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Gay "Friendly" ?


garykool81

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Before I even start my entire post, please let me begin by just asking that this not turn into a flame thread or anything of the sort. I just have an honest, sincere question :-)

 

My partner and I are booked on a wonderful 10-night (ALL AT SEA!!!) transatlantic voyage from Lisbon to Miami aboard Oceania's Regatta. We are really looking forward to it, but we do have some questions...

 

1. We do enjoy dining with other people, but are curious as to the passenger makeup/demographic. Will most folks tend to be gay friendly as we've found aboard premium lines such as Celebrity?

 

2. Does Oceania offer fixed or open seating? (IE -- if we have awful table mates, we can switch to a private table for two?)

 

I assume that with Oceania's clientele it won't even be an issue, but better safe than sorry :-)

 

Thanks so much for the assistance!

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Hi Gary -

 

I hope you have a great time on your cruise. From information gleaned on postings here, the Oceania passengers seem to be a gregarious bunch. I can give you a first-hand account after my 3/15 cruise. As I said, I'd be sure to be nice to you if we met up ;-)

 

With Oceania's open seating dining, I think you could avoid repitition of any unpleasant encounter you may have. I think on advantage to open seating is actually the flip of people avoidance - the freedom to dine with people you may meet at other locations on the ship, and wish to spend more time with.

 

BTW, what type of cabin have you booked?

 

Howard

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Howard --

 

For the first time in our lives, we actually booked an inside cabin. For a cruise that has 10 nights ALL at sea with not a single port of call, I didn't really see the reason to spend $600 for a window :-)

 

Normally, I would never consider an inside because of the huge convienence offered by being able to look outside on a port day to see what the weather is like (Rain or shine, etc.) without making the mistake of getting dressed, standing in line to exit the ship, and then "oops."

 

We're really looking forward to our first (Of hopefully many?) Oceania cruises now :-)

 

Until then, we're still anticipating our Millennium cruise with Celebrity, which we've been looking forward to for quite some time.

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Gary

thanks for your note, as said looking forward to our cruise and meeting up with Howard and others, have e mailed Howard not had a response yet.

maybe we will meet up one day on a cruise.

jimgib

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Gary,

 

I can't imagine you and your partner will have any problems. I'm straight and of course, only looking at your situation from my eyes but I've never heard any negative comments from straight people about gays on our Oceania cruise. We've become good friends with a gay couple from our Oceania cruise and they have now taken many cruises on Oceania. We'll be sailing with them again in 4 weeks and can't wait!

 

Wishing you a great cruise!

 

Jane

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Hi: We sailed on Insignia several months ago and found the passenger mix to be delightful. We especially enjoyed the open seating dining....either making plans before getting to the dining room, or hooking up with other guests as we waited to be seated. We had an immediate advantage since we signed up on Yahoo for the free Yahoo/Oceania cocktail party. There were 33 of us from Yahoo on that sailing, and we met up with several others through this message board, so we were never at a loss for dinner partners or people to share shore excursions with. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time. Bon Voyage. Lou

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Jan --

 

Yeah, I am planning to do that tomorrow. Might it be a bit too early for the cruise line to allow that, though? My travel agent does work for the "World's Largest Cruise Agency," so one would think they have the flexibility to give their customers some extras?

 

Now, as much as I absolutely love her, they are charging a bloody $19/pp "reservation fee" for processing. ::grumbles::

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Jan,

 

Oh, trust me...I know. I was being sarcastic hehe :-) I'm actually a bit unhappy not with her, but the company itself and their new "processing fees" and such nonsense.

 

Thanks for the advice, though...I will be calling tomorrow!

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Hi Gary,

 

I am a former Oceania Cruises employee and now a Travel Agent specializing in Oceania Cruises. I can assure you that Oceania Cruises is a very gay friendly line. The vast majority of the passenger base consists of very savvy, sophisticated and well traveled people. I have many gay clients who have sailed on Oceania Cruises several times and keep booking them for future cruises. My partner and I sailed for 12 days onboard the Regatta last December. We made several new friends, both gay and straight.

 

Dining is never a problem. With open seating in the Grand Dining Room, you have the option of asking for a table for 2 if you feel like keeping to yourselves or if you feel like making some new friends, you may be seated with other guests at a larger table. There are 2 specialty restaurants, The Polo Grill and Toscana where you make reservations and are seated with your party at your own table just as if you were dining in a nice restaurant in your own hometown. Another great thing about the alternative dining is that there is no additional premium charged as many other cruise lines do. The other dining option available is Tappas which is very casual buffet style dining.

 

I'm sure that you will have a very enjoyable time on your cruise. Please let me know if you have any other questions or if there is anything I can do for you.

 

Rickey Cruz

*****

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Rickey, Jan --

 

I've contacted my agent, and she has promised to get me an answer ASAP. She needs to contact some staff that are out of the office, but they'll be in next week...she thinks an upgrade should be doable. We'll see what happens!

 

Thanks for the advice :-)

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As far as I can deduce, the 2 category upgrade deal is for the March transatlantic trips. Gary is going in November (not that it would hurt to ask about the upgrade for November! and the November 17 deal is already very good even without the upgrade)

 

 

Howard

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I apologize..I just assumed...(bad thing to do) it was March thanks Howard for posting..Gary, I am sure your agent will be able to do something for you in November also..though it is a little early...I would keep an eye on it as Oceania sometimes adds nice perks on the crossings..I am sure your agent will also..

I know you will have a great trip, I am leaving 1 week from today and will be posting from the ship..

Jan

*****

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Gary - Hi again - Don said we probably "could" go in November, pending checking the vacation days at work. We talked about it over dinner at the Duplex Diner. He is still somewhat weirded out about the 2 cruises in one year "thing" - needs to think about it some more. We will see what happens.

 

Howard

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Howard --

 

You could always attack it from the financial angle and explain how a 10-night cruise at $999 per person is so much cheaper than a land-based vacation where you have entertainment, food, rental car, hotel and other costs.

 

LOL...actually, I am sure you guys will absolutely love your Oceania experience....maybe that will persuade him some more :-)

 

Have a great night!

 

PS -- Duplex Diner is a great place....we should all go there next time we meet up.

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merry --

 

Most certainly. A member of these boards was traveling with a group of gay friends on a Royal Caribbean cruise in October 2003 and was brutally attacked and suffered some pretty serious injuries in a *very* blatant anti-gay crime that went unpunished.

 

I personally have never encountered anything close to that unpleasant, but I have spoken to many other friends who have...in one case even aboard Crystal Cruises, where as soon as it became apparent that the gentleman was sailing with his lifelong partner, a tablemate immediately made numerous comments in disgust.

 

Needless to say, they changed tables :-)

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Gary - The financial angle was a prime salvo, though if we were to go to Mexico or C. America for the same amount of time it would not be too much more expensive. There is no denying, however, that the cruise is a great deal.

 

BTW, I agree that the Duplex Diner would be a fun place to go. Yesterday was the first time we were there since they were closed for a week or so a couple of months back. They redid the decor a bit - a few nice new features, and added some items to the menu. Have you been lately?

 

Merryecho - I've only been on one cruise (Windstar) and did not encounter any problems. Have done a lot of other travelling and also have not run into any problems, though I am sure that unfortunately others have.

 

Howard

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Just curious- have any gay cc cruisers experienced unpleasant treatment from other passengers or crew? If so, which line?

 

I think chilly politeness is actually more common than outright hostility or rudeness, but all of us would prefer human warmth and support (friendliness) over simple politeness. Naturally, we try to steer ourselves toward crew and passengers that will be very friendly as opposed to those who will merely do their duty. In general, our cruise experiences have been very positive, although we have shared meals in chilly politeness rather than warm interaction. We have also had very wonderful cruises where we dined every evening with a straight couple we had not previously known, but they were able to get beyond politeness to warm conversation and interest in all of the ordinary aspects of our lives: what we read, which wines we like, our plans for the future, etc. In turn, we hope we were also able to enhance their cruise experience.

 

Any straight couple, I'm sure, also often gets treated with politeness without warmth. Since we don't have a choice of being in their shoes for a day, we can't see if they often feel that people are not very warm to them either.

 

I think it's understandable that we would see the potential for hostility when so many voters don't seem concerned about our desires for equal treatment and protections under the law. In the local papers where I live, there are frequent letters from people who seem to think that gay people should be either jailed or exiled, in effect. I personally have encountered hateful talk about gays on the job. (They don't always know that a gay person is present.) Prejudice against gays is very real. To me, it is encouraging that it seems to be only infrequently encountered on cruise ships as compared to lives in most of our hometowns. That's one reason that cruising is such a popular way for gays to take a vacation.

 

Some cruise lines have a reputation for being more gay-friendly than others. Our favorite in the past has been Princess, but Celebrity has also been good for us. Now, we have the highest hopes for Oceania. Some cruise lines, for example, Holland America, no longer allow meetings of gays to be announced in the daily events sheets, and that has caused a lot of discussion and concern.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Ivan

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So sorry to hear that there are some rude and cruel cruisers out there. We live in a liberal neighborhood in a liberal city, so tend to forget that much of the country is very different. As you say, it is enlightening for me to try to see the world from someone else's shoes. Thanks for sharing, I hope you can try to put any future offenders in the same category as the overweight, hairy and heavily perspiring guy on our last cruise who walked through the lunch buffet every day with no shirt on, smoking a cigar. In other words, just another jerk.

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