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Solo Cruiser's Roll Call

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The internet is dangerous. For example, I went back to re-read two extensive reviews of NCL Encore... and found myself clicking the Book button for the September 3rd sailing of NCL Encore to Bermuda. I went for a Studio cabin which, at this time anyway, is far less expensive than even a GTY inside cabin. This sailing is pricier than others due to the date (Labor Day weekend) but I'll make it up with all those free lattes in the Studio lounge!

 

So for 2020, I've got three solo sailings booked, not including the one already completed a couple weeks ago:

  • NCL Jewel, June 1-8, Seward to Vancouver, inside
  • NCL Encore, September 3-8, NYC <-> Bermuda, Studio
  • NCL Spirit, November 23-December 7, Tokyo <-> Tokyo (visiting Japan and currently scheduled for an overnight in Shanghai but we'll see), balcony

I should try to de-introvert myself a bit for the 14-day cruise because that's a long time to go without a conversation!

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On 2/1/2020 at 10:42 AM, coastcat said:

 should try to de-introvert myself a bit for the 14-day cruise because that's a long time to go without a conversation!

I got the best advice on these boards. (You probably know this already, but in case) I had two go to ice breakers and they worked. "Where are you from?" "Are you having fun?"

This was big for me because I can feel very shy.

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Coastcat,

When I was on the Jewel in Alaska last June, they had a great solo program.  I almost never initiate a conversation but I had no trouble making friends there.  As a matter of fact, I have been to solo meetings on 5 NCL ships and met people to talk to and eat with on all of them.  Just go to the solo meets, solo dinners and if they have it the Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle.  You would have to be aggressively non communicative to remain isolated.  

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7 minutes ago, Debbborra said:

I got the best advice on these boards. (You probably know this already, but in case) I had two go to ice breakers and they worked. "Where are you from?" "Are you having fun?"

This was big for me because I can feel very shy.

What works for me is chatting to people as part of an activity rather than it being the sole purpose of the activity. I am not great at making small talk at a party or gathering (in fact, I'm terrible at it) - but had some lovely chats during my last cruise while on excursions or browsing at a souvenir store.

 

Someone on the roll call for my extended cruise has already set up an activities sheet and I'm looking forward to playing games and tasting wines. I might even host a martini tasting.

 

Good grief, did I post that update only about a week ago? Because it's already been changed! NCL Spirit sailings have been cancelled through December, so now I've replaced it with two cruises because I'm crazy:  7-day NCL Epic from San Juan to the southern Caribbean in mid-December and the 15-day NCL Escape repositioning cruise next April (NYC to Southhampton). I might cancel the Bermuda trip and instead wait for Encore to start its Alaska sailings next year, we'll see.

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5 minutes ago, NSnJW said:

Coastcat,

When I was on the Jewel in Alaska last June, they had a great solo program.  I almost never initiate a conversation but I had no trouble making friends there.  As a matter of fact, I have been to solo meetings on 5 NCL ships and met people to talk to and eat with on all of them.  Just go to the solo meets, solo dinners and if they have it the Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle.  You would have to be aggressively non communicative to remain isolated.  

 

I didn't like the solo meetings I've attended so far! I'll try again on Jewel, but conversation-focused gatherings with strangers just isn't my thing. On Bliss, I didn't enjoy the official solo meetings but did enjoy hanging out in the Studio Lounge and chatting casually - it's fun when the conversation arises naturally. Not so much when it's the expectation.

 

Believe it or not, I love the parts of my job which involve leading discussion, chatting with clients, and so forth. Maybe I only like talking when I get paid for it... 😎

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It looks like I may be solo cruising as my cruise mate is concerned about the Corona Virus and is likely cancelling.  Anyone else going on the MSC Divina out of Miami on 2/21/2020?  Also, anyone have any opinions they'd like to share on air flight or cruise travel during this time?  I'd be interested to see how others feel in that not a lot is known at this point about the virus.  I feel that if I am in general good health and follow safety precautions in regards to hand washing, etc., I should be OK (*fingers crossed*) 🙂

 

 

Edited by bluebelle2010

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3 hours ago, bluebelle2010 said:

It looks like I may be solo cruising as my cruise mate is concerned about the Corona Virus and is likely cancelling.  Anyone else going on the MSC Divina out of Miami on 2/21/2020?  Also, anyone have any opinions they'd like to share on air flight or cruise travel during this time?  I'd be interested to see how others feel in that not a lot is known at this point about the virus.  I feel that if I am in general good health and follow safety precautions in regards to hand washing, etc., I should be OK (*fingers crossed*) 🙂

 

 

I just went solo on the Divina a month ago.  say hi to mel"Sid" at the coffee bar.

 

I think following safety protocols, maybe Airborne to up your vitamin count.  Avoid touching things like banisters unless need to, railings, slot machines...and elbows to push buttons😂

I think caution is always good,that said, at this point they are screening pretty heavily, so unless I was in the Asian areas I would feel safe with a little more stringently following protocols.  Where are you going?  My concern would more be ports being cancelled because of the health scare, so mentally deciding you would be okay with not going to ports ahead of time might be a good prep.

 

Most of all remember,have a great time!

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1 hour ago, barefoot cruiser said:

I just went solo on the Divina a month ago.  say hi to mel"Sid" at the coffee bar.

 

I think following safety protocols, maybe Airborne to up your vitamin count.  Avoid touching things like banisters unless need to, railings, slot machines...and elbows to push buttons😂

I think caution is always good,that said, at this point they are screening pretty heavily, so unless I was in the Asian areas I would feel safe with a little more stringently following protocols.  Where are you going?  My concern would more be ports being cancelled because of the health scare, so mentally deciding you would be okay with not going to ports ahead of time might be a good prep.

 

Most of all remember,have a great time!

I will definitely be visiting the coffee bar! 🙂  I've never been on MSC before so it will be a new experience for me to be on a totally unfamiliar cruise line. I'm looking forward to the change. This cruise goes from Miami to San Juan, Puerto Rico first, which I'm thinking may not be a great stop due to the earthquakes that have hit there recently.  The next stops are Philipsburg, St. Maarten, St. John's Antigua and Barbuda.   I haven't been to any of these locations, so hopefully we will still be able to stop there.  This is a specialty cruise that will have a health related focus with lots of guest speakers on board for nutrition, exercise, etc., so hopefully the speakers will not be cancelling!  Thanks for the good advice and also the reminder about the Airborne!!  

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Bluebelle,

Late Janurary this year I had a shore excursion to the rainforest in Puerto Rico and walked around in San Juan.  The earthquakes were at the opposite end of the island and I didn't see an effect.  There may have been some, but I didn't see it.

I saw some evidence of the hurricane but the island was quite beautiful.

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14 hours ago, bluebelle2010 said:

It looks like I may be solo cruising as my cruise mate is concerned about the Corona Virus and is likely cancelling.  Anyone else going on the MSC Divina out of Miami on 2/21/2020?  Also, anyone have any opinions they'd like to share on air flight or cruise travel during this time?  I'd be interested to see how others feel in that not a lot is known at this point about the virus.  I feel that if I am in general good health and follow safety precautions in regards to hand washing, etc., I should be OK (*fingers crossed*) 🙂

 

 

I'd worry more about norovirus. At the risk of sounding germophobic, I suggest buying wipes that will kill norovirus. Regular wipes don't! I buy sono wipes because they cost less than the clorox non bleach hydrogen peroxide ones. Wipe down all the cabin surfaces. Put the remote for the TV in a baggy. 

 

Then take reasonable care and have fun. 

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11 hours ago, bluebelle2010 said:

I will definitely be visiting the coffee bar! 🙂  I've never been on MSC before so it will be a new experience for me to be on a totally unfamiliar cruise line. I'm looking forward to the change. This cruise goes from Miami to San Juan, Puerto Rico first, which I'm thinking may not be a great stop due to the earthquakes that have hit there recently.  The next stops are Philipsburg, St. Maarten, St. John's Antigua and Barbuda.   I haven't been to any of these locations, so hopefully we will still be able to stop there.  This is a specialty cruise that will have a health related focus with lots of guest speakers on board for nutrition, exercise, etc., so hopefully the speakers will not be cancelling!  Thanks for the good advice and also the reminder about the Airborne!!  

January was my first time on MSC.  I had mixed feelings.  I am sure you have read up a bit on the MSC board, so you will be prepared for some of the differences.  I was fighting getting sick the whole time I was on ship (coming from the NorthEast and having so many friends and neighbors with it, not totally surprising), so I think some of my mixed feelings were underlying not feeling 100%.  I had connected with a lot of people via a social media group, as well as the roll call on cruise critic, so had a "group" that I hung out with most nights.  I had a lot of fun, despite not feeling 100%.  I had an inside cabin and found it plenty big enough (how often are you in there), and had a wonderful room steward who made me feel very welcomed and taken care of.  For what ever reason, I had the hardest time navigating this ship.... i was forever going the wrong direction or on the wrong side (after 9 cruises, I found this very amusing, i have never had such issues 🤣).  The pizza and pasta are definitely high points in the buffet area (this from someone who is not a pizza fan 😮).  Something to note, you can order a la carte at the sushi restaurant which has an amazing view and not have to do the tasting menu.  You can also order sushi here when it switches over to the disco later in the night.

Do stop back and let us know how it goes...and start taking Airborne now!

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4 hours ago, NSnJW said:

Bluebelle,

Late Janurary this year I had a shore excursion to the rainforest in Puerto Rico and walked around in San Juan.  The earthquakes were at the opposite end of the island and I didn't see an effect.  There may have been some, but I didn't see it.

I saw some evidence of the hurricane but the island was quite beautiful.

Thank you for letting me know.  I went to look at excursions, but they aren't showing now because it's too close to the cruise.  I'm thinking I might take my own snorkel gear (minus fins), just in case there is some fabulous snorkeling opportunities along the way. Looking forward to finally seeing Puerto Rico!

 

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2 hours ago, Debbborra said:

I'd worry more about norovirus. At the risk of sounding germophobic, I suggest buying wipes that will kill norovirus. Regular wipes don't! I buy sono wipes because they cost less than the clorox non bleach hydrogen peroxide ones. Wipe down all the cabin surfaces. Put the remote for the TV in a baggy. 

 

Then take reasonable care and have fun. 

Thanks for the tips!  I will look for sono wipes.  Great advice about the baggie for the remote.  My sister just sent me this and it has your good advice and some other items to consider as well:  https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=3738&et_cid=3312705&et_rid=184819969&et_referrer=boards_a 

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35 minutes ago, barefoot cruiser said:

January was my first time on MSC.  I had mixed feelings.  I am sure you have read up a bit on the MSC board, so you will be prepared for some of the differences.  I was fighting getting sick the whole time I was on ship (coming from the NorthEast and having so many friends and neighbors with it, not totally surprising), so I think some of my mixed feelings were underlying not feeling 100%.  I had connected with a lot of people via a social media group, as well as the roll call on cruise critic, so had a "group" that I hung out with most nights.  I had a lot of fun, despite not feeling 100%.  I had an inside cabin and found it plenty big enough (how often are you in there), and had a wonderful room steward who made me feel very welcomed and taken care of.  For what ever reason, I had the hardest time navigating this ship.... i was forever going the wrong direction or on the wrong side (after 9 cruises, I found this very amusing, i have never had such issues 🤣).  The pizza and pasta are definitely high points in the buffet area (this from someone who is not a pizza fan 😮).  Something to note, you can order a la carte at the sushi restaurant which has an amazing view and not have to do the tasting menu.  You can also order sushi here when it switches over to the disco later in the night.

Do stop back and let us know how it goes...and start taking Airborne now!

Thanks...I'll definitely report back!

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61 days. I couldn’t resist the NCL Joy April repositioning cruise and booked a Sail Away balcony yesterday. They already assigned a cabin - deck 11 midship, close but not too close to the forward elevators, non-connecting, sunset side. Woohoo!

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I couldnt find an April repositioning cruise on Nor. Joy.  Can you give us more info?

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1 hour ago, JoseyP said:

I couldnt find an April repositioning cruise on Nor. Joy.  Can you give us more info?

Probably the 5-day Pacific Coastal.  That's TECHNICALLY a repositioning cruise but it may not be listed as such...

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2 hours ago, hallux said:

Probably the 5-day Pacific Coastal.  That's TECHNICALLY a repositioning cruise but it may not be listed as such...

 

This is correct. The April 19-24 sailing is listed as a Pacific Coastal but this cruise moves Joy from its LA winter home port to its Seattle summer home port (well, it goes to Vancouver and I assume they'll have to sail empty back to Seattle). Joy will handle non-Glacier Bay Alaska trips this season. 

 

I hadn't planned to book on Joy until I'd tried more ships, but couldn't resist the price. It's an easy flight to LAX and my husband will pick me up in Vancouver.

 

NCL Joy is a beautiful ship both inside and out. Join me!

Edited by coastcat

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That price IS really good, to the point I'd consider it if I wasn't going to Florida in a couple weeks (finally getting to check out some MLB training camp).  Also - I did the same trip on the Bliss last year, with the additional stop in Victoria...

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32 minutes ago, hallux said:

That price IS really good, to the point I'd consider it if I wasn't going to Florida in a couple weeks (finally getting to check out some MLB training camp).  Also - I did the same trip on the Bliss last year, with the additional stop in Victoria...

 

Training camp is on my radar for next year. The Mariners always look great in training camp and the first couple months of the season. Too bad reality sets in after that...

 

One of these days I'll have to board a cruise in Miami. The current set of bookings has embarkations in LA, Seward, NYC, San Juan, and NYC again. Maybe I'll wait until the new Miami terminal is ready!

Edited by coastcat

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It is Spring Training for baseball:classic_biggrin:  (that is the term  MLB uses)---I remember when the Mariner's were good...

that was a long time ago!

 

When you say training camp, most folks think NFL:classic_smile:

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2 hours ago, Lois R said:

It is Spring Training for baseball:classic_biggrin:  (that is the term  MLB uses)---I remember when the Mariner's were good...

that was a long time ago!

 

When you say training camp, most folks think NFL:classic_smile:

LOL, I have "training camp" on the brain because I got hooked on that reality show about auditions/training camp for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders!

 

There are a few solo travelers on the Roll Call for this Joy sailing. Such a pity there's no Studio area on this ship. I don't think I'll attend the official solo gathering because it'll probably be hosted by the same person who hosted in January. Very nice but a bit boisterous for my comfort.

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