FOD meeting times

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#1
Houston, TX
648 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Some cruise lines seem to have poor planning for FOD meeting times. NCL, for example, schedules them at 930PM. To go, you'd have to have an early dinner or skip the show. I don't know of many FOD friends who do either. And then I always hear complaints that these are always so lightly attended.

My last time on NCL I asked to have our happy hour moved to coinside with the FOD meetings so two groups could meet together. They accommodated the request.

So I'm wondering, is anyone else out there requesting time changes and are they accommodated? How common of a concern is it that some lines hold them so late and not earlier, like 5PM.

The best time I've ever had on a cruise was on HAL Veendam, when they had FOD at 5PM that was heavily attended by a great group of gay and gay-friendly people. We soon had a group of attendees of as many as 20 and we became such good friends.

I've got another cruise coming up on NCL and I will again ask that the FOD be moved up to 5PM. Input? Would you be happier with 5 or 930 on your next cruise?
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#2
East Patchogue, New York
99 Posts
Joined May 2010
Hi - we've been on 3 cruises and getting ready for our 4th one in May (Breakaway to Bermuda). We never had any success with FOD. We try to hit one or two meetings each cruise but never see anyone one else
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#3
Hagerstown, MD USA
691 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
I've seen the range of good and and bad, most of my experience is from Princess. They seem to be better if they are 'hosted' at least someone tries to gather the group together. I've been told by staff that it is the decision of the cruise director time and if hosted or not.
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#4
Bloomington, IN
13 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
I (42 yo lesbian) am going on my second cruise on Celebrity Reflection in November 2013. My partner is not interested in cruising but I am going with my gay bff. A FOD meeting sounds like fun. Are they initiated by the cruise line or do the passengers initiate the get together?
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#5
Houston, TX
648 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
MJM, do you think it's been unsuccessful because of the time? Again, I find that when these are earlier, they are well attended. But when held late at night, such as when the show is going on, they are not attended.

Knitter, usually, you'll find the FOD/LGBT meetings listed in the daily. But again, since I find the time most lines seem to schedule them as unacceptable, I usually ask that they be moved. So far, they are always willing to do this, but I'm wondering if I'm the only one who does so and if I'm not, why don't they take the hint and just schedule them earlier.

I feel bad for the cruises where no one knows to ask to move them and no one is showing up. I'm afraid one day they'll stop scheduling these because they say "wulp, no one's a commin' so we stop'e 'em."

When I was HAL Veendam, they were pre-scheduled for 5PM in a very convenient place (not hidden out of the way) and were hosted by the party planner at the first part of the week. We had a fantastic time and many people joined us when they saw how much fun we were having.
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#6
East Patchogue, New York
99 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by penguinscott
MJM, do you think it's been unsuccessful because of the time? Again, I find that when these are earlier, they are well attended. But when held late at night, such as when the show is going on, they are not attended.

Knitter, usually, you'll find the FOD/LGBT meetings listed in the daily. But again, since I find the time most lines seem to schedule them as unacceptable, I usually ask that they be moved. So far, they are always willing to do this, but I'm wondering if I'm the only one who does so and if I'm not, why don't they take the hint and just schedule them earlier.

I feel bad for the cruises where no one knows to ask to move them and no one is showing up. I'm afraid one day they'll stop scheduling these because they say "wulp, no one's a commin' so we stop'e 'em."

When I was HAL Veendam, they were pre-scheduled for 5PM in a very convenient place (not hidden out of the way) and were hosted by the party planner at the first part of the week. We had a fantastic time and many people joined us when they saw how much fun we were having.
The times were early (on a NCL and a RCL). I worried the that the first one we went to that we might have scared off anyone walking by--we are two "straight" looking women and I had my kids with me. There was one guy in the place and he was straight. He actually was a "special needs" guy who was traveling with his parents. He did buy us a drink though

I think that younger people don't know what FOD is and they also tend to be so integrated into the larger society that they don't look to go to meetings per say. I've noticed that the guys tend to find each other prior to the sailing and then just do their own thing.
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#7
East Patchogue, New York
99 Posts
Joined May 2010
I like the idea of having it hosted too. Maybe just say that there is a LGBT meet and greet might be easier way to attract people
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#8
TAMPA FLA
243 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
We were on the NCL "Jewel in January. THe FOD get together was announced in the daily program every day. It was at 7PM. As NCL is "freestyle" dining, dinner seatings had no effect on the time of the get together. After attending once or twice, it's very easy to just arrange to meet folks you meet at another time, another place. On some other lines, it's been 5:30-ish and you get those getting ready to head to dinner 1st sitting and those wrapping up their afternoon, who dine later seating. On RCI, it was at 9:30PM, announced on the bulletin board daily, but never in the daily program. IMOP, not the best time, but again, very easy after you've initially met to just arrange to meet another time, another place. We've met several folks at FOD's who we've stayed friends with and have sailed again with.
#9
Eberholzen, Germany
1,836 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Originally posted by mjm8325

I think that younger people don't know what FOD is and they also tend to be so integrated into the larger society that they don't look to go to meetings per say. I've noticed that the guys tend to find each other prior to the sailing and then just do their own thing.
Hi there,
We're two gay women from Germany. Sorry -- but what does FOD mean? I guess it's some kind of gay get together? We were on the Adventure of the Seas last year and did'nt know there was any kind of gathering for gays. Too bad! We're on the Serenade of the Seas this July and would love to meet other gay couples.
Stef
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#10
9,273 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by penguinscott
Some cruise lines seem to have poor planning for FOD meeting times. NCL, for example, schedules them at 930PM.
??? I've been on four NCL cruises over the past few years, and the FOD mtgs have always been at 7pm or 7:30pm.
#11
9,273 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by Kreuzfahrtneuling
Hi there,
We're two gay women from Germany. Sorry -- but what does FOD mean? I guess it's some kind of gay get together? We were on the Adventure of the Seas last year and did'nt know there was any kind of gathering for gays. Too bad! We're on the Serenade of the Seas this July and would love to meet other gay couples.
Stef
FOD means "Friend of Dorothy." It's an ancient, obsolete, "closet" American code name for gay people, that may have its roots in Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz, played by Judy Garland, a huge favorite of gay men. (Other origins are reported.)

Whatever its origin, as your email shows, it's outlived its usefulness. I doubt anyone under the age of 30 (maybe even 40) even knows what it means, American or not. At any rate, we don't need closet code names any longer. (I strongly suggested to NCL some time ago that they bury it and use LGBT, and was happy to see on our last cruise that they'd done so.)

In terms of meeting other gay couples on your cruise, you should check the Roll Call forum here on the gay/lesbian board to see if anyone has started one; if not, start one! :-)
#12
Houston, TX
648 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I agree, and only used FOD because it was easier than GLBT and I've become used to it from my friends.

The only problem with just making a new time and not having the time changed is that no one else knows. I've seen people show up to meetings halfway thru the cruise saying they have been busy doing this and that. I'd hate to miss people who want to meet us because a group of people just decided to move it.

Every NCL I know of has had it at 930. My friends have come back from cruises saying they were too late and never went to them because they wanted to go to the show.

I have found that so far, cruise directors are very open to changing the time/venue when asked, on the dailies. I just wanted to know how many other people are making this request.
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Princess Island Princess 1982
Carnival Tropicale Jul 1984 (7nt Mex Riv)
Carnival Jubilee Jul 1986 (7 nt West Caribbean)
HAL Noordam May 1989 (13nt Alaska)
MSC Opera March 2008 (5nt San Juan to Miami)
Carnival Liberty Feb 2010 (7nt Miami/W. Caribbean)
HAL Veendam Sep 2011 (7nt NY/Bermuda)
NCL Spirit April 2012 (13nt New Orleans to Spain)
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#13
San Diego, CA
221 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by mjm8325
The times were early (on a NCL and a RCL). I worried the that the first one we went to that we might have scared off anyone walking by--we are two "straight" looking women and I had my kids with me. There was one guy in the place and he was straight. He actually was a "special needs" guy who was traveling with his parents. He did buy us a drink though

I think that younger people don't know what FOD is and they also tend to be so integrated into the larger society that they don't look to go to meetings per say. I've noticed that the guys tend to find each other prior to the sailing and then just do their own thing.
When I went on my first cruise at age 23 I had no idea what Friends of Dorothy meant. I also didn't know what Friends of Bill W. meant (for those who don't know, it's an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting). I was wondering the whole who are these people that are so popular they get their own meeting!?!?

Anyway, I'm going on the NCL Epic next week and I've been looking up a lot of their sample Freestyle Dailies and I've noticed that they seem to now put "Friends of Dorothy-LGBT meeting" or something like that. I think it would make a difference in attendance in some small level.
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Todd
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#14
East Patchogue, New York
99 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by Kreuzfahrtneuling
Hi there,
We're two gay women from Germany. Sorry -- but what does FOD mean? I guess it's some kind of gay get together? We were on the Adventure of the Seas last year and did'nt know there was any kind of gathering for gays. Too bad! We're on the Serenade of the Seas this July and would love to meet other gay couples.
Stef
FOD stands for "Friends of Dorothy"-- old code that someone was gay (the reference is to Judy Garland, who was in the Wizard of OZ). I think its time to just start saying that there is a LGBT meet and greet.
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#15
East Patchogue, New York
99 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by tweakes
When I went on my first cruise at age 23 I had no idea what Friends of Dorothy meant. I also didn't know what Friends of Bill W. meant (for those who don't know, it's an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting). I was wondering the whole who are these people that are so popular they get their own meeting!?!?

Anyway, I'm going on the NCL Epic next week and I've been looking up a lot of their sample Freestyle Dailies and I've noticed that they seem to now put "Friends of Dorothy-LGBT meeting" or something like that. I think it would make a difference in attendance in some small level.
LMAO. I also wondered who the hell Bill was and why his friends were so all about him. Hopefully we will drop the old closeted language and just us either Gay, or GLBT or LGBT...or whatever set of initials that we are up too!
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#16
Eberholzen, Germany
1,836 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Thank you Turtles06 and mjm8325

I'll keep an eye open for any kind of meeting. FOD or LGBT. Are there meetings like that on every cruise? We're on a 12 night cruise with about 2500 passengers I believe...if you're guessing that 10 percent should be either gay or lesbian -- we should have 250 people...and if only one fourth of them are out of the closet we should still have a meeting with round about 60 people I know it's not going to happen ... but it's a fun math thing to think about.
We haven't had any contact to "family" in years. I would be happy just to meet one or two other couples.

Stef
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http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1851484
my first attempt of a day to day cruise review (Adventure of the Seas Aug 2012)-- enjoy

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1890431
Pictoral Review --Serenade of the Seas --July 2013-- 12 day Med cruise

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2094891
Pictoral review -- MSC Magnifica -- August 2014 -- 12 day British Isles cruise

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2182713
Pictoral review -- MSC Armonia -- March 2015 -- 7 day Canary Islands and Madeira overnight

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2277223
Lake Garda -- a post cruise suggestion -- a pictorial travellogue


past cruises:
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2013 -- Serenade of the Seas
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2015 -- MSC Armonia
#17
Houston, TX
648 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by Kreuzfahrtneuling
Thank you Turtles06 and mjm8325

I'll keep an eye open for any kind of meeting. FOD or LGBT. Are there meetings like that on every cruise? We're on a 12 night cruise with about 2500 passengers I believe...if you're guessing that 10 percent should be either gay or lesbian -- we should have 250 people...and if only one fourth of them are out of the closet we should still have a meeting with round about 60 people I know it's not going to happen ... but it's a fun math thing to think about.
We haven't had any contact to "family" in years. I would be happy just to meet one or two other couples.

Stef
Great thinking. Some of the best LGBT meetings (happy hours) have been a great mix of gay and straight. Seems most ships I've been on have around a dozen, give or take. Some nights more than others. If you're on a ship and you don't see it in the dailies, ask your cruise director to add one (and pick a time that works!)
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NCL Norway 1982
Princess Island Princess 1982
Carnival Tropicale Jul 1984 (7nt Mex Riv)
Carnival Jubilee Jul 1986 (7 nt West Caribbean)
HAL Noordam May 1989 (13nt Alaska)
MSC Opera March 2008 (5nt San Juan to Miami)
Carnival Liberty Feb 2010 (7nt Miami/W. Caribbean)
HAL Veendam Sep 2011 (7nt NY/Bermuda)
NCL Spirit April 2012 (13nt New Orleans to Spain)
HAL Rotterdam Aug 2012 (12nt Holland, Scotland, Norway, Denmark)
NCL Star Apr 2013 (16nt New Orleans, Miami, Azores, Dover, Helsingborg, Copenhagen)
HAL Ryndam Nov 2013 (16nt Barcelona, Malaga, Cadiz, Lisbon, Half Moon Cay, Tampa)
HAL Maasdam Apr 2014 (10 nt FLL to San Juan, St. Thomas, Dominica, Antigua, Tortola, Half Moon Cay)
HAL Zuiderdam Dec 2014 (12nt FLL, Aruba, Curacao, Cartegena, Panama Canal, Colon, Puerto Limon)



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#18
9,273 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by Kreuzfahrtneuling
Thank you Turtles06 and mjm8325

I'll keep an eye open for any kind of meeting. FOD or LGBT. Are there meetings like that on every cruise? We're on a 12 night cruise with about 2500 passengers I believe...if you're guessing that 10 percent should be either gay or lesbian -- we should have 250 people...and if only one fourth of them are out of the closet we should still have a meeting with round about 60 people I know it's not going to happen ... but it's a fun math thing to think about.
We haven't had any contact to "family" in years. I would be happy just to meet one or two other couples.

Stef
I don't know what the Royal Caribbean practice is in terms of such get togethers. NCL advertises them in the Freestyle Daily, and Celebrity posts them on the message board near guest services.

Perhaps someone on this board who has sailed with RCI can let you know where to look for an announcement of a mtg, but as penguinscott says, you can always ask the Cruise Director to announce a meeting.

Or hang out in the martini bar around 7pm.
#19
Brisbane
557 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
On our NYE cruise last December on the Sun Princess FOD get-togethers were at 5:30, our group(10 pax) were usually the only ones there except when there were a couple of wedding groups!