There are a lot of good reasons to consider giving the gift of a gay vacation this Christmas:
- You’d like to avoid spending your vacation time with your parents, listening to the captivating details of hip replacements and how we can make America great again.
- You prefer a vacation that includes unlimited adult beverages, so you don’t have to knock over a 7-11 to pay the bar tab.
- You occasionally enjoy wearing a leather jockstrap or sparkly ball gown, and Carnival Cruises frowns on that.
- You want to wow your beloved partner with the kind of big, beautiful gift he deserves, so that he shuts his yap and stops complaining about your mother.
Once you’ve decided to take the plunge, the next step is deciding what kind of gay trip works for you.
If you’re looking for the onboard experience to be the star of the show, this is the type of cruise for you. With guests counts from 1,900 – 6,000, you can expect big deck parties that go all night long, casinos, Broadway shows and lots of onboard frivolity.
Most ocean cruises tend to be less destination-focused (some guests never even get off the ship). While you can make the experience what you want, ocean cruises are largely about excess. A sample story from friends of mine: one half of the couple left a top deck dance party and went down to his cabin to go to bed. Several hours later, there was a knock on the door. Two guys stood there, holding up his partner, and said, “Does this belong to you?” His pants were on backwards.
RIVER / SAILING / EXPEDITION CRUISES
These tend to skew a bit older, and are all about exotic itineraries and making friends. Since your ship will generally hold about 150 people, you have a chance to really get to know both your fellow travelers and the destinations.
Some gay river cruises (the ones operated by Brand g, anyway) offer unlimited adult beverages (see photo above), so there’s no shortage of fun to be had; but the trips are less about having enough cocktails to make you go blind and more about having experiences that will make everyone back home blind with envy.
For example, on our recent Rhine river cruise, one included tour was a tasting in a fabulous wine cellar under a castle in Austria. Which was a double bonus – booze and glamour.
These are the smallest gay vacations, usually consisting of, say, 40 guests. (The smaller size allows companies like Brand g to tailor the experience to a level of luxury and uniqueness – a helicopter tour over Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, for example – that would be impossible to do with hundreds of guests.)
And these trips are the most in-depth way to experience a part of the world, from visiting a monastery that clings perilously to the side of the Himalayas in Bhutan, to getting up close and personal with wild gorillas in Rwanda. You’ll be dining out on these stories for YEARS.
So, what’ll it be this Christmas? A Beer Belly Fanny Pack? Or a trip to Machu Picchu?
On a serious note: if you’re anything like my husband and I, you probably work a LOT – which makes the gift of a trip that much more meaningful. Because these gay vacations become an opportunity to have quality time together, to be your authentic selves, and to remember that even though he leaves s*** lying everywhere in the house, the two of you share a lasting love not only for travel, but for each other.