Ever considered solo cruising and wondered if it’s for you? The safety of knowing everything is taken care of on board, with the added excitement of being able to explore the world from the comfort of your ship … granted, it’s a different way to travel, but it can be a rewarding one if you get it right.
If you haven’t tried cruising on your own before, here are some top tips that will help you make that all-important decision, and really enjoy the onboard experience.
Do your research
Research into any sort of holiday is crucial, but for solo cruising, it’s perhaps even more important. You’ve found this blog so that’s a great start (not that we’re biased), and there are other fountains of information at your disposal. Online forums are one of them, including the Cruise Club Forum hosted by the team at Bolsover.
There’s a wealth of information here, as well as the opportunity to come across other holidaymakers who are booked on your cruise. Onboard meet-ups aren’t unheard of, so if you want someone to have a drink with as you set sail, there’s every chance you will find that person here.
You’ll also find highly active cruising forums on Facebook. How much solo cruising information you want to take in is up to you – but it’s there for the taking if you want it!
Choosing a solo cruise deal
Some cruise lines offer specific cruise deals for solo travellers, which have the potential to bring down the cost considerably. In most cases, you will end up paying extra to have a solo cruiser in a double occupancy cabin.
A number of ships have been designed to offer cabins for solo cruisers. Cunard single occupancy cabins can be found on board several of its ships, and P&O Cruises Britannia has a large selection of cabins for single travellers. Speak to one of our Cruise Experts if you’d like to discuss availability in more detail.
Keep an eye out for special deals throughout the year that will really bring down the cost of your cruise. The Celebrity Cruises 50% single supplement offer is currently running on a number of its sailings. You could soon be setting foot on Celebrity Beyond, Celebrity Constellation or Celebrity Edge for less – you can also combine this with other offers, so grab it while you can! Click here to see the Celebrity Cruises solo cruise deals.
Fred. Olsen solo traveller offers are likewise available at the moment. Whether you’ve got your sights set on a cruise to rural Canada, the Azores or anywhere in between, it’s now possible to do it for less. Take a look at the current Fred. Olsen solo cruise offers by clicking here.
Once you’ve narrowed down which ship will meet your needs and an itinerary that, we hate to say it, floats your boat, then you can start looking forward to your adventure.
Onboard dining on a solo cruise
One of the biggest draws of cruising is the dining, and when you’re cruising solo, the experience can be extra special. It doesn’t matter whether you feel like tackling the buffet restaurant on an evening, or you’d rather make some new friends in the main dining room, with cruising, the choice is yours.
Dining options depend on which cruise line you’ve booked with, but they’re generally flexible enough to meet your every need. Onboard dining rooms usually include a limited number of tables for two and four, but there are plenty of larger tables, designed for mixing groups of travellers together. Six and eight occupancy tables are the norm, so there’s often a very diverse range of age, interests, and conversation.
You’re all likely to have spent your days in different ways, so what better place to bring your best tales than to the dining table? It doesn’t matter whether it’s been an at-sea day or you’ve enjoyed some exciting adventures in port, this is your opportunity to discuss over a great meal and perhaps a glass of wine or two!
This won’t just be confined to the main dining area, either. You’ll find various cafes, bars and speciality dining restaurants throughout the ship to enjoy at your leisure.
Attend onboard events for solo travellers
As a solo cruiser, you won’t find yourself rattling around the ship on your own (well, unless you really want to). While there’s no shortage of chances to meet other travellers as we’ve already discussed, it’s highly likely that your cruise line’s events team will also host some solo cruiser events.
From drinks parties to dance classes, it’s your opportunity to meet like-minded solo travellers and enjoy yourself in the process. Who knows, you might even find someone to share an excursion with. These are, of course, entirely optional. So if you’re not feeling particularly sociable, there’s no pressure to join in – it’s a win-win!
Having cruised solo on numerous occasions since my partner died almost 10 years ago, whilst I agree that it is a great way for people to travel alone, I’m afraid very few cruise lines make much effort to provide anything tangible to solos considering the normal huge weighting placed on the fares.
A number of lines like to boast at how good they are for solo travellers but very few are prepared to offer good value fares and we more often than not pay anywhere between 50 &100% supplement in comparison to two pax travelling together.
Yes, there are solo get-togethers advertised and some lines group solos together in the dining room or reserve tables for solos but that’s not exactly a burden to the line.
I believe NCL perhaps do more for their solo customers, but that will only appeal to those looking for a fly-cruise on a large ship…
I’ll still continue to cruise solo but am under no illusion that cruise lines provide any tangible benefits to me for the increased fare I pay.
Having cruised seven times as a solo traveller with P&O, I too feel that the solo traveller gets a raw deal .. on the one hand I could say that a lot of cabins might be empty if solo travellers weren’t in them… on the other hand if it was the same price as half a double fare then P&O would be overrun with solo travellers reducing their profitability considerably. It is however quite galling to pay a single supplement for a single cabin, and on one occasion it was cheaper for me to have a double with single occupancy than a purpose built single cabin.
I don’t really have an answer to the problem, only to say that I would like P&O to consider letting final cabins go to solo occupants at say 20 or 25% extra in the last two weeks before sailing. Surely it would be better to have a solo traveller than an empty cabin?
I will continue travelling at 60% supplement – I have two cruises booked for this year as I feel cruising is the perfect holiday for single people.