Carnival backtracks, allow drag on ‘Drag Stars at Sea’ cruise

Last week, it was Carnival Cruise Lines that seemed adrift.

They had booked a (non-exclusive) tour called Drag Stars at Sea on one of their ships, featuring queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Bookings began months ago. Everything seemed fine.

Then a week before they were set to weigh anchor, Carnival issued a letter to attendees (pictured), explaining that drag would only be allowed by performers onstage — no passengers would be allowed to dress in drag in any public areas.

The letter caused a furor. It almost made no sense anyway, since it begs the question: “What is drag?” Could a female passenger wear a tux? Could a man wear a floral bikini on the Lido deck? How flamboyant does a boa have to be before it crossed the line from “bachelor party” to “female impersonation”? Folks were outraged — even those who didn’t plan to wear drag.

In case you missed it, Carnival has since rescinded the ruling, allowing drag. More than that, they apologized and have even agreed to give no-hassle refunds to anyone who wants to back out now as a result of the prior policy.

Sounds like they, like their gay passengers, are finally on board.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones