12 Things Solo Cruisers Should Know: Top Tips and Secrets for Solo Cruising

Solo Cruising: Many of the scenarios listed here may be familiar to you if you’ve taken solo cruises in the past; if not, don’t discount the idea of taking a solo cruise just yet.

There’s a lot more to solo cruising than meets the eye, and there are a lot of things that you would typically have to learn the hard way. Sure, the idea of having to pay for that one supplement can be frustrating (though there are sly ways around that – see here).

There are plenty of internet resources available if you search for advice on how to travel independently, but continue reading to learn the best-kept secrets.

12 Things to Know Before Solo Cruising

1. No one will understand

When you inform other travellers that you are travelling alone, be prepared for a great deal of misunderstanding. They’ll still treat you like you’re a one-eyed jackalope who has just grown wings, even if the majority will be courteous. Even worse than asking you why you’re by yourself, some people would like to say, “I’m so sorry you’re a social leper.” Disregard them. You won’t be held accountable while they’re debating with their crew about where they should go or what they should do.

2. Being Selfish Is All Right

Top 5 Cruise Lines for Solo Travelers, Cruise Lines for Solo Travelers, best Cruise Lines for Solo Travelers
(Credit: Tauck)

You might not have realized, but when you travel alone, you won’t have to accommodate the requirements or desires of other people. You can choose to be as self-centred as you like!

3. Alonetime activities are a great icebreaker

Carnival Cruise's Captain's Dinner

Examine the schedule for the day. During the first several days, certain lines have events reserved just for single passengers. They’re not always good; occasionally they’re rather bad. You stand to gain nothing by going in either case. Upon initially visiting a “singles mingle” in one of the lounges, I found it to be somewhat empty. I made a couple of acquaintances at the single traveler lunch held in the main dining room the following day, and I also had company for meals, beverages, and port exploration.

Surprising Items Banned on Carnival Cruise Ships

4. You won’t always have tablemates if you eat in a set

Dinner was one thing that prevented me from going into hyperventilation at the notion of traveling without friends. I reasoned that at least I’d have someone to eat dinner with in the evening. False. The first four evenings I dined alone at a four-top and had to endure curious looks and pitying glances. My waiter said to me the first night, “You’re alone?” with a little bewildered expression. The headwaiter asked me the same question again, so I asked him to see if anyone else was meant to be at my table. He told me that one of the other lone travelers I was supposed to dine with had chosen not to show up. Two new friends came to sail with me for the final two nights later in the week, rescuing me from even more humiliation.

5. Solo Cruising and Cruising Single Are Not the Same Things

There is a significant difference between travelling alone (leaving a spouse at home, for whatever reason) and traveling as a single, even though it may seem a subtle distinction.

The primary contrast is that, if you fall into the latter group, people may believe you’re on vacation for a specific purpose and feel free to approach you in that manner, which might be uncomfortable. It’s important to be mindful of how you present yourself and how others perceive you.

6. Having a cabin to yourself is fantastic

Cruise Ship Cabins, Cruise Ship Cabins to avoid, worse Cruise Ship Cabins
(Credit: The points guy)

I piled my mountain of clothes onto the entire couch, sat around in my pants, and left my makeup and hair products spread out on the vanity. (Well, that last bit isn’t true, but if I had felt so driven, I could have done it.) I made all of the decisions, from what to watch on TV to when to wake up the next morning.

Discover the 10 Perfect Cruise Line for First-time Cruisers

7. If staying under the radar is your intention, you can certainly do it

It’s common to believe that people who sail alone are trying to meet new people, but that’s not always the case. Some board to avoid others. It’s possible, although not likely, that you won’t be seen if that’s your objective.

There are usually plenty of places to hide, such as Internet cafes, libraries, and lounges off the main trail. Additionally, most lines allow passengers to request tables for one and anytime dining, which eliminates the need to force conversation with strangers when dining in the dining room whenever and with whomever you like.

8. Cruising ‘solo’ is not the same as cruising ‘single’

Bar on a cruise
(Credit: Orbitz)

One error that individuals frequently make is to mistake solo cruising for singles cruising. Individuals traveling alone on board aren’t always seeking romantic relationships. For some folks, traveling alone and making new friends is just fun. It’s possible that some didn’t get to bring their significant others with them. People like them called “solos.” Conversely, even if you’re traveling in a group, you can still consider yourself to be a “single” cruiser. You have the option of being a solo soloist or a solo single. (All right, I’m just making this up.) Regardless your perspective, there are several reasons why individuals decide to cruise alone. Despite having recently split up with her partner the night before, a woman I met on the train decided to go on the trip. (Congrats to her!) One of his fellow travelers mentioned that he just decided to plan a vacation one morning when he woke up, but none of his pals could afford to go.

Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas: Largest Cruise Ship with Luxurious Amenities

9. The best place for singles are the onboard clubs

The party is after hours; just follow the thundering music. After an hour and two very aching feet, I wandered into the top-of-ship lounge, which was now a dance club, because I had foolishly refused to consult a map. I found that it was a pleasant spot to sit, have a drink, and converse with total strangers because there were a ton of people there and fantastic music was playing. I even went dancing with a very kind man in his seventies, Maurice (“pronounced ‘Morris,'” he informed me), whose motions made me look younger.

10. You can bump into crew members at onshore clubs

Top 5 Party Cruises Lines, Party Cruises, best Party Cruises
(Credit: Mts production)

Be aware that many crew members will share your plans if you’re travelling alone and spending the night in a port to meet new people through the local club scene. Therefore, head out in port with a group or stick to the onboard discos unless you want to bump and grind with your dining room waiter (which, incidentally, is strictly forbidden and could cost him/her a career).

Discover the Best Cruise Lines for Solo Travelers: Top 5 Picks

11. Putting yourself out there pays off

Night Sky Lounge

An excellent icebreaker is an embarrassment. Not that you should sprint across the pool deck, but taking part in the belly-flop competition won’t lessen your chances of catching the attention of other cruisers throughout your trip. Take on a new task, especially if you are a shy person. Perform karaoke. Enroll in a dance course. Take a look at a surf simulator. Offer to help on stage. Recall that no one on board knows you, and it’s unlikely that you will see any of your shipmates again (unless you want to), so go ahead and have a good time.

12. I love the Roll Call forums

Even though I work for Cruise Critic, I have to be honest and say that I never used the Roll Calls until I had a solo trip scheduled. Since I’m a little timid, I was concerned that my cruise would be quite awkward until one of the other editors advised me to get in touch with the other passengers. I had arranged a meet-up on the boards with some wonderful people, and I met them in one of the lounges on embarkation day. Although I didn’t spend much time with them throughout the cruise, I did run into them a few times in other places, and it was nice to see familiar faces.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top