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 take a minute to look past the incredible parties and you will see there so much more to an Atlantis gay cruise.
We have been on many Atlantis gay cruises and after our first, all of our expectations were exceeded and our preconceptions challenged.
In our Atlantis gay cruise review and essential guide, we will share all our personal gay cruise experiences as well as answering all the questions you might have about going.
Here is what 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.
What is an Atlantis Gay Cruise?
Atlantis events is a company that is has been running gay trips for over 30 years. They started small and now charter some of the largest cruise ships in the world to host multiple Atlantis Gay Cruises around the world.
This means that Atlantis will buy out (charter) an entire ship from Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Voyages or Norwegian Cruise lines, and then use the ship to run a gay cruise for normally 7 nights.
By chartering the ship exclusively for Atlantis guests, Atlantis can then run their own programme of events, parties and activities catered to gay travellers.
Who goes on an Atlantis Gay Cruise?
We had some big preconceptions here, we thought it was only the sterotypical poster muscle boys and we were a little intimidated – however, and this is a recuring theme in this gay cruise review, we were wrong.
Yes there are plenty of poster boys, but having done multiple gay cruises we have seen every body type represented and celebrated, every age and people from all over the world. It’s amazing to see people just let loose and enjoy themselves no matter their body type.
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!
In terms of gender and sexuality, anyone is welcome to book an Atlantis gay cruise, we have met straight couples and lesbians onboard, but it is 90+% gay men.
We have also met plenty of solo travellers, couples, groups of friends, throuples and everything inbetween
Don’t take our word for it, read from other guests about who goes on gay cruise.
Are Atlantis gay cruises friendly?
For our first sailing, 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’ and that we might not fit in.
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 there are thousandss of people on-board and they booked immediately for the following year, you can see how the community builds and builds.
We purposely go on the same sailing each year to see a lot of familiar faces.
What are the parties like on an Atlantis Cruise?
The parties on an Atlantis gay cruise are a full scale production, exactly like you would expect from any big gay circuit party with international DJ’s and the party locations being turned into jungles, under the sea worlds or whatever the theme might be.
What are the Atlantis Cruise Party Themes?
On the topic of themes, we love to party and we (Sion mainly) loves a themed party.
For every cruise both the day time parties (T-Dance parties around 3pm) and the night time parties (around 11pm until as late at 9am sometimes!) have themes.
Guaranteed party themes include the dog tag T-Dance (military style), the White Party and the Disco T-Dance – other nights take on a range of themes (more below).
People get incredibly creative and you can wear anything you want at all.
Do people have ടex at the parties?
You will see everything 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! Do be mindful of staff, for the most part it’s deep in the crowd.
This extends well into the early hours of the morning…especially on certain ships that have the D*** Deck.
What do people wear on an Atlantis Gay Cruise?
Keeping on the theme of the parties, you might decide to wear very little (i.e just a jockstrap), be nervous stood in your room (like we were the first time) and then get to the party and realise you had nothing to worry about – no one judges you and it is super liberating!
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 previous years the additional themes were ‘Under the Sea’ – think cheeky sailors; ‘Champions’ – think sports; Jungle and ‘Playground’ – cartoon characters and so on.
What to pack for an Atlantis gay cruise?
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’.
Is an Atlantis Gay Cruise all about the parties?
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.
What are the staff like on an Atlantis cruise?
Now you might be thinking ‘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!
Is there a 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!
Do you need wifi on a Gay Cruise?
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!
There is also an onboard app for free on Royal Caribbean Sailings you can use to message between rooms, this is what we did with our friends.
The one thing wifi can be useful for is when making new friends and trying to keep in contact on social media whilst onboard since not everyone checks the ship app.
What are the shows like on an Atlantis gay cruise?
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!
Is an Atlantis Cruise 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.
How much does an Atlantis Gay Cruise cost?
Naturally, a gay cruise is more expensive than an everyday sailing but you really can’t compare the two.
Prices per person for the week range from about $1,200 plus taxes per person at the lower end to much higher for the suites etc.
It’s not a cheap week but we always feel it is great value for money, mainly because you can’t get the same experience anywhere else.
Is an Atlantis Gay Cruise All Inclusive/ can you bring Alcohol?
In terms of what is included on an Atlantis Gay Cruise, it is all of your food, water, basic teas/coffee, parties, shows and entertainment.
Drinks are additional and depending on which ship they use you can sometimes get bulks buys or packages. You don’t normally have access to unlimited alcohol packages like you might on an everyday cruise (and it is easy to guess why!)
Like all cruises, you are not meant to bring your own alcohol onboard and this can be conviscated. However it is worth noting for a Royal Caribbean Atlantis Cruise you can bring two bottles of wine per stateroom.
Our final word -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!
Atlantis Gay Cruise: Review Conclusion
An Atlantis gay cruise is 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 of liberation, freedom, community and happiness.
The ships are beautiful, the staff incredible, the parties out of this world and you will make friends to last a lifetime.
Our biggest message from this post is just come on-board and truly, truly BE YOURSELF and feel liberated.
We hope you enjoyed our gay cruise review.
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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