There are many reasons to take a solo cruise. I leaped at the chance to experience the Celebrity Beyond — Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship. I was physically and emotionally exhausted after caring for my mother prior to her death and funeral 2 weeks prior. The opportunity to get away and not have to worry about anyone but myself was a welcome respite. I looked forward to spa treatments and fabulous meals I didn’t have to cook myself.
Celebrity Cruises invited me on a culinary-themed Press Trip on the Celebrity Beyond. I traveled solo and had my own cabin. The press trip had some organized group activities all with people I did not know prior to the trip. I felt like I got the solo experience and would do it again. One of the things I noticed on my cruise was how friendly other guests were toward me when I was alone. One of the things many cruisers look forward to is meeting new people. This is a plus when you are traveling solo. You can interact with others as much or as little as you like.
Some solo travelers enjoy the opportunity to be on their own schedule without input from others. Some have the time and money to get away but no one to travel with. I recommend just going and here are the reasons why.
1. Solo Cabins
The Celebrity Beyond offers 32 single staterooms with an Infinite Veranda. These rooms really cater to the solo traveler and are some of the best of any cruise line that offers solo travel. The Edge Single Stateroom with an Infinite Veranda is 184 square feet with a 42-square-foot veranda. The Infinite Veranda is a game-changer as it is part of the room with solid walls to the left and right. With the flick of a switch, the glass wall lowers, creating the veranda.
These rooms offer plenty of space for the solo cruiser and are not much smaller than the Edge Stateroom with an Infinite Veranda at 243 square feet and a 42-square-foot veranda. The Celebrity Beyond is a new ship and the décor in all the cabins is modern and fresh with the latest in design and technology. You can even control aspects of your room from the Celebrity App. For example, on an extra hot day, you can use the app to turn the temperature down so your room is cool when you return.
2. Classes And Activities
During the press trip, I participated in some group activities such as a mixology class at the World Class Bar. This fun class is also available to book for guests on the ship and is an easy way to meet people on the cruise due to the intimate nature of the class. I got to prepare three craft cocktails under the expert tutelage of our helpful bartender Nico. It was such an enjoyable time and classmates mingled afterward while enjoying our creations.
Check the daily bulletin provided in your cabin each night for a variety of classes and activities offered on board each day. A nice feature of the Celebrity App is how you can access this information prior to your cruise so you can plan. If you are an early riser, enjoy a morning stretch class. If you’re into art, enjoy adult coloring or other crafts. Dance classes are offered at various times on the ship and even in the pool. There is no lack of classes or activities to enjoy on board. It is a great way to meet other guests who have a shared interest with you.
3. Facebook Groups
Prior to sailing on this cruise, I joined the Celebrity Beyond Facebook group, which held a wealth of information about my upcoming trip. There are so many experienced cruisers available to answer any of your questions. Within these ship groups, someone will start a group for a specific cruise date. This is a great way to connect and meet people prior to your trip. The group I joined set up a sail-away event with 31 people responding to attend. The leader arranged a meeting spot with a Facebook sign and name tags. I found the group very helpful, friendly, and eager to answer questions. I saw a few members plan a shore excursion together prior to sailing. One person even posted about their parents’ first cruise and found people to watch out for them.
4. Shore Excursions
I recommend booking excursions through the ship especially if you are traveling alone. This way the ship’s crew knows you are on a specific excursion and that you made it back on the ship. In case the excursion is late or has an emergency, Celebrity will handle the arrangements to get you back to the ship. In addition to the peace of mind, when you book the excursion, you’ll also be with a group from your ship. Each cruise line is popular with different demographics. For example, if you are on a luxury cruise with the majority of the guests over 50, you might not enjoy hanging out with 20-somethings in a party mode or small children if you left your grandchildren at home. I enjoyed the shore excursions I booked through Celebrity. All were well run and there was such a variety of options. Even though the ship was 100 percent booked, there were plenty of excursions still available to book once on board.
Pro Tip: The Celebrity Beyond also offers tours aboard ship on days at sea. Guests can book Bridge Tours or Inside Access: Behind the Scenes Ship Tours. Both of these are very popular and sell out fast so you will want to book prior to your cruise.
5. Solo Dining
For many new solo travelers, the idea of dining alone is fraught with anxiety, but it doesn’t need to be, especially on the Celebrity Beyond. The ship has 32 restaurants and bars that truly offer something for everyone. The main dining rooms offer you the opportunity to be seated with other guests. Just ask when you check in. There is often a table set aside for solo travelers. There are also hidden gems like the Spa Cafe where you can enjoy healthy nibbles in a quiet atmosphere.
The premium restaurants are enjoyable for solo travelers because, with the excellent service, you’ll never be alone. Ask plenty of questions about the food and interact with the sommelier for advice on pairing. My favorite premium restaurant was Eden. The food was so innovative and I loved the open-kitchen concept. There is so much activity going on in the kitchen and it is intriguing to watch the creativity involved with the preparation and the artistic plating of your meal — truly memorable.
Tips From Celebrity On Solo Cruises
The Celebrity website has a wealth of information, especially for solo cruises. I found their tips to meet new friends on board very helpful. Celebrity encourages solo travelers to get to know the crew; who are from all over the world. There are many intimate bars on board the ship. Choose one that fits your vibe and get to know the bartender. It’s fun to sit at the bar and watch cocktails being made. Another suggestion is to get to know the cruise director. Their job is to make sure everyone is having fun. Introduce yourself and let them know you are traveling solo. They can give you pro tips on activities and entertainment you might enjoy. The site also has lots of information on which ships have solo cabins and good itineraries for solo travelers.
Don’t let the lack of a companion keep you from traveling. A cruise is a safe and fun way to get out and see the world while solo.
Pro Tip: The first quarter of the year is known as “Wave Season” and is typically the best time for cruise deals and promotions. Some cruise lines also offer low or no single supplements (the cost you pay when booking a double cabin while sailing alone). Celebrity waived the single supplement on more than 275 cruises through March 2023. Promotions and sales constantly change, so if you see something you like, make sure to book it.