Sunshine. Alcohol. Swimsuits…
Is there a better combination for a having a romantic encounter? Yes, actually. Add all those elements and then combine them on a cruise ship where everyone will be together for several days, all having a similar experience.
It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that hookups can and do happen on a cruise. Call it love, call it romance, call it a one-night stand. No matter what you call it, there are people on every cruise that end up getting down after meeting on the ship.
Of course, if you’re interested in hooking up on a cruise, there are ways that you can increase your odds… and a few things that you should consider before doing so.
We’re not here to tell you not to have a good time, but you should definitely keep a few things in mind before you try to get it on.
DO be careful
Let’s get this out of the way. If you’re going to try to have some romance on a cruise ship, you need to be careful. Even though cruise ships can seem like sanitized vacations where everything is safe and clean, hooking up with strangers always carries risk. Use common sense, and listen to your gut.
Don’t go back to someone else’s cabin if you don’t feel comfortable. Protect your drink and don’t overindulge to the point that you can’t keep your wits. Wear protection if you have sex.
Sexual assault is the most common major crime reported on cruise ships, with about a hundred cases reported on U.S. cruises in 2019. Given the millions of people that sail annually, that may not be that many, but that’s little consolation to those who are victims.
This isn’t meant to scare you. Hooking up on a cruise can be a fun and memorable experience. Just don’t let it turn into a nightmare by doing something at sea that you wouldn’t do on land.
DO attend singles’ events
Every cruise will usually have singles’ mixers during the course of the cruise. If you’re looking for a partner, the playing field doesn’t get any better than this. Put on your best outfit, have a drink or two, and go scope out the scene.
You’ll find the schedule in the ship’s daily planner. They are normally in the evening around dinner time at a specific bar. While the mixers last about an hour, the key is to take the next step of extending from the mixer to other things on the ship.
For instance, if you’re feeling that things are clicking with someone, you can ask them to dinner or to have another drink after others might have left.
DO hit up the late-night bars
Let’s face it. If you’re wanting to get lucky, then that’s usually not going to happen at 5 p.m. You’ve got to be out and about when people are thinking about romance.
The best place we can suggest is to check out the ship’s bars after midnight. Here you’ll find people that like to let loose and have a good time (but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to hook up). But just like on land, if you’re looking for love, a late-night bar is the right place to look.
As mentioned, it’s fine to have some drinks, but don’t get sloppy. Just because a cruise ship is relatively safe doesn’t mean you should let your common sense take a rest.
DON’T be bashful
You don’t want to come across as creepy by being too aggressive, but remember that your time on the cruise ship is short. There is no time to be bashful. If you see someone that you’re attracted to, make an effort to talk to them. If you wait until you get up the nerve, then your time on the ship could already be over.
So go ahead and take that risk of striking up a conversation… or making a move to ask someone to dinner. The worst that can happen is that they say no. After the end of your cruise you won’t see them again anyway, so there is not a big risk of being embarrassed.
DON’T be too picky
If you really want to hook up on your cruise, then you’re likely going to have to forget being picky.
Remember that even the biggest cruises will have at most about 4,000-6,000 people. Once you whittle down that number to only men or women… the people that are single… and the people in your age range… the number gets to be pretty small. The “ocean” just isn’t that big on a cruise ship.
If you’re looking for companionship during the sailing, then those that have the most success will be those who cast the widest net.
DO select the right time of year to sail
The demographics of a cruise ship change dramatically throughout the year. Want to sail with a younger crowd with more singles? Check out Spring Break or summer cruises. Cruises that sail in the fall when school is back in session will have older crowds if you’re looking for a fling with a more mature person.
In general, cruise ships have all ages on board. But as a rule of thumb, shorter sailings tend to have younger crowds. So if you’re in college, then a three-day cruise would likely have more people your age that are single. Longer trips tend to see older passengers.
DON’T expect to hook up with the crew
Young, international, good looking. The crew on a cruise ship — such as personable bartenders — seem like they would be a prime hunting ground for a quick fling. Don’t do it.
Crew members are on strict orders that hooking up with passengers is forbidden. It can easily cost them their job. Keep your efforts to other passengers and not the crew.
DO remember you have to share the ship
If you are looking to hook up on a cruise, the chances are you aren’t looking for love or anything long-term. Even so, the idea of getting with someone early in the trip and then ghosting them is not great.
Remember, you are on a small, floating city. If you do something like hook up with a person on the second day and then try to avoid them the rest of the cruise, you’re going to be constantly looking over your shoulder.
Instead, avoid any awkwardness by only getting together with someone you can stand hanging out with for the remainder of your cruise.
More on Romance on a Cruise:
- Sex on a Cruise Ship: What to Know Before you Get Down
- Why You Should Never Go Nude On Your Cruise Balcony