First Time CruisingPart 3: Getting Laid & Getting Away
Enjoying your stops, how your trip will wrap up, and the most important tip of them all: hooking up with a hot seaman.
Ports of Call
The stops a cruise ship makes are known as "ports of call," and you have some options for what to do. Most cruises have pre-planned group tours that usually involve a bus, a guide, and a place for you to buy souvenirs. These are super easy, but some travelers find them disappointing (and expensive) because they involve the usual tourist traps. This is particularly true in the Caribbean and Mexico.
Here's the deal: If you don't mind getting away from the other cruisers, then do some homework. Most ports are easy to negotiate on your own, just do a little advanced preparation and research. You'll enhance your experience ashore, and have fun stories to share. Just make sure you're back to the ship in time for departure.
Honestly? You won't need much help scoring on an all-gay cruise. That, said, here are some tips:
1. These ships are big, and you can go for days without seeing someone. If you meet a guy who sparks your interest, go for it.
2. Looking for hot shank? The pool decks tend to attract a younger, party crowd.
3. The action heats up after dark, but just because this is a gay cruise that doesn't mean you can whip it out in public. Have consideration for your fellow passengers and the crew, and whatever you do don't use a lifeboat for sex.
4. Worried this cruise will become a floating sex club? Don't. The atmosphere on these trips can be sexually charged, but rarely overtly sexual. That's really not what these cruises are about. So have fun and don't sweat it.
The End of the Cruise
Your charge privileges generally end the night before your cruise, so carry your wallet in case you need to purchase something; a final accounting will be delivered to your room, just as it would at a nice hotel. If you are paying by credit card, your account will automatically be billed. Cash accounts must be settled aboard ship.
Luggage to be carried off by the porters must be packed, PROPERLY TAGGED, and placed outside your cabin door by the assigned time. Don't run on G.S.T. (Gay Standard Time) or you may miss out. When it's time to disembark, you will generally be assigned to a holding area based on your luggage tag color, and will have to wait until your color is called to disembark. Count on sitting for an hour, maybe longer. If you're impatient, you can carry your own luggage and walk off when you feel like it. Some cruises are moving toward a hotel-style checkout; color yourself lucky if yours offers this option.
There are many misconceptions about gay cruises. Some think they're circuit parties on the sea. Others say they're floating retirement communities.
The truth is, these trips are whatever you make of them, and the men on the cruise are as varied as the gay community itself. If you want to meet other couples and enjoy the sights, you'll find them. Want to stay solo? That's possible too. And if you're looking to dance for seven days straight and forget your cares, go right ahead. The best way to really enjoy a gay cruise is to be open to the experience, leave your worries at home, and be prepared to have fun—however it comes your way.