Experience with PIED PIPER or other Gay Group Cruise???

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#1
Indianapolis
5 Posts
Joined May 2009
has anyone cruised with Pied Piper or any of the other groups firms who specialize in gay groups on a "regular" cruise (instead of a gay chartered cruise like Atlantis or RSVP)?

We are considering the Pied Piper Greek Isles cruise in 2010..... thx
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#2
queens, ny usa
872 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
My partner and I did the post thanksgiving cruise to the southern caribbean with pied piper last year. It was our first time and it was very enjoyable. Met a lot of great people and the events they put on for us on the ship were alot of fun. Hoping to do another cruise with them soon.
#3
Washington DC
2,287 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
My partner and I did a Pied Piper trip last year and we had a great time. It wasn't a really big group, less than 50 people, but everybody was great and we had a lot of fun. We had a couple of open bar parties and our own shore excursions, and we all sat together for dinner. Highly recommended.
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#4
Bradenton Florida
26 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
My Partner and I traveled with Pied Piper on the Celebrity Constellation on the fall transatlantic cruise (9/08)..Everything was ok with Pied Piper, but we were most impressed with the group of men (and women) traveling. It was really wonderful group of people, many that cruised many times with Pied Piper. We would do it again if they were on a cruise that we were interested in.......
#5
158 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
I traveled with Pied Piper in June 2008 on the Northern Europe itinerary. It was a great trip, and I met some wonderful men. I have kept up with a few of them since then. What a great time and a great way to make new friends. I hope to travel with them again in 2010.

DallasSteve
#6
203 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
My partner and I have taken 5 PP cruises and enjoyed every one. Our experiences range from one week cruises in the Caribbean to Xatlantic and Pacific crossings. The groups have ranged in size from 20 to over 300. Rarely have we had a bad experience, though others on the cruises occasionally were not happy with certain aspects of PP. Just for reference, we have been on over 40 cruises extending over 9 different cruise lines.
#7
North Haledon, New Jersey
548 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by premiumrican
My partner and I did the post thanksgiving cruise to the southern caribbean with pied piper last year. It was our first time and it was very enjoyable. Met a lot of great people and the events they put on for us on the ship were alot of fun. Hoping to do another cruise with them soon.
Hi,
I am looking at doing the post Thanksgiving this year. How many were in the Pied Piper group when you went? What age groups?
Thanks
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#8
Wappingers Falls , NY
1,218 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Have done 4 with Pied Piper and 3 with Atlantis, and really prefer Pied Piper for several reasons
1. Cheaper-They really get ome good rates, and in my experience end up being about 1/3 less than Atlantis ones
2. Personal-You actually get to know the hosts onboard, with Atlantis never found that true
3. I really like the mix better of a gay group with a regular cruise, I think it helps with true friendships
Doing my first Trans Atlantic with Pied Piper in September
#9
San Francisco, CA
1,025 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
We've got our first Pied Piper cruise scheduled for September. Over a decade ago, we traveled on a cruise that also had a Pied Piper group and we sorta' joined 'em (no, we didn't attend their reserved events) We enjoyed ourselves. On about a half-dozen cruises we've been part of gay groups (or gy-friendly with MANY gay members) and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We really don't need the extra expense and brouhaha of a full-ship charter (although we've enjoyed both Atlantis & RSVP), Traveling with a group like Pied Piper gives you the group for socialization, while providing greater savings and a complete cruise experience.
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.Mark Katzenberger

Upcoming Queen Mary 2 - RT N Atlantic crossing - 2017
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#10
Brooklyn, NY
17,696 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by MarkBearSF
We've got our first Pied Piper cruise scheduled for September.
Which one: QM2 or Constellation?
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Peter


Next: RSVP Eastern Caribbean - Koningsdam, February 11-18, 2018

RSVP February Caribbean cruises:
Caribbean Princess 2007 / Zuiderdam 2008 / Eurodam 2009 / Eurodam 2010 / Nieuw Amsterdam 2012
Eurodam 2013
/ MSC Divina 2014 / Regal Princess 2015 / Nieuw Amsterdam 2016 / Koningsdam 2017
RSVP Alaska - Amsterdam Sep 2007
RSVP Hawaii - Pride of America Oct 2010
Lewis R. French Schooner in Maine - July 2009
Labor Day Getaway (Pied Piper) - QM2 Sep 2009

#11
Somerville, Mass.
558 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Originally posted by bergen66
Hi,
I am looking at doing the post Thanksgiving this year. How many were in the Pied Piper group when you went? What age groups?
Thanks
There were about 400 last year. Predominantly couples, ranging in age from a small number in their 20s through every other age cohort. My partner and I were 37 and 32, traveling with friends in their 20s. Average age is early 50s, I'd guess.

It's important to note that last year the traditional PP post-Thanksgiving cruise on Serenade OTS out of San Juan had competition from a PP group on the Solstice inaugural a couple of weeks later out of Florida. The year before, there were easily twice as many people on Jewel OTS. So I'd expect many more than 400 this fall because there is no split, because the cruise is out of Miami, and because it's on the very large Liberty OTS.
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#12
North Haledon, New Jersey
548 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by 02143
There were about 400 last year. Predominantly couples, ranging in age from a small number in their 20s through every other age cohort. My partner and I were 37 and 32, traveling with friends in their 20s. Average age is early 50s, I'd guess.

It's important to note that last year the traditional PP post-Thanksgiving cruise on Serenade OTS out of San Juan had competition from a PP group on the Solstice inaugural a couple of weeks later out of Florida. The year before, there were easily twice as many people on Jewel OTS. So I'd expect many more than 400 this fall because there is no split, because the cruise is out of Miami, and because it's on the very large Liberty OTS.
Thanks for the info. Looks like it will be nice this year. I'm definitely considering it. I've been on about 6 Atlantis cruises and they are a lot of work and very tiring! My last one was last summer in the Baltics. This year I am taking a regular cruise (this weekend!) and I find them enjoyable. I think PP sounds like a good 'in-between' and the same price as the travel websites are advertising. I'm sold! I think I'll book it after I come back Memorial Day weekend!
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Celebrity Reflection - Eastern Caribbean - December 2013
Celebrity Infinity - Iceland and Norwegian Fjords - June 2013
Celebrity Equinox - Italy/Turkey/Greece - July 2012
Celebrity Eclipse - Eastern Caribbean - November 2011
Norwegian Gem - Florida/Bahamas - April 2011
Celebrity Solstice - Eastern Caribbean - December 2010
RCCL Explorer of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean - August 2010
RCCL Liberty of the Seas - Western Caribbean - November 2009
Holland America Westerdam - Alaska Inside Passage - August 2009
Caribbean Princess - Eastern Caribbean San Juan to New York - May 2009
Carnival Pride - Mexican Riviera - October 2008
Celebrity Constellation - Baltics & Russia - July 2008
Norwegian Sun - Western Caribbean - January 2008
RCCL Brilliance of the Seas - Greek Isles/Turkey/Venice - September 2007
Crown Princess - Eastern Caribbean - August 2006
Carnival Miracle - Eastern Caribbean - August 2004
Norwegian Dawn - Eastern Caribbean - January 2003
RCCL Splendor of the Seas - Barcelona, Fr & Ital Riviera - August 2002
Norwegian Sun - Eastern Caribbean - January 2002
Orient Lines Crown Odyssey - Barcelona to Athens - August 2001
#13
77 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by yodaddy1439
has anyone cruised with Pied Piper or any of the other groups firms who specialize in gay groups on a "regular" cruise (instead of a gay chartered cruise like Atlantis or RSVP)?

We are considering the Pied Piper Greek Isles cruise in 2010..... thx
I have done Gayribbean twice and Aquafest once. Both organize gay group space on "regular" ships. The groups ranged in size from 120 (Gayribbean) to 400 (Aquafest) gay men and women. We enjoyed this option over a solid gay cruise as the price was less, it was more sane for men 50ish, it had a nice mix of people and you could actually get in the gym. We had many of our own activities and shorex specialized to our needs. We live in Palm Springs so we can see all the drag shows we want here and have many options to mix with other gay folk (our population is over 55% gay). Last Sunday we got off a very inexpensive one week SF, Victoria and Seattle cruise ($299 balcony cabin) and we had so many gay people we quickly grouped and created our own venues...(I used to live in SFand gave City volunteer tours of Castro when I lived there..so when we got to SF..I offered a free 2 hour Castro tour). If the cruise is out of key cities like SF, LA, Ft Lauderdale or Miami, a FOD meeting may pull a group larger than on a small expensive specialized gay tour organizer. Please consider this option too.
#14
Atlanta, GA
436 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
They are very professional, save money over regular rates, and I have made some good friends through their sailings. You can participate as much or little as you want. At the least, you'll be dining with other "family"......or, at the most, you'll make some great friends..
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#15
San Francisco, CA
1,025 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
We'll be on the QM2 labor Day outing.
After docking, we're spending a few days in NY to celebrate our 1st anniverary (CA Supreme Court willing) and our 25 years together.
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.Mark Katzenberger

Upcoming Queen Mary 2 - RT N Atlantic crossing - 2017
Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2016, Celebrity Infinity - S. America - 2015, Star Princess - Pacific repo - 2015,
AMACello - Rhine - 2013, Norwegian Spirit - W Caribbean - 2011, Crystal Serenity - E Med - 2010,
Queen Mary 2 - Canada - 2009, Eurodam - Baltics - 2009, Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2008,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - W Med - 2008, Amsterdam - Alaska - 2007, Norwegian Sun - W Caribbean - 2007,
Voyager of the Seas - Bermuda - 2005, Star Princess - Mexico - 2002, Carnival Spirit - Pacific repo - 2001,
Norwegian Majesty - S Caribbean - 2001, Rembrandt - Canada - 2000, Seabourn Sun - SF cruise to nowhere - 2000,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 1999, Zenith - Bermuda - 1998, Queen Elizabeth 2 - Panama Canal - 1997,
Celebrity Century - W Caribbean - 1996, Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 1993, Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific repo - 1993,
Crown Princess - E Caribbean - 1991, Westerdam - Mexico repo - 1990, Queen Elizabeth 2 - Hawaii - 1989,
Cunard Princess - Pacific repo - 1987
#16
Brooklyn, NY
17,696 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by MarkBearSF
We'll be on the QM2 labor Day outing.
After docking, we're spending a few days in NY to celebrate our 1st anniverary (CA Supreme Court willing) and our 25 years together.
We will be on it too as part of the Pied Piper group.

There is also a Roll Call started with a meet-and-greet and cabin crawl planned. Check it out at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=794426
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Peter


Next: RSVP Eastern Caribbean - Koningsdam, February 11-18, 2018

RSVP February Caribbean cruises:
Caribbean Princess 2007 / Zuiderdam 2008 / Eurodam 2009 / Eurodam 2010 / Nieuw Amsterdam 2012
Eurodam 2013
/ MSC Divina 2014 / Regal Princess 2015 / Nieuw Amsterdam 2016 / Koningsdam 2017
RSVP Alaska - Amsterdam Sep 2007
RSVP Hawaii - Pride of America Oct 2010
Lewis R. French Schooner in Maine - July 2009
Labor Day Getaway (Pied Piper) - QM2 Sep 2009

#17
San Francisco, CA
217 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
We've been on 5 PP cruises and loved all but one... actually, we loved that one, too, but there were over 700 of us and one of the private PP parties was held in a venue too small for the crowd. Otherwise, absolutely NO complaints. We've made a few wonderful lasting friends.
As mentioned above, the BIG one is the Post-t'giving cruise and yes, there are more couples than singles. There were, however, plenty of singles and we heard no complaints... still, if you're looking for wild orgies PP is probably not your cup of...uh... "tea".

The private parties are a big plus, as are private movie showings (e.g. "Sordid Lives" was a blast!) and the "Grease" and "Sound of Music" sing-alongs were a gas!

Even the smaller PP groups are fun. You can book shore excursions together and PP offers their own private shore excursions, too.

Unless you're looking for lots of drag queens and anonymous sex, PP will not disappoint you. We LOVEd every one of the 5 we've taken and the hosts that accompany you are all excellent!


Joe & Michael
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#18
San Francisco, CA
1,025 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
One complaint - their website is sooooo 1998. It's pretty pathetic. (That twisty rainbow flag with the ...shot has got to go!) Surely they know some gay web designers who can bring it up to speed.

Mark (...who knows that the importance of a web graphic pales in relation to professional service, great prices and a superior product - but still!)
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.Mark Katzenberger

Upcoming Queen Mary 2 - RT N Atlantic crossing - 2017
Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2016, Celebrity Infinity - S. America - 2015, Star Princess - Pacific repo - 2015,
AMACello - Rhine - 2013, Norwegian Spirit - W Caribbean - 2011, Crystal Serenity - E Med - 2010,
Queen Mary 2 - Canada - 2009, Eurodam - Baltics - 2009, Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2008,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - W Med - 2008, Amsterdam - Alaska - 2007, Norwegian Sun - W Caribbean - 2007,
Voyager of the Seas - Bermuda - 2005, Star Princess - Mexico - 2002, Carnival Spirit - Pacific repo - 2001,
Norwegian Majesty - S Caribbean - 2001, Rembrandt - Canada - 2000, Seabourn Sun - SF cruise to nowhere - 2000,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 1999, Zenith - Bermuda - 1998, Queen Elizabeth 2 - Panama Canal - 1997,
Celebrity Century - W Caribbean - 1996, Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 1993, Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific repo - 1993,
Crown Princess - E Caribbean - 1991, Westerdam - Mexico repo - 1990, Queen Elizabeth 2 - Hawaii - 1989,
Cunard Princess - Pacific repo - 1987
#19
811 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by jsactor
My Partner and I traveled with Pied Piper on the Celebrity Constellation on the fall transatlantic cruise (9/08)..Everything was ok with Pied Piper, but we were most impressed with the group of men (and women) traveling. It was really wonderful group of people, many that cruised many times with Pied Piper. We would do it again if they were on a cruise that we were interested in.......

We were on that same cruise. and feel the same way.
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#20
Towson, MD
254 Posts
Joined May 2007
I really prefer the gay group approach, and PP tends to be on the ships I most enjoy - Celebrity and Cunard, in particular.

I do travel on other cruises without them, but have always enjoyed their trips. I would 2nd the opinion earlier that one of the post-TG trips was too big - by the time the gay crowd is 1/2 the ship, there's no place we can all meet.

I also had a TERRIFIC experience with TravelPride a few years ago. In their early days, they had some bargain prices, but now they are seeming to specialize in very high end trips. They do small, luxury, gay charters, and they do a terrific job of it.

Happy sailing.
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David
Baltimore, MD

Recent Cruises:
5/30/10 - Windstar Windsurf - Italy
8/29/11 - QM2 WB T/A
10/22/11 - Celebrity Silhouette - T/A - Rome to NJ
12/15/2012 - Celebrity Reflection - Caribbean
10/19/2013 - Celebrity Summit - NY - San Juan
7/27/2014 - Uniworld River Countess - Venice
12/15/14 - QM2 WB T/A
4/11/15 - Celebrity Reflection T/A
10/2/15 - Explorer OTS - London to BCN

Upcoming Cruises:
12/15/15 - #46 - QM2 WB T/A
4/3/15 - Uniworld - Amsterdam to Brussels
9/27/16 - Avalon - Prague to Budapest