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.
Well, 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 days solo guests onboard activities.
Some sailings even offer a solo host to coordinate shipboard activities for you… Other lines like Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Cunard, and celebrities 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 pricing is 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 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 it is 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 Solosupplement is the extra fee lines that 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 is a supply and demand thing folks. Sadly there’s no guaranteed solution, so its best to book early, do your research and watch for sales. Keep checking your cruise lines 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 decide 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 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 your 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 on your cruise. Check the ship’s newsletter.
There’s gonna be tons of things to do from the start. You won’t necessarily need to look for singles type events or activities. Just get out there and have some fun, and consider attending the sail away party on the first afternoon or evening to kick things off.
Another great way to experience cruising soloist 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.