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GemOnboard

RCCL Navigator of the Seas March 5 Wedding Review and Pictures

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Its been a little over two weeks since my wedding on RCCL Navigator of the Seas, and I’m still very much the happy newlywed. In the end, the wedding turned out beautifully and if you’d like to see the pictures, you can follow this link.

 

http://www.ofoto.com/I.jsp?c=ujqldyj.px5e9wj&x=0&y=uq8qh6

 

However, things did NOT run smoothly. I’m writing this review for brides and grooms considering or planning a cruise wedding, so you can arm yourself with as much information as possible. (These boards definitely helped me in my planning!)

 

 

March 5, 2005

Woke up at the Miami hotel at 6:20 a.m., although I’m not sure I ever really slept! My sister had a friend of a friend who is a hair stylist in Ft.Lauderdale, so we paid for a hotel room for her and she started doing our hair at 6:45. Grabbed breakfast from the hotel buffet and ran out the door for my 9 a.m. makeup appointmentat the Panche Salon in the Marriot-BiscayneBay, which I booked through Royal Romance. I was very happy with both my hair and makeup.

 

 

After that, we met up with the rest of our group at the pier by 10:30, as we had been instructed to do. We met up with the Royal Romance coordinators, who brought our group through security, and to a “holding” area. (We had 33 sailing guests and 26 non-sailing guests.) Our wedding was to take place in the Cosmopolitan Lounge at 1:00 p.m.

 

 

What happened next is every cruise bride’s worst nightmare! Drugs were found on the ship, which brought de-boarding to a halt. From what I understand, the ship had to be searched and re-cleared before the remaining passengers could disembark, and we would not be cleared to board until after that time.

 

So we waited, and waited, and waited some more in a semi-private area that did not have enough chairs for everyone in our group. At 12:30, the wedding coordinators told everyone that was not already dressed for the wedding that they needed to change (except the groom and me). This meant that our three bridesmaids, two groomsmen, parents and grandmothers were all changing in stalls in the public restrooms!

 

At 1 p.m., when the wedding was supposed to have started, only Matt and I were finally given priority boarding and escorted to our stateroom—even though the ship hadn’t cleared yet. He dressed, but I needed my ladies to help me get into my dress.

 

The ship finally cleared at 1:30, but the 500 people in the Chairman’s Club boarded first for their luncheon. Our group finally started to board around 1:45. Since my bridesmaids were already dressed they met me in my stateroom—everyone else was shown the ceremony location. Drinks were available at the bar and passed around.

 

 

At 2:15, one of the wedding coordinators met us in my stateroom. She brought us up to the Cloud 9 Lounge, for the Ketubah signing (the Jewish marriage contract). This was a stunning location that nicely accommodated the bridal party and close family members.

 

 

The ceremony began at 2:35 in the Cosmopolitan Club Lounge, and was more beautiful and touching than I could have hoped for. Although we had only spoken to him several times on the telephone, Rabbi Kaplan was fantastic. He personalized the ceremony as if he’d known us for years and made all of our guests feel comfortable, since it was an interfaith wedding, by explaining the significance behind all of the traditions. I almost cried when I heard my favorite version of Canon playing for the processional and they skillfully faded the end of the song into the beginning of the ceremony. The recessional song was not the one I picked, ironic since I thought I made it fool-proof by only putting two tracks on the CD.

 

The luncheon buffet reception began at 3 and because of time restraints only lasted an hour, even though we had purchased a two-hour reception. Although we drank our champagne and had the cake cutting, we never had our first dance as husband and wife at the reception, which was one of the main reasons why we hired a piano player. The time-crunch was obvious and the real down-side of the wedding, especially for the non-sailing guests. The rest of us celebrated all week long, but the non-sailing guests were told they would have to start making their way off the boat at 4, so at 3:45 they started saying their goodbyes. I barely got to say hello to everyone, let alone goodbye, and do not yet have pictures of all of the guests. (Though I’m hopeful that once we see everyone else’s photos, we’ll get copies so we have photos of everyone there.)

 

The reception ended at 4 and then our photographer took us around the ship for photos. The photos are fantastic and our ship photographer was a real class-act. He somehow got us out of the muster drill, so we continued to take pictures well past 5:30 which was great since the ship was mostly empty while everyone else was at muster. We had only purchased one extra hour of photography, but he was more concerned with getting great photos that we would love than what time it was.

 

 

After we posed with the blue Bugatti roadster, I looked down at my gown and noticed a fairly large black grease stain! While I tried not to panic, the photographer was immediately at the Guest Relations desk (right next to where we were on the promenade) and within 5 minutes the chief-of-laundry was there examining the stain. He told me to leave my gown hanging for our stateroom attendant to pick up that night, and direct it to his attention via the valet slip. When the dress came back to me the next evening it was perfect—just like new—and of course at no charge.

 

By the time we returned to our room, champagne and a whole lot of wedding cake were waiting for us. But it was already time to get ready for dinner! Up until that point, I was still undecided as to whether or not I’d wear my dress to dinner, but since it was stained the decision was made for me.

 

Pre-wedding Planning

Our pre-wedding planning was frustrating at best. I experienced all of the poor responsiveness and lack of communication that everyone else talks about, so I won’t turn this into an out and out vent. Please feel free to ask me questions if you’d like more details about any of my planning.

 

My biggest complaint involves requesting a specific location, and Royal Romance’s complete lack of knowledge when it came to that location on the ship. Because of the size of our group, Royal Romance really only wanted us to consider the Ixtapa Lounge. They wouldn’t show me photos of this location, but after doing my own research, I realized I hated this location for a wedding. The colors would have clashed with my black and silver wedding colors, and the statues, while interesting décor, didn’t fit the classy feel we were going for and didn’t go with the Jewish ceremony. (After being in the Ixtapa Lounge for ship activities throughout the week, I knew I made the right choice.) So after more research, and seeing Spookieb’s wedding photos, I knew the Cosmopolitan Club Lounge was the best location. But I had trouble getting Royal Romance to approve this location for us. First they told us it only had the capacity to fit 30 people, then they upped it to fit 40 people. I told them I’d seen pictures of the room where groups of our size comfortably fit. Only then was the site miraculously cleared for us. However, they still felt the need to add this to our wedding contract, which really upset my parents.

 

“Bridal Couple has advised Royal Romance that they would like to have the ceremony and reception in The Cosmopolitan Club. Bridal Consultants explained that the location is much too small for the amount of guests they are expecting.They were advised that they have exceed the capacity and the guests may be hot and uncomfortable and there may be no room to dance and enjoy the entertainment that will be provided. They have also been advised that The Cosmopolitan Club is not a completely private location and that there also may be other sailing passengers in the immediate area. After being explained the details above, the couple still insists on having their wedding and reception in The Cosmopolitan Club. The Bridal Couple understands and agrees to the conditions above and agree not to hold Royal Romance responsible for any inconveniences that may arise.”

 

 

Needless to say, we all very comfortably fit into the room and no one was hot. BESIDES, night after night, I saw way more than 60 people comfortably dancing and enjoying themselves—it is one of the ship night spots, after all.

 

The other thing that completely baffled me was that Royal Romance INSISTED that there was no piano in the Cosmopolitan Club. I had heard from other people that there was one, and seen it in pictures, but Royal Romance would not acknowledge its existence, stating over and over again that there was no piano in the room and none could be brought there, but a keyboard would be just lovely. I was livid and couldn’t understand why they would deny its existence. This created the only tension between me and my parents, who didn’t believe me when I kept telling them that Royal Romance was lying to us. So a keyboard player was booked. So you want to know what happened? The keyboard player arrived, bringing in all of his equipment, only to wonder why he had been told to do so when there was a piano in the room.

 

The keyboard/piano is not a big deal, I’m only furious that they lied and pitted me against my parents. I have still not gotten a satisfactory answer as to why I was given that misinformation. More importantly, we were reimbursed for the second hour of the reception that never happened and for the second hour of music that we paid for. And our travel agent seems to think that Royal Caribbean will do something for us as well.

 

I’ll keep you posted. Despite all this though, the only thing I'm disappointed about is that I didn't have a lot of time with my non-sailing guests. At the end of the day, I had a beautiful ceremony and a great week-long celebration, and we're married!

 

Jodie

 

 

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Thanks For Sharing Your Pictures. You And Your Husband Look So Happy After All That You Two Experienced On Your Wedding Day.

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Gem,

 

Your wedding pictues and review brought back many happy memories for me. Congratulations to you and Matt....you are a great looking couple - your dress was beautiful. Your pictuers turned out very nicely. That was one thing that I was extremely happy with myslelf, and didn't mind handing over so much money for.

 

We also were delayed boarding while the ship cleared customs....it was a long wait and we were very hungry....expecially the kids. I did my makeup in the washroom while we waited. Our wedding was scheduled for 2pm but we didn't board until 1pm so they gave us an extra half an hour and the ceremony started at 2:30. We only had a small wedding party so we were able to have our ceremony in the Chapel, which was very nice.

 

Best wishes for continued happiness. Thank-you for sharing your experience.

 

Andrea

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Thanks so much Andrea and valorbride! We were just so happy to finally be getting married and I'm so glad it showed.

 

After re-reading my post, I just want to reiterate to anyone reading it that our experiences weren't as negative as they sound! Yes, things didn't go as planned, but that will happen no matter where you get married. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

 

Andrea, your dress was beautiful as well, and your pictures did help me during planning. I totally agree -- to me the dress was among the most important parts of the wedding!

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