In less than 80 days, SharkBoy and I will be going on a dream vacation.
Okay not a DREAM vacation, like seeing the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields or viewing a radioactive hole in the ground at Chernobyl, no. We’re going back to the World. That is, Disney World. The added plus for this vacation, the added spin, is that we’re spending 4 days on Disney’s newest ship, The Dream (see what I did there?). Go look at the video if only to see the freaking waterslide that hangs over the side of the ship! (singsong)Awwwesome!(/singsong)
The ship will be literally one month old when we board. The carpet will be fresh. The staff will be sparkling. The linen will be bed bug free (I hope). By the time we get on board, Sharkboy estimates that no less than 8 families/couples will have used our room. I have a good feeling that we’ll be the first queer couple to be in that particular cabin. I’ve been fantasizing that we’ll be the first gay couple to travel on the Dream, too.
Which brings me to my first moment of pre-vacation dread. The Disney cruises are super-“family” orientated. When you arrive at the port, you are called onto the gangplank thusly: a cluster of crew gather at the entrance, shipside, and with microphone in hand, announce your arrival on the ship. Thankfully there’s no real big audience other than staff, since everyone is eager to explore and get to their rooms.
If you’re thinking ahead, you’ve seen my dread. Two 45-something bald guys coming on board together, no kids, get microphoned across the ship’s atrium. While I’m dying to know how we’ll be announced (“Announcing Mr and Mr Paquette-Healey!!”), I don’t do well with everyone looking at my big gay entrance. Well we’ve always said we should live a little more “out and proud”. Not that I’m saying gay people should be seen, not heard. Fuck that. If you can’t handle my “family” then fuck off. No, I’m worried that there is a stigma of pedophilia that surrounds the notion of two middle aged men on a ship where at least half the populace are children. I’ve seen the concern in parents’ eyes before when SharkBoy and I travel to Disney: moms culling their children closer when we join a touring group, or ride, or bus. SharkBoy generally diffuses these situations with a kind word or a joke and we all relax – something he does quite well on DisneyWorld busses for some reason. Which will be a future post.
Despite being reassured from every person who’s been onboard and by Disney’s own marketing materials, the ship isn’t just for kids. There are designated areas for adults only and such. But I know that we’re going to get the questioning looks. Thankfully our last cruise (the one where I was surprised that when you sail out of New Jersey you have to suffer with spending two weeks with people from New Jersey) has taught me not to give one flying fuck what other people think of you and you should be having your own fun on vacation.
Actually I’m not that chuffed. From what I’ve read on various cruise web forums, the Disney ships might be devoid of gay passengers, but the gay crew will latch onto you like cultural leeches. Extra desserts for me!
Curiously inversely, our last cruise was our longest at 12 days, while this one will be the shortest at 4 days, at literally the same price. We board on Sunday, Monday is Nassau, then over to their private island, Castaway Cay, then home. I figure that’s the best amount of time for being on a self contained floating city where 2/3rd of the populace adores Dora the Explorer.
In the next couple days I’ll be writing about tips and tricks for visiting the World. I hope you come back soon and check them out!
Have a magical day!
Update: Thanks to W in the comments, this thread over on DIS makes the p-vacation dread disappear