Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Cruise To Nowhere!

All over the blogshere and the news is an article about a letter sent out to passengers on a “Ru Paul Drag Cruise” in seems we are not welcome on Carnival lines. I first came across the article on Facebook and I searched the web for confirmation. I found an article in the Miami Hearld… “Carnival letter to passengers on drag cruise: 'Refrain from engaging in inappropriate conduct'” in Steve Rothaus' Gay South Florida. The letter stated,
    November 26, 2012

    Greetings Fun Seekers!

    We know you are looking forward to your cruise next month. We're certainly looking forward to welcoming you and your group aboard the beautiful Carnival Glory.

    There are lots of special activities planned for your group so we are confident you are going to have a great cruise. However, in order to ensure a fun and memorable time for everyone, we want to take a few moments to make you aware of certain policies and conduct expectations so as to avoid any potential disappointment during your cruise.

    Carnival attracts a number of families with children and for this reason; we strive to present a family friendly atmosphere. It is important to us that all guests are comfortable with every aspect of the cruise. Although we realize this group consists solely of adults, we nonetheless expect all guests to recognize that minors are onboard and, refrain from engaging in inappropriate conduct in public areas.

    Arrangements have been made for drag performances in the main theater featuring stars from LOGO TV. These functions will be private and only the performers are permitted to dress in drag while in the theater. Guests are not allowed to dress in drag for the performances or in public areas at any time during the cruise.

    We're sorry to say that any guest who violates our policies and/or whose behavior affects the comfort and enjoyment of other guests, will be disembarked at their own expense and no refund will be given.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

    Now that we've taken care of business...let the FUN begin!

    See you soon!


    Vicky Rey, CTC
    Vice President - Guest Services
I love how the VP says “...let the FUN begin!” after he slaps us in the face.

I searched Carnival’s policy on LGBT passengers but I couldn’t find any, but I did find a number of web pages on their website welcoming “Gay” passengers. There were stuff like…

But Darlings, YOU'RE Gay! Is a Cruise Vacation in the cards for you or are they just for landlocked straight farmers from Omaha? Man Overboard can personally assure you that cruises are for gays and lesbians. Haven't you ever heard of Dames at SEA?

Again, The main choice is deciding between a full-ship charter or opting to join a smaller gay or lesbian group on an existing cruise. The primary advantage of a charter is the exclusively gay friendly environment, while a smaller gay group offers many more choices relative to itinerary and quality of the ship.

And they even have something called “Friends of Dorothy” where gays and lesbians can meet on board ship, but I guess as usual “there are Gays and there are gays.”

The group travel agency, Al & Chuck Travel, then tried to backpedaled and according to MetroWeekly the travel agency sent an email saying…
We are sympathetic to your sentiments that you have expressed via email and social media. As a gay man who has been partnered for 25 years, I have suffered many forms of discriminations because I am part of the GLBT community. But please take note, Carnival's regulation is NOT an example of discrimination.

Carnival is an ally of the GLBT community. Please understand that this cruise could not even be happening on the GLORY if Carnival was not an ally of our segment of society. When they say they are a "family friendly" cruise line they mean it in both the traditional and metaphorical sense of the phrase.

Carnival's "no costumes rule" is NOT meant to be an insult to the gay community. As a gay business, we would not have organized this cruise if they were prejudiced against gay people. This rule goes for both GAY and STRAIGHT passengers that travel on all Carnival cruises. It is in response to the post-911 world we live in. It is meant to protect passengers and guests - NOT to marginalize a few.

Additionally, we know that transgendered members of our community will be aboard with us during this event. Please do not worry, Carnivals rule is not meant towards you. Your right to live your identity is always supported.
And that even made it even worst when it was pointed out that Carnival has Halloween cruises. John Aravosis wrote in the AmericaBlog,
And there’s another problem.  How is Carnival supposedly okay with trans people going on the cruise, how will they “support” a transgender person’s “right to live your identity,” if men can’t dress as women and vice versa?  One man’s transgender is another man’s drag – what’s to stop Carnival’s straight cruise employes from kicking some trans person off the ship for “being in drag”?  So it’s okay to be trans, but don’t be too “fun” about it, you know wearing fun clothes or, god-forbid a wig (so trans people on chemo are out), lest some Carnival employee mistake you for a gay man in a dress and kick you off the ship?  Can’t get more welcoming than that.
He goes on to say…
But hey, what do you know – when some asked, just two months ago, if Carnival had any policy on wearing Halloween costumes on their ships, they got this not-very-September-11 response on Carnival’s own Web site:

    Do Carnival have any restrictions on Halloween costumes? Sailing October 29th on the Paradise out of Tampa

“Frightfully Fun”!

Halloween is always a fun and memorable time aboard a Carnival ship. Guests can enjoy a variety of fun-filled activities, everything from costume contests and Halloween-themed giveaways to scary movies, and, of course, trick or treating with candies. Children and adults are encouraged to bring costumes so they can compete for a variety of prizes during the always-interesting costume contest and parade. Carnival crew members will be dressed in costume, as well, and guests can have their photos taken with Carnival’s own “Fun Ship” Freddy. Guests ages one to 14 are also invited to go trick or treating along the ships’ promenades and through various public rooms and areas, stocking up on candies.

Note:  Please note that we do not allow any toy or imitation weapons of any kind onboard any of our ships.

So no pirate swords, ninja knives, cowboy/girl toy guns, whips, chains etc.
So much for being LGBT friendly, they just want gays, lesbians and trans-people who don’t look like they’re gay, lesbian or trans. If you blend in you are welcome, but if you are too gay we don’t want you.

Here is the email that they sent out...

Carnival Letter

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