Several thousand gay men left Fort Lauderdale on Saturday on board one of the largest passenger ships ever built for a week of vacationing, partying, and cruising through the Caribbean.
The trip, organized by Atlantis Events on board the Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas ship, promised social mixers, late-night dance parties, and performances from entertainers including Todrick Hall and Billy Porter.
Such trips can be an annual pilgrimage for many gay men who want to unwind with other members of their community in a fun and sexually liberated setting.
But guests on this week’s cruise were also advised of an “important” new policy that warned them against posting anything sexually explicit on social media.
The new policy was jointly created by Atlantis Events, which is one of the oldest and largest LGBTQ travel companies in the US, and Royal Caribbean, the second-largest cruise line company in the world, after adult videos filmed by passengers went viral in the past.
“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,” reads a section of the handbook sent to guests last month before departure. “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 warns.
The policy also says that it applies to social media platforms that may be private or behind a paywall, such as OnlyFans or Just For Fans, if the content could identify Atlantis, its vendor brands, or other guests with or without their permission.
“We take this seriously and have a team of volunteers monitoring most sites,” the policy advises.
Rich Campbell, the founder, and CEO of Atlantis Events, told BuzzFeed News that the policy was communicated to guests at the request of cruise ship companies. “The cruise lines have asked me to include that and that’s not such a strange request,” Campbell said. “They don’t want their brand featured.”
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