The feature-length documentary was filmed aboard the Norwegian Dawn in summer 2004 during the first voyage of r family vacations, which caters to gay and lesbian families and their friends. The weeklong trip began in New York City, making stops in Florida and the Bahamas before returning to Manhattan.
R family vacations was founded by Rosie and Kelli O'Donnell and Gregg Kaminsky. Over 500 families took part in the premiere cruise, which also boasted a host of Broadway entertainment, including performances by Christine Ebersole, Julia Murney, Liz McCartney, Euan Morton and Cary Shields.
Co-founder Kelli O'Donnell spoke to Playbill.com in April 2005 about the company's maiden voyage. "It really was the magic of all different kinds of people coming together," O'Donnell said. "I loved the fact that it was both men and women. I liked that people brought their extended friends and family. Probably ten to fifteen percent of our ship were straight friends and family. I like that everyone is accepted — you don't have to have kids to come on board, [but] you can have children if you want. It's a cruise for everyone. A lot of people are bringing their parents this year. It's really turned into a great extended-family vacation." Ports-of-call for the 2006 cruise included Halifax, Nova Scotia, Provincetown, Boston and Martha's Vineyard. This year's cruise will sail to Alaska.
"All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise," according to press notes, also "includes profiles of many of the guests: from an older gay couple facing an empty nest once their teenaged daughter goes to college, to a lesbian couple looking for a possible sperm donor among their shipmates, to a gay couple who have adopted five children (two sets of biological siblings), to onetime NFL star Esera Tuaolo, who was 'in the closet' as a player but made headlines when he 'came out' after retiring, and now is a role model in the gay community as well as the proud father of twins."
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