Cruising has quickly become one of the most popular styles of travel, and with the meteoric advancements in cruise ships that include ever more exciting activities and luxurious amenities, it is easy to see why. For a long time cruises were considered family or couple style vacations, but today they’re becoming one of the trendiest ways to travel solo.
With many tour companies offering cruises and staterooms carefully tailored for single travellers, you may be surprised at the range available from operators such as Saga, Cunard, Thomson Cruises, P&O Cruises and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. So, if you’ve been considering an all-inclusive cruise for your next solo vacation, then here are some top tips for smooth sailing.
Look for singles cruises
There are a number of cruise companies that specifically cater for singles. So if one of the reasons you’re travelling solo is to meet that special someone, or to make new friends, then a singles cruise might be just the holiday you need. Companies like Saga, Thomson Cruises, and P&O Cruises all have cruise holidays specifically tailored for solo travellers, so look out for these packages. And remember, this is a popular way to travel, so you’ll be far from the only person cruising alone!
Avoid ships charging a single supplement
Cruise cabins are generally priced for double occupancy, so advertised prices could effectively double for solo travellers if they’re not careful. There are a variety of cruise lines that do offer single occupancy cabins, so be sure to check that there are no supplementary charges before booking. Cruises like P&O Cruises’ Azura and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic have cabins with no single supplements (although these always bok very early), and there are signs other cruise lines are following suit as solo travellers become more savy about the costs and deals available. If you have your heart set on a cruise that has no single supplement charge, then you could always look for a roommate! There are cruise-based sites that can help. Take a look at sites like Cruise Critic to find a likeminded fellow traveller.
Join a group excursion
One of the most enjoyable things about taking a cruise is the opportunity to discover new destinations and cultures, and by joining a group excursion you can enjoy these interesting experiences with new friends. If you’ve already met people on the ship, then offer to organise a group excursion yourself, which will help you get to know people on your ship. Whether taking part in a cultural tour on the Italian coast, a snorkelling trip off St Lucia, or a hike up the Norwegian Fjords, there is plenty of scope for adventure when you’re on land. Saga, for example, provide a Shore Excursion Booklet before you set sail, which lets you plan and book the excursions you want to enjoy before you even embark.
Visit online forums prior to departure
Because cruises are usually booked months in advance, cruise lines have created a variety of online forums for people to meet electronically before they even board their ship. These websites are good ways to meet people, and also to get advice from guests who have already visited your particular destinations before. Forums to look out for include Cruising Talk and Cruising Mates.
Choose your dining table wisely
Dinner is one of the best times to converse and get to know fellow passengers, so it is important that you dine with a group who are keen to meet and engage with new people. Sometimes it is easy to spot who the social and solo travellers are on your ship, other times it is best to ask the staff to be seated at a table that suits your social style. Many cruise lines offer tables for single travellers, others have a coffee morning so you can meet up together and there are also notice boards giving information about suitable activities.
Book your solo cruise today, and you’ll soon be visiting fascinating destinations, meeting new people, and enjoying plenty of exciting activities as well as life on the ocean wave.
Find out more about cruising for single travellers and other solo holiday choices by reading or ordering our Guide for the Solo Silver Traveller.