What really happens on nude cruises? Insider Report
Monday, February 05, 2007
Thanks to a wireless Internet connection aboard the ship, nudist traveler Mike has been able to share news about the vacation of a lifetime. Yesterday Mike told us about the first day on the cruise as hundreds of nudists watched the Superbowl together.
Mike and fellow nudists continue to have a great time. Mike bestows upon us insights as to what the atmosphere is like, how friendships are made, how nudists come in all shapes and sizes (the requirement of having a perfect body is a myth about nudism), and how the day's activities are going.
"Aboard The M/S Holland America Maasdam - in the Caribbean Sea 180nm south of Haiti (February 5, 2007) -- An hour of Sunday morning was spent waiting in line with dozens of our shipmates on the M/S Maasdam queuing to book our cabins for the next large-ship mid-winter cruise chartered by Bare Necessities. The M/S Carnival Legend will sail February 8-15, 2009, from and to Tampa, FL, with ports of call at Key West, FL, Montego Bay, Jamaica and our favorite, Cozumel, Mexico. Legend was the largest nude ship charter ever when BNT&T took her out in February, 2005, and the 2009 cruise has been dubbed the Homecoming Cruise--BNT&T hoping to attract as many former clients for that 16th annual mid-winter cruise as possible.
During the wait in line, it was easy to strike up conversations with our future fellow Legend shipmates. The Maasdam is our tenth nude cruise in the past 13 years, and so we have actually spent many weeks aboard various ships with many of our Maasdam shipmates -- more time together, indeed, than we've spent with our own relatives! And as is usual among nudists, names and hometowns are quickly exchanged, faces recognized from past vacations together, and friendships made and recalled from all our shared weeks afloat.
Claiming a repeat passenger rate of 70%-plus on this cruise like many other nude charters, Bare Necessities owners Tom and Nancy have certainly made millions by catering to an under-served and upscale clientele. The attraction of nude cruising is obvious for anyone who has tried it: carefree days at sea without the bother of clammy bathing costumes; warm sun by day and plenty of indoor activities by night among hundreds or thousands of other like-minded, easy-going folks aboard a floating, mobile city of comfort and entertainment.
Nudity without shame or pretension, with people from all walks of life, all shapes and sizes, all stages of fitness and infirmity, all sharing their mutual love of freedom and body acceptance.
It's equally easy to meet and make friends with a physicist, a firefighter, a schoolteacher or a SCUBA instructor on a nude cruise. That is one of the most pleasant attributes we have found within nudism: it is the great leveler of background, income, education and other usually stratifying markers of social life, all of which fall off with the clothes. You meet and enjoy people for their person- hood, not their wealth or social standing.
We make our push to Bonaire today and tonight at a steady 19 knots, arriving in Kralendijk early on Tuesday morning for a day at port on this tropical desert island. Bonaire boasts some of the finest SCUBA diving sites in the hemisphere, and we are part of a "buff diving" group of 14 Maasdam passengers who have chartered a one-tank afternoon nude SCUBA dive on Klein Bonaire, the small deserted out-island a short boat ride from the downtown pier.
Before then, we are enjoying another glorious day at sea with warm temperatures, sunny skies and a fabulous ship to enjoy. Dinner for us tonight is in the fancy Pinnacle restaurant, a birthday gift to us from friends who are sailing along with us from Dallas. We shall dress for dinner, the first time we have not been nude since after our first dinner aboard Saturday night just after leaving Florida. A few changes of clothes go a long way on a nude cruise!"
Wow! Sounds like a great time! The 70% repeat visitor rate boasts well for the future of nudist cruises. I hope this is a growing trend.
Packing a suitcase for a vacation like this must be different. I can picture the headlines now: "Nudist suitcase full of sunscreen causes airport security delay."
Speaking of Bonaire... For those nudist travelers who are unable to do a nudist cruise, in a bay on the eastern side of Bonaire is Sorobon Beach Naturist Resort. This charming place is perfect for people happy to have a lot of quiet time while on vacation in the warm Caribbean.