Gay Cruises

Gay Cruises – Yea or Nay?

Alright, let’s talk about a topic that’s been floating around in my mind (pun intended) for a while: gay cruises. Yep, those fabulous floating paradises where you can let your rainbow flag fly high and embrace the open sea with a community that celebrates diversity, inclusion. But, like with any travel experience, there’s a lot to consider before booking your ticket. So, should you gay cruise or not?

The Allure of Gay Cruises

First off, let me say that the idea of a gay cruise sounds incredibly appealing. If you’re single or going as a group that is. For those in long term, monogamous relationships it might not be that appealing. But for the sake of a wild party cruise, lets picture it: you’re on a luxurious ship, surrounded by like-minded folks, with a calendar full of themed parties, drag shows, and poolside dance-offs. It’s like Pride on water, 24/7. For anyone looking to immerse themselves in LGBTQ+ culture while on vacation, a gay cruise can be a dream come true.

But hold on—there’s more to it than just the glitter and glamour. The first thing you need to think about is whether you’re a cruise person at all. Some people adore the idea of being out on the ocean, visiting multiple destinations without the hassle of packing and unpacking at each stop. Others, might get a little queasy at the thought of being stuck on a boat for days on end. If you’re prone to seasickness, a gay cruise might not be the best idea unless you’re prepared with a stash of Dramamine.

Types of Gay Cruises

Gay cruises come in various shapes and sizes, catering to different interests and demographics within the LGBTQ+ community. Here are some popular options:
All-Gay Cruises:
These are full-ship charters where everyone on board is part of the LGBTQ+ community. Companies like Atlantis Events and RSVP Vacations specialize in these cruises. The vibe is usually high-energy with a focus on parties, entertainment, and community building. 

Gay Group Cruises:
These are smaller groups within a larger, mainstream cruise. Companies like  Out Adventures or Cruise Critic organize these trips. You get the best of both worlds: a mainstream cruise experience with the camaraderie of a smaller LGBTQ+ group.

Lesbian Cruises:

Companies like Olivia Travel offer cruises specifically for women. These cruises focus on creating a safe, welcoming space for lesbian and bisexual women, with activities and entertainment tailored to their interests.

Special Interest Cruises:
Some cruises cater to specific interests within the LGBTQ+ community, such as bear cruises, fetish cruises, or even family-friendly gay cruises. These niche cruises ensure that everyone can find a trip that resonates with their personal interests and lifestyle.

Popular Gay Cruise Destinations

Gay cruises cover a wide range of destinations, offering something for everyone. Here are some popular regions to consider:
The Caribbean is a favourite for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. Ports of call might include San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Maarten; and the private islands of the Bahamas.

A Mediterranean cruise offers a blend of culture, history, and scenic beauty. Imagine exploring the ancient ruins of Rome, the picturesque islands of Greece, and the charming coastal towns of Spain and France.

For those who prefer cooler climates and breathtaking natural beauty, an Alaskan cruise is perfect. Highlights include glacier tours, wildlife sightings, and the stunning landscapes of the Last Frontier.

An Asian cruise can be an exotic and enriching experience. Ports of call might include vibrant cities like Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Bangkok, as well as serene destinations like Bali and the beaches of Thailand.

Transatlantic and Repositioning Cruises:
For those who love long voyages, transatlantic cruises offer a unique experience of crossing the ocean, often with fewer ports of call but more time to enjoy the ship’s amenities and activities.

Shore Excursions

One of the best parts of cruising is the opportunity to explore multiple destinations without the hassle of constant travel logistics.
Here are some popular shore excursions to consider:
Historical and Cultural Tours:
Many cruises offer guided tours of historical sites, museums, and cultural landmarks. This is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and history of each port.

Adventure Activities:
For the thrill-seekers, there are plenty of adventure excursions like zip-lining, snorkeling, scuba diving, and hiking. These activities allow you to experience the natural beauty and excitement of each destination.

Beach Days:
Sometimes, all you want to do is relax on a beautiful beach. Many Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises offer excursions to some of the world’s most stunning beaches, where you can soak up the sun and enjoy the crystal-clear waters.

Food and Wine Tours:
For the foodies, there are excursions that focus on local cuisine and wine tasting. Imagine sampling fresh seafood in Greece, sipping fine wine in Italy, or enjoying a gourmet meal in France.

Shopping Excursions:
If you love to shop, many ports offer guided shopping tours where you can find unique souvenirs, local crafts, and luxury goods.

Booking Your Gay Cruise

When it comes to booking your gay cruise, there are a few key players in the industry that you should consider:
Atlantis Events:
Known for their all-gay cruises and events, Atlantis offers a variety of trips to destinations around the world. They’re famous for their high-energy parties and top-notch entertainment.

RSVP Vacations:
Another leader in the gay cruise industry, RSVP offers all-gay cruises with a focus on community and inclusivity. They offer a range of destinations and cruise lengths to suit different preferences.

Olivia Travel:
Specializing in travel for women, Olivia offers lesbian cruises that provide a safe and welcoming environment. Their trips include a variety of destinations and activities tailored to their clientele.

Cruise Critic:
Offers all-gay cruises on the  larger, mainstream cruise liners. This option is great if you want to experience luxury cruising which includes the security of an LGBTQ+ group on-board.

Out Adventures:
Offering both gay group cruises and all-gay cruises, Out Adventures focuses on unique and immersive travel experiences. They offer a range of destinations, from the Caribbean to more exotic locales like Asia and South America.

The Cost of Gay Cruising

Gay cruises, like any specialized travel experience, can come with a premium price tag. Here are some tips to help you manage costs:
Book Early:
Early booking discounts are often available, and you’ll have the best choice of cabins.
Watch for Sales:
Keep an eye on the websites of major gay cruise companies and sign up for their newsletters to be notified of sales and special promotions.
Consider Off-Peak Travel:
Cruises during off-peak times (like the shoulder seasons) can be significantly cheaper than those during peak travel periods.
Room Sharing:
If you’re traveling solo, look for options to share a room with another solo traveller to reduce costs.
All-Inclusive Packages:
Some cruises offer all-inclusive packages that cover meals, drinks, and excursions. These can provide better value than paying for everything separately.

Safety and Comfort

One of the major perks of a gay cruise is the feeling of being in a safe, accepting environment where you can be yourself without judgment. In today’s world, that’s invaluable. For many people, especially those who might not feel completely comfortable or accepted in their day-to-day lives, a gay cruise can be a liberating and affirming experience. However, it’s still important to be mindful of your surroundings and take the usual travel precautions, just as you would anywhere else.

What to Expect Onboard

The atmosphere on a gay cruise is generally festive and welcoming. Here’s what you can typically expect:
From drag shows and cabaret performances to comedy acts and live music, there’s never a dull moment on a gay cruise. Themed parties are a staple, so pack your most fabulous outfits.
In addition to the usual cruise amenities like pools, spas, and fitness centres, gay cruises often offer LGBTQ+ specific activities such as speed dating, mixers, and special interest groups.
Dining on a cruise is usually top-notch, with a variety of options ranging from casual buffets to fine dining restaurants. On a gay cruise, you can expect some themed dining events and possibly even guest celebrity chefs. 
PS…on a cruise where everything is about the party, be sure to include a drinks package!
One of the best parts of a gay cruise is the sense of community. You’ll meet people from all walks of life and make connections that could last a lifetime. Whether you’re traveling solo or with a group, you’ll find a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere.

gay cruises
Two Guys Abroad (Donovan & Mike) cruise with MSC.

SO…YAE or NAY to Gay Cruises?

It really boils down to your personal preferences and what you’re looking to get out of your trip. If you’re all about the high-energy, inclusive, and fabulous vibe of a gay cruise, then by all means, set sail and enjoy the ride. If not, there are plenty of other ways to explore the world, celebrate your identity and find a partner. Either way, make sure your vacation is filled with joy, acceptance, and lots of fun.

In the end, whether you decide to embark on a gay cruise or choose another type of adventure, the key is to find a travel experience that makes you feel happy, safe, and fulfilled. Bon voyage!

Planning a cruise? See our Travel Resources page for great deals on flights, accommodation and car hire from our travel partners!

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