As my wife and I stood at the very top of the cruise ship, we looked around. Not a soul in sight. And we both agreed. This is kinda creepy.
Ah, life as a stowaway…Ha! I kid. We were among a handful of people onboard as we were preparing to attend a wedding on the ship. We would then attend a reception, and, precisely at 3, we would leave the ship and the new husband and wife would set sail on their honeymoon. If you are planning a wedding, call a cruise ship, book it there and be done with it. It is the way to roll.
When we first got to the cruise ship, a gentleman with a clipboard asked us if we were with the wedding. When we said yes, he checked our driver’s licenses, checked our name off of a list on a clipboard, and directed us to a nearby bus. Clearly, this man has his wedding party search image locked in, because he picked each of us out of the crowd quickly.
Eventually the bus had most of the wedding aboard, including the bride and groom, which most people will agree is rather necessary for a wedding.
When the bus pulled out, we were all somewhat wondering where we were headed, since we were pretty much in the shadow of the cruise ship. You could reach it with a pitching wedge. (Note I said “you.” I would have most likely sent it spiraling off to my right, possibly knocking out a patron dining at an outdoor restaurant.)
The bus pulled out, made a quick left turn and then another, stopping after what was maybe a 45-second ride. Our only guess is that our time on the bus was to give us a nice cool place to sit.
After our exciting bus adventure, we were quickly processed through security, given ID badges, and taken on the ship. We were told we could go anywhere except for the 10th floor. They said it was where the dining halls were, but I preferred to think that things far more awesome and mysterious were going on, like they were holding tribunals for any of the crew members who attempted a mutiny. (I just assume there are a few mutinies each cruise.)
A cruise ship is an amazing floating city. But take everyone out of that city and you get to the creepy town my wife and I were seeing. Every so often, a crew member would stroll by or we’d cross paths with another wedding-goer.
But for the most part, we were just milling about this ghost ship. At one point, I said to my wife, “Look, it’s safer up here than on land with the zombies.”
My wife sighed. She sighs a lot.
Once it was time for the wedding, the party concentrated near a back ballroom. Passengers were beginning to board now, so the ship population was starting to grow quickly.
The bride and groom had a lovely ceremony, and we then retired to the Electricity Disco for the reception. The couple entered the reception to the song “Eye of the Tiger,” which heaps a Rocky Balboa-sized batch of awesome on their marriage.
Hey, quick cruise-related FYI – Know how delicious cruise food is? (If you don’t, I can tell you – it’s deliciously delicious.) Well, cruise wedding food comes from the same place and is thus just as delicious.
Then, shortly before 3, the DJ called for the last dance on the dance floor and, following that, the non-sailors bid the couple farewell and hit dry land.
It was the most efficient, compact wedding that I’ve ever been to. And, it was on a Friday, so that night, we had this feeling of a bonus weekend day, as usually you wrap up weddings on a Saturday.
I am just happy we were able to share their special day with them, and I’m certain the couple had a great time on their honeymoon. That is, assuming none of the mutinies were succesful.
Mike Gibbons is the Managing Editor of the Aiken Standard. Born and raised in Aiken, he is a graduate of the University of Alabama.