I thoroughly enjoyed my first cruise. I was one of the few single males. At first it was a somewhat daunting experience but I quickly got into the rhythm of things. I reckon it helped that I am used to spending a lot of time working alone. Not that I was alone all the time on the cruise because I made some good acquaintances especially through the discussion board group that chartered three taxis for the private tour of Bali; tour, lunch and dinner (including a Bintang beer) for abour $A30.
The one thing that struck me was the number of whingers; mostly elderly Australians! Moaning and groaning all the time. Rhapsody of the Seas might not be the #1 cruise liner in the world but it was pretty good to me. But bloody hell; find the most minor thing to whinge about and off they go. Do the cruise whingers have any happiness in their lives?
And the cruise tragics! I'm familiar with railway (and other transport) enthusiasts who are known as "gunzels" - live is about one thing and one thing only. The cruise tragics I met fascinated me and they seemed to give the transport people a run for their money. People whose lives are for one thing and one thing only! Greaty stuff.
For me being a man of simple tastes and pleasures life is a little more relaxed and flexible.
I loved the American style dining in the Windjammer Cafe. The only thing, being a single, is that if you get up and move away from your table to find some more food chances are that it's cleaned up and someone else is sitting there when you return. But simply; find another table. Easy done.
Dinner in the restaurant was good too. I enjoyed the 2030 sitting because it gave time for some pre dinner drinks. I found the bar prices very good, probably thanks to the strong Australian dollar. Prices about the same as pubs in Australia.
I celebrated a friend's significant birthday in Giovani's restaurant and the experience was magnificant. Couldn't be faulted. It wasn't too busy the night I attended.
Security was good too; unobtrusive but there just in case.
I had my first swim for five years and loved watching the oldies wearing their Speedos (men) and two piece costumes (women) far beyond their "should wear something suitable" time!
The solo travellers lunch was a bit of a disappointment. I think it was meant for people like me, those travelling alone, but several people whose domestic status might be single, came along and that changed the spirit of the activity. I gave it two chances but both times dominated by one person who gave far too much information about her (rather sad) life. I was the only male on the two occasions I attended!
So, I've done it. Travelled solo at age 61 and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
I'll certainly do it again; the cruise that appeals to me is one that goes through the Panama Canal.
The Barrier Reef was top of my "list" but that's now "done" thanks to the cruise.
A great time and a wonderful experience.
Paul in Melbourne