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 Sailing Solo: Top 10 Reasons to Cruise

Nancy Norris
Traveling solo can be a bit intimidating at first, and fear and anxiety may be preventing you from taking that first step to fulfilling the sense of adventure that lies within you. The fact that you are reading this article, however, means you have already begun the journey. A cruise is a wonderfully exhilarating experience and a form of travel that can dissipate all the fears that keep you grounded to familiar terrain. There are many reasons why a cruise is a perfect way for an independent traveler to explore the world, but these are my Top Ten:

  1. Safety! With 24-hour security, and the controlled environment a cruise ship provides, a solo passenger can feel safe taking a midnight stroll, or returning to their cabin late at night. With the new heightened security that all cruise ships adhere to, it may just be the safest vacation destination in the nation. A single woman can comfortably and securely walk into a lounge alone, something many of us would not do on land.

  2. Convenience! A cruise is one stop shopping. No need to worry about the details of planning and paying for hotels, transportation, dinner, entertainment, tips, and sightseeing. Most of these are already included in the cruise package, and a good travel agent can assist you in taking care of all the other loose ends before you even set sail. Trying to cover all the bases when traveling solo can become overwhelming, and can sometimes become such a daunting task that you end up hiding out in your hotel room, ordering room service, and watching television. (Now that’s a great way to see the world!?!)

  3. Exploration and adventure! Speaking of seeing the world, a cruise is a perfect way to explore new horizons, or experience a new adventure in a secure atmosphere. If you are new to the adventure game, and want to try something daring, or just want to discover something unique, shore excursions can be booked through the cruise line (often before you leave home) and provide you with ready made companions that have similar interests. So if it’s climbing Dunn’s River Falls, swimming with the dolphins, or simply taking an island drive, seize the opportunity to embark on a journey, test your limits, but most of all make memories. 

  4. Communal dining! I don’t know about you, but one of the few things I dislike about traveling solo is dining alone. Well, cruising means never having to eat alone. Dining is a group experience and on many ships your seating is assigned. You can always request to dine with other singles, or ask your travel agent to do so at the time of booking. No matter who you are seated with, this offers a wonderful opportunity for meeting people, and engaging in lively conversation.

  5. Opportunity to meet new people! The dining room is not the only place to meet new people. Almost all ships have singles functions early in the cruise providing you a way to get to know other guests right away. The other advantage of being on a cruise is that once you meet someone, the probability of seeing them again is very high. After all, no matter how large the ship, it is a limited environment.

  6. Convenience! Fun is close at hand. The nightclub, disco, casino, and theater are all within walking distance of your cabin. Just think, you can enjoy a wonderful dinner, followed by a stellar production show, meander to the disco and burn off some calories on the dance floor, or head to the casino to test your luck, and end the evening with a nightcap at your favorite lounge and never have to worry about a “designated driver”.

  7. Dance partners! Mentioning the disco reminds me that on many cruise ships gentlemen hosts are provided for your dancing pleasure. Single women, if you select the right ship, you can always count on a partner to dance the night away. These gentlemen can often be counted on to fill a spot at the bridge table, or join you as a dining companion.

  8. Activities! Activities! Activities! Bingo is no longer the main event on a cruise (Although it is still offered on most ships). Today’s cruise ships provide a myriad of choices. From such high-energy activities as rock climbing, in-line skating, golf, tennis, basketball, aerobics, to less strenuous activities like cooking classes, lectures, chess, backgammon, wine tasting, and art auctions you are the master of your fate. You can be as active or sedate as you choose. You can select the activities that interest you, and your participation guarantees one more opportunity to meet others with similar interests. In fact, one of the nice things about a cruise is that with the variety of activities from which to choose, often couples go their separate ways and participate in events that interest them on their own. What this means to the single traveler is that you never are made to feel like you are the odd man out.

  9. Rejuvenate your spirit! Cruising offers you the opportunity to be pampered and spoil yourself. The pressures of careers, families, and life in general cause all of us undue stress. The magnificent spa and gym facilities, not to mention the shopping venues all beg for us to indulge. Go ahead, splurge! Get that full body massage or facial you have always wanted. Enroll in the Pilates Class. Buy that designer watch you have been eyeing. After all, you’re worth it!

  10. Sailing solo is empowering! Cruising independently means you do it your own way. You have total freedom to make all the decisions and never need to compromise. All that is left now is for you to take charge of your life, conquer your fears, and CRUISE!

Although many of my reasons for cruising apply to everyone, this Top Ten list was written from the female perspective. Single men take note: Cruise lines statistics indicate that approximately 25% of cruise passengers are single with a higher percentage of women to men. That alone should be reason enough for you to sign up for a cruise today!

Happy sailing,

Nancy Norris
TrvlJrnlst@aol.com

 

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