From Lisbon and Madeira to Tenerife and Gran Canaria, The Cruise by La Demence took us on an unforgettable, weeklong adventure. Now in its 8th year, this cruise produced by the legendary group out of Brussels left us amazing memories and a yearning to return this coming July 2018. So, join us as we recall 10 unforgettable moments on this awesome European gay cruise.

Interested in joining a gay cruise? Check out our Ultimate Guide on Finding the Best Gay Cruise!

The Parties

La Demence had been producing gay parties in Brussels for nearly 30 years. Their reputation in Europe can be compared to the White Party in the US, which originally started out of Palm Springs. So, it's no surprise that one of the highlights of The Cruise were the awesomely themed and over-the-top parties. With more than a dozen DJ's from around the world, each night hosted both indoor and poolside nighttime parties where guests dressed in their most elaborate customers. We're not joking here….some people literally brought two suitcases just to fit their party costumes for the different themes throughout the week.

The Other Parties

Yes, there were more! If the nighttime parties each night weren't enough, three afternoons during the cruise hosted Tea Dances from 5-8pm with themes ranging from “Where are You From?,” disco and drag. These parties were great and often had even more attendance from guests since many of the people not huge on late night parties joined for a fun and social evening event. Our favorite was definitely the “Where are You From?”  evening where we sported an American bandana and a Spanish sash, representing both our US nationality and our Spanish residency.

Fun Shows and Entertainment

One of the best parts of any cruise is the opportunity to check out the variety of onboard entertainment as you cruise from one port to the other. Some of our favorites included the ABBA show put on by the boat entertainment staff as well as the Mister Gay Cruise 2017 and High Heels Race, hosted by The Cruise staff and onboard drag queens.

Cool Ports of Call

One of the main features of a cruise are the ports of call. Our cruise started from Lisbon, then stopped at Madeira, La Gomera, La Palma, Tenerife, Lanzarote and finally Gran Canaria. Of course, as we're Bad Tourists, naturally we were somewhat lazy and only got off twice, at Madeira and Tenerife. In Tenerife we skipped the main city of Santa Cruz and instead made our way up to San Cristobal de La Laguna, a cute UNESCO designated town easily reached by taking the local tram to the end of the line – about 45 minutes journey. Madeira was by far our favorite stop with its lush vegetation and the beautiful mountainside town of Funchal.

Our Favorite Dutchie Bloggers

We were lucky enough to be joined by our German/Dutch blogger friends Karl and Dan from Couple of Men, who we hadn't actually met in person until the cruise. We had a great time chatting over dinner and partying together at many of the exciting and themed day and night parties. If you're not following them already be sure to check out their blog and cute Instagram account.

The Food

We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of food on the boat, which happened to be the Monarch from the Pulmantur fleet. There were great options at both the buffet and the sit-down restaurant, which served up tasty treats with plenty of variety including lots of vegetarian options.

Afternoon Deck Side Pool Days

For all the ports we skipped on sightseeing we instead opted for warm afternoon days poolside with a cocktail in hand (is that really so surprising?). The pool deck was packed with fun and friendly people from all around the world and we meet some great new friends while perfecting our late summer tans.

Fabulous Fetish

The fact that the cruise was all gay and that costumes were part of the daily themes, there was pretty much a complete ‘open fetish policy’ throughout the whole ship. We easily saw a hundred of guys in harnesses daily and we loved the free and slightly kinky ambience. Coupled with dark rooms and cruising areas at the night parties and the 24-hour dark room, The Cruise is a holiday dream come true for anyone with a kinky vibe and desire to meet a new romance (or quick hook up) at any hour of the day.

The People

One thing that occurred to us over and over was the open and friendly attitude of almost everyone on board. We've been to lots of different gay events, festivals, prides and cruises and we can easily say that the crowd on The Cruise was probably the most open, non-pretentious and easiest to meet and talk to…a huge plus for making new friends giving even singles the opportunity join without a group of friends required. In fact, there were room matching and many different singles events for anyone who decided to come alone, which included more than 800 guys.

And this dance….

And perhaps one of our favorites memories from the cruise was the choreographed cruise danced. Anyone with an interest in learning the number could take a quick lesson and join in line with a group dancing in sync to the best daytime beats on the pool deck.

It wouldn't be a #gaycruise without a bit of gay choreography ??? Final days on #TheCruise by #LaDemence

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Are you interested in joining The Cruise this coming summer? Visit their website here and check out the new itinerary from July 9 – 16, 2018. We hope to see you on board!

Check out our YouTube video from The Cruise here!

Would you consider taking a gay cruise? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below?

Note: we were invited to attend The Cruise but rest assured that all opinions are 100% our own. In fact, we had a blast during the week and would recommend the awesome experience to anyone.