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EganFire

Solo Attendance Counts - Review Bliss/Sky/Dawn

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I have had the opportunity to be on three different NCL ships over the last two months. I decided to do a comparison of a few things on each ship, and I will post some of the results here on Cruise Critic. This one is about the attendance at Solo Meetings and the different Solo events for each ship.

 

NCL Bliss:

Day 1 - 20 people

Day 2 - 44 people

Day 3 - 15 people 

Day 4 - 8 people

Day 5 - 7 people

Day 6 - 10 people 

 

NCL Bliss solo meetings are held in the Studio Lounge at 6 PM each day. The host assigned to Solos was great. He organized events and activities for each day of the cruise, and the solos went to dinner together every night (if they wanted to).  Some of  the events the Host offered us to sign up for were hard to schedule items like go-cart racing and or shows. This particular cruise was also a Singles Cruise for an outside company, and that helped boost the numbers on day 2. That company had its own activities that often conflicted with our Solo events and that is why some nights the counts were much less. Having the host plan events really helped those amongst the Solos to find friendships and people to do things with in port and on the ship.

 

NCL Sky:

Day 1 - NO HOST showed up, and 4 of us figured out we were there for the solo meeting so we sat together

Day 2 - We were in Cuba overnight so I did not attend the meeting

Day 3 - 2 people NO HOST

Day 4 - 1 person, but a host did show up. 

 

NCL Sky  solo meetings were held in Sugarcane Mojito bar at 8 PM each day. I did NOT like the later meeting time as it did not allow solos to meet for an early dinner if they wanted to. Also having no host for 3/4 of the meetings did not help. 

 

NCL Dawn:

 

Day 1 - 8 people

Day 2 - 5 people

Day 3 - 6 people 

Day 4 - 8 people

Day 5 - 8 people (+2 wanted to)

 

NCL Dawn solo meetings were held in the Cellar Wine lounge at 6 PM each day. We did have a host, but she often was too busy to stay with us, and she explained this was due to the activities staff being short a person and she was double booked. Some meetings were only 5 minutes long, long enough to say let's go to dinner. No other activities were coordinated. Those who did not want to go to dinner did not. Since we held no true meeting, and we sort of just showed up and went to dinner, the host would often ask the night before who wanted dinner the next day. Once she had a number she would make reservations for us. The last night of the cruise 2 extra first time attendees showed up and could not join us as we had no room. 

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS: 

The Bliss offered the best all around planning for Solo travelers. We met, discussed things we could do, did sign up sheets for activities, and then went to dinner together. The studio lounge was part of the reason this worked better, but it was also how the Host interacted and coordinated it. Everything the Bliss Host did for us could have been done on Sky and Dawn, but were not offered. 

 

The Sky was a Cuba cruise, and as we spent an overnight stay (24 hours) in Cuba, the ship was mostly empty for one entire day. 

 

The Dawn - could have been better, and if the staff had not been short maybe it would have been. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for this thread.

 

As a past solo traveler (3 of my 4 cruises were solo!), I've always wondered about traveling solo on the ships that don't have the studio complex.

 

I realize that this could vary from week to week, but it makes sense that there would be more devotion to the solo traveler on the ships that have a section of the ship built specifically for solo travelers. My cruises have had really great solo coordinators and I've met some good friends that I still keep in contact with today.

 

This is also the reason why I've never tried any other cruise line...

Edited by dreamr

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Thanks for this thread EganFire, I have recently started cruising as a solo after losing my DH and have been so blessed to have met so many wonderful fellow pax.  

 

My 1st solo was on the Sun PC from SF.. what a great beginning; however, the solo meetings, not so much. I'd met a lady on RC, lucky for me we ended up dining together most evenings, why, b/c the meetings of the solo cruisers was mostly non-existant. 

 

The next cruise was a solo on the NCL Jade TA from Miami and have to say, it was wonderful due to the great host, Doria, who organized lots of dinners, events for us. 

 

The last cruise I was on was a Jade 7 day Caribbean, totally different when it came to the solo host/hostess. The host refused, after  a bit of coaching, to even consider reserving a table for us in the MDR.  I don't really care about this but, if they are going book for one group and not the other, that's seem to be discrimination to me.  No worries though, I booked us all in the MDR without our apparent hostess. 

 

My point really is that there seems to be NO consistency. I love cruising solo but feel fortunate that I've learned the ropes and can do it on my own when needed.  

Enjoy your future cruises. 

Cheers,

Connie

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Your posts are kind of amusing but worthless.

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I found something similar- went on the Jewel and it was 3 people the first day and that was that.

On my Epic  cruise in 2011 there was around 20% participation- 20+ to 25 out of 120 studios

similar for 2013/2014 Breakway - 58 studios usually maybe 12-15 on both

Escape 2018- maybe 15 out of 85 studios particpated then I spent time with a group of around 8-9

Escape II - maybe 10 -12 out of studios particpated.

 

I would say historically- 20% or so of studio people particpate ( I did have baclony twice)-

Attendance is less on day 1 as people are getting situated- peaks on day 2 and then people form their own groups

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Question - for those who have traveled Solo on other ships (besides the Bliss) with Studio cabins, did you find the host organized more activities than just dinner?

 

For  those who traveled Solo on ships without the studio cabins, did you ever have a host organize more than dinners? 

 

Thanks for your time responding. 

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Escape 2x last year- second time the host really worked hard and planned things every day as did the first time last year where they even handed out a calendar and were open to suggestions.

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1 hour ago, EganFire said:

Question - for those who have traveled Solo on other ships (besides the Bliss) with Studio cabins, did you find the host organized more activities than just dinner?

 

For  those who traveled Solo on ships without the studio cabins, did you ever have a host organize more than dinners? 

 

Thanks for your time responding. 

My first cruise was on Escape, our solos host organized our MDR dinners, a lunch, a time slot for the ropes course and the 2 main theatre shows. He also sent chocolate covered strawberries to each of us. 

On my second cruise it was on Getaway, again the solos host arranged MDR meals, and the theatre, she also got white t-shirts and fluorescent paints for us to do shirts for the glow party.  We all went to support her in the celebrity dance competition. She was also training the host for the following week as it would be his first time.

On both cruises there were about 20+ solos showing up at the meetings even if some were going to specialty dining. The group on Getaway included a few platinum level guests who invited others from the solos as their +1 at their complimentary specialty dining. 

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18 hours ago, HowardK said:

I found something similar- went on the Jewel and it was 3 people the first day and that was that.

On my Epic  cruise in 2011 there was around 20% participation- 20+ to 25 out of 120 studios

similar for 2013/2014 Breakway - 58 studios usually maybe 12-15 on both

Escape 2018- maybe 15 out of 85 studios particpated then I spent time with a group of around 8-9

Escape II - maybe 10 -12 out of studios particpated.

 

I would say historically- 20% or so of studio people particpate ( I did have baclony twice)-

Attendance is less on day 1 as people are getting situated- peaks on day 2 and then people form their own groups

 

One thing I was surprised about when I was in the studios last year was how many people were not traveling solo in them. I met a group of 3 friends traveling together where they all had booked studios. There were several people in the studios sailing the 2 large groups on the ship. I met an adult woman who’s parents had her in a studio while they had some privacy in a suite. Also they had some of the entertainers staying in the studios. I think that is at least part of the reason the solo participation rate may seem low. 

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On 5/3/2019 at 8:33 PM, stormynow said:

Your posts are kind of amusing but worthless.

 

Yet, you took the time to respond to a post you don't care about to say nothing as well. 🤔

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3 hours ago, lepidoptera said:

 

 

One thing I was surprised about when I was in the studios last year was how many people were not traveling solo in them. I met a group of 3 friends traveling together where they all had booked studios. There were several people in the studios sailing the 2 large groups on the ship. I met an adult woman who’s parents had her in a studio while they had some privacy in a suite. Also they had some of the entertainers staying in the studios. I think that is at least part of the reason the solo participation rate may seem low. 

I have found this to be true as well. I found  some who were the "Odd man out" from the group they were sailing with. One was traveling with his son and his son's family. He would attend the Solo meetings, and go to dinner with his son, but sometimes joined us if his son and his family had other plans afterwards. I think the studios serve many purposes. I only wish they would have oceanview and or balcony options. Maybe a future version of the ship will have that. (Project Leonardo maybe?) 

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17 hours ago, EganFire said:

Question - for those who have traveled Solo on other ships (besides the Bliss) with Studio cabins, did you find the host organized more activities than just dinner?

 

For  those who traveled Solo on ships without the studio cabins, did you ever have a host organize more than dinners? 

 

Thanks for your time responding. 

 

I've gone solo on the Epic twice and the Escape once, and had fantastic hosts each time.

 

Fernando was the first and he was awesome. Very energetic, very friendly, very funny. He planned lots of neat things, including having the magician (Jeff Hobson) give us a private show in the studio lounge one evening.

 

Second was Chandra. She was very sweet, but not as high energy as Fernando (but who is? haha). She, too, planned cool things, including a backstage tour of the Cirque show.

 

Jesse was the third, on the Escape's 7-day inaugural cruise. Not only did he arrange for us to sit in the special Haven reserved seating at the shows (though, we ended up choosing to sit closer to the stage instead), but he also had us put our e-mail address on a list that he copied and distributed, so that we could stay in touch post cruise.

 

All of the above was in addition to planning group dinners and such.

 

Speaking of dinners, Fernando and Jesse both sat down and ate dinner with us on the last evening. :) 

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I travel solo but I find the ships without a solo lounge the meeting time are not always suitable for every one 

like in some bar at 7p.m, when some people like to dine early 6 /6.30 so to catch the first show.

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10 hours ago, TruckerDave said:

 

Yet, you took the time to respond to a post you don't care about to say nothing as well. 🤔

Post was suppose to be deleted.  Did say thought it was amusing but really didn't offer much.  Apologize to the OP.

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19 hours ago, EganFire said:

Question - for those who have traveled Solo on other ships (besides the Bliss) with Studio cabins, did you find the host organized more activities than just dinner?

 

For  those who traveled Solo on ships without the studio cabins, did you ever have a host organize more than dinners? 

 

Thanks for your time responding. 

I’ve sailed solo on Epic 4x, Getaway 1x, and Escape 2x. The host always planned extra activities, usually with the schedule prepared upon boarding. 

 

I stopped attending the solo gatherings because the 5pm time was just too early for me, as was the subsequent dinner. Fortunately I met my match and no longer cruise solo ☺️

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On 5/4/2019 at 1:53 PM, EganFire said:

Question - for those who have traveled Solo on other ships (besides the Bliss) with Studio cabins, did you find the host organized more activities than just dinner?

 

For  those who traveled Solo on ships without the studio cabins, did you ever have a host organize more than dinners? 

 

Thanks for your time responding. 

Always more than just dinner. Its been at least shows and dinner on most ships, some paid specialties for those who had the package, laser tag, go karts... It was nice to be able to get "ahead of the lines" for the busy stuff.

 

It makes sense to me that the two smaller ships didn't have a lot going. They don't have studio cabins and naturally, solo travellers who pick NCL, will more likely pick the studio ships.

 

On 5/4/2019 at 9:48 PM, EganFire said:

I have found this to be true as well. I found  some who were the "Odd man out" from the group they were sailing with. One was traveling with his son and his son's family. He would attend the Solo meetings, and go to dinner with his son, but sometimes joined us if his son and his family had other plans afterwards. I think the studios serve many purposes. I only wish they would have oceanview and or balcony options. Maybe a future version of the ship will have that. (Project Leonardo maybe?) 

Agreed. There were lots of people staying the studios recently on the Bliss who were there as the odd man out, or groups that just wanted their own room. I even ran into one couple who had adjoining studios, but they wanted their own space and beds at the end of the night.

 

Conversely, I also run into a huge amount of solo travellers staying in balconies who come to the meets.

 

Watch out about Project Leonardo though. I have heard from an NCL staffer that NCL is, at this time, reserving their decision on whether or not studios will be offered on the next class ship.

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@EganFire who was your solo host on the Bliss?  Rod was the host when I sailed last week, I thought he did a nice job and we had a decent turnout at the meet most nights.  I didn't count but I know that we had group dinners of 10, 6 and 6 when I ate in the MDR with the group, plus a group of 5-6 that went to specialties every night and more that decided to just do their own thing.  I suppose that considering there are 86 studio cabins on the Bliss and that non-studio solos are invited to the meets the turnout could have been better.  However, while there was a "core" group there were also some that came on some nights but not others.

 

I actually asked Rod about the arrangement for what member of the staff did the solo host duties - he said that it's supposed to rotate but he enjoyed doing it so he volunteered to do it a few weeks in a row.

 

If there's no host showing up to the meets, it might be worthwhile to track down the CD and find out what's up. The solo host is part of the CD's staff.

 

It did seem like there were a couple name-tagged people staying in the studio cabins last week, possibly contractors doing upgrades/maintenance on ship systems.

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I did solo on the bliss but never botherd to go meet anyone . im going again in October maybe ill check it out next time thanks for the information

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