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Cruising as a solo travel option...


Journeywoman is often asked about the female-friendliness of cruising, especially for those women travelling solo. I think it's an excellent viable option as long as you understand that we live in a coupled world and the ship's guest list will reflect that demographic. So what! During the day you can do whatever your little heart desires. Sleep in late or get up early to work out in the gym. You don't need a partner to read a good book, take an excursion, listen to a lecture, enjoy a cooking class or learn to line dance.



ooking for company? Use the formal dining room to jump-start relationships. Cruise lines make this very easy as there is open seating for breakfast and lunch each day of the cruise. That means you never know who will be seated beside you and with close to 2,000 guests the odds of meeting interesting people are high, indeed. For the evening meals, set tables are assigned at the beginning of your holiday. That guarantees that you'll be enjoying fine dining with the same eight to ten companions every night. Soon you'll all be comparing notes about how you spent the day, what you bought and where to meet up for the evening's entertainment. We found everybody so friendly and ready to chat. If you reach out with a smile most people will respond in kind.

Worried about the extra cost of cruising solo? True, if you're not sharing with someone else you will be paying more. However, there are ways of reducing your spending. In order to begin at a lesser price, keep your eyes open for any advertised specials or last minute deals.

Not every potential guest has an endless travel budget and the cruise lines reach out by offering accommodation options. As the 'buyer' you must begin thinking creatively. Instead of choosing a prestige suite with verandah, choose one of their well-appointed ocean view or inside staterooms. Cut down on amenities -- fresh flowers and champagne are lovely in your room but you can have a fabulous time without them. Book only one extra shore excursion rather than three. Shop less and drink less (better for you) in exchange for the luxury of having your very own cabin with your very own washroom.

On a cruise you don't have the hassle of packing and unpacking. You're assured of a clean, comfortable room each and every night. All meals are included. There's no rushing to catch a train or plane as you move from one city to another. Aboard your floating hotel you simply sail from one harbour to another all the while being pampered silly. Yes, you become more of a tourist and less of an adventurous traveller. That's O.K. -- cruising is just one more exciting way to see the world. You might find it suitable for some destinations and less right for others. It might be the thing to do at one stage of your life and not at others. However, in the final analysis, Journeywoman's advice is not to turn cruising down simply because you're a single woman traveller with a limited travel budget. That just might be a huge mistake.

More water holiday stories...




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