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LouieT

Asking for a sister in law...

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What's the best cruise line and destination for a solo traveller? My SIL doesn't drink or is very active. She just wants good food and relax. Any cruise lines with a decent amount of Gluten Free options would be helpful too! TIA!

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I have limited experience with only two solos but I really enjoyed NCL.  Both of the ships I was on has a Solo Lounge that was good for meeting other solos and a quiet place to read.  NCL did a much better job of tending to solos needs compared to Carnival.  Those two cruise lines are my only experience.  Hopefully more experienced people will join in.

I didn't look for gluten free but one of the other solos said she found enough gluten free she could eat on NCL.

If no others chime in, you could ask the cruise line directly or check for a gluten free thread.

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Thank you so much for the information. I will let her know to look at NCL. 

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There is not "One cruise line for all"...…….depends on the person.  I always sail solo but no longer like the "Big Ships" so NCL doesn't appeal to me.  There are a lot of cruiselines out there...NCL, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess, just to name a few.  There are luxury lines, Seabourn, Silversea, and Crystal.....to name a few.

 

I would say to have your sister-in-law speak with a Travel Agent who specializes in cruising. We cannot name agents on here but Google is a good search engine.....or find a local TA and go see one in person.

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Before calling/seeing the travel agent  you/your SIL needs to decide on budget- do you have $2000 or $20,000?- and what destinations interest- Caribbean? Europe? Asia?  And you must be very clear how you define "good food". Huge portions? Pompous and pretentious service? Drinking is not actually required on cruise ships, and you can be inactive on any ship.

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On 5/16/2019 at 9:53 AM, LouieT said:

She just wants good food and relax.

Tell her to look at Crystal -- very good food, very good service, and the supplement for sailing solo is just 30% on a window cabin.  Also a very calm and relaxing environment, with lots of public spaces (inside and outside) to relax and read/draw/do puzzles/whatever, and virtually no announcements.   Mostly all inclusive, which I find adds to my relaxation not to have to consider money, and it also means no sales or up-charges. 

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For me, 'good food' is something I don't have to cook or serve myself.  I am very independent, so don't really care if there is a solo lounge, or activities, but some sea days and nice ports matter.  I tend to wait for 'deals' which tend to appear after final payment is due - 75-90 days prior to sailing.  Long cruises and 'repositioning' cruises are often those undersold meaning better pricing for solo travelers. It does mean incurring air fare that might dissuade others.  If sister lives near a cruiseport, I would look to see what sails into that port and decide what itinerary works for her...then wait it out for price drops.

NCL has a good reputation for solo cruisers.  Not all ships have the solo lounges mentioned about. Smaller ones do not.  But they do offer solo activities and often appeal to friendly folks who will chat regardless of whether on your own or not.  Sometimes even on the bigger NCL ships, the solo cabins sell out or sell at a higher price than an inside cabin sold for solo use.  That solo person can still attend the solo functions and sometimes get into the solo lounge (experiences vary on this).

I was on NCL Dawn 9 day cruise in November and found food good, but never could tell what serving size one was going to receive.  This was in the dining room, which is my preference.

As to gluten free, any ship will accommodate this.  When you book, you indicate your dietary requirement and first day on board, you meet with a kitchen representative.  You will see what the next day's menu is and discuss options.

I have to limit wheat and find I can generally pick from the set menu without having to work with the kitchen staff.

Buffets tend to have gluten free options for desserts and food is appropriately labelled for allergens.

I will back up the recommendation to visit with a cruise knowledgable travel agent.  When returning to cruising as a solo, despite being an experienced, independent solo land traveler, I needed advise. So I met with a specialist, we discussed what i was looking for and we narrowed down the options.  I took away a few books and made travel decisions from there.  I have since learned that there are several lines that will suit me, but it matters more about ship's size, cruise length and having sea days that makes for a more successful cruise - for me.

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I went on an NCL cruise and one of the people in my party was gluten free.  I would highly recommend NCL from that perspective - they did a great job working with her in terms of meal planning - in the MDR as well as with specialty dining.

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