This is the third in a series of articles about cruise weddings
Travel agent Arthur Balin, assistant sales manager for CruiseWeb.com, has a unique perspective on the cruise weddings market – he married his wife, Yelena, aboard the Crown Princess in the southern Caribbean in 2007.
Balin has booked a few cruise weddings for clients since and he highly recommends their value, though he does not specialize in cruise weddings.
For other travel professionals who are interested in selling cruise weddings, Balin’s firsthand report will provide talking points to use with clients.
‘No worries at all’
"It was an unbelievable experience," Balin said of his onboard nuptials. "Before the wedding we were all hanging out at the pool with no worries at all."
Some 25 guests, ranging in age from 4 to over 80, joined the couple on the cruise.
"My wife and I knew at the onset we did not want the big traditional wedding," Balin blogged about the event. “After doing some research, we agreed: there is no better way to celebrate our love than to get married in the middle of the ocean surrounded by our family and closest friends."
Easy to plan
Working with the cruise line's wedding department made the planning process "incredibly easy," Balin said. Princess took care of everything from wedding vows to flowers, cake, colors and music.
The couple was thrilled with the photos the ships' photographer snapped.
After the nuptials, the wedding party had a celebratory dinner, occupying two reserved tables at the shipboard alternative restaurant Sabatini's – for only $20 per person. Arthur and Yelena and guests capped their evening with dancing in the ship's nightclub.
Today, Balin said he relates the experience to potential cruise wedding clients. "I always ask them, 'Where else can you get an eight-course wedding banquet for $20?'"
Cruise Lines, Agents are Cashing In on Shipboard Weddings, July 19, 2012
Agent Finds Cruise Weddings a Romantic – and Profitable – Niche, July 23, 2012