10 Lessons From a Gay Cruise Virgin

You can sleep when it's over. Here's the skinny on how to enjoy your first gay cruise.



2. Costume Parties Are A Must
Before we left, Dan pooh-poohed the themed dance parties as a hassle, having to plan for a half-dozen “outfits.” They ended up being a highlight of the trip. It was inspiring to see some of the outfits people dreamt up – umbrellas-turned-jellyfish for the “Under The Sea Party” and bald eagles for the penultimate “White Party.” And the costumes added an ice breaker that kept the mood fun and light.

Though, staying with my lesson on packing, most guys just wore a “festive” speedo or underwear – camouflage for the “Dog Tag Party” or sparkly silver for the “Disco Party” – and nobody was complaining.


3. Everyone’s Aboard
Every marketing material I saw for this cruise showed throngs of hot 30-somethings with 5% body fat wearing no clothes. That made up about 10% of the people on board. In reality, the passengers resembled a gay bar in Central Ohio more than a circuit party. Every kind of gay man was on board: Men in their 20s and 80s; Black, white and Asian; Bears, jocks and twinks; Gamblers, circuit boys and Broadway queens.


4. Indulge in the Non-party Fun
And amazingly, Atlantis and Royal Caribbean found a way to keep everyone entertained. Dixie Longate was a big hit on our cruise, hosting bingo (yes, I said bingo) and her patented Tupperware party. The FlowRider surf simulation at the back of the ship was constantly packed. The casino was a unique way to make new friends. And there was always a sing-a-long with Matt Yee or a trivia contest going on somewhere.

The one lesson about the entertainment I learned: Don’t believe the hype. Atlantis had promised a big, surprise performer for the main attraction! Instead they rolled out Patti Lupone, who couldn’t pack a theater and whose performance disappointed everyone I talked to. We stopped in for five minutes; That was all we could take.

Just one tip to the entertainers: The Little Britain joke of hearing someone with an accent and insisting you don’t understand a word they say? It was funny the first four dozen times you told it. It’s not funny anymore.

Tags: Travel