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Nieuw Statendam

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Hi, how is sailing on HAL solo? Male 64 yrs. Going on Nieuw Statendam.

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HAL's the only cruise line I book these days (tried others, came back to HAL to stay).  I'm 60, but started with HAL in my mid-30's.  Many of my cruises are solo, although sometimes another solo friend books a stateroom on the same cruise.  I've always found HAL great, whether cruising with my husband, with a friend (in her own stateroom), or as a true solo not knowing anyone else on board.  Nieuw Statendam in particular has many great dining options you don't see on the smaller ships, and it has the Music Walk with live music pretty much all night.  The ship is beautiful, too.  The "cons" would be the smaller staterooms as compared to the older HAL ships, and the lack of a wide promenade deck with lounge chairs.  I expected to not like it, but I found the "pros" outweighed those cons for me, so I'll stick with it.  I've got my 3rd on the Koningsdam coming up, and will do Nieuw Statendam for the 2nd time in 2020 - fully confident I'll have a great time as a solo.  

 

Sue/WDW1972

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Hi, I have had multiple solo trips on HAL and enjoyed all of them.  I have another solo trip with them coming up on the Eurodam in early November.  I have not sailed on the newer ships so I can't give you much help with information on them.  I actually prefer the older ships with the full library as I read a lot when I am cruising.  Hope you have a great trip.

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22 hours ago, kcool said:

Hi, how is sailing on HAL solo? Male 64 yrs. Going on Nieuw Statendam.

 

Knowing little about you, only a generic response is possible by me.

 

I have sailed on a majority of my cruises as a solo and have had no issues because I was a solo cruiser.  If one wishes to attend, there will always be at least an initial solo cruiser get-together which may or may not be hosted by a cruise staff member.  It's not difficult to strike up a conversation with other solos or with a couple.  I have found sitting at a lounge's bar--not at a table--the best way to do this.  Seated at a MDR table with others also works 99% of the time.  Twice, I was the sole single at a table of a family of 5.  Both proved to be very welcoming and interesting dining experiences with these good people.

 

The Nieuw Statendam is a beautiful ship; very modern and different decor from those of the other Classes of HAL ships.  She's not high on my list as being a favorite HAL ship.  But, that has nothing to do with me being a solo cruiser on her.    

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Sailing solo for 1st time this summer on  Zaandam Canada-New England cruise.  During the first week, from Boston, I'll be joined by 3 friends, one of whom will share my cabin.  They debark in Montreal, and I'll be sailing during the second week, back to Boston, by myself.  I thought it was the perfect way to dip my toe into the solo cruising waters.  

 

I'm 4* on HAL, having cruised for nine years on this line with my DH, who died two years ago.  Since then, I've been on numerous cruises, either with these same friends or with my single 33 year-old-son.  I've come to the conclusion that I can't depend on others to accompany me forever, so I need to travel solo if I'm going to continue cruising.  I have another solo cruise booked for 2021, so obviously I'm anticipating a positive experience.  

 

What is the biggest hurdle you faced as a solo?  To me, it's going to be the MDR.  I've read some real horror stories.  I would prefer to be seated with other singles, but if I request this, how can I be assured I won't end up with a group of considerably younger cruisers with whom I have little in common?  Is it better to have fixed seating, or should I opt for open and take my chances?  I am an introvert, 72 years old, and in good health.  Heck, I'm still teaching school, which I love.  

 

I want this first time as a solo to be a positive experience.  What's your best advice?

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5 hours ago, sevenseasnomad said:

What is the biggest hurdle you faced as a solo?  To me, it's going to be the MDR.  I've read some real horror stories.  I would prefer to be seated with other singles, but if I request this, how can I be assured I won't end up with a group of considerably younger cruisers with whom I have little in common?  Is it better to have fixed seating, or should I opt for open and take my chances?  I am an introvert, 72 years old, and in good health.  Heck, I'm still teaching school, which I love.  

 

I want this first time as a solo to be a positive experience.  What's your best advice?

 

First, as a retired junior high/middle school teacher, I want to congratulate you that you are still in love with our profession as an official Senior Citizen.  

 

As a solo cruiser/traveler, my major hurdle is dealing with luggage without a companion to safeguard the luggage while I try to find a Porter or a Sky Cap or a Red Cap and find out where to go and what to do, etc.

 

MDR concerns:  minimal other than I prefer a round table for 6 because it is easier to converse and to hear others at the table than a larger table and most surely a rectangular table for 6/8/10.  I have been seated with young families and with a family whose ethnic background was much different than mine.  All were good experiences.  On a very long cruise, I was seated with another solo at a round table for 8 with 3 couple of very diverse backgrounds and interests.  That table was such a problem that the Maitre d' stopped coming by during the cruise to see "how are you enjoying dinner".  I learned a lesson from that and should have bailed.  (Won't make that mistake again!)  I do prefer fixed seating because you should be able to develop a relationship with your Stewards; they come to know you and you them.  Even if your table mates are not going to become your "best friends", your relationship with your Stewards helps to improve the dining experience.

 

I do not ask to be seated with other single cruisers.  I don't attend single cruiser get togethers on the ship.  I have done so in the past.  I just don't care for them.

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Thanks for the advice,  RKAcruiser.  I, too, teach middle school and GED at a juvenile detention center.  I work to pay for my cruise addiction! 

 

Anticipating a wonderful cruise as a solo, although I know that I will definitely miss my husband's company.  We were never on Zaandam, however, so that should make it easier.

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9 hours ago, sevenseasnomad said:

 

What is the biggest hurdle you faced as a solo?  To me, it's going to be the MDR.  I've read some real horror stories.  I would prefer to be seated with other singles, but if I request this, how can I be assured I won't end up with a group of considerably younger cruisers with whom I have little in common?  Is it better to have fixed seating, or should I opt for open and take my chances?  I am an introvert, 72 years old, and in good health.  Heck, I'm still teaching school, which I love.  

 

I want this first time as a solo to be a positive experience.  What's your best advice?

Greetings from a retired middle/high school teacher.   I did a solo cruise this past summer on the Rotterdam for 20 days.  I did attend the first solo gathering on the first night and met a woman that I ended up doing a lot of activities with during the cruise.  I had Anytime Dining and had almost no problems with that.   One night I had been seated with The Complainers (Hi, my name is So and So and I'll be cruising a different line from now on).  The next night they started to seat me with them again and I hung back, got the host's attention and said no.  He came up with a different seating assignment for me and I apologized on the way over to the new table, but explained that I just couldn't listen to them again.  He was cool with it.  Other than them, I was seated with very welcoming people.  No one made an issue of my status as a solo traveler - I don't think they cared one way or another.   I did meet people through the roll call and made arrangements for specialty dining with them.  

 

I also went to the dining room often for breakfast.   There was a regular group there that I often ate with and it became a regular thing. So, I had fixed breakfast and anytime dining.  

 

rkacruiser has given some great advice about striking up conversations in lounges and bars.  It does work!   Also, I did find that the staff went out of their way to make sure all was well with me.  

 

As for the OP, I did my first solo cruise on the Koningsdam and the Nieuw Statendam is almost identical.  It will have additional choices for dining and the Grand Dutch Cafe is not to be missed!   The Main Stage is spectacular, especially if they utilize it to its potential.  Have a great cruise!

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21 hours ago, sevenseasnomad said:

I, too, teach middle school and GED at a juvenile detention center.  

 

A few months after I retired, a former Principal of mine who retired a couple of years before me, invited me to join him for lunch, which I did.  He was the Principal of our local juvenile detention center and offered me a job.  I declined after thinking about it for some time, but I now wonder what that experience would have been like.  I was just getting used to the "manana" ability when one retires and I liked it!😀  And, I still do.

 

Good for you willing to work with these kids in detention.  They need caring and supportive people to try to get their lives on the right path.  Regardless of whatever you earn from this job, you deserve your cruises!

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Thanks.  Sometimes a challenge at work, but most days I come home knowing I've made a difference.  That's worth more than any amount of $$$.  Yes, I anticipate my cruises and take one as often as possible, usually every break we get, except at Thanksgiving.  Three days is not enough to make a cruise an event.  

 

Am looking forward to cruising in the summer of 2021 on the newest ship, Ryndam.  Just hope she has an itinerary I like.  If not, I may delay for a while.  

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22 hours ago, sevenseasnomad said:

Am looking forward to cruising in the summer of 2021 on the newest ship, Ryndam.  Just hope she has an itinerary I like.

 

Me too.  Even knowing the possible issues during a maiden voyage, I would like to sail on the Ryndam's.  I sailed on Nieuw Statendam in January, voyages #5 and #6, and I felt at that time that we guests were "breaking her in".  

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2 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Me too.  Even knowing the possible issues during a maiden voyage, I would like to sail on the Ryndam's.  I sailed on Nieuw Statendam in January, voyages #5 and #6, and I felt at that time that we guests were "breaking her in".  

My son and I were on her #3 voyage.  We enjoyed it so much we're booked for B2B Christmas/New Year's 2019 in the same cabin we had last year for both weeks, so we won't have to pack up and move the second week.  On our countdown now that final payment has been made.

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