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Kwakwa630

First solo - will I be out of place?

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I am going on my first solo cruise this December (second cruise ever) on NCL Getaway. I am a woman in my mid-30s, and I'm worried that even among the solos, I will be out of place age-wise.

 

I plan on going to the solo get-togethers because I'm somewhat introverted and if I don't, I know I'll just be by myself all day, and I don't want that. 

 

I'm going either way, but would love input as to whether I'm going to stock out like a sore thumb. If so, I'd just like to mentally prepare myself. 

 

Thanks for any input you can give 🙂

 

 

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I went on my first solo cruises earlier this year.  Im introverted as well.  I'd have to say my first cruise what fun and exciting, the second not as much.  The first cruise there were alot of solos that attended the solo gatherings, met some great people and really had a great time.  The second cruise, a longer cruise, I was the only solo that showed for the solo gatherings and wasn't so much fun, until the last few days.  Since there weren't solos on that cruise i didnt figure out until the last few days that you have to make opportunities for interaction to happen, they won't happen automatically.  On the 8th day of the 11 day cruise I realized, even though being an introvert, I had to take the initiative to make what so far had been a miserable, lonely cruise something rewarding.  My last few days I'd have to say were great.   Takes you from your comfort zone, but the reward is worth it!

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Not at all if you make an effort to say hi to others. I did that on the excursions, when sitting by the pool, sitting down for lunch/dinner. I also brought books with me for reading by the pool and eating, went on excursions where I said hi to people and sometimes you just end up seeing people to say hi. 

People had two reactions when they found out I was solo which are usually the same ones whenever I travel solo. 1) Wow that’s incredible and shows so much strength. A lot wishing they could also do it. 2) Absolute shock that anybody would travel solo, they just couldn’t think of being alone. 

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I haven't been on the Breakaway but I was solo on the sister ship Getaway this past February.  They had a great solo program.  Although there were more seniors than young folks, there were several young people there too and the solo host/hostess tends to be younger.  I will be 70 soon but we all got along well from 20s to 80s.  When the "kids" danced in contests, we geezers were their cheering section.  Since the contests were decided by the cheering from the crowd, our group had an advantage.

I hope you have a fantastic cruise.

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10 hours ago, NSnJW said:

I haven't been on the Breakaway but I was solo on the sister ship Getaway this past February.  They had a great solo program.  Although there were more seniors than young folks, there were several young people there too and the solo host/hostess tends to be younger.  I will be 70 soon but we all got along well from 20s to 80s.  When the "kids" danced in contests, we geezers were their cheering section.  Since the contests were decided by the cheering from the crowd, our group had an advantage.

I hope you have a fantastic cruise.

Thank you! This is the kind of info I was looking for, so I hope it's the same when I go. 🙂

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Good morning, I have been sailing solo since 2003 and LOVE IT.  I can only speak from my experiences and I am not in a position to tell you how to feel or not feel but I have found most cruisers to be a friendly bunch:classic_biggrin:.  The cruise offers all different activities and you can decide what appeals to you and join in (if you want).  They have cooking demos/trivia/etc.....(just to give you 2 examples).

 

Some cruise lines offer "solo get togethers" and you can go (or not).    But as for feeling out of place? Go with an open mind and plan on having a good time.  I think taking a cruise solo for the first time may give some folks a pause but once you get on board the ship? You will see what its all about...….good food, service, you unpack once and it is all good.:classic_biggrin:

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I sailed solo on Bliss (a similar ship) in April.  I guess I have a little easier time conversing with new people than I thought.  I'm a guy in my late 30's and was the 3rd-youngest in the group, by a good margin but generally age didn't matter as far as having lively conversation.  MOST of the people were very nice, there was a group that was looking to fill out their dinner reservation that night so I joined and we had a GREAT time.

 

One of the other things that helped was that I joined the roll call for my trip and that group organized a solo-cruisers lunch on embarkation day so I got to meet some folks right away (one of whom was also in the Studios).

 

You're in luck though, NCL probably has one of the most organized solo travelers programs on the ships with the Studio cabins and lounge.

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My last solo was on the breakaway in April.  I did go to the solo gathering on the first night, but found it just as easy to meet folks elsewhere.  I smoke cigars, so I hung out in the cigar lounge and saw the same people just about every night there.  Also met nice people while playing in the casino and hanging in the hot tub.  I never felt awkward or out of place.  You'll be amazed at how easy it is to meet people and how nice strangers are.

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I agree with all that has been said before.  Cruisers in general seem to be a friendly and welcoming bunch.  Post in your Roll Call thread regularly, check to see if anyone wants to share a taxi or join in on an excursion, and ask to be placed at larger tables at meals, when possible.  

Don't limit yourself to "solo" gatherings, either -- when a bigger group of people are gathered around a table at a bar, it's not so much about "being part of a couple" so much as just being a part of the group as a whole.  Go to trivia games, karaoke, port talks.... pretty much any venue can be a great place to meet folks.  

I now cruise a couple times a year with friends I met on a cruise a few years ago, and later this week I'm going on a wedding cruise for a friend I met on a cruise back in 2013 (went on his brother's wedding cruise in 2015, too). 

Back in the day, I was on a cruise when I was 17yo, and two of my two best friends on that cruise were a couple of 70-something year old men who were cruising with their wives.  The ladies would go off and play bridge or whatever during the day, and I'd often hang out with the guys on deck, telling jokes and listening to their life stories.  (I'm glad that I grew up in an age when that type of relationship was allowed to happen... they were nothing but grandfatherly towards me, but in this day and age, they'd probably be called dirty old men for socializing with a teenager.)  

All of this to say, solo cruising is what you make of it.  Making typical cruise small-talk (where are you from, do you cruise often, what's your occupation, blah blah blah) will generally morph quite naturally into actual conversation if you're among compatible folks.  Age, income, gender, ethnicity... those things don't matter -- you're all on a ship and there to have a good time.

 

 

 

 

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You picked a good ship- I went on around 5 that had the studios etc. Besides the solo activites participate in others as well and you will meet people. Also, its your vacation so do what makes you happy. I never felt out of place at all. Also, remember you won't ever likely see any of the people ever again unless you want to so relax and enjoy. 

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On 9/15/2019 at 7:16 PM, brillohead said:

All of this to say, solo cruising is what you make of it.  Making typical cruise small-talk (where are you from, do you cruise often, what's your occupation, blah blah blah) will generally morph quite naturally into actual conversation if you're among compatible folks.  Age, income, gender, ethnicity... those things don't matter -- you're all on a ship and there to have a good time.

 

In my experience, "what do you do?", nearly the most common small talk question on land, almost never gets brought up on my cruises.  Among most people I talked to, I still have no idea what they do for work.  Other times, the line of work is mentioned once, then gets pretty much ignored.  Although, I used my occupation, which is IT professional, as an explanation for why I won't use my phone or the Fun Hub app on the ship: "It reminds me of my job."

 

The question I always ask is "How did you pick [ship's name]?"  It always starts interesting conversations that give me insights into people's mindsets.  And a lot people said they've heard of Cruise Critic when I mention it.

 

Going into the psychology aspect, it's not what you say, it's how you say it.  "Own" your solo cruising status; don't try to justify it, explain it away, or worse, act apologetic about it.  Talk about it with the same assertive nonchalance as you would if you went with your significant other or friends.  I've done that; no one reacted negatively, and one person even praised me for doing it.  If someone gets critical with you about it, just shrug and make a "whatever..." facial expression.

 

The only problematic situation is if someone gives you the old "oh, bless your heart".  It's often meant as a put-down with plausible deniability.  But even then, you can brush them off with: "Given what I've been doing on this cruise, no blessing is going to save me!" in a deadpan tone.

Edited by LandlockedCruiser01

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So true- have never encountered any of the "what do you do"- only came up in discussion briefly with people I had bonded with.

Also, everyone is there to have a good time and I was never asked if I was there alone. You'll find on the -away class ships people are friendly and no one cares.

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You know, I think this thread is incredibly helpful for me.  I kind of wish there was a board specifically for the introverted solo cruiser because I feel like we are a different breed of cruiser.  I am going on my first cruise in December, and what drew me in was my manager talking about the ability to completely disconnect (if you want) and feel somewhat pampered.  Someone serving drinks, good food, room service...It all sounded heavenly to me.  So, I booked a week long cruise on the Norwegian Joy.

 

I went with a minisuite/balcony because I need time to myself.  Away from the crowds and on my own.  I will be the guy looking for that quiet area of the ship.  

 

To me, the important things are to feel pampered, so I can relax, read a book, stare out at the ocean, sea air...I don't really care about the ports, except for the fact that I hear the ship is empty on those port days.  

 

As for eating-I am not sure how I will manage that.  I don't want to join a group and be the odd one out.  I guess I will figure that out when I get there.  

 

I should say I am in my mid 40s, male, pleasantly plump, and LGBT.  Add in anti-social, on a cruise, with 4500 strangers...making of a Lifetime movie right there.  

 

Cruising Introverts (quietly) Unite!  🙂 

Edited by nyc2pdx

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15 minutes ago, nyc2pdx said:

As for eating-I am not sure how I will manage that.  I don't want to join a group and be the odd one out.  I guess I will figure that out when I get there.  

 

This is exactly the piece I'm worried about. I'm good to be by myself the rest of the time, but I don't want to ALWAYS eat by myself...

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14 minutes ago, nyc2pdx said:

As for eating-I am not sure how I will manage that.  I don't want to join a group and be the odd one out.  I guess I will figure that out when I get there.  

You definitely don't have to join a group for eating. On my Royal trip I never did. I ate in the buffet area looking at the ocean, at a couple restaurants with my book, or in the dining room (though that wasn't my favorite) all on my own. You only have to join/converse if you would like to. Otherwise you just do what you would like to do and how you feel comfortable.

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8 minutes ago, Kwakwa630 said:

 

This is exactly the piece I'm worried about. I'm good to be by myself the rest of the time, but I don't want to ALWAYS eat by myself...

ok ok...I'll go on your cruise too and we can eat together.  You drive a hard bargain!  😉 

 

Honestly though, I think I will get through by doing the buffet.  Several years back I went to Thailand on a whim by myself and had an amazing time.  No one to disagree with, and I did exactly what I wanted.  I ate on my own many times, and read a book or got tips from the wait staff.

 

Remember, there is alcohol flowing, so that helps with a lot of the awkwardness 😉

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30 minutes ago, nyc2pdx said:

ok ok...I'll go on your cruise too and we can eat together.  You drive a hard bargain!  😉 

Dooooo it

 

9 nights on the Getaway in December. Super cheap! 😉

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Just now, Kwakwa630 said:

Dooooo it

 

9 nights on the Getaway in December. Super cheap! 😉

I'm already on the Joy in December from LA to Mexico!  It can't get here fast enough.  75 days.

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1 hour ago, nyc2pdx said:

I'm already on the Joy in December from LA to Mexico!  It can't get here fast enough.  75 days.

So close yet so far! I'm 79 days!

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Been cruising solo for years and love it!  Agree that dining can be troublesome if you don't care to eat by yourself.  Some ships/maitre d's have done a terrific job of seating solos together, others haven't seemed to bother.  Speak with the dining room representative on embarkation day and see if you can get a feel for the makeup of your table.  If it's mostly families, see if there is an option to change.  When in doubt, I'm always happy by myself with a book at the buffet.

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So far, every NCL ship I have been on, there was no problem about having to eat alone at least for supper.  They all had evening solo meets and then those who wished were led by the solo host/hostess to one of the restaurants and seated together.   

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This is a wonderful thread; thank you to those who've posted.

 

I'm taking my first solo cruise in December and have sort of an opposite question...  I do NOT necessarily want to dine with anyone else.  I love meeting new people but also love being alone.  Do you feel like the staff treat you oddly if you eat alone in the MDR?  (This will be Azamara if it matters.)  I'm sure I'll hit the buffet at times but don't want to feel foreclosed from trying out the MDR or even specialty dining, since it's my first time on this cruise line.

Edited by JMB27

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Hi, I have sailed solo since 2003 and no, I don't think I have been treated oddly by the wait staff if dining alone.  The Mait'rd may ask you if you want to share a table (I sailed with Azamara back in April). Just tell him you prefer to dine on your own.

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10 hours ago, Lois R said:

Hi, I have sailed solo since 2003 and no, I don't think I have been treated oddly by the wait staff if dining alone.  The Mait'rd may ask you if you want to share a table (I sailed with Azamara back in April). Just tell him you prefer to dine on your own.

Lois - do you think that eating in the mdr later is easier for getting a table by yourself?  I'm doing Silver Wind in February and want to enjoy all of the restaurants.  I am also a bit shy so won't ask to sit with others and I don't mind eating alone.  Just wondering if there is a time when restaurants aren't as busy?  Thanks for all of your contributions!

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