An email sent to passengers signed up for Carnival’s December “Drag Stars at Sea” cruise, notified guests they wouldn’t be allowed to wear drag, even though the performers—stars from past seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race—would be.
While some grumbled the cruise line was worried about families and children that would also be aboard the USS Glory, tour operator Al & Chuck Travel insisted it was standard safety protocol in a post-9/11 world.
Now Carnival Cruise Line president Gerry Cahill has released a statement clarifying the current situation:
Within the last 24 hours, we became aware of a miscommunication between Carnival Cruise Lines and AlandChuck.travel, 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.”
Given the situation, it’s clearly the right call—probably the only call they could make. But will it be enough to avoid a PR iceberg for the popular cruise line? Send a ship-to-shore transmission in the comments section below.