New all-gay cruise, organized by the actual cruise line

A while back many MMOB members participated in a survey about the site; from the results we learned that while nearly 100% of you have been on a cruise, only 35% have been on an all-gay cruise, such as RSVP, Atlantis, Olivia, or R Family.

You probably know that those companies charter entire ships, but they are not cruise lines themselves (although RSVP did once own a small ship).

Meanwhile, I recently learned that a Greek cruise line, Variety Cruises, is trying their hand at marketing their own all-gay cruises. Frankly, I’ve wondered for years why Princess or Celebrity haven’t tried this on their own.

There are many challenges for a cruise company in attempting to market to us as homos. Probably the biggest is they don’t exactly know who we are. For all the demographic info cruise lines collect, sexual-orientation isn’t tracked (as far as I know). The other big challenge is convincing the all-gay-cruise crowd that the cruise line can put on the same quality of overall “show” as the gay charter operators. RSVP, Olivia, and the others have become experts at “gaying up” the entire cruise experience, bringing their own DJs and other entertainers to make sure the experience is over-the-top gay.

While I doubt I’ll make it to Greece to sample Variety’s initial effort at all-gay cruises, I’d love to hear from anyone who does take the voyage. If you or someone you know is going, let me know.

Related to this topic: 6 myths of all-gay cruises

  • Ken

    I think the key comment was that “they don’t know us.” Here in Baja where I live, I have experienced a recent phenomena of straight party organizers trying to put together a gay party. The adds all look just like a regular gay party… but since I live here and know most of the gay bar owners and party organizers, I tend to check things out if I don’t recognize someone.

    What I find is that if your are not gay, you just don’t know how to put all the pieces together. Same thing with a “gay” bar. We have seen straights come in and try to have a “gay night” but all they want is our money.

    If the cruise lines want to do this, they need to break free of their “corporate suit” and hire gay people to run the show. That also means hiring gay cruise directors on mainstream cruises and letting them be out! There are gay CD’s and other staff, but you have to draw them out to get them to admit to being gay!

    If you look on cruiscritic or cruisemates you see many straight and gay cruisers mingling and the straight cruisers universally think that gay cruisers add something to their experience. They love us! But we can’t even get the cruise lines to universally list FOD gatherings… even hiding behind the acronym!

    The corporate types are hidden away in their offices… the ship’s officers, crew and staff are the ones who interact with us. The decision to hold a gay cruise will not come from the ship because they don’t have the power or input. And the corporate offices are too straight.

    Have we ever seen a cruiseline at a Gay Pride festival? Do they advertise in your gay publications? The Pride program? Gay agents do… very few corporate ads supporting our community.

    So really… I don’t see the cruise line sponsored gay cruise anytime soon. And that’s okay… I have no problem supporting the gay groups and agents that put together the all-gay cruises or gay groups on mainstream cruises.

    Ken in Rosarito