Maybe you’re someone who just relishes some quiet time to decompress without other people around. Or perhaps you found a great deal on a cruise, but it means sailing when no one else is available to go with you.
No matter the reason, cruising solo is something that many people do each year… and many more think about. We’ll be honest — as cruisers that have sailed solo — it is something very different to take a trip by yourself compared to having a travel companion.
To give you a better idea of what you can expect and what to consider before you take a solo cruise, here are some things to think about before you hit the seas.
It Takes a Special Kind of Person to Cruise Solo
Are you the sort of person that goes to the movies alone? Or maybe you dine out by yourself? For most people, this isn’t the case, but some people relish their solo time.
Before you take a cruise by yourself, you should know that it takes a special personality. While many people don’t have a problem being by themselves for a few hours, it’s completely different when you are on your own for several days at a time. This includes eating on your own and enjoying many activities by yourself. Those with spouses or significant others might be surprised at the newfound independence when they are used to having someone else around.
If you’re someone who already spends a lot of time alone, then it may not be a big deal to take a cruise on your own. But those used to having a partner in tow should realize that it can be a shock to the system to spend several days in a row solo.
There Are Lots of People to Meet If You’re Outgoing
One of the great things about cruising is that everyone is there on vacation. In other words, people are friendly and in a good mood. That makes it easy to strike up conversations with your other passengers.
Even so, it takes an outgoing personality to strike up a conversation with other cruisers — especially when they are normally coupled up with another person. Being in social situations like hanging out at the bar can help, but it will definitely be on you to break the ice if you want to meet new friends on the ship.
Cruise Lines Have Singles Events
Truth is that there are many people who cruise solo, and there are also many who are single but cruise with friends or family. If you’re unattached, then these make good people to meet during your solo cruise.
To help you break the ice, cruise lines often host singles events on the ship. These events are more “meet-ups” in reality, with a designated time and place for people to congregate. But if you’re hoping to meet other single (and potentially solo) travelers during your cruise, these meetings can be perfect.
You May Not Save That Much Money
If you think about taking a solo cruise versus the traditional two people to a cabin, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ll spend half as much money. Truth is that you’ll only get a discount on some things; most of your cruise will still cost the same amount.
Most cruise cabins (except for a few solo cabins on some ships) are priced at a per-person rate, but you always pay for two passengers. So if a cruise is priced at $599 per person, the fare for your cabin is actually $1,198. That’s what you’ll pay whether two people go or if it’s only one person. This is known as the “single supplement.”
Where you will save is that you are only charged taxes and fees for one person, instead of two. You are also only charged gratuities for one person, and of course, any airfare or excursions you do are only charged for a single traveler.
In other words, you will save some money but not as much as you might think.
Mornings Are a Great Time to Meet People
If you’re looking to socialize with other folks, hanging out at the ship’s bars in the evening is a good plan. But you can also try to meet people in the mornings. We’ve noticed that while most people are hanging out with their travel partner in the evening, in the morning they are often solo (possibly one person eating breakfast while the other sleeps in).
If you want to strike up a conversation but are a bit too intimidated to do so when it’s a couple you’re talking to, it doesn’t get much better than having a chat over morning coffee.
You’re In Charge of Everything
If you’ve sailed before, but only with friends or as a couple, then it’s a strong possibility you shared some responsibility during the cruise. We’re talking about things like picking a place where to eat… what time to be back on the ship… where the dining room is… and even having help putting on sunscreen.
When you cruise solo, however, you have to be in charge of everything. No one else is there to remind you to grab your room key before you walk out the cabin or to make sure you bring a watch when you head into port.
On the plus side, you get to decide exactly what you do, where you go, and what you eat — without having to consider anyone else. In other words, your cruise is your vacation and no one else’s.
Bottom line: Cruising solo is way better than having to be at the office. But just know it can be a totally different experience than traveling with a partner.
Have more questions about cruising solo? Let us know in the comments below.