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AndyB

Cruising Solo - Christmas Markets

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After many years of ocean cruising, I've booked my first river cruise on Ama Waterways, Iconic Christmas Markets this December.  I'm a fairly experienced solo traveler, but I gather the experience on a river cruise is unique.   In the past I have arranged my own excursions, but this time expect to rely on those planned by Ama.  So I think for on-shore activities I'll be fine.  More concerned about evenings.  I've seen a few reviews mention that many passengers are part of large family or other groups, with not a lot of mingling.   I'd hate to be the "lonely single" at dinner every night.  I'd appreciate any insights from veterans of river cruising.  How do solo travelers fare?   

 

Andrea

North Carolina

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Hi Andrea,

 

I did a Christmas Markets cruise on a different line (Crystal) last year solo. I met people early on the cruise and had dinner with them several nights and also ate with others. I was never alone - so no worries. Everyone is friendly and since the ship is much smaller - you get to know people quicker and see them more often on a river boat and tours.

 

We had many full day tours and then I went to dinner from 7-9ish most nights. After, people often gathered in the bar and sometimes they had themes in the bar in the evening. We had just been to Salzburg so one night they had Sound of Music Singalong and trivia which was fun. Many nights - I would go back to my cabin and check email or watch a movie. Also, if you are in town at night - it is pretty seeing the Christmas Markets with lights on at night. They are not open that late but since it gets dark around 6 - it leaves another option of things to do at night.

 

Not sure this helps as it has been awhile since I have been on Amawaterways to answer. I don't think you will have any problems on your trip. I think river cruises are great for solos traveling.

 

Theresa

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Andrea,

 

Are you concerned there won't be mingling because Christmas cruises have groups and families, or river cruises in general?  I've never done a Christmas Market cruise, but have sailed solo on Uniworld (similar to AMA) 3 times and have found the other passengers to be friendly and welcoming.  One time there was a group of 30+ Brazilians that didn't mingle, but that was because of the language barrier.  

 

I would highly recommend you take the included excursions.  First of all, you've already paid for them, and second, it's another way to meet and get to know your fellow passengers.  

 

I agree with Coral that river cruises are great for solo traveling.

 

Roz

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I can't imagine river cruisers would let anyone eat solo who didn't want to eat solo. Or share seating in the lounge or share conversations on excursions. As noted, these are small groups who interact at the slightest encouragement 😉 (I say that as an introvert - I had to sit outside in the cold or stay in my cabin if I wanted privacy 😉

 

I can't recall if we ate with solo travellers on our Avalon Christmas cruise, but we chose a large table almost every evening and ate with many different people! 

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Thanks for the responses.  I haven't been on any rivers cruises before, so I only mentioned it's a Christmas Markets cruise in case there is a different passenger mix.  I absolutely plan to take the included excursions, and it's nice to hear that I won't likely feel the odd one out.  Thanks for easing my mind!

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We certainly had more family (extended/generational) on our Christmas markets cruise than I think is common at other times of year, from what I've read here. (we were there with parents, so there were 6 of us - but 5 people were sick at various times so we almost never dined as just the 6 of us and in fact my husband and I dined with strangers quite often....)

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Hi Andrea.... I smiled solo on AMA back in 2016 and felt very welcomed.  I REALLY want to take another one but never booked for one reason or another.

Right now I am sitting in JFK after my first Azamara cruise.  Flight leaves at 4:30. Anyway

I hope you have a great cruise.

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Oh......for anyone interested.....my Azamara cruise was good BUT not great

I had multiple issues and yes, I brought them to management's attention. MOST were attended to........

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1 hour ago, Lois R said:

Oh......for anyone interested.....my Azamara cruise was good BUT not great

I had multiple issues and yes, I brought them to management's attention. MOST were attended to........

When you get home - I will be curious to read your thoughts.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Coral said:

When you get home - I will be curious to read your thoughts.

Coral,

 

If you go over to the Azmara board, you can read Lois' "live from" account.

 

Roz

Edited by Roz

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Just now, Roz said:

Coral,

 

If you go over to the Azmara board, you can read Lois' "live from" account.

 

Roz

Thanks - I just found it.

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1 hour ago, Lois R said:

Oh......for anyone interested.....my Azamara cruise was good BUT not great

I had multiple issues and yes, I brought them to management's attention. MOST were attended to........

Lois,

 

I read some of your posts.  Sorry you had a less than stellar experience.  I trust your judgement and know you're not one to find fault with every little thing.  Disappointing when we pay a premium to sail solo.

 

Roz

 

P.S. Andrea, sorry to hijack your thread!

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16 minutes ago, Roz said:

Lois,

 

I read some of your posts.  Sorry you had a less than stellar experience.  I trust your judgement and know you're not one to find fault with every little thing.  Disappointing when we pay a premium to sail solo.

 

Roz

 

P.S. Andrea, sorry to hijack your thread!

Andrea - apologizes also!

 

Lois - I really was WOWed by both my Crystal Ocean and Crystal River. Service on both outstanding and so was food. My single supplement on my Crystal River was 125% but it was a last minute booking (2 months before). I walked out not having a balance on my Crystal River cruise (even the cool excursions were included). 

 

Sorry about your cruise. I hope to meet you on a cruise in the future!

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13 hours ago, Coral said:

Thanks - I just found it.

I am pretty new to Cruise Critic and we have been thinking of an Azamara cruise down the track.  I tried to find your reviews but couldn't.

Could you please provide a link or explain how to find it.

Thanks in advance.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, djh1959 said:

I am pretty new to Cruise Critic and we have been thinking of an Azamara cruise down the track.  I tried to find your reviews but couldn't.

Could you please provide a link or explain how to find it.

Thanks in advance.

Here are Lois's comments about her cruise: 

  

Edited by Coral

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21 hours ago, Coral said:

Here are Lois's comments about her cruise: 

  

Thanks very much.  Looking forward to reading it.

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Wow, Lois, I'm sorry to hear about your issues on Azamara.  They've been on my list to try once my son is no longer traveling with me.   And he's working now and heading off to college soon, so that time has come.

 

And to all, absolutely not a problem to hijack this thread.  I'm still getting a lot out of it.  And while the river cruise will be my first solo in about 20 years, it won't be my last - so I'm very interested in learning about how experience solo travelers handle things.  Thanks for all the great input.

 

Andrea

 

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Thank you for asking this question.  My mom has a river cruise on her bucket list and we found that Avalon has no single supplement and is reasonably priced so she is hoping to book for 2020.  She was a little worried about this as well.  Thank you to all who replied and I will let her know your answers.  🙂 

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I just booked a River cruise:classic_biggrin: going on UNIWORLD and sailing on the River Po in Venice, Italy:classic_biggrin:

Sailing in October!

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17 hours ago, Lois R said:

I just booked a River cruise:classic_biggrin: going on UNIWORLD and sailing on the River Po in Venice, Italy:classic_biggrin:

Sailing in October!

 

Lois, that sounds awesome.  I've never been to Venice.  I may have to look for a last-minute deal this summer - I don't care where to!  But December is a long way away, and I miss being on a ship!

 

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