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Increasing numbers of wedding and honeymoon couples are saying “I do” to cruise vacations, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

As the number of honeymoon and wedding travelers continues to grow, cruise lines are perpetually adding features and amenities that appeal to all types of couples looking for romance, and with all budgets in mind.

Most cruise lines offer highly flexible wedding packages that feature a memorable way to wed or renew vows, which include such perks as candle-lit wedding chapels, photographers, bridal bouquets, wedding cake, champagne toasts with keepsake flutes and much more.

Depending on the cruise line, honeymoon, wedding and vow renewal packages may be conducted on board, with services conducted by a local officiant, or while in port on embarkation day. Friends and family can join the couple for the day or opt to come along for the entire cruise.

Additionally, cruise lines feature destination wedding packages that enable couples to marry in ports of call around the globe, including Caribbean beachside ceremonies to those atop rooftop villas in Europe to more adventurous venues like the peaks of Alaskan glaciers.

By nature, cruise lines offer intrinsically romantic vacation experiences. Couples can opt to dine on their private balconies while gazing at the ocean or reserve tables for two at intimate, celebrity-designed venues. They can enjoy chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne in their staterooms, strolls under moonlit, star-filled skies along promenade decks, indulge in massages for two at the ship’s spa or revel in al fresco midnight dips in outdoor Jacuzzi spas.

Some of the romantic amenities and features available on cruise lines today include:

Carnival Cruise Lines offers programs that provide couples with a memorable way to tie the knot – with all the "extras" found in traditional land-based ceremonies – and with prices to match any budget. Carnival also offers destination weddings, vow renewal programs and wedding chapels on select ships, as well as wedding ceremonies at most embarkation ports.

Celebrity Cruises exclusively features “Deck Weddings,” al fresco events under white wedding canopies adorned with flowing white sheers and fresh flowers. The line also offers customizable wedding programs that let couples express themselves at every turn, and nuptials and vow renewals at sea where the captain serves as officiant.

Costa Cruises features wedding packages in most Caribbean ports of calls, enabling couples to choose a destination that perfectly suits their needs. They can also opt for ceremonies in romantic shipboard chapels. As an added bonus, they can leave all of the legwork to the ships’ wedding planners and staff.

Crystal Cruises package perks include high-end wines and champagnes, portrait photos, couples’ massages in Penthouse Deck accommodations and specialty shore tours such as hot air balloon rides. The line’s pre-reservation service allows guests to pre-reserve special services and requests in advance. Onboard concierges also assist in ensuring seamless romantic experiences.

Cunard Line offers newlyweds the unique opportunity to embark on romantic adventures with voyages between two continents aboard Queen Mary 2’s signature 6-day transatlantic crossings. Honeymooners can luxuriate in Canyon Ranch SpaClub® treatments, toast a life together in the Veuve Clicquot® Champagne Bar, or dance cheek-to-cheek in the largest ballroom at sea.

Weddings aboard Disney Cruise Line’s two ships are arranged through Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings program, which includes on-site wedding coordinators to assist with ceremonies and receptions. The wedding coordinator can also assist in booking shore excursions and spa appointments for couples. Passengers can also tie the knot on the line’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Whether tying the knot atop Alaskan glaciers, Caribbean islands or on board ships, Holland America Line wedding coordinators help couples’ tailor programs to their specific requests. They can opt for small ceremonies and mini-receptions – or bring family friends along for larger affairs. Packages include personalized ceremonies with a choice of trimmings.

MSC Cruises offers packages that include such amenities as chocolate-covered strawberries delivered to staterooms and breakfast in bed. Couples can also opt for spa packages that include massages for two. The line can also coordinate activities, such as parties and special shore excursions, for couples traveling with friends and family.

Norwegian Cruise Line offers wedding package options in such destinations as New York, Bermuda and the Caribbean, as well as weddings aboard its ships. The line’s planners can handle every detail of the big day for couples and their friends and families – from ceremonies to champagne toasts to wedding announcements.

Princess Cruises, the only line that enables captains to marry couples at sea, also features harbor-side ceremonies in embarkation ports or weddings ashore in select ports. Those guests exchanging vows in shipboard chapels can take advantage of live Wedding Cams to share their special day with family and friends at home.

Couples sailing on Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Paul Gauguin Tahiti itineraries can partake in vow renewal ceremonies, which Polynesian blessings performed by Les Gauguines, native women who serve as cultural hosts on board. Options aboard sister ships include helicopter weddings to Alaskan Glaciers, quaint Canadian inns and uninhabited Caribbean cays.

Couples who sign on for Royal Caribbean International “Explorer Wedding” can choose adventurous wedding options that include marrying while atop glaciers, surfing on shipboard FlowRiders or snorkeling in the Caribbean. The line’s more traditional wedding and romance packages include shore-side vow renewals at its private island in Labadee, Haiti.

On Seabourn Cruise Line ships, couples can enjoy romantic dinners, served course by course, in their own suites. Late in the evenings, they lounge on deck with champagne and caviar. A word from the bride summons the stewardess, who prepares baths with therapeutic oils, crowning the snowy foam with flower petals.

SeaDream Yacht Club features wedding vow renewal ceremony packages accompanied by onboard guitarists and conducted by the captains. On SeaDream yachts, couples enjoy such romantic options as dining alone in nooks and crannies on deck, lolling in double Balinese sun beds and enjoying his and hers massages in the onboard spa.

Silversea Cruises’ "Personalized Voyages" lets couples tailor their honeymoon cruise to suit their own tastes by choosing when and where to embark and disembark from more than 200 destinations. On board, they can reserve romantic candlelit tables for two in the restaurant or dine in the privacy of their suites at no additional charge.

Sailing in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Panama Canal, Mediterranean and Greek Isles, Windstar Cruises itineraries are naturally romantic, visiting a host of secluded ports. An array of vow renewal, honeymoon and wedding packages are available, with wedding arrangements coordinated through Windstar’s professional wedding planners who assist with each and every detail.

All Rights Reserved 2008 © Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine - free cruise magazine and resource cruise guide packed with news on cruises, cruising, cruise lines, commentary on the cruise industry by top cruise line executives, recipes and cuisine tips from cruise line chefs, medical tips for cruise passengers, and suggestions on suitable books on cruising and travel.