'O&AN' and 'iOut' to set sail in February

More than 300 individuals have booked cabins on a fantastic cruise aboard the luxirious Costa Mediterranea, which will set sail from Fort. Lauderdale bound for the tropics on Sunday, Feb. 25 returning Sunday, March 4.

This cruise marks the first time that two local GLBT newspapers have teamed up to offer their readers a chance to socialize and cruise together on an exclusive ship.

Also joining readers will be the winners of the cruise from the Nashville GLBT Business and Life Expo - members of the Nashville Ballet: Christopher Mohnani and his partner Brian Williamson, both seasoned dancers in the company.

“O&AN” and “iOut” have teamed up with Richards Entertainment to offer the special package, with prices starting at $820. The seven-day cruise travels to San Juan (Puerto Rico), St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands), Catalina Island (Dominican Republic), Casa De Campo (Dominican Republic), and Nassau (Bahamas).

A special “welcome aboard” cocktail party will await “O&AN” and “iOut” readers, offering them complimentary drinks, games and prizes. One night during the cruise a special GLBT dance night will await shipmates. Cabin space and dinning space have been reserved exclusively for “O&AN” and “iOut” readers.

"This is not an exclusively gay cruise, however, rooms and dinning space have been reserved for 'Out & About' and 'Inside Out' readers,” explained Brent Meredith, “O&AN” editor. “We are truly excited to team up with our weekly media partner and Richards Entertainment to offer this exceptional cruise," Meredith added. " I plan to attend and encourage others to do the same.”

If you are a country music fan, for an additional fee you’ll have the chance to enjoy special performances by Collin Raye, the Bellamy Brothers, Mel Tillis, Scooter Lee, along with Canadian country stars Rick Henry and Peter Myles. The “country cruise” package includes concerts, afternoon dance lessons with instructors from around the United States and Canada, evening dance parties, country karaoke, Country Cruise 2007 T-Shirt, Q & A sessions with the stars, along with a meet and greet and an autograph session.

“Either package [the “O&AN/iOut” or the country cruise] will allow you to enjoy theater shows, contests, special dance events, games and the luxuries of a first class cruise ship,” explained Kevin Richards, owner of Richards Entertainment. “We’re looking forward to having a very diverse international group onboard the ship.”

The ship, the Costa Mediterranea, has a unique personality inspired by Italy’s 17th and 18th century palazzos and castles. The decks are dedicated to mythology in the Mediterranean Sea, with the Maschera d’Argento Atrium spanning 10 decks high featuring an incredible sculpture of dancers suspended in mid-air.

“This unique Costa fleet boat is reminiscent of an aristocratic Sicilian palace,” Richards said. “The two-level Degli Argentieri Restaurant is adorned with exquisite objects d'art and frescos. The interior spaces on board this 86,000 ton Costa fleet ship are truly an expression of an inimitable, unique style.”

This special and exclusive package is not available through any travel agent. For more information on pricing, click here. For more information or to book your cruise, call toll free 1-888-403-0071.

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