Typically when I take a sailing, I can automatically assume I will be sailing by myself. No one can just take off work 7 to 17-days of work to head to sea with me. With that said, I am left sailing solo on 90% of my voyages and have mastered some solo cruising survival tips. It’s really not as bad as you think.
1. Join Roll Calls
Way before you even step foot on the ship you’ll want to go to a website like CruiseCritic and join their roll call board. This is a great opportunity to meet some people before you sail and get to know each others game plan once on board. I have learned things from where to stay pre-cruise to what excursions are the best value.
2. Download ShipMate App
ShipMate app is kind of like a roll call but different, it lets you find your ship and see what users are registered on your sailing. Once you establish your sailing you can live chat with folks who you think may be of similar interest. You can download the app here.
3. Go to Events
You will not meet anyone hunkered down in your cabin and only surfacing for food and ports. There are plenty of events like comedy shows, singles mixers, broadways shows, mixology classes, wine tastings and a slew of bars just to get out there and do something. Ship events are a great way to connect with your fellow passengers.
4. Do Excursions
I’ve met people on excursions who I am still in touch with to this day. Schedule a couple of excursions and get out there and explore together. Some of the best memories are created zip lining in a rain forest or snorkeling in Sting Ray City.
5. Talk to the Matre d
When I’m on a solo sailing, the first thing I do is go to the main dining room and asked to be sat with folks my age or other single cruisers. You’d be surprised that you’re not alone with it comes to solo sailings. The matre d’s job is to make sure your needs are taken care of in the dining room (to the best of his ability), so just ask!
6. Have a Pre-Dinner Drink
Scout out a bar and leave your cabin an hour early for drinks. Folks like to gather around a bar for a pre-dinner cocktail. Having a hard time starting a conversation? Ask them what they are drinking. It’s a great convo starter. If you’re not a drinker, see what non-alcoholic options they offer.
7. Ditch the Phone
I make this point with experience. I use my phone as a security blanket sometimes when I’m in crowds of people that I don’t know. I’ve learned to keep my phone in the cabin and actual converse with my fellow cruise passengers. Recently I sailed American Cruise Lines’ Queen of the Mississippi and met some of the coolest people just by walking up and starting a conversation.
Remember, you may be sailing alone but you are on a ship full of strangers (or potential friends for life), just like the next passenger.
Do you have any solo cruising tips or advice to add?
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