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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 10th, 2006, 09:44 AM
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Default Solo traveler contemplating cruise end of March

Hello all,

I am an experienced Caribbean traveler but have never been on a cruise before. (I am not counting the Caribbean's excellent rum punch day sails, which are always fun!)

I am hesitant to do a cruise for a few reasons.

I would hate to be paired with a roomate that was not compatible. I would much prefer a room by myself but don't want to pay double.

Meeting people on a cruise line....I guess I just imagine cruises to be a couples type adventure. I have met many couples on my adventures and consider some as friends. But they usually like to do things as a couple and I do not like being a third wheel.

Thought I would throw this out. See what type of response and advice I receive.

Thanks for your time.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 09:36 PM
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qwlen,

I would hate to be paired with a roomate that was not compatible. I would much prefer a room by myself but don't want to pay double.

I agree with your concern, especially today. I don't like "paying double," but that'a a whole lot better than the risk of rooming with a stranger.

Don't forget, BTW, that you also will "pay double" at a land resort if you occupy a room by yourself because hotels charge per room rather than per person. On a ship, you don't quite pay double because the taxes and port charges are per person even with single occupancy.

If cost is an issue, BTW, book an inside cabin since your cabin does not affect anything else. The cabin is only a place to sleep, shower, change clothes, etc., anyway. Only honeymoon couples (including those on a second or subsequent honeymoons...) really plan to spend much time there anyway.

Meeting people on a cruise line....I guess I just imagine cruises to be a couples type adventure. I have met many couples on my adventures and consider some as friends. But they usually like to do things as a couple and I do not like being a third wheel.

Cruise ships actually draw a fair number of solo travellers because they provide a very safe environment. There's phenomenal security onboard most cruise ships and there's also the option of taking organized tours in the ports of call -- a very safe option especially on a first visit to a foreign port where you don't know either the lay of the land or the local customs. You also have no worry whatsoever about the food, drinking water, etc., aboard a cruise ship because the major cruise lines go to great pains to ensure that they are safe and that there are choices that are reasonably familiar -- and if you decided to try something unfamiliar and find that you don't like it, they are quite willing to bring you something else, no extra charge.

I have also met quite a few single folks who were travelling with friends or relatives, but who were nonetheless quite open to making new friends during the cruise. When a group of singles invites you go join their ranks, you don't become the unwelcome "third wheel" in a relationship.

Thought I would throw this out. See what type of response and advice I receive.

The best adice that I can give is to bo to your favorite bookstore, invest in a guidebook to cruises and cruise lines, read the descriptions of the major lines, and choose a line that seems to suit your personality. Yes, another line may draw a higher proportion of singles, but you're more apt to meet singles with interest similar to your own if you travel on a line that matches your personality and preferred lifestyle. Likewise, pick a cruise destination that you really want to visit because, again, that's where you are most apt to find single travellers with a similar interest.

Now, here are a few tips while you are on a cruise.

>> Aboard a typical cruise ship, you will find more activities and events than at a lot of land resorts. There's absolutely no way to do everything so, again, pick the activities that are of most interest to you because, again, that's where you'll find other passenges with interests similar to your own.

>> When the ship is in port, take an excursion from the ship that piques your interest. Most ports offer a variety of excursions, so there's bound to be something. There's definite safety in a tour group, where passengers tend to watch out for one another and where you'll have a local guide watching out for the whole group. Also, you'll be touring with other folks who chose the same excursion because their interests are similar to yours. Again, it's a great opportunity to meet folks whom you might not meet otherwise.

>> It's very easy to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger on a cruise ship, too. A causal "Are you enjoying the cruise?" with a warm smile to the person in front of or behind you in the buffet line, or seated in the next seat in the showroom, or who happens to look up as you walk through a lounge, is a sure conversation starter. If the answer is brief, follow up with "Now this isn't your first, is it?" An affirming "Oh, no..." opens the door to "How many?" and "Where have you gone on our prior cruises?" -- and the conversaion takes off! A negating "Oh, yes it is!" opens the door to "What are your impressions so far?" -- and, again, the conversation takes off.

Have a great cruise, whatever you decide!

Norm
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Old January 13th, 2006, 09:39 PM
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gwlen,

BTW, if you can back up your timing by a month or so, you're welcome to join we CruiseMates who will be aboard MV Mercury (Celebrity Cruises) for an eleven-night cruise to the Mexican Riviera on 13 February. Celebrity is classier than most other major lines, but still quite affordable.

Norm.
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Old January 14th, 2006, 08:06 AM
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Thank you for your reply! I appreciate it very much!!

I still haven't decided on what to do. I am leaning on going back to SXM (St. Martin) which is always a good choice and a good time! I continue to research cruises.

Thanks again!
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Old January 15th, 2006, 10:12 AM
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There is a Western Caribbean cruise leaving Florida on the 24th of March (I believe) which has caught my eye.

The cruise goes to Panama which would be interesting. (I was there in '89 with the military and again in '99 as a civilian)
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Old January 15th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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I can relate to your hesitancy to share a cabin with a stranger. One bad experience made me vow never to do that again; however, in all fairness, I have heard of more positive experiences than negative. Some cabin mates become friends and plan future cruises together. If you really, really want to go on a singles cruise and do not want the expense of having your own cabin then give it a try; otherwise, save up till you can afford it. It all depends on how badly you want to cruise.

As for cruising being a "couples" experience, I think you will find more singles on a short cruise, especially if it's a holiday cruise. I also recommend Crystal Cruises for anyone traveling solo. Pricy, but well worth it, and great for singles.

How about other singles on this message board? Can you give this person some tips/advice based on your cruising experiences?
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Old January 15th, 2006, 09:23 PM
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Check around with a travel agent or online and you will find that you may only end up paying $200 or so extra. Depends on the line, the demand, etc. My mom when she was investigating found some great deals that would not require that she share with a stranger. A little extra-but not double is probably the worst you can count on unless you have a specific high demand cruise.

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Old January 16th, 2006, 01:46 PM
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GWLEO

Cruising solo can definitely be a positive experience. I do not think there is any better travel experience to be able to meet other people.

I have sailed solo, with a partner, and with groups of friends. If I am just going away to relax and read, and not have to entertain anyone, then I always go single.

If you are looking for a good cruise line, I would recommend Holland America as their single supplement is much better than most - generally 50%. In March I will be sailing with MSC and their supplement was only 35%. If you decide to cruise, I do not think you will be disappointed - there will always be other singles.

I will try to answer any other questions you may have.

Cheers
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Old January 17th, 2006, 08:39 AM
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Thank you all for your information and advice.

I have decided that If I do a cruise I will NOT have a roommate. Just too many things could go wrong.

Still weighing my options.

A cruise would certainly be different for me, more of an adventure!
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Old January 24th, 2006, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: Solo traveler contemplating cruise end of March

Hi There

I understand what you mean. I want to go on a cruise but, I don't know if I like the idea of being paired up with a complete stranger.

If you are interested in a traveling buddy, please let me know.

Kim



Quote:
Originally Posted by gwleo
Hello all,

I am an experienced Caribbean traveler but have never been on a cruise before. (I am not counting the Caribbean's excellent rum punch day sails, which are always fun!)

I am hesitant to do a cruise for a few reasons.

I would hate to be paired with a roomate that was not compatible. I would much prefer a room by myself but don't want to pay double.

Meeting people on a cruise line....I guess I just imagine cruises to be a couples type adventure. I have met many couples on my adventures and consider some as friends. But they usually like to do things as a couple and I do not like being a third wheel.

Thought I would throw this out. See what type of response and advice I receive.

Thanks for your time.
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old January 24th, 2006, 04:57 PM
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dear gwleo..

you need to give a bit more deatails, but i am always willing to go on a cruise...let me know....

when you want to leave, where, what port..is it a round trip...???????
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Old January 24th, 2006, 09:17 PM
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Thanks for the offer Kim. I am assuming you are a female. I am a male. Even though 99% of all my friends are females (meaning I relate very well with females on a friendship level), us being roomates probably wouldn't work, (yes, that is extremely short sided of me!) us being strangers and all.

Ridinsolo----I have not a clue!! I guess if I were to go on a cruise I would leave from Florida or PR and play on the water for 6-9 days and then get off of the ship. March 19-26 as dates of leaving on a ship. Really don't know. I would like to stay away from islands I have been to already (Turks/Caisos, St. Martin, Antigua, Dominican Republic) but when it comes right down to it, it doesn't matter. I have been to Panama twice and wouldn't mind going to Colon.

Still thinking and researching!!!! Maybe I should just load up a backpack, grab my hiking boots and drive to the 4 corners!! Not much of an ocean though. So many choices!!

Keep the ideas coming. I know I have the need for an adventure! Somewhere warm would be great!
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