What in the world is going on?
August 26th, 2019 9:10 pm
I stay away from politics on my page and on my weekly emails, but, I cannot in good conscience support the wreckage of America under the current administration. I know I have clients who are Republicans, but, for God's sake, please see what they are doing to the world and to the country.  The policies of the Trump administration are hurting Trans lives, the poor & the needy, LGBT rights, sesible gun reform, the economy, the environment, and the TRUTH.  Our Democracy is on thin ice and unless Trump and the GOP stop the dismantling of America I'm afraid of the biggest economic crash in history AND who knows what else?  America, under the Republican party, have become like Sodom & Gomorrah. I pray we survive this, but, I have my doubts. If you disagree and decide you don't want to do business with me anymore because of my love for America and the destruction I believe we're seeing, then I'm sorry to see you leave, but, I cannot go forward in any area of my life without calling out evil.  So, there it is.   I pray we survive.
New Zealand & Australia on an Atlantis All Gay Cruise!
August 7th, 2019 7:27 pm
I was so fortunate to be able to travel on the Atlantis New Zealand to Sydney cruise a few years ago. They do this trip every other year and Feb 14-26, 2020 will be their umpteenth time there!  It's not on sale yet to the public but will be going on sale any day now. 
What an amazing way to see two great countries.  
From Atlantis:

"New Zealand welcomes you in the vibrant harbor city of Auckland, a remarkable city boasting the country’s largest gay population. This stunning, cosmopolitan destination makes the perfect start for an all-gay cruise as we head south to explore.

After a relaxing day at sea, spend a day in the heart of wine country from the stunning port city of Napier. Explore New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington, famous for its breathtaking countryside and inviting harbor as well as magical scenery from a dozen famous movies.

The dramatic mountain vistas of Christchurch, the largest city on the South Island, bring you in touch with the most “English” city outside of England. From there head to Dunedin, one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere.

After all that exploring, two sea days will be a welcome break to recharge and refresh as we head to Australia.

Staggering natural beauty meet Australian laid-back charm in the stunningly beautiful city of Hobart. From the bustling market to craggy mountain ranges it’s a city of brilliant contrasts, fabulous restaurants, and endless options for exploration. Then it’s on to Eden, with a spectacular coastal town that is ideal for whale watching or simply enjoying the beautiful beach. Then we have one more day at sea as we head into glorious Sydney in time for the world’s largest gay and lesbian celebration. 

Atlantis designed this cruise to arrive just in time for Sydney Mardi Gras, a month-long celebration of our community, culminating in a nighttime parade viewed by over 500,000 people. And that’s just the beginning, as the revelry continues to a sensational all-night party for 17,000 featuring superstar talent from around the world.  We’ve been able to perfectly coordinate our schedules with Sydney Mardi Gras. Our post-cruise program whisks you from the ship to Sydney’s top hotels with plenty of time to explore, tour, and truly make the most of this incredible city. Whether it’s an Atlantis day at sea or returning from a day of adventure, there’s so much to enjoy onboard Noordam. Relax by one of our two stunning pools, learn cooking in the culinary center, or pamper yourself in our expansive spa. Work out in the fully equipped fitness center packed with plenty of challenging classes. Join one of Malcolm’s zany pool games. Drag yourself out to Bingo with Miss Richfield. Or learn something new at one of our enrichment lectures. We’ll keep your days full of options, including the one to do absolutely nothing at all."

Having experienced about 20 Atlantis Events I'm always happy to send my clients with them, knowing they will be well taken care of and that you will have an amazing time enjoying "Our World, Our Way".  I hope you will have the joy of sailing around New Zealand and then spending some time to fall in love with Sydney afterward.

Wonders of the World
July 12th, 2019 6:47 pm
The NEW Seven Wonders of the Modern World are the Taj Mahal in India, Petra in Jordan, The Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu in Peru, Chichen Itza in Mexico, Christ the Redeemer in Rio, Brazil and the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.  So far I've seen SIX of the Seven.  The only one left is the Taj Majal in India. I honestly have no desire to go to India.  People who've been have all loved it, but, everyone I ever knew that went got some kind of stomach problems.  Take imodium!  I still have no desire to go, but, who knows. Maybe one day.  
The ones that I have seen are AMAZING.  Petra is awesome (especially for us Indiana Jones fans).  The Great Wall is great :-) I actually had no desire to go to China, either, but, it was surprising and fantastic on an immense scale. I took a tour with Viking Cruises and they were great. Every hotel, every restaurant, the cruise down the Yangtze river was awesome. Altogether a great trip. China is a must.  Machu Picchu is mystical and beautiful. I took a six hour hike up to it rather than the bus ride and when you come up over the mountain and get that view looking down on the site it takes your breath away (not to mention the altitude).  Llamas along the route are so beautiful.  Another must see in the world.  Chichen Itza outside of Cancun is a great day tour. Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio is awe inspiring, looking over the beautiful beach area.  And, of course, the Colosseum in Rome is amazing. Italy is amazing. One of my favorite countries.  I never get tired of visiting (though last year when I went it was over 100' and it hurt).
It's not a small world, after all.  It's an amazing, diverse, spectacular world, and having the opportunity to see so much of it has been a lifelong pleasure.  If you're interested in visiting these wonders give me a jingle. Once there, any of these wonders will make you tingle :-)
Save time and money and book with Tom@CruisingWithPride.com
March 28th, 2019 5:09 pm
You are smart to book with a travel agent because of the money and time you will save and the added benefits an agent can bring to your experience booking a cruise or tour.
 
You are extra smart to book with me,  Tom@CruisingWithPride.com because I'm the best agent, in my opinion. HONEST, TRUSTWORTHY, EXPERIENCED.
 
So, in summary:
SAME PRICE+NO LONG HOLD TIMES+25 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE+THANK YOU GIFT=$$$$$
  
When you book with me you get my great service.
When you book with me you get access to hotels, insurance, etc. One stop shop!
When you book with me you get 25 years of experience with me personally
PLUS, literally thousands of years experience with TravelEdge our parent agency.

I hope you will think of me when you're ready to take another vacation
Thanks, again, for 25 years of allowing me the joy of helping you with your travels.
Tom Stephens
714-321-0700
Tom@CruisingWithPride.com
 
 
Bali
March 25th, 2019 10:13 pm
I went to Bali about ten years ago.  It was wonderful. Monkeys, cute boys, amazing sunsets.  Honestly, the people, the culture, the beauty.  Sometimes pictures help describe better than I can.  Check out my pics on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/cruisingwithpride/media_set?set=a.55855026468&type=3

Enjoy!  And, let me know if you want to go experience it for yourself.
Tom@CruisingWithPride.com
To Share or not to Share, that is the question...
January 31st, 2019 11:21 pm
Atlantis, RSVP and other all gay and gay group cruise companies offer "Shares" for their single guests.  It's a great convenience to save people from having to pay the single supplement, which is generally 2x the cost (cabins are priced based on double occupancy.) 
But, like Forrest Gump says, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get." I've heard horror stories and love stories, but, mostly, people just go, save money, meet a person who they either become friends with or not, and they go on to enjoy the cruise experience.  

The main thing is that you know what you're walking into.  As far as it depends on you, live at peace with whoever you're assigned to.  Be your friendly self, make arrangements for schedules and agreements on visitors and such. You CANNOT assume you can just bring someone back to your room at any time. It is rude and should not be done without express permission from your roommate.  Maybe they like to watch, but, more often, not. Communication right upfront is the key. Perhaps if they are a late night person and you're not, the person who is up latest take the bed closest to the door.

Here are a few more suggestions if you do a share:
1. Bring GOOD earplugs.  Being awake all night because your roommate shares is horrible. It's bad enough if you know the person, it's worse if it's someone you don't even know robbing you of precious sleep.  
2. Be ultra-considerate.  You don't have to become best friends, but, be friendly, be kind, try to make conversation, and above all, share your space. 
3. Don't be a slob.  Clean up after yourself and don't just throw everything around. It's not YOUR cabin. It's the both of yours, so, don't sprawl. 
4. Don't be noisy. If you want to play music or tv or whatever, ask your roommate if it's ok and respect their wishes. Maybe they're trying to have a quiet time and don't want music or tv on. Perhaps the most important time to be quiet is if you come in late, after your roommate is already in bed with the lights off.  Try not to turn the light on if you can help it, but, rather, turn the bathroom light on and use the light from there best you can and try not to wake your roommie.
5. Don't expect them to be your friend.  You are sharing to save money, not to make friends. Have no expectations and you won't be disappointed. They may be traveling with friends and don't want to share a second with you. That's ok, it's their cruise. If they want to talk they will, but, don't force it. They may not be attracted or interested in you. Don't take it personally. EVERYONE is BORING to most others.  Finding commonality takes time and not everyone has stuff in common. Just be the best YOU that you can be.
6. Don't ask for your own cabin once on board. They won't do it and it's not what you paid for. There are plenty of guys who are paying 2x the rate to have their own cabin.  If you didn't then don't expect it and don't ask for it.  
7. Whenever you are irritated, bugged, ignored, or hurt in any other way by your roommate, look into your wallet and remember that you are saving a LOT of money to put up with a little inconvenience.  This should make you feel better.

Join my Gay Single Travelers group on Facebook and find someone ahead of time that you maybe are compatible with.  And, be sure to sign up for you All Gay, Gay Group or just any travel you need. https://www.facebook.com/groups/963885077009990/
Thanks!
Tom Stephens
714-321-0700
Tom@CruisingWithPride.com
Petra, One of the 7 Wonders of the World
January 25th, 2019 10:54 pm
I had the extreme joy of visiting Petra, in the land of Jordan, this past May 2018.  What a WONDER!  I have wanted to see it ever since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  It is special and the entire tour, from Tel Aviv, was a LONG day, but, so worth it.

View my entire photo album here:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156127637921469&type=1&l=7dbb4dfe00
 
No Fees on Cruises and Tours
April 17th, 2018 5:51 pm
Did you know that travel agents make a living on commission? When you book your Atlantis, RSVP, or ANY gay or straight cruise (or tour) they give us a small commission for bringing you to them .  It NEVER COSTS YOU MORE to book with us than it does to book directly.  All the specials that the cruise lines send you we can use for you as well. 
 
Not only does it cost you the same, but, by using me to help you are spreading around the wealth.  Without me, the cruise company gets richer and richer. With me, The cruise company still gets richer and richer, but, I get to eat and buy clothes.
  
PLUS, when you book with me you get my great service.
PLUS, when you book with me you get the access to hotels, insurance, etc. One stop shop!
PLUS, when you book with me you get 25 years of experience with me personally
PLUS, literally thousands of years experience with TravelEdge our parent agency.
PLUS, I can help you find the best deals available and get you booked as soon as possible.
PLUS, when you book with me I always try and send a little gift as a "thank you".  

You should have a choice in who you book your travels through. Unfortunately, when you book directly with Atlantis or RSVP you cannot use a travel agent anymore (must stop with them for three years to again be able to use an agent). I don't like the policy, but, can't do anything about it but advise you of their policy.  If you want control of your holidays, book with me! 

In this world it can be hard to make a living. I'm very thankful I've been able to enjoy my work and been able to live comfortably.  I always tell people that as a travel agent I'll never get rich, but, there are a lot more important things than money. Loving what I do is worth much more than wealth.

I hope you will think of me when you're ready to take another vacation and keep me from starving. Ha ha. Thanks, again, for 25 years of allowing me the joy of helping you with your travels.
Tom Stephens
714-321-0700
Tom@CruisingWithPride.com