A lesbian couple was aboard a P&O cruise ship registered in Bermuda and were not allowed to get married since the island prohibits same-sex marriage.
“Ships that are registered in Bermuda must adhere to the laws of Bermuda which governs marriage ceremonies conducted aboard the ship,” a government spokeswoman said.
Jacqui Chapman has been on over 30 cruises with P&O and was hoping to get married on the ship.
“We were very disappointed when we heard,” she said. “We had already booked a Caribbean cruise in November for 24 days and it would have been good to have our ceremony then.”
Chapman said she felt “irritated to say the least that while they are happy to accept our ‘pink pound’ they are unable to offer and equal service.”
She also said she felt their advertisements were misleading.
“They advertise ‘marriage on our cruise ships,’ maybe at the bottom of their adverts contained in the small print it should say ‘does not apply to same-sex couples.’”
Chapman and her partner already have four cruises booked for the next year, and said they will continue to use the company as there aren’t many cruise lines that sail from Southampton (UK) but the whole thing “leaves a very nasty taste.”
Instead of a cruise wedding, the couple decided to have a small local ceremony with lunch and cocktails at their favorite restaurants.
P&O’s Michele Andjel said, “We welcome all passengers on board. Unfortunately, Bermuda law prohibits us from conducting same-sex marriage ceremonies, but we can certainly offer same-sex vow renewals on board carried out by the captain.”
Princess Cruises and Cunard Cruises are also ships registered in Bermuda.