Retirement two years ago gave me the opportunity to experience the world of cruising. Since then I've cruised solo on many of the major cruise lines and this was by far the best experience ever. I stayed in a studio cabin which, from the photos, I expected to be cramped. What a surprise to walk into this lovely little space with it’s faux porthole, strategically placed mirrors, and funky mood lighting. To be sure, there isn’t much room but I heard the word “cozy” many times from fellow travelers, and that is exactly how I felt.
It’s not just the cabins though, that makes traveling alone on the Epic so unique. It’s the whole concept that you are a part of a very special and valued group that begins with key access to the Studio Lounge, the “Living Room”. Every evening at 5:30 all solo travelers were invited to Happy Hour, including two for one drinks, where a young, energetic, and engaging staff member greeted us. She encouraged the thirty or so of us, ages twenty-one to seventy, to introduce ourselves telling a bit about where we live and what we do. Then she gave us her phone number and told us to call anytime. Among other things she planned a group dinner for us, with complementary wine, made last minute reservations at the specialty restaurants (Le Bistro is fine dining at it’s best), and advised us on port and ship activities. One evening even brought us a visit by the captain.
The men and women I met in the studio lounge joined me at restaurants (Le Bistro is fine dining at it’s best), shows (Blue Man Group, Slam Allen the blues man, Legends with Neil Diamond and Aretha Franklin doubles (how can you miss with that caliber of entertainment), bridge playing, and beach trips. It was a blast! Book your studio soon, they sell out fast and now I know why.