Last October Alan and I went on Gay Group Cruise – a group of gay men on an otherwise straight cruise. We chose this as we had been on several cruises but had found them very heterosexual. The prospect of sitting down to dinner night after night with the same straight couples was, at the very least not what we wanted for a holiday, and was also somewhat tedious.
Equally, we found the prospect of spending a week on one of the 5000+ American ships that are especially chartered for gay travellers somewhat intimidating and the very US centric entertainment was equally not to our liking.
So when a flyer arrived in the Amro Office from one of our suppliers offering a really good price on a Gay Group Cruise from Rome to the Holy Land & Eastern Mediterranean, we decided to give it a try. We were not disappointed.
Firstly the ship was the Celebrity Silhouette launched only a few weeks beforehand and only on her fifth cruise. We had a veranda cabin with concierge service which meant little niceties such as bathrobes and slippers, 5pm canapés and a bottle of fizz to welcome us plus daily fresh fruit and flowers. Definitely extras worth the small additional payment. The veranda meant we could lie in bed with the door open hearing the waves beneath us as well as having a private place to sunbathe. Just make sure you choose the side of the ship that will face south for most of your cruise to ensure you get the most sun.
And so it was with some trepidation we approached the first evening’s Welcome Party to meet our fellow gay group travellers - a mix of around 30 guys aged from mid 30’s to late 70’s from all over the US and Europe, many of whom were experienced group travellers. A glass or two of fizz soon loosened tongues and by the time we went down to dinner we felt we were long-lost friends. With so many places to eat on the Silhouette, we didn’t join the group for dinner every evening or indeed what became the ritual gathering in the Martini Bar an hour or so beforehand but it was nice to know that it was there.
Besides three or four informal parties during the cruise, the group also enjoyed some specially arranged shore excursions. In Tel Aviv, we visited a gay artist’s studio, had lunch in the Gay Community Centre and then crashed out on the gay beach and the sight of four gay men trying to synchroswim in the Dead Sea the next day will remain with me for a long time to come.
So a Gay Group Cruise – nothing too organised, nothing too pressured. Just new gay friends to meet and chat with when you want and your own time when you don’t. An increasingly popular option and all for no more than the regular cruise price. Why not check out all our cruises on the Amro Website.
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Gay insider tips for Peru
- Check out Fallen Angel in Cusco, a funky gay friendly bar and restaurant with creative artwork for sale. Check out the toilets!
- Pick up great souviners at the Pisac Markets
- For the adventurous try the local cuisine of Cuy (Guinea Pig)
- Drinks plenty of fluids and Coca tea in Lake Titicaca
- Get to Machu Picchu early