Solitude at Sea

Waighty
11th May 2015, 12:38
I've never done a cruise and I'm tempted to take one but nearly all the brochures and websites talk about "on-board entertainment". I'm all in favour of folk enjoying themselves but for me "on-board entertainment" sounding as it does of cabaret etc., puts me right off. So what I'd like to know from any cruise aficionados is whether it's easy to opt out of such stuff? (?HUH)

Pompeyfan
11th May 2015, 14:44
Waighty

You do not have to take part in any "on board entertainment". If you wish to sit on deck all day, you can(although don't forget the sunblock)

Once aboard, you are free to do as you like, and you do not even have to go to the restaurant these days to your allocated table. With freedom dining on most cruise ships, you have a choice. I only used the restaurant in the evening, but not on formal nights, so had most of my meals in the buffet restaurant, much more choice.

So get booking, I am sure you will like it. Think of all that food 24 hours a day (Thumb)

johnvvc
11th May 2015, 15:11
Waighty,

The good lady and myself went on a cruise around the Carribean 4 or 5 years ago. I was afraid it would turn 'round to be something like a big floating Butlins but it was very very enjoyable.

As Pompeyfan says you're free to do as you like, you're not expected to take part in anything, there was loads of entertainment so you decide what to go and see and when you want to see it. We used the buffet and only sat down for a formal meal once - that was on our 40th.wedding anniversary, at which the staff laid on balloons and things and stood 'round our table and sang !!!

Once I get the new fence up, change the boiler, get the wife a new three piece and a couple of other things we'll almost certainly go again - if we've any money left !

Go for it - you'll love it !

Mariner44
11th May 2015, 19:54
Hello Waighty,

You didn't indicate whether or not you'd be a solo traveller.
Most of the cruises lines I have sailed with offer (optional) events for singles: drinks/get-togethers, a table for singles in restaurants, even organising a rendezvous onboard for singles who want company when they go ashore independently rather than an organised tour.

Entertainments that you can do on your own will also include things like:
- a cinema
- a well stocked library
- a gym and a pool
- a table tennis table
- a darts board
- a TV in your cabin
- "educational" lectures on a wide range of topics (I've just returned from a 31 night cruise to Gallipoli where we had 3 Aussie and 1 UK military historians, along with a diplomat, who provided a detailed view of the campaign and its lead-up.)
- watercolour classes on longer cruises
- bridge (cards) classes for beginners
- the usual deck games

There'll be plenty for you to do.

Harvey

Mariner44
11th May 2015, 19:58
You might consider doing a taster cruise to test the water, so to speak. 2 or 3 days will give you a flavour.

chris8527
11th May 2015, 22:09
I've never done a cruise and I'm tempted to take one but nearly all the brochures and websites talk about "on-board entertainment". I'm all in favour of folk enjoying themselves but for me "on-board entertainment" sounding as it does of cabaret etc., puts me right off. So what I'd like to know from any cruise aficionados is whether it's easy to opt out of such stuff? (?HUH)

It's more difficult to opt-in than opt-out. You have absolute freedom of choice when it comes to what you want to do on-board. I cruise extensively, 3 or 4 times a year. I might go to an evening show or two but for the most part, me and the wife sit around on a quiet deck with a book and enjoy being at sea. Try it. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Mad Landsman
11th May 2015, 23:17
I would most certainly agree with all that has been said, but would add a couple of tips:

Go for anytime dining, or whatever they call it - you will still get your full dining room experience, but not with the same crowd every night. You feel as though you are somewhat in control.

If you visit the theatre sit up the back, with all the other old grumps. You will not be expected to shout and cheer and you can dive for the door at the end of the show as the 'Cruise Director' comes on the stage for his sales spiel.

Go to the 'How the ship works' events - you probably won't learn much but if you ask the right kind of questions in the right manner the Officers will 'suss' you and you can then have a proper chat with them afterwards - if you want to.

We never use the casino, we never go to bingo, rarely go to the 'night clubs', we rarely visit the pool and stay well away when there is 'an event' - but we still manage to have a good time.

Enjoy!

holland25
11th May 2015, 23:22
I have been on five cruises over the last four years and before I went I had pretty much the same worries that Waighty had. Four of the cruises were with Princess, three on their smaller ships which operate to and from Australia and one of the larger ones in the Med.I found that you could take or leave the crowds as you wished. I was always able to find a quiet spot if I needed it, leaning over the stern and watching the wake I find very relaxing as well as gong up forrard and helping the Bridge crew take her in and out, metaphorically speaking. You can dine formally at a large table in the saloon or just grab a table at the buffet. We met some very nice people who joined us there. The fifth cruise was with Carnival who advertise themselves as fun ships. I chose them for reasons, which I wont go into here,I was a little bit apprehensive but I needn't have been, you could take or leave the fun as you wished, and we enjoyed the experience.
I had long wanted to visit some of the places of my youth but didn't want to do it on my own on a cargo ship, because my wife wasn't interested. Luckily a group of friends persuaded us to join them on a trip round NZ and the rest have followed.

santi
12th May 2015, 00:17
Hi dear fellows:

I`m brand new on this forum, and would like to say that after 40 years on the marine industry, 24 of it at sea; I had my first "Cruise" on 2014

I enjoyed it a lot because "on board entertainment" means exactly the same as in any on shore luxury ressort: all you like to do.

Regards

John Cassels
12th May 2015, 07:28
Stuck on a floating shoebox with a couple of thousand other people ?. No thanks .

NZSCOTTY
12th May 2015, 08:11
Stuck on a floating shoebox with a couple of thousand other people ?. No thanks .

Now now John the floating hotel you may love it but I am glad you agree with me that it is crap! At least I get paid when I suffer 24 hours on board.

Norm
12th May 2015, 08:30
Its when the "floating shoe box" gets caught in a hurricane or there's a virus sweeping through the passengers and everyone gets sick, or an Italian captain runs the ship on to rocks, these are the scenarios I fear from the cruising industry. Watching all those landlubbers panic like headless chooks and throw up or even drown have deterred me... so far.

tiachapman
12th May 2015, 08:41
get a real cruise some shipping lines do them .

Mariner44
12th May 2015, 08:47
get a real cruise some shipping lines do them .

Grimaldi Line have passenger cabins on their car transporters operating out of Southampton and Avonmouth, 35 or 8 day voyages at around 85 pp per night. Info is online.

septiclecky
12th May 2015, 15:05
Hello Waighty,

You didn't indicate whether or not you'd be a solo traveller.
Most of the cruises lines I have sailed with offer (optional) events for singles: drinks/get-togethers, a table for singles in restaurants, even organising a rendezvous onboard for singles who want company when they go ashore independently rather than an organised tour.

Entertainments that you can do on your own will also include things like:
- a cinema
- a well stocked library
- a gym and a pool
- a table tennis table
- a darts board
- a TV in your cabin
- "educational" lectures on a wide range of topics (I've just returned from a 31 night cruise to Gallipoli where we had 3 Aussie and 1 UK military historians, along with a diplomat, who provided a detailed view of the campaign and its lead-up.)
- watercolour classes on longer cruises
- bridge (cards) classes for beginners
- the usual deck games

There'll be plenty for you to do.

Harvey

How do you play table tennis on your own?

Erimus
12th May 2015, 16:23
Love cruises...lots of places to do nothing if that is what you want..and many do.We always have outside balcony and spend many hours just watching
the sea and other traffic...

Geoff

Mariner44
12th May 2015, 17:14
Singles........simples!

Or else, being pedantic, push the table against a bulkhead, and play the rebounds? :-)

Hugh Ferguson
13th May 2015, 12:15
The 12 to 4 graveyard watch on a Glen boat, in the tropics, snoring along at 18 knots. with everyone asleep in the ship except for the 2nd mate, man at the wheel, lookout, engineer and greaser in the engine room, and the sound of dolphins surfing on the bow wave.

kypros
13th May 2015, 15:21
Must admit have done several cruises and enjoyed everyone a microcosm of life ashore so much to do and not forced into anything you do not wish except life boat instruction on joining.KYPROS

Waighty
14th May 2015, 13:55
To all the responders of my original request - my thanks for taking the time to give me your views, all read with interest. On balance I think a cruise may well be on the horizon soon, probably on my own as my good lady has no interest in the sea despite sailing with me for five years on cargo ships many moons ago!

One of my biggest bugbears when I was at sea was being deeply stuck into a book and then having to break off to go on watch, usually at a critical point in the story. However having read the above comments that doesn't seem as if it would be a problem any more!

My thanks once again folks.

Mike Agate
15th May 2015, 03:05
A cruise is what you make of it, you are left to do your own thing or you can join in and be entertained. I go there to relax and do nothing whereas my wife rushes around trying everything.
Ex Bank Line multi cruiser