By John Walker

Going on a cruise is gaining more and more momentum in the travel industry – and with good reason, because a good cruise offers you incredible destinations, great food, engaging activities, and the best party nights imaginable – all in the company of new and old friends to create everlasting moments. Peach talked to cruise authority and travel expert, John Walker, about his experiences and the best way to plan a cruise.

 

We just returned from our 15th all-gay Atlantis cruise for a 50th Birthday Celebration. The exotic Southern Caribbean cruise was March 18-25, and the ship left out of San Juan, Puerto Rico and cruised to Barbados, Martinique, St. Lucia and St. Marteen.  Sunny and sultry weather followed the ship for seven days.

A cruise is an incredible way to enjoy your friends filled with amazing emotional moments with a touch of wild times.  Year after year these cruises bring back repeat guests, old and new friends unite and create a bond that is unmatched. Once you try this vacation experience, you will be hooked.

An Atlantis all-gay cruise is more than a vacation. An Atlantis cruise is a perfect way to visit exotic locations, enjoy incredible cuisine, take on Broadway shows and experience the absolute best-produced parties at sea.

For one week, the entire ship is just for us. The gay cruise fare includes your room for seven days, all meals, all entertainment and each party. The entire week of activities onboard are customized for the gay traveler who will be thrilled to see surprise superstar guests like Pam Ann, Miss Richfield 1981, and Broadway sensation Jennifer Holiday take over the ship’s theater.

Every day – or night rather – the top deck of the ship is transformed into a nightclub that rivals a night in Ibiza with lasers reflecting off the starry moonlit sky and the waves of the deep blue sea. You will be amazed to see top international DJ’s rotate throughout the week, and you will dance the night away more than once.

A cruise is a perfect destination for friends looking for quality time and bonding. Special moments include daily breakfast served on the verandah with sweeping ocean views to viewing spectacular sunsets while discussing special memories. The Dining Room on the ship can seat large tables of 12, and it is a perfect way to regroup, laugh, and listen to each other’s daily escapades and adventures.

The ship will travel to 3-4 islands within seven days and dock for 8-10 hours. These port days allow you to break away and explore on your own or with a smaller group excursion. Excursions range from beach breaks, culinary tours, hiking, scuba diving or just getting lost in the waterfront towns.

As a special addition to our cruise experience, and to celebrate the birthday boy, we chose to charter a private boat to sail around St. Lucia. This special day included breathtaking views of the volcanic Piton Mountains while being served tropical cocktails and finger foods. Spending the day with close friends on a remote island was the ultimate way to create an everlasting moment for us all.

 

How to Cruise It Right

The cruise ship will be your floating resort for seven days, so you need to prepare for the different destinations, activities, and parties ahead.

Booking

Use an authorized travel agent

There is no fee for an experienced travel agent, and their rates are exactly the same.  Agents can help give honest advice on destinations, the ship experience, and useful planning tips. Travel Agents also help the guest not deal with the booking process, and the client will enjoy direct contact with the agent over calling a 1-800 hotline.

Book at least eight months in advance

You want the best pricing and the best cabin locations, so plan this trip well ahead. If you book through a travel agent, they will also help keep you on track with deadlines and send you reminders. Agents also know the best cabin locations and room layouts.

Preparation

Expert packing skills are needed as you are on your floating resort for seven days.  Here a few tips on what to bring.

The Essentials

Bathing suits, tank tops, and flip-flops are perfect for each day. Polo shirts and nice jeans are perfect for dinners on the ship.

The Parties

There is a party every day, and they are all themed. You can go all out and let them have it with a costume for all the parties – or you can just be yourself and enjoy the scenery. Party themes range from Military, Disco and White party to Glow and Jungle themes.

The Extras

Include items like air freshener, magnetic hooks, and hand sanitizers. Add a dry erase board for your cabin door – decorating your cabin door is a must as it is your chance to show off where you are from and find your friends on the ship.

John Walker is Cruise and Tropical Resort Vacation Specialist for DreamVacations.com. Start your next dream vacation by emailing j.walker@dreamvacations.com or calling 404-593-9618.

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