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. [My emphasis]
So... You can go on a cruise to see drag queens, but can't get gussied up, as the saying goes. It's because:
[they] strive to present a family friendly atmosphere.
They mean that in a literal sense - families, kids and all, will be on board. And I guess they're frightened some bigoted twit might get upset, or that they might have to, you know, actually defend someone's right to self expression. (My goodness, next thing you know, they'll be allowing it!)
So... Al and Chuck had to issue to a statement. Naturally.
In this atrociously written missive, they help us understand their dilemma:
We are sympathetic to your sentiments that you have expressed via email and social media. As a gay man who has been partnered for 25 years, I have suffered many forms of discriminations because I am part of the GLBT community. But please take note, Carnival's regulation is NOT an example of discrimination. Carnival is an ally of the GLBT community. Please understand that this cruise could not even be happening on the GLORY if Carnival was not an ally of our segment of society. When they say they are a "family friendly" cruise line they mean it in both the traditional and metaphorical sense of the phrase.Al then goes on to say that "Carnival's "no costumes rule" is NOT meant to be an insult to the gay community." I'm sure it isn't. It has an interesting [...] side affect of being insulting to other communities! And I'm sure that the non-discriminatory application of the rule - it "goes for both GAY and STRAIGHT passengers" [who] travel on all Carnival cruises.
Apparently it's all because of 9-11. (Since when did drag queens and people in drag costume become terroristic?) But don't worry - it's not meant to marginalize you. Instead it's to ensure you conform to some Bible-belt dream of habilimentary blandness. Can't go offending the other passengers!
Then comes the paragraph that is really offensive:
Additionally, we know that transgendered members of our community will be aboard with us during this event. Please do not worry, Carnivals rule is not meant towards you. Your right to live your identity is always supported.Yeah! Your right to live your identity is always supported! Except when your identity includes glamor. Or if an important part of your identity is being a drag queen. Or if even if a small part of your identity includes any drag queeness. Or even if you fancy going to a drag event in drag. So I guess your right to "live your identity" isn't always supported. It's supported as long as you don't upset anyone by actually going on a drag cruise in drag.
The next paragraph is too inane to be considered. So I'll ignore it.
If that other paragraph was offensive, this one is just icing on what is now a pretty rotten cake:
Ultimately, let's use this opportunity to set an example so that all the world can see that the GLBT community can follow rules and regulations just like everyone else. Finally, I want to say from the bottom of my heart, we have done our absolute best in creating this event. We have tried to communicate effectively and bring you the best possible experience, which we believe would not be available to you any other way. At the end of the cruise, I hope you will agree with my sentiment humbly expressed here. [My emphasis]Hell Yeah! Let's prove that we, we members of the transgender community, and any drag queens really, can follow the rules! Even when they discriminate against us! Let's lump drag queens and transgenders* in together! Let's all be Men in Grey Suits! Let's conform and follow the rules - because, hey, that's what rules are for! (Don't worry; the rules aren't meant to discriminate against you, they're merely to ensure that Little Johnny's Dad can't get upset by the fact that there's a transgender* on board!)
*See why "transgender" isn't always appropriate?
As far as their communication efforts have gone, I'd have to say that if people are as upset as they appear to be - they probably could have done a much better job on the whole "communication" thing. Anyway, I'm sure Chuck and Al worked very hard on this cruise. I'm also pretty sure they didn't bother checking with the cruise line if they were, oh I don't know... Open minded? Accepting that there's a world of diversity out there? That a cruise that is about drag queens will attract people who wish to meet those drag queens? And would like the chance to shine?!
Chuck and I look forward to meeting you on board....we promise you the best time of your lives!You will have the best time of your lives. It's in the rules and Chuck and Al want you, you GLBT community member, to show that you can follow the rules!
So there you go: follow the damn rules already! They're not in place to discriminate against you. They're to protect you from terrorists!
I wonder if Al can spell "bullshit"? I also have to wonder if Al could be sillier, more condescending or more insulting.
PS Just to be helpful [sic], Stew Carrier, Assistant Operations Manager, says:
That said… you have the right to be disappointed in the way this announcement was handled. [Ya don't say..? You do?! Wow.] Not a single person at ALandCHUCK.travel is going to dispute that fact with any of you. I promise you that we’ve had dozens of discussions internally on this subject in the week leading up to today. Al wrote his email tonight to try to explain to everybody that we NEED your support. We NEED our community to step up and represent the positive and lightness we can bring to the table. If you have a partner, hold their hand, kiss at dinner, BE YOURSELF. We all know what is right and wrong - nothing is wrong with love.So be yourself. Al and Chuck NEED you to be yourself (and they NEED you to be "positive and lightness" and "follow the rules" Which aren't discriminatory. Did I tell you that? They're not. They're simply... Anti-terrorist.] So Be Yourself. Just don't wear a glamorous and/or outrageous gown while you're Being Yourself. Even if that's part of who you are. The understanding is... Underwhelming.