Awkward Solo Moments

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#21
Michigan
1,480 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Originally posted by mrobstad
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....
This sounds familiar... I posted on Facebook as well, and ended up with three joiners by the end of the first day!

We have two cabins for four women from all corners of the continent, three of whom have never cruised before. I hope they enjoy it as much as I do, because I ADORE cruising.

Just work out some Ground Rules before you leave, setting boundaries, etc., and have a blast!
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#22
Charleston, WV
9 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
My experience cruising solo seems to be a little different from everyone else. I took a 3 day Bahamas cruise in late December - it was my first cruise - and of course first solo cruise. I had quite a few awkward moments. First, I felt it was awkward boarding the ship, and they take your picture -obviously to try to sell you a copy later. I immediately recognized that I was the only solo cruiser, since everyone else was families or couples. Departure was awkward...everyone was with their partners or families in a party mood, and I was alone. Dinner the first night was when it came to a head. Table for six, but only one couple who was Italian and very much in love showed up. No one to talk to, and the servers kept asking when the rest of my party was going to show up. Again, the photographer came around taking pictures of the groups, and then when he came to me, I was depressed by this time, and declined. Went to the solo/singles meetups but no one else showed, and so the first night, I wanted off of that ship so bad.

I will say it got better over the next 2 days. I guess I just accepted that I was alone, but I struggled to find people to talk to. The hot tub on the last day was where I finally found people to talk to, and was invited to eat dinner with some folks I met there.

I guess being satisfied with cruising solo has to do with your expectations and whether you enjoy being alone. I don't enjoy being alone, although I'm accustomed to it, and had an expectation of quickly making friends, so for me it was awkward and disappointing.

The good news, even with my disappointment, I haven't ruled out cruising again. Too many places I want to go, and cruising seems to be the most economical.
#23
Chicago metro area
1,245 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Sorry to hear about your bad experience. It sounds nothing like my solo cruise, even though I did have lonely moments here or there. Your "downfall" might have been the time of year you sailed. Late December is a very popular time for families and couples to travel. Schools are closed and many people take time off work, due to the way they can combine vacation time with public holidays.
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#24
2,422 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Originally posted by deneetro
My experience cruising solo seems to be a little different from everyone else. I took a 3 day Bahamas cruise in late December - it was my first cruise - and of course first solo cruise. I had quite a few awkward moments. First, I felt it was awkward boarding the ship, and they take your picture -obviously to try to sell you a copy later. I immediately recognized that I was the only solo cruiser, since everyone else was families or couples. Departure was awkward...everyone was with their partners or families in a party mood, and I was alone. Dinner the first night was when it came to a head. Table for six, but only one couple who was Italian and very much in love showed up. No one to talk to, and the servers kept asking when the rest of my party was going to show up. Again, the photographer came around taking pictures of the groups, and then when he came to me, I was depressed by this time, and declined. Went to the solo/singles meetups but no one else showed, and so the first night, I wanted off of that ship so bad.

I will say it got better over the next 2 days. I guess I just accepted that I was alone, but I struggled to find people to talk to. The hot tub on the last day was where I finally found people to talk to, and was invited to eat dinner with some folks I met there.

I guess being satisfied with cruising solo has to do with your expectations and whether you enjoy being alone. I don't enjoy being alone, although I'm accustomed to it, and had an expectation of quickly making friends, so for me it was awkward and disappointing.

The good news, even with my disappointment, I haven't ruled out cruising again. Too many places I want to go, and cruising seems to be the most economical.

So sorry about your first cruise. Just a little bit of information - the next time on the first day when you board go the the dining room and ask the maitre d about the other passengers you are seated with. He can tell if they are solo travelers. If not ask him to please seat you at a larger table with solo travelers. If you happen to be at a table where no one shows up by the second day go to the maitre d and asked to be switched to a different table.

As far as the embarkation picture and pictures during in the dining room - I just politely tell them no thanks.

I also believe the longer cruises (7 days and longer) tend to have more solo cruises.

I hope you give it another try.
#25
Ireland
1,803 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
For me, the absolute most awkward thing is not having anyone to put suncream on the part of my back that I can't reach! I'm so pale as to be almost transparent, and while most of the time I can manage by covering up, when swimming, snorkeling etc., that's not so easy.

First cruise I went on I asked an American lady (who was with her husband) if she'd mind helping me with Factor 50 on the spot I missed. You'd swear I asked if she'd mind if I slept with her husband while beating her with a stick. After her reaction I was foolishly too embarrassed to ask anyone else, and ended up burned. Thankfully, later in the week, I met another couple who thought it was a reasonable request.

There's also the slight awkwardness when you're settled in a nice spot with a book, camera, etc, and realise you want to go to the bathroom. Do you leave all your belongings on the chair with your drink, and hope no-one steals them, or do you take everything but the drink with you, and come back to find your chair and drink are gone? That's not unique to cruises though!
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#26
Ocala, Fl
9,900 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
thoie, I've found using the spray sunscreen makes it a little "less" awkward asking someone to catch my back...and if I need to leave my chair I just let someone nearby know I will be right back..and leave my stuff except for my wallet ...
#27
Michigan
1,480 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
I just keep old t-shirts and wear those over my swimsuit if I'm going to be in the sun.

I've had others put sunscreen on my back for me but they didn't go "all the way to the edges" and I ended up with strips of burn anyway. So an old t-shirt thrown on top covers anything that I can't easily cover myself, and I don't end up with any nasty surprises!
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#28
4,273 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Originally posted by deneetro
My experience cruising solo seems to be a little different from everyone else. I took a 3 day Bahamas cruise in late December - it was my first cruise - and of course first solo cruise. I had quite a few awkward moments. First, I felt it was awkward boarding the ship, and they take your picture -obviously to try to sell you a copy later. I immediately recognized that I was the only solo cruiser, since everyone else was families or couples. Departure was awkward...everyone was with their partners or families in a party mood, and I was alone. Dinner the first night was when it came to a head. Table for six, but only one couple who was Italian and very much in love showed up. No one to talk to, and the servers kept asking when the rest of my party was going to show up. Again, the photographer came around taking pictures of the groups, and then when he came to me, I was depressed by this time, and declined. Went to the solo/singles meetups but no one else showed, and so the first night, I wanted off of that ship so bad.

I will say it got better over the next 2 days. I guess I just accepted that I was alone, but I struggled to find people to talk to. The hot tub on the last day was where I finally found people to talk to, and was invited to eat dinner with some folks I met there.

I guess being satisfied with cruising solo has to do with your expectations and whether you enjoy being alone. I don't enjoy being alone, although I'm accustomed to it, and had an expectation of quickly making friends, so for me it was awkward and disappointing.

The good news, even with my disappointment, I haven't ruled out cruising again. Too many places I want to go, and cruising seems to be the most economical.
Your first days experience on your cruise sounds a lot like my first day on my first cruise. I didn't know about CC then but had found another board a few days before I cruised, it wasn't much help. I didn't really know what to expect and was one of only two solo cruisers on the ship. Heck, I was so new to cruising (and obviously didn't do much research) that I didn't know there was a big sail away party, LOL! But I had expected that most of the other passengers would be families/couples/groups traveling together and had traveled solo for decades. What surprised me the most on that cruise was the reluctance of some to engage in basic polite conversation when sharing a table (it was on NCL and Free Style dining had just started), the hot tub, etc. Even though I enjoy my own company and had traveled for decades solo, it was jarring that people could be so openly rude.

But like your experience, as the cruise progressed I began meeting people who were nice and fun. Some invited me to join them for dinner, other times I invited people to join me. Joining the Roll Call tends to be a good way to start the cruise off with "friends" b/c most of them have a get together on the first day so you are meeting people you have been chatting with right away. Also, longer cruises allow you to relax and see the same people again and again so there is more opportunity to socialize with those you like.

What I've come to realize is the first day of a cruise is very exciting and people get wrapped up in the experience and sharing it with those they came with but as the cruise progresses they tend to socialize more with the other passengers, including solos. This happens on shore excursions as well. I will get in the line and people are chatting among themselves, some giving me a curious look, but about half-way through (sometimes sooner) people start chatting me up.

Solo travel/cruising isn't for everyone but if you are comfortable traveling solo and patient you will meet many nice/fun people cruising.

That isn't to say there won't be awkward moments, like the time I was seated with a group of women traveling together in the MDR and only one of them would speak to me, but overall those moments measured against the great time I have cruising are easily ignored or forgotten.

I hope you give cruising another try but if not there are agencies that arrange travel for solos you might find enjoyable.
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Ginnie


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#29
Tampa area
14,280 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
To get sunblock on your back--use spray.

I once was on time to dinner and sat alone at a 10 top for abouot 7 minutes. Very uncomfortable. Never did that again! On my last cruise I pretend booked my 2 adult kids to get the cabin I wanted. At dinner I was at a table with 5 adults in a family. 2 seats were empty--it didn'[t dawn on me until later those seats were for my pretend kids. One couple in the family practically made out the whole time. Changed tables after that.

I find most people friendly enough but not all the time. I went to the spa's spa and was alone. A bit later an old man and his wife showed up and never so much as gave me any eye contact.

Usually if you ask someone where they're from it opens a conversation easily. Last cruise I went on an excursion one of our roll call members put together. When we were on the excursion I asked here where she lived. It was a town very near me. I told her where I lived and she said she used to live there. Ends up only a street away from me in a secluded community! My kids knew her kids! Small world.
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#30
4,273 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Originally posted by crusinpsychRN
To get sunblock on your back--use spray.

I once was on time to dinner and sat alone at a 10 top for abouot 7 minutes. Very uncomfortable. Never did that again! On my last cruise I pretend booked my 2 adult kids to get the cabin I wanted. At dinner I was at a table with 5 adults in a family. 2 seats were empty--it didn'[t dawn on me until later those seats were for my pretend kids. One couple in the family practically made out the whole time. Changed tables after that.

I find most people friendly enough but not all the time. I went to the spa's spa and was alone. A bit later an old man and his wife showed up and never so much as gave me any eye contact.

Usually if you ask someone where they're from it opens a conversation easily. Last cruise I went on an excursion one of our roll call members put together. When we were on the excursion I asked here where she lived. It was a town very near me. I told her where I lived and she said she used to live there. Ends up only a street away from me in a secluded community! My kids knew her kids! Small world.
LOL, I love you had pretend kids and then wondered why there were two empty seats! I have to ask did you have to pay more for the pretend kids or were you allowed to cancel their "tickets".
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#31
NJ
1,029 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by deneetro
My experience cruising solo seems to be a little different from everyone else. I took a 3 day Bahamas cruise in late December - it was my first cruise - and of course first solo cruise. I had quite a few awkward moments. First, I felt it was awkward boarding the ship, and they take your picture -obviously to try to sell you a copy later. I immediately recognized that I was the only solo cruiser, since everyone else was families or couples. Departure was awkward...everyone was with their partners or families in a party mood, and I was alone. Dinner the first night was when it came to a head. Table for six, but only one couple who was Italian and very much in love showed up. No one to talk to, and the servers kept asking when the rest of my party was going to show up. Again, the photographer came around taking pictures of the groups, and then when he came to me, I was depressed by this time, and declined. Went to the solo/singles meetups but no one else showed, and so the first night, I wanted off of that ship so bad.

I will say it got better over the next 2 days. I guess I just accepted that I was alone, but I struggled to find people to talk to. The hot tub on the last day was where I finally found people to talk to, and was invited to eat dinner with some folks I met there.

I guess being satisfied with cruising solo has to do with your expectations and whether you enjoy being alone. I don't enjoy being alone, although I'm accustomed to it, and had an expectation of quickly making friends, so for me it was awkward and disappointing.

The good news, even with my disappointment, I haven't ruled out cruising again. Too many places I want to go, and cruising seems to be the most economical.
Deneetro, had you joined up with your RollCall before the cruise? As one who nearly always sails solo, and generally prefers it, I have met some great people through the Roll Calls. That gives me the option to do things with a group, or own my own.

It really is also an issue of mind over matter. Sounds as if you talked yourself into feeling depressed and lonely. It may be easy to do that, but it's nearly as easy to make plans for having a good time meeting new people. I know...because I did that "lonely and blue" thing on one trip years and years ago, and made up my mind I would never again waste my vacation that way.

Try again!
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#32
NYC
52 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
I have been cruising with my son who is now 19 and most of the time I feel like I am alone.. lol..I'm lucky if he meets me for dinner I have gotten used to sitting at the champage or Martini bar alone. Very rarely do I meet another single cruiser like me... I always wonder.. Could I be the only single person on this cruise.. lol.. well hopefully my next one will be different.. June 30.. Alllure... Ciao for now.. Delia
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#33
Tampa area
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Originally posted by gxchan
LOL, I love you had pretend kids and then wondered why there were two empty seats! I have to ask did you have to pay more for the pretend kids or were you allowed to cancel their "tickets".
They cancelled and I got the $ back. Had to wait a week for it to be credited to card.
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#34
Tampa area
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Joined Feb 2006
I ask the Maitre d' how many singles are on board. Once there were only 6 of us!
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#35
Chicagoland Area
2,203 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
It really is also an issue of mind over matter. Sounds as if you talked yourself into feeling depressed and lonely. ...because I did that "lonely and blue" thing on one trip years and years ago, and made up my mind I would never again waste my vacation that way.
Agree completely with the mind over matter. You definitely have to be comfortable in your own skin. I usually always carry a paperback with me. Don't have a problem pulling it out and having a drink at the bars. And if I have to run to the washroom, easy thing to ask the bartender to watch my stuff.

I've also had some folks try to encourage me to join them at times. Sometimes I do, but a lot of the time, I cruised solo for a reason and want to stay alone.
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#36
Ontario
50 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Originally posted by brillohead
This sounds familiar... I posted on Facebook as well, and ended up with three joiners by the end of the first day!

We have two cabins for four women from all corners of the continent, three of whom have never cruised before. I hope they enjoy it as much as I do, because I ADORE cruising.

Just work out some Ground Rules before you leave, setting boundaries, etc., and have a blast!
I am travelling solo, but with an roommate arranged by the TA. What kind of groundrules and boundaries work for you. This will be my first cruise travelling on my own.
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#37
Charleston, WV
9 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by ThursdaysChild
Deneetro, had you joined up with your RollCall before the cruise?
This particular cruise did not have a roll call meeting that I was aware of. I checked the thread, but there was not meetup, and it was not a very active thread.


Originally posted by ThursdaysChild
As one who nearly always sails solo, and generally prefers it, I have met some great people through the Roll Calls. That gives me the option to do things with a group, or own my own. It really is also an issue of mind over matter. Sounds as if you talked yourself into feeling depressed and lonely. It may be easy to do that, but it's nearly as easy to make plans for having a good time meeting new people.
!
I think the key is, you "prefer" to sail solo. I would "prefer" to go with someone, but that was not an option for me. I had plans of having a good time and meeting new people, meeting other singles/solos etc., but unfortunately, it didn't happen, so the loneliness and depression did creep in, because my expectations/plans were not met.
#38
Chicagoland Area
2,203 Posts
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I am travelling solo, but with an roommate arranged by the TA
I hope that works out for you. I personally would be very hesitant about that. Not just for compatibility - is this person a partier - coming in late drunk and waking you up, etc. And a big one for me - can you trust them? I would be afraid to leave my things alone in the cabin with a stranger. But that's just me.

Good luck!
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#39
New Port Richey, FL
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Originally posted by cruisin*tigger
I hope that works out for you. I personally would be very hesitant about that. Not just for compatibility - is this person a partier - coming in late drunk and waking you up, etc. And a big one for me - can you trust them? I would be afraid to leave my things alone in the cabin with a stranger. But that's just me.

Good luck!
Worse than that, you could end up with someone like me that snores really loud and has gas issues....
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#40
Atlanta, GA
252 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
As a married woman with two toddlers I happened upon this thread, and I just have to say... what I wouldn't kill for one minute solo by the pool! Or at a restaurant! Or in the bathroom!