First Gay Cruise To Visit Casablanca Turned Away

Currently sailing on what was promoted as “the first gay cruise to visit Casablanca,” gay and lesbian passengers on a chartered cruise were turned away by Moroccan authorities over the weekend. The Problem? Morocco’s Islamic religion and the laws of the North African country punish homosexuality.

Holland America Line’s 2106-passenger Nieuw Amsterdam was chartered by RSVP Vacations for a seven-night, round-trip Mediterranean sailing to Barcelona that began June 29 and will end July 6.

The RSVP website highlights each stop on the itinerary, saying “we’ll be the first gay cruise to visit Casablanca, Morocco’s most famous coastal city,” inviting those on the special sailing to “bargain in the New Media markets, explore the Hassan Mosque, or head over to magical Marrakech.”

RSVP Vacations specializes in organizing tourist trips for gay and lesbian travelers. As FoxNews confirmed, on Saturday, RSVP’s agent in the port of Casablanca reported, “the authorities have cancelled the scheduled July 1 visit despite having previously confirmed it.”

Scheduled during the call in Casablanca was a visit to the Hassan II Mosque (pictured) and to several traditional marketplaces in the city.

After the stop in Casablanca, the ship was scheduled to sail to Cadiz, also in southern Spain, and then to continue on to Ibiza in the Balearic Islands, then to the eastern Spanish city of Valencia before ending in Barcelona.

Sunday, the ship docked in the southern Spanish port of Malaga after Moroccan authorities prohibited it from making its scheduled port of call in Casablanca.

[Flickr photo by Alex E. Proimos]

Drug dealer on Worlds Largest Gay Cruise pleads guilty

Not long ago we reported on a drug dealer busted on the Worlds Largest Gay Cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas. The man pleaded guilty this week in a U.S. Virgin Islands court to dealing drugs on board a cruise ship.

Steven Barry Krumholz admitted selling ecstasy, methamphetamine and ketamine to fellow passengers on board the Allure of the Seas in February reports the Associated Press.

“Krumholtz, 51, of West Hollywood was busted aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas as the cruise ship was docked in St. Thomas”, a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said in a statement to AOL Travel News at the time.

Federal Chief District Judge Curtis Gomez set sentencing for November 2. The West Hollywood man faces as long as 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.”Agents searched Krumholz’s cabin and allegedly found more than 142 ecstasy pills, nearly 3 grams of methamphetamine, a small quantity of ketamine and about $51,000 in cash, reported the AP. While waiting for the suspect to return to his cabin, two more passengers came to buy drugs, according to the affidavit.

Allure of the Seas departed from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida February 6 with 5,400 passengers on a trip chartered by Atlantis Events. Atlantis specializes in gay and lesbian vacations both on land and at sea. The company has chartered Allure on the same itinerary in January 2012.

Royal Caribbean International maintains a zero-tolerance policy on illegal drugs at sea and cooperated fully with authorities.

Flickr photo by triplezero

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Heterosexual couple booked on a gay cruise sues cruise line

So, you saved all your money
For a cruise with your honey,
And when you get there,
You notice something funny.
“It’s not that there’s anything wrong”
So they say,
But everyone else on your cruise ship is gay.

Yes, this happened. According to The Daily Mail, a heterosexual couple accidentally ended up on Italy’s first gay cruise, and they are suing the cruise line for not informing them. “The middle-aged husband and wife, who have not been named, said they were embarrassed after spotting people they knew, but had not realised were gay, on the cruise,” reports Nick Pisa.


Even if they hadn’t spotted anyone they’d known, you would think Grimaldi Lines, the cruise line in question, would have been a little more careful — especially with their first ever foray into this touchy niche.

The couple reportedly booked the cruise with loyalty points from their grocery store. I guess they didn’t know it was that kind of grocery store. They’re suing for £2,800.

Some are saying the couple is making a big deal out of nothing or calling them homophobic, but I think I’d sue, too. Anytime you are being put on a boat with a target audience, you should be informed. I would also sue if I unexpectedly ended up with my boyfriend on Italy’s First Singles Cruise, Italy’s First All-Nine-Inch-Nails-All-Day Cruise, or Italy’s First Cruise for Twilight Fans (no offense to any aforementioned parties).

Basically, it’s great to have cruises for niche markets, but in my opinion, you’ve got to be pretty aggressively upfront about it. People get sued for serving hot coffee, after all.


[via USAToday]

Fancy a Theme Cruise?

Ever been on a cruise? I haven’t — I love boats but something about being the herded on and off a ship, all while being ferried around to only the places the organizer wants you to see make me think it isn’t my thing. But lots of people love cruises, and I can see why — food and entertainment are at your disposal, and the chance to see numerous destinations on one vacation is ideal.

What about themed cruises? I knew there was a Disney-themed cruise, but beyond that, I’m out of the loop. Turns out there are lots of different types of cruises — you can find one that focuses on fitness, nature, arts and more. As for lifestyle cruises, there are gay and lesbian cruises (Rosie O’Donnell runs one of these) , singles cruises and even nudist cruises (wouldn’t that be a shocker if you ended up on a nudist cruise by accident.)

Wait, there’s more. This cruise guide lists lots of other theme cruises, including quilting cruises (now does that sound like a wild and crazy time or what?), Grand Ole Opry cruises, Kentucky Derby cruises, Smithsonian Art Appreciation cruises, Formula 1 race car instruction cruises (on a boat?), classical music cruises and much more. And they’re all coming up this fall if you’re interested in booking.

Want more information on cruises?