If being able to attend Mass while on your cruise is important to you, then naturally you will want to know that the priest on your ship is a Catholic priest in good standing.
In the past there was a company called….believe it or not…..”Rent A Priest” and, in many cases, these were not priests in good standing for various reasons. Fortunately they are no longer in business, but others may be.
There are only two sources providing Catholic priests to cruise lines that we consider 100% reliable.
1. Apostleship of the Sea (AOS), which is an Apostolate of the Catholic Church
2. A private company, Compass Speakers and Entertainment Inc. provides priests for several cruise lines listed below and has a very thorough screening process.
A Catholic Priest on every cruise:
⇒ Holland America Cruise Lines: all sailings (placed by AOS-USA)
⇒ Crystal Cruises..currently not operating…new cruises are scheduled to begin in 2023.
A Catholic priest on certain cruises:
⇒ Azamara Cruises: Christmas, Easter (placed by Compass).
⇒ Celebrity Cruises: Christmas & all Holy Land (placed by Compass).
⇒ Cunard: QM2 every sailing; QE & QV only Easter, Christmas (placed by Compass).
⇒ Norwegian Cruise Line: Christmas & Easter (placed by AOS-USA).
⇒ P&O Cruises: Christmas & Easter (placed by AOS Great Britain).
⇒ Royal Caribbean: Christmas, Easter and re-positioning cruises, (placed by AOS-USA).
As of April 2022 Royal Caribbean has stated that it is their intention to have priests on the Christmas, Easter & the crossings, it is not a guarantee. There have been many challenges filling all the ships’ needs due to travel restrictions put on many priests by their parishes.
⇒ Seabourn: Christmas, Easter and world cruises (placed by AOS-USA).
⇒ Silversea: Christmas & Easter (placed by Compass).
Click here to learn more about Apostleship of the Sea
And, if you are going on a cruise that has a priest, be sure to let the cruise line know that you appreciate it. If all Catholic cruisers did this, then we could have more opportunities to attend Mass while on vacation.
And, perhaps more importantly, you are helping the many Catholic crew members who are often gone for months at a time without the opportunity to attend Mass. This is a real blessing for them, and by considering this one of the factors when booking, you will be doing something wonderful for them.
And, if your cruise line does not offer a priest on board, contact them and let them know that this will enter into your decision in the future. They are in business to make a profit, they may not put a priest on board because it is the right thing to do, but they may do so if they think it will bring in more business. With some effort on our part we can help to motivate the cruise lines to include priests on their cruises. An example would be Princess Cruises, who no longer place a Catholic priest on their cruises, even at Christmas and Easter. Perhaps they may re-consider in the future if enough people request it.
And, of course, there is always the option of getting a few members of your parish or prayer group together and pay for a cruise for your priest. He will get a needed break and you will get daily Mass……and the crew will as well.
Note: many of these cruise lines offer same-sex weddings on board, which is certainly a conflict with Church teaching.
Photos courtesy of Apostleship of the Sea.
Planning to buy travel insurance for you cruise? Read this:
We suggest you buy travel insurance directly from the insurance company. Most policies offered through the cruise line tend to be more expensive and offer less coverage than travel insurance you buy directly from a travel insurance provider. You can compare policies here to get the best deal.