If you’re a woman who’s interested in solo travel, taking a cruise can be a great way to dip your toes in the waters and see if traveling alone is for you. Taking a cruise with a lot of people to test out whether you’d be good at solo female travel may sound counter-intuitive, but it really can work. Cruises gently ease you into travel, give you travel experience, and help you learn what kind of travel – including solo – you might be interested in in the future.
Several years ago I spent a week cruising with friends around the Western Caribbean aboard the Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas. We docked in Haiti, Jamaica, the Grand Caymans and Mexico. I was already a fairly experienced solo female traveller, and this cruise was one of the rare instances in which I’d ever traveled in a group. It turned out to be one of the most fun weeks of my life.
Although I was with other people, I could see how a cruise could be the ideal way for potential solo female travellers to safely and confidently experience many different aspects of travel before hitting the road all alone. Whether you go on a cruise by yourself or with others, here are some reasons why cruises can be a great introduction to solo female travel.
Why Cruises are a Great Introduction to Solo Female Travel
1. Easing into trip planning – Some people hesitate to travel solo because of the work involved in travel planning. A lot of planning goes into a cruise but typically not as much as planning a solo trip. Ease into trip planning by going on a cruise, and you’ll be more experienced if you later decide to try solo female travel.
2. Getting a glimpse into other cultures – If you’re not ready to deep dive into other cultures, that’s okay because you will get only small glimpses on a cruise. You can remain safely around your fellow cruisers to give you a sense of the familiar when your ship pulls into foreign ports. Or, if you’re feeling comfortable enough, go off on your own and explore a bit.
3. Gaining travel experience – Some people don’t consider taking a cruise to be real travel, but it really is. Traveling is traveling. Take a cruise and you will definitely gain travel experience.
4. Easily meeting people – I found that the people on my cruise seemed generally quite happy and excited most of the time. I guess this is probably usually the case when you’re on a cruise. Such an upbeat group mood is a good atmosphere for making friends. When people are happy, they’re easy to talk to and get to know. Socializing with people on a cruise ship can be great practice for meeting people later if and when you decide to travel as a solo female.
5. Learning how to sleep with strangers – When you’re a solo female traveller, if you don’t have a lot of money you may need to save what money you do have by sleeping in dorm rooms. This can be intimidating if you don’t have experience sleeping with complete strangers. If you first travel solo on a cruise, though, you can gain experience sleeping with someone you don’t know because there are not a lot of single cabins on cruise ships. Take a cruise by yourself and match yourself up with one or more roommates. Sharing a room on a cruise can be a good sneak peak into whether or not you can feel comfortable sleeping with strangers as a future solo female traveller.
6. Having a safety net – Taking a cruise is a lot easier than solo female travel, needless to say. You’ll be in places you’ve never been, doing things you’ve never done, but you will always have the safety net of the cruise. With professional cruise ship personnel and everything on the cruise ship laid out for your comfort, you can relax and simply enjoy your travels. This will be an easy, safe way to gain travel experience.
7. Partying safely – The cruise ship I sailed on was a giant floating party with 14 floors and at least as many bars and nightclubs. If you’re interested in partying when you’re traveling, you will definitely have tons of options on a cruise. It’s a safe way to get a little experience in the traveling party lifestyle.
8. Having a positive experience – Cruise ships can be very luxurious, with totally awesome food, drink, tons of fun things to do and a positive, relaxed atmosphere. Whether you take a cruise with other people or take a cruise alone, it’s likely that you’ll have an amazing, positive experience. This will set the foundation for you wanting to travel more and will help give you the courage to travel solo!