The cruise industry has a longstanding reputation for embracing diversity among crew members and passengers. Within the LGBTQ+ community, Celebrity Cruises’ legacy of support has generated iconic programming and garnered numerous accolades. In recognition of Pride Month, the line ramps up its rainbow-themed activities throughout June and even hosts the largest Pride Party at Sea.
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While this year marks the fifth annual Pride Party at Sea, the event was inaugurated in 2017, but postponed twice due to the pandemic. The upcoming bash promises to be bigger than ever, with Celebrity initiating festivities aboard the Pride Party at Sea flagship, Celebrity Edge, during its June 10th European cruise, and then “handing off the party baton” fleet-wide to spread the celebration across multiple hemispheres and time zones. In all, the tandem party will travel more than 10,000 miles around the world to 12 ships, featuring itineraries in places such as Alaska, Iceland, Scandinavia, Bermuda, the Caribbean and multiple regions in Europe.
Activities include ceremonially raising the Pride flag atop the ship, a parade and a pool-deck party with live music, dancing and entertainment. In step with Celebrity’s penchant for cool aesthetics, you can expect accoutrements like “mermaids” in the pool, mod lighting effects and artists that interact with guests Cirque-du-Soliel-style. Plenty of rainbow swag gets passed out. Creative bites and signature beverages abound, too. Plus, in the spirit of inclusion, the entire ship is invited to the soiree, which means officers, crew, staff and all kinds of guests come together to recognize and celebrate Pride.
The roster of multigenerational LGBTQ+ focused programming can run the gamut from themed crafting and fashion shows to Walk-for-Pride campaigns and various social hours. It’s also worth noting all Celebrity cruises, regardless of timeframe, feature the line’s popular first-night LGBTQ+ Welcome Party. Likewise, the Celebrity Weddings program has facilitated destination nuptials for same-sex couples for years. In 2018, Celebrity also made history as the first major cruise line to conduct a legal, same-sex marriage at sea.
Dedication to the LGBTQ+ community extends beyond Celebrity’s boats. The line serves as presenting sponsor of Miami Beach Pride, a festival in the city where Celebrity is headquartered. Most remarkably, Celebrity just collaborated with renowned photographers (think Annie Leibovits and Giles Duley) to establish the All-Inclusive Photo Project, the world’s first open-source photo library promoting diversity in travel marketing imagery. Not surprisingly, the line also has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign as one of the best places to work for LGBTQ+ equality.
Clearly, Celebrity’s outreach amounts to more than trendy tokenism. Beyond all else, the shipboard result is an atmosphere that invites members of the LGBTQ+ community to simply feel comfortable being themselves and enjoy the cruise experience.
On a Celebrity voyage, guests can expect to indulge in impeccably designed spaces – everything from cabins that feature Infinite Verandas (where the touch of a button transforms the entire living space into a private, open-air perch at the water’s edge) to top-deck Lawn Clubs (where real grass grows underfoot). Sublime pool decks, spas, tech-savvy entertainment centers, art galleries, casinos and an array of elevated eateries beckon, too. Celebrity’s latest ships come with a Magic Carpet, an eye-catching venue cantilevered over the open ocean that slinks up and down the side of the ship. Among other things, it delivers spectacular alfresco dining and drinks.
Celebrity could rest on its laurels, but the future looks even brighter for LGBTQ+ passengers, because in 2024 the line plans to expand its Pride Month celebrations with more daily gatherings, guest entertainers and new attractions yet to be revealed. Plus, there will be a Pride Party at Sea on every voyage in June. That adds up to 46 cruises. Celebrity Ascent, set to debut later this year, will join the festivities, literally bringing another boatload of Pride to the high seas.
Start planning for next year’s Pride Party at Sea today.