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  WINDY CITY TIMES

TRAVEL R Family Vacations Rides Wave of Gayby Boom
2003-10-08

This article shared 4343 times since Wed Oct 8, 2003
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Media icon Rosie O'Donnell has expanded her reach to include gay family vacations.

R Family Vacations was founded by Rosie and her partner, Kelli O'Donnell and travel entrepreneur Gregg Kaminsky. R Family Vacations introduces the very first all-gay and lesbian family vacation packages.

'We're creating vacations where gays and lesbians can bring their kids, their friends, and their parents. And, this is the first cruise that will cater to both gays and lesbians,' said Gregg Kaminsky.

Both O'Donnell and Kaminsky stopped by the Windy City Times offices when they were in town for a travel event.

'This is not a party cruise,' Kaminsky said. 'We are taking over the whole ship—1,000 families, starting from New York. There are 10 restaurants, entertainment, and much more.'

'The ship has an amazing kids program,' said O'Donnell. 'It has a camp.' She is quick to note that adults will not be bored—there are several theaters and even Broadway shows, with smaller venues for gay comics.

So far, their gender balance is around 50/50, which excites the co-gender company. 'We were worried that it would be more females,' O'Donnell said. 'But our ads have been balanced. The connection we all have is family—and that is not male or female.'

There will also be children of all ages, and people who both had their children during heterosexual marriages, as well as gays and lesbians who are adopting or having their own children. Basically, with 1,000+ families, and a huge cruise ship, there will be something for everyone. Even heterosexual siblings and parents—who, on other cruises, might have felt quite out of place.

It's 'R Family' and that means a place where everyone is finally welcome, the company founders stated in a press release.

_____

This unique endeavor comes to fruition with an inaugural gay and lesbian family cruise to Florida and the Bahamas. The weeklong cruise on the new Norwegian Dawn departs from New York City July 11, 2004. Ports of call include Port Canaveral, Key West, Nassau and Norwegian Cruise Line's own private Bahamian island.

'We've carefully selected this week to offer you the perfect summer getaway and one that allows children to attend without missing school. During our 7-day cruise, we'll experience some of the best theme parks and beaches in the world,' the company states.

This innovative cruise line experience includes educational programming for kids and adults provided by The Family Pride Coalition and will include workshops, round-table discussions and panels. Guests can also expect world-class entertainment and a completely customized cruise vacation.

R Family Vacations' future trips will include small tours, ski trips, resort programs, fishing trips and safaris. Liberty Travel and GOGO Worldwide Vacations are currently accepting reservations for the inaugural cruise.

For more information, visit www.rfamilyvacations.com or call 1-866-R-FAM-VAC.


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