Hey Ladies! LezCruise!

We're busy getting ready for Pride so this newsletter will be a little briefer than most.

In this issue we tell you about our plans for Gay Pride in Portland, Oregon this weekend, we profile Crystal Cruises, we offer a way for you to get a free LezCruise t-shirt, and we share with you the specials we are offering in conjunction with Gay Pride. 

 Cruise Specials - 2 Weeks Only!
Take Advantage of These Pride Specials
The following cruise lines are offering specials for the next two weeks in honor of Gay Pride:
Regent Seven Seas - $100 shipboard credit per person for any Regent cruise booked through LezCruise.  You can use this for the LezCruise sponsored Caribbean cruise on Nov. 30 of this year or for any other cruise that strikes your fancy.
Crystal - $100 shipboard credit per person for any Crystal cruise booked through LezCruise - join the 2 LezCruise users who are sailing the Caribbean with Crystal on December 11 of this year.
Crystal - $500 per stateroom savings on select European Summer 07 cruises booked through LezCruise.
Oceania - $100 shipboard credit per cabin for any Oceania cruise booked through LezCruise.  Most Oceania cruises include free air if you book far enough in advance.
You don't have to come to Pride to get these savings.  All you need to do is give us a call.  If you've been thinking about a cruise, but haven't yet made up your mind, a deposit will hold the cruise for you and give you the added shipboard credit.  If you change your mind, in most cases, you always have a certain amount of time within which you can get your deposit back without penalty.  We will provide all this information to you when you book the cruise

 Crystal Cruises
The Best Food at Sea
Crystal is one of our favorite cruise lines - see above for Crystal Pride specials.
What first excited me about Crystal was the educational programs onboard, particularly Yamaha keyboard instruction.  If you ask if I participated in Yamaha classes when I finally cruised Crystal for the first time I will tell you no, but that is most definitely beside the point.  In the same classroom where you can take keyboard lessons, I did take Spanish lessons from the most charming Berlitz Spanish instructor ever.  He used one of those Yamaha keyboards to play Pomp and Circumstance for Mary and I after the final class in which we gave speeches in Spanish outing ourselves and received certificates to honor our (in my case) complete non-mastery of Spanish.  He also gave us a very fine Mexican holiday beer called Noche Buena.  Mary says that was in honor of her birthday, but my memory is that it was because we were initially the only people to show up for the last class. Crystal also offers art classes (see my work above), golf instruction, computer classes, and much more.  All classes are included in your cruise fare.
Though I did love the higher learning aspect of our Crystal cruise (never mind the art teacher who could not hide her disdain for my work - again, see above) there were two other things that I loved more.  The first was the food.  Everyone always goes on about the food on cruises, but generally what's amazing is the quantity and availability, rather than the quality.  At least that's my opinion.  I've always felt that cruise food is okay, but in reality it's one of my least favorite things about cruising.  Until we sailed Crystal, I just did not believe that you could get as good food on a cruise ship as you can on land.  I'm now a believer.  Our first stop when we boarded the ship the first day, hungry, hungry, hungry, was the pool grill.  I ordered a minute steak, mainly because of the word "minute."  We sat down to eat and I took a bite and said, "Oh my!  This is the best steak I've ever had.!"  Which it was until we had chateaubriande on formal night.  That was the best steak I'd ever had until the next night when I ordered the amazing Grilled Wagyu Beef Rib Eye Steak at Silk Road by Nobu, one of two alternative restaurants on board the Crystal Serenity.  Then there was the Wolfgang Puck's Chinois Chicken Salad at lunch and (really!) the most delicious oatmeal I've ever had, served with real maple syrup at breakfast. The only food Crystal couldn't seem to handle was hard-boiled eggs, and I forgave them that.
So we ate well on Crystal, but the other thing I really loved was that the passengers were very active and healthy and there were almost no smokers.  Crystal doesn't have a really strict smoking policy like Oceania, but the people who sail Crystal are much more likely to be running laps than smoking.  Both Crystal ships, the Symphony and the Serenity, have full teak wrap-around decks so you can run or walk all the way around the ship.  They also have a program they call WOW (Walk on Water) where they give you weighted vests to wear as you walk the desk and we often watched the walkers from our balcony and vicariously lost weight from their exertions.
Most cruise ships will have a Friends of Dorothy party for gay and lesbian cruisers and Crystal's was fully hosted which means they provided hors d'oeuvres and any alcoholic drink we wished to order.  We met two lovely women there and quite a few very nice men. 
Crystal is one of the only luxury cruise lines that is not all-inclusive, which is a real plus for people who don't drink much. On most luxury cruise lines your cruise fare includes alcohol and on Crystal it does not.  Your fare also does not include gratutities as it does on most other luxury cruise lines.  However, it does include just about everything else.  You won't have to purchase a soft drink card; you won't have to pay for bottled water; you won't have to pay for specialty coffees or pastries or ice cream or non-alcoholic beer/wine or any of the myriad other things you pay extra for on mass-market lines.   There is a suggested tip at the specialty restaurants which was $7 per person at the time of our cruise in December.  If you're looking for free alcohol, you'll have at least two and probably more opportunities on board - the Captain's Welcome Party, the aforementioned Friends of Dorothy party, and there are usually other events that include free alcohol.
To read our blog entries from our Crystal Cruise, click here.

In This Month's Newsletter:

Cruise Specials
Come See Us this Weekend!
Come visit our booth at Portland, OR Gay Pride
We will be at Gay Pride in Portland Oregon this week, sharing a booth with our friends 2 Girls Travel.  We'll have giveaways and we'll also have brochures and information from the following cruise lines: 
Crystal (profiled in this issue)
Oceania (profiled in our February 07 newsletter) and
Star Clippers (profiled in our April 07 newsletter.) 
If you're anywhere nearby, please come see us.  We'd love to meet you. 
 Free T-Shirts!
Call Before Midnight Tonight!
Just kidding, you don't need to call.  
We got these cool LezCruise t-shirts - and we'll be giving some away at Pride - but we don't want to leave out the majority of our newsletter readers who live nowhere near Portland, Oregon!  We have 4 t-shirts for readers of our newsletter and we'll send them off to the first 4 readers who send us an email asking us for a shirt. Really!  It's that easy!  We thought about making it harder, but it was too hard to make it harder.
These 100% cotton t-shirts are embroidered with our lovely LezCruise logo.  They are all size X-Large and they shrink a little after a few washings.  Also, after a few washings they are the SOFTEST t-shirt you will ever wear.
Email now!  (Lovely orange cat paw - and attached cat - not included.)