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Diatribe: Would You Book A Cruise To A Nation Where You Are Not Welcome?


I’ve travelled quite a bit but I’ve never been on a cruise.  Everyone I know who has ever taken a cruise says it was wonderful and that I “must” go on a cruise some day soon.  There’s just something overwhelming about the experience that has prevented me from participating.  First and foremost, cruises can be quite expensive.  It seems to me that if “Cruise Pricing 101” was taught in junior colleges across the nation, all the seats would be filled.  Window, no window, deck, interior room, exterior, all-inclusive, ala carte, time of year, destination … I’m certain that all of the many options were designed to give customers the most opportunities to customize their trips as they see fit but, for me, it’s overwhelming.

There are so many cruise lines from which to choose and so many destinations as well.  Once a decision is finally made, tickets for the cruise are purchased (as well as airfare and transportation to the originating port), additional excursions and, Heaven forbid, a cocktail or two, it’s no wonder that for many this is a once-in-a-lifetime voyage.

Imagine how disgusted you might be if, after all the planning and anticipation of your trip, you learned at the last minute that your ship would not be docking at a scheduled port of call.  Not because of weather or other unforeseen circumstances, but because the ship was carrying same-sex couples.

Last weekend, passengers onboard a RSVP Vacations Mediterranean cruise did not make a scheduled top in Casablanca, Morocco because the ship’s permission to dock was revoked … presumably because it was carrying gays.  Morocco’s tourism minister denied the claim, stating “We don’t ban cruise ships here and we never ask our visitors about their sexual preferences.”

“Our port agent in Casablanca has advised us that authorities in Morocco have – despite previous confirmations – now denied our scheduled visit.” – Letter to Passengers from Cruise Line

As consumers, particularly when it comes to travel, we must be resilient and flexible as circumstances change and peculiar situations present themselves.  Morocco, however, has a long history of hostility toward homosexuals so the cruise line and RSVP Vacations were surely aware that their passengers would not be welcome in this particular port before the first ticket was sold.  This ship was, in accordance with local laws, delivering criminals.

Why then do gay travelers choose to spend their hard-earned vacation dollars on a cruise of this nature?  I assume it’s because they don’t know any better … these travelers have more dollars than sense and they didn’t do their homework.  And they didn’t get to see Casablanca.

Would you book a cruise to a nation where you are not welcome?

Copyright © 2012

From → Diatribes

  1. For me it’s like this:

    Say the lady down the street from me hates The Gays. Vehemently and adamantly. Gay Hater. Then say another neighbor said she was having a neighborhood get-together and wanted me to come along.

    Would I? Would I want to spend even half a minute in a place where I am despised?


    That goes for my neighbor–although she’s fictional–and it goes for Morocco.


  2. wcdameron permalink

    I am very careful about the places I spend my money. I will not spend it on known unfriendly gay businesses or countries. And the comment that the tourist minister made? “sexual preference”. It is not a preference! It is not a choice, I don’t prefer men over women….


    • Same here. And I’m somewhat vocal about it, too. I’m not afraid to approach the manager of a store that allows a red bucket at its door during the holidays and I won’t hesitate to chastise an acquaintance who patronizes Chick-Fil-A. Money talks and sometimes that the only way our voices can be heard!


  3. Princess permalink

    The cruise ship permission was revoked “presumably because it was carrying gays”, who made this presumption? Trust me, many a cruise ship has docked there and i venture to say some of the passengers were gay.

    I have been to Morocco numerous times and have experienced the country first hand. There are all types of people there and Morocco has embraced it all. Each year, at least 3 movies are filmed in Morocco, do you they not let in the gay people who worked for the movie companies.

    The fantastic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent made his home for many years in Morocco and his ashes are scattered there. Did they “presume” he was not gay!

    What is the long history Morocco has against homosexuals? More than you experience here in the USA!?

    Sweeping generalization just promote hate and intolerance and this post stirs that pot! First hand experience also goes a long way.


    • First hand experience was not afforded to the passengers onboard this particular cruise. Passengers had paid for a cruise that included a stop in Morocco but they were turned away from the port at the last minute.

      I’m sure Morocco is a lovely country and your trips have been enjoyable. However, according to Article 489 of the Moroccon Penal Code, homosexuality in Morocco is illegal and can be punished with anything from 6 months to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of 120 to 1200 Dirhams. Research indicates that, within the Moroccon community, homosexuality remains a taboo and is considered immoral. While most LGBT Americans feel that they are treated unfairly, their relationships are not illegal.

      Why would a gay person invest their time and vacation dollars on a trip to a place like this when so many other opportunities are available?

      I love my Moroccon friends and I’m certain that, had they bought and paid for a cruise that they didn’t get, they would be quite upset.


  4. I wouldn’t book a cruise, period. I don’t like the idea of being trapped on a floating norovirus-infested casino/buffet.


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