I am currently on my second cruise with Virgin Voyages as a single sailor. Are you thinking of taking a Virgin Voyage as a party of one? Here are my thoughts and tips for you to consider.
The first thing to consider is what type of stateroom you wish to book.
Virgin Voyages has a small number of solo cabins on each ship. These are in the Insider or Sea View category; meaning you won’t have a balcony.
I was able to check out one of the Insider Solo cabins and they are small! 105 sq ft small. There are no windows but all the other amenities remain including an identical bathroom to the higher tier rooms.
The bed is in a little nook that would be cozy. The closet is about half the size but the cupboard portion is the same size. You still get a TV, desk, fridge, etc.
Now, don’t assume that the solo insider room will be cheapest. With over 90% of the rooms on the ship having a balcony, it may be that you will actually spend less on a Sea Terrace cabin, so make sure you check out all of your options.
Most cruise lines charge for two people in a cabin even if only one person is using it. So single sailors essentially pay twice as much as a couple. At times Virgin Voyages have offered promotions for no single supplement, meaning you aren’t having to pay double.
Check the promotions, check the room type and price things out to see what the best deal will be for you.
Solo Sailor Meetups
Some social solo sailors like to meet up with other solo sailors for things like meals and shows. Others (like me), prefer to just enjoy their “me party” time. The choice is completely yours.
Virgin Voyages does offer some Solo Sailor Meetups throughout the cruise. One the very first day, around 5:15pm before Sail Away on the back of Deck 16 in the Athletic Club (not actually a gym but a hang out area with a bar), you can meet with one of the Happenings Cast (the entertainment folks) who will offer some introductions and a chance to mingle and meet up with other single travelers.
On both of my sailings I attended these events; if nothing else just to remind myself that there are a lot of others doing the cruise solo. I met solo sailors that were married and the spouse didn’t want to come or didn’t like cruises, young people wanting an adventure, older people with grown kids, single people, divorced people… everyone you can imagine. Virgin Voyages has set itself up to be cater to a diverse clientele. The majority of people on board will still be couples and groups, but there are a lot of people sailing solo and it is a growing group.
If you like this meetup, there are others offered throughout the cruise — including meal times if you are into dining with the group of other solos.
I think one of the things that people worry most about when they think about traveling alone is meals. On Virgin Voyages you book what time and in what restaurants you want to do your dinners (and breakfasts). If you would rather not have a sit down meal with a server, you do have lots of other options including The Galley (similar to a buffet), The Pizza Place, The Dock House, The Social Club Diner, and the Sun Club Cafe.
If you do want the true restaurant experience (it is included, so why wouldn’t you?), don’t worry, you can absolutely make a reservation for one and it isn’t a big deal. They won’t even stick you in a corner (unless you ask for it).
The only time you are required to sit with others is at the Korean BBQ restaurant — Gunbae. I understand that the meals are quite lengthy (2+ hours) at a table for six. It just doesn’t sound like my sort of thing so I have always skipped Gunbae. But again, you can absolutely go as a solo sailor, just know you will be sat with others.
Here is one important thing to remember. People eat solo all the time. Even people that travel with others. On Virgin Voyages, guest facing staff are encouraged to eat in the restaurants as well. So you will not stand out. There will be others also dining as a party of one. I have found the staff normalize it and will go out of their way to make you feel welcome.
Those are the main topics that one should consider when thinking of sailing solo. If you have other ideas or questions, please share in the comments below.