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Frequently Asked Questions

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or call a Sales Manager
619-686-8700
Mon. - Fri., 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM; Sat. by appointment.
San Diego Weddings

How do I reserve our yacht?

Placing your deposit and signing the contract will secure your yacht, date and time. All additional details are flexible and may be changed up to 30 days prior to your event. Deposits may be made by credit card or by check, payable to Hornblower Cruises and Events. Feel free to fax or mail your deposit in.

Fax: 619.686.8733

Mailing address: 2825 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103

Click here for contact information for our ports

What is the deposit and payment procedure?

Wedding deposits are non-refundable, and they do come out of your final balance. The deposit may be placed on a credit card, and this is the only time we can take payment by credit card. We will need a guarantee guest count seven business days before you sail. This count cannot decrease; however, you may add guests up until the event. Your final balance will be based on this number of guests. Final balance is due in the form of cashier's check or money order only. Please make check payable to Hornblower Cruises & Events, and please include your booking number on the check.

What is the parking like?

Metered parking is available directly across the street from the boarding location and on the Broadway Pier. Meters are free after 6 PM, and all day on Sundays and holidays. In addition, there are two pay lots that are run by the Port of San Diego ranging in rates from $1 to $12 per car. These are located at the corner of Broadway and Harbor Drive. Please allow ample time to locate parking.

If you would like a map, click here. Please refer to your proposal for boarding location and parking information.

Will we have a rehearsal?

Rehearsals are not generally needed for the yachts. Should you feel you would like one, we will be happy to schedule one for you. The cost is $150. It will be added to your contract and a tentative time will be scheduled. However, the rehearsal day/time is not guaranteed and is subject to change.

Is the ceremony legal?

Your ceremony is legal. Our captains are licensed, ordained non-denominational ministers. You will need to provide your marriage license issued in the state of California. You may provide your own officiant if you like.

Can we write our own vows?

The ceremony performed by the captain is a standard, traditional non-religious ceremony. Should you wish to make minor changes to the vows, please feel free to do so. All changes made to the vows need to be submitted for approval no later than one month before the date of your wedding. To see the vows, click here.

Can we have the ceremony on the outside deck?

On certain yachts, the ceremony can be performed on the outside deck. Please keep in mind that there is nothing like a sea breeze to mess up a beautiful hair and make-up job - not to mention what it does to a veil!

Can we provide our own catering? Do we have to use your packages?

Hornblower is one of the top three caterers in San Diego and does not allow any outside food or beverage. If you would like to change the packages, we would be happy to customize a menu for you.

Can children sail? Is there an age requirement?

Children of any age are welcome to sail with us. There is a children's menu available for private cruise and a child rate applies to ages 12 and under.* Package prices vary.

*Adult full rate minimum needs to be met before the child rate applies.

How should we word our invitations?

Click here for a sample invitation.

At this time, invitations are not available through Hornblower. When ordering your invitations, the following wording is suggested:

Aboard the yacht "____"

Boarding at ____

Sailing promptly at ____

Special note: Make sure, if you have a pre-selected choice of menu items that you include the menu choice in your RSVP cards so that your guests may respond with their choice.

To see sample invitations, see above.

Additional Services

Hornblower is a full-service event planning company. Flowers, photography and entertainment are just a few of the things we can assist with. Once you book your wedding with us, we will provide you with a list of our contracted and recommended wedding professionals. You will have all of the names and numbers you need for a beautiful event. You can set up meetings at your convenience to choose the things you like.

Can we pick out our cake?

Once you book, you can pick out your cake. We will provide you with a few bakers' names and numbers. It will be a cake for the size of your group. Hornblower does not provide cake toppers, a cake knife or server, but feel free to bring your own. If you do not wish to use one of our contracted bakers, you may provide your own cake. A $3 per person cake service fee will apply.

Will there be time to set up?

If you wish to do your own setup, there is a small window of time for you to do so. Your sales manager will consult with you and put together a timeline for the event with all the details for a successful wedding, from setup to cake cutting!

How does the DJ work?

Hornblower uses local, working professional DJs to ensure a successful event—from the ceremony music to the Chicken Dance. A few weeks before your event, your DJ will contact you to discuss the music and details of your wedding.

Can we burn our own CDs?

All of our yachts, as well as The Abbey, have CD changers and you may bring on your background music. Background music will not be loud enough to dance to.

Will my guests get seasick?

We cruise in the calm waters of the San Diego Bay. You should not be affected by the waters of the open ocean.

Decor and Favor Information

Candles with open flame are not allowed on the yachts, as it presents a fire hazard. If you wish to bring candles for centerpieces, please adhere to the following guidelines. Candleholders need to be bottom heavy and the flame needs to be covered by 1 1/2 inches of tempered glass, or another kind of hurricane container.

Bubbles may not be blown on the yachts, as the soap makes the decks slippery and therefore unsafe. When blown indoors, they can stain the carpeting (not to mention satin or silk wedding dresses). Bubbles may be blown after disembarking and makes a nice grand exit. Confetti, rice and birdseed are not allowed on the yachts.

Rose petals are not allowed because they stain the carpet. Sprinkling petals lightly on tables is okay.

Our crew will be happy to put out wedding favors for you. Please bring them (in a box clearly labeled with your name, wedding date, and yacht) to your final appointment.

What is the weather generally like during the late winter/early spring on San Diego harbor?

You never know in San Diego! It could be 75 degrees and sunny, or chilly and maybe a little rainy. However, all of the events takes place inside, and we sail rain or shine.

What, if any, tips are expected or required?

There will be taxes and service charge included in your proposal. That service charge will cover your gratuities. Feel free to tip for above-and-beyond service.

Are we required to purchase additional insurance and/or fuel?

At this time, Hornblower does not charge for fuel and require additional insurance.

Are there any expected charges not included in the per person posted prices on Hornblower's website?

If you are adding things like florals or photography, those might be some additional items not included in your package.

When is Final Count and Final Payment Due?

Your final count is due 7 business days before you sail. The final balance is due 5 business days before you sail. When you give the count, we will need to know how many of each menu item you need, if there are vegetarians and if there are children. If you are feeding your vendors, please include them in the count as well. Don't forget to count yourself and your fiancé!

What is the smoking policy on the boats?

Guests may smoke on the outside decks.

Are there any policies on recommendations for ladies shoes, particularly against "spiky" heels?

Although we do not require any specific type of shoe, ladies will be more comfortable in a lower heel.

Is there any room for dancing?

All of our yachts have a dance floor. Feel free to kick up your (low) heels!

Are vegetarian substitutions for a seated dinner selection available with advance notice?

Yes, there will always be accommodations for your vegetarian guests.

Can we provide our own alcohol?

You may not bring alcohol on board. You may bring wine or champagne if it is something that we cannot attain. There is a $15 per bottle corkage fee.

Are the yachts wheelchair accessible?

Hornblower's San Diego fleet has three yachts that have limited access with a wheelchair. They are the Lord Hornblower, Adventure Hornblower and Emerald Hornblower. Unfortunately, our other yachts do not have wheelchair access to the yacht and/or the restrooms.

How do we get our marriage license?

Hornblower does not provide the Marriage License and you must bring it with you to present to the captain before the ceremony may take place. If you are already married you must let us know. The marriage license must be issued in the state of California. They are valid for 90 days. Marriage license information is available on-line at www.sdarcc.com or you may contact the County Recorders office.

RECORDER/CLERK'S MAIN OFFICE

1600 Pacific Highway, Suite 273

San Diego, CA 92101

Mail Stop: A-33

General Information: (619) 237-0502

Calling from North County: (760) 630-1219

Marriage License Information: (619) 531-6248

What are the gate locations:
Click here for directions to each of the boarding locations.

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I just wanted to thank you for all you did to make my daughter's wedding perfect!!! We couldn't believe how everything worked so smoothly!! Our guests thoroughly enjoyed the evening and my 84-year-old aunt didn't want to leave. (That was amazing, since she's usually the first to go when it comes to wedding receptions!!) I can't even put into words how appreciative we are and how much fun we had. The food was delicious and everyone involved was so kind, professional, and accommodating!! What a blessing!!!!

– Cindy J

Wanted to let you know that we are so thankful for the great job and hardwork that the Hornblower staff delivered to us for our wedding. From the planning help you and Jena gave us to the outstanding service we received from the staff on the day of the event, we could not have asked for more to make that day special. Everything went as planned and everyone of our guests have commented what a great experience they had. Both Tony and I would like to thank you, and everyone who was involved, from the bottom of our hearts. Additionally, DJ Hammer was great to work with and made the atmosphere a cheerful and joyful one with the music as well as his personality.

– Josie T