Hi, I am from Maryland and am thinking about a destination wedding/cruise four to five days between Christmas and New Years. We would be bringing our 5 teenagers. We have never been on a cruise. A travel agent discouraged us, stating the seas would be rough, the deck cold and the ship crowded with young children.
Any thoughts? It really is the most cost-effective option I've found and I hate to scrap it.
Oh, cruise was to Bahamas or similar.
Hi bettyboop, welcome to Cruise Chat and greetings from a fellow Marylander! Marylandite?
Christmas cruises usually have a lot of families onboard with kids and teens. This can be good news for you, if you don't mind that you may not see your 5 kids too much during the cruise, other than dinner time! There are great children's programs on cruise ships, so the younger kids aren't usually under foot.
The weather in Florida and the Bahamas may not be as warm in December as it is in August, but it'll be a lot warmer than it is in Maryland. I'm not particularly sensitive to the "motion of the ocean" so I can't comment on whether the sailing will be rough, except to say that you can get strong seas at any time of year, particularly hurricane season. December is not hurricane season, so the water may be smoother than a couple of months before that.
You're right that cruising is a great value, especially because food is included and available practically 24 hrs a day. When you have teens, this is particularly important! There is a ton of things for everyone to do, and everyone can choose the type of accommodation that best fits their wishes and budget. And with everyone having the ability to do their own thing during the day, you all still end up in the same place in the evening.
What is your travel agent suggesting as an alternative?
Thanks..she wants us to go to an island for 20,000! I really don't want to go over 10,000 for everything, we are renovating his house to accomodate all of the kids.
Ok , so as far as temperature...
1. Will I be able to wear a strapless gown in the Bahamas?
2. Will the pools on deck be open?
Any ideas for wedding locations? We've never been outside the US!!
Hi bettyboop, welcome to Cruise-Chat. The weather in south Florida and the Bahamas in December is normally upper 70s to lower 80s during the day and upper 60s to lower 70s at night. The pools will be open, unless there is a storm. Going to an island is a nice option, but a cruise provides greater value, in my opinion. We have done 2 Christmas cruises in the last 3 years and have not run into any rough seas. Last year it was a little nippy in Ft. Lauderdale when we left, it was 68. Our first port was Key West the next day and it was in the 80s. Normally the ocean temperature is between 78-83F. I wear a short wet suit for snorkeling and am fine. Just bring a rain jacket, in case, and you should be covered. I would honestly think a strapless gown would be fine. You can never really predict the weather, and once in a great while a cold front will move through, but it will be at least 60-70 degrees warmer than Maryland.
Some frineds of mine took a cruise and married on St. Thomas. They had a wonderful time. Doing a 4 or 5 day cruise, you won't get much further than Nassau or Freeort. Maybe check into a wedding at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island (Nassau). I think Princess cruise line still does weddings on board. I'm not sure which other cruise lines do. Princess normally does not have anything less than a 7 day cruise. Your travel agent can check into Royal Caribbean, they do 4 and 5 day itineraries, and see if they do weddings on board.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Best wishes and once again, welcome aboard!
And you might want to rethink your selection in a travel agent. They should respect your budget wishes.
If you are really concerned about the temperature, consider a southern caribbean cruise. These are typically longer cruises but you will be in warmer weather. And as pointed out, anywhere a cruise ship is going will be warmer than Maryland in December.
A travel agent discouraged us, stating the seas would be rough, the deck cold and the ship crowded with young children.
I hate it when I hear of agents making generalizations such as this. It shows they are either ignorant of the facts, or they are just plain lying to you in hopes of pushing you into a more expensive trip.
The seas can be rough any time of the year. We've cruised more than once in December and January, and from Florida ports too. The pools were open, the seas were fine, and the temperatures warm. On the other hand, I've cruised in April and October and had to wear a windbreaker and pants.
I'm with Jim - you ought to look for a new agent, and I suggest a cruise specialist.
Congratulations on your upcoming marriage and welcome to cruise-chat!
We took a five day cruise a couple of years ago. It was on the RCCL Grandeur of the Seas. The ship left from Tampa and went to Cozumel and Grand Cayman. The water in the Gulf is generally not as choppy as in the Atlantic. I'm sure that is not always the case, but that has been our experience.
We enjoyed the ports and had beautiful weather. Our cruise was in the middle of December. I'm sure over Christmas break the prices are higher, but it's worth checking.
Whatever you choose, I'm sure you will all love cruising!
Any ideas for wedding locations? We've never been outside the US!!
Be careful about this. Many jurisdictions outside of the U.S. have a residency requirement before they'll perform a marriage ceremony. In the Bahamas, you have to be there for two days. You can get your Bahamian marriage license on day 1, and get married the next day. Or you can arrive there one day, and the next day get your license and get married the same day. Since most ships are in the Bahamas for just one day, this would not work coming off a cruise ship.
You can get married in the U.S. or one of its territories like St. Thomas, with the proper license. It used to be that folks wanting a cruising wedding would actually get married before the ship left the US, and then have the reception and honeymoon on the cruise. As mentioned, Princess says they can legally marry couples once the ship has sailed. There may be others.
Just be sure to check and make sure you know the rules of getting married outside of the 50 states.
Sandy may remember him too...but I knew this man (Drew) who lived on St. Thomas and did the whole package. He arranged for the legal paperwork, arranged the ceremony, did the wedding photographs, and performed the ceremony! He was a minister and also a professional photographer. Also a great guy. I met him a couple times when my ship stopped there. Not sure if he still is in business.
Dave, I met Drew once, before embarking on a cruise that started in St. Thomas. He was really a "one stop shopping" for weddings in St. Thomas. I don't know whatever happened to him. Last time we talked was many years ago, after St. Thomas was hit by a major hurricane and his house suffered some damage.