- Decide where and what you want to do on your wedding cruise. Do you want to see the Alaskan glaciers, or is the sun setting over water in the distant horizon more your style? Are you and your partner active, so you want to include some shore excursions like snorkeling or sight seeing, or would you rather take advantage of the activities on board, like sunning, the casino, and the many restaurants? Is it important for you to have a lot of on board activities like art fairs, ice-skating, water activities, shopping, mini golf, lectures or movies?
- Make sure you have proper documentation. This means passports, marriage license, and medical records if needed.
- Plan on arriving a day early if you are going to get married at the port of call before the ship leaves for the cruise. If there are plane delays, or other unexpected events you will have a cushion of time built in.
- Be aware of any immunizations you need before going to a foreign port of call on your wedding cruise. Your health department or infectious disease doctor can help you with this. Plan ahead, if you require immunizations they may take several months.
- Educate yourself about health risks such as traveler’s diarrhea. Although many places now have safe water, you need to be aware of risk factors. Some areas of high risk are Asia, the Middle East, South Africa, Central and South America. Southern Europe and the Caribbean are considered intermediate risk, and the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan are considered low risk. Avoid untreated water, uncooked food, ice, and food washed in water such as lettuce. Bismuth subsalicylate or Pepto-Bismol can be used preventively, but you need to be aware if it is safe for you and any health conditions you have, so consult your health care provider.
- Be aware of airline restrictions that limit what you are able to carry on the plane, if you are flying to your port of call. These restrictions change often
- Book early. Not all cruise lines offer wedding cruise packages. It depends on international law whether you can get married on the ship at sea, or in the homeport, or along the cruise at a port of call. Cruise lines can only book so many wedding per cruise, so it may pay to book early and get what you are looking for.
- Shop around. An online travel agency can give you access to multiple cruise lines and what they each have to offer. Look to see who has a wedding coordinator to help with the details.
Finally, make sure you plan on having fun. This is your magic moment and you want to enjoy it. Be prepared as you can for your wedding cruise, and then just let the dream come true.