When people hear the term "gay cruise," they think of lots of skin, exotic locales and even more skin. While this may be fine for some singles, it leaves gay couples and their extended families out in the cold.
Fortunately, R Family Vacations is there to fill the void. Started by former Vice President of Atlantis Events Gregg Kaminsky and Kelli O'Donnell (wife of celebrity Rosie O'Donnell), this travel company not only appeals to both gays and lesbians, but families as well and those includes kids.
R Family Vacations is the first GLBT travel company to welcome children aboard its cruises. For the teenagers, they have created an incredible week of programming, with entertainment designed just for them. For children with gay parents, an R Family Vacation is a unique opportunity to meet families who are just like theirs. Hundreds of them! Never again will these kids feel like "they are the only ones." R Family Vacations are specially designed so children can meet other children from families just like theirs, and parents can relax and pamper themselves.
An R Family cruise is like a 'day camp at sea' and they offer early evening entertainment that is just for the kids. Kids have their own activities at night while parents can enjoy dinner and a show. For adults, there is premier entertainment and a lot of pampering and relaxation opportunities. There are themed nightly programs including carnival games, westerns and mardi gras. The kids are excited about their own activities while the parents enjoy the scrumptious dinners and shows. Babysitting services are also available.
On July 11, 2004, the first cruise was held aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines's Norwegian Dawn with 1600 passengers including 600 children. By the third year, the cruise was selling out to a maximum capacity of 2,600 passengers. In addition to traditional entertainment and recreational activities, the company partnered with Provincetown's Family Pride, a 25-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization that advocates for GLBT families, to host discussions on "adoption, insemination, surrogacy, and everything else that would be helpful to gay parenting." Metropolitan Community Church, the predominantly GLBT Christian denomination, had clergy on board to perform wedding ceremonies and conduct interfaith services and there was also discussion groups for kids and a panel discussion where teens could share their experiences of growing up with gay and lesbian parents.
R Family Vacations are also perfect for extended families and friends. On their inaugural cruise, most of the gay and lesbian guests brought parents, cousins, siblings, and friends. It's a unique opportunity to share a vacation where everyone is truly welcome.
Many gay events have a heavy emphasis on partying. R Family realizes that not everyone in the community enjoys all night parties and R Family Vacations is a great alternative to many of the existing travel options.
In January 2008, Pink Pea, a production company, announced that "Dottie," "the star of Dottie's Magic Pockets -- the first children's program for kids in gay and lesbian families," will be part of the entertainment. Dottie's Magic Pockets is "set in a lesbian household" and started airing in September 2007. "Dottie," portrayed by actor Jen Plante, will appear on the cruise to the Mexican Riviera, March 15-22, 2008 and marks the first time the GLBT families and friends will be "entertained by the main character of a kids' show that is set in a lesbian household."
Spring Break on the Mexican Riviera This year R Family Vacations will be traveling to Mexico for this first time. March 15-22, 2008 they will set sail aboard Holland America's Oosterdam from San Diego, California to some of Mexico's most spectacular destinations; Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Prices range from $899 to $4699.
Explore Canada & New England This summer explore the spectacular scenery of Canada and New England. Join R Family Vacations as they sail from the Big Apple on July 13th 2008 traveling to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island before heading back to New York.
Prices range from $999 to $4699.
To make a reservation visit the R Family Vacations web site at http://www.rfamilyvacations.com