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Please help me choose an unsuitable cruise


coastcat
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Okay, solo family, I need some help making a silly decision.

 

After looking at my booked cruises for 2021, I realized that all four would be challenges to an introverted cruiser and especially to an introverted solo cruiser: first trip under new protocols; group cruise with complete strangers; 15-day transpacific; and solo during Christmas week. I'd been contemplating starting a YouTube channel focused on solo cruising/introverted cruising, and reflecting on that list made me decide to do it even if only to document for myself how I muddled through four potentially awkward scenarios. Well heck, why not add a really awkward scenario for fun?

 

Carnival is basically the least compatible cruise line for my personality type (looks like loads of fun for sociable extroverts, though), nor are they noted for being solo-friendly. Short weekend cruises attract people looking for booze and sun.

 

Therefore, I would like to book a 3- or 4-day weekend cruise on Carnival sailing sometime between early November 2021 and mid January 2022. The candidates are, in no particular order:

  • 3 days on Carnival Radiance (Long Beach) or Miracle (San Diego), round trip to Ensenada
  • 3 days on Carnival Conquest (Miami) or Liberty (Port Canaveral), round trip to Nassau
  • 4 days on Carnival Sunrise (Miami) or Elation (Port Canaveral), round trip to Nassau and a private island

 

The trips to Ensenada would be the easiest since I'm on the West Coast, but it's not an enticing port and thus I'm more inclined to do one of the 4-day Florida sailings. Or perhaps I should do Ensenada so I can focus entirely on the ship. Any of these sailings would be, as the Brits would say, cheap as chips with inside cabins under $400 with the solo supplement.

 

So, which should I choose?

 

(I'm actually looking forward to trying Blue Iguana and Guy's Burgers)

 

 

Edited by coastcat
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The only solo cruise I’ve ever done was on Carnival (4 night to Cozumel and Key West). It was an impulse buy and I dreaded the decision from the moment I booked it. I kept thinking “what have I done??”. I still went ahead with it, but I decided that I would lay low, avoid the main dining room or most public places, and just do my own thing. But I gathered enough courage to go to the MDR that first night to see what would happen. 
 

To my pleasant surprise, I was accommodated at a table for 10, everybody traveling solo. We all got along great from the first moment. From that point forward, I really enjoyed this cruise! I’d get  together with my new found friends at night, but during the day I’d do my own thing. I went snorkeling in Cozumel and explored Key West on my own. I created my own fun at my own pace and it worked out great. 
 

From the cruises that you mention, my least favorite ship would be the Elation (oldest and smallest). Radiance will probably be the most updated of the 3 ships listed (having gone through a major renovation recently). Miracle would be my 2nd choice. As far as the ports go, I’d place the private island (first by a long shot), Nassau second and Ensenada third. 
 

If a west coast sailing would be easier for you, that’s what I’d do. I’d most likely go with the Radiance to Ensenada. I don’t find enough  reason to track across the country to go on a short cruise to Nassau. 

Edited by Tapi
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9 hours ago, coastcat said:

Okay, solo family, I need some help making a silly decision.

 

After looking at my booked cruises for 2021, I realized that all four would be challenges to an introverted cruiser and especially to an introverted solo cruiser: first trip under new protocols; group cruise with complete strangers; 15-day transpacific; and solo during Christmas week. I'd been contemplating starting a YouTube channel focused on solo cruising/introverted cruising, and reflecting on that list made me decide to do it even if only to document for myself how I muddled through four potentially awkward scenarios. Well heck, why not add a really awkward scenario for fun?

 

Carnival is basically the least compatible cruise line for my personality type (looks like loads of fun for sociable extroverts, though), nor are they noted for being solo-friendly. Short weekend cruises attract people looking for booze and sun.

 

Therefore, I would like to book a 3- or 4-day weekend cruise on Carnival sailing sometime between early November 2021 and mid January 2022. The candidates are, in no particular order:

  • 3 days on Carnival Radiance (Long Beach) or Miracle (San Diego), round trip to Ensenada
  • 3 days on Carnival Conquest (Miami) or Liberty (Port Canaveral), round trip to Nassau
  • 4 days on Carnival Sunrise (Miami) or Elation (Port Canaveral), round trip to Nassau and a private island

 

The trips to Ensenada would be the easiest since I'm on the West Coast, but it's not an enticing port and thus I'm more inclined to do one of the 4-day Florida sailings. Or perhaps I should do Ensenada so I can focus entirely on the ship. Any of these sailings would be, as the Brits would say, cheap as chips with inside cabins under $400 with the solo supplement.

 

So, which should I choose?

 

(I'm actually looking forward to trying Blue Iguana and Guy's Burgers)

 

 

 

Hi @coastcat, first, you may not be as introverted as you think because it takes courage to even share that openly (and thanks for sharing). I put myself on the shy side normally but I also have loved socializing, as well (adult beverages of choice help sometimes, lol). That's what's great about solo cruising, you can be as introverted or extroverted as you want, right?

 

If you start a YouTube channel (I didn't know you could even do that, lol) about solo cruising let me know where it is at, I'd definitely subscribe to it!

 

Pretty much all of my past cruising experience has been with Carnival but not a a solo. I love(d) Carnival but now that I will be solo cruising I am gravitating away from Carnival towards the more solo-friendly NCL (and RCL with those great solo balcony cabins). I think Carnival gets a bad rap sometimes as being only a party, "booze cruise". This may have been the way Carnival started out but like any business, they have evolved (larger, brand new ships, etc). I did a fantastic 12 day Med cruise on the then brand new Carnival Dream r/t out of Civitavecchia (port for Rome), Italy. And you're right, it also depends on the length of cruise, embarkation port and time of year (can you imagine a short 3 day Carnival cruise out of Miami in March during college spring break? Safe to say, yeah, a "booze cruise" may break out, lol.)

 

As far as choosing a cruise from the ones you are considering, I would say it is definitely a matter of personal preference and what will make you the happiest. Since they are all short 3 or 4 day cruises, I have to agree with @Tapi, I personally wouldn't fly all the way across country (from Seattle to Port Canaveral or Miami) for such a short cruise. So, if you stick with that reason, the choice narrows down to the Carnival Radiance (Long Beach) or the Carnival Miracle (San Diego) to Ensenada. I agree with you, Ensenada doesn't sound too exciting but you can always look at the embarkation/debarkation port and see what you would like better, Long Beach (LA) or San Diego. You could spend a couple/few days there before or after your cruise. Personally, I think I would pick San Diego. As far as the ship itself, again it would be a matter of your preference. Carnival Radiance is a larger, newer ship so she will have more "bells & whistles". Carnival Miracle, even though smaller and older provides for a more "intimate" feeling on board. In this case, since you are going to the not-so-exciting port of Ensenada and would be focusing on the ship more, I would say go with the Carnival Radiance for more "bells & whistles". I'm not sure if the Carnival Miracle has Blue Iguana & Guy's Burgers.

 

When cruising resumes and I start solo cruising, I would definitely cruise solo with Carnival (as I mentioned, Carnival was my favorite cruise line) if I could find a discounted solo supplement on a balcony cabin (gotta have me a balcony, lol). Well, with whatever cruise you choose, I'm sure you will have a great time!

 

Hope I have been of some help...

Edited by farmersfight
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7 hours ago, farmersfight said:

 

Hi @coastcat, first, you may not be as introverted as you think because it takes courage to even share that openly (and thanks for sharing). I put myself on the shy side normally but I also have loved socializing, as well (adult beverages of choice help sometimes, lol). That's what's great about solo cruising, you can be as introverted or extroverted as you want, right?

Oh, I’m definitely a hardcore introvert. That doesn’t mean I avoid people all the time, but they do wear me out quickly. At conferences I always scope out the venue looking for “re-charge” spots. 
 

Carnival is definitely upping its game and I really want to sail on Mardi Gras or Celebration in 2022. Panorama does the 7-day Mexican Riviera cruises and the cove balcony cabin is really tempting. However, I’m looking at short, cheap weekend cruises. On any cruise line, that’s going to attract more of a party crowd.

 

And I booked a cruise this morning! I’ll be on the renovations-in-progress Carnival Radiance in early December 2021. They have small inside cabins which are reminiscent of the inside solo cabins with a twin-size bed, but are larger and have a second twin-size bed (either sofa bed or bunk bed). And for the same price they had this cabin type with dual portholes - so basically a cheap ocean view. I think there are only 4 per ship; 3 were still available so I grabbed one.

 

Including taxes and port fees, it was a little under $500. Not bad. Alaska flies to LAX non-stop from Everett Paine Field, which is a 5 minute drive (Seattle Tacoma International is an hour away). I enjoy visiting Long Beach. This is looking like a fun break. 

Edited by coastcat
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17 hours ago, Tapi said:

As far as the ports go, I’d place the private island (first by a long shot), Nassau second and Ensenada third. 
 

If a west coast sailing would be easier for you, that’s what I’d do. I’d most likely go with the Radiance to Ensenada. I don’t find enough  reason to track across the country to go on a short cruise to Nassau. 


Ensenada wasn’t that bad but it’s still underdeveloped as a tourism destination. I took the standard winery tour and discovered that they make decent reds and Chardonnay there. Too bad my preference is basically any white wine that isn’t Chardonnay! Still, it was an educational tour and an amusing return trip once people started opening the free bottle of wine we each received...

 

I’m actually getting excited about sailing on Radiance. 

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1 hour ago, coastcat said:

Carnival is definitely upping its game and I really want to sail on Mardi Gras

 

Me 2! The Mardi Gras looks like she will be an awesome ship. I want to ride that 1st roller coaster at sea.

 

1 hour ago, coastcat said:

And I booked a cruise this morning! I’ll be on the renovations-in-progress Carnival Radiance in early December 2021. They have small inside cabins which are reminiscent of the inside solo cabins with a twin-size bed, but are larger and have a second twin-size bed (either sofa bed or bunk bed). And for the same price they had this cabin type with dual portholes - so basically a cheap ocean view. I think there are only 4 per ship; 3 were still available so I grabbed one.

 

Congrats on booking the Carnival Radiance out of Long Beach in early Dec 2021! I think you made a great choice as you'll be able to fly down to LAX with a much shorter flight. Yeah, I think I was aware of those small inside cabins on some of Carnival's ships. Leaving the other twin-size bed as a sofa will definitely give you plenty of room as a solo. And, way to go "old school" by getting the cabin with the dual port holes! Bonus!

 

1 hour ago, coastcat said:

I enjoy visiting Long Beach.

 

Sounds like you have been to Long Beach before but if you had any extra time, you could spend a couple of nights in LB on either end of the cruise (beach hotel?). But, if it is just a weekend get-away, you may not have the extra time.

 

Have you ever cruised solo with Carnival before? I'm just curious about how Carnival treats solos since they are not known to be solo-friendly. Sounds like @Tapi had a good solo experience on a Carnival cruise, being seated at a table with 10 other solos. Goes to show that many do cruise solo with Carnival.

 

Take care.

Edited by farmersfight
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2 hours ago, farmersfight said:

Sounds like you have been to Long Beach before but if you had any extra time, you could spend a couple of nights in LB on either end of the cruise (beach hotel?). But, if it is just a weekend get-away, you may not have the extra time.

 

Have you ever cruised solo with Carnival before? I'm just curious about how Carnival treats solos since they are not known to be solo-friendly. Sounds like @Tapi had a good solo experience on a Carnival cruise, being seated at a table with 10 other solos. Goes to show that many do cruise solo with Carnival.


This will be my first Carnival cruise. It’ll come a couple months after the 15 days in a Celebrity AquaSuite and a couple weeks before I’m back on the wonderful NCL Bliss. Should be an interesting comparison. 
 

I’ll likely fly down the afternoon before so I can spend a little time in downtown Long Beach - nice waterfront and aquarium, good place for simply wandering around while eating churros. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So hurt you didn’t choose Galveston to sail from. Lol. I’ve cruised solo on Carnival and my table mates were all solo. Someone in the roll call did a cocktail 2 hours and I got to meet quite a few people. I think it cost about $30. It wasn’t a bad cruise at all. 

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20 hours ago, croozbabe said:

I'm very curious about why you want help to choose an UNsuitable cruise.....as you wrote for the topic of this thread.

 

I think because @coastcat indicated in her* OP that she is an introverted cruiser and the cruise choices were all with Carnival who she said "is basically the least compatible cruise line for my personality type (looks like loads of fun for sociable extroverts, though)". So, UNsuitable cruises because those choices are loads of fun for extroverts and she is an introverted cruiser (especially cruising as a solo).

 

Btw, I don't necessarily agree with @coastcat's sentiment -> yes, Carnival does have the reputation of being the weekend "party/booze" cruise (well, they are called "The Fun Ships" after all) however over time, Carnival has evolved/changed away from that reputation and now is a very family-friendly mainstream (think affordable) cruise line that also does the longer cruises (i.e. 7, 8, 10, 12 day cruises, even TA's). With that said, Carnival still does up the "fun" on their cruises and their ships have many bars on board (what cruise line doesn't?). But Carnival ships also have adult-only retreats on board (Serenity) and still have "formal or dress up" nights (totally optional). Carnival has also much more sophisticated decor in their ships' interior spaces. Carnival ship interiors used to be very "glitzy" (think Fantasy), with multi-colored neon lights through out their ships' atriums, etc).

 

As you can tell, I am somewhat of a Carnival "cheerleader" but now that I will be cruising solo I am gravitating over to the more solo-friendly NCL. As @coastcat pointed out, Carnival is not noted for being solo-friendly (especially when you compare them with NCL).

 

Sorry, long answer to your short question but I hope it helped.

 

* @coastcat - I assume you are a female but I totally apologize if I assumed wrong. Also, I apologize if I hijacked your answer but just thought I could be helpful with poster's question.

Edited by farmersfight
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"Unsuitable" in this case means "something which is misaligned with my inclinations." I am a quiet person, introverted, introspective, and as my Birkman personality profile describes it, selectively social. I avoid crowds unless I can stay near the edges, avoid situations where conversation with strangers is the primary focus, and don't enjoy large parties/gatherings.

 

Carnival is made for extroverts - it's the Fun Ship, right? Not my usual kind of fun, though. My idea of a lovely evening onboard includes live jazz or classical music in the background, classic literature on the Kindle app, and a Negroni in hand. Does any of that sound like a Carnival cruise?

 

Will I have fun when the background music is pop, the literature is a scavenger hunt list, and the drink in hand is a frozen margarita? I've set a challenge to find out. A dare, even. I dare me to try having a more extroverted version of "fun." If I hate it, hey, it was just one weekend and the churros in Ensenada will make up for it.

 

Formal night dress codes are why I have no current plans to book Cunard or other lines with such requirements, which is unfortunate because they otherwise are aligned with my preferences. I don't even own a pair of heels. The last time I wore makeup was... I can't even remember. Sometime last year? And that was probably just some lip gloss that wore off after 30 minutes.

Edited by coastcat
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16 hours ago, coastcat said:

My idea of a lovely evening onboard includes live jazz or classical music in the background, classic literature on the Kindle app, and a Negroni in hand. Does any of that sound like a Carnival cruise?

 

Carnival might surprise you. As I said, they've evolved over the years. Regarding your ideas of a lovely evening above, Carnival may provide 2 out of your 3. The classical literature on a Kindle app you'll most probably bring for yourself and I'm sure you'll be able to find a jazz quartet or band on board. With all the bars on board a Carnival ship, I'm sure a bartender can make you a Negroni any time you want;

 

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Neg...

 

In any regard, I'm sure you will have "fun" on your Carnival cruise. Hey, how can you go wrong when you've got Funship Freddy?

 

See the source image

 

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On 10/25/2020 at 12:03 PM, farmersfight said:

In any regard, I'm sure you will have "fun" on your Carnival cruise. Hey, how can you go wrong when you've got Funship Freddy?

 

See the source image

 


Eeeeek! 😳

 

Yeah, I’ll be the one running in the opposite direction whenever Freddie emerges...  lol

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  • 1 month later...
On 10/13/2020 at 7:26 PM, coastcat said:

Carnival is basically the least compatible cruise line for my personality type (looks like loads of fun for sociable extroverts, though), nor are they noted for being solo-friendly. Short weekend cruises attract people looking for booze and sun.

I beg to differ on Carnival being solo-unfriendly.  While its pricing structure is meh, its onboard atmosphere is very solo-friendly.  I always had a very easy time meeting new people.  All I had to do is either start a friendly conversation or draw attention to myself by going onstage in the piano bar.  The rest would always snowball from there, in the best way possible.

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10 hours ago, LandlockedCruiser01 said:

I beg to differ on Carnival being solo-unfriendly.  While its pricing structure is meh, its onboard atmosphere is very solo-friendly.  I always had a very easy time meeting new people.  All I had to do is either start a friendly conversation or draw attention to myself by going onstage in the piano bar.  The rest would always snowball from there, in the best way possible.

 

I think @coastcat meant was that Carnival is not noted for being solo-friendly, price-wise (and I think you caught that by saying Carnival's price structure is meh) and for not having studio cabins/studio lounges.  For the cruise experience itself, I agree, Carnival would be a good fit for those sociable extroverts, which seems, by what you said above about drawing attention to yourself by going onstage in the piano bar, you may be one of. However, that could be said of NCL also.

 

I've sailed Carnival multiple times non-solo and had a great time on every cruise. I do like Carnival's business model of the "Fun Ships". Now, I will be cruising solo. However, I have booked the new Mardi Gras out of Port Canaveral on an 8-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on Dec 18, 2021 (X-mas cruise), as a solo.  Yeah, with Carnival as a solo, I had to pay the 100% solo supplement. However, the new Mardi Gras has "junior balcony cabins", which are slightly smaller than their regular balcony cabins but they are priced less. I booked a junior balcony cabin; this made it a little less painful to pay that 100% solo supplement. I wish Carnival would've designated those junior balcony cabins for solos and priced them accordingly (without a solo supplement). They appear to be the perfect size for solos and they have balconies!

 

Well, I guess I'll find out how solo-friendly Carnival is when I sail on Mardi Gras in Dec 2021...

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27 minutes ago, HowardK said:

I did the NCL Jewel in 2010 it wasn't a good experience with the lack of infrastructure for sols. I wish I had done the Epic then as I enjoyed it in 2011. How is Carnival vs NCL I wonder? I've only done NCL 

 

I've only done Carnival.  One thing that put me off NCL is lack of assigned dining.  I like having a guaranteed set of dinner companions, to compare notes and shoot the breeze with.  On one cruise, my tablemates even adopted me.  So, I didn't want to look for a table like a new kid in school.  And eating dinner alone feels, well, lonely.  Eating breakfast and lunch alone, I don't care; those meals have a more "utilitarian" feel.  Perhaps on Epic and other ships with Studio cabins, there are organized dinner groups, but I feel gun-shy about chancing it.

 

As for solo experiences on Carnival, see my reviews in signature links.  I didn't post pictures of me with the people I met, out of respect for their privacy, but I mentioned them in the reviews.

Edited by LandlockedCruiser01
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29 minutes ago, LandlockedCruiser01 said:

 

I've only done Carnival.  One thing that put me off NCL is lack of assigned dining.  I like having a guaranteed set of dinner companions, to compare notes and shoot the breeze with.  On one cruise, my tablemates even adopted me.  So, I didn't want to look for a table like a new kid in school.  And eating dinner alone feels, well, lonely.  Eating breakfast and lunch alone, I don't care; those meals have a more "utilitarian" feel.  Perhaps on Epic and other ships with Studio cabins, there are organized dinner groups, but I feel gun-shy about chancing it.

 

As for solo experiences on Carnival, see my reviews in signature links.  I didn't post pictures of me with the people I met, out of respect for their privacy, but I mentioned them in the reviews.

I totally agree about dinner- on the NCL solo ships, I always had a group for dinner -but on my last cruise to Canada/New England it was more low key and I was comfortable eating in a specialty restuarant 500 to 5:30 and then being done. The Jewel was where I had to do the buffet as I wasn't going to do the MDR alone.

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4 hours ago, LandlockedCruiser01 said:

I like having a guaranteed set of dinner companions, to compare notes and shoot the breeze with.  On one cruise, my tablemates even adopted me.  So, I didn't want to look for a table like a new kid in school.  And eating dinner alone feels, well, lonely.

 

Good points. Hmmm, now you've got me re-thinking my choice of "anytime dining" on my booked Mardi Gras cruise (Dec 2021). That would be good to get to know a group of friendly folks (who would undoubtedly become your friends) and meet up with them every night for dinner at the same time. I may change to a fixed dining time...

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8 minutes ago, farmersfight said:

 

Good points. Hmmm, now you've got me re-thinking my choice of "anytime dining" on my booked Mardi Gras cruise (Dec 2021). That would be good to get to know a group of friendly folks (who would undoubtedly become your friends) and meet up with them every night for dinner at the same time. I may change to a fixed dining time...

Whether or not they become your friends depends on how close they are to you in age, or shared interests (or lack thereof).  On my first cruise, at age 29, I was the youngest at the table, while the "alpha dogs" of the table were a couple in early 60's.  Some of my tablemates saw me doing the limbo on the Lido deck or dancing with a woman (which they probably found nostalgic).  We didn't hang out outside dinner, but I really enjoyed their company; they inspired me to always choose assigned dining on my future cruises.

 

Go ahead and change it!  You may or may not gel with your tablemates, but they'll at least provide you with a proverbial home port to go to each night.  (With your cabin being the dry dock.)

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And then... there's NCL dining options.  Yes, you can choose to simply dine alone.  Not my thing but some just like being alone.  You only need to decide for yourself what you want; it's your cruise!  

 

I love meeting new people.  NCL posts on their newsletter when the Solo meetup will be and where.  Go to it or don't.  I go to it, and I've met so many wonderful people who, yes, end up being friends.  The thing I love best about NCL is that you make the choices you want to make.  There's no set time to dine unless you want dine as a group.

  

On almost all of my solo cruises, the Solo Host has been a major plus to the group.  They ask the question, what time do you want to dine this evening? It's asked every evening and when we let it be known who wants to dine together and what time we want to dine, our host organizes it to our specific requests.  

 

AFA evening entertainment goes, the solo host will even get assigned seating in the theatre. 

 

Not sure but, does any other cruise line go to such lengths to ensure that a group of solos are treated with so much respect.  l'd be interested to know. 

 

TIA

 

Cheers 🥂

 

Edited by All-ready2cruise
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I am not an extrovert and am not generally sociable. While I do enjoy chatting with strangers on excursions or making small talk by the elevators, the idea of assigned seating at a table full of strangers is unpleasant.

 

This doesn't exactly sound like a good match with the Carnival "Fun Ship" vibe, right?

 

That's why I wanted to book a cruise with them. In the end I may be pleasantly surprised or will have a good story to tell about my awkwardness. Either way, there will be warmth and sunshine and perhaps some churros by the giant flag in Ensenada.

 

Pricing-wise, Carnival does have the advantage of offering low fares without bundling in costly perks. Even with a 100% solo supplement, the cruises are affordable and you're not paying double for those perks. Heck, even a Havana balcony is pretty reasonable and a Havana interior seems like a great upgrade from an NCL Studio. Because of that, I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised so I can try a Havana cabin on Panorama. We'll see - 363 days to go.

 

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On 12/4/2020 at 11:07 PM, LandlockedCruiser01 said:

All I had to do is either start a friendly conversation or draw attention to myself by going onstage in the piano bar. 

 

14 hours ago, LandlockedCruiser01 said:

Some of my tablemates saw me doing the limbo on the Lido deck

 

14 hours ago, LandlockedCruiser01 said:

On my first cruise, at age 29, I was the youngest at the table, while the "alpha dogs" of the table were a couple in early 60's. 

 

Let's see, drawing attention to yourself by going onstage in the piano bar, doing the limbo on the lido deck and you're saying that the the couple in their early 60's at the table were the "alpha dogs"? If that's true, I want to party with that couple! And it would be o.k., 'cause I'm about their age. Just teasing you; you sound like a lot of fun so no wonder the "Fun ships" are such a good fit for you.

 

14 hours ago, LandlockedCruiser01 said:

but they'll at least provide you with a proverbial home port to go to each night.  (With your cabin being the dry dock.)

 

Way to insert the ship references! I can really appreciate that 'cause I'm a "ship guy", lol. In all seriousness, thanks for the encouragement about changing to a fixed dining time, as I think it is a very good idea.

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14 hours ago, All-ready2cruise said:

Yes, you can choose to simply dine alone.  Not my thing but some just like being alone. 

 

My new mantra (and I'm sticking to it), you can be alone and not be lonely.

 

14 hours ago, All-ready2cruise said:

NCL posts on their newsletter when the Solo meetup will be and where.

 

14 hours ago, All-ready2cruise said:

On almost all of my solo cruises, the Solo Host has been a major plus to the group.

 

14 hours ago, All-ready2cruise said:

AFA evening entertainment goes, the solo host will even get assigned seating in the theatre. 

 

Not sure but, does any other cruise line go to such lengths to ensure that a group of solos are treated with so much respect.  l'd be interested to know. 

 

I give NCL "the blue ribbon" for the way they treat & market to solo cruisers (i.e. numerous studio cabins, exclusive studio lounges, solo hosts, solo meetups, etc).

 

With that said , I think I may end up giving RCL "the blue ribbon" for cabin designs for solos, with their studio balcony cabins (on their Quantum-class ships). I will find out in Jan 2022 - Anthem OTS & Feb 2022 - Odyssey OTS. Intentionally or unintentionally, RCL hit on the fact that solo cruisers also like balcony cabins. Maybe a "blue ribbon + star" to Celebrity for stepping it up a notch with their single infinite verandas on the Celebrity Edge & Apex (some day...). Hmmm, wonder where Celebrity got the idea since they are owned by RCL...

 

13 hours ago, coastcat said:

Pricing-wise, Carnival does have the advantage of offering low fares without bundling in costly perks. Even with a 100% solo supplement, the cruises are affordable and you're not paying double for those perks.

 

This is a great point and is an area where Carnival is solo-friendly (even though I'm sure Carnival wasn't really thinking about us solo cruisers when they chose to price their cruises affordably).

 

All of the above is, imho, good news for us solo cruisers. We have options with the major cruise lines. With my booked cruises in late 2021 & early 2022, I am exploring those options having cruises booked with NCL (PoA), Carnival (Mardi Gras) & RCL (Anthem OTS, Odyssey OTS). After I've completed all 4 cruises, I'll report back to you all and give you my opinion on which of the major 3 cruise lines was the best experience from this solo cruiser's perspective.

 

Cheers 🍻.

Edited by farmersfight
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13 hours ago, coastcat said:

I am not an extrovert and am not generally sociable. While I do enjoy chatting with strangers on excursions or making small talk by the elevators, the idea of assigned seating at a table full of strangers is unpleasant.

 

This doesn't exactly sound like a good match with the Carnival "Fun Ship" vibe, right?

 

That's why I wanted to book a cruise with them. In the end I may be pleasantly surprised or will have a good story to tell about my awkwardness.

 

I give you major props for your courage and willingness to "come out of your shell" a bit. As far as assigned seating at a table full of strangers, I give it 15 minutes max before you'll find yourself engaging in enjoyable, friendly conversation/chit-chat with your table mates and probably the beginning of a new friendship with one, two, three or all of them.

 

13 hours ago, coastcat said:

Heck, even a Havana balcony is pretty reasonable and a Havana interior seems like a great upgrade from an NCL Studio. Because of that, I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised so I can try a Havana cabin on Panorama.

 

Yeah, I'm kind of sad that my Carnival Panorama cruise to the Mexican Riviera (Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan & Puerto Vallarta) did not come to fruition. My 2 sons could not go because they will be in summer school at their respective universities (Univ of Arizona & Washington State Univ). I even had one of those Havana balcony cabins reserved. That's a neat perk for those booked in a Havana stateroom, exclusive access to the Havana pool & hot tubs (on the aft deck on the Panorama). But, for some reason, the exclusive access ends at 7 pm each evening and these venues are opened up to any passenger on the ship. The exclusive access should be 24 hrs (all the time), imho. The Havana bar (in the same Havana area) stays open to all passengers. I can kind of understand this because Carnival wants the extra alcoholic drink revenue from a larger customer base than just Havana guests. When you get back, please let us know how you liked Carnival Panorama and more specifically, the Havana experience.

 

Cheers 🍻.

Edited by farmersfight
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