Olivia Cruise: Caribbean Equality and Leadership Cruise
The fun started on Feb 1, 2014 with welcome remarks and conversation aboard the Ms. Westerndam, Holland America Line. The cruise left out of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Being excited and overwhelmed at the same time, my wife and got to the port early to ensure we had enough time to get our luggage checked in and on the ship. The check-in line was a similar experience to boarding a plane. You have your security check and carry-on luggage inspected. Once past the security point, we were greeted by an Olivia Travel staff member who knew right away we were “First Timers.” She was “bright eyed and bushy tailed” and gave us the best and biggest smile. “You get a Olivia bracelet and you get a bracelet” the Olivia staff greeter said as she placed a bright pink bracelet on my wife and I. She informed us that it was a visual aid for others to help us around during our cruise. We finally made it to the counter and had our photos taken and information verified. You need a credit card for a hold and use on your room key. (SIDE NOTE: Your room key is used as a credit card, be sure to not use a debit.) We were now all checked in and it was off to the ship.
When we “checked aboard” there were women everywhere! It was like we stepped into a Lesbian Vortex! They were smiling, we were smiling and everyone seemed to be instantly changed. We went to the elevator and met another couple that were from our same city and chatted for a bit. Once we got to our room, we check it out and the there was a knock on the door a few minutes later. It was our “Care Giver” Tobi. He informed us that he would be taking care of us for duration of the cruise. If we needed blankets, fresh fruit, information, what ever we needed he was there to make sure we had it for the entire cruise. He informed us of our “mail box” which had some mail in it. Each day, a daily itinerary of the day events would be provided as well as different pieces of lesbian information and magazines.
The Feb 1, itinerary outlined “Today’s Highlights” which included:
Welcome Aboard Party with Vicki Shaw (Comic)
Sail Away Party with DJ Rockaway
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Maya Angelou with (two different show times)
There was also a list of the music, events, lounges and dining options on the ship. The list of all of the dining options included 5 different restaurants and an hour-by-hour outline of other events happening all though the day and night.
Once unpacked, there was another knock at the door and Tobi had a “Happy Honeymoon” cake surprise for us. You can have surprises pre-arranged to be delivered to your room. We changed into some more “vacationie” clothes and decided to explore the ship and lounges. We found a piano bar that was simply beautiful. There was a Baby Grand piano and as soon as we sat down we began to chat with other couples and people. After having a few glasses of wine, we decided to do some more exploring and found the shore excursion-booking desk. The staff was helpful and informative.
Later on that night we joined the “Sail Away Party” with the beautiful DJ Rockaway and had a blast. The ship started to sail away and our vacation was finally underway. The first day was a great experience and a smooth transition into the start of our 8-day honeymoon vacation.
Feedback: Olivia Travel has a functional process for new travelers and give many payment options for those that want to plan a Olivia trip. Make sure to ask the staff if there are any specials or discounts on staterooms.
For more information go to Olivia Travel