Nude Cruise: A First-Timer’s Top 10 Lessons | Nude Vacation | Nude Travel | Islands

Nude Cruise: A First-Timer’s Top 10 Lessons

A non-nudist fears the worst aboard a Bare Necessities cruise. Instead, she finds new friends and freedoms. While they're not for everyone, her top takeaways will most definitely raise eyebrows.

Nude cruise: top 10 lessons

Don't be afraid to bare it all

Shelly Strazis

The first thing to know: You won't feel fat

You’d think showing it all, or even some of it, would expose what your inner critic calls your “problem areas” — and that this might make you feel unattractive. Give yourself about two hours and you’ll find the opposite. Clothes are evil. You wouldn’t have a muffin top if it weren’t for jeans. Lose the bra and say goodbye to back bulges. Why do you think artists prefer painting their subjects au natural?

Nude cruise: top 10 lessons

Wear as much or as little clothing as you want

Shelly Strazis

10. Nudists love costume parties

When I received the Bare Necessities’ Big Nude Cruise itinerary, I was surprised to find Oscar night and Mardi Gras theme parties, among others. How does one wear and not wear a costume? (For the Oscar party, a friend suggested I attend as Rose from Titanic, and I did, with a replica necklace from Etsy.com). Turns out, you must dress for dinner, and for theme parties, you wear as much or as little clothing as you like.

Grooming for nude cruises

Less is more

Shelly Strazis

9. Down there, less is more when it comes to grooming

I figured more hair would act as a curtain, giving me a bit of privacy, but my waxer figured otherwise. And thank goodness — I would’ve stood out big time. But even that would be OK; nobody is more accepting than a nudist.

Nude cruise

Nudists have total body acceptance

Shelly Strazis

8. It’s usually his idea — at first

Of the dozens of couples I met, only one pair shared that going nude was her idea. But get this: After a twosome had become comfortable in a nudist environment, it was her who was hooked. Total body acceptance is something most women don’t get elsewhere.

Nudists don’t look a certain way

Everyone is different

Shelly Strazis

7. Nudists don’t look a certain way

Unlike how you can peg a crafter from a record snob from a tech geek, nudists look about as similar to one another as all the people who like caramel.

Nude cruise: top 10 lessons

How do you start a conversation?

Shelly Strazis

6. It’s hard to start a conversation with a nudist

Don’t get me wrong — it’s not that they’re not nice. It’s that they’re not wearing T-shirts from Telluride or Lakers jerseys. At first glance, your only commonality is that you’re both naked, so you find yourself asking and being asked, “Where are you from?” Which, as it turns out, is really nice. I travel alone a lot and people don’t often strike up conversations with me. On the Big Nude Cruise, I found myself laughing everywhere from the elevator to the lunch line for noodles.

Nude cruise: top 10 lessons

Not everyone is a swinger

Shelly Strazis

5. You don’t have to be a swinger to be a nudist

In fact, the overwhelming majority of folks I met were not swingers. They were wholesome couples looking to add innocent spice to their relationship. My reaction tended toward “aw” not “ew.” At the end of the cruise, I couldn’t decide if I was relieved or disappointed that I hadn’t been propositioned.

Nude cruise

It's OK to have a back-up plan

Shelly Strazis

4. People have back-up plans

If the idea of a few days with nudists makes you nervous, know that you’re not alone. I met several people traveling alone for their first nude vacation, and they admitted having formulated emergency strategies — i.e. flying home from the first destination in case they didn’t feel comfortable. When I asked Nancy Tiemann, president of Bare Necessities, about this, she nodded, then shared this: "Nobody has ever walked off one of our cruises."

Nude cruise free-for-all

Follow the rules

Shelly Strazis

3. It’s not a free-for-all

There are rules — official and implied — to make everyone more comfortable. An example of an official rule is that body contact isn’t allowed on the nightclub dance floor, and staff will enforce this. An implied rule is one your mother taught you: Staring isn’t polite.

Nudists don’t complain

Nudists are carefree

Shelly Strazis

2. Nudists don’t complain

I figured nudists would be like everyone else I meet at resorts: People who pass judgment on the coffee, sheet thread count, etc. In 10 days on a ship with 2,800 passengers, I heard two complaints. Two.

Nudists have the key to happiness

Live in the moment

Shelly Strazis

1. Nudists have the key to happiness

It could be that they don’t complain because they’re happier than your average person. A study led by Matthew A. Killingsworth, Ph.D., and Daniel T. Gilbert, Ph.D., revealed that most people aren’t focusing on the present moment 47 percent of the time. And happiness can only be experienced in the moment. Perhaps the greatest gift of the nude lifestyle is that, with each breeze, dip in the hot tub or mere glance downward, we can’t help but remember to live in the moment.

Latest


More Stories


Videos