I'd been on 3 straight cruises before my last cruise, which was the Atlantis "Largest Gay Cruise II" back in January.
I had to be dragged on the cruise kicking and screaming so-to-speak. I was concerned about the extra cost and I was concerned it'd be just a big circuit party on the ocean.
Well I was convinced and I told my b.f. that we'd never go on another straight cruise again.
In my opinion:
* I thought the food was just as good as on a straight cruise.
* The entertainment was 1000% better than on a straight cruise.
* People are more friendly and polite on the gay cruise. I was never once embarassed by a fellow passenger treating a member of the staff like a dog (I was on all my past straighr cruises).
* NO CHILDREN. I'm I love my nieces and nephews and my friends' kids, but my vacation isn't the place for them.
* There was a "Circuit Party" atmosphere if you wanted that during the night time parties on the deck. However there were numerous options such as cabaret, shows, and piano bar type stuff to do well into the still of the night if you weren't into that.
* There was none of the attitude I was expecting, even from the muscle-boy party queens. There was a wide variety of ages, sizes, colors, folks with handicaps, nationalities, couples and singles, etc. Way more inclusive than any gay bar or other gay event I've ever been to.
* In order to cut costs, I did go for an interior stateroom this time. However it was at least just as big as outside rooms I've had and we spent so little time in our room, I didn't miss the window.
*Atlantis provided several "little things" that really made a difference. First off, the hole-punched our cruise cards and provides lanyards for them. Then there was wine and desserts in our cabin when we arrived. Also they provided these nifty duffle bags that converted into back packs the day before the first day ashore. Small things, but that kind of thoughtfulness really makes a difference.
* The service was slightly, slightly not as good. Instead of being spoiled rotten, I was merely spoiled. I got the feeling, but have no proof, that RCCL Navigator had a smaller crew than they are used to.
* I wasn't a fan of the open seating for dinner, nor the casual atmosphere at dinner. But I didn't hate it either. I like the traditional cruise idea of sitting with a group of strangers all week and getting to know them and I like the idea of dressing up for dinner. But, we didn't have any bad experiences with random dinner partners, in fact we became friends with another couple.
Well, that's my two-cents. Your mileage may vary.