It's your dream vacation, the cruise you've been anticipating for so long. But you are traveling by yourself and don't know a soul. You'd like to meet someone to spend the next seven days having fun with...maybe even develop a shipboard romance. A cruise ship, however, is different from a singles bar. There are many, many places to meet, and you've got to come up with something more original than walking up and asking, "What's your sign?"
So what should you do when you see someone you'd like to hook up with? Whether you're male or female, there are some sure-fire ways to flirt on a cruise ship. I've traveled solo many times myself, and I've discussed the topic with other singles. Based on that research, I have compiled a list of the top 10 ways to flirt--methods that have worked for lots of people (including yours truly).
- The Lifeboat Drill. Get there early but don't go to your muster station. Instead, wander around as others gather. If you are a man and see a woman who appears to be alone or traveling with other females, walk right over and ask if she needs help getting her lifejacket on. By the same token, if you're female and you want to flirt with a guy, play helpless and ask for assistance. Believe me, there is a certain intimacy in having someone tie your life jacket straps! (I met a cute officer this way--but then, I discourage romancing the crew.)
- Cocktail Hour. Scope out all the bars onboard. Singles usually meet in piano bars or intimate places. Show up before dinner, and send someone a drink. (Ladies, it's okay for you to do the same. We're liberated, remember?)
- Dinner. If you find yourself seated with older passengers, newlyweds, couples, families, or anyone not single, make lots of trips to the restroom. As you move through the dining room, check to see who looks unattached. If you see somebody you'd like to meet, walk over when they appear to be ready to leave, introduce yourself, and ask if the two of you could have an after-dinner cappuccino.
- The Shows. This is an easy one. Again, you'll need to do some moving about, but it's easy to spot singles or same-genders traveling together. Find a seat nearby (preferably next to or right behind them) and strike up a friendly conversation before the show. Afterwards, fall in step as they walk out and suggest a stroll around the ship or a drink.
- Dancing. All of the major cruise lines have lounges where there is slow dancing. Ladies, don't hesitate to approach that man you've had your eye on and ask him to dance. Gents, if you've got your eye on a certain gal, you can be sure the dance floor is a great place to flirt. So romantic!
- Walk on Deck. If you see someone standing at the railing and a second glance makes your heart skip a beat, move in on him/her. Walk right up, start a friendly conversation, and suggest a walk around together. Nights at sea are the time when people particularly don't like being alone, and it's a great time to flirt.
- Eating Outdoors. Okay, so you've spotted a Tom Cruise or Jennifer Lopez look-alike sitting alone, and suddenly you've turned shy. You can't think of a single thing to say, but what you can do is pick up an extra bowl of fruit, dessert, lemonade, or whatever, walk over and say, "Hi, this looks so good I thought you'd like to enjoy one with me."
- The Pool. What better way to flirt than when someone is lounging in the sun? All you have to do is pull up a deck chair next to him/her and boldly offer to slather suntan lotion on his/her back.
- Shore Excursions. This is an easy place to spot a loner, and you can latch on quickly by starting a conversation about the places you're visiting. These trips usually last a few hours, and during that time you can suggest meeting later to talk about all you've seen and done...if he/she doesn't do it first.
- Shopping. Walk up to the person you're interested in and ask what they think about a purchase you are considering, whether you need it or not. Everyone likes to feel his or her opinions are important, and this is a great way to break the ice...and flirt.
Of course, there is always a chance that even if you try these tactics, they won't work because the person you are interested in does not feel the same about you. So what? What have you lost except a few minutes of your time? And even then, you've honed your flirting skills.
Remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained...especially when it comes to flirting on a cruise.
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