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2010 Atlantis Liberty Cruise

This was another solo trip and one I have looked forward to for many years and finally made the decision to just book it and go, I am so glad I did as it was a great experience and can’t wait to do it again. The cruise was a very liberating experience for me and such a comfortable atmosphere.

Sail-away was on Sunday January 17, I drove down to Miami on Saturday and spent the night at the EPIC hotel in downtown – downtown Miami is not fun to drive in but the hotel was close to the port. After checking in I walked down to Bay side marketplace to get a glimpse of the port, The Navigator of the Seas was in Port today.

EPIC Hotel view

On Sunday it was forcasted to rain so I left for the port Earlier than planned to beat the rain, it actually started to rain as I arrived at the port, parking was very close to the ship, dropped of the luggage and headed into the terminal, the check in line was very quick although boarding had not yet started and once it did it was quickly delayed by border patrol as they changed the entrance point.

The walk through the terminal toward the ship was met with about 20 border patrol agents and one hell of a big drug sniffing dog. What a waste of resources to have that many agents, Upon boarding the ship all passengers were greeted by Atlantis staff then the boarding photos taken, I opted out of the boarding photo and regretted it later. Finally on board shortly after 1 pm and the rooms were ready.

This was a charter cruise that did not sell out so instead of 3500 pax we only had about 2500 so crowds were not a problem on this voyage with the exception of the deck parties which probably 80% participated in. On embarkation day it did rain but the rain let up by sail-away time around 6 pm and the weather for the week was perfect!

This was first trip on a freedom class ship, Atlantis has a good premium on there cruises so I skipped my usual balcony room and went with the promenade room on deck eight, it was a nice size room for 1 or 2 but would be tight for more than two people. I liked having a view of the promenade and noise was not a problem.

The muster drill also known as the “Guest Assembly Drill” was interesting, you no longer have to bring your life preserver, the crew member overseeing our muster group looked less than thrilled to be there, being still in port everyone was on there phones and most not listening to the announcement repeated in multiple languages. After the drill I headed to the spa to make my appointments, on this trip I splurged and got a cabana massage in Labadee and a body wrap / massage later in the week.

On January 12th a major earthquake devatated Haiti, how does this relate to my cruise you ask? Well our first port stop was scheduled for Royals private island of Labadee Haiti. This resulted in much controversy about cruise ships stopping in an area so close to mass destruction. Now Labadee is near Cape Haitian and was not effected by the earthquake. Royal Caribbean made a good decision to continue its port stops to Labadee which brings much needed tourist dollars to a severely impoverished nation even before the earthquake. Our ship arrived in Labadee and brought with it pallets of water and other needed supplies for the victims of the earthquake, Our sailing also transported many relief workers. Labadee now has a dock so getting off the ship is much easier than tendering. It was a nice relaxing beach day.

Atlantis is known for it parties, most are usually at night starting at 11:00 pm and going until the next morning and some in the afternoon (T-Dances) most are themed and a large contingnet (85%) of the passengers attend at least a portion of these parties, some go all out as far as costumes and some just wear regular clothing – that’s the beauty of Atlantis charters you do what you want to do. the party themes for this sailing are as follows:

Day 1 (Sailaway)

  • 5 pm Sailaway party – poolside
  • 11 pm Welcome party – studio B – DJ Manny Lehman
  • Midnight Welcome party – The Catacombs – DJ Paul Goodyear

Day 2 At Sea

  • 4 pm Dog tag T-Dance – Poolside -DJ Wayne G
  • 11 pm Lost Island party- Poolside -DJ Abel 
  • 3 am Still Lost – The Catcombs -DJ Wayne G

Day 3 Labadee

  • 11 pm Just Dance – Poolside -DJ Paul Goodyear
  • 11 pm 80’s dance party – the Catacombs – DJ Guy Smith

Day 4 At Sea

  • 4 pm Disco T-Dance – Poolside – DJ Manny Lehman
  • 11 pm Through the Looking Glass – Studio B – DJ Wayne G

Day 5 Grand Cayman

  • 11 pm 90’s diva party – Poolside – DJ’s Abel & Manny Lehman
  • 3 am Beyond Late night Disco – The Catacombs – DJ Paul Goodyear

Day 6 Cozumel

  • 11 pm The White Party – Poolside – DJ Paul Goodyear
  • 5 am Off-white party – The Catacombs – DJ Wayne G

Day 7 at Sea

  • 4 pm Splash T-Dance – Poolside – DJ Paul Goodyear
  • 11 pm Last dance – studio B – DJ Manny Lehman

You can search you tube to get an idea of these parties, the white party is “The” party of the cruise, we were sailing at the time and still fairly close to Cozumel, apparently the captain got a call from another nearby ship asking if everything was alright as they saw all passengers on the top deck and laser lights in the sky. Definitely a site to see.

If you have not yet figured it out this was a gay cruise, the ship was full of men mostly, some lesbians and a few open minded straight people (I will let you guess which category I fall into – hint: I’m not a lesbian). Atlantis brings on it own crew that works with the Ships crew, we actually had 2 cruise directors the Liberty of the Seas Abe Hughes along with Atlantis’s Malcolm. Malcolm is awesome I doubt he gets much sleep on these cruises. There was a lot of innuendo between these two and the daily cruise compass as well, you would not see this on a regular cruise. I do have the daily cruise compass’ for this sailing, I can send a sampling or a specific day to you if you desire, just send me an email.

As i said earlier there is a bit of a premium to these charters, but I found that the entertainment was awesome and made it worth the extra money spent. While there are activities going on around the clock most were in the evening hours, you had to plan what you wanted to do – there is just not enough time to do everything. I went to every nightly show and enjoyed them, the headliner for this sailing was Roseanne Barr. Atlantis has a some regulars they use for entertainment, on this sailing we had Miss Richfield 1981, Cashetta, Matt Yee, Jim David, Shawn Pelofsky, Bruce McDonald, we also had comedian Ali Mafi on board

Some of the benefits of a gay cruise:

  • Very Limited geriatric crowd
  • very ralaxed atmosphere
  • No Kids on board
  • No Formal night



More to come Later…..