Observed Onboard: Do You Want to Meet Your Neighbors?

November 5, 2013 | By | 8 Comments

A curious event was listed on the daily program for the first evening of my recent Regent Seven Seas cruise: A block party.
Scheduled to coincide with Sailaway, the event – where you step out of your cabin into the hallway to have a drink and meet your neighbors – is apparently it’s a tradition with Regent. One that I had never seen on any other line has, in all my years of cruising.
Being a mildly unsociable person, I go on cruises because I love ships, I love the sea, and I love visiting different ports. I’m not actively seeking to meet other people; if that happens, it happens. And personally, I can’t think of anything I’d less like to do than meet my neighbors.
I grumpily decided that I would sneak up on deck and avoid the whole thing.
But when I opened my door, I was greeted by two beaming cabin stewards carrying bottles and trays of canapés. Only one couple was around, standing outside their door, looking embarrassed. We greeted each other politely and I made my excuses, selected a cube of cheese and hurried off to wave goodbye to Civitavecchia.
On my way, I was waylaid by a traveling companion and we ended up in the bar. There I canvassed opinion from others in the group I was with — all Brits — about the concept of block parties.
“A really good idea,” said one. “I’ve sailed with Regent before and it’s been a real laugh.”
“Harmless fun,” said another. “Although sometimes neighbors can be too friendly when encouraged; once I had one who practically climbed around the balcony to be sociable.”
“Just, no,” said a third. “Not for me. Cringe-worthy. That’s why I’m here, in the bar.”
Each to his (or her) own, then. I really don’t mean to be a killjoy, but the idea of this enforced jollity in a corridor seems most odd. I’m clearly in a minority because when I went back to my cabin, the party in every corridor I passed was in full swing and the (already included) booze was flowing. Regent is clearly onto something with its block parties – and Seabourn and Paul Gauguin do them too, according to this thread on block parties posted on our member forum.
So we’re asking you: How well do you really want to know your neighbors? Tell us in the comments.
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    8 Responses to “Observed Onboard: Do You Want to Meet Your Neighbors?”

    1. Annie Pick
      November 5th, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

      Oh I think just a nod and a smile is sufficient… and I’m not even British.

    2. AudalSomerset
      November 5th, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

      An occasional exchange over the balcony is enough for me. I find most people like their privacy.

    3. Brian
      November 6th, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

      I have mixed feelings about the block party. The idea of meeting the neighbors sounds fun, even though I’m an introvert. My only concern would be missing out on experiencing the sailaway from the upper deck. Staying in the hallway just doesn’t sound as good as watching the port slip away.

    4. Bob Powers
      November 6th, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

      I am a very gregarious person and love to meet interesting people from around the world. I am quick to strike up a conversation with others and am equally as proficient at listening as speaking.

      That being said, I am also a man who loves my privacy and very much respects that of my neighbors. It is fairly easy to tell who wants to proceed beyond a tip of the hat or a friendly good morning.

      I think the idea of the Sailaway block party is a great one, especially for those of us that are new to cruising. Some old hat cruisers like to pass on their knowledge to those of us less fortunate. They too will probably jump at a block party.

      As far as privacy mongers, snobs, and stuffed shirts go, they can stay at home. Why spoil the party for those of us that want to partake of the cordiality of those attending? I am sure their presence will not be missed.

    5. Barbara Johnson
      November 6th, 2013 @ 5:25 pm

      I like to watch outside our cabin, and see who’s going to be our neighbors, usually I’m waiting for our luggage, but watching too.
      One time, I still had a bottle of wine, near the end of the cruise, I heard my neighbors on their balcony, I yelled over the divider and said “you want to come over and help us get rid of this bottle of wine? I’ll order veggies and chips”, they said “yes”, and we had a delightful time, spur of the moment things are lots of fun!

    6. LindaBabe
      November 7th, 2013 @ 3:53 am

      Um – NO! Polite, yes. Pleasant, yes. beyond that, absolutely not.

    7. Valerie
      November 7th, 2013 @ 8:37 am

      I would love to have a block party on the boat and meet my neighbors. I just went on a cruise and kind of felt like we didn’t really get to know anyone. I would have joined in the festivities, were on vacation why not!

    8. H.A. Smith
      November 7th, 2013 @ 4:57 pm

      We cruise to get a little break from our neighbors. Call me selfish but it’s our ‘alone time’ except for the events in which we choose to participate. I quit drinking in hotel hallways years ago.

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