Weller, 36, acknowledged that her like-minded vacationers are perhaps an unusual minority among goths. The travelers ''are not poster children for the gothic subculture,'' said Weller, a technical writer who lives in Tampa. ``We're not the freakiest people you'll ever see.''
But many on the GothCruise do raise eyebrows with their stomper boots and black T-shirts during the day and Victorian gowns for formal evenings.
Some, like Lobster, bring special outfits for the private dance parties that are the only official goth-themed events on the cruises, when DJs play Bauhaus, the Cure and New Order.
Reactions to their appearance range from the question ''Are you in a band?'' to terrified stares, to one older woman who asked Lobster whether he and his friends worshipped the devil (no).
Mostly, GothCruise-goers say, the reactions are positive. The ship's crew and staff snap pictures of them. The goth sightseers become sights themselves.
Other times, comments about their neon pink hair or studded collars work as icebreakers with non-goth passengers.
Paul Bresock, a 36-year-old mechanical engineer from San Diego, said fellow cruise passengers would approach him with compliments. They told him, ``You guys are having so much fun. I wish I could let loose like that.''
Weller said she came up with the idea for the group cruise during Convergence -- an annual weekend-long gathering for goths with gothic music, dancing, art and, most important, socializing.
During the 2003 Convergence in Las Vegas, Weller brought up the topic with friends, who agreed that they should take their reunion out to sea.
''None of us wanted to be the only freaks on the boat,'' Weller said.
GothCruise has included many who did not consider themselves fixtures in the goth scene. Lobster, for example, came onto the first GothCruise as part of a deal he made with a friend he wanted to take to the countercultural Burning Man festival.
Since then, however, Lobster has been hooked. He loves putting on floor-length gowns and feather boas for the cruises' formal dinners. He has also taken up the online role-playing game World of Warcraft, a more traditional goth activity that his fellow vacationers enjoy.
But there is one quintessential cruise ship experience he isn't ready to explore.
''Shuffleboard? No,'' he said. ``I'll do that when I'm 80.''