Making That Final Resting Place At Sea

People have been buried at sea, by choice and by misfortune, since the beginning of time. Is it a sign of the apocalypse that more people are requesting that their final resting places be where there will never be a headstone.

Apparently so.

In fact, Carnival provides burials at sea as a service. It's a serious business, as it should be, except that it's not a business at all. Carnival regularly arranges such ceremonies at no charge and it's becoming more, er, popular.

But if you think it's just a matter of taking poor ol' dad's ashes in your checked luggage Carnival Freedomand gently slipping them into the ocean, think again. There are rules and regulations to be followed:

• The ashes must be brought in board in a sealed urn, where they must remain until the ceremony
• There must be a death certificate
• A document certifying that the cremation was performed at a licensed U.S. crematorium
• The ship must be at least 12 miles from land

The ceremony is private, so other passengers will be oblivious to it. When it's over, the captain gives the survivor(s) a signed document with the longitude and latitude coordinates of where the loved one was buried.

Carnival's Senior Cruise Director John Heald told USA Today's Fran Golden that he gets at least one inquiry a week for burials at sea. Carnival arranges about 200 such ceremonies each year.

This type of burial at sea was unheard-of a few years ago. Despite its growth, it' is safe to assume people aren't standing in line because nobody's in hurry to join that crowd.

Photo courtesy of Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines

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Carnival Fascination
7 nights
September 7, 2015
Jacksonville (return): Nassau, Freeport
Inside: $249
Cost per day: $35

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