Royal Caribbean Introduces New Way to Tie the Knot

April 10, 2007

Organza, fondant, blush veil, inner envelopes....

If you know any of these terms, you too are fluent in "bride speak" -- and have inevitably reached a point where eloping seemed like a solid plan. I'm currently in the throes of wedding planning, and let me tell you something: Letting someone else take care of it for me is sounding better every day.

So when I found out Royal Caribbean was unveiling a new wedding program, Explorer Weddings, I was intrigued. Though getting married at sea isn't a groundbreaking concept -- plenty of cruise lines offer packages -- Explorer Weddings adds an adventure component by combining a cruise with an exotic destination or themed wedding (or vow renewal).

Picture this: The blushing bride beams in her puffy white gown while Mr. Right races toward her ... on a surf or boogie board suspended over gallons of rushing water. Couples that want to stay a bit drier can forego the FlowRider and swap nuptials, for example, on the ice-skating rink, rock-climbing wall or ship's golf course -- or on top of an Alaskan glacier, in a rainforest, mid-air in a hot-air balloon or in a medieval castle.

In addition to a customized ceremony (performed by a nondenominational officiant) on or off the ship, Explorer Weddings also include:

An elegant bouquet and a boutonniere with matching bloom.

Traditional or customized music accompaniment.

Champagne and a wedding cake.

A keepsake Explorer Weddings marriage certificate.

Use of a photographer.

The best part? Explorer Weddings coordinators do all the dirty work: arrange transportation and priority check-in for the couple and their guests, meet the couple at the pier and escort them to their stateroom, accommodate special requests, and address any last-minute questions. Coordinators also consult with the bride and groom beforehand to customize and personalize their wedding or vow renewal.

Explorer Weddings, an extension of the line's "regular" Royal Romance wedding program (operated in conjunction with destination wedding specialists The Wedding Experience), is set to debut fleetwide in May to coincide with the launch of the line's Liberty of the Seas, which will share the title "world's largest cruise ship" with Freedom of the Seas.

Will I put away my lacy three-ring-binder planner for the last time and run off to tie the knot at sea?

Hey -- if I told you, I wouldn't be running off now, would I?

--by Melissa Baldwin, Senior Editor