I've been on so many cruises I've lots count, with family or friends (sadly only 3 with my significant other/late husband) but I've also done 3 cruise alone.
My 1st cruise alone was on the Norway years ago - at times it was lonely, I missed my "significant other" but it was also great to do all of that shopping my first time in Saint Thomas with out someone making comments on how much I was spending.
My 2nd cruise alone was in 2001 to the Baltic. I ran away from home for 2 weeks. I never would have visited those areas on my own so it was nice to have the security of the HAL's Noordam. But being alone I was free to select all of the shore excursions that took me to the places I learned about in my architectural history class without someone complaining about seeing another castle.
My 3rd cruise was last May - San Diego to the Sea of Cortes on HAL's Statendam. It was a last minute trip (booked on Wednesday & sailed 3 days later). Again I was running away from the pressures of taking care of 3 generations of family. It was so nice to do only the things I wanted to do.
I discovered if I'm going to vacation alone cruising is the best option. I meet lots of people and don't feel uncomforable doing things alone. Just going to a resort by myself is really lonely.
With all of this said, my prefered way to cruise, now that I'm a widow, is with my "Travel Buddy". We've done 8 vacations together, 3 of them cruises. Wev'e worked out a confortable arrangement where we feel free to take part in the activities we enjoy. somedays were together all of the time. Some days the only time we spend together is at dinner. We're both looking forward to our next cruise, August 23 - San Francisco to Alaska on HAL's Prinsendam. We're already talking about cruising the Mediteranian in 2004.