Will I Be Bored Sailing Solo? (Part 4)

| July 20, 2009

It's a needless concern that has kept many individuals from booking a cruise.

Join a "Hosted" Singles Cruise If you just can't imagine yourself boarding a ship alone, consider joining a hosted singles cruise. Several are listed in our 2009 Singles Calendar, which can be found here. Many more can be found on the internet.

On these cruises, the sponsoring organization provides a singles "host" to keep things moving. The host organizes special events for the group, including group dinners where members switch tables each night so that everyone has the opportunity to meet everyone else by the end of the cruise. The host will also organize events like a private "meet and mingle" cocktail party shortly after sailaway where group members can get to know each other. There may also be special games and other events open only to group members.

One group I know of had a whole afternoon's games and events planned at the cruise line's private island during the port stop there. They also sponsored several shore excursions open only to group members, and held a farewell party on the last day so group members who bonded could share phone numbers and email addresses.

Hosted singles cruises are frequently broken down into certain demographics, such as 50+ cruisers or 20-somethings; others are open to a wider age range. Just ask the organization sponsoring the cruise if you would fit the group's profile.

Join a Theme Cruise A theme cruise is organized around a popular theme or interest, with special onboard events, classes, workshops, lectures and activities. Some theme cruises can be a full ship charter, where everyone on the ship will share that interest; or they might involve a smaller group of like-minded individuals who are sailing together as part of a regular cruise. In that case, the group's special events will usually only be open to group members; other passengers won't be able to participate.

Just about every hobby, sport, or interest has had a cruise organized around it. In fact, I got my introduction to cruising by attending the Maui Writer's Retreat at Sea on Holland America's Rotterdam in 2004.

People don't often think of theme cruises as a way for the single cruiser to meet others, but it's one of the best, because you sail with a group of people who share your passions. Often by the end of the cruise you've made a lot of friends, and swapped phone numbers and email addresses. With that you can make plans for subsequent cruises, either through the group or individually.

I still keep in touch with some people I met on the Maui Writer's Retreat cruise, and have also done subsequent group cruises since.

Summing Up Some of the closest friendships I've ever made are with fellow cruisers I met during my solo sailings. Some of the best times I've ever had were on a cruise where I boarded the ship not knowing another soul.

If you have any hesitation about taking a solo cruise -- if you are afraid you'll be miserable not knowing another soul onboard -- rest easy. Cruising is one of the best ways to meet other like-minded people. You will have wonderful new friendships to look forward to when you take your first cruise as a solo.

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