On Board the Ship…
Copenhagen, Tallinn, and St. Petersburg are just a sampling of the places you’ll visit on the Baltic Cruise. Day trips to beautiful, how-do-they-keep-it-so-clean Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland will leave you charmed and aching to stay longer (although we wouldn’t recommend the “Ice Bar” excursion in Helsinki. It’s a walk-in cooler in the back of a Mexican restaurant. True story.), and then the whole trip will end in a big gay bang as you sail into Amsterdam just in time for Amsterdam Pride.
But the Baltic Cruise is not all about stops and destinations. Let’s not forget about your home away from home for ten days, your floating palatial estate, the Holland America Eurodam. There is so much happening onboard the ship that a day at sea is something to look forward to just as much as seeing Catherine the Great’s chincy little summer bungalow.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the cruise can be whatever you make of it. If you need a vacation of relaxation and solitude, then order some room service, treat yourself to a full body once-over at the spa, and find a quiet spot by the pool where your only responsibilities are flipping over when you start to sizzle and ordering a refill on your cocktail in time to never see the bottom of an empty glass.
If you’re looking to be a bit more social, there are opportunities abounding for everyone. Single? With any luck, not for long. Throughout the week there are singles cocktail parties and dinners where the old “I have a boyfriend” conversation killer is 100% pre-empted!
And if your interests are a little more narrow, there are several casual get-togethers throughout the week to meet other like-minded travelers, including daily meetings of Friends of Bill W., Prime Timers gatherings for older guests, and cocktail parties for Bears & Cubs and Leather fans & aficionados (and their admirers of course).
One of the easiest places to meet new people, however, is one of the simplest: Dinner. Everyone eats, everyone goes to dinner. And there’s none of this assigned time/assigned table nonsense you find on other cruises. No need for a tie or formal wear, either. The restaurants are beautiful and the food delicious, but the atmosphere is casual and gregarious. On your way into the restaurant, an Atlantis Team Member will ask you if you’d like to join a bigger table. Do yourself a favor and say yes. If you’re by yourself, in a couple, or with a small group, you can join another group and meet a new set of people every night. You never know who you could end up sitting next to. Your new best friend? Your new boyfriend? Maybe, give it a shot. Sure, you could also get seated next to the most obnoxious person you’ll ever meet, but it’ll be over in 90 minutes tops and then you’ll have fodder for your new group of dinner friends the next night!
And then we come to the parties…
Atlantis does them up right. You might not be a club kid, but you might be by the time you leave. If you think it’s not your thing, we say at least dive in once and give it a shot. The DJs are hot, the atmosphere is crackling, and the men are festively dressed. (Or is it scantily dressed? Maybe both. Probably both.) Which brings us to…COSTUMES! The parties are all themed, and trust us, you WILL want to take costumes. You don’t even know the kind of regret you will feel if you show up to the Kit Kat Klub or White parties wearing regular street clothes. These gays go all out. Your own shame will send you dashing back to your stateroom to fashion a costume on the fly so you can join in the fun. Save yourself the anxiety and plan ahead. A jaunty hat or a well-bedazzled jockstrap can go a long way. And if all else fails: glitter. Even if you don’t bring it, you will find glitter on you in places glitter should not be. It may as well be self-inflicted.
Here are the parties this year on the Baltic Cruise so you can plan ahead:
Dog Tag T-Dance (Think military. Camo and boots. Grrr.)
Kit Kat Klub (Decadence. Cabaret. Carnival. Circus Freak. All of the above.)
90s Diva Party (Whose songs do you lip sync to most? Go as her.)
Classic Disco T-Dance (Dig out those old unnatural fabrics and get them sweaty again.)
That 80s Party (Pants-less Tom Cruise from “Risky Business” is always popular.)
Conquest! (Vikings and Invaders vs. Pillaged Villagers! Dance to the death.)
Absolut T-Dance (All things Swedish. Like a few well placed Swedish Fish…)
White Nights (As much white as you want. Or as little.)
We’ve never met anyone who’s gone on his first Atlantis cruise and didn’t leave wanting to immediately book his second. It’s an addiction, but a good one, so you should feed it. There’s nothing unhealthy about having the time of your life.
Whole new worlds await you both on the ship and off. You know you’re ready. Take the plunge, try something new, and we’ll see you on the Baltic.
Bon Voyage! Bon Sørejse! Доброго пути! Bonin Matka! Bon Resa! Sloeg Reis op!