Singles Cruises – Expectation vs. Reality

Young single man walking along the beach on a shore excursion on singles cruise
The best way to enjoy your singles cruise is with an open mind | Author: Ibrahim Asad

When a lot of people think about regular cruises they will imagine an elderly couple who will enjoy strolling around a ship in their retirement. If people think about cruises for singles then they might also have a lot of misconceptions about what goes on and the types of activities that you are going to be doing.

Here we will look at some of the common expectations that can be placed around singles cruises and see whether or not the reality of the situation is going to live up to that. As with all kind of preconceived notions, there is often a little truth in them but also a lot of the time the real truth is going to be very different.

No matter if you are not sure if you want to make a singles cruise or which cruise line is the right one for you, we will help you to get an idea of it. In general a singles cruise is a great way to have a memorable trip but you are going to be able to take things at your own pace and do what you want to do. A singles cruise shouldn’t be anything scary but instead a break that you can be excited about.

Expectation: Singles cruises are just one long party

Reality: There is no doubt that you are going to be able to have a great time if you are looking for it. On a singles cruise there will be a great range of events that you are going to be able to enjoy and there will be plenty of opportunities to party.

That is only if you choose to have that type of singles holiday. For others they might love to go to some events but at other times they would prefer to relax and enjoy other activities that the ship is going to be able to offer.

The truth is that you are going to be able to have the type of vacation that you want and you are going to be able to be in control of your own destiny. There are many different cruise activities on the boat and it isn’t going to be one long party. The cruise will be whatever you make of it and if you want to party and go on surf simulators, you can and if you want to simply relax on a Caribbean cruise, you can.

Expectation: Everyone is looking for that special someone on a singles cruise

Reality: Some people will be put off from going on a singles cruise as you might think that it’s going to be a little bit too intense. It could be that you are not ready to commit to anything special yet and would be uneasy about going on a vacation with a lot of people who are.

Whether you are looking for fun, to flirt or to find someone special, you are going to be able to find people who are in the same situation as you. On a cruise you’ll find that people are the same as they are on land and there will be a wide range of different mentalities.

Some people will also go into a singles cruise thinking that no-one will want commitment and are just there to relax. Again, whatever your mentality you are going on your cruise with, you will find that a lot of people will be thinking like you are.

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Expectation: I won’t find anything in common with other single cruisers

Reality: Even if you are going to be on a large cruise ship, if you are going on a singles cruise adventure then you are only going to be with a finite amount of people and you might think that your opportunities to find like-minded people are going to be slim.

In reality, you are going to be on a cruise ship with others who decided to go on the same vacation, you already have a lot in common with everyone you’re going to be with on the ship. You will soon find that you have plenty of other things in common with your fellow passengers too.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that you are definitely going to fall in love and live happily ever after, but it does mean that you are going to be able to have a great time, meet great people and have a very enjoyable time while you are out there on the ship.

Expectation: I’m too shy and I won’t like a singles cruise

Reality:  It’s going to be a natural reaction to be nervous about boarding a ship where you are going to be in social situations with other singles. Everyone else is in the same situation and only the uber-confident are going to be completely comfortable in that situation.

With these types of vacations though, you will quickly get chatting with your fellow passengers and the whole cruise will be set-up to make it as easy as possible to you to meet and greet with other passengers who are going to be as anxious as you are.

If you are ever slightly overawed by the social situations, then you will be able to take your way out of any events and relax instead. Very soon after being onboard the ship, your mind will be put at rest and any shyness is going to be a thing on the past.

Expectation: I won’t meet other single travelers my age

Reality: Singles cruises are going to be available for a vast range of different age groups, not only is there going to be plenty of people around your age range on any given cruise line but there are also age-specific single person cruises that are available for people who want more certainty about their fellow passengers.

On standard single cruises you will find that the majority of passengers are going to be in the 30-50 range but there will also be plenty of people above that with some of them below that too. There will be a lot of people who are going to be around your age, whatever that might be.

This is not something that you are going to have to worry about as you are going to meet plenty of people. If you are 60+ then there may be more limited opportunities to meet fellow passengers but you will still have plenty of people to speak to and have a lot of fun.

Expectation: You’re better on a regular cruise vacation

Reality: You might not think that a singles cruise is going to be the best choice for you and instead would rather go on a regular cruise and enjoy the onboard activities as a solo traveler. If you’re looking to find new people, then this probably isn’t going to be the best idea.

Regular cruises are essentially set-up for couples and this will apply to the dining experience, the activities and the entertainment. Without anything single-specific, you might find that it is a lonely cruise vacation, unless you are looking for seclusion.

The chances of meeting someone on a regular cruise are going to be slim if they have nothing set-up for singles. There is also the factor that you are likely to pay a lot more for the experience too with port charges and also the single supplement.

A single man sitting on a wall in Santorini and looking at the ocean with a cruise ship on it
On a singles cruise you can decide on your own how you want to shape your vacation. | Author: Theodoris Katis

Expectation: I’ll be forced to socialize with other solo travelers

Reality: A singles cruise is going to be planned with a lot of activities to be able to enjoy yourself and be able to have fun while you are onboard. If you are up for it, then you will never be short of activities and events to attend while you are on the cruise.

None of these activities are going to be mandatory and you will be able to sit out anything that you didn’t like. You have the freedom to do what you want to do including not attending events that you didn’t like or leaving one that wasn’t what you expected it to be.

At these types of events, it is likely that you are going to be encouraged to join in but you are only going to do what you want and you’ll never be forced into anything. These are relaxed environments where you will be able to have fun at your own pace.

Expectation: A singles-only cruise is my sole option

Reality: Singles only cruises are going to be available to put you in a situation with others who are going to be single and wanting the same thing. These cruises are a great way to meet new people but they aren’t going to be your only way.

As we mentioned before, there is the option to go on a regular cruise. This won’t offer you the same amount of opportunities to meet single people but you will still have the wonderful cruise experience and you will get to meet with a large number of people.

There are also other cruises that will have events that are lined up for singles and also the opportunity to dine with other solo travelers. These will allow a solo traveler to have a more regular cruise experience but will have the opportunity to meet fellow single travelers.

Expectation: Sharing a room with other solo cruisers will ruin my cruise

Reality: While there are some great ships that offer solo staterooms such as Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean, on most singles-specific cruises you won’t get the opportunity to have solo cabins and instead will have to share a room with double occupancy.

This is how most tours and cruises work for singles as the tour operator will book out a large section of the ship. The tour companies will pair you up with someone of the same sex though and it’s a great way to meet a new friend.

You’ll actually be in your room for very little of your awake time anyway, which make it very unlikely to be an issue. Instead of ruining your cruise, you are much more likely to have an amazing time with someone who will make your cruise even more special.

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Expectation: I’m only just divorced or widowed, singles cruising is not for me

Reality: There are many people who are nervous about being single. Some of the travelers on these types of vacation will have never been in a serious relationship while there are others who might have spent all of their adult life in one.

Again, you will have plenty of fellow passengers and you won’t have any expectations placed on you. If you are simply looking to start to feel confident about dating and are only looking to flirt, then that is going to be absolutely fine.

You may find out that you aim to go on a cruise with one intention and end up doing another. Whatever you want to get out of your cruise, however, you’ll be able to get out of it. The idea is to have fun, whatever your idea of fun might be.

Expectation: My destination options are going to be limited on a singles cruise

Reality: If you are in a couple then you will be able to go on any ship that you like, any destinations and for any period of time. The only way to have that freedom as solo cruisers is to accept that you won’t travel supplement free and be prepared to pay more than anyone else.

The truth is that you are going to be limited. There are only a certain amount of cruises that are set-up specifically for solo travelers and the travel agents usually sell out of these very quickly as it will be a certain quota on a larger ship. This is unfortunate but it is the reality.

The good news, however, is that there is still going to be a huge amount of choice. While not quite having the same freedom, you will still be able to choose many destinations with different durations on different parts of the year.

A hand reaching out towards the sea on a cruise ship
Even if your destinations are limited with a singles cruise, the world is still open to you. | Author: Lukas

When traveling solo, the world is your oyster

The overriding message of these types of cruises is that you are what you make them. If you are looking to have as much fun as possible then you will be able to do that but if you’re looking to be able to do something more low-tempo then that is fine too. If you just keep a few tips in mind, you can make an incredibly great time out of it. 

Often with these types of cruise experiences, the reality is the one that you make for yourself. It is always a good idea to push yourself further and try to let loose, as you will often have a lot of fun in the process but you will never be forced into doing anything.

Generally what you find is that passengers will quickly get into their own rhythm and routine while they are on the ship. You will quickly get comfortable with your surroundings and happy with what you want to get out of your trip away from home. Acclimatization on these cruises doesn’t take long and you will be having a great time very quickly.

Hopefully this article has helped ease any worries that you might have had. Being on a cruise is a wonderful experience and the facilities that you have will ensure that you will never be short and things to do any people to meet. You are able to spend your time on a cruise ship thousands of different ways but it will always be the one that you choose.

Check out these articles for more information on singles cruises: