Captain, Please Marry Me!
On every cruise, captains are inevitably asked by a passenger if they can marry them. Some say the whole idea is a nonsense based on movie mythical magic and it can never happen at sea. But before you ask the captain to marry you, best check the captain is not married already! However, if you just want the captain to perform the ceremony, forget all the myths about whether captains can or can’t. The correct answer is yes, they can.
But both the captain and the ship must meet certain conditions. So, don’t panic. Have no fear of enjoying a wild time and knocking on the captain’s door late at night for a Las Vegas roulette, quickie wedding. You can’t just wake up next morning to find yourself married to the stranger in your bed. That is just for the movies. The safeguard is that you must give the shipping company three months’ notice.
When in international waters, the ship takes on the laws of the country where she is registered. For instance, if your ship is registered in Bermuda, then under the rules of that country, a licensed captain is authorized to solemnise a wedding. Cunard says that’s why it registered its fleet of Queens in Bermuda
But note the words licensed captain. As well as being a registered Bermudan ship, the captain must also be specifically certified with a license from Bermuda to perform the ceremony. As registering a ship can be profitable, other countries are following suit.
That only leaves one other thing for you to consider before you sail. For the first part of the voyage, should you book one cabin for yourself and another for your intended? Or will you flout convention and start the voyage in the same bed? While the shipping company would undoubtedly love to sell two cabins, they will make no judgement on this! Photo Sandy Millar