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bhsolo

Just Back from Solo Cruise

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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. 

 

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17 hours ago, bhsolo said:

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. 

 

Sounds like you had a great time. The solarium on an Alaska cruise (particularly if early or late season) would be welcoming.  I will admit that I still prefer the dining room service, but I am not totally averse to the buffet - if it isn't a feeding frenzy of food hogs. I know that is very judgemental, but it too hectic I can't focus on what to choose so I walk away hungry. It isn't relaxing.  When I go off hours - say after missing lunch due to shore time, it seems calmer and I can enjoy any fresh seafoods, sushi or salads.  Being gluten free, I need to take a bit more time to read the ingredients and make the right choices.

I love the Alaska region and am going to have to hold back some vacation and money to do a back to back from Vancouver one year. 

Glad your solo trip was a success!

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2 hours ago, mef_57 said:

Sounds like you had a great time. The solarium on an Alaska cruise (particularly if early or late season) would be welcoming.  I will admit that I still prefer the dining room service, but I am not totally averse to the buffet - if it isn't a feeding frenzy of food hogs. I know that is very judgemental, but it too hectic I can't focus on what to choose so I walk away hungry. It isn't relaxing.  When I go off hours - say after missing lunch due to shore time, it seems calmer and I can enjoy any fresh seafoods, sushi or salads.  Being gluten free, I need to take a bit more time to read the ingredients and make the right choices.

I love the Alaska region and am going to have to hold back some vacation and money to do a back to back from Vancouver one year. 

Glad your solo trip was a success!

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.

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5 hours ago, mef_57 said:

Sounds like you had a great time. The solarium on an Alaska cruise (particularly if early or late season) would be welcoming.  I will admit that I still prefer the dining room service, but I am not totally averse to the buffet - if it isn't a feeding frenzy of food hogs. I know that is very judgemental, but it too hectic I can't focus on what to choose so I walk away hungry. It isn't relaxing.  When I go off hours - say after missing lunch due to shore time, it seems calmer and I can enjoy any fresh seafoods, sushi or salads.  Being gluten free, I need to take a bit more time to read the ingredients and make the right choices.

I love the Alaska region and am going to have to hold back some vacation and money to do a back to back from Vancouver one year. 

Glad your solo trip was a success!

 

On my last cruise that I took solo I did the same thing with dinners. Breakfasts I always did buffet. Lunch was either very early or very late. I deliberately always took a very late dinner in the dining rooms (I never cared for dinner buffets) when it was empty. Service was faster, I could get a table with a view, and it was empty.

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4 minutes ago, FaithPlus1 said:

 

On my last cruise that I took solo I did the same thing with dinners. Breakfasts I always did buffet. Lunch was either very early or very late. I deliberately always took a very late dinner in the dining rooms (I never cared for dinner buffets) when it was empty. Service was faster, I could get a table with a view, and it was empty.

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...

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On 7/8/2019 at 2:25 PM, bhsolo said:

And since this was my trip I did what I wanted.

That's the spirit!

 

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Glad to know you had a great time.  That's the wonderful thing about solo cruising is that you are on your whims and no one else.

I would often get up early to enjoy a cup of coffee and sunrise and later for a nice late breakfast.

On my last cruise was the first time I didn't eat in the dining room except for one sea day brunch.  I had the steakhouse twice and other days buffet which was fine with me.

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On 7/8/2019 at 2:25 PM, bhsolo said:

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.


Just a note, the beds are the same in a balcony room as they are in an inside or oceanview, at least on Royal Caribbean -- two twins that combine into a "Royal king" (with the rounded corners). I know that there's a full king bed in at least one of the suite categories (Grand or Owner's Suite, I believe) that can't be separated into twins, but all the other beds in all the other rooms are the same.

One thing I like to do when traveling solo is have the beds separated and pushed apart with both nightstands in the center.  This makes a little extension of the walking area, and makes the room appear more spacious.

If you like a salad bar, I recommend doing lunch in the Main Dining Room on a sea day on your next cruise -- they have the Tutti Salad Bar where you point out what items you want (large selection of greens, veggies, and proteins) and choose your dressing and they chop/toss the whole thing for you.  It's delicious, and a highlight of every cruise for me!

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And a 15-minute meal in the Main Dining Room is virtually unheard of.  Please do give the MDR another chance on a future sailing!

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10 hours ago, brillohead said:


Just a note, the beds are the same in a balcony room as they are in an inside or oceanview, at least on Royal Caribbean -- two twins that combine into a "Royal king" (with the rounded corners). I know that there's a full king bed in at least one of the suite categories (Grand or Owner's Suite, I believe) that can't be separated into twins, but all the other beds in all the other rooms are the same.

One thing I like to do when traveling solo is have the beds separated and pushed apart with both nightstands in the center.  This makes a little extension of the walking area, and makes the room appear more spacious.

If you like a salad bar, I recommend doing lunch in the Main Dining Room on a sea day on your next cruise -- they have the Tutti Salad Bar where you point out what items you want (large selection of greens, veggies, and proteins) and choose your dressing and they chop/toss the whole thing for you.  It's delicious, and a highlight of every cruise for me!

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. 

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7 hours ago, bhsolo said:

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. 


Sorry, I didn't see if you said you were in a studio room... just thought you were solo in a regular inside room with virtual balcony.

The beds in a regular inside DO separate into twins, but I have never been in a studio room so I will defer to your experience on that.  

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