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Old May 31st, 2010, 10:32 PM
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Default Cruise Newbie - What to expect?

Preface: I'm booked on a 11 day cruise on Celebrity out of SJU from Dec 13th to the 24th.

It was one after booking that I found this site. As a cruise newbie, what should I expect? I'm single, in my mid-30s, and mostly just looking for some fun activities. Not looking for hook-ups on the cruise, just fun things to do with other singles. Am I going to be the odd man out on this cruise? Or are there plenty of single oriented activities?
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Old May 31st, 2010, 11:33 PM
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To be honest...as a 30 yr old on an 11 day cruise, you'll be the rarity, not the norm.

Longer cruises on all of the cruise lines do tend to draw an older group. Celebrity is very likely to follow that rule, at least.

Frankly, you'd be better off attempting two 7 day cruises back to back, if you wanted a longer vacation.

At any rate... awhile back I wrote a series of articles called What to Expect. You may want to read

First Cruise; what to expect.
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Old June 1st, 2010, 08:39 AM
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Thumbs up Cruise Newbie - What to expect?

It's a long tour cruise, single, then go for hot drink and enjoy with singles around the trip.
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Old June 1st, 2010, 06:02 PM
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j274,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You View Post
Preface: I'm booked on a 11 day cruise on Celebrity out of SJU from Dec 13th to the 24th.

It was one after booking that I found this site. As a cruise newbie, what should I expect? I'm single, in my mid-30s, and mostly just looking for some fun activities. Not looking for hook-ups on the cruise, just fun things to do with other singles. Am I going to be the odd man out on this cruise? Or are there plenty of single oriented activities?
First, you should be aware that each cruise line has its own personality and style. Celebrity is a "premium" line, and probably the most "upscale" of the "mass market" lines. On Celebrity, especially on an 11-night cruise, you will find that nearly all fo the passengers will dress according to the line's "suggested dress" or better in the evening, and failure to do so probably will bring more than a few stares and gawks from other passengers. IOW, plan on bringing either "black tie" (dinner jacket or tuxedo) or a dark business suit with dress shirts and neckties for the three (3) "formal" evenings. The other eight evenings are a relatively dressy "casual" -- jeans, shorts, and "T" shirts are not appropriate. (Shorts and "T" shirts are acceptable in the daytime, of course, but you'll get more mileage out of "polo" or "golf" shirts since you can wear them on "casual" evenings as well). If this is not your taste, consider rebooking on another line where the personality is closer to your style.

Having said that, you'll always find plenty to do -- both aboard ship and in port.

>> Celebrity's passengers are a very friendly lot, and a cheery "hello" with a smile generally will bring a reciprocal greeting. A simple "This isn't your first cruise, is it?" to the passenger in front of or behind you is sure to open the door to a conversation. If the answer is affirmative, follow up with "So what are your impressions so far?" And if the answer is negative, follow up with "So where else have you cruised, and on which ships?" and then "So how does this compare?" Most people are quite willing to talk to those who are ready to listen in an active and engaging way. This works, most everywhere -- in the buffet line, while waiting for a shore excursion, while waiting for an activity to begin, or even just hanging around the pool or working out in the gym.

>> I strongly recommend taking an organized shore excursion in each port of call for two reasons. First, the guides are very good at giving you the lay of the land so you have some idea where to go and where to avoid if you decide to stay ashore on your own after the excursion. And second, you'll meet other passengers who are interested in the same activities or attractions, and thus with whom you already have something in common.

>> Likewise, I strongly recommend participating in activities aboard ship that are of interest to you. Again, that's where you'll meet other passengers with whom you already have something in common. Very few of the shipboard activities are couples-oriented, and many of the activities draw people whose spouses have very different interests.

>> If you enjoy dancing, don't be afraid to show up to the dance classes. For some reason, these classes typically draw a lot more gals than guys so you'll be more than welcome, especially if you are somewhat competent on the dance floor.

Have a great cruise!

Norm, who frequently cruises solo on Celebrity.

Last edited by Rev22:17; June 1st, 2010 at 06:17 PM.
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Old June 1st, 2010, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
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To be honest...as a 30 yr old on an 11 day cruise, you'll be the rarity, not the norm.
See... Norm is the norm

A couple of years back we were on a 10 day cruise with Celebrity. I met a 30 yr old young lady, who had spent the first few days of the cruise wondering how her travel agent had put her on this ship... and quite unhappy. It was not a demographic or atmosphere she would have really enjoyed, and I believe it was a mistake by her agent.

Mrs. Kuki and I took her under our wing, and at the end of the cruise she thanked us endlessly for helping to save her vacation.

There are lots of singles on Celebrity sailings, and you may find some yo have things in common with, but don't expect to find many people in your age group.
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Old June 1st, 2010, 06:13 PM
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All I can say is welcome to the site & I hope you find what you wish.
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Old June 1st, 2010, 06:21 PM
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Kuki,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You View Post
See... Norm is the norm

A couple of years back we were on a 10 day cruise with Celebrity. I met a 30 yr old young lady, who had spent the first few days of the cruise wondering how her travel agent had put her on this ship... and quite unhappy. It was not a demographic or atmosphere she would have really enjoyed, and I believe it was a mistake by her agent.

Mrs. Kuki and I took her under our wing, and at the end of the cruise she thanked us endlessly for helping to save her vacation.

There are lots of singles on Celebrity sailings, and you may find some yo have things in common with, but don't expect to find many people in your age group.
Actually, Celebrity seems to draw a pretty broad demographic. In most of my cruises, the median age probably has been somewhere around fifty-something but there are always a few passengers who are seventy-something or eighty-something and a few passengers who are twenty-something or thirty-something.

Norm.
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Old June 1st, 2010, 06:31 PM
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I would agree with much of Norms post except the sections about dress. The description given by Norm is the old Celebrity as many are now opting even on longer cruises to not dress as formal as you might find on a Celebrity cruise a couple of years ago. The following are changes which have occured and are based upon my own observations and reading hundreds of posts on this boards and others.
1. The number of cruisers in tuxes is decreasing on all lengths of cruises.
2. More and more cruisers are going to formal nights with a sport jacket, tie and pants. One correction on Norms post is that Celebrity removed the word "dark" from the suit description about two years ago.
3. I read over and over again how people are refusing to dress formal on formal nights and opting for options other than the Main Dining Room.

All the above items I mentioned are within the dress code except for the sport jackets on formal nights however they are universally allowed on all the ships.. Two years ago I would have told you if you didn't like the dress code you might want to look elsewhere but now I would not do so.

Please don't get me wrong, Celebrity is a fine cruise line and their Solstice class ships right now are second to none but I just wanted to pass onto the reality of Celebrity cruises now....
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Old June 1st, 2010, 07:13 PM
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dkjretired,

Quote:
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1. The number of cruisers in tuxes is decreasing on all lengths of cruises.
I have not noticed this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
2. More and more cruisers are going to formal nights with a sport jacket, tie and pants.
I also have not noticed this. In fact, the most sport coats that I have ever seen on a Celebrity cruise was on my cruise to Alaska over five years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
3. I read over and over again how people are refusing to dress formal on formal nights and opting for options other than the Main Dining Room.
There are a few who do that, but not great numbers. I think Celebrity's lack of "alternative casual entertainment" really deters it.

But that said, those who choose "alternative casual dining" because they don't want to dress for the dining room don't bother me, so long as they don't "crash" entertainment venues where the prescribed evening attire is expected.

On my most recent cruise (last fall in the Mediterranean), I distinctly remember two British ladies in their twenties who were shocked to find that the "formal" evenings were very dressy. Apparently their travel agent had led them to expect that the actual dress would be more casual, and they were quite embarrassed that they had dressed to the lower end of the standard rather than to the upper end of the standard.

Norm.
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Old June 1st, 2010, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17 View Post
dkjretired,



I have not noticed this.



I also have not noticed this. In fact, the most sport coats that I have ever seen on a Celebrity cruise was on my cruise to Alaska over five years ago.



There are a few who do that, but not great numbers. I think Celebrity's lack of "alternative casual entertainment" really deters it.

But that said, those who choose "alternative casual dining" because they don't want to dress for the dining room don't bother me, so long as they don't "crash" entertainment venues where the prescribed evening attire is expected.

On my most recent cruise (last fall in the Mediterranean), I distinctly remember two British ladies in their twenties who were shocked to find that the "formal" evenings were very dressy. Apparently their travel agent had led them to expect that the actual dress would be more casual, and they were quite embarrassed that they had dressed to the lower end of the standard rather than to the upper end of the standard.

Norm.
With the advent of the S class ships, there are plenty of alternative casual dining venues. Celebrity places on their web site that Specialty restaurants have same dress code as MDR on formal nights. This however only applies to Murano in reality, Bistro, Tuscan and Silk Harvest do not enforce this rule...Additionally, the buffet area on the S class ships has many more options than those on the M class and C class ships. I have been surprised at how many people are choosing to either eat in the buffet and casuall dining areas. I always found the formal nights to have the best food but I don't understand it. Whether you like it or not, people are choosing not to dress up anymore and the perception of limits on the weight of suitcases is very real. It may not be for you but it is for many...

Also, the dress in other venues depends on who is at the door when they enter...Most of the time this is not being enforced...
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Old June 4th, 2010, 09:11 AM
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One quick item, on an 11 night cruise there will be two formal nights not three...

http://www.celebritycruises.com/befo...me=faq_answers
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Old June 5th, 2010, 01:33 PM
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Thanks all for the information. I have a feeling that things will work out for me on Celebrity. I'm also going to look at booking on another line like Princess or Norweigan so that I can get experience different options and figure out which I like best. Won't hurt to "have to" take more cruises to decide
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Old June 5th, 2010, 10:28 PM
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Nice article. Thanks
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Old June 6th, 2010, 07:17 AM
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I don't understand why people choose to cruise on a line known to have dress standards for dinner, accept this by signing up for the cruise, then refusing to dress as required. A reflection of their lives perhaps?
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Old June 6th, 2010, 11:24 AM
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On my May 3, seven day, Century cruise there were VERY few tuxedos on formal night. Dark and other suits were the norm with sport coats, tie and slacks a close second.

I found that cruising on my own that I met a lot of people in the disco and the SkyBar. There were a number of us that closed the disco down each night. The only problem was that they closed the disco down about 11:30 p.m. Night life wasn't a focus on this cruise.

Take care,
Mike
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Old June 9th, 2010, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
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On my May 3, seven day, Century cruise there were VERY few tuxedos on formal night. Dark and other suits were the norm with sport coats, tie and slacks a close second.

I found that cruising on my own that I met a lot of people in the disco and the SkyBar. There were a number of us that closed the disco down each night. The only problem was that they closed the disco down about 11:30 p.m. Night life wasn't a focus on this cruise.

Take care,
Mike
Good to know about the actual dress on the formal nights. I have a tux but it may be too big for me right now. I'll have to dig it out and check.

I figure late night life isn't going to be there. But I'm Ok with that as many mornings will have me up early for diving shore excusions. I'm too old to stay up until 1 or 2 AM and then get up at 7 for that many nights in a row.

Oh, and I'm still considering a cruise in Aug/Sept. I have to say that of the ~5 TAs I've talked with, the majority have suggested that I may prefer to stay with Celebrity due to their better service and food/drink options.
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