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To RuthC: re solo cruising


lazey1
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Ruth I remember reading a post from you several years ago about cruising solo, meeting and making new friends etc. If I recall correctly you made about 8 or 10 points including sitting at the piano bar with a big smile on your face. I am unable to find that post now that I need it.

 

If you recall the post I would certainly appreciate your letting me know how to resurrect it and copy it.

 

Other new widows or widowers may also appreciate your insight.

 

If you prefer please e-mail me at ...themanginos.at.cox.net.

 

Thank you, Jane aka Lazey1

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When you say "'other' new widows" I take it that you recently joined the Widows' Club. I am sorry for your loss---it's a toughie, but you will get through it. You will.

 

As to that post, I really don't remember it, so I can't even estimate when it was. I wouldn't know how to search it out, either. But! Not all is lost. :) I still remember how to get out there and join in when it's so terribly hard to do.

Is that what you're asking?

 

Swallow hard and move forward. Be friendly and outgoing, even if that is not what you are comfortable doing.

When in a lounge, do not sit alone at a table, if you are capable of climbing up on a barstool. Others at the bar will chat with you, but at a table others are unlikely to ask to join you. Once you meet up with a few people, you will all look for each other.

When going to the show, find an open seat near people, and start chatting. Same thing with lectures, before the movie---whatever.

Join in the fun and games, such as Trivia. Walk up to a team that is sort on players, and ask to join. If the first people are waiting for others, keep trying until you find a team.

 

Sit at a larger table in the dining room or Lido. Ask if a seat is open when others are sitting, and don't be afraid to initiate conversations. If you are more reserved, have a mental list of topics to bring up.

 

Take time to be alone when you need to. We all need our quiet time, and even more so when you are new at this alone thing.

 

Hope this is what you are looking for. If so, happy to try to help. If not :o, then please ask some more specific questions, and I'm sure there will be plenty of help.

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I don't cruise solo but on sailings where we haven't had a large group of friends going, getting to know folks at dinner those first couple nights can be key. Get to know them (and sometimes even your next door neighbors up at your room... maybe a hi when you hear voices on the other side of the divider... can be a great "gateway" :)

 

While I can't say I've cruised by myself, I hope that advice may be helpful in relative terms

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I am not Ruth C, but I do cruise solo. However, I am not a "joiner" (no bridge, knitting, trivia, etc.), so these are the ways I manage to meet people.

 

ALWAYS join the Roll Call. It is nice to know some faces and names before boarding.

 

Join private excursions for at least the first couple of ports. This reinforces acquaintances made on the Roll Call and may lead to closer friendships and invitations to join others with similar interests for lunch/dinner.

 

If taking HAL excursions, try to choose a consistent theme (cooking classes, art museums, wine tastings, etc.) By the second excursion one recognizes fellow passengers from the first excursion. Bonus: similar interests.

 

And my favorite: Attend the Sip and Savor (Even if you drink gingerale!) I don't know if these gatherings are held on the larger ships, but I have met my best cruise friends (You know who you are!) over before dinner drinks in the relaxed, more intimate atmosphere of the Sip and Savor.

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In few years, my dream will be to cruise all around the world almost the third of the year… And yes : I am a solo cruiser ! :)

 

Holacanada (we had some snow today) from Quebec City !

Edited by holacanada
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I wrote the following after my first solo cruise without DH. I hope it helps you. I have since done 5 more solo cruise totaling just under 100 days.

 

From November 2013:

My first solo cruise was on the Eurodam “Atlantic Coast” October 12th – 27th, 2013.

 

Before leaving I had read all the threads with advice about the first cruise without DH or DW and cruising solo. I thought instead of a cruise review, I’d write about my experience as a solo and what I learned.

 

I lost my DH 17 months ago after 40 years of marriage. I did a cruise in March 2013 with my 21 year old niece but felt I needed to cruise alone to move forward.

 

Prior to the cruise I joined our Roll Call and signed up for a few of the independent tours. I, also, made it known that this was my first solo cruise. The people on my roll call were very encouraging.

 

We had an informal meeting at sailaway and a Meet and Greet on the first sea day. At both occasions, I introduced myself to as many people as I could.

 

I made solo reservations at the Caneletto, Le Cirque Dinner, Sommelier Dinner, and the Tamarind. I requested Late Fixed Dinner and a table for 6. Unfortunately, the first night, there were 2 of us at our table and we were told the others had switched to open dining. We were moved to a table of 8. This worked out very well. My dinner companion for the first night was also a solo cruiser. He joined me at the Tamarind and Le Cirque dinners. At the Canaletto I decided to eat alone despite an invitation to join another table. At the Sommelier dinner, I was placed at a table of 8 and it was very enjoyable.

 

Everywhere I went I introduced myself and people were very friendly.

 

I had cocktails at different bars before dinner. I went to shows. I played cards in the casino. I joined a trivia team. I took advantage of pretty much everything the ship had to offer. And everywhere I talked to people.

 

I did have a few bouts of grieving in my cabin but I had expected that. The first night going into dinner was exceptionally tough. Actually, the toughest time was after leaving the ship. Flying home and entering my home was very rough.

 

Overall, I had a great time on the cruise. I met some fabulous people who I will keep in touch with. I have booked a 21-day solo cruise in June 2014.

 

My advice to others is that you need to put yourself out there. No one is going to come up and talk to you. You need to start the conversation. Not everyone will want to talk to you. That’s OK, there are plenty of people who are open and friendly.

 

Expect times of sadness. It is part of the process.

But mostly, take advantage of everything that the cruise has to offer. My feeling is that my DH would want me to live the rest of my life to the fullest so I am.

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RuthC

 

That is the post I was referring to and I thank you so much. Your initial response here is exactly what I was looking for. I am going to follow your advise as much as I can. I have always been a rather shy person but I realize that now I have to be more social and outgoing.

 

To answer your unasked question my husband Gary passed away on 9/21/15 exactly 5 weeks after our 57th wedding anniversary. His health had been failing for several years. Our last cruise togather was a r/t San Diego/Lima, Peru/San Diego. Trisha and Virgil were also on that cruise and both men were so ill that we wondered which one would pass first. As it turned out Virgil was first and I tried to lend some support to Trisha.

 

I have taken a grief recovery class that was an amazing help and I am coping well, at least for the most part. I know there will continue to be good times and bad. Yes, I will continue getting through it.

 

I have followed you here on cruise critic for years and always found your responses to be spot on. Your advise will help me to avoid excessive loneliness.

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Elsie

 

Thank you very much for sharing your experience with me. You have some excellent suggestions. I am planning to reserve LeCirque Dinner and the Pinnacle for dinner solo. I hope that I will be fortunate enough to join people at other tables. I do not like eating out alone. Thank goodness for my brother in law. He and his wife take me to dinner about once a week, frequently along with his adult sons.

 

So far the most difficult thing I have done is to return to going to church after a multi year absence. That first time I didn't want to go and drove around the block three times crying before I got enough courage to go in. Something was just forcing me, I believe that God was behind me pushing.

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Thank you to all the others who have answered my post. I have joined the roll-call for the Aug. cruise. Unfortunately it is extremely slow and small. I have probably given to much information in my other responses. This time I won't do that.

Edited by lazey1
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Just did my 1st solo cruise and it was the world cruise. It was tough to make the decision to do it as a solo as very recently alone. Ruth has excellent points but wanted to add a few items. Most cruises have a singles lunch now and again which is a good place to meet others. Have to admit, it was a bit tough the 1st night in the dining room between walking in alone and wondering about table mates but Ruth is so right about just take a deep breath and jump in. It all worked out well! Did take more HAL tours than usual for safety reasons but usually found great people on the tours. Not a knitter but like the Explorer's Lounge in the morning to work on my puzzles and after a while was 'adopted' by some of the handicraft people. Recommend you take classes as I made a good friend in the Microsoft class. Have found something as simple as saying good morning to someone sitting around the pool, out on deck, etc. proved fruitful. It is amazing how many people do NOT smile but respond well when someone smiles at them.

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lazey1: I hope you have a wonderful cruise. I have mostly travelled solo, except when I have travelled with a large family group. The advice of the others is excellent. Some roll calls are better than others, but even small groups have informal get-togethers, often on the first sailaway evening.

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Be an outgoing soul and you will have lots of willing companions for breakfast, lunch, dinner.

 

Never met RuthC, but people kept talking about her on our last cruise -- "Oh, look! There's Ruth!" Never saw her without a table of 4-8.

 

Hugs to you all -- you have friends on board.

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Thank you to RuthC and the others who have contributed to this thread. I am not a solo traveler, but over the years, I have observed a growing number of solo travelers on cruise ships. It has always been kind of challenging when the world seems to be all "coupled up." The suggestions and commentary in this forum have been useful for me, as I think my wife and I can be much more outgoing and sociable when meeting and interacting with future solo travelers. Thanks, so much, folks!

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I just want to add that, for Team Trivia, if you don't have a team and are shy about finding a team, just go up to the CD and he/she can ask over the mic if there are any teams still needing members. Our CD did that almost every day on our recent Zaandam cruise. Teams that had availability just let them know. It'll save the going around from team to team looking for one to join, not to mention the feeling of rejection should the team be waiting for their members to arrive.

 

I hope you have a wonderful cruise!

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I wasn't travelling solo on our last cruise but DD and I have very different down time interests. Mine very much involve wandering aimlessly or sitting in the sun reading. That said, everywhere I wandered or sat, I found people to make friendly conversation. We were on more active excursions and so were several other groups. We became excursion buddies. Even in the Lido - which I don't recommend for meeting people because of its cafeteria style eat-and-go - we chatted up the next table. It was outside on the deck so there was a more relaxed pace. Despite being very used to going places on my own, I still find it hard to go into a bar by myself. It's my upbringing, but this next cruise it's on my "cowgirl up" list. There are people on vacation who want to keep themselves to themselves (and sometimes that's me) but I found people with common interests or who were in the relax phase of the trip were more than eager to strike up a conversation. I think the alone time in the cabin will be hardest. Stay up late and go in when you're tired! Have a morning latte in Explorations. Go to afternoon tea. It's a lovely way to fit in an afternoon conversation. Lots of people were joining others when we were in there. Do you like puzzles? There seems to be a puzzle group. If you like a morning stretch, I bet the same people go to that every day. Maybe I'll check that out on my next cruise. And if you happen to see a woman sitting alone either frowning deep in thought, engrossed in her tablet or watching the world with a smiling resting face, that's me. Pull up a chair, say hello and we will have a chin wag, even if it's brief!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums mobile app

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For the last thirty years, all of my cruises and land tours have been with my husband. I'm posting here because many of the people we've enjoyed spending time with on these trips have been traveling solo. Thank you.

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My condolences for those learning the solo life after many years of coupleness. I have been on my own for a number of years now, and even when married, due to hubby being in the Navy, was often on my own. I learned self reliance early on and since I am just a little different, with just a few different hobbies to family and friends, it was either do it alone or not at all. I was encouraged by parents and husband to do something new if and when I wanted to even if it was doing it alone.

I think we have to accept that at times in our lives we will have to be on our own. Whether it is leaving the family home as a young adult, due to divorce or death of a partner; or by choice. I think the greatest gift we can give ourselves is the chance to do things (and particularly travel) independently. It provides self confidence, coping skills and a broader view of the world given that you are less focused on your travel mate and more open to experiences. I often suggest starting your 'solo skills' when you are still in a partnership. Do still do everything yourself, as far as planning goes, but you will still have a rooting team behind you and a comfort zone to return to. Encourage your partner to do this too. But if you are on your own and learning, think of all the decisions you make confidently every day. Take those skills and put them to travel planning.

A first solo trip can be scary. You will feel vulnerable - but think of the skills you may learn and the confidence you develop as you try something new every day. You most likely will find that you are less a pariah and more a nice, friendly person that other people will welcome to visit with. Or you might find your best travel companion turns out to be - you.

Edited by mef_57
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I would agree with the other posters. I always travel solo and have enjoyed every cruise. I do join the roll call and partake in the team trivia and have met some very nice people that way. Also, I use the my time dining and when dining in the MDR will join another table whenever possible. It is a nice way to meet a lot of different people, and have found most of HAL's passengers to be very friendly and welcoming to a solo who joins them for dinner. I like to read a lot when cruising so you can also meet people in the library or on deck if you are sitting with a good book.

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I've been traveling solo for just over a year as a widower, spending 113 days on cruise ships since July of last year. What has worked for me is eating breakfast every morning in the dinning room for the first several days, joining large tables. I also use my time dinning for dinner which almost always results in a full table of people to meet. There is generally a singles and solo reception the first evening where I make it a point to introduce myself to as many people as possible. There are also singles and solo lunch(s) that are great for learning about common interests.

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This has been a most interesting thread. I am not a solo cruiser, but on our last cruise, dh decided to golf at two ports so I was alone all day. I don't mind being alone, but this thread has given me some ideas on how to become better acquainted with people since I am not very outgoing. I did join in on Trivia and enjoyed it so that was a first for me. Thanks again for all the great suggestions here.

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This is a very sweet and lovely thread. I am not a solo cruiser but just wanted to say how much I appreciated reading the thoughts of those who do cruise solo. It also has alerted me to be aware and caring of those I might see in this position on our upcoming cruise. Thank you all.

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Again I thank all of you who have responded to my plea for guidance. I had read about the solo's/singles lunch but completely forgotten about it. Trivia is something I would enjoy although I would not be any good with contemporary movies etc. I love the afternoon Indonesian tea and I can certainly try out the others.

I am quite self sufficient in that I had to do all the planning for travel, scheduling all medical appointments, keep up with hubby's prescription medications (over 30) and my own (14), and in general being a caregiver for someone who was still functioning, barely.

After being 1/2 of a couple for over 3/4 of my life I really didn't know how to reach out to others as a solo.

I am also grateful that some of you who are part of a couple are enjoying and participating in this thread.

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