My partner and I (both mid-40's) are considering a cruise on Royal Carribean from Baltimore in September. He has never been on a cruise and I haven't been on one since high school.
My concern is what are the type of straight people that would be on such a cruise (Baltimore - Bermuda). I don't want to shell out $$$ to have five days of homophobia. We're not closeted, but we are want to feel comfortable.
Also, what might you suggest as a type of cabin for our first cruise?
Have been on several RCL cruises.... and on all of them I was able to find other family on board, including a crew member on my last cruise. You should have no problems on board... as many members of the crew are gay and you will no doubt find several passengers on board as well.
As far as cabins... spend the extra money and go for a balcony cabin... it is worth it... especially in the evenings when the sun is setting and mornings... love to have room service breakfast on the balcony.
What dates were you looking at? Also have a cabin booked for Bermuda out of Baltimore in Sept!
Typically, in September you will have less families because the kids will be back in school. You will probably find more mature couples, girlfriends on the town and a sprinkling of gay folk. Many of the Baltimore cruises draw people from this immediate area, DC, WV, possibly PA, etc.
The other thing to consider is that while Grandeur is still in pretty decent shape, she is 10 years old and is not as nice as some of her newer sisters that go to other destinations. The alternatives for Bermuda in September would be:
Explorer out of Cape Liberty, NJ which is 3 hours away. Explorer is newer and is a Voyager class ship. It also has an onboard sea lab associated with the Univ of Miami
Empress of the Seas out of Philly: This ship docks in Hamilton and St. Georges. Empress is smaller than Grandeur but has recently been spruced up. The cabins are very small. Empress is a bit of a misfit in the fleet but many folks like her.
Celebrity Zenith. This ship is also older but docks in Hamilton and St. Georges. It is pricier than RCI but it does not offer cabins with balconies.
Norwegian Crown also docks in the cities but she is a bit older and smaller too. Norwegian has the freestyle dining but she is not as nice as Grandeur or Explorer.
On Grandeur, you will be docking at the Naval Shipyards, you can either take the excursions to the towns or take a ferry. They are easy, reliable and inexpensive. http://www.seaexpress.bm
I also don't mean to plant any fears but keep in mind that September is still hurricane season. Your itinerary could change (extra day at sea for example or worst case you could be shipped up to Canada, which happened to the Voyager last year. People were pissed about that change.)
I think overall you will be happy on Grandeur, especially since the Locust Point terminal is so convenient off i-95. Keep in mind though, Baltimore is a secondary point of departure and Grandeur is due for a refurbishment soon. Just keep your expectations in check. I would not worry about any intolerance. Harry's article covers all of that pretty well.
QM2 July 3-8, 2006
Radiance of Seas Nov 25-Dec 3, 2006
My partner and I have cruised on RCCL three times in the past and will be on Grandeur for the third time on 9/1. We have always been treated with courtesy and respect by staff, fellow cruisers, straight or gay. Through the boards last year we were able to get together a table of ten for dinner and enjoyed each others company. We still keep in touch with some of them. We particularly like the size of Grandeur, not too big and not to small, easy to navigate around the ship. We found Mariner to be a great ship but too large for our tastes. We have always had a balcony and enjoy the privacy. Our travel agent got us upgraded to a junior suite on our first RCCL cruise and now we're hooked. We will be in an aft js again. Hope the hurricanes leave us alone!
Hi there buddies and have been on 13 cruises so far. I'm hoping to go on another out of Baltimore in July. I'd be more than happy to answer any questions. I've seen other gay male couples on GOS out of Baltimore the last two cruises I've been on.
My partner and I have never as of yet experienced homophobia on a cruise, we have met other LGB members also. I would be more concerned about our own community's homophobia on an all gay cruise - and we did one and found we faced more problems because we did not do that "party scence" or "gym bunnies" - we do know homophobia is everywhere
What ever you do you will enjoy your cruise I am sure - and Have Fun and just be Safe.
My partner and I love the RCCL and have cruised them twice. One word of caution is that RCCL is marketing heavily to the "family" business. This is fine if you like or have kids. One might avoid school vacation time because the RCCL ships can be loaded with kids. Some people use vacation as an excuse to not monitor thier kids. Not fun for us grumpy old guys.
Okay...so I'm straight...We have been on many cruises lately where there are "friends of Dorothy"..and midnight dances.. RC and Celebrity were our last two and both i the fall and a great percentage of gay.. What's the problem!!! Just go and have a great time.
We find it is other way around ... straight people don't care about gays on board and gays can be exhibitionist .. even when kids are around. Last cruise these guys were doing each other at the massage tables in full view of others.
My partner and I (late 30's early 40's) have always sailed on RCCL in the fall (less families with children) and have never had a problem with anyone. Even our dinner companions have always been warm and welcoming to us. Of course we don't walk around holding hands to make it obvious, but we are together all of the time and people have always been kind and have even asked us how long we have been together (I guess they figured it out without us telling them)
We always choose a balcony because it's soooo much nicer to open up the doors and hear the ocean and feel the breeze with a drink. I think it's worth the extra money involved, it enhances your cruise experience. I won't go on any cruise less than 7 days because we enjoy them so much and anything less would be disappointing to us. We actually don't like to get off after the 7 days are over. We have only sailed on the Voyager class ships and you hardly even feel the ocean even when it's rough out with the stabilizers that they have.
Enjoy and don't worry, you'll have a fantastic time!
We love cruising and have never had any problem with "straight" curises. We've met wonderful people who really couldn't care less. Our next cruise is 9/22/06 on the Explorer. Perhaps we'll see some of you there.
Just cruised for our first time in June (we are straight and married, and aw hell, Republican to boot) and had the BEST time w/ our new gay male friends! They danced w/ me b/c dh is two left feet and no rhythm, and I think they made friends w/ every single group of people they met onboard. We have had other gay couples for friends and despite our other leanings or beliefs, we do not practice HATE or stupidity.
We booked an inside b/c frankly, we only slept and bathed there. The rest of the time we were in the disco, eating or sunning. We avoided the hot tubs and pools due to all the damn kids (June and schools were out). Ultimately, go, be beautiful and have fun!
Carnival Glory June 06
Carnival Valor May 07
plotting my next for Jan-Mar 08!!