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Do you HAVE to book your ceremony through the Cruise ship?


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#1 evtalbot

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    Posted 11 August 2008 - 01:36 AM

    Hi guys,
    I can officially say that I am STRESSED OUT with wedding planning! After lots of feedback from our families we have decided to look into cruise weddings. The price is right for the trip, and it's just long enough to spend a few days with our families and then jet off to another destination for our honeymoon.

    We are looking at a Royal Caribbean Bahamas cruise.... It is $1999 just to have a wedding on the beach (which is what we want)... transportation to the ceremony is $25/per person and then the cake cutting/champagne is $20/pp. They do not include a reception for this price but we are ok with that. We are thinking that we will get married and have a casual reception lunch at a restaurant on the island.

    We are having 30 people join us for our wedding. I keep thinking that there has to be a cheaper option out there!! I'm not crazy about spending $750 to transport my guests to the beach and another $500 for eating cake!!

    Have any of you used an outside wedding coordinator and is that allowed by RC?

    #2 Cattie

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      Posted 11 August 2008 - 04:57 AM

      For our wedding in Bermuda, we're cruising through RCCL. I'm not booking anything through them except our cruise. What I did was turned everyone's reservation into a group to get the perks.

      I'm using my own wedding planner in Bermuda. She's handling everything. However I am still paying $600ish for taxis to and from the ship. But you have WAY more control over things this way. Through RR you won't know alot of things until right before you sail. I know myself I've heard real horror stories, but I've also heard good ones. I decided to just avoid it at all costs and go with my own planner.

      I did however make our group of 9 rooms so far into a group through RCCL to receive the perks. So far with our group I'm getting a $839 credit towards anyone's room (which my mother and I are splitting) And we have whats called 4 points. We get to pick from a list of items ranging from a $50 cabin credit, to a cheese and wine tray for each guest. With the points, you can only choose 1 item and it carries across all the cabins in your group.

      For the groups you're only allowed 1 person to speak on behalf on your group, which for us was myself. But I did give my mom the password to our group and if she needs to call, she just says shes me =) I just also gave everyone the group ID # so they can make payments if they want to.

      To make the group through Royal, you need to make sure you have all of your sailing guest reservation numbers and call 1-800-238-0166 9-6 EST Monday - Friday. If you have any other questions I'll try and answer them, just shoot me a PM.

      Hope I helped!!

      #3 FLgator

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        Posted 11 August 2008 - 06:01 AM

        We are sailing on Celebrity and have decided to use our own vendors in Jamaica. I have read more horror stories than good about using Royal Romance or The Wedding Experience (the contracted WC for the cruislines).

        You can definitely use an outside WC, transportation, photographer, etc. and do it all on your own. For instance we have arranged transportation for 30 people at $15 pp to take us anywhere we want for the whole day in port, so I definitely think you may find better deals. However, in my research I did notice that things cost more in the Bahamas than Jamaica.

        You could even arrange your own ceremony in port and then arrange with the groups department to have an open bar cocktail party back on the ship that evening, which is usually pretty inexpensive.

        Also, the Bahamas have a little stricter wedding requirements, I believe you have to be in Bahama waters for at least 24 hours, or something like that.

        Good luck!

        #4 Banana11

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          Posted 11 August 2008 - 07:38 AM

          I'm also on RCCL and opted against using Royal Romance/TWE. You can totally do everything on your own with vendors on the island and you'll probably find better deals. Our wedding is half the price Royal Romance would charge for more options and a better location. A lot of the resorts/hotels have a wedding planner onsite as a part of the package deal. A TA can help you a ton with the group booking process and the use of the points you'll get for booking a group.

          #5 adias.angel

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            Posted 11 August 2008 - 09:33 AM

            You are better off to do the vendor booking yourself and not through your cruise line. There have been some negatives comments on cruise forums from brides about the WC used by the cruise lines.

            #6 evtalbot

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              Posted 11 August 2008 - 06:19 PM

              Oh my gosh, thank you guys for all of the info!!!! One of the threads on here talks about cruisecritic.com and that has been my newest addiction! You guys are right, RCCL weddings have some pretty scary reviews on that site....... and although I'm sure that some people have had amazing beach weddings through them, I'm not very impressed with the wedding photos or the beach locations they offer.... not to mention the headaches some of these girls have gone through!!!

              SO, I'm thinking that an outside WC is the way to go! (Thanks ladies!) and I'm so happy to hear that other people have booked just the cruise at a group rate (great idea!) and done the wedding stuff separate from the cruise. Now, have any of you sailed to Bahamas or attended any weddings there? I'm sure they have beautiful beaches, but all of the WC I can find online don't look very professional.....

              Otherwise, can you recommend any WC in other destinations that might be cool to check out? I will go anywhere for a killer beach and a beautiful ceremony set up!!!!

              Thanks for your help!! I have to say that this is the first time in MONTHS I have been excited about researching wedding stuff! :)

              #7 FLgator

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                Posted 11 August 2008 - 07:40 PM

                We are having our ceremony at Reggae Beach in Ocho Rios, and then a lunch reception at Evita's. We are using Tropical Weddings Jamaica, I have seen nothing but great reviews for this company on here and cruise critic...however, I haven't found Almarie (the owner) to be as helpful as others have. But I am very confident that she will deliver in the end. The beach is very private, secluded and shaded. That is my location suggestion, but of course I am biased.

                #8 Reba2009

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                  Posted 11 August 2008 - 09:14 PM

                  Check out the Poop Deck. It has a private beach, nice place, good food and fair pricing.

                  #9 Cattie

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                    Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:27 AM

                    Are you planning your wedding IN the Bahama's? Or are you talking Jamaica or one of the other USVI?

                    If you want the actual Grand Bahama Island, beware of lisencing requirements.

                    I found a link of them for you.

                    Nassau Bahamas Wedding Packages Nassau Bahamas Weddings Nassau Bahamas Wedding Consultants Paradise Island Weddings

                    Especially if you're cruising, you may not be there for enough time prior to the wedding. You also have the choice of doing a "legal day" before you leave like a lot of the other brides here have done.

                    #10 adias.angel

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                      Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:32 AM

                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Cattie
                      If you want the actual Grand Bahama Island, beware of lisencing requirements.
                      You will hit the licencing requirement almost anywhere. When we were looking at doing a cruise for our wedding the best option was to get the legal/licencing stuff done at home before or after the cruise. It will cost MUCH less too.




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