Your humble blogger has just spent the long weekend at a gay-friendly B&B in Niagara Falls (for a little R&R).
In the late 1800s the New York Central railroad began publicizing Niagara Falls as a honeymoon destination. For some reason the marketing scheme clicked in the conscientiousness of North Americans and Niagara Falls has been seen as the “The Honeymoon Capital of the World” ever since.
It was Niagara Falls where my own parents went after their trip down the aisle in the 1960s and in the ensuing decades a number of my friends have began their marriage with a Niagara honeymoon as well. And yes, they do have tacky-looking heart-shaped beds and bathtubs – in fact, most of Niagara Falls is pretty tacky-looking (wax museums, haunted houses, etc.) once you take a few steps away from the actual falling water.
Since my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario is in the same neighbourhood (just a half hour down the highway from Niagara) a honeymoon at The Falls was, for many of the people I knew growing up, also economical, quick and easily planned (for those Friday afternoon shotgun weddings so popular with your humble blogger’s own dear family).
However the Partner and I have decided to forego a Niagara honeymoon for something quite different than that of my parents: a gay cruise down to Mexico. Although the Gay Groom and his Partner have done quite a bit of travelling during the ten years we have been together, we have (unlike hundreds of thousands of my fellow Canadians) never made the winter pilgrimage down to Mexico (no Cancun, no Acapulco, not even the gay-friendly Puerto Vallarta).
But we have cruised before…
“Christ, I’m not that old yet!” I said when the Partner first brought up the idea of a cruise last year to celebrate my 40th birthday (as much as anyone can ‘celebrate’ being 40 years old). I thought a cruise was for old people. They were for folks who had lost their sense of adventure and who had grown afraid of traveling on their own.
“You’ll love it!” the Partner said.
We set sail on an Atlantis Events gay cruise from Rio de Janeiro (during Mardi Gras – eek!) to Buenos Aires, making a number of stops at cities (Montevideo) and gorgeous South American resorts (Punta del Este, Florianópolis) along the way.
And we had a brilliant time! The Partner enjoyed not having to haul luggage across multiple counties and I enjoyed the twenty-four hour room service. Additionally, we both enjoyed being able to hold hands, kiss and do all the those mushy icky romantic things couples get to do on vacation without any looks of reproach from the blue-rinse crowd (i.e the geriatrics we shocked around the pool at Loew’s Hotel in Souch Beach). We also met some nice guys on the ship that have become great friends of ours. I also liked that we could do as much (sightseeing, adventure tours, etc.) or as little (lying on deck around the pool or out on our private balcony) as we wished. A big gay South American cruise can make even turning forty fun, I thought.
So this year, when we were making the decision about where we should go on our honeymoon in October, we considered of a few place (Paris, Seville, San Francisco) but finally settled on another Atlantis cruise. This time we will be spending a week sailing on the Mariner of the Seas (the largest ship to sail the Pacific) from Los Angeles to Mexico (Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta) and back.
And since this is our honeymoon, we splurged and purchased first-class tickets from Toronto to Los Angeles (where we will be spending a couple of days before the ship sails) and also booked a deluxe stateroom with a private balcony on the ship.
And who know the shenanigans a newlywed couple could get up to out on their private balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
61 days to go.
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom