Cruises for Singles: Solo Cabins, What to Do and Guide

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Solo cruising can be a somewhat intimidating experience. Heading into a multi-day trip alone may have you wondering if you will be lonely and bored during your travels rather than able to create an enjoyable and memorable experience.

Fortunately, an increasing number of cruise lines recognize the growing demand from solo travelers, so they offer single-friendly experiences that do not cater entirely to families and couples.

Cruises for singles offer special features for those traveling alone, such as studio rooms, special pricing and events, and even a gentleman host program.

Whether you want to relax and enjoy some much-needed self-care, make new friends in an exciting setting, or even find a romantic partner at sea, a solo cruise could be just what you need.

We’re going to cover everything you need to know about cruises for singles. From choosing the right cruise line and destinations to making the most out of your onboard and onshore experiences, this guide is packed with information and tips you need to read!

The Best Cruise Lines for Singles

If you’re looking for specific cruise lines, we have found that Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line usually offer a range of amenities that are perfect for making solo travelers comfortable and entertained, including the previously mentioned solo studio rooms offered by Norwegian.

Both cruise lines also host social events that encourage solo travelers to participate. This more inclusive onboard environment is perfect for those looking to meet new people and enjoy group activities even though they board the ship alone.

Norwegian Cruise Line Ship Deck
Photo Credit: Aleksandr Dyskin / Shutterstock

Other cruise lines, like Holland America, Carnival Cruise Line, Silversea Cruises, and Virgin Voyages, are good options. If you plan to travel solo on Royal Caribbean, we recommend choosing one of the Quantum Class ships rather than their Icon or Oasis Class vessels, as they have more of an adult-oriented atmosphere rather than being designed for families with children.

Any cruise line can be a good option for singles if you know what to look for. For starters, you will want to select an option that is not tailored to families and couples, which can rule out some of the more family-oriented mega-ships, like Royal Caribbean’s Icon or Oasis Class vessels.

Best Singles Destinations and Itineraries

While choosing a cruise location and itinerary depends largely upon your own interests and preferences, a few destinations provide a greater number of opportunities for group-oriented excursions. Plus, sunny and romantic destinations tend to be a better option for singles who hope to meet up with other singles during their trip.

Read Also: When is the Best Time to Cruise the Caribbean?

The Caribbean is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world for a variety of reasons, and many of them align with the needs of solo travelers.

For starters, the Caribbean’s picture-perfect beaches, crystal-clear waters, and tropical island backdrops provide cruise passengers with plenty of opportunities to participate in group activities, like snorkeling, scuba diving, catamaran cruising, and even cooking classes.

When is the best time to cruise the Caribbean
Cruise Ships Docked in St. Maarten, in the Caribbean. Photo Credit: Dennis MacDonald)

Mediterranean cruises also encourage travelers to explore some of Europe’s most romantic cities, like Rome, Mykonos, Marseilles, and Valencia. These cities are perfect for group tours, cooking classes, wine samplings, and more.

Even if you cannot connect with any of your fellow passengers, the opportunities to take in the sights and culture of these stunning cities can be an experience you will never forget.

For thrill-seekers and those looking to experience something entirely different, expedition cruises and exotic locations can be a great option.

Rather than relying on amenities and meeting other passengers for your entertainment, you can let the wild locations steal the show. Places like the Galapagos Islands, Alaska, and the fjords of Norway are perfect locations for creating memories.

Best Singles Cruises for Men, Women, or Seniors

There is a growing market for cruises catering to single seniors’ needs. Celebrity Cruises offers onboard activities designed for passengers of all ages, including seniors. Viking River Cruises also offers intimate and culturally enriching experiences that are perfect for those over the age of 50. Plus, their river cruises are child-free, which tends to draw an older crowd.

Viking Neptune Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Tony Russell

Adults-only cruise lines can be an excellent option for single men and women. Since they do not cater to families with children, most passengers are younger couples, groups of friends, and other solo travelers. These passengers are usually more willing to mingle with other passengers than families with children.

Adult-only cruises also tend to have amenities that are more exciting for singles, like clubs with dance floors, bars, movie theaters, pools with swim-up bars, communal hot tubs, gyms, and entertainment venues that showcase comedians and live bands, rather than kid-friendly plays and musicals.

Average Pricing for Singles Cruises

Solo cruising can incur additional costs because you cannot split cabin costs. This is known as the single supplement in the cruise industry, which can be as high as 200% of the double occupancy rate.

With that said, cruise lines offer select packages with a reduced single supplement of just 25%. This is why it is essential to research and find a cruise line that encourages single travelers with more reasonable rates.

Cruise Ships Docked at PortMiami, Florida
Cruise Ships Docked at PortMiami, Florida (Photo Credit: Anthony Giarrusso)

One of the best deals for solo travelers is Norwegian Cruise Line’s studio staterooms. Norwegian was the first cruise line to build staterooms and common areas designed for solo travelers.

There are even balcony and oceanview single rooms available, and all solo travelers get access to Norwegian’s Studio Lounge, where they can meet other solo cruises. These rooms are available on a number of cruises. Prices vary depending on the length of the cruise and the destination, but these rooms are priced especially for solo travelers and are some of the most affordable options out there.

Norwegian Escape Studio Cabin
Norwegian Escape Studio Cabin

Naturally, rates will differ from cruise line to cruise line depending on the duration of the voyage and destination, but a standard double occupancy total that costs around $1,500 could cost as much as $3,000 for a solo passenger.

As mentioned, certain cruise lines keep prices more reasonable for solo passengers, but another strategy is to consider traveling with a friend or acquaintance rather than a romantic partner.

What Is the Single Supplement?

The single supplement is an industry term for an additional fee that solo travelers have to pay to cover the cruise line’s losses when a stateroom designed for two passengers is offered to a single person. 

The fee varies from one cruise line to the next, so it is not a flat fee that is easy to budget, regardless of which trip you travel on. Instead, it’s a good idea to do your research and choose a cruise line that does not charge the full cabin charge for a missing person.

Carnival Cruise Ship Ocean View Stateroom
Carnival Cruise Ship Ocean View Stateroom (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

While this extra cost can make solo cruising more expensive, there is a silver lining. By traveling alone, you have far more flexibility when you leave, as you do not need to worry about the availability and work schedule of others or their preferences for destination or itinerary.

Worth Reading: How to Sleep Well During Your Cruise

This means you can shop around for a deal and immediately jump on it if you find one. There’s no need to consult with anyone else or factor in what works for them. 

What Is a Gentleman Host Program? 

Cunard Line, Crystal Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Holland America Line, and Silversea Cruises offer gentleman-host programs for female travelers looking for companionship while they enjoy a solo cruise.

Essentially, this voluntary program matches single female travelers with a vetted cruise partner. This partner can accompany you to meals and any sort of onboard or off-board activities you would prefer to do in the company of someone else.

Princess Cruises Ship
Princess Cruises Ship (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock)

For some female travelers, the idea of wandering around in ports of call unaccompanied can be intimidating, which could limit their willingness to get off of the ship and explore. Participating in a gentleman host program would compensate for this, and it could help you enjoy a more social and activity-filled cruise experience. 

Best Rooms When Cruising as a Single

When cruising solo, it’s important to choose a stateroom that meets your needs without breaking the bank. Some cruise lines discussed above have staterooms explicitly designed for solo travelers, so you are not stuck paying an excessive single supplement fee. 

If you value your space and want to relax in your own company, rather than feeling like you need to venture into the common areas to be surrounded by fun and excitement, a stateroom with a balcony or private veranda could be a worthwhile option. This would provide your own private outdoor space to take in the views and unwind.

Norwegian Cruise Line Solo Cabin
Norwegian Cruise Line Solo Cabin

If you’re looking for rooms designed especially for solo travelers, the studio staterooms offered by Norwegian Cruise Lines may be your best bet. Many of this cruise line’s most impressive ships offer these rooms, and you get access to the Studio Lounge, where you can meet other solo travelers.

Worth Reading: What Are the Best Rooms on a Cruise Ship?

It’s important to realize that these rooms are fairly basic. They offer all the necessities, so you’ll have everything you need, but they are quite small and simple. If you prefer something extra, go for a solo room with an ocean view so you can watch the sunset from the comfort and quiet of your very own space.

Virtual Balcony Cabin on Odyssey of the Seas
Virtual Balcony Cabin on Odyssey of the Seas (Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz)

The best advice for choosing a room when traveling solo may come from someone who’s been doing it a long time. Mario Salcedo, a financial planner, has been living on Royal Caribbean cruise ships for almost 20 years. Salcedo recommends choosing an interior stateroom to save money since he only uses the room to sleep, shower, and get ready for the day.

Tips for Making Friends as a Solo Cruise Passenger

While it may seem intimidating, especially if you are shy, making friends and meeting new people on a cruise ship is actually much easier than you might think. To help you enjoy a more social experience, here are a few tips for connecting with other passengers:

Get to Know the Crew

While the crew is undoubtedly there for your safety, they’re also there to help guests enjoy themselves. Most crew members want passengers to enjoy themselves, so they tend to be friendly.

Carnival Cruise Line Crew
Carnival Cruise Line Crew (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

While you don’t need to cling to anyone, striking up a conversation with a bartender at your favorite lounge could be a great way to get used to talking to strangers; plus, you might learn a few tips and tricks about getting the most out of the cruise from people who know the ship better than anyone else. 

Participate in Onboard Activities

If you are willing to dive into new experiences, cruise ships regularly host onboard activities that make interacting with others and meeting new friends easy.

Carnival Cruise Line Deck Party
Carnival Cruise Line Deck Party (Photo Credit: Ritu Manoj Jethani)

Plus, by participating in shared activities and classes, you automatically know you are meeting people with shared interests and outgoing personalities, making things easier. Cooking, dance, sports, and fitness classes, as well as various workshops, can be great places to meet new people. 

Strike Up Casual Conversations

You might be surprised how far a simple “hello” and a smile can go on a cruise ship. People are usually in a great mood while enjoying a vacation, so there is minimal risk in a few casual greetings around the pool, bar, or waiting in line. 

Book Shore Excursions

Signing up for a few shore excursions can be a great way to share an experience with your fellow passengers. Most tour operators try to create a group dynamic by asking everyone where they are from and by trying to get laughs. This is the perfect environment for getting to know other people and bonding with them.

6 Helpful Tips on How to Have the Best Group Cruise
Photo: Copyright Cruise Hive

There will be plenty of opportunities to get to know each other better once you’re back on the ship. After a fun adventure and making a basic connection, why not suggest grabbing some drinks together that evening? 

Singles Events on Cruise Ships

Some cruise lines host dedicated singles events to help people connect. From cocktail mixers to group activities and excursions designed for singles, take advantage of these events if you want to connect with others.

Assigned Seating Time at Dinner as a Single 

If you’re a solo traveler, opting for an assigned seating time for dinners can be a way to meet new people and experience a bit more of a social dining experience.

Carnival Cruise Line Pajamagate
Carnival Cruise Line Pajamagate (Photo Credit Melissa Mayntz / Cruise Hive)

You will be sat at the same table each night with the same passengers and crew. Here, you can build friendships and familiarity with the same group.

Shore Excursions as a Single Passenger

As we discussed, shore excursions are a fantastic way to bond with fellow passengers. We recommend choosing hands-on activities, as these can create simple conversation starters.

By choosing experiences that get the adrenaline pumping or even require embracing a new culture or environment, you can put yourself in a situation where you interact with like-minded people.

Cruise Ships Docked in Antigua
Cruise Ships Docked in Antigua (Photo Credit: Gerwin Schadl)

We always recommend booking excursions through your cruise line. This will ensure you’re back on the ship in time and allow you to meet people from your ship. 

How to Save Money Cruising Alone 

  • Choose a cruise line with low-cost single supplements. For example, Virgin Voyages recently introduced single supplements to their European cruise packages.
  • Book a single shared cabin, where you will share a stateroom with another traveler. Most cruises that offer this also offer roommate-matching services, so you will be paired with someone of a similar age.
  • Use your schedule flexibility to take advantage of discounts and promotions. Last-minute cruise package deals can help you slash costs. 

How to Have the Most Fun Cruising Solo 

Here are just a few tips you can follow to help get the most out of your solo cruise adventure:

  • Don’t just focus on meeting people. Embrace the solo experience and take the opportunity to relax and recharge your batteries by doing precisely what you want to do each day. 
  • Participate in activities on and off the ship. Get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Remember, unless you make lasting friendships, these aren’t people you ever have to see again. It can be liberating when you embrace it as an opportunity to be a bolder and more outgoing version of yourself. 
  • Converse with other passengers. It can feel weird striking up a conversation with people you don’t know, but a simple conversation or greeting can lead to a serious connection. Put yourself in situations where you will be surrounded by other people looking to have a good time. Classes, group sports events, excursions, bars and lounges, and communal spaces, like pools and hot tubs, are all great places to be social. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What cruise line is best for singles? 

Celebrity Cruises has a great reputation for single cruisers. They are worth checking out, with a range of amenities designed for solo travelers, single staterooms with private balconies, numerous social events on each ship, adult-only cruise ships, and a very inclusive onboard environment. 

What is the average age on a singles cruise? 

The average age on any ship will depend on the cruise line, itinerary, and cost. Singles cruises tend to attract a fairly diverse age range, from young adults in their 20s and 30s to seniors over 60.

There is a good chance that you will encounter fellow singles of all age groups. To compensate for this, most singles cruises host various events that are catered to different age demographics.

Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle is a travel and food freelance writer whose work can be found in print and digital publications all around the world. She is additionally an entrepreneur specializing in content and marketing services. Beyond frequent travel, Riddle enjoys cooking, reading, camping and spending time with her husband and two dogs. Her favorite travel destinations include Chicago, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and just about anywhere in the Caribbean. Find out more about us here.

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