Gregg, when you and Rosie and Kelli O'Donnell
founded R Family Vacations, did you ever think that this
month you'd be setting off on your sixth
We've always taken it one cruise at a time. We
are very grateful to all of our guests who have sailed
with us. We do have a nice percent of repeat
clientele, and it's always fun to meet all of the
What do you think is the secret of your success?
We have a very talented team. Also, the magic starts
when people are checking in and everyone there is
totally judgment-free. Anyone who has ever been on a
gay or lesbian cruise knows what I'm talking about.
We do some amazing things on our cruises, but the love
and energy is really from all of the wonderful people
who sail with us.
In All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise,
the HBO documentary about the first R Family cruise,
antigay protesters met the ship in Nassau, Bahamas. Have
you run into any unfriendly receptions since?
We were scheduled to make a stop in Bermuda last year,
and we learned about the possibility of protest by a
large group of churches. I offered to fly there and
screen the documentary. Not a single church took me up
on my offer, and they would not promise that protests would
not occur. We changed our itinerary. It was a shame,
because there is this huge misperception that gay
cruises are trying to promote homosexuality. Actually,
all of the gay tour operators offer trips so we can go on
vacation and not feel like we have to compromise our
lifestyle. We are not trying to promote anything.
We hear that on this cruise you're celebrating
friends and families of the LGBT community. Why is that
important, and how are you planning to celebrate?
One thing that makes R Family Vacations very unique is
that everyone is welcome. We have such a nice mix of
both gay and lesbian guests as well as straight
friends and family. We thought it would be nice to honor
all of the straight friends and family this year by honoring
PFLAG and its members. We have Cyndi Lauper performing
(the most famous PFLAG-er) and also PFLAG executive
director Jody Huckabee speaking.
Pretend I'm a "family values"
conservative who feels that LGBT people
shouldn't adopt or have their own children. Would
an R Family cruise change my mind?
We have talked about inviting some conservative
politicians to sail with us. The first thing everyone
notices (especially our straight guests) is kids with
gay parents are so well-behaved. GLBT families go
through so many steps to have children that they really
think about being amazing parents. We have a lot of
kids with special needs, and our boat really does look
like one big gay Benetton ad. I would bet money that any
"family values" conservative would rethink
some of their ideas after sailing on an R Family