WE often tell ourselves we need a holiday, but there’s nothing worse than the suspense of having to wait months for it to happen once all the bookings have been made.
But if you want to pamper yourself with a holiday sooner than later, look no further than the Island Fruits Tropical Cruise.
With over 50 per cent of allocations and cabins sold, there’s a limited window to bite the bullet and make a booking ahead of the November departure date, so you can give yourself that much-needed holiday before the year is out.
The Island Fruits Topical Cruises are small hosted gay groups travelling together aboard a standard Celebrity cruise. Vacationers get to experience all the quality service of the ship while travelling with a group of like-minded people and enjoy the addition of a fabulous “gay layer” to scheduled activities.
So don’t expect the usual over-the-top craziness of many other gay cruises, as this one is unique and designed for a broader appeal. It is a hosted gay group with your very own personal “cruise director” to look after you and guide you on how to get the most out of your holiday.
“Some people have never cruised before and aren’t sure what it’s all about,” said organiser and host, Adam Bold from Points of Difference Events.
“By joining our group, not only are they travelling with like-minded people, they have an on-board host (me) to help look after them and guide them as needed.
“Beyond that, different people have different ways to have fun and there is plenty of activities to do on-board.”
These activities include a “molecular” cocktail bar, disco, piano bars, speciality dining venues, day spas, a full casino, gym, pools, a cabaret lounge, bingo and trivia games, library, a full production theatre, high-level entertainment production and over 100 brands of vodka and even an Apple store.
“The Molecular Cocktail bar is just amazing,” Bold said.
“The barmen take over six hours to set up each day. They make all their cordials and infusions on board and the array of spices, fruits, flavours and aromatics is amazing to see and smell.”
Bold said cruises can often have a family-oriented focus, but Celebrity cruises are much more sophisticated and appealing to gay clientèle.
Departing Sydney on November 26 on the Celebrity Solstice, guests will cruise the South Pacific for nine days to New Caledonia, visiting a trio of fabulous — and perhaps fruity — islands.
Cruise highlights include visiting the French-Pacific city of Noumea, as well as the famous Isle of Pines and beautiful Lifou.
“The shore excursion in Noumea is a highlight, with Michael, the local gay guide, showing us around the port town and tourist spots,” Bold said.
“People also get a chance to mix with people from different towns or areas (guests come from all over the country) so it’s a bit like a mini-Mardi Gras.”
The Island Fruits Topical Cruise is presented by two fabulous gay businesses: Out and About Travel and Points of Difference Events. These companies bring their skills and expertise together to create a unique gay experience. In addition to the scheduled activities on the ship, the producers have also added a special layer of gay fabulousness, which includes activities like a pre-departure soiree in Sydney, exclusive “welcome aboard” themed cocktail party, the exclusive group excursion in Noumea that includes lunch and local gay guide, an evening “tropical paradise” themed pool party, daily group catch-ups and dining, an on-board cruise director and host, plus a few surprises.
Beyond 2015, Adam has advised there are more cruises in the pipeline, with planned itineraries visiting Hawaii and Tahiti, plus a separate cruise to Bali and Singapore via Australia’s top end.
If you want to be relaxing on a tropical beach by day and enjoying best dining afloat with friends each night, and want the trip to happen sooner rather than later, then Island Fruits is perfect for you.
Island Fruits Tropical Cruise
When: Thursday, November 26 to Friday, December 4
Where: New Caledonia (departing from and returning to Sydney)
Cost: Prices start from $1,779 per person twin share for nine days, which includes accommodation, meals, entertainment and the special “gay layer” activities
Bonuses: Guests booking in can now chose a free perk, including a free beverage package (that’s worth over $400). Guests also travelling by themselves can take advantage of a “Share with a Stranger” offer, where they will be matched with a cabin mate and will not have to pay the solo supplement.
Bookings and details: pointsofdifference.com/Star2 or call Adam (cruise director) on 0412 358 249