I'm surprised to see how few people utilize the "Meet On Board" section of this site. I just can't believe I'm the only one going on the Queen Mary 2 at all. And only 5 people going on the Zuiderdam.
Why don't people use it? too intrusive?
I would guess that many people simply prefer to meet people on board. It is easier to judge compatibility, etc., in person than over the net. If you consider the number of people at sea on cruises at this moment and the number of visitors to these sites every day, I think you would conclude that even fewer than you thought use the "Meet" boards, compared to those who sail. Many people avoid posts whose subject contains the words "Roll Call" or "Rubber Bands" like the plague. I know several people who visit this site from time to time who are sailing the QM2 rt to Rio in 2004. A post identifying themselves is probably the last thing in the world they'd think of doing. And, I'll be on the Zuiderdam. (Oops!... sssshhhh!) But, to each his own.
I don't use it simply because I don't go on cruises to meet people. My fiance and I use cruises to reconnect as a couple and see new places together. We meet new people at dinner, and that's enough for us.
That said, Meet on Board is a good resource for those who are looking to meet people, so I don't know why it isn't used more. Perhaps it isn't advertised enough?
Now posting as MichelleP.
I think I'll have to disagree with Ernie just a bit here (surprise<G>).
Cruising is a very social experience. There are not very many other vacations where people will walk into a restaurant and asked to be seated with strangers. Until recently, I agree that people would rely on encountering others on the ship, socializing and forming friendships during the trip.
But, that was before Internet resources, such as CruiseMates, even existed.
I'll agree that (for now}, there are many more people on cruise ships who don't even use the net as a resource when it comes to cruising (even for researching their cruises), than there are those who do. So, it also follows that they wouldn't consider using it for meeting people.
However I do think there is are VERY large numbers of people who have found the cruise resources on the net, and who do indeed look to meet others who are going to be their cruisemates. I think this is evidenced in a number of ways.
1.If you look at sites who do not use a data base set up such as "Meet On Board" a very large % of their message board posts are people looking for shipmates, or discussions by those who have found others on their sailings.
2. The cruise lines themselves are taking notice of the trend and just beginning to offer to facilitate "internet connection" get togethers.
Cruise related web sites on the NET are still in their infancy! Most sites are no more than 2 or 3 years old, and MANY people are just beginning to discover they exist. Heck the cruise lines themselves didn't have their own web sites until recently.
We (cruise sites) are really just beginning to walk, and the potential for growth is limitless. Even the cruise line executives see the enormous potential of these sites, as witnessed by their advertising, their monitoring of these sites, and the recent initiatives I mentioned earlier.
Now .. as to the question of why people may not use our "Meet On Board" data base that much.... I think there is such a vast amount of material on the CruiseMates site, they just may have not found it yet. Either that.. or they're lazy <VBG>
Kuki... I wasn't attacking these web sites as a source of information for cruisers or as a booking aid. We spend a few dollars ourselves and considerable time on them and I am quite convinced of their increasing importance to our Industry. However, I do not agree about advance meets scheduled on the boards. It doesn't detract from the usefulness and enjoyment of these sites.
What I think I meant to say was that a minuscule number of visitors to the site(s), rather than a percentage of actual cruisers, use or respond to these ubiquitous "roll call" or meet on board postings. Many people, I suspect, find them infantile and/or off-putting. Just my feeling. Many would prefer to meet folks on board at the moment, I would think.
Ernie.. I've known you long enough now to know what you mean.
I, of course, understand the value you place on CruiseMates. But we'll disagree on the pre meet/ meeting issue. I think that will be an area of growth over time... as do the cruise lines. RCI and Celeb for now, but watch for the others to jump on the bandwagon soon.
Don't forget we met only because of such gatherings (though our actually meeting was land based). And remember all the great folks we've met the same way, and all the fun dinners and get togethers that have resulted since. Far from infantile when so many real, and long term friendships are formed.
Of course, one of the great things about cruise vacations... one can be as social or as isolated as they choose.
Of course, I agree K... but I must add a qualifier... "we" and lots of our other "friends" sort of established a friendship over time... and the personal meetings came, in most cases, later... or much later... when we already "knew" each other to an extent. I think that is a sea change difference from answering one of these Roll Call posts and meeting a bunch of total strangers on board a ship.
For the record, one of the nicest things that has ever happened to me has been the opportunity to meet so many lovely, interesting and diverse people in these precincts. On that you get no argument from me!
The first time (about eight years ago) I learned that another on-line person was going to be on the same cruise, I was really excited about meeting.
One word says it all, "Yeech."
We had so totally nothing in common that it was laughable. Except extricting ourselves from these most unattactive people was darned near impossible. But that can happen with tablemates as well.
I know that a lot of people really enjoy meeting new folks at dinner and some of them end up making long-time friendships.
On our Mercury cruise, we are sharing at table with friends from a previous cruise.
We are almost always "table for two" people. As Michelle said, crusing is a time to reconnect with one's life partner.
I was EXTREMELY distressed to learn that we were NOT T42 people on Summit. But I wasn't going to make an issue of it until the evening was over. Meeting Kay and Chuck, Jenn and Jose, and Ray and Helen was totally delicious. And to have all the sneaky secret Phlamingos just a table away was wonderful. But that's not the usual situation.
Just becase people post on a board and you "meet" in 2-D does NOT mean that you will be automatic best friends.
I can see how it might just be risky business.
Me, if I learn that another poster will be on the same cruise, I suggest a pre-lunch Bloody Mary meeting. If we connect, great. If not, "So long, it's been good to know you."
I think Thulewx's original post had a good point, though, in that if you look on the boards for particular cruise lines, a huge number of posts are from people looking for others who will be on board a particular cruise. Therefore, I do wonder why they aren't using the Meet On Board feature instead or as well. Maybe not enough people know about it?
Now posting as MichelleP.
Michelle, I think it's because (previously) it was difficult to find (under games, etc, if I recall). The other put-off may be (if I am correct) is that you have to register in order to use it ... I think a lot of people just don't wish to bother.
I use "meet on board" every cruise, and have been happy to say we have met a couple nice people. If more than anything else, it's nice to see a familiar face as the cruise progresses just to say hi and ask how *their* trip is going.
I am going on the Dawn Princess in a few weeks. I looked at the Meet on Board site. Seems to me people want to meet and party and I am a solo traveller here just looking for a new and wonderful travelling experience. I am not a partier nor am I really the life of the party. I am more comfortable with small groups or one on one.
I will enjoy meeting others but my past experience with solo travelling tells me that I will most often spend time by myself. That is equally enjoyable to me.
I do think that Meet on Board is a wonderful tool.
maybe you are the only one. Oh boy think of all the lobster you will get now and the fast service and the lounge chairs close to the entertainment and the pool chairs right where you want them. Wait, I think I will sign up now!!!!!!!!