Last updated: 01:00 PM ET, Fri November 04 2016

Royal Caribbean Becomes First Cruise Line to Be Gay Travel Approved

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship Patrick Clarke November 04, 2016

Royal Caribbean Becomes First Cruise Line to Be Gay Travel Approved

PHOTO: Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas. (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International)

Royal Caribbean International has earned the coveted label of Gay Travel Approved by, becoming the first and only cruise line to receive the distinction.

According to, the Gay Travel Approved badge is awarded by a panel of experts, editors and tastemakers who deem a travel partner to boast a safe and welcoming environment to LGBTQ travelers.

"This designation has been a long time in the making," CEO Steve Rohrlick said in a statement. 

Rohrlick pointed out that the company's cruise guru Stephen Prisco has been on more than 100 Royal Caribbean cruises. "From the moment I set foot on my first Royal Caribbean cruise, I felt like I belonged," Prisco said in a statement. "The strides that they have taken to welcome our community onboard and the incredible innovations they have made to their fleet are just a few of the reasons I continue to return time and time again."

READ MORE: The 4 Most LGBT-Friendly Destinations in the US

Rohrlick also highlighted the cruise line's recent appointment of the first openly-gay Diversity Executive in Grant Van Ulbrich and his efforts as ways Royal Caribbean has committed to the LGBTQ community. 

"To take our efforts to the next level, we recently introduced a new Diversity and Inclusion department and one of its first priorities is to focus on continued training and education for our international crew members," said Ulbrich in his own statement.