but the Celebrity and Azamara Web sites clearly state their Captains are not authorized to perform weddings, nor may weddings be performed at sea on board their ships.

Princess is your only option among US cruise lines.

Last edited by njhorseman; July 12th, 2009 at 05:29 PM.
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  #5  
Old July 12th, 2009, 05:50 PM
time2cruise1 time2cruise1 is offline
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Originally Posted by njhorseman View Post
I don't know where some of the "information" on this CC section comes from, but the Celebrity and Azamara Web sites clearly state their Captains are not authorized to perform weddings, nor may weddings be performed at sea on board their ships.

Princess is your only option among US cruise lines.
Or the website has not been updated yet since "New to the "can officiate" list are Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises"
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Old July 12th, 2009, 06:38 PM
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Default Cruiseship wedding are elegant and a bargain $

I was also aware that Princess Captains can marry couples. My DD was married on RCCL while docked in Miami. Several guests continued with all of us on the cruise but ours sons flew in to attend the ceremony and then left the ship before it sailed away from Miami, as did a few other guests. My DD could choose anyone she wanted to officiate but she opted to use the official that RCCL had under contract.

She enjoyed having a RCCL wedding coordinator. We also were amazed at how inexpensive this wedding was for all its elegance.

When the couple got home, we had a casual island themed reception at a hall for all those people who could not fly to Miami to attend the service.

With all the money my DD and SIL saved with the cruiseship wedding vs traditional wedding, they were able to buy their first house. Good thing because a few years later we welcomed twin granddaughters.
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Last edited by Leafpeeper; July 12th, 2009 at 06:38 PM.
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  #7  
Old July 12th, 2009, 07:00 PM
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1. Even though it is believed to be a regular event, a ship's captain generally doesn't have the legal right to perform a wedding at sea. In order for a Captain of a ship to perform a marriage at sea, he must be a judge, a justice of the peace, a minister or an officially recognize officiant such as a Notary Public.
2. Japanese ships allow Captains to perform a marriage ceremony at sea, but only if the couple has valid Japanese passports.
3. Through Bermuda law, and because the captains have Bermuda licenses to perform weddings, captains aboard Princess Cruise's "Golden Princess" and the "Grand Princess" can perform weddings aboard ship and at sea. 800-774-6237
4. A romantic alternative is to have your wedding aboard ship while it is docked in a port. You need to follow the port's requirements for such a wedding. All cruise lines offer this option.
5. Many cruise lines will require that once in port, you will need to leave the ship, swear before a judge that everything is correct with previous prepared paperwork, then go back to the ship for your ceremony.
6. If you want to renew your vows at sea, you need to show proof of a valid marriage.
7. If the captain obtains a temporary permit to perform your wedding, a Cruise West captain can officiate your wedding within Alaska waterways.
Tips:
1. A wedding at sea takes planning. It's not something you can decide at the last minute.
2. Some states and locales allow you to use their marriage license elsewhere (like in a foreign port). Ask your county clerk if this is so.
3. Having a wedding at sea makes arranging the honeymoon easier. Just make sure you tell friends and relatives to leave you alone after the ceremony!
4. Couples in Bermuda must be 21 and have picture ID showing proof of age.
5. Some websites still mention Liberian law for the Princess Cruise Line weddings, but that was changed.
What You Need:
* Photo ID
* Other required documentation
* Time to plan your wedding
from
http://marriage.about.com/cs/marriag...rriedatsea.htm

According to Cruise Lines International Association, cruise weddings have grown at a phenomenal rate the last few years. Five years ago, there were practically none, but this year there will be thousands. Carnival Cruise Lines alone estimates it will plan over 2000 weddings this year, and those weddings will also have a built-in honeymoon. This growth rate should not be surprising. You can have a wedding and then sail off on your honeymoon! No travel time wasted between the "I dos" and the fun. Most cruise weddings are on the major cruise lines. Wedding packages are available from American Hawaii, Cape Canaveral, Carnival, Celebrity, Costa, Holland America, Norwegian, Premier, Princess, Regal, and Royal Caribbean International. However, with the exception of the Grand Princess, you will need to "bring your own" clergyman or other official to perform the service.
Cruise weddings can take place onboard in a public room on the ship, or on a romantic shore such as a beach or a glacier. The Grand Princess has its own wedding chapel, and the captain is authorized to marry you at sea. RCCI's Voyager of the Seas has a wedding chapel, but you will need to tie the knot while in port. Many couples get married while in a Caribbean port or before the cruise begins. That way the guests can come aboard, enjoy the service, and disembark before sailing. Alternatively, you could invite all your guests on the honeymoon!
Because of the increase in the popularity of "different" weddings, some independent wedding planners have begun to offer cruise weddings. A Wedding for You, Inc. and Flowers and Cruises, Inc. are just two companies that can help you plan a memorable day.
The price range of a shipboard wedding is just like one ashore--from a few hundred dollars to thousands. You will need to consult with a cruise travel agent, an independent wedding planner, or the cruise line's wedding department to select the best package for you. Although the options may seem to be endless, many packages are similar. Just be sure that your dreams and your budget are in sync. Good luck!
from
http://cruises.about.com/cs/cruisewe...seweddings.htm
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  #8  
Old July 12th, 2009, 07:42 PM
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My fiance and I are getting married on embarkation day Sept 2010 on the NCL Pearl.

We just booked the ship and paid for the wedding ceremony and will figure out the details early next year
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  #9  
Old July 12th, 2009, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powriv View Post
My fiance and I are getting married on embarkation day Sept 2010 on the NCL Pearl.

We just booked the ship and paid for the wedding ceremony and will figure out the details early next year

Congratulations. Yes, most cruise lines do have provisions for weddings on embarkation day.

However, the OP wants to be married at sea, by the Captain, which is a horse of a different color.
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  #10  
Old July 12th, 2009, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by time2cruise1 View Post
Or the website has not been updated yet since "New to the "can officiate" list are Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises"

Maybe, but given that cruise lines charge a substantial sum of money for these events, wouldn't you think that is something they would be quick to add? Why turn away possible business by making it appear the answer is "no"? You wouldn't even need all the details...just a splash headline about it.

Last edited by njhorseman; July 12th, 2009 at 09:01 PM.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Leafpeeper View Post
My DD was married on RCCL while docked in Miami. Several guests continued with all of us on the cruise but ours sons flew in to attend the ceremony and then left the ship before it sailed away from Miami, as did a few other guests. My DD could choose anyone she wanted to officiate but she opted to use the official that RCCL had under contract.
I'm wondering if this took place before 9/11. How did your sons board the ship not as passengers? I know in the old days (really old!) people would come aboard to say their goodbyes and then there was the "all ashore who's going ashore" cry. ha

Who, if not the captain, did the ceremony, a minister (the person on contract) on board?

OP, that is always an option for a wedding at sea, using the minister/priest/rabbi rather than the captain.

Last edited by flashdog_1; July 12th, 2009 at 09:21 PM.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 09:26 PM
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(deleted...unintentional duplicate)

Last edited by njhorseman; July 12th, 2009 at 09:30 PM.
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  #13  
Old July 12th, 2009, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by time2cruise1 View Post
Or the website has not been updated yet since "New to the "can officiate" list are Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises"
Quote:
Originally Posted by njhorseman View Post
Maybe, but given that cruise lines charge a substantial sum of money for these events, wouldn't you think that is something they would be quick to add? Why turn away possible business by making it appear the answer is "no"? You wouldn't even need all the details...just a splash headline about it.

OK...I did a little more digging into this and here's what I found.

Celebrity and Azamara put out a press release on 2/13/08 saying later that year their captains would start performing weddings at sea. It is now July, 2009, 17 months later, and there has not been another word from them about this. If you click on the link they provide, it just takes you back to that old press release, and of course their FAQs continue to say you can not get married at sea on their ships.

I guess they got cold feet, like a groom on his wedding day.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by flashdog_1 View Post
I'm wondering if this took place before 9/11. How did your sons board the ship not as passengers? I know in the old days (really old!) people would come aboard to say their goodbyes and then there was the "all ashore who's going ashore" cry. ha

Who, if not the captain, did the ceremony, a minister (the person on contract) on board?

OP, that is always an option for a wedding at sea, using the minister/priest/rabbi rather than the captain.
The cruise lines make an exception to their "no visitors" rule for weddings. If they didn't, they wouldn't be getting many wedding bookings.

The cruise lines contract with a wedding planning agency, which actually makes all the arrangements with the bride and groom. There is one agency that handles the weddings for most of the mass market cruise lines. Normally the officiant, who is supplied by the agency as part of the package, is nondenominational.

Cruise lines do not routinely have clergymen on board, although they may during certain special holiday seasons.

Last edited by njhorseman; July 12th, 2009 at 10:22 PM.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njhorseman View Post
OK...I did a little more digging into this and here's what I found. Celebrity and Azamara put out a press release on 2/13/08 saying later that year their captains would start performing weddings at sea. It is now July, 2009, 17 months later, and there has not been another word from them about this. If you click on the link they provide, it just takes you back to that old press release, and of course their FAQs continue to say you can not get married at sea on their ships.

I guess they got cold feet, like a groom on his wedding day.
Thank you for all the info you have provided - I appreciate everyone's input - even the "cold feet" comment (hey, you never know, although we've been together over 20 years).

Most of the mass market cruise lines use The Wedding Experience (dot.com) to plan all facets of your shipboard wedding whether harborside prior to sailing or at sea. So, after spending some time on their website, I found that Princess offers a ceremony at sea with the Captain officiating. Here's what you get for $2,250: (we're Platinum with Princess - do you think they'd throw in some cheese and crackers)!

PRINCESS

If you’ve always dreamed of being
married at sea and by the ship’s
Captain, this is the package for you.

Exclusive wedding chapel
Candlelit ceremony
Captain to perform ceremony
Special vows at sea
Wedding coordinator
Live music
Two fresh floral arrangements
to adorn the ceremony location
Rose bouquet (one dozen)
Boutonniere
Photographer
One (1) 16x20 canvas print
(2) 8x10 photographs
(5) 5x7 photographs
Wedding cake for two
Bottle of champagne
Two Princess keepsake champagne flutes
Keepsake wedding certificate


Again - thanks everyone!

- dd
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  #16  
Old July 13th, 2009, 06:43 AM
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We got married at sea on the Princess Crown last January. The planning of the wedding was very easy and we had a fantastic time. The captain was phenominal. There were 12 of us in total and I think the most difficult part was just coordinating everyone's travel (and that wasn't very hard.)

My marriage certificate is from Bermuda and had no problem changing my name here in the US.

We are heading to Bermuda on the NCL spirit at the end of the month. I have never been and figure that I should at least see the county that has supplied our certificate. The marriage certificate is actually very cool - it shows the latitude and longitude of the ship when we were married.

I would definitely recommend it.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by CLC22 View Post
We got married at sea on the Princess Crown last January. The planning of the wedding was very easy and we had a fantastic time. The captain was phenominal. There were 12 of us in total and I think the most difficult part was just coordinating everyone's travel (and that wasn't very hard.)

My marriage certificate is from Bermuda and had no problem changing my name here in the US.

We are heading to Bermuda on the NCL spirit at the end of the month. I have never been and figure that I should at least see the county that has supplied our certificate. The marriage certificate is actually very cool - it shows the latitude and longitude of the ship when we were married.

I would definitely recommend it.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I was hoping to hear from someone who had actually gotten married by the Captain at sea.

Congratulations on your "at sea" nuptials!
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  #18  
Old July 13th, 2009, 03:49 PM
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My daughter got married by the captain last year on CB. It was a lovely ceremony. True, you don't get alot for the $2000 +. We had about 12 travel with us Booked Starwalkers for cocktail hour with the cake (extra$) and also a reception dinner at Sabatinis (extra$) But for ease of planning it was worth it. The photographer was great! Even gave them the proofs so she could develop them even though all they got was the included pictures. (they did give her extra though after)
You do need to book early as there are limited slots and the earlier you book the better chance you grt to have it when you want it as they are done at sea days only
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