My partner and I want to take a cruise next summer. We have never been on a cruise before. We think we want to go on an all gay cruise, possibly one of the small ones like a Windjammer. We also considered a large cruise but not sure I want to be around that many people. We make friends easily and have many straight friends so I think we would do fine on a "straight" cruise as well. Does anyone have any suggestions or comments that would make our decision any easier? Thanks for the help.
I've been on several cruise lines: Cunard, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity and have traveld with a partner and as a "single". My experiences have all been excellent. With a partner, we managed to meet other gay and straight couples, and singles. The atmosphere on the ships I've been on was very gay-friendly. It was not an issue on any of the sailings I've been on. As a single, I met wonderful people, gay and straight. I still have friends I met on each of the cruises I've been on.
Living in San Francisco, in the Castro, it is actually a nice change to be on a mixed cruise. Frankly, I don't think I would have as good a time on an all-gay cruise. I enjoy the company of lots of different types of people.
For me, a cruise is a great value, a wonderful vacation for the money.
Even though you are on a big ship, you can still do the things you want to do. Find a quiet corner, get involved in group activities, or just lounge by the pool with a book.
My advice, GO!!
I never go on all-gay cruises because I meet plenty of gay people going out at home - I prefer more of a mixed crowd on vacation - less pressure. No one has ever made me feel uncomfortable being gay on a cruise and I've always met at least a few gay people on any ship.
As for choosing a ship, I'd read the reviews here and see what appeals to you. I like having lots of energy and nightlife, so I usually go on one of the contemporary lines on a large ship with lots of lounges and stuff. Carnival and Royal Carribean do those well. If I just wanted to tour and engage in watersports and stuff, and then just cuddle in the evening, I'd probably choose a smaller ship. My dream cruise is Raddison Seven Seas Paul Gaugin. I don't have a travelling partner who can afford it yet.
I think an all-Gay cruise is lots more fun. Despite what some people think, they are not a floating bath house. It is wonderful to be completely free to be yourself and cuddle your partner openly right on deck. And next summer, like this summer, RSVP is running cruises on the Royal Clipper. It is a small ship that is still quite elegant and comfortable. Our trip with RSVP in 2000 along the French & Italian Riviera was absolutely wonderful. Check out http://www.rsvp.net
I like the all-gay one's too - I've been on 9 RSVP's so far - they're a hoot, and yes, NOT a floating bath-house. I tried one Atlantis land tour and won't go with them again - very amateurish compared to RSVP and lots of "WEHO attitude" among their representatives/workers. Same crew works their cruises so I won't patronize them. RSVP on the other hand, has it down pat, with great entertainment, a nice mix of ages and couples-singles. I've done the straight cruises too and they're relaxing, but RSVP is more fun... IMHO
We are well traveled (land and sea) and find no problems in finding suitable companions on cruises, be they gay or straight. (There are ALWAYS gay men & lesbians on cruises.) Depending on your age and budget, we suggest (high-end) CRYSTAL CRUISES and, for a great value, NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINES. My travel agent is gay-friendly and finds amazing deals for us. (He even calls us when the prices goies DOWN!) Darren @ SouthBeach Cruises 1.800.650.SAIL, ext. 112. Bon Voyage.
My partner and I have been on Royal Carribean and Norwegian this year (and going on Carnival in two weeks), we have *always* had a wonderful positive experience with not only the staff but also the other guests.
We are very discrete so that is something to take into account, but all our tablemates and the staff figure out in short-order we are together.
I had some trepidation on our first cruise, too, but from then on it was all wonderful. For example, on our first cruise we were seated with a honeymoon couple in their 40s (we are in our late 30s and early 40s). We got along so well that our waiter (gay) thought we were traveling together!
Don't worry at all -- you'll have a wonderful time. We would be in the lounge or in a public room, and people were happy to take our photo together.
It's a very accepting crowd. The all-gay cruise doesn't do it for me -- would much rather mix in the "real" world.