Whether it's due to a lack of travelling companions, circumstance or the desire to spend some time alone, with a good book, some good food and in a welcoming environment, solo cruising can make for a fantastic holiday.
Cruise lines are slowly coming around to the idea that some people prefer to travel alone, whether to meet new people, or, for some time out from their busy lives. Cruises are becoming more and more accessible for single travellers, with cruise lines adding single cabins, such as P&O Cruises' Azura and Fred. Olsen. Others are even adding exclusive sections to their ships, such at Norwegian Epic's Studio.
As well as accommodation onboard ships, the entertainment available is becoming more accessible for single travellers. Cunard are renowned for their elegance and unassuming staff and are one of the original cruise lines to offer dance hosts, though they are usually geared up to the more mature cruiser. MSC Cruises, the Italian cruise line, have added some Latin spirit, offering male and female dance hosts — who are as happy taking you through your first steps on the dance floor, as they are breaking into some Salsa. So don't forget your dancing shoes.
As a single cruiser dining can be as sociable an event as you choose. You will often find that cruisers travelling alone will be put on tables together in the main dining room, giving you the opportunity to meet like-minded people. You can also dine alone if you choose, whether in the buffet or taking advantage of the Freestyle cruising venues on offer. If you have splashed the cash on one of the cracking MSC no single supplement deals and got yourself a balcony, then you can even dine by yourself with the views, food and a glass of wine for company on your private verandah.
Going back to the Norwegian Epic and the Studio staterooms & lounge, NCL have hit the nail on the head for single travellers, looking to enjoy an active holiday on a modern ship and with the opportunity to meet and socialise with other solo travellers. The cruise line's largest and most innovative ship boasts an area exclusively for single travellers. It boasts staterooms designed specifically with solo cruisers needs in mind and includes access to the Studio Lounge — a private, two-story lounge exclusively for passengers staying in the Studio staterooms, offering morning coffee, afternoon tea and evening cocktails.
There are also more and more single cruise deals on offer, with many cruise lines offering low, or even no single supplement for sole occupancy of a twin cabin, during off peak dates. As mentioned MSC Cruises have several of these deals during November and December 2011 and cruise lines such as Azamara and Fred. Olsen currently offer considerably good value for single use of a cabin.
So, with prices becoming more reasonable, cruising is becoming more attractive to solo travellers looking to explore new destinations, while enjoying the great food, wonderful entertainment and the fantastic service on offer. From an elegant Transatlantic cruise with Cunard, or the mature environment of Fred. Olsen, to an action-packed Caribbean cruise on the NCL Epic or vibrant Mediterranean-style cruise with MSC. Nowadays it's a case of finding the right cruise for you, as opposed to one you can afford.