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R Family Vacations Gears Up for the Second Gay and Lesbian Family Cruise

Rosie O'Donnell, along with her partner Kelli O'Donnell and travel entrepreneur Gregg Kaminsky are the principals of R Family Vacations, the first travel company devoted to gay and lesbian family vacations. Following the success of its first cruise, R Family Vacations second cruise will set sail on the Norwegian Dawn with a completely customized itinerary departing from New York City on July 10th 2005, with Ports- of -Call to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Provincetown, Boston, and Martha's Vineyard.

R Family Vacations fills an important niche -- it's truly the first of its kind. "We are the gay cruise with family values. We're creating vacations for gay and lesbian travelers and their family of choice -- children, parents, relatives, friends, couples, and individuals," said Kelli O'Donnell. "R Family Vacations creates an instant community where everyone is welcome. Kids are not required to join our cruise. Many gay and lesbian travelers prefer a more relaxed atmosphere with more sophisticated entertainment than what is currently being offered on other gay and lesbian cruises with less emphasis on late-night dance parties. So this cruise is perfect for them. You don't have to compromise your lifestyle to go on a vacation," adds Gregg Kaminsky.

R Family Vacations are specially designed so children can meet other children from families just like theirs, and parents can relax and pamper themselves. This past summer's cruise had over 600 children. "There are great kids' programs on the ship. It is like a 'day camp at sea' and we offer early evening entertainment that is just for the kids. Kids have their own activities at night while parents can enjoy dinner and a show. For adults, there will be premier entertainment and a lot of pampering and relaxation opportunities," says Kelli O'Donnell. There are themed nightly programs including carnival games, westerns and mardi gras. Last summer, the kids enjoyed watching the off-Broadway production of "Schoolhouse Rock." The kids were excited about their own activities while the parents enjoyed the scrumptious dinners and shows. Babysitting services are also available.

Rosie O'Donnell says, "We welcome all families -- however you define them -- to join us on this cruise. I'm excited to share this experience again with my friends and family." Many straight travelers enjoyed the incredible entertainment and energy offered on this unique gay family cruise. The Broadway -themed entertainment is world-class. Additionally, R Family Vacations again will offer an array of speakers and seminars. Last summer, our guests enjoyed Ms. Shabazz (Malcom X's daughter), Chrissy Gephardt and Esera Tuaolo (gay NFL football player) to name a few. The cruise included travelers from all over the United States and Canada. Weddings are also offered on board. Last summer there were 23 weddings performed. HBO filmed our extraordinary voyage for a documentary that will air sometime in 2005.

Gay and lesbian travelers take an average of 11% more leisure trips per year than heterosexual travelers. In the last decade, the number of cruises of any kind departing from New York City has more than tripled. Travelers today want more choices, and Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) wants the choice to be yours. That's why they have introduced "Freestyle Cruising" and "Freestyle Dining." Choose what (if any) activities or excursions to participate in, and when and where to eat from ten exclusive restaurants offering everything from Asian to French to Italian cuisine. "Charters are a very important business segment for NCL and we are pleased that R Family Vacations has chosen the Norwegian Dawn again for its second charter cruise," said Mitch Schlesinger, vice president of North America sales for NCL. "We look forward to welcoming R Family guests onboard this historic cruise to enjoy Freestyle Cruising out of New York."

R Family Vacations' goal is a simple one: to provide acceptance for all families and to create a welcoming and nurturing environment so a good time can be had by all. We are thrilled that more than half of last summer's guests rebooked for next summer's cruise. To make a reservation, call (866) 732-6822 or visit our website at