Carnival Cruise Lines will now allow guests aboard what is being dubbed as the largest gathering of drag queens at sea to wear drag during the cruise, following outrage at a letter sent to passengers advising them that they will not be permitted to do so in public areas.
The letter, sent by Carnival Cruise Lines vice president of guest services Vicky Ray, told passengers sailing on the 2 December Carnival Glory voyage out of Miami that guests who violate the policy, “will be disembarked at their own expense and no refund will be given.”
Ms Ray attributed the decision to the amount of families and children that sail aboard the ship and expressed the line’s expectation that passengers “recognise that minors are onboard and refrain from engaging in inappropriate conduct in public areas.”
Carnival Cruise Lines president and CEO Gerry Cahill has taken to social media to explain what he says was a miscommunication between the cruise line and travel agency, Al and Chuck Travel, who booked the cruise.
“When the group was presented to us we were advised that only the performers would be dressed in drag during the private events,” Mr Cahill writes.
“However, we are now aware that this was not clearly communicated to members of the group and therefore anyone who wishes to dress in drag may do so.
Mr Cahill goes on to express the importance of onboard safety and security procedures asking passengers to keep in mind that people must still be recognisable by their government-issued ID.
“We do not practice any form of discrimination against the LGBT or any other community. We sincerely apologize for the miscommunication and for any unintended offense we have caused,” Mr Cahill writes.
Carnival Cruise Lines has advised any passengers who wish to cancel their cruise will receive a full refund of their cruise fare along with reimbursement for any non-refundable travel related expenses.