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Everything posted by bhsolo

  1. I'm looking at a quick Caribbean getaway on the Mariner or Navigator. Is there any chance of finding shade while on deck that is a lounger and not at a table, sitting at the bar or in the solarium? On Ovation the only shade was in the solarium, is it the same thing?
  2. You definitely don't have to join a group for eating. On my Royal trip I never did. I ate in the buffet area looking at the ocean, at a couple restaurants with my book, or in the dining room (though that wasn't my favorite) all on my own. You only have to join/converse if you would like to. Otherwise you just do what you would like to do and how you feel comfortable.
  3. I was on the Anthem for an Alaskan cruise and enjoyed it. I was only planning to use it for sleeping and kept my expectations low but was pleasantly surprised. Yes, it is small and there is no place to sit, however, it was great for sleeping and I would just sit out on the ship to read when I wanted to. I loved the virtual balcony, basically a 50' tv turned on its side, that was better than a porthole. I found the storage to be pretty adequate considering all of the clothing/shoes I had and my suitcase fit under my bed. There is overhead bed storage and I appreciated where all of the outlets were. The size of the bathroom was very good, especially the shower. Is it grand and huge and wow, no. Is it a great place to sleep and comfortable with all you need, absolutely.
  4. Not at all if you make an effort to say hi to others. I did that on the excursions, when sitting by the pool, sitting down for lunch/dinner. I also brought books with me for reading by the pool and eating, went on excursions where I said hi to people and sometimes you just end up seeing people to say hi. People had two reactions when they found out I was solo which are usually the same ones whenever I travel solo. 1) Wow that’s incredible and shows so much strength. A lot wishing they could also do it. 2) Absolute shock that anybody would travel solo, they just couldn’t think of being alone.
  5. I did Ovation in June and we got in fine. The few trips before us were not able to get in due to ice floats but that can happen at any time with nature. It was a gorgeous trip and I loved the boat.
  6. I have traveled solo to many a foreign country and have never experienced this so I wouldn't necessarily generalize it as being semi-common knowledge. In fact, the one time I was actually taken aside for questioning, to see if I had any fruit/etc., was when I was traveling with my friend. Otherwise, I usually breeze through Customs because I am solo.
  7. Congratulations on booking this, I'm sure it was hard but it's an awesome thing you did. Excursions are a great way to meet various people and see them throughout the day/night on the ship. Also, just sitting around people you start random conversations. It's fun to say hi to people you see and ask what they did during the day or what excursion they liked, etc.
  8. For my trips I pack a lot of items that can all be layered together and I rewear clothing a lot. I'll also rinse out shirts and bottoms on the regular.
  9. In the solo cabin there is absolutely no way to separate a bed, this may have been only one twin bed or something along those lines but it is still a tight squeeze if you are someone who is tall. I did the salad bar in 270 sometimes when I felt like having someone do it for me. I'm glad you enjoyed the MDR but it wasn't my type of enjoyment. Which is why it's great that we can each do our own thing and no one is right or wrong. And now you can say you have heard of someone getting in and out in 15 minutes.
  10. Preparation is also your friend. The more familiar you are with the areas the more confident you will feel. What I also do is prepare an idea of each day. One must do in the morning, another in the afternoon and find things to fill in (restaurants, random places to stop, etc). Plus this way I understand the transit. I usually keep it pretty loose but it helps me to go with a plan instead of feeling overwhelmed by everything.
  11. London and Paris was my 2nd solo trip 9 years ago and it was FANTASTIC!!! From London to Paris I took the bullet train and from there public transport to my hotel which was right by the louvre. Now, I will say it gave me one of my most laughable moments of trying to get my LARGE suitcase through those turnstyles. If you have a large suitcase, take a taxi lol. As for the language barrier, I didn't, and still don't, speak French but as with going to any foreign country I learned a few key phrases including hi, thank you and goodbye. For the most part people speak a lot of English or you can figure it out. They are also very used to English only speakers traveling there. I think the language barrier would be difficult if you were going to the suburbs but in Paris itself, not an issue at all. I highly recommend reading Rick Steve's book on Paris as that was so helpful with figuring out where to go, how to get there and interesting things to do. I got around using public transit, only took a taxi to the airport home, ate in the restaurants and had a blast. For the restaurants I would bring a book to read while I waited or my journal and go through my pictures. This way I could delete some and write down what I took a picture of. You'll be amazed at how much you don't remember once you get home. Also, if you are concerned about what you are ordering put the google translate app on your phone so you can easily figure it out. I loved every moment of it, ate a lot that I still can picture and practically taste (gelato, lemon tart, mont blanc from Cafe Angelique, macarons, tomato/mozz on a fresh baguette, the farmers market cheese) and relished my time there. When I went there was no Google translate, google maps was just becoming, Facebook was sort of there, Instagram didn't get exist, etc. Now you have much more help beforehand and at the ready. Just remember, it's like any big city so you should stay aware of your surroundings and what you are doing. As I like to tell people - just because you are on vacation does not mean others are. I say go for it and have a blast whether someone joins you or not.
  12. Interesting. I never thought about doing a late dinner so I could get a table with a view. Next time I may try that. This time I was so rushed at dinner it was too much. Think I was in and out in under 15 minutes...yes, I did write them about it along with the comment from the waiter of not to fill up on bread...
  13. Not judgmental at all. I think I enjoyed it because I did go on the off hours like you said. I would wait until after 1:00PM/1:30PM on a cruise day or go after an excursion, and then if I did dinner it was always 7:00/7:30 when most of the little kids were done and all of the adults were in the dining room. I once saw the craziness you mentioned and I turned right around. I think I kept hitting it at just the right times where I could leisurely enjoy seeing what the food was, seeing it be brought out fresh, and not deal with the frenzy. I was surprised to see the Royal ship had a gluten free buffet section in the Windjammer for every meal and desserts that were clearly labeled gluten free and behind the glass so they wouldn't touch other desserts. Was really impressed by this.
  14. I returned from my solo cruise and am already trying to book another. I was on Ovation of the Seas, inside studio, to Alaska via Seattle roundtrip. It was very relaxing when I wanted it to be with excursions that I truly enjoyed, and I did have fun with the range of peoples reactions - shock, admiration, and no comprehension. Before I left I said no matter what I was not going to the buffet for dinner. The first night I went to dinner and it was bleh and rushed. So the next night I went to the Solarium restaurant, just lovely. After that I went to the buffet for a few days because I met great people (ended up playing card games with the people next to me), the mood was right, I wasn't hungry enough for a sit down dinner, loved the huge salad bar and it's what I wanted to do. And since this was my trip I did what I wanted. The last two nights I went back to the Solarium Restaurant and again very good. All of this to say - you can think one way before you get on board and then completely change your mind. The inside cabin with the virtual balcony (big tv turned on its side) was perfect for my inside room. I felt I had an oceanview, without the price, was big enough for me but I'm 5' so anyone very tall may have an issue with the bed length. I also was only in the room to sleep and change as I basically lived in the Solarium. That is the 16+ area and it had great views, was very relaxing, had a bar, fabulous pools and I loved we could open and close the windows as needed. The amount of whales I saw while in there was incredible.
  15. I was just on RCCL Ovation and basically lived in the Solarium. It is 16+, very serene, beautiful views and beyond relaxing.
  16. Yup, last week was a doozy of doozies with the downpours. Those usually happen a bit later in the summer. Glad to know when I'm in Seattle that won't be as much of a thing. Unfortunately, not me :(.
  17. AWWW man. Hope you had a good time even with the rain last week. Thanks, good to know I'll plan to do a lyft.
  18. I buy it as soon as I put a deposit down. Then modify and increase it as soon as I buy flight, get hotel, etc. That way I stay within what is usually a short window (depends on insurance and policy) for the pre-existing condition clause.
  19. I have to agree, thank you for all of your help! I was also wondering if I could bother you for another question. Do you know if there were any shuttle dropoffs to downtown - preferably to Pike Place? Since I have lots of time before my red-eye flight back home was going to do some more exploring and while I could take a lyft (though I'll definitely be out there by 8:30AM thank you for that helpful tidbit!) figured a shuttle without a tour might also be easy. Thanks again!!
  20. Wow! Do they have a separate line if you are grabbing a lyft/cab to downtown? Is there a shuttle by chance? I have a red red eye back east so was planning to use port valet and then head downtown to hang out for a bit.
  21. I'll be heading on Ovation for the the Alaska June 21 departure and am curious what type of gym equipment there is. I assume treadmills and weights but are there ellipticals and arc trainers? Also, I thought I read at one point it was extremely crowded but curious what the current cruisers think. Just trying to wrap my head around what will be available as I probably won't take a class. Thanks!
  22. Thank you for all of this information, both with embarking and departing, so helpful.
  23. Oh interesting about the shared ride and shuttle van (didn't even think about a shuttle van to go downtown). Does it become chaotic with all of the lyft vehicles or is it pretty seamless? Thank you for all of this information, greatly appreciated!
  24. Would this be the same line to stand on if I were going to Pike Place or does that get separated out? I have time for some exploring after the cruise, planning to use Port Valet, so thought it would be good to go downtown and also hit the Underground tour. I assume that would be metered and that the ship doesn't do just a dropoff downtown. Or am I better off using a different service?
  25. I have a good quality Nikon waterproof camera in red (if I drop it I can easily find it) that has given me great shots while whitewater rafting in the Grand Canyon, playing in the ocean and beach in Aruba, hiking in Utah and good snow pictures when out and about. It's a great camera to have, especially depending on your excursions, so you don't have to worry about it getting wet or dropping it. Fast, lots of frame choices including motion, ocean, sand, etc. It's also very compact though I do recommend getting the floating strap if you are doing any water excursions.
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