September 19, 2001 01:19pm
Pillage & Plunder Still Cruising -- EuroTrash Rescheduled
by: Butch Harris
(TAMPA, FL) -- Terrorist violence and a stormy travel industry have not altered the course of an all-gay cruise to benefit Pride Tampa Bay, but has caused a rescheduling of EuroTrash, Pride's fundraising journey to Europe.
Pillage & Plunder -- an all-gay charter from Tampa Bay to Cozumel, Mexico, produced by Pride and Jim Garciga Travel Agency, will sail as planned November 28, 2001 through December 2, 2001. An unstable international climate has not fazed the more than 700 passengers booked aboard the MV Regal Empress.
The cruise, in its third year, features some of the nation's best-known and diverse gay entertainment. In The Grand Lounge, Wigstock founder Lady Bunny and puppeteer Jerry Halliday will keep the crowd in laughter while Bunny, Brett Henrichsen of MasterBeat and Florida's own Walter Winston will ignite the Caribbean night sky during parties every night on the transformed Pool Deck. Regal Cruises and Garciga Travel partnered to construct a covering for the pool that allows the entire deck to be used as a dance floor complete with nearly $6,000 in sound and light equipment craned on board by Pride. Rounding out the entertainment is the finale that the cruise has become known for ... the "show-it-all" show emceed by adult video diva Chi Chi LaRue [ http://ChiChiLaRue.com ] and the men from Rascal Video and Channel One Releasing [ http://www.Channel1Releasing.com ].
To date, more than 700 passengers are booked for Pillage & Plunder ... last year's voyage left Port Manatee with 700 on board, representing 36 states and six nations. Media coverage of the cruise is global and has been honored with two adult videos being filmed on board each of the first two cruises ... Catalina Video's "Voyage" (1999) and the soon-to-be-released Rascal Video feature "Pillage & Plunder: The Movie."
Prices start at $499 per person and are available exclusively through Jim Garciga Travel Agency. Cabins are still available, but Garciga warns they are going at a quick pace. Information can be found at either http://www.PILLAGEandPLUNDER.org or http://JimGarcigaTravel.com -- for reservations, call Garciga Travel at (813) 414-9933.
EuroTrash, a new event to Pride's annual calendar, was scheduled October 14 through 22, 2001, offering a three-city, three-nation tour with national DJs, parties in some of the world's most famous gay nightclubs and the Men of Falcon Studios [ http://FalconStudios.com ].
Due to fear of traveling internationally, the trip's departure point (New York) and the uncertainty of what the next month will bring to international travel, organizers BayGay Productions and JumpStart Casting & Production are working with Virgin Atlantic Vacations to reschedule the journey for the spring.
"We had to balance the frustrations of rescheduling against going forward and presenting patrons and sponsors alike with a product that did not live up to its potential in the midst of a political climate that we can't guarantee complete safety" said Donald L. Bentz, president of Pride Tampa Bay. "EuroTrash offers is a unique experience that we, our sponsors and our entertainers are all excited about, but an event's first year is critical. It sets the tone for the word-of-mouth 'buzz' that can greatly increase the number of participants in the second year as we seen with Pillage & Plunder and The Wet Party. We all have a confidence in the concept to succeed as an annual event and couldn't allow the debut of something as special as EuroTrash to be diminished by recent tragedies. We'd rather take our time to lay the proper foundation on which to build for future years."
Passengers who are unable to make the new dates will be given refunds and previously advertised prices will not change unless there is a dramatic change in world fuel prices. Passengers already paid, however, will not be subject to any price increases.
All venues for EuroTrash have already restated their commitments to keep in tact the schedule highlighting parties in three of the world's most famous nightclubs: Splash (NYC), Heaven (London) and Queen (Paris).
Splash will host the kick-off, featuring a to-be-named DJ and all the EuroTrash cast in attendance. After departing New York aboard one of Virgin Atlantic's pampering flights the next day, EuroTrash offers four nights in London, escalating with a blow-out party at Heaven with Ralphi Rosario of the Rosabel dance mix team.
The package continues on to France via The Chunnel for a two-night stay in Paris anchored by a party at Queen with Henrichsen at the controls. Providing visuals at all EuroTrash functions will be Tom Chase and the Men of Falcon Studios. Falcon's cast will be a rare treat, offering on the same stage Falcon exclusives from both sides of the Atlantic. The Falcon cast included Chase, Daniel Montes, Matthew Rush, Lindon Hawke, Colby Taylor, Roland Dane and Robert Balint. About three weeks before the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, EuroTrash was also blessed with the addition of Chi Chi LaRue to the cast.
JumpStart and BayGay -- organizers of the event for Pride - are attempting to keep all the casts in tact, but the new date may force some minor changes in names, but not talent or quantity.
Prices start at $1,599 per person (based on double-occupancy) and packages include round-trip airfare to Europe from New York City; hotel accommodations while in Europe; transfers from European airports and hotel; Chunnel pass; tickets to all EuroTrash produced events; and a special Virgin Atlantic Vacations Welcome Package packed full with goodies from Virgin and EuroTrash sponsors.
The EuroTrash schedule is designed to keep all official functions in the evening to allow passengers to spend the day exploring on their own. Tours, museum passes and other experiences are available as add-ons. The London schedule also include an optional evening of London theater and a Pub Crawl in London's gay district.
Tour and museum passes are also available for Paris and another party with some "nastier" twists are in the works for the final night in Europe.
Original trip details and schedules are at http://www.EuroTrashed.com -- as soon as new dates are selected, updates will be posted. For reservations or questions, call (813) 226-0446.
All EuroTrash sponsors have pledged support of the date change as well. EuroTrash sponsors include 10% Productions, Virgin Atlantic Vacations, HX, Falcon Studios, Latin Inches, IT Lube, All Man, Black Inches, Watermark, The Gazette, MasterBeat Entertainment, QueerTampa.com, Heaven, Splash, Queen, Circuit (Chicago), JumpStart Casting & Production and BayGay Productions.
Pillage & Plunder is sponsored by HX, 10% Productions, Instinct, Unzipped, All Man, Jim Garciga Travel Agency, Latin Inches, HotSpots!, Black Inches, Rascal Video, Channel One Releasing, Outlook, QueerTampa.com, Watermark, The Gazette, TLW, Virgin Atlantic Vacations, SouthernBoyz.com, MasterBeat Entertainment, Adult Video News, Sawmill Camping Resort, columnist Mickey Skee, GayDays.com and Blue Willow Designs.
Advertising space is still available in both events' programs: The CruiseGuide and TrashGuide. The rescheduling also has re-opened sponsorship opportunities for EuroTrash. Sponsorship packages and advertising pricing and details are available on both web sites.
For information on Pride Tampa Bay, call (813) 854-8160, visit http://www.PrideTampaBay.com or write PrideTampaBay@hotmail.com -- Pride Tampa Bay is a non-profit entity dedicated to the enhancement and empowerment of Tampa Bay's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Pride produces the region's annual gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender celebration: PrideFest Tampa Bay. This year's PrideFest dates are July 2 through 8, 2002. A full schedule of events is expected within the month.
C O N T A C T:
Pride Tampa Bay
P.O. Box 172553
Tampa, Florida 33672 U.S.A.
Phone: (813) 854-8160