FREAKISHLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Questions about GothCruise

Click on the Booking menu at the top of this page for prices, itinerary and booking information. If you’ve done all that already and just want to know who to call, here’s the info you need:

Ronald “Chappy” Chapman
Group Account Executive
Cruises Only
cchapman@wth.com
888-969-4768 Option 1 Ext 77308
www.cruisesonly.com
Monday -Friday 9am-6pm

If you want to book a suite or add a 3rd or 4th person to your cabin, contact Chappy at Cruises Only. See below for his contact information. Ocean View, Balcony cabins, and suites require a full deposit of $300 per person at the time of reservation.

Ronald “Chappy” Chapman
Group Account Executive
Cruises Only
cchapman@wth.com
888-969-4768 Option 1 Ext 77308
www.cruisesonly.com
Monday -Friday 9am-6pm

The Original GothCruise is an organized group vacation in which like-minded sp00ky folks get together, book cabins on the same ship and have fun. The idea behind GothCruise was formed at a room party at Convergence, the annual party run by and for members of the alt.gothic online communities. During the party, the question came up “Where is the most unlikely place you would find a goth?” Everyone agreed; the answer was “a Caribbean cruise.” In that moment the challenge was made. In the year that followed, the very first GothCruise in history was organized and a legend was born.

We are a group of friends and friends-to-be going on vacation together and you are welcome to join us. The Original GothCruise is 100% Do-It-Yourself (with booking help from the professionals at CruisesOnly.) We don’t advertise in glossy magazines (although we do get interviewed by them) or have major corporate sponsors. Advertising for our cruise is largely via word-of-mouth and chatter on various Internet and Facebook communities. GothCruise aims to be a “drama-free zone” and is primarily comprised of goth and goth-friendly working professionals (aka CorpGoths) in their late 20’s and older.

So however you got here, we’re glad you found us! We hope you decide join the fun.

The Original GothCruise tradition has carried on through ten previous voyages. We even have pictures to prove it! See the history page for pictures of our prior cruises and past itineraries.

Here’s some places where we’ve appeared in print:

Washington Post:
GOTH AT 40: THE ENDURING APPEAL OF BLEAKNESS AND BLACK LIPSTICK

Porthole Magazine:
JOIN THE CLUB- GOTH CRUISES

Frommer’s:
MUSIC CRUISES 2010: DARK AND SCARY EDITION

Absolutely not!

Whether you’re a Geek, Freak, Punk, Hippie, Gamer, Raver, Graver, Ren-rat, Cosplayer, Biker, Emo, Steampunk, Trekkie, Whovian, Jedi, Norm or anything else you are most welcome to join us. We like everyone, no matter who you are and no matter what you wear.

(I was going to try to attempt a comprehensive list of subcultures, but I realized it would be out of date the second I hit the publish button.)

Yup! We have a number group-only events planned:

Pre-cruise Dinner: For those folks that arrive in Seattle early, we’ll have a gathering of cruise-bound folks at a local gathering place. We’ll have more details as we get closer to cruise day.

The Meet ‘n’ Greet: (Sail-Away Day) Pick up your laminate and have your first fruity rum drink. Meet old friends and make new ones. This is the best way to get to know the folks with whom you’re spending the next 7 nights.

Formal Dance and Costume Party: We usually have two private parties aboard the ship, with our own DJs and music. This year’s party themes will embrace the legends of the Old West and the mysterious forests of the Pacific Northwest.

Game Nights: Break out the dice, cards, game boards and score sheets. If you bring it, chances are you’ll find someone to play it with you. At lease one night is set aside for game play.

Our fourteenth voyage is taking us to the Pacific Northwest; a land of forests, legends and ghost towns. The theme of this year’s cruise embodies all of those things.

Gather ’round, my children. It’s story time.
Legends tell of a dark forest, deep and full of secrets.  Its name has changed over time and many tellings. Nowadays it’s known as Ghostwood. In the forest dwell mythical creatures who protect its mysteries.  One of the mysteries they guard is a town in the center of the forest inhabited by spectres and shades of the Old West. Many folks believe that the forest is evil, but I don’t believe that’s true. I believe Ghostwood and its dwellers are what they are and folks are lured there by their own demons. But even so, every once in a while, written on an old faded postcard, a message  is found at the edge of the forest and all it says is,
Greetings from Ghostwood.

Check out the About Us page to learn more about the folks who are behind the Original GothCruise
CruisesOnly is America’s Largest Professional Cruise Agency, not a small-time operator. They have been around for over twenty years, crafting cruise vacations for groups big and small. CruisesOnly provides us with booking, email invoicing, payment reminders and a team of cruise specialists who are waiting to take your calls and answer your questions.

Very early on, we found that organizing a group cruise is not a part-time job nor something you can do from your mom’s basement. We needed someone to handle the communications to the cruise line and the ship for us, to take the bookings and take on the issues that can arise. Someone to be there 24/7 with the professional customer service that is essential to a successful cruise experience. Someone who’s booked group cruises so many times that they can do it with their hands tied behind their backs in their sleep. The choice was obvious: CruisesOnly.

Our group coordinator, Ronald “Chappy” Chapman, is a true professional and he has been working with us since GothCruise 7. He “gets” us and what our group is all about. Chappy and CruisesOnly have stood behind our group on all occasions and helped us out of some tight situations, always with a positive, supportive and professional attitude. Can you say the same about your agent?

CruisesOnly loves the Original GothCruise and we love CruisesOnly. Their website is here: http:/www.cruisesonly.com

Of course! We love it when folks get involved. Information about GothCruise is, and always will be, spread by word-of-mouth or word of Internet. We do not advertise in glossy magazines nor do we seek corporate sponsorships. So this is where we need your help. GothCruise survives because of people like you, who want to go on a low-stress, low-budget cruise to interesting places with interesting people. Tell your friends! Invite them to join our Facebook Community, Original GothCruisers or send them our GothCruise 14 event invite.
Yes. Bow to us, we are famous.

Seriously, we’d like to thank Jeanie Finlay (and TigerLily Films) for choosing to use The Original GothCruise and our friends as inspiration for the beautiful movie she created. Congratulations on the successful IFC run of the movie and we hope even greater things are waiting just around the corner. (Keep your eye on the IFC program schedule as GothCruise the Movie pops up there from time to time. http://www.ifc.com/videos/goth-cruise Or better yet, get the DVD.)

We can think of no better way to show what the true enduring spirit of this thing called Goth and our humble GothCruise are all about. For more information about the movie and DVD release, go here: http://www.tigerlilyproductions.com/gothcruise

You can expect round-the-clock food, a wide selection of shipboard entertainment and a few GothCruise exclusive functions. There will be numerous chances to see shows, gamble in the casino, shop in the duty free shops and partake of other ship activities.

As our group only makes up a small percentage of the ship, you should be prepared to interact with a variety of non-goth people and should dress appropriately for a public setting. There will be a formal night in the main dining room on at least one night of the cruise. If you choose not to dress for formal night (tie and shirt for men, nice dress or suit for ladies), you may eat in one of the alternate venues.

As long as you are appropriately dressed and acting in a reasonably mature fashion, it is unusual to receive a severely negative reaction. A strange look here or there was the most we encountered. More often than not, people seem curious as to what our group is all about and who we are.

The few problems we had on past cruises have come from people who were dressed in questionable fetish gear, had difficulties dealing with “Norms”, or were extremely drunk. If you are made uncomfortable by interacting with non-goth people in a confined environment, then perhaps GothCruise is not the vacation for you.

No. The rest of the passengers will be made up of couples, families with children, other groups, retirees, etc. You will be interacting with normal folks on the cruise and expected to act responsibly. We are all adults and essentially ambassadors for our scene.
A cruise is similar to a vacation in an all-inclusive resort. Most of your dining and entertainment is included in the price of your cabin. However, there are options for both which incur additional fees.

Check out the Royal Caribbean website for complete info about what you can expect. http://www.royalcaribbean.com/allaboutcruising/home.do

Overall, our experience all our cruises has been generally positive. On all occasions our group definitely ‘stood out’. Many of the other passengers are friendly and curious. By the end of the cruise we will hear comments like, “Your group is a lot of fun.” and “We want to be part of your group!” On GC2, we even were more fun than 600 Lynn University Freshmen. Their Dean of Students ended up hanging out at our dances. On GothCruise 10, Captain Rick Sullivan attended one of our events and even busted a move or two.Most recently on GothCruise 12, Captain Marek Slaby was intigued by our group and hung out with us at our Future Noir dance.
Yes there will be sun. You are certainly entitled to shun the sun. We find that the people who most enjoy the cruise are those in the scene who aren’t terrified by the ‘daystar’ and/or are comfortable using “Goth Block” (SPF 30,001) to keep from getting an embarrassing tan. Many of the regular activities and the shore excursions happen during the day and outdoors. Typical day wear consists of comfortable clothes and it’s rare to see the PVC or the velvet come until our special events or dinner. This is vacation after all and you aren’t expected to be uncomfortable 24/7.
You’re on vacation.  If you absolutely don’t want to wear anything more than shorts and t-shirts, you can go to the buffet. You can dress casually there. However, in most of the alternate or theme restaurants, people tend to dress up.

On most cruises there’s at least one formal night. For the formal night, in the main dining room, men are asked to wear a button-down shirt, tie, and sport jacket and women should wear a nice skirt set. These are minimums. There will be people in cocktail dresses and tuxedos. The rest of the cruise, business casual is acceptable for the main dining room

Yes, yes, that’s all well and good, but remember we are only a small percentage of people on a 2,000+ guest ship. Please keep that in mind when selecting attire for the cruise. It is quite possible to dress “goth” and be appropriately attired for our setting.

Gals, a lovely corset and gown would be stunning on formal night. Guys, feel free to dress your best: a button down shirt, with kilts, nice leather pants, or your finest fop-wear are all acceptable. While you may encounter a few turned heads, it is rare that anyone will actually say anything.

Check out the pictures on our website, our facebook group, and various other places around the web to get an idea of what we’re talking about.

*sigh* Outfits that are most suited to fetish nights, play clubs, and the like could result in unwanted negative attention on the cruise. Please use discretion when thinking about wearing more risqué garb. In other words, please keep your private stuff private. Your electrical tape bikini is probably not the best choice for this event. We would hate for anyone’s vacation to be ruined by a rude encounter or wardrobe malfunction.
We are all over the place!

Facebook:

The Original GothCruisers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OriginalGothCruisers/
(This is the most active community and a great way to find out new information.)

GothCruise Page: https://www.facebook.com/gothcruise

GothCruise Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/gothcruise

Twitter:

Follow us here: http://twitter.com/GothCruise

LiveJournal:

LJ Community Page: http://community.livejournal.com/gothcruise/

YahooGroups:

YahooGroup Mailing List: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gothcruise/

You can post for a roommate to any of the online GothCruise community. Usually you can find someone who is also looking for a roomie for the cruise.
GothCruise is 100% DIY. People who come on the cruise form the pool of volunteers from which DJs and performers are chosen. In order to keep costs low for everyone, DJs and performers are part of the group and must provide their own passage. No performers are compensated for their services and we do not sponsor performers nor do we give them discounts. Our cruise is not set up for full band concert-type performances. However, if you are coming on the cruise, are in a band, and would like to perform acoustically, we would be happy to look into obtaining a space for you to play.

If you are cruising with us and would like to lend your talents to entertaining your fellow cruisers, contact Lori at gothcruise@gothcruise.com to volunteer.

Since our dance and event times aren’t solidified yet, more information will be provided on DJ selection when the sail date is closer and our specific events confirmed.

No. GothCruise is all about you and your vacation and making sure it’s one of the best most memorable ones you’ve ever had. GothCruise is a gathering of like-minded friends and friends-to-be traveling together on an organized group vacation.

Questions About Cruising

The Royal Caribbean family of cruise lines have been our choice since GothCruise 3 due to amenities that veteran GothCruisers have come to enjoy. Large ships, nice cabins, good food, and better overall service are the reasons we keep going back. This year’s vessel, The Serenade of the Seas, offers alternate dining options which are not available on other cruise lines. Since we don’t jump from cruise line to cruise line, many GothCruisers have been able to enjoy the perks provided by being long standing members of the Crown and Anchor loyal club. Plus, you get a rock-climbing wall and a slightly less cheesy atmosphere.
The majority of your costs for the cruise are included in the cabin fare. However, you should budget additional money for gratuities and spending money for extras such as souvenirs, excursions, drinks, etc. The additional cruise costs can easily equal the cost of your cruise fare, unless you are careful. In reality, you can expect to spend a minimum $50 a day per person on incidentals – such as alcoholic drinks or sodas, souvenirs, excursions, shopping in port, etc. Our advice is to budget yourself ahead of time. Also, travel to Seattle is not included and should also be budgeted.
Yes. It takes 6-8 weeks to get a passport. Information can be found here http://travel.state.gov/passport/
Basically, you need to be 21. If you are under 21, you must be traveling with your spouse or a parent or legal guardian over the age of 25. Royal Caribbean’s age policy is located here.
Yes. As long as you follow Royal Caribbean’s age policy, baby-bats are welcome on GothCruise. Royal Caribbean’s age policy is located here.
Many GothCruisers arrive in the port city the day before we sail and fly out the day after we return to port. This is highly recommended because it removes the worry of canceled or delayed flights. If you can’t do that, try to arrive in Seattle as early on cruise day as you can. Plan your departure flight for as late as you can on the day we return to port.
We recommend that people arrive at the Port after 11am. Boarding can start as early as 12pm, but rarely starts much before then. Have a nice late breakfast in Seattle and then head over to the port. You will be able to have lunch aboard the ship. If enough people are interested and staying in the same hotel, we may be able to arrange group transportation to the port.
PRO TIP: Pay attention to the email you receive from Cruises Only and Royal Caribbean. They will let you know when you can check in online. Checking in online will expedite your boarding effort on sailing day.
Cancellations 60 or more days before we sail will receive a complete refund, minus the non-refundable fees. After this, your cancellation charge will be based on Royal Caribbean’s schedule:

Days to Departure Charges Per Person (not including non-refundable fees)

  • 60+ – No additional charges
  • 59-43 – Deposit amount
  • 42-29 – 50% of total price (taxes & fees excluded)*
  • 28-15 – 75% of total price (taxes & fees excluded)*
  • 14 or less – No refund except for taxes and fees

Guests may bring personal wine and champagne onboard only on boarding day, limited to two (2) 750 ml bottles per stateroom. When consumed in any public area, each bottle shall be subject to a corkage fee of $25.00. Alcoholic beverages that are purchased in ports of call or from onboard shops will be stored by the ship and delivered to guest staterooms on the last day of the sailing. Security may inspect containers (water bottles, soda bottles, mouthwash, luggage etc.) and will dispose of containers holding alcohol. Royal Caribbean’s Guest Conduct Policy may be enforced, up to and including disembarkation, if a guest violates any alcohol policy. Guests under the age of 21 will not have alcohol returned to them.

http://www.royalcaribbean.com/customersupport/faq/lifeOnboardFaq.do

Starting in 2008, RCCL instituted a new smoking policy. Read and weep below:

“For the comfort and enjoyment of our guests, our ships are designated as non-smoking; however, we recognize that some of our guests smoke. Therefore, to provide an onboard environment that also satisfies smokers, we have designated certain public and private areas of the ship as smoking areas.”

Every meal will have a vegetarian offering. Other special diets such as Food Allergies, Gluten-free, Indian Vegetarian (except for Vegan, Lacto-ovo Vegan), Lactose intolerance, Kosher, etc. can often be accommodated at no extra charge. If you have a special dietary need that you need met, please let our agent know when you make your reservation. In many cases Royal Caribbean requests a 4 or 6 week advance notice. For more specific information regarding menus, please see the Royal Caribbean website
RoyalCaribbeanOnline allows guests to access e-mail and the Internet for a small fee. For more info on your options, click here to see the Royal Caribbean Internet FAQ.
Rough seas are always possible and even the biggest boats can rock and roll. There are a number of remedies available for the sufferer.

Some options:

[disclaimer – We are not doctors and we are not giving you medical advice, so there.]
  • Ginger: Ginger is good for calming stomachs. While probably not appropriate for true seasickness sufferers, it can help those who experience minor or occasional bouts. Ginger has almost no side effects and makes a tasty addition to your beverage.
  • Wristbands: Acupuncture wristbands are popular and you’ll see many on board wearing them. You can also apparently apply the pressure yourself and save yourself the $$, if you know where to press. They also have the added advantage of not causing side effects. Except, perhaps, to give you a tan line.
  • Dramamine: the old standby. Obviously, this is a tried-and-true remedy for motion sickness. Essentially an anti-histamine, the main side effect is drowsiness. If you know you’re going to get seasick, pop some *before* you get on the boat. It’s best not to drink while on these, as well.
  • “The Patch:” a patch that delivers medication to you over an extended period of time. Only available from your doctor. Side effects are pretty nasty and can include blurred vision, dry mouth, etc. Also, you should not drink alcohol while on the patch. It is said that the patch is the best option for those who have a known issue with seasickness.
Northern Hemisphere Hurricane Season is from June to November, but predicting hurricanes months in advance is nigh impossible. That said, late season hurricanes are rare. Royal Caribbean will keep an eye on the weather and adjust appropriately. Generally, cruise ships will steer clear of any storms and may stay at sea for an extra day to let the storm pass.
Go to the Royal Caribbean website at http://www.royalcaribbean.com and check out their frequently asked questions.
Feel free to post your question to one of the online communities or send it to gothcruise@gothcruise.com

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