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ddbecca

Just Married on Carnival Fantasy - VERY LONG review and pics!

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We got married on Carnival’s Fantasy on Thursday, May 13th. In one sentence, I can say it was so much better than I could have ever hoped for. I’ll try to answer all questions anyone may have, but if there’s something I don’t address, you can email me at ddbecca@yahoo.com.

 

Trust me—the feeling of uncertainty (which you have A LOT of with a cruise wedding) totally sucks. Just try to relax and enjoy yourself and know that everything will work out great.

 

We had a wedding party of 40 people, and only 20 stayed on the ship to cruise. The ceremony was scheduled for 1pm in the Forum, and the 90-minute reception would immediately follow in Cleopatra’s Piano Bar.

 

The morning of the wedding, everyone met at our hotel in Orlando at 10am, and boarded the bus we chartered to take everyone to the port. Because we left late (thanks to a couple of my sisters), we didn’t get to the ship until about 11:30. After getting everyone checked in and through security, it was already almost noon. I was glad I had my hair already done before we got to the ship. Luckily, one of my sisters does hair professionally, so she just did it for me at the hotel that morning. All I had to do was get my makeup done, put on the dress, and go get married!

 

While our group was checking in on the ship, our wedding coordinator, Julie (who was FABULOUS!) introduced herself to us. She told everyone where they needed to be for the ceremony, then took Chris and I to our room. By this time, it was about noon. The room was decorated with streamers and a “Congratulations†sign (a gift from my in-laws). My 4 sisters and I, along with some of my cousins, crammed in the little stateroom to look around and ooh and ahh at everything. At that point I gave Julie my bouquet, the groom’s boutonniere, the corsages for our moms, our cake topper, and our wedding music CD. She left, and told me she’d be back for me around 12:45pm. We popped a bottle of champagne (a gift—along with chocolate-dipped strawberries—from our Travel Agent), had a quick toast, then I said goodbye to Chris. He took his suit and went to my sisters’ cabin to change for the ceremony.

 

I have 4 sisters, and 2 female cousins, and it was really fun to have them all be there to help me get ready for the wedding. My other sister did a fantastic job on my makeup. Finally I was all spruced up and ready to go. Everyone left to get a seat for the ceremony, and Julie showed up for me around 12:45 or 12:50. She gave me my bouquet, and escorted me to the Forum, where the ceremony was to take place. I asked her how Chris was doing, and she said he looked a little bit anxious. I knew exactly how he felt!

 

Once outside of the Forum, I was greeted by my parents and my parents-in-law (our moms had their corsages on). Because we didn’t have a “wedding party,†we just had our parents walk down the aisle together. Then I walked down alone. About 5 minutes before the ceremony, I met the Officiant (I don’t remember her name because by then I was pretty nervous/excited and ready to do this thing). I also met the photographer, and he took a couple of posed shots of me.

 

And then it was time to get married! The door to the Forum was open, but I was around the corner where no one could see me. Julie was standing just inside the door, motioning to us to tell us when to walk down the aisle. The music started, and off went Chris’ parents down the aisle. Then my parents. Then the music changed. I heard the beginning of “I Do†by ABBA, and it was my turn. Julie motioned for me to start walking, and I heard our guests chuckle at our music selection. Mission Accomplished! I was so nervous when I walked in the room, I didn’t know where the aisle was. Julie whispered to me “follow the cameraman!†I didn’t even notice that the cameraman was walking in front of me, backwards, through the room. I practically ran up the aisle and up to Chris.

 

The ceremony was short and sweet, and to be honest, I don’t remember a damn thing except that we were both trying to keep ourselves from bursting into tears. We were pronounced Husband and Wife, and our 3rd CD music selection started playing. Chris and I held hands, and walked back down the aisle. Then, they had us come back into the room and everyone congratulated us.

 

After a few minutes of hugging and congratulations, Julie told us to follow the photographer to the reception, in Cleopatra’s Piano Bar. We walked to the reception room, and our party followed us. Once inside, the piano player was already playing, and the buffet was laid out beautifully. There were little flowers carved from fruit, and there was a huge ice sculpture. In the corner on its own table was the cake—a simple 2-layer, round, white-frosted cake, and our topper was on top.

 

We immediately did the cutting of the cake and the champagne toast. Unfortunately, because we didn’t have a DJ, there was no MC to run things. We were pretty much left to our own devices to get 40 excitable people to look in the same direction at once. We finally gave up and just made the cake cutting and champagne toast a photo op for our wedding album.

 

Once the cake & champagne were done, we were left alone to enjoy 90 minutes of live piano music, a great spread (there was PLENTY of food), and our loved ones. I did find it somewhat difficult to get a glass of wine, for some reason. It seemed that the drink servers were sometimes difficult to track down.

 

After the reception time was over, our whole group went out on the main staircase for a group photo. Julie was so cute—she yelled to the people on the floors below us, announcing us as Mr. & Mrs. for the first time. We then said goodbye to the non-sailing guests, and took our immediate families for portrait-style pictures.

 

Our cake topper, complimentary champagne glasses, the cake topper we didn’t use, our “fake†marriage certificate, and our CD were all delivered to our cabin later that day.

 

Here are the answers to some of the questions I had before going through this experience:

 

Tipping: I think it’s a totally individual decision, but we ended up tipping $20 each to the photographer, video guy, officiant, coordinator, pianist. We had $20 bills ready in envelopes at the reception.

 

The Cake: The cake is a simple, 2-tier white, round cake. The wrapped the top tier, which we ate after the 2nd night’s dinner. By that time, it was a bit stale, to be totally honest. I would definitely recommend bringing your own cake topper. The one provided is a cheesy plastic bell-type thing. We threw it in the trash, and didn’t even bring it home with us.

 

The Flowers: They provide a simple 6-rose bouquet with baby’s breath and ferns. I, personally, thought it was hideous once I saw it, and was glad I schlepped my own silk flowers for the ceremony.

 

The Pictures/Video: We did order the $350 video, and it’s kind of fun, but also kind of cheesy. The only bad thing is that our music is dubbed over with a traditional wedding march. They said there was too much background noise, so they dubbed over. My groom was mic’d, so our vows were nice and clear on the video. The last day of the cruise, we met with the videographer, who asked us questions on film about how we met, how we got engaged, etc. He then had us do cheesy things like try on hats in one of the stores, sample perfumes, and walk hand-in-hand on the deck. Once the video was put together, it was fun. I’m sure I’ll be glad to have it to look back on year after year. We also met with the photographer on the last day of the cruise. He gave us a huge stack of 8x10 glossy photos, and a huge stack of 5x7 glossy photos and told us to pick the ones we like. Our cruise was only the second week where the photos on CD-Rom were available, so we got lucky. We picked out about 50 pictures we liked, and we got those along with the CD-Rom of ALL the pictures for $500. You basically just have to negotiate the price, and I thought we got a pretty good deal.

 

That’s really all I can think of right now. I would give the whole experience an A in rating. Everyone said they had so much fun, and it was such an original wedding/reception. If nothing else, it’s a wedding that will stand apart from the others, and won’t be easily forgotten.

 

If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at ddbecca@yahoo.com.

 

Oh yes, and here’s a link to some of our pictures. Enjoy!

 

-Rebecca

http://f2.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/bec_0000/album?.dir=/e9bd&.src=ph&store=&prodid=&.done=http%3a//f2.pg.photos.yahoo.com/bc/bec_0000

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Very beautiful wedding pics - and great review!! Thanks for posting - it will definitely help future brides! icon_smile.gif Congratulations!!

 

~ Mandy

 

NCL Sky 12/2000 - Western Caribbean

Celebrity Galaxy 12/2001 - Southern Caribbean

S/S Norway 03/2003 wedding cruise - Eastern Caribbean

~~~~ Married on the beach in St John! ~~~~

HAL ms Maasdam 11/23/2003 - Western Caribbean

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Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful day and your beautiful pictures with us. I can't wait till our wedding. Only 82 days to go!!!

 

Erin & Brent

"Friends are the family that you choose for yourself"

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Thank you so much for your review & the pics. I'm getting married on the Fantasy as well on Sept 23, 2004. You have helped to calm alot of my fears. Thank you so much.

 

Teresa

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