Let Love Define Family Series Explores LGBT Family Vacations

Let Love Define Family Series Explores LGBT Family Vacations

This article was originally published on The Huffington Post  |  By JamesMichael Nichols

There are a few things you hear over and over again from LGBT families that take LGBT-themed vacations: “It’s completely open and comfortable and a place where you are surrounded by people who are experiencing life in a similar way. It’s not about the destination, it is all about the experience.”

Jeffrey and Chris Hietikko-Parsons and their 8 1/2 year old son, Henry, from New Jersey, have been on 10 trips so far with R Family Vacations. “We always have an amazing time,” they explained. “Everything is so well planned and there is a high caliber of activities and entertainment. It’s not like other vacations — these feel like we’re on a trip with our extended family.”

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Planning a vacation can be stressful for everyone involved: Where do we go? How do we get there? What do we do when we get there? What if we get bored? For the LGBT family, there is also the added challenge of finding a place to truly relax and feel comfortable. So, an entire industry was born to create the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure for everyone!

There is no doubt that family trips create memories and bonds that last a lifetime, but a big part of these vacations seem to be the sense of community and spending time in a place where kids, and adults, feel like their family isn’t so different.

One gay couple conveyed the story about how in just the past week, while going about their day-to-day business with their two children, they were asked by two waiters and a cashier, “Where is the woman of the house?” The quick response is that their 13 year-old daughter is our woman of the household. It can be a subtle reminder that some in society still see LGBT families as a sort of anomaly. That could be a reason why LGBT group travel is growing. It’s not just the activities, it is more about escaping to a world of acceptance and true relaxation.

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“Where we live, being a gay family is not a big deal,” said Jeremy Gransky from Massachusetts, “but there are not many other LGBT families around us, so being in that environment with other families like us makes all the difference.” Jeremy and husband John Gransky, with two kids Will and Natalie, are looking forward to their 11th trip with R Family this summer.

“The kids are a big focus for us,” explains R Family Vacations co-founder Kelli Carpenter. “The trips will look like every other family vacation, but on a bigger scale. We’re always finding ways to bring wonder and excitement to the experience for everyone, but especially the kids.”

Stephen Botte from San Jose, and his son Francesco, continue on these excursions just for the experiences they have. “In society you’re the gay family, but with these trips you just a family enjoying a vacation. It’s a total VIP experience that you get to share with thousands of people just like you.”

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Since LGBT families are growing, so is the industry. Two of these companies, R Family Vacations and Olivia Travel, are actually teaming up to provide a new inclusive package for everyone in the family!

“We’ve been in the business of lesbian travel for over 40 years and people started asking us about family trips,” explained Judy Dlugacz, founder of Olivia Travel. “Instead of trying to do it ourselves, we decided to partner with the best in the business, R Family Vacations, to create something wonderful for everybody.”

Both travel companies discussed how the LGBT travel market has changed and evolved to offer an array of destinations and options for singles, parents, kids and even extended family and friends.

Gregg Kaminsky, co-founder of R Family Vacations, said, “we started by providing trips for gay and lesbian families, but quickly discovered that people were bringing their parents, aunts and uncles, friends, and it developed into this great experience that was welcoming to all.”

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The first collaboration between Olivia Travel and R Family Vacations will be a Mexican adventure at the Hard Rock Resort in Nuevo Vallarta, July 9-16, 2016.

Stephen was recently at the resort for an Atlantis vacation with some friends. “I was at this gorgeous resort and was sitting by the pool and my only thought was I wish that Francesco could experience this. Now he can, and we’ve already got the dates marked off on our calendar!”

Judy Dlugacz sums it up best: “we’re working hard to provide the best in activities and entertainment that will have something for everyone, no matter your definition of ‘family,’ this is the family vacation for you!”

Let us plan your next LGBT Family trip!

Please contact us at 866-949-1429

Or Fill Out the Contact Form Below:

Please allow at least 24 to 48 hours to receive a response to your inquiry.

Best Gay Bars In Paris !

 

Paris is a European capital for all things gay and fabulous, from extravagant local personalities to a neighborhood teeming with addresses for a night of cavorting. The Marais, centrally-located just north of the Hôtel de Ville and south of the Place de la République, is the epicenter for nightlife catering to boys and men of all walks, but it’s just the beginning. Starting an evening in or around the Marais is the best way to find out from the locals what’s going on in other gay bars around town. Whether you’re looking to share casual drinks, dance until dawn, or have a brush with a local Parisian, there’s fun to be had any night of the week.

Les Souffleurs

Les Souffleurs is all about relaxation, refinement and modernity, a hip little gay bar in the centre of the Marais that would be difficult to spot if you didn’t already know it was there. Once inside, you almost feel that you’re in Berlin: hyper-styled barmen, classy décor and carefully selected music. In the daytime, it’s a quiet escape from the frenetic Marais, welcoming to groups and people going solo, settled comfortably in leather sofas. But the temperature goes up quickly at night, with some out-there DJ mixes, and it gets seriously busy, so come early. Some evenings feature concerts, aftershows and performances.

Aim for the happy hour between 6pm and 9pm for prices much lower than you’ll usually find in the area (punch at €3 a glass). Mostly for masculine gays (but not exclusively), the clientele is young but open to variety.

 (© Romain Pomian)

Le Spyce Bar

More than an essential gay bar and club in the Marais, Le Spyce is a rallying cry. You can’t miss it, the frontage ornamented with a huge screen that flashes up the name of the current night in rainbow colours. It gets boiling hot inside especially on weekends, with no a/c – it’s a young, happy, sweaty, undressed, excitable crowd, ready to dance and take people home on a whim. There’s an informal (read barely-there) dress code on the dance floor, with bold guys welcome to take a place on a podium and dance til 4am. It’s busy and happening every night of the week, but Thursdays through Fridays are the best.

Entry is free, and the drinks reasonably priced: allow €10 for a vodka red bull or €4 for a demi, served by smiling topless staff. The music is house and current hits, with plenty of themed nights – we like Tuesday’s ‘SMS Video Mix’, when you can text your song requests to the DJ.

Banana Café

Banana Cafe

Banana Café, an institution the Les Halles neighbourhood, attracts a younger set of locals, suburban Parisians, and travellers who have strayed from the core gay scene of the Marais. With themed soirées, drag shows and go-go boys that could have taught Joséphine Baker a few moves, it’s a solid choice for any night on the town. The ground floor bar and adjacent terrace serve up happy hour drinks including €3 pints from 6-11pm, though service is far from attentive. After happy hour, patrons are ushered inside from the terrace and, eventually, downstairs for some dancing and go-go boy antics, should you be so interested. Depending on the soirée, there’s a cover fee for those who arrive later, but the relaxed ambiance and club-like atmosphere will make up for it.

FreeDJ

FreeDJ

If you want to dance, and claustrophobia is no issue, FreeDJ, right around the corner from Open Café, is a top choice for an all-nighter with no cover to pay. Upstairs, the bar and a foosball table occupy those looking to chat or share a cigarette in the glassed-in smoking room. Head downstairs and the intimate cellar welcomes those looking to hit the dance floor with like-minded gentlemen. Soirées like Wednesday’s RnB night keep the weeknights new and fresh while house and pop take over the downstairs, pumping Madonna and Lady Gaga through the speakers while the bartender pours Red Bull and vodka all night long.  It’s a relaxed and not overtly-cruisey scene that’s better fun with a few pals than solo, but don’t try to smuggle in any lady friends. The bouncer at the door notoriously turns away anyone with a menstrual cycle.

Le CUD Bar

Le CUD Bar

When the bars and restaurants start close, the party is far from over in the Marais. Things at the Cud, an unfortunately-named but sinfully fun venue, start to heat up around 2am as party-seekers leave other venues for this classic and basic cave bar. Located off Rue du Temple on a tiny street, this is one of the best late-night spots in the Marais. The seating area upstairs is for amateurs, since the real party is in the vaulted cave below. Two bars serve pricey drinks all night long as the DJ spins a fun and current mix of pop tracks and house music – and he sometimes takes requests if you’re polite. The clientele, as per usual, is mixed, but notably younger and very friendly, sometimes too friendly, with a lot more cruising than many of the other bars. Those looking to get up close and personal with a Parisian shouldn’t have too hard of a time here, since space is at a premium, but a healthy dose of international men also frequent Cud since late night options in the Marais are few. Make sure you check your coat, it gets hot down there.

Sly

Sly

A newcomer to the gay scene, Sly is a kitschy bar down the street from the Bear’s Den that attracts a much younger set of guys and their gal friends. It seems trendy with its flashy lights and risqué videos on the flat screen inside, but there’s nothing pretentious about the bar or its patrons. The best spot is on the tiny heated terrace, offering some of Paris’s most eclectic people-watching on Rue des Lombards, but the seating inside is cozy and inviting if it’s too late to snag a seat outside. With cost-effective happy hours (€3.50 for a pint) and attentive service, it’s a great change of pace from some of the other overly-cruisey bars. That said, each Thursday is a special after-work party, ‘Single or Not’, where you can wear a colour-coded bracelet identifying your relationship status. Green means ‘go for it’, so give it a shot.

Cafe Cox

Cafe Cox

The Pearl achieves a rare balance between all-day and late-night venue, and has a good gay? straight? whatever vibe. In the morning, it draws early risers; lunchtime is for a business crowd; the afternoon reels in retired locals, and in the evening, screenwriters rub elbows with young dandies, keeping one eye on the mirror and an ear on the electrorock. The menu runs from omelettes to seafood salad. Expect a DJ later on in the night.
La Perle

La Perle

The aptly named Cox bar is a mainstay, centrally located in the Marais on Rue des Archives where, on warmer evenings, the crowd spills onto the pavements with only a feeble chain rope to keep patrons from taking over the street. This watering hole attracts a manlier set of slightly older bikers and leather fans that seems intimidating at first, but if it’s your scene, prepare for a hearty welcome, even if you’re a bit younger with a full head of hair. And no, it hasn’t changed hands since it opened in 1995, but the décor does alternate every three months to keep things fresh. Ambiance is everything, after all. DJs spin on Thursday nights and a lengthy happy hour on Sunday keeps the beer flowing until 2am before the crowds head elsewhere.

Raidd Bar
La Perle

Although this bar is kinda expensive, this is one of the best bars in Paris.

The infamous ‘shower bar’, Raidd welcomes a trendy mix of younger locals, innocent study abroad students, and other voyeuristic internationals to the Marais who don’t just come for the pricey drinks. Instead, they crowd around to ogle the scantily-clad go-go boys who make you feel dirty while they get clean, stripping down and lathering up in the glass shower by the bar. Each Thursday, Raidd has an extended shower show, featuring four different male specimens who take their time cleaning everywhere to make sure they get squeaky clean. Themed nights, including Disco Tuesdays and Brazilian Wednesdays keep the party going all week. It’s not the place for intimate conversation or a relaxed evening, but the crowds are thick enough that you could pick up a number or two. Men queue up on the weekends, but there’s no cover to enter, so prepare to wait patiently, and quietly, on the sidewalk and play nice with the bouncer.

Le Feeling
Le Feeling

An unusual combination, Le Feeling is a low-key gay and lesbian hangout with the atmosphere of a small local bar. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but the rainbow décor, Dalida soundtrack and easy-going staff are the perfect antidote to the tumult at Spyce just over the road. It’s at its best in summer, when the long bar is open onto the street. The mixed clientele includes a lot of regulars, and the general atmosphere is chatty and welcoming. On the other hand, there’s no wasting time – it’s an enthusiastic pick-up joint for people of all tastes (the bar staff ensure that everyone is respected). Prices are very reasonable (a demi at €3.50), and during happy hour (daily from 7pm-9pm and 11pm-12mid), it’s buy one get one free.

Tokyo District Recognizes Same-Sex Relationships

Tokyo District Recognizes Same-Sex Relationships

Tokyo District Recognizes Same-Sex Relationships

BY JAMES MCDONALD via OUTTravler

The move in the Shibuya ward marks a big step for conservative Japan.

While Japan is not necessarily intolerant of homosexuality, same-sex couples are not afforded legal protections. That may be set to change, however, thanks to an incredible move out of the conservative country’s capital today. In a landmark vote, officials in the Tokyo district (or ward) of Shibuya voted overwhelmingly to recognize same-sex unions as the “equivalent of a marriage.”

According to the BBC, Shibuya “is a trendy area known for its creativity and liberalism.” Its mayor, Toshitake Kuwahara, publicly praised the decision, saying: “The purpose is to realize a society where everyone can live in hope.”

The certificates, which are expected to be issued beginning in July, will promise the same rights to hospital visits and housing that heterosexual couples currently enjoy. However, it has been described by BBC correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes as more of a “moral obligation” than a legal one. Businesses will not be penalized for failing to recognize same-sex couples, but their names will be posted on Shibuya’s website. The local government has also announced plans for an intense push on LGBT education within the area.

In an interesting twist, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has come out strongly against the new ordinance, lives in Shibuya. Hopefully seeing the good that it does for the area—officials are expecting a spike in LGBT tourism—will help him evolve on the issue. Gay Star News reports that, already, two more Tokyo districts and the city of Yokohama are considering similar legislation.

Tokyo District Recognizes Same-Sex Relationships

This Week’s RUveal For Drag Stars At Sea North America

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LOOK AND SEE SOME OF THE QUEENS
WE HAVE RUVEALED !!!

 

ACT NOW Don’t miss an opportunity like this !!

Drag Stars At Sea: Europe
Cruise aboard Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas. October 2 – 9, 2015Sailing London, Southampton, Vigo, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Barcelona

8 DAYS FROM JUST $799

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SALE – RHINE & MOSEL RIVER CRUISES 8 – 11 NIGHT FROM $799

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Rhine & Mosel River to Holland – 11 DAYS FROM $799

Arnhem, Holland cruising to Rotterdam, Amsterdam Tulip Time! 11 Days from $799 enjoy cruising aboard the Select Voyages Deluxe SWITZERLAND II sailing RHINE & MOSEL RIVER from Arnhem, Holland to Cologne, Andernach, Cochem, Bernkastel, Trier, Remich Luxembourg, Zell, Koblenz, Dusseldorf and Rotterdam. Don’t miss it! Ask your ALandCHUCK.Travel agent for details.


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RHINE & MOSEL RIVER ITINERARY
11 Days from $799
1 April 2015 to 11 April 2015

Day 1 | Arnhem, Holland & Board the Switzerland II
THE RHINE RIVER
Today you set out to begin your spectacular river cruise adventure. On arrival to Arnhem, you board the lovely 108 passenger SWITZERLAND II. This evening enjoy a special Welcome Aboard Dinner. Set sail this evening southbound on the Rhine River.

Day 2 | Cologne, Germany
THE RHINE RIVER
One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles both sides of the Rhine. Enjoy the day here as you can visit the magnificent cathedral and so much more.

Day 3 | Andernach & Cochem
THE MOSEL RIVER
Overnight visit to lovely Andernach. Next your floating hotel arrives in Cochem. Here you will see a charming and picturesque town with half-timbered houses and winding streets full of history and legends. Dominated by the Reichsburg Castle (built in 1000 AD) you begin to enjoy the world famous MOSEL. Step mountains and gorges will be seen everywhere.

Day 4 | Bernkastel
THE MOSEL RIVER
In the middle of the Mosel region is this charming wine village complete with fascinating narrow streets and halftimbered houses that have stood since the middle ages. Enjoy the beautiful marketplace with its renaissance-style town hall that was built in 1416. This region is Germany’s most prolific wine growing area. Perhaps you visit the interesting wine museum.

Day 5 | Trier
THE MOSEL RIVER

This is the most spectacular visit on the Mosel. Trier, Germany’s oldest city may even be older than Rome. Some say Trier was populated over a thousand years before the Romans arrived. But it was Constantine from Rome that makes Trier so famous today. Many Roman remains have survived, including a 20,000 seat amphitheater, the Porta Nigra, the only surviving fortified gate from the original Roman settlement; the imperial baths; and the Roman bridge… Germany’s oldest bridge. The entire historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you will understand why.

Day 6 | Remich, Luxembourg
THE MOSEL RIVER

Today enjoy one of the wealthiest countries on Earth, Luxembourg. Remich is the Mosel gateway for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and you will have many choices for Sightseeing and shopping and more.

Day 7 | Trier
THE MOSEL RIVER

Today you return to Trier for another opportunity to visit this grand historic city.

Day 8 | Zell
THE MOSEL RIVER

Many consider Zell “the photograph” of beautiful villages on The Mosel. With only 5000 inhabitants the village sits between the river and a steep mountain and is only approximately 500 yards in width and 1 mile long. But the beauty of the village is stunning. Ample time to explore here.

Day 9 | Koblenz
RHINE & MOSEL RIVERS

Situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel Rivers, 2000 year old Koblenz is the cultural and business center of the mid-Rhine region. There is so much history here and so much to see and do.

Day 10 | Dusseldorf
THE RHINE RIVER

Dusseldorf is a major hub of Germany’s upper Rhine. Known for great shopping and fashionable coffee cafes you are sure to enjoy your final day on the river. Tonight you enjoy a Farewell dinner celebration.

Day 11 | Rotterdam
This morning after breakfast aboard SWITZERLAND II you will arrive in lovely Rotterdam. Today you return home with many wonderful memories of cruising on the Rhine and Mosel Rivers!


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FEATURES:

  • 11 Day Cruise on deluxe Select Voyages Cruise Lines SWITZERLAND II as a PRIVATE CHARTER exclusively for ALandCHUCK guests. All meals included aboard ship including breakfast buffet, lunch served menu or buffet, dinner served menu or buffet; Special Welcome Dinner Celebration; Special Captains Dinner.
  • AIRFARE ADDITIONAL: $1299 Low Cost Airfare available from Tampa, Orlando, Miami, & Jacksonville (other cities on request) to Amsterdam including all transfers. (Upgrade to $49 Premium Air plus flight change costs and you select number of stops, times, airlines, or any flight preferences. Ask your ALandCHUCK agent for details). Book your own airfare and schedule arrival and departure airport transfers for $49 (both transfers included).
  • OPTIONAL: Ask your ALandCHUCK agent about adding pre & post hotel stays for added convenience!

PLEASE NOTE: If arranging your own air, please arrive on April 1, 2015 – most flights depart March 31, 2015 and fly overnight, arriving April 1, 2015


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CRUISE RATES:

RUN OF SHIP: $799* per person (*Rates after BOGO discount starting at $1598)

EMERALD DECK
Category On Ship: Category EM Main Deck: $849

RUBY DECK
Category On Ship: Category RU Upper Deck Outside: $899

RATES ALREADY INCLUDE government taxes & vendor fees.

ADDITIONAL CRUISE GRATUITIES: $99 per person and must be prepaid at final payment by all guests.

NO HIDDEN CHARGES! These charges are HIDDEN FROM YOU by others.
Ask them for a total rate & compare!

PAYMENTS: Full payment due upon time of booking.

CANCELLATION PENALTIES:
Deposit is non-refundable
100 – 61 days prior 50%
60 – 31 days prior 75%
Within 30 days 100%

CANCELLATION INSURANCE IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


 

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ABOUT SELECT VOYAGES & SWITZERLAND II
Length 300 feet ~ Width 34 feet ~ Speed 15 mph ~ Crew Members 30 ~
Staterooms 53 including standard, mini-suites & suites ~ 3 passenger decks
Restaurant ~ Bar ~ Lounge ~ Shop ~ Library ~ Chair Lift ~ Guests 108

The ms Switzerland II is an excellent river cruise vessel full of style and character. It has helped to create cherished holiday memories for countless passengers. Offering 4 star accommodation, you can relax among the attractive interiors and with a maximum capacity of 108 passengers, you can enjoy an intimate environment combined with the excellent service delivered by the friendly and professional crew.

Lounge Bar: The stylish lounge is surrounded by windows and has comfortable seating, making for a light and spacious place to relax. There is also a bar and dance floor which become popular during the evening entertainment. Restaurant: Enjoy a combination of buffets and themed dinners in the elegant restaurant located on the Emerald Deck.

Sun Deck: Play a game of table tennis or lie back in a sun lounger – the Sun Deck is the perfect place to unwind in the fresh air and soak up the scenery.

Stair Lift: leads from the Ruby Deck to the Sun Deck and the restaurant on the Emerald Deck to the Ruby Deck. The cabins on the Emerald Deck are only accessible via a stairway.


 

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OPTION 2


President’s River Cruise || Ultra Deluxe European Charters – 8 DAYS FROM $799

An EXCLUSIVE Private Cruise Charter!
Sail aboard the brand new and ultra-deluxe Emerald Star on the RHINE RIVER on this Private Charter! This incredible 8 day trip including all government taxes & fees. Sail with top escorts on this EXCLUSIVE private charter for just 182 guests. Enjoy Amsterdam, Cologne, Koblenz, Rhine Gorge, Strasbourg, Black Forest and Basel on one of the most luxurious river ships in the world complete with multiple restaurants, movie theater, heated swimming pool with retractable macrodome and many suites with glass walls on the river and retractable glass balconies. BEST OF ALL, enjoy BOGO – Buy 1 Cruise Get 1 Cruise FREE with per person rates (after BOGO) for 8 days from $799. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and a fantastic value!


RHINE RIVER
8 Days from $799
March 23, 2015 – March 30, 2015

ITINERARY

Day 1 | Amsterdam & board the EMERALD STAR
Today you will board your deluxe rivership. Overnight in Amsterdam. All meals on your deluxe Rivership.

Day 2 | Rhine River to Cologne, Germany
All meals included. Enjoy beautiful cruise of the Dutch countryside and cross the border to Germany. Overnight in Cologne and visit the magnificent Cathedral.

Day 3 | Cologne to Koblenz
All meals included. Today arrive in the 2000 year old town of Koblenz, which is situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. This is the most beautiful part of the Rhine Valley.

Day 4 | Koblenz to Heildelberg & Mainz
All meals included. Sailing past the world famous Lorelei Rock and Heildelberg Castle to the Rhine Gorge are the highlights today.

Day 5 | Strasbourg, France
All meals included. Today is dedicated to lovely Strasbourg. Enjoy one of France’s most beautiful cities.

Day 6 | Breisach & Black Forest
All meals included. Germany’s beautiful Black Forest region is our focus today and many unique and picturesque villages to visit.

Day 7 | Basel, Switzerland
All meals included. Cross the border into Switzerland and enjoy an overnight in this lovely city.

Day 8 | Basel, Switzerland
Breakfast aboard this morning. Today you return home with many wonderful memories of your river cruise.


FEATURES:

  • 8 Day Cruise on ultra deluxe EMERALD STAR as a PRIVATE CHARTER exclusively for ALandCHUCK guests. Features include: All meals aboard ship including breakfast buffet, 4 course lunch served menu or buffet, 4 course dinner served menu or buffet
  • AIRFARE ADDITIONAL: $1299 Low Cost Airfare available from Tampa, Orlando, Miami, & Jacksonville (other cities on request) to Amsterdam including all transfers. (Upgrade to $49 Premium Air plus flight change costs and you select number of stops, times, airlines, or any flight preferences. Ask your ALandCHUCK agent for details). Book your own airfare and schedule arrival and departure airport transfers for $49 (both transfers included).
  • OPTIONAL: Ask your ALandCHUCK agent about adding pre & post hotel stays for added convenience!

PLEASE NOTE: If arranging your own air, please arrive on March 23, 2015 – most flights depart March 22, 2015 and fly overnight, arriving March 23, 2015


CRUISE RATES:

RUN OF SHIP: $799* per person (*Rates after BOGO discount starting at $1598)

RIVIERA DECK
Category On Ship: Category E Outside: $849
Category On Ship: Category D Outside : $899

VISTA DECK
Category On Ship: Category C Balcony: $949
Category On Ship: Category B Balcony: $999
Category On Ship: Category A Balcony: $1049

HORIZON DECK
Category On Ship: Category R Balcony: $1099
Category On Ship: Category P Balcony: $1149
Category On Ship: Category S Balcony Suite: $1199
Category On Ship: Category SA Owners Suite: $1249

(NOTE: BOGO is capacity controlled and can be withdrawn without notice and full rates will be in effect.)

RATES ALREADY INCLUDE government taxes & vendor fees.

ADDITIONAL CRUISE GRATUITIES: $99 per person and must be prepaid at final payment by all guests.

NO HIDDEN CHARGES! These charges are HIDDEN FROM YOU by others.
Ask them for a total rate & compare!

PAYMENTS: Full payment due upon booking.

CANCELLATION PENALTIES:
Deposit is non-refundable
100 – 61 days prior 50%
60 – 31 days prior 75%
Within 30 days 100%

CANCELLATION INSURANCE IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


About SCENIC CRUISES & EMERALD WATERWAYS
Brand New EMERALD STAR
Length 443 feet ~ Width 38 feet ~ Speed 15 mph ~ Crew Members 47
Staterooms 20 ~ Suites 72 ~ Guests 182

In 2014 Emerald Waterways will be making its debut on Europe’s rivers and you’re invited to be among the very first guests to experience the next generation of river cruising. As the first new river cruise company to take to the waters in more than six years, they have created an exceptional river cruising experience that surpasses all expectations.

NEW FEATURES NEVER SEEN BEFORE
Launching a new fleet of custom-built Star-Class Ships gave a blank canvas to create a completely new design, and introduce an array of spectacular innovations you wouldn’t expect on a river cruise ship. To begin with, the ship boasts an ONBOARD HEATED SWIMMING POOL WITH RETRACTABLE ROOF, which in the evening, transforms into a cinema. And as an alternative to the main restaurant, Reflections, they offer ALFRESCO DINING ON THE TERRACE at breakfast and lunch.

GLASS WALL BALCONIES (NOT FRENCH BALCONIES LIKE EVERYONE ELSE)
The ship offers a great range of cabins for you to choose from, including the Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite – A COMPLETELY NEW TYPE OF CABIN. To replace the run-of-the-mill French Balcony (where you can only stand at a partial railing) that is commonplace on river cruise ships, you can experience A NEW KIND OF INDOOR BALCONY, COMPLETE WITH A DECKED AREA AND THE INGENIOUS OPEN-AIR SYSTEM. WITH THE TOUCH OF A BUTTON, THE UPPER HALF OF THE CABINS FLOOR-TO-CEILING WINDOW DROPS DOWN TO LET IN FRESH AIR AND PROVIDE FULL PANORAMIC VIEWS OF THE LANDSCAPE. It is unique in the entire world on this ship.

INCREDIBLE OPEN SPACES ON EMERALD
The moment you step onboard your ship, you’ll be met with an overwhelming sense of light and space. The Horizon Bar and Lounge features floor-to-ceiling windows. The Terrace looking out onto the river is lined with the most comfortable lounge chairs and the Sun Deck has 360 degree views of the ever changing scenery. Enjoy the stylish Sky Bar and the most amazing (and only) pool and cinema complex on a rivership (complete with retractable dome).

TWO INCREDIBLE DINING OPTIONS
Reflections Restaurant features table service and buffets beyond compare. Unique is a second dining option The Terrace Restaurant which features alfresco dining for breakfast and lunch.

INCREDIBLE CABIN OPTIONS
Owners One-Bedroom Suites include two rooms with every appointment imaginable. Grand Balcony Suites are large suites that will make the cruise experience outstanding. You may choose Panorama Balcony Suites that are incredible bedrooms with the amazing (one button touch) retractable glass walls on the river (all suites also have this feature.) And finally you can choose Emerald Staterooms that have picture windows. The cabin choices are the best of any river cruise ship in Europe!


 

For More Information Please Call 866-949-1429

Drag Stars At Sea: North America (OFFICIAL PAGE)





ALandCHUCK.travel proudly presents

BREAKING NEWS

Drag Stars At Sea: Europe / aboard Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas
October 2 – 9, 2015 sailing London, Southampton, Vigo, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Barcelona

Drag Stars At Sea: North America / aboard Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas
January 23 – 30, 2016 San Juan, St Thomas, St John, St Croix, Antigua, St Lucia, Granada

DRAG STARS AT SEA: North America
“Pirates Of The Caribbean”
Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas,  January 23 – 30, 2016
THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS CRUISE

8 Days from $439 plus government taxes & fees

We are very pleased to announce the 5th Installment of Drag Stars At Sea North America aboard the HUGE 139,000 ton Adventure of the Seas sailing from the MOVIE SET of the film ‘Pirates of the Caribbean” San Juan, Puerto Rico to St Thomas & St John, St Croix, Antigua, St Lucia, and Granada.  This amazing itinerary is all brand new and never done before for Drag Stars At Sea and is the most port and beach intensive in our history.  ADDITIONALLY, gone is Thanksgiving weekend allowing you to plan without a holiday and at lower airfares than ever before for a PEAK WINTER CRUISE! This incredible cruise experience will also feature optional tours including our famous London PILLAGE & PLUNDER “Syrens Scream” pre party.  Your 2 Day / 1 night stay is the perfect way to start your Vacation experience.    Best of all, Drag Stars At Sea North America “Pirates Of The Caribbean” includes the largest gathering of Drag Stars in San Juan’s history, fantastic shows, incredible theme parties, unique and exclusive shore excursions, and many other special activities to make this a vacation of a lifetime.  There is NOTHING like this in North America and it promises to be a vacation of a lifetime!

ON LINE RESERVATIONS will open on Friday, January 9, 2015 EXCLUSIVELY for past Drag Stars At Sea guests.  All other guests can start to make reservations on Monday, January 12 (exclusively on line).  Phone reservations will not be accepted until beginning Friday, January 16.  See ALandCHUCK.travel website starting on Friday, January 9 for all cruise details and the booking reservation link. (note: the Facebook 2014 group pages will close on Friday, January 9.  We invite you to the new 2015 Europe and 2016 North America group pages which are now open and where all the conversation will be.)

IMPORTANT FEATURES OF DRAG STARS AT SEA:

  • Reservations are available ONLY with exclusive booking through ALandCHUCK.travel  Guests with reservations from any other travel company or the cruise line directly will not be participants for Drag Stars At Sea.

 

  • NO OTHER ALandCHUCK.travel GROUPS (or its subsidiaries) WILL BE AVAILABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CRUISE.  ONLY Drag Stars At Sea guests will be allowed to make reservations for this cruise and you will be our ONLY special guests aboard the ship.
  • THIS WILL BE A MORE INTIMATE EXPERIENCE achieved by allowing a MUCH smaller number of guests than the full ship experience we have done in the past. In fact, we plan to limit our reservation number to a much smaller total than we have done in recent years.  It allows our cruise to be more intimate and filled with very personal vacation experiences. Our goal is to create a more intimate vacation and travel experience where you can interact with all guests and stars.

 

  • YOU ARE HOSTED BY ALL THE QUEENS, no Queen selection is needed.  New for DSAS, you will have interaction and be hosted by ALL the queens on the cruise.  More time is provided for interaction, meet/greets and many special activities aboard ship.  Our goal is for you to see ALL the talent and have a more intimate experience aboard Drag Stars At Sea.
  • SPECIAL MEET & GREET WITH EVERY STAR ON THE WORLD FAMOUS ROYAL PROMENADE ABOARD SHIP.  This unique four story high indoor mall-like room is perhaps the most amazing public room on any ship in the world and runs nearly the entire length of the ship.  You will enjoy a special meet/greet with EVERY STAR in one place along the Royal Promenade becoming the largest photo meet/greet in history!

 

  • EXCLUSIVE VIP EXPERIENCE WITH THE STARS.  New to Drag Stars At Sea we are providing a very intimate experience with your favorite star.  This VIP experience is just $99.  The VIP Experience is with just a maximum of 8 guests as you interact with your star.  Begin with a 30 minute cocktail meet/greet with your star and exclusive guests (cash bar).  Next you have a special dinner table and enjoy dinner with your star.  It is the ultimate opportunity to talk to and KiKi with the performer at your own dinner table.  Finally you enjoy a show that includes your star with VIP front/near row seating. This VIP Experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  (advance reservations will be available on line)
  • SPECIAL EXCLUSIVE SHORE EXCURSIONS AVAILABLE ONLY TO GUESTS OF DRAG STARS AT SEA.  Special private tours are available in every port at special reduced pricing exclusively with ALandCHUCK.travel guests hosted by our staff and selected Queens.  You can start to make reservations for these special trips on Friday, January 9.

 

  • FOUR SPECIAL PARTIES ABOARD SHIP. Participating in Drag Stars At Sea will allow you to participate in four special parties. Enjoy THE BLACK PEARL BALL which will be our welcome aboard Masquerade party.  We also will have three additional theme & costume parties aboard ship.  These elaborate events welcome you however you see fit.  But if you wish to fully participate, you will enjoy some of the most amazing costumes, drag presentations and a special $500 prize to the best presentation for EACH party aboard.  It makes Drag Stars At Sea a cruise like no other.
  • ALandCHUCK.travel CONCEIRGE DESK ABOARD SHIP.  An exclusive benefit for our Drag Stars At Sea guests is a Concierge Desk that we operate daily.  It will provide information on every aspect of the cruise and goes much farther than what is available through the cruise lines Guest Services.  This concierge service is provided exclusively by ALandCHUCK.travel staff.

 

  • WELCOME ABOARD MEETING & STARS MEET/GREET. On the day you board the cruise ALandCHUCK.travel will host a Drag Stars At Sea Welcome Aboard Presentation that will include a welcome to all guests, the latest information on the cruise and meeting all the stars of the cruise.  It is an exclusive for DSAS guests.
  • “AT A GLANCE” COMMUNICATION BULLETIN. Your electronic documents will arrive 7 to 10 days prior to departure and will include “AT A GLANCE” the exclusive on board communication tool for Drag Stars At Sea.  This concise summary of all events aboard the ship will help you plan and remember every detail to ensure it is a vacation of a lifetime.

 

  • MAKE UP CLASS.  We offer an exclusive Make Up Class hosted by a star that if you choose to participate can be outstanding for those in Drag or for every day needs (additional charge and advance reservations will be available on line)
  • BAR & DRINK PACKAGES ARE AVAILABLE.  ALandCHUCK.travel is happy to announce that unlimited soda, wine, bar and other packages will be available to Drag Stars At Sea guests.  (advance reservations will be available on line).

 

  • OUTSTANDING DINING CHOICES.  Guests of Drag Stars At Sea will be able to participate in a fantastic featured dining choices including:

MY TIME DINING:  You enjoy open seating for dinner (all meals are included aboard ship FREE in the buffet or main dining room) to dine when you want and who you want to dine with. The ultimate choice.

PORTOFINO Gourmet Italian Dinner:  One evening this specialty restaurant is a feature for Drag Stars At Sea guests to enjoy with ALandCHUCK.travel staff and select Stars (small additional charge and advance reservations will be available on line)

CHOPS GRILLE Gourmet Steakhouse Dinner:  One evening this specialty restaurant is a feature for Drag Stars At Sea guests to enjoy with ALandCHUCK.travel staff and select Stars (small additional charge and advance reservations will be available on line)

CHEFS TABLE Gourmet Dinner Experience: One evening this specialty WORLD CLASS dining experience is a feature exclusively for Drag Stars At Sea guests to enjoy.

  • DRAG STAR AT SEA JACKPOT BINGO PARTY.  During the sailing you will enjoy a jackpot Bingo party hosted by select Queens.  It will be a fun and entertaining event aboard Drag Stars At Sea.

 

  • STUDIO B WHITE ICE PARTY.  During the cruise you will enjoy a special WHITE ICE PARTY that will be held in the largest Ice Skating venue aboard a ship in the world.  Enjoy skating (small additional charge for skates) and music/bar to make the party fun. Dress the part as we offer this special WHITE PARTY unlike has ever been done before.
  • CARIBBEAN OPEN GOLF PARTY.  During the cruise you will enjoy a special round of golf (well, 9 holes of Goofy Golf) as we host a party called the “Caribbean Open.”  It promises to be lots of fun!

 

SAILING ITINERARY FOR DRAG STARS AT SEA NORTH AMERICA:

Saturday  /  January 23, 2016  /  Sail from San Juan, Puerto Rica  /  8:30 pm
Sunday  /  January 24, 2016  /  St Thomas & St John, US Virgin Islands  /  8 am – 6 pm
Monday  /  January 25, 2016  /  St Croix, US Virgin Islands  /  7 am – 6 pm
Tuesday  /  January 26, 2016  /  Antigua  /  8 am – 5 pm
Wednesday  /  January 27, 2016  /  St Lucia  /  8 am – 5 pm
Thursday  /  January 28, 2016  /  Grenada  /  8 am – 5 pm
Friday  /  January 29, 2016  /  Fun day at sea 
Saturday  /  January 30, 2016  /  San Juan  /  Arrive 6 am

*special events are subject to change or modification as required for the operation of the ship.


ABOUT ROYAL CARIBBEAN’S EXPLORER OF THE SEAS


GET THE LATEST UPDATES BY
JOINING US ON OUR NEW FACEBOOK GROUP PAGE !!!

 


Drag Stars At Sea: EUROPEAN ALLSTARS (OFFICIAL PAGE)

 


ALandCHUCK.travel proudly presents

BREAKING NEWS

Drag Stars At Sea: Europe / aboard Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas
October 2 – 9, 2015 sailing London, Southampton, Vigo, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Barcelona

Drag Stars At Sea: North America / aboard Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas
January 23 – 30, 2016 San Juan, St Thomas, St John, St Croix, Antigua, St Lucia, Granada

DRAG STARS AT SEA: Europe  /  “Cruising With the Queen”
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas,  October 2 – 9, 2015
THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS CRUISE

8 Days from $799 plus government taxes & fees

We are very pleased to announce the 2nd Installment of Drag Stars At Sea Europe aboard the HUGE 139,000 ton Explorer of the Seas sailing from London to Barcelona featuring Southampton; Vigo, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Seville & Cadiz, Spain; and Gibraltar.  This incredible cruise experience will also feature optional tours including our famous London PILLAGE & PLUNDER “Off With Her Head” pre party.  Your 3 Day / 2 night stay is the perfect way to start your Vacation experience.  You can choose a 7 Day / 6 night Taste of Europe pre tour that includes Amsterdam, Paris, and London Pillage & Plunder or a 5 Day / 4 night Paris & London pre tour.  After the ship arrives in Barcelona you can add a 3 Day / 2 night Best of Barcelona post tour or a 5 Day / 4 night Taste of Spain tour including both Barcelona and Madrid.  Best of all, Drag Stars At Sea Europe “Cruising With The Queen” includes the largest gathering of Drag Stars in Europe’s history, fantastic shows, incredible theme parties, unique and exclusive shore excursions, and many other special activities to make this a vacation of a lifetime.  There is NOTHING like this in Europe and it promises to be a vacation of a lifetime!

ON LINE RESERVATIONS will open on Friday, January 9, 2015 EXCLUSIVELY for past Drag Stars At Sea guests.   All other guests can start to make reservations on Monday, January 12 (exclusively on line).  Phone reservations will not be accepted until beginning Friday, January 16.  See ALandCHUCK.travel website starting on Friday, January 9 for all cruise details and the booking reservation link. (note: the Facebook 2014 group pages will close on Friday, January 9.  We invite you to the new 2015 Europe and 2016 North America group pages which are now open and where all the conversation will be.)

IMPORTANT FEATURES OF DRAG STARS AT SEA:

  • Reservations are available ONLY with exclusive booking through ALandCHUCK.travel  Guests with reservations from any other travel company or the cruise line directly will not be participants for Drag Stars At Sea.
  • NO OTHER ALandCHUCK.travel GROUPS (or its subsidiaries) WILL BE AVAILABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CRUISE.  ONLY Drag Stars At Sea guests will be allowed to make reservations for this cruise and you will be our ONLY special guests aboard the ship.
  • THIS WILL BE A MORE INTIMATE EXPERIENCE achieved by allowing a MUCH smaller number of guests than the full ship experience we have done in the past.  It allows our cruise to be more intimate and filled with very personal vacation experiences. Our goal is to create a more intimate vacation and travel experience where you can interact with all guests and stars.
  • YOU ARE HOSTED BY ALL THE QUEENS, no Queen selection is needed.  New for DSAS, you will have interaction and be hosted by ALL the queens on the cruise.  More time is provided for interaction, meet/greets and many special activities aboard ship.  Our goal is for you to see ALL the talent and have a more intimate experience aboard Drag Stars At Sea.
  • SPECIAL MEET & GREET WITH EVERY STAR ON THE WORLD FAMOUS ROYAL PROMENADE ABOARD SHIP.  This unique four story high indoor mall-like room is perhaps the most amazing public room on any ship in the world and runs nearly the entire length of the ship.  You will enjoy a special meet/greet with EVERY STAR in one place along the Royal Promenade becoming the largest photo meet/greet in history!
  • EXCLUSIVE VIP EXPERIENCE WITH THE STARS.  New to Drag Stars At Sea we are providing a very intimate experience with your favorite star.  This VIP experience is just $99.  The VIP Experience is with just a maximum of 8 guests as you interact with your star.  Begin with a 30 minute cocktail meet/greet with your star and exclusive guests (cash bar).  Next you have a special dinner table and enjoy dinner with your star.  It is the ultimate opportunity to talk to and KiKi with the performer at your own dinner table.  Finally you enjoy a show that includes your star with VIP front/near row seating. This VIP Experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  (advance reservations will be available on line)
  • SPECIAL EXCLUSIVE SHORE EXCURSIONS AVAILABLE ONLY TO GUESTS OF DRAG STARS AT SEA.  Special private tours are available in every port at special reduced pricing exclusively with ALandCHUCK.travel guests hosted by our staff and selected Queens.  You can start to make reservations for these special trips on Friday, January 9.
  • FOUR SPECIAL PARTIES ABOARD SHIP. Participating in Drag Stars At Sea will allow you to participate in four special parties. Enjoy ROYAL BALL which will be our welcome aboard Masquerade party.  We also will have three additional theme & costume parties aboard ship.  These elaborate events welcome you however you see fit.  But if you wish to fully participate, you will enjoy some of the most amazing costumes, drag presentations and a special $500 prize to the best presentation for EACH party aboard.  It makes Drag Stars At Sea a cruise like no other.
  • ALandCHUCK.travel CONCEIRGE DESK ABOARD SHIP.  An exclusive benefit for our Drag Stars At Sea guests is a Concierge Desk that we operate daily.  It will provide information on every aspect of the cruise and goes much farther than what is available through the cruise lines Guest Services.  This concierge service is provided exclusively by ALandCHUCK.travel staff.
  • WELCOME ABOARD MEETING & STARS MEET/GREET. On the day you board the cruise ALandCHUCK.travel will host a Drag Stars At Sea Welcome Aboard Presentation that will include a welcome to all guests, the latest information on the cruise and meeting all the stars of the cruise.  It is an exclusive for DSAS guests.
  • “AT A GLANCE” COMMUNICATION BULLETIN. Your electronic documents will arrive 7 to 10 days prior to departure and will include “AT A GLANCE” the exclusive on board communication tool for Drag Stars At Sea.  This concise summary of all events aboard the ship will help you plan and remember every detail to ensure it is a vacation of a lifetime.
  • MAKE UP CLASS.  We offer an exclusive Make Up Class hosted by a star that if you choose to participate can be outstanding for those in Drag or for every day needs (additional charge and advance reservations will be available on line)
  • BAR & DRINK PACKAGES ARE AVAILABLE.  ALandCHUCK.travel is happy to announce that unlimited soda, wine, bar and other packages will be available to Drag Stars At Sea guests.  (advance reservations will be available on line).
  • OUTSTANDING DINING CHOICES.  Guests of Drag Stars At Sea will be able to participate in a fantastic featured dining choices including:
  • MY TIME DINING:  You enjoy open seating for dinner (all meals are included aboard ship FREE in the buffet or main dining room) to dine when you want and who you want to dine with. The ultimate choice.
  • PORTOFINO Gourmet Italian Dinner:  One evening this specialty restaurant is a feature for Drag Stars At Sea guests to enjoy with ALandCHUCK.travel staff and select Stars (small additional charge and advance reservations will be available on line)
  • CHOPS GRILLE Gourmet Steakhouse Dinner:  One evening this specialty restaurant is a feature for Drag Stars At Sea guests to enjoy with ALandCHUCK.travel staff and select Stars (small additional charge
    and advance reservations will be available on line)
  • CHEFS TABLE Gourmet Dinner Experience: One evening this specialty WORLD CLASS dining experience is a feature exclusively for Drag Stars At Sea guests to enjoy.
  • DRAG STAR AT SEA JACKPOT BINGO PARTY.  During the sailing you will enjoy a jackpot Bingo party hosted by select Queens.  It will be a fun and entertaining event aboard Drag Stars At Sea.
  • STUDIO B WHITE ICE PARTY.  During the cruise you will enjoy a special WHITE ICE PARTY that will be held in the largest Ice Skating venue aboard a ship in the world.  Enjoy skating (small additional charge for skates) and music/bar to make the party fun. Dress the part as we offer this special WHITE PARTY unlike has ever been done before.
  • BRITISH OPEN GOLF PARTY.  During the cruise you will enjoy a special round of golf (well, 9 holes of Goofy Golf) as we host a party called the “British Open.”  It promises to be lots of fun!

 

PRE TOUR OPTIONS Available for Drag Stars At Sea Europe

  • LONDON PILLAGE & PLUNDER “OFF WITH HER HEAD” PARTY. This 3 Day / 2 Night package is just $299 and additional nights are just $99.  Your pre stay includes: first class city center hotel, Pillage & Plunder Party, London Sightseeing, Transfers from hotel to Southampton pier.

 

  • TASTE OF EUROPE PLUS LONDON PILLAGE & PLUNDER. This 7 Day / 6 Night package is just $899. Your pre stay includes 2 nights in Amsterdam, 2 nights in Paris, 2 nights in London (all first class city center hotels), Sightseeing in each city, Transfers from Amsterdam to Paris, Paris to London, and from hotel to Southampton pier.  Of course, you also enjoy the London Pillage & Plunder Party.
  • BEST OF PARIS PLUS LONDON PILLAGE & PLUNDER. This 5 Day / 4 Night package is just $599.  Your pre stay includes 2 nights in Paris, 2 nights in London (all first class city center hotels), Sightseeing in each city, and Transfers from Paris to London, and from hotel to Southampton pier.

POST TOUR OPTIONS Available for Drag Stars At Sea Europe

  • BEST OF BARCELONA. This 3 Day / 2 Night package is just $299.  Your post stay includes 2 nights in Barcelona at first class city center hotel, Barcelona Sightseeing, Transfers from pier to hotel and transfers hotel to airport.
  • TASTE OF SPAIN. This 5 Day / 4 Night package is just $699.  This post stay includes 2 nights in Barcelona and 2 nights in Madrid (all first class city center hotels), Sightseeing in each city, Airfare from Barcelona to Madrid, and all transfers in Spain.

SAILING ITINERARY FOR DRAG STARS AT SEA EUROPE:

Friday  /  October 2, 2015  /  Sail from Southampton, England  /  4:30 pm
Saturday  /  October 3, 2015  /  Fun day at sea
Sunday  /  October 4, 2015  /  Vigo, Spain  /  10 am – 5 pm
Monday  /  October 5, 2015  /  Lisbon, Portugal  /  9 am – 5 pm
Tuesday  /  October 6, 2015  /  Seville (Cadiz), Spain  /  10 am – 8 pm
Wednesday  /  October 7, 2015  /  Gibraltar  /  8 am – 5 pm
Thursday  /  October 8, 2015  /  Fun day at sea
Friday  /  October 9, 2015  /  Barcelona, Spain  /  6 am arrival

*special events are subject to change or modification as required for the operation of the ship.

ABOUT ROYAL CARIBBEAN’S EXPLORER OF THE SEAS


GET THE LATEST UPDATES BY
JOINING US ON OUR NEW FACEBOOK GROUP PAGE !!!

 

 

Freedom To Marry in Florida Becomes a Reality !

STATUS:

Anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment; one federal judge and four separate judges in state court have ruled that the amendment is unconstitutional. A stay in a Florida federal ruling is set to expire on January 5, 2015 – unless the U.S. Supreme Court grants an extension of the stay, the freedom to marry should take effect on 1/5.

WHAT’S HAPPENING:

On August 21, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle struck down Florida’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples, the first federal court victory in Florida. On December 3, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit denied the state’s request to extend a stay in this ruling, declaring that the stay will be lifted on January 5, 2015. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court grants an extension, the freedom to marry should take effect on January 5 as the appeal proceeds to the 11th Circuit.

The decision followed four previous rulings, beginning with the July 17 decision from Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia, who ordered the Monroe County Clerk to stop enforcing Florida’s anti-marriage constitutional amendment. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi appealed, which immediately stayed the ruling. Over the next two weeks, two additional judges – Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel and Broward County Circuit Judge Dale Cohen – also ruled that Florida’s marriage ban is unconstitutional. Read more about marriage litigation in Florida.

As the cases make their way up through the courts, Floridians across the state will continue to do the work of having conversations about why marriage matters and creating a climate for victory.

HISTORY:

In 2008, anti-gay forces in Florida pushed through an anti-marriage constitutional amendment that excluded same-sex couples from marriage and prohibited same-sex couples from attaining any form of legal family status.

Several jurisdictions, including Miami, Orlando, and Tampa, have passed protections for domestic partners.

POLLING DATA: 

Voters in Florida are moving on marriage, with a majority of voters (57%) who support the freedom to marry. (Public Religion Research Institute, July 2014)

GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:

  • Equality Florida is a statewide education and advocacy organization dedicated to eliminating discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, gender and class.
  • ACLU of Florida is the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union.
  • Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.

NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES:

According to The Williams Institute’s analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 48,496 same-sex couples are living in Florida, representing 6.5 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

 

 

Credit: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/states/entry/c/florida