Drag queen royalty the likes of Manila Luzon, Latrice Royal, and Out100 Stylemaker of the Year Sharon Needles will take the high seas with Carnival Cruises for "Drag Stars at Sea," a queen-themed cruise package. But even before the ship sets sail from the Port of Miami on December 2, Carnival is already causing controversy by banning drag costumes on board.
The queens of LOGO are exempt from this rule of course, but passengers are forbidden from partaking in the fun. Apparently, Carnival is implementing the policy so as not to freak out other passengers who are not participating in the drag festivities. Below is an excerpt from an email sent to ticket holders for the package as reported by the America Blog:
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.
We're sorry to say that any guest who violates our policies and/or whose behavior affects the comfort and enjoyment of other guests, will be disembarked at their own expense and no refund will be given.
Al and Chuck Travel, the gay-owned travel company promoting the package, defended the email on their Facebook page, saying Carnival's message is "in response to the post-911 world we live in. It is meant to protect passengers and guests - NOT to marginalize a few." Facebook comments ranged from angry to really angry.
The Miami New Times surmised on its Riptide blog that Carnival could have handled the situation more tactfully as the company attempted to avoid ornate costumes of any kind -- because, you guys, 9/11. In other news, Fox News reported that Carnival's annual Halloween singles cruise saw a 30 percent increase in attendance. We can only assume that this year passengers went from cabin to cabin trick-or-treating in tank tops and bermudas.