Most Gay Friendly Travel Destinations
September 22nd, 2015 7:11 pm

Thomas Stanley is one of the world’s experts on gay and lesbian travel.
He knows and understands the gay and lesbian travel market and knows well the kinds of concerns that gay and lesbian travelers have that others may not be aware of, such as the fact that in some countries it is a criminal offense to be homosexual and it often carries harsh penalties.

Here is his listing of the world’s most gay-friendly destinations.

South Africa
South Africa is one of the most gay-friendly destinations in the world, Stanley said, and in some ways it is the most advanced country in its attitude toward gays. The modern republic of South Africa, which is only a little more than 20 years in existence, was founded on Nelson Mandela’s vision of the Rainbow Nation, a place where all people respect each other regardless of differences in race, religion, etc., and where diversity is not only tolerated, it is celebrated. 
“South Africa was the first country to have constitutional gay rights, the first country in Africa to have gay marriage,” said Stanley. “For the most part it is a more enlightened country in terms of gay rights, South Africa is extremely gay friendly.”  
Though South Africa may lead the world in terms of gay rights, most other countries in Africa are not as gay friendly. “In the French-speaking countries typically it’s legal,” said Stanley. “In the English-speaking countries, under Victorian law, it tends to be illegal to be gay.”

Turning to Northern Africa and the Middle East, Stanley said, “Israel is extremely gay friendly, though they don’t allow gay marriage.

“Lebanon tends to be gay friendly,” said Stanley. “In the gay districts people can be in the open, but outside of gay districts they have to be discreet.” 
Although Morocco is a moderate, not extreme Muslim country, it is not very gay friendly. “In Morocco some have been arrested for being affectionate in public, An English gentleman and his Moroccan friend were arrested for being affectionate in public, for holding hands or something like that. It goes against the norm of a moderate Muslim company that still has modesty, whereas in Lebanon women go to the beach in bikinis.”

Spain and Portugal
In Europe, Stanley rates Spain as the most gay-friendly destination, with Portugal coming in second.
“To me Spain is the most gay-friendly country on earth,” said Stanley. “It was one of the early countries to adopt gay marriage. It actively welcomes gay tourists, and markets to gay tourists. Spain and Portugal are probably the friendliest countries in Europe for gay people.

Sweden and Iceland
“Sweden would probably be the next one,” said Stanley, “and Iceland. Iceland is extremely gay friendly. Almost all of Western Europe tends to be gay friendly, certainly gay tolerant. In Eastern Europe it’s a different story. It’s legal to be gay in pretty much all of Eastern Europe. That said, certain countries, like Serbia, Ukraine and Russia, you don’t dare be open in public in those countries or you face threat of arrest or violence.

Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia
“Hungary is much friendlier,” said Stanley. “I haven’t sent anyone to Romania or Bulgaria for a long time, so I’m not sure about them. Hungary and Slovenia are the most gay-friendly countries of Eastern Europe. Croatia is pretty gay friendly.”

Thailand and Taiwan 
In Asia, Thailand and Taiwan are the most gay-friendly countries. “For the most part, the Buddhist countries are gay tolerant, gay accepting. Malaysia is not tolerant. Bangladesh and Pakistan are not tolerant. Muslim countries are not gay friendly. Indonesia is a Muslim country, but it also has Hindus in Bali It tends to be gay tolerant. Singapore is kind of neutral. They discourage gay events or affection, but people don’t get arrested.

China, Japan and Korea
China, Japan and Korea are gay tolerant countries. “They are used to seeing gay people,” said Stanley.

Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos
“Vietnam is very gay friendly,” said Stanley, “as are Cambodia and Laos. Vietnam allows gay weddings, but not legal gay marriage. But they will not arrest for that. Some other countries will arrest people for having gay weddings. Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos are quite good.”

Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia
“South American for the most part is good for gay people,” said Stanley. “Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia are gay friendly. Almost all the other countries are tolerant. Probably the least tolerant are Venezuela and Guiana. In Guiana, it’s illegal to be gay.

Mexico and Costa Rica
In Central America, the most gay-friendly destinations are Costa Rica and Mexico. “Mexico is very gay friendly,” said Stanley, “and has gay marriage now. There is one country in Central America where it is illegal to be gay and even to enter the country, and that is Belize. That said, gay clients who go to Belize, the hotels typically take care of them very well. But you’re actually committing a crime by entering Belize if you’re gay.

Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and St Martin
“In the Caribbean, painting in broad strokes, the Spanish- French- and Dutch-speaking islands tend to be very gay tolerant, including Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and St Marten. Curacao actively woos gay customers. The government finances marketing campaigns to gay clients. There are issues with the English-speaking countries, in Jamaica, and there have been some issues with the Bahamas."

In addition, Stanley cites Australia, New Zealand, French Polynesia and Nepal as all being very gay friendly.

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Why use a Travel Agent?
August 27th, 2015 10:26 pm

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To Friend or not to Friend?
August 10th, 2015 6:33 pm
I've been told that some people on my Facebook page are put off by my political and Christian posts and that I will lose clients because of it. I hope I can share on my FB page what I want without people deciding not to use me in a professional way at Cruising With Pride. IF you don't like my politics or my religion you can just un-friend me rather than cause it to make you so mad you take it personally and decide not to do business with me. I am a PROUD gay man, a PROUD Christian and a PROUD Democrat. That doesn't mean I don't have straight, atheist, Jewish, etc, friends. and Republican or Libertarian friends and can agree to disagree on things. I've added a LOT of clients to my FB page. A LOT of my clients I consider friends, or, at least acquaintances who I like to see there, or, they friend me, and, why would I refuse someone, but, if it means losing clients perhaps I shouldn't add them. There are some of the responses I got from my Facebook friends:
Democrat---Republican---Independent--non-voters----we are a democracy---we all have our own beliefs. Christian or Not, gay, bi-sexual or straight, None of these has anything to do with choosing a TRAVEL AGENT. Some folks just need to get over it and stop trying to change other folks. And that's all I have to say about that."-Herald
"Tom. You are very professional when you have to be and playful when you have to be. I like that about you. I always take the high road and would do so in this situation. As a Christian you can forgive. Use kindness to move on."-Tony
" It too bad you even have to post something think this. Everyone should have the right to speak their mind, love who they want, Vote they way they want. and and pray to what ever God you believe in. Diversity is what makes this Country The Greatest and keeps us all in Check. Who wants to be just like everyone else. What a boring World this would be. Keep up your posts. 
the rest can piss off.  Cheers!" -James
"Tom, you can set up a "Fan Page" for your business. This will help you manage your friends and "Facebook Friends" from your clients. You can add business content to your Fan Page and personal content to your personal page. The you can truly separate clients from friends. That's what I would do."-George
"I consider this a social site. I don't include my business acquaintances as friends. I don't discuss politics or religion at work. The two should remain separate."-John

"You continue to be you! Post whatever you want because that makes you who you are. I am proud to know you and would never be upset over opinions or life choices you post about."-Chad
"You can't always mix business with pleasure..."-Shannon

So, I'll probably be more discerning who I add to my Facebook page and hopefully we can all be adults and agree to disagree on things.  That's what makes the world more interesting, right?  Even when you're all wrong and I'm right :-)

Travel to Anti-Gay Countries
July 28th, 2015 3:45 am
What do you think about traveling to a country where you could actually be killed for who you are? Coda Tours is offering a tour to IRAN. No joke! A gay tour to IRAN! Would you go?…/destinatio…/africa-middle-east/iran/

Besides this trip, there are gay cruise and tour companies who visit Russia, Kenya, Jamaica, etc.  I have traveled to countries where it's illegal to be gay. I was turned away from Morocco on a gay cruise the day before we were to arrive because the government couldn't guarantee our safety.  I went to St. Petersburgh before Russia went dark against us and am so sad that I don't know if I should send my people there for their own safety. These are the things we have to consider as individuals and, especially, as a travel agent who seeks to make his clients trips the safest and most wonderful possible.
Brand "g" Cruises Customer Reviews
July 17th, 2015 2:51 am

I often ask my clients how their trips went.  Mostly it's all good, but, sometimes it's glowing.  
For example, regarding the recent trip from Madrid to Lisbon,  a few responses from my clients...

"Yes, we had a great time and we are now wearing the chocolates that you sent!  Gay Pride in Madrid is amazing and the Brand-g people are wonderful.  The river cruise was excellent, combining beautiful landscapes, interesting ports, good food and wonderful service.  The entertainment provided by Brand-g added that extra icing on the cake.  There were a few unpredictable glitches during the trip but the Brand-g guys, owners Jeff and Brian, did well at resolving them and making sure that everyone was happy.  We would like to emphasize that Jeff and Brian worked very hard during that trip to make sure that everyone felt included and cared for; We would say that this is something that really differentiates their company from others.  Also, we were happy to hear that they work with groups of this size on all of their vacation offerings, and so we would definitely consider Brand-g when looking for our next adventure abroad."  Dave and Bill-Palm Springs


"Had a fantastic time.  The boat and brand g did a great job!  Yes the chocolates were wonderful. You are such a sweet guy. This is a great trip and I would highly recommend using brand g to your customers." Dennis N.-Austin

"Thanks for the fine chocolates. Brand "g" is incredible ! The best trip we have ever taken! I now have a big crush on Jeff and a bigger one on Brian and the biggest on Troy -will have to travel with them again! Can not tell you how great a team Brand "g" is. Thanks again for the chocolates" -Jay W.-Austin

Check out my "All Gay Cruises" page for Brand "g" cruises

Free Gift and Same Rates
July 1st, 2015 3:06 pm
Did you know that when you book with Cruising With Pride you pay the same rate as if you'd book directly.  We charge no fees for helping you and we always send a free gift when you book with us.  Not to mention our wonderful customer service, why would you ever go anywhere else to reserve your gay cruise, tour or ANY travel you need?
With every all gay RSVP or Atlantis Cruise!
I always send a bottle of wine or something as a thank you for allowing me to help you with your cruise.
"To move, to breathe, to float, to fly, to gain all while you give; to roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live." -Hans Christian Anderson
June 18th, 2015 10:15 pm
Traveling tip #1
June 18th, 2015 4:55 pm
Before going out of the country remembere to call your credit card company to make sure they know you'll be out of the country. Sometimes they block your card when they see charges from outside the USA and it's a hassle when you're traveling to get it fixed.  You're welcome!