Why You Should Cruise Solo

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

In my life I have taken one solo trip, and I don't even know if you can call it a solo trip because while I drove by myself, I met up with and stayed with friends in the area, only taking a day to venture off on my own. While working onboard I would love to get off in ports alone so that I could get wifi when I needed, eat what I wanted, and return on my own time. However, solo travelers were a big part of my responsibilities onboard, and the people I've met have inspired me to make a solo trip one day, as soon as my passport is out of Covid jail. I'm going to focus specifically on cruising, because that's my industry and it's what I love to do!

1) Safety

As a woman this has always been my main concern with traveling by myself. Where is it safe for me to go? How will I make sure I don't accidentally wander into a bad situation and end up on the international news? With cruising there are so many ways to explore new countries that have been well-vetted by the cruise line for safety and accessibility. To take extra precautions, you can book a tour through the ship to make sure you're never far away from someone who will ensure your safe return to the vessel. When in doubt, ask the women on the crew if they recommend going out to explore by yourself. In some ports, like Bermuda, I would frequently venture off on my own, walking alone after dark with no problem. In others, like Roatan, I would recommend going out with a buddy even if it's just to cut down on the harassment from taxi drivers who want to scare you off the sidewalk and into their cabs.

Onboard, your cabin is never far away. If that martini was a little stronger than you thought, or you actually can't walk in those heels you brought, there's always an elevator a few steps away ready to whisk you back to the comfort of your abode. You're also surrounded by fellow guests, crew, and security who can help if that guy at the bar is coming on a little too strong. It's a kind of morbid section, but safety is always my main concern that deters me from booking a solo trip, and I've never felt unsafe on a cruise ship. It's a different culture onboard, and it's designed to protect you.

2) The People You'll Meet!

One of my rotating duties onboard was facilitating the solo travelers program. We would host socials, nightly dinners, group activities, and even be able to make show reservations or book tours depending on space. You'll have groups filled with everything from first time solo travelers to retirees who live near the port and will often pick up spontaneous cruises if the price is right. The old-timers are great at getting the newbies involved in the social aspect of solo cruising, and by the end of the week, if I've done my job right, they wouldn't even notice if I was gone. the point isn't for them to make friends with me, it's to get them connected to each other. That's not to say I haven't met some long lasting friends in these groups! But it's wonderful to see a group of strangers become so tight knit by the end of a week. I like to get an email list together so that they can keep in touch if they want, and some have decided to "cruise solo together" when their schedules allow. Recent widows, retirees, college kids looking for an unconventional spring break, and everything in between. You'll find them all at the solo socials!


You can quite literally do whatever you want. With no travel companion to plan around, you can eat when you're hungry, wake up and go to bed as early or late as you please, and make your own schedule. This is especially applicable to cruise ships when you can find a buffet almost anytime day or night, and have 101 opportunities for activities throughout the day. My ideal port day is waking up for a quick breakfast to watch the ship dock, being one of the first ashore, exploring a bustling new city, and taking a quick nap in the afternoon so that I can stay up all night at the various game shows and parties around the ship. When I travel in a group, I usually have to make some compromises. But no more! Feel free to tailor your day however you see fit. Just make sure to bring a selfie stick so that you can capture all those wonderful memories. No one will judge you for going back to the buffet or wanting to watch the same stage show twice in a week. Stay as long as you want by the pool! It's easier to find one open chair than a few together anyway.

4) It Can Be More Cost Effective

I know this seems counter intuitive. Wouldn't it be cheaper to have someone to share the cost with? It depends on how you book the cruise. On my line, for example, the bigger and newer ships have dedicated solo traveler cabins that are perfectly sized and priced for one person. They even have exclusive access to a solos lounge complete with a bar, free espresso machine, board games, TVs, pastries and snacks, and anything else you would need to set yourself up for some chance encounters with other travelers. This is where we would do our daily socials, and where you can always find a companion for dinner or a hot tub run, if that's what you're looking for. Take advantage of all the deals offered to solo travelers! They are out there, and they make the vacation worth it.

5) You Can Be Whoever You Want To Be

Get out on the dance floor! Sing karaoke! Wear that dress you bought years ago that still has the tags on it! Find a vacation romance! No one onboard knows you, and you don't have to see any of them again when the week is over. You might be amazed to find out who you are when no one is watching. getting out of your comfort zone is one of the best things you can do as a solo traveler. Volunteer for every game show, become a shipboard celebrity, and see how it feels to be someone totally new. You can truly dance like no one is watching, because no one is! Besides, what happens on the ship stays on the ship. And occasionally... YouTube. Okay, maybe that's a risk you're willing to take. From the quiet of a sea day morning to the excitement of an 80's party, you can be whoever you want to be. No expectations, and no one to judge.

I've met some of the most inspiring people in my solo travelers groups. There was the recent widow who's husband used to plan every vacation down to the minute, who now had to navigate a ship and a new country alone. She was visibly terrified of the whole ordeal on the first day, but with the gentle guidance of the group and some time, she found her confidence and really enjoyed her cruise. There was a woman in one of my last groups that was in a bad car accident that left her permanently disabled just a few weeks before we sailed. She couldn't get the refund she wanted, so she decided to take the cruise and resigned herself to being miserable the whole time. By the end of the week she had made friends, seen how cruising can be a very accessible way to travel, and was able to process some of the grief and trauma she endured. There's the retired aerospace engineer who was a regular on my first contract. In his career he was so blinded by ambition that he ruined his marriage and distanced himself from his children. in retirement he made a goal to be more relaxed and learn how to live the life he had worked so hard for. I hardly believed his story when I heard it, because he was one of the most relaxed and joyful people I've ever known. He said solo cruising saved him. After this long year of isolation, more time with yourself may be the last thing on your mind. maybe what you actually need is a new environment and new experiences to jumpstart yourself into something totally new. Put a solo trip on your bucket list, you may be surprised to see what you learn about yourself when you're out there on your own. No expectations, no compromises, just a vacation, exactly how you want it!


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