Gays failing at being gay? ‘LGBTQ Mix & Mingle’ on Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas lacked enthusiasm

Both Danny and Sven insisted Steve and I should try the LGBTQI+ (add as many letters as you want) activity on board. A nice way to meat other unicorns on board Royal Caribbean‘s Serenade of the Seas while on the Northern Europe cruise on the Baltic Sea. As you can tell from the title, it wasn’t what you could call a success. Why not?

I believe both the cruise people, including the cruise director who was obviously part or rainbow as ourselves failed at this little ga(y)me.


What happened?

On day 1, leaving Stockholm, there was a ‘LGBTQ Mix & Mingle‘ at The Safari Club. The Safari Club is a big bar / karaoke / dance space at the rear of the ship.

So how did the cruise fail us? It wasn’t ‘organised’ at all. Where in the club? I missed a ‘formal’ introduction to each other. Steve and I walked several times by a group of four guys who were obviously gay, playing pool. After several attempts we went for drinks and the four followed. But still no interaction.

At one point a couple came and yet no interaction. Then a twink passed by but was probably put off by the age of the other attendees. Before you start accusing him ageism: how would you react at his age?

So that’s where we failed ourselves. Gays have the reputation of being sociable, but it turns out we’re not. It’s very ‘labelling’ to ask someone “are you here for the LGBTQ Mix and Mingle?”.

So that’s why we failed ourselves. We should have asked and started conversation.

But the cruise people could have provided a spark to start the engine. So that’s how the crew failed us.

Positive note

Fortunately at one point someone did show initiative and some guts. Bert and Boon, and American-Malaysian couple, came to us and started a nice conversation. It ended as a pleasant evening and we saw each other at the gym and in the corridors a couple of times.

On our next cruise, we’ll have to be more courageous.

There were other ‘Mix & Mingles’, but after day 1 we didn’t really bother. We had a look one night when it was at Vintages. But as there was a party going on downstairs, we didn’t stay. How can you talk?



9 Comments Add yours

  1. Kevin says:

    Next time, why in the world not try a gay cruise?? My partner and I have done 15 Atlantis cruises over the past ten years, and it’s enriched our lives immeasurably. It’s a snap to meet like-minded people, because the entire ship is full of them. You meet new people at every meal, every visit to the pol. We’ve made friends we’ve retained for years. The entire vacation is set up in a way that establishes instant community, friendliness, fun. I would never go on a straight cruise.


    1. Timothy says:

      Maybe I should het over it. I have this idea gay cruises are all about, parties, sex and drugs. I never was a big party animal and at 37 even less than ten years ago ;-).

      We decided on this cruise because of the cities it visited: Helsinki, St Petersburg, Tallinn and Riga. As far as I know, gay cruises don’t go there.

      Which cruises have you don and what was your experience?


      1. Kevin says:

        You are absolutely missing out. It’s a complete myth that the cruises are just party boats. Now, you can definitely find that if you want, and some are definitely more of that than others. I would stay away from the January Caribbean cruise on the supersize Harmony/Allure, because that attracts a younger party crowd. But I would say the median age for the other cruises is men in their 40s and 50s–and I guarantee you would love them.

        We’ve been all around the world with Atlantis–including many of the places you went. We’ve done two Baltic cruises and hit the big capitals like Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, Copenhagen, as well as Tallinn and others. We’ve done Europe in both the east (Greek Isles, etc.) and more Italy/Spain-centric. We’ve done Australia and New Zealand twice. Atlantis goes all around the world. They’re in the Mediterranean now and again later this month.

        I’ve seen and experienced things I never would have otherwise, and I don’t have to deal with the annoyances I would on a regular cruise. They plan the entertainment just for us. Hilarious drag queens gay comedians and musicians, pool games. I’ve seen Patti LuPone, Chita Rivera, a huge list of great entertainers. Take my word for it–and I promise I’m not at all affiliated with the company–it is the best vacation I have ever done, and I will do them for the rest of my life.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Timothy says:

        Ok! I’ll definitely look into it. We are considering a Pacific cruise in 2020. Thank you for elaborating


  2. Kevin says:

    We also did Southeast Asia (Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong) that was amazing. I know there’s an Asia cruise on tap for next winter.

    Liked by 1 person

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