Atlantis Events is making waves in the cruising industry, but not necessarily in a good way. According to BuzzFeed News, passengers aboard a recent Atlantis cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas ship out of Fort Lauderdale were met with a surprise in their pre-boarding handbook (which detailed the entertainment, amenities, and the rules and regulations of their upcoming voyage).
The handbook stated: “While we want everyone to have fun, there are limits and so we ask that you be respectful of all guests and our cruise partners … Please do not post anything explicitly sexual on social media in a public forum or other online space. Any guest who posts or publishes an explicit and publicly visible photo or video will be asked to leave the ship with no refund.”
The handbook went on to specify that a team of volunteers would not only be monitoring public domain sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tik Tok but also sites behind paywalls like Only Fans or Just For Fans.
Rich Campbell, the founder and CEO of Atlantis told BuzzFeed that the new policy was added: “After several sexually explicit public posts were made by our guests with clear identifiers of either Atlantis or our host brands.”
As for Royal Caribbean, they claimed that they and Atlantis Events “together established this policy to protect the safety and privacy of all guests onboard.” When pressed by BuzzFeed as to whether the same policy would be implemented on non-LGBTQ cruises they offered no comment.
When compared to other LGBTQ cruise companies like VACAYA, the Atlantis policy seems to be unique in the industry, for now at least.
As for what the passengers on board thought, it was a mixed bag of opinions, as with anything else. Some understood the need for it from a privacy perspective and some welcomed it as a chance to curtail the overtly sexual reputation these cruises seem to attract and still others found it completely unnecessary.
The question remains as to whether this new policy will alienate any cruisers. Atlantis Events has, for the last 30 years, hosted all-gay vacations aboard several cruise lines and in several resorts around the world, creating safe places for queer people to vacation and relax without fear. And while this new social media policy may not be a big deal for some, for others it is just another example of queer censorship in the mainstream media.