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What you need to know about solo cruising

Here's what you need to know about going on a cruise solo.

If you're thinking about embarking on an Antarctic or Greenland cruise, there are a few things you're going to want to know, like how to dress for the weather or what kind of boots to pack for hiking. However, for people considering going on a cruise solo, you're going to need to know a lot more than just what weather to expect and what footwear to bring.

You may have read plenty of cruise guides for families or couples, but here is the lowdown on what it's like to go on a cruise solo:

Eating

When it comes to dining out, societal norms have instilled in us that we're supposed to have company. But if you're on a cruise alone, you might spend a lot of your meals eating solo. For someone who is used to eating with others, this is something you're going to have to quickly get used to for a few reasons. For one, you don't want to miss out on cultural restaurants and traditional foods because you don't enjoy eating alone. So, in an attempt to prepare yourself before your cruise, try going to restaurants alone in your hometown. If you're not comfortable doing this, start by bringing along something to read or write, like a book, newspaper or journal, if it makes you more comfortable. Then, over time you'll be more accustomed to eating by yourself.

Depending on the size of your cruise, there can be hundreds of people to make friends with, including other solo cruisers or people you find have common interests. In addition, most people tend to head to breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time each day, so you will easily see familiar faces to make friends with. 

Have you ever had a fight with someone over food? Because we all have different taste buds and dietary restrictions, planning meals can be difficult on vacations. However, if you're on a cruise solo, you are able to eat the meals you want to. That means you can get a traditional Norwegian breakfast without worrying about anyone's preferences but your own. 


Your time

One of the best parts about attending a cruise solo is that you call the shots. When you're vacationing with several people or even as a duo, there are bound to be disagreements. If you're enjoying your alone time on a cruise, you don't have to worry about anyone's wants or needs for yourself. You won't feel the pressures of partaking in activities you aren't interested in. Any tours or sights you want to see, you can. You can stick to a specific schedule, or you can venture off without anyone disagreeing. Your time is completely your own, and no one will bother you for it. 

In addition, when you're with others on vacation, you can often feel like you don't have much time to yourself. That's why some people can come home from vacation even more stressed than before. But being solo, you can easily indulge in the alone time you crave. If you want to sit down and read a book or do some writing, no one will impede on your relaxation.

Room

Rooms in cruise ships are traditionally known to be a little bit tighter than those in hotels. That's because you're on a ship, after all! But when you decide to cruise alone, that means you have the cabin all to yourself. You can set out all your clothes, accessories and personal items without having to worry about sharing. You're able to decide all the decisions for yourself from what time lights out is to what to watch on television. These may sound like miniscule things, but if you're looking for a luxurious yet relaxing trip, all by yourself could be the way to go. 

Friends

When you go on vacation with a big group, sometimes it can be hard to make friends outside of that. For some people, one of the perks of going on a cruise is that they get the opportunity to meet people from all around the world. How often are you put on a ship for an allotted time with strangers? For people who cruise solo, this could be the chance to make new friends. On cruises, there are plenty of events to attend from game nights and meals to wine tastings or even concerts. These activities can allow you to bond with people you never thought you would have the chance to meet. In addition, you may find other solo cruise goers that want to pair up for the duration of the trip.

On the other hand, if you're looking to lay low on your cruise, you have that option, as well. It's all dependent on your personality and the experience you're hoping for on your Norwegian or Antarctic cruise.

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