One of our favorite on-board activities was dance lessons. We signed up for salsa (two classes) and rumba (two classes), along with about twelve other couples. For some reason we were about the only ones who attended nude. (Clothism is a disease that spreads, but real nudists resist being intimidated by textiles.)
The instructors were excellent. They patiently taught us the basics of Latin dance. As a result I’ve finally learned the Latin hip sway so feel much more confident when dancing to Latin music.
We spent one night dancing naked to disco music in the Frankenstein room. It too was mostly clothed.
Monday we docked at the Grand Turk islands. This was a clothed excursion day. We took a bus tour and learned that the local economy had been based on slave labor producing salt. Large brown, brackish salt evaporation ponds still cover large areas of the island. We also visited a lighthouse.
The island was not impressive, but the surrounding sea was beautifully sparkling clear, so when we returned from the bus tour we immediately got our swim suits (yuck) from the ship, rented equipment, and went snorkeling. Wow, what an enjoyable experience! We saw barracuda, sting ray, squid, flounders, parrot fish, and dozens of other species of sea life. It was gratifying to be able to introduce snorkeling to our friend Lee. Snorkeling at Grand Turk was definitely memorable. (See photos at http://imageevent.com/kenandjane/grandturks.)
That evening the ship sponsored a Halloween party. PJ spent hours creating a costume using the beads she’d gathered at Fantasy Fest. We spent the evening partying, walking the ship, dancing, and generally having fun. PJ participated in a pumpkin carving contest. Even though she didn’t win, I loved her pumpkin. (See photos at http://imageevent.com/kenandjane/halloweencruise.)
At the end of the evening we enjoyed a tasty pizza meal with friends before hitting the sack. Tomorrow would be our last day at sea.
Before concluding this report, I’d like to share a few observations about the people. I will cast these thoughts within the context of my understanding of naturism.
The cruise was advertised as “clothing optional”, not just naturist, so there were few actual naturist events (perhaps only the beach excursion at Half Moon Cay and basking in the sun on lounges around the pool).
When eating, attending shows, partying, singing, dancing, and wandering around the ship the majority of people stayed clothed. Oh, a few people, including PJ and I and our friends, stayed nude most of the time, but that was the exception.
We ate with one couple who said they were definitely not nudists; they had only joined the cruise to attend Fantasy Fest. Skimpy, sexually suggestive clothing was commonplace. The majority wore everyday vacation clothing.
The staff remained clothed of course. They had been given special training about naturist beliefs before the cruise.
It was interesting to see a few dedicated naked people mixing with clothed people of all stripes. While fortunately not obvious, we noticed some cabin doors suggesting swinger-like activity.
In general, while there were people with many different lifestyles, only a few appeared to be “real” naturists. I’m sure some were first-timers with an incomplete understanding of naturism. Many of our fellow cruisers had been to naturist resorts a few times, and many practiced naturism situationally like in the pool area, but few were “members” of a nudist resort or chose to live as naturists.
I suspect a nude cruise would be a great venue for sharing naturist history, philosophy, and practices. There were workshops on many topics, including Tantra (divine sexuality) so why not one about naturism?
This cruise has persuaded me even more that a person’s “intention” is most important to being a naturist. Practicing of naturism naturally normalizes the body, so promiscuity and related sexual agendas are reduced. It was evident that some cruiser’s “intention” was sexual in nature – their biggest agenda item. Clothing was used to broadcast that intention. As one guest put it, clothing is not only for protection but also for drawing attention to certain body parts. I asked this scantily clad guest what he intended – silence.
While not a conclusive guide, and perhaps too judgmental, nudists tend to like being nude in most circumstances, whereas wearing clothing, particularly sexually-oriented clothing, indicates intensions that are not naturist.
Of course naturists enjoy sex with committed partners, but sexuality is not the main focus. Rather, naturism is counter-sexual because it normalizes the body.
But enough philosophical thought, the final day at sea PJ and I arose early to enjoy a pleasant nude breakfast on the top deck. The sea was rolling calmly, the ship rocking gently.
We visited the photo gallery (we purchased quit a collect of photos that I will share in a future post).
Then we enjoyed a relaxing morning without friends. I liked that.
We spent the afternoon taking our final dance lessons. We love dancing together nude. It’s interesting how quickly nude becomes comfortable, normal.
After the dance class we soaked our feet in to pool where nearly everyone was naked – what a relief.
Then we returned to out room to pack. It was sad to think that this was the last day of our cruise, but then again, after eight days we felt tired and ready for a change.
We ate a clothed meal for the last time in the formal dining room – outstanding as normal.
Then PJ and I got ready for our last professional photo – nude.
After having our picture taken, we returned to the room to finish packing, followed by one last meeting with friends at the all-night pizza bar. Then off to sleep.
We debarked Wednesday morning, the end of a marvelous nakation, the return to the abnormal textile world. Oh well, I suppose all good things must come to an end. We had enjoyed living life with many like-minded people of our own species, shopping and eating and singing and dancing and attending entertainment nude, relaxing on a sunny beach and boat nude, snorkeling nude, as well as experiencing Fantasy Fest – our weirdest experience ever.
We fondly look forward to our next nakation. One thing for sure, we enjoyed cruising nude much more than cruising clothed. Hopefully, nude is how we’ll always be able to cruise again.