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Old June 23rd, 2008, 03:03 PM
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Default Emerald Princess Oct 31

I recently found out that my cruise on October 31st (10-night on Emerald Princess) has a group onboard called "The Bears". I don't generally like cruising with groups because they often take up public rooms for private parties, get the best dining arrangements, etc. So, does anyone know anything about this group or been on a cruise with them before?

I was wondering how large of a group they might be. Also, years ago I read a posting about a cruise with this group that left many complaining and I'm concerned that if that post was accurate, this may not be a cruise that my older mother would find appealing.

Any help would be appreciated - this trip really was for my mother and I want her to enjoy it. Thanks in advance for any info you may have.
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 08:46 PM
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Only "bears" I've heard much about are the Chicago Bears :-) I doubt that group will be on your cruise, so, sorry, have no idea. Lets hope some other cruisers have some idea.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 12:14 PM
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lak1 - I sent you a PM regarding my experience.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 12:22 PM
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I am intriqued as to how did you manage to know who will be on your cruise. Please share the 411
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Old June 24th, 2008, 12:51 PM
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Well, my travel agent will always adjust the price for me if the price of my category goes down prior to final payment. So, every so often (about once a week) I had been going online and checking the price of the cruise. From one week to the next, it seemed that a lot of categories had sold out completely and this is still pretty far in advance of the cruise. When there seems to be a run on cabins that quickly, it often implies that a large group has purchased them. So, I started searching on this site and another and in the "people" section of this site, there was a posting about the Emerald Princess on the "gay and lesbian" board and it was for a group called "the bears" and was for the same dates as my cruise. I instantly remembered that past post about a group with this name since it was such a doozie of a complaint-fest.

I just remember from the past posting that folks complained that the group was very loud and boisterous in the public areas (you'd have to read the post to get the full list of complaints). We are looking for a quiet, relaxing cruise - not a party scene, so I have now re-booked on a different cruise, different time. I just don't want to take a chance on being disappointed and also don't want to have certain areas of the ship closed for private functions. I have no idea how large the group on the ship will be, and these gentlemen may be nothing like those on the past cruise, but the memory of that post was enough to help me decide that I'd rather rebook then chance disappointment. Like I said ealier, my mother would not enjoy that and this cruise is a trip for her.

PS: I don't think the old post still exists on the board - at least I can't find it.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 10:16 AM
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lak1 - Since your mother is cruising with you it is probably best that you changed your dates. We are sailing on Oct. 21, week before this group & there are quite a few who "jumped ship" sort of speak, from the Oct. 31st sail to ours.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lak1
So, I started searching on this site and another and in the "people" section of this site, there was a posting about the Emerald Princess on the "gay and lesbian" board and it was for a group called "the bears" and was for the same dates as my cruise. I instantly remembered that past post about a group with this name since it was such a doozie of a complaint-fest.PS: I don't think the old post still exists on the board - at least I can't find it.
I googled Bear Cruise and you are correct that they are on the Emerald Princess on 10/31. Good idea to change your cruise date:

http://www.bearvoyage2007.com/caribbeancruise08.htm
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Old June 25th, 2008, 03:12 PM
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Thanks everyone - I feel better having changed cruises. I feel a little bad for those who won't find out until they're onboard and would've liked the opportunity to change had they known. Some won't mind, of course, but it would not have been the environment for us.

lak1
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Old June 30th, 2008, 02:46 PM
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lak1, we sailed last Halloween on the Emerald with about 300 bears. Very nice people no need for any concern. The Bear group last year had their own room and seating for dinner and Halloween party. Mike
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Old July 6th, 2008, 12:43 PM
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We too are booked on the Emerald, October 31, 2008. I am seriously thinking of changing. From what I understand the Bears basically monopolized the whole aft pool area and the decks above it. I'm not sure how much fun it will be if you need to limit yourself as to where you will be on the ship. I like the aft pool area because it is a calm relaxing spot away from the commotion of the other pools, but I am not sure just how relaxing it would be on this sailing.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 05:17 PM
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Should you decide to change, you'd better do it quickly - things are getting kind of booked up all of the sudden. We ended up going on another cruise line with a similar itinerary.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 02:09 AM
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lak1
Let us know if there are any on-board problems with the "BEARS"

Have a great trip.

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Old July 8th, 2008, 08:20 AM
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L2C... I was on the cruise last year as well and you are correct, the aft pool was pretty much inaccessible the entire cruise. This was the same notorious group that we all read about a few years ago and then again on the Mariner in ’06 so when I first learned they would be onboard, I almost cancelled. However, having spent so many months planning and already having paid in full, I decided to risk it. As far as I know, things were much better than the prior cruises though there were a few who could not resist making a spectacle of themselves without regard for other passengers. The most common complaint I heard was about the dress at the pool/buffet and the music from one of the private parties that was so loud it could be heard throughout the buffet and cabins surrounding the terrace pool.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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Similar postings regarding other cruise lines persist. We're pleased that this one has not taken on an anti gay crusade but rather than one of concerns for a possible party atmosphere aboard. But the time frame chosen for this cruise is Halloween. There are posting on this board by moderators looking for our members to join them for this very festive occasion. We don't think one would book a cruise for July 4th if one did not like fireworks...

Recently a member posted her concerns about being aboard a ship with a contingent of gay passengers and was concerned how her mother, who was accompanying her, would react to such an event. After the cruise the poster followed-up with her comments. Apparently her mother enjoyed the attention that was bestowed upon her by the group and who obviously thoroughly charmed her.

There are as many variables in the physical and social make-up of the gay community as there are in the straight community. The Bears might be classified as those gay men who exhibit a more masculine demeanour particularly as it pertains to hair growth (hence the name). And as in any group there are party enthusiasts to be found. Perhaps it should be understood that gay people often travel in groups as we are not readily accepted into the diverse social lives of today's society.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:35 PM
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It is true the Bears did us the aft pool but I saw other people (non bears) using it as well. I ate Breakfast back there many times during the cruise. I am not sure what happened years ago, but the few people from the bear group we spoke with were very nice. I believe this is an individual decision, but I for one would have no problem sailing with the group next Halloween. For the record Halloween cruises are a blast. Mike
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Old August 4th, 2008, 07:54 PM
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Hi All,
More info on the Bears in the postings at Cruisecritics.com. Over 75 people signed up for cruise party... non Bears.... FYI.. Come chat.
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