Considering the journey on the first ever Sweet Cruise was bookended with a hurricane and then a quarantine, this was still the best time ever! Since my writing style is generally snarky and sarcastic, it's hard to find the words to describe just how lovely this entire adventure was. Even with the hurricane and the flu epidemic, no one complained and everyone was in good spirits. There were so many lesbians from all over the world, and everyone was so friendly, you could literally just strike up a conversation with anyone anywhere.
The first day, the ladies all congregated in what I call "Tribes" - the groups that would travel together the rest of the journey. All day, every day, we could sit on beaches together, gamble in the casino, go "zip lining" (you guessed it, I passed on that one), dance in one of the dance halls, and meander around the decks.
In addition, there were panels every day on subjects like Women-Owned Businesses and our Equal Rights, with prestigious panelists from our community, along with meet and greets in all areas of business.
One of the main goals of this trip, however, was bringing lesbian volunteerism into the communities we visited. Since we are fighting for our lives with equal rights in the areas of marriage and Don't Ask, Don't Tell - the concept of bringing visibility to the masses was really embraced by co-founder Shannon Wentworth, who organized volunteer missions at each one of our stops.
Check out this video of the the volunteer excursions and I dare you not to cry!
Did you cry? I wept seeing this!
With all the incredible talent we had on board, I took the opportunity to have a staged celebrity reading of one of my lesbian feature films in development, The Road To Dinah. Here's a quick little clip starring Erin Foley and Nicol Paone (with Gloria Bigelow):
For all you people out there who came up to me offering to invest in the film, now would be the time to contact me!
And here we are all happy and carefree just a few hours before we hit Hurricane Ida full force:
That first night, most of the ship was violently ill as the captain steered our ship in insanely rocky waters as far away from Hurricane Ida as possible. Many others - like myself - managed to stay relatively fine, but still were up all night wondering how much worse it was going to get. Then, the few smart ones, downed a bunch of drugs, passed-out and managed to sleep through it.
I don't want to name names (Gloria Bigelow) but I have it on good authority that a few of the women were on the phone to their financial advisors around 3 am trying to cash-in their IRA's in order to rent a helicopter to come out and air-lift them off the boat.
As one of my friends put it, that first night was very much a scene from Titanic, only instead of the violins on deck playing Nearer My God To Thee, it was Lady Gaga blaring loudly through the speakers to the tune of Just Dance.