Sailing Solo, Happily

az-the-world-turns-bonnie-maclaird

Who among us doesn’t crave some time to ourselves? Okay, maybe not time alone on a mountain ridge like Cheryl Strayed in the movie “Wild” but rather alone-in-the-lap-of-luxury time?

I’ve had this conversation with a few girlfriends lately. A few months ago I had lunch with Laura, an old friend and coworker at Azamara Club Cruises. Laura and I have now worked together at three cruise lines over our careers. She’s a lovely woman who for the first time in her life is sailing solo.

Laura recently sailed Azamara’s 12-night Panama Canal cruise from Costa Rica to Miami on the Azamara Journey. Ever envious of anyone going on a small-ship cruise, I asked her to take notes on the experience of cruising solo so that we could all live vicariously through her. Here are some highlights in Laura’s own words:

Although I did not know one single person with whom I would be traveling, that changed very quickly when I met two other solo travelers and several very friendly couples at the hotel while awaiting the transfer to Caldera. By the time I checked in, boarded the ship, and headed to the Windows Café for lunch, I knew I would not be dining alone.

Caldera, Costa Rica

Caldera, Costa Rica

The officers, crew and fellow passengers on Azamara are among the friendliest of any cruise line. The ship size and relaxed onboard atmosphere are especially conducive to making new friends, and the few who asked me why I was on my own were welcoming and more curious than judgmental.

Laura, our intrepid solo traveller.

During my cruise, I never felt alone – unless I wanted to be. And there were ample opportunities for me to escape and be alone: to savor the The Sanctum Terrace, nap on a deck chair, and read a couple of books. In New Orleans, I set out early in the morning for a solo jog to Café du Monde to get my coffee and beignets fix.

New orleans, Louisiana

When I was feeling more social, I had no trouble finding someone to dine with, or to enjoy one of the entertainment options onboard. I thoroughly enjoyed my new friends with whom I socialized, dined and toured on this voyage.

But I was most thankful for the quality “me” time and the chance to reflect on the blessings of travel. And it turns out travel is no less rewarding when the experience is shared with new friends rather than old.

Thanks to Laura for sharing her experience! If you're interesting in solo sailing, visit our Savings For Singles page.

Bonnie MacLaird

Bonnie MacLaird is Azamara's Chief Blogging Officer. She has worked in the cruise industry for over 20 years and shares a passion for travel with Azamara guests. You can most often find Bonnie offering helpful tips and sharing Azamara news in the Cruise Critic online forum.

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