In The South

Here comes the Pride! Celebrity cruises holds historic wedding at sea

Besi Besemar January 30, 2018

Same-sex couple tie knot on Celebrity Equinox in an intimate ceremony between the grooms and their families.

In a historic ceremony hosted on board Celebrity Equinox yesterday, January 29 at 14.30 EST, Francisco Vargas and Benjamin Gray became the first same-sex couple ever to be legally married at sea on a major cruise line.

The grooms were joined by their immediate families for an intimate ceremony officiated by Captain Dimitrios Manetas, en route from Key West, Florida to Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico.

“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  on board Celebrity Equinoxhas 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.”

Benjamin added: “There are only so many firsts in life, and we are thrilled to be the first ever LGBT+ couple to marry at sea.” 

“We are humbled to follow the trailblazers in the LGBT+ community who paved the way for us.”  

The ceremony follows a transformative vote in Malta, where a majority of the Celebrity fleet is registered, which passed the country’s parliament 66-1. The long-awaited referendum opened the door for Celebrity Cruises to legally recognise same-sex marriages performed onboard while at sea, and have the fleet’s captains officiate the ceremonies.

Francisco, said: “Traveling is in my blood – and when we heard Celebrity Cruises was celebrating equality and embracing our communities, we wanted to be a part of it. We are grateful for the outpouring of support from our Cruise Planners family and hope our story brings strength for others in the LGBT+ communities to confidently love whoever they choose.”

The Celebrity Wedding Cruise programme 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 turn down amenities post-ceremony, and much more.

To learn more about the Celebrity Weddings programme and The Wedding Experience, visit Celebrity Wedding Planner and say “I do.”