PHILA, PENNSYLVANIA -- We just returned from our Cruise. I wanted to share our experience as this would have helped us and taken away the uncertainty.
Yes, the cruise was more money than a hetero cruise. It was so worth it! Every lesbian should beg, borrow, or steal to take an Olivia cruise. It's another world and the most relaxing vacation I ever had. We travel A LOT. We'll always carry it with us.
The Olivia reps made sure from the go you were told to feel free, Melissa Etheridge told us to leave all our "junk" go and just enjoy the week, feel free, feel free, that's all you kept hearing and by the 2nd day I noticed we and others let our guard down. Each night there groups at dinner got bigger and bigger. People made friends. We went as a couple, as did many. You were free to do what you wanted. You could show up to eat when you want, sit where you want, be alone when you want, and surround yourself with others when you want. There was no pressure, no time table. The ship was not crowded like the Disney Cruise I took. This was much better.
The TV programming was just the L word channel 24 hours a day, a few movie channels, a couple cable chanels. There was no access to US news, as I am a CNN junkie, no US newspapers, and you were cut off from all the crap of life.
Internet was 75 cents a minute whether you use their terminal or your own laptop. The download time is very slow. Its 10 minutes just to check your email. You won't be surfing the web. Cut off and living in a lesbian world.
The live shows are great, if you aren't there early you won't get a good seat or you may be sitting in the aisle or standing. It's still worth it.
The bingo jackpot was $3700. I'm not a bingo player but it was fun.
The nightclub was great. It doesn't get crowded unitl 11pm and dies down around 1230. People go to shows, like Olivia Idol! before the club.
24 hr free room service from a limited menu. You can wake up from a nap, roll over and pick up the phone and moan "coffee" and it will be right there!
I packed too many dressy clothes. People dress up maybe 2 nights for dinner, formal night and the night you may want to try the fancy restaurant you have to pay to eat in (worth it!!! go towards the end of the cruise with friends for fun)
The overall fashion was "butch". This is why tshirts and jeans, and butchy clothes are what fits in. There were a few hot, young fems but they stood out and came across as standoffish and not approachable in my opinion.
The seas were rough. Some were sick for a day until they got sealegs.
Though everyone was ultra considerate of their sisters, and followed the rules of the ship, the only time I thought people were not polite was when they went and reserved al the pool chairs at 7 am and never showed up to use them. SPecial needs ladies and older ladies, and everyone else did not get a chaise lounge because there was "stuff" on them. This is typical, but I was surprised women did it here considering how "together" we all were.
I would say there were 1500 on the ship, I don't think it was sold out, and the average age was 45, the average person was 15 lbs overweight and butch and in a relationship. But, there were ALL types, races, sizes. One woman had 2 girlfriends. She was in her room most of the time. There were many rich women.
There were maybe 200 solos. They were given dog tags to wear. They got wilder and louder and freer as the week progressed, as did everyone. Man we were loud and "wahoo" by the last day!!!
You are free to be yourself on this cruise. You don't need to stress out as I did about clothes, hair, pedicure, as you aren't being sized up by anyone and it isn't a beauty contest. I usually get hit on but I did not once. However my new friend who dressed in men clothes had her butt grabbed many times on the dance floor (in fun)and the women in wheel chairs got lap dances from the young latino hottie girls. The old couple, in their 70's + were given the middle of the dance floor and cheered and photographed. They were the heroes. 40+ years together!
Most of the excursions were cancelled the day of. We do not know why. It kept happening but it was all okay.
The wine card offered by Holland America, and the coffee card, a rip off. It only includes house wine which is gross. And they will offer to sell you a bottle of wine and hold it for you for dinner the next night. It is more expensive to do this than to but by the glass. It's best to buy your wine and lattes each.
You can bring your own wine onboard, but no hard alcohol. We snuck some on though thinking we could get free juice to mix, but free juice is only in the am.
Holland America tried to make their money on you with the drinks, as is normal. They start at 10 am serving on the beach, saying Alcohol time! It was funny.
The staff was mostly Asian men, and one of them told us 60% of them are gay. They were not phased by topless women or anything else going on.
Some woman drank all day. There were all types and you were free to be who you are, no guilt, no judgment, let your hair down, you work hard, you deserve it!
I hope this helps.