LGBT FAMILY CRUISE UPDATE: PORT (AND LIFE) LESSONS IN JAMAICA

31 12 2015
Gay blended family in Jamaica and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Gay blended family 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 port of call. 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.

 





NYTimes: On A Gay Cruise, Just One of the Guys

13 04 2015

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The New York Times takes an interesting look inside gay cruises and comes away saying “…The sense of freedom was powerful: You could be old or young, slim or heavy, and could have a loud, drunken cruise, a quiet romantic one, or even a naughty one. The many people I met who had taken multiple Atlantis cruises, 10 or even 20 or more, are clearly on to something.”

I hadn’t expected to fit in on this cruise. I thought the Atlantis experience might be too intense for me; I’d heard stories about the costumes and assumed that only impossibly young gay men with untraceable amounts of body fat would be on board. I figured that my partner, Brett, and I would feel awfully out of place.

For ManAboutWorld’s take on cruise vacations (gay and straight), download our March issue: Check out this special subscription offer.

Photo credit: Brett Douglas, The New York Times

 





UPDATE: Live at 3pm ET March 31: All About Cruising Twitter Chat

31 03 2015

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.





In the March issue: Cruising, Dallas, San Francisco, Ft. Lauderdale + Davey Wavey’s West Hollywood

27 03 2015

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. Read the rest of this entry »





Parting Shots: ManAboutWorld Cruiser Shares His Photos and Stories

11 03 2015
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

Read the rest of this entry »





Kevin Mossier Paved Our Waves With RSVP Vacations

21 11 2014

regaL

The latest gay travel column from Global Correspondent Jeff Guaracino notes the 30th aanniversaryof gay and lesbian cruises with RSVP Vacations.

GLBT travel is not just about creating a value for our community but it also how we can impact the world through our travels.

In 2015, RSVP Vacations marks 30 years of gay and lesbian cruises with a yearlong celebration highlighted by their largest cruise yet on the brand new Regal Princess.

Read the rest of this entry »





R Family Vacations Celebrates 11 years of Gay Family Travel

19 10 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.20.31 PMThe latest gay travel column from Global Correspondent Jeff Guaracino celebrates 11 years of gay family travel.

R Family Vacations was founded eleven years ago by travel entrepreneur Gregg Kaminsky and Kelli Carpenter and since then 19,000 people have traveled the world with Gregg and Kelli on trips designed just for our community.

R Family Vacations is unique in the travel space. The R Family experience is for everyone. Families don’t just mean children. It can be adults with their adult gay or lesbian child or childless LGBT couples who are looking for a different experience than that of Atlantis Events, RSVP Vacations or Olivia.

Read the rest of this entry »








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