Will I Be Bored Sailing Solo? (Part 3)

| July 20, 2009

It's a needless concern that has kept many individuals from booking a cruise.

Become Active in a "Roll Call" for Your Cruise With the popularity of online cruise message boards such as CruiseMates, many cruisers set up a "roll call" for their cruise. On CruiseMates, these roll call boards are grouped together as "Meet Onboard." Select your cruise line and your ship, and then search for a roll call thread for your specific cruise. If none is listed, start one yourself! Other cruisers on the same sailing will see your thread and join in -- and long before you sail, you'll have a group of people you will know onboard.

These roll call boards are great for organizing shared tours, arranging dining companions and even setting up group activities.

On one roll call I am involved with for a 33-day Hawaii/South Pacific cruise next March, several of us took responsibility for organizing excursions in the South Pacific ports. (I'm in charge of Nuka Hiva.) We arranged fun excursions for the group -- mostly snorkeling -- in each of these often pricey South Pacific ports, at a fraction of the cost of the cruise line's excursion offerings.

We also use our roll call to swap ideas about good deals on rental cars in the various Hawaiian ports, as well as group activities we want to do onboard.

Being part of an active roll call won't guarantee you a big supply of friends onboard. But it sure can't hurt. And it's more comfortable to board a ship knowing that you are already acquainted with several fellow cruisers, even if you've never met face to face.

Attend Single Functions If the cruise staff hosts a "Singles Meet & Mingle," you should attend -- at least the first one. But, don't be disappointed if you're the only one in attendance.

I've been to some shipboard events for singles and I haven't had much success with them. I find that generally it's me, a 17-year-old kid, and a couple of 85-year-old women. But on longish cruises, primarily on Holland America, I attended the Hosted Singles Luncheons held on most sea days in the dining room, and had some great conversations with people from all walks of life.

Don't Focus All Your Efforts on Singles Why does someone have to be a fellow single or solo traveler to be a potentially great cruise companion? I met a pair of my dearest friends on a cruise. She was sailing with her husband; since we were all smokers, we spent a lot of time on the aft deck together, talking and smoking. I had never met these people before, but today, we are close friends, sharing multiple phone calls each week. We have also shared other cruises and have more planned.

Just because someone may be sailing with his or her better half, it doesn't automatically disqualify him or her as a great onboard companion. Most couples do not share all the same interests and are not joined at the hip; each will pursue the things they most enjoy while on vacation. The husband may be busy at the blackjack table while the wife enjoys lazy days at the pool, as do you. There's no reason a nice friendship can't develop.

Continue Article >> Join a "Hosted" Singles Cruise (Part 4)

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