Table for one

May 22, 2016 -

John Heald

Good morning everyone from the beautiful old town of Rhodes, Greece. I was here multiple times on the Carnival Splendor or was it Carnival Freedom, buggered if I can remember but regardless I have been here many times and it is a beautiful, wondrous port and I am sure it will be a huge hot with the guests here.

Right now I am sitting here in the Ocean Plaza and I am one of only 188 guests out of the almost 4000 who are still on board. Included in that number is a guest also sitting here ireading his Kindle. I just took him his morning Latte from the coffee ship because Daniel and I have become mates. Daniel is from Washington, he has cruised 3 times with Carnival, he is 44 years old, he is single and works at a nuclear engineer at a power plant in Connecticut . He has no interest in taking excursions and will as he has done in every one of the European ports head out at lunchtime, have some local food and come back to the ship. That aside he likes to read, and enjoy the solitude that his job never allows him.

Yep, he has no family to ask “ what shall we do today”? Nobody to have to schedule times with, it’s just him , he does what he wants when he weants.

Being single certainly has some superb benefits. You always get control of the remote control, you can eat what you want and not worry about what anyone else wants and if you’re Daniel, you can leave the toilet seat in a permanently down position. But I have always marveled at the solo cruiser, sitting alone on the Promenade deck, surrounded by couples. But Daniel and the many other solo cruises I meet always seem to be happy, content and I do marvel at them and wonder if I could cruise solo, especially the eating alone bit.

I experienced the eating alone bit last night as you will have seen from the video below from your Carnival Vista’s Bonsai Sushi restaurant. I had spent time doing more interviews with the press and then by the time I had finished with them and by the time I had checked in on the show it was too late for me to eat in the dining room and so with Ji Ji ( my first choice and my most favourite food on the ship) was as always sold out so it was off to for some teriyaki and rice less sushi.

Solo dining to me has always been a lonely pursuit. But like many solo activities, once you get the technique right it has its own quiet rewards.

As you enter the restaurant your body language is vitally important. Gentlemen may choose to adopt a superior sideways tilt of the head that says, “I am a fascinating man of the world. On other parts of the Carnival Vista there are many, ladies who want rumpy pumpy with me but I have told them to bugger off and that I am not interested in them or their pendulous breasts.

Time plays tricks on the solo diner. The gap between ordering and getting your food stretches into centuries. So I turned to my eye phone and looked very serious so that other guests and staff would imagine the brand ambassador was sending an e mail to Christine Duffy, Arnold Donald and Micky Arison about my thoughts on Vista’s Sister and what changes we should make there when actually I was deciding whether or not to accept the 20% discount I have been offered if I decide to buy a larger penis.

While the wait for the food always seems an eternity to the solo diner as soon as the food arrives you realise how pitifully few minutes it takes to actually eat a meal, without the distraction of conversation or laughter.

Luckily enough people know me here on the ship that my table for one was not really that as I had photos taken and people stopped by to tell me how much they loved this new ship and one to tell me the coffee machine in her Grand Suite was “ too complicated and nobody had shown her how to use it.”

The rest of the time though I have to say, I didn’t like it very much. I sat ……..alone reminding myself how lucky I was not to be married to the lady on the table next to me who had ordered a drink that comes with a straw. Why is it that she thinks anyone wants to hear you consume those last few sips.

Let them go. Or, order a new drink for FFS.

Dining alone then was once seen as a sure sign of a broken relationship, that you had n friends or you were such a bastard that nobody wanted to have dinner with you. These days it seems more and more people are content and happy to dine alone.  I discussed this with Daniel and he brought up a great point when he said “I am never alone, I alwys have my cell phone and my Kindle for company and as long as there is Wi FI I am happy.” So I think Daniel has taught me (and maybe some of you possibly ) that t’s pretty judgmental of me and in fact, inaccurate that people are eating alone for any other reason than that is exactly what they want to do.

Cheers, have a brilliant day and wywh


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5 Responses to Table for one

  1. philip wheeler says:

    John I live in Essex so use another brand carnival own I cruise at least once a year normally with my parents and brother the only time I’ve been on a trip is Rome all other ports they go of on trips and I stay either on the ship or go out for a few hours in the port. At the end of the cruise I’m normally relaxed and their still stressed from trying to do as many trips as possible

  2. Tess says:

    I would love to cruise solo, and have tried to .. but someone always decides to go with me! I don’t find dining alone uncomfortable either. On a Cruise ship, you’re never alone, I always make friends or at least have conversations and some laughs with strangers on a regular basis. Even if it’s an unpleasant converstation with someone like ‘Barbie’ on Serenity who stole my chaise when I was gone to the bar for 5 minutes (and my shoes were under it). 🙂

  3. Su-Ella Mckinzie says:

    Hi John.. So I am one of those 40’s cruisers that travel solo and eat dinner alone. Gasp! And I figured out a couple of cruises ago that was way easier and more enjoyable than eating at a “singles” table! I love all the fun people I have the opportunity of meeting on a cruise! And usually do throughout the cruise, but putting me at a table with other singles just hasn’t worked out. So I chose your time dining and ask for a table by myself and then I meet tons of people on the deck and in port and on excursions and in the Alchemy bar and thats who i hang with the entire cruise. Eating dinner with folks i don’t know is very uncomfortable and being stuck with them for an hour half and for 8 days is even worse. I love talking with the staff and getting to know them at dinner, or playing on my phone or my kindle. Don’t feel bad for us, strike up a conversation with us single folks. We like company and usually meet people great just over dinner is very uncomfortable because you can’t get away! I love cruising with Carnival and meeting all kind of people just usually not a meals, meet me at the Alchemy Bar and we can meet for dinner later! Keep the laughs coming!

  4. cherie says:

    Hi John
    I too travel solo, and enjoy it. The sad part is that solo guest have to pay a double price. WE don’t get double service and we don’t eat double food. I understand that Carnival wants it’s ships to be full. I have sailed with Carnival since 1980. Carnival Should show some loyalty to solo travlers. NCL has solo cabins, Carnival should set aside a number of cabins for solo guest. After all is us, the return guest that has put Carnivals where it is today. I would sure go on many more Carnival Cruises.

  5. joe heberling says:

    John, bless your little pea picken’ heart, you still don’t have the male prerogative toilet seat thing correct. The eternal struggle between the sexes is that men leave the seat up! Men lift the seat to pee and women lower the seat to pee. Leaving the seat down and peeing standing up means you end up peeing all over the seat, gross.
    When I first got married my thought was, I need it up you need it down, we’ll both put it where we need it. My lovely bride explained that if I left it up, when she went in in the middle of the night, half a sleep, she had a rude awakening as she splashed her butt in the cold water.
    I conceded the argument. 😀

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