Florida’s southeastern coast is home to most of the United States’ most stunning beaches and boat canals. And since becoming the world’s most trans-friendly port in 2015, Florida experiences no shortage of LGBT travelers ready to hit international waters.
An evident hotspot for avid sailors, ports along Miami and Fort Lauderdale welcome popular LGBT cruises all year round. If you’re on the market for a gay-friendly cruise, this guide will take you through the different types of cruises, why you should embark on one, and what Florida travel options might suit you best.
Why Should You Embark On A Gay Cruise?
Everyone On It Is Part Of The LGBT Community
When gay cruising in the Key West, you can be unapologetically you – you won’t have to fear judgment or even feel the need to be partially closeted. Naturally, an LGBT cruise line is abundant in bisexual, transgender, and queer guests ready for a social, vibrant, and totally gay vacation. Even the most laid-back LGBT wallflowers will meet a ton of new acquaintances!
While not every cruise line is open to non-LGBT travelers, some will happily welcome allies on board. If you have straight friends or family members dying to tag along and learn more about the community, a gay cruise line is a great way to school them!
It’s A Good Way To Meet Singles & Couples
A gay cruise line typically has a party-heavy and sociable atmosphere. Singles and couples alike will find new opportunities to discover love or friendship, while group travelers can indulge in tailored activities and entertainment.
You Can Party To Your Heart’s Desire
Unlike your typical sea vacation, LGBT cruises are iconically party-centric. Outgoing guests can go all-out at themed parties and release their inhibitions on a bustling dance floor. Feel free to get a little glutinous, too – LGBT cruises typically have twice the food and cocktails a conventional cruise line would!
You’ll Wake Up To A New City Every Day
When on an LGBT vacation cruise, Miami natives and tourists won’t wake up to the same old scenery. If you’ve always wanted a taste of Athens cuisine or a look into Amsterdam nightlife, an LGBT cruise is one of the best ways to enjoy worry-free international travel. Throughout your daily sails, you can peek out the window as the sun rises over a breathtaking Puerto Jimenez landscape or finally set foot in France.
Some cruises will allow for overnight stops, during which you can satisfy your cravings at world-class dining and drinking hotspots or explore on-land parties and other hotspots.
Gay cruises from Florida aren’t just socially inclusive – they’re all-inclusive, perfect for trip planners who want a lot of value. Gay cruising in Florida is typically forgiving on the wallet and comes with many all-in-one options for on-land hotels, special events, and even drink packages.
Types Of Gay & Lesbian Cruises From Florida
No two cruises are the same! There are many different kinds of cruises, but they typically fall into the following categories.
Larger travel enterprises will house up to 5,000 guests on an entire ship cruise line. Popular companies with massive full-ship options include the Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Atlantis, Olivia, and RSVP.
If you prefer a more intimate getaway with your friends, small full-ship cruisers cater to up to 500 guests at a time. Companies like Out Adventures organize these smaller and more intimate excursions.
Partial Cruise Line
LGBT tour operators might accept smaller LGBT groups on a mainstream cruise. LGBT guests comprise roughly 50 to 100 out of the thousands of guests on these cruise lines, but you can still enjoy tailored events and activities nonetheless.
Who says the best cruise experiences happen only out at sea? River cruises organized by Brand G, Vacaya, or Olivia can host up to 300 guests! On these trips, you’ll grace the shores of the Netherlands, Austria, the Rhine Gorge, and other exciting European destinations.
While smaller, gay-centric sailing ships (up to 20 people) boast a wildly different experience to that of a typical cruise line, they can be just as fun. These mini-cruises are ideal for queers, gays, and lesbians who prefer relaxation and intimacy over lively, crowded events.
The Best Gay & Lesbian Cruises In Florida
If a gay cruise in Florida is right for you, there are many options to choose from. Below are some of our favorites that have the potential to be yours too!
Holland America Line Ms. Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise
Sailing into multiple destinations such as Puerto Plata, the Caribbean, Barca D’alva, and Central America, this Panama Canal cruise is home to unique entertainment options that LGBT cruisers will love. Music enthusiasts can take a stroll through its Music Walk, which blasts symphonic orchestral masterpieces and soulful dance floor hits from the B.B. King Blues Club.
Cruise-goers can stay up-to-date with upcoming events with the ship’s Holland America’s Navigator. This internet-based application allows passengers to glance at restaurant and bar reservations or book destination resorts and other shore excursions.
Olivia Travel Caribbean Escape Lesbian Cruise
Olivia’s L-Word cruises are a favorite among LGBT women. These all-inclusive destination trips are ideal for outgoing lesbians who love debaucherous pool parties, classic film screenings, laugh-till-it-hurts comedy shows, and nightly dance events.
These versatile L-Word outings also include accommodations at five-star resorts across the Mediterranean. Here, guests can enjoy on-shore fun and even watch Cirque du Soleil-inspired acrobatic shows. This travel company really knows just how to make its passengers happy!
Atlantis Events Royal Caribbean Cruises
Since 1991, Atlantis has been gracing inclusive ports worldwide, bringing together more than 300,000 members of the LGBT community. Atlantis Events is famed for its memorable all-gay vacations where guests can sail across the Greek Isles and bathe in the glistening seas of Mexico.
It is also the mastermind behind the famed Miami October cruise Bliss Halloween. From October 31 to November 7, guests can show off their best spooky couture and enjoy parties along Mexico shorelines. Keep in mind that this popular cruise sells out fast, so book your dates at least a few months in advance!
Travelers looking to book specific dates for their trip can set up availability alerts. Many cruise-goers book reservations in April and June, when the weather is most conducive for fun and travel.
Nevertheless, this enigmatic cruise line sails into the seas several times a year. You can explore breathtakingly beautiful Mediterranean coastlines on the Atlantis Greek Isles Cruise and relax while overlooking the most picture-perfect seas.
Celebrity is an award-winning cruise line that LGBT Miami sea explorers will love. Its VACAYA Caribbean cruise is home to star-studded onboard entertainment that guests can enjoy as soon as this impressively massive ship sets sail.
On a Celebrity cruise, you can participate in dozens of resort activities – from a handful of music-forward parties throughout the week to delectable dining experiences perfect for romantic dates. LGBT lovers can even wed out at sea with Celebrity’s same-sex wedding packages!
Brand G River Cruises
For over a decade, Brand G has been hailed as one of the best-reviewed gay cruise companies in Miami. Brand G guests can even enjoy a stay at various luxury hotels in Prague, Entre Os Rios, and Isla Parida via train and motorcoach.
Not only does the cruise take you to the world’s most exotic destinations, but it also provides guests with an opportunity to give back to the local community. Unlike any other Miami ship, Brand G allows guests to support important causes and help vulnerable communities. Your trip can sponsor LGBT refugees and even provide fresh water or educational opportunities for those without it.
The RSVP Experience has launched over 35 years of LGBT cruise tours, rich with gay-centric entertainment. The company welcomes its fair share of inspirational speakers, Broadway performers, cabaret acts, and so much more.
Cruise-goers who don’t want to skimp on their exercise routine while on the ship can enjoy a fully-equipped gym with stunning views of the sea. Post-workout, you can indulge yourself in a rejuvenating facial at the cruise spa. The sea-embarking resort also fulfills your most delectable travel cravings and treats its guests to multi-course meals with unparalleled service.
The Bottom Line
When seeking a picture-perfect gay or lesbian cruise, Florida is a destination you’ll want on your itinerary. While celebrating your anniversary, honeymoon, or friendship at one of the hottest LGBT hotels in Miami makes for an unforgettable experience, the experience you get on a cruise line is completely unparalleled.
If you’re after more than just your typical Miami holiday, booking a gay cruise can be life-changing! Pioneering companies like Atlantis, Olivia, RSVP, and others provide an excellent gathering space for like-minded members of the community.
****Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).
Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.