Once upon a time there was a little girl called Goldilocks. She wasn’t really little, except in her minds-eye. And she was certainly no longer a girl, except to her mother and father.
She wanted to go on a cruise by herself to make some new friends, but didn’t know where to begin…
All for one
But she was over 21, single, footloose, fancy free, and loaded to the gun-whales with folding money.
One day Goldilocks decided to go for a walk in the ‘Woulds’ (a distant cousin to the Forest of ‘Would-Nots’) to book a sea cruise
“Hmm,” she said, when they showed her pictures of the huge resort ship that catered for over 1,000 passengers, “that’s too big. I want to meet Prince Charming. How would I find him among all those people?”
The next ship was very small, for 200-600 passengers.
“Oh it looks alright,” she said, “but there’s not that much to do and most of the men will probably turn out to be married frogs.”
Then they showed her the mid-sized ship for 600 to 1,600 passengers.
And one for all
“Ooh I like this one,” she said. “It’s just right. Not too big and not too small. It looks like a real ship instead of a floating box. It will be much easier to find my way around to meet the man of my dreams.
“And there’s lots of other things to do. And more dining options.”
Then they showed her three cabins.
“The suite is beautiful but much too big,” she pouted. “My mummy and daddy would love it, but they’re not coming with me ‘cos I’m a big girl now.
“Also, you want to charge me a single supplement because I would be hogging all that space to myself.
Don’t share if you don’t care
“And your suggestion that I share a large cabin with a total stranger until we’ve been properly introduced and have announced our formal engagement – is out of the question.”
Then they showed her a tiny cabin, next to the bilges.
“I don’t think so” she huffed. “You couldn’t fit a tin of sardines in that weeny cabin. In fact there’s probably more room in the tin of sardines. Besides, I’ve got real money, not play money, to spend”
Then they showed Goldilocks something that made her eyes light up.
“You can put that away,” she purred. “For this is a working relationship.
“But I love the solo cabin you’re showing me for it is not too big and not too small – but just right. I’ll take it. Would you prefer hard cash or one of my plastic cards?”
Just before signing the contract, Goldilocks asked one more question.
“I know this is silly,” she said, fluttering her eyelashes, “but what’s the best way to meet a single man on a ship?”
Book early for single cabins
First, they explained to Goldilocks that she was very fortunate to have reserved a single cabin, for they are as rare as an honest politician and need to be sought after and booked very early indeed.
Then they handed her a single sheet of ‘Handy Hints for Solo Passengers’ on which were the following useful tips:
- Look for cruise ships that have cheaper single supplements.
- Look for a ship with a guaranteed single rate.
- Join every scheduled activity that interests you.
- Learn as many dances as you can.
- Learn as many card games as you can.
- Book on-shore excursions that interest you (and a possible potential partner) in advance, in case they sell out.
- Ask the steward to seat you at a dining table where other solo passengers will be eating.
- Remember that all ladies love a lover, until you flirt with their husbands.
- Don’t flirt with the ship’s officers, or the male ‘dancing hosts’ – it will usually lead to tears.
- Even if you don’t meet anyone you fancy, have a great time.
“Thank you so much,” said Goldilocks, with a gleam in her eye, licking her lips.
“There’s just one last thing – have you got any porridge that’s not too hot and not cold?”
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