I am on a cruise by myself and I love it. Yes, I am surrounded by 200 strangers aboard the Viking Octantis exploring the Caribbean Sea and I am enjoying every second.
In the few days I have been on this trip I have bonded with people from all walks of life over a shared hike that we were so happy we accomplished together. I have had dinner by myself reading a fantastic book about my favorite artist Jean Michele Basquiat. I had dinner with new friends I met wandering around Gustavia Harbor. This trip has been different than any trip I have ever done, and I am starting to think that a cruise might just be a great way to solo travel.
I know that sounds completely counterintuitive but here is why it is so great: on a Viking cruise, you have a daily choice of really diverse, interesting, cultural, active experiences. You can tour a chocolate factory in the morning and relax in the afternoon. You can be with people or not. You can wander around Old Town Puerto Rico with your guide and a very small group and talk to your fellow travelers… or not.
This would be a different trip if I was in.. let’s say, Provence, in a hotel. Yes, I could hire a guide and explore. Yes, I could wander the beautiful ancient streets and find a lovely cafe to sit at alone. But on a cruise I find I am really enjoying the option of being with people or not.
By Day 5, as I needed to find a quiet spot to work, I set up shop in a corner of the World Cafe. By this time I saw familiar faces, stopped to chat, worked, smiled and waved at friends I had made, worked some more, then blissfully sat alone with a glass of rose in a corner of a boat full of people with no one around. I was solo traveling with hundreds of people.
Tonight I will have dinner with my new friends Kimberly and Lee whom I met on the hike In St. Lucia. It was a difficult hike, and Kimberly and I shared a granola bar and Sprite to get the energy to summit the mountain. Those quiet moments with strangers, sitting in complete silence except the birds and crashing waves, sharing that granola bar, sitting on lava rocks, bonded us in a way that is different from your everyday travel experience.
I was traveling alone, together.