Being the cruise enthusiast that I am, naturally I am part of a few online groups and communities that all relate to cruising and one thing that is discussed quite frequently is cabin sharing with someone you don’t really know in order to avoid paying the single supplements.
I have come to know many wonderful people through cruise communities, Facebook pages and so on, but about 16 months ago I started having regular conversations with a girl around my age who lives in Southampton. I think our connection was sparked because we both have a love of P&O Cruises. We became friends and would talk about cruising, what we had been doing, how her fiancé was getting on at work and so on. Just general girly chit chat.
To cut a tremendously long story short, her fiancé works aboard one of the P&O vessels and she would usually join him once or twice during his contract and stay in crew quarters. This comes with restrictions and she said she just wanted to cruise as a normal passenger again, have some fun and let her hair down so we started talking about how it could run quite expensive to go alone. After a few weeks we got back onto the subject and I said why don’t I come with you? I want to cruise on the same ship around the same time, you want to go and have a holiday with the occasional time ashore with your partner so let’s just go! OK, we don’t really know one another but worst case scenario if we don’t get along we sleep in the same space for 2-weeks. So that’s exactly what we decided to do and we went ahead and booked the cruise!
As the voyage neared I know we were both a little apprehensive, but quite excited too. I think we both just hoped more than anything that we would get along. We didn’t have to be best friends, just chatty enough to hopefully have the occasional meal together or drink at the bar. I just hoped we wouldn’t hate one another.
We met for the first time in the ship’s atrium and it was a huge relief, getting over that first hurdle of actually meeting was the most worrying part for me. We said our hello’s, had a hug and then wandered off to find somewhere to sit and chat until our cabin was ready. We found a spot on the open deck, grabbed a drink and started chatting about more or less everything (I think it was one of those nervous conversations). When her fiancé was on break she quickly introduced me to him, he was lovely too, cheeky, but lovely! As the ship’s whistle sounded and we pushed away from our berth in Southampton we raised a glass and toasted to the journey and hopefully friendship that lay ahead.
I had such a good time! We got on so well, I felt like we had known each other all of our lives. We met some great people on that cruise and our story was always a talking point for them. The look on their faces when we told them we didn’t meet until we were onboard! classic!
We laughed a lot, dined together almost every day and we explored ashore together at several ports. Our cabin looked like a war zone because between us we had so much luggage, but who cares! We weren’t arguing or hoping the other would fall overboard at some point, it turned out to be a risk worth taking that’s for sure.
We became incredibly good friends, we have met up once since the cruise and will be meeting up again in just a weeks-time before I board Norwegian Getaway.
I took a chance and it worked out perfectly, not sure I could take that risk with someone a lot older than me, I think you do have to have some balance, but for those of you thinking about it I hope this helps. We had been chatting for over a year before we decided to book the cruise and discovered we had a lot of things in common, I think that helped too!