We had wanted to go on an Atlantis gay cruise for years! This is the gay cruise that everyone talks about and the Atlantis gay cruise in particular is one of the best known and hosts the biggest gay cruise in the world.
To us it looked like pure fun in the sun with all the different themed parties, visiting spectacular destinations and all held on-board a luxurious ship! However there so much more to this gay cruise.
After going on our first Atlantis gay cruise, all of our expectations were quite literally blown out of the water.
Here are 12 things you need to know about going on an Atlantis gay cruise and why you need to go on one at least once in your lifetime. (Also check out our gay cruise video diary below).
Atlantis Gay Cruise: 12 Things you need to know
1) An Atlantis gay cruise is exceptionally friendly!
We didn’t know what types of people we would be meeting on-board. We had seen in advance through various Facebook groups that there were a lot of large groups of friends, and this being our first cruise and not knowing anybody in advance we were worried that it might feel ‘clique-y’.
It turns out we were completely wrong.
Without a doubt the environment on the Atlantis gay cruise ship was the most friendly and welcoming environment we have ever encountered in our lives.
People would talk to you at every opportunity and it felt refreshing to experience this – people were just genuinely nice. We really wish it was like this in day to day life, people don’t talk to each other enough or simply ask how your day is going.
You will meet so many people and some will become lifelong friends – given that 2000 people on-board booked immediately for the following year, you can see how the community builds and builds.
2) The Atlantis gay cruise themed parties are spectacular!
We love to party and we (Sion mainly) love a good fancy dress – although on an Atlantis gay cruise “gay fancy dress” is a little bit different to standard fancy dress.
For every cruise both the day time parties (T-Dance parties around 3pm) and the night time parties (around 11pm onwards) have themes.
People get incredibly creative and you can wear anything you want at all.
You might decide to wear very little (i.e just a jockstrap), be nervous stood in your room and then get to the party and realise you had nothing to worry about – no one judges you!
On the other hand we have seen people dress full on as jelly fish, sea gods and polar bears!
We have an entire post on ‘What to pack for a gay cruise’ but here are the typical themes you can expect to see every year are:
- White Party – the name says it all, wear all white. You can go all out and maybe don some angel wings, these white elastic body harnesses are a cheap and easy option for anyone or you can simply wear a white vest and shorts. We have never seen so many bare bums so feel absolutely free to simply grab yourself a white jockstrap and get ready to party!
- Dog Tag T-Dance – This one is all about the military – think black, green and camo. Grab some camo speedos, some trainers or boots and you are good to go. If you want to take it further, you will see a lot of guys wearing a good quality leather chest harness and maybe getting into character with some face paints too.
- Disco Theme –We have never seen so much gold fabric! For this party, grab yourself a comedy disco wig, some gold pants or maybe a ridiculous 70’s style shirt!
JJ Malibu tick all the boxes for ‘gay’ party attire and we stocked up before going on our first cruise (as you can tell in all these photos!). They have whole sections on their website for white parties, military themed parties, circuit parties etc.
In 2019 the additional themes were ‘Under the Sea’ – think slutty sailors; ‘Champions’ – think sports; and ‘Playpen’ – cartoon characters and so on.
3) You will see EVERYTHING going on in public at the parties
And by everything we mean everything.
This is not a bad thing at all in our eyes. In fact it’s quite liberating to see people taking the social stigma away from enjoying ടex and feeling free enough to do whatever they want – no one seemed to mind or care and everyone just seemed to have a good time!
This extends well into the early hours of the morning…especially in the jacuzzis….
4) Packing for an Atlantis gay cruise is different…
There is so much more to consider! Outfits, cruise cards to keep in touch with all your new friends, white boards. And we especially wish we had taken earplugs! The music was LOUD!
For the full list check out our list ‘What to pack for a gay cruise’.
5) The diversity of the people
We have read comments in Facebook groups time and time again about peoples concern for their body image. This is understandable if you were to look at the marketing materials, which do show some real guests but understandably focus on the stereotypically ‘hotter’ ones – they know their main market after all.
BUT the reality is quite different – 5200 gay men are onboard and you have every age, race, weight, height, body type you can think of. The diversity is incredible and from what we saw, it is celebrated – no one should or needs to shy away from the crowd.
Do not worry about your body, just turn up as you are and you are sure to have a great time! If you want to smash the gym pre-cruise that is also fine – it is all about what is good for you!
6) You don’t actually have to go to the parties to have a good time
We fully understand that parties are not for everyone, and so if you don’t want to go to them, simply don’t. You are probably on one of the largest and most luxurious cruise ships in the world and there is so much else to enjoy.
You have the shows to watch, whether this be theatre based shows like Mamma Mia, or the incredible acrobatic Airotic show. The food is great and each night you can enjoy a 3 course or more fine dining experience. There are usually sports courts, climbing walls, surf riders, and more bars and cafes than you attend.
There is something for everyone so if you don’t like to party, do not worry, you will still have the best time in the friendliest environment.
7) The staff on this gay cruise are the best
Now you might be thinking after point #3 – ‘what about the poor staff?’
After speaking to many members of staff on-board they all know what to expect and in fact some actively volunteer to work on an Atlantis gay cruise. One member of staff even went as far to say “it was her favourite charter of the year regardless of destinations”. They say as a group we are friendlier, politer, more fun and tip more – and they even party with us! They also enjoy not having screaming kids and, in some cases, entitled parents on board!
We don’t need to tell you, but the staff do deserve so much respect and it was lovely to see everyone giving it to them!
8) There is absolutely no compromise on cruise quality
Cruises are known for being high end vacations with exceptional service from the staff, exceptional food and the best facilities.
Just because this is a gay cruise with a heavy focus on partying does not mean that this is any less true. We thoroughly enjoyed the meals on the evening in the a-la-carte restaurant and did not miss one meal!
We made it to a couple of shows during our cruise too, before getting ready for the evening parties. And we even bravely fought the hangover to try the flow-rider, the climbing wall and on-board ziplines too!
The staff as we have already said, go above and beyond to help in anyway they can and the facilities on board the ship were top class.
The same can be said for the destinations – please make sure to drag yourself off the ship for a few places. This year we loved the water in the Bahamas, the vibe of Cozumel and the pool side bars in Costa Maya.
If you want an amazing cruise experience, you are still going to get one!
9) Consider a digital detox, you do not need the Wifi
In all honesty, the wifi is not worth it. We know many people get it so they can stay active on Grindr, but actually most of the time location services does not work so neither do location based apps like Grindr or Scruff.
If you really need it occasionally then get it at the port without spending hundreds of dollars.
Like we said, everyone is super friendly, you don’t need an app to hook-up, if you want it you got it!
10) The shows on an Atlantis gay cruise are well worth attending
We fully understand the temptation to go for a pre-party nap each night but the shows are really quite special.
The one that we loved the most this year was called Airotic. The show has many incredibly talented aerial performers showcasing their skills in silks, hoops, pole and many other disciplines. They absolutely know how to put on a show and it helps that the performers look incredible in their minimal costumes. A very impressive and sensual show indeed!
The other show we saw was the classic Mamma Mia! which we enjoyed, other nights showcased popular gay comedians. You are paying for the entertainment so you should definitely go and see it!
11) An Atlantis Cruise is not just a floating gay ടex cruise
It can be if you want it to be and that is absolutely fine, gay cruise ടex is widely available! But the ship is so large with so much going on you could be in your own little world while all the “frolics” take place elsewhere – it is your vacation and you make it what you want and leave your judgement at home.
And the biggest thing of all you need to know…
12) PACE YOURSELF!!!
There is so much going on at all hours of the day, and if you try and attend between 2-3 parties a day you will burn out! It is totally OK to take a night off!
We both get serious FOMO but knew we would not make it to the end of the week if we did not have a mid week rest and we ended up sleeping for 12 hours!
When is the next Atlantis Gay Cruise?
Atlantis run gay cruises throughout the year across many different destinations, for the most up to date dates and locations head to their website.
We are itching to book our next Atlantis Gay Cruise!
It was an experience we know we will never find anywhere else in any circumstance. The entire week felt like we were in ‘gay-topia’, surrounded by a protective little bubble from the outside world! It was an incredible feeling.
We hope you enjoyed our gay cruise review. Our biggest message from this post is just come on-board and truly, truly BE YOURSELF and feel liberated.
Once you have done your first one, we are pretty sure you will want to go back. Let us know your own gay cruise stories in the comments below!
Want to know more about being gay at sea? Check out:
- Join us on our Gay Sailing trip to Croatia!
- Are Celebrity Cruises Gay Friendly?
- What to pack for a gay cruise?
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Looking to get something booked but not sure where to start?
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.