Transcontinental: Vacations for Gender Variant Travelers
Transgender Vacations sails into its second year offering more vacations
by Heather Cassell
A handful of guests mixed and mingled with other cruisers aboard the inaugural transgender cruise to the Caribbean in December 2014.
About five guests – two transgender individuals, a partner of one of the transgender guests, a person who cross-dresses – and Stephanie Land, founder of Transgender Vacations, which produced the cruise, boarded the Navigator of the Seas of the Royal Caribbean.
The cruise stopped in Belize City, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico; and Roatan, Honduras.
“I had a wonderful time,” says Stephanie, who also goes by her birth name, Jeffery, for professional reasons as she transitions. Like her guests she dressed up and was able to be herself on the cruise.
More important her guests also had a wonderful time, in spite of not having specific events and gatherings planned for the trip other than dinning together each night due to the size of the group.
“I really enjoyed the Transgender Cruise in December 2014,” writes Michael Facchiano, a trans man who was a guest with his partner on the cruise. The couple enjoyed the trip so much they booked the cruise to the Caribbean with Transgender Vacations in 2015. “Stephanie was a good hostess for the trip.”
It may not seem like a big deal to many people, but for transgender and other gender variant and cross-dressing travelers it was a major success. Oftentimes transgender travelers not only deal with documentation issues with their identification and medication but also feeling comfortable crossing boarders and traveling among fellow travelers without trouble because they are different. These issues oftentimes cause a lot of anxiety and stress for gender variant individuals who want to see the world or simply go on vacation.
“I did not have any issues at all, none of us [did],” says Stephanie, who has a decade of experience planning vacations. “It kind of helped me get over that fear about what people might think or say.”
The first trip inspired Stephanie to create more vacations designed for gender variant individuals and their families to help them get out into the world. She is now planning more vacations for 2015:
- August 16 – 22: Transgender Cancun Escape to all-inclusive getaway at the Grand Oasis Sens. Seven days of splendor relaxing beneath the sun, getting outdoors, and enjoying the nightlife starting at $666.
- October 17 – 24: Transgender European Cruise along the Greek Isles aboard Royal Caribbean’s Splendor of the Seas. The ship sails out of Venice, Italy for seven days lowering the anchor at Kotor, Montenegro and Corfu, Athens, Mykonos and Argostoli in Greece starting at $904.
- November 7 – 12: Second Annual Transgender Caribbean Cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas sailing from Tampa, Florida with stops at Key West and Cozumel, Mexico, starting at $565.
Stephanie hopes more people will find out about Transgender Vacations and book especially as she begins bringing entertainment with her aboard the ships and to the resorts. This year for the second annual Caribbean cruise she is planning on bringing entertainment aboard including a DJ and leaders in the transgender community as guest speakers. She’s also hoping enough guests join the cruise to buy out some excursions.
She’s also looking to expand creating family packages.
“Stephanie really did an outstanding job as the hostess for the first annual transgender cruise,” says Micheal, who couldn’t emphasis enough how much he hopes more transgender travelers and their partners sign up for more trips with Transgender Vacations.
“I am really hoping that more transgender individuals book the several trips that Stephanie has planned for 2015,” says Michael.
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