Virgin Voyages Decides it Won’t Be Known as the ‘Porn Boat’

by SharonKurheg

If you think about the major cruise lines out there, each one tends to have something of its own niche reputation. That’s not a coincidence, of course. Each company tries to target a certain demographic.

  • Disney Cruise Line is the family-friendly, squeaky clean cruise line. Because they’re from Disney, there are “Disney” experiences abound, including Disney movies, shows, meet & greets. They also offer fireworks at sea; the only major cruise line to do so.
  • Carnival tends to be the cruise line for people who like to “party”. It’s also known to cost significantly less than several other cruise lines.
  • Royal Caribbean is the cruise line that has all different types of entertainment for various members of a family. They tend to cater to more adventurous seafarers, with, among other things, zip lines, mega water slides, skydiving simulators, bumper cars, and ice skating rinks onboard.
  • Holland America tends to cater to an older demographic who are interested in the simplicity of sailing. With them, you can expect Bingo games, jigsaw puzzles, napkin folding classes and LOTS of cruises to Alaska πŸ˜‰
  • Celebrity Cruises are more upscale, with a more refined experience, along with excellent service for its guests. There’s more world-class cuisine onboard Celebrity’s ships, and their destinations are higher end – including the Galapagos Islands (they’re the only major cruise line allowed to stop there).

Virgin Voyages is the “new kid on the block.” Originally scheduled to begin sailing in 2020, that was delayed for a year or so, thanks to the pandemic (thanks, Covid!).

With three years now under its belts, Virgin has strongly established itself as:

  • the “adults only” cruise (it’s 18+)
  • the more open minded cruise (there’s very much a sophisticated “you do you” atmosphere. As long as it’s legal and not against their rules or requests, enjoy. Case in point, they allow topless sunbathing on a specific sun deck, have no dress code for meals [save for “more than a bathing suit”], have a tattoo parlor on-site, offer a regularly-scheduled drag show, etc.)

These two reputations have made some people make the assumption that Virgin Voyages is also:

  • “The pineapple people” cruise (as an adult only cruise, people who participate in that lifestyle are sometimes a little more “out” about their preferences. But really, it happens on every cruise of every cruise line)
  • “The gay cruise” (they think open-mindedness means everyone on the cruise is LGBTQIA+. They’re not. There might be more slightly more gay/trans/etc. people on Virgin Voyages because with an open minded vibe, it’s viewed as more of a safe space. But that doesn’t mean it’s a “gay cruise.”)

In fact, because of the “adult” atmosphere some people who don’t know any better seem to think it’s the “all sex all the time” sort of cruise. Unfortunately, Virgin Voyages inadvertently may have almost helped that reputation along when they accepted a booking to be the site of something called EXXXOTICA At Sea. The sailing was scheduled to be on March 6-10, 2024.

a woman standing on a boatEXXXOTICA at Sea is a “child” of Exxxotica Expo, which is an annual convention described as the, “largest adult event in the USA dedicated to love and sex.” Running annually since 2006, it’s touted as “the unconventional convention, “EXXXOTICA was created for like-minded adults who are looking to EXXXPLORE your wild side.” The 3-day convention typically includes adult-themed stage shows, seminars and exhibitors, as well as BDSM and other lifestyle opportunities, along with guest appearances by adult film stars.

So, like ComicCon…but sex-themed. πŸ˜‰

EXXXOTICA At Sea was announced in April, 2023.  This was their press release about the event:

With EXXXOTICA, the nation’s largest and longest-running celebration of love and sex, wrapping up its 50th and most successful show of all time last weekend at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, the show’s producers, Three Expo Events, are excited to announce their newest event — EXXXOTICA At Sea — setting sail from Miami on March 6-10, 2024.

With dozens of shows produced over the last 17-plus years, it’s been a long-time goal to take things to the next level with EXXXOTICA, and that time is now.

Introducing EXXXOTICA At Sea! Setting sail on the adults-only Virgin Voyages cruise line and produced in conjunction with experienced travel professionals Executive Casino Tours, the four-day sailing will depart Miami with stops in Key West and the Beach Club at Bimini, Bahamas, on the beautiful Scarlet Lady.

Let’s not forget EXXXOTICA At Sea will feature top stars, parties, and events, shows featuring fan faves, gifts and exclusive merchandise, intimate dining and reception opportunities, meet and greets, upgrades, and much more both on the ship and in ports.

While aboard, EXXXOTICA At Sea’s sailors can expect to enjoy a first-class voyage. Whether you’re just lounging poolside in the sun with a cocktail, experiencing high-end dining at one of the ship’s 20+ eateries, including five-star restaurants or just grabbing a pizza, snack or ice cream, trying your luck in the casino, or taking in a show, there’s truly something for everyone.

Virgin Voyages feature brilliant inclusions on every adult-only voyage. Never dimming your glow with unexplained charges like daily service fees and upcharges. Tips, WiFi, essential drinks, and group fitness classes are all included in your voyage package. Plus, all guests will receive onboard credit and a bonus of $300 per cabin alcoholic drink package.

This is truly an opportunity not to be missed, and space is limited on a first come/first serve, so place your deposits today. Payment plans are available, and there are various levels of cabins available to fit budgets.

To get more information or to reserve your cabin for EXXXOTICA At Sea latest on EXXXOTICA, please visit, exxxoticaexpo.com/exxxotica-at-sea.

You can follow Exxxotica on Twitter at @EXXXOTICA.

By early May, they had announced on their Twitter account that some of their cabin blocks were close to selling out.

And then, all of a sudden, everything stopped. The event was cancelled. And it didn’t appear to be on EXXOTICA’s end. Here’s the press release that went out on August 7th:

August 7, 2023

EXXXOTICA At Sea Statement

Due to circumstances beyond our control (Virgin Voyages decided to issue us a contract but then refused to execute it), EXXXOTICA At Sea has been postponed until further notice.

We’re surprised and disappointed that Virgin has decided that their “Adult Only” cruise line is unwilling to accept an “Adult Only” group, but we will not be deterred and are currently looking at all options for a future sailing date on another cruise line. The response we received was amazing and we look forward to hitting the high seas in the near future. In the interim, please join our mailing list below for all updates.

REFUNDS: All current bookings will be receiving an email with refund instructions, as well as alternate options. Please check the original email address you used when signing up. If you have any other questions, or if you do not receive an email, please contact cruise@3xevents.com

THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING.

Virgin, to our knowledge, has not said anything about why they *ahem* pulled out. But without hearing their side of the story, reading between the lines, and admittedly putting my own conjecture into it, I could easily see how they didn’t want to be known as the “porn ship.” So perhaps a low level employee accepted the group reservation but when management heard it was for a group for and from the adult entertainment industry, they decided the booking wasn’t worth sullying their reputation.

Another thing to consider – this booking wasn’t for a sellout of the ship. I know someone who is scheduled to be on the March 6-10, 2024 cruise and they said they had no indication that a group/convention of people was going to be there specifically for adult film stars, shows and events. Open-minded or not, nor were they happy with that possibility.

Granted, we don’t know if EXXXOTICA at Sea was meant for hundreds of attendees or just dozens, but a group like that would change the whole vibe of a ship. ANY large group is going to do that, but the vibe of, I dunno, a bunch of travel bloggers or a community choir is going to be very different from that of the adult entertainment industry. Perhaps if it was a sellout, a’la Bare Necessities’ annual Big Nude Boat cruise, it wouldn’t have been as much of an issue.

Again, we don’t know Virgin’s side of this or why they decided to cancel. But I’d bet anything they don’t want their self-made “adults only” reputation to turn into an “adults’ activities” cruise. a.k.a. “The Porn Ship.” I’m thinking they’d rather stay in control of that narrative.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

3 comments

Christian August 18, 2023 - 10:34 pm

Knowing when to pull out can be important.

Reply
SharonKurheg August 18, 2023 - 11:39 pm

Christian is here all week, ladies and gentlemen. Try the veal! πŸ˜‰

Reply
Christian August 19, 2023 - 7:25 pm

ROFL! My wife thought I was having a seizure.

Reply

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