As summer approaches, the Poz Cruise seems eons ago. It was only over a month ago in May, and yet the sweet memories linger on. As it was my first virgin cruise, it was anticipated with much excitement.
I was going with my pal Kent and my goal was to take it easy, which is what I exactly did. We boarded our flight to LA and little did we know the excitement was just about to start. I was sitting with a lovely young woman who was traveling with her mom to Las Vegas for Mother Day.
As the last passenger got on, my neighbor was getting visibly excited. She asked me, "Isn't it him?" I asked, "Who?" She replied, "Its Jake.""Jake? Yeah he looks familiar". "Is he from Grey Anatomy?""No, he is the recent Bachelor."Duh, yes here was the stud muffin himself in economy class. The women were swooning around him for autographs. Jake was very cute and adorable, but visibly less muscle bound in real life. TV does make you look bigger!
Besides Jake, the flight was rather subdued and we arrived in LA, checked into our hotel close to midnight. When we woke up in the morning and went down for breakfast, and met the other poz cruise companions and Paul. Greetings around and we were to meet at the pier by 12 noon for check-in. Checking in at a cruise is a tightly controlled process. A word of wisdom, be on time and get over with the process asap, as there are at least 3,000 passengers traveling with you. Our ship has 2,800 passengers and 1,000 staff. The destinations were Los Carbos, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. After 3 hours milling on deck while rest of passengers checked in, we got onboard with the standard security checks and photo ID.
My first impression as we entered the ship was, My God! Who in the world chose this décor? It was a garish pink everywhere, pink leopard strips, pink dots accentuated with silver and gold. I asked the staff, is this color on every level, (there are 12 levels). He smiled politely and said, "You will get used to it."It was as if Liberachi chose the décor while on acid. I did take a few pictures of the central hallway for your viewing pleasure.
Paul had organized evening group dinners for the 47 of us who has signed up. He organized side excursions at the destinations, afternoon meet and greet sessions, among a slew of other activities onboard including discussion of local HIV community activities. It was a wonderful way to relax or join in the activities or just eat or sleep all day long. One of my best memories was watching the sunset every evening while on deck, absolutely gorgeous.
The food on the cruise is vast array from gastronomic experience to culinary delight to absolute horror (fattening foods, pizza and burger available 24/7). It is said, you can put one pound per day on a cruise. Some of us made it to the gym and made sure we got some cardio workout. Dinner time was always fun to meet other exceptional poz men.
From the point of view of poz guys traveling, new connections, new friendships formed and wonderful memories to take home with you. The poz group was supportive and for many, it was an opportunity to be in a comforting, supportive environment. I saw the value of a group of poz men connecting and bonding while away and having lots of fun doing so. It was a trip I will always remember!
The next poz cruise is from Oct. 23-31, 2010. Paul can be reached at, cruise