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RSVP's Alaskan Adventure: Days 1 + 2


Story and media by Michael Anthony

Planning the perfect 'family' getaway is tricky. Everyone wants to escape, but no two can agree on how to do it: beaching in Tahiti? Bar-hopping in San Francisco? Hiking the Appalachian Trail?

Sticking the whole gay 'family' on RSVP's cruise to Alaska, then, begs some questions.

Perhaps it’s just my ever-growing “bear-ness” -- the desire to literally let the hair on my chest grow and actually keep my shirt on for an entire vaca-y -- or the need for a respite that’s a little less party enthused and a lot more R&R. L.A. (my home) isn’t great for R&R, but there are few more relaxing and spectacularly beautiful places than Alaska.

RSVP's Alaskan Adventure is also surprisingly all-too fitting for my 28-through-79-year-old ragtag collective -- my boyfriend and I, together for 6 years and gay as the day is long; my Uncle Bill and his partner of 24 years, Steve; and "Aunt Ros" and the love of her life, Helen, happily partnered for 40 “wonderful, just wonderful” years. With a 2,000-ish person capacity, the cruise offers something for everyone and it's decidedly lions, tigers, bears, oh-my guests was a welcome change from the West Hollywood twink set.

Days One and Two at sea gave the fam and I time to explore; and explore, we did! While my partner and I sauntered about with the "been-there, cruised-this, enjoyed-that" ease of cruise veterans, our accompanying gaggle of first-timers stumbled about with awe in their eyes. The Westerdam (part of the Holland America fleet) may not be the largest ship on the sea -- a 2,000 capacity is still plenty -- but it has everything a traveler needs.

There’s a full gym with free weights, cardio machines, spin classes and even free lectures. The award-winning spa is on hand -- which I tried within a few hours of boarding -- has a hot stone massage to rival any treatments I’ve experienced in LA.

There are also two pools (indoor and out), a casino, art gallery, live-stage theatre (shows every night) and (of course, my favorite haunt) a buffet! Every amenity is well-staffed and top-notch.

On this afternoon’s agenda? Culinary school begins in 20-minutes, my acupuncture awaits afterward, and the pool deck BBQ starts at five. It's only been two days, but we’ve all already taken to the Westerdam, eager for each new event and excited for our first soon-to-see visual tomorrow afternoon: the Glacier Bay shoreline.

Writer Michael Anthony, contributing from aboard RSVP's Alaskan cruise


Story and media by Michael Anthony

Planning the perfect 'family' getaway is tricky. Everyone wants to escape, but no two can agree on how to do it: beaching in Tahiti? Bar-hopping in San Francisco? Hiking the Appalachian Trail?

Sticking the whole gay 'family' on RSVP's cruise to Alaska, then, begs some questions.

Perhaps it’s just my ever-growing “bear-ness” -- the desire to literally let the hair on my chest grow and actually keep my shirt on for an entire vaca-y -- or the need for a respite that’s a little less party enthused and a lot more R&R. L.A. (my home) isn’t great for R&R, but there are few more relaxing and spectacularly beautiful places than Alaska.

RSVP's Alaskan Adventure is also surprisingly all-too fitting for my 28-through-79-year-old ragtag collective -- my boyfriend and I, together for 6 years and gay as the day is long; my Uncle Bill and his partner of 24 years, Steve; and "Aunt Ros" and the love of her life, Helen, happily partnered for 40 “wonderful, just wonderful” years. With a 2,000-ish person capacity, the cruise offers something for everyone and it's decidedly lions, tigers, bears, oh-my guests was a welcome change from the West Hollywood twink set.

Days One and Two at sea gave the fam and I time to explore; and explore, we did! While my partner and I sauntered about with the "been-there, cruised-this, enjoyed-that" ease of cruise veterans, our accompanying gaggle of first-timers stumbled about with awe in their eyes. The Westerdam (part of the Holland America fleet) may not be the largest ship on the sea -- a 2,000 capacity is still plenty -- but it has everything a traveler needs.

There’s a full gym with free weights, cardio machines, spin classes and even free lectures. The award-winning spa is on hand -- which I tried within a few hours of boarding -- has a hot stone massage to rival any treatments I’ve experienced in LA.

There are also two pools (indoor and out), a casino, art gallery, live-stage theatre (shows every night) and (of course, my favorite haunt) a buffet! Every amenity is well-staffed and top-notch.

On this afternoon’s agenda? Culinary school begins in 20-minutes, my acupuncture awaits afterward, and the pool deck BBQ starts at five. It's only been two days, but we’ve all already taken to the Westerdam, eager for each new event and excited for our first soon-to-see visual tomorrow afternoon: the Glacier Bay shoreline.

Writer Michael Anthony, contributing from aboard RSVP's Alaskan cruise


Story and media by Michael Anthony

Planning the perfect 'family' getaway is tricky. Everyone wants to escape, but no two can agree on how to do it: beaching in Tahiti? Bar-hopping in San Francisco? Hiking the Appalachian Trail?

Sticking the whole gay 'family' on RSVP's cruise to Alaska, then, begs some questions.

Perhaps it’s just my ever-growing “bear-ness” -- the desire to literally let the hair on my chest grow and actually keep my shirt on for an entire vaca-y -- or the need for a respite that’s a little less party enthused and a lot more R&R. L.A. (my home) isn’t great for R&R, but there are few more relaxing and spectacularly beautiful places than Alaska.

RSVP's Alaskan Adventure is also surprisingly all-too fitting for my 28-through-79-year-old ragtag collective -- my boyfriend and I, together for 6 years and gay as the day is long; my Uncle Bill and his partner of 24 years, Steve; and "Aunt Ros" and the love of her life, Helen, happily partnered for 40 “wonderful, just wonderful” years. With a 2,000-ish person capacity, the cruise offers something for everyone and it's decidedly lions, tigers, bears, oh-my guests was a welcome change from the West Hollywood twink set.

Days One and Two at sea gave the fam and I time to explore; and explore, we did! While my partner and I sauntered about with the "been-there, cruised-this, enjoyed-that" ease of cruise veterans, our accompanying gaggle of first-timers stumbled about with awe in their eyes. The Westerdam (part of the Holland America fleet) may not be the largest ship on the sea -- a 2,000 capacity is still plenty -- but it has everything a traveler needs.


There’s a full gym with free weights, cardio machines, spin classes and even free lectures. The award-winning spa is on hand -- which I tried within a few hours of boarding -- has a hot stone massage to rival any treatments I’ve experienced in LA.

There are also two pools (indoor and out), a casino, art gallery, live-stage theatre (shows every night) and (of course, my favorite haunt) a buffet! Every amenity is well-staffed and top-notch.

On this afternoon’s agenda? Culinary school begins in 20-minutes, my acupuncture awaits afterward, and the pool deck BBQ starts at five. It's only been two days, but we’ve all already taken to the Westerdam, eager for each new event and excited for our first soon-to-see visual tomorrow afternoon: the Glacier Bay shoreline.

Writer Michael Anthony, contributing from aboard RSVP's Alaskan cruise

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