Shipboard LGBT happy hours receive extensive comments and critiques whenever we survey our members. We’re writing this post to share our experience of the cocktail hour on our current sailing in the North Sea/North Atlantic.
LGBT happy hours offer an opportunity for cruise lines to show that they value gay passengers. These gatherings let us meet and get to know our fellow LGBT cruisers, and in fact, long friendships have evolved from these events.
Regrettably, some cruise lines have dispensed with the LGBT happy hour. Some never bothered to schedule one. Others don’t list the gathering in the newsletter, requiring us to search for a posting. Other lines have been known to schedule the event at a poor time. The worst offense was finding the LGBT cocktail hour location to be closed.
On the other hand, there is Azamara. This line’s LGBT gatherings demonstrate Azamara’s respect for the gay cruise community.
How Azamara’s LGBT happy hours are different
On our current Azamara voyage, the first LGBT happy hour took place during our first at-sea day. Not only did the event appear in the newsletter, but it was announced from the bridge by the cruise director! The timing of the event was chosen for maximum convenience to all interested cruisers.
The LGBT event took place in Azamara’s “Living Room,” which we consider to be one of the best public spaces on the ship. The fact that Azamara provides complimentary tapas in the Living Room helps make the LGBT cocktail hour even more enjoyable.
Perhaps most impressive to us was the fact that the event received so much attention from Azamara staff. Cruise Director Eric and Captain Johannes attended, which we took to be a great sign of support from not only the Ship’s staff but Azamara’s Miami headquarters. Guest Relations Manager Rob and Activities Director Lee rounded out the Azamara staff contingent. It happened to be Lee’s birthday, so we sang him a rousing “Happy Birthday.”
We were delighted that the event offered us the opportunity to meet and plan dinner dates with two other couples. Karen and Pam are from Edmonton, Canada; Peter and Jose live in Miami. We found ourselves meeting folks on the broad LGBT spectrum and from different ethnic backgrounds. To us, that is one of the joys of travel: The opportunity to meet others that we might not be in contact with during our day-to-day life on land.
Kudos to Azamara Club Cruises for carrying through on their inclusive policies and for a great kick-off event for LGBT on this cruise.
*Note: the authors traveled as guests of Azamara Club Cruises. Read our disclosure policy here. From Mark: “Our gay opinions can’t be bought. We say and write exactly what we think—and we’re capable of throwing shade when necessary.”