Get Ready

FEB 22-MAR 1, 2025



We’re often asked, “What should we expect from a VACAYA Big-Ship Cruise experience?” Our big-ship vacations offer a welcoming judgment-free environment, all-star entertainment, mind-blowing parties, and non-stop activities to exponentially expand your social circle. Our cutting edge programming and innovative new social activities are meant to connect you with other travelers in lighthearted and unexpected ways.

The VACAYA Big-Ship Cruise rhythm is… Fun. Light. Warm. Spontaneous. Joyful. Engaging. Celebratory. Non-stop. Ultimately, each big-ship vacation is what you make it – totally yours to define. Our ships are the ultimate hub for friendship – your chance to connect with like-minded people from all over the world in a festive playful environment.


As a VACAYA guest, special airfare discounts are available to you for flights to New Orleans (MSY) or Baton Rouge (BTR) on Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, and Delta Codeshare Flights.

Find all the details and booking links/codes HERE.


We’ll provide Royal Caribbean with your bed configuration preferences. The beds in the stateroom can either be set up as one larger bed or split into two separate beds. When you first get to your stateroom, if your bed isn’t configured as you wish, simply ask your Stateroom Attendant to reconfigure it and they’ll either put them together to form the larger bed or break them apart to form two smaller beds.


To avoid exorbitant mobile service charges while at sea, we recommend turning your phone to Airplane Mode when we’re not docked. If you don’t, you’ll automatically connect to “Cellular At Sea,” which has truly astounding per-MB rates for data/calls. Even if you’re not actively searching the web, most phones automatically download emails and refresh webpages in the background, and that could easily escalate to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in extra mobile charges from your provider.


VACAYA will offer a clothing optional space onboard where sun lovers can sunbathe in the nude. We’ll have details of the exact location shortly before the cruise. The clothing optional sun deck is ONLY available on Sea Days. While in all of our ports, swimsuits are required on the upper decks.

And obviously… we ask that cameras not be used in this area.


Vaccinated and unvaccinated guests are welcome to sail on this cruise. There is no testing requirement prior to sailing. Obviously, requirements could change at any time, and we will, of course, communicate any changes in protocols.


US Dollars are widely accepted in all ports of call.

Mexico’s currency is the Peso (MXN) and as of February 2024, it trades roughly at:

1 USD = 17 MXN
1 MXN = 0.06 USD

1 EUR = 18 MXN
1 MXN = 0.05 EUR


A valid passport is required of all travelers.

Visas are not required for US Citizens, but may be required of other nationalities. 

Guests from countries that require a visa MUST obtain a valid visa before leaving home. Laws do not allow a guest who requires a visa to board the ship without required visa(s). SPECIAL NOTE: Even if you’re told you won’t need a visa if you plan to stay on the ship, this is NOT TRUE. If a visa is required of your nationality, you MUST have a visa even if you plan to stay on the ship.

United States Permanent Residents who possess an Alien Registration Card (Green Card) do NOT require a visa.

These travel documentation requirements are government regulations and policies. They are subject to change without notice. It is the sole responsibility of each guest to identify and obtain all required travel documents and have them available when necessary. These appropriate valid travel documents (such as passports and visas) are required for boarding, entry into other countries, and reentry into the United States.

We strongly recommend that all guests travel with a passport that’s valid for at least six (6) months beyond the end of their cruise. This greatly assists guests who may need to fly out of the United States to meet their ship at the next available port should they miss their scheduled embarkation in a U.S. port; guests entering the U.S. at the end of their cruise; and guests needing to fly to the U.S. before their cruise ends, because of medical, family, personal, or business emergencies, missing a ship’s departure from a port of call, involuntary disembarkation from a ship due to misconduct, or other reasons.

The name on your VACAYA reservation must match the name on your passport or other identification documents.

Guests who do not possess the proper documentation will be denied boarding.

Unfortunately, no refunds will be given to individuals who are denied boarding due to improper documentation.


DAY: With warm temps, shorts and T-shirts will be your best bet while in port.

NIGHT: VACAYA’s dress code is “Evening Chic” – smart and stylish. But what does that actually mean?

Dress pants/designer jeans, collared shirts, cocktail dresses, and skirts with a nice top fit the bill perfectly.

We never want to limit your creative freedom as far as dress is concerned, so know that there are no hard and fast rules in regard to what’s acceptable and what’s not. But here are some specific recommendations that will help you decide what’s most appropriate for Brilliance of the Seas’ elegant and casual dining spaces throughout the evening:

  • Tank Tops in the Main Restaurants for dinner aren’t the best choice. Let’s be real… only a few of us (and we applaud you fetishists) would want to see a hairy armpit while enjoying filet mignon and lobster.
  • Dress Shorts are ok in the Main Restaurants for dinner. Swimsuits are not.
  • Dress Sandals are ok in all restaurants for dinner. Flip-flops? Not so much.
  • If you’d like to keep your dress super casual for dinner, Windjammer Café provides a perfect dining choice. And flip-flops are a-ok around the clock in Oceanview.
  • Shorts and T-shirts are discouraged in the elevated dining experiences of Chops, Giovanni’s Table, and Izumi.

PARTIES: Our theme parties will provide you with endless opportunities to show off your style with imaginative costumes. Just keep in mind that your penis and balls and your vagina have to be covered (unless otherwise noted). But by all means don’t be afraid of the exciting world of sheer fabrics… we love them! Because Windjammer Café will be open late into the night (and we know you’re going to want a burger at 2am), we ask that if you’re wearing a costume that exposes your butt cheeks, that you wrap a towel around yourself while dining. Towels will be available near the entrance of the café.

THE POOL DECK: Just like with the men, women are allowed to use the main pool and Solarium pool topless. If anyone would like to sunbathe fully nude, please use our Clothing Optional Sun Deck while at sea. Please note that nude sunbathing is not allowed on the Clothing Optional Sun Deck when we’re docked alongside the pier.


All emails to our Booked Guests are available here:

April 22, 2024 – Hotels Now Bookable & Delta Discounts


We’ll begin previewing our FABULOUS ENTERTAINERS here approximately 45 days before our cruise.


For our female-identifying guests, floor-length evening gowns are required for the Orpheuscapade Ball on Monday, March 3. If you don’t have an evening gown that fits the bill, there are several New Orleans sales and rental houses that specialize in Mardi Gras Ball wear for women. They are:

4113 Tchoupitoulas Street
New Orleans, LA 70115
OPEN Monday-Saturday: 11am-5pm
CLOSED Sundays

3114 Severn Ave.
Metairie, LA 70002
OPEN Monday-Wednesday: 10am-5pm
Thursday: 12pm-7pm
Friday-Saturday: 10am-5pm
CLOSED Sundays

8131 Hampson Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
OPEN Monday-Saturday: 10am-6pm
CLOSED Sundays


Brilliance of the Seas will be docked in Downtown New Orleans close to Riverwalk Shopping Center. We’ll have the exact terminal/pier information approximately 60 days before our scheduled departure.

As always, the Terminal assignment can change at any time. Please check the board as you enter the Port of New Orleans to confirm the docking position.


100% of your prepaid gratuities go to onboard staffers, including your stateroom attendant, the culinary services staff, the behind-the-scenes hotel services staff, and the myriad department heads who work with their teams around the clock to create a flawless VACAYA experience for you.

A 20% gratuity is added to all beverage purchases, specialty dining purchases, and spa/salon services. If you purchase one of Royal Caribbean’s Beverage Packages, remember that you’ve already paid the gratuity when purchasing your package. No further gratuity is required, but additional gratuities are always appreciated.

A Note About Additional Tipping: As a community, we are extremely generous. We eagerly recognize outstanding individual service with a few extra dollars here and there. Of course, no extra monetary recognition is ever required, but when you take the time to say “thank you” and offer that 3am room service attendant or your favorite bartender a couple dollars, know that it’s always immensely appreciated by the crew members you recognize.


Brilliance of the Seas features Starlink Wi-Fi and package details/pricing will be available to you approximately 45 days before our departure date. 


When boarding Brilliance of the Seas, you’ll be greeted by several V Team members who’ll give you a choice of 3 different colored lanyards – red, yellow, or green. Not only will the lanyard hold your room key card (especially helpful when in a swimsuit without pockets), but it’ll also help tell a part of your story at a glance:

RED – I’m happily taken and off the market, but definitely open to new friends.

YELLOW – I’m magical and mysterious. Ask for my deets.

GREEN – I’m open and ready to mingle.

We recognize you’ll be making a lanyard decision on Day 1 that might look a little different by Day 3. If you decide later that you’d like a different color, please swing by the VACAYA Hospitality Desk when open (hours are listed in your daily program, Cruise Compass) and we’ll be happy to offer an alternative while supplies last.


If your luggage doesn’t arrive with you at the airport, be sure to file a claim with your airline and make sure they understand you’re getting on a cruise ship. It’s also wise to provide them with a copy of your itinerary. Once onboard Brilliance of the Seas, be sure to let the Guest Services Team know your bag has been delayed. This will help immensely in getting your bags to our ever-moving ship.

When you arrive at the Port of New Orleans, you will hand off your luggage to the porters at the taxi drop-off. Before handing off your bags, be sure each bag is properly tagged to your stateroom. When you check in online in advance of the cruise, you’ll also be able to print luggage tags. We recommend waiting to arrive in New Orleans BEFORE placing those tags on your luggage. This will help ensure they don’t get ripped off during your flights.

It usually takes between 4-6 hours from the moment you hand over your luggage to the pier-side porters until the bags arrive to your stateroom. If your luggage hasn’t arrived by 8pm, reach out to Guest Services on Deck 4 mid-ship. They will do their best to track down your bags. Usually, the reason for a piece of luggage not making its way to your room is that the identifying tag was ripped off at some point in the transfer from pier to ship. These untagged bags are placed in corral awaiting identification.


For all the latest VACAYA gear (or V-Gear, as we call it) – from T-shirts and hoodies to coffee mugs and hats – visit our online marketplace…




Basic medical services are available onboard. The Medical Center is located Deck 2 mid-ship and their opening hours will be posted in the ship’s daily program, Cruise Compass. 24-hour emergency services are also available.

VACAYA recommends that you consult with your primary physician before sailing if you’re experiencing any serious or chronic medical issues. The onboard medical team can provide basic services for illnesses/injuries that may occur onboard. They are also able to diagnose and stabilize most emergency situations. If you require emergency services that can only be provided by a shore-side facility, transfers can be arranged. Please note, however, that while sailing, transfers may be affected by weather or other logistical considerations.

Quarantines: The health and safety of guests and crew is of paramount importance. And on rare occasions, the medical team may decide your condition requires you to be quarantined to your room. This is most common when highly contagious gastrointestinal illnesses like Norovirus are diagnosed. We’ve all heard the stories of hundreds of cruise passengers falling ill with stomach issues like Norovirus and the like. Based on Center for Disease Control guidelines, quarantine is the medical team’s best defense in stopping the spread of viruses such as this. If you’re quarantined, we will do our very best to make you as comfortable as possible for the duration of your quarantine.


VACAYA is all about connections. And we’ll host different professional and interest group meetups throughout the week, giving you the chance to come together with others who share like interests. We’ll also host twice-daily 12-step meetings. It’s time to make some new friends!


If you’re one of the hundreds of guests driving into New Orleans, you’ll want to reserve your parking spot at the Julia Street Cruise Terminal in advance. 

Parking for Julia Street Cruise Terminal (available to ticketed NCL and Royal Caribbean Passengers ONLY)

  • Parking is available at the 100 Poydras Garage, located at 100 Poydras St. New Orleans, LA 70130. The 100 Poydras Garage opens at 9:00am local time and has over 500 covered and secure parking spaces.

  • Parking rates: $25 per day without reservations and $25 per day plus $1/per day fee for advance reservations.

  • Parking reservations can be made HERE.

  • A shuttle will be available to take all cruise passengers and their luggage to the Julia Street Cruise Terminal.

  • Please have your boarding information available. You must show it to the parking attendant to enter the facility.

  • Maximum vehicle height is 6′ 4″ with a maximum length of 22′. 


For Oversized Vehicles (RVs, Buses, and Vehicles Longer Than 22′)

Please call Ann Hanks at +1.504.528.3318 for reservations.


Overflow Parking

Due to high parking demand, it may be necessary to redirect passengers to the overflow parking lots that are conveniently located near the cruise terminals. Shuttle transportation to and from these lots is provided.


VACAYA’s promise to you is to deliver party themes for each of our trips 120 Days before our adventure together. That day is Friday, October 25, 2024!


Inbound and Outbound Satellite Phone Services are available from your stateroom at a cost of $7.95 per minute. Calls are paid by credit card (Visa and MasterCard only).

For inbound business or emergency calls, have callers dial +1.888.724.7447 or +1.321.953.9003. Once prompted, choose to connect to Brilliance of the Seas.

For more information about this service, visit Per minute pricing subject to change at any time. 


Guests looking to preserve their cruise memories may encounter onboard photo and video documentarians in the form of the Royal Caribbean photo team and the VACAYA media team.

For the most immediate access to photos from your vacation, look out for the Royal Caribbean-badged photographers onboard. Royal Caribbean offers an extensive range of photography services for guests to capture and preserve memories of their cruise. Trained photographers are on hand to capture every special moment of the vacation, from formal portraits to candid shots around the ship. There are a variety of packages available, ranging from single prints to digital packages, to cater to different budgets and preferences. Special events, such as parties and shore excursions, can also be commemorated with specially designed photo packages. The photos are captured using high-quality cameras and equipment, ensuring they are of professional quality. The photo desk staff is available to assist guests in choosing the right package and scheduling a photo session that fits their schedule.

VACAYA also has a media team onboard to document the overall guest experience for our photo and video archives. The main goal of this team is to showcase the VACAYA brand to current and potential guests through our website, social media, and marketing communications. Their work is critical in helping us achieve our vision of becoming the #1 global brand in LGBT+ vacations. While they’ll be capturing the guest experience, it’s important to keep in mind that they are not specifically there to serve as individual photographers for guests. If you’re looking for personal photos and videos from your vacation, the Royal Caribbean photo team is available to provide professional photography services and capture stunning, high-quality memories of your time onboard.

At VACAYA and Royal Caribbean, we understand some guests may prefer not to have their photos taken during their cruise. We respect your privacy and your right to decline photography services. If you prefer not to participate in either the Royal Caribbean photo services or the VACAYA media team’s documentation of the guest experience, simply let our photographers or media team members know your preference.


We are now featuring an all-new way to book our recommended hotels in each of our host cities. For New Orleans, our recommended hotels are the following:


  • The Eliza Jane
  • Four Seasons
  • Windsor Court


  • Hilton New Orleans Riverside
  • Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
  • InterContinental New Orleans


  • Holiday Inn Express New Orleans Downtown
  • Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans French Quarter/CBD


You can book our recommended pre-/post-cruise hotels using THIS SPECIAL LINK.

If any of our recommended properties doesn’t show up in your search, that means the hotel is sold out. In that case, you can choose from our second tier of recommended properties, which will appear automatically.


And don’t forget, if you’re looking for a post-cruise experience that is OVER-THE-TOP AMAZING, join VACAYA at Hotel Indigo for our post-cruise Mardi Gras program. Details can be found HERE and space is limited.


  • Guests are not allowed to bring Beer, Hard Liquor, Fortified Wines, Other Alcoholic Beverages, or Cases of Soda/Water onboard for consumption, with the following exception:
    • Guests wishing to bring personal wine onboard at the beginning of the cruise may do so, limited to two (2) 750 ml bottles per person. When consumed in any shipboard restaurant, bar, or dining venue, each bottle shall be subject to a corkage fee of $25.00. It is recommended that you pack your personal wine in your carry-on bag, as alcohol packed in regular luggage has the potential to be confiscated by security.
  • Illegal Drugs and Illegal Substances: All illegal drugs and illegal substances are strictly prohibited.
    • A note about Medical Marijuana: Royal Caribbean does not allow guests who possess medical marijuana permits to bring marijuana onboard their ships. It is only legal to use medical marijuana in the jurisdiction (state/county/city etc.) where it was prescribed. It’s a federal offense to possess it when leaving and entering the U.S. and many foreign countries.
    • Kratom is prohibited.
  • All Firearms and Weapons, ammunition, explosives, incendiary devices, and realistic replicas of firearms are prohibited. For security reasons, Royal Caribbean does not permit guests to carry firearms onboard during their voyage or otherwise secure weapons for anyone on their vessels or at the pier. Guests will need to make arrangements to leave the firearms at home or contact the local authorities for alternate arrangements. Royal Caribbean does not allow any guest (including law enforcement officers on vacation) to bring weapons onboard the vessel. All weapons should be left at home, locked up in a vehicle if driving to the port, or turned over to a local office of Customs, police, FBI, etc. for safe keeping during the voyage.
  • Flammable Items: All items with open flames or heating elements are strictly prohibited; the exceptions are hair curling irons, straightening irons (flat irons), and hair dryers, which are permitted onboard. Flammable Items include, but are not limited to the following:
    • Candles
    • Clothing Irons
    • Travel Steamers
    • Hot Plates
    • Incense & Burners
    • Tea Cup Immersion Heaters
    • Aerosols, except for personal care toiletries
    • Fuels, including cooking fuels and any flammable liquids
    • Gasoline
    • Gas Torches
    • Lighter Fluid
    • Flares
    • Flammable Paints
    • Turpentine & Paint Thinner
    • Realistic Replicas of Incendiaries
    • Hookahs & Water Hookah Pipes
    • Car Batteries
    • Hoverboards
    • Oil diffusers
    • Electric Blankets
    • Electric Heating Pads
  • Knives and Sharp Objects: All knives with blade lengths of four (4) inches or greater are prohibited. Knives that are concealed or disguised as other commonplace objects such as belt buckles, walking canes, pens, credit card holders, etc., are also prohibited. Flick knives (also known as an automatic knife, pushbutton knife, ejector knife, or switchblade) or any other type of knife with a folding or sliding blade that is opened automatically by activating a button, lever, or switch on the handle. Knives that incorporate locking blades are also not allowed onboard. Other sharp objects, such as scissors with blades longer than 4 inches, which could reasonably be used as a weapon, are also not allowed. Sharp Objects include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Box Cutters
    • Ice Picks / Ice Axes
    • Meat Cleavers
    • Razor-Type Blades, such as box cutters, utility knives, and razor blades not in cartridge (Note: shaving safety razors are allowed.)
    • Sabers, Swords, and Fencing Foils
    • Scissors with blade length four (4) inches or greater
  • Recreational Diving Knives Exception: Recreational diving knives are permitted onboard regardless of blade length but must be held in the safe custody of the Chief Security Officer. Dive knives may be checked in and out by the owner for dive excursions during the cruise
  • Personal Grooming Items Exception:Personal grooming items such as metal nail files, cuticle tools, scissors for trimming facial hair, manicure sets and other similar small personal grooming implements, are permitted onboard.
  • Tools include, but are not limited to the following:
    • Axes & Hatchets
    • Cattle Prods
    • Hammers
    • Drills and Drill Bits
    • Saws
    • Other Tools (such as wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers) greater than 7 inches in length
  • Martial Arts and Self-Defense Items include, but are not limited to the following:
    • Billy Clubs
    • Black Jacks
    • Brass Knuckles
    • Kubatons
    • Mace / Pepper Spray
    • Martial Arts Weapons
    • Night Sticks
    • Nunchakus
    • Stun Guns / Shocking Devices
    • Throwing Stars
    • Handcuffs
    • Bows & Arrows
  • Sporting Goods Exception: Sporting goods and equipment are permitted onboard. However, guests should be advised that the items must be stored in their stateroom and are not to be used, displayed, or carried in the public areas at all. Violations of this policy will result in confiscation of the item and may be considered to be a Guest Conduct Policy violation. Sporting goods include, but are not limited to the following:
    • Baseball and cricket bats
    • Hockey sticks
    • Skateboards
    • Surf boards
    • Golf clubs
    • Bicycles
  • Disabling Chemicals and Other Dangerous Items: The following items or those similar are not permitted onboard:
    • Samsung Galaxy Note 7
      • Royal Caribbean no longer allows Samsung Galaxy Note 7 cell phones onboard their ships. This decision was made in light of recent incidents and safety concerns raised by Samsung about this particular device, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recent ban of the phone from all airplanes. We ask guests who own a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to not bring the device on your cruise.
    • Chlorine
    • Bleach
    • Spray Paint
    • Tear Gas
    • Transformers
    • Electrical Extension Cords – including power strips/surge protected strips
    • Spillable Batteries (Note: Wheelchair batteries are permitted)
    • Small Compressed Gas Cartridges
    • Fire Extinguishers
    • Other Compressed Gas Cylinders (Note: Dive tanks are permitted if they are empty; Medical gas bottles are also permitted)
    • HAM Radios or other transmitting devices are strictly prohibited due to potential interference with the ship’s onboard communication systems.
      • Baby monitors are not allowed to be used onboard our vessels as their radio signal could interfere with ship communication and/or navigation systems.
      • Note: Guests are allowed to have two-way radios, more commonly known as walkie-talkies, for onboard personal communications. Basic specifications are as follows: Up to 10-mile coverage range, Up to 5 watts power, Internal Voice, Operated Transmission, No external mounting antenna.


Our Red Light District will be open nightly (with the exception of the night of February 28) from 11pm-4am. We ask all guests to be respectful in regard to cleanliness. Supplies, towels, and trash receptacles will be readily available; please use them. A simple rule to ensure we’re able to continue offering the RLD: if you make a mess, clean it up. Also…

Be polite and respectful.

This should go without saying, but no means no. Whether that “no” is verbal, physical, or simply one’s attitude, if someone seems disinterested, leave them alone. Don’t try to initiate play if someone is walking away, shaking their head, pushing your hand away, or otherwise declining via body language. Don’t be pushy or rude. You’ll be asked to leave the space if you are.

Understand that consent is sometimes non-verbal.

To put a finer point on the above: if someone is blindfolded and on all fours, they’re likely giving you non-verbal consent to have sex with them. If a guy is standing there with his dick in his hand, he’s giving you non-verbal consent to approach and likely give him oral sex. If, however, anyone pulls away or otherwise signals a change in intent, that means they’ve declined consent, too.

These are obvious situations and pretty common, but if you’re ever unsure, it’s always acceptable to ask. Other situations, however, may not be so clear. Be aware of your body language and the body language of others, and remember that non-verbal consent gets harder to read when alcohol is involved.

That being said, please understand when entering a play space like the Red Light District, a certain degree of consent is waived.

If you walk into a space where people are having sex, you waive a degree of consent. That’s the reality of the situation. Of course, you still retain the ability to deny consent; if someone touches you, you can gently rebuff them or move their hand away. Anonymous groping and touching is a feature of these spaces, and by entering them, you will all but certainly face it. Please keep this simple rule in mind: don’t be an asshole. Don’t push yourself on someone if they’re clearly denying consent.

Understand that not everyone reads body language the same way.

If you’re in the Red Light District where talking is at a minimum and body language is the primary mode of communication, you run the risk of misreading someone’s intent – a risk everyone assumes by being there. If you have to be more direct with someone, open your mouth and speak. There is a big difference between misreading someone’s body language and ignoring a direct, verbal “no.” If the latter occurs, tell the V Team members who’ll be present at the RLD each night. Disrespecting consent isn’t sexy; it’s harassment. And pushing it too far could be criminal.

Don’t let rejection ruin your night.

Some people will want to play with you, some simply won’t. The person you’ve been looking at all night may not be in to you, and that’s okay. Accept it, and know that’s part of the reality of every play space.

Never talk about who you saw at the Red Light District, and never take photos or videos.

The Red Light District is a place people go to be uninhibited, to break loose from the morals and judgement of society, and fulfill their sexual fantasies. Respecting the privacy of others is key to maintaining that atmosphere. Talking about other attendees outside these venues reflects poorly on you, and detracts from the purpose of the space. CAMERAS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE RED LIGHT DISTRICT.

If you choose to have unprotected sex, assume the risks.

All sex carries some risk of HIV/STI transmission, but that risk can be minimized if you take certain precautionary measures, like using condoms or taking PrEP. Even with condoms, you’re still at risk for common sexually transmitted infections, and PrEP only protects you from HIV. This is why the official PrEP page on the CDC’s website states you should use condoms in conjunction with PrEP to protect yourself from infections like syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

If you choose not to wear condoms, you obviously have a higher risk of getting an STI than your condom-wearing peers. That’s a simple fact. There’s no shame in it, however. It’s just a fact of sexual life today. If you enjoy anonymous play – no talk, no names, no chatter – you assume even higher risk, and such risk is absolutely part of this kind of experience.

Since risk is unavoidable, there’s no reason to let that reality prevent you from enjoying what you enjoy. Take necessary steps to keep yourself healthy. Get tested frequently. If you’re HIV+, get on meds as soon as possible and take them diligently. HIV+ people who take their medications as prescribed become undetectable, meaning HIV antibody tests can’t detect the virus in their blood, and they are unable to infect their sex partners with HIV, regardless of condom use.

Get tested for HIV and other STIs after the cruise.

If you go into the Red Light District often and regularly have sex there, please get tested after our time together. Frequent testing is how our community reduces the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Thank you to Alexander Cheves for these play space essentials.


Wearing a mask onboard is not required, but if wearing one makes you feel more comfortable, by all means… you do you. We all recognize that each person traveling has their own set of circumstances back home that affect their decision to wear a mask. No one will judge you if you choose to wear one.

A long list of safety protocols is in effect behind the scenes to minimize interruptions to the experience. #AdaptToLive 


At VACAYA, we’ll do our very best to serve both cruisers who smoke and those who don’t. The designated smoking areas onboard Brilliance of the Seas will be detailed in your daily program, Cruise Compass


Do you have a special need in regard to mobility, stateroom accommodations (for example, needing a shower stool), dietary restrictions, or medical equipment being brought onboard (for example, a CPAP machine and you’re in need of distilled water)?

If so, Royal Caribbean has an entire department to handle these types of special requests. We’ll have full details closer to our sailing.

If you’re deaf and in need of an ASL Interpreter on the cruise, please alert VACAYA by emailing


We’ll have details about the ReachOUT initiative for our 2025 Caribbean Cruise here approximately 30 days before our sailing.


Week-long passes to Brilliance of the Seas’ Thermal Suite will be sold onboard starting at 3pm on Feb 22. A limited number of passes will be available.

Before you purchase a pass, however, please understand this space…

First and foremost, it’s important to get this most crucial of issues out of the way first: the Thermal Suite is NOT a sanctioned play space. It never has been, and it never will be.

Many guests of all genders pay top dollar for massage treatments in the spa – some of which include Thermal Suite access before/after their session as part of the therapy. Spa workers will be coming in and out of the Thermal Suite non-stop to collect those guests. While certainly relaxing and meditative, this is their workspace. It’s NOT a space for sex.

Now, let’s talk “for reals.” We recognize there’s not a sauna or steam room at any gym on earth where guys don’t do guy things. It’s ubiquitous. But everyone also knows there are consequences to being caught doing sexual acts in those spaces. So just don’t. One thing that separates Vacayans apart from every other group of guests out there is that they’re respectful to each other and to the workers who call Brilliance of the Seas home. We don’t want the spa workers to have to kick anyone out, but they will. And if you’ve purchased the week-long pass and get kicked out for inappropriate behavior, there are no refunds. You lose access and your money.

So, what are your alternatives? Well, VACAYA has created the largest sanctioned play area in LGBT+ cruising with our Red Light District. So, use it. Or if you’ve found “the love of your life” in the steam room, take them back to your room.

VACAYA is striving to create the most welcoming environment on earth for everyone in our community. To do that, though, we need everyone’s care in recognizing that certain spaces – like the Thermal Suite – will be occupied by men, women, and our non-binary guests, all of whom have paid for a spa experience. Don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable by being lewd. It’s not a good look for you or for VACAYA.

We hope you recognize that VACAYA is extremely progressive in our views on sexual expression, and we believe we’ve proven that we don’t beat around the bush on complex topics. We embrace sex and sexuality enthusiastically, but we also recognize when and where it’s appropriate. It is NOT appropriate in the Thermal Suite.


Our post-cruise Mardi Gras Ball, Orpheuscapade, is Black Tie. If you don’t have a tuxedo, there are several rental houses in New Orleans we can recommend:

Perlis Clothing: For over fifty years, Perlis has been a go-to for formal wear, especially for occasions like Mardi Gras balls. They offer a diverse range of tuxedos and accessories. More information is available on their website:  Tuxedos can only be rented out at the following location:

Perlis Magazine Street
6070 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
Phone Number: +1.800.725.6070

Bliss Bridal: Situated on Magazine Street, Bliss Bridal provides tuxedo rentals and features a “Build A Tux” option for personalized styling. For more details, visit

Bliss Bridal
3624 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
Phone Number: +1.504.592.7507
Email address:

John’s Tuxedos: Serving the New Orleans area since 1984, they offer an extensive selection of tuxedos, suits, and accessories.  Additional details are available on their website:

John’s Tuxedos
3200 Houma Blvd.
Metairie, LA 70006
Phone Number: +1.504.455.5353
Additional Links: and

Mr. Tux II: A well-established business in New Orleans, Mr. Tux II offers a unique $76 Black Tie Special and various tuxedos suitable for different events, including Mardi Gras balls. Visit for more information.

Tux rental at Bliss Bridal is an easy three-step process:

  1. Meet us at 4959 West Napoleon Ave., Metairie, Louisiana 70001 so we can measure you and help you select what you need.
  2. On your scheduled pick-up day return to our location to pick up your tux and accessories.
  3. After your event return your tux and accessories to our Metairie location.
  4. Phone number: +1.504.486.5309


If you need assistance with a VACAYA-related matter, our Hospitality Desk is located on Deck 4 near Guest Services and will be open daily. A detailed schedule will be posted here before our cruise. Opening hours will also appear in your Cruise Compass daily program.

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