For those just coming out of COVID lockdown, the idea of calling a cruise line and booking the gay cruise of your dreams might be just the ticket, if you’ll pardon the pun!
Whether it takes in a popular LGBTQ destination such as Fort Lauderdale, Barcelona, Athens, Miami, around the Mediterranean, or for the more adventurous among you, Costa Rica or even a Caribbean cruise, many of us are desperate to set sail somewhere (anywhere!).
Some go small, and opt for a river cruise, some push the boat out (!) with a luxury cruise with gay cruise liner Atlantis Events or one of Royal Caribbean’s Caribbean cruises? While some people may think that Atlantis Events has a monopoly on gay friendly cruises, all cruise liners appreciate the importance of their gay and lesbian customer base.
Again, the type and style of ship can be important for gay customers. Some love the antique charm of an older, refurbished ship while some will make sure they cruise on every brand new ship that launches.
For some of the bigger ships, overnights are right out in the ocean and so it can be difficult to replicate the chart of a night cruise down a river (Istanbul anyone?). For those who like a night cruise, a smaller boat may be the way forward, a dedicated river cruise or even an excursion and a night on dry land? With river cruises, you will not have the same level of facilities that you would get on a bigger ship, but there are fewer passengers and of course you are right in the thick of it in bustling inland city. Not everybody wants to be on a boat with thousands of passengers, so some will opt for smaller, niche cruises, and some prefer a big Royal Caribbean cruise liner, a boat from Celebrity Cruises or one from Atlantis Events (with a higher gay following)
In short, there are almost too many options to discuss – almost as many as the number of cruises and cruise lines there are. Of course one of the unique points about any cruise is the ability to be on the boat for overnight stays, so there is no need to pack and unpack for each destination. But what else makes a cruise unique, and for LGBT travellers are there particular things to look out for?
Cruise travel insurance
Don’t forget before you travel to consider cruise travel insurance from Emerald Life to cover any medical emergencies while you are away. Travel insurance is an important consideration because medical emergencies on a cruise ship can be very expensive if you have to be evacuated to the mainland. Cruise insurance comes with a range of other benefits, such as coverage for lost luggage and travel delays, so it is well worth considering.
Cruise-specific considerations for LGBT travellers
Obviously, one of the first things to consider is whether or not your cruise line has a gay following – it’s worth looking up reviews online from other passengers who have been on cruises with an eye out for these mentions. If there isn’t any specific mention about the destination being LGBTQ friendly but they do advertise themselves as ‘gay-friendly’, then that could be another indicator too. And lastly if all else fails and you want some clarification, ask staff onboard what their policy is in regards to LGBTQ guests and potentially even opt to chat with them before booking anything just so you know what kind of experience you’re likely getting yourself into.”
Where do you want to go?
From leaving your ship in Rome, boarding in Amsterdam, stopping off in America, the choice on any cruise is yours. There are some passengers who love to make sure that their voyages have some package stop off on their itinerary every day, and some who just love the relaxation on a lounger with a drink high on the seven seas. There are no tips about what is right or wrong here but a cruise gives you the flexibility to do whatever you want to do – just on a boat!
Transatlantic cruise ships tend to be bigger, so fans of real sailing may want something smaller but that will limit your range of travel. For a cruise holiday, there are smaller and more bespoke ships available, but for more holiday makers, the idea of a ‘cruise’ means a ship as big as a skyscraper, with all the facilities, entertainment, stops at several ports, various bars and unlimited food! All ships have a little bit of luxury thrown in of course – even just taking a cruising holiday on the ocean in a swanky cruise ship is enough to make many people think of big money and the jet set (or boat set!). And many of Emerald’s LGBT customer also enjoy luxury at a good price – which is why they choose to insure with us.
What do I need to take?
Not every cruise holiday means black tie at the Captain’s table, but for some that is the pinnacle of their experience while aboard. Cruising does involve entertainment be it theatre, dancing, cabaret so when aboard, bring what you would wear if you were going out to the theatre or similar. Of course there’s a need for swimwear, casual clothing and the like but some passengers also enjoy the shopping while aboard and so travel light with empty luggage! Don’t forget that there are also stops along the way, all of which will cater to the cruising trade so even in an emergency there will be something that you can buy to wear on board.
If you are on a specific gay cruise, then the dress code isn’t particularly different. If we really had to differentiate, then perhaps the fancy dress is better and more outrageous, there are more men in speedos, and there’s more partying into the wee small hours. For something like an Atlantis events cruise, then from what we understand the partying is pretty much all night and breakfast is a relatively quiet affair….
What makes a good LGBT cruise?
For gay cruises, also remember that groups of friends will often go together, as the LGBT community often has fewer ‘parent/child’ family groups (although there are gay and lesbian-friendly family cruises as well). Sailing around the Mediterranean with friends on a well-appointed cruise ship can be great fun, and the amazing staff are always on hand to make sure that all their customers have the most enjoyable time that they can. Despite appearances/misconceptions, the age range on a gay cruise can be bigger than you may think. Much depends on the type of gay cruise, size of boat etc but even if a ship full of 25 year old twinks in the latest swimwear isn’t for you, then you can still find a range of options where your sexual orientation will not be an issue. Rarely do gay and lesbian customers find an issue here, and on the bigger ships there is a specific LGBT meeting schedule (previously known as the Friends of Dorothy get together) irrespective of whether or not it is labelled as a gay cruise line.
If not quite downsides, there are some things to take into account in relation to a gay cruise. There are some destinations that simply may be out of bounds for a gay cruise that specifically advertises itself as such. There will be some African or Caribbean destinations that are not going to be welcoming. When at sea people are free to do what they want to do, but in any country it’s important to remember that local laws are just that – laws. Nevertheless if you are on a gay cruise you
What events are there on gay cruises?
To be hone
Article reference: Cruises/Gay cruise/Gay cruises/Brand new cruises/Gay and lesbian cruise/Gay friendly cruise/Gay cruise with gay travel/LGBT cruise packages/Group travel