Category Archives: Cruises

Royal Caribbean is Officially Gay Travel Approved

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GayTravel.com proudly announces that Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) is Gay Travel Approved

Royal Caribbean International® is the first and only cruise line to receive the sought-after distinction of being Gay Travel ApprovedSM by GayTravel.com, a trusted resource for LGBTQ travelers. The global cruise line, a leading innovator of adventurous vacation experiences has shown an ongoing commitment to the LGBTQ community by demonstrating a spirit of diversity and inclusion on all of its 25 ships that visit exciting destinations around the world.

The Gay Travel Approved Seal of Approval is awarded by GayTravel.com to select travel partners that offer a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ travelers.  This accolade is reserved for travel partners whom a panel of experts, editors and tastemakers have deemed deserving of a higher level of recognition by the LGBTQ community.

“This designation has been a long time in the making,” said Steve Rohrlick, CEO of GayTravel.com. “Our GayTravel Cruise Guru Stephen Prisco has sailed on more than one-hundred Royal Caribbean cruises.  The recent appointment of Grant Van Ulbrich as the first openly-gay Diversity Executive on a major cruise line and the steps he is implementing are indicative of Royal Caribbean International’s commitment to the LGBTQ community. It is therefore our distinct pleasure to bestow GayTravel Approved 2016 to Royal Caribbean International.”

“Royal Caribbean has always been known and recognized for extraordinary service that is warm and attentive and remains committed to creating a diverse, welcoming environment on each and every one of our ships,” said Grant Van Ulbrich, Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Royal Caribbean. To take our efforts to the next level, we recently introduced a new Diversity and Inclusion department and one of its first priorities is to focus on continued training and education for our international crew members.”

With its parent company’s perfect rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and a rich history of hosting LGBTQ charters, groups and luminaries, it’s not surprising that LGBTQ travelers are frequent guests. One such guest and avid sailor is GayTravel.com’s Cruise Guru Stephen Prisco.

“From the moment I set foot on my first Royal Caribbean cruise, I felt like I belonged,” said Prisco. “On every one of my cruising adventures, I feel like I am home and that Royal Caribbean is my family.  The strides that they have taken to welcome our community onboard and the incredible innovations they have made to their fleet are just a few of the reasons I continue to return time and time again…”

GayTravel.com encourages the LGBTQA community to offer recommendations for Gay Travel Approved travel destinations, accommodations, cruises, tours, events, restaurants, and venues:http://www.gaytravel.com/gay-travel-approved-nomination-form/

 

About Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 46-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. Media can stay up-to-date by following @RoyalCaribPR on Twitter, and visiting RoyalCaribbeanPressCenter.com. For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should call their travel agent; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

About GayTravel.com

GayTravel.com connects the LGBTQA community with gay friendly destinations, hotels, cruises, tours, events, entertainment, attractions, clubs and restaurants throughout the world.  Their mission is to provide the community with safe, welcoming and unique recommendations to ensure that every vacation is both pleasurable and memorable.  For additional information, visit www.GayTravel.com or call (800) GAY-TRAVEL.

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The Best Gay Cruises with Dave

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Dave at Donovan Travel  is  our  #1   go to guy  for  ALL TRAVEL  NEEDS!  Air, hotels, cruises, you name it!

He can help you find exactly  what you are looking for. Atlantis, RSVP, Olivia and  more!

Whether you’re a lesbian couple looking for a romantic getaway or gay singles ready to party and make friends, there’s a cruise for you. He can help you choose between fully chartered gay and lesbian cruises and gay groups on regular cruises, and find the cruise line that’s right for you. 1-800-252-2660

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World’s first dedicated LGBT cruise line

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Anteros Cruises Introduces the World’s

      First Dedicated LGBT Cruise Line

 

 

Anteros Cruises LLC is pleased to introduce the world’s first dedicated LGBT cruise line, scheduled to commence sailings in April 2017.  Anteros Cruises celebrates recent victories in LGBT rights with first-of-its-kind, year-round, yacht-like cruise line catering to the LGBT community. Delivering on the brand’s promise of being “as inclusive as it is exclusive” Anteros Cruises is reinventing the cruise experience and inviting not only the LGBT community, but also their friends, family, and allies…All Aboard

Recognizing and celebrating diversity within the LGBT community has designed every aspect of the cruising experience so that LGBT travelers can be themselves, without judgment.  From celebrity-designer interiors and stylishly-sophisticated soft goods, to unparalleled personalized service delivered by a meticulously trained crew, Anteros Cruises will feature a higher than usual staff-to-guest ratio.  On board, guests will enjoy world-class cuisine, signature amenities, and as much or little internet connectivity as they desire.     Everything about the Anteros cruising experience has been customized, including exciting shore excursions at every destination. In addition, itineraries are being coordinated with LGBT-oriented events such as PRIDE celebrations to make the most of each port-of-call.

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“Every aspect of the Anteros Cruises experience is designed with LGBT community members in mind. Our number one priority is making our guests feel comfortable, relaxed, and open, so they can be themselves while enjoying our luxury yacht-like cruise experience,” said David Huang, Director of Anteros Cruises. “We are thrilled to present this novel, overdue concept in travel dedicated to the LGBT traveler, featuring itineraries to popular as well as off-the-beaten-path ports that are designed to make the LGBT traveler feel completely welcome and catered to every step of the way.”

“We believe that being yourself and enjoying yourself should flow together, so we have created a world-class cruise experience that celebrates the finer things without forgoing the most important thing, the openness for LGBT travelers to be who they are without judgment,” continued Huang.

With an intimate, yacht-like ship which can access small ports in exotic destinations, Anteros will offer premium itineraries and service across a wide range of price points to deliver on its promise of inclusivity.  Sailings will be presented on a year-round basis with itineraries ranging from 5-14 days.  Cruising the Mediterranean during summer and fall months, the 400-passenger ship will make Barcelona and Piraeus (Athens) its homeport.  Caribbean homeports during winter months will include St. Maarten and Colon, offering an amazing range of destinations for guests to continue exploring the open seas with Anteros Cruises.

“In the coming weeks, we look forward to presenting the world with even more exciting details about Anteros Cruises – the first dedicated LGBT cruise line,” said Huang.  “Stay tuned for much more to come!”

For additional information about Anteros Cruises, visit www.AnterosCruises.com.

 

 

About Anteros Cruises

Anteros Cruises is the world’s first dedicated LGBT cruise line featuring sophisticated itineraries to exotic ports in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. With an intimate, 400-passenger luxury yacht-like ship, every aspect of the Anteros Cruises experience is designed with the LGBT community in mind. Anterors’ mission is to deliver relaxing vacations to explore culture-rich destinations set in a judgment-free environment to be enjoyed with family and friends.  For additional information about Anteros Cruises, visit AnterosCruises.com.

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Why Should You Use a Travel Agent?

 When the internet exploded, many travelers went out on their own, searching, looking for deals and bargains, booking things themselves – I never understood that. Why would I want to spend HOURS doing all the work – when a travel professional probably knows most of the answers!

  They know what deals are happening – they know how you can save money –  there  are over 100  REASONS to use a travel agent –

here are just a few…..

 Convenient One-Stop Shopping
Travel agents can
handle every aspect of your trip from airline tickets to lodging,
ground transportation, activities, tours and more.

 Consumer Advocate
If you should have a problem during your trip, travel agents can act on your behalf to see that proper restitution’s are made.

Expert Guidance
Travel
agents are experts in helping travelers get where they need to go and
in helping to create possibilities most people never would have dreamed
were possible.

 Save Time
Avoid the headaches and let the travel agents call around and do all the time consuming work of planning a complex itinerary. 

 Choice
Travel
agents offer you an array of options and price quotes from a variety of
travel suppliers, giving you the upper hand when making your final
travel decisions. 

Less Stress
Planning a trip
can be stressful. There are so many options and details to worry about.
Travel agents do the work, resulting in less stress for you. 

 Updated Information
Travel
agents are constantly communicating with the travel community, thus
giving you the most up to date info on airlines, hotels, car rental
agencies, travel visas, and other travel services to consider as you
plan your trip. 

Customer Service
Travel
agents offer that “personal touch” to your travel planning experience-
Offering help and advice that a website cannot provide.

 Travel Expertise
Many travel agents are
considered experts in the area you are traveling to and have probably
already been to your chosen destination.

 Best Value for Your Money Spent
Travel
agents can help you to make your dollars go farther while you are
away.  They have access to finding all sorts of deals ranging from
flights to hotels to dinner recommendations. 

 
 Location, Location, Location!!!!
Travel
Specialists can help you to find a place to stay pretty much anywhere
you desire.  If it’s a hotel with a view of the ocean in Hawaii or a
jungle hut in the Nilgiri foothills, a travel agent can help you make it
happen. 

 Knowledge of All the Ins and Outs
Travel specialists can help bring you up to speed on the local laws and regulations of wherever your travels take you. 

 Avoid International Flight Confusion
Travel specialists can help organize those confusing international flights that internet search engines don’t cover.

  Personalized Trips
A travel agent can prepare you a personalized trip based on where you want to go and what you want to do.  

 Where to Go to Avoid Kids
Want
to go somewhere without children running all over the place? A travel
agent can help you to find excellent retreats that are open to adults
only. 

Local Traditions 
Travel
specialists can update you on all local traditions and customs of
places you are visiting, so you make a good impression. For example, in
Japan many people expect their visitors to take their shoes off before
entering their homes. 

 Complicated Itineraries Made Simple
Travel
experts can take care of all the details for those complicated around
the world itineraries and all the extra headaches that go with them,
such as hotel and transportation along the way. 


 Special Deals Worked Out in Advance – Travel
agents may have a relationship with certain tour operators and could be
able to get you a special price that might not otherwise be available. 

 Difference in Days to Save Money
Instead
of playing around with dates on the internet for hours, your travel
agent can advise you on any changes to your travel dates that might save
you hundreds of dollars.

 Staying In-the-Know of Daily Promotions
Travel agents get emails and faxes of daily money saving promotions. 


 They Are Considered Travel Experts and Specialists – Wouldn’t you rather have a travel expert plan your trip rather than a pre-programmed website? 

 It just Makes Sense to Use a Travel Agent. 
 They’re Out There… Use Them
Why do the work if someone else like a travel specialist can.  

 Travel Agents Must Be Doing Something Right.  They Sure Have a lot of Business 

Travel
agents still sell 51 percent of all airline tickets, 87 percent of all
cruises, 81 percent of all tours and packages, 45 percent of all car
rentals and about 47 percent of all hotels. 

 It Makes Traveling Easy
Once you find a good travel agent, your dream vacation is just a phone call away. 

We highly recommend Dave at Donovan Travel!


Donovan Travel
Let Dave help YOU with YOUR next Trip!
1-800-942-1280     E-MAIL THEM



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Carnival Cruise Ru Paul Charter says Guests CAN NOT Come in Drag

DRAGS QUEENS AND TRANSGENDERS are SREAMING MAD about the upcoming Carnival Cruise featuring Ru Pauls Drag Racers. 

On December 2, the Carnival Glory will depart from the Port of Miami carrying about two dozen drag queens from Logo’s RuPaul’s Drag Race (including local favorite Latrice Royale),
but Carnival Cruises has managed to spark a bit of controversy a week
before the ship even sails by banning drag costumes. Yes, they’ve banned
drag costumes from a drag queen-themed cruise.

Carnival Cruises is in hot water for reportedly telling passengers that drag would been banned on an upcoming drag cruise.
An email was sent to ticket holders on Carnivial’s “Drag Stars at Sea”
cruise, telling them that they wouldn’t be able to put on a wig and
heels and kiki aboard the U.S.S. Glory. Only the professionals from RuPaul’s Drag Race could. Y’see, there were other people on the boat—including children—so everyone would have to keep their pants on.

When asked, Carnival management acknowledged that gender illusion was verboten among passengers on the December 2 cruise, but said it wasn’t discrimination. It was part of their standard policy as a result of the war on terrorism.


ALLEGEDLY,    Carnival’s “no costumes rule” is NOT meant to be an insult to the gay community. As a gay business, we would not have organized this cruise if they were prejudiced against gay people. This rule goes for both GAY and STRAIGHT passengers that travel on all Carnival cruises. It is in response to the post-911 world we live in. It is meant to protect passengers and guests – NOT to marginalize a few.

I get the NO MASK thing. That makes sense. So what if a transgender  comes on board, in their desired clothing of choice and/or makeup, and their ID does not match their exterior, would they be ejected from  the boat. 

Many people are demanding a full refund. 

Come on Carnival. GET REAL!

Read more at Queerty  and  Miami New Times
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Gay Travel and Sodomy Laws

Our buddy Lyndon over at Focus on The Rainbow, tipped us off to this scary story today.

When you travel to foreign countries you must be aware of their laws relating to sex.  What is the age of consent?  Do they have a sodomy law?

Two men from California are learning that the hard way as GayStarNews is reporting
using several sources. The two men were arrested Wednesday after being
seen by someone from the dock where the ship they were on, a Celebrity
Summit cruise ship, organized by Atlantis Events,  was docked and the individual alleges the two men
were engaged in sex. – Was he peeping in the windows? Or were the guys outdoors in public view?

The ship carrying about 2,000 passengers departed Puerto Rico (not so gay friendly) on
Saturday and arrived in Dominica on Wednesday. It departed for St. Barts
without the men, who are being held in a cell at police headquarters in
the capital of Roseau.

John Robert Hart and Dennis Jay Mayer both
in their 40’s were arrested on the ship by local authorities and will
appear in court today on charges of suspicion of indecent exposure and
sodomy. The ship had been docked in the Caribbean country of Dominica
which outlaws sex among gays.

The cruise which had been organized by the gay travel company Atlantis
Events in West Hollywood, CA warns all travelers of potential sodomy
laws which are in effect in the various countries their planned cruises
take travelers.

I guess I would question Atlantis. And why they choose to take gay travelers to area’s who are against gays – when there are thousands of beautiful destinations worldwide to choose from. What’s next, a gay cruise to Uganda? How about St. Petersburg?

The penalty in Dominica for same-sex sexual activity is up to 10 years in prison.

In an update from one of the sources GayStarNews used in doing their article, Dominican News Online, the website reported
the charge of “buggery” (sodomy) would be dropped and they had been
charged with indecent exposure. The sodomy charge was dropped because as
Police Chief Cyrille Carrette told the website Wednesday evening, that charge will take too long to expedite, hence the men will only be charged with indecent exposure.

The ship sailed on without the two men to continue the scheduled cruise.

If
found guilty of the indecent exposure charge they could be fined $370
each and could face up to six months in prison according to a report by the Associated Press via The Washington Post.



UPDATE –  the 2 men have been released after paying $3000  in fines!  They were paraded thru the streets to a bank, to withdraw  money and crowds yelled slurs at them!  They admit they were half naked, on their balcony. But that’s all.
Mayer and Hart say they were taunted all night long in a jail cell with no light, no water, and no toilet. The courts wanted to have their rectums inspected for signs of anal sex, but that  was eventually dropped.

Dennis Mayer said he has no doubt they were arrested in Dominica because they were gay. 

Police
said it was because they were seen having sex in public on the balcony
of their ship cabin. Mayer said they were not having sex, but were
‘partially clothed’.

Mayer, a retired deputy sheriff, told
how he and his partner  John, were summoned
to speak to the captain wished to speak to us. ‘We were caught off
guard,’ he added.

Three
cruise ship officials and six Dominica police officers were waiting for
them. After police interviewed both men separately, the assistant
captain spoke, Mayer said.

‘At this time, we are going to eject you from the ship. We have zero tolerance toward your behavior,’ Mayer recalled him saying.

‘He said that other people said that we
were engaging in homosexual sex. He repeated that several times. I told
him I didn’t know why they would say that. I wasn’t doing that.’

‘The treatment was inhumane,’ Mayer
said. ‘We were detained for approximately 26 hours, and 19 of those
locked in a cement cell, which had no running water, no toilet, no
lights. ‘It stunk of feces and urine. It was infested with cockroaches,
ants and bugs.’

AGAIN, I ask, why does Atlantis or anyone gay support these anti-gay ports?!  It’s ridiculous.

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Man Overboard on Gay Cruise Identified

  That man  overboard, from the Atlantis Cruise, has now been identified as 30-year-old Kenneth John
Gemmell,
a native of Bailieborough, Co Cavan, Ireland. Gemmell was a
flight attendant with UAE airlines stationed in Dubai.

In a statement, Royal Caribbean indicated that Gemmell was seen going overboard at 7:10 am local time and that fact was confirmed by surveillance cameras aboard the ship.

Edward Owen at The Examiner reports that the family is seeking information to bring some closure to their situation:

They are issuing an appeal to anyone on
board the ship who might have met Kenneth during the cruise, to touch
base with them.  And they particularly would like to hear from the
person who witnessed him going overboard.  The family has said they want
nothing more than to understand what drove their son, who had just
turned 30 last Tuesday, to this.

The family says that some
information has already come their way.  One party told them that
Kenneth may have been arguing with a ship’s crew member (perhaps a
bartender) in one of the bars late Thursday night or early Friday
morning.  They were also told that the crew member, a man they
understood was sharing a room with a Canadian citizen, left the ship in
Cozumel.

Because of the lack of information, a
family spokesman told examiner.com that some members of the family are
finding it hard to accept that Kenneth actually went overboard.

Anyone
who has information on this tragedy is asked to email Michael at 
michael-at-mhynes.com.  The family says they just want to know what
happened to their son.


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Gay Cruise with Atlantis this week – MAN OVERBOARD

It seems that a passenger has fallen overboard from an Atlantis cruise off the coast of Mexico on Friday.

ABC7 photojournalist Sean Patrick Lewis aboard the Royal
Caribbean cruise ship Allure of the Seas said passengers were awakened
Friday morning by an emergency announcement, saying a man was believed
to be overboard.

The ship’s captain confirmed the incident to passengers and said all rescue attempts were being made.

An emergency assembly was called so passengers could be counted.

Royal Caribbean has aid a passenger
witnessed another passenger going overboard at about 7 a.m. According to
the statement, footage from the ship’s closed-circuit camera showed the
passenger, a 30-year-old British man, going over the balcony railing in
his stateroom.  More details at ABC NEWS.

THE ALLURE OF THE SEAS holds the record for the largest passenger ship ever constructed –  though her sister ship, Oasis of the Seas,  is just 2 inches smaller!

The ship features a two-deck dance hall, a theatre with 1,380 seats, and an ice skating rink. Many of the ship’s interiors were extensively decorated by muralist Clarissa Parish.

Steven Barry Krumholz, 51, was arrested while on board
the Allure of the Seas while it was docked in St. Thomas.  – last year, on their 2011 cruise.

News reports said  that  Customs and Border Protection agents boarded the
ship and found drugs on another passenger, who said he had
purchased them from Krumholz before the trip and picked them up while on
board.

Agents who searched Krumholz’s cabin reported finding
more than 140 ecstasy pills, nearly three grams of methamphetamine, a
small quantity of ketamine and about $51,000 in cash. While waiting for
the suspect in his cabin, two more passengers came to buy drugs,
according to agents!

I never have liked cruise ships…..

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Captain Francesco Schettino Jailed Facing Manslaughter

The Captain does NOT always,
                         go down with his ship. 

 Captain Francesco Schettino was in charge of the ship that ran aground off Italy. He is jailed and  is being
interrogated by prosecutors and a judge will decide on whether to keep
him under arrest for allegedly abandoning the vessel before rescue
efforts ended.

The questioning today in the city of Grosseto comes as details emerged
about  Schettino’s  actions after the Costa Concordia
hit rocks off Giglio Island near the Tuscan coast at 9:45 p.m. on Jan.
13.

Schettino was ordered by a Coast Guard official to return to the
cruise liner to help with rescue efforts about three hours after the
accident, according to audio of telephone conversations between them
posted on daily Corriere della Sera’s website today. But he fled the scene.

“Get back on the ship and tell me how many people are still there,”
Coast Guard Commander Gregorio Maria De Falco, speaking from the city of
Livorno on the Italian mainland, told Schettino, according to the tape.
“Tell me if there are women, children and people in need there.”

Schettino didn’t return to the ship and took a taxi on Giglio before
being arrested, media including Sky TG24 said. He is accused of
manslaughter and abandoning the Costa Concordia when passengers were
still on board
“since we know he was in the harbor about midnight,”
Francesco Verusio, chief prosecutor in Grosseto, said in a Jan. 15
interview. He is also accused of causing the accident that left at least
six people dead.

A gay couple from Austin Texas escaped to safety. Fortunately the couple had read about the location of the
lifeboats. – 
See why it is important to pay attention to safety features?!


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Cruise Ship in Italy Runs Aground – Several Dead, Many Missing

Ever since  Poseidan Adventure, this is my worst fear – 

Italian authorities were questioning Saturday the captain of a cruise
ship that ran aground, knocking the vessel on its side and killing at
least three people, with dozens more missing, officials said.

“Fear and panic are comprehensible in a ship long over 300 meters
with over 4000 passengers,” Del Santo said. “We can confirm that the
ship has a breach on the hull of about 90 meters, and that the right
side of it is completely under water.”

The  three persons dead were two French tourists and a crew member from Peru, Port authorities in Livorno said.

A spokesman with the local civil protection agency, said 40 to 60 persons were missing, though authorities are reviewing passenger lists
to confirm the exact figure. Many people jumped – who did not want to wait for the lifeboats.

More details, photos and videos  at  CNN

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Worlds Biggest Gay Cruise…Leads to Drug Bust

Whoopsie! 

A California man was arrested in the U.S. Virgin Islands after federal agents searched his cabin onboard what was billed as the “world’s largest gay cruise” and found a plethora of party drugs that he was allegedly selling to fellow passengers.

Steven Barry Krumholtz, 51, of West Hollywood was busted aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas as the cruise ship was docked in St. Thomas, a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson says in a statement to AOL Travel News.


Along with the drug stash, agents recovered $51,000 in cash from Krumholtz’s room.

There were 5,4000 passengers aboard the cruise ship which was charted by Atlantis.


The Allure of the Seas is  currently the  largest cruise ship in the world.
Atlantis has also chartered the ship for another cruise in 2012.

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Gay Travel and Gay Cruise to Mainland China…Busan, Korean, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong

Gay travel and cruise to China mainland is just weeks away! Last year, Atlantis Cruises set sail on the first all-gay cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore with a sold-out ship, the Azamara Quest.

Atlantis will set sail on the five-star Azamara Quest from Shanghai, home to Expo 2010, on March 20, 2010. The 10-day cruise will make stops in Busan, South Korea; Hiroshima, Osaka, and Kagoshima, Japan; Taipei, Taiwan; and Hong Kong. With an overnight in Osaka, guests can visit Kyoto, home to thousands of temples, gardens, palaces and even cherry blossoms. There’s also a long stay in Taipei, Taiwan’s largest city with even more ancient temples as well as the country’s tallest skyscrapers and surprisingly incredible gay-friendly nightlife. – There are still a few rooms left – although I am not sure you could secure traveling documents in time…

Expo 2010 is happening May – October and is expected to bring 70 million people to Shanghai! World Expo 2010 Shanghai China is the occasion for China to bring the world at home, and for the world to feel at home in China. By dedicating a 5.28-square-kilometer area at the core of the city to exhibitions, events and forums on the Expo theme, “Better City, Better Life,” Shanghai hopes to build a powerful and lasting pilot example of sustainable and harmonious urban living.

There is so much to see and do in Asia. Utopia Asia is a great resource for gay and lesbian travelers in Asia.

Utopia was founded in 1994, by Singaporean, American, and Thai partners, with the goal of creating positive social alternatives for gays and lesbians in the Asian region.


Utopia opened Southeast Asia’s first gay and lesbian center, located in Bangkok, featuring a gay gift and book shop, café, mixed gay/lesbian pub, and guesthouse. The center went on to host author readings, women’s workshops, AIDS/HIV education and fundraising, and Bangkok’s first International Lesbian and Gay Film/Video Festival: Hearts of Light.

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Gay Cruise Heads to the Homophobic Caribbean

I am a firm believer that as a LGBT community, we should  always  vote with our money. 

My partner and I never want to support or give money to those who don’t have our best interests at heart.

Now I don’t go crazy, trying to verify that every single company I do business with is gay friendly. However, when I know a company is homophobic, I will refuse to spend my money with them.

This week in the news again is the homophobic Caribbean nations. Coming up in April is a  cruise to the Bahamas benefiting Miami Beach Gay Pride, that is once again calling attention to the appropriateness of visiting Caribbean nations that appear to be homophobic.

Source Events, a company that specializes in LGBT tours, is donating proceeds to the organization from a cruise aboard the Norwegian Sky  that will make stops in Grand Bahama, Nassau and Great Stirrup Bay. The cruise embarks two days after the second annual Pride Parade and Expo in South Beach. – Why they would choose these destinations, is beyond me. And I for one, would refuse to go on this cruise. The Carribean has made it quite clear they do not like gays! 

-In  2004 they  picketed  a Rosie O’Donnell’s Family Vacations cruise.
-In  2006  they baned  the film “Brokeback Mountain,”
-In  2007 there was a police raid on a gay cruise party.
-In 2009  there was a  jury acquittal of a man who used the “gay panic” defense in the murder of an HIV-positive male.
So if towns are this homophobic, why would we want to stop there? Why would I want to give them my money?

EDGE BOSTON reports, “Representatives of Source Events and Miami Beach Gay Pride acknowledged the problems with anti-gay discrimination in the Bahamas, but defended the cruise.”

Neither I nor Miami Beach Gay Pride are blind to the fact that homophobia exists in the Bahamas,” Sharon Kersten, a Source Events spokesperson, told EDGE in e-mail. “Perhaps we can be part of the solution, rather than punishing an entire nation for the fears and heinous acts of a small portion of the population.”

While, yes, it is true there have been incidents of homophobia in the Bahamas, I suspect that whatever town you live in it happens there, too,” Cindy Brown, Miami Beach Gay Pride operations director, said in a phone interview. “There are pluses and minuses to anywhere one could possibly visit. I believe that if we want to make a difference in the way people view us, we can only do that if we allow them to see who we really are.” 

There are HUNDREDS of places to take a cruise?  Why pick the Caribbean?   W T F ?

Read More at EDGE BOSTON.



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Straight Couple Gets On Gay Cruise – And SUES!


HOW STUPID
ARE STRAIGHT PEOPLE???


A married straight couple is seeking financial compensation after discovering once their ship left port that they had been booked on an all-gay and lesbian cruise from Civitavecchia, north of Rome, to Barcelona.

Uh, were they BLIND?
 Did they not notice 1500 men and no women on board?


The middle-aged couple alleges that the cruise company didn’t make it obvious enough that the cruise last month was for gays and lesbians and are suing for “lost satisfaction”, given that they were the only straight couple with 1500 gay passengers. 

Gay rights activists say the couple’s lawsuit shows they are homophobic, though the couple’s attorney insists that’s not the case. They’re suing over a breach of contract; they allege the cruise line didn’t accurately represent the voyage. 

The middle aged couple’s attorney is suing for “lost satisfaction”, given that they were the only straight couple with 1500 gay passengers and found the nightly shows and party themes “embarrassing.” PLUS  they spotted friends they didn’t know were gay.

Wouldn’t know know within a few minutes, you were on the wrong boat???



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OLIVIA Lesbian Travel Company is Asking for Donations?

In the Bay Area Reporter this week, it said, Olivia clients are  reportedly rallying to support the popular lesbian travel company financially as it seeks to raise $1 million by April 30.

Olivia customers received a letter in mid-March announcing the launch of the company’s capital campaign, which offers a variety of charter membership donation levels ranging from a low of $500 to a high of $10,000. The capital campaign comes amid the worldwide economic downturn and on the heels of a lawsuit by former company executives that settled out of court last November.


The Bay Area Reporter obtained a copy of the letter from a longtime Olivia traveler. The woman declined to be identified or interviewed for this article.


The letter, which was signed by Judy Dlugacz, owner and co-founder, outlined ways in which members could “take action” by becoming a “charter member,” planning an Olivia vacation, throwing a house party for Olivia, or donating directly to the company. – WHAT?!

Since when did Olivia become a non-profit?? Olivia’s unusual campaign sparked suspicion about the company’s financial stability. I am pretty sure Olivia is the only LGBT vacation company that is currently offering charter memberships. Atlantis Events Inc., which bought rival RSVP Vacations in 2007 and operates both companies, doesn’t have a charter membership program, according to Oscar Yuan, vice president of sales and marketing. R Family Vacations also doesn’t have such a program, according to Gregg Kaminsky, who co-founded the company with Kelli O’Donnell, the partner of lesbian entertainer Rosie O’Donnell.


Kaminsky said that R Family Vacations does offer some benefits, such as cocktail receptions, jackets, and other gifts to loyal customers of the six-year-old company, but people “don’t have to buy a special membership.”

Dluugacz says they are having “cash flow issues”  with the resorts and cruises they work with. And  she says that everyone in the business is in the same boat. Hmmmm, Atlantis, RSVP, and R Family Vacations aren’t experiencing cash flow issues with the cruise lines and resorts they work with, according to Yuan and Kaminsky……



You know I am having some “cash flow issues” as well!
If anyone wants to make a donation or have a benefit party, please let me know!


READ THE FULL OLIVIA ARTICLE at Bay Area Reporter.

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China River Cruises – Shanghai, Beijing, Xian and the Yangtze River

 


CHINA RIVER CRUISES-

China is a fascinating land of contrasts: mountains, plateaus, deserts, lakes and rivers…small villages and huge modern metropolises…ancient history and futuristic technology.

China’s geography is widely varied, with terrain ranging from rainforests to deserts and beaches to snow-capped peaks. The Chinese landscape boasts the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, as well as the world’s third longest river, the Yangtze.

We did a story a few months back about River Cruises in Europe. A close friend of mine who is fascinated by Asian culture, just got back from a River Cruise in China, and he absolutely loved it!  River cruising is an intimate, up-close way to explore your destination. It’s a very boutique, hotel-style experience.



China is one of the world’s largest countries, and with more than 1.3 billion people it is also the most populous.  It has not always been possible for visitors to explore China’s wonders, but today, as the country becomes increasingly open and free, dreams of travel to China can finally come true. Today you can see the highlights of Beijing, Shanghai and Xian (including the Terra Cotta Warriors) and enjoy an unforgettable China River Cruise along the Yangtze River through the spectacular Three Gorges region.

The Yangtze’s Three Gorges is the river’s most famed stretch, long known for its treacherous and rocky passage. Once boats could only travel here by means of trackers—men who pulled the ships by ropes as they walked along the slippery rapids. Now, with the creation of the Three Gorges Dam, the scenic gorges are accessible, and travelers can delight in the misty beauty of lush greenery, towering cliffs and the vestiges of traditional life along the river’s banks. VIKING RIVER CRUISESis the worlds leading river cruise line. And on Viking’s deluxe China river cruise, every cruise stateroom has a river view and balcony. This is a breath-taking way to see China!



Exploring China by River

A cruise along the Yangtze River is one of the highlights of any journey to China. Viking cruise program directors and cruise ships make it easy and enjoyable to see the heartland of a nation that can otherwise be a challenging destination to navigate. Guests enjoy the comfort and convenience of being escorted by their  deeply experienced staff from the moment of arrival in China through departure.

Viking River Cruises offers several exciting itineraries in China, all of which show guests the highlights of  China and include a Yangtze River cruise. The river cruise portion of the journey travels through the spectacular Three Gorges region on a sumptuous cruise ship with all balcony staterooms; one of our itineraries takes you farther along the river to see the birthplaces of Chinese silk and porcelain and much more. All cruise travelers also have the chance to visit a school near the Yangtze River and meet the children—a highlight for many people. A Viking cruise takes visitors on fascinating excursions off the river as well, with fully escorted land tours of major attractions in China including the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and the Great Wall.

Cultural activities, such as a dramatic performance of selected Peking Opera highlights, a Tang Dynasty dinner show and a breathtaking Chinese acrobatic show, are unique opportunities to experience the true heart of China. Choose the cruise tour itinerary that most interests you: see China’s cultural delights on a longer Yangtze cruise, or take three days at the “roof of the world,” Lhasa, Tibet.



If you want to explore the gay side of China, Shanghai probably has the most to offer. Andrew Collins from ABOUT.com reports,
As China in general, and Beijing in particular, shifted into crazy-high gear with massive growth as both a business and a leisure destination, the capital city’s once non-existent gay nightclub scene is slowly but surely developing legs.

Keep in mind that Shanghai has quite a lot more happening in terms of gay nightlife – take a look at my article on the gay Shanghai bar scene for details.



 A 2008 survey  showed public attitudes towards gays and lesbians in China. 91% of respondents said they agreed with homosexuals having equal employment rights, while over 80% of respondents agreed that heterosexuals and homosexuals were “equal individuals”.  Gay-bashing is rare in modern China. 

The authorities still refuse to promote either gay issues or gay rights in China. Although there is no explicit law against homosexuality or same-sex acts between consenting adults, neither are there laws protecting gays from discrimination, nor are there any gay rights organizations in China. It is believed that the Chinese policy towards the gay issue remains the “Three nos”: no approval, no disapproval, and no promotion.

 Utopia – Asia is a great source for gay listings in China.


A river cruise is very different from an ocean cruise. For a start, you are in almost constant sight
of land and stops are far more frequent than they are at sea. The vessels are like small, friendly, floating inns, whereas  ocean-going ships tend to be bigger, flashier, busier and livelier, the crew practised in the art of moving up to 4,000 people  from one port to another and getting them on and off the ship. In contrast, when your river cruise vessel docks you simply  walk up the gangway and into the town or city—in many cases the dock is located right at the heart of things.

The bottom line is a Viking River Cruise can give you an intimate view  and atmosphere  as well as comfort which spacious staterooms and breathtaking views! Enjoy the  scenery from just about everywhere on the ship—in the bar, restaurant or lounge (all with panoramic views), on the sun deck with fresh air or from the privacy of your stateroom. And, river cruise vessels keep moving, so you see new vistas and explore new destinations throughout the day, every day.

Whether you are cruising Berlin to Prague, Switzerland to Belgium, Austria, Germany and even Shanghai or Beijing, THIS IS THE WAY TO TRAVEL AND SEE THE WORLD


Call your travel agent or request more information directly
from Viking River Cruises at 1-800-304-9616.


 

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Let Fabugo Be Your Gay Travel Booking Agent!

 



GIVEN THE CHOICE,
DON’T YOU CHOOSE GAY?  
                       OVER STRAIGHT?

                     (“not that there’s anything wrong with that!”)

I always support other gay businesses. When I go to the bar, if there is straight bar and gay bar to choose from, I choose the gay one. When choosing a doctor, if given the choice, don’t you choose the gay doctor, who can better understand gay health issues? My hairdresser is gay, my real estate agent is gay, and my dentist is a lesbian. I want a service provider who understands me and my needs.


Sure Orbitz has a “gay section” on their website. So does American Airlines and even car insurance companies have become “pro-gay”, offering discounts to couples and  trying to get that almighty gay dollar. 


So is your travel provider any different? Don’t you want someone who understands and can meet ALL OF YOUR NEEDS?!



Fabugo.com  is the creation of a team of dedicated gay and lesbian employees of  a successful tour operator for more than 35 years.  Recognized as a world leader in leisure travel, they are  trusted by the world’s leading airlines and hoteliers to manage their vacation brands and care for their customers.

 


Established in 2008, Fabugo  is designed to provide the gay and lesbian traveler with quality travel products worldwide, at competitive prices, as well as exceptional End-to-End customer service.



“We identified a need for an online travel provider that was truly 100% dedicated to their gay and lesbian customers.” said Jason Rhen, Managing Director of Fabugo.com.

 


GayComfort Accredited Hotels, Hot Deals, Travel Tips, Fabulous Stuff, Let’s Get Married, Special Events, FabuGuides and coming soon, a social networking area where members can share their trip photos and reviews.  The Fabugo  site offers lots of useful information for the gay traveler.


Looking to whisk your partner away on that long overdue romantic get-away?

Maybe you’re ready to finally ‘elope’?  There are nearly 2 dozen choices for your marriage / union. Countries like Spain, South Africa and Mexico!  Maybe now is the time to pull out your tux, try on your gown, polish your rings and say your ‘I dos’. Plan your wedding trip and honeymoon with Fabugo.com!


Not sure where to go? Fabugo  is there to help!



Fabugo has put together a list of the best Hot Spots for lesbian and gay travel. From romance to wine ‘n dine; spa to sports…whatever type of gay vacation you’re looking for, they help make planning your trip easier than ever! That’s something you can not get from Orbitz, Travelocity or Expedia.

 


June may be Gay Pride Month, but there are events all over the world all year long that brings out the gay and lesbian community. Whether you’re traveling specifically for a gay event or you’re just trying to find something that might be going on while you are in your destination, Fabugo’s Calendar of Events is a great tool  to make your travel planning easier.


Upcoming  GLBT  Winter/Spring
events around the world –

Intn’t. Bear Rendezvous 
 02/12 – 02/16/09  San Francisco 
Int’l. Mr. Gay Competition 
 02/19- 02/21/09   San Francisco
High Lights Festival 
 02/19- 03/01/09  Montreal
Gay Mardi Gras 
 02/19 – 02/24/09  New Orleans
Telluride Gay Ski Week 
 02/21 – 02/28/09  Telluride
Laugh OUT Loud 
 02/24 – 02/24/09  New York 
Winter Party
  02/25 – 03/02/09  Miami


Lake Tahoe WinterFest
    03/01 – 03/08/09  S. Lake Tahoe
Winter Heat  03/12 – 03/12/09 New York
Elevation 2009  03/18 – 03/22/09 Mammoth Lakes
Miami Fashion Week  03/19 – 03/22/09 Miami


Savannah Music Festival 
 03/19 – 04/05/09  Savannah
The Black Party
  03/21/09  New York
Pride Under the Sun 
 03/21 – 03/22/09  Ft. Lauderdale
GLBT Expo 
 03/21 – 03/22/09  New York
Tour of Homes & Gardens 
 03/26 – 03/29/09  Savannah
Kinkfest 2009 
 03/27 – 03/29/09  Portland

The Dinah 
 04/01 – 04/06/09  Palm Springs 
The Painted Boy 
 04/04 – 04/05/09  New York
White Party 
 04/10 – 04/13/09  Palm Springs 
DatBoi Weekend 
 04/10 – 04/13/09  Las Vegas 
World Ski & Snowboard Fest. 
 04/17 – 04/26/09 Whistler
Phoenix Pride  04/18 – 04/19  Phoenix

Whether you travel for business, to visit friends or family, or just to get away from it all for some serious relaxation (or some serious partying!), Fabugo.com is committed to bringing you the best in lesbian and gay travel!

By offering unique tools like the Gay Comfort accreditation program, gay and lesbian hotel listings, and FabuGuides for destination content, Fabugo.com is the number one online source for lesbian and gay travel.


Call toll free: 877-FABUGO1

                                                                   Connect  with  Fabugo on Facebook


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Halifax Gets Gayer and Gayer – Rosie and R Family Docks There Next Month



 


HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA –


Perched on the edge of the Atlantic, the beautiful port city of Halifax promises to welcome gays with opens arms and  get your gay travel adventure off on the right foot! We love that when cities do that!


 


Much of the downtown and historic waterfront of this seaside city has been preserved and lovingly restored, creating a wonderful array of art galleries, museums, intriguing shops, sidewalk cafés, restaurants, lively pubs, and stirring nightlife. So it’s no surprise that Harper’s Bazaar magazine rated Halifax as one of North America’s hippest towns. For gay travel and adventure with groove, this is your city.


When Rosie O’Donnell and the R FAMILY Cruise first came to the city in 2005, Halifax received international recognition as a gay friendly travel destination. O’Donnell strongly praised Canada for its openness and leadership in gay rights.

Halifax’s reputation for gay friendly travel will be reaffirmed with the return of R Family Vacations’ cruise with Rosie O’Donnell and guests this July 13-20. O’Donnell, along with more than 2000 gays, lesbians, their families and friends will disembark from the Norwegian Dawn in Halifax’s historic port to enjoy the welcoming gay travel destination.



The timing of the 2008 cruise coincides with preparations for Halifax Pride Festival, Atlantic Canada’s biggest Pride Festival, which launches the week after Rosie and crew visit Halifax.



 


“Everyone at R Family Vacations is excited that our cruise is returning to Halifax again this summer,” says Gregg Kaminsky, founding partner of R Family Vacations.



“It is a port that we’ve known we wanted to visit again.” Kaminsky says that Halifax is a perfect gay family travel destination because of the incredible variety of excursions and sightseeing opportunities.
 


“In our five years, Halifax is certainly one of the most welcoming ports we’ve ever experienced,” he says.




Visit   Gay Canada HALIFAX  and  Gay Halifax and Rainbow Halifax for more Gay Halifax information!


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Rosie O’Donnell and Danny Noriega and Cyndi Lauper


         

If you make it to the top 20 on American Idol, and are good enough, there’s a very good chance you will get work! Cutie Danny Noriega may have been voted off last week, but within days, had an offer from Rosie O’Donnell!

Rosie O’Donnell was filming a video blog while appearing on Kathy Griffin’s “Life on the D-List” – In one on the posts she  presented Danny with an offer to come cruise with her and Cyndi Lauper on an R Family Cruise to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!

    “I don’t know if you have to sit around the American Idol studio and look sad for the next few weeks — because I think that’s part of the contract,” joked O’Donnell. “[But] you got a free cruise. You and a friend.”


But O’Donnell expects the young singer to work for his vacation. “Come on there, and I want you to sing ‘Tainted Love,’” she says. “I think you’re fantastic. And I think you’re a bold and brave and beautiful young man. And I admire you, Danny Noriega. You have an amazing voice. And your hair looks good straight.”


Also on the cruise: O’Donnell’s pal and True Colors Tour partner Cyndi Lauper. The combination, O’Donnell says, would make a perfect duet — or trio! Says the comedienne: “You can sing with her — and me — onstage.”

You go girl(s)!


danny noriega rosie o’donnell cyndi lauper
kathy griffin gay puerto vallarta r family cruise Turbo Tagger

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Take A Cruise With Reichen or See Him Shirtless on Dante’s Cove


Reichen Lehmkuhl, actor, model, author, and proud veteran of the United States Air Force – for his First Annual Fan Cruiseon a 4-night weekend getaway to Cabo San Lucas roundtrip from San Diego, California. February 28 – March 3, 2008


A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy – class of 1996 – Reichen Lehmkuhl was honorably discharged as a Captain in 2001. He went on to win the million-dollar grand prize on CBS’ The Amazing Race 4 and has since successfully launched an acting career. He also produced and hosted The Reichen Show on Q Television Network. And he will co-star in the new season of the gothic and gay soap opera DANTE’S COVE. Bad as the show is, there is always a lot of nice eye candy running around half-naked!


Whether you’re a cruising veteran or virgin, Reichen’s four-night weekend getaway to Cabo San Lucas will provide you with non-stop entertainment, good food, and plenty of R&R. True to its name, you’ll feel your spirits soar as soon as you board the “Fun Ship” Elation. Relax in the sun on the teak-planked decks, or plunge into any of the three refreshing swimming pools. Or, roll up your sleeves and try your luck in the casino before turning your attention to the exciting nightlife.


Fly Naked With Reichen, a titanium jewelry line for men. This sleekly stylish jewelry collection for men takes its design inspiration from such aviation motifs as wings and propellers. Available exclusively at loveandpride.com, the FLY NAKED Collection includes rings, bracelets, pendants, key rings, cuff links and money clips made of sleek titanium: the same material used to build aircraft because of its light weight and tremendous strength. Fly Naked is about being brave, bold and true to yourself.
10% of all Fly Naked Purchases go to Servicemembers Legal
Defense Network (SLDN) to end the ban on the open service of
U.S. LGBT Military Members.
Reichen currently lives in Beverly Hills, the land of the pretty!

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