As we explained in a previous article about RSVP Cruises, it is not entirely clear what “RSVP Cruises” refers to. In looking for “RSVP Cruises,” one might be looking for the gay and lesbian cruises organized by RSVP Vacations, or one might be looking for the company Jerry and David’s Cruises and Tours, an agency that caters to gay and lesbian travelers and uses the URL RSVPCruises.com. (The two companies are linked in that you can use Jerry and David’s Cruises and Tours to book your cruise vacation through RSVP Vacations.) You might also be looking for information about booking a cruise that is not necessarily a gay cruise because you associate “RSVP” with “reservation,” but that is neither here nor there. For those who are looking to book an RSVP cruise, the gay cruises offered through RSVP Vacations, you’ve come to the right place, as this article is aimed at this one question: how do you book an RSVP cruise?
The matter is actually somewhat difficult to figure out. On the RSVP Vacations website, there is a “Reservations” tab. On this page, you are told that there are two ways to book a cruise organized by RSVP Vacations. You can either book directly through RSVP Vacations, or you can use a travel agent. Naturally, this immediately led us to ask: can you not book the cruise in any other way, like through a cruise deal site (say, Travelocity) or directly through the cruise line whose ship RSVP is using for the journey? (Although RSVP operated their own vessel, Sea Spirit, for three years starting in 1992, they now use ships owned by other companies for the cruises they arrange.) The answer to this question is evidently “no.” We were unable to locate one of RSVP’s planned cruise vacations – a week-long journey in July to Alaska on Holland America Line’s ship Oosterdam – on Holland’s site. The RSVP cruise is scheduled to leave on July 21, and this is the only date you can’t choose on Holland’s site for this particular cruise, which Holland offers every week from the start of May till the end of September. We also were unable to find this specific cruise on the major cruise deal sites, like Travelocity and CruiseDeals. (On the latter site, the July 21 cruise on the Oosterdam to Alaska is again not possible to book.)
So, indeed, the only way to book the cruise is through RSVP Vacations or a travel agency. (In any case, nothing suggests an alternative method of booking.) One such travel agency is the company Jerry and David’s Cruises and Tours, which confusingly uses the URL RSVPCruises.com. They do not exclusively book RSVP Vacations cruises (that would presumably be too narrow of a market), but they do specialize in serving the gay and lesbian community. Obviously, this isn’t the only travel agency one could use, but as they point out on their site, there are certain advantages to using their services. Because of their pool of clients and the wait list they employ, they are often able to fill the spots made by last-minute cancellations, allowing those who cancelled to recoup most of their investment (and enabling those on the wait list to take the vacation they wanted to take, obviously).
So, if you want to take an RSVP cruise – i.e., a cruise offered by RSVP Vacations – you’ll have to book through the company, or else use a travel agency like Jerry and David’s Cruises and Tours, perhaps by visiting their appropriately name (at least in this instance) URL.