In the 40 years since Olivia was founded, it's transitioned from Olivia Records (which recorded the first album produced by an all-women team, released 40 albums, and sold over a million records) to Olivia Travel (the largest company in the U.S. aimed at lesbians). Since it became Olivia Travel in 1990, the company has taken nearly 200,000 women on cruise, resort, luxury, and adventure vacations to all seven continents.
The Advocate joined the Olivia women on the 40th Anniversary Southern Caribbean Cruise, a set of two cruises that went to Aruba, Curacao, and a private island in the Bahamas in January and February. More than 4,200 women were joined by 20 entertainers (from women's music legends Cris Williamson, Teresa Trull, and Meg Christian to comics Vickie Shaw, Kate Clinton, and Elvira Kurt) and a handful of powerful lesbian leaders including tennis legend Billie Jean King, DOMA plaintiff Edie Windsor, military pioneer Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer, and, in a surprise appearance, former Army colonel Tammy Smith, who was promoted to brigadier in late 2012, making her the first general officer to come out while serving, post-"don't ask, don't tell."
“This is the biggest celebration Olivia has produced to date," said Tisha Floratos, Olivia’s vice president of travel, calling the cruise a "giant reunion, entertainment extravaganza, and tropical vacation all rolled into one.”
Here's our look inside the Olivia experience.
Tennis legend Billie Jean King (far left) and Olivia Travel founder Judy Dlugacz (second from right) with friends
Edie Windsor (left) and Judy Dlugacz
Some women behind the scenes at Olivia