Travel diary: Kathy, Melissa set sail

Comedy and music hit the high seas; Virgin to launch Hawaii service this summer


The Carnival Breeze


CARIBBEAN QUEENS | Gay fave Kathy Griffin makes us laugh on dry land already, and will really rock the boat for two concerts in Cozumel, Mexico this month.

Gay icons take to the seas in 2016!

First up: Legendary ally Kathy Griffin helps expand the Carnival Cruise Line’s “live” performance series, expanding it from music to comedy.

Griffin is the featured entertainer on two cruises leaving from South Florida this month, performing while the liners are docked in Cozumel, Mexico. She’ll perform Feb. 24 on the four-day Carnival Fantasy cruise, and again the next night (Feb. 25) on the six-day Carnival Breeze. (I’ll be aboard the Breeze — which starts in Miami and goes to Jamaica and Grand Cayman on the way to Cozumel — and be tweeting and posting during the trip.) There are still tickets available. Visit to book, and maybe I’ll see you at sea!

Not to be outdone, rock goddess Melissa Etheridge will host her own “rock the boat” cruise to the Caribbean this fall. The cruise sets sail from Tampa on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas ship on Halloween and returns Nov. 5. In between, you’ll see Melissa and special guests Joan Jett and the Blackhearts perform on the way to Key West and Cozumel. More guests will be announced as the date nears. You can reserve a cabin now at

If you like to get to your islands by airplane, Virgin America has a suggestion. The funky airline is launching daily direct service from Los Angeles to Hawaii  — both Honolulu on Oahu (starting May 5) and Kahului on Maui (starting June 14). And with non-stop flights also offered from Love Field to LAX, it’s a quick hop to get you to Barack Obama’s (alleged) birth state. (We kid, we kid….)

For those who prefer to stay on dry land entirely, the historic Ye Kendall Inn in Boerne, Texas, is under new ownership. A jewel of the Hill Country, this ante-bellum mansion was converted to a hotel in the late 1880s and was named Ye Kendall Inn in 1909. Reservations for a small-town-Texas experience can be made at

Finally, if you’re still not fully done with winter — and didn’t get to enjoy it enough with all our warm weather — there’s still one more major North American gay ski week of the season. Mammoth Gay Ski Week in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains takes place March 16–20. You can pre-order your passes and book lodging at

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 12, 2016.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Concert notice: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts to play Rowlett in July with a reunited BTD

Thanks to the guys and gals of Idol Records for inadvertently letting me know about this show. The Rowlett Exchange Club will be hosting Que Fest in early July. With a tagline, “It’s all about the kids,” the club celebrates 15 years of service with a three-day festival and concert. For their second day, they bring in Joan Jett and the Blackhearts on July 3.

One of our favorite butch woman rockers, Jett is having not too bad a year. The film “The Runaways” came out earlier this year depicting the story of her first band. To coincide with the film, she released a substantial greatest hits chronicling her time with The Runaways (albeit remade versions) up to her 2006 release, “Sinner.” And of course, it includes “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

—  Rich Lopez