Seamus' Gay Cruise Experience

This month’s passionate traveller is Seamus Butterly, Thomas Cook Rainbow Travel‘s Marketing guru. Seamus was skeptical about booking his first all-gay cruise and believed he made the wrong decision. Seamus has since been on 4 all-gay cruises.

Seamus' Gay Cruise Experience
At Sea…All Gay, Everyday…and yes, you can still have it your way! That’s what I discovered after agreeing to attend my best friend’s 40th Birthday bash on board my virgin Atlantis “Mexican” All-Gay voyage leaving San Diego, hitting Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. If it wasn’t for my pal’s milestone birthday and his choice of spending it on board a ship of all men, I’m not sure if I would have gone on something I had considered as an over-sexed “Gay Love Boat.”

The anxiety of 8 days at sea with over 2,000 gay men on the luxury Royal Caribbean “Radiance of the Seas” had me up at nights reaching for Lorazepam. Pre-board jitters ran rampant and remained so until I attended the “Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Hour” on the top promenade when the drinks flowed and the friendly meet-n-greet got underway signalling to me that all will be well for my maiden voyage. My fears of not being “in-shape” enough, “hip” enough or “pretty” enough shrunk away as did the San Diego skyline behind the crowd of boisterous and joyous gay men.

Mingling around me were all types of gay men in various shapes ‘n’ sizes in various dress from flip flops to high heels. From this moment I discovered that an all-gay cruise is really just a demographic reflection of a slice of gay village life made up of muscle heads, twinks, daddies, bears, bikers, kinkers, partiers, pubbers, sport kitters, showtuners, trannies and drag queens. “Check, check, check all subgroups accounted for, Captain!” The great thing about cruising on a modern-day, floating all-inclusive hotel — some longer than the Empire State Building if placed on its side — is that there are enough pubs, bars, discos, cafes, restaurants to provide niche entertainment to every part of a wildly eclectic gay microcosm. Plus, the meals in the fine-dining restaurants are as delicious as you’d find anywhere.

So whether you take part in the high-energy dance parties from dusk to dawn featuring rotating Celebrity DJs or choose to just wine and dine a deux under endless stars, there’s something for everyman onboard a gay cruise. The choices abound and you control the pace of your adventure. Since my inaugural voyage, I have since taken 3 subsequent Atlantis cruises, a RCCL through the Caribbean, Holland America around 5 Hawaiian Islands and Celebrity down the coast of South America from Rio through to Buenos Aires. In my opinion, cast aside any trepidation and book some sun along with some fun with other like-minded men on an all-gay cruise.

To help you out on your first departure here are 5 tips I wish I had known before taking my inaugural cruise:

1. DO DECORATE YOUR CABIN DOOR – Bring personal stick-up items like photos, a map of where you’re from and tacky eye-catching decorations to identify your cabin.

2. BOOK INTO THE FINE DINING RESTAURANT ASAP – Seating in these restaurants are limited and will fill up fast so make your reservations early.

3. READ THE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS BEFORE EMBARKING – Make a list of activities you wish to attend on and off ship so you can plan your wardrobe appropriately.

4. DON’T MISS ANY OF THE MAIN STAGE PERFORMANCES – I’ve seen Patti Labelle, Patti Lupone, Deborah Cox, Charo — brilliant btw — this year, Idina Menzel!

5. MAKE UP CONTACT CARDS – You will meet so many new friends you’ll want to keep in touch with so bring pre-made contact cards and save some ink!

I want to go to Puerto Vallarta



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TURQUOISE DREAMS Gay “Gulet” Cruise on the Mediterranean Marm... $599.00
ST. CROIX BEACH WHAT'S INCLUDED: Accommodation for 7 nights in... $829.00
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