I am retired, straight, DWM, 63 n/s, n/d been there; done that; twice.
first time) met a first-time M cruiser onboard after LOTS of email, IM and phone calls. He in LA, me in FL. I flew to him for the cruise (Mexico from LA) to lessen his anxiety about 1st cruise and to accomodate his disabiility - he needed a cane to walk. We had a ball - we were together/apart as we decided at the time, which I think is appropriate. I shared my past cruise experience with him and tried to enrich his cruise by pointing him to things, which he did, that he might not have found on his own.
second time) met an very experienced F cruiser. We did a face-to-face meeting at Sea World Orlando for a weekend, shared a motel room, did the park, etc. before we commited to a cruise. My take on online matches it that there is risk in both directions. We did photo exchange and lots of phone calls before we ever met on Orlando. We did Seattle and Alaska in style, in spite of her having a cast on her lower leg, applied the Tues. before we departed Fri. Maybe she should have canceled? She in SC, me in FL, I arranged my flights to I met hers in ATL, and we were together from there until we returned to Seattle 10 days later. I even pushed her wheelchair through Butchart Gardens in Vistoria!
I'm still looking for new cabin mates - and I accept that there is a risk. I am sensitive to the risk the other person assumes as well. I send pictures, profuse emails, IM, phone calls, you name it! and try to go the 80% to help the other person feel OK. I just want to share a cabin - I appreciate that you do too. I believe that my age, and theirs, helps - both of my matches were over 50 and I was over 60. I would not accept a 20-something; I'm sure we would both be disappointed!
I'm a firm supporter of the process of finding a cabinmate online. I'm carefull and advidse others to be cautious. With a good person and a sensible approach, it WILL work well.
I really regret that there is not a more refined, certified way to find a cabinmate. What a business that would be! For $10, we'll open our researched share mates for your contact. But be aware that we will research you the same way before we give you the keys to the rooster/hen house.
I have no pairing-by-others, and I don't want any.
Thanks for asking!