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Old June 16th, 2010, 04:47 PM
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Default First time Single Cruiser

Hi, I'm Michael and I am looking for some advice on single cruising, Im a first time cruiser as well. Hoping someone can give me a little advice on what to look for. I'm looking for a 6-7 night Carribean Cruise for sometime around Feb-March 2010. I'm looking for the age range to be somewhere between 21-35, and geared toward singles. If anyone has any advice or suggestions please let me know. Thanks
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Old June 17th, 2010, 07:49 PM
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Michael,

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Hi, I'm Michael and I am looking for some advice on single cruising, Im a first time cruiser as well. Hoping someone can give me a little advice on what to look for. I'm looking for a 6-7 night Carribean Cruise for sometime around Feb-March 2010. I'm looking for the age range to be somewhere between 21-35, and geared toward singles. If anyone has any advice or suggestions please let me know. Thanks
Welcome aboard!

First, let me say up front that cruising is a remarkably affordable and safe way for a single person to travel alone. All of the ships of the major cruise lines have very effective, but unobtrusive, security, and they offer excellent tours ("shore excursions") in all of the ports of call so you don't have to venture into unfamiliar territory alone.

As to the choice of cruise line, there's simply no single right answer for everybody. The first thing to do is to stop into your local bookstore, pick up a guide book to cruise lines and cruise ships, and read the descriptions of the various lines to determine which line would be the best match for your personality, personal style, and interests. Each of the major cruise lines has its own personality and style, and you'll have the best time on a line that's a good match for you.

Most of the major cruise lines attract a very broad spectrum of passengers, and they offer a good variety of activities, both at sea and ashore, for passengers of all ages. Don't forget that even if only one percent of the passengers on your sailing are in a particular range of age, one percent of 2,000 to 3,000 passengers who sail on a typical cruise is twenty to thirty -- which means that you won't be the only young adult onboard by any means. And only one percent in that range of age on a given sailing would be abnormally low on most of the major lines, especially on a cruise of seven or fewer nights. Also, if you choose a line that's a good match for you, you'll probably meet a lot more young people with whom you have something in common. A line that's a mismatch may have more young people, but you probably won't want to hang out with them.

The major cruise lines generally do not market specific cruises as "singles" cruises, but there are several outfits that organize singles cruises for their clients or members. These outfits may charge an additional service or membership fee, they also may get a discounted group rate that would help to offset their added fees. If you are thinking of joining such a group cruise, I strongly recommend trying to meet some of their members before you book to see what kind of people they attract. Such outfits typically organize special "mix and mingle" events exclusively for their groups that provide focused opportunities to meet other singles, but what good is that if they attract people whose style, tastes, and interests are radically different than yours, and thus with whom you don't want to associate? I'm not saying not to go with such a group, but rather saying to make sure that such a group is a good match before you commit to going that route.

Finally, a travel agent can be an invaluable asset when you are booking a cruise. If you can only narrow your choice to two or three lines by reading the descriptions in a guidebook, a reputable travel agent will ask the right questions to help you find the best choice. The cruise lines do pay decent commissions to travel agents so most travel agents routinely waive their normal fees for booking flights and hotels in conjunction with a cruise package. A travel agent should be able to match any fare that you find on the 'net.

BTW, if you are "flying solo" in the summer, consider taking a cruise to Alaska rather than to the Caribbean. There's actually a lot for young, able-bodied, adults to see and to do there!

Have a great cruise, whatever you decide!

Norm.
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