Cruising alone is not for everyone. You have to know how to have fun by yourself or socialize quite well with others. To be honest with you I was not very comfortable with the idea of cruising alone; I tend to be introverted and find it hard to socialize in large groups. I will say that I had a great time when I was cruising alone, and I learned a lot from it.
Booking a Room
When you’re booking a cruise stateroom as a solo cruiser you’re at a loss. Normally, most cruise lines charge based on double occupancy and you are forced to pay for two people. There are, however, a few options; in my specific case I noticed that Carnival was not charging for double occupancy on some sailings. They continue to do this, and you can check on their website to see the current sailings for this offer.
Norwegian is another great option when you’re going on a cruise alone. Their newer vessels Epic, Getaway, Breakaway, Bliss and Escape are equipped with studio rooms that are designed for single cruisers. While the cost is not exactly half of a normal room, it is still much better than paying for double occupancy.
Royal Caribbean also has a limited number of solo cabins on the Brilliance of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and the Serenade of the Seas. They will also feature Solo rooms in their newest vessel, the Quantum of the Seas, with 28 solo cabins.
Vacations To Go offers a great way of viewing all the single supplement sales. You have to be registered with their website to view all the sales for single cruisers. You might want to consider signing in to their system just to be able to get a quick glance of current sales.
Your last option is to consider sharing a room. There a few Facebook groups dedicated to this. While I am a member of a few of them, I have never done it in the past. This is not the preferred method of many, but it does work for some and keeps the costs considerably low. Singles Cruises is a company that is dedicated solely to this, and goes as far as planning several activities on board. They also match you with another person of the same gender in a stateroom, if you request it.
Holland America has its very own Cruising Alone Matching Program. The system involves matching single cruisers of the same gender in rooms. If you are the only single cruiser in this program then you will have the room all for yourself.
There are several ways to go about this. Personally, I find it much easier to start socializing prior to the cruise and there are several ways to this. I have met a few solo cruisers who have a particular way of booking a cruise. Their first step is to go on a message board such as Cruise Critic and look for very active roll calls; once they single on the one they like, they book that cruise.
If you’re contemplating going on a cruise alone, you should also look for themed cruises. This is a great way to get on board a ship with a lot of people who share the love for that particular interest.
When I was cruising alone, we had a very active roll call. This made socializing very easy. We all knew each other way before we boarded and had all kinds of activities planned.
Solo meets are also great, they are held almost every night of the cruise and they offer the opportunity to connect with other people who share your interests.
Be Ready for Anything
I can still remember all the activities that our roll call had planned for that cruise; the funny thing is that we only came through for a few of them. I find that during the months prior the cruise most people are happy making plans and just getting pumped for the cruise. But once the cruise starts, everything changes.
My best suggestion for you is to sign up for everything, and plan to go ahead with it. But if something better comes through just go with it and have fun. The odds are that many of the activities get cancelled, and with the limited communication on the cruise it is hard make sure that specific activity is happening. This is, after all, your vacation and your time to have a fun time and enjoy whatever you wish to do at that time.
I know many of our roll call ended up even changing shore excursions, and they all got together and went to a specific shore excursion. Just do what you like to do!
Benefits of Cruising Alone
One of the best things about cruising alone in my case is to have an entire stateroom to myself! Cruise rooms are tight; we all know that by now. But having a full-size room for myself was a unique experience, I enjoyed it very much.
You are your own boss, you have no prior commitments and you have no one to respond to. When traveling with family it is hard to agree where to go and what to do, usually you have a strong voice who tends to control the group. Or in other cases, lots of discussions on what to do and where to go.
I tend to worry when Mom wanders around the ship alone; when I was cruising alone I had no worries. The only person I had to account for was myself. I think it makes the trip much more relaxing. Bring a book and catch up with it; remember you will have a lot of free time and it is all to your disposal. I found myself enjoying tons of time in the Jacuzzis and watching movies under the stars.
Cons of Cruising Alone
Like everything in life there are pros and cons to it. I actually found myself looking for a conversation with someone who knew me well, from time to time. I also found that I like bouncing ideas off my mom when I cruise, and not having her there meant that I had to do all the thinking by myself.
Like I said cruising alone is not for everyone, but if you’re willing to give a try, the odds are that you will like it. Throughout my time cruising I have met lots of people cruising alone, and I always contemplated how they did it. It is now that I realize that it is easily done, you just have to adjust the way you travel and try to venture into socializing more and joining more activities.