In 2018, destination weddings are becoming more and more common. Couples are stepping up their wedding game; from a simple set of ceremonies to a holistic experience that the wedding party will carry with them long after the event is over. A new trend has emerged from this practice to push forward the destination wedding to its next obvious step: the CRUISE WEDDING.
Ratna Chadha, the CEO of Tirun Travel Marketing led the charge in bringing cruising to India in 1993, in conjunction with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. She has since then conducted successful weddings on the ships, and helped Tirun maintain a 25-year-long relationship with Royal Caribbean Cruises as their Indian representative. We sat down with her to ask her a few questions about Tirun Travel Marketing, why cruise weddings are the new ‘IT’ thing, and how couples can plan their nuptials out at sea.
Zankyou: Tirun Travel Marketing has quite an impressive portfolio! Why don’t you tell us a little about your association with the Royal Caribbean Cruises?
Ratna Chadha: The Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Tirun have had a long-standing partnership; we’ve been their exclusive representative in India for about 25 years now. With the Royal Caribbean International, Azamara Cruises and Celebrity Cruises – all of which offer different services; something for everyone- we’ve been encouraging Indians to expand their vacation horizons. Cruising is a wonderful and comfortable way to explore the world, while soaking in the luxury we offer you on the ships.
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At Tirun, we believe in opening our customers up to new worlds: our cruises are chock-full of activities; from wine tastings and globally-inspired meals to skydiving simulation and musical theatre shows – there will never be a dull moment! Our services have continually been recognized in this field; the APAC award in 2017 being the latest feather in our cap.
Zankyou: Congratulations! When did you start hosting weddings on the cruises?
Ratna Chadha: In 2008. We had the ship ‘Legend of the Seas’ travelling to Singapore then, and we connected with a wedding group that was keen to go for a new and very unique experience. And that’s how it started.
Zankyou: Why would you recommend a cruise wedding to our readers? What does Tirun offer specifically to make this an exciting choice?
Ratna Chadha: Cruising as a concept adapts very well to events of all varieties. The all-inclusive nature of cruise travel gives weddings and other groups an access to world-class cuisine and a voyage to renowned international destinations along with eclectic entertainment and recreational offerings that are available onboard. It can also be a wedding and honeymoon combination, depending on how you plan!
Plus, we not only offer planning and execution, but our venues are included in the evaluated cost, so it works out to be very cost-efficient. And these venues, are diverse in terms of capacity as well, whether you want to host 10 people or 1,400 people for various instances- not just weddings- such as award functions, conferences, as well as cocktail and dinner events.
I’d also say that there’s so much scope to ensure the wedding party has a blast beyond the nuptial ceremonies! We offer rock climbing, skydiving simulation, surf simulation, and other activities available onboard; customers can pick and choose a plan as per their specific needs.
Zankyou: We understand you tailor weddings for couples aboard all your ships. What services do you offer from your end, and to what degree can the events be customized?
Ratna Chadha: We take care of all the planning and all the arrangements, with a choice of different venues as well, all aboard the ship. The best part is that everything is customized; the couple and their families can tell us what they want for their different ceremonies and we’ll make it happen.
Zankyou: That sounds great! What are the top destinations people sail to for their weddings?
Ratna Chadha: Thus far, Singapore and Europe have proven to be our most popular ports, although we also offer recommendations based on the needs of the customers who approach us.
Zankyou: You’ve had two successful weddings on the Royal cruises so far. Is this a format you see picking up steam with Indian customers going forward?
Ratna Chadha: Definitely! Multi-generational travelling and group travelling with friends and family has been growing on a year-to-year basis in the country. People are looking for unique experiences. As the business environment in India continues to improve and collaborations increase throughout the market, we are also witnessing a considerable growth in demand for wedding events.
Zankyou: In your opinion, what kind of couple should opt for a cruise wedding?
Ratna Chadha: I’d say anyone who is looking to host a destination wedding should consider a cruise wedding. Most Indian couples have become a lot more open to experimenting so it’s the perfect way to celebrate their big day!
For more information about hosting your dream wedding on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, click here.