Today the Celebrity Equinox was host to a historic event, as Francisco Vargas and Benjamin Gray became among the first same-sex couples to be legally married at sea on a major cruise line. An intimate ceremony was officiated by Captain Dimitrios Manetas and the couple exchanged vows against the rose wall in Blu Restaurant, a specialty dining venue on Equinox.
"Words cannot express how proud I am to congratulate Francisco and Benjamin at this truly historic moment, both for them and for Celebrity. It’s a true privilege to know that the ceremony performed onboard Celebrity Equinox has made history as the first legal same-sex marriage at sea," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "Together we are paving the way for couples around the world to know that their love and commitment is to be celebrated equally, and that everyone is welcome on board a Celebrity cruise.”
“There are only so many firsts in life, and we are thrilled to be the first-ever LGBTQ+ couple to marry at sea,” said Gray. “We are humbled to follow the trailblazers in the LGBTQ+ community who paved the way for us.”
In a previous post we discussed the historic vote in Malta that made this possible, and explained how the country in which a ship is registered can impact these opportunities.
Vargas said, “Traveling is in my blood – and when we heard Celebrity Cruises was celebrating equality and embracing our community, we wanted to be a part of it…”
The Celebrity Wedding Cruise program offers onboard ceremonies and destination weddings for lovebirds. The Nautical Nuptials at Sea package includes a Captain-led ceremony, an event coordinator's services, live music, one hour of photography, cake for two, a bottle of champagne, plus additional romantic turndown amenities post-ceremony, and more.
It’s good to see this coming to fruition, and as we’ve discussed, as additional countries in which many ships are flagged take steps to ensure equality, we’ll certainly see same sex marriages at sea becoming commonplace. That in mind, it may become even more popular than some might expect, as the demographics of cruise passengers continue to open up far past the “newlywed and nearly dead.” In fact, millennial cruise travel is way up, and with this widening appeal we’d bet that cruise ship weddings will skyrocket in appeal over the next decade. Cruise lines clearly see the opportunity too, as some have made recent moves which entice travel agents to promote this fantastic (and relatively economical) option for tying the knot.
If you’re interested in weddings at sea, we highly recommend using a good travel agent – something we continuously preach the importance of. While cruise lines can do a great job of coordinating the wedding, you’ll want an agent to help coordinate the attending guests’ travel plans and other logistics.