Have Dinner in Marseille with Stu Maddux & Reel in the Closet




Stu Maddux is a multi-award winning filmmaker with international credits trying to use his powers for good. Sometimes he gets butterflies in his stomach about something that no one is paying attention to and he knows he should document it.

His preceding film, “Gen Silent” is a widely used documentary about Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender older people hiding their lives to survive discrimination, bullying and abuse in aging care.

Stu’s first documentary as an independent filmmaker was the critically-acclaimed “Bob and Jack’s 52-Year Adventure” about an Army sergeant who began an affair with his commanding officer in 1952. The two men came out to the troops in their unit and are still together a half-century later.

Stu Maddux will be screening his latest documentary on Pride of the Ocean’s 2016 European cruise. Click on the button below to learn how you can join him.

Stay tuned to meet our other Pride of the Ocean 2016 filmmakers and films!


Stu Maddux’s “Reel In The Closet” is a feature-length documentary that lets us connect with LGBT people from the past through the rare LGBT home movies that they left for us.


Stu was searching for a way to really understand the people who came before him, not just read about them. He discovered old home movies dating back to the 1930s in closets and attics around the world. There were also recorded news stories and community productions that they left behind.

Stu spent three years making his documentary that he hopes lets you feel how he felt the first time he saw one of these movies.

But a big part of the story for Stu isn’t the few movies that have been saved but all the ones being thrown out- sometimes on purpose. In a decade, most will be destroyed or no longer playable.

We will never get them back.



Greetings from the Celebrity Solstice®

Greetings from the Celebrity Solstice®

In his New York Times article below, author 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®
During our past 8 cruises, traveling in 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




“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 Times




Examiner4“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




We hope you’ll consider joining the 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. Past passengers have included everyone from cruise aficionados, to film enthusiasts, to people who simply like to travel.


Everyone at Pride of the Ocean
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Copyright © 2016 Pride of the Ocean, All rights reserved.


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The Secret to Skipping the Long Lines at the Uffizi Museum

“A hapless line of tourists…wearily enduring a two-hour wait before…Italy’s most celebrated art museum.”

says The Guardian in their article about the Uffizi Museum in Florence. Don’t be a hapless tourist! Add Pride of the Ocean’s private escorted tour of the Uffizi Museum to your cruise and spend your time with the once-in-a-lifetime Renaissance works of art, that cannot be seen anywhere else.
The Uffizi Museum in Florence
In our previous newsletter, we showed but a few of the subjects depicted in the many  works of art that you will see in personduring our tour of the Uffizi Museum, but which will also be  featured in greater depth in the upcoming documentary film, Before Homosexuals.
Bust of Hadrian, Uffizi Museum
Bust of Antinous, Uffizi Museum
Guests on our 2016 Western Mediterranean cruise will not only be treated to a sneak peek of the entire unfinished work-in-progress Before Homosexuals film,  where they will see and hear the stories not only of Hadrian and Antinous (pictured above), but also of many others as well. Several scholars who researched and discovered those stories, not only appear in the film, but will be accompanying our guests on the cruise.

“The Uffizi has so many masterpieces, it is surprising there are not frequent cases of …visitors fainting at the sight of such overwhelming beauty”

Sleeping Hermaphroditus, Uffizi Museum
also says The Guardian in their article, and they’re not alone. To be able to see one of the greatest art museums in the world, the tour of the Uffizi alone is a small price to pay to experience these extraordinary works of art during your stay in Florence; however, the incredible art and architecture continues for the entirety of our journey, including ports of call in BarcelonaRomeCannes and Marseille. With cabins starting at $954.43 per persondouble occupancy for 7 days & 7 nights, you’d be hard pressed to find a better time to visit Europe.Have questions about the tour or the cruise? Prefer to speak with someone directly? Feel free to chat with our cruise representative Geisha Cumberbatch at (703) 389-4617, or email Geisha with questions at g.cumberbatch@cruiseone.com.
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A New Year’s Wish for You in 2016



Celebrate in Rome!

Apollo and Hyacinth (above), and your friends at Pride of the Ocean (below), would like to wish you a glorious, rewarding and productive New Year, and invite you to join them in Europe in 2016.


Celebrate Pride month in 2016 by raising a glass in Rome to our Roman gay and lesbian ancestors on the 47th anniversary year of Stonewall.

We hope you’ll take a moment to consider joining us on our Western Mediterranean cruise in June 2016, visiting BarcelonaNaplesRomeFlorenceCannes, and Marseille for 7 days and 7 nights. We’ll have some great foodgreat films, and will see some amazing sights for less than you might think.


Your Friends at Pride of the Ocean




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Don We Now Our Gay Apparel

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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