Solo Travel by Sea: Value vs Price
Solo travel on a ship offers challenges, opportunities and many pleasant events.
After taking 3 other cruise lines in the past few years Holland American excelled in several areas:
Crew attitude and personality
It took me two days before I realized that ALL of the staff in the formal dining room was male. No women. Although the comments from the assistant manager were rather negative, HA found that an all male crew could manage the heavy trays that are often required to serve a table of 6 or 8. (women crew members did work in the specialty restaurants)
All of these positions are filled with crew from the same country. Therefore there would be no language problems in this very demanding.
What astounded me was almost ALL of the staff was pleasant, smiled and asked how you were. I know, this is their job, but many of the staff were actually interested! Life off the sea is NEVER like this…..when was the last time someone genuinely smiled at you and meant it?
I think I became a ‘mission’ for the dining room staff. I did not ‘bond’ with many of the other solo travelers who preferred to sit at their assigned tables so I requested a table for 2 in a non conspicuous locations. And if you eat at the end of the last seating there are not many other passengers still in the dining room who continue to look, stare and wonder why I am having such a GOOD TIME?
Except for one incident I was accommodated and was NOT made to feel ‘unusual’.
I worry though, do solo travelers expect staff and other workers to “be their friends’ while cruising? I shall have to be very careful on the next outing.