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    RCCL & Princess
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    Puerto Vallarta

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  1. Yes, I do. I sailed on her Jan 1986. I was on winter break from college and I sailed solo...I was 23 years old and had the cruise bug from watching all those episodes of The Love Boat in the 70/80's. I saved all my money working part time job on top of attending CSULB. The Carnival Tropicale was a new build for Carnival and since it sailed out of Los Angeles (San Pedro) my parent could drive me down to the ship. Now....this was a time when you could have guest on board and I invited a bunch of my gal pals from college to see me off. Boy...did we all have a fun time and my cabin neighbors thought I was such a stud with all those girls in my cabin...ha ha. Those days are long gone when you could have guest onboard; but still great memories. I still have all my pictures. The cruise itself was great. I tad cool the few days in/out of LA but Mexico was warm. I sat at the large dining table and had some fun table mates. I remember going to Senior Frogs (me in red polo shirt below) with them in Mazatlan and have a lot of Margaritas and coming back to the ship totally ripped. I still like to cruise and have been on many cruises since...although I not a big fan of Carnival. I like Princess and Celebrity and RCI.
  2. Oh, I think that kind of stereotyping all young and attracting people as the only ones that can have a good time. I consider myself as "average" looking and having gone on either an all-gay cruise or mainstream cruise; I've always had a good time and met others. I think it comes down to your attitude and your ability to get out of your comfort zone and mix and mingle instead of hiding behind a book. Most all people have some sort of social anxiety. It's all part of the fear of rejection. If someone isn't interest in me I just move to the next person. I guess if you want to hide behind a book that's your decision; but I think it's kind of pointless going on a cruise. You might as well stay home. Just my two cents.
  3. My first Princess cruise was November 1990 - Acapulco to San Juan on the original (1984) Royal Princess. It was Princess' flag ship and boy was it 5 stars all the way. Best memory was transitting the Panama canal and they had a lavish brunch buffet up in the 360 degree Horizon lounge with ice scultures and played music as we cruised Lake Gatum - very impressive.
  4. First off, I don't know of any place/website (other than what individuals have posted on CC) on specific reviews of any all-gay cruises. However, you can do a Youtube.com search and there are many videos of highlights of past Atlantis/RSVP cruises. That might at least give you a feel of what to expect at the parties. Second...I've done the room share program many times and each cabin mate is different. One guy would have absolutely nothing to do with me and with others we might go have dinner together or go into port. Although there is never any expectations you will hang out together. Atlantis gives each person a letter on how best to work out the cabin share and respecting each other privacy. I think most people understand this and are respectful...however, I have heard of a few cabin share horror stories. Atlantis staff is there intervene should your room share not work out; but changing cabin is probably not an option since most cabins are usually sold out. As long as you just use your cabin to sleep, change, nap and shower than you should be just fine. However, if you are worried about privacy and/or plan to spend a lot of time in your cabin (I just can't see this on an all-gay cruises) than a room share is not an option. I do think they try to group cabin shares in age ranges; but they can't guarantee it other than smoking/non-smoking. I always introduce myself on the first day and discuss up front how best we can share the cabin together. I've never had any problems. As far as the solo cruise experience - never had any issues. Atlantis offers nightly singles cocktail parties and two singles dinner during the cruise. On other nights as you enter the dinner room the staff is there to seat you with other guests in the dining room usually at tables of 8. The mix of guys (and a few women) ranges from 21 to 80 with the average ages in early 40's. European cruise will tend to get more Europeans; but you will have guys from all other the world and every shape and size. Since you get people from all other I find most people friendly and easy to meet. Sure, there will groups of friends traveling together and couples. I believe it's about 50/50 couples to singles. I've never been on an Atlantis cruise where I didn't meet some nice people. These cruises are perfect for singles; but you do have to get out of your comfort zone and mix and mingle a bit. If you are shy well this might be a tad difficult. But the staff is there is help out. You will have some a lone time and that's perfectly OK. This cruise will have a lot of ports so you'll be off ship and touring. The ship excursions are a great way to meeting other on your cruise. Sorry, no drink packages on any charters. It would be a money losing issue for the cruise line. People on charters tend to drink 2x to 3x vs. a regular mainstream cruise as I was told by Atlantis . Soda and water package are offered. If you want to find out current individual drink prices...just google "RCL bar prices/menu." Are far are other prices and information on shore excursions, spa, internet, etc. you should go the the "Royal Caribbean International" web site. You won't be available to book anything until Atlantis advises you via email about 1-2 mos prior since you'll need your RCL booking # to complete any purchase. If you have any issues/questions just call Atlantis reservations. Yes, Atlantis promotional material is nothing like the real cruises. Sadly sex sells. Sure, there are some eye candy, but there are a lot of normal guys too! Not to worry. Lastly, there are late night "theme" parties on board and well as afternoon "T-dances" up around the pool with top DJ's and sound systems and lighting. Atlantis usually send out the theme events about 1 month prior....no earlier. White party, 80's, 90's theme, Mardi gras, leather, military, tropical, etc. It's totally up to you if you want to bring outfits, but on a gay cruise it's very popular. There is usually a "Facebook group" on your specific cruise. It's a great way to discuss your cruise with others going as well connect prior with those going on your cruise. Just go to FB and search for "Atlantis Oasis Med Cruise." and ask to join the group.
  5. The ship is open to the public and you can freely enter the ship without paying thru the hotel entrance. The only cost is if you decide to take a ship tour. All bars and restaurants are open to hotel guests and day visitors. Enjoy.
  6. I've done many singles cruises where the travel agency has matched me up with strangers to share a cabin. In most case it's worked out well to a varying degree. As long as both of you respect each other "privacy" and are "respectful" to each others needs it'll work out fine. When you are doing a share it's best if you only use your cabin to sleep, change and nap. However, if you the kind of person that likes to hang out in your cabin then a share isn't going to work or if privacy is a major concern. Talk politely and yet firmly about how you plan to share the cabin. Discuss about "entertaining" guest in the cabin. No fun to find a "do not disturb" sign and locked out of your cabin. Yes....this can and does happen. I've heard a few horror story about cabin shares that have gone bad (although far and few between). You just need to have realistic expectations and be flexible when doing a cabin share with a stranger. Also, if things do end up not working out - you need to be able to speak with your cabin mate and fix it; otherwise, you can end up being miserable for the entire cruise. On the other hand I've had some wonderful roomies where we ended up having some nice conversations and maybe going into port together or a meal or two. Several roomies wouldn't have anything to do with me and that was just fine. Just don't take it personally. Also, if you end up with a "clingy" room mate - politely and firmly tell them you need some alone time or "me' time unless you both want to do the same thing. Don't always feel obligated to hang out or entertain them. This is about your vacation and what you want to do. You're adults and need to able to go off and their own thing. Lastly, bring ear plugs.
  7. RCI had to move you to a higher cabin grade that accommodates 3 people with two lower beds plus a 3rd pullman upper. Your original cabin grade probably only had cabins with 2 lowers or those that did have 3/4 uppers berths were sold out. The only logical choice was to move you into a higher grade cabin to accommodate your son and charge you the difference. Ships like the Oasis have many categories or grade of cabins and each have their own price. Balcony, outside, inside cabins all have numerous sub categories within each type and pricing is dependent upon location - forward, midship, aft. What RCI did was't unethical or greedy; it's just their business model with most other cruise lines doing the same. What you can do is keep checking prices prior to final payment and if you see a reduction - call RCI and have them do a price adjustment. The good thing is if prices go up you won't get a price increase if that's any consolation.
  8. Just because a category or room is sold out - does not mean there aren't cabins available. The cruise line routinely "holds" back cabins to assign them at later dates to GTY. If your category is truly sold out or even oversold then you will be "upgraded" to a better grade at no cost. When a category is sold out - all it mean it the cruise line is no longer selling it. We the public and have no knowledge what inventory or cabins are truly available. Most booking websites are just marketing and booking tools and don't show true inventory. When you book a GTY it means you will be assigned a cabin anywhere from the time you make your reservation up until pier check in. Rest assured you will be going and will be assigned a cabin at some point. In the future if you don't like this uncertainly then don't book a GTY.
  9. My suggestion is to fill it out before hand to save you time and hassle at embarkation. You'll need to fill out two sets - one to give to the cruise line and one copy you must keep for 7 years. (This is an official affidavit for your travel to Cuba). As I recall embarkation was crazy - very limited space to fill out the form - people were even sitting on the floor to complete them.
  10. Technically speaking traveling to Cuba as an American to go to the beach isn't consider an authorized "people to people" tour so to answer your question is NO. There are no ship organized beach excursions. However, once you get off the ship there isn't anyone from stopping you from going to the beach. The Cuban officials could care less nor the cruise line. There are no beaches near the cruise port so you'd have to get a taxi to and from the beach which is outside of Havana about 20-30 minutes. Probably no problem getting a taxi outside of the cruise terminal; however, getting one back from the beach you'd need to coordinate with your taxi driver to pick you up. Enjoy.
  11. Just to note: The Royal Princess (1984) was the first new build for Princess Cruises. Prior to that all Princess ships were acquired from other lines. This ship had all "outside" staterooms and "bathtubs" No inside cabins and a full deck of balcony cabins - unheard of in 1984. I sailed on her in 1991 from Acapulco to San Juan via the Panama Canal. Now, this was my first Princess cruise. Prior to this cruise my parents and I had sailed on several Royal Caribbean ships out of Miami in the summer months. About a month prior to us going on the Royal Princess my mother got ill and dad understandably didn't want to leave her so they encourage to continue on with out them. So I flew to Acapulco to board this ship and to my shock - no one was under 60. I was 29 years old! I hadn't realized the demographics on a Panama Canal cruise would be so radically different then a 7 day Caribbean sailing. I was so depressed I almost got off the ship in Costa Rica and flew home. Anyway...to make a long story short - I got lucky and had some great dining companions and everyone sorted of took me under their wing and I ended up having a blast. There was two elderly sisters from Orlando who were just a hoot. I don't think I've ever laughed so much. It was the best cruise out of my 30+ cruises to date. As I recall the food was really gourmet and the ship very elegant - it was Princess' flag ship. Transiting the canal was truly a high light of the cruise. As I recall there was a lavish buffet bunch in the Horizon lounge-360 degrees views as we sailed on Gatun Lake. I was pretty lucky for someone only 29.
  12. The marketing material that Atlantis puts out is quite misleading. Sure, there is plenty of eye candy, but you will find plenty of "regular" guys too as well as older couples, skinny twinks, heavy set daddy and bear types and those into leather. I've also met a few lesbians and straight gals pals traveling with her gay friends. There is something for everyone. No worries.
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