If you’re cruising through, from, or to Miami / Ft. Lauderdale in mid-June, check out Read more →
Tagged: RSVP RSS
News this week of the Norwegian Epic, one of the world’s largest cruise ships, being turned away from a port in the Bahamas because the port didn’t schedule it properly was pretty darn shocking. According to Bahamas-based Tribune242.com, the 4,100 passenger mega-ship was turned away due to a “mix up in the berthing schedule.”
Holy Cow! Someone’s head should roll for that mistake, which the publication reports cost the island(s) over $100,000.
But what does a missed or skipped port mean for you and me? Have you ever been on a ship that skipped or changed a port for some reason?
I have. Many years ago, during an RSVP cruise onboard a Holland America ship, we were diverted from a stop on the Dominican Republic (if memory serves me right) due to health a health issue on the island, and instead the captain held the ship between the islands of St. Thomas and St. John, USVI, with tenders running to both those islands. We had already stopped in St. Thomas earlier in the cruise. This allowed me to visit small St. John, where the island’s business owners had zero warning the gays would be arriving en mass. The ones I talked to were certainly delighted with the bonus bucks that landed in their cash registers that day.
Meanwhile, lots of plans in the Dominican were scuttled. And while this was before it was so easy to pre-plan (and sometimes pre-pay) for non-cruise line shore excursions prior to arrival, I can only imagine how disruptive such a change must be these days when some of us do just that. Folks who booked excursions via the cruise line would be refunded, but people who planned on their own would be SOL.
It’s a good reminder that you should never pre-arrange and pre-pay for any “non-refundable” travel experience that you can’t afford to lose, and this includes the cruise itself when you arrange your own airfare–which is my method. However, I always book my flights to arrive at least a day before departure, which gives me a much stronger chance of making the ship on time (I haven’t missed one yet), plus allows me to arrive relaxed, and even enjoy the outbound port and perhaps its gay bars or shops.
I’d love to hear if you’ve ever lost money due to a last-minute change in a ship’s itinerary. And for that matter, have you ever missed the boat altogether?
Note: On one mentioned cruise, the author cruised as a guest of RSVP Vacations. The company has not reviewed this content, and the views and opinions expressed are the author’s own.
According to court documents filed in California, nearly a dozen Slavic Bel Ami porn stars were hired by RSVP to “mix and mingle” with passengers on a gay cruise through the Mediterranean. Bel Ami maintains the models were told to keep the fact RSVP hired them on the down-low, “suggesting that the young men should lie and say the cruise was a ‘reward from Bel Ami for their hard work’ if anyone asked.” In exchange for providing the talent, RSVP told Bel Ami it could film the models frolicking non-sexually around the ship.
But rumors started circling before the boat even left port and, when the boys attracted too much attention, RSVP allegedly kicked them off the Nieuw Amsterdam, stranding them in Tunisia.
At the time, Tunisia was in the aftermath of the tumultuous civil uprising that became known as the Arab Spring; an uprising so powerful that it led to the removal of long-time President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The protests constituted the most dramatic wave of social and political unrest in Tunisia in three decades and resulted in scores of deaths and injuries.
With RSVP supposedly holding their passports and belongings hostage, the models had no choice but to comply. Ironically, the Nieuw Amsterdam was just one day away from Italy, an EU member nation that would have allowed them to easily return home to Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Instead they spent a sleepless night in Tunisia, with no contacts, no resources and unable to speak the language.
Bel Ami and the models are suing RSVP and Holland America cruise line for breach of contract, fraud, intentional interference with contract, negligence, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
This isn’t the first trouble RSVP has had in the Muslim world: Just a few weeks ago, a planned excursion to Morocco was canceled for reasons that remain unclear.
Tad, Dave Cantrall, Lance and 7 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
Organizers of an all-gay cruise on Saturday blamed Moroccan officials for the cancellation of what would have been the first visit of its kind to a Muslim country, but the tourism minister denied the ship was banned and said its passengers were welcome.
Cruise liner Holland America Line and trip organiser RSVP Vacations told the 2,100 holiday-makers aboard the MS Nieuw Amsterdam ship that the July 1 visit to Casablanca had been cancelled.Read the entire Reuters article here >>>Will Kohler, owner and creator of Back2Stonewall.com is one of the country’s leading experts on LGBT History, Media and Popular Culture. Read his opinion here >>>Click the comment link below and let us know your thoughts.
- compose new post
- next post/next comment
- previous post/previous comment
- show/hide comments
- go to top
© 2009-2013 Meet Me On Board, LLC. All rights reserved.