Is there anyone here who just got back from the Star Princess Halloween cruise? There is some controversy about a large group of "bears" that was on board. If you were there you know what I mean. Would like to get some feedback on how it was.
I was on that cruise and met a lot of the 'bears' and all of them that I met were a bunch of great guys. A lot of people got on the ship were already angry about that group being on the ship prior to boarding and were demanding to know why Princess allowed them to book the cruise. Quite simply... Princess cannot discriminate or they'd have a lawsuit on their hands. I did hear of a few issues very late in the evenings... but all of my encounters were very pleasant. I was sick with a cold the entire cruise and several of them in the elevator went so far to say to me that if I needed something for my cold that I didn't have to let them know and they would put a search out through their group because chances were good that someone would have what I needed and he gave me his cabin number to call if I needed something. So I have no complaints and would sail with them again.
Thank you for the update, Diane. There is a fair amount of controversy going on in the Travel Agent community.
It sounds like you are saying a lot of people were just plain upset about the fact that they were traveling with a group of "alternative lifestyle" adherents, whether or not the bahavior of the group justified it. It also sounds like you are saying for the most part they were a nice group, but that there were rumblings about some improper behavior.
Naturally, it isn't fair to stereotype, or to discriminate, against an entire group of people based on the behavior of a few. It just makes me wonder if there might be a lesson to learn here. For example, Halloween has become a traditional Gay holiday (probably because of the NYC Greenwich Village parade), something for agents to keep in mind when booking clients.
This brings up the question of should cruiselines and/or travel agents advertise that certain groups are scheduled to be on board, when you book?
For example if there was a large group of sports fanatics on board for a group cruise, and you can't stand sports, wouldn't you like to know so that you could decide before you book if this cruise date would be right for you?
But then it's like what is the minnimum size group in order to be disclosed to travelers? 50? 100? 200?
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In truth, what I would like to know is whether this group of bears behaved themselves or not. Now, this is a delicate subject because you cannot discriminate because of who they are. If they were making out, holding hands, etc... that is acceptable because if it were a non-gay crowd those things are acceptable. The question is whether they went beyond good taste and did things that possibly even the gay community might be embarassed by - knowing there were doing it in a mostly hetero setting.
My point is: in an all-gay setting one can expect amd tolerate that more sexually explicit encounters might seen in public, but in a mixed setting, with families even, certian thinge are arguably not appropriate.
One of the posters said that maybe the cruise lines should state if there is a large group on the ship. I wouldn't think that would be legal? Paul?? It seems that would be an invasion of privacy ?? Comments...
Well.... as to whether a cruise line could let agents or people know what group is on board any ship, it would not be illegal, but it could hurt the bottom line.
I think it could cause some problems for them since many people who saw a group of even 300 "whatevers" might not want to sail on that ship.
The problem with a cruise ship is that there are not many places one can go to get away from a large group if you do not want to be around them.
The bottom line is always the deciding factor. Then we need to keep each other inform. I know now to do more research. The Bears have next year planned out and I will not be joining. Thank goodness for message boards!
I agree. I think it would be a good thing to track what groups are going on what ships and to let people know ahead of time if there is going to be a group of 600 yodelers on board, or Hell's Angels, for example. Not to discriminate! Just to let people know that they may be subjected to some "entertainment" they did not expect to have included in their cruise.
You can go to www.bearvoyage and see pictures from this cruise, to help make your own judgements. The 'formal' pictures of couples are not included in this group. Also, you can find out when and where next years cruise is going to happen. Hint: It's not on Princess, even though they were excellent.
I think it would be a good idea if the cruise lines told us if large groups will be onboard. But, what is a "large" group? 100, 200, 500? And how would we be notified? For those of us who use a TA it would be simple, but what about people who use an Internet "TA" or book with the cruise line?
Personally, I'd rather sail with "Bears" or Hell's Angel's than yodelers or some other groups that make me uncomfortable!
I DO admit that "public displays of affection" by anyone, and "skimpy" outfits (including speedos on any man who hasn't checked the mirror first) bother me !
BTW, travlin1, the link you posted doesn't work exactly right. It just takes me to a list of "bear" sites, so I don't know which one your pictures are on
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Hi Fern,......just add a " .com ".....to the bearvoyage,....and it will get you to the correct site,.....and then click on "Pictures". Most of the guys ....look like harmless loveable little fuzzballs. And in general, they were decent and fun to travel with.
We were on this cruise. We had an aft suite with large balcony. Had to call purser on Tuesday afternoon (a sea day) because on the balcony of the cabin next to us they ( three "Bears" in this cabin with alot of traffic coming in/out) were videotaping you know what! Security then came and witnessed the vulgar talk, the huge light that was on, the hands and feet coming from underneath the partition and the shadows of them through the partition and then asked us if we would like to move to another suite. So in order to enjoy a balcony, we did move to a starboard suite. The security officer said that there were 50+ complaints on Tuesday alone. He said that they (Princess) could not do anything about the videotaping on their balcony and since there are 520 of them on board it would be easier for us to move... We witnessed many of their actions, especially one night when we were in the elevator, coming back to our suite from Skywalkers. I think this sort of display should be done in the privacy of your cabin, no matter what your sexual preference is.
[quote="Lisa&David"] three "Bears" in this cabin with alot of traffic coming in/out) were videotaping you know what! Security then came and witnessed the vulgar talk, the huge light that was on, the hands and feet coming from underneath the partition and the shadows of them through the partition and then asked us if we would like to move to another suite. So in order to enjoy a balcony, we did move to a starboard suite. The security officer said that there were 50+ complaints on Tuesday alone. He said that they (Princess) could not do anything about the videotaping on their balcony and since there are 520 of them on board it would be easier for us to move...quote]
Thank you for your comments, this is what I suspected, that there were these kinds of activities onboard and that they were disruptive.
I didn't say this before, but there is a web site where you can see bear films, and one of them called "Bear Voyage" is shot on a cruise ship, and it contains unscripted outtakes. One of these outtakes shows bears running in from a balcony, naked, camera crew & all, because apparently they had been seen by someone in another room.
I personally find it hard to believe Princess (or any cruise line) can't do anything about a company doing such things on an open balcony. With those huge lights you are obviously going to attract attention. And I also think the stance of the bearcruise representative is disingenuous when he says "it was all innocent, there was absolutely nothing to be embarassed about going on."
L &D; Do you have any pictures to document what you saw?
L &D; Do you have any pictures to document what you saw?
No, we do not have pictures of the shadows that we saw through the partition. We came in from our balcony and shut door when it first started happening (we could still hear their vulgarity with the patio door shut) and thought it would stop soon, but went on for about an hour. That's when we asked our room steward to come in and witness what we were witnessing on the balcony, which he did. He is the one who told us to call the purser's desk. This particular incident went on for along time (first time we called purser's desk-no one showed up, called again 45 minutes later-and security showed up about 1/2 hour later). We went out into hallway to wait for security so that security officer could actually come in our room and see what was happening on their balcony. He did come in our room and also witnessed what was happening on their balcony-that's when he made a call to someone from our phone and then asked us if we would like to move cabins. We did speak with a girl at purser's desk, and she told us (after we had moved to different suite) that they wanted to get us out of our aft suite before they approached our neighbors-so that there wasn't any retaliation toward us by them. But, I'd venture to say that they (Princess) probably never even approached them about the problem. I did fax and mail a letter to Princess' President and CEO about what we had witnessed on our trip, still no response.......
Don't get me wrong - we still enjoyed parts of our trip (after we moved suites) and would cruise with Princess again - but not with the "Bears" on board. I hope the same thing doesn't happen when they cruise October 15, 2006 on Royal Caribbean's Mariner.
Believe me, I understand what you are saying. I find it a little strange that a cruise line would allow such things to happen on board, since the kind of lighting required to shoot a video would probably attract the attention of a lot of people, not just the neighbors, though you would certainly get the worst of it - unavoidable in your case.
In any case, I am glad you are not the kind of people who let things ruin your vacation.
I heard that 3 guys,....from the bear group were kicked off the ship in the Caymans. When I heard this, it was just after we left the Caymans. So,.. .. I just accepted this as a rumor. I believe very little of what I see, and less of what I hear. Since I saw nothing that would cause a problem with anyone, by anyone, I was skeptical of the story. With 2600 passengers, how can you miss 3 people, unless you know them. Towards the end of the cruise, I talked with a Princess employee from Ft Lauderdale, who does NOT work on the ship, who was traveling with us as a 'regular' passenger. So, I asked him if it was true,...that 3 guys were force to leave the ship. He said....that is was true. According to him,...they were warned once. So when complaints were received again, they were kicked off the ship. This time, I tended to believe the story. After all, it is the one thing that Princess can do for indecent behavior in public.
I hesitated to post this story earlier,...since I did not witness any of it. Yet, now that I read some of the other encounters that happened, it seems to be possible. I tried to message Paul via a private e-mail earlier about this, but, got no response.
I heard the same rumor about the three getting boot off.
I am glad I was not lodging next to any of them. I spoke to several people that were lodging next to some of the bears and they had complained about extreme noises coming from there rooms....... of coarse this could happen with any sexual preference.
I also heard the rumor of the films.
I do want to point out that I did enjoy my cruise and would cruise with Princess again. I just want more info on who will be on board next time.
We also sent a letter.
I heard the same rumor about the three getting boot off.
I also heard the rumor of the films. I do want to point out that I did enjoy my cruise and would cruise with Princess again.
Sorry, travlin. I don't see that private message.
Thank you two for speaking up. I hate to sound like I am biased, and personally I am not. My main concern is for the people who have kids onboard. So, Princess did take some action. I am sure the news of three people getting booted off spread quickly throughout the group and significantly curtailed the most untoward behavior.
Of course the Bear sponsors cannot be responsible for the actions of every guest, but I would hope they would at least try to set an example by reminding their guests that this is not an exclusively gay ship charter and that they are in public. I would also suggest they resist the temptation to use the public cruises for the filming of Xtreme video since I don't think the people watching those films really care that much what the setting is. It leaves a black eye on the gay community at large to behave this way in a family setting.
Gays are welcome on cruise ships. We have a gay editorial area in CruiseMates. But we also have a family area and I don't want the two to be at loggerheads. And I would say the same thing if the kids were a disruption to the experience for the rest of the passengers.
I had six clients on this cruise. I was excited for them to come home and tell me how much they enjoyed my favorite cruise line. They came home disappointed, disquested and unhappy. Four of them never want to cruise Princess again. Two of them were a honeymoon couple who's romantic honeymoon was spoiled by aggressive behavior by this group, and the twenty-five year old male was afraid to leave his stateroom unattended.
I have written four letters. Two to Princess and two to Carnival Corp. I have not heard anything. Has anyone heard from Princess regarding this cruise. I saw nothing in the brochures and marketing materials to let my clients be aware that they would encounter this type of experience on the ship. How do you handle this Princess?
Reading about this I recall the days when I travelled on Carnival only to encounter rude drunken teenagers. The times even on Celebrity when parents not only brought infants with diapers into the hot tubs and pools, but then put on a real show when they were asked to leave the premises or obey the rules.
I may be slightly biassed on a level, but most of the problems I have encountered or heard about were and are caused by Heterosexuals, not gays. Many gays with families travel on specific gay friendly cruises, or fade back into the scenery on other cruises. On the other hand many straight people drag their entire family including infants on board and expect EVERYONE to not only tolerate them, but become their baby sitters.
As I said there are always a few...gay/straight, men/women, black/white, children...that can ruin it for everyone. One group shouldn't be singled out.
But if I may, two years ago on a Celebrity cruise there was a religious crusade group with a few that made it their mission to harrass us once they realized we were a couple. This included leaving pamphlets at our door and repeatedly approaching us to introduce themselves then telling us to repent and find Jesus.........
After the third night we were sick of this and since we couldn't escape them we fought back. We do not do PDA, but we started holding hands and kissing publicly, and touching eachothers butts at the pool which was full of these nasty unsupervised 'Christian" children. THEY actually had the audasity to complain that we were acting inapropriately.....THe Bible says and eye for an eye...and I began to make a game out of telling them just where they could put their Bibles, and where they could pull Jesus out of.
Being Frequent cruisers Celebrity actually Upgraded our cabin for the inconvenience, and asked us to just "tolerate" the group but to let them know if they continued to harrass us.
The bottom line is there will always be something we dissaprove of and people we just don't like. However we DO all have to get along in this world. Lets just be respectful and tolerant of others UNLESS they cross the line. Naked men making a movie is no different from the honeymoon couple that is banging on the wall all night long screaming in passion ( which I have also experienced).
I am sorry for the bad experience some had on this cruise because of a few bad apples...In turn I would like an apology for all the times straight folks have acted badly and ruined my experiences. Which includes not dressing for dinner, and bring babies onboard.
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Celebrity Century - CocoCay 01/12/06
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