Nobody likes to travel with a diva. But in the case of the "Drag Stars at Sea" cruise, sailing from Miami in December, approximately 1,000 passengers will be signing up to do just that.
Travel site AlandChuck.travel, based in Sarasota, Florida, is packing nearly 40 past contestants in RuPaul's Drag Race history onto the Carnival Glory. They'll be setting sail from Miami en route to The Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Turks and Caicos -- with plenty of hair, heels, and attitude along the way.
AlandChuck.travel's National Brand Manager Peter Aguas talked to us about the shows, the queens, and why you won't be spotting LaTrice Royale working it in the pool.
New Times: So this is the second "Drag Stars at Sea" cruise?
Aguas: The first one was back in March. We had 10 performers participate in it, and it was all kinds of fun. But the cruise in December is the first time we'll be featuring nearly 40 of the entertainers since season one.
Your phone system says the cruise is in high demand.
It looks like may be sold out. We have over 1,000 guests confirmed. But with these types of trips, a lot of people book early, and a lot of people wait until the last second. With the announcement of the All Star cast, and also the fact that season five contestants will be announced as well before the cruise, we expect that it will gain momentum and spark interest again.
Who's the typical "Drag Stars at Sea" traveler?
We have everything. On the cruise that went in March, we had families, we had straight couples, we had young gay guys, older gay couples. We ran the gamut as far as demographics on the cruise.... People want to go rub shoulders with their favorite entertainer.
And there will be other cruise passengers on the ship too, who aren't there for "Drag Stars," right?
Yes, it's basically a cruise withhin a cruise. But all our events are ticketed events; they're not open to the general population. At our shows in the theater, which sits 1,400, you'll be banded at the door. But in March, we had a smaller group, about 300 to 400 passengers in the entire group. And everybody got along fabulously. What was really interesting was that the crew requested to take their time off to sit down and enjoy the shows. They decided, "No, I'm not going to take my lunch hour because I want leave to go to the theater tonight."
The cruise passenger stereotype is conservative and Midwestern. Have there been any funny, awkward interactions between the stars and unsuspecting cruisers?
Not really. The entertainers are non-threatening ... and they're all extremely professional. When they're not performing, for the most part, they're not all dressed up, so you couldn't tell one person from another aboard the ship. [And] Carnival ... draws guests from every corner of the world.
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On our first trip in March, we went to Cozumel and had a beach party. We went to Roatan in Honduras, and all the entertainers out of drag went and learned native dancing. You're basically traveling with the stars; you get to know them and relate to them off-stage in their non-drag personas.
Aw, man. We had visions of LaTrice Royale getting fabulous in the pool.
If all that padding got wet, they'd never get out of the pool! LaTrice said, "Gurl, if I fell in the pool, the pool would be empty because all my pads would soak up the water!"
Do the drag queens get a special luggage allowance for all the pads and makeup?
Let me put it to you this way: It's not just the performers that overpack. But as for the Drag Stars, the ship porters are on "red alert."