It’s a given that gay cruises by LGBT companies like Atlantis and Open Sea Cruises are going to be 100% gay friendly. But if a gay party cruise is not your scene then you might wonder what other gay friendly cruise options there are out there….
This year we went on our first cruise with Celebrity Cruises for 10 nights around the Mediterranean. We started in Rome and went to Barcelona, Cartegena, Malaga, Ibiza, Nice and Gibraltar.
Ben had always wanted to go on a cruise, however I (Sion) was unsure how this would compare to a normal holiday and was not completely sold on the idea. Fast forward and the cruise blew all of our expectations out of the water and we are now complete converts!
We loved everything. Everyone talks about the food and we fully understand why – you have the option to eat fine dining every night!
The service from every member of staff on board is some of the best we have ever experienced and the entertainment was varied and top class. It is for these, and many other reasons that we have completely fallen in love with cruises!
But back on to the question in hand, ‘are Celebrity Cruises gay friendly’? The short answer is yes, absolutely! But let’s take a look why:
Gay Pride at Sea Party
We were very lucky to have gone on our cruise in June – Pride Month! We even got to raise the pride flag on the front of the ship to celebrate!
On June 5th, every single ship across the Celebrity Cruises fleet held a huge Pride at Sea party to honour pride month. This year was the second year that they have held the party and it was incredible.
To get the evening started with a bang there was a pride parade from the theatre, all the way through the ship right up to the top deck (where the party was being held). The entertainment team stormed the stage of the theatre, with a huge rainbow flag in hand, music pumping and got everyone up to get parading!
The main party was held on the top deck around the pool area. There was live music, dancers, mermaids in the pool, aerialists, stilt-walkers, incredible lighting and plenty of swag to get everyone involved.
The turn out was amazing. There were so many people dancing and enjoying the party! This was really encouraging to see especially since it was not a gay cruise in anyway and the vast majority of people on board were not LGBT.
This was most certainty a highlight of our trip and a good example of how Celebrity Cruises are taking steps to make their cruises gay friendly.
Take a look at the parade and the party in our short video here!
LGBT Meet Ups
Each day on board you receive a programme so you can see what is going on around the ship. Celebrity hold LGBT meet ups each night at one of the bars so that you have the opportunity to connect with other LGBT passengers.
This was a great idea but we didn’t manage to meet people through this method because it was not obvious which part of the bar (full with a hundred other guests) was the bit to meet people! Perhaps on different ships they use a ‘meeting point’ sign which would have helped. In any case, we loved the idea and we still managed to meet other LGBT passengers naturally just by chance!
Celebrity Cruises values include a focus on the diversity of all their guests and crew. They have clearly worked hard at this having won awards for being the LGBTQ+ Friendly Travel Company of the year in 2016. They have also won the title of Best Large Ship Cruise Line for LGBTQ+ Passengers.
From 2017 they have also been able to perform legally recognised same sex marriages on board! The first ever same sex marriage to happen at sea was on the Celebrity Equinox in January 2018!
Service from the Crew
As we have mentioned, the service from all the staff on board is top class! Its some of the best we have ever experienced. From the bartenders, to the waiters, the sommeliers, the concierge and room attendants, everyone went out of their way to make sure you had the best experience.
This goes hand in hand with the cruise being gay friendly. We felt very welcome and at ease as a gay couple with the staff. There were no ‘looks’ when we were holding hands and its those little things that make a difference.
This extends to everywhere on the ship, we really felt like we could just relax and be ourselves without a second thought.
Can you go on a gay Celebrity Cruise?
Celebrity Cruises don’t run exclusively gay cruises, however some of their ships are chartered by the like of companies like Atlantis Events to run gay cruises.
Without a doubt, we had the best time on our cruise – it was excellent. If you have any doubts, dismiss them and get yourself booked on one- you will not regret it! We recommend going on a Celebrity Cruise to everyone and anyone, including the LGBT community.
Have you been on a cruise? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.
If you are looking for an actual gay cruise, you NEED to read:
- What it is really like on an Atlantis gay cruise – 12 things you need to know!
- What to pack for a gay cruise!
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After 14 years in the travel industry Ben has launched himself as a Personal Travel Consultant - he can look after all your travel needs and provide a 100% personal service - head over to Ben Walton-Guest at Travel Counsellors and drop him a message.