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Best things to do as a solo cruiser

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I love to cruise, but it's been several years since I have cruised solo. What are your favorite things to do onboard as a solo cruiser that doesn't feel /look awkward? I am bringing a couple of books to read poolside. I am not comfortable dining alone, so probably will not eat in the dining room. What else?:)

 

It seems like you have cruised solo before. What things did you do then?

 

A port heavy cruise should take care of any anxiety you might have. There isn't a lot of time to think about anything except where you need to be to disembark, get on bus or tender or whatever and go on your excursion(s).

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The joys of traveling alone mean that YOU have control of every minute and how you choose to spend it. I'm now booked on several more cruises, including a 38-day trip this summer, all solo. I can't wait!

 

Yup - the very essence of the word SOLO is the word YOU !! :D

 

38 days will be divine - my longest is 33 night expedition in Antarctica (and a couple of 30 night ones down there as well) but I am aiming for the "someday" when I reach retirement - of the half year round the world joining multiple long trips together - cruise ! And yep all 100% selfishly solo :evilsmile:

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38 days? 33 days? You folks are my hero's:D...........maybe one day I will be able to do that too. I still work full time so that many days off in a row is not possible:eek:

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Yup - the very essence of the word SOLO is the word YOU !! :D

 

38 days will be divine - my longest is 33 night expedition in Antarctica (and a couple of 30 night ones down there as well) but I am aiming for the "someday" when I reach retirement - of the half year round the world joining multiple long trips together - cruise ! And yep all 100% selfishly solo :evilsmile:

 

The 38-day trip this summer is a r/trip on Holland America from Boston across the North Atlantic (including Newfoundland/Labrador, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Scotland).

 

I also have a 29-day trip booked for this fall: Vancouver, BC to Miami via Alaska (!) and the Panama Canal on Regent Seven Seas.

 

Antarctica is definitely on my "bucket list" -- I'm looking at a few itineraries. Holland America has an 80-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage on the Prinsendam (their smallest ship -- 835 passengers) that hits a large number of "bucket-list" locations in addition to Antarctica, so that leads the list at the moment. The next date for this one is Jan 4, 2019, but I'm already booked on a 28-day South Pacific cruise starting in early March. So I'll keep an eye on it for 2020.

 

Lana in Bellingham, WA

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38 days? 33 days? You folks are my hero's:D...........maybe one day I will be able to do that too. I still work full time so that many days off in a row is not possible:eek:

 

I hear you, Lois. I retired in 2003 after 32 years in high tech, and spent the next 7 years in school, finishing my undergrad and graduate music degrees. I always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to travel after I retired, but other things took a higher priority.

 

After a series of fairly serious health issues, I decided to re-prioritize travel much higher. I won't be able to do this forever, so I'm trying to cram in as much travel as I can while I'll still physically and financially able to handle it.

 

Cruise travel suits my situation very well -- board the ship, unpack, relax and enjoy the journey. Socialize or not, join in onboard activities or not, do shore excursions or not, no pressure one way or the other, I can decide minute by minute how much energy I have and how I want to spend it. It's really ideal.

 

Lana in Bellingham, WA

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38 days? 33 days? You folks are my hero's:D...........maybe one day I will be able to do that too. I still work full time so that many days off in a row is not possible:eek:

 

I am a full time worker too - will be so for many years to come as Aus govt keeps moving away the female retirement age.

 

Aus employees get 4 weeks paid leave per year as a minimum which can be used in any volume - ie a day at a time or a week or the whole lot all at once - or roll over some to the next year. Also long service leave which accrues between 9 and 11 days per year depending on specific employers. Plus in the public service where I work we can purchase additional leave between 1 week and 8 weeks per year - paying a small amount out of our pay each fortnight. I buy 4 weeks extra per year.

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The 38-day trip this summer is a r/trip on Holland America from Boston across the North Atlantic (including Newfoundland/Labrador, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Scotland).

 

I also have a 29-day trip booked for this fall: Vancouver, BC to Miami via Alaska (!) and the Panama Canal on Regent Seven Seas.

 

Antarctica is definitely on my "bucket list" -- I'm looking at a few itineraries. Holland America has an 80-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage on the Prinsendam (their smallest ship -- 835 passengers) that hits a large number of "bucket-list" locations in addition to Antarctica, so that leads the list at the moment. The next date for this one is Jan 4, 2019, but I'm already booked on a 28-day South Pacific cruise starting in early March. So I'll keep an eye on it for 2020.

 

Lana in Bellingham, WA

 

Some great ones lined up. My mother and several of my friends have done the big North Atlantic HA one over the years.

 

Antarctica - don't waste time doing it on a cruise ship - you won't experience it at all - it will be like walking up to a restaurant and smelling all the divine food - then walking straight past. Go for a small vessel expedition - choose one with less that 100 passengers. Multiple shore landings per day. All ships pair people up in twin or triple cabins to save you the solo supplement. All the vessels and operators are listed in the Trip Advisor Antarctic Forum FAQs - in case you want to start planning and dreaming now :) https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12337-k8993183-Frequently_Asked_Questions_Top_Questions_on_Antarctic_Travel-Antarctic_Adventures.html

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I'm a huge reader so if I don't have a balcony cabin, I'm usually finding a good seat on the promenade deck with my book. I also will dine in the MDR or a speciality restaurant alone and I absolutely love it. I feel like I'm being catered to and everyone deserves a little pampering!

 

My next cruise will be my longest yet as it's my first TA so I'm looking foward to plenty of reading, naps and drinks :)

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I'm new to this forum, and have just read thru the thread. My first solo cruise was Jan 2017 out of Galveston, TX as a test run for a solo cruise in the Mediterranean. The passengers on the Galveston cruise were the friendliest I have ever experienced. I'm going again out of Galveston Sept.16th.

 

I love the casino and spend most of my time there. My Galveston cruise is a free cruise based on casino play. The casino is a great place for a solo cruiser. Like others have said, a kindle can be your best friend. I will be sure to take it with me to the main dining room in the event I end up dining alone.

 

I have requested a large table in the main dining room. If I'm not happy, I will request another table. Don't hesitate to ask for a different table. For me, dining is the biggest anxiety of traveling solo. I go to the buffet for breakfast and lunch, but want the dining room experience for dinner. I'm prepared this time with my kindle.

 

I have no problem going on excursions or walking around the ports alone. Just do your research in advance and be safe.

 

Sandy G.

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I've read through the entire thread and peaked in because I'm doing a 49 day cruise around South America in February of 2019. This will be my second cruise the first was in Nov/Dec of 2017. I had my own inside cabin by myself but I was part of a group put together by one of my exercise instructors. Half of the group was annoying thus my going all the way solo on the S.A. cruise.

 

I love being by myself and I can jump in and join people and conversations when I want. Some of my greatest memories come from when I broke away from the crowd and did my own thing.

 

Ramona

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As a confirmed solo cruiser I like to sit in one of the lounges, maybe even near a pool, find a nice spot to read, watch a movie in the theatre (if the ship has a theater) or participate in an activity around the ship (arts and crafts, rock climbing, etc).   As far a dining well I prefer to be alone and have no problems requesting my own table and sitting alone. At ports I typically go scuba diving but I’ve also done all sorts of other activities like bicycle riding, kayaking, hiking, and snorkeling to name a few.  However I’ve also just explored the ports on my own.

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I have been cruising solo now, for a couple of years, but on each of the five or six, I have known some friends from previous cruises, so did not feel so 'solo'.   

Now, I am about to embark in January on a 180 day (six month) cruise around the world, and other than some 'roll call' conversation's, will not know anyone from before.   I really had to dig into my savings to afford this 'bucket list' cruise, and tried in vain to find anyone to share it with.   But it is my retirement gift to myself, so am really looking forward to it, as well as hopefully making some great new friends among my fellow 'worldie' shipmates....:classic_smile:

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12 hours ago, bob brown said:

[snip]

Now, I am about to embark in January on a 180 day (six month) cruise around the world, and other than some 'roll call' conversation's, will not know anyone from before.   I really had to dig into my savings to afford this 'bucket list' cruise, and tried in vain to find anyone to share it with.   But it is my retirement gift to myself, so am really looking forward to it, as well as hopefully making some great new friends among my fellow 'worldie' shipmates....:classic_smile:

 

Wow! You might be starting out not knowing anyone but I suspect by the end of the 180 days, you'll have plenty of new friends.

 

 

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On 11/21/2018 at 9:47 PM, bob brown said:

I have been cruising solo now, for a couple of years, but on each of the five or six, I have known some friends from previous cruises, so did not feel so 'solo'.   

Now, I am about to embark in January on a 180 day (six month) cruise around the world, and other than some 'roll call' conversation's, will not know anyone from before.   I really had to dig into my savings to afford this 'bucket list' cruise, and tried in vain to find anyone to share it with.   But it is my retirement gift to myself, so am really looking forward to it, as well as hopefully making some great new friends among my fellow 'worldie' shipmates....:classic_smile:

 

Wow!  A world cruise sounds marvelous, and as another poster has said, by the 180 days I'm sure you'll have found many friends.  

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On ‎11‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 10:47 PM, bob brown said:

I have been cruising solo now, for a couple of years, but on each of the five or six, I have known some friends from previous cruises, so did not feel so 'solo'.   

Now, I am about to embark in January on a 180 day (six month) cruise around the world, and other than some 'roll call' conversation's, will not know anyone from before.   I really had to dig into my savings to afford this 'bucket list' cruise, and tried in vain to find anyone to share it with.   But it is my retirement gift to myself, so am really looking forward to it, as well as hopefully making some great new friends among my fellow 'worldie' shipmates....:classic_smile:

Sounds FANTASTIC:classic_biggrin: and I wish I could do this too...…..6 months on a ship...…..heaven!...……..hope you have a marvelous time and wishing you smooth sailing and fair seas.

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On 11/22/2018 at 10:58 AM, Croptop said:

 

Wow! You might be starting out not knowing anyone but I suspect by the end of the 180 days, you'll have plenty of new friends.

 

 

Thanks, I hope so!:classic_smile:

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On 11/25/2018 at 1:10 PM, Sasksilver said:

 

Wow!  A world cruise sounds marvelous, and as another poster has said, by the 180 days I'm sure you'll have found many friends.  

Thanks!:classic_smile:

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4 hours ago, Lois R said:

Sounds FANTASTIC:classic_biggrin: and I wish I could do this too...…..6 months on a ship...…..heaven!...……..hope you have a marvelous time and wishing you smooth sailing and fair seas.

Thanks!  I wish you could, too!  Would like to meet you some day on a cruise...:classic_smile:

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On 11/27/2018 at 11:25 AM, bob brown said:

Thanks!  I wish you could, too!  Would like to meet you some day on a cruise...:classic_smile:

I would love to do that, also!! Which line? And, dare I ask, how much is the cost?

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33 minutes ago, skleeb said:

I would love to do that, also!! Which line? And, dare I ask, how much is the cost?

Scroll down for the price...it went up about 1k per passenger since I booked it...but keep in mind, I had to pay double that, as I couldn't find anyone with the time to share it with me....

 

https://www.oceaniacruises.com/around-the-world-cruises/new-york-to-miami-INS190111H/?sr=%2Fcruise-finder%2F%23destinations%3D180dayworld

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On 11/21/2018 at 7:47 PM, bob brown said:

I have been cruising solo now, for a couple of years, but on each of the five or six, I have known some friends from previous cruises, so did not feel so 'solo'.   

Now, I am about to embark in January on a 180 day (six month) cruise around the world, and other than some 'roll call' conversation's, will not know anyone from before.   I really had to dig into my savings to afford this 'bucket list' cruise, and tried in vain to find anyone to share it with.   But it is my retirement gift to myself, so am really looking forward to it, as well as hopefully making some great new friends among my fellow 'worldie' shipmates....:classic_smile:

I'd like to do something like that sometime, but it would be hard to be away from the grandkids that long.

 

I did a 28-day b2b starting with an ocean crossing as my retirement gift to myself (9 consecutive sea days when my longest previous cruise was 8-days). Around 30 people from the crossing stayed on for the next cruise so that was a core of familiar people to socialize with, have dinner with and see in port. It enhanced traveling solo. Should be even better on a world cruise.

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The cruise line does foster some camaraderie among the "full worldies" on a world cruise, by sponsoring a series of on board special parties for them, as well as several exclusive shore side events.   

I hope to make several new friend's from among my cruise mates....:classic_smile:

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On 12/13/2018 at 7:42 AM, bob brown said:

The cruise line does foster some camaraderie among the "full worldies" on a world cruise, by sponsoring a series of on board special parties for them, as well as several exclusive shore side events.   

I hope to make several new friend's from among my cruise mates....:classic_smile:

 

Are you going to be doing any kind of blog for the duration ? I love reading 'world cruise' blogs !!

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11 minutes ago, PerfectlyPerth said:

 

Are you going to be doing any kind of blog for the duration ? I love reading 'world cruise' blogs !!

Not a real blog, but my cruisemates and I will be doing a "live from the Oceania Insignia 2019 world cruise" thread under the Oceania Cruise Line forum here on Cruise Critic's.   We'll post daily events, photo's, etc,, as well as try to answer question's from those following us....

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20 minutes ago, bob brown said:

Not a real blog, but my cruisemates and I will be doing a "live from the Oceania Insignia 2019 world cruise" thread under the Oceania Cruise Line forum here on Cruise Critic's.   We'll post daily events, photo's, etc,, as well as try to answer question's from those following us....

 

Oh cool I will find that and follow it once you are underway! You will have a brilliant time - I am sure. I just scrolled through the itinerary and it looks great.

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What an amazing itinerary! All my bucket list destinations in one cruise!! I'll be looking for "live from Oceania Insignia"  Thank you for sharing this incredible experience!

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  • Blackjack
  • Trivia.  Normally team of one, but if another group invites me to join, I'm not opposed to it. 
  • Adults Only section. Sea View lounge on the Holland America. Enjoy a Pina Colada and play with my smartphone, take in views, people watch. 
  • All the shore excursions. You're part of the group. 
  • Main Dining Room and Buffet.  Eating alone doesn't bother me one bit. 
  • All the scheduled entertainment. Live music, dueling pianos, stage shows, stand up, magicians.  I'll do it all. 

One thing I wish they had on my last cruise: a dedicated crew member to lead card games, board games, social games (like Werewolf (Werewolves)).  I would have LOVED that. 

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Hi folks - 

I’ve enjoyed reading your comments and ideas re solo cruising. I’ve booked a solo cabin on the Koningsdam on her transatlantic this April. So looking forward to it! I’ve never cruised solo and look on it as an adventure. My DH will be meeting me in Rome. That, too, will be an adventure. 

I can’t quite picture how this will go, but reading of your experiences helps me visualize it - thanks. 

Have any of you tried one of these solo cabins? They get great reviews. 

 

 

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