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christinand

Solo Cruisers on Holland America

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I've read that holland america has solo activities. Do you find they have quite a few and did this make your cruise more enjoyable? Do they match up solo diners?

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I have only traveled on Holland America Line and cannot compare with other lines. I describe the solo organizing as low key. There is one perhaps two meet ups formally scheduled early during the cruise. After that, it is up to the passengers to arrange events and visits, say all going to the piano bar one evening together, or to have evening dining together. The most popular and well attended is a singles lunch during a sea day, which is formally listed in the Daily Schedule cards/on-line app. Upon arrival at the MDR, state that you are a solo and you are  sent to the singles reserved tables.

 

I have never seen an evening solos dining arranged by HAL. You do not have to be a true solo traveler to participate. A single in a larger group is equally invited to the single/solo events. You just cannot bring your 8 married cousins with children along. 😱

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Sorry, I did not mean to imply that your cousins are married to each other. OOOPS! 😂 😱

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Is that lunch only for singles or those of us that are not single but cruising solo for whatever reason ? 

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It's singles & solos.  Marital status isn't a requirement.  

 

Sue/WDW1972

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24 minutes ago, Lovely other said:

Is that lunch only for singles or those of us that are not single but cruising solo for whatever reason ? 

The lunch is a set of reserved tables in Main Dining Room during one of the sea days. The MDR is typically only open for lunch on sea days. And yes, even two married people travelling without spouses, sharing a cabin, would be solos. There is not a formal check to confirm.

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3 hours ago, christinand said:

I've read that holland america has solo activities. Do you find they have quite a few and did this make your cruise more enjoyable? Do they match up solo diners?

 

As someone else mentioned, the HAL-organized solo events are very low key -- they're listed in the daily bulletin, so you can decide whether or not to participate.  If the cruise has an active Cruise Critic Roll Call, sometimes singles events are planned within the Roll Call.  We did this on last summer's Voyage of the Vikings -- 38 days, VERY active Roll Call -- two dinners planned and booked for the solo travelers in the group.  

 

I tend to be rather independent and somewhat of an introvert, and I've been traveling solo since the mid-1980s (on business as well as pleasure), so a lot of planned solo activities wouldn't necessarily make the cruise more enjoyable for me.  Meeting folks on excursions, at wine tastings, in a lecture or presentation, etc. seems to work best for me.

 

Solo dining -- they won't match you up (one possible exception -- more on that later), but if you sign up for "anytime" dining when you book your cruise, you can just show up for dinner and indicate that you're willing to share a table.  They'll seat you where there's room, so you'll likely end up at a table with one or two other solos plus one or two couples.  That worked for me as I got to meet quite a few folks, and since I tended to eat about the same time every evening, after a few days there was a good chance I would be seated with at least one person I had met at an earlier dinner.

 

The one exception: on my last cruise at breakfast, they tended to seat all the solo females at the same table(s).  At first, I thought it was just random -- the luck of the draw so to speak.  But it happened 5 times -- 6 or 8 solo ladies seated at the same table for breakfast.  Not a problem -- we had fun and of course, the food was good.  But it just seemed a little ... strange.  It happened only on this last cruise -- the previous two HAL cruises handled breakfast table assignments the same as dinner for "anytime" diners.

 

Different cruise lines handle the "solo traveler" situation a little differently -- some take a very "hands-on" approach with lots of scheduled activities, parties, etc.; and others provide a minimal more low-key set of activities.  Regent Seven Seas, for example, has a daily pre-dinner "happy hour" for solos in one of the lounges hosted by the "Social Hostess" and one or more of the officers, staff, or entertainment production folks, and then those that want to can proceed to the main dining room for dinner together.

 

Lana in Bellingham, WA

 

 

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Does it vary a lot by ship?

 

i am looking at a solo snowbird on either Zuiderdam, Zaandam, Veendam or Caribbean Princess.  Any of them stands out?  

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