Travel solo and experience a fantastic vacation on cruises with single cabins. Dare to see the world on your own terms and make new friends at the same time. You just need to be a little bit bold.
Just like when you are traveling with family or friends, there is a lot to consider when choosing to cruise solo. Think about what the cruise line can offer, the facilities on board the cruise ship, your budget and the best itineraries for cruises with single cabins.
But there is one thing that makes some cruises lines stand out from the rest if you are traveling by yourself – the opportunity to meet other solo travelers.
Going on a cruise by yourself doesn’t have to be that different from going with company – if you pick a cruise line that focuses on solo cabins, solo guest events and facilities on board.
In this article we tell you some of the major cruise lines successfully offering independant single travelers the opportunity to book and cruise solo. We answer common questions and give you our 5 best tips for cruising solo.
Cruise solo with the best cruise lines
Many of the major cruise lines are now paying more attention to guests wanting to cruise solo and there are more and more cruises with single cabins than ever before.
Not that long ago, the only option was to book a double cabin for single occupancy, where you would inevitably pay an extremely expensive single room supplement rate.
Nowadays, the cruise lines are designing their newer ships to offer small single cabins in close proximity to other single cabins.
And some even offer lounges solely for use by guests cruising by themselves. Making your chance of meeting like-minded travelers on board good!
So which cruise lines are we talking about?
Norwegian Cruise Line – a trend setter for solo cruise guests
Norwegian Cruise Line started the trend and are still one of the best. They allocate a number of cabins on board as studio cabins for single occupancy.
They also go one step further and offer beautiful lounges for use by the solo cruising guest, if you wish.
This solo lounge is great for relaxing, eating breakfast and getting refreshments. And you can be sure to meet others traveling alone as no other cateogory of guest is allowed there.
Some of the cruises offered by Norwegian Cruise Line even go as far as to offer solo guests their own solo host that coordinates ship activities which you can join, or not, it’s up to you.
The amount of mingling you choose to do depends on what kind of sailing experience you want.
Seabourn offers super luxury for the solo traveler
Seabourn is an ultra-luxury cruise line and very popular for those wanting to cruise solo in true style.
You can expect a luxury cruising experience to the most well-known places in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean and Alaska. Plus more exclusive destinations such as Antarctica & Patagonia, the Arctic and the Amazon.
They even offer private air and hotel packages and transporation options so you can book a complete solo traveler package with them.
Solo cabins with Saga for the age 50+ guests in mind
Then there is Saga Cruises. This British based company has long focused on the 50+ age group and solo travelers are well catered for with a large proportion of single cabins available on many of their cruise ships.
Their newest ship, Spirit of Discovery carries around just 1000 guests. All cabins are balcony cabins and that includes the 109 single occupancy cabins on board.
These cabins offer different price categories depending how large you want to go: standard, superior, deluxe or suite. And WiFi is free all over the ship so you don’t need to worry about making sure you buy a WiFi package for single use, it’s all included.
The best cruise lines offering solo cabins
Then followed more cruise lines wanting to attract solo cruising guests. All of these cruise lines offer solo cabins:
- Norwegian Cruise Line – Viva, Getaway, Breakaway, Prima, Bliss Escape, Epic, Encore, Pride of America
- Saga – Spirit of Discovery, Spirit of Adventure
- Royal Caribbean – Wonder of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Odyssey of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas
- P & O Cruises – Azure, Arcadia, Aurora, Ventura, Iona, Arvia, Britannia
- Cunard – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria
- Holland America – Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, Nieuw Rotterdam
- Costa Cruises – Magica, Fascnosa Favolosa, Pacifica, Diadema
- MSC Cruises – Meriviglia, Grandiosa, Bellissima, Virtuosa
- Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Apex
- Virgin Voyages – Scarlet Lady, Resilient Lady, Valiant Lady
How do I find the right solo cruise for me?
When researching the cost of cruising solo, speak to the different cruise lines and find their price point for a cabin type you are interested in. Then find out what’s included.
You can then speak to 3 or 4 more cruise lines and find a comparative price for the same cabin type. From here you can assess your budget.
When you have decided on your destination, look at the intineraries offered and the destinations you will be visiting.
Very often when cruising solo it’s the destinations which stand in focus rather than the ship itself. As most solo cabins can be found on newer ships you know that you will be traveling in style. And it could, in the end, come down to where you can get the best value for your money.
But be fussy and take your time. Research properly and know what you are getting for your money before you book. Be sure to write down all the questions to ask to kick-start your planning, before contacting the cruise lines.
Joining forums, group chats or Facebook groups will give you an insight into other guests’ solo cruising experiences which will perhaps help you in your decision making.
When is the best time to book cruises with single cabins?
One of the challenges when booking to cruise solo, is to not leave it too late. The number of cruises with single cabins is limited, and demand is often high.
Book well in advance. Cruises are often bookable about one year to 18 months in advance of sailing date.
You can keep an eye on pricing by signing up for the cruise lines’ newsletters, looking out for special price alerts or campaigns, and by joining solo cruising forums.
And do remember to frequently check the price of your cabin category on the cruise lines’ website even after you have booked.
Remember, if the price of your chosen cabin category becomes cheaper after you have booked and paid your deposit, contact the cruise line immediately and ask for the same price reduction on your booking.
Be sure that you retain any OBC (on board credit) or special offers that were in your original booking.
And don’t forget to look out for a bargain price on a standard cabin meant for two. Finding great prices on double occupancy cabins is possible especially if the specific cabin number is not assigned when booking.
In that case you will be allocated a cabin closer to departure. This is a great option if you find a good deal, less expensive than a solo cabin would have cost, and you are flexible on where on board your cabin is located.
If you don’t want to eat alone, book a large table where there will be other guests. You can choose a table for 4, 6, 8 or 10 guests and be part of a group each evening. Very often this is the easiest way to get to know other guests.
Dining at a table where you do not enjoy the company? Visit the maître d’ before you dine again and get assigned a different table.
When is the best time to travel as a solo guest?
Many solo travelers choose to avoid peak times when there are often families traveling with children. That is, during summer holiday, around Halloween and even Christmas.
More adults and less children on board means a greater chance of meeting more adult guests traveling solo.
Our 5 best solo cruising tips
1. Start making contacts and friends before you travel
Joining a Facebook group for your cruise is a good way to get in touch with fellow travelers. If you cannot find a Facebook group for your particular cruise, consider starting one!
By joining solo cruising forums both before and after you have booked, you can get to know other solo travelers even before you climb on board.
2. Book shore excursions to get to know your fellow traveler
If you are a social animal and love company, but are traveling solo, we suggest joining group shore excursions. It’s a good way to get to know your fellow travelers. It is also a safer way of traveling and an easy way to mingle.
3. Join in on board activities
Fitness classes, dance classes and other on board activities such as trivia quizes or listening to live bands are also a good way to meet others. Be bold and dare to join in – it really can be great fun.
4. Book through a cruise specialist with focus on the solo traveler
Consider working together with a travel company that have their focus on solo travelers. Look for tips online and through forums about travel agents who can specifically help you with cruising for the solo traveler.
Then you can make your own mind up if you prefer to book yourself with the cruise line, or to book with a travel agent.
5. Smaller ships offer more intimate cruising experiences
Look at smaller ships that have solo cabins. It’s much easier to integrate with others on smaller ships. Small group excursions and events means that you won’t get lost in the crowd.