Cruise Vacation

If you've long had a hankering for a cruise vacation but
didn't think you could afford it - think again. Especially
now with the travel industry struggling mightily to survive
in the aftermath of Nine Eleven, bargains are out there. It
just might take a little looking. What you want to look for
is a cruise travel package. Here is where the best bargains
are found.

Your cruise line wedding can cost anywhere from a low $300
to $75 for each guest attending. The $300 budget wedding
provides the ceremony itself, the services of a notary,
witnesses to the event, as well as cake and champagne. The
upper end of the spectrum includes a bountiful buffet as
well as open bar for your guests and yourself and spouse.

Determine who is going to go with you. Knowing if children
or seniors will be a part of your vacation group will effect
which trip offers the best choices of entertainment for your
party. In fact, it's best to gather everyone together, or
conduct a phone or e-mail discussion of what everyone wants
to do. You need to know if crafts are important; how many
are going to lounge by the pool; who wants to get off and
explore at the first land stop; who prefers exotic locations
and who'd rather just play shuffleboard.

One thing you'll have to be aware of is that taking part in
shipboard nuptials necessitates your being issued a marriage
certificate of the home port of the ship line. If married
aboard the Grand Princess, for example, your marriage
license will be from Liberia. Make sure that your home state
will accept this as a valid certificate. There are so many
cruise lines from which to choose - the most prominent being
the aforementioned Princess Lines, Carnival Cruise Ships,
Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines,
Celebrity and Royal Caribbean.

Carnival Cruise Lines, for example, offers two types of
packages for your dream wedding. You can choose a shipboard
wedding, either small or for up to 100 guests, in the area
of your choice, from a vast array of luxurious ship lounges.
Besides the ceremony, this package includes boutonniere for
the groom, bouquet for the bride, cake cutting and wedding
topper, champagne toast, wedding march, sparkling wine
served in beautiful keepsake champagne flutes, and
photographer. These packages are $750 and up. You can also
add an open bar and reception with hors d'oeuvres, as well
as a magnificently sumptuous sit down lunch for you and your
wedding guests. The ports of call you can choose from for
your wedding ceremony include Montego Bay, Tampa, Vancouver,
Catalina, Grand Cayman, San Juan and several other beautiful
romantic sites.

One very important inquiry to make of your travel agent as
well is the formality of the cruise that you're considering.
If you show up with a suitcase full of swimsuits, shorts and
sunscreen only to find out formal dress is required at
dinner you're going to be embarrassed or hungry the entire

Melissa Duckett is a writer and director for
an excellent place to find cruises links,
resources and articles.