I have never been on a cruise before

I live in Fort Myers, FL. I am 60 years old. I want to experience a cruise. I will be travelling by myself. I have no idea as to where i should go or what cruise line to choose. To all the experienced traveller out there.. what should I do. I know there are no single's cruises available like they used to have. So.. what would u do if you were me?? Thanks in advance!!

17 Answers

First welcome to the forum and to the world of cruising. We have several single cruisers here and I am sure they will pipe in with good answers for you. If you look at several of our answers on other threads, you'll find we have a variety of opinions on what is the best cruise. A good place to start is click "ADVICE" at the top of this page. There are some good topics to choose from, like "Guide for first timers", "Cruising 101" and "Choose a cruise" for starters. These will help you and then you can come back with a more focused question. Glad to have you on board!

Welcome. What she said. Enjoy!!

Cruise lines are like hotels. They all do the same thing but in different style. If you want a Ritz Carlton you will not like a 6 Motel. Before I can make a suggestion I will need to know more about what you are looking for.


For a party cruise....a 3 night Carnival cruise, young crowd lots of drinking and partying.

For a mature clientele, good food and service, but no water slides or wave riders Holland American Line.

For a premium cruise line with 40 to 70's that has excellent food and service Celebrity Cruise Line or Princess.

For a floating amusement park full of families the Mega ships of Royal Caribbean.

For single cabins the leader is NCL, but IMHO NCL does not have good food in the free dining rooms and the service is lacing. Some on here love NCL, I do not. I will give NCL credit that all the single cabins are in a locked area of the ship that has a bar just for single cabins and they do get all the singles together for dinners I have heard. Some of the newer Royal Caribbean ships also have some single cabins.

If you have never been on a ship before I'd suggest starting with a short cruise just to be sure you like it.

For Dinner you can choose "assigned seating " for your dining time and table. This will get you the same serving staff, table, dining time and table mates. the advantages, same people each night that you get to know. Disadvantage you can get stuck with a family with kids at your table or your stuck with people you do not like.

You can also do "Anytime Dining" where you go to the dining room when you want and ask to share a table. This way you eat when you want and get different staff and different table mates each night.

I have done assigned seating and anytime Dining when traveling solo. Both worked for me but in the future I will take anytime when traveling solo.

I hope this has helped, if you have any questions please feel free to ask. Most of the people on Cruiseline.com are nice and very helpful.

My first commercial cruise was on Carnival Conquest. I was awed by the beauty of the ship. Service was great and loved the food. Been hooked ever since(15 cruises now). Was in Navy on a destroyer for 4 years and swore I would never set foot on a ship again. Wife talked me into going just once...that all it took. I hear Carnival is the Wal Mart of the cruise business, but we have our likes and dis likes. I have only been on Carnival(I live 32 miles from Galveston), and I will stay with it(I may stray once to try the new Oasis class ship coming to Galveston). Main thing is to have FUN!!! I cruised by myself once(wife was cruising with her childhood friend)and The cruise lines peanalize a single cruiser by charging double occupancy. Do I get double food, etc. no!! That is a discussion itself. You meet interesting people cruising alone. I love to ride motorcycles in the ports and my tablemates were a doctor and nurse and we 3 rented motorcycles together(I am 72 by the way) Best time ever!!! (Carnival does not recommend motorcycle riding). I ignore all stuff and make my own decisions on what to do and see. If I miss the ship, I miss the ship.

Welcome to the forum and welcome to cruising! You are going to get a headache with all the different responses. Unless you like to party, avoid Carnival. We haven't been on NCL for 6 years but we liked their food and they are the pioneers of free style cruising. We lean toward RCI. It is nice that you live within driving distance. Keep an open mind. Check sailings for the dates you can cruise. Find a really good Travel Agent. Watch some YouTube videos for ships you might be interested in.

First, I assume you have a passport..if you don't the gov't website is how to do it. you're going to need one.

Second, you happen to live in an area where its relatively easy to get to a cruiseport. for you, it would probably be Miami. you don't even have to drive. theres regular bus service over to there. huge choice of ships.

Third..I happen to have a very close relative who lives in FT. Myers...small world. She considers herself "the queen of cruisers"...but I digress.. the point is she uses a TA. wouldn't dream of doing it herself. can't be bothered..I normally wouldn't suggest this, but get yourself a "good" TA...someone local...who you can SIT DOWN WITH...not one of these on-line types. Suggest you make a few calls to neighbors or friends who use one and see who they recommend and would they use them again. One way or another, call em, get a name, and go talk to at least two of them.. see who YOU feel comfortable with...be wary...they're sales and marketing types..you're going to have a million questions...BEFORE, DURING, and even AFTER....this could be the beginning of a long term relationship...suggesting which cruiseline to take is IMHO, way premature. For every one who dislikes a certain line, you're going to find other people who like it, probably for the same reason. We started cruising about 15 years ago, when I retired at 55. we decided WE could do at least as good a job as a TA, probably better, once we figured out how to access the different lines on-line. that's not for everyone. The only person who will ultimately decide if they like/dislike a certain line will be the person paying for it. which is YOU...and right now, you have no basis for comparison, which is why I'd suggest you use a TA...at least the first time. That way, when you come back, you'll have some knowledge of the great mystery of cruising.

Millions of people do it every year. A huge percentage of them have never done it b4 either. don't be a stranger in here...pick peoples brains...

We have 2 excellent TAs! One we have for our group cruises, like the Feb 7 Breakaway cruise coming up, and one online one we use for other cruises. If you find a good one, they keep you in formed and find you discounts.

Curious...are those "discounts" the ones you could have gotten yourself, without a TA?..if not, like what? I assume that requires a working knowledge of the reservations system of whatever line you prefer...in this case NCL. For the record, I have nothing against TAs..we'd rather do it ourselves, unless theres some inducement to let someone else do it.

No. We use V 2 G and they buy up groups of cabins and can offer discounts of over 50% a lot of the time. The key is the agent. We happen to have a very good one.

TAs can offer discounts due to their relationship with the cruise lines that are not offered on any website and most time get you a better deal. They can also act as your advocate if there is an issue with any part of your trip and get it resolved more quickly than the random person you will get on the call center.

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