Since Mr. Jones was going to London for a 2-week work trip (again), I decided to book a last minute 7-day cruise on the Star Princess by myself.
I loved the California Coastal itinerary, and I was curious to experience the new San Francisco cruise terminal at Pier 27.
I wasn’t looking forward to sailing solo as cruising with Mr. Jones is so much fun.
However, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I booked the cruise and flights within a week of departure.
Mr. Jones was bummed he couldn’t go, but he did take a look at the Roll Call for my cruise on Cruise Critic.
“You got to go to this group’s get-together. They look like fun,” he said.
I wasn’t convinced. As long-time readers and contributors to Cruise Critic, we’d have some bad experiences with “Meet & Greet” groups from Cruise Critic in the past. Officers from the ship were present, and rather than a session to meet new cruise friends, the meeting became a big complaint session.
But as I read the thread, everyone seemed interesting, fun, well-traveled, and determined to have a good time.
Plus, they were organizing a Lets Party Wine Party, with everyone bringing a bottle of wine to share to the in-stateroom party.
I added my name to the list, and once I got settled on the ship, I sought out the group during sail away.
Here are Frank and Mary (known as F&M Love to sail on Cruise Critic) and also known as Mr. and Mrs. Gummy Bear. They hosted the Lets Party Wine Party in their balcony stateroom.
There was a plethera of wines of all kinds, including one brought all the way from New Zealand by Kiwi Ange (AandL on Cruise Critic.)
The New Zealand wine turned out to be the best part of the party as it led me to meeting Angela, another solo traveler from New Zealand who is fantastic fun.
Between the Cruise Critic ‘Meet & Greet” and the Lets Party Wine Party, I also got to meet Fred & Dot from North Carolina (Fredr500 on Cruise Critic), Betty (Pacifica Breeze on Cruise Critic), and Harvey & Myrna (Sunshine Gal PV on Cruise Critic), jammen, LETS PARTY, CalifCruisers, and other interesting travelers.
The cruise no longer seemed solo- everywhere I went there was almost always someone familiar to chat with, join for a quick meal or meet for a drink.
So if you are traveling solo or with a group, and like meeting new people, do sign up for the Roll Call for your cruise on Cruise Critic.
Have you ever taken a cruise by yourself? What strategies did you use to meet new people? Please share in comments below.
Check out these other posts on cruising and on traveling solo:
- 8 Things I Learned From Traveling Solo
- 12 Strategies For Getting the Best Value on Your Next Cruise
- 22 Things I Learned on My First Cruise Vacation
- 11 Days of Menus from the Seabourn Sojourn World Cruise
- Packing Advice for a 2-Week Land+Cruise Tour to Alaska
- How to Get an Onboard Credit For Every Cruise You Take