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How gay friendly is Holland America?

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Be aware Holland America changed its policy for arranged gatherings on social groups!

We sailed on the Holland America's ship ms Koningsdam and during a 12 day cruise only 2 GLBT gatherings were arranged. Both were located at the Seaview Bar, which is actually a bar placed at the second level of the mid ship pool. The bar is placed next to the sandwich and pizza buffet, so there is no atmosphere nor a proper place to linger/mingle or socialize with fellow passengers. Actually by 7pm the film, shown on the large screen, takes over the sound and no other kind entertainment is possible.

Here is the reaction on our complaint, which came from emailing the presidents office:

 

"In response to your inquiry regarding the frequency of GLBT meet-ups on our sailings, it is true that some of our vessels previously scheduled more frequent gatherings for some social groups, such as GLBT guests or Veterans. However, in order to ensure that all such groups are treated fairly, we have standardized our onboard policy to schedule 2 meetings per sailing. We regret any disappointment this change may cause and trust that you can appreciate the reason for this decision."

 

Although couples of the same sex are accepted on board (staff was delightful), HAL's corporate policy is less open and welcoming by denying any support to arrange any extra gatherings! When we commented on the bad location during our cruise, we were told by the Cruise Director in person that this bar needed the revenue!!! :eek::eek:

We have no more comment to add!

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Be aware Holland America changed its policy for arranged gatherings on social groups!

We sailed on the Holland America's ship ms Koningsdam and during a 12 day cruise only 2 GLBT gatherings were arranged. Both were located at the Seaview Bar, which is actually a bar placed at the second level of the mid ship pool. The bar is placed next to the sandwich and pizza buffet, so there is no atmosphere nor a proper place to linger/mingle or socialize with fellow passengers. Actually by 7pm the film, shown on the large screen, takes over the sound and no other kind entertainment is possible.

Here is the reaction on our complaint, which came from emailing the presidents office:

 

"In response to your inquiry regarding the frequency of GLBT meet-ups on our sailings, it is true that some of our vessels previously scheduled more frequent gatherings for some social groups, such as GLBT guests or Veterans. However, in order to ensure that all such groups are treated fairly, we have standardized our onboard policy to schedule 2 meetings per sailing. We regret any disappointment this change may cause and trust that you can appreciate the reason for this decision."

 

Although couples of the same sex are accepted on board (staff was delightful), HAL's corporate policy is less open and welcoming by denying any support to arrange any extra gatherings! When we commented on the bad location during our cruise, we were told by the Cruise Director in person that this bar needed the revenue!!! :eek::eek:

We have no more comment to add!

 

It was the same situation on a recent 14 day Transatlantic on RC, Jewel of the Seas. They posted 2 GLBT gatherings the entire cruise. The gatherings were scheduled at 10 pm in their Crows Nest lounge..

There were over a 100 gay men on this cruise. Only a few showed up the first night. We never went again. There were 10 of us in our group. So we were our own party. Did not hear any complaints.

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Many years ago I decided to take my parents on a Princess Cruises Panama canal cruise from Acapulco to San Juan, PR. Prior to this we had only gone on Summer 7-day Caribbean cruise on RCI which we thoroughly enjoyed. Well, about two months prior to the Panama cruise my mother got sick and she couldn't go and my dad didn't want to leave her, but they encouraged me to go ahead without them. So I flew down to Acapulco and boarded the ship to find out most of passengers were 65+. I was 29 years old. I stuck out like a snore thumb. It was nothing like the Caribbean cruises and I wasn't aware that Panama cruise catered to mostly older people. I was devastated. I was so depressed I considered getting off in Costa Rica and flying home. Well, I was fortunate to sit at a nice dining room table with lovely people who sort of took me under their wing. A retired British couple from California, a 40 something tour leader from a travel agency who was hosting a large group onboard and two older sisters from Orlando Fl who were a complete hoot! I don't think we all laugh so hard. During the cruise I did meet a gay couple in the casino which I ended up hang with in port. I also hooked up with one of the entertainments onboard...I'll say nothing further on that. LOL ;) Going through the Panama Canal is really a bucket list items and the ship and food as I recall were fabulous. Top notch. Moral of the story: It ended up as one of my most memorable cruises. You just need to understand what you are getting yourself into. The longer more exotic cruises tend to catered to a very mature crowd. Yes, you might find a few people your age...but not many. Don't expect a packed disco and by 10-11PM the ship get pretty quiet. But who knows you might end up having a great time. As far as booking a cruise & fares...best to find a good travel agent that specializes in cruises. You can search for authorized HAL travel agents in your area thru HAL's website. Given them a call and see what they say. Doesn't cost you anything. Hope this helps.

 

I am going on my first HAL on the Premiere Voyage of the Nieuw Statendam from Rome to Fort Lauderdale in December. It's been quite a long time since we've chatted, send me a message. Still in Orlando here :cool::cool::cool:

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We found that they were usually scheduling LGBT get togethers at 7:00 or 7:30pm many times in Crows Nest. About as far from dining options as you can get and at the time many if not most were eating. A few times we asked and they moved it to Pinnacle Bar at 6pm and was well attended.

 

A couple of times we made it to the first get together and discussed meeting earlier at a more central location. Word get around and we had some great turnouts.

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We found that they were usually scheduling LGBT get togethers at 7:00 or 7:30pm many times in Crows Nest. About as far from dining options as you can get and at the time many if not most were eating. A few times we asked and they moved it to Pinnacle Bar at 6pm and was well attended.

 

A couple of times we made it to the first get together and discussed meeting earlier at a more central location. Word get around and we had some great turnouts.

 

 

 

Hi Frank. We have found it the same way on HAL. Been long time since we chatted. Weren’t you on our repo SFO Vancouver year ago? Rem you were on Oosterdam to south to San Diego last Oct.and partner and I said Sailed Fay you got off on the Atlantis’s cruise. We sure love HAL. Just did the Golden Princess coastal SFO south Roy d trip and they had glbt meeting every night on 7 day cruise was well attended first have but being in port every day hurt it

 

 

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Hi Frank. We have found it the same way on HAL. Been long time since we chatted. Weren’t you on our repo SFO Vancouver year ago? Rem you were on Oosterdam to south to San Diego last Oct.and partner and I said Sailed Fay you got off on the Atlantis’s cruise. We sure love HAL. Just did the Golden Princess coastal SFO south Roy d trip and they had glbt meeting every night on 7 day cruise was well attended first have but being in port every day hurt it

 

 

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We were on Amsterdam with you last year. We needed a short cruise to push us up to four star. Last October we were on Oosterdam from Vancouver to San Diego then Mexico. Atlantis was coming on after we disembarked.

 

We are on Nieuw Amsterdam next April on the 6 night San Diego to vancouver followed by 7 night Alaska.

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Although couples of the same sex are accepted on board (staff was delightful), HAL's corporate policy is less open and welcoming by denying any support to arrange any extra gatherings! When we commented on the bad location during our cruise, we were told by the Cruise Director in person that this bar needed the revenue!!! :eek::eek:

We have no more comment to add!

 

I'm a long-time Princess cruiser, and while I find the line very LGBT-friendly, let's face it: Gay gatherings are just another revenue-producing gambit for the lines. "We support gay rights so much that we're giving you a place to sit around and buy drinks." (That being said, I'm surprised at HAL's new policy.)

 

Out of a couple dozen Princess cruises, there were a few where the first meeting was hosted and a bottle or two of inexpensive champagne was uncorked. Usually we're left to our own devices to figure out who's there for the meet-up, move chairs around as necessary, and the only staff that shows up is the bar waiter. At worst, the meetings have been scheduled at a crowded bar jammed with non-queer folks and no place to sit.

 

I'm currently going to the San Francisco LGBTQI Film Festival, where for several years Celebrity has sponsored a major evening screening, with reps hawking their cruises, even giving away a gift basket to a lucky winner. This may be looked at as support for queer rights, or as pursuing a lucrative gay market. Or both. Your choice.

Edited by shepp

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I'm a long-time Princess cruiser, and while I find the line very LGBT-friendly, let's face it: Gay gatherings are just another revenue-producing gambit for the lines. "We support gay rights so much that we're giving you a place to sit around and buy drinks." (That being said, I'm surprised at HAL's new policy.)

 

Out of a couple dozen Princess cruises, there were a few where the first meeting was hosted and a bottle or two of inexpensive champagne was uncorked. Usually we're left to our own devices to figure out who's there for the meet-up, move chairs around as necessary, and the only staff that shows up is the bar waiter. At worst, the meetings have been scheduled at a crowded bar jammed with non-queer folks and no place to sit.

 

I'm currently going to the San Francisco LGBTQI Film Festival, where for several years Celebrity has sponsored a major evening screening, with reps hawking their cruises, even giving away a gift basket to a lucky winner. This may be looked at as support for queer rights, or as pursuing a lucrative gay market. Or both. Your choice.

Shep, we found the Regal to be very GLBTQ friendly. The same with Cunard. Meetings were hosted at the start & well attended. As to Celebrity, they "post" a meeting time on the daily bulletin board(not the daily paper)The meetings were nearly always at the Martini Bar where it's very hard to pick us out of a crowd. They certainly could do better. The Eclipse has Sky lounge, which is very large. We did Oceania this past Jan. No mention of us at all, but a fair amount of us were on board. We shared a table with a Texas couple. She was ok, but obviously he was NOT comfortable with us. Nothing was said, but it didn't have to be!

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We were on Amsterdam with you last year. We needed a short cruise to push us up to four star. Last October we were on Oosterdam from Vancouver to San Diego then Mexico. Atlantis was coming on after we disembarked.

 

 

 

We are on Nieuw Amsterdam next April on the 6 night San Diego to vancouver followed by 7 night Alaska.

 

 

 

Awwww that right..... might do the repo cruise too from San Diego. Will need good change after the Atlantis on NCL Pearl. Hope all well with you guys and hope to see you again

 

 

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