Once upon a time cruises were only for the extremely wealthy (or the extremely aged) but a new breed of chic Cruise line operators are changing that. Foremost among them is the LGBT friendly cruise operator, Celebrity Cruises
Whether you long to see Europe in old-world comfort, or just want to be pampered as you gently bob along the Mediterranean, there are few better ways to do it than on a cruise. But with so many cruise operators sailing to so many different destinations, it can be difficult to find the one that both suits your budget and is also LGBT-friendly.
This is where Celebrity Cruises™ and their impressive flagship, Celebrity Reflection™, comes in. This superior ship can carry 3,046 passengers, and it cruises the Mediterranean in luxurious style.
FRIENDS OF DOROTHY
Celebrity Cruises have been hosting LGBT events for so long that they became euphemistically be known as ‘Friends of Dorothy’ soirees. So committed are they to gay community that they’ve been voted ‘Best Large Ship Cruise Line for LGBT Passengers’ at Cruizie Awards for the past four years running.
On the first night of every cruise there’s an LGBT Welcome Party, where guests can meet and mingle in a welcoming and inclusive environment.
A perfect ice-breaker, the event gives you a chance to brush up on your nautical niceties and helps cement Celebrity Cruises burgeoning reputation as the queer cruiser’s cruiseline of choice.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Celebrity Reflection’s many routes on offer are of particular interest to the LGBT community. The 11-night cruise around Italy and Greece takes in some of Europe’s most beautiful locations, including Rome, Rhodes, Athens and Sorrento.
Many of the tour itineraries offer overnight stays in destinations and these provide a great opportunity for guests to party with the locals all over the world.
A guest favourite, unsurprisingly, is the overnight stay in Greek gay mecca, Mykonos, with a chance to experience the eclectic mix of gay bars and clubs in the old town.
The Caribbean cruise is also popular among LGBT guests, due to the guaranteed sunshine, beautiful scenery and pre-cruise ‘city stay’ in Miami, with its buzzing gay scene.
RELAX TO THE MAX
If you’re partied out, or just want to take a break in the sea air, then you can head up to the Lawn Club, which is a real-life grass lawn right on the top deck. Anyone for croquet? How about a picnic and cocktails as you watch the sun set over the waves?
If it’s pampering you’re after then head over to the Canyon Ranch SpaClub™, for a soothing massage, a luscious facial or a rejuvenating spell in the Persian Garden aquathermal environments.
ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK
Like to party? Well, so do the maritime mavens of Celebrity Cruises with round-the-clock entertainment ongoing throughout the cruise.
A perennial guest favourite is the live jazz concert which in clement weather takes place on The Lawn, where guests can sip their Lime Rickeys as the band toots and scats and the ship sails along.
After dark there’s decadent divertissement in the form of ‘adult-only’ late-night main stage production Elyria, as well as the 18 new shows added to the onboard entertainment roster.
They’re not called Celebrity Cruises for nothing! Each and every guest is pampered in positively presidential style with complimentary room service*, a ratio of one staff member for every two guests, 12 – yes, you read that correctly – 12 restaurants with certified sommeliers, and a personal butler in every suite.
It’s basically Downton Abbey on the waves, albiet a thoroughly modern experience.
To make the most of the cruising experience, it’s best to opt for the Suite Class. Cruisers who do get all kinds of handy perks like priority boarding, daily in-suite afternoon tea, canapés, fresh fruit and flowers.
Epicureans will salivate over the gastronomic goodies from opulent eatery Luminae, which is exclusive to Suite Class guests, as is chi- chi VIP lounge, Michael’s Club.
Find out how to enter the GCN competition to win a €500 Tour America & Celebrity Cruises voucher by clicking here.
*A charge of $4.95 per room applies to orders between 11pm and 6am.