Are Gay Cruises Prices More Expensive?


If you’re considering going on a gay cruise, one of the first things on your mind is likely to be costs. Cruises are expensive anyway (come on, you’re traveling the world on a humongous ship), but do gay cruises cost more than regular cruises? What about the things you can do once on board?

It really does depend – but on the whole, yes, you’ll pay a bit more for a gay cruise than you would for a regular cruise. That’s partly because you’re paying for a special thing; the company is catering to a niche market, and so it does cost more. Other specialist cruises tend to be more expensive too.

Let’s check out some of the top information about gay cruises, why they are more and what you can do to keep your costs down.

Smaller market to target on a gay cruise

Why Do Gay Cruises Cost More?

There are a number of things that tend to bump up the price of a gay cruise. A lot of people think that cruise companies are just gouging, but very often, that’s not the case (though obviously, there are a few unethical providers out there).

Understanding where the extra price comes from can make it less frustrating for individuals who would like to take a gay cruise but are put off by the cost. So, let’s check out the top factors that make gay cruises so pricey!

Factor 1) Smaller Market

The first factor is, as mentioned above, simply the fact that they are catering to a smaller market and therefore have to charge more because they don’t have the same mass appeal.

Cruise companies that cater to a wide market can afford to make less money per ticket, and are much more likely to sell out – meaning that they can sell tickets for less (and that in itself may further increase their chances of selling out).

Gay cruises have a much smaller audience; although the LGBTQ+ community is vast, they still make a relatively small portion of the cruise market, and the providers have to work harder in order to sell out.

Because of that, ticket prices go up – which makes it even harder to sell them. There’s a fine balance to be found here, but it makes sense that gay cruises cost a little more when you consider it from this perspective.

Factor 2) Better Acts

Almost all cruises have shows on offer, and this is one of the big attractions of course – but when it comes to a gay cruise, it’s an even bigger attraction for most of the passengers. The LGBTQ+ community is known for loving flamboyant shows and Pride acts, and the cruise providers work hard to deliver.

While you can certainly see some great acts on a regular cruise, gay cruises tend to go all out when it comes to their shows, and that comes at an extra cost. If you’re booking some of the most famous gay entertainers, you’re going to pay a lot for them.

Shows tend to come rolled into the price of cruise tickets, so if you’re keen to see any of these acts, it can be a great way to get access to them alongside a fun holiday, but if you’re not planning to see them, you may feel you’re paying over the odds for your ticket. Weigh this up when deciding which cruise to book, and bear in mind that the price you’re paying covers the shows you’ll get to see.

Factor 3) More Inclusions

Many gay cruises also have more inclusions than regular cruises; you’ll find a lot of other things rolled into the ticket price. For example, you may find that adult beverages such as cocktails and wine are included (up to a point) and that things like hotels are also on offer for your pre-cruise stay.

These things alone can drive up the prices surprisingly fast – think about how expensive alcohol is, after all. Often, you’ll pay something for drinks, but there may be some inclusions that make the price of the ticket much fairer than it seems initially.

Some gay cruises will also include the shore excursions, which are seriously pricey affairs – so if you’re thinking of taking a trip, don’t be immediately put off by seeing a high price. There may be some extremely good reasons for that extra cost and overall, you could actually end up saving money, especially if shore excursions are on your itinerary.

So, that gives you some idea of why a gay cruise might be a more expensive option; in many cases, those extra dollars will be justified, although you should still do thorough research and check out what’s included before you buy your tickets.

Factor 4) The Parties

Yes, you can absolutely attend a party on many “straight cruises,” but gay cruises are known for their party atmosphere, and of course, parties don’t come super cheap. Hiring DJs, paying for lighting, effects, live music, alcohol, wait staff, cleaning crews, and everything else that comes in this category drives up the ticket prices.

And if the cruise is offering parties every night or every few nights, that’s only going to push the price up further. Bear this in mind when you’re checking out ticket costs, because the parties are what draw most people in, and they’re a long way from cheap. You’ll get to attend more on most gay cruises, but you will pay a premium for that.

Parties on a gay cruise

Do Gay Cruises Always Cost More?

Although the general rule is certainly that gay cruises are expensive, it’s important to note that there are sometimes ways around this, and a gay cruise won’t absolutely always be more expensive. Many have promotions that make them cheaper, and if you’re a regular traveler, you may be able to access some great deals.

Always shop around when you’re considering a cruise, and check out what options you have on offer. You might be able to get a really good deal if you shop around a bit. A lot of cruise operators have particularly generous deals if you’re a loyal customer, so check these out and consider going back to the same company if you’ve had a decent experience.

Who Prefers Gay Cruises?

Very obviously, LGBTQ+ people are the ones that gay cruises are catering to – but of course, many of these people also go on “straight cruises.” You aren’t obliged to go on a gay cruise just because you’re gay, but there are a few significant factors that may push you to consider this kind of cruise.

Firstly, if you want to immerse yourself in an atmosphere that is totally accepting and understanding, where everybody is on the same page and there’s no judgment, a gay cruise could certainly be right for you. There’s something wonderful about being surrounded by an entire community of “your people,” and for many LGBTQ+ individuals, this is a rare experience.

If you’re looking to meet people, you’re more likely to do it successfully on an LGBTQ+ cruise. For starters, you’ll be surrounded by queer people, but secondly, many of the companies specifically facilitate meetings and make it easier to get to know people. That might be with pre-dinner drinks, “roll call” services, or something else.

Next, it’s worth being aware that most gay cruises do not allow children, which can be preferable if you’d like a mature, adult environment where you can unwind without shrieking, yelling, running, or splashing in the pool. You don’t have to hate kids to want your vacation to be kid-free, and gay cruises offer this option, while many mainstream cruises are family-friendly.

Gay cruises

Who Prefers Straight Cruises?

Of course, many LGBTQ+ individuals go on mainstream cruises and have a wonderful time; you don’t have to pick a gay cruise for it to be fun. Mainstream cruises have some advantages too, with the obvious one being their relatively lower costs (at least upfront!).

It’s also important to recognize that many gay cruises are somewhat limited and you can’t go just anywhere when you choose one. These are still a somewhat niche offering (we know, they shouldn’t be!) and you may not be able to travel to your destination of choice with one.

If you want to travel with kids, it can be hard to find a gay cruise, so you may be more inclined to go with a mainstream one – although there are a few options that manage to be both LGBTQ+ and family-friendly. Disney offers a combination, as does Royal Caribbean, so you certainly have options if you want something that ticks both boxes.

Whichever kind of cruise you pick, make sure you pay attention to the inclusions and itinerary before you make a decision about the price, because these two things can significantly affect the costs.


Gay cruises are often more expensive, especially if you compare tickets like-for-like. Some people are shocked by this and feel that ticket companies are taking advantage of a minority group, but the factors above help us understand why the costs are often higher.

Gay Worlley

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