Will I Be Bored Sailing Solo?

| July 20, 2009

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

I've heard this question a lot, and here's the short answer: Sure, you'll be bored if you want to be, but you certainly don't have to be.

I've sailed solo many times. In fact, I prefer to do it that way. I currently have two cruises booked, one coming up in a couple of months, where I will be sailing solo. I haven't been bored on a solo cruise yet, and I never expect to be, because I follow some simple guidelines. These can work for you too.

Get Out and About The most popular guests on almost every cruise are the ones you see participating in lots of onboard activities. The best way to get to know people is to try new and interesting things onboard. You can participate in some sporting events even if you aren't athletic; take that martini-making class even if you are not crazy about martinis; or give karaoke a try even if you can't carry a tune in a bucket.

The point isn't the activity itself; but rather, it's to get out and meet as many fellow passengers as possible. The more people you meet during your cruise, the better chance you have of spotting a familiar face when you walk into that bar or lounge -- someone who will wave you over to join their group.

When I'm on a cruise where I don't know anyone, I spend as much time outside of my cabin as possible. I know I won't meet people sitting in my cabin, so I check the daily program carefully the night before and select some activities to participate in. If I see two that I would enjoy equally, I pick the one most likely to help me meet new people.

Ask for a Large Table at Dinner Whether you prefer flexible or fixed-seating dining, ask to be seated with others. The larger the table, the better. This maximizes the chance that at least one other person at the table will share some of your interests, and that relationship can help you find someone to share a shore excursion or shipboard activity with.

A large table also increases your chances of finding other single cruisers. At a table for 10, you have a better chance than at a table for four.

I once was seated at a table for six on Holland America's Zuiderdam, but there were only three other passengers assigned to that table. It turned out we were the "singles" table. The problem: All the other singles were at least 80 years old. They were all very nice, but clearly there was no compatibility or mutually shared interests, so I requested another dining assignment. Had I been at a table for eight, I would have had a far better chance of finding at least one person I could share a lively conversation with, whether they were single or not.

Continue Article >> Don't be Afraid to Ask: "May I Join You?" (Part 2)

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