On my most recent cruise I travelled alone, well, sometimes. See, I booked the cruise for myself but had arranged to meet friends onboard who were also doing the same cruise. Although I don’t feel like I can comment 100% accurately on what cruising on your own is like I feel there are some aspects of it that I can share because I experienced them first hand.
I can say it was lovely to have my own cabin. I had a Queen sized bed all for moi and my cabin steward more or less turned into my Dad. Always checking how I was, where I was going, asking if I needed anything. I know that’s what your cabin steward would usually do but I just felt he was being a little more parent like.
I dined on my own a few times and must admit it was fine. There were plenty of people walking past that would say hello or give a friendly smile, I didn’t once feel embarrassed or uncomfortable because I was sitting alone but then again I’m not the kind of person that would anyway. I only had one evening meal on my own, the rest of the time I dined with my friends, again though I felt quite content in my own company. If anything I felt a little more taken care of by the crew, and I think when it comes to cruising solo that’s where the cruise lines really show you how amazing their staff are. They get to realise that you are cruising alone and make sure you still have a wonderful experience onboard, if not even better than the rest of the passengers!
Shore days again I would disembark with friends however I did venture off on my own in Dubrovnik for a little while and Vigo. I was quite excited about this to be honest because I think when it comes to cruising alone this can be the biggest fear for some people. Being on the ship is fine, you know you are safe, but the thought of leaving that safety net can often fill people with dread. Now, this I feel will depend on the country you are visiting as to how relaxed you feel. Some places you would be far better advised to do an organised excursion but Dubrovnik and Vigo were perfect examples of ports where you could quite happily get off the ship and explore on your own and safely. I cheated a little bit with Vigo as I had been there twice before so the map contained within my head did make me feel a little more confident.
The nice thing about cruising on your own is that even when you do disembark the ship you can usually spot your fellow passengers from a mile away so you never get that feeling of being alone or vulnerable. If you are a little unsure then just stick with the crowd, you can’t go wrong with that.
I know a few people who cruise solo all the time and for them it is the ideal way to see the world. You get the best of both worlds in a sense of having your own freedom but also making friends and having that company when you want it.
My advice to anyone thinking of cruising on their own would be to go for it.
i am contemplating doing a round the world alone because I long to see some of the World and my husband doesn’t. He understands how I feel. I am early 70’s top my surprise. In my price bracket there are only inside cabins (mid ship) I am worried about that. A friend who worked on liners for years says you only sleep and get clean there. The rest of the time you are elsewhere. .
Thank you for your comment Ria 🙂
I know EXACTLY what you mean because I too got the same “oh, you are travelling alone” speech. I think it’s because people don’t really expect to see young women like ourselves travelling alone but then again this just shows how diverse cruising is and that it really can be for everyone.
Agree on the single supplements though, they are certainly a heavy cost! But I think the cruise industry as a whole are trying to introduce better rates for solo cruisers, just maybe not as fast as we would hope.
I agree, I have done my last 3 cruises alone (well, my partner was there but he was working so i only saw him late after work) it’s made so much easier by sitting on large tables and chatting to others (if you want to that is) and is great having to please no one but yourself! I love it!
The only problem is, being a girl in her mid twenties I am caused to have the “oh, you’re in you’re own, that’s very brave” convo up to 3 times a day (if dining in restaurants most of the time!) which can grate A LOT, I’ve thought about telling lies before to make it more interesting but I don’t have it in me! Noone ever asks that of the elderly solo passengers!
But the security the ship brings is great for someone perhaps travelling alone for the first time, I did a 4 night cruise the first time to see how it went. And like you say, venturing out alone in most places is fine.. I got lost in Rotterdam the first time – but I loved it! As long as I have my phone, a credit card and the paper with the ship contacts on I feel quite comfortable! Love it! Only downside is paying almost double for your holiday 😦