Beloved staff writer Lino DiNallo joined us on our fifth annual flagship Croatian gay cruise. Like Scenes From Cambodia & Vietnam, he belly flops off the top deck in this memoir gone awry.
SCENE ONE: WHERE THE HELL IS MY SUITCASE?!?
I’ve checked into my Dubrovnik hotel. After nearly twenty-four hours and three flights across the Atlantic, I smell like an armpit’s taint. Meanwhile, my suitcase languishes at CDG, full of sharp objects called fashion. With nothing fresh to wear and shops closed for the night, I’m relegated to taking wig-towel bathroom selfies
that will be worth millions one day. It would be another two days before my Samsonite showed, but that’s what luggage insurance is for.
SCENE TWO: SHAME SHAME SHAME
I’ve never seen a single episode of Game of Thrones, but even I know about Cersei’s Walk of Shame. So after dinner in Dubrovnik – where that was filmed – I’m spirited enough to toast her acts of falsehood and fornication.
My muse Cersei.
SCENE THREE: EVERYWHERE I LOOK 🙄
It’s Europe, so all the advertising is exceedingly
filthy lurid sex-positive. Behold my sampling of capitalist smut…
SCENE FOUR: I’M ON A BOAT
When it was finally time to ride the waves, we boarded MV Futura. It’s the finest charter yacht to flaunt its rudder on the Dalmatian Coast n’ stuff.
SCENE FIVE: WE’RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE
Our cruise kicked off in the middle of a European heatwave so ungodly the continent dubbed it Lucifer. We were ugly-sweating – even the pretty ones. But the sweltering heat broke beautifully after an especially surreal experience. Waterspouts formed on the horizon, breaking up and reforming in a glorious tango. Then came the rainstorm…not quite a hurricane, but definitely no spring shower.
And finally – cool, clear skies for the rest of the cruise, with nary an ugly sweat to see. A dream!
SCENE SIX: SWIM STOPS. TWICE A DAY. EVERY DAY.
Every morning at 10:30 and every afternoon around 2, the yacht dropped anchor in a secluded cove. Then we all indulged in watersports (not that kind). The sailors were also happy to join us.
Philip – one of the MV Katarina sailors – on a swim stop. Photo ℅ Ashley Stratton.
If you weren’t titillated by Sailor Philip’s sinewy torso…
…here’s my somersault into those waters. I may not be graceful, but at least I kept it
Greg Louganis real.
SCENE SEVEN: THE FISHING HAMLET, AND THE WINERY IN THE HILLS
My favourite stop of the whole cruise had to be Trstenik, a fishing town of 116 where the town centre’s a tree. From here vans whisk us over the mountains to a family-run winery. We have the place to ourselves. It’s sunset, and we’re spoiled with tastings of their most popular and esteemed wines. This is followed by a divine dinner. The architecture is perfect. The food is perfect. Everything is perfect. It’s like they’ve curated this evening to ensure my spite and envy. Next time an airline loses my luggage, I want it sent here.
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Follow @superfancystoryteller for more of Lino’s antics on Instagram.