Thanks, Pat, (and everyone else) for your replies. I had pretty much ruled out NCL because of their dining set-up and would be hesitant to try any ship that only offered open seating. Also, I've been on three Carnival cruises and am ready to try other lines. Could I impose upon you to be a little more specific on which ships/lines are better for solos? For instance, do you know if RCCL's Radiance-class ships are less intimidating than the Voyager-class ships? What about Celebrity and Princess? Are their larger ships (M-class and Grand-class, respectively) too large for the less-than-gregarious solo? I've already gotten the impression that Holland America is pretty solo friendly. Same with Crystal, although they seem to be a bit "upper-crust". (I have visions of boarding a Crystal ship and having security inspect my clothes for designer labels.)
Carnival by far have the most % of singles on board their ships compare to other cruise lines (RCCL Celebrity HAL).Bigger ships not necessary better, sometimes it's hard to find someone you met earlier.
HAL still have the share program, but the average age is a lot older, I am 43 male, and I was the few youngest on the Massdam. RCCL vision class is a good size ship, plan to go back on those ships, Voyageur and Radiance class are way too big and not easy to connect with other singles. I feltl like I was in a mall on the voyaguer class. The centrum on the vision class is way more open to view the sea rolling by.
I started cruising with Carnival in 1984-1985 out of L.A. I heard by word of mouth that Holland America was a good Cruise Line for your dollar. I've been with them for 21 cruises and will sail with them up in Alaska and down to Mexico in December.
HAL stopped their "Theme Cruises" which were a BIG DRAW! HAL is NOT an "Upper Crust" Cruise LIne. I am a single male and have met singles on board and brought along a female single friend. I have been to Mexico, Eastern and Western Caribbean, Alaska and Pacific Coastal Repositioning Cruises.
HAL is "Singles Friendly" when it comes to the 150% Singles Supplement compared to Celebrity's 200%!!! HAL will also try to find you a room mate of the same sex. Talking with other females who have done the singles share, it is "Open Warfare" = Lights on, too Hot or Cold, TV On/ OFF etc.
HAL does have a few Singles Socials, plus a lot of Dance Acitivities up in the Crow's Nest around 11:00 PM!
The Singles Socials run the Gamut from just a few people to 25. It's difficult to figure out what a single female is looking for in a 1 hour meeting, and have a friend for the week. I have found out one thing that some of these "single females" are hoping to find something better later that day, the next day, the next day, etc., you get the messsage!!!
Table Size: I have tried a Table for 2 all the way to a Table for 8. I personally like the Table for 2 as I can eat, not have to continually ask for someone to pass the bread, butter, sugard, creamer etc. I meet my friends at the Jacuzzi and Crow's Nest!
Hope this helps and your welcome to join me for Alaska or Mexico?
I have cruised on Crystal 3 times and gone solo each time. The Pacific Ocean crossing cruise was not full and the dance hosts didn't have the usual abundance of unaccompanied women to dance with. I ended up dancing a lot more than I usually do on the cruise. Crystal is terriffic for singles. I like Crystal Harmony because they have inside cabins that are the best value for singles.