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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 18th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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Default Thinking of a 1st cruise

Hi everyone. I have been reading your message board, which I found researching about cruises. I have read about 1st time cruizing here, etc.
BTW the you "regulars" are hysterical!
I am thinking of taking a solo cruise, but am unsure about doing it. I see that many of you use "single cruises". I was thinking of trying that, but am still unsure. I went on a solo vac to an all inclusive place in the bahamas a few years ago and had a horrible time. The crowd was 18-21, I was in my mid 30's. It's not that I mind partying with some younger people but I felt I had nothing in common with them. I have read here that the crowds on the singles cruises vary in age from 20's to 50's. Which I think is a great mix. I am 39 now so that would be a good age range to hang with.
Have any of you gone totally solo on a cruise? I mean knowing no one at all? Was it easy to make friends with others in the group?
I am a bit shy at first but warm up pretty quick. Not looking for a love match, just want a great vacation where I can meet new people and have a good time.
Also, I was wondering about movement of the ships? Do you feel them rocking? I get motion sickness very easily and that is a concern for me. I don't want to be sick the whole time.
Any help you can give me would be greatly appricated!!!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 18th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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nvrbencruzin,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Have any of you gone totally solo on a cruise? I mean knowing no one at all?
Yes, I do it often. In fact, I'm "flying solo" to the Southern Caribbean aboard MV Galaxy next Monday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Was it easy to make friends with others in the group?
Yes, very. Here are a few tips.

>> Choose a traditional cruise and request a moderately large table (a table for six or eight is ideal) in the dining room. The Maitre d'Hotel will seat you with other passengers so you will have dinner companions every evening. When a table "clicks," it's fairly common for tablemates to go to the show together after dinner, too.

>> On days at sea, go to lunch in the main dining room, where the staff will seat you with other passengers to fill out a table.

>> When the ship is at sea, there's a constant stream of very diverse activities. You can't possibly do everything, but you'll meet people with similar interests if you join in the activities that are most of interest to you.

>> It's very easy to strike up a conversation in the buffet line. Just ask the person next to you if it's their first cruise. If so, ask their impressions so far. If not, ask how many cruises, where the other cruises went and on which lines, and how this one compares. Conversations often will take off from there, and you'll get some great background on cruise lines, ships, and destinations in the process.

>> Take a shore excursion that interests you in each port of call, and especially in the first. You'll meet people with similar interests, some of whom might even be unattached.

Finally, you will see a lot of discussion about some lines attracting more singles than others, but more is not necessarily better. Each cruise line has its own style and personality, and you are more likely to meet people whose style and personality are similar to yours, even though potentially fewer in number, if you choose a cruise line with a style and personality that's a good match for your own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Also, I was wondering about movement of the ships? Do you feel them rocking?
Most modern cruise ships are very large and have dynamic stabilizers, so they don't roll enough to say so. The more likely motion is a slight pitch (two or three degrees) if there are large swells, but that motion tends to be very slow so it is not unsettling. Most of the time, though, the ships are stable enough so they can do balancing acts and trapeze acts in the theaters.

Honestly, you are apt to feel more motion on land in California -- and I would find the motion there be a lot more unsettling, if only because the ground is not "supposed to" shake like that!

Norm.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 01:13 PM
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Norm,
Thanks so much for all the information.
Thinking of trying something in Feb or March. I'm in need of sun and sand, winter has finally hit NY and it cold!
nvrbencruzin
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Old January 18th, 2007, 07:20 PM
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nvrbencruzin

I would agree with Norm on most of his points, as I have cruised twice as a solo passenger. One in a singles group and one completely by myself. I agree that the bigger tables allow you to interact with others quicker. You may even want to ask the Matre' D to sit you with other solo travelers when you get to the restaurant the first night. I also visit the dance club after dinner to get acquainted with other passengers. The musical lounges are a great place to meet other people.

I think that Norm gives more credit to the effectiveness of the stabilizers than I do. Don't get me wrong; they do help, but if you are as prone to motion sickness as you say, then I would definitely invest in some pills to counteract it. The bigger ships move less than the smaller ones, but they do move, especially when it is windy.

I personally don't get seasick, or have any problem with motion sickness, but I have witnessed enough of it in my travels that I can say that it can ruin your trip if you are not prepared for it. The ship's store sells motion sickness pills, but they tend to make you drowsy, so I would recommend that you have your doctor prescribe some non-drowsy medication before you leave on your cruise.

Hope my two cents helped
George
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Old January 18th, 2007, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Thinking of a 1st cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvrbencruzin
.
Also, I was wondering about movement of the ships? Do you feel them rocking? I get motion sickness very easily and that is a concern for me. I don't want to be sick the whole time.
Any help you can give me would be greatly appricated!!!
I feel the same way but I bought the ginger pills and it worked well.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 01:50 AM
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nvrbencruzin,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Thanks so much for all the information.
Thinking of trying something in Feb or March. I'm in need of sun and sand, winter has finally hit NY and it cold!
You're welcome!

BTW, I meant to mention that a cruise vacation is one of the safest options for a solo traveller. The cruise ships have outstanding security "designed in," so you won't really notice it, but it works very well. By taking shore excursions in the ports of call, you are not going ashore alone in a strange place so you have both the safety of the group and a local guide watching out for you.

As to your choice of cruise, I share a similar need -- which is why I'm leaving in three days for a cruise to the "Southern Caribbean" aboard GTS Infinity (Celebrity Cruises). I was about to suggest that you might want to check out that option, but then I realized that I don't know you well enough to know if Celebrity would be a good fit for you. Really, you would do well to pick up a guidebook to cruise lines and cruise ships (all of the major series of travel guidebooks, like Stern's, Frommer's, Fodors, etc., have them) and read the descriptions of the various lines to ascertain which ones seem to match your style and recources. A reputable travel agent who specializes in cruises also can assist you in this regard.

Norm.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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Thank you all for the information, it is very helpful!
I would be taking Bonine, I use it when flying and it does the trick for me. I use the non drowsy formula and it does not put me to sleep, which is a good thing. Wouldn't want to drool on the person next to me!
Oh I have one other question about the sea sickness thing. I was reading the Health board about people being ok on the ships but they end up getting a "land" sea sickness after they come back. Is that common? Scares me to think I could be walking around with after effects for a while!

From what I was reading about the Carnival Line it seems like a great time. More of a "party" atmospher. I think I would prefer that over a "stuffy" one. As I am not the stuffy type. I am laid back and like to have fun!

Again, I really appricate all of the information everyone has provided.
D
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Old January 20th, 2007, 11:57 PM
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"Have any of you gone totally solo on a cruise? I mean knowing no one at all? Was it easy to make friends with others in the group? "
I have.. six going on seven times...and I just loved it ! It is very easy to make friends and as a matter of fact, I think a ship is an ideal way for a solo traveler to see the world. that's why I hooked ! 8)
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Old January 21st, 2007, 10:55 AM
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Thoth,

I have done the same many times. I have had more success on some cruises than others but I do always meet plenty of people. I met quite a few people on a Hawaii cruise from Vancouver and actually made some good friends. On my last cruise there was a VTG group and I met quite a few of them and I write some of them.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 08:31 PM
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Thank you for your feedback. I mentioned my thought going on a cruise to my parents, they were concerned about the stuff heard on the news the past year about people "disappearing" on cruise ships. And are not thrilled with the idea of me going alone. But it was mentioned above that security is good onboard. I am thinking those instances are the exeption not the norm. That is correct, right?

D
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Old January 21st, 2007, 11:49 PM
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nvrbencruzin,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Thank you for your feedback. I mentioned my thought going on a cruise to my parents, they were concerned about the stuff heard on the news the past year about people "disappearing" on cruise ships. And are not thrilled with the idea of me going alone. But it was mentioned above that security is good onboard. I am thinking those instances are the exeption not the norm. That is correct, right?
Yes, that is very correct. Also, in several of the widely reported "disappearances," the media lost interest when the authorities found a suicide note either in the person's cabin or in the person's home, so the media outlets never bothered to provide an update with that additional information.

Norm.
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 02:11 AM
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Nvrbencruzin,

With regard to the ship’s stabilization, I agree with Norm’s assessment.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to tour the Vision of the Seas’s bridge. During that tour, the officer of the deck, a young lady from Norway, explained the ship’s stabilization to me.

This particular ship employed 4 separate radar systems, one of which looked down at the ocean surface itself. According to the radar display I viewed, the chop was so heavy it displayed as “fuzz? on the radar screen. This display looked like “snow? on a TV tuned in between stations. The officer of the deck explained that this degree of chop is classified as “heavy seas.?

Accordingly, she had ordered the deployment of all 4 of the ship’s under-sea stabilizers, in order to minimize any apparent movement of the ship to the passengers. And I can tell you, while seeing all of those white-caps out there, and viewing all of that “fuzz? on the radar screen, the ship felt as motionless to me as anyplace on dry land.

The only thing I would be worried about, if I were you, is the cost of all of this. You see, despite our protestations, there is no free lunch! Everything comes at a price.

You see, with all of its stabilizers deployed, a cruise ship experiences an increase in its amount of drag. This increased drag causes an exponential increase in its fuel consumption. And guess who gets to pay for this increase in fuel cost……..

And so, aside from fuel costs, you have nothing to worry about! You’re going to have a great cruise!

Happy cruising,

Dean
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 04:45 AM
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I haven't taken a normal non singles cruise solo. I have taken 3 singles cruises and just booked my forth. I think the singles cruises make it easier to meet other singles, not just meet familys and couples with a small amount of singles, like you would on a normal non singles cruise. I like Vacations to Go, but have also cruised with Cruising for Love. Both companies have the majority of people are in their 30's-40's some older some younger. But singles cruises cost more money if you want your own cabin, other wise they match you with a same sex roomate, and you get luck of the draw. Even though they are more expensive, there are activities that are for the singles group only, the rest of the people on the ship can't attend. Such as singles parties with alcohol included, and fun games to get to know each other, as well as some group shore excursions. I may cruise solo in the future as I can get a much better rate and have my own cabin that way. I do know it would probally be a bit more lonely but I love being at sea, and Im not to shy to not make at least a few friends. Hope this helps
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 09:57 AM
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Thank you Dean and Showcat.
Both of you really helped with your info.
Showcat, thanks for the input from another single female.
Nice to have different perspectives from people. I would not mind paying more for an organized singles cruise because you do get the added benifit of the activities. I would end up paying a single suppliment, not sure I want to chance rooming with a stranger. W/ my luck I would end up with a bad one!
You have all been so helpful!!!
D
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 03:26 PM
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Glad to help. Also I've never heard horror stories from male roomates though, I think guys are more laid back in general. All the guys who did room seem to have gotten along well. For your information.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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[quote="Rev22:17"]nvrbencruzin,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Have any of you gone totally solo on a cruise? I mean knowing no one at all?
Norm wrote:
>>
Quote:
On days at sea, go to lunch in the main dining room, where the staff will seat you with other passengers to fill out a table.
>>>>>>>>>>
I disagree. Like breakfast, lunch is open seating, which means you get the next available seat, regardless of whether everyone else in the table is part of a group, family, children, etc. I have had some of my most boring experiences at open seating breakfast and lunch, either ignored by those already engaged in conversation or having nothing in common to talk about except the tired old conversation-starter, "Is this your first cruise?"

If I am traveling alone, I opt for having breakfast and lunch at the buffets. If I spot someone sitting by themselves I ask if I can join them. Sometimes I find other singles that way; other times it will be someone whose spouse or traveling companion has opted not to eat just then. Still, I make a new friend because I have chosen my seat next to someone who looked interesting. I was not assigned to the next empty chair at a table.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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Would I be better off going with a singles group like VTG or SC.com?
If so, is one better than the other? Are the group sizes pretty big?
Sorry for all the questions! I really do appreciate all the feedback!

D
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