Please give us a review when you get back. We will be on the Nieuw Amsterdam Oct 2011 out of Venice and will be curious what your impressions are. We've always sailed with RSVP so this will be our first transatlantic and first mainstream cruise. Although we enjoy sailing with RSVP we want to try a more varied itinerary. We are a tad concerned going on a mainstream cruise, but having sailed on HAL multi times the staff has been top notch which I can't believe just occurs during RSVP cruises.
Have a great trip.
We have never traveled RSVP, so I can't compare. We have always gone mainstream, and have never had an ounce of trouble, ever. It may not be quite as rambunctious and lively as RSVP, but it is sort of nice not to be bombarded 24 hours a day, and to have some solitude. There are usually meetings on board these mainstream ships called "Friends of Dorothy" or FOD for short. You get to meet with other gay people onboard your ship.
I will let you know how this inaugural cruise goes. We are very excited about the itinerary!
Thanks Marc. Actually our rambunctious days are long gone (well...almost). We're both pushing toward mid 50's. I think that's why we're finally making the big leap into trying a mainstream cruise. Although we definately enjoy RSVP cruises, we do want to be able to explore other destinations. Besides, the majority of our friends are straight couples so guess it will be no different than on land. The only thing I think we will really miss is being able to walk on deck holding hands and having an occasional dance. Yup...I know that sounds silly but we do really enjoy that. I do hope they still do have FOD meetings. Was reading that they no longer advertise them in the daily newsletter, but would be nice to meet others on the ship.
Enjoy your trip.
This was a wonderful cruise on a wonderful ship. The ports were a little hot, so I wouldn't recommend doing this cruise in July or August. We had a great time. We met several gay couples on the cruise. There were 3 GLBT meetings during the 10 day cruise. Right now there is a wonderful singer in the Piano Bar by the Casino, Nathan Temby. He certainly pushes the agenda. We had a great time, but boy are we exhausted!