Weddings at sea can be tailored to your passions

At sea, romantics are more likely to get lovesick than seasick. In fact, most Canadian travelers believe that cruise ships are one of the most romantic places in the world. And 12 per cent claim they are already members of the ‘Naughtycal Mile Club!’

As Valentine’s Day approaches, it might be useful to recall the findings of a Canadian survey on the romance of cruising that took place some 10 years ago.

In a survey called the ‘Naughtycal Mile Club’ by Leger Marketing, 81 per cent of Canadians said they believed cruise ships were romantic places for a vacation, and 64 per cent agreed that cruising was more exciting than staying in a hotel.

Balcony cabin with a hot tub

While Canadians gave cruise vacations top marks for romance, they also ranked them high for excitement, with 94 per cent saying cruise ships travel to exciting destinations all over the world.

Overall, nearly three million Canadians (12 per cent of the adult population) said they had joined the ‘Naughtycal Mile Club’ – a distinction exclusively reserved for those who have had sex aboard a cruise ship – with mature Canadians making the biggest waves. In fact, 58 per cent of cruise-going Canadians aged 45 and older said they were members, while younger Canadian cruisers (33 per cent) indicated they had some catching up to do.

In a big surprise, couples from British Columbia and Ontario were twice as likely to have had sex at sea compared to reputedly more passionate couples from Quebec. Cruisers from B.C. and Ontario came out ‘on top’ at 57 and 55 per cent respectively, compared to only 22 per cent of Quebeckers who have had sex while cruising.

Caviar on the beach with champagne

More than a quarter of Quebeckers, however, claimed that they would be more likely to have sex aboard a cruise ship than at a land-based resort, hinting that more Quebeckers might join the ranks of the ‘Naughtycal Mile Club’ in future, especially if the instructions were provided in French.

Though the cabin was named the single most adventurous place to have sex aboard a cruise ship (28 per cent), Canadians said they were using their imaginations and entering uncharted waters when it came to sexual trysts.

For example, the survey said that Canadians aged 35 and younger were 67 per cent more likely to imagine having sex in a life boat, pool or hot tub, and on the bridge. In addition, nearly two-thirds of men surveyed fantasized about having sex outside of the cabin (hopefully with their wives). After this survey was published, most cruise lines closed the bridge to passengers!

Romantic destinations

Interestingly, the survey found that men found cruising to be just as romantic as women do (perhaps the men assumed they’d be cruising with their football buddies).

What’s the explanation for all this romance at sea?

It may be the salt water, the sea air or just the beautiful sunsets, but regardless of the reason, cruise lines everywhere have seized the concept. In fact, whether you’re soon to be engaged, soon to be wed, searching for the perfect honeymoon or looking to renew your vows, most cruise lines can help suitors create the perfect proposal.

Renewal of vows

Dancing under the stars

For example, many cruise lines have special packages for couples seeking to renew their vows at sea. The ceremony usually takes place in a chapel if the ship has one, or in a specially decorated room. The ceremony is usually followed by a champagne reception, and couples are given certificates to mark the renewal of their vows. Most cruise lines charge for the renewal of vows package, but a few ships still conduct a basic ceremony for free. The ceremony is getting very popular: in fact, on a recent Valentine’s Day more than 5,000 couples renewed their vows aboard the ships of Princess Cruises.


Cruising has become a popular choice for honeymooners because sea voyages are very romantic and the ships visit exciting destinations. In addition, cruise staff usually fuss over honeymooners and sometimes give them special treatment. Many ships also have convenient Saturday and Sunday departures (especially in the Caribbean), that suit the schedules of newlyweds.

Weddings and renewal of vows at sea

When you book your honeymoon cruise, ask your travel agent to advise the cruise line that you are newlyweds. In addition, make sure your agent books a king- or queen-sized bed, reserves a romantic table for two in the dining room (do it early because small tables are at a premium), and books an evening in one of the cozy alternative restaurants.

If you really want a special honeymoon, most cruise lines also have a variety of romantic extras that you can purchase for fees that range from $75 to $500.


Most people getting married on a cruise ship do so when the ship is tied up in a port of call, or on land in one of the ports. That way they can have a locally licensed minister perform the ceremony and avoid the complications of getting married at sea.

Rekindling romance at sea

Ship captains can perform marriages at sea if properly certified, and if the ship’s country of registry will recognize the marriage. However, most cruise lines won’t perform marriages at sea, and if they do, the onus is on passengers to inquire in their own countries to see if the shipboard marriage will be legal, and to find out what paperwork is required for the captain (birth certificates, divorce decrees if previously married, etc.).

Even if you don’t get married at sea, you can still have your wedding reception aboard the ship. And most major cruise lines can help organize your shipboard or landside wedding – for a fee! Do get an idea of the various possibilities, ask your travel agent or contact the cruise line’s special services department.

But whatever romantic option you choose, it’s likely your cruise agent and cruise line can help. So make sure you check out what’s available, determine the cost upfront, make your booking early, and then just let your romance blossom at sea.

Featured image – Couple enjoy breakfast at sea on their private balcony

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