I'm looking for feedback from anyone who's sailed solo (meaning without friends, family, significant others, etc.) on any of Celebrity, Holland America or Princess.
I'm considering a future cruise on one of those lines and was hoping to hear from any of you who would like to share your experiences (positive or negative) as to how comfortable you felt, if the particular cruiseline did anything to make you as a solo passenger feel more welcome, and any other observations you might care to pass along. I'm in my mid-40's and have already sailed with Carnival and Norwegian.
(I'm already aware of the virtues of Seabourn in this area, but I don't think I'm quite ready to sail with a luxury line just yet.)
Anything you have to offer would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!
Hello, my name is Sherry. I am also in my mid 40s, and sailed on Celebrity's Zenith 3 years ago, and had a wonderful vacation. I never felt like I stuck out in the crowd because I was traveling alone. In fact there were several other solo travelers on board as well.
As for the nightlife onboard, it was as lively as any Carnival ship, yet seemed somehow, more elegant. The food onboard any Celebrity ship is the best you'll find, and their service is unmatched.
I would highly recomend Celebrity. Definitely worth the extra $.
If you get feedback on this subject via private e-mail, please consider sharing with us. We are always interested here on the Singles Message Boards in the experiences of others in their solo cruising.
I'm a single Christian gent of 44. I have taken eight cruises as a single adult, all of which were with Princess, and have had a phenomenal time on all of them. While Princess's ships are not exactly the "Love Boat" of television fame, I usually have met a lot of wonderful people -- usually including other solo travellers in our age group.
Princess usually has at least a couple events called "Singles Mingles" where they serve complementary champagne and invite passengers travelling alone to meet and to make introductions. I highly recommend going, as there usually are other passengers "flying solo" so it's a chance to make new acquaintances. Also, singles are welcome at just about all activities -- where often even married folk tend to show up without their spouses (who might have other interests). I have also found Princess's passengers to be kind and courteous people who generally enjoy meeting new friends.
The other thing that's wonderful about Princess cruises is that nobody will push you into joining something that you don't want to join. If you want to relax in a lounge out on deck, that's your free choice -- and the cruise staff will respect it!
I do have a few recommendations for passengers who are "flying solo" -- and they probably are applicable to any cruise line.
>> 1. Request a large table at dinner, preferably with other single folks. Also, if the ship offers a choice of traditional or open seating, request traditional. This way, you will have a stable cadre of dinner companions with whom to "compare notes" at the end of the day. In my experience, it's not uncommon for tablemates to go to shows together at night, either.
>> 2. When in port, opt for a tour organized by the ship -- especially if it's your first visit to the area. You'll get to meet people, and you won't be "on your own" in unfamiliar surroundings. Also, the tour guides usually provide background on local culture and customs that might spare you some embarassment.
>> 3. Aboard ship, join in the activities and events that match your interests. That's where you're most likely to meet folks with whom you have something in common.
>> 4. Above all, don't be bashful. If in doubt, introduce yourself to those around you.
I cruised solo on Celebrity Century about 5 years ago and loved it. I am going on the HAL Maasdam in September and can't wait.
The only problem I have had going solo is the cost. I do not want to share a cabin with a stranger because I am set in my ways and like my own space. I also am too claustrophobic for an inside cabin. I want to see the ocean. That means that it really kicks up the cost for me.
However, everything else is great. You probably won't find romance as a lot of cruise ships are like Noah's ark (everyone comes in pairs), but you will meet lots of great people. Everyone is relaxed and friendly on cruises, so it is easy to strike up a conversation anywhere.
I agree with all of Norm's suggestions, but I would give one word of warning about some ship-arranged excursions. Some of them are way overpriced for what you get. If you see an excursion you are interested in, ask around at places like this and people will be very helpful.
Above all, have a great time and let us know what you pick.