If you follow this blog, you might be aware the I’m a fan of Quora, the site that crowdsources answers to interesting questions, including many about travel.
I’m not just an avid reader of the site, I’ve recently become a contributor, with a few posts and a couple of thousand views to my name. My latest answer relates to something I’m reasonably well informed about: cruising alone.
Because of the nature of the inquiry, I left out some of the negative aspects and hassles (such as having to pay a surcharge for being solo in a cabin), but those are covered here.
Here is what I did write:
I have been on 12 cruises in the past five years, and I’ve always travelled alone. I can’t really think of a time when I’ve felt lonely — except when I was confined to my stateroom suffering from norovirus.
Even on relatively small ships there is always something to do; somebody to talk to.
On my most recent cruise, a couple who spotted me dining alone asked me to join them, which I did, and we had a very interesting conversation. The woman worked at a chocolate factory that I had visited, so we immediately had something to chat about. We bumped into each other a few more times, and had a drink at the bar on the last night.
I remain in touch on Facebook or Twitter with several of the people I have met on ships — including couples from Britain and Australia, and a family from the United States.
Read all my cruise posts here
Of course, the ship crew are always friendly. The bar and restaurant staff, and the cruise director’s staff, are especially so, because it’s a part of their job description. But you’ll get at least a smile and a few words from everybody from the cleaners to the officers.
And there’s always some kind of on-board activity you can become involved in — a quiz, bingo, a card game, a talk, an aerobics session, a cooking lesson … whatever.
The key is: don’t be shy. Even those people who are travelling together with family and friends are often looking to meet new people. It’s all part of the fun.