LGBT travel is not just about creating a value for our community, but also how we can impact the world through our travels.
In 2015, RSVP Vacations marks 30 years of gay and lesbian cruises with a yearlong celebration highlighted by its largest cruise yet on the brand-new Regal Princess.
RSVP is taking 3,600 guests cruising from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and the private island of Princess Cays. A completely customized cruise experience will feature all-star entertainment, original theme parties and community-enrichment programs.
RSVP’s most popular entertainers from the past 30 years and some dazzling new stars are slated to perform in the stunning venues onboard. The all-star lineup already includes “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner Jinkx Monsoon, Tony-nominated songstress Ann Hampton Callaway, RSVP favorites Amy & Freddy, actor and singer Missi Pyle (who co-stars in hit film “Gone Girl”) and RSVP cruise director Brad Loekle.
This anniversary cruise is only possible because of an extraordinary man, Kevin J. Mossier, the founder of RSVP Vacations.
Founded in 1985, RSVP has hosted more than 100,000 guests on more than 200 vacations.
“Kevin was a visionary entrepreneur who took risks, treated his employees with respect and always shared his success with them,” said Charlie Rounds, pioneer of LGBT travel, former RSVP Vacations president and friend of Mossier, who died in 1996. “He worked tirelessly for the rights of his community, and always gave back, both in life and in death. The world — gay or straight — needs more Kevin Mossiers.”
“Obviously, very few businesses focusing exclusively on the gay market have been around as long as we now have,” added RSVP President Randle Roper.
Roper noted that, in the early ’80s, the climate for LGBT travelers was challenging, which prompted Mossier to launch the company.
“Kevin was harassed on what was supposed to be a gay-friendly beach and decided there was a better way for him and his friends and family to travel together,” he said. “So he started RSVP back in 1985. The early years were tough — nothing like what Kevin was trying to do had ever been done before. He persevered, however, and here we are 30 years later.”
The RSVP 30th Anniversary Cruise Season will be a celebration of the incredible work of the Kevin J. Mossier Foundation. Since 1997, the charitable giving of RSVP’s late founder’s foundation has touched the lives of countless LGBT individuals and organizations, including PFLAG, Lambda Legal, American Civil Liberties Union, Freedom to Marry, GLAAD, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Amnesty International and on and on and on. The work of the foundation has led to incredible human-rights progress around the globe.
Onboard the Regal Princess earlier this month, Rounds delivered a presentation of Mossier’s and RSVP’s fantastic work in celebration of the anniversary.
Princess Cruises — the cruise line made famous as the backdrop of the iconic “Love Boat” television series — christened its new Regal Princess with a gay campy tribute. All six “Love Boat” cast members — Gavin MacLeod (Capt. Stubing), Fred Grandy (Gopher), Ted Lange (Isaac), Bernie Kopell (Doc), Lauren Tewes (Julie) and Jill Whelan (Vicki) — pulled a lever that sent a record-breaking 50 champagne bottles smashing against the ship’s hull. Frequent show guest-star Florence Henderson served as the master of ceremonies.
Can it get any gayer? Find out more about the 30th-anniversary season at www.rsvpvacations.com.