Written by { John De La Vina

Photography by { John Russo

I had heard about cruises exclusively for gay and lesbian singles and couples arranged by Atlantis Events, and they sounded amazing—with oceans of entertainment, activities, parties, food and fun en route to awesome destinations. To see for myself what it was all about, I signed up for Atlantis’ seven-day Mediterranean cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s massive Oasis of the Seas. Our departure point was Barcelona, with ports of call in Mallorca, Spain; Provence, France; and Naples and Rome, Italy.

The 16-deck vessel, with a capacity to hold 5,400 passengers, is like a small city. “Wow” is the the first word that comes to comes to mind. With 21 options for dining, a humongous gym and fitness center, a full-service spa, hair salon and nail salon and enough stores to keep even the most seasoned shopper busy, I was a bit overwhelmed. Not to mention the various venues for theater, live music, dancing and Broadway-caliber shows. I loved the Flowrider surfing experience; it was definitely the highlight of the trip. The sports staff arranged pickle ball and table tennis tournaments. Each night there were themed circuit parties with DJs and a spectacular light show. Really took me back to 1987! Lots of fun dancing the night away in the middle of the ocean! Such a fabulous place to be with your friends enjoying life! atlantisevents.com 

Top Tips for Having a Bon Voyage

  • Arrive a day early at the port of embarkation. The last thing you want to do is miss the boat because your flight was delayed.
  • If time allows, take a hop-on/hop-off bus tour, available in most major cites around the world. 
  • Pay for the most expensive internet plan and drink package. You think you won’t need it, but you will.
  • Do not stay in your cabin! Go to the specialty gatherings. You will meet so many fun people who are there to have a great time!
  • Enjoy the entertainment on the boat. Atlantis gets first rate comics, singers, musicians, cabaret acts, theatric productions, drag performers and DJs.
  • Book excursions prior to getting on the ship. The best excursions sell out fast and you don’t want to miss opportunities to see and experience new things. To avoid surprises, ask if the excursion requires extreme physical activity.
  • Do not go with someone you just started dating; it will definitely end in disaster. Trust me on this.
  • Relax. Find a quiet area on one of the top decks, bring your headphones, iPad and sunscreen. Try to disconnect from the world.
  • For day trips, bring comfortable walking shoes (not flip-flops), a sweatshirt and small backpack.
  • Do not eat only in the main dining room. Try the specialty restaurants on board, as Atlantis has some incredible chefs.
  • Bring extra canvas duffle bags for all the stuff you said you wouldn’t buy.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink a ton of water.