Archive for 2015

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Bacchus by Caravaggio c.1593 Uffizi Gallery

Bacchus by Caravaggio c.1593 Uffizi Gallery

What better gift to give your sweetheart this holiday season than Spain, Italy, and France with Pride of the Ocean, topped off by an exclusive tour of LGBT related artwork in the now notoriously sold out Uffizi Gallery in Florence?




With the popularity of cruise ships in Europe, it’s become nearly impossible to get into this amazing museum where you can see some of the works of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, including Gabrielle d’Estrees and Her Sister, by the School of Fontainebleau Master (left).

When you see Europe with Pride of the Ocean, you’re escorted on a private guided tour of LGBT themed art in the Uffizi Gallery.

The Abduction of Ganymede by Anton Domenico Gabbiani c. 1700 Uffizi Gallery

The Abduction of Ganymede by Anton Domenico Gabbiani c. 1700 Uffizi Gallery



Homer describes Ganymede as the most beautiful of mortals, who was abducted by Zeus in the form of an eagle and made immortal so that they he could be with him  for eternity. Zeus later put Ganymede in the sky as the constellation Aquarius, which is associated with that of the Eagle (Aquila).

One of the more colorful personalities in the Uffizi Gallery is that of Artemisia Gentileschi, a female Renaissance painter, who often painted heroic women, with herself in the title role, such as in her 1620 painting, Judith Beheading Holofernes (above), hanging in the Uffizi Gallery. Rumor has it that Artemesia may have modeled Holofernes on Pierantonio Stiattesi, her ex-husband.ClickToLearnMoreButton






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Did You Know?

John Scagliotti Researching the Same- Sex Love Sonnets of Michelangelo with Harvard University in Florence, Italy

John Scagliotti Researching the Same- Sex Love Sonnets of Michelangelo with Harvard University in Florence, Italy


Michelangelo BuonarrotiSonnetForTommasoDeCavalieri2




Did you know that Michelangelo wrote numerous same-sex love sonnets  to his beloved Tommaso DeCavalieri that were disguised by one of Michelangelo’s descendants to appear heterosexual by changing the gender pronouns and names used in those sonnets?

How was this deception discovered? How was the record set straight?

James Saslow tells us the story in the upcoming documentarySaslowQuote

film, BEFORE HOMOSEXUALS. Guests on our 2015 Western Mediterranean cruise will not only be treated to a sneak peek of the full Before Homosexuals film, but will also have the privilege of meeting some of the scholars interviewed in the film, who will be accompanying us on the cruise.

Learn how you can make a holiday gift of this historic cruise to yourself and/or a loved one (substantial discounts and incentives still available), by clicking here, or on the button below.


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Before Homosexuals Preview



Pride of the Ocean’s 2015 Alaska cruise guests were treated to a sneak peek  of a work in progress excerpt of John Scagliotti‘s upcoming documentary film, Before Homosexuals, the anticipated prequel to his classic 1984 film Before Stonewall.


(L-R) Director, John Scagliotti, with editors Christopher Dawes and HB Lozito answering questions from the audience following the Before Homosexuals sneak peek screening on Pride of the Ocean’s 2015 Alaska Cruise.

Before Homosexuals reveals a rich legacy of LGBT history and artwork dating from 2000 BC until 1900 AD, much of which has only come to light in the past decade, due to the research efforts of LGBT scholarsover 30 of whom are interviewed in the film, accompanied by lush visuals of artwork and artifacts illustrating the concepts of the film.



Guests on our 2015 Western Mediterranean cruise will not only be treated to a sneak peek of the full Before Homosexuals film, but will also have the privilege of meeting some of the scholars interviewed in the film, who will be accompanying us on the cruise. Scheduled guests to date include Bernadette Brooten, Ph.D., a MacArthur Fellowship award recipient and Fulbright Scholar who discovered ancient lesbian love spells inscribed on oval-shaped lead tablets.

The love spell is actually in the category of what are called binding spells. They are spells to bind another person to yourself. So you call upon a, the what we would call the Soul of a person who has died, to come and bind another person to go forth and grab another person and bind the person to you. So one woman tries to get the person into the bathhouse and bind her to her. So they’re very sensuous.


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Emperor Hadrian and his slain lover Antinous, Piazza della Signoria, Florence

Emperor Hadrian and his slain lover Antinous, Piazza della Signoria, Florence

Depictions of two of the most famous same sex love stories can be found in Florence, on the Piazza della Signoria.

Antinous is described as “the one person who seems to have connected most profoundly with Hadrian” throughout the latter’s life. There is no reliable evidence that Hadrian ever expressed a sexual attraction for women, in contrast to much reliable early evidence that he was sexually attracted to boys and young men.Emperor Hadrian was devastated by the death of his lover Antinous. In Egypt, the local priesthood immediately deified Antinous by identifying him with Osiris due to the manner of his death.

Statue of David by Michelangelo, Piazza della Signoria, Florence

Statue of David by Michelangelo, Piazza della Signoria, Florence





“The way that Hadrian took Antinous on his travels, kept close to him at moments of spiritual, moral or physical exaltation, and, after his death, surrounded himself with his images, shows an obsessive craving for his presence, a mystical-religious need for his company.”
-Royston Lambert


“He is David not only the killer of Goliath but David the lover of Jonathan. David, who says when Jonathan dies, ‘Your love to me was more beautiful than that of women.'”

– James Saslow







In modern times, some scholars, writers, and activists have emphasized what they interpret as elements of homoeroticism (chaste or otherwise) in the story. A number of groups made up of gay Roman Catholics trying to reconcile their faith with their sexuality have also adopted the name to their cause.ClickToLearnMoreButton

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Celebrating Women Directors

The world premiere of Andrea Meyerson’s film, Letter to Anita took place on Pride of the Ocean’s 5th Anniversary cruise from New York to Bermuda. The film went on to play numerous film festivals, winning Jury Awards and Audience Awards, but Pride of the Ocean passengers got to see it first.
Question & Answer session with “Letter to Anita” subject Ronni Sanlo and Director Andrea Meyerson following the world premiere screening on Pride of the Ocean
Pride of the Ocean’s 9th Anniversary cruise, from Barcelona to the Western Mediterranean, promises to be no exception, with what is promising to be the first screening of the final theatrical version of the film Clambake, Reflecting on the 30-Year History of Women’s Week in Provincetown. The pre-release version of Clambake has already screened and won Audience Awards at several festivals. Stay tuned for announcements of additional  screenings and premieres on our upcoming cruise.
Andrea joins a distinguished group of women directors who have charted the course of their films on Pride of the Ocean as they have screened their films as works in progress and held workshops to chart the path to the final cut of their finished films, which have gone on to screen on HBO, PBS’s Independent LensFramelineOutFest, and numerous other festivals, but we got to see it first, on Pride of the Ocean.

Yoruba Richen, Director of the film THE NEW BLACK at a Pride of the Ocean press conference

Cheryl Furjanic, Director of “Back on Board: Greg Louganis” at a Pride of the Ocean screening

Nancy Kates, director of the film Regarding Susan Sontag, treated passengers to a sneak peek of the work-in-progress film on Pride of the Ocean before it’s premiere on HBO.Nancy is perhaps best known for her film She is perhaps best known for her film Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, the documentary about the gay civil rights leader, for which she won the GLAAD Media Award.


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Visit Our LGBT Ancestors in Rome

Rome from the Capitoline Museum

One of the treasures of Rome, often overshadowed by the more famous sites in Rome, such as The Coliseum and The Vatican, is The Capitoline Museum, which houses some of the most exquisite ancient Roman marble sculptures, several of which may be of interest to the LGBT community.At the Capitoline Museum, is the Head of Harmodius. Aristogeiton & Harmodius  became famous as Lovers and Slayers of Tyrants.

Double Portrait of Epicurus and Metrodorus (c. 250 AD) Capitoline Museum, Rome

Psyche alata, 2nd century AD, Capitoline Museums, Rome

 While we can only speculate, it is known that Metrodorus was the most prominent disciple of Epicurus, with whom he shared an intimate friendship, and was rarely separated from him. After their deaths, a national holiday was created in their honor.A mythical creature that can be seen in many ancient cultures around the world is that of the fairy. Ancient Roman art has many depictions of fairy-like creatures, perhaps the most well known being that of Psyche, a human woman with butterfly wings.

Bust of Antinous (117-138 CE) Capitoline Museum, Rome

Antinous was a Greek youth and a favorite, or lover, of the Roman emperor Hadrian. He was deified after his death, being worshiped in both the Greek East and Latin West, sometimes as a god (theos) and sometimes merely as a deified mortal (heros).

Following his death, Hadrian deified Antinous and founded an organised cult devoted to his worship that spread throughout the Empire. Hadrian founded the city of Antinopolis close to Antinous’s place of death, which became a cultic centre for the worship of Osiris-Antinous. Hadrian also founded games in commemoration of Antinous to take place in both Antinopolis and Athens, with Antinous becoming a symbol of Hadrian’s dreams.

Antinous became associated with homosexuality in Western culture, appearing in the work of Oscar Wilde and the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa.

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See ancient LGBT works of art in Italy

John Scagliotti admiring a fresco of the bisexual poetess Sappho, rescued from Pompeii, hanging in in the Naples National Archaeological Museum

John Scagliotti admiring a fresco of the bisexual poetess Sappho, rescued from Pompeii, hanging in in the Naples National Archaeological Museum

Discover the missing pieces of the puzzle when you see the treasures housed at the Naples National Archeological Museum, visit Pompeii’s ruins, and learn of its history. Experience the “original pizza” in the city that boasts the world’s first pizzeria, dating back to 1830, and see the sites of Naples.

The Temple of Apollo in Pompeii

The Temple of Apollo in Pompeii

Travel along the coast with magnificent views of the Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius as a backdrop. This still active volcano buried Pompeii in 79 A.D.

Fresco of Sappho

Fresco of Sappho

Statues of Aristogeiton and Harmodius, "Lovers and Slayers of Tyrants" in the National Archeological Museum of Naples.

Statues of Aristogeiton and Harmodius, “Lovers and Slayers of Tyrants” in the National Archeological Museum of Naples.

The lovers Harmodius and Aristogeiton became
known as the Tyrannicides after they killed the Peisistratid tyrant Hipparchus. They were Athenian heroes whose act of daring in 514 BC opened the way for Athenian democracy.

Mosaic of Plato's Symposium

Mosaic of Plato’s Symposiu


At the ruins of Pompeii, you’ll discover the archeological excavations of a lost city buried deep beneath the ash from Mt. Vesuvius. Highlights include stunning frescoes and elaborately detailed

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Best of Alaska

Skagway, Alaska

Skagway, Alaska

In his New York Times article , George Gustines alludes to the fact that travel to exotic destinations is only made better by making friends along the way.

Greetings from the Celebrity Solstice®

Greetings from the Celebrity Solstice®

During our past 8 cruises, traveling the good company of Pride of the Ocean’s fellow passengers has not only engendered enduring friendships, both personal and professional, but has even resulted in several long-term romantic relationships along the way.

Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria, British Columbia

Pride of the Ocean’s 9th cruise, our first to Europe, promises to be no exception, but don’t take our word for it; the photographs of our 2015 Alaska cruise speak for themselves.

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens



Not only did we all become fast friends, but several of those friendships are deepening and continuing long after our return to Seattle from the awe inspiring sights of Alaska and British Columbia, including but not limited to, Tracy Arm Fjord, Butchart Gardens, Victoria, and our exclusive group excursion aboard the White Pass & Yukon Railroad from Skagway to the Yukon territory.

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Perk Up Your Ears for Perks!

Join Pride of the Ocean’s Alaska Cruise by May 10th and…


On The Celebrity Solstice®

Book your oceanview, veranda or suite by May 10th and Pick Your Perk*

  • FREE Beverage Package for two including wine, beer & spirits; valued at $110/day
  • FREE Pre-paid Gratuities for two; value of up to $30/day*
  • FREE $200 Onboard Credit per stateroom*
  • $400 per stateroom cruise savings when booked with ChoiceAir*



“The true delight of the trip was not the quality of the festival itself (the richness of Web content being developed was especially amazing) but the friends we made.”

George Gustines

The New York TimesExaminer4




“This is not just a cruise to Alaska. It’s a gay group cruise to Glacier Bay, and a great way to mix and mingle with other LGBT film lovers who may have missed the winning films and documentaries at local festivals around the country.”

Anthony Schillaci


And The Award Goes To…

Winners of Meet Me On Board’s 3rd annual CRUIZIE Awards


Best Large Ship Cruise Line for LGBT Passengers:


Most Comfortable Cabins:


Best Onboard Spa Facilities:


Best Overall Food Experience:


Please click here or on the button below to learn more about the itineraryexcursions, and activities planned for August 7-14, 2015 when Pride of the Ocean sets sail from Seattle to Alaska aboard The Celebrity Solstice®. There are several significant discounts currently available on our pricing page, or our cruise associate, Geisha Cumberbatch would be happy to guide you if you give her a call at (703) 389-4617, or email Geisha with questions at

Click to Learn More

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

But It’s Warm in the

Western Caribbean

Cold, dry, wintry winds
making you dream of a
Caribbean getaway?

The holiday season has just passed us by, and several months of bleak mid-winter are ahead of us. Come join Pride of the Ocean in the Western Caribbean, where the air is warm and moist, and the waters a turquoise blue. Cruise from Miami to the Western Caribbean aboard the Celebrity Reflection® from March 14 through March 21, 2015, with ports of call in CozumelGrand CaymanOcho Rios, and Labadee. Don’t miss this opportunity to give yourself or a loved one the perfect gift of a film festival cruise, escaping the winter blues. Reserve your dream getaway  for a special price, plus a complimentary gift in your stateroom when you make your reservation with your promotional code SOCIAL2015. What’s included in this 7-day 7-night cruise?


Above all, you’ll be in the company of smart and engaging people like you, who have been coming to Pride of the Ocean since 2009 for the unique experience of enjoying an ocean cruise together with much more than a film festival. In addition to our signature cocktail party, group dinners and group excursions, we have included a panel discussion on LGBT sports, and 3 exciting film programs. The centerpiece of the cruise will be a screening of the film, “Back on Board: Greg Louganis“, which can only be seen in film festivals, so if you haven’t yet, come see it with Pride of the Ocean and meet the film’s director, Cheryl Furjanic, who will be joining us on the cruise.

While on-line registration for this cruise has ended, cabins may still be available.

For pricing and availability, please call Geisha Cumberbatch at (703) 389-4617, or email Geisha at, and don’t forget to mention your promotional code SOCIAL2015.

In the meantime, learn more about our exciting ports of call below.

Saturday, Mar. 14th | Miami (EMBARK) | Depart 4:00 PM

MiamiSouth Florida’s exciting, international city is much more than the gateway to Latin America. It’s one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. With its world-renowned beaches, unrivaled nightlife, unique culinary experiences and Latin flavor, this is one place you’ll want to check out. Before departing from Miami, enjoy a tour that will highlight this exciting city.

Sunday, Mar. 15th | At Sea | Overnight | Overnight

At Sea 1Get to know the Celebrity Reflection as you enjoy its many amenities, spa treatments, delicious cuisine, and scintillating events during our overnight passage to Puerto Rico.

Monday, Mar. 16th | Cozumel, Mexico | Arrive 7:00 AM | Depart 4:00 PM

PuertoRicoThe Conquistadors first saw Mexico from the shores of Cozumel while searching for gold. Today, visitors to the island continue to seek out gold and silver jewelry in the shops of San Miguel while having a great time in its many local bars and restaurants. Plus, the waters around Cozumel’s sheltered coral reefs make this one of the best snorkeling areas in the world.

Tuesday, Mar. 17th | Grand Cayman | Arrive 10:00 AM | Depart 6:00 PM

Grand CaymanGeorge Town, Grand Cayman is one of a group of three magnificent tropical islands Christopher Columbus called “Las Tortugas” (the turtles) for the sea creatures he found in the ocean water. The designation did not endure, however, for on later maps the islands were labeled the Caimanau, the Carib Indian word for “crocodile.” The name “Caimanas” refers inaccurately to the iguanas native to the islands, which were perhaps at one point mistaken for crocodiles. Among other attractions, visitors to the island will enjoy learning about the turtles, visiting the town of Hell, exploring Seven-Mile Beach and enjoying the undersea world.

Wednesday, Mar. 18th | Ocho Rios, Jamaica | Arrive 8:00 AM | Depart 5:00 PM

JamaicaThe town of Ocho Rios, on Jamaica’s north coast, is edged with beautiful white-sand beaches and unbelievable landscapes. Contrary to popular belief, its name does not refer to “eight rivers,” the literal Spanish translation. It derives instead from the Spanish word “chorreras,” meaning “waterfalls,” of which Ocho Rios has many – including the famous and spectacular Dunn’s River Falls.

Thursday, Mar. 19th | Labadee, Haiti | Arrive 10:00 AM | Depart 5:00 PM

Only Royal Caribbean can take you to the private beach destination of Labadee. Our private paradise sits on the north coast of Haiti, surrounded by beautiful mountain slopes and exotic foliage. This exclusive destination offers pristine beaches, breathtaking scenery, incredible thrills and spectacular water activities. Regardless of where you go, you’ll find yourself embraced by the beautiful landscape. Labadee’s native charm, along with its natural beauty, make this a destination not to be missed. It’s impossible to choose just one thing that’s special about Labadee. The inviting beach, coral reefs and exciting amenities provide a perfect place to relax and have fun.

Friday, Mar. 20th | At Sea | Overnight

Get creative on the Celebrity Reflection. The Art Studio, our new venue on The Lawn Club, is home to two Master Artists from The ArtCenter/South Florida. They’ll host interactive classes and hands-on demonstrations in jewelry making, beading, sketching, painting, even drink mixology, culinary lessons, taste tests and chef-prepared dinners..

Saturday, Mar. 21st | Miami, FL | Arrive 7:00 AM | Disembarkation

MiamiTake a colorful tour to the world-famous Art-Deco District of South Beach. Then head to Brickell Avenue, the financial heart of Miami. Your tour takes you to the bohemian village of Coconut Grove and its lush vegetation. Finally, a drive through Coral Gables will take you past the Biltmore Hotel, the Venetian Pool and Miracle Mile.


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