How to enjoy a cruise as a solo traveller
There is no better way to experience a boatload of different destinations than by cruise. Instead of shuffling around airports trying to make multiple connecting flights, you get to unpack, sit back, relax, and let the destinations come to you. While we all know cruises are popular with couples and families, they also offer one of the best ways to holiday as a solo traveller as they let you follow your own path and meet new people. To make sure you have a rewarding and enjoyably solo cruise – especially if it’s your first time – we’ve compiled some top tips to help you make the most of it.
Image by andrewasmith, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY SA 2.0)
Choose the right cruise line
This is one of the key pieces of advice for any wannabee solo cruiser. There are lots of different cruise lines out there and some are more suited to lone travellers than others. Some cruise lines are increasingly catering for lone cruisers, with operators such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, and Fred. Olsen Cruise Line offering packages specifically for single travellers. Some of these operators also now have liners featuring cabins designed specifically for lone cruisers in mind. So do your research and find the right one for you.
Image by sagesolar, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)
Pick the right ship
Another thing to consider on a solo cruise is the size of liner. As a solo traveller you may want to opt for a smaller ship. Travelling on a monster cruise liner with thousands of people can make for a more anonymous experience, and can be harder to make friends with other guests as you might only see them once! Opt for a mid-sized vessel, as this will afford the proper cruise experience without overwhelming crowds.
Watch out for the single supplement
Simply put, a single supplement is a surcharge for booking a holiday as a single person. The justification is that most holiday deals and accommodation are priced for double occupancy. Single supplements can vary from 100% to 10% of the total cost of booking. Fortunately, in an effort to entice solo travellers, many cruise liners have single supplements at the lower end of the spectrum, and many are even scrapping them altogether on certain packages. This means by choosing your cruise wisely, you don’t have to be penalised for cruising solo.
Take advantage of the on-board events and activities
Most cruises will arrange ample opportunities for you to socialise with the guests on-board. From formal cocktail parties, to casual lunches, even bridge tournaments, you will have the chance to meet plenty of new people. You may be surprised at how many others are travelling solo. It pays to get out of your comfort zone, so sign up to any and all events you like the look of for a more adventurous experience.
Enjoy the excursions
While your idea of holiday heaven may be sitting on the balcony reading a book, the best way to make the most of a cruise is to take advantage of the many excursions. Seeing different places is why you’re on a cruise after all. It is also a good idea to make sure and take advantage of the first excursions on offer as this can help you meet your fellow passengers, break the ice, and make friends for the rest of the trip.