I'm going on my first RSVP cruise (first cruise ever) Feb 22 - Mar 1 on HAL Zuiderdam. Traveling alone, in the share program. I just wanted to get your impressions. Easy to meet people? Friendly? nice mix? entertainment?
You will have an absolute blast. This will be our 4th gay cruise. 3rd on RSVP. RSVP is the best in our opinion. So much less pretentious and down to earth. We are on the Que Rico as well. Feel free to email us with any questions
WE ARE A GROUP OF ABOUT 30 GUYS FROM THE NEW HOPE
(nyc-philly) PENNSYLVANIA AREA--SOME IN THE FANCY VERANDA SUITES, AND OTHERS ON THE INSIDE CORRIDOR (3 COUPLES ON THE "MAIN DECK", WHERE WE CAN GAWK)--ROB-ROY ARE IN 1060, BILL-TOM AND KEN-JACK ARE CLOSER TO THE ENCLOSED AFT DECK. GLAD TO SEE YOU GALS JOINING US AND SPEAKING SO HIGHLY OF THE RSVP GROUP. IT DOES LOOK LIKE A BLAST! WE WOULD LOVE TO EMAIL WITH POTENTIAL NEW FRIENDS, AND EVEN VISIT IN THE PHILLY AREA PRIOR TO THE CRUISE.
WE ARE FLYING FROM ALLENTOWN, PA TO STAY IN THE EMBASSY SUITES ATRIUM (HILTON) 2 DAYS PRIOR AND THE DAY AFTER THE CRUISE.---I HAVE PHOTOS, ETC, BUT AM WRITING FROM WORK ON CHRISTMAS EVE (SLOW). DO YOU BELIEVE THAT SOME OF THE SMALLER CABINS WILL EVEN SLEEP 4?----LOTS OF DAILY REPORTS COME TO ME FROM THE "UNOFFICIAL HAL" BOARDS (SOME NOTES IN DUTCH!)...BUT NOT MUCH AT ALL FROM OUR CRUISE OPERATOR (RSVP). ANYBODY KNOW WHAT IS PLANNED? bob (215)750-1701.
I will be on the Que Rico cruise also. I am going under the "Share" program too. This is the third cruise with RSVP that I have done by myself (2 other land based ones too). I have had a blast at every one of them. It is so very easy to meet people. I always leave with new friends, and keep running into people I have met before on the next trip. It is a great mix of people, and the entertainment is generally very good.
Participate in everything you can . You never know what is going to happen, and you'll have a great time. Last year on the LA Mexico cruise I went to one of the bingo sessions cause people kept telling me they were a lot of fun, but I was skeptical (It's bingo for goodness sake). It was a lot of fun, and by the end, Danny had talked one of the ship's dancers completely out of his uniform while on stage. It was hilarious (.. and he was really cute too).
Be sure and take outfits/costumes for all of the parties and dances. It is a lot of fun that way. I still wonder what is going through the crew's mind when they see most of the guests all thoughout the ship in just underwear on the night of the underwear party.
Don't worry about meeting people on the cruise. I went along last year on the RSVP Mexico - LA trip and had a great time. I even ended up in the RSVP brochure that you probably got in the mail.
The only thing about room share is that they don't do anything more then match you up according to a smoking room or not. My roommate was 67 years old. I was 26 at the time and he was naked in the room whenever he was there....but you know what I wasn't ever in my room that much either.
I am going to be on the second half of that cruise going to Mardi Gras with the friends that I met last year. The attached photo is of me with just some of the people that I met. I am in the center of the photo….Check out the photos from last year and remember I didn't know anyone on the ship before I got on!!! http://www.boulderguy.net/rsvpphotos.htm
I will provide you with some tips for your First Big Gay Boat Ride! Here is what I found to be true about my trip last year with RSVP. The M/S Ecstasy interior looked as tacky as Circus, Circus and the colors were so bright, Helen Keller could have seen them from Catalina. As I got into the elevator, I told one of the other passengers that I almost missed the boat, then added "now that I've seen the carpeting, I almost wish I had." However, there is more to surviving a gay cruise than just ignoring the décor.
Limit your luggage.
In order to keep the party going for up to 10 days, the company plans tons of activities, many of which require a new ensemble every few hours. Our cruise included two underwear parties (black and white), a formal dinner, leather party, a coat-and-tie dinner, costume ball, uniform party and swimsuit contest, among countless others. A week before the trip, drag out your suitcases and start filling them with everything you could possibly need. Then, once your closet is empty and you have nine overflowing suitcases and a steamer trunk you can't close, start crossing some of the events and outfits off your list. By the fifth day on the boat, some party people were on the brink of Karen Carpenter-style exhaustion, and it wasn't just the trips to la farmacia either. You can't party every night, so just bring what you can carry in three bags and plan to do laundry halfway through the trip. Less is more.
Don't sleep with anyone right away.
Imagine you go down to your favorite gay bar one evening. Suddenly, the doors are locked and you are trapped with everyone who is there for the next 10 days. That's what a gay cruise is like. You may see a guy on the first night who looks hot, but remember, you are going to be seeing him at every meal and every turn until you leave the ship. Don't make your vacation more awkward than it needs to be by having to spend eight days avoiding someone. Scope out the scene on the boat for the first few days and then make your moves.
Make sure you carry the essentials.
Some people like to decorate their cabin doors with photos of themselves, or with dry-erase boards and Post-it notes to leave messages. This makes it much easier to meet people and find out what their story is. I traveled with a group that had walkie talkies so we could find each other easily at ports of call and around the ship. It saved our bacon on numerous occasions (and it looked cool, too). Some cruises insist on pants for dinner in the dining rooms, so check your itinerary carefully for any essential items like that. Also, even the nicest cruise ships have Motel 6 amenities in the bathroom. If you like your special soap or shampoo, bring it along.
Make friends and be nice
A gay cruise is like summer camp, though Kathie Lee's cruise line didn't force us to make wallets, since we were all over the age of 10. Make friends with the people in the other cabins on your floor. Our floor got very social and we had the most fun just chatting in the hallway outside our cabins. It turned out that the lesbian couple down the hall had a cappuccino maker, so there are some rewards for getting to know your neighbors. Be polite to people at dinner or in the elevators or up on deck. You are trapped in a confined space with them for countless days. Pissing people off only makes it feel claustrophobic and leads to angry "U R Stuck Up!!" messages on your dry-erase board. Also, word travels through the boat like wildfire, so keep potential sources of gossip about yourself (like offering sex in the laundry room, that porno you did in college, your addiction to orange Fanta) to a minimum.
Hey guys! If you don't like your cabin mate you need to tell the RSVP desk as soon as you get on board. Sometimes they can change things around. Also if you have found someone that is going to be on the ship that is also doing a share room at the same level there shouldn't be an issue chaning you! Call they ahead of time if that is the case!
Hey, Jason - I remember you! Although we never met...
Your hints are good. Just finishing my packing for the cruises - difficult since I'm doing 3 weeks on it. I can normally scoot by with one big suitcase & 1 carry on, but with new luggage airline restrictions I have to split it to two ;-( And I don't bring a lot of the extras like leather or grand costumes. I did that on my first 2-3 RSVPs and found they didn't add that much enjoyment, so I gotimaginative (and light-weight) on the costume and went with leather shorts and ball cap for that night. The killer for me is shoes. Specific nes for the kilt, specific for the formal, specific for the casual, specific for sports, specific for dancing - sheesh - and of course they're all heavy. Not to mention swim fins & gear. At least they have the underwear parties for a "light" evening ;-).
I'm getting the feeling that these will be two really special weeks with RSVP - can feel the excitement building already, more than on past cruises... I've found that the people really make or break the cruise. Generally most people are really on good behavior during these and it's pleasant...
Now we just have to pray for good weather, especially for New Orleans!!
Jason, thanks for your comments. I've been emailing with my cruise roomie, and I think we will get along just fine! The comments about not being able to do everything are so true. I can't be in a disco until 4 am and be up for snorkeling at 8:15...Hell, I could'nt do that at age 20 let alone now.
Just gotta get me a costume and I'll be all set...although that pic of you as a boy scout is PRICELESS!!