Why swinger cruises are seeing a resurgence and the secret language of lifestyle cruises


Pineapple parties: Swinger shorthand has been developed to help them network on ‘Vanilla’ cruises. Photo / Getty Images

If you like pina colada and getting caught in the rain… pay close attention to the pineapples on your next cruise. For one group of cruise goers they have a very specific meaning, according to Luxury Lifestyle Vacations, a cruise company that specialises in sailings for swingers.

The cruising crowd are a friendly bunch.

“Meeting like-minded people” was listed as a top reason people sail, according to Bliss Cruises, which specialises in “couples only” cruises.

With so many different niche and speciality operators, cruise ships are places where holidaymakers go to follow their interests. There are sailings for culture vultures, naturalists, adrenaline junkies – even swingers. Maybe that should be especially swingers.

Swingers – who enjoy the practice of swapping spouses – are increasingly heading to the high seas in search to satisfy their sexual fantasies.

It’s something that’s not normally discussed in polite society. So swingers have developed a shorthand to catch the attention of passengers who share their niche interest.

Pineapples are just one of a myriad of not-so-secret ways of finding others this shared interest.

It’s useful particularly on “Vanilla” – or non adults-only – sailings – say Matt and Bianca Garry, who run The Travelling Swingers vlog. The couple who have been married for 25 years recently discussed the matter on why cruising was seeing a swinging resurgence.

“We love the cruises,” Matt Garry said via the couple’s vlog, adding that he and his wife had set up a system of swapping cabin numbers with other passengers to help navigate large ships.

“Walking down the hallway and you start a conversation with somebody and you hit it off, but these ships are so big that you might never see those people again.”

Swinging on the high seas: Companies like Bliss Cruises charter large ships from cruise liners to hold their 'lifestyle' itineraries for swingers. Photo / Brandon Newson, Unsplash
Swinging on the high seas: Companies like Bliss Cruises charter large ships from cruise liners to hold their ‘lifestyle’ itineraries for swingers. Photo / Brandon Newson, Unsplash

The couple say they’ve done about seven swing-specific cruises. It’s a broad church: a mix of all ages from 20s to their 80s, shapes and sizes.

“It’s like, you don’t just have the cruise as a party you have to have before parties,” said Bianca.

“Once you’ve gone on a ‘Lifestyle’ cruise you’ll never want to go on a ‘Vanilla’ cruise again.

Apart from pineapples there is supposedly an entire language of secret symbols swingers use to advertise their interests. Growing Pampas grass in your front garden, wearing a wedding ring on the right hand or upside down pineapple accessories, a habbit of misplacing their car keys – there are plenty of tells. Some are more easy to fit into your cruise carry on than others.

That is why specialist cruises like LLV and Bliss Lifestyle Cruises set up shop. Cruises specifically aimed at swinger couples saves a lot of potential embarrassment, subterfuge and beating around the erm… Pampas grass.

Bliss Cruises – says it runs itineraries to give swingers a “safe space” to operate their lifestyle.

Bliss which charters ships from Royal Caribbean and other lines specialises in “couples’ only” itineraries. Managing partner Joe Giantonio told USA Today that they organise activities for specific tastes – from lectures on BDSM kink to nude activities like naturalist yoga.

“It could be anything in between just a sexually charged vacation for couples that don’t want kids (around), to a hardcore giant orgy in the playroom.”

Pineapples are a symbol used by swingers to identify themselves to others with shared interests. Photo / Getty Images
Pineapples are a symbol used by swingers to identify themselves to others with shared interests. Photo / Getty Images

Still on the website the tone is a bit more Euphemistic, advertising “dancing, entertainment and intimate activities.” Giantonio says that only 60 per cent of the cruisers were there to “hang out” with other couples, in the swinger parlance.

Most people get involved via specific “lifestyle” travel agencies who specialise in swinging itineraries. Some passenger smight not be there to swing at all.

As one review of the Bliss Cruise wrote via the Reddit forum r/swingers put it.

“You are on a boat with 4k people, most are swingers (not everyone who goes is), so if you are looking for fun you have a good chance of finding it,” they wrote. “Loud music, people dancing badly – all normal swinger party fare, and every day.”



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