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  #1  
Old April 11th, 2013, 06:31 PM
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Charlie'sPet Charlie'sPet is offline
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Default First Cruise Ever And Doing Solo???

Last year I was to go with my mom on a cruise to Alaska but she fell ill two days before we were to leave and we had to cancel. Unfortunately she won't be able to go this year either. So I'm thinking of just going solo.
Is this kind of cruise going to be too overwhelming for me as a first-timer? I'm sort of an introvert but willing to brave through it to see Alaska.
Also I originally wanted to do a balcony but I'm afraid if I get one then I won't ever leave my cabin to meet new people or take part in the activities.
Any thoughts or suggestions?
I'm looking to go next month on Holland America.
Thanks
CP
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  #2  
Old April 11th, 2013, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Charlie'sPet View Post
Also I originally wanted to do a balcony but I'm afraid if I get one then I won't ever leave my cabin to meet new people or take part in the activities.
So what's wrong with that? :-) No law says you MUST meet new people or participate in activities.

In my opinion (and experience) it is perfectly OK to cruise as a "loner" so that you can take in the scenery (great from a balcony) and experience the destinations. I can meet plenty of people on dry land...so that is NOT why I cruise.
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  #3  
Old April 12th, 2013, 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Charlie'sPet View Post
Is this kind of cruise going to be too overwhelming for me as a first-timer?
I'd have to say no because my first cruise (and I travelled solo) was to Alaska. It was a round-trip from Seattle and I LOVED it! I was hooked on cruising and travelling solo.

I understand what you mean about getting a balcony. That first cruise I had an oceanview cabin and it worked great. I spent very little time in my cabin because I was always out and about exploring every inch of the ship.

It was a memorable trip - maybe overwhelming -- but, in a good way. It was also my first time in a casino. I tried slots and won $2500. And that didn't even crack my top five favorite things on that cruise.

It was a great first cruise and first solo cruise. Go and have a great time.
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  #4  
Old April 12th, 2013, 03:59 PM
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I think Alaska would be a great cruise for a first timer. Even if you are an introvert, you will enjoy the scenery as it is a beautiful voyage. As far as mixing with others, I think Alaska would also be a good choice as people are usually very friendly and more laid back on an inside voyage trip than they might be on a more formal trip, like the MED or around Europe. The nice thing will be is that it is up to you how involved you want to be with others, I would join the roll call for your voyage and that gives you a head start on meeting people that you can talk with while aboard the ship, as with HAL's smaller ships you will will be running into them again and again on the cruise. That is one of the reasons I like the smaller ships better than the mega ships, they just seem more personable to me. Happy Sailing.
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  #5  
Old April 12th, 2013, 09:08 PM
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Default Just Go!

Charlie's Pet, I always cruise solo. I tend to feel self conscious, but I don't let it stop me. I have been single most of my life, and I will be honest and say I've never gotten used to being stared at when I go here and there by myself. As a woman traveling alone, it happens often, I must say!

There will be some friendly people and some that aren't....don't worry about it. If you are a person who can enjoy their own company most of the time, you'll be a step ahead of the game.

I love traveling alone. The freedom of it is luxurious. And don't feel pressured to do anything you don't want to do. Get that balcony; you'll love it!

Last edited by SantaAna,CA; April 12th, 2013 at 09:08 PM.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 09:50 PM
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I have sailed solo several cruises. Holland America has solo lunches aboard, not sure about others, but don't remember whether NCL had any activities for solos. At those lunches I met other women traveling alone, and it sure was nice to have someone to eat dinner with most nights. The nights I ate alone I tried many of the specialty restaurants, where the staff were wonderful and talked with me throughout the meals.

Look at the forums for a Roll Call for your ship and sailing date. See if there are any private tour you can book into, where you'll meet a small group of folks who then welcome you to join them along the way.

I LOVE solo travel, you can do what you want, when you want, or do nothing at all. Go, enjoy, be sure to see a bit of Seattle, we're pretty proud of our beautiful city.

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  #7  
Old April 13th, 2013, 02:01 AM
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Do it! You'll find people will speak to you. If you want to carry on a conversation, fine. If you want to just respond and move on, fine also. It sounds like you are comfortable being by yourself.

If you wait for someone to travel with you, you may never get anywhere! When I was in my late 30s and 40s I did a lot of traveling on my own and have not only not regretted it, I'm very glad I did some of those things when I did!
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  #8  
Old April 13th, 2013, 02:53 AM
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Thank you everyone for your comments and advice! This definitely makes me feel better about my decision. I'm going to get the balcony and go at my own pace. This cruise has been on my mind for a few years now so I'm excited about finally going.

CP
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  #9  
Old April 13th, 2013, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SantaAna,CA View Post
Charlie's Pet, I always cruise solo. I tend to feel self conscious, but I don't let it stop me. I have been single most of my life, and I will be honest and say I've never gotten used to being stared at when I go here and there by myself. As a woman traveling alone, it happens often, I must say!

There will be some friendly people and some that aren't....don't worry about it. If you are a person who can enjoy their own company most of the time, you'll be a step ahead of the game.

I love traveling alone. The freedom of it is luxurious. And don't feel pressured to do anything you don't want to do. Get that balcony; you'll love it!
Agree completely! My life has been much the same. Go for it and get the balcony. It is so amazing to sit out there in fresh air and take in the scenery, have a glass of wine, morning tea etc. You will not be sorry you went. Agree some people will stare or even say things like "why on earth would someone travel alone?" I always say "because i can". Have a great time!
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  #10  
Old April 14th, 2013, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie'sPet View Post
Last year I was to go with my mom on a cruise to Alaska but she fell ill two days before we were to leave and we had to cancel. Unfortunately she won't be able to go this year either. So I'm thinking of just going solo.
Is this kind of cruise going to be too overwhelming for me as a first-timer? I'm sort of an introvert but willing to brave through it to see Alaska.
Also I originally wanted to do a balcony but I'm afraid if I get one then I won't ever leave my cabin to meet new people or take part in the activities.
Any thoughts or suggestions?
I'm looking to go next month on Holland America.
Thanks
CP

Hi Charlie's Pet

This will be my first Solo cruise on NCL Breakaway and I'm also an introvert too. I thought about the same thing you did as far as booking a balcony -vs- a studio. I end up booking a mini suite and I'm glad I did. With NCL I'm glad for the studio lounge and the solo gathering every evening for dinner arrangements and cocktail hour (assuming the breakaway will have one like the Epic).

What ever you ultimately decide, enjoy your cruise and please report back and tell us how it went.
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  #11  
Old April 14th, 2013, 02:15 PM
bottomfeeder bottomfeeder is offline
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I would definitely do a balcony for Alaska. So much beautiful scenery! And honestly, you'll be spending a lot of time looking at the scenery and not really interacting with fellow passengers anyhow, whether you have a balcony or not. But if you're on a public deck trying to see the scenery, you will be having to "compete" for space.

On the other hand, on a public deck you can see from both sides of the ship!

I did my first few cruises in an inside, but once I got a balcony that was it--no more cruises without balconies for me! It's more expensive, especially as a solo, but SO worth it for me. I feel like I have a totally luxurious private space that way.

I'm pretty introverted too, and while I can be social I find that relaxation for me means a lot of alone time. So solo cruising is perfect, because I can always find someone to talk to if I want but I can also recharge by myself, guilt-free!

I'm sure you'll have a great time and I look forward to your report on the cruise.
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  #12  
Old April 15th, 2013, 09:13 PM
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So which cruise have you decided on, Charlie'sPet? Is it the same one I'm on? -- see my signature for which one I'm on. I've been solo for years (cruising presently, my motorcycles and my airplanes when I was younger). If we're on the same one we might meet for a snack or something and I'll answer any solo questions you might have or offer tips.

HAL seems to have quite a few solo folks, likely due to their demographic. I've always been able to be alone on the dam ships when I've wanted to be and have always found pleasant folks (for trivia, meals, shore meanderings, etc.) when I've been in a sociable mood.

Whatever, enjoy!
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Last edited by Av8rix; April 15th, 2013 at 09:19 PM.
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  #13  
Old April 16th, 2013, 03:15 AM
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I have gone on several cruises solo. While I am very friendly and outgoing, there are times that I don't feel like engaging. Also, I like coming and going as I please. The only thing I don't like is eating alone. I would join the roll call and let people know that you are solo and a bit shy and would like to be included for dinner or join someone on an excursion, etc. Ask people to introduce themselves at the meet and greet which would make it easier to break the ice and also people will remember you throughout the cruise.

Remember, you get to control your experiences. Go to some of the venues like the onboard music and just sit around others and enjoy the music, go to the White Hot Party and just get on the floor and dance. Everyone is usually just jumping around anyway. If you start to feel uncomfortable, you can always leave. The more you put yourself out there and try new things, the easier it gets. Have a wonderful time.

Last edited by gizmo911; April 16th, 2013 at 03:19 AM.
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  #14  
Old July 10th, 2013, 07:39 PM
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My first-ever cruise last year was solo. I went from feeling somewhat anxious about solo cruising to feeling hesitant to cruise any other way. The cruise experience totally wowed me. I managed to meet people pretty easily, which isn't always the case for me on land. If I had my heart set on doing something, I'd just do it. Even if my cruise friends all felt like doing something else, no one had a problem with me breaking away for an hour or so and rejoining them later. There was never any obligation to be joined at the hip, like there can be sometimes if you cruise with someone.

One tip I'd give to future solo cruisers, men or women, is: learn to dance. It helped me when I cruised solo. Bachata, merengue, etc. are especially conducive to meeting people, since it's customary to mingle on the dance floor. Once you extend or accept an invite to dance with a new partner, the ice is broken there and then. And if he/she doesn't gel with you, it's just one song, five minutes tops. Thank the person, then feel free continue the conversation afterwards or simply move on.
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  #15  
Old July 18th, 2013, 10:33 PM
F22mom F22mom is offline
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Red face Dancing what other activities

I will be cruising solo in feb on the liberty ccl. I don't dance but I love to talk. Is there like a meet and greet on carnival for solo travelers that is posted on the activities page? I am shy but when I get together with people I do talk, I just have to be lead to water.
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  #16  
Old July 19th, 2013, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F22mom View Post
I will be cruising solo in feb on the liberty ccl. I don't dance but I love to talk. Is there like a meet and greet on carnival for solo travelers that is posted on the activities page? I am shy but when I get together with people I do talk, I just have to be lead to water.
Yes there is however they are distastefully (IMO) grouped by age as "Singles Meet", 18-25, 25-35, 35-45, and Mature all in different locations!!

A solo traveler may be single or not and simply be traveling alone and not necessarily trying to meet a partner. I would definitely rely on your Cruise Critic roll call. I've met more friends whether single, solo, couples, that way. I'd also suggest that you mention on your roll call that you are traveling solo, and that you suggest "informal sailaway gathering/mixer" the first day this way you can meet up with potential dinner mates which is especially important that first day. (just in case maitre d'/ host fails to put all the solo travelers together for dinner whether "anytime" or traditional seating). Go speak with the maitre d'/host of the dining room before hand to ask whether they are seating all solo travelers together.

Good luck and bon voyage.

P.S. The OP is traveling with mom again.
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  #17  
Old August 6th, 2013, 03:14 PM
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Recently cruised to Alaska with a balcony solo and had a fabulous time! People were very friendly on the ship. In Tracy Fjord most were on higher decks and crowded the railing and didn't move so it was hard to get a good vantage spot.

Saw whales from the balcony! Awesome to hear people up and down the ship on their balconies "spotting" sea life and shouting for others to see it.

Take really good binoculars. Have a blast!
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