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-   -   Boycott Royal Caribbean - FOD meetings refused on RCI (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/gay-lesbian-cruising/311475-boycott-royal-caribbean-fod-meetings-refused-rci.html)

BrianTom March 27th, 2006 01:46 PM

Boycott Royal Caribbean - FOD meetings refused on RCI
 
Just off the 10 day Panama Canal trip on Brillance of the Seas. We requested a FOD meeting to be put in the Cruise Compass and we were denied. we were told it was against company policy.

We did spot other gay people on the ship and did have an opportunity to meet a few of them and they too requested a FOD meeting and were denied.

From our count, there were at LEAST 24 gay people that our radar could easily identify. Of those we met 1/4th.

I strongly suggest to everyone out there NOT to ride Royal Caribbean. They have blatent disregard for our community. They dont understand that these meetings are for us to offer us a chance to meet other like minded people.

They do it for Bill W. and they do it for Honeymooners. And they have no problems making all that money off the gay people who book on the Atlantis Charters (which are some of the most profitable cruises in the industry).

If a company can not post a simple FOD gathering in their daily Cruise bulletin it says to me that they believe that a gay life is wrong.

Travel on Princess. Not only is it nicer, but the Cruise director asked how many meetings we wanted and Celebrated us with Free Champange and H'ors D'oerves. By the way, the cruise director was not gay.

Harry Martin March 27th, 2006 02:25 PM

That's disappointing to read, but it does not surprise me -- Carnival is the same way. However, on RCCL, we did have them serenade us and bring us a cake on our 10th anniversary, so the staff was definitely gay friendly.

Harry

BrianTom March 27th, 2006 03:04 PM

Harry, the post may seem angrier than I really am. I just dont want to be spending money on cruiseline that discriminates.

The post regarding True or False speaks to the heart of the matter:

"The longer the duration and the more exotic the cruise, the less homophobic and more socially accommodating the fellow passenger are."

I love it. I could not think of the correct way to express myself, but here it is like a gift; RCI is homophobic and not socially accommodating. IF they were not, they would gladly offer a FOD meeting for those who requested it.

The term socially accomodating is key to the argument. It is such an issue with Gay people on cruise ships that there is a thread regarding it. Lets face it, we have all been at the table where the fellow diners are uncomfortable with the fact that they are forced to share dinner with the gay couple.

A FOD gathering is really not much to ask. A while back there was a post regarding this and I thought if we asked for a LGBT meeting it could help the matter. It seemed much more forthright and less clandestine.

But if we just sit back and say, well it just a Cruise Ship Company's homophobia and dont demand that they offer this for us or we wont travel them, we will just be reinforcing the cruiselines and fellow passengers to be homophobic and not socially accomodating.

Tom

Kevin-n-Walt March 27th, 2006 06:05 PM

We had our commitment ceremony on the Enchantment and even used Royal Caribbeans wedding planning service for the occasion. Everyone from the wedding coordinators to the captain and everyone inbetween were wonderful.............. we will be sailing with RCCL next month for the seventh time.............FOD or not there is always one gay bar by mid-cruise or sooner when we're aboard!

BrianTom March 28th, 2006 08:46 AM

Kevin and Walt you might have had a wonderful individual experience and I am glad to hear they treated you that way. But rememberit is an organization that has set policys for their ships staff to follow that are not only homophobic but it reinforces that it is o.k. to be that way.

I bet if they posted all the Marriages on Board in the Cruise Compass, there would be a rule not allowing them to post the same sex commitment ceremonies along with them for fear of being seen as a company without family values. If that happened I think you would be thinking the same way I am.

It all comes down to what they want the world to know about them. Are they willing to take a stand and say they are a gay friendly company or do they want to be homophobic.

I think RCI should not be so homophobic and allow the cruise director to post a LGBT or FOD gathering in the Cruise Compass.

Ron n Jon March 28th, 2006 08:49 AM

We can sympathize with you on this one but it is not only Royal Caribbean that pulls this stunt. And by stunt we mean the Catch 22 run-around, "Sorry it's up to the cruise director, no, sorry, it's up to corporate office". When you challange the corporate offices the "official" response is that they have no policy on FOD gatherings. But it is their corporate policy to always accommodate a meeting location with support in publication notices for Friends Of Bill W. gatherings. Why then do they say they have no policy on our segment of society and "allow the cruise director to decide". Can you imagine any large corporation allowing a supervisor to dictate corporate policy. Out of the question! There true policy is , "well, if we must I guess we must"

What these Neanderthal cruise lines do not understand is the bottom line value of the FOD gathering offers. Say they have a dozen gay couples aboard seated at a dozen large tables. Depending on the passenger list of course, there are some very unhappy passengers sitting with us. We are not happy with them and they are not happy with us. But if they encourage a FOD gathering immediately upon boarding as does Princess Lines, we gay passengers will likely pair up and form tables together where we are then happy and the homophobes at those other tables are no longer unhappy. Simple isn't it?

wiscguy2 March 28th, 2006 09:55 AM

Disappointed that the CD refused to do a FOD meeting.. .but am not suprised that RCCL and most of the other cruise lines do not want to. I do not feel that there is rampant homophobia within the company. In the business world that these companies operate and the legal environment of our country, it is much easier to say no to all special interest groups that would like to have a meeting on board. If companies say yes to a FOD meeting, they would also have to say yes to other special interest groups that may ask... including extremist groups, or then it would be discriminatory. Saying no to a FOD meeting is not discriminatory unless they are providing meetings for other interest groups.

Since there are generally numerous gay travellers on board and we are using our gaydar... its a great way to break the ice and make your own FOD meeting. If your gaydar goes into overdrive with someone in particular... .tell them that some FOD's are meeting in X lounge at X time. The average straight person would be clueless... but if someone was a friend... they would know.

BrianTom March 28th, 2006 10:37 AM

Wiscguy I hope you had fun on the Mariner. I will let you know about the Brillance outside of this post like you asked.

I believe the special interest group excuse they give is a cop out. It is not like we are some some unknown minority in the country. Or that we are are group looking to participate in nefarious activities. We are a valid and recognized community. It is also why I believe they should call it a LGBT gathering. People who are not in favor of a LGBT will stay away. Friends of Dorothy creates such curiosity to people who dont know (& women with the name of Dorothy) and if a passenger inquires what it is, it makes it seem like we are hiding us too. Cruisemates.com has a section for us on their website, that should signify to them that we are not just a special interest group. I doubt many members of Cruisemates are offended by it, so why would it be an issue on the ships?

Anyway, I just will not travel RCI again. Besides, Princess is much nicer as a cruiseline regardless of the homophobia or not.

BrianTom March 28th, 2006 10:43 AM

Ron n Jon I agree with you. It is not the first time I have heard about the run around stunt. I have a friend who works for RCI, is a reliable source, and he told me that it is up to the cruise director. So go figure.

It is really would make everyones time better if they honored the request.

Robkabob March 28th, 2006 07:18 PM

Call me crazy, but I could of sworn there was a FOD meeting on Grandeur a couple of years ago.

It is puzzling this would happen especially since Atlantis and Pied Piper use them regularly. With all the negative publicity the cruise lines have had lately, perhaps they might respond to a threat of a boycott? Fortunately, the Bible Thumpers tend to charter the older Carnival ships. LOL. (So no sense in worrying they would counter protest. LOL)

Anyway, thanks for bringing this to our attention.

adamken March 29th, 2006 07:13 AM

I'm very surprised by this, we have been on 2 RCL cruises the last couple of years, the Navigator and Mariner and FOD parties were asked for and were put in the compass right away, I think that every cruise is different, I think it's completely up to the cruise director, if it was company policy, you wouldn't see them at all on any ship. We are sailing on the Jewel of the Seas on April 8th, hopefully we'll see the same results...

cruise Bob March 29th, 2006 06:18 PM

I am surprised to hear of the problem with Royal Carabbean. I did a Transatlantic last April on the Brilliance of the Seas and we had numerous FOD's. Maybe it was a fluke but some of us gathered for sail away and by the time it was ready to cruise there must have been 30-40 of us. Two ladies came up to us and ask what kind of a group it was. What a laugh. We had several FOD's throughout the cruise.

Bob

tomjohnsonjr March 29th, 2006 09:52 PM

Do you have the Cd's name
 
Who was the Cruise Director who did this and why was it denied?

tomjohnsonjr March 30th, 2006 12:49 PM

Emaiil sent to RCCL
 
Hello:

Can you please tell me RCCL company policy for posting a gathering for gays (FOD meeting) in the daily Cruise Compass. Below is a copy of a post I found on http://www.cruisemates.com/

Thank You for your help.
Tom
Plat Member


Brilliance Of The Sea NO FOD

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BrianTom
Just off the 10 day Panama Canal trip on Brillance of the Seas. We requested a FOD meeting to be put in the Cruise Compass and we were denied. we were told it was against company policy.

We did spot other gay people on the ship and did have an opportunity to meet a few of them and they too requested a FOD meeting and were denied.

From our count, there were at LEAST 24 gay people that our radar could easily identify. Of those we met 1/4th.

I strongly suggest to everyone out there NOT to ride Royal Caribbean. They have blatent disregard for our community. They dont understand that these meetings are for us to offer us a chance to meet other like minded people.

They do it for Bill W. and they do it for Honeymooners. And they have no problems making all that money off the gay people who book on the Atlantis Charters (which are some of the most profitable cruises in the industry).

If a company can not post a simple FOD gathering in their daily Cruise bulletin it says to me that they believe that a gay life is wrong.

Travel on Princess. Not only is it nicer, but the Cruise director asked how many meetings we wanted and Celebrated us with Free Champange and H'ors D'oerves. By the way, the cruise director was not gay.


_________________
Viking Serenade
Norwegian Leeward
Dawn Princess
Norwegian Wind
Norwegian Sky
Zuiderdam
Sea Dream I
Sea Dream II
Millenium
Navigator of the Seas
Island Princess
Norwegian Spirit
Navigator of the Seas
Star Princess

*** Brillance of the Seas in March 06

Hedonismguy April 4th, 2006 11:41 AM

Norwegian Is The Way to Go
 
I just got off the NCL Jewel. I was travelling solo for 14 days and I met some cool people because they had FOD meeting every single night that I was onboard. We did not even had to request it. I heard that they have it on all NCL ships.

MarylandBob April 7th, 2006 06:12 PM

FOD Not a Problem on HAL
 
My partner and I have sailed on Holland many times and FOD is not an issue. On our last 15 day transatlantic on the new Westerdam, the CD scheduled FOD every 3 nights. Staff and members of the crew joined us including the CD.

Don't waste your time or money with RCCI. Their rooms are small, food is lousy and attitude is worse.

bububr April 9th, 2006 08:59 AM

Actually just got off Celebrity Mercury 3/17/06 sailing.
 
There was a FOD almost every night. I was very surprised. Especially since the ship was loaded with people wearing christian type logo t-shirts. We went to one, socialized a bit and made some new friends. We didn't go to any of the others ...sometimes we walked by on the way to something else...and usually there was no one there. However they still appeared almost daily in the dailies.

Now Celebrity being a RCCL company...I wonder why the difference in attitude?

Dave :twisted:

BrianTom April 10th, 2006 09:55 AM

Cruise Director.
 
I forget the Cruise Directors Name. I know his first name was Bill. Anyway we sent a letter to him requesting a FOD meeting and he told us it was company policy that he could not host one. We met another couple that requested a FOD meeting also, on the same trip, and the Cruise Director told them too that it was against company policy.

As a result, until RCCL can prove otherwise that they are NOT homophobic, they will not be earning my money.

Princess, Holland America, or NCL, companies like these that offer a gay traveler a social meeting venue, will be the cruiseline of my choice.

CruiseAholic April 14th, 2006 07:37 AM

I don't think that there is a definite set policy on any cruise line and it varies. Have done many Princess cruises and some have had them and some have not. Not a big deal to me personally.

Was on the Liberty in February, over my partners and my anniversary, they brought us a cake and sang Happy Anniversary to us, but there were no FOD parties on it.


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