I have recently booked my first cruise through Aquafest for the Sept. 11, 04/Alaska cruise on ms Oosterdam. They have booked a total of 125 G/L folks on this particular Alaska cruise.
So far, they have been attentive and responsive. Saved me some $$ on a single (late) booking. Even though I haven't been on my cruise yet, I know I would use them again.
My partner and I will be on the Aquafest group tour to Alaska from Seattle in a little over a month. I can hardly wait.
We have cruise quite frequently the past 3 years but this will be our first cruise with a gay group. I like the idea that it's a group scheduled on a regular voyage and that we will be among straight folks as well. We've always managed to form quite a sizeable gay gathering on the mainstream cruises we've sailed and never have had any troubles , perhaps a few curious (but not negative) looks from older folks, especially women probably wondering why so many handsome men were socializing together without female companionship. Another thing I like about Aquafest is that there will be both men and women. I associate with straight men and women as well as gay men and women in my everday life so why should I feel the need to go on a exclusively gay male cruise? I don't. I think it's interesting that as gay people we fling the word "diversity" around but are we applying it within our own community? Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now.
At any rate, I am looking forward to the cruise with great anticipation and I've been in contact via email with several others going on the cruise as well as the Aquafest staff.
Everyone has been so gracious and helpful and those of us passengers who have been emailing the past few months are already becoming friends.
April 13, 2003 Carnival Conquest
November 2, 2003 Norwegian Dream
February 26, 2004 Carnival Miracle
June 4, 20004 American Queen
November 20, 2004RCCL Grandeur/Seas
January 29, 2005 Carnival Sensation
September 11, 2006 Carnival Holiday
We are thinking about the September 2005 cruise as well. Have you spoken to any individuals who have been on their cruises? Also, any idea how many rooms they typically reserve for their Alaska cruises? Thanks mark
My partner and I are booked in a caterogy SS - superior verandah suite on the 9/11/04 Oosterdam sailing with Aquafest. We paid almost half with Aquafest as what we would have paid with the cruise line direct or even an online discounter. Aquafest buys a block of cabins at a huge huge reduction and is kind enough to pass along the savings to their customers. I will be happy to provide a full report our experience once we return.
i'm booking with them on monday ( spirit sept.3 2005 ) i'm going alone (*edited for off-color content by moderator*). they told me NCL had lots of cabins avialable for this cruise, to many to tell me over the phone, so i'm going to call them and just tell them which one i'd like to book and go from there ( i've picked out 6 so far all with balcones )
Four of us from the DC area are going to Seattle 2 days before the Aquafest Akaska cruise. Is there one site to chat or email the people going on the Sept 04 Alaska Cruise?? We would like to get to know some of those we are traveling with.
Hi Roy, I just found out that we are in cabin SS6060.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org as I tried to email you but it came back undeliverable. Would love to meet you prior to the cruise. I do know that Aquafest is having a precruise event Friday night and I'm not having an official event but you would be welcome to stop over at our place first and meet a few others before heading up to the hill for the official pre-cruise event
We've been on two of the Aquafest cruises and the hosts are excellent - they are great at organizing fun and inclusive events. They also handle those minor problems that pop up during the cruise quickly and efficiently.
We will definitely be cruising with them again (we'd be on their Halloween cruise this year, but we've got another vacation scheduled for that time.)
Went with Aquafest from Galveston last Nov. They offered a great deal with lots of gay entertainment (Like almost every night). I really recommend them. There shore excursions were alittle fowled up however, and would make sure they don't leave at 6am after a 2am party the night before. JCC627@yahoo.com
Okay, I just completed the Alaska cruise with Aquafast and I feel obligated to offer my opinion on the trip.
I have to say that the rates that Aquafest offers is hard to beat. For that reason alone, if they offer a cruise that interests you, by all means book with them.
However, other than two hosted cocktail parties and two lousy shows by a tasteless comedian, they do a terrible job of "hosting" a cruise.
The main host seemed more interested in garnering attention to his pecs than being a gracious host to his guests. One would think that by the 2nd or 3rd day of the cruise each of the group travelers would be contacted via phone to make sure everything was going well. But did this happen? NO
There was a lack of afternoon activities and the only offering was a poorly attended late night "let's meet at the disco".
Several singles aboard mentioned to me that they had hoped for some kind of special singles mixer, but NOPE.
Again, go for the rates but don't go expecting some fabulous hosts - they are cute to look at but it ends at that.
I just got back home from the Aquafest Alaska cruise and I have to say I will not use Aquafest again.
I booked my cruise several months in advance and Aquafest was grossly negligent in providing information--it took three months and four phone calls to even get confirmation of my booking (even though my credit card was charged immediately upon booking the cruise). I held off posting a negative response to this thread thinking that maybe Aquafest would redeem itself on the cruise.
The "film festival" they had planned consisted of 1 gay movie and two lesbian movies; I'd already seen the gay movie and didn't care to see the lesbian ones, so I can't comment on those.
There were 3 events planned with a gay comedian--the first was supposed to be 30 minutes long and barely lasted 20--the comedian kept looking at his watch so I assume he had more important things on his mind. The second comedic event was supposed to last for an hour but barely lasted 30 minutes. The third event was supposed to last 30 minutes but lasted about an hour; this show was good and exceeded the timeframe probably only because the head of Aquafest and his parents-in-law were in attendance that night.
I skipped Aquafest's cocktail party the last night of the cruise because of my disappointment with them, so i can't comment on that, either.
The only other events planned were theme nights at the night club from midnight to 2 a.m. I guess the demographics of the Aquafest group wasn't conducive to late-night partying because the three nights I went to the night club, there weren't many people there.
More than 120 people supposedly booked through Aquafest for this cruise but I didn't see more than half that number at any of the events I attended (except for maybe the last show by the comedian).
Overall I was VERY disappointed with Aquafest; I didn't meet either of the hosts on the cruise and I would have thought that, at a bare minimum, they would have made the rounds at one time during dinner to check in with their customers--we all sat together in one section of the dining room so it wouldn't have been difficult for them to do so. I got the impression that the hosts were there simply for the cruise; not much effort was put into care of the group.
I was also on this cruise and was extremely disappointed with the overall experience provided by Aquafest.
The cruise was great and and I met some great friends but only because some of the guys were very friendly and outgoing not because anyone at Aquafest was a gracious host.
I have booked a return trip to Alaska with Aquafest ...scheduled for Sept 17-24, 2005. Regarding disappointments with the way Aquafest handled some social events/itinerary: The hosts could have foreseen that this particular older group of GLBTs of Aquafest-Alaska 2004 wasn't into disco or late, late night activities. However, the overall cruise experience (my first) was fantastic. If I didn't like the events of the days/nights that Aquafest scheduled I simply didn't attend. Maybe I got a little bored once or twice...when we were at sea for a two day stretch. Although I am not a seasoned cruiser, I believe that an Alaskan cruise is quite different than other destinations. Less partying; more scenic in nature. During the course of the cruise, I approached both of the Aquafest hosts with questions and was always received with attentiveness and my questions were answered in a polite, professional, friendly manner.
And...oh yeah, they were "cupcakes" (cute to look at).
My partner and I are planning on going on the Alaska tour scheduled for Sept. 25-Oct. 2. The reviews appear to be very mixed about the Aquafest experience, but seem to indicate that the cruise is worth it just for the Alaskan experience.
We're wondering, as most of the posts were about the 2005 cruise, if anyone has taken this cruise recently, and did Aquafest clean up their act at all?
Thanks for any help, and if you want to correspond on this, our email is email@example.com