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TismeAnne December 30th, 2013 09:44 PM

Looking for friends to cruise with
Newish to being a widow and new to the idea of cruising alone. Well new to the idea of cruising at all, I am looking for some advice as to where to cruise and which ships to take and companions of either sex to do it with.

So here goes.....

I am English living in the UK, aged 70 with a dodgy back and a brain that thinks I am sixteen....(sad I know)! I have always done a lot of travelling starting early in life as an air stewardess and later being married to an American scientist but I am not ready for the chair, slippers, and staying put, just quite yet.

I am straight, with a sense of humour. I don't smoke and don't drink much either
(I reserve the right to make exceptions). I quite like living on my own but miss the companionship of sharing things.
I like the idea of cruising especially with air conditioning in warm don't like the idea of wandering around on my own on a big ship watching everyone else having a good time.....I am way to selfish and insecure for that!

Love to laugh, swim,listen to music, eat good food and enjoy interesting conversations or debates but am far to lazy to want to learn Chinese or apply my brain to anything to taxing!

I am told a smaller cruise would suit me preferably without to many children around....I have grandchildren whom I love dearly but there is a time and place for everything!

(I probably should edit this without quite so many I's but I am trying to be honest
so I will continue with the imperfections....)

Sadly I am not rich, as money is such a handy commodity, but I have sufficient for my long as I am not to greedy.

Please contact me if you think you have any advice or are looking for an imperfect companion to cruise with.

Sistersolo December 31st, 2013 10:13 AM

Welcome, Anne.

Although I am married, I've done more than half of my cruises without my husband (he doesn't like sea days, and I love them). I have never been bored or lonely on a cruise ship.

Cruising is the PERFECT way to travel for a woman alone. People on cruise ships expect to interact with strangers. Based on your self-description, my advice to you would be to pick a one-week cruise out of a port that is relatively convenient to you, on either Holland America or Celebrity. Don't buy it, just pick one from their websites that sounds interesting to you; then post here looking for a companion for that specific cruise. Maybe you'll find someone else who's interested; if not, you haven't lost anything. If you do, exchange e-mails and if possible phone calls until you feel you are comfortable with whoever it is. Then you can both go ahead and book the trip, each giving your payment information separately to whatever agent you are using.

While you are waiting for a possible companion, talk to a few travel agents and see if you can find one you're comfortable with, who seems to know something about cruising (perhaps he/she could suggest an itinerary good to start with). You will not pay any more for a cruise if you use an agent than you would booking directly with the cruiseline, and in fact the agent might throw in a minor perk, like a bottle of wine in your cabin. In particular, ask if the agent could keep you informed of any singles specials that might come up. I've paid as little as $75 over the individual rate for 2 in a cabin, to have the cabin to myself; and that was for a 15-day cruise. The extra space is nice, and I still get lots of interaction with others during the day.

HAL seems to have more "specials" than Celebrity, but if you should happen to fall in love with cruising Celebrity has a much better loyalty program.

You should have no problem at all meeting others and making friends-for-the-trip. Just smile and say something friendly to anyone you happen to be near. It is incredibly easy to strike up a conversation with someone while you're waiting to board, or sitting in a lounge chair next to the pool, or walking around the deck, or on a shore excursion. And an interesting phenomenon is that anyone you speak with the first day, you'll probably run into almost every day. Unless they're traveling with a group, people expect to be seated with strangers at meals; it can be part of the fun. And particularly at breakfast in the buffet, asking a person sitting alone or a couple at a table for 4 or more if they are expecting others, or would mind sharing their table, is quite normal. Do you play trivia or golf? There are putting contests and trivia challenges on just about every ship. Those and the communal jigsaw puzzles are a great way to meet others. If you do any kind of needlework, speaking with someone you see knitting or crocheting or whatever is very comfortable; and there's ALWAYS someone working on something, especially on sea days. Some ships even schedule get-togethers for needle workers. Many also offer some sort of lessons, which is another way to meet people. I've done tai chi, origami, and lei making on ships, and learned how to play mah jong. There are usually bridge and often scrabble groups.

Give it a try, and if you have any questions, you've found the right place to get an answer for them.

jackieblive December 31st, 2013 06:37 PM

Hello Anne,
I enjoyed reading your post. I am truly sorry to read that you are a widow. Sad but life does go on, doesn't it. My name is Jackie and I am a 47 yr old American woman that has recently retired and planning on moving to Europe in 2014. I will be in Europe from mid July 2014 through mid November 2014 and I hope to do nothing but travel for those four months. I hope to meet people from all over the world and hopefully make a few new fabulous friends. I'm a fun, spontaneous and easy going person that has a love for the history and amazing architecture of Europe and I can't wait to take it all in. I am chatty and love to meet new people but I also enjoy my own company, a glass of wine and a good book on a balcony.

I am really looking for someone to go on Royal Caribbean 12 night Scandinavia & Russia cruise sometime in August 2014 and then a 7 night Greek Isles & Turkey cruise out of Venice in Sept or October. If you have any other ideas about some cruises I would totally entertain other options. The only thing I won't do is cruise on Carnival. I have been on a dozen cruises over the past 15 years and I have cruised Carnival 3 times and been very disappointed each time. RCCL is my favorite line. January 1st, 2014 01:20 AM

Hello! I am an active retired teacher/admin from Florida. I am planning a 6 month adventure to see the sights and sounds of New Zealand. Stating on Jan 5th 2014 in Auckland. Would like to share car, gas, hostels expenses. I am a non-smoker, casual drinker, and just love to travel the world. In addition I would like to find someone who want to be my cabin-mate, balcony cruise to the south pacific, and Fiji. If interested let me

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