Here are some highlights:
• This was the best gay cruise I've ever been on. Gay cruises usually sail under a cloud of muscleboy attitude, and if you're not careful you can let it ruin your vacation. But everyone on this ship was so friendly that even the musclebitches relented and I actually saw one of them crack a strained smile. The passengers were on a mission to make as many friends as possible this week, and the crew was so excited to have friendly passengers who stay up past 10 and order lots of drinks and leave lots of tips and not complain about everything (apparently regular cruise passengers are career complainers) that the ship was just buzzing with happiness from start to finish.
• One thing that's so fabulous about a gay cruise is that for one week, we're the majority. We can hold hands over dinner and kiss goodnight under the moonlight and fall asleep snuggled together in our deck chairs and we don't have to worry about getting yelled at by unbalanced christofascists. We go a whole week without hearing some self-important godtard calling us abominations or campaigning to blame us for the decline and fall of all civilizations past, present and future on the national news. For seven glorious days, we don't hear a word of drivel out of Newt Gingrich, Focus on the
• Atlantis always books a surprise entertainer or two for each cruise. We kicked off the week with a performance by Kimberly Locke, an American Idol contestant I'd never heard of. Probably because I've never watched the show. She gave a nice concert, but I've never been a fan of the "pop vocal stylings of" genre so I'm not one to offer thoughtful criticism either way. Our star performer was the incomparable Chita Rivera, who looks fabulous and still has masterful control of her gravelly alto. She was on the ship with us all week, and I kept running into her at every port. Though I hate to bother famous people, so I never went up to say hi or snap a picture. Big regret. At one point, though, I looked up to find her smiling at me after I rode down a giant waterslide. That one Speedo-clad descent must have shown her what she needed to see about my many talents, because she cast me on the spot as Slidey the forgotten Jet in the Broadway revival of West Side Story.
• The Celebrity Solstice is a staggeringly beautiful ship. And it's only a few months old. So it still sparkles. Actually, it sparkles a lot more than it did a week ago; we gays sure wear a lot of body glitter and shiny fabrics to our themed dance parties. I'm sure future Solstice passengers will be stumbling over stray sequins and frayed strings of lamé for months to come.
• After spending a week stepping over piles of muscleboys lounging around the pool deck in Speedos, it's kind of a shock to your system to see grumpy parents and screaming children back it the real world. Getting to the airport after a cruise is always a timing crapshoot, and we ended up here four hours early this morning. So I'm getting the full heterosexual pride parade as I sit at terminal B5 waiting for my flight. But there's free wireless and I found a comfy seat near an outlet, so I can't complain too much.
• I didn't buy any souvenirs from the trip. But I did get a manicure and a pedicure (gay!) in Ft. Lauderdale before we boarded the ship. And I got my teeth whitened (gay! gay! gay!) in the ship's spa. And I got a tattoo. I think tats that go straight down the back of a guy's triceps are totally hot, but the ones I see are usually Asian characters of some sort. And how ridiculous would a Norwegian-German-American look with kanji running down his arm? But I found a cool vertical dragon shape at a Ft. Lauderdale tattoo parlor and got it painted on in henna for only $40. And it looks so awesome, I may replicate it in real blood and ink once the henna finally wears off:
• I took a ton more pictures with my fabulous new camera, but the cable to connect it to my computer is in my checked luggage. So you'll just have to wait. In the mean time, I have 427 emails to attend to. And some sumburny areas to scratch. And some sleep to catch up on. And now that Speedo Week is finally behind me, some damn cookies to eat.