The “Drag Stars at Sea” Carnival cruise will now actually permit people to dress in drag, reversing a decision Carnival made that said drag would not be permitted except by on-stage performers. It’s billed as “the largest gathering of drag stars in history” and includes more than 30 cast members from Logo’s reality competition RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Carnival’s CEO, Gerry Cahill, said in a letter that “anyone who wishes to dress in drag may do so” and added, “We sincerely apologize for the miscommunication and for any unintended offense we have caused.” The cruise line is also offering refunds for the Dec. 2 to 9 cruise, which cost between $449 and $1,199 per person.
The travel company that created the cruise package, Al and Chuck Travel, posted on Facebook yesterday that Carnival’s “‘no costumes rule’ is NOT meant to be an insult to the gay community. … It is in response to the post-911 world we live in. It is meant to protect passengers and guests — NOT to marginalize a few.”
I look forward to the season of Homeland guest starring RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants as terrorists.
The first “urgent notice” sent to passengers by Carnival didn’t say it was about security, but suggested that children would apparently be traumatized for life if they saw a man dressed as a woman:
“Carnival attracts a number of families with children and for this reason; we strive to present a family friendly atmosphere. It is important to us that all guests are comfortable with every aspect of the cruise. Although we realize this group consists solely of adults, we nonetheless expect all guests to recognize that minors are onboard and, refrain from engaging in inappropriate conduct in public areas.
Arrangements have been made for drag performances in the main theater featuring stars from LOGO TV. These functions will be private and only the performers are permitted to dress in drag while in the theater. Guests are not allowed to dress in drag for the performances or in public areas at any time during the cruise.”