I Went on a Cruise Completely Alone: Here’s My Experience!

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cruise alone

Hello cruise fans!

A couple of weeks ago I went on a cruise completely alone. It was a new experience and i have to admit that at first I was quite scared.

Well, I was not scared of traveling alone (since I had done it before), but from the thought that I might get bored.

I must say that, in the end, it was very different from what I expected.

That is why I decided to write this article. I want to tell you exactly how my “cruising alone experience” was.

I hope it will inspiring to some of you who are thinking of embarking on the same kind of trip.

Why did I go on a cruise by myself?

I had to go on a cruise alone simply because I coudn’t find any a traveling companion and all my friends, because of work commitments, could not come on the cruise with me.

Maybe some of you would have given up but I said to myself “you know what, I want to enjoy this vacation to the fullest even if I am alone.”

I said before, I have to admit it was not my first time traveling on my own, but it definitelly was my first time on a cruise, which as you know is quite a different context from traditional travel.

Booking a cruise for a single person

solo cabin with a single bed on a cruise
Solo cabin with a single bed on a cruise

Before booking, I took several aspects into consideration, which I want to recommend to you as well.

First of all, try to choose an itinerary that stops at reasonably safe ports. In case you have to get off the ship alone, it’s always good not to venture into cities that are too dangerous, especially if you are a woman all by yourself.

Moreover, choose a cruise that has single cabins or that doesn’t charge you the same price as a double occupancy.
There are a few cruise lines that are very considerate of single passengers:

  • Norwegian Cruise Line: I think it’s the absolute best for solo travelers. It was one of the first cruise lines to have studio cabins and still has a high number of them on most of the ships in the fleet.
    As far as i know, Norwegian Epic is the cruise ship with the largest number of single cabins in the world. There are as many as 128 on board.

Additionally, all individual staterooms include access to the Studio Lounge, an area designed to facilitate socialization among guests traveling alone. You will also find great daily selections of espresso, cappuccino, pastries, and fruit.

Studio Lounges are currently available on: Pride of America, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Prima, and Norwegian Viva.

Studio Lounge on Norwegian Cruise Line
Studio Lounge on Norwegian Cruise Line
solo lounge on NCL
Inside of the lounge with drinks and some snacks
  • Royal Caribbean: has studio cabins for solo travelers on several ships, many of them are on Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas.
  • Celebrity Cruises: has single cabins that are called “Infinite Veranda” on Celebrity Edge and Apex.
  • Holland America Line: has a good selection of single occupancy cabins, in particular on Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, and Rotterdam.

The on-board experience

Now let’s talk about the onboard experience. In my opinion, you can approach the trip in two different ways:

-If you are a loner and enjoy being alone, you can happily enjoy your vacation on your own.
-If you are more social and prefer to be in a group, you can meet many people directly on board the ship.

Entertainment and socialization

Maybe you don’t know this but different specific events are organized on almost all cruise ships for passengers who are traveling alone.

These can be quizzes, games, or simply gatherings where you have a drink and socialize with other passengers.

I went to some of them and it was really fun. I talked with many interesting people and I found that solo travelers have so many fascinating experiences to share.

In addition, I found that you can meet new people pretty much anywhere on the ship, as long as you don’t stay locked in your cabin.

For example, I met people when I went to the gym, chatting in the hot tub, at the club, and during themed parties.

nightclub on Carnival Conquest
Nightclub on Carnival Conquest

I have noticed that people on vacation are much more open to dialogue than usual, this is a very positive thing for people who are quite shy like me.

At the restaurant

Many people also asked me how was it at the restaurant.

If you have your table already assigned, from what I understand, there is no rule of thumb as to who you will be with.

I read comments from people who were at the table with other single travelers, others with couples, and some even with families.

dinner tables on NCL
Dinner tables on NCL

At my table, there was a single traveler like me and two other couples. We became friends after a few days and shared several parts of the cruise, even outside the restaurant.

One thing I would like to emphasize is that if you don’t like your table, or don’t get along well with the other guests, you can always ask the maître to change it.
If you want to, you can also ask to have a single table. If there are free ones, I assure you they will give you one.

How old do you have to be to cruise alone?

norwegian getaway vs norwegian viva
Norwegian Getaway (left) and Norwegian Viva (right)

If you want to go on a cruise alone, be sure to check the age rules before the departure. They may change based on cruise lines and itinerary.

Cruises that stop in the United States or cruise lines that are based in the States require a minimum age of 21.

This applies to most major cruise lines like Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Princess Cruises.

What cruise can you go on alone at 18?

On the contrary, cruise lines that allow you to travel unaccompanied from the age of 18 are basically the ones that are based in Europe, or that don’t stop in a US port.

For example, P&O Cruises allows 18-year-olds to travel alone on their UK-based ships.

Likewise, MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises, which are European, allow passengers 18 years and older to embark on a cruise on their own, aligning with the common legal age in many European countries.

Even Royal Caribbean allows you to go on a cruise from 18 years of age, but only if the cruise departs from South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, or New Zealand.

Please share this article! It can be useful to another cruise enthusiast!

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