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LandlockedCruiser01

Best compliment you got for cruising solo

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Posted (edited)

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.

Edited by LandlockedCruiser01

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Well I don't have any stories yet.. I've been on 3 cruises but all of them were with family or friends. I'm about to go on my first "solo" cruise very soon, though.  RC Mariner of the Seas, October 25th.  I wanted to go with my friends, but they were all either working or they're prone to motion sickness.  Anyway, I'm determined to have a great time... I can't wait!

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I don't know if people would describe me as independent or decisive.  I think I am more likely to hear bull headed and stubborn. ☺️

When I am able to go on a cruise, I go.  Be it solo or with someone doesn't seem to matter much to me.  I enjoy every cruise, with or without others.

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The OP's question about the best compliment about being a solo cruiser is an unusual one.  I don't recall having received a compliment, but I do recall some questions about why I choose to cruise solo.  There may have been some kind of positive statement coming from the person after I answered the question, but I don't recall it as being memorable.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, rkacruiser said:

The OP's question about the best compliment about being a solo cruiser is an unusual one.

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.

Edited by LandlockedCruiser01

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22 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

The OP's question about the best compliment about being a solo cruiser is an unusual one.  I don't recall having received a compliment, but I do recall some questions about why I choose to cruise solo.  There may have been some kind of positive statement coming from the person after I answered the question, but I don't recall it as being memorable.

I guess the best I can offer is that I don't get ridicule or maligned by nay sayers. I am from a family and social circle of independent and confident women. People know I research before I travel and they love to know where I am going next. Most of these travels, however, are land forays. Personally, I find those a little more intrepid than a cruise with one day port calls, but that is my level of adventure. I am taking a time out from land adventures as cruising is more relaxing for my current work/life balance. Compliments or other people's opinions are not very relevant.

 

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I've been reading a variety of posts on the solo cruisers board on different topics, but this one had me scratching my head.

 

I travel worldwide in different modes (airplane, ferry, trains and buses) and never had anyone (that I recall), give me a compliment for my particular travel mode.

 

However, when I used to travel around the U.S. for 10 years solo with a 40 foot RV all kinds of people approached me asking if I do that all by myself.  Especially men.  I told them if you can do we women can do it better :)

 

I just wouldn't think solo cruising on a ship would cause people to give a compliment or say anything about it.  I've never cruised solo, only with another person.  But, I will find out in December if cruising solo matters to other people.  I mean singles take cross country and international bus, train and airplane trips and nobody says anything.  At least they've never said anything to me.

 

I'm an adventurer and if it's something I want to do, I just do it regardless of my demographic status, etc.

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No compliments that I can remember. I've gotten "Bless your heart,"  "I would never do that" (which is worse that I could never do that, IMO) and the old perennial "You're so brave."  I find that more condescending than complimentary.  All of these comments have been from women, BTW.  And not just married women.  The "I would never do that" came from a single woman.

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20 hours ago, Skoobdo said:

I just wouldn't think solo cruising on a ship would cause people to give a compliment or say anything about it.  I've never cruised solo, only with another person.  But, I will find out in December if cruising solo matters to other people.  I mean singles take cross country and international bus, train and airplane trips and nobody says anything.  At least they've never said anything to me.

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.

 

47 minutes ago, watson61 said:

No compliments that I can remember. I've gotten "Bless your heart,"  "I would never do that" (which is worse that I could never do that, IMO) and the old perennial "You're so brave."  I find that more condescending than complimentary.  All of these comments have been from women, BTW.  And not just married women.  The "I would never do that" came from a single woman.

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.

Edited by LandlockedCruiser01

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6 minutes ago, LandlockedCruiser01 said:

 "That's bizarre!"  

My reply would be 'only in your mind'. Smile and leave or tip a salute with a glass and go back to drinking.

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15 minutes ago, mef_57 said:

My reply would be 'only in your mind'. Smile and leave or tip a salute with a glass and go back to drinking.

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.)

 

 

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1 minute ago, LandlockedCruiser01 said:

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.)

 

I understand the concept, and use it elsewhere, but I really don't see the need to engage anyone with that attitude; particularly on a vacation. I prefer to give them something to think about. I am the confident introvert that has reached an age where people who don't deserve politeness, don't get it.

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Not a compliment, but a singular experience that I have had.

 

New Year's Eve on the Zaandam in the Mainshow Room, the balloons had dropped, the music was great, and guests were dancing.  The band played Gloria Gaynor's I'll Survive, my favorite song of that era.  I can't help dancing when that song is played!  And, I did.  Two formally attired solo gentlemen seated near where I was dancing gave me the oddest looks that I have ever noticed in such a situation.  I ignored them and joined the other couples and some other singles who were dancing as well.

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Utter surprise from a woman traveling with her friend. Then she said "I wish I was brave enough to do that!" I'm still trying to figure out if that was a compliment, because she had such a horrified look on her face. 

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1 hour ago, sail_ORN said:

Utter surprise from a woman traveling with her friend. Then she said "I wish I was brave enough to do that!" I'm still trying to figure out if that was a compliment, because she had such a horrified look on her face. 

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.

Edited by LandlockedCruiser01

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On 10/11/2019 at 2:26 PM, rkacruiser said:

Not a compliment, but a singular experience that I have had.

 

New Year's Eve on the Zaandam in the Mainshow Room, the balloons had dropped, the music was great, and guests were dancing.  The band played Gloria Gaynor's I'll Survive, my favorite song of that era.  I can't help dancing when that song is played!  And, I did.  Two formally attired solo gentlemen seated near where I was dancing gave me the oddest looks that I have ever noticed in such a situation.  I ignored them and joined the other couples and some other singles who were dancing as well.

Good fo😁r you 

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Well, I am now sailing (solo of course) on a river cruise......there are a few other solo guests......so since it is active 

right now and the question is about compliments? None that I can think of actually.  You mentioned NOT saying

the backhanded ones............so I will not say those LOL..........but to be 100% honest, I still do get those......

 

 

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I have had the impression for some years (mostly since reading these forums) that it's very much a US cultural thing/issue. Either for people to question a solo traveller's reasons/status, or for a solo traveller to feel singled out or segregated by others. 

 

As a 50 yr old Aussie woman who has been solo travelling since my mid teens - I have never encountered the questions nor the impressions. For Aussies, Kiwis, Brits, Euros - travel is just travel. And solo travel has been taking place pretty much since the invention of the ship and plane. It's far from new. 

Everyone of my mums generation headed off by ship to the UK and Europe for a year or two once they finished high school in the mid to late 60s. It was a teens rite of passage. They worked part time thru high school then went on their big trip when they hit 18. And even tho my mum is married - she still to this day backpacks solo around Asia for a month or two every year. And no one she encounters along the way finds that unusual. 

My friends with teens in that age group are now waving goodbye to them at airports as they head off for a solo round the world trip they have saved up for over high school part time jobs. 

We just don't view solo travel as weird or unusual. It's just normal. On many vessels I travel on solo travellers far out number the couples or families.

So our border/passport patrol staff also do not see our status as abnormal. A solo traveller gets asked the exact same question anyone else does. (And having personally done that job for several years I can assure you - it's all random and it's about your body language not the questions or responses - we do many months of training in reading body language). 

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5 hours ago, PerfectlyPerth said:

I have had the impression for some years (mostly since reading these forums) that it's very much a US cultural thing/issue. Either for people to question a solo traveller's reasons/status, or for a solo traveller to feel singled out or segregated by others. 

...

So our border/passport patrol staff also do not see our status as abnormal. A solo traveller gets asked the exact same question anyone else does. (And having personally done that job for several years I can assure you - it's all random and it's about your body language not the questions or responses - we do many months of training in reading body language). 

Yes, it's very much the US and maybe Canadian cultural thing, that all travel must be in couples, groups, or families.  For the longest time, solo travel was looked down upon.  Heck, when I was in an all-inclusive resort at age 19 by myself (went with a friend, had a falling out), I almost got jumped by four guys while walking to my room.  

 

This is changing, and solo travel is almost normalized in the cruising communities.  (Costa and MSC did not allows solos to book online until recently, though.)  But for other types of vacations, it's still considered taboo.  Organized tours (which are overpriced) even exist to accommodate people who don't have a someone to go with.

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Someone's grandfather said to me "Your wife is really nice"- it was someone I met on the ship. Needless to say no one really knew I was on the ship solo nor cared. Needless to say I am looking forward to my next solo cruise in May as well.

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