Taking a cruise alone can be a little daunting at first. You don't know anyone else on the ship, and a lot of the activities are made for couples or groups. However, with a few tips, you can easily have a great time. Plus, you may even find a great date.
1. Get in on Shore Excursions
If you want to meet people who are interested in similar things, consider the shore excursions that are offered by the cruise line. There are generally quite a few different offerings at each port. When you select one that you're interested in, you know that you'll be traveling with others who are also interested in similar things.
Use the excursion to start up a conversation. If you're headed to a historic landmark, for example, offer some insight, or ask a fellow passenger what they know about the history of the port.
2. Choose a Smaller Ship
It may sound counter-intuitive, but if you're traveling alone, you may want to consider booking on a smaller ship. Some of the largest ships today can fit more than 5,000 people. There are towns smaller than that!
Sure, large cruise ships will give you the opportunity to meet a ton of people. But if you're looking to find interesting people who are more interested in the cruise than the booze, a small ship is probably a good idea.
3. Head to the Dining Room
One of the best places to meet people is in the dining room. Most cruises offer a variety of seating options. Your best bet, if you're traveling alone and want to meet someone great, is to sit in one of the dining tables that are filled with a variety of others.
You may even be able to let a hostess or maître d' know that you're interested in meeting other singles. They will then be able to sit other singles with you, allowing you to mingle, chat, and get to know people.
4. Attend the Events
Cruise ships will frequently have a variety of events going on through the time you're on the ship. These could include art auctions, comedy shows, balls, and more. The more of these you attend, the more people you will bump into. If you sit in your cabin, you're not going to meet anyone. Remember, a party cruise is going to have significantly different entertainment available than luxury Australian cruises.
5. Talk to People
Ok, it's obvious, but it needs to be stated. If you don't talk to anyone, you're not going to actually meet anyone. Sure, a few people may come up to you, but your best bet is to start up conversations everywhere you go. This is difficult if you are shy. But if you're out on the cruise ship trying to meet new people and even get a date, you need to make sure to talk to people.
6. Get on a Singles' Cruise
It's really not as crazy as it sounds. About 80% of travelers on cruises are married. Because of this, it really can be difficult to meet your soul mate on a cruise. However, that doesn't make it impossible. It's important to note that singles' cruises aren't usually full of only singles. They are set up by travel agencies or groups, then booked on a larger cruise. However, if you book with a singles' cruise, this means that you are going to be traveling with a group of singles who are also looking for someone special.
7. Happy Hour and Cocktail Hour
Just like on land, it's pretty standard practice on a cruise to meet people at the bar. Whether you're just looking for someone to hang out with and talk to during the cruise, or you want to get a little more romantic, everyone opens up a little bit at the bar. So, make sure to head out during cocktail or happy hour.
Depending on the cruise line you're traveling with, the options are going to vary, however most cruise ships have specials on drinks at a specific time. If there's no specials, head to the bar anyway; you're sure to find someone awesome to talk to.
8. Consider Roommate Matching
Though not all cruise lines offer it, you may want to find out if the ship you're sailing on offers roommate matching. This would allow you to get by the single traveler fees, by being matched with another traveler. However, remember that you would randomly be matched. This can save you money, and instantly set you up with someone to talk to. However, it can also match you with someone you're not interested in, or don't like at all.
9. Accept Invitations
It's likely that you'll get invitations from larger groups. These may include dining invitations, or the opportunity to join a group at port. Don't turn these down. Sure, the people inviting you may be a couple, but that doesn't mean that they don't have other single friends that they are inviting.
On top of that, the more invitations you accept, the more friendly you will show yourself to be. This will catch the attention of others, giving them the opportunity to come talk to you, as well.
10. Connect Before You Hit the Water
There are forums today that allow you to connect with other travelers before the cruise even leaves port. This is perfect for those who are traveling alone. You can start a thread on the forum, introducing yourself. You can get to know couples, other singles, and groups. Once you're actually on the ship, you can meet up at dinner or in the bar.
The great thing about connecting beforehand is that you don't have to worry about spending a ton of time trying to get up the courage trying to talk to someone, and more time getting to know them. You'll already know them by the time you board.
Traveling solo can be stressful. However, it can also be extremely fun. You get to meet a variety of interesting people, and can participate in any activities you want, without having to worry about anyone else.