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msstarr22

Cruising Alone

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To begin I am married.  My husband has decided he doesn't wish to cruise anymore.  I am taking my first solo cruise and paying for it for sure!  But we are getting older and I want to know that it is something I can do.  Any suggestions for cruising alone? I am in my 60's so I just want kind words here.  I have traveled alone on and off for years to visit friends in UK so I navigate well, lol.  Just looking for a few suggestions.

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I would try to find a friend or relative that wanted to cruise. I reality when sailing solo, you are paying for another person. Although, you may like sailing alone. 

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I too have a husband that does not want to cruise again.  I am taking my first solo next May and I am looking forward to it.  I hope we both love it!  😎

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I have cruised solo on many occasions and thoroughly enjoy it.  It’s quite nice to do what you want and not have to get someone else’s input or, worse, doing something you really didn’t want to do because you didn’t want to upset anyone.  The times I cruised solo, I ate dinner in the specialty restaurants and MDR like everyone else.  Truthfully, it’s an awesome experience.  

 

If it’s what is considered one of what some may call “dangerous” ports, I either stay in the more touristy areas or, if I have been to the port on several occasions, I stay on the ship.

 

If you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to ask.  

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I'm married but have done several solo cruises.  I take a book to read for brunch/lunch, and Carnival has always placed me at a large table with other solo and/or female groups for dinner.  There are plenty of activities on board that you can participate in (trivia, comedy club, etc) and no one is going to care if you do the Chef's table as a single.  It's nice to be able to do what you want to do when you want to do it.  For ports, I'll get off and walk around or book an excursion.  The only time it was ever awkward was at brunch one day, it seemed like every single waiter that passed by was like "are you dining alone??" and didn't understand why I'd cruise without my husband.  So now when I get asked, I just say he's in the room or not hungry lol

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Life is way to short to not enjoy the things that make you happy. I would do it in a heartbeat, and I think my only concern would be my safety when traveling alone when in ports- which can be navigated (or you can choose to stay on the ship if you don’t have a good plan). I actually saw plenty of single diners in the MDR! But I might ask to be seated with a group like the OP mentioned so that you have the opportunity to converse over a meal (should you choose to).  

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Your topic title sounds depressing: " alone. " Think of it as a solo adventure with a wealth of opportunities and you're more than halfway to a better cruise. 😉

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This thread got me thinking what would I do if my wife suddenly decided she didn’t want to cruise anymore. My first thought is we have been married 31 years, reaching 32 years might be in jeopardy. Cruising can be very addicting and I know I have a bad case of it. I know I couldn’t stop cruising, so hopefully this is something I will never have to face. 

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When my friend died, it was either give up cruising or go it solo. I love solo cruising! I eat in the MDR and ask for a large table. I take the initiative to talk to people and they are generally eager to converse. I take part in trivia games and visit the casino-a great place to talk to others. I generally do ship excursions because private tours seem to cater to pairs. The upside is that there is no "well, what do you want to do?" nonsense. I do what I want , when I want and how I want! Enjoy yourself!

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I am divorced, late 50s, and LOVE cruising solo.  I have been on 3 solo and have two more booked. I even did a solo Mediterranean cruise last year.  I love cruising, and am actually a past Carnival Crew member in the early 80s.  I didn’t see why I should stop cruising since I got divorced.  I love it. (I don’t like paying double and thinks incredibly unfair) I actually prefer it now.  Sometimes I stick to myself and sometimes I socialize.  I love eating alone, always ask for a table for one.  (But you can choose if you want a shared table). I do what I want, when I want. If I wait around for someone to go with me, I’d never go anywhere.  If I know the port, I just go on my own.  When I was in Europe, I booked excursions everywhere (NCL has great excursion credit perks that really work for one) Next one 11/1, can’t wait!!  The first time I was nervous,  for about 5 minutes.  You will love it!!! Have fun!!!

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Book a solo cabin on one of the newer builds by Norwegian such as the Bliss or Escape.  They are cheaper than paying the double supplement that Carnival charges.  There are also solo cabins on the new Celebrity Edge and I believe some of the newer RCI builds.

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You know, it would be great if one of the cruise lines could institute  a pod option for solo cruisers.  Japan has pod hotels, so it could be similar to this model.  There could be a communal area for showers, luggage storage, etc.  It's been said often that all you really do is sleep in the room anyway.  They could pack a lot of people in the area and probably do well with it. 

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3 minutes ago, tallnthensome said:

You should ask this in the “ask a cruise question” forum as it’s not Carnival related. 

You could ask on r/cruise too.  It's a really big subreddit

Edited by CruizinKittie40

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Good morning, I am 61 and have been cruising solo since 2003. I LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT:classic_biggrin:....I would not ever want to share a cabin with anyone (did it a few times at the start of my cruising).  I have lived on my own for 95% of my life so I am used to doing most everything on my own anyway.    To the person who said try and a find someone to cruise with? No thanks:classic_smile:

 

As for tips? Depending on your budget and where you want to go? I look at the total price of the cruise and if it within my pricepoint……….You might find a local TA who specializes in cruising and go to talk to them and let them know what you are looking for and what appeals to you.   Cruising solo is very easy...….and I do agree with the assessment, you are not "alone" (unless you want to be).

Folks are usually very friendly. Many activities to participate in, (if you are so inclined) or a lounger, book and a drink are what I enjoy too.   Seeing the world on a cruise ship is one of my favorite things.  I am sailing (solo of course) in October on a River Cruise out of Venice and cannot wait:classic_biggrin:

 

Have fun planning!:classic_biggrin:

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2 hours ago, CruizinKittie40 said:

You know, it would be great if one of the cruise lines could institute  a pod option for solo cruisers.  Japan has pod hotels, so it could be similar to this model.  There could be a communal area for showers, luggage storage, etc.  It's been said often that all you really do is sleep in the room anyway.  They could pack a lot of people in the area and probably do well with it. 

I think this is very generational.  As is your second post about 'subreddit'.   I have no interest in communal areas beside a possible lounge.  NCL already has solo studios for those who are more gregarious or focused on meeting other solo travelers.  The thought of communal showers boggles my mind.  If they involve communal toilets as well, I doubt this concept is going to fly with the cruisers over a certain age....which the OP and a number of posters are.

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10 hours ago, msstarr22 said:

To begin I am married.  My husband has decided he doesn't wish to cruise anymore.  I am taking my first solo cruise and paying for it for sure!  But we are getting older and I want to know that it is something I can do.  Any suggestions for cruising alone? I am in my 60's so I just want kind words here.  I have traveled alone on and off for years to visit friends in UK so I navigate well, lol.  Just looking for a few suggestions.

You can certainly do this.  You already have the logistical skills.  I don't really know what your concern is, however.  If you are extremely extroverted and tend to thrive surrounded by others, then the adjustment is going to be a little harder, perhaps, but at the same time, chances are you are easy to befriend and you'll find others for company.  If it is during mealtimes, most find meal times awkward, but people have given you numerous suggestions.  I am an introvert and cruise for R&R as I am still working and managing my own house and garden. Cruising currently is less fatiguing than DIY solo land travel.  So I feel no need to eat with others. I read my ebook, or focus on the surroundings and outside. Often dinner at sunset is lovely and not something I see often living in suburbia. I am not self conscious about eating on my own and as I tend to eat all meals in the  MDR, the staff soon learns I am on my own and like it that way.  I would never lie to include a fictional husband.  That can backfire as staff will always be waiting for the second person to appear leaving you more self conscious.

You might start with buffet meals or room service, or attend the solo activities offered on the ship.  Often these are over the cocktail hour while allows you to join others for dinner if you wish.  You can participate in activities to have company or meet others. Through the course of the trip, confidence and acquaintances can build.

Keep in mind that solo travelers are traveling this way for a multitude of reasons. It isn't uncommon for a married person to travel alone, so don't create a stigma that doesn't really exist.  You aren't alone 😉

You may want to consider both the cruise line and the itinerary when booking.  I know you have booked a cruise already, but for consideration, longer repositioning cruises tend to attract an older group of cruisers and include sea days that allow for ship activities and get togethers.  They are often not completely booked, go off season and they are often less expensive. Consider a smaller ship where you will have occasion to cross paths with more people.  Some cruise lines seem more solo friendly than others both for pricing and activities. Port heavy itineraries are bound to feel more lonely as there is little time other than meals to get to know anyone else. Last year I cruised NCL and Cunard - quite a contrast. NCL had solo cocktail hours activities (I didn't attend but many did and would spend time together). It also had a large Cruise Critic Meet and Greet and some solo people put out invitations for drinks or dinner and it was often solos that attended. Dining is Any Time and I ate totally on my own (by choice).  Cunard has solo mid morning coffee/champagne get togethers.  The cruise was over Christmas and had over 100 solo cruisers from singles, widow(ers) and marrieds.  They move this event to an earlier time on port days to allow people to perhaps pair up or group up for port visits.  The solo hostess worked hard to keep the solos happy. Cunard also offers dance hosts as they are known for their live bands and evening ballroom dances. They also seated the solos together during dinner (as it was set dining).  I worried about this beforehand, but our table was not a bad mix and I enjoyed their company despite a 25 year age range.  If I hadn't enjoyed it, I would have asked to be moved.  Know that regardless of cruise line, you do not have to stay where they assign you.

Of course, you may have a loyalty to a specific line or two which might make the ship more familiar and make changing lines harder, but it might be worth considering.

You know the first plunge into the unknown is always the hardest, but once in, the water's fine.  🙂

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12 hours ago, mef_57 said:

You can certainly do this.  You already have the logistical skills.  I don't really know what your concern is, however.  If you are extremely extroverted and tend to thrive surrounded by others, then the adjustment is going to be a little harder, perhaps, but at the same time, chances are you are easy to befriend and you'll find others for company.  If it is during mealtimes, most find meal times awkward, but people have given you numerous suggestions.  I am an introvert and cruise for R&R as I am still working and managing my own house and garden. Cruising currently is less fatiguing than DIY solo land travel.  So I feel no need to eat with others. I read my ebook, or focus on the surroundings and outside. Often dinner at sunset is lovely and not something I see often living in suburbia. I am not self conscious about eating on my own and as I tend to eat all meals in the  MDR, the staff soon learns I am on my own and like it that way.  I would never lie to include a fictional husband.  That can backfire as staff will always be waiting for the second person to appear leaving you more self conscious.

You might start with buffet meals or room service, or attend the solo activities offered on the ship.  Often these are over the cocktail hour while allows you to join others for dinner if you wish.  You can participate in activities to have company or meet others. Through the course of the trip, confidence and acquaintances can build.

Keep in mind that solo travelers are traveling this way for a multitude of reasons. It isn't uncommon for a married person to travel alone, so don't create a stigma that doesn't really exist.  You aren't alone 😉

You may want to consider both the cruise line and the itinerary when booking.  I know you have booked a cruise already, but for consideration, longer repositioning cruises tend to attract an older group of cruisers and include sea days that allow for ship activities and get togethers.  They are often not completely booked, go off season and they are often less expensive. Consider a smaller ship where you will have occasion to cross paths with more people.  Some cruise lines seem more solo friendly than others both for pricing and activities. Port heavy itineraries are bound to feel more lonely as there is little time other than meals to get to know anyone else. Last year I cruised NCL and Cunard - quite a contrast. NCL had solo cocktail hours activities (I didn't attend but many did and would spend time together). It also had a large Cruise Critic Meet and Greet and some solo people put out invitations for drinks or dinner and it was often solos that attended. Dining is Any Time and I ate totally on my own (by choice).  Cunard has solo mid morning coffee/champagne get togethers.  The cruise was over Christmas and had over 100 solo cruisers from singles, widow(ers) and marrieds.  They move this event to an earlier time on port days to allow people to perhaps pair up or group up for port visits.  The solo hostess worked hard to keep the solos happy. Cunard also offers dance hosts as they are known for their live bands and evening ballroom dances. They also seated the solos together during dinner (as it was set dining).  I worried about this beforehand, but our table was not a bad mix and I enjoyed their company despite a 25 year age range.  If I hadn't enjoyed it, I would have asked to be moved.  Know that regardless of cruise line, you do not have to stay where they assign you.

Of course, you may have a loyalty to a specific line or two which might make the ship more familiar and make changing lines harder, but it might be worth considering.

You know the first plunge into the unknown is always the hardest, but once in, the water's fine.  🙂

What an absolutely wonderful post!   So positive and supporting!   YES YES is all I can say to this, you can do it!   

 

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I cruise solo occasionally when I find an interesting itinerary that She Who Must Be Obeyed has no interest in.  I get an inside since I'm paying 150-200% of the the PP rate.  I get up when I want, turn in when I want, I skip the over-amplified shows where the female singers screech instead of singing, I don't feel obligated to get off the ship at every post for fear of missing something but instead enjoy a quiet day on board, and every move is not a committee decision.

 

We know some couples that you would think were joined at the hip, but we have always been independent and enjoy occasional solo trips.

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I have been a widow since age 62, now 76. Have cruised with friends and relatives, but prefer cruising by myself. Just booked a 21 day transatlantic for 4/2020. I avoid or pick a corner at the dance clubs, love music but do miss a partner at those events.

Dinner is okay anywhere, but I prefer solo. I join groups on port trips for safety reasons. I will chat with people and not shy but 

dont like drawing attention that I am travelling alone. 

 

If I waited to have a companion on my trips I wouldnt be traveling. I love traveling, planning and researching is almost as good

as going.

 

Enjoy your solo cruise!

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Many  folks cruise "solo"...I wouldn't want to, tho.  New experiences are meant to be shared, IMO!  I would want a buddy along....just for the camaraderie and company!  I mean, I'm good on my own for daily life, if hubby isn't able or around....but on a trip, doing it alone just doesn't sound fun to me.  99% of the passengers will be part of some group or another.....they aren't unfriendly, but they won't be asking you to join in to their fun.

 

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1 hour ago, cb at sea said:

Many  folks cruise "solo"...I wouldn't want to, tho.  New experiences are meant to be shared, IMO!  I would want a buddy along....just for the camaraderie and company!  I mean, I'm good on my own for daily life, if hubby isn't able or around....but on a trip, doing it alone just doesn't sound fun to me.  99% of the passengers will be part of some group or another.....they aren't unfriendly, but they won't be asking you to join in to their fun.

 

Totally disagree with you on many of your points. Some of us do not have anyone to cruise with PERIOD...….no mate, partner, etc and staying home because of that? No thanks. I would much rather go on my own anyway.  It does sound fun to me, because it is fun for me.  As for other passengers, you are wrong.  I have been asked many times to "join in" and I have found cruisers VERY friendly.     I have been cruising solo for 16 years...……..I love it.  And don't care about having " a buddy".

 

Different strokes for different folks.

 

 

 

 

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On 8/1/2019 at 5:09 AM, CruizinKittie40 said:

You know, it would be great if one of the cruise lines could institute  a pod option for solo cruisers.  Japan has pod hotels, so it could be similar to this model.  There could be a communal area for showers, luggage storage, etc.  It's been said often that all you really do is sleep in the room anyway.  They could pack a lot of people in the area and probably do well with it. 

I'm sorry, but no thanks.  I"m ticked at the moment because Cunard will charge me double for solo Grill room.  They are happy to have me in one of their "pods" but I like my balcony, closet, and any time dining.  So off to another line.

 

To the OP...come on over to the Solos board.

 

PS...Hi Lois!

 

M

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On 8/17/2019 at 10:49 PM, MHF said:

 I"m ticked at the moment because Cunard will charge me double for solo Grill room.

 

They're just charging the same for the suite ("solo grill room" is slightly oxymoronic) whether it is occupied by one or two people - the same as any hotel I can think of above the level of Hampton Inn.

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On 10/9/2019 at 12:57 PM, Underwatr said:

 

They're just charging the same for the suite ("solo grill room" is slightly oxymoronic) whether it is occupied by one or two people - the same as any hotel I can think of above the level of Hampton Inn.

Except that I do not eat meals for 2 which is also included in the price.

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