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About LandlockedCruiser01

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Chicago metro area
  • Interests
    Baseball, board games, swing dancing, general aviation
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Royal Dolphin Swim at Cozumel

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  1. The old cliche "it's not what you say, it's how you say it" rings true here: it's all in the tone and facial expressions. The way this person said it, it sounds like the old "you're so brave!", reworded as a politically correct "I statement". In the cruising world, "brave" is as much a compliment as "nice guy" is in the dating world. It sounds good on paper, but the connotation is usually negative. If you want to truly compliment a solo cruiser, words like "awesome" or even "independent" are much better.
  2. I bring 5 pairs. * Gym shoes for daily wear, in transit, onboard, and ashore * Spare gym shoes if the original pair gets soaked or damaged * Casual dress shoes for non-formal nights * Nice dress shoes for formal night * Bathroom slippers for going to and from the pool or sauna I rarely, if ever, wear sandals because I have a thing with sandal belts rubbing against my feet. And wearing socks with sandals is not an option, obviously.
  3. On my latest cruise, I had lunch in Ensenada: a fish taco, a shrimp taco, and a Pacifico beer. The taco were amazing, and followed the authentic Baja California recipe, nothing Americanized. The fillings were tender and flavorful. I made a mistake of putting on too much pickled onions. I thought they were simply marinated, but they turned out to be very spicy. My mouth burned for almost an hour afterwards. But it was worth it.
  4. I went to Sea Day Brunch on my last cruise. It was so good! The steak was tender and juicy, the potatoes were crispy, and the vegetables were flavorful. The only meh part was the eggs; they were too runny for my taste. I also had banana cream pie for dessert (not pictured). It was as good as you described.
  5. Small correction: Platinums get priority. Diamonds get a guarantee. (Or maybe that's just for regular cruises.)
  6. Carnival's maitre d's e-mail address is tied to the ship, not their personal name. Whoever is serving as the maitre d' will reply to you and sign off with their name, but their e-mail address is shared. The e-mail is in this format: XXmaitred(AT)carnival.com, where XX is the two-letter ship name abbreviation. Here is a mostly-complete list: FA = Fantasy FS = Fascination EC = Ecstasy SE = Sensation IS = Inspiration IM = Imagination EL = Elation PA = Paradise SP = Spirit PR = Pride LE = Legend MI= Miracle DE = Destiny TI = Triumph VI = Victory CQ = Conquest GL = Glory LI = Liberty VA = Valor FD = Freedom SL = Splendor DR = Dream MC = Magic BR = Breeze SH = Sunshine So, for example, Freedom's maitre d's e-mail would be: fdmaitred(AT)carnival.com
  7. I don't think that's true. I was able to e-mail the Inspiration maitre d' before my recent cruise, to request to be seated at a large table. He even replied to me, saying he'd do it. (It helps if you provide your booking number and seating time.) Did they block external e-mails sometime after the first week of September?
  8. That's still a counterargument. It may shut some people up, but it gives others an opportunity to say: "No, it's not. Cruising alone is..." The beauty of A&A is that you're technically agreeing with them, giving them no leg to stand on in arguing back. Better yet, it can trick them into arguing against themselves. (Cf. "rabbit season, duck season" scene from Looney Toons.)
  9. This is going off on a sociological tangent. It seems like people's reactions to your solo status is closely tied to their perception of you a priori. If you come off as respectable, assertive, and interesting, you being solo will not harm your reputation, or even help it. The woman who complimented me initially met me in a flattering situation: in a piano bar where I made a good first impression. If, she first met me, say, during an awkward approach in the nightclub or upon seeing me drop my tray in the Lido buffet, her reaction to my solo status may not have been as positive. That's a very astute observation. When people find out, directly or indirectly, that I was cruising solo, there was quite a divide between men and women. Most men reacted as nonchalantly as they would to me saying "I like grilled chicken on pizza"; in other words, pretty much "that's not common, but you do you". Women, on the other hand, divided into two camps: positive and negative. They'd either praise me or compliment me, or they'd react more like you described; there were few neutral reactions. On this cruise, everyone I talked to reacted positively, even the people on the AquaLink (a water bus) in Long Beach the day before. On my previous cruise, it was more of mixed bag; the worst one was "That's bizarre!" Here's what I would have done today: use a tactic I call "agree and amplify", or "A&A" for short. Next time someone criticizes you for cruising solo, go A&A on them. Say something like: "I know, right? The nerve of those people cruising alone! Not acceptable!" It works against even backhanded compliments like "you're so brave". The dead-last thing you want to do is try to justify your solo status.
  10. That's the idea. Us solo cruisers catch sometimes heat for doing what we do. So I wanted to draw attention to when we get complimented for it, and bring some positivity to this forum. I thought that woman's comment was spot-on. The decisiveness means finding what you like, and just going with it. I mentioned in another thread that some of my friends take a long time to decide on things, sometimes resulting in an activity/outing getting filibustered by indecision.
  11. It's not uncommon on this forum to vent about criticism, side glances, and what-have-you we all get. After all we're a minority, albeit a vocal one, among the cruising families, couples, and groups. Let's switch things up in this thread: Let's talk about the compliments we got while cruising, specifically for being solo in the first place. Obviously not backhanded ones, like "I could never do that"---that's destructive criticism---but sincere ones. It does happen. I'll start with my own. One lady, who I initially met in the piano bar, told me, when she found out I was cruising solo: "Man, that's awesome. You gotta be very independent and decisive to pull that off." I pretty much agreed with what she said. That was truly the best reaction I ever got when I told someone I cruised solo. Most people I met had more neutral reactions.
  12. The "adults only" part is the biggest factor influencing me in favor of Virgin. But their tattoo parlor at sea sounds stupid and dangerous. First off, how good will the safety and hygiene standards be, compared to state-licensed tattoo parlors on land? Second, tattooing requires a very steady hand, which can be problematic on a moving ship. Third, what if someone wants a dangerous tattoo, like a gang sign, a prison symbol, a swastika, or a tear drop under the eye? (It means the person killed someone.) Or for a more benign example, a random Chinese character that means "rotten fleas". I'm pretty sure they're not expecting that kind of clientele, but the possibility does exist. Will the parlor worker be allowed to refuse?
  13. I went on the site, and it worked fine for me. Was it glitching on you or giving you errors? Did the same thing happen in all browsers? (I work in IT, so I deal with these things all the time.) It'll be an adjustment for sure. I haven't been on these lines, either. Although the more I read over the Virgin site, the more glitzy it came across. To the point of questioning whether someone more down-to-earth will be able to fit in. (Think of the song "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks, and you'll catch my drift.) Granted, I'm not going to get tarred and feathered, but still.
  14. Yes and no. Men in the sauna talk when able, but in terse, direct statements. "Asked and answered", basically. There's no shooting the breeze like in a bar, but also no dead silence like in a restroom. First of all, the high heat in the room precludes any prolonged active conversations; even breathing is a challenge at times. Second, man code; you know how it is. 😉 Plus, not everyone on the ship is American. Some may be from Europe or East Asia, and therefore quite blase about nudity among their own sex.
  15. You don't need to wear a swimsuit in the steam room or the sauna. I just wrap a towel around my waist. No one ever gave me the side-eye for doing that. Most men I saw either did the same or wore their swim trunks. This applies only to old-school spas, where saunas and steam rooms are inside the locker rooms. Cloud 9 spas, found on Splendor and newer, have co-ed saunas and steam rooms. (I think; don't quote me on that.) Which means you gotta wear a swimsuit there.
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