I am a 28 yr old single male and have been thinking about solo cruising for the past couple of years and was actually booked solo last summer (2012). Anyways I ended up going on that cruise with my sister and BIL. We had a great time but it definately had it awkward moments. So this year I took the plunge and booked myself on mariner of the seas for the March 24th sailing.
I had a great time!!!!!!!!!!! There was a few bumps along the way but for the most part it was great!!! I met many great people and I don't ever remember feeling lonely. This was my 10th cruise but first solo and the first time i signed up for the meet and mingle. In my opinion this is a must do for solo cruisers!!! Best case you will find good friends to hang out with durring the week, and worst case you will atleast have a few familiar faces to run across durring the week.
I was fortunate enough to start cruising at a pretty young age so I have quiet a few points racked up with RCI. I did get some pretty nasty looks from the "older" crowd while I was sitting in the priority boarding area and the priority disembarkation lounge. Not sure if it was because I was by myself or if they just thought I was waay to young to be there lol
There were a few awkward moments involving sunscreen, etc, but nothing major. The worst was on a snorkeling excursin in roatan. on the way to the snorkel site i did the sunsccreen thing (everything but my back, beause i do not have guarilla arms). When we finally got to the site, everyone was applying sunscreen. So I thought I seen the perfect opportunity. I grabbed my "spray" sunscreen and politely walked over to a group that consisted of mostly middle aged females (thinking they would be the most willing to spray my back down) and asked if someone could please spray my back. They all turn at the exact same time and just stare at me lol. Thankfully after about 5 seconds of awkward silence the father from another family sitting close by offered to spray my back.
I am a major planner so I had all my excursions booked before I left home. Next time I will probably just wait until I get on the ship unless there is something I want to do really bad or if I am joining a group on roll call, etc. The reason I say this is that after the first sea day which included the meet and mingle, and then the second sea day onboard the ship I had made some friends and we had started to form our "group" for the week. Then on the first port day it seemed as if I had to "start over" on the excursion and really couldn't find anyone that I "hit it off with". I kinda feel like I wasted a day because the other 2 ports I got to spend with my "group" and had an absolute blast! But I suppose If I had "hit it off" with many people on the excursion I would be looking at it totally different.
For all those "younger" solo cruisers that are worried about being the only people in "our" age bracket, don't. I didn't run into any true "solos" in there twenties besides myself, but there was many "singles" that were with family, etc. Also don't be afraid to talk to couples. All couples don't want to be locked in there own little world all the time. Some want to socialize and meet people as much as anyone else.
I would not say that solo cruising is for everyone But I will say if you are slightly independent and comfortable being by yourself "at times" then you will probably love solo cruising. If you absolutely have to have someone right beside you at all times then you may feel a bit lonely at times but that is the nature of the beast. I live by myself and am used to doing things by myself but I also like to meet people and have a good time so it fit me perfectly.
So was it perfect?? No, it definately wasn't perfect, but in my experience, nothing in life is ever "perfect".
Will you get the "Oh my god, your on a cruise alone?" YES, many many many many times..... But you will probably have just as many people say "well good for you" or " I wish I had the nerve to do that" or "I wish I had done things like that when I was your age".
Will I cruise solo again?? Definately! I would not hesitate one bit about booking a solo cruise again. (actually will prob have one booked by the end of the week lol) I would cruise with family and friends again also but I would be very "picky" about who I went with. No way I would agreee to go with "someone" just to not be solo.
So was it worth it???? ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Enchantment of the seas 5/00
Voyager of the seas 5/01
Explorer of the seas 5/02
Carnival Paradise 5/03
Adventure of the seas 5/04
Explorer of the seas 6/05
Navigator of the seas 8/06
Freedom of the seas 6/12
Mariner of the seas 3/24/13
Freedom of the seas 9/1/13
Independence of the seas 3/29/14