Booking a Cruise Through Pied Piper Travel

March 20, 2013

If you haven’t guessed yet, TheGuysWhoTravel are also TheGaysWhoTravel. Steven and I are married, while Zak and Mike are currently free agents (applications currently being accepted). Our sexuality doesn’t define all of who we are, and certainly not all of how we travel, but sometimes we will book a vacation that does have more of a gay slant to it.

Pied Piper Travel is a travel agency based in New York that specializes in gay and lesbian cruise bookings. As apposed to companies such as Atlantis which will lease out an entire ship for a cruise, Pied Piper is much smaller. For example, for the cruise that we just took, there were I believe about 65 people booked through Pied Piper on the ship (out of the over 2,000 passengers total).

This is the first time we have booked through Pied Piper, but we would definitely do it again. The benefits are many:

  • Booking through Pied Piper was actually cheaper than booking through the cruise-line directly. It's our understanding that Pied Piper has signed a multi-year contract with Celebrity Cruises (and other lines), allowing them to pass on a pretty good discount. (And we were even able to use our own travel agent to book through Pied Piper, so even with the discounted price there was still enough commission to go around! Although most people we met booked through Pied Piper directly)
  • The Pied Piper group is seated together for dinner, so you have a greater probability to be sitting with people who you have something in common with. In our case, we had a FANTASTIC table, and have made some new friends for life.
  • Pied Piper will organize special events on the ship for the people booked with them. On our cruise, there were 3 separate parties, where Pied Piper picked up the tab for the drinks (although we had an unlimited package so that part wasn’t as big a deal for us). They also arranged for private tours of different areas of the ship.
  • There are Pied Piper hosts on board to organize the parties, and assist if there are any issues while you are on the ship. In our case, Ian and Carl were fantastic. Super friendly guys.

The age-group of the Pied Piper travelers skewed a fair bit older than Steven and me, but I sense that had more to do with the nature of this particular cruise (14 nights in Asia) rather than Pied Piper itself.

I think it’s important to note that not a requirement to be LGBT to book through Pied Piper. Certainly it would help to be LGBT-friendly, but everyone is welcome. (And I’m sure there are people who are happy to book just for the discount -- there’s no obligation to sit with the group or attend any of the special events).

We will most definitely book through Pied Piper again for itineraries that interest us. Every fall they have a river cruise in China that looks amazing, so hopefully sometime in the next few years will we be able to fit that into our schedule.

This article is in the category: Travel.



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