For a few years, off and on, I have on occasion thought about taking a cruise for the first time.
But I have never gone on one or even looked into it because I can’t figure out whether it’s worth my time. Would I be better off and have more fun elsewhere? I know I would have fun at a college football game and tailgate party, going to New Orleans – ahh, New Orleans! – spending a few days in Waikiki Beach and most certainly in the Greek Islands.
And when I say single, I don’t mean solo travel, as in going alone. I have no problem doing that as I have done it several times in the past. I’m outgoing and find it easy to meet people. In the right environment, anyway.
What I mean by “single” is going as a single, unattached adult male. I thrive in fun environments with fun people, in particular when around single girls. I am at my best when I am hanging around a swimming pool with a drink handy and whooping it up in a lively singles bar with a young, likewise single and somewhat young (say between mid-20s and 50) crowd. Can I find that on a cruise ship?
Now may be the time to find out, as I’ve noticed cruise ships prices are incredibly cheap right now, some less than $30/day. That’s for a room and all meals. You can’t even do that in Vegas on a Monday or Tuesday in sleepy November or December. In fact, I’ve contacted a couple of single friends to see if we can get a group together. I KNOW that would be fun because even if we didn’t party with anyone else we would all have a blast together.
But what about if I were to go on my own? I just don’t know because everyone I talk to about it can’t definitely say “this is the cruise line/ship you want.” Just the other day I was chatting with a lady who was bragging about Princess cruises. When I asked her if the passengers were fun she said “oh yes,” but when I inquired as to the age range she said it had ” older fun” people.
And the last thing I want is to be stuck for several days on a cruise ship with a bunch of people I don’t want to be around. It’s not like walking into a bar and turning around if you don’t like the crowd. That is the number one reason I have not yet been on a cruise ship.
My friends at CruiseWestCoast.com – and were I ever to go, I would book a cruise through them – provide the best answers. They have been on just about every cruise line and cruise ship out there and say various cruise lines attract different types of passengers but I still am not sure whether or not I would be better off there than Tuscaloosa. Carnival, they say, is the biggest “party ship” but typically has a low-budget crowd that’s not really into mingling outside of their group.
Virgin seems a likely choice because I understand it has singles-only cruises. It’s hard to commit, tho, because the price point is on the high end and ships out of the U.S., go out of Miami. Initially, at least, I would be looking at a 3- or 4-day cruise out of Los Angeles or San Diego (I reside in San Diego).
I have long had the perception of cruise ships being full of middle-aged and senior travelers from places like Iowa who spend most of their time at the buffet and squatting around the pool.
Either that or families with screaming kids running into my legs or those budget Vegas-type of travelers who either spend their entire time feeding money into slot machines and sit in mostly-empty bars drinking margaritas out of a tall, plastic glass with the look of “I should have stayed home” on their faces.
I suppose at $30 or so a day for three or four days I pretty much can’t go wrong. Of course, added to that are all the taxes, port fees, pre-paid gratuities and certainly my bar tab (is it worth it to get the drinks package?). And, would I have to pay a singles supplement if I’m the only one in the room? If so that would double the cost of getting on the ship. All that would jump the cost of, say $150 on a four-day cruise to at least $500.
For that price I could stay in San Diego and party for three or four weeks instead of three or for days.
Cruise ships can be nice. Very nice. I’ve been on board a couple for daytime press events so I have first-hand knowledge. Also, with something like 2,000 people on board surely the odds are that I will find at least a few fun people to hang out with for a few days.
So I continue to weigh the pros and cons of cruise travel as a single – single as in unattached – person.
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