MIAMI, Oct. 17 — Celebrities ranging from pop star Celine Dion and husband Rene Angelil to actor Robert DeNiro and wife Grace are among the increasing number of couples choosing to renew their wedding vows in recent years. Celebrity Cruises is keeping pace with the trend by introducing a new vow renewals program, which the line launched in a particularly meaningful way.
Dr. Charles Garbarino booked Celebrity’s vow renewal package as a surprise for his wife, Lydia, while the couple sailed this season in Alaska on Celebrity’s Summit with two other couples, one of whom they met on a cruise during their honeymoon 20 years ago. Garbarino, an Army colonel and pediatrician, has served twice in Operation Iraqi Freedom and is being deployed to the region again in April 2007.
“I have always lived my life to its fullest, and never feared death, but if I don’t return from my next tour, I wanted something for Lydia – the love of my life and my soul mate – to remember always,” said Garbarino. “My wish was to celebrate our 20th anniversary onboard by having the Captain perform our vow renewal ceremony. And my wish was granted.” While Celebrity has offered vow renewal ceremonies for several years, Dr. and Mrs. Garbarino’s ceremony was the first officiated by a Celebrity captain; in this case, Summit’s Captain Panagiotis Skylogiannis.
“It was formal night, and our friends and I went to Michael’s Club; but, before we entered, I asked Lydia if she would consent to renewing our vows and stay married to me for another 20 years,” said Dr. Garbarino. “She was caught by complete surprise. The ceremony was simple and elegant, and a night we’ll remember forever.”
“Vow renewals are the perfect romantic gift for spouses to give each other, or the ultimate celebration for family and friends traveling with them to commemorate their anniversary,” said Celebrity’s Vice President of Fleet Operations Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. Celebrity, in partnership with The Wedding Experience, now has two vow renewal packages available to guests: “True Love Knot Renewal” and the “Aisle to Isle Renewal” ceremony.
The True Love Knot Renewal package includes a ceremony officiated by the ship’s captain in an intimate location onboard the ship; commemorative vow renewal certificate signed by the captain; recorded ceremony music; floral bouquet for the bride; matching boutonniere for the groom; photography service; one 8×10 photo of the couple with the captain, signed by the captain; one 8×10 photo of the ship; a bottle of champagne; two engraved champagne flutes; cake for two, and breakfast designed by Celebrity’s Master Chef Michel Roux, delivered to the couple’s stateroom.
Celebrity’s Aisle to Isle Renewal Ceremony includes a ceremony led by a shipboard ceremony officiate; recorded ceremony music; bottle of champagne; cake for two; commemorative vow renewal certificate; long-stemmed rose for the bride; matching boutonniere for the groom, and photography service. Each Celebrity Vow Renewals program can be customized further, with a la carte options such as receptions, live music, salon appointments, and more.
Celebrity’s vow renewal packages are offered through the line’s “Celebrity Weddings” program and can be arranged by calling 1-866-535-2352. Once onboard, the ship’s event coordinator will meet with the couple to confirm the ceremony date, time, location and details. Incurable romantics inspired to arrange for a vow renewal ceremony while onboard also are welcome to do so, by visiting the ship’s Event Coordinator.
Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale cruise experiences with highly personalized service, authentic five-star dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit the Celebrity web site at www.celebritycruises.com.