Carnival Cruises Apologizes, Reverses Drag Ban on Drag Queen Cruise
Facing a growing backlash after telling passengers who were set to sail on a themed cruise featuring cast members from RuPaul's Drag Race that they themselves could not wear drag, Carnival Cruise Lines has now relented and dropped the drag ban.
Here's the letter directly from Carnival's president and CEO Gerry Cahill:
Within the last 24 hours, we became aware of a miscommunication between Carnival Cruise Lines and AlandChuck.travel, who have booked a large special interest group on the upcoming Carnival Glory cruise departing December 2, 2012.
The group, "Drag Stars at Sea," includes several performances by stars from Logo TV as part of a series of private events onboard. When the group was presented to us we were advised that only the performers would be dressed in drag during the private events. However, we are now aware that this was not clearly communicated to members of the group and therefore anyone who wishes to dress in drag may do so. Please keep in mind that our safety and security procedures require guests to present government-issued ID, and to be recognizably that person.
At Carnival, we are proud to carry more than 4.5 million guests every year and we welcome them all aboard. We do not practice any form of discrimination against the LGBT or any other community. We sincerely apologize for the miscommunication and for any unintended offense we have caused.
Given this misunderstanding, anyone on this cruise who wishes to cancel for any reason may do so and will receive a full refund of their cruise fare, as well as reimbursement for any non-refundable travel related expenses.
We constantly strive to provide our guests with a fun and memorable vacation. We look forward to welcoming everyone onboard Carnival Glory and again want to apologize for the misunderstanding and for any offense we have caused.
President and CEO
Carnival Cruise Lines
The Drag Stars at Sea cruise is set to depart from the Port of Miami on December 2. The event features dozens of cast members from the popular reality show who will be performing in private events restricted to people who booked through the gay-owned travel agency Al and Chuck Travel, but participants will be traveling alongside regular cruise ship passengers.
Before the cruise, Carnival sent out a letter informing passengers that they themselves could not wear drag. At first it seemed that Carnival was afraid they may upset families also aboard the cruise, but then Al and Chuck Travel informed passengers that the "no costume rule" was adopted after 9/11. Of course, angry passengers quickly discovered that Carnival has hosted Halloween cruises where passengers were free to dress up in costume.
With a mess like that on their hands, it's no wonder Carnival has since relented.
Now, let's return to more important drag queen-related talk... like how about Raven got robbed last night.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.