Hey cruisers! Considering a solo cruise? Hitting
the high seas alone can be one of the BEST types of solo travel, and we’ve gathered
some tips from experienced solo sailors to help you get those most of your next cruise
adventure. Let’s start with a few things you need to
know when choosing a ship. The good news is- most of the major cruise lines are showing
a little extra love to solo cruisers these days, by providing solo cabins, a solution
to the dreaded solo supplement that forces solo cruisers to pay double occupancy if they
cruise alone. We’ll come back to the solo supplement in just a moment. We first noticed
the solo cabin trend with Norwegian. Specifically their allocation of studio cabins priced for
single occupancy, and the Studio Lounge, their shared social space for solos. The lounge
is a great innovation for solos and offers refreshments, continental breakfast, a full
bar, televisions and a list of the day’s solo guests’ onboard activities. Some sailings
even offer a solo host to coordinate ship board activities for you. . Other lines like
Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Cunard and Celebrity have taken similar steps with purpose
built solo dedicated staterooms. But is the availability of solo cabins all you should
base your decision on when choosing a ship? Well, it’s certainly a good start, but of
course there are other factors. Destination and pricing are always major considerations,
but solo cruisers looking to MINGLE will have other things to consider. The trend these
days is towards larger cruise ships, but that may not be the best option for solo cruisers.
Smaller ships will likely be more social, and you’ll have more opportunities to see
the same people again and again – if that’s what you’re looking for. Larger ships, on
the other hand may have more onboard activities that appeal to single travels. And speaking
of activities, booking a themed cruise can be a great way for singles to meet like-minded
cruisers. We’re continually surprised by the variety of themed cruises available these
days. In our opinion, Norwegian is leading the way in this area so we think its a great
place to start. Some of their ships offer those awesome singles lounges, and you don’t
have to book a solo cabin to use the facility and hang out with other single travelers.
But ultimately, you’ll want to choose the cruise line that suits you best overall. Other
lines to consider are Crystal, Seabourn, Cunard, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Costa. Alright, so what about that dreaded Solo Supplement?
If you’re not familiar with it, the Solo supplement is the extra fee lines will charge
for a solo traveler who wants to secure a double occupancy cabin. It can be as low as
10% of the cruise fare to as high as 100%, where you’re essentially paying the same
price as two people would for the cabin. The problem is, many ships have extremely limited
single occupancy cabins, and they tend to sell out fast. It’s a supply and demand
thing folks. Sadly there’s no guaranteed solution, so it’s best to book early, do
your research and watch for sales. Keep checking your cruise line’s website, and subscribe
to email alerts. You can also watch the singles forums on popular cruising websites. The truth
is, solo cabins aren’t always a good deal, but you DO have other options. Solo cruising
experts report that often, a good deal on a standard cabin CAN be cheaper than a solo
cabin, so work with your travel agent to scout for bargains before you make the decision
to cruise in a solo cabin. How about the whole dining situation? We hear
that this can sometimes be the most tricky predicament for solo cruisers. There are at
least two things to think about here. First, for those who don’t want to eat alone, you
can take steps to ensure you have table-mates you’ll enjoy sharing the dining experience
with. The first option is to roll the dice and accept assigned seating in the main dining
room, and hope for the best. In most cases, even if you do get mismatched mates, a simple
visit to the maitre d is all it takes to request a new table moving forward. Second, for those
that prefer to dine alone, but end up assigned to a table full of strangers, fear not. The
solution is the same. Just pay a visit to the maitre d. The dining staff on cruise ships
are incredibly accommodating these days. That doesn’t mean they’ll have a solution on
night one, but in most cases, by night two, things will be smooth sailing in the dining
room. You can also consider specialty dining and casual dining options too, especially
if you’re looking for a less structured way to to experience your cruise. Now let’s talk about mingling. If you’re
looking to make new friends on your solo cruise, this is usually the easy part, and probably
the most fun. The simple solution is to get involved before you cruise. You can do this
by Joining the roll calls for your cruise on popular forums to get to know who you’ll
be cruising with in advance. It’s a good way to check for other solo cruisers, and
just get to know people in general. Once onboard, consider showing up to activities that appeal
to you, starting early in your cruise. Check the ship’s newsletter. There’s gonna be
tons of things to do from the start. You don’t necessarily need to look for singles type
events or activities. Just get out there and have some fun, and consider attending the
sailaway party on the first afternoon or evening to kick things off.
Another great way to experience cruising solo is to Be bold with your excursion selections.
Step a little out of your comfort zone, and you may find others eager to share the experience
with you. Chill at the poolside bar, or hang out in the piano bar, and give a friendly
hello to people you encounter. The odds are good you’ll see them in the same places
again and again, especially on smaller ships, so don’t worry about striking up a conversation
the minute they sit down. Dance classes, fitness classes, and even craft classes (don’t laugh!)
are great ways to meet new people. Be yourself, have fun, and don’t worry about anything
else. Virtually all cruise lines offer activities
geared to solo cruisers. Whether you’re cruising solo to meet up with other singles,
or you simply love adventuring alone, there’s really never been a better time to be a solo
cruiser. It may have been difficult or awkward in the past, but that simply just isn’t
the case anymore. The biggest obstacle you’ll face these days is that solo supplement, but
even that can be overcome with careful diligent shopping. If you don’t know where to start,
try contacting a travel agent, or check out some of the cruise line’s websites. We’ll
link to our travel agency partner in the description below. Okay, my friends, that’s gonna do it for
this one. We have an assignment for you. If you’ve cruised solo & have advice on solo
cruising, please share it in the comments below. Until next time, we’ll see you on
the high seas.