I did the Mardi Gras cruise with Singlescruise.com last month and had a good time. Since I don't have any friends that are able to travel with me, I went alone. But once on the ship, you're never lonely, since you'll always have people from the group to hang with. I honestly didn't want to leave the ship. As far as whether the July 4 or the Halloween cruise is better, the July 4th one is only 5 days and seems too short to me. Since the Mardi Gras one was 7 days, I don't think I could do a cruise any shorter than 7 days. Some people cruising for the first time prefer to do the short ones to see if they'll like it, though. I'm considering doing one of the Halloween cruises, depending on my finances. The week isn't an issue for me as I have lots of vacation time. Maybe I'll see one of you guys there.