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Old September 15th, 2012, 08:00 PM
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Default Gay Cruise for a Single Guy.

Hello.

I was wondering what options there are for single, gay men, like me, who want to take a cruise.

I'm leery of rooming or vacationing with anyone I don't know so, if I go on a cruise—which I've never done before but have been thinking of doing for a long time now—I would be by myself.

The main issue I'm wondering about is how what the experience would be for a single person. Are the staff as attentive of those who are single as they are those who aren't? Are the other passengers generally friendly of those who are gay and single? And how easy is it to meet new people, especially those who are LGBT?

The thought of a cruise is alluring (especially given the novelty for me and the relatively low cost and high value compared to most conventional vacations). But, I want to avoid feeling lost or alone during the trip.

I'm also not really considering gay charter services like Atlantis Events due to the expense. (As I said the low cost of a cruise is a draw.)

After reading a couple threads, it seems Princess, Carnival and Celebrity are the most LGBT friendly lines. I'd like to see your personal thoughts on which lines you had the best experiences on, both as an LGBT passenger and in general.

Are there particular ships you prefer?
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Old September 18th, 2012, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanSkies View Post
Hello.

I was wondering what options there are for single, gay men, like me, who want to take a cruise.

I'm leery of rooming or vacationing with anyone I don't know so, if I go on a cruise—which I've never done before but have been thinking of doing for a long time now—I would be by myself.

The main issue I'm wondering about is how what the experience would be for a single person. Are the staff as attentive of those who are single as they are those who aren't? Are the other passengers generally friendly of those who are gay and single? And how easy is it to meet new people, especially those who are LGBT?

The thought of a cruise is alluring (especially given the novelty for me and the relatively low cost and high value compared to most conventional vacations). But, I want to avoid feeling lost or alone during the trip.

I'm also not really considering gay charter services like Atlantis Events due to the expense. (As I said the low cost of a cruise is a draw.)

After reading a couple threads, it seems Princess, Carnival and Celebrity are the most LGBT friendly lines. I'd like to see your personal thoughts on which lines you had the best experiences on, both as an LGBT passenger and in general.

Are there particular ships you prefer?
Hi OceanSkies (good name),

I have sailed 11 times, all solo, the past 7 years. Here are my thoughts:

You are right, cruising is the most bang for the buck. It's so easy to unpack once and get taken to new places everyday; plus all the activities onboard ...nightly shows, casinos, spas, buffets, etc.

I have found, and most people agree, that people on cruises are usually friendly and eager to meet and chat with others ...just don't be shy. A good way is to comment on the view, or whatever, to people leaning on the railing next to you (you choose who they are first, ), and hopefully start a conversation. Or ask someone of interest to take your picture. If you can break the ice, you'll make friends.

The staff treats everyone the same, they don't know if you are alone or not, except your cabin steward and your table servers. Make friends with your cabin steward early, ask him/her for their "best animal towel" and slip him/her a gold dollar or two or three (available at banks), it's fun, makes your steward think you are a good passenger, and well worth the few dollars to create a good connection ...it will pay off. Do the same with your main server at dinner, ask for something you like, such as decaf coffee with cream and sugar at the end of dinner, or sweetened ice tea as soon as you sit down, and slip him/her a gold dollar or two also ...you'll get what you asked for every night, and good service too.

There are (almost) always two specific formats for meeting other passengers, early in the sailing. One, a "singles" meet and greet usually at a bar; and two, a "Friends of Dorothy" meet and greet, which is especially for gays/lesbians/bi's, also at a bar. Both will be advertised in the ship schedule, but ask at guest relations if you need to. Don't miss the Friends of Dorothy meeting; but go to both ...just because you are gay don't miss the singles meeting as a way to meet some people.

Re which lines, I think Carnival is your best bet if you are young (or older), and adventurous ...Carnival promotes a party atmosphere. Carnival also puts singles together at the assigned dining at night in the main dining room ...ask for an 8-top table when you make your reservation, and presto, 8 singles together each evening to share dinner and get acquainted. It's not hard to go from that to attending ship activities together, and even shore excursions (whether any are gay is luck of the draw).

Don't be afraid to ask the maitre'd to change your assigned dining table if the others at the table are not a good match ...people do it all the time (but don't be too quick to judge, and be flexible). The maitre'd has the ages of everybody and whether they are solo or not, so ask about the diners at the table he/she suggests.

Celebrity also puts singles together at the assigned evening dinner in the main dining room. But personally, I don't like Celebrity ...it is much more "solemn" than Carnival, the ships are decorated in "bank lobby" theme (boring), and the ship layouts suck (the worst I've sailed).

Princess has the very best ships I've sailed for design layout (provided it's either Sapphire, Diamond, Glory, Crown, Golden, Star, or the best of all, Ruby and Emerald). They have a great multi-tiered resort like aft, and a great nightclub on the very top of the ship, with views to everywhere; plus a huge glorious viewing area atop the bridge (not present on many ships); and a complete wrap-around promenade deck. Princess is also more "sophisticated" than Carnival, not as much party atmosphere, but still fun and not as boring as Celebrity.

And finally, I agree, nothing beats a private cabin to yourself. Also going solo means you can do whatever you want everyday, without having to coordinate desires with anyone else ...but it can be less social, and if you crave companions, that is, can't entertain yourself alone, then think twice about going alone. It's not certain that you'll meet any others to play with; and if you do, there will certainly still be alone times for you.

Don't miss the ship experience, walk the deck at night under the stars, watch sail-away from the ports (and arrival if you can get up in time!), explore! And don't use your cabin for anything other than sleeping and grooming (unless of course ...you get lucky).

People make their cruises either fun or nightmares, or in-between, depending on their actions and mind-sets, and their reactions to what goes on ...be easy going, flexible, and don't sweat the little things.

Hope this helps!! Have Fun! And let us know what you decide (just add comments to the post thread you started) ...maybe I'll come along! Ha.
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Last edited by cruisinryan; September 18th, 2012 at 02:45 PM.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 02:38 PM
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Ryan gave some excellent advice!

To that I would add check around for local gay groups who like to travel - there are many of them. Not only get to meet some wonderful people, but also get to meet people who have common interests in activities. For example, I have a great group of gays who cruise every year. Their preference is Carnival as it meets their needs and this year they're going on the Victory doing a Southern Caribbean cruise in January. Next year they're discussing doing either an Alaskan cruise or a Canada/New England cruise.

It's fun traveling by yourself, but it's more expensive. It's so much more fun traveling with family or friends as well as being cheaper. So keep looking and I'm sure you'll find someone or some group that you'll be comfortable traveling with. But as Ryan said, if you do go by yourself, you'll find cruising a great way to travel and provides an excellent opportunity to meet new friends.

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Old September 19th, 2012, 02:00 PM
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Most cruise lines have GLBT social get togethers. Usually in one of the bars. You will find the listed as "Friends of Dorothy". (A VERY old term from the fifties.) Sometimes these meetings are not listed in the daily scheduel that you get in your cabin, but rather at the "Special Group" activities board near costumer service. We have met some cool people at thease meetings.
Also NCL has a ship or two with single "studio" cabins. Thease appeal to lots of single travelers including gays. These ships have an area where singles get together daily. Jimbo
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 09:22 PM
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I've been on 4 cruises, 2 with friends, and 2 by myself. The 2 by myself were on Carnival, and I would never do that again. Carnival is to cruising, as Circus Circus is to Las Vegas. Yes, you're on a ship, but it feels cheap and not that relaxing compared to all the other cruise lines out there. To be fair, I went when school was out, so it was 99% families (married couples with children), then me. Seriously, I asked to sit at a table with singles, and I was the only single person on the whole ship!

This time, I am giving a "gay group" cruise a try. It is a normal cruise, but a gay travel agency is booking a bunch of rooms and coordinating events. With an interior room, the price by yourself is not that expensive. I booked an 11-day cruise on Celebrity, with Pied Piper Travel (who does a gay croup cruise almost every week). Good luck!
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Old September 26th, 2012, 02:20 PM
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hi

i also love the low cost of a cruise, but with the single supplemnt it doubles the price so looking to share a room..i get a casino rate of 25% off so if interested in a week cruise for less than 300 pp let me know. looking for miami or ft lauderdale departure on carnival
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Old September 27th, 2012, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisinryan View Post
Hi OceanSkies (good name),

I have sailed 11 times, all solo, the past 7 years. Here are my thoughts:

You are right, cruising is the most bang for the buck. It's so easy to unpack once and get taken to new places everyday; plus all the activities onboard ...nightly shows, casinos, spas, buffets, etc.

I have found, and most people agree, that people on cruises are usually friendly and eager to meet and chat with others ...just don't be shy. A good way is to comment on the view, or whatever, to people leaning on the railing next to you (you choose who they are first, ), and hopefully start a conversation. Or ask someone of interest to take your picture. If you can break the ice, you'll make friends.

The staff treats everyone the same, they don't know if you are alone or not, except your cabin steward and your table servers. Make friends with your cabin steward early, ask him/her for their "best animal towel" and slip him/her a gold dollar or two or three (available at banks), it's fun, makes your steward think you are a good passenger, and well worth the few dollars to create a good connection ...it will pay off. Do the same with your main server at dinner, ask for something you like, such as decaf coffee with cream and sugar at the end of dinner, or sweetened ice tea as soon as you sit down, and slip him/her a gold dollar or two also ...you'll get what you asked for every night, and good service too.

There are (almost) always two specific formats for meeting other passengers, early in the sailing. One, a "singles" meet and greet usually at a bar; and two, a "Friends of Dorothy" meet and greet, which is especially for gays/lesbians/bi's, also at a bar. Both will be advertised in the ship schedule, but ask at guest relations if you need to. Don't miss the Friends of Dorothy meeting; but go to both ...just because you are gay don't miss the singles meeting as a way to meet some people.

Re which lines, I think Carnival is your best bet if you are young (or older), and adventurous ...Carnival promotes a party atmosphere. Carnival also puts singles together at the assigned dining at night in the main dining room ...ask for an 8-top table when you make your reservation, and presto, 8 singles together each evening to share dinner and get acquainted. It's not hard to go from that to attending ship activities together, and even shore excursions (whether any are gay is luck of the draw).

Don't be afraid to ask the maitre'd to change your assigned dining table if the others at the table are not a good match ...people do it all the time (but don't be too quick to judge, and be flexible). The maitre'd has the ages of everybody and whether they are solo or not, so ask about the diners at the table he/she suggests.

Celebrity also puts singles together at the assigned evening dinner in the main dining room. But personally, I don't like Celebrity ...it is much more "solemn" than Carnival, the ships are decorated in "bank lobby" theme (boring), and the ship layouts suck (the worst I've sailed).

Princess has the very best ships I've sailed for design layout (provided it's either Sapphire, Diamond, Glory, Crown, Golden, Star, or the best of all, Ruby and Emerald). They have a great multi-tiered resort like aft, and a great nightclub on the very top of the ship, with views to everywhere; plus a huge glorious viewing area atop the bridge (not present on many ships); and a complete wrap-around promenade deck. Princess is also more "sophisticated" than Carnival, not as much party atmosphere, but still fun and not as boring as Celebrity.

And finally, I agree, nothing beats a private cabin to yourself. Also going solo means you can do whatever you want everyday, without having to coordinate desires with anyone else ...but it can be less social, and if you crave companions, that is, can't entertain yourself alone, then think twice about going alone. It's not certain that you'll meet any others to play with; and if you do, there will certainly still be alone times for you.

Don't miss the ship experience, walk the deck at night under the stars, watch sail-away from the ports (and arrival if you can get up in time!), explore! And don't use your cabin for anything other than sleeping and grooming (unless of course ...you get lucky).

People make their cruises either fun or nightmares, or in-between, depending on their actions and mind-sets, and their reactions to what goes on ...be easy going, flexible, and don't sweat the little things.

Hope this helps!! Have Fun! And let us know what you decide (just add comments to the post thread you started) ...maybe I'll come along! Ha.
Thanks very much for all the advice, cruisinryan. I'll definitely have to keep that in mind as I pursue this new (for me) kind of adventure.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 03:44 AM
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Thanks for all the helpful comments, everyone. It's nice to see people's experiences.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by sewerworker View Post
I've been on 4 cruises, 2 with friends, and 2 by myself. The 2 by myself were on Carnival, and I would never do that again. Carnival is to cruising, as Circus Circus is to Las Vegas. Yes, you're on a ship, but it feels cheap and not that relaxing compared to all the other cruise lines out there. To be fair, I went when school was out, so it was 99% families (married couples with children), then me. Seriously, I asked to sit at a table with singles, and I was the only single person on the whole ship!

This time, I am giving a "gay group" cruise a try. It is a normal cruise, but a gay travel agency is booking a bunch of rooms and coordinating events. With an interior room, the price by yourself is not that expensive. I booked an 11-day cruise on Celebrity, with Pied Piper Travel (who does a gay croup cruise almost every week). Good luck!
Of course if you pay to stay at the Bellagio you will have a different experience than staying at Circus Circus. Are you supposed to not go to Vegas if you are not willing to pay $300+ a night? The answer seems obvious....

And yes... if you go on a short cruise during Spring Break, expect to be surrounded by drunken college students. Or during school vacations, then you will sail with more school-age kids. Again... obvious.

One step further... if you go to the Carribbean you will have more active, and perhaps younger passengers interested in outdoor sport activities. And if you go on a cold weather cruise, say Alaska, you will have fewer people interested in the rock wall, and more interested in scenery and ecology.

That is not something to fault the cruise line for providing a product people desire. If you look for value, then Carnival provides great value. I am a gay cruiser and I love Carnival. Sure, I could pay more and get more... or pay more and cruise less often. I make my choice and don't blame Carnival for kids being on the ship in July.

There certainly are options if I choose to pay $200 a day or more for my cruise. Those ships also sail full every day... but so does Carnival for better value. So please, enough with the (perhaps unintended) classist comments.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sewerworker View Post
This time, I am giving a "gay group" cruise a try. It is a normal cruise, but a gay travel agency is booking a bunch of rooms and coordinating events. With an interior room, the price by yourself is not that expensive. I booked an 11-day cruise on Celebrity, with Pied Piper Travel (who does a gay croup cruise almost every week). Good luck!
I do agree with this comment, and others regarding gay groups. It may take some work, but you can find a group of cruisers with similar interests. In particular for the new single cruiser... groups can be an excellent option.

I know from my own experience, we match up solo cruisers with a roommate for the cruise, and never have had a bad result. Some became and remained friends after the cruise. So, with a group cruise, you can sail "solo" and not have the single passenger extra expense.

Again, from my experience... with a gay group cruise, and trying to appeal to the broadest group, we gravitate toward Carnival or similar line because of the generally lowest per-day cost, and the fact you can cruise without feeling the need to spend more money every day on specialty restaurants, and add-ons. So also perhaps expect that with groups.

I share your opinion about the cost of all gay cruises, although I believe they offer a great product.
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