Hey, In the spring of 1998, my lover and I (along with my parents) went on the Norwegian Sea and had an unfortunate experience. The mostly Phillipino and Jamaican service staff made us feel quite uncomfortable with barely disguised contempt and rude comments. We weren't doing anything out of place (for the most part, we don't do public display of affection) but we were obviously spotted as being gay. We endured snide comments by the lunch dining room staff that only stopped when I demanded to see the maitre'd.
Although some cultures are ingrained with overt homophobia, they were still there to accommodate us and we resented being treated as being "less than" simply because we're gay. We live in a large urban area and I had almost forgotten that being gay could still be such an issue.
Even worse was the lack of response from Norwegian's home office. I made numerous phone calls to the customer service number to register a complaint and was given the runaround. My follow up letter was never responded to. Both the calls and the letter I sent were handled in the same tone as this post; I know how to make a complaint. We spent a load of money on a vacation and this kind of treatment pretty much ruined it. We have been on 2 other cruise-lines together and were only treated with respect.
I know Atlantis Events has had good experiences with thier all-gay charters on this line, I just hope they have improved sensativity when it isn't an all gay trip.
Don't let this happen to you...my best, Ron Todd
My experience is that the waitstaff on NCL is rude period. At a table for six with 2 married couples, myself and a single woman, only 1 couple tipped the waiter (out of guilt). By the way, I don't think it helps your argument if you start naming nationalities. I know plenty of people in the good old USA who would be just as mean spirited.
The only reason I mentioned the nationalities is because their nametags clearly stated where they were from and we had NO problems with any of the service staff from other nationalities. I certainly did not intend to malign an entire race or races of people, rather I had hoped to point out that a great many people from places with state-sactioned rabid homophobia take that cue and behave in that manner. Jamaica is known to be a dismal place for civil rights for gays. I believe homosexuality is illegal there (I don''t have written proof on me) but I do know first hand the open scorn that is heaped on gay people. I went on an all gay cruise that disembarked in Ocho Rios. Many locals came to greet the ship (usually stocked with older white people) and as groups of males poured off the ship, we were asked "where are all the women at?" When we playfully answered back, "there aren't any!" We were greeted with "faggots" šids faggots" etc. When we got back on the ship practically everyone had stories about being treated badly by the locals even when trying to spend money in thier shops. We later learned of police sanctioned violent raids on the few gay bars left. Not all Jamaicans are like this. I never intended to smear an entire country. However there are general trends that were worth pointing out. My heart goes out to those Jamaican gays who have to look over their shoulders and if they are bashed usually end up being further tormented by the police if they report it.
Yes, there are mean spirited people in the U.S. too, however if the wait staff at TGIF's treated a table of gay customers like we were treated and we complained to management, swift and appropriate action would be taken. If not, we would just leave the restaraunts. It's a little more difficult to get off a cruise ship. And, who wants to have to deal with this kind of crap on a vacation? Our legitimate complaints were ignored by NCL.
Again, I never intended to smear an entire nationality. Our Phillipino cabin steward was delightful and while we were at dinner he redecorated our cabin with the sarongs we bought in Antiugua. He kept saying how much he liked us and kept hugging us and trying to grab my ass. What a trip!
My apologies if my original post was misinterpreted. Ron
I only go Royal Caribbean if I want to go without a problem. I find this so odd since most of the crew "plays" around. I can understand how people can be, it's happened to me before but not on a cruise. Really ruins the whole experience. I have never done the Atlantis or RSVP cruises. I am thinking of checking them out. Better luck next time.
Like I always tell me friends "don't mess with the Jamaicans, if they say they are going to do something, they will." All of my Jamaican coworkers are very religous and frown upon gay lifestyle. Who ever books these gay cruises needs to go to other destinations. This brings back memories of the Grand Cayman issue. They didn't even let the ship dock! I think Europe may be a bit more liberal and gay friendly. I know some of these gay groups do greek isle cruises and some other assorted itineraries. I think they even throw a circuit party on one of them. A gay cruise... can I handle myself... I have to say I enjoy meeting the "straight" guys on the "straight" ships. Makes it sort of challenging. It's a shame these caribbean islands feel this way. They offer such beautiful places. I do have to say that the USVI and French and/or Dutch islands have to be the most gay friendly. Better luck next time.