Category Archives: Gay cruise

By @ 03/28/17 in Dallas, Gay cruise, Gay family travel, Gay honeymoon, Gay travel, Gay travel news, Gay-Friendly, Kenny Porpora, ManAboutWorld, Travel, Travel Show, Zachary Moses

Meet LGBT travel experts at the Dallas Travel & Adventure Show, April 1-2Meet the ManAboutWorld team at the Dallas Travel & Adventure Show April 1-2 at the Dallas Market Hall.

ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato will moderate a fun, information-packed LGBT travel panel at the Show on Sunday, April 2 11:45 AM-12:30 PM.

Register here for a free ticket but hurry we only have a limited supply.

All are welcome! Our booth provides information (and free guides) for all travelers (gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and our straight ally friends). The panel is designed for LGBT travelers as well as travel professionals interested in learning about trends, destinations, tours, cruises and events. All you need is an open mind and the passion to travel. Join this interactive and informative panel with leading experts in gay, lesbian and LGBT family travel.

Our moderator, ManAboutWorld’s Ed Salvato leads a very well-traveled group in a lively discussion touching on new cruises and tours, not-to-miss events and up-and-coming hot spots around the world. Come with your travel questions. This is a session you won’t want to miss!

We’ll be covering the world of LGBT travel, which is big! But among the many takeaways, here are three:

  • Destinations to put on your must-go list in 2017 and beyond
  • Events around the globe that are popular with LGBT travelers
  • Travel opportunities for LGBT families
  • Cruises, tours and how best to work with a travel agent or tour operator
THE LGBT TRAVEL DREAM TEAM AT THE DALLAS TRAVEL SHOW!

Travel experts include:

Meet ManAboutWorld's Ed Salvato at the Travel & Adventure Show in Dallas April 1-2

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By @ 12/31/15 in Gay cruise, Gay dads, Gay family travel, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Paul Heney, Travel
Paul J. Heney and his family In Jamaica and ManAboutworld gay travel magazine

In Jamaica

From Jamaica: Our Go, Daddy writer, gay-dad Paul J. Heney, his partner and kids are on their first-ever family cruise on Carnival Cruise Line. Here’s an update from their first stop. 

Our first port of call on this Carnival cruise was Falmouth, Jamaica. I was a little conflicted about this stop. Jamaica is one of the most stridently anti-gay countries on the planet, and so I felt somewhat opposed to giving any of my tourist dollars to the local economy. In the end, I decided to not make any sort of crusade out of it, and instead tried to use it as a teaching moment for our kids. While I’ve told them in the past about areas of the country or the world where LGBT people aren’t liked or tolerated, this was more real to them. They seemed shocked that such an innocuous looking place–and somewhere that we actually were–was such a “bad” part of the world, at least in one respect. 

We devised a back story that Lance was my brother-in-law–married to my fictional sister Maureen. (They do have an Aunt Maureen, so that made it easier for them to remember.) I told them the chances of us getting in trouble for being gay was about zero, but that locals might treat us poorly or give us dirty looks if they found out. 

As we had an excursion booked through the cruise line the next day in Grand Cayman, I suggested we try a different route in Jamaica. We merely walked off the ship with no firm plans and wandered into the tiny port town. Locals selling all sorts of brightly colored clothing lined the narrow streets. The kids, Matthew in particular, seemed a little taken aback at the poverty. After walking down a few streets, one of the locals named Dennis approached me with an offer to take us to Montego Bay and back, tell us about the island, take us to a good beach and a city overlook, etc. He described himself as “a family man” like me and a Christian. We listened to his story about charging us $100 instead of the normal $120, but kept walking and showed only minimal interest. Eventually he came down to $80 and I said it was Lance’s decision because he had the wallet. Lance then got him down to $70–a pretty good deal for the 4 of us!

We spent 90 minutes at the Doctors Cave Beach Club beach, a gorgeous crescent of sand with light blue green water. A huge inflatable trampoline about 100 feet offshore was all that Josh needed to make his day. It cost us $21 (cash) to access the beach and $12 for an umbrella and a chair. Matthew quickly made friends with a little Jamaican boy and they had a splendid time playing in the waves. Lance and I enjoyed people watching and goofing in the water a bit. There were some downright amazing bodies walking about, and I could see how Stella could get her groove back on a place like this!

Afterwards, Lance showed the boys his incredible bargaining skills in a few of the local shops in Montego Bay and then Dennis drove us to a lovely overlook before heading back to the ship. He did start up a conversation about where mom was today—Matthew started to answer that she lived at home and I interrupted and said something to the effect that, “The ladies wanted a spa day on the ship.”

Friends will vouch that I’m pretty militant and am usually the first one to fight the good fight. So it was hard to bite my lip even for a few hours, but I suppose I need to pick my battles—while keeping the kids’ eyes wide open about the bigger battles we still have to face.



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By @ 12/24/15 in Gay cruise, Gay dads, Gay family travel, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Paul Heney, Travel
Heney (left) and his family soon to join a Carnival Cruise

Heney (left) and his family

Carnival Cruise Line invited ManAboutWorld writer (our “Go, Daddy” columnist)  Paul J. Heney and his family on, what we believe is, the first-ever gay family cruise media trip on a mainstream cruise. We can’t wait to hear about their experience. Be sure to check back here for their updates. Paul’s also pretty excited. He sets out tomorrow from his homebase in Cleveland and the cruise on the 27th.

Our next big adventure starts tomorrow! My family—myself, my partner, Lance, and my sons, Josh (14) and Matthew (8), pictured above and below—will be leaving for our first cruise as a family, and I’ll be covering it for ManAboutWorld! This is likely the first time that an LGBT journalist and his family has been invited on a cruise as part of a fam trip, so props to Carnival Cruise Line for their forward thinking! We’re all so excited for this experience, and to share it with you all.

Twister water slide on the Carnival Cruise Breeze

Twister

We’ll be sailing out of Miami on the Carnival Breeze, a 3,690-guest capacity ship. It will be the largest ship I’ve been on, so I’m really curious as to how I’ll find the size—will I feel like a number or will I be pleasantly surprised by the personal attention? I’m going in with an open mind. The Breeze also has some of Carnival’s latest kids and teen activity programs, so it will be great to let my sons each experience

 Carnival asked us to get to the cruise port on our own, which was a very reasonable request. But we found airfares the week of Christmas and New Year’s to be outrageous, especially for four people. So, as part of our adventure, we’re taking MegaBus out of Cleveland on Christmas afternoon for a 12-hr overnight trip to Chattanooga, Tenn. From there, we’ll rent a car and drive the remaining 11 hours to Miami.

 Once on board the Carnival Cruise on December 27, we’ll make stops in Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

The boys are already excited about checking some countries off of their lists! And I’m already pumped about the

Dodgeball on the Carnival Cruise Breeze

Dodgeball on board

snorkeling with stingrays … and the food on board the ship … and the island views … and that blue-green water … and some romance with my honey … and great family memories, too.

While you can wait for the article in a future issue of ManAboutWorld (download the magazine here for your Apple device or here for your Android device), you can also follow along and interact with us during the trip! Please follow me on Twitter (@paulheney) or on Intragram (also @paulheney). And @MAWtravel will be retweeting some of our fun, too, so make sure they’re on your social media holiday list, too!

Heney (right) and his family soon to join a Carnival Cruise

Heney (right) and his family

ManAboutWorld highlights tours and cruises we’ve personally participated in, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored (media or press trip) travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.

Photos: Top & bottom: Paul J. Heney; Middle photos: Carnival Cruise Lines

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By @ 07/29/15 in Cuba, Gay cruise, Gay tours, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

India among the best gay tours in ManAboutWorld MagazineHere’s a list of the best gay tours in the next six months. Best is of course subjective but we at ManAboutWorld know the business and we know the tour operators so this is what we call a highly informed opinion! In any event, the destinations are cool, the conveyances are cool and you’ll be surrounded by other gay guys. What’s not to love? Check ’em out.

Coda-Tours

Undiscovered Balkans September 16-30
Discover Ottoman splendors, Byzantine and Eastern Orthodox Monasteries, ancient sites and dramatic landscapes from Sofia to Belgrade with the experts of gay tour company Coda. Bordered by the Adriatic, Mediterranean and the rugged Dinaric Mountains, this land, Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited territory, boasts diverse cultures that have left their legacy across the Balkan Peninsula.

Zoom Vacations

Gay India October 16-28
India can be overwhelming especially to first-time visitors. This country of over 1.2 billion inhabitants stuns you with its beauty, diversity, warmth and the chaos and contrasts you’ll find in cities and villages alike. On our first visit we found it helpful to go in a group. Zoom Vacations combines luxury accommodations and seamless organization to provide guests with an orderly and memorable introduction to one of the world’s most fascinating and intoxicating countries, with its kaleidoscope of languages, cultures, and traditions. A trip highlight is a stay in a 5-star hotel with direct views of the Taj Mahal, which visitors have been trekking to since the 17th century and which still holds a mysterious allure.

Brand g Vacations

Panama Canal Adventure December 2-15
Step aboard the 105-stateroom M.S. Saint Laurent charted by Brand g Vacation along with 200 fellow LGBT travelers. You’ll pass through the marvelous Panama Canal, glittering Panama City, and visit islands, beaches and jungles, including the gorgeous Manuel Antonio National Park. Departs Cartagena, Colombia and ends in Costa Rica.

Out Adventures

Bali & Komodo Gay Cruise and Tour April 29-May 6, 2016
Spot towering active volcanoes. Visit the Water Palace of Amlapura. Snorkel the most pristine and diverse coral reefs in Kondo. Witness thousands of flying foxes in Satonda and see the famous Komodo dragons in person. Explore some of Indonesia’s most beautiful deserted beaches with our friends, the competent fun folks at Out Adventures.

ManAboutWorld: Check out our unique digital gay travel magazine for way more than these events … for savvy gay travelers by downloading the ManAboutWorldApp on the iTunes App Store or Google Play. We support iPads, Android tablets, iPhones and Android phones. There are a few free publications in all of the apps, and you can click here to register for a FREE three-month subscription. Go on, hop on a tour.

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By @ 03/31/15 in Gay cruise, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Cruising

 

UPDATED April 1:

If you missed the Twitter chat, don’t fret! Click here for a replay. There was a lot of expert advice and tips about cruising and some amazing photos.

 ManAboutWorld will host its first-ever cruise-related Twitter Chat today from 3-3:45pm EST!  We’ll be using the hashtag #gay2cruise and chatting with industry experts, first-time cruisers, the curious, trepidatious, and everyone in-between. Join the conversation, or just listen in — even if you don’t use twitter

We’ll be online to answer questions such as:

“Why would I choose a gay cruise over a “straight” cruise?” or “What is the vibe on a gay cruise?” or “How do you decide between a big ship and a smaller ship?” then this Tweet-up is for you. 

To participate today, just monitor #gay2cruise via Tweetdeck, HootSuite, Twitter or any other twitter tool. If you’re not on Twitter, you can still “listen in” from this link in any browser. We’ll be posting moderated numbered questions (Q1, Q2 etc) — you can respond with numbered answers (A1, A2), and post general questions or comments question — just be sure use the hashtag #gay2cruise in your post or we may not see it.



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By @ 03/25/15 in Gay cruise, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

cruise1

Ask a gay friend who’s never been on a cruise if he’d like to go on one, and he’ll probably decline.
I wouldn’t be caught dead on a cruise!
Then ask a friend who’s been on one and he’ll likely say it was the best vacation he’s ever had. In our experience, it’s pretty much blogbinary: The uninitiated would never go on a cruise, but once they do, they’re ready to book their next one by the third day. How could so many otherwise perceptive, bright and imaginative people be so wrong, and what on earth could produce this 180-degree turnaround?
In our current issue, (available now on iPad and Android tablet with our $1 trial subscription) we eradicate the myths of gay cruising and explore the adventure, romance, and life-changing friendships you’ll experience. We stocked the issue full of information, exhaustive research (including our survey of gay-friendliness among the cruise lines), inspiring tales, and answered all of your questions so you’ll be ready to cruise this summer.



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By @ 03/12/15 in Gay cruise, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Rating the cruise line's for gay friendliness, as seen in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThe cruise industry hasn’t always had a great relationship with gay cruisers. When Kevin Mossier first started chartering ships at RSVP 30 years ago, most lines wouldn’t even allow a gay group. Today, most lines are actively welcoming, if not marketing directly to LGBT customers. But when it comes to policies that actively engage LGBT customers and protect LGBT employees and guests, the lines in general, are not as far along as you’d think, and in general, reluctant to discuss it.

We’re proposing a set of LGBT criteria for the cruise lines. We don’t have enough responses to fairly grade the individual lines this year, but we’re reporting the responses we did receive, and the lines that failed to respond at all. We believe their answers should matter to all of us as gay consumers, and urge you to join the conversation. If you have comments or questions about our criteria or survey, please share them in a comment below!

LGBT-FRIENDLY CRITERIA FOR CRUISE LINES:

  1. LGBT employees should be covered by a non-discrimination policy that explicitly mentions sexual orientation and gender expression.
  2. Customer-facing employees should have diversity/inclusion training that specifically covers LGBT guests.
  3. Cruise lines docking in ports where homosexuality or gender expression are criminalized should provide all passengers notice about such laws before disembarkation in those ports.

In addition to these minimum standards, we believe marketing and outreach to LGBT consumers, membership in the IGLTA and promotion of LGBT gatherings in daily cruise calendars are important indicators of a cruise line’s commitment to LGBT customers, not just commerce.

See the full article in the March issue of ManAboutWorld or here on ManAboutWorld.com to see the specific responses. The following cruise lines did not respond to numerous requests over two months: NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE, ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL, SILVERSEA CRUISES, WINDSTAR CRUISES.

 

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By @ 03/10/15 in Gay cruise, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Parting Shots, Travel, Uncategorized
A hot couple on an Atlantis cruise as seen in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

A very hot couple on an Atlantis Caribbean cruise.

This month’s Parting Shots come to us from ManAboutWorld reader, Bart Foster, a full time real estate agent with Keller Williams in Boston. Bart’s also a passionate amateur photographer who loves cruises. He shared his photos and impressions from an Atlantis Caribbean cruise he took in March 2014. before his first cruise.

Why do you love to cruise?

What other venue can you go to and find your shy (ish) partner “fresh on the boat” posing with strangers for a photo (below)? Had to be his cute hat. Everybody comes for a good time. You unpack only once, no need to hunt for a place to eat, different nightly parties like the White Party , T-Dances (Dog Tag Military)  (Under the Rainbow) (70-80’s Disco), Pools and hot tubs, excursions with hot guys, and smiles. And if you know who to talk you, maybe a not so private breakfast with the 2nd in command.

My shy boyfriend and his new friend pose for a photo.

My shy boyfriend and his new friend pose for a photo.



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By @ 12/04/14 in Dennis Hensley, Gay cruise, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

 

Our correspondent Dennis Hensley sent us this video from his experience aboard the inaugural Regal Princess Cruise from a few weeks ago, where he was trapped on board with the entire cast of Love Boat. On February 8-15, the ship will take a gay trip to the Caribbean to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

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By @ 11/13/13 in Correspondent, Gay cruise, Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld, Travel

CDR_02152013_0090_RSVP_Caribbean_2013 copyBy Jeff Guaracino, ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent

Since 1985, over 100,000 guests have discovered RSVP Vacations. Now owned by Atlantis Events—among the best brand names in gay vacations—RSVP Vacations has a new president Randel Roper. Formerly of Starwood Hotels, Randel brings a new energy to RSVP.

RSVP is drawing a diverse group of passengers aboard their trips. According to Roper, women are now 10 percent of their passengers. He anticipates 350 lesbians to join RSVP for their February sailing aboard the brand new MSC Divina for a Caribbean sailing from Miami on February 15th.

One reason for the increasing draw of women travelers is due to the work of Rachel Pearson, RSVP’s first lesbian executive producer who is responsible for operations and entertainment. Women traveling on RSVP will find lesbian comics Jessica Kirson and Poppy Champlin. There are women-only brunches, disco and cocktail hours.

“Our women passengers find RSVP an alternative to Sweet and Olivia,” claimed Roper. Sweet and Olivia cater to lesbian travelers offering cruises and land-based trips.

That’s not to say that gay men—who still account for 90% of the ship—will have to forgo their leather and underwear parties. With more Europeans and South Americans discovering RSVP Vacations, the clientele is diversifying beyond RSVP’s traditional American base.



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By @ 08/08/13 in Barcelona, Ed Salvato, Gay cruise, Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, Lisbon, ManAboutWorld, Travel
Picture yourself here.

Picture yourself here.

Sail aboard the luxurious MSY Wind Surf, a gorgeous five-masted sailing yacht chartered by Source Events for an all-gay cruise. It sets sail September 15, 2013 from Lisbon, one of the most charming and under-rated gems of Europe and completes it’s 8-night sailing in Spain’s gay-friendliest city, Barcelona on Monday, September 23. More info. about the cruise here.

But why this cruise and why now? Well, for one ManAboutWorld’s very own editor in chief, Ed Salvato will be on board. Though he’d like to think that should be your sole necessary and sufficient reason, there are many other enticements to get you on board:

  • Intimacy: As much as we love big gay cruises, this one will have only 300 passengers (and 190 crew).
  • Itinerary: Besides Lisbon and Barcelona, discover Ibiza, Mallorca, Malaga and more.
  • Experience: A unique journey combining sailing, a full moon party, fun activities, great entertainment and parties, delicious cuisine, a healthy dose of fitness, guest speakers, excursions and more.
  • Special offer: Mention Ed’s name when booking and get a healthy “Friend of Ed” deal! Visit the website, call (888-SOURCE8) or email.

 

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By @ 07/16/13 in Billy Kolber, Europe, Gay cruise, Gay travel, Gay travel magazine, ManAboutWorld, Travel
Let your gay freak flag fly! Photo courtesy Source Events.

Let your gay freak flag fly!
Photo courtesy Source Events.

By Billy Kolber. Originally published in HuffPost Gay Voices

There’s never been a better summer and fall to cruise in Europe. There are still five all-gay (big- and small-gay) cruises to choose from this summer, offering a remarkable breadth of styles, ports and experiences. Every one of these cruises is reason enough to go, but If you’ve never tried a gay cruise, here are five more:

  1. There’s no better place to make new friends. Seriously, next to college and summer camp (both of which you’ve probably outgrown), gay vacations offer the best opportunity to share new experiences with new people. Ask any gay cruise veteran the best part about their vacation, and they inevitably say, “Making new friends.” As adults, we don’t have many environments that are conducive for making new best friends. Cruising is one of them.
  2. It’s a vacation from planning a vacation. Not that there aren’t options (particularly on the big gay cruises, there are dozens of dining and entertainment opportunities every moment of the day), but the freedom comes in choosing to do what you feel like, when you feel like it, and having it all available without much planning or thinking, and almost all of it without an additional charge.
  3. Value. Most guests spend a few hundred dollars beyond the upfront price for drinks, shore excursions, spa treatments and other extras. And some spend thousands. But you can easily go the whole trip without spending an extra dime.
  4. Variety. If you have Gay-DD, European cruising was made for you. You’ll get to sample lots of different places and cultures. What could be more fabulous than drinking wine in Bordeaux one day, hitting the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao another, and then dancing the night away in Ibiza, all without ever repacking your suitcase?
  5. Community. And the freedom to be yourself within it. Whether your freak flag flies toward silly, sexy or serious, there are few experiences as liberating, empowering and supportive as an all-gay environment.

Ready to come aboard?

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