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Sandra1616

Feeling Uncomfortable

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Hi there,

There has to be many benefits going solo on a cruise.  I must admit I cringe at the thought of eating or doing activities with others who would rather be by themselves or are not welcoming or I feel out of place or odd some how with them.  I also cringe at the thought of being the only person solo at an activity usually done with another, or last to be invited or chosen.  How can I handle these situations should they arise or better yet prevent them?  Sandra

Edited by Sandra1616
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Sandra,

As an introvert who almost never starts a conversation, I know what you mean.  I have had great luck soloing with NCL.  They have a solo meet every night,  Starting with embarkation night.  From that meeting those who wish, go to dinner together.  

At the trivia games, most people realize diversity of the participants is a good thing.   I have been asked to join several teams on several cruises.  On two cruises, the solo group had their own team.

Some solo groups are tighter than others but all have been welcoming and willing to help a newbie.  

Check to see if the cruise you are thinking of has a Roll Call on Cruise Critic.  If they do you can contact other solos there.  If they also have a Meet & Mingle, you can meet solos or people with similar interests there.

Try it, you'll like it.

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First I want to say that what you are feeling is totally normal. Once you get into the swing of traveling solo, your worries will start to ease. On many excursions I've done there have been others who were solo because their partner wanted to do something else. Usually the organizers of the excursion decide on groups or people will say hey come join us. The same for shows, sitting by the pool, going to the gym. For dinner you can request to eat by yourself, no one will think twice. No one has ever thought twice that I was by myself even though I was sitting by myself for all activities. It's all a very relaxed atmosphere.

 

I've been solo traveling for 11 years, had the same worries and thoughts especially with cruising, but eventually you don't even think about it anymore and can just be yourself on vacation. Most of the time others are so preoccupied with themselves they don't notice a thing lol.

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Hi Sandra, I have been cruising solo for 17 years---trying to think back when I first started cruising...…..having

hesitation for something new is probably normal but as time goes by, sailing solo has been a piece of cake.

I totally agree with the previous post....most folks are so involved in their own thing, they really don't care if

someone is cruising solo.   As for activities? To give you an example, most times Trivia is by teams and most

folks are pretty friendly...…just ask if anyone is looking for another team member. 

 

Dinner? If you want to eat on your own, you can do that....many times the Maitr'd will ask if you would like to

sit with other folks, if you don't want to? Just say no thanks, you prefer a 2 top. If you feel like joining a table?

I like meeting new folks so have done that quite often over the years.  It is your choice. It is your cruise:classic_biggrin:

 

Hope you have a wonderful time.:classic_biggrin:

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First - if you set sail thinking you're not going to have fun, you won't have fun.  Relax, go into the experience with an open mind and try to have fun.

 

Activities - On my solo cruise last year, there was at least one instance where I was sitting in the area where the activity was going to happen and when they suggested teams of a maximum size a couple near me asked if I wanted to collaborate.  It's just that easy.  Of course, I had been chatting some with them while waiting for the activity to begin.

 

Meals - you've gotten some good advice.

 

I feel Norwegian has a nice solo program on the ships that have the studio cabin category.  They assign a solo host from the entertainment staff, that host organizes some activities (group reservation for shows, laser tag, go-karts on ships that have them) and escorts the group to the dining room for a group dinner. 

 

I lucked out on my first solo cruise, in the solo meet a group was looking to fill out a 6-top specialty dining reservation (they were doing back-to-back cruises and had met in the solo group on the first leg), I had dinner with them that night and 2 more as well as doing other activities with some of them.  Look, you're all in the same boat so you have something in common as an ice breaker if you want to interact with them.

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On 2/14/2020 at 4:55 AM, Sandra1616 said:

Hi there,

There has to be many benefits going solo on a cruise.  I must admit I cringe at the thought of eating or doing activities with others who would rather be by themselves or are not welcoming or I feel out of place or odd some how with them.  I also cringe at the thought of being the only person solo at an activity usually done with another, or last to be invited or chosen.  How can I handle these situations should they arise or better yet prevent them?  Sandra

 

NCL is the best for solo cruisers.  There is a solo meeting each evening hosted by a member of the cruise staff.  They will arrange group dinners every evening in one of the main dining rooms (or have a sign up sheet for specialty restaurants for future nights) for those interested in dining with others.

 

Join the Roll Call for your cruise here on CruiseCritic.  Often you can get a feel for fellow passengers, and even join others who have booked their own shore excursions and are looking for people to join them. 

 

Lastly, remember that life is short and you really don't need to please anyone except yourself.  So don't give a carp about what other people think.  Folks have a tendency to get lost in their own fears/intimidation.

Edited by Mike_DeA

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On 2/18/2020 at 8:52 AM, Mike_DeA said:

 

Lastly, remember that life is short and you really don't need to please anyone except yourself.  So don't give a carp about what other people think.  Folks have a tendency to get lost in their own fears/intimidation.


yup agree with Mike. 
 

>>>There has to be many benefits going solo on a cruise.  I must admit I cringe at the thought of eating or doing activities with others who would rather be by themselves or are not welcoming or I feel out of place or odd some how with them.  I also cringe at the thought of being the only person solo at an activity usually done with another, or last to be invited or chosen.  How can I handle these situations should they arise or better yet prevent them?  Sandra<<<<
 

sorry can't work out how to do a double quote on my phone. 
 

My first response would be short and sweet. "Stop cringing". Simple. It's about how you are perceiving things. 
 

There are millions of solo travellers & cruisers around the world. They are not unusual nor rare. How non-solos perceive them usually means little to them. I know I give zero thought to it. 
 

A saying in Australia is "put your big girls blouse on". It essentially means just "get on with it". With confidence. 
 

If you encounter unwelcoming people - move. Simple. If you are worried they will judge you - forget it - couple of thousand people on a ship means you will likely never see them again. Heck I do it on ships with under 100 passengers !!!! (My Cate factor about what people think of me is close to zero). 

Odds are with the size population of a cruise ship you will encounter plenty of other interesting welcoming people. 
 

If I fancy doing trivia I do a slow stroll thru looking for smaller groups who might be seeking to build up numbers and ask if I can join. Other times I might get there early and take a seat and let others approach me to see if I am waiting for anyone or can they join me. 
 

The absolute biggest positive to going solo is everything is your personal choice. To do what you want when you want. To be who you want to be. To be as introverted or extroverted as you personally feel like being - I change through the day ! I'm extremely introverted at breakfast and lunch so I ask for a solo table - but may still get chatting to nearby people if they or I initiate a chat. At dinner I tend to ask to join a solo table for 4, maybe 6 - def not more than that. 
 

I have zero issue sitting with couples. In my experience they are usually so bored with each other they have run out of topics and are usually dying for fresh conversation !!! I have quite often had elderly couples ask me to join them for dinner. 

 

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Hi,:classic_smile: that saying is pretty known world wide LOL....may be in different words, as we say,

"Put your "big boy pants on"......in this case, "put your "big girl pants on"

 

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Start easy...go to the bar...see another solo lady...sit 2 seats down.  Ask her what she's drinking and if it's good.  Order one.  Chit chat for a moment.

Go to the solo meet n greet.  Accept invites to hosted tables from the cruise personnel.

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I'm solo cruising too and an introvert. I'm bringing a book or two (titles can catch the eye of other like-minded readers and start great conversations) and my camera (also a great conversation starter if it's a unique camera). These are both solo activities that can open you up to conversations if you want, and/or allow you to enjoy the experience on your own.

 

Dining solo is very common for me. If you've never done it, I suggest you treat yourself to a solo dinner once a month leading up to the cruise! It will become natural. Again, books are a great way to fill the time (instead of just staring at your phone) and read a book about the destination you're going to. I'm probably going to change it up and sit at a bar for my meals since I like to chat with the bartender about ports and cool places to see.

 

Repeat after me: Books and camera! Books and camera!

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On 2/14/2020 at 4:55 AM, Sandra1616 said:

I must admit I cringe at the thought of eating or doing activities with others who would rather be by themselves or are not welcoming

Then don't -- if you're not comfortable somewhere, you can leave or opt out of the activity.  It's your cruise and you have no one to please but yourself. 

 

On 2/14/2020 at 4:55 AM, Sandra1616 said:

I also cringe at the thought of being the only person solo at an activity usually done with another, or last to be invited or chosen.

Yeah, that sucks - it's like Junior High all over again.   That's either a challenge you've got to face, or a problem you can avoid by choosing to do something else instead.   Which I do depends on how I'm feeling that day.

 

Some cruise ships work hard on solo activities to bring other solo passengers together, but that's not the approach I like to take and I avoid those activities.  You might like a ship that does solo meet-and-greets, or arranges dining companions among solos on the ship.  I find that if people are open to meeting new people (regardless of whether they're solo or not), they will be open to striking up conversations at ordinary places and times - at a bar, in a dining venue, on a tour bus, etc. 

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