Cruising is not just a holiday endeavour for couples or groups. Depending on your social demeanour and willingness to mingle, solo travellers can easily make new groups of friends by participating in scheduled onboard activities, many of which are especially designed to bring fellow solo passengers together in a friendly atmosphere to meet other lone rangers for dining and entertainment purposes and to enjoy shore excursions in each other’s company.
Here’s a rundown of what some of the major ocean cruise lines organise specifically for those travelling by themselves.
Carnival Cruise Line
Each day on Carnival Spirit, a special Solo Meet & Greet session is held at Alchemy Bar where guests can meet, chat and enjoy a range of cocktails. Guests are encouraged by the bartenders to design their own drinks, helped along by their expertise, or they can all just mingle over a round of Cucumber Sunrises (pictured above).
Royal Caribbean International
Each of Royal Caribbean’s four ships in Australia cater to solo travellers with a range of activities designed to bring people together. Each day, a dedicated lunch seating especially for single flyers takes place in the main Sapphire Dining Room. Guests are seated together where they can chat with fellow passengers and arrange further activities together.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line caters to single travellers well. Cabins are often located in the same part of the ship, accessible via a private keycard-access complex with no single supplement charged. This area also features a shared solo travellers studio lounge and bar, featuring sofas, chairs and a latte machine. A large screen television also features along with books and board games for single travellers to play together. This lounge is only accessible to solo travellers, which NCL says makes it much easier to know who else is travelling alone. Different ships in the Norwegian fleet offer as many as 128 single studio staterooms.
Outside of this area, the Vibe Beach Club is an 18+ area for single travellers to meet others, although this area is in the main part of the ship. The Bliss Ultra Lounge and Glow Party are other opportunities for guests travelling alone to meet one another.
On Princess Cruises, the cruise director’s team hosts, on occasion, a Singles & Solos Meet & Greet event in the Skywalker’s Nightclub on Golden Princess. These events include activities such as dance-offs, karaoke duets and other games to bring solo travellers together.
Outside of the evening party, solo travellers are encouraged to opt for the later of the two scheduled dinner seatings. Often, guests keen to socialise with others can be seated with fellow solo travellers if space permits.
Regular solo traveller meet-ups take place in the morning of sea days on many Cunard voyages all around the world. Morning tea is served with these meetings, offering up a variety of cakes, teas and treats to share. On some port days, solo guests can also gather at a designated meeting point to find a companion to venture with onshore for the day.