Bare Necessities Nude Cruise 2016 Review
YNA Review of the Bare Necessities 2016 Nude Cruise
Guest blog by: Michelle Wallen
In February of this year, Melissa Starr and I had the opportunity to represent the Young Naturists America on “The Big Nude Boat,” a 2,000 passenger nude cruise by the Bare Necessities Tour and Travel organization. While I had been on one cruise before, I had never had the chance to do the Nude Boat! It was everything I had hoped for and more. The opportunity to meet naturists from all over the United States and other countries was incredible.
The cruise was 7 days, with 5 different ports of call (Forte de France in Martinique, San Juan in Puerto Rico, Samana Dominican Republic, Grand Turk, and Coco Cay in the Bahamas). There was plenty to do on the “at sea” days, as just like any cruise, there’s always something going on somewhere!
In addition to the music, games, workshops, theme night workshops, art sales, plays, and theme nights, there was also a “hospitality deck,” where different naturist and nudist organizations set up information tables. AANR, Bare Necessities, naturist real estate groups, beach organizations, resorts, and groups were represented. This is where Melissa and I had a YNA table. We chatted with fellow passengers and had some great conversations about how to get more young people involved in naturism.
We arrived at Forte de France, Martinique, where Carnival was well under way. Carnival is a four day festival based on folklore, culture, religion, and tradition, and we were there just in time to be a part of their “Red Devil Parade.” At any moment of the day, hundreds of people could be seen dressed in red or bright colors, wearing devil masks and adorned with glittering mirrors, bells, feathers, paint, and beads.
Men dressed in elaborate and provocative drag is a reference to the central role of women in Martinique’s society and family structure. There were people dancing in the streets, parade floats, drum and dance performances, and just a general level of excitement and celebration that you have to experience for yourself by joining in!
The second port was San Juan, Puerto Rico, where Melissa and I wandered through the beautiful streets of Old San Juan, then rode the free trolley to Castillo San Cristóbal or Fort San Cristóbal which is part of the San Juan National Historic Site. Built on San Cristobal Hill, it is one of the largest defenses ever built by Spain in the Americas, rising over 150 feet above the sea, and covering 27 acres of land. After wandering through the deep, dark tunnels and visiting the dungeon, we got to the top, where the views of the City and ocean were simply breathtaking.
Samana, Dominican Republic was the next stop. We were immediately greeted with music and dancing (personally, I love when you get a special greeting like that- a little glimpse of the culture). The island looked absolutely gorgeous, and I wish I had scheduled an excursion to the rain forest or mountainous countryside just to experience more of the area. We wandered along the waterfront, did a little shopping, walked into town, and had a nice time just talking with the people that live there. I’d definitely like to make another visit and experience more of the area.
The forth port, and my absolute favorite, was Grand Turk. Not necessarily because of the exact spot we were at so much as the little island I went to for snorkeling and swimming with the sting rays. That spot was everything I always dream of when I think of the perfect spot to spend the rest of my life. Crystal clear waters, gorgeous sand beach, isolated from everything. When I got back home, I immediately starting looking at resorts in the Turks and Caicos area, as I absolutely must get back there.
The final stop was a private island in Coco Cay, Bahamas. Since we were the only group there at the time, we were able to be clothes free everywhere except the shops. The weather didn’t cooperate with us that day (some rain and very high winds), but I managed to find a hammock and spent most of the time basking in the glory of doing absolutely nothing!
To wrap up this incredible experience, I will say that the crew of the ship was amazing, as was the staff from Bare Necessities. I can’t think of anything that we needed or wanted that we didn’t get, and we definitely felt pampered. This was my second cruise, so I don’t have a lot to compare to, but I was really amazed at how smoothly everything went and how accommodating everyone was. The opportunity to meet up with an entire ship of nudists / naturists from all over the world was something I never thought possible. It was great just relaxing with others and learning about their experiences. It was definitely a dream come true, and I would like to say a huge “thank you” to Jordan and Felicity for allowing Melissa and I the opportunity to represent YNA!