Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Cruise Lines Encourage Travelers to Celebrate
Onboard a Cruise Ship
Every day on a cruise ship is a celebration and travelers can create even more magical moments for cruisers celebrating moments from weddings to reunions to retirements and everything in between. CLIA Cruise Lines offer a variety of ways for travelers to make each celebration special once onboard a cruise ship.
AmaWaterways provides the award-winning food, delectable wines, warm and personal service and luxury amenities needed to ensure each celebration is memorable. Kristin Karst, AmaWaterways’ executive vice president and co-owner, shares tips with cruise travelers to make celebratory cruises special including romantic trips for vow renewal and ways to keep families busy.
Karst says there’s no need to worry about keeping a multi-generation family travel group busy, with bikes onboard and up to 20 different tours offered per week, there is a lot to do for everyone regardless of age or activity level. Additionally, AmaWaterways offers families traveling during the holidays special Christmas Market-themed cruises where travelers can ring in the holiday season onboard and visit some of the finest historic Christmas Markets in Europe, complete with festive stalls adorned with fir branches. Onboard each ship, guests will enjoy tree-decorating contests, carolers, twinkling lights and a traditional holiday dinner and party. Those sailing December 31 will experience a special New Year’s Eve gala, followed by spectacular local firework displays – the perfect setting to celebrate the New Year with the entire family.
Those celebrating Mother’s Day, a girlfriend getaway or birthday celebration can book special spa and relaxation experiences. New in 2018, the line’s Sip and Sail complementary cocktail hour provides the perfect setting to relax at the end of the day and compare notes on the day’s experiences or admire newly found shopping treasures. For groups celebrating reunions, Karst recommends celebrating onboard one of AmaWaterways’ many wine-themed cruises. Travelers can toast to that graduating class or well-earned retirement while cruising the Rhine, Danube, Garonne, or Douro and tasting some of the finest wines straight from the vineyard. As an added bonus, groups of 20 or more can have their own private coach and guide for a personalized excursion.
Azamara Club Cruises
Azamara offers an unforgettable evening with the line’s Nights in Private Places package – ideal for honeymoons, anniversaries, or romantic getaways – that include luxe pampering for two with a personal butler. The night starts with champagne and canapés then a buffet with fresh seafood and meats cooked on a sizzling stone. Following dinner, guests have a toast in The Sanctum Terrace in Frette robes. Once ready for bed, guests can enjoy an outdoor bed (with a closeable roof panel and curtains) to spend an incredible night under the stars.
Carnival Cruise Line
Couples can say “I do” during shipboard celebrations on Carnival Cruise Line which now include a diverse array of lavishly presented culinary options and upgraded beverage service, along with new multi-tiered wedding cake choices like chocolate ganache, coconut cream, and red velvet, all baked on board. These celebratory cruises also feature a decorated wedding aisle and other traditional touches, along with upgraded champagne flutes and other keepsake items. For those who want to tie the knot in paradise, Carnival offers a variety of beachside ceremonies with recently added choices such as Grand Turk and Freeport complementing Barbados, Grand Cayman, St. Thomas, the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and other beautiful and exotic locales. Carnival also offers vow renewal ceremonies.
For other celebrations like birthdays, graduations, and retirements Carnival offers travelers a chance to pre-order or buy onboard cakes, flowers, decorations, and more.
With advance notice Celestyal Cruises can help travelers celebrate wedding anniversaries and honeymoons with special touches like: complimentary cake during dinner or in the cabin along with a short singing by dining room crew members and decoration of the cabin with balloons and such. Passengers can also organize something special for a variety of celebrations by getting in touch with the cruise line beforehand.
Celestyal Cruises also offers romantic celebration packages including a Marriage Blessing/Vow Renewal where a senior officer will conduct the ceremony on the bridge, a wedding bouquet, a toast with chilled cremant d’alsace, cold canapés on the bridge, celebratory cake for four people, announcement in the vessel’s daily program, a certificate signed by the captain confirming your celebration onboard our vessel. The line also offers a Deluxe Marriage Blessing/Vow Renewal that includes: a senior officer will conduct the ceremony on the bridge, a wedding bouquet, a toast with chilled Taittinger champagne with cold and hot canapés on the bridge, announcement in the vessel’s daily program, continental breakfast in bed with sparkling wine and freshly squeezed orange juice, a certificate signed by the captain confirming celebration onboard, a table reserved for two in the main show lounge on the evening of the guests’ choice, a table reserved for two in the dining room, anniversary cake for four people, VIP bridge visit at a convenient time.
The grandeur of the triple height public rooms, the beautiful ballrooms and elegantly appointed stateroom or suite and the finest details at sea with Cunard Line all combine to provide the perfect modern day stage for a Royal Ceremony at Sea. Cunard hosts grand wedding celebrations on board their legendary Cunard Queen’s with every finishing touch for a magnificent special occasion. Brides are escorted by White Star bellmen, romantic ceremonies conducted by the ship’s Captain and a beautifully appointed ceremony venue come together with a variety of wedding menus from some of the finest restaurants at sea. Each couple works directly with a dedicated Wedding Coordinator to ensure a truly memorable occasion.
A romantic ceremony conducted by the captain, two fresh floral arrangements, wedding music, wedding certificate, bottle of champagne, wedding invitations and thank you cards, pressing service for bridal outfits, priority check in and priority embarkation, as well as much more, is included in a Cunard wedding at sea. Cunard also welcomes same-sex couples to be married at sea in an elegant ceremony on the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, or Queen Elizabeth. The line also offers other celebration services while at sea, such as a renewal of vows ceremony which includes a venue on board, a bouquet, champagne, a single-tier iced cake, a professional photograph, a commemorative certificate and much more.
Costa Cruises offers couples a “Honeymoon & Anniversary Package” where guests will be pampered from the moment they step foot aboard the ship. Couples will be welcomed to their cabin with a chilled bottle of sparkling Italian wine, a spray of fresh flowers and his & hers Costa robes to take home. Costa also provides a keepsake portrait taken by the ship's photographer in an 8x10 silver frame and a personalized honeymoon or anniversary certificate. To celebrate, the couple of honor is treated to a cocktail party hosted by the ship’s captains.
In the spirit of memorable celebrations, Costa Cruises hosted a private wedding of Adel Sajan and Sana Khan From April 6 through April 9, 2017. The four days of festivities were held in true “Bollywood” style, with the chartered ship hosting more than 1,000 guests. Costa Fascinosa set sail from Genoa April 5 with the bridal couple, their families and an onboard staff specially selected for the occasion. On April 6 the ship called at Barcelona where guests embarked to kick-start the celebration. Guests enjoyed a day of excursions at Marseilles April 7, and then the cruise set a course toward Cannes where the marriage was celebrated. The cruise ended at Savona April 9.
MSC Cruises offers a variety of opportunities to celebrate special occasions like weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries, birthdays and more. The line offers a Wedding Program that allows couples to legally get married on board the MSC Divina and on the soon-to-arrive MSC Seaside (arriving Dec. 2017) while sailing the Caribbean or couples can opt to get married on the beach at one of the Caribbean islands. The packages can include: a pre-sailing wedding consultancy and dedicated welcome aboard by MSC’s wedding planner; bridal bouquet with matching boutonniere; exclusive lounge, adorned with elegant floral arrangementsa wedding cake; a champagne or sparkling wine to toast the occasion; a ceremony attended by ship’s officers, with pre-recorded or live music; and professional photography services. Additionally, honeymooners aboard the MSC Yacht Club can enjoy a unique and intimate romantic travel experience complete with: 24-hour Butler and Concierge service; complimentary wines and spirits, beers and soft drinks; the private One Pool, Bar & Grill; a private Top Sail Lounge; direct private entrance to MSC Aurea Spa with massage and treatment rooms dedicated to MSC Yacht Club guests and private shore excursions and chauffeur-driven guided tours with a private photographer option.
MSC Cruises’ Aurea Spa offers travelers an authentic Balinese Spa at sea perfect for celebrating with girlfriends or ringing in a special birthday. The spa offers up to 20 types of massages; 19 body treatments; 19 facials; aromatherapy treatments; a manicure and pedicure spa; and a sauna and a Turkish bath. Additionally, the MSC Meraviglia, MSC Cruises’ newest ship is equipped with a nearly 12,000 sq. ft. sprawling spa complete with one of the most innovative thermal experiences at sea. Throughout the 13 different areas of the thermal space, guests can experience a holistic sensory experience with sequences of heat, cold, color, light and aroma. The thermal area is equipped with state-of-the-art saunas, Mediterranean and steam baths, cold rooms, relaxation areas, including a salt relaxation room, ice waterfall, a dark sensory steam bath, and aromatic showers.
Paul Gauguin Cruises
Paul Gauguin Cruises offers cruise guests wedding ceremony and renewal of vows packages at Motu Mahana, the cruise line’s private islet off the coast of Taha’a, or at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa. The line’s Motu Wedding or Vow Renewal ceremony includes a private Polynesian Blessing Ceremony on Motu Mahana, a congratulatory letter from the Captain, an invitation to dine with the Captain or Hotel Director, an in-stateroom celebratory bottle of Champagne, a reception cake and box of chocolates, and extras including a flower crown, floral arrangement, and a portrait. Cruisers in love can indulge in the Bora Bora Wedding Ceremony or Renewal of Vows at Thalasso which includes: the bride’s arrival at the chapel on a traditional outrigger canoe ride through the lagoonarium; Tahitian blessing by a local priest, flower leis for the bride and groom; Tapa certificate with the couple’s Polynesian name; and a love lock to attach to a palm tree in the resort’s Secret Garden of Love to seal and symbolize the couple’s eternal love in Polynesian style.
Additionally, on each voyage, Paul Gauguin offers a Polynesian Blessing Ceremony for honeymooners and those celebrating an anniversary. These cruisers are invited to a special ceremony that includes a serenade, a poem reading, champagne and cake, and each couple is wrapped in a traditional Polynesian Tifaifai quilt. The line also welcomes honeymooners to celebrate on board with a special gathering featuring a Polynesian blessing ceremony performed by the line’s onboard troupe of entertainers, an in-stateroom celebratory bottle of champagne, an 8"x10" photo portrait, and exclusive pillow gift. The line also offers a gift registry for those celebrating a wedding, honeymoon, or other special occasions.
Seabourn Cruise Line
Due to Seabourn Cruise Line’s refined and personalized services, the vessels have long been home to many celebrations including weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries, and other important milestones. The line offers customized events for travelers from a private wedding ceremony among Antarctica’s glaciers to a private performance by the ship’s onboard talent for a retirement party. The ship’s staff can also arrange for a private professional photographer to come onboard to take quality pictures of the event or ceremony and those celebrating can indulge in complimentary wine and spirits and festive Caviar in the Surf beach parties. Those looking for a more intimate celebration can enjoy private, al fresco dining in the convenience of their suite or veranda. Guests can order from an extensive menu of gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner items, or from the restaurant menu, and have their meals served course by course.
On-shore, Seabourn travelers can take part in excursions specifically for small groups, such as private visits to sites that may be closed to the general public thought Seabourn’s alliance with UNESCO. Seabourn’s Destination Service team can create private tours and customized activities ranging from simple car-and-driver excursions to elaborate celebrations and business meetings. Guests also have the opportunity to charter a Seabourn ship, allowing for the exclusivity of being the only ones on board; the options to brand the itinerary, programming and the masthead of the daily program to fit the theme and vision of the event and budget-friendly offerings as the charter rates include virtually all costs.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Guests can celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and more festivities and milestones onboard Uniworld, with tailored packages purchased in advance of the trip, like a romance package including rose petal turndown service, champagne and chocolates. Groups can also celebrate with a unique experience through Uniworld’s new partnership with EatWith, the innovative and immersive meal sharing platform. This special service offers guests a curated selection of hosts in popular European cities for uniquely authentic experiences such as learning the secrets of the Viennese Naschmarkt in Vienna, a “Happy Dutch Tasting” in Amsterdam, and an Aligre Market tour and food tasting in Paris. In 2018, Uniworld is launching U by Uniworld, the first river cruise line designed exclusively for travelers ages 21-45. Sailings, beginning spring 2018, allow couples to reconnect with romance with excursions like kayaking on the Seine or bike riding along the Amsterdam canals.
Windstar Cruises is applauding a growing trend among its guests: celebrating milestone moments as they define them. We’re talking taking that cruise to Alaska because you crave one more child-free adventure with your friends before baby is born, or you just got divorced and want to enjoy your new happiness with those BFF’s who truly support you. People are living more and more in the moment with their friends and family, celebrating these decisions and markers that go far beyond the typical and expected times to commemorate life milestones. Windstar doesn't just offer corporate incentives for groups. They let people define their own friends and family groups and rewards them for it.
So many people are traveling in groups for celebrations and milestones that Windstar, on select dates, will give a free cruise to the eighth cruiser for every seven people booked. On higher-demand cruises, it’s one free cruise for every nine people that are booked. In addition, groups also get a discount off of standard guest fares, as well as a $100 per person shipboard credit to use on things like massages, shore excursions, or a bottle of bubbly.
However guests choose to celebrate or share the savings, Windstar is also able to help elevate the festivities with a variety of intimate celebration options on board their vessels, which carry no more than 310 passengers on itineraries around the globe. From vow renewals performed by the captain with a personalized cake baked by the culinary crew (gluten-free if need be), to private cocktail parties in one of the larger public spaces on board or a guest suite, there’s plenty of ways to make moments special together. Windstar may also arrange for memorable shore excursions and other activities exclusively for the group.
To learn more about celebrating milestones onboard a cruise ship, please visit: www.cruising.org.