Loved My First Solo Cruise!

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#1
330 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Thanks to all on this board! I had recently split with my husband and had a fully paid for cruise that I ended up going on solo. I was a little apprehensive and even posted asking whether it would be awkard with anytime dining.

All I can tell you all is that I had a magnificent time. I did what I wanted when I wanted, had the entire cabin to myself, found a few other singles to go to dinner with if I wanted and we always sat with other people and when I wanted to skipped dinner, etc. Excursions were fine also. I did most through the ship, but booked privately in Antigua (Segway tour). Absolutely the best time I ever had. Met a gay couple on one of my excurisons and hung out with them that day as well as a second excursion they ended up on with me. Watched MUTS, movies in the Princess Theater, in my cabin, went to shows (sometimes alone and sometimes with another lady). I was busy whenever I wanted to be. I also had the luxury of going to my cabin in the afternoon for a little nap so I could stay up later in the evening. I went to Crooner's before dinner, which is where I met up with the other single people. There was just so much to do. I had my alone time whenever I wanted that as well. It was just the best time.

I was on the Emerald Princess and wouldn't hesitate to go solo again. Thank you all for your guidance and encouragement prior to my cruise.
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Beej29

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#2
California
1,019 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I'm so glad to hear you had a great time. It looks like I'm going solo on my cruise this year and your story gave me a little more confidence.

thank you for sharing it
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#3
NSW, Australia
116 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Beej29,
Welcome to the wonderful world of Solo cruising/travelling
While its fine to travel with others (partners, friends & families) its also great to travel alone. I love doing what I want, when I want.....and the only person I can complain to if I dont enjoy my trip is me!!!
Any person out there reading this post, and the other solo posts, thinking...can I do it, will I be bored, will I be lonely, etc.....take that step out of your comfort zone and do it!!!
You just might suprise yourself and have a trip of a lifetime
#4
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
783 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
I took my first solo cruise in 1988 and I haven't looked back. Over the years, I have had friends want to cruise with me and the first things out of my mouth were: (a) you'll have to have your own cabin and (b) don't count on me to do things with you 24/7 because I like to cruise solo and I like my solitude, my freedom and my space. In all of the years I have cruised, only one friend decided that she could live with those conditions but once we got back to our respective homes, she complained bitterly about how she got short-changed by me because I didn't dedicate enough time to her on the cruise.

That was the last time I ever cruised with anyone. I prefer to set foot on a cruise knowing no one and step off of a cruise knowing some new friends. I have even found that at times the Cruise Critic Roll Calls can be a bit of a hassle. Sometimes the Roll Calls can be full of overbearing boorish people especially in their attitudes towards experienced solo travellers.
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#5
New Bern, NC
382 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
So happy your first solo was wonderful. I leave on my first solo in 11 days, and have to admit I am having some second thoughts ! You just gave me renewed courage.
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#7
12,327 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
It is encouraging to read about others' solo cruises. 18 months ago, I went on my first solo cruise just 3 weeks after my husband and I did a Med. cruise. He couldn't get off work, so I went alone on a cruise I just couldn't pass up.

Now, I have two more booked solo this year and although I'll miss him a lot, it's also quite a liberating experience to do it all on your own! Unlike some of the others above, I did get a bit lonely, but I blame that on the ship I was on, the itinerary that had no port stops at all (a TA) and the fact that I ran out of books on my Nook to read (big mistake - learned my lesson).

One thing that really helped me was getting involved in ship activities. I met a lot of very interesting people that way. Also, open dining is another good way to meet people from all walks of life.
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#8
Alabama
11 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I love reading how you all love solo cruising. I am a widow of 2 years in my 50's and would really like to attempt a solo cruise. My DH and I loved cruising and he would want me to continue to enjoy it, I know he would. I really (at this point) don't want to go with the purpose of meeting other solo travellers, but to have my own time to relax or do whatever I choose. By what I've read on this thread, it sounds like any cruise line would work well for that. Any suggestions?
#9
Jacksonville, FL USA
47,442 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by sandisue
I love reading how you all love solo cruising. I am a widow of 2 years in my 50's and would really like to attempt a solo cruise. My DH and I loved cruising and he would want me to continue to enjoy it, I know he would. I really (at this point) don't want to go with the purpose of meeting other solo travellers, but to have my own time to relax or do whatever I choose. By what I've read on this thread, it sounds like any cruise line would work well for that. Any suggestions?
Hi Sandisue I actually do not cruise with the purpose of
"meeting other solo travelers" and never have.....having my own
time to do whatever I want, whenever I want, or don't want
you have it correctly. I have been sailing solo since 2003 and
it is wonderful.
I cruise with Celebrity and love the product they provide me
There are many lines out there and they all sail full. Celebrity,
Royal, HAL, Princess, Carnival,.......there is a line out there for
each one of us and each one of us has our preferences.

Hope you decide to give it a try and that you have a a wonderful
time
#10
Houston
317 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I took back to back cruises a few years ago and loved it! It was a TA/ Baltic cruise wwith a few days in London. I liked NCL freestyle so I could either eat alone or not. I was always greeted at any tables and met a lot of people who were pretty impressed by my "bravery". I'm a widow and my kids couldn't be gone that long so what was I to do ? I don't regret it and would love to take another alone. I could read or do what ever I wanted without chicking with anyone. Great!
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#11
Houston, TX
657 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
My first cruise was a solo one, but on my first night I ran into someone I knew and for the rest of the trip I had a cruise partner, even tho we were in different cabins. I didn't think I would have had a good time had I not found her and her group of friends to do things with, like have dinner.

My third cruise was solo again. I was dreading it before, thinking back to my first one, but I just couldn't find any friends to go with me. Turns out I had the time of my life. I met so many other great people. I did so by attending one of the Friends of Dorothy meetings. I knew this would be a chance to meet fun and younger-minded folks. Was I right. Even the lady celebrating her 100th birthday was super fun to have dinner with.

My next cruise is with a friend of mine, but I've already told her not to expect to be hanging out with me all day. Solo cruising is the BEST! Sure it's great to know others, but if you're open to meeting people, you should have others by the end of the first day!

Enjoy!
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#12
MN
8 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by Beej29
Thanks to all on this board! I had recently split with my husband and had a fully paid for cruise that I ended up going on solo. I was a little apprehensive and even posted asking whether it would be awkard with anytime dining.

All I can tell you all is that I had a magnificent time. I did what I wanted when I wanted, had the entire cabin to myself, found a few other singles to go to dinner with if I wanted and we always sat with other people and when I wanted to skipped dinner, etc. Excursions were fine also. I did most through the ship, but booked privately in Antigua (Segway tour). Absolutely the best time I ever had. Met a gay couple on one of my excurisons and hung out with them that day as well as a second excursion they ended up on with me. Watched MUTS, movies in the Princess Theater, in my cabin, went to shows (sometimes alone and sometimes with another lady). I was busy whenever I wanted to be. I also had the luxury of going to my cabin in the afternoon for a little nap so I could stay up later in the evening. I went to Crooner's before dinner, which is where I met up with the other single people. There was just so much to do. I had my alone time whenever I wanted that as well. It was just the best time.

I was on the Emerald Princess and wouldn't hesitate to go solo again. Thank you all for your guidance and encouragement prior to my cruise.

I am going on my first solo next Feb and can't wait. Glad to hear you had a great time. I'm sure I'll be writing the same in about a year!!
#13
Quiet Suburbia, PA
63 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
I'm going on my 1st cruise in 21 days and I'm going SOLO as well! I did feel a bit guilty at first, leaving my 8yo son behind, but I reminded him that we're a "Disney Team" and we had just returned from our last trip in December, so this was mom's time alone

SO EXCITED I COULD PUKE! Probably not appropriate for a 35yo to say out loud, but oh well!
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#14
England
21 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by lhhjrs76
I'm going on my 1st cruise in 21 days and I'm going SOLO as well! I did feel a bit guilty at first, leaving my 8yo son behind, but I reminded him that we're a "Disney Team" and we had just returned from our last trip in December, so this was mom's time alone

SO EXCITED I COULD PUKE! Probably not appropriate for a 35yo to say out loud, but oh well!

I booked my first solo cruise in October - sailing on 29th April. My partner isn't interested in crusing and I've never been on holiday on my own before. Every now and again I remind myself what I've done and can't believe I've done it but I can't wait!! So excited I've checked in online already!
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Amanda



#15
Washington, DC
1,580 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Love love LOVE solo cruising! I've been on 4, each of them different but all of them wonderful.

Now, I know some of you just aren't comfortable traveling without a companion, and that's cool with me - I enjoy traveling with others, too.

But if you're open to new experiences, enjoy doing things independently, just like to indulge yourself for its own sake, and understand the difference between "alone" and "lonely," I predict that you'll love solo cruising as much as I do. I have NEVER been lonely on a solo cruise - there are always things to do that will put you in the company of other travelers, who are almost always friendly and open to making friends (you can avoid the few who aren't with no difficulty). You never have to agree on anything with another person, never have to explain that you don't want to see that show or that no you're not spending too much time in the casino , and you'll have no competition for when you want to take that afternoon nap (which you will want to take, just because).

I always give two pieces of advice to those who might want to meet people but aren't sure how to go about it - they have always worked for me:
1. Go for fixed-time dining and ask for a big table - at least an 8-top. Maitre d's have gotten very good at seating singles together, often with a 'non-couple' couple (like two friends traveling together). I've had an absolute blast at these tables, have met people that I wound up hanging out with the whole cruise.
2. Take shore tours. Book through the cruise line, and you'll always have shipmates to go with. Maybe a little more expensive, but I've never really worried about that - part of the point is being on a tour where you can meet other passengers.
Just being on the same ship gives you something in common with everyone else. You may make a new friend for life, but even if you just meet some people who are fun to be around for the week of your cruise, that's fine, too.

I like to think of cruising as summer camp on the high seas - everyone relaxes, and there's a program, but mostly in meeting new people in a different environment, we all learn something about ourselves.

Happy cruising to all!
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Best,
Gordon


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#16
Huntington, NY
29 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
My DH died far too early (age 57), and for a couple of years I didn't travel. Then I discovered that friends we'd made at a Caribbean resort years earlier were going on a Caribbean cruise, and since I can't seem to hang up my fins, I asked if they would mind if I joined them. They didn't, but I also made it clear that I knew it would be quite different from a previous cruise when all four of us dined together every night -- on this trip we dined together four times out of nine nights, and attended a few lectures together, and she and I snorkeled together on one shore excursion. We also kept in touch via the phone.

HAL's Noordam was, for the three of us, too big (even though it's only "mid-size"), and to be honest some things worked, and some didn't. I spent more time than I would have wished crying in my cabin. The solo "meet and greets" in the bar never seemed to involve anyone solo but me. On the other hand, I joined a trivia team, and found friends that way. I also met people on the shore excursions who were very nice.

Last year I opted for a Silversea cruise, and I'd recommend that cruise line to anyone like me. The other guests were very friendly, the mix is a more international one, with perhaps about 40% American, another 40% English and the rest a mix of Canadians and Europeans. My trivia team formed early and remained -- excepting for a few days when one couple or a solo had a shore excursion that precluded it. I'd recommend Silversea highly to solo travelers -- I'm departing on another Caribbean adventure with them next week and I know l'll have a good time! As another CC'er said, you really have to put yourself out there, and initiate conversations, if others don't. Most people are only too glad to be friendly and helpful.

Also, in the case of Silversea, if you're a solo woman look for cruises that feature gentemen hosts. If you're a widow, like me, you may find yourself dancing more than you ever did with your husband, and these men are true gentlemen. Just bear in mind that they are not "up for grabs!"
#17
New Orleans, LA. USA
20 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by Petrea829
My DH died far too early (age 57), and for a couple of years I didn't travel. Then I discovered that friends we'd made at a Caribbean resort years earlier were going on a Caribbean cruise, and since I can't seem to hang up my fins, I asked if they would mind if I joined them. They didn't, but I also made it clear that I knew it would be quite different from a previous cruise when all four of us dined together every night -- on this trip we dined together four times out of nine nights, and attended a few lectures together, and she and I snorkeled together on one shore excursion. We also kept in touch via the phone.

HAL's Noordam was, for the three of us, too big (even though it's only "mid-size"), and to be honest some things worked, and some didn't. I spent more time than I would have wished crying in my cabin. The solo "meet and greets" in the bar never seemed to involve anyone solo but me. On the other hand, I joined a trivia team, and found friends that way. I also met people on the shore excursions who were very nice.

Last year I opted for a Silversea cruise, and I'd recommend that cruise line to anyone like me. The other guests were very friendly, the mix is a more international one, with perhaps about 40% American, another 40% English and the rest a mix of Canadians and Europeans. My trivia team formed early and remained -- excepting for a few days when one couple or a solo had a shore excursion that precluded it. I'd recommend Silversea highly to solo travelers -- I'm departing on another Caribbean adventure with them next week and I know l'll have a good time! As another CC'er said, you really have to put yourself out there, and initiate conversations, if others don't. Most people are only too glad to be friendly and helpful.

Also, in the case of Silversea, if you're a solo woman look for cruises that feature gentemen hosts. If you're a widow, like me, you may find yourself dancing more than you ever did with your husband, and these men are true gentlemen. Just bear in mind that they are not "up for grabs!"
Thanks for this info!!! I am a widow also and am getting ready to take my first solo cruise on Silversea. I am very nervous about it but that has made me feel a whole lot better. Leaving on Monday - Barcelona to Istanbul!
#18
Canada
42 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I just read your posting, and since this is my first solo cruise, I am very nervous, but, reading all this has really eased my concern, so can hardly wait for june to come around. I'm going on the Emerald Princess also, so it was nice hearing your comments.
I know slightly a BJ from British Columbia....I wonder......?
#19
446 Posts
Joined May 2010
I'm taking my second solo cruise this October so I'm very glad to read your posts. Does my first count - it was a singles group?

And I'm a little concerned about spending so much time alone but I'm pretty excited about the itinerary too. It's 2 back to back Australia/New Zealand.

So if anyone has some advice, it's much appreciated.
#20
Rochester, NY
52 Posts
Joined May 2011
Like the others on this thread, I am glad to read such positive feedback on solo cruising. I love cruising and refuse to let a silly thing like divorce stop me from doing it. I am not very outgoing, but cruise ships are the only place I know of where it is incredibly easy to meet people if you want to, but just as easy to be left alone and relax.

Really looking forward to my first solo on Explorer of the Seas in a little more than two months!
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