Rock the Boat, Baby


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Photo: Niko Guido

Just to be fair, not everyone who goes on a lesbian cruise is crossing the gangplank to find a vacation fling. While setting sail on the ship of drools promises all the wanton sex and booze of Dinah Shore Week, minus the pesky golfing, many couples take these cruises with romantic intentions that sometimes actually involve each other. In theory, vacationing is supposed to be a stress-free activity, but in reality, being away from home and dependent on someone else’s company for a few days can actually promote arguments. Follow these dos and don’ts and try not to end up walking the plank.

Do take time to do your own thing. Too much togetherness can be bad. Remember, if you are joined at the hip and one of you goes overboard, you both go. Take a Zumba class while she learns what the heck shuffleboard is. The independent activities you sign up for, however, should not include the words “singles,” “wet T-shirt,” “hot, hot, hot” or “what happens on C-deck stays on C-deck.”

Do not fall into the temptation of flirting with other women. Especially if you know this is something that makes your lover crazy. If you have a wandering eye then avoid drinking too much—being inhibited may be the only thing keeping you afloat. Getting drunk in the nightclub and hanging all over cute girls is a good way to turn your pleasure boat into the Titanic. You haven’t seen an iceberg until you have spent hours out in the cold hallway pleading with your partner through a locked stateroom door.

Do allow yourselves to meet new people. Even on a romantic getaway cruise, no couple is an island. There’s no need to fear the company of others. Not everyone is trying to cruise your girlfriend. Talk to the people you are seated next to at dinner. Try doing some group activities that do not involve body shots or stripper poles. Try talking to the Lindsay Lohan-esque part-time lesbian or the baby dyke with more piercings than a sieve—just to broaden your horizons.

Do not fall into the food pit. Beware of the way food on a cruise ship can be shoveled down your throat in a culinary orgy. When your girl suggests going whale watching, she probably does not mean watching you graze at the buffet for five days and four nights.
Do be prepared for seasickness. Bring your own remedies or over-the-counter medication and nurse yourself and each other those first few hours until you get your sea legs. This is much better than being confined to your cabin for two days because the infirmary is afraid that you are a walking petri dish of disease.

Do not fall into the money trap. Money can be a key catalyst for arguments between couples on a cruise. There are plenty of free activities you can take advantage of on the ship in order to save money. Sunsets and sunrises are free. Using the phone to call the kennel to check on the dogs is very, very expensive. On many ships, there are free programs, concerts, seminars and gym equipment for your use. Cheesy souvenirs, T-shirts and overpriced jewelry should be avoided.

Do use your money to get off the boat for a day trip. It’s worth the extra expense to get a change of scenery and check out the local color. You’ll appreciate this time together much more than you would sitting in front of the slot machines, mindlessly pushing buttons, because eventually you’ll push each other’s buttons. 

Do make use of the concierge and the social director. They can help plan your trip and provide little romantic surprises for your girl, like private dinners, flowers, moonlight walks—even having the band play her favorite song. And they can help you pick appropriate excursions and make reservations at each stop. The little details will go a long way toward making her remember why she is with you in the first place.

A cruise is an excellent way to immerse yourselves in the excitement and buzz of a social group because there is always a party going on and you are always invited. But the ship also gives you the opportunity to insulate yourselves, to hide away in your cabin or find remote areas of the ship where romance can go full steam ahead.

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