6 Best Cruise Lines for an Affordable Wedding
We’ve put together a huge guide that reviews 6 popular (and affordable) cruise lines for your wedding to help you decide on which one could suit you best. And don’t forget to check out yesterday’s post for tips to planning your cruise ship wedding.
We absolutely love cruising the high seas, and thought why not add our travel experience coupled with some research to help you make a wedding celebration choice! Love & Lavender is not affiliated with any of these cruise lines, nor have we been compensated in any way.
In fact, we’ve personally cruised with 5 out of the 6 cruise lines listed below (multiple times with some).
Cruise Ship Wedding Comparison
Note: prices in the chart below are subject to change and may be different than prices we have published as of the last update. This chart should not be used as a final price indication. Always contact the cruise line directly for firm price quotes.
|Princess Cruises||Celebrity Cruises||Carnvial Cruises||Norwegian||Royal Caribbean||Holland America|
|Price||$2000 – $5000+||$2000 – $5000+||$1300 – $2000+||$1995 – $2995+||$1995 – $5600+||$1395 – $2600+|
|Wedding at Sea||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|In Port Wedding||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
Love & Lavender’s Experience
Love & Lavender has cruised with Princess Cruise Lines on several different ships including Diamond Princess, Golden Princess, and Sun Princess. Each cruise was a fantastic experience both onboard and on shore. We’ve had great memories from Princess ships that revolve around the wonderful restaurants, entertaining shows at night, and other amenities around the ships.
As a cruise line for weddings Princess is a top pick. Their wedding packages are reasonably priced, service is top notch, and their ships provide an atmosphere that is conducive to either large or small wedding parties.
Princess Cruises Wedding Packages
Princess Cruise Lines are quite accustomed to performing weddings, and many of their top ships are equipped with the services and accommodations needed to pull off fantastic celebrations.
Three packages for wedding services are on offer:
- At Sea – prices are the cheapest with an overall price tag of around $2,600 with license fee included. This includes use of onboard services such as an officiant, live music, flowers, and champagne for the bride and groom, and other minimal yet romantic services on board the ship.
- Harbor Side Package – choose to go with something a bit more expensive, the harbor side package might cost you $3,300 depending on your ending destination. This includes many of the amenities listed above as well as priority boarding for the bride and groom, a wedding cake, silk flower arrangements, and more.
- Onshore Package – price can vary from $2,000 up to nearly $5,000 depending on location and other amenities chosen. With this package you are able to enjoy the exotic locals along the Princess routes and celebrate your marriage in an exciting spot you and your guests will remember forever.
The benefits to sailing with Princess Cruises are many. They perform weddings throughout the year and have streamlined the process to provide you with the most worry-free package you can find.
Depending on your chosen package, you could end up having your cake, flowers, officiant, and even the music taken care of for you.
If you’re a low maintenance couple looking for lots of options, Princess might be the perfect cruise line to work with. Add all that to their ability to livestream the ceremony back to those left behind on land and it doesn’t get much better.
Love & Lavender’s Experience
We took a transatlantic cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette ship back in 2013 for our ‘engagement cruise’. Our final port of call was Rome, and then we went on to Florence where we got engaged! The Celebrity Silhouette ship was simply amazing – the food was top notch, lots of amenities and deck space, and the crew were extremely well trained and service oriented.
Celebrity’s clientele seems to be an older crowd with disposable income. There were not many young people of marrying age onboard. Nor did we find many children running around the decks. This could be due to the fact that our cruise was a transatlantic, which would mean less kids or adults with vacation time. This can be considered a positive on both accounts if you are considering getting married on a Celebrity ship.
Andrew also cruised on Celebrity Millennium ship when it first launched in 2002, and has very similar positive things to say about his experience back then.
Celebrity Cruises Wedding Packages & Rates
Celebrity Cruises offers two unique wedding packages for couples looking at either in-port or a shore side celebration.
- The aptly named “Nautical Nuptials” package offers many helpful amenities, such as a wedding coordinator, music, a photographer, the captain as your officiant, flowers, and more. This will normally cost you around $2,995 plus any fees for paperwork and tickets. Couples love the option to bring their own officiant onboard to perform the wedding as well.
- Depending on whether you choose a shore side or in-port wedding, you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $3,000 for the ceremony and a variety of extras.
Celebrity cruise captains are able to perform ceremonies at sea with legally binding marriage certificates. Their large fleet of ships offers a different mix for whatever theme your wedding will have from family friendly to VIP access.
They offer extras such as honeymoon treats for the new couple, throwing the welcome reception for your guests, and organizing small bachelorette and bachelor parties on board before the service.
Taking advantage of these awesome extras comes with a fee, but for those with a little cash to spend you truly can have an amazing wedding weekend experience — all inclusive and on the sea!
Love & Lavender’s Experience
Carnival ships are dubbed as ‘fun ships,’ and that is certainly the case for the two Carnival crusies Love & Lavender has taken. Often less expensive than the other cruise lines on this list, Carnival is popular for families with kids, as well as young adults alike. There is a clear party atmosphere and ships can get crowded. That being said, some of the best onboard food experiences we’ve had have been on Carnival ships.
Carnival would be a great option for a destination bachelor/bachelorette party. Dance the night away and get your party on at one of many bars onboard.
Our rating of 3/5 stars reflects the fact that not everyone will appreciate a loud, party atmosphere for a wedding. Sometimes you just want peace and quiet, as well as a more refined atmosphere for your special nuptials.
Carnival Wedding Packages & Rates
Carnival wedding packages are limited to port locations only. Luckily, Carnival offers five unique wedding packages to fit different needs.
- “Just You And Me” package – the bride and groom along with six of their closest friends can enjoy a ceremony onboard with several amenities such as: recorded wedding music, priority boarding for you and your guests, keepsake champagne flutes and cake topper, wedding cake, decorations and the assistance of a wedding planner and photographer. This starting package will cost around $1,300 and is perfect for an intimate ceremony.
- “Time to Celebrate” package – For a little more pizazz you can welcome 20 guests to the ship for only $22 per person. This brings the total to $1,700 and includes all the extras you receive in the “Just You And Me” package mentioned above. For even more extras, this package offers an organized cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres to keep your 20 guests entertained and happy.
- Still not enough? You might want to add on with the “Time to Celebrate….BIG!” option – lets you add a 90-minute reception with open bar and custom ice carving. This package will wow up to 20 guests with an evening of high-class entertainment for around $2,000 with an additional fee of $30 per person.
- “Let Us Serve You” ceremony package – If all of the above sounds ideal, but you’re still missing the traditional sit-down meal, then this package is probably for you. At a base price of $1,600, the package offers all of the fabulous extras from above plus the addition of a wine and champagne infused dinner in place of the cocktail reception. Cost per guest is $35 a seat.
Couples looking for a island ceremony can spend $1,400 and choose the “Island Breeze” package for a more exciting location. With videography, transportation, and live music it’s the perfect way to wow guests. Make sure to take advantage of Carnival’s online gift registry to help streamline the online aspects of a 21st century wedding.
Norwegian Wedding Packages & Rates
With a total of three loaded with extras wedding packages to choose from, Norwegian has something for every wedding style.
- “Wedding at Sea” package – exactly what it sounds like, a ceremony on deck that is officiated by the captain of the ship. When you choose this classic package you also receive important add-ons such as flowers, a cake, music, and romantic snacks for the couple. A wedding planner will assist you on your big day. And you’ll be sure to remember the best moments from this wedding package with the included portrait and keepsake certificate provided by Norwegian.
- “Harbor Side” package – starting at $2,995, this package allows couples to tie the knot onboard an elegant ship in one of Norwegian’s many ports of call. This package includes the amenities mentioned, and allows couples to choose their own unique location. Choose from exciting ports in the U.S. such as Alaska and Hawaii or something a bit more exotic like Mexico, Canada, Europe, and the always-popular Caribbean.
- Destination Wedding – Norwegian offers exotic ceremonies on Alaskan glaciers, sandy beaches, and more. Prices vary by port, and the package includes transportation and champagne for the happy couple.
Spa and beauty services, live music, photography/videography, tuxedo rentals and a wide variety of wedding receptions are just some of the added bonuses you can expect from Norwegian Cruise Lines. Our favorite bonus is the rose petal or shell lined aisle that couples can add to their on-shore wedding ceremony.
Love & Lavender’s Experience
Royal Caribbean is the parent company of Celebrity Cruises. Naturally, our time spent on several of Royal Caribeans ships has been very satisfying. Similar to Celebrity, Royal Caribbean rates highly for service, food, and amenities across the board. The crowd tends to be slightly younger than Celebrity and with less families than would be on a Carnival ship.
Royal Caribbean Wedding Packages & Rates
The Royal Romance package offers three romantic venues for choosing the perfect wedding ceremony location and amenities.
- “Paradise Shipboard” package – is the most economical of Royal’s offerings and costs around $3,200. As the most simplistic wedding package, it includes priority check-in for the couple and their guests, a wedding planner, access to an onboard ceremony with legally recognized officiant. It also provides the new couple with a talented photographer and a total of 20 prints to remember the special day. Music, Flowers, a honeymoon meal including chocolate covered strawberries and a sparkling wine are included.
- “Paradise Destination” package – offers similar amenities with the added bonus of a unique location starting at $3,500. This package allows the bride and groom to get married onboard the ship or at a number of exotic locales. Glaciers, waterfalls, and ancient ruins are just a few of the magical options available to couples who choose this package. It also includes important extras, such cake for the couple, flowers for the bouquet, and assured and responsible transportation to and from the ceremony for the bride and groom. While the photographer is included in the package, the cost of prints will be extra.
- “Royal Romance on Sea” package – lets happy couples say their vows as the ship navigates open waters. This type of service is officiated by either the captain of the ship or the first mate. Starting at $4,000, the deluxe package includes a larger wedding cake, a dozen long-stemmed white roses for the bride, Champagne, and even a romantic breakfast in bed and dinner for two that the bride and groom can enjoy when their magical ceremony has ended.
For an extra dose of adventure, the Royal Caribbean experience offers unique locations for their Shore Side ceremonies. Picture yourself tying the knot on a sandy beach in Puerto Rico or even atop an icy glacier in Alaska. For those with a real touch for the classy and exotic, you can even select your wedding to be at a traditional winery in the postcard ready Santorini, Greece!
Love & Lavender’s Experience
Love & Lavender has cruised with one ship in Holland America’s fleet. Our review reflects the fact that Holland America is known to be an older crowd. They do provide outstanding service in many areas such as food, amenities, etc. We would recommend them as an option for a second marriage or an older couple looking to tie the knot.
Holland America Wedding Packages & Rates
Holland America has several wedding packages, cheapest option is a solitary ceremony with no guests and starts at a very inexpensive $800. The onboard ceremony includes check-in, a wedding planner, the officiant, and a wedding certificate for the couple.
- “Anchors Away Shipboard Wedding” package – for those wanting a few more of the best amenities. Priced at only $1,395, this package adds a bouquet and boutonniere, plus simple cake, a single table arrangement, and a bottle of Champagne to toast the newlyweds. Additionally, photography services (a single 8×10 photograph), and a commemorative album with recorded music are included to make the day a special event.
- “Rembrandt Shipboard” package – only available in select destinations, it offers the same additions as the “Anchors Away” package, but adds more photos and guaranteed transportation for the newlyweds via limousine.
- “Royal Dutch Deluxe” package – starting at a steep $2,600, it takes the Rembrandt package to a new level with more extravagant versions of the above mentioned offerings. The extra money is worth it for the 30-minute massage for two, and the premium champagne along with romantic turn down service help.
- Private Island: For a real private and romantic experience, Holland America operates its own private island in the paradise of the Bahamas. At a starting price of $1,900, this romantic package includes a local officiant, marriage license, a tropical bouquet and boutonniere to set the scene, and a romantic treat of chocolate-dipped strawberries and a bottle of Champagne for the couple. Complete with recorded music, a photographer and photos, a wedding album, and the keepsake certificate to achieve the perfect island wedding escape you’ll never forget.
With added bonuses such as a private wine tasting, decadent chocolate-covered strawberries, and champagne, the Holland America wedding experience is sure to be a treat!
Thanks for taking the time to read our review and comparison of top cruise ships to host your wedding.
Did you end up getting married onboard or in an amazing cruise ship port? Let us know your experience in the comment section below!!