Cruising on the Cheap
Have you and your betrothed given any thought to getting
married on a cruise? It can, and does, happen. In fact, one
of the Princess Lines ships, the Grand Princess (and the
folks that brought you the Love Boat) even has a wedding
chapel. Most cruises, however, while they may offer a
wedding cruise, are actually going to perform the ceremony
on land. You may marry at the port from which you are
leaving or a port of call along the way.
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.
You can also try a last minute vacation package if you have
that kind of flexibility and you just might find a great
deal here. If cruise lines are getting ready to head out
soon and they're not full it's costly to them. If someone
cancels their trip they're left with empty berths. They'll
gladly offer you a top-notch rate to fill the spot that was
going empty - and unpaid - otherwise.
The size of the ship can be important as well. Larger ships
have a vast variety of entertainment options, such as
dancing and stage shows, although smaller ships may provide
a lower guest to staff ratio, and thus more personal
attention to your needs. Know how much you and the others
can spend. If money is a critical factor look for discounts
for booking early, or starting out on a different day or
different week from your original request. Staying flexible
can save you considerable money. Ask about port fees as
well. These are not usually included in the quoted cruise
cost and may cost you dearly. You'll also be expected to tip
room stewards and wait staff.
If you're really an adventurous spirit and you don't mind
being a little unconventional you can actually book yourself
aboard a freighter. China is one common freighter
destination - and their freighters typically accept
passengers. You'll usually have about three weeks to three
months of ocean travel on these boats at under $130 per day.
Keep in mind, however, that you won't find any scheduled
activities on these. They don't plan entertainment for their
passengers - just berths and meals. It's not the place for a
family vacation if family means children.
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 the owner and operator of
Relax Cruises which is an excellent
place to find cruises links, resources
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