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Solo Cruisers Do you leave your cares -- and everyone -- behind when you cruise?
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  #1  
Old January 14th, 2013, 01:52 PM
adaymerced adaymerced is offline
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Default Awkward Solo Moments

I love cruising solo, and have done it for 6 of my 9 cruises. That being said, there are moments that are particularly awkward. I'm curious if other folks have similar experiences.

I prefer to be seated at a large table for dinner. I feel a bit like a third wheel sitting at a table for 4 when there's just me and a couple. That can be VERY awkward.

What is really awkward is when you're eating alone, and someone (out of the kindness of their hearts) invites you to join them and you politely decline. Sometimes they don't take no for an answer. I was having a burger at Johnny Rocket's on Freedom of the Seas and on the last chapter of a pretty good book when a family sitting next to me invited me to join them. I was pretty much finished with my meal and just finishing the last few pages of my book, so I said "No, but thank you." and then the Dad and I got into an extraordinarily polite battle of wills. He kept insisting and I kept declining and so forth.

Some folks just can't imagine why someone might want to be alone, even for just an instant, rather than join a family they don't know composed of two tired adults and three sugar filled kids.

As to the shows, I attend a lot of theatre in real life solo, (live and film) so I have over the years grown less self-conscious about this. So much so that I often go see something solo even if I know someone has expressed interest in seeing it with me. But sometimes on the cruise, people really want you to join there group, which is usually fine. But occasionally it's a collection of loud drunks who are interrupting the show and you really don't want to be grouped in with them.

I always feel awkward at the pool or hot tub though. Especially if I forget my sunglasses I feel like kind of a creeper just sitting by the pool alone. I become paranoid that people think I'm there to stare at girls in bikini's. Also similar experiences in the hot tub.

And some excursions are a bit rough to do solo, as they are often built with the idea of having someone help you with things and you get kind of "spotlighted" for being alone.

Do folks have similar experiences?
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Old January 14th, 2013, 06:04 PM
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Now, granted, I only have a couple solo cruises under my belt - with a nice 10 night-er coming in April; but I can relate in some of your examples.

Excursions seem to be my biggest challenge and I have opted out of them. I have paid and juts not shown up for a couple because when the time came I just did not feel comfortable. So I just wander on my own...the stress was not worth it...

As for eating, I enjoy a table for myself, which has been in the midst of other tables for two...sometimes there is chatter between us, sometimes not...but I am the one for the meal and would prefer not to have the chatter...

I do know what you mean by the awkward feeling when my sunglasses are forgotten and I am lounging on the pool deck (but, then again, I am looking at the bikinis ) j/k

I have found the hot tub to be a great chit chat place...I also seem to attract the newbie cruisers and end up in some rather long conversations of giving hints and tips on cruising...Often I will run into these same folks in the casino (where I spend my evenings)...

As for the event you had in JRockets...well, I probably would have let loose a few choice statements that would have ended any battle of wills...in my favor and would not allow for a repeat performance...

Some people do not understand solo cruising, some people are so tied into having to be with someone else, and others are simply jealous because they wish they could be "untied" from someone else
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Old January 14th, 2013, 07:55 PM
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I would never have thought of excursions being stressful for solos. I have done a number of coach tours in Europe as a solo and never felt out of place or stressed. Maybe, since I am a woman traveling alone, a group gives me a sense of comradeship and security.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 10:16 PM
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I went solo on my cruise. Since solo cruising is not exactly mainstream, I worried quite a bit about those "awkward solo moments". Very few of them came true, and even then, they were almost negligible. I got over it by the first night, and at one point, I got "adopted" by two friends traveling together, and had a really nice time hanging out with them. (To clarify the perspective on this post, I was a man in late 20's traveling solo.)

There were those awkward "should I or maybe better not?" moments when getting into hot tubs with pre-existing groups already there. Eventually, I decided "why be embarrassed? I paid for those hot tubs". It was fine after that. I never got any hostile reactions.

At the first night's dinner, I was the first person to arrive at my assigned table. It was awkward to sit by myself at a 10-top, with no cell phone or reading material.

I felt somewhat hesitant to go to clubs by myself, for reasons similar to the OP's discomfort with sitting by the pool alone. I stuck to deck parties and Latin band performances, where solos blend in better and people tend to be more open.

Eating at the Lido buffet by or going to shows by myself was perfectly fine; I saw plenty of others doing the same. Unlike in the OP's case, "neighbors" talked to me from where they sat, but I didn't get those invites to join them. I'm guessing I looked so relaxed, that their conscience told them I was fine. Excursions were no problem, either: I had a great time wandering around Key West by myself, and hung out with people from the ship in Cozumel.

If I don't find any takers, I may be doing another solo cruise later this year. Hopefully, it'll be as good as my first one.
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  #5  
Old January 15th, 2013, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by adaymerced View Post
As to the shows, I attend a lot of theatre in real life solo, (live and film) so I have over the years grown less self-conscious about this. So much so that I often go see something solo even if I know someone has expressed interest in seeing it with me.

Do folks have similar experiences?
omgosh! I totally do this. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one!
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Old January 15th, 2013, 12:16 PM
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omgosh! I totally do this. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one!
To be fair, I have gotten into trouble with this one. Particularly when I first start dating a woman.

Her - "Oh, I want to see that!"
Me - "You should. It's great!"
Her - "You saw it without me? Why didn't you ask me to go?"
Me - (sheepish grin and embarassed silence)

Maybe this is why I'm still single?
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Old January 15th, 2013, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by adaymerced View Post
To be fair, I have gotten into trouble with this one. Particularly when I first start dating a woman.

Her - "Oh, I want to see that!"
Me - "You should. It's great!"
Her - "You saw it without me? Why didn't you ask me to go?"
Me - (sheepish grin and embarassed silence)

Maybe this is why I'm still single?
Maybe it's my age...but now I tell them up front I went by myself and when they ask that last question I do not make any excuses. Everyone that knows me very well realizes I do things on my own all the time...and many times intentionally
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Old January 15th, 2013, 12:51 PM
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I'm more of a social person and have no issue to start a conversation or just join in at the pool, hot tub, bar etc. I mostly eat in the MDR and request todine with others.
This is how I make week long friends to help me enjoy tours and the nightlife.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 01:03 PM
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I've never felt awkward being solo, but I rarely feel awkward in general. However if you feel this way just try to relax. Most of the time people aren't paying nearly as much attention to us as we think they are. And if they happen to be, wink, smile and just be you! Enjoy your travels!
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Old January 15th, 2013, 02:42 PM
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For My last cruise even though I went with my boyfriend I ended up doing loads of stuff solo like swimming, hot tubs, going to shows, eating lunch so for my next cruise I am going solo!
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Old January 16th, 2013, 12:07 AM
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After 11 solo cruises, I'm pretty comfy with it overall. Only one really awkward moment comes to mind....

At a trivia event on Radiance of the Seas, for Diamond/Diamond+ members, I showed up alone and the staff member organizing the event suggested I join a group of other ladies sitting together. I walked up to them and found an open chair (there were a few), asked if it was OK to join them, and they said No, that some other friends "may" come and they didn't have the room (there was plenty of room to actually squeeze in one more chair if required). They looked ticked off (and unfriendly in general) so I was not about to argue.

Another table already full of couples was nearby, they saw me standing there looking around for a spot, and quickly said "please join us, we would be glad to make room for you" (reconfirming to me how nice and wonderful the vast majority of cruisers are!).

The event ended up being a lot of fun, and the best part was that my table won 1st prize (a number of the correct answers came from me). It was nice to smile at that other table of ladies as they watched us accept our very nice gifts!
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Old January 16th, 2013, 01:07 PM
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@canuckcruzingirl

Good grief what a bunch of sad people those women were. They were truly lonely because there hearts weren't open to being kind.

It was a good thing though, since you won! Hooray for you and the friendly table!
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Old January 16th, 2013, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canuckcruzingirl View Post
After 11 solo cruises, I'm pretty comfy with it overall. Only one really awkward moment comes to mind....

At a trivia event on Radiance of the Seas, for Diamond/Diamond+ members, I showed up alone and the staff member organizing the event suggested I join a group of other ladies sitting together. I walked up to them and found an open chair (there were a few), asked if it was OK to join them, and they said No, that some other friends "may" come and they didn't have the room (there was plenty of room to actually squeeze in one more chair if required). They looked ticked off (and unfriendly in general) so I was not about to argue.

Another table already full of couples was nearby, they saw me standing there looking around for a spot, and quickly said "please join us, we would be glad to make room for you" (reconfirming to me how nice and wonderful the vast majority of cruisers are!).

The event ended up being a lot of fun, and the best part was that my table won 1st prize (a number of the correct answers came from me). It was nice to smile at that other table of ladies as they watched us accept our very nice gifts!

I also have really never felt awkward. Maybe when at fixed time dining, the first night at the dining room table, but it has always gone well.

As for your experience on ROS. Yes that would be awkward, but just as happened to you, people do notice other ignorant people, and embraced you, and made things ok. Im glad you won a prize, and showed those nincapoops that they missed out on a great team member! Even as a solo traveller, couples and families can be very nice to get to know. When I did Your time dining on Carnival a couple of years ago ( just because I wanted to try it, and not have a dining schedule), I had plenty of conversations with couples are near by tables, and a single or two also. One night the neighboring tables were not talkative and that was fine with me, as Im always fine with my own company too.

On Excursions, I have also met some very nice families who included me in their group, and other times I winged it on my own.

The only time I actually ever felt awkward on a cruise was twice when I travelled with family, and were seated at "weird" dining room tables, I mean the people not the tables So, I dont equate awkward feeling with travelling solo. Just me though.

Wish all solo cruisers the best in their travels.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 04:04 PM
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Default The Hot Tub

I was sailing on Seabourn. One of my favorite places on their ships is the forward jacuzzi. I was sitting in there having a fine time when two couples stepped in (it's not a very big jacuzzi) and started talking among themselves, completely ignoring me. I tried to join in the conversation but they obviously didn't want me to. I took the hint and left.

That very rarely happens to me; most people are very friendly and inclusive, I've found.

Jane
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Old January 18th, 2013, 12:30 AM
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I was sailing on Seabourn. One of my favorite places on their ships is the forward jacuzzi. I was sitting in there having a fine time when two couples stepped in (it's not a very big jacuzzi) and started talking among themselves, completely ignoring me. I tried to join in the conversation but they obviously didn't want me to. I took the hint and left.

That very rarely happens to me; most people are very friendly and inclusive, I've found.

Jane
I had the reverse of that happen to me. Two couples were already in the hot tub when I got in. We exchanged some polite hellos and "how's your cruise?" questions, then they talked amongst themselves, while I relaxed and spaced out. I was fine with that; after all, they were there first.

Still, those people were rude and stuck up. There's no etiquette rule saying you need to become best friends right off the bat, but they should have at least given you a courtesy acknowledgement. A simple "nice cruise, isn't it?" would have sufficed if I were you.
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Last edited by LandlockedCruiser01; January 18th, 2013 at 12:33 AM. Reason: reworded for clarity.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SantaAna,CA View Post
I was sailing on Seabourn. One of my favorite places on their ships is the forward jacuzzi. I was sitting in there having a fine time when two couples stepped in (it's not a very big jacuzzi) and started talking among themselves, completely ignoring me. I tried to join in the conversation but they obviously didn't want me to. I took the hint and left.

That very rarely happens to me; most people are very friendly and inclusive, I've found.

Jane
No way would I have gotten up & left! I can understand if they did not want you to join in their conversation..although that is quite rude...but you were there first...if anything THEY should have asked you if you minded company...

I have rarely felt awkward when traveling solo.. guess because I am quite comfortable with being alone...prefer it many times...and luckily have found for the most part people on cruises seem to be more open to chatting with strangers...
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Old January 20th, 2013, 01:08 AM
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I'll admit to being somewhat of a lurker when it comes to this thread. I'm newly widowed and I just made a reservation for the Freedom of the Seas in June 2013 for myself and my teen daughter. I know I'll have a great time but I'm wondering about not only my social graces for engaging others but meeting others as well. Please don't get me wrong, I'm no looking to "hook up" with somebody for the cruise but some social interaction is very much welcomed.

After reading these threads I realized that I need to be a tad more outgoing and not waiting for somebody to engage me in conversation. Yet I need to know that this may not be met well in all circumstances.

Scott
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Old January 20th, 2013, 02:24 AM
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I'll admit to being somewhat of a lurker when it comes to this thread. I'm newly widowed and I just made a reservation for the Freedom of the Seas in June 2013 for myself and my teen daughter. I know I'll have a great time but I'm wondering about not only my social graces for engaging others but meeting others as well. Please don't get me wrong, I'm no looking to "hook up" with somebody for the cruise but some social interaction is very much welcomed.

After reading these threads I realized that I need to be a tad more outgoing and not waiting for somebody to engage me in conversation. Yet I need to know that this may not be met well in all circumstances.

Scott
I am a very shy person but have found it is easy to start a conversation with someone on a ship. You might end up with a few sentence conversation or a really good friend that you see frequently. There are a few thousand people on the ship and most of them are happy and relaxed. If you meet the few that are rude move on and you will find someone else with whom to talk.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 91354guy View Post
I'll admit to being somewhat of a lurker when it comes to this thread. I'm newly widowed and I just made a reservation for the Freedom of the Seas in June 2013 for myself and my teen daughter. I know I'll have a great time but I'm wondering about not only my social graces for engaging others but meeting others as well. Please don't get me wrong, I'm no looking to "hook up" with somebody for the cruise but some social interaction is very much welcomed.

After reading these threads I realized that I need to be a tad more outgoing and not waiting for somebody to engage me in conversation. Yet I need to know that this may not be met well in all circumstances.

Scott
I am newly widowed also. My husband and I loved cruising and he was very out-going and friendly. I learned from him. Sometimes we did our own thing on the ship. I'd go to the cooking demonstration while he was at the pool. After, I'd go to the pool and find him in the hot tub having a lively conversation with anyone in there. I'd go in and bat my eyes at him and he would joke and say "It's the wife, I better shut up!" Everyone would laugh including me. He was a great guy. The best way to start a conversation is to say Hi, Where are you from? First cruise? From their responses it's pretty easy to tell whether they want to talk or not. Most people are happy to tell you their experience and be friendly. If not, it's their loss. Someday I will cruise again. I might be alone but I will always put my foot forward because of him.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 07:57 PM
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After traveling solo for the past few cruises, I posted on Facebook an open invite if anyone wanted to join me. My cousin responded yes, and is now joining me. I'm now more nervous having her join me than I am by traveling solo. I hope it works out! Lol....
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