CRUISE guests normally hope to have dinner with the captain, but one Barry couple saw Captain Claus officially marry them both at an on-board ceremony.

Natasha Russell, a Thomas Cook manager, and her fiancé, Bradley Ashford, a Dow Silicones rigger/crane driver, 52, last year beat two other couples in the final round of the Royal Caribbean’s Club’s competition to be crowned Club Royal Couple.

The £25,000 prize package included a one-week cruise in the Caribbean on board Oasis of the Seas, flights, accommodation, and transfers for the couple and guests in October this year.

The mum-of-two Ms Russell, 45, met her fiancé following a friend request made to her on Facebook.

Her Royal Caribbean account manager told staff about the competition and she entered and won.

Mrs Ashford said: “Our wedding on the cruise ship was perfect for us as we both love cruising especially with Royal Caribbean. Our guests have commented that they had never been to a wedding like it; it went so smoothly and was such a sophisticated wedding. To have our family and friends enjoying a cruise holiday and the wedding at the same time was perfect for us.

“After the ceremony, we had our wedding photos taken by the onboard photographers at locations around the ship, enjoyed partying with our guests sipping champagne and then went on to Chops Grille, a speciality restaurant onboard, which we had booked for the wedding breakfast.

“We felt like superstars and didn’t want the day or the journey to end. My favourite part of the wedding is how special I was made to feel on the day itself and Brad has said the same. We were both completely looked after and that’s the way it should be on your special day.”

She added: “Captain Claus – the Captain of Oasis of the Seas – officially married us in front of 36 of our friends and family and it was such a beautiful ceremony, with lots of laughter and a few tears, mostly from Brad. Once the rings we’re on, Brad and I cheered and couldn’t stop smiling as we walked back down the aisle to sign the legal documents.

“All the staff from Royal Caribbean who’ve helped organise our wedding and our large group were incredible and they were there for us every step of the way – from the planning beforehand, to embarkation and the big day itself.

“It really was mine and Brad’s dream wedding and we can’t thank Club Rewards enough for this amazing opportunity – we’re officially married.

“Oasis of the Seas is an amazing cruise ship and we could not be happier. Brad and I are destined to be together. There are too many signs for it to be just coincidence; we are soulmates that have been led back together.”