The popularity of solo cruising is growing so rapidly that a number of cruise lines are being forced to give their ships a facelift to accommodate a greater number of single cabins. Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth was taken into dry dock last year to add new single cabins and the Norwegian Epic includes a comprehensive 128 studio cabins for solo cruisers. So if you’re looking into the possibility of cruising alone, we’ve put together these 16 tips to help make the holiday stress-free and unforgettable.
Select a Studio
Selecting a traditional double bed cabin could be more expensive than sleeping in a studio with a number of cruise lines not offering sufficient discounts for solo cruisers. Although a studio cabin may be smaller – all the major cruise lines offer all the important amenities throughout all the cabins.
Plan Excursions Selfishly
Travelling alone offers the perfect opportunity to be a little selfish. Without the need to compromise or follow another person, you can pick the port visits and excursions which really tickle your fancy. With the cruise industry growing at a phenomenal rate all around the world, there is a more diverse selection than ever when it comes to picking unforgettable port visits.
When dining on the first night of your cruise, ask to be seated with fellow solo cruisers. This is the perfect opportunity to meet new people and share experiences.
…and if you have enjoyed their company over dinner, suggest a drink in one of the ship’s lounges afterwards. Despite many cruise lines relaxing the on-board formality, major cruise ships still provide plentiful opportunities for a little ballroom dancing to beautiful music.
Befriend the Waiting Staff
Whether you want your favourite table near the buffet or the first choice when a new selection of desserts come out, it’s always preferable to befriend the waiting staff. A friendly wave and chat throughout the day if you bump into them out and about on the ship, could help you win their favour.
Dinner Time Dip
If your cruise has set sitting times for dinner, use the first sitting as a chance to go for a dip in the swimming pool. With families traditionally picking this sitting for their dinner, the swimming pools often empty around this time. This gives you the perfect chance to complete a few lengths without kids splashing about or Olympic-standard swimmers showing you up.
Plan the Spa Treatment
Spa treatments are one of the services and extras on board most ships which are not included in the all-inclusive package. However cut price treatments are sometimes available when the ship is in port – so pick the port you’re least excited to visit and book yourself in for cut-price, high-quantity rest and relaxation.
Pick a Theme Cruise
Alongside selfishly picking excursions and itineraries which completely satiate your passions – why not choose a themed cruise. From wine lovers cruises to rock n roll enthusiasts – a wide range of interests and passions are accommodated by specialist themed cruises.
Follow the Guides
Landing in a new port on foreign lands every day can be a little daunting, making it advisable to put your faith in a cruise line-authorised tour guide. Check for the excursions offered aboard the cruise ship for authorised and reliable guides.
Be Adventurous with Cuisine
When in port, try and seek out the local cuisine rather than the tourist traps. This can give you an authentic taste of local life instead of mass-produced food designed to cater for hundreds of visitors rather than cultured palates.
Seek Out a Book Club
A good book is always a valued companion on any holiday – but a book club can help you delve further into literature and expand your horizons. Princess Cruises operate a much-loved book club which opens up literary discussion amongst passengers. Leave your literary comfort zone and try something a little different. You can always pack a book from your favourite author as a back-up.
Copy Important Documentation
If you lose your boarding pass or passport at any point in a cruise, you could be in for tiresome waits and background checks. Help to speed up the process, so you can get back to having a fun and relaxing holiday, by copying all important documentation and keeping them to hand.
Attend the Captain’s Parties
Free cocktails! And the chance to meet the captain and crew in a relaxed but sophistication setting, the Captain’s parties are often elegant and exciting events. The genial atmosphere also makes it a great environment to meet new people and like-minded travellers.
Capture Your Own Memories
The official on-board photographers may always seem to be trying to get a photo of you, but will charge for copies. A more cost-effective alternative is to pack your own camera and ask fellow passengers to take pictures when you’re looking glamorous or posing in front of a striking backdrop.
Employ a Gentleman Host
If you have a passion for ballroom dancing and sophisticated conversation, a Gentleman Host (aboard many ships) can provide both of these. The members of this elite group are all skilled ballroom dancers and extremely sociable.
Book with Cruise1st
Offering an incredible array of deals and discounts – booking with Cruise1st could help you find your perfect cruise holiday for less. Visit our homepage, or call now on 1300 857 345, for our latest deals for solo or family cruises.
Image sourced via Flickr Creative Commons and P&O Cruises Press Center. Credit: Nick Harris, Simon Cocks, jeffsmallwood, P&O Cruises.