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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 24th, 2003, 09:12 PM
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Default "Freestyle cruising" for singles??

I'd like to hear what people think about the "Freestyle cruising" meal concept that many of the lines are trying. As a 40 year old female who sometimes cruises alone, I have enjoyed meeting people at the traditional assigned dinner table, and find that I make many contacts through that group at dinner. If I end up with a bunch of duds, I politely ask the dinning room manager to move me to a better table for the remainder of the cruise. This has worked well and I have many friends that I have met this way. Could anyone tell me if you have made these same connections on your own without the assigned dinner time and table? My concern is that "freestyle" works if you travel as a couple or group, but not for a single traveling alone. Any comments?
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Old January 24th, 2003, 10:38 PM
Pat Hagan, Singles Editor
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Default Re: "Freestyle cruising" for singles??

Renee, you pose an interesting question, and I hope there will be a lot of response from our message board readers.

I, too, have wondered how "freestyle" might affect solo cruisers and intend to experience the situation in the near future in order to find out. Like you, I have always enjoyed having an assigned seat for dinner--so long as I enjoyed the company at the table--because that was how I met so many people, some single, to go ashore with, join for the after-dinner shows, etc. Personally, I feel it could be quite unpleasant for someone traveling alone (especially if they are on the shy side) to have to dine with strangers every night of the cruise.

Pat Hagan, Singles Editor, Cruisemates

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Old January 25th, 2003, 04:20 AM
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Default Re: "Freestyle cruising" for singles??

It takes a while for me to get to know strangers well enough to be comfortable with them. Having a fixed seating with assigned tablemates makes it easier, provided you find each other compatible. There's a greater commitment to get to know each other because you know you'll be seeing them more than once. I suppose it depends on your personality. If you're the kind of person who mixes well at a party with complete strangers, then open sitting won't present a problem. If you're like me, and feel lost in an atmosphere where I don't know anyone, then you may feel more pressure. I like the structure that assigned sitting provides when I'm travelling alone.
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Old January 25th, 2003, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: "Freestyle cruising" for singles??

I tried freestyle cruising on my NY to NE/Canada cruise on NCL's Sea in June of 2001. The Sea is one of NCL older ships and I don't think that the staff knew how to work with the solo cruiser. NCL did do a singles get together the first night and then we all were to dinner together (18 women showed up of various ages).
I found that since this was a pretty busy itinerary I was happier just going to the Lido deck in the evening. I enjoyed the cruise, found the staff friendly, but would probably not cruise NCL solo again mostly because of the freestyle dining.
Faith
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Old January 26th, 2003, 12:04 AM
Pat Hagan, Singles Editor
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Default Re: Re: "Freestyle cruising" for singles??

Faith, thanks for sharing your experience. I am afraid that "freestyle" cruising is going to be a major turn-off for single/solo cruisers.

Pat Hagan, Singles Editor

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Old January 26th, 2003, 06:37 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: "Freestyle cruising" for singles??

But then, I am a male and have traveled solo on NCL and Star several times. I like free style. I can move about and am not trapped with a group that's not of my choosing. I understand that women feel that they are not as free to join others or move about as men are. I can only say that for men, free style is not only pleasant, it can be an advantage. I hope I do not sound like a sexist.
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Old January 27th, 2003, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: Re: "Freestyle cruising" for singles??

I found the same on the Sea - staff didn't really know how to handle a solo. Example: table for eight - rectangular. To my left, a group of four. To my right a twosome. Opposite, an empty chair. Neither group really wanted to socialize with the rest of the table. However, I did have some friendlier tables on other nights. Bottom line is that I much prefer traditional dining and getting to know my tablemates, but the Freestyle isn't bad enough to keep me from doing it again.

Jo ~ has had lots of fun at dinner
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Old January 27th, 2003, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: "Freestyle cruising" for singles??

Hi
I have gone on 5 FreeStyle cruises. Four of the cruises were solo on the Sky and Wind.
I enjoy the freedom of freestyle. I also like to move about mix and mingle. Come and go, do or don't as I please.
On my trips on the Sky, I've met folks the first couple of days and hung out and met for lunch or dinner a couple of times.
I cruised back-back Alaska on the Wind. Thank you Freestyle.
I could tell from the embarkation that this was going to be a different sort of cruise.
I seemed the complaints never stopped. I sure would have been in a fix with assigned seating on this cruise.
I found the perfect table on the first day, and made a reservation at 6:00pm for the rest of the cruise.
A few evenings I had dinner with folks I had met during the day, and that was fun......but I always had my perfect table, with a wonderful wait staff, and beautiful scenery for company.
Freestyle isn't for everyone. If you need company at meal times, it might not work.
I enjoy talking and meeting new people...but I saved that for the excursions, shows, and out on deck.
I will be on the Sun and Wind this year, and my FreeStyle cruise can't get here soon enough.

Syl
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Old January 27th, 2003, 05:35 PM
Pat Hagan, Singles Editor
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: "Freestyle cruising" for singles??

No, you absolutely do NOT sound like a sexist, and you make a very good point. And, if one is cruising solo on a ship that has "Freestyle" dining, I hope others will do likewise, and, as I like to call it, "mingle."

Pat Hagan, Singles Editor
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Old January 27th, 2003, 05:38 PM
Pat Hagan, Singles Editor
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Default Re: Re: "Freestyle cruising" for singles??

Syl, you also make a good point. I guess what it boils down to is that if you are on a cruise and determined to have fun, you will, regardless.

Pat Hagan, Singles Editor
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Old January 31st, 2003, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: "Freestyle cruising" for singles??

I went on the NCL Dream last November for 14 days and had a wonderfull cruise. Since this was my first time solo, I did not know what to expect.
Turned out i had a wonderfull cruise. Got together with 7 other people from Scottland, Canada , Ma.. from a bulletin board. we meet the first evening and I allways had a few people to eat dinner or lunch with. Also we went on shore trips together and I made some real good friends and we keep in touch.
Went on the Radiance this month with same table mates every night and yes it is easyer if you like the company.
So it worked out both ways for me. It is just nicer to <know >somebody . before going on the ship.
My advice to the poster going on the NCL cruises, try to find some people on bulletin boards that go on your cruise. Do not have to be singles, then you feel like you know somebody when you get there.if you klick, like we did., you will have dinner
companions . Hope I helped some. I did like Freestyle cruising, because I could eat when it was convinient for me. Auguste
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Old January 31st, 2003, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: "Freestyle cruising" for singles??

I went on the NCL Dream last November for 14 days and had a wonderfull cruise. Since this was my first time solo, I did not know what to expect.
Turned out i had a wonderfull cruise. Got together with 7 other people from Scottland, Canada , Ma.. from a bulletin board. we meet the first evening and I allways had a few people to eat dinner or lunch with. Also we went on shore trips together and I made some real good friends and we keep in touch.
Went on the Radiance this month with same table mates every night and yes it is easyer if you like the company.
So it worked out both ways for me. It is just nicer to <know >somebody . before going on the ship.
My advice to the poster going on the NCL cruises, try to find some people on bulletin boards that go on your cruise. Do not have to be singles, then you feel like you know somebody when you get there.if you klick, like we did., you will have dinner
companions . Hope I helped some. I did like Freestyle cruising, because I could eat when it was convinient for me. Auguste
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