What to expect when you cruise solo.Mar 03, 2020
If you listened to my audio blog, then you already know WHY I decided to solo cruise. In this post, I’m focusing on WHAT I loved most about solo cruising. I also share my biggest concerns, headaches and surprises. Keep reading to check out all the reasons you should cruise solo!
The big 3: concerns about the solo cruise experience
Before I get to the reasons why I loved my cruise, let’s talk about the biggest concerns:
- Making friends
- Staying safe
- Taking pics
I decided to go on this cruise on a whim. I really wanted to get away and after doing research on a bunch of destinations, I decided just a week before takeoff to go on a cruise instead. After the dust settled, I became concerned about my safety. I had a bunch of questions: what if something happens on the ship? Who will know? How will I ensure that my loved ones find out? I kept replaying this over and over in my mind… and it was all for nothing.
The very first night on the cruise, I made friends! Interestingly enough, by day 2, any absence became noticeable. On day 2, I spent the day by myself. On day 3, I bumped into a fellow solo cruiser who said to me, “Hey, we’ve been looking for you, where were you last night?” It was a small gesture, but it made me feel a little more safe. After just one night together, people were already looking for me and wondering about my whereabouts. This prompted me to let the fear go. Doing so it made it easier to be open to making friends.
When it came to making friends, Norwegian made it easy. They offered meetups for solo cruisers each night and I took advantage early. The first night, I made 2 friends and met even more people as the cruise went on. During the cruise, I went sightseeing with other cruisers and upon return, I spent the day with a fellow cruiser in Miami. Since the cruise ended, I’ve connected with many of them on FB and continued getting to know them.
Ultimately, if you’re willing to put yourself out there, it’s easy to make friends. You already have two things in common with everyone – you enjoy travel and you’re alone. For those reasons, you can guarantee you’ll be able to have conversation and potentially build a bond.
My final concern was picture taking. I know, it’s such a #millennial fear but I was worried about how I’d take photos at tourist sites. I didn’t want to leave with just selfies. Just like the other two concerns, this turned out not to be a big deal. Everywhere I went, people offered to take pics. If someone saw me taking a selfie, they would offer to take the picture for me. Sometimes they would offer to take my picture in exchange for taking theirs. When I didn’t have a hand, I just took selfies or opted to not be in the photo.
The one thing I didn’t expect
I never even considered this, but not being able to save my seat was by far the worst part of the cruise. When you’re alone for meals, you’ll either leave your stuff and hope it’s when you return or take your stuff and pray. Whenever I got up for more food, I never knew if my table would be there when I got back.
There are certainly worse things that could have happened, but it was somewhat frustrating.
Now, let’s get to my favorite parts!
To be honest, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the trip. Upon booking, the goal was to decompress. I just wanted to lay around, sleep in and eat food as often as I could stomach it. When it was all said and done, I did all that and more. I actually had FUN.
- This is an opportunity to decompress.
- You can be whoever you want and learn about yourself.
- When you don’t want to be around people, there’s no pressure.
- You can make friends with similar interests.
Be who you want. Push your boundaries.
Cruising alone gives you the opportunity to try and do new things. I was more outgoing on my cruise than I’ve been in a long time. I sang, danced, and participated in events and activities that I may not have at home. The fact of the matter is – no one on the cruise knows you. You can be the person who dances by themself or joins a piano sing-along. You could also be the person who leads a team in a singing competition and WINS! I rarely do things like that at home, but on the ship I got to be more outgoing. I was even complimented on my dancing skills throughout the cruise.
Do what you want.
You can also do what you want without restriction. You can sleep in, eat what you want, dance the night away, stay up all night long, binge watch movies, and just be. No matter who you are – wife, mom, sibling, employee, manager – you probably need days dedicated to you. When was the last time you got to do what you want when you want? Sounds amazing right?
Be alone or with others.
Lastly, you get to decide when you want company and when you don’t! Hibernate when you want without people calling, texting, and trying to get you out of the room. Because all the other solo cruisers are there to do the same, there’s no pressure. But also remember, you’re in a unique position to make friends with people who are basically guaranteed to share your interests. Are you constantly begging your friends to travel with you? Why not make friends on a cruise ship with people who’ve shown they like to travel? You’re surrounded by them for at least 3 days. You might as well get to know someone.
So, what do you think? Did I convince you to cruise alone?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
be radical. be original.