US: Drag queen cruise reverses decision to ban guests in drag after viral outrage

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Carnival Cruises has reversed its earlier, well publicised decision to ban customers who are due to set sail on one of its ships from going in drag to a private drag show.

The company’s Vice President of Guest Services Vicky Rey issued the request via an email to passengers who are due to holiday on the Carnival Glory on Sunday, 2 December for its “Drag Stars at Sea” cruise.

In the email dated 26 November, Ms Rey wrote: “Carnival attracts a number of families with children and for this reason; we strive to present a family friendly atmosphere. It is important to us that all guests are comfortable with every aspect of the cruise.

“Although we realise this group consists solely of adults, we nonetheless expect all guests to recognise that minors are onboard and, refrain from engaging in inappropriate conduct in public areas”.

She went on to say: “Arrangements have been made for drag performances in the main theatre featuring stars from LOGO TV. These functions will be private and only the performers are permitted to dress in drag while in the theatre.

Guests are not allowed to dress in drag for the performances or in public areas at any time during the cruise”.

Now in an email to customers, the company has reversed the decision. Carnival Cruise Lines president and CEO Gerry Cahill sent out the following message:-

“Within the last 24 hours, we became aware of a miscommunication between Carnival Cruise Lines and, who have booked a large special interest group on the upcoming Carnival Glory cruise departing December 2, 2012.

“The group, ‘Drag Stars at Sea,’ includes several performances by stars from Logo TV as part of a series of private events onboard. When the group was presented to us we were advised that only the performers would be dressed in drag during the private events. 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. Please keep in mind that our safety and security procedures require guests to present government-issued ID, and to be recognizably that person.

“At Carnival, we are proud to carry more than 4.5 million guests every year and we welcome them all aboard. 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.

“Given this misunderstanding, anyone on this cruise who wishes to cancel for any reason may do so and will receive a full refund of their cruise fare, as well as reimbursement for any non-refundable travel related expenses.

“We constantly strive to provide our guests with a fun and memorable vacation. We look forward to welcoming everyone onboard Carnival Glory and again want to apologize for the misunderstanding and for any offense we have caused.”