Category Archives: Singles Cruises

Table for three

Cruise lines have plenty of events for single travellers

Most big cruise lines offer social activities for minority or special interest groups, but I’ve never seen a line embrace the subject as enthusiastically as Princess Cruises does.

On the day we boarded (Monday), there was a Singles’ Mingle, which I missed as we were having dinner, a special gathering for 18-20 year olds, who are too old for the teen club, and a GLBT Get-Together (whatever happened to Friends of Dorothy?).

On Tuesday, the Friends of Bill W had a meeting (for those of you who are not familiar with the term, this is the wording used in the daily programme for an AA group and all big cruise ships have them).  I missed the Singles’ Mingle yet again on Wednesday as it was at a weird time (5.15) and we were swimming, although the golfers, scrabble players, GLBT and 18-20s on board all had a chance to hook up.

Today is a sea day and it’s non-stop opportunities for finding kindred spirits. There are social events for bridge players, first-time cruisers, Service Club members, GLBT passengers and freemasons, a Friends of Bill W meeting, a veterans’ gathering and a service for anybody wanting to celebrate the Jewish Sabbath.

No Singles’ Mingle today, though, which makes me worry that I’ve missed the boat, as it were. Maybe all the singles paired off on the first couple of days?

I appreciate that I’m including a religious event and an AA support group with the social activities all in one stream of thought here, but it seems there is something to encourage everybody to connect – except me, as a single parent on a cruise. Even if there were a single parents’ mingle, I expect I’d be the only one there as I haven’t spotted any other obvious candidates. Everybody is either paired off or travelling in a big group. The three of us – me and two kids – certainly seem a curiosity to the crew and every time we sit down in a bar or restaurant, I am asked, “Where is your husband?”

I don’t mind at all and this is not a sob story, although we are thinking of inventing some colourful reason as to why he’s not here; ran off with a showgirl, perhaps, or on a secret mission somewhere. It just seems strange to me that more single parents aren’t attracted to cruising, as it’s such an easy holiday. The kids love it, I’m quite happy lying around reading, we’re ashore every day and we’re very happy having dinner together and going to the shows in the evenings.  But if I did want to hook up with people, it might be easier if I were travelling solo, a scrabble enthusiast or a masonic Friend of Dorothy.

SJB

3 Comments

Filed under Amenities, Cruise Lines, Family Cruises, Mediterranean Cruise, Singles Cruises

The last word

Okay, for the last word on NCL’s Norwegian Epic (well we make no promises — but this is the last word for awhile!), check out this Cruise Critic interview on U.S. radio magnet Peter Greenberg’s national show. It’s a frisky look at what works and doesn’t on the ship : http://bit.ly/ap9Gwx. Cruise Critic also got a very nice shout out from the BBC’s Fast Track program on Epic-related opinions but it’s not available to watch in the U.K. so…sorry about that.

And if you’re catching up on cruise news and reviews this weekend, here are a couple of other Cruise Critic stories from this week worth checking out:

*Strikes in Greece have impacted cruise travel (and travel in general) in Athens this week; we’re keeping an eye on the situation throughout the weekend: http://bit.ly/cOalRE.

*If you’ve ever thought about heading to Glastonbury for the famed rock festival (or more probably if you’re reading this blog, you haven’t ever considered such an experience — but maybe you know someone who has?), a cruise ship rock festival is a lot more intimate and you don’t have to deal with mud (and tents). Check out this virtual slideshow on sister site Cruisecritic.com (http://bit.ly/avNuI0 ) as Dan Askin takes us along with him on a trip aboard Carnival Inspiration. He keeps it pretty clean!

*For the latest reviews from Cruise Critic members just off ships, check out brand new submissions from Independence of the Seas, Thomson Celebration, Island Escape and Azamara Quest. Start here: http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/reviews/.

Have a great weekend!

CSB

Leave a comment

Filed under Cruise Lines, Destinations, New Ships, News, Singles Cruises, Theme Cruises, Virgin Cruises

Studio cabins

Easily ranking in the top three of things our readers most want to know about are Norwegian Epic’s studio cabins and lounge. As you may recall, NCL originally planned to make this grouping of very small cabins a sort of hipster’s retreat for the budget-impaired. Didn’t go over. So now — in a brilliant move that as I like to say made lemonade out of lemons — NCL decided to transform the space into cabins for solo travelers.

In a word? Small but oh-so-cozy. Each has a double bed, enough storage space, flat screen telly, neat ambient lighting (four different colors; one person at yesterday’s press conference wanted to know if it was an effort to introduce chronotherapy —  therapy of color? — into the ship). I think it just looks nice. Ironically, the frosted-glass bathrooms that are controversial in the cabins-for-two don’t exist here (here, you get a toilet and a shower in a regular, pre-fab plastic-formed bathroom. The irony of course is that here who cares about privacy: You’re in the cabin alone!

These are technically considered inside cabins but do have a window (with adjustable venetian blind) that looks into the corridor.

Loved the studio lounge, take a look at the photo. It’s just a sleek, contemporary place to chill out with its own coffee making facilities and also a bartender at certain times of the day. It feels more like Seabourn than NCL. Also a cool touch: there’s a vending area down the hall that sells the usual junk food (chips, candy, soda), though there’s no microwave (no need to be heating up pallid plastic containers of fake spaghetti with all the options the ship has to offer dining wise).

The whole thing reminds of the pod hotel craze that’s creeping into airport accommodations. All things equal, I’d prefer a cabin with a balcony for the same price as this — but if that’s delusional, well, I’d be happy here. Would you?

CSB

8 Comments

Filed under New Ships, Singles Cruises