Information and services for gay and lesbian travelers
Aqua Terra women took an RSVP cruise to find the answer to this an other questions.
Would women feel welcomed by all those men?
We found the answer to be a definite yes. From the moment we boarded the RSVP-chartered cruise ship, we were made to feel welcome. Even standing in line waiting to board, all the gay men around us could not have been nicer. They were happy to see women on the cruise, and one man, upon learning we had nothing to decorate our cabin door with, kindly offered to give us some ribbons and colored paper. There may have been some men among the 1,600 passengers who did not care for women at all, but we never met them.
Would women have a hard time making friends with the men?
One of the first tasks after boarding a cruise ship is to sign up for a table at dinner. We asked for the largest possible table. We figured that the more people at the table, the more likely we were to enjoy at least someone's company. But we enjoyed all of our five male table mates. All but one was part of a couple. Their professions ranged from petroleum engineer to computer scientist to psychologist. One male couple had met at a church conference. Talk about family values!
Was there a lot of sex on the open decks?
Being good skeptical dykes, we were ever on the alert for sex in inappropriate (i.e. public) places. We checked out the decks. Everywhere there were people sun bathing, reading books, dozing, playing shuffle board. In the morning there was even a very high-intensity aerobics class on deck. But no sex.
We checked out the public rooms. While at sea, the casino was going full tilt, and it was obvious that the players' attentions were focused on the games. We looked in the showrooms. There was witty, bawdy entertainment. You haven't lived until you've played Bingo with RSVP Funny Man Danny Williams or the gay version of The Newly Wed Game or The Dating Game. But no sex.
Of course, we couldn't be everywhere. We understand that the RSVP staff tries to be, however. They run a tight ship. While they want everyone to have fun, they want to be sure that the limits of good taste are observed. But there was a rumor that some men had been naughty one night in the sauna.
Was the entertainment geared solely toward men?
RSVP is known for its fabulous entertainment, both in the cabarets and the main show lounge. We fully expected it all to be very male focused. To our surprise, the first big show was headlined by a lesbian comedian. And all of the other entertainers were fabulous or funny or both. They ranged from "Patsy Decline" to Gloria Gaynor.
In one of the cabarets, there was a marvelous lesbian singer. Some of the women on the cruise became friends with her. But the men loved her, too. One couple at our table would not miss going to the lounge before dinner to have a drink and listen to her sing.
How many women would you find on an RSVP cruise?
There were about 40 women on our RSVP Mexican Riviera Cruise, most of whom were in couples. We interviewed a good number of them to find out how they felt about RSVP. Everyone of them loved the experience. And, we were surprised to learn that what they liked most was the men. "We love being around the men and feeling their energy," said one female couple. "The men are just so much fun."
Another female couple said, "The best thing about this trip was all the wonderful men we met. We don't have very many male friends back home."
And one female couple told us this was their fifth RSVP cruise. "We wouldn't even consider going on an all-women's cruise," they said. "We once went to the Michigan Women's Music Festival, and it just got too intense. When it's all women, someone starts in about something not being politically correct. We just want to have fun. What's important to us is that this is a gay cruise, and we can be ourselves."
So lesbians who enjoy--or at least don't mind--being around men can find fun and value on RSVP. Also, lesbians traveling in groups of four to six on RSVP can have a wonderful time, enjoy the gay guys, yet not feel overwhelmed by all the maleness.
But women who distinctly prefer the company of other women should not book on RSVP. They should seek out Olivia or some other women-only vacation experience. After all, it's your vacation, and you need to put your comfort and happiness first on the list of things to consider.
But, if there is one thing that our RSVP cruise experience taught us it is that there is even more diversity among the gay/lesbian traveling community that we had previously thought.
Let Aqua Terra Travel arrange your RSVP cruise.
E-mail us about the cruise you are interested in.
We will get back to you right away.