Definition of "Cruising Solo"

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#1
Ellicott City, MD
176 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
What does "cruising solo" mean to you? To me, it means that I don't know anyone on this trip. I booked it alone. If I'm traveling with a group, and there are people I know in that group, then I'm not cruising solo. If it's a group trip that I heard about, but I don't know anyone going, I'm solo. If the cruise line set me up with a roommate, I'd still be solo. But if I'm rooming with someone I know, I'm not solo.

I've noticed other people define it differently. What's your definition?
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#2
Alabama
1,770 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
What does "cruising solo" mean to you? To me, it means that I don't know anyone on this trip. I booked it alone.
That's EXACTLY what it means, IMO. Cruising "solo" means when I booked the cruise I booked it for myself only, I'm flying down just me, and at the very least I know NO-one personally on the ship at the time of boarding. Anything ELSE is indeed something ELSE.
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#3
Chicago metro area
1,245 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I define "cruising solo" as when all parts of organizing the cruise, from reservation to embarkation, are done for yourself only. There are no friends, family, or organized group traveling with you (this includes hosted singles' cruises). Solo is when it's you only.
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#4
Toronto, Canada
3,906 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by BluesCruise
To me, it means that I don't know anyone on this trip. I booked it alone.
I agree; being on the ship with friends or family means you're not traveling solo, even if you are traveling without your significant other or even if you have your own cabin.
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#5
Virginia
19,876 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by LandlockedCruiser01
I define "cruising solo" as when all parts of organizing the cruise, from reservation to embarkation, are done for yourself only. There are no friends, family, or organized group traveling with you (this includes hosted singles' cruises). Solo is when it's you only.
This is my definition of "solo", as well. After talking and planning with many people on my roll call for over a year though, I don't feel like I have no "friends" onboard.
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#6
MA-United States
596 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Solo to me is when you plan every thing for yourself. the only people I will know on my cruise are the ones I have chatted with on the roll call. And I have really only exchanged e-mails with one. I am looking forward to meeting some of them but I am looking forward to some alone time with a good book and a frosty drink
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#7
Ellicott City, MD
176 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Well, maybe it's only the people who haven't cruised solo that are confused about it. People tell me about the person in their group who is cruising solo, or 2 people who are friends and rooming together say they're cruising solo. I thought maybe my definition was too strict, but I see several people agree with me.

Cruising solo is like walking a tightrope without a safety net. If you're with people you know, you have a safety net. You're not all alone trying to fend for yourself.
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#8
Ross, Ohio
38 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Bluescruise,
I'm with you on the definition. I admit I get a little grumpy or whatnot when folks say they are going solo on something but really they have friends or family or acquaintances going also. I went to an AI where I knew No One and others said that they had a friend who did that - flew to Ireland by themselves and met people there - so they were alone on the flight?!
Apparently, I want people to acknowledge my bravery! I shouldn't need that! I suck! I'm really not sure why I get irritated...

Sharon
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#9
New York
2,350 Posts
Joined May 2010
To me and more importantly for me, it means being on the ship with no one that I know previous to that trip, but I don't give a flying fig how anyone else defines it. That doesn't effect me in any way.
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#10
The Third Coast - Nashville
7,330 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
To me, sailing solo means I'm in the cabin by myself, and I paid double for it.

Roz
#11
Toronto, Canada
3,906 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by moonbeam3
Apparently, I want people to acknowledge my bravery! I shouldn't need that! I suck! I'm really not sure why I get irritated...

Sharon
LOL! I know exactly how you feel! How dare people horn in on the term "solo traveler" when they're joining with a tour group or meeting friends somewhere?

IMO, joining a tour group solo means you are traveling with a group (even if you don't know anyone in the group before you join), not traveling solo.
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#12
Gibraltar
140 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
To me it means that I am venturing on to a ship where I dont know anyone and I am in no way part of any group.
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#13
Tampa, FL
2,646 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Cruising Solo means its just you and only you on that sailing.

This past march I was with my Brother & his BF. Two different cabins, did most all day activities on my own, but I don't consider it a "SOLO cruise."
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#14
Chicago metro area
1,245 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by BluesCruise
Cruising solo is like walking a tightrope without a safety net. If you're with people you know, you have a safety net. You're not all alone trying to fend for yourself.
I think that's the defining point: not having a safety net, other than what's provided to you by the cruise line. Things like assigned seating at dinner (a major one), organized icebreaker games, cabin mate matching, dance classes where you rotate partners, etc. If you know anyone on the ship in person from before the cruise, and you make some type of arrangements to meet them, that is not a solo cruise. Neither is flying alone to the embarkation port, only to meet your friends there prior to getting on the ship; that's just hijacking the term "solo cruiser", a proud self-identifier we like to use.

I don't care too much who hijacks the term. Nearly everyone I met on the ship responded positively to my solo status. On land, people's reactions are more mixed, but that's kind of expected; solo cruising isn't exactly mainstream.
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#15
Toronto, Canada
3,906 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by BluesCruise
Cruising solo is like walking a tightrope without a safety net. If you're with people you know, you have a safety net. You're not all alone trying to fend for yourself.
Interesting analogy, but I don't really agree. I guess because 90% of my traveling is done solo (both land trips and cruising), so I don't consider it a dangerous challenge like walking a tightrope, and I never thought about having to fend for myself while vacationing solo any more than I "fend for myself" by living solo at home.

If anything, I'd say cruising IS the safety net for solo travelers.....pre-selected dining, with dining partners (if you'd like, no need to find a place to eat and eat alone), organized activities to take part in (if you like, no need to miss out on things because you're alone), organized transportation to pre-selected locations (no need to manage transport schedules or figure out the best or cheapest way to get from here to there - that is, after you decide where you want "there" to be).

Cruising solo is a great way for someone who hasn't traveled solo before to experience it, and a great way for solo people who don't like to do a lot of planning to travel, because so many things are already laid out for you.....you don't need to partake of all (or any) of the offerings, but they're available if you want.
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#16
Kansas
232 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
I think a lot of people get solo cruising confused with single cruising. To me Solo cruising is going on the cruise with no one else that you know previously. Single cruising is going on a cruise while single.
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#17
Sacramento, CA
1,099 Posts
Joined May 2003
Originally posted by Roz
To me, sailing solo means I'm in the cabin by myself, and I paid double for it.

Roz
Exactly!
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#18
Ellicott City, MD
176 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Calliopecruiser, I think you took my analogy too literally. We solo cruisers have to "fend for ourselves" socially and logistically. We don't automatically have someone to talk to, to hang out with, to watch our stuff at the beach, to take our photos, to save us a seat by the pool, in the Windjammer, or at a show. For introverts, this really can be like my tightrope analogy. Luckily for me, I had done some research before my first solo cruise, so I only freaked out momentarily when I realized at sailaway that I had no one to share my excitement with. I joined in the merriment of the 3 ladies next to me at the railing, and it got easier and easier from there.

Traveling solo on land is a totally different definition.
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Tami

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#19
Toronto, Canada
3,906 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by BluesCruise
Calliopecruiser, I think you took my analogy too literally. We solo cruisers have to "fend for ourselves" socially and logistically. We don't automatically have someone to talk to, to hang out with, to watch our stuff at the beach, to take our photos, to save us a seat by the pool, in the Windjammer, or at a show. For introverts, this really can be like my tightrope analogy. Luckily for me, I had done some research before my first solo cruise, so I only freaked out momentarily when I realized at sailaway that I had no one to share my excitement with. I joined in the merriment of the 3 ladies next to me at the railing, and it got easier and easier from there.

Traveling solo on land is a totally different definition.
I guess if you're not used to spending any time alone, not having someone to talk to might freak someone out, or having to find their own seat at the pool might worry someone. It's hard for me to imagine the idea that people need others there to enjoy themselves, but, then, it's hard for some others to imagine how I can be comfortable and content living on my own. To each his/her own, I guess.
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#20
LOS ANGELES, CA, US
1,425 Posts
Joined May 2000
I think solo cruising is sort of that fear before you board the ship that once you get on board you will feel out of place or that alone feeling even when you are in a crowd. You don't have that safety net of having someone to be with and talk too. However a cruise is probably the best place to meet people and make friends as a solo person at least that's what I found. Even couples and groups of people can be very friendly towards solo cruises if you have the right attitude. A cruise is not Noah's arc. Many solos and/or single people cruise for a variety of reasons. I've found too that traveling with someone can be difficult and less enjoyable since you are always trying to compromise what to do or not do together which can be a real challenge depending upon who you are traveling with. I do know people that will not travel alone. I always feel sad for those people since they are missing out; but you can't force someone to do something they don't want to do.