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Burial at Sea


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Several years ago I attended a burial at sea on a Royal Caribbean ship. The ashes were scattered from a crew only area in the aft part of the ship. The ceremony was beautiful. There was a ship's officer (not sure who) and a violinist present. RCCL provided us each with a flower to throw overboard.

 

Next month I will be scattering my mother's ashes from Allure. I have a letter from RCCL granting permission and have purchased a biodegradable urn. My question is what to do about gratuities for the ceremony. I'm not sure if the officers will accept them but think I will offer anyway. I certainly will tip the violinist. Anyone have any idea what appropriate amounts would be?

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First off my condolences on losing your Mom. Hope your final cruise with her will be special.

 

 

I don't know the answer to your questions but am interested in any info provided as I have my will written that I wish to be buried at sea from an RCCL ship. I know Trainman on these boards buried his wife at sea and may be able to give you some information. His account of that cruise was one of the most moving threads I've read on these boards. Take care, Jim

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slester,

 

So sorry for your loss but glad you will have a special last cruise with your mom.

 

If you don't mind, please share whom you contacted at RCL for authorization to scatter the ashes. I'm looking to scatter just a small amount of ashes of my parents, but not looking for anything formal just a special/symbolic remembrance. Thanks in advance.

 

To answer your question and IMO, I think a small token of $20-$25 for the violinist would be nice. The officer/s might not be able to accept anything, but a kind, written note for their personnel file with RCL would be appropriate.

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s...If you don't mind, please share whom you contacted at RCL for authorization to scatter the ashes. I'm looking to scatter just a small amount of ashes of my parents, but not looking for anything formal just a special/symbolic remembrance...

Contact the Emergency Team: emergencyteam@rccl.com or 800-256-6649.

Edited by clarea
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I am so sorry for your loss. We scattered my dad's ashes from the Sovereign many years ago. It is appropriate to tip the violinist. I would not offer a tip to an officer, I would rather give the officer a note expressing your gratitude and make a donation to the Make a Wish Foundation (a ships sponsored charity) in his name. You can make this donation right on the ship if you choose. If you do not know the officer's name prior to the ceremony, then take his name and leave the note for him/her at the pursers (Guest Services Desk). On the occasion of my father's burial we did this and have done it since for another exceptional experience, and it seemed to be the perfect Thank You expression and excepted with gratitude. Traditionally, it is not appropriate to tip ships officers.

 

Our little ceremony for dad was perfect. The ships staff and officers made it that way. I hope you enjoy your cruise... I know your mom will be with you in spirit and love.

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slester, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. A friend of mine lost his wife last year, and scattered her ashes ten months later during their planned Jewel cruise. His parents joined him on the cruise, and said the ship's staff was outstanding- and provided a memorial prayer and a Burial at Sea certificate.

 

Just wanted to mention for others not familiar, that you can request more than one certificate, to provide additional ones to other close family members, etc. It is very simple to arrange and is at no expense. I would offer a tip to the violinist, and notes of appreciation to the officers for their kindness.

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I am so sorry for your loss. :(

 

We buried my dad at sea in October aboard Freedom of the Seas. There was no violinist present. Honestly, it never even crossed my mind to tip the officers...we had this cruise planned for a year, and then my dad died on Tuesday and when we were sailing on Sunday. We were having him cremated anyway, and I mentioned in passing to my brother about a burial at sea, and he thought it was a great idea. RCI was so fabulous to help me pull it all together that fast.

 

We obtained certificates from the funeral home, but neither the port authorities or the cruise officers asked to see them.

 

They gave us a nice certificate telling us the coordinates of where we tossed the urn overboard, and I had a locket made with those coordinates and a picture of the two of us inside.

 

I'm so glad we did it.

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I scattered my last Wife, Carol's, ashes from the Freedom in September 2010.

 

The Customer Service Manager, an Environmental Officer (to make sure I didn't toss over anything I shouldn't) and a Security Officer (to unlock all the doors) were with me.

 

The time to scatter Carol's ashes was decided by the Captain (I guess when the wind conditions were best)

 

They provided me with a certificate and a copy of what the Customer Service Manager read as I dumped the ashes over the side.

 

DSCN0551.jpg

 

DSCN0523.jpg

 

There was no violinist present. (I guess you have to arrange for one if you want one)

 

The area is a work area where lines for mooring the ship are handled. It was windy and noise because we were low and close to the wake.

 

It was a very moving experience and I am glad that I did it. When we were finished I went up to the Viking Crown Lounge and had a drink in Carol's memory. The glass of wine was for her, that is what she liked to drink.

 

DSCN0517.jpg

 

 

I did a Live Report from that cruise. Be advised, there are some moving and sad parts to it if you want to check it out.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1268384

Edited by Trainman-2
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I scattered my last Wife, Carol's, ashes from the Freedom in September 2010.

 

The Customer Service Manager, an Environmental Officer (to make sure I didn't toss over anything I shouldn't) and a Security Officer (to unlock all the doors) were with me.

 

The time to scatter Carol's ashes was decided by the Captain (I guess when the wind conditions were best)

 

They provided me with a certificate and a copy of what the Customer Service Manager read as I dumped the ashes over the side.

 

DSCN0551.jpg

 

DSCN0523.jpg

 

There was no violinist present. (I guess you have to arrange for one if you want one)

 

The area is a work area where lines for mooring the ship are handled. It was windy and noise because we were low and close to the wake.

 

It was a very moving experience and I am glad that I did it. When we were finished I went up to the Viking Crown Lounge and had a drink in Carol's memory. The glass of wine was for her, that is what she liked to drink.

 

DSCN0517.jpg

 

 

I did a Live Report from that cruise. Be advised, there are some moving and sad parts to it if you want to check it out.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1268384

 

Thank you for sharing again what was as very poignant and personal and intimate moment in your life. :)

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I scattered my last Wife, Carol's, ashes from the Freedom in September 2010.

 

The Customer Service Manager, an Environmental Officer (to make sure I didn't toss over anything I shouldn't) and a Security Officer (to unlock all the doors) were with me.

 

The time to scatter Carol's ashes was decided by the Captain (I guess when the wind conditions were best)

 

They provided me with a certificate and a copy of what the Customer Service Manager read as I dumped the ashes over the side.

 

DSCN0551.jpg

 

DSCN0523.jpg

 

There was no violinist present. (I guess you have to arrange for one if you want one)

 

The area is a work area where lines for mooring the ship are handled. It was windy and noise because we were low and close to the wake.

 

It was a very moving experience and I am glad that I did it. When we were finished I went up to the Viking Crown Lounge and had a drink in Carol's memory. The glass of wine was for her, that is what she liked to drink.

 

DSCN0517.jpg

 

 

I did a Live Report from that cruise. Be advised, there are some moving and sad parts to it if you want to check it out.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1268384

 

You sir are an inspiration.

 

To the OP. My thoughts are with you.

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Thank you all very much for sharing your experiences. My husband and I thought about leaving enough money to our executors to have a "destination burial" for us. The destination would be an RCI ship, sailing in the Caribbean. I didn't realize how often burials at sea are actually done. Thank you.

 

 

Shirley, Sent from my iPad using Forums mobile app

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I'm sorry for your loss

I used to travel all the time in cruises with my mum and was special she was my best friend

 

Hoping your last sailing will be smooth

 

Never knew before that they did this and glad to find they do as I wish to be buried at sea also

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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My condolences to you.

 

What a touching way to pay tribute to the ones you love.

 

Some awesome post on this thread........... (Trainman)

 

Thanks for sharing.

 

 

" . . . Remember in life there is always something old to be sought and enjoyed . . . always something new to be found treasured and shared. . . thank you for sharing your life with me. . . ."

 

Sea Ya

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Thanks for this information. We will be spreading my wife's grandmother's ashes at sea on a cruise in a few weeks and we weren't quite sure how the process would work, we were just told to see the purser after we board.

 

I was wondering about transporting the ash container on the airplane, whether to carry it on or pack it. I'm concerned that the ash container will raise red flags going through X-ray, I have no idea what it would look like to the X-ray machine. The last thing I want is some TSA person deciding to poke through it.

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You are given a special certificate by the funeral home which will identify the remains for the TSA. I did not use it but the funeral home advised me how to ship the remains when my mom passed last year. I had initially considered carrying the ashes home to Montana where she was born but ended up opting for a beautiful mountain stream. Blessings to you. I have said for years that I would love to be sent off on a cruise one day. What a beautiful resting place in the Caribbean sea.

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I was wondering about transporting the ash container on the airplane, whether to carry it on or pack it. I'm concerned that the ash container will raise red flags going through X-ray, I have no idea what it would look like to the X-ray machine. The last thing I want is some TSA person deciding to poke through it.

 

Personally, I would carry on the ashes. It would be devastating to lose them. Regarding TSA, check to make sure you have up to date information from them. Last I knew, it was recommended to purchase a temporary crematory container made of a material that can be successfully x-rayed, such as wood, plastic, or NON-lead lined ceramic.

 

The cruiseline most likely requires that a bio-degradable urn is presented. Memorial Gallery dot com offers some beautiful bio-degradable urns for water & ground burials, as well as cremation jewelry: http://www.funeral-urn.com/biodegradable-urns.aspx.

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You do not have to call airlines ahead and there is no charge. I took the certificate they give you, and on the bag inside is a madallion with a number that matches the certificate. They will pull you aside and ask you to open the box. They will swab test the top of container. I put my moms in a carry on back pack. There was a lot of gathering around the ex ray machine, they were teaching others what to look for. They see them quite often.

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Thanks for this information. We will be spreading my wife's grandmother's ashes at sea on a cruise in a few weeks and we weren't quite sure how the process would work, we were just told to see the purser after we board.

 

I was wondering about transporting the ash container on the airplane, whether to carry it on or pack it. I'm concerned that the ash container will raise red flags going through X-ray, I have no idea what it would look like to the X-ray machine. The last thing I want is some TSA person deciding to poke through it.

 

 

I was concerned about this also.

We were going on a cruise from San Diego to Alaska.

It was my parents wishes to have their ashes spread in San Francisco Bay.

We picked a cruise going to S.F. for 2 days on RCCL.

I Fed Ex-ed the package of ashes to a friend in San Diego.

He held the box until we arrived.

I carried the ashes of both parents aboard the ship.

Zero problems there.

Upon arriving at San Francisco, I had a boat chartered from

Sausalito for this service. They do it routinely and, the boat and, Captain met us at a pier near the Terminal Building at S.F. Bay.

He took us to our designated area and, the Captain had a very nice service for us.

I had a bag of rose petals bought aboard the ship for a nominal fee.

It could not have been better for us.

 

But, as far as airlines go, I have not heard anything good or bad about ashes going through T.S.A.

I am still curious about that.

 

(My dad was ex-U.S.A.F. and, flew out of Hamilton A.F. Base near

the Golden gate area. He loved it there, despite living post career in Florida.)

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