I've travelled quite a bit but I've never been on a cruise. Everyone I know who has ever taken a cruise says it was wonderful and that I "must" go on a cruise some day soon. There's just something overwhelming about the experience that has prevented me from participating. First and foremost, cruises can be quite expensive. It seems to me that if "Cruise Pricing 101" was taught in junior colleges across the nation, all the seats would be filled. Window, no window, deck, interior room, exterior, all-inclusive, ala carte, time of year, destination … I'm certain that all of the many options were designed to give customers the most opportunities to customize their trips as they see fit but, for me, it's overwhelming.
There are so many cruise lines from which to choose and so many destinations as well. Once a decision is finally made, tickets for the cruise are purchased (as well as airfare and transportation to the originating port), additional excursions and, Heaven forbid, a cocktail or two, it's no wonder that for many this is a once-in-a-lifetime voyage.
Imagine how disgusted you might be if, after all the planning and anticipation of your trip, you learned at the last minute that your ship would not be docking at a scheduled port of call. Not because of weather or other unforeseen circumstances, but because the ship was carrying same-sex couples.
Last weekend, passengers onboard a RSVP Vacations Mediterranean cruise did not make a scheduled top in Casablanca, Morocco because the ship's permission to dock was revoked … presumably because it was carrying gays. Morocco's tourism minister denied the claim, stating "We don't ban cruise ships here and we never ask our visitors about their sexual preferences."
"Our port agent in Casablanca has advised us that authorities in Morocco have – despite previous confirmations – now denied our scheduled visit." – Letter to Passengers from Cruise Line
As consumers, particularly when it comes to travel, we must be resilient and flexible as circumstances change and peculiar situations present themselves. Morocco, however, has a long history of hostility toward homosexuals so the cruise line and RSVP Vacations were surely aware that their passengers would not be welcome in this particular port before the first ticket was sold. This ship was, in accordance with local laws, delivering criminals.
Why then do gay travelers choose to spend their hard-earned vacation dollars on a cruise of this nature? I assume it's because they don't know any better … these travelers have more dollars than sense and they didn't do their homework. And they didn't get to see Casablanca.
Would you book a cruise to a nation where you are not welcome?
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