An 86-year-old Florida woman gave up her five-bedroom home and has embarked on an endless holiday aboard a cruise ship. Paying nearly $164,000 each year to stay afloat, Florida-widow Lee Wachtsetter, has been on the Crystal Serenity for seven years and doesn’t regret a minute of it. “My husband introduced me to cruising…Mason was a banker and real estate appraiser and taught me to love cruising. During our 50-year marriage, we did 89 cruises. I’ve done nearly a hundred more and 15 world cruises,” Wachstetter told the Asbury Park Press. “The day before my husband died of cancer in 1997, he told me, ‘Don’t stop cruising.’ So here I am today living a stress-free, fairy-tale life.”
Find out more over at The Asbury Press.
Photo via Passport
This year, it’s time to hit the high-seas (or the low rivers) by taking a cruise. But with 81 international gay and lesbian cruises setting sail in 2014, our community is spoiled for choice. In our annual International Cruise Calendar we scoured the Internet for the reputable companies and listed all of their offerings for this year, so you didn’t have to. From Antarctic cruises and Mekong River cruises to your more traditional Caribbean cruises, we’ve got them all. So set sail and discover a whole new seafaring world.
Click here to check out the full list of gay cruises over at Passport magazine online.
Image via Musicinmocean.com
A Florida travel agent, according to USA Today, announced plans to take over a Royal Caribbean ship with a half dozen drag queens serving as onboard entertainers. While the ‘extravaganza’ sounds like a party on the high seas, there is one major problem—the cruise that is meant to attract gay travelers is docking in notoriously anti-gay Jamaica. According to USA Today: “The seven-night Disco Queens on the High Seas cruise, as it’s being called, will kick off in Port Canaveral, Fla. on Sept. 16 and include calls in Falmouth, Jamaica; Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach destination in Haiti. It’ll take place on the 3,634-passenger Freedom of the Seas.” Along with disco parties the ship will also host a drag queen pageant.
Now, if you’re unfamiliar with the political and social climate surrounding gays and lesbians in Jamaica, please click here.
With all the controversy that arose from the incident in Dominica, we would have thought more consideration would have gone into choosing which destinations companies would pick for their gay and lesbian clients.
Image via Passport.
OK, the cruise industry has had a rough year, but according to a new survey from SodaHead.com the incidents this year have caused 47% of respondents to say that they are less likely to cruise. In January, in the aftermath of the Costa Concordia cruise tragedy, SodaHead.com—the web’s largest opinion-based community—ran a poll to determine if the general public was “less likely to take a cruise given the incident.” At that time, according to the poll, 27% of respondents said “YES, they are less likely to cruise.” After the recent fire on the Costa Allegra, SodaHead once again polled its members, and the results showed that a startling 47% of respondents were now less likely to cruise based on these incidents, a 20% jump in less than two months. The age of the respondent played a factor in the results, as 53% of those over 65 are stating that they are now less likely to cruise, while 31% of those between 25 -34 are having second thoughts about getting on a ship.
We understand people’s concerns, but would you really avoid taking a cruise after these incidents?
Founders of the No H8 campaign, Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley, are making plans to raise money for marriage equality through an exotic cruise to Tahiti. The No H8 Cruise is open to members of the LGBT community, their friends, family, and others seeking to make a difference. From June 16-23 you can explore the beauty of the Tahitian Islands while supporting a wonderful cause. Participation results in a direct donation to the No H8 campaign.
In addition to spending eight days on various islands, the cruise will also feature a pool party, a bloody mary or mimosa breakfast, a beach party, and pillow gifts, among other things. Rates start at $5,000 and include roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles to Papeete, 24-hour room service, complimentary beverages, and $200 per person shipboard credit, plus other benefits. According to a press release: “Paul Gauguin Cruises embody the Polynesian spirit of welcome, warmth and geniality. From the ship’s graceful hostesses, to the friendly hospitality of the wait staff, experienced concierge team, and expert dive instructors, everyone aboard is dedicated to making their guests voyage as comfortable and unforgettable as possible.” So take the cruise you’ve always dreamed of and set sail with No H8.
Attention twihards and fangbangers, get ready for your chance set sail on a weeklong Vampire Convention at Sea. That’s right, Holland America’s Zuiderdam will play host for fans of the undead as the ship departs from Vancouver and cruises throughout Alaska’s Inside Passage. The ship will make stops in Juneau, Glacier Bay, Skagway, and Ketchikan from June 23-30 (too bad this didn’t take place in winter when the lack of sun would afford the vamps more time to play).
On board, you can expect some blood-sucking goodness with special guests like Dacre Stoker (Bram Stoker’s great grand nephew) and PhD candidate and vampire scholar John Edgar Browning who will be hosting the vampire movie festival. There are also a lot more events like A Vampire Ball, Scareoke Party, Costume Contest, Auction for Charity (proceeds going to the Blood Donor division of the American Red Cross), Team Trivia Contest, Vendors Room, and a weeklong Scavenger Hunt rounds out the weeks activities.
Cruise fares start at $1,060 per person, based on double occupancy. Click here to book.
Backstreet’s back on the high seas – ALRIGHT! The boy band has announced the dates for its Backstreet Boys Cruise 2011, an all-inclusive experience for die-hard BSB fans to spend three days at sea with their favorite 90s heartthrobs.
The cruise will kick off December 2-5 aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Imagination and will travel around the Bahamas. Travelers looking for a “larger than life” vacation can book their tickets and find out more information here.
View a video of the 2010 cruise after the jump…