A 1,500-passenger, four-deck cruise ship may not sound like an intimate venue for a wedding or vow renewal, but when the vessel is the Star of Honolulu, couples are finding a ceremony at sea to be just the right setting for saying “I do.”
More and more couples are tying the knot onboard the Star of Honolulu. // © 2009 Star of Honolulu Cruises and Events
Part of the Star of Honolulu Cruises and Events fleet, the Star of Honolulu departs from a pier by Aloha Tower Marketplace. A recent $1.5 million renovation upgraded all of its ballrooms, lobbies and restrooms with new Hawaiian decor.
Star of Honolulu Cruises and Events vice president of sales and marketing Mitzi Hirasawa said the company has seen a growth in romance-oriented bookings this year, particularly vow renewals.
“There are a couple of reasons for the increased popularity of these packages,” Hirasawa said. “First, our customers are enjoying the ease of booking everything they need through us. It only takes one phone call or online click to add a vow-renewal or wedding package to their cruise, leaving them more time to enjoy their Hawaiian getaway while we take care of the rest.
“Additionally, clients are recognizing the strength in the value and quality of our packages,” Hirasawa continued. “Owning and operating our own kitchen, transportation and photo company, as well as our own entertainment division, allows us to control the quality of our cruises and packages. And since there are no markups between our companies, clients receive the full value.”
While Star of Honolulu Cruises and Events helps clients celebrate birthdays and other special occasions on its cruises each day, it has designed its weddings and vow renewals as exclusive events, added Hirasawa.
“We take care to make every wedding party feel special by allowing only one booking per day,” she said.
The firm’s newest offerings for couples are private receptions at sea, recommended for small wedding parties, rehearsal dinners and anniversary celebrations. Groups of 20 to 70 people gather in a private lounge with exclusive services and entertainment. They can customize their experience with enhancements to fit all budgets, from bottles of Dom Perignon to souvenir photos, elegant cakes and fragrant leis.
The Star of Honolulu’s romantic add-ons are available on any of its itineraries, including the Hawaiian cultural lunch cruise by day and three levels of evening cruises with dinner and live entertainment.
Local and national accolades are enhancing the company’s reputation as a romance venue. In 2008 and 2009, the U.S. Local Business Association named the Star of Honolulu as the Best Wedding Chapel in Honolulu. The cruise ship has also earned the Best Sunset Dinner Cruise award in every Honolulu Star-Bulletin/MidWeek readers’ poll since 2003.
During each Star of Honolulu cruise, guests find themselves surrounded by the beauty of the islands, from picturesque mountains and Diamond Head to the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean.
“It is the most romantic and breathtaking setting for a special occasion,” said Hirasawa. “We love sharing the spirit of aloha and helping couples create their special memories.”