Travel writer Wanjira Banfield explores the growing trend of cruising solo — which is seeing more women of color taking to the high seas.
Venturing out on your own in any collective environment can sometimes not only seem to be a harrowing endeavor — it may also usher in quite a few strange looks and distant whispers.
It’s the casual lady we see sitting in the third row of a movie theater surrounded by empty seats candidly nibbling on over-saturated buttered popcorn. It’s the man standing by the edge of the bar in a nightclub gazing freely in the distance as he nurses his liquid courage. Perhaps it’s the audacious cruiser gleefully singing karaoke by the pool on a majestic Caribbean cruise ship in the middle of the ocean.
We are all accustomed to embarking on these activities in groups or couples, which in essence makes it seem odd when we decide to go it alone. Even the thought of traveling on your own may sound very foreign to many. But we tend to be trend setters, and this year our new travel trend for 2012 is… cruising solo.
Understandably, solo-cruising can bring a sense of trepidation for the first timer but worry not. The surprises and rewards will surely outweigh the fear. From divorcees to widowers to singles or married couples taking separate trips, there is more than one face to the solo cruiser and many reasons taking the leap is no longer so passé.
So, what are the benefits to cruising solo?
You Run the Program: Everything is on your own terms. There is nothing like planning out your day and not having to discuss it with a group to reach a compromise. It’s a vacation… and should be as much of a breeze as the surrounding winds circling atop the sundeck. You can wake up in the morning… when you want. Jump from activity to activity at your own will or snore as loud as you wish! When you cruise solo, your entire trip is your hassle-free oasis!
Relax, Relate, Release: There are many nooks and crannies on a cruise ship to escape into pure bliss and engulf yourself in your own mecca of relaxation. Bring your iPod and rest out on the upper sun deck and tune out the world. Catch up on some reading while you snack on fresh fruit alongside the pool deck. Or, unwind in the bubbling caresses of the jacuzzis on board. With some of the most innovative and refreshing spas at sea, you may even consider having a rejuvenating facial, body wrap or Thai hot stone massage.