Shaquille O'Neal Officiates 'Thousands' of Vow Renewals on Board Carnival Cruises for Valentine's Day

"Creating unforgettable moments for our guests is at the heart of everything we do,” Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy exclusively told T+L.

Carnival Cruise Line is celebrating Valentine’s Day in a big way on Tuesday, and we’re not talking about a box of chocolates or long-stemmed roses. The cruise line is hosting its largest ever vow renewal at sea with NBA basketball star Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal officiating the proclamations of love – virtually. 

"We see thousands of beautiful weddings and vow renewals take place on our ships every year, and this year we wanted to mark Valentine's Day with an event that really brings people together,” Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy exclusively told Travel + Leisure in a statement. “You can see as these ceremonies unfold across our fleet, they are a perfect expression of togetherness.”

"Creating unforgettable moments for our guests is at the heart of everything we do,” she added.

Shaquille O'Neal officiating a vow renwal on board a Carnival Cruise

Courtesy of Carnival Cruises

As for Shaq, the legendary baller was dubbed Carnival’s “CFO” or "Chief Fun Officer in 2018 and clearly takes his role seriously as he's hinted about the vow renewal on Twitter in cheeky videos.

The vow renewals are scheduled to take place on Carnival ships docked in various destinations, including Nassau, Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel, Grand Turk, and St. Maarten. After the couples say, “I do”, they’ll be treated to an onboard reception with all the traditional wedding festivities. 

“An onboard reception follows each ceremony, with a DJ, dancing, and a champagne toast honoring the newly renewed couples and wishing love and happiness for all,” Carnival said in a press release shared with T+L.

Although a spokesman for Carnival was unable to immediately confirm the number of couples saying, "I do," the company is expecting the number to be in the “thousands”. 

Carnival initially broke the record for the biggest vow renewal at sea on Valentine’s Day in 2019, with nearly 2,000 couples taking part in the ceremony on multiple ships. The cruise director of each ship performed the ceremonies that year. 

The 2019 nuptials were a huge hit, however, the cruise line was forced to shut down its wedding and vow renewal program during the pandemic. They just started offering vow renewals again in September of 2022. 

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