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Does anyone do the FOD/LGBT gatherings?

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I’m putting this out there because on our last several cruises, they have turned out to be a bust. Either no one goes or the few that do seem to want to keep the conversation within their own group. We were on the Brilliance of the Seas several years ago, and the gathering was quite popular. We even had several groups of straight people would join in. But since then, they’ve been pretty dead. Is this just not the thing to do anymore, or am I missing something?

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We have experienced the same thing. It all depends on the port and time of year the ship sails from. On our last RCCL Serenade of the Seas cruise there was a GLBT nightly and no one showed up, however there were many family members on board we meet thought-out the cruise. We talked about why no one was at the GLBT meeting venue and most said it was not the right venue or time for it. The best and largest gatherings we have had were on Princess and Holland American sailing from Port of LA.

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We were on the Westerdam last month and there were 7 of us that met every nightw we were all congenial and had a great time ashore and on the ship.

Philip and David

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We usually go to the meetings, especially the first one if possible. Out of the four cruises we've taken recently, a couple have been shorties (3- and 4-day long ones), so there wasn't as much time to get to know people like we have had on longer cruises.

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On my most recent Princess and Norwegian cruises, the LGBT gatherings have been really popular and added a lot to the fun factor on those cruises. I suppose it depends a lot on the line. I hear that RCI does a poor job promoting their gatherings.

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We try to make it a few times during each cruise. This last one (NCL Getaway), we only made it one night and even then we could only stay 15-20 minutes because we were meeting friends for dinner.

 

The gatherings change from cruise to cruise. We have had some where there was not much interaction or low attendance. Other times, it was a pretty active group with lots of interaction, dinners, and excursions during the entire cruise.

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We have not bothered in the last few years as attendance was practically zip and always seemed to be scheduled at a bad time.

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I’m putting this out there because on our last several cruises, they have turned out to be a bust. Either no one goes or the few that do seem to want to keep the conversation within their own group. We were on the Brilliance of the Seas several years ago, and the gathering was quite popular. We even had several groups of straight people would join in. But since then, they’ve been pretty dead. Is this just not the thing to do anymore, or am I missing something?

WQe always found the meetings on Cunard well attended, frequently with a staff member providing snacks & such. The recent ones on Celebrity are pretty lame. They were at the Molecular bar(which few pax go to)I always felt they should be in a section of Skybar.

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We just returned from the Royal Caribbean transatlantic sailing on Splendour OTS. I knew in advance that there would not be any official notice in the daily "compass", but rather people could post a 3x5 notecard on the notice board by customer service and try to gather their own group. Never a note, and I didn't post one either. There were about 30-40 gays on board. Some were in the steam room all the time (so I've heard😉), some were in the lounges for the free drinks in the evening, everyone was scattered. Timing is a real issue....plus I think "times are a changing". We even participated in the "love and marriage show" as a gay couple.....and won!

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last several cruises we have met more "family" just wandering around the boat than at the lgbt meetings, but we still try to get to at least one (usually early in the cruise)

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With only two cruises under our belts, we're hardly seasoned, but the BF and I have a made a point of doing NCL's FOD/LGBT meet-ups every night we've been aboard, even if that has sometimes meant sitting in an otherwise empty lounge for a while.

 

The way we figure it, we're probably going to be enjoying cocktails somewhere anyway, and those who are "fashionably late" will be less inclined to poke their heads in, see an empty bar, and trudge slowly away disheartened that no one attended. In the meantime, we get our own bartender and full run of the place.

 

Typically, once others see signs of life, we get company. Mind you, when I opined to the BF that we were like the little specks that a hail stone coalesces around, he told me lay off the frozen drinks, so YMMV. :eek:

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On our most recent cruise timing was probably the biggest issue. It was in the martini bar at 8pm - right after the early show and before the late dinner seating. It was hard enough to get a drink, much less meet anyone. We tried the first couple nights but after we didn't bother.

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We've only been on one sailing so far - the Anthem maiden voyage APR22, the gathering where set for 22:00 at the Bionic Bar. I think we saw the notice on the 2nd day but it was several days later we where able to stop by because we had late dinner.

 

For those that do not know the Quantum class - the Bionic Bar is a very open area on the upper balcony of the Royal Esplanade. It is loud - very loud (DJ music) and people are constantly hanging out / passing through.

 

We may be atypical gays because we do not like to dance, we do not like a venue where you have to shout to communicate. But the nights we went by, we could not identify if there where an LGBT group present - so they may not have kept it up after the first days.

 

Our next cruise is on 14 nights on Indepence of the Seas, June 2016 and we will of course attend again, we'll try and get there one of the first days. I think it would be nice to make some friends for the cruise - incidentally we also missed the CC Meet & Mingle because we never got the invite.

 

It may be that since I'm from Denmark I find it difficult to see the real need to have LGBT meetings - but I reckon it would be a nice way to make friends. And by te wat, using the term FOD is to me an ancient unneeded disguise that only powers the feeling of being the odd ones out. But I have always been openly gay since I found out when I was 20 years old (in 1990).

 

Br

Nicolai

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On my most recent Princess and Norwegian cruises, the LGBT gatherings have been really popular and added a lot to the fun factor on those cruises. I suppose it depends a lot on the line. I hear that RCI does a poor job promoting their gatherings.

 

It all depends on the ship and cruise director. We just got off the Serenade od the Seas. 13 days NOL to BOS and LGBT was posted nightly in the Compass but no one showed up.

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To this point, we've only sailed on Disney Cruise Line, where they have no LGBT gatherings. Well, nothing formal. Hanging out with the Concierge staff was pretty much the same as an LGBT gathering.

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On the inaugural transAtlantic from Greece to Cuba aboard the Louis Cristal, we felt that we may have been premature in asking the ship to help organize a FOD gathering. But we knew that our personal accommodation was the perfect venue for it, for our deck area could easily accommodate those of us aboard who we estimated to be at least 12 couples. The problem however was two fold. One there were at least five languages to contend with, few speaking English and secondly, Europeans seem to avoid public social gathering with their own. But as we have rebooked the 2016 Cuba season perhaps we will try again as more North Americans join us aboard

 

http://i999.photobucket.com/albums/af114/Yarkerhill/Louis-Cristal-0678-1.jpg

 

http://i999.photobucket.com/albums/af114/Yarkerhill/LouisCristal.jpg

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We just returned from the Royal Caribbean transatlantic sailing on Splendour OTS. I knew in advance that there would not be any official notice in the daily "compass", but rather people could post a 3x5 notecard on the notice board by customer service and try to gather their own group. Never a note, and I didn't post one either. There were about 30-40 gays on board. Some were in the steam room all the time (so I've heard;)), some were in the lounges for the free drinks in the evening, everyone was scattered. Timing is a real issue....plus I think "times are a changing". We even participated in the "love and marriage show" as a gay couple.....and won!

 

Congratulations on your victory! I'm afraid you are probably right, to a certain extent, about the times changing. And on recent cruises I, too, met a few "family members" in the hot tub and other places who never attended the LGBT gathering. But since socializing is a big part of cruising for me, I will still make the effort to attend so long as the lines promote the gatherings. And it's nice to hear the steam room didn't go unused. :p

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Out of our 12 cruises we have had a decent turnout at LGBT meet-n-greets on all of our trips, with the exception of our Alaska cruise on NCL Sun (no gays showed up nor seemed to be on the entire ship) and Crystal (no meeting scheduled, but met several others around the ship).

 

Celebrity has always had a very active gathering on each of our voyages, but as others have said, the scheduled timing and location has been pretty poor. We usually ended up scouting out others and scheduling our own time and place.

 

For us, Azamara has provided the best location - high up in the ship, in a quiet lounge, at a good time....and the turnout has been good.

 

We really enjoy the meetings and have made some great friends from all over the world.

 

 

 

Michael

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To this point, we've only sailed on Disney Cruise Line, where they have no LGBT gatherings. Well, nothing formal. Hanging out with the Concierge staff was pretty much the same as an LGBT gathering.

 

Did you just out the Concierge staff?:rolleyes:

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Out of our 12 cruises we have had a decent turnout at LGBT meet-n-greets on all of our trips, with the exception of our Alaska cruise on NCL Sun (no gays showed up nor seemed to be on the entire ship) and Crystal (no meeting scheduled, but met several others around the ship).

 

Celebrity has always had a very active gathering on each of our voyages, but as others have said, the scheduled timing and location has been pretty poor. We usually ended up scouting out others and scheduling our own time and place.

 

For us, Azamara has provided the best location - high up in the ship, in a quiet lounge, at a good time....and the turnout has been good.

 

We really enjoy the meetings and have made some great friends from all over the world.

 

 

 

Michael

 

For us, Azamara has provided the best location - high up in the ship, in a quiet lounge, at a good timeWhat time and place was that?

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For us, Azamara has provided the best location - high up in the ship, in a quiet lounge, at a good timeWhat time and place was that?

 

5:30pm in the Looking Glass Lounge on the starboard side. We practically had our own bartender and a sizable turnout.

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5:30pm in the Looking Glass Lounge on the starboard side. We practically had our own bartender and a sizable turnout.

 

Thanks, that's a great time and location. If I remember correctly when we sailed on Holland America, we had 2 a day 1700 and 2300 on their upper level as well.

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I'm disappointed to hear that the LGBT gatherings are often poorly attended. We will be doing our first cruise in September, on the Celebrity Constellation, and we were hoping that by meeting other gay couples (and singles too), that we could quickly learn the ropes.

 

Any other advice for gay newbies trying to figure out what will work for us?

 

Thanks

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I knew in advance that there would not be any official notice in the daily "compass", but rather people could post a 3x5 notecard on the notice board by customer service and try to gather their own group.

 

They used to put it in the Compass when they still referred to it as FOD. They might be afraid that it would freak out the more conservative passengers. On my last RC cruise there was a posting on the board, but the timing was lousy and the location was bad. Someone else tried posting for another time and location, but even they didn't show up to it.

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With only two cruises under our belts, we're hardly seasoned, but the BF and I have a made a point of doing NCL's FOD/LGBT meet-ups every night we've been aboard, even if that has sometimes meant sitting in an otherwise empty lounge for a while.

 

The way we figure it, we're probably going to be enjoying cocktails somewhere anyway, and those who are "fashionably late" will be less inclined to poke their heads in, see an empty bar, and trudge slowly away disheartened that no one attended. In the meantime, we get our own bartender and full run of the place.

 

Typically, once others see signs of life, we get company. Mind you, when I opined to the BF that we were like the little specks that a hail stone coalesces around, he told me lay off the frozen drinks, so YMMV. :eek:

 

That's a good idea. We probably weren't the only ones who stopped by the bar, saw nothing going on and left.

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And by te wat, using the term FOD is to me an ancient unneeded disguise that only powers the feeling of being the odd ones out.

 

Seems like RCCL and Celebrity have gotten away from using it. That said, they don't publish it in the daily events anymore since they have stopped.

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I'm disappointed to hear that the LGBT gatherings are often poorly attended. We will be doing our first cruise in September, on the Celebrity Constellation, and we were hoping that by meeting other gay couples (and singles too), that we could quickly learn the ropes.

 

Any other advice for gay newbies trying to figure out what will work for us?

 

Thanks

 

You might want to take EvilBanker's advice and just show up to the gathering and hang out for a bit. Other than that, we tended to meet people around the pool. But the bottom line is to enjoy yourself and not let whether or not you meet other gay people be the barometer of how well your vacation went. You may even meet some really great straight people (we did).

 

Based on your countdown clock, you are going to some very amazing places, several of which are my favorite places in the world. Have a wonderful time!

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We also like going down to the photo display boards on day two, and scan through the pix and wait for "gaydar" to kick in. It's good entertainment for 30 minutes, if nothing else😉

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We also like going down to the photo display boards on day two, and scan through the pix and wait for "gaydar" to kick in. It's good entertainment for 30 minutes, if nothing else😉

 

 

Haha! We do that, too. It's a good way to know who to look out for. When my mom travels with us, she gives everyone nicknames from the pics lol

 

 

 

Michael

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We also like going down to the photo display boards on day two, and scan through the pix and wait for "gaydar" to kick in. It's good entertainment for 30 minutes, if nothing else😉

 

Thank god I'm not the only one that does this!!!!!;) And congrats on your "win". We've gone to the events years ago but alas, the turnouts were too dismal. We usually find more family sitting at the bar or just walking around.

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They can be hit or miss, sometimes based on the cruise itinerary - longer, more expensive cruises attract and older crowd, and well those folks eat early lol and miss the afternoon meetings.

 

I've done the FOD meets on RCL and Norweigen. From what I saw, people would show up at one of the first or second meets and deem the participants as undesirables and not return. Gays can be fickle bastards. For example, On a recent cruise, 2 aged twinks showed up, ordered a drink, eyeballed the bar to see if anyone met their level of perceived attractivesness, finding nome that met their standards. quickly alienated themselves from the rest of the group and moved off to a separate area. They were not seen again at the meetings.

 

 

I ran into some "family" and suggested the meets but were told it wasn't their scene. ok, fine enough. Some people are shy, some people have no interest in meeting other gay passengers, they just want to vacation.

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We also like going down to the photo display boards on day two, and scan through the pix and wait for "gaydar" to kick in. It's good entertainment for 30 minutes, if nothing else😉

 

I'm so glad to hear that I and my DH are not the only ones who scan the photos for "family." Once we discover them, we play a game where you get points if you see them around the ship.

 

As for the FODs, we've gone to a few of them on NCL and sometimes they have a crowd and sometimes they don't. The good thing is NCL usually holds their meetings in the martini bar that is quiet enough to have a conversation.

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We also like going down to the photo display boards on day two, and scan through the pix and wait for "gaydar" to kick in. It's good entertainment for 30 minutes, if nothing else😉

 

This made me laugh.. A lot. I never even thought to do this :D

 

As for the LGBT meet-ups, we're not really drinkers so it's kind of weird for us to sit in a bar in hopes of meeting new friends.

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I always make a point to try and attend. I find that most times it's a slow start and a lot of people might walk by to see if anyone is there, but not actually sit down and stay. Especially on Carnival where it is usually at the Martini/Wine/Alchemy bar which is open concept. I find that if we sit down then eventually people will trickle in.

 

The exception was my Princess cruise this past January, what a turn out! Met countless amazing people throughout the sailing and even did some lunches/dinners together. This was my first solo cruise and sure made it a memorable experience.

 

So although it can be hit or miss, I always give it a try and hope others continue to do the same :) cruises are best spent in good company!

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It is like any kind of 'cruising.' You never know what will come of it, but you still have to try.

 

Try because you want to meet someone, but also try because there may be that one guy with his mom and in the closet who is dying to meet someone to talk to over a drink.

 

Try because you know guys will be casually passing by wondering if anyone is actually there. If you don't try, he won't have the courage to come in for a drink.

 

Make eye-contact and be friendly... you have nothing to lose.

 

Chat up and be friendly with the server... let him know why you are there... there may be some others on the other end of the room who don't know you are there... and you may find a friendly crew/staff member. :o

 

I expected nothing on a HAL Alaskan cruise, and it actually turned out to be the best ever! We made several good friends on that cruise.

 

So go! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If it is at a terrible time, speak to the CD and make a suggestion for a better time.

 

Cast your bread upon the waters boys!

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On our many Cunard voyages, there have been very well-attended FOD cocktail parties, fully-supported by the ship with an assigned space and with an assigned waiter (sometimes also one who knows Dorothy) who serves drinks and snacks. We've met lots of friends at these parties. Recently on Crystal, the ship sponsored a LGBT party which attracted a fairly large group of both guys and gals, plus a few straight friends. Rumor was that the party was requested by a straight couple!

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We have attended FOD on NCL on two cruises, they are printed in the daily schedule. One week was good the other a low turn out. It just depends who is on board.

 

We will attend on the Escape in January and bring my Mother along as she is on the cruise with us!

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We have been on two cruises with Princess. On both cruises several LGBT gatherings were listed in the daily newsletter, usually at 5 pm and was hosted by a member of the crew. The trick is to bring something recognizable (such as a small rainbow flag) so anyone interested can spot the group easily. Once everyone was connected and introduced themselves the gatherings were quite friendly. Folks would schedule dinners together, time at the nightclub, bingo, hot-tubbing etc. depending on interests. We are sailing on the Grand Princess December 20th from San Francisco, and we are certainly looking forward meeting up. - Bill

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I've found that it varies...

 

(1) On RCCL and Celebrity, the meetings aren't included in the daily schedule, but may be noted on some bulletin board/display that no one notices.

 

(2) On more traditional lines (Cunard & HAL) and itineraries (crossings) I've seen much more attendance.

 

(3) It can very much depend upon the cruise director.

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