Atlantis and Other Amazing Gay Cruises in the Caribbean
The gay cruise industry took off in the 1970s, amidst the cultural revolutions that encouraged pride and equality for people who did not identify as heterosexual.
We've come a long way since then, with most major cruise lines now being inclusive of all sexualities and genders. Still, sometimes people want to be nestled in the safety of their own community and forget about the world at large.
For these occasions, we bring you the loudest and proudest gay cruises to the Caribbean.
4. Olivia Caribbean Lesbian Cruise
Duration: 7 nights
Destination: Turks and Caicos, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Bahamas
The Experience: Olivia Caribbean Lesbian Cruise
A veteran queer cruise company, Olivia has been organizing cruises for lesbians and non-binary people since 1973. In 2023, their Caribbean cruise will be extra special, since it will be celebrating 50 years of bringing equality to the sea.
You can expect a personalized, all-inclusive experience, with all meals and gratuities paid for in the ticket. Events vary but usually involve fun group excursions around the many islands where you dock, which include Grand Turk and St. Thomas. After a day of snorkeling or laying on the beach, you'll have live concerts and loud parties to attend.
But what people most love about Olivia is that it builds a sense of community. People enjoy this cruise year after year, and first-timers always leave with new friends. Partying and traveling are great, but there's nothing like expanding your chosen family.
Book an Olivia Caribbean Lesbian Cruise.
3. Vacaya Caribbean Gay Cruise
Duration: 7 nights
Destination: Fort Lauderdale, Cayman Islands, Honduras, Belize, Mexico
The Experience: Vacaya Caribbean Gay Cruise
Vacaya is another gay travel company that books cruise ships to take people out of the closet and into the ocean. Here, the emphasis is definitely more on partying. The whole cruise will be a giant celebration where the days may blur together. If this sounds like exactly the kind of vacation you need, don't hesitate to jump right in.
You'll have a couple of days out at sea where time will be spent at loud pool parties in the morning and giant live-music parties at night. At several points during your seven-night stay, you can also expect costume parties. And to make sure you have a good time, the cruise offers some pretty generous drink packages.
If you can get out of bed in the morning, you'll also have the chance to do off-shore excursions in Honduras, Belize, Mexico and the Cayman Islands.
This Vacaya cruise is not exclusive to gay men but welcomes anyone from the queer community, as well as allies. After all, the more the merrier.
Book a Vacaya Caribbean Gay Cruise.
2. Celebrity's Pride Party at Sea
Duration: 8 nights
Destination: Fort Lauderdale, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Marteen, British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic
The Experience: Celebrity's Pride Party at Sea
Celebrity Cruises proudly claims that its annual pride party is the largest in the sea. It kicks off in Fort Lauderdale, a city known for being gay-friendly.
The inaugural party ship then sets sail to five islands, each one beautiful and unique. Adventures like hiking, snorkeling and kayaking will give you a short but intense look into St. Thomas, St. Marteen and San Juan. And so that you don't fall into boring cliches (this is a gay Caribbean cruise, after all, anything conventional is way passé), you will also go to the less-visited ports of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.
But while your time on the islands will be amazing, every hour spent on the boat will be just as memorable. You'll be aboard the stylish Celebrity Edge, which boasts concert venues, casinos, basketball courts, a spa and even a meditation room. After a few days of partying, you'll most likely need some time in the last two spaces.
Not for too long, though, because this LGBTQ cruise is a celebration that doesn't end even after you've left the ship. Instead, the torch is passed onto the next ship, which will take it to other destinations like Europe. Once the second cruise is over, the torch is passed on again, and so forth until the party happens around the world.
Book a Celebrity Pride Party at Sea cruise.
1. Atlantis South Caribbean Gay Cruise
Duration: 7 nights
Destination: Fort Lauderdale, Haiti, Aruba, Curacao
The Experience: Atlantis South Caribbean Cruise
If you want your cruise to be loud, messy and so much fun you'll probably question if it was a good idea to board, book the Atlantis South Caribbean cruise.
Atlantis Events is famous for organizing wild cruise parties, and this particular one takes place in Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas. If you know about cruising, you probably gasped, given that this is the third-largest cruise ship in the world.
You couldn't run out of things to do here if you tried. The ship has water slides, a surf simulator, an ice rink, a carousel and even its own zip lines. Four of the seven days will be spent at sea, and you won't even mind. There is simply too much fun to be had.
When you do leave the ship, however, you'll be enjoying time in the beautiful Dutch Caribbean islands of Curacao and Aruba as well as the often-neglected Haiti.
Once back aboard, the fun will definitely not stop. The ship has five venues, which welcome DJs, cabaret dancers and even Broadway shows nightly. Electronic music concerts are particularly popular, but if you ever need a break, you can check out the on-board rendition of "Hair."
Book an Atlantis South Caribbean Cruise.