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Big Nude Boat 2020 Review

Most years in February, Bare Necessities Tour and Travel charters a luxury cruise ship exclusively for nude use. Wow! What a great idea! This cruise marked the 30th year these “nakation” wizards in Austin, Texas have provided us “birds without feathers” the chance to perch atop the food chain.

Carnival keeps getting better at the boarding/disembarking thing. We took the round-trip bus from Cypress Cove, put our luggage next to the bus and it was delivered to our cabin door. The whole check-in process is now a mere 30 minutes long. Amazing! A quick, obligatory lifeboat drill and we sailed.

About three miles from the port, the cruise director announced that clothes were now optional. A loud cheer and within seconds, hundreds are nude! This is what we came for, a floating luxury nudist resort! Two more hours down the 40-mile-long Tampa Bay Channel and we squeeze under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. A photo-op not to be missed, your heart will pound as the smokestack clears by feet, although you’d swear it’s only inches. Another cheer marks the passing.

Familiar to most, our first stop is Key West. We hit Duval Street for a mile of shops, clubs, and art. Some went to The Garden of Eden, the rooftop bar over the Bull and Whistle, for an adult libation in the nude. Others visited friends, shopped, or went skinny-dipping at the Bourbon Street Pub where a pool, hot tub, and bar were available for nude use. Both venues were packed!

Many enjoy sea days more than port days. Why? Bare Necessities ensures there are themed parties, photography classes and costume workshops by “The Crafty Cruisers”. Led by the imaginative Leslie Moseley, she and her band of glue gun-slinging artisans help create beautiful adornments to theme night costumes. The big hit this year was making faux pearl necklaces from the truckload of supplies they bring aboard. I couldn’t tell them from the real thing!

This was our first time in Costa Maya and our excursion to the La Bamba Beach Club was a hit! We nested on shaded lounges between the lovely sandy beach and the bars and buffet. Everyone raved about the fresh fish; most saying it was the best they ever had! I took seaside photos of friends between the attendant delivering frozen drinks. It was a perfect day!

My favorite nude beach in the Caribbean is Mahogany Bay. This Carnival owned property is Disney World perfect. The property has a village of shops, lovely garden walks, a chair lift to the nearby beach, a zip-line, volleyball, bar, restaurant, massage, snorkeling reef and perfect white sand framed by impossibly blue water. Talk about rolling out the red carpet; Diamonds International offered extra discounts for those shopping in the nude! Proving they were fully in the spirit of our cruise, the beautiful sales lady Tania flashed us showing off her Bare Necessities temporary Tattoo!

In Cozumel, one of our favorite islands, we chose to spend our day visiting local friends, shopping and testing the bartender’s skill at Senior Frogs. Back at the port, we realized we had a whole hour before sailing. Bumping into more friends, we decided the Margarita testing should continue. High marks were given by all.

We set sail to enjoy one of the best sunsets ever and another sea day. The excellent passenger talent show ended with our cruise director dropping his robe and exiting the stage in the nude! These are the kind of shenanigans that make us love Carnival!

People ask, why a nude cruise when there are plenty of other cruises, often for even less money? The answer is the people. We are simply more fun. We make friendships more quickly, and we get to travel clothes-free to some wonderful places. We don’t have kids aboard, so we use the water slides. Compare your local nudist resort to a similarly equipped KOA or textile campground and you’ll get the idea.

I hope you will join us next February 14th to the 28th for The Big Nude Boat 2021 – the 75th Bare Necessities charter!

Harry Hanbury
For AANR (American Association for Nude Recreation)

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