What Is Friends of Bill W. on a Cruise?

google news icon 150px
Norwegian Cruise Line Pearl meeting room set up for Friends of Bill W. Alcoholics Anonymous

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. We may receive compensation when you purchase via my links at no cost to you. See my disclosure for more information.

If you look at your cruises’ daily schedule, you’ll notice “Friends of Bill W.” or “Friends of Dorothy” meetings.

If you’re wondering what is Friends of Bill W. on a cruise, you’re not alone. Bill W. and Dorothy are not passengers on board. But they do have many friends.

What is Friends of Bill W. on a Cruise?

“Friends of Bill W.” on a cruise ship refers to a gathering or meeting for individuals who are members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

You might be wondering, who is Bill W.? Bill Willimas is one of the founders of AA, and “Friends of Bill W.” is a common way to announce these meetings discreetly.

On a cruise ship, AA meetings provide a supportive environment for people in recovery from alcoholism to meet and share experiences. The meetings are essential in a cruise ship environment where alcohol is often readily available.

Cruises are a difficult environment for passengers in recovery as there’s plenty of free-flowing alcohol around the ship. Cruise lines provide a safe space for guests to meet in a judgment-free setting.

The meetings support passengers and allow them to continue their journey by participating in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The quiet and discrete setting enables members to form a support network with other passengers once onboard.

When and Where are Meetings?

Photo Credit (Royal Caribbean)

Most cruise ships host daily, complimentary Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, commonly called “Friends of Bill W.” meetings. Members of similar support groups like Overeaters Anonymous (OA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are welcome to attend these meetings for support.

Friends of Bill W. meetings are typically self-led, meaning they are not conducted by cruise line staff. As such, participants can join freely without needing to register.

Attendance varies depending on the size of the cruise ship but is usually between 4 to 8 members per session.

The timing and location for these meetings vary depending on the cruise ship but are usually held in a discrete place like the library. The specific details are listed in the ship’s daily schedule of events.

If a “Friends of Bill W.” meeting isn’t scheduled, you can contact guest services to arrange one. The meetings provide a supportive environment while ensuring the privacy and convenience of the participants.

Which Cruise Lines Have Friends of Bill W. Meetings?

Most cruise lines have Friends of Bill W. meetings or similar meetings for people looking for support. The following cruise lines have Friends of Bill W. meetings;

  • Royal Caribbean International
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Princess Cruises
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • MSC Cruises
  • Virgin Voyages
  • Holland America Line

What is Friends of Dorothy?

LGBTQ+ couple holding hands in front of a rainbow pride flag in a lgbtq+ lesbian gay bisexual queer pride parade or party.

Friends of Dorothy is a self-led event on cruise ships for members of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s rumored that the meetings get their name from gay icon Judy Garland, who played Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.”

The self-led get-togethers provide a safe and welcoming space for members of the LGBTQ+ community to meet and mingle with others.

In recent years, many cruise lines have done away with the “Friends of Dorothy” code name in favor of losing the events as “LGBTQ+ meet and greets” or a similar name.

Marcello De Lio
Marcello De Lio

Marcello's been cruising since he was 12 years old. He loves the freedom that cruising provides, meeting new people, and exploring amazing new ships. Marcello created High Seas Cruising to share his passion for cruising and travel with readers and grow a community of passionate voyagers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *