What do crew members do when their shoreside wedding plans fall through? Let their colleagues throw them an impromptu wedding onboard, of course.
The love story of crew doctor Ammar Ajmad and hotel executive assistant Faye Basa couldn’t be perfect for Holland America Line (HAL).
They met while working on the HAL cruise ship Koningsdam in 2023, dated, and got engaged on another cruise before the year ended.
After they were both assigned to the Westerdam vessel for the first part of the year, they made plans to tie the knot on January 10 in Manila, Philippines, where Basa is originally from.
Their chosen date would allow them to spend extra time in Basa’s country while letting her father, a 20-year employee of HAL, attend.
As the day approached, immigration challenges threatened their wedding plans. Instead of canceling their ceremony, their Westerdam colleagues rallied to their support by planning a wedding onboard.
They reserved the lounge Crow’s Nest, affording the couple’s marital union gorgeous views from the top of the cruise ship. The venue was decorated with flowers and rose petals while dinner followed in the main dining room as the Vista-class Westerdam was docked in Manila.
The crew also onboarded the couple’s family members, friends, photographers, makeup artists, and the imam who would officiate the ceremony. Basa’s father was in attendance, while the hotel manager was the groom’s witness.
Though the ceremony was far from what Ajmad and Basa had imagined, it was perhaps more fitting for a love story that began and blossomed through Holland America.
Cruise Weddings Offer Unique Advantages
Passengers may be surprised by the unique advantages of getting married on a cruise ship. The most significant benefit is the all-inclusive price that’s often more affordable than land-based weddings. Small and straightforward weddings can cost upwards of $1,500 (without the fare).