Posted by Beau
My husband and I are currently in the final weeks of our Tic-Tac/Sesame Seed diet in order to shoe-horn ourselves into ridiculous swimming attire for the Atlantis Auckland to Sydney Big Gay Cruise next month.
What the Hell does this have to do with New York?
Last night we attended a pre-sailing dinner party of fourteen of our fellow New Yorkers whom we found through a Facebook group dedicated to this particular cruise. Some smart person had the tenacity and time to cull through the 162 members of the group listed and find those attached to NYC, secure a restaurant, and put out an email. Everyone thoughtfully showed up and we started down that delicate pathway from mere acquaintances to budding friendships.
I always get unsure, sly looks when I mention going on a gay cruise. Facing our fears of those Brite-smiling, perfectly abdominalized men in the brochures of which neither myself or my husband belong, we took our first Big Gay Cruise through the Mediterranean a few years back, finding all the Gays on board to be of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds but more importantly they were the most friendly, welcoming, and accommodating bunch we'd ever hoped to meet. Everyone was there to have a good time and help make sure everyone else did too. There was no attitude and surprisingly little drama except for those two dudes stuck on the train back from Rome who missed the ship departing (proving Gay Time doesn't necessarily hold with a large, departing ship captained by a tall Norwegian) so heading back on another cruise was a no-brainer for us. We just waited for the right one.
Everyone at dinner last night also had previous Big Gay Cruise experiences and all had similar experiences to ours with regard to initial hesitation but pleasant, friendly results. This is all by way of saying that getting on a ship that will be servicing over 1,200 Gays from around the world can be an intimidating venture, especially for an introvert like me, so having a ready made group of new friends to satellite off of can really lubricate the social awkwardness of the initial Bon Voyage, at least until all the Red Bull and Vodka's kick in and the shirts start coming off.
So what we learned last night was not only do we have a ready made home-base of good NYC guys going with us but we get to meet an additional sixteen NYC's also joining us on the ship at a pre-cruise cocktail party being hosted by one of last night's dinner guests last who didn't initially know about the Facebook group.
Traveling all the way across the world to be part of a robust NYC contingent of new friends, ridiculous swimsuits be damned, sounds like a perfect antidote to a cold, gray, never-ending February.