World Cruise - Solo Style!

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#1
Eastleigh, Nr Southampton
62 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Ahoy!
It's been a long held dream to "do" a World Cruise (Southampton to Southampton), no flights, no airports and more importantly - no baggage restrictions!

I've read through some of the threads, which are sadly quite old, but still contain loads of useful information, so thank you all!

My query is this:
1) Has anyone ever done a full WC on their own?
2) If so, did you ever feel lonely (I do know how social cruises are, but just wondering if people keep more to themselves on such a long voyage)?
3) I'm looking at Cunard or P&O, but the single supplement is making it sooooo pricey... Did you get a better deal with the cruise line direct or through a travel agent?
4) How much "stuff" did you take? I'm thinking more in terms of items like deodorant!!
5) Were there any "perks" for being on for the full voyage as opposed to the sectors?
6) Did you manage to get an upgrade? Thinking I could book an outside and hope for an offer or free upgrade to a balcony?!

I'm sure there's loads of questions I could rattle off, but those are the ones that occupy the mind - along with "how on earth am I going to pay for this and the bar bill at the end"!! I'm planning for my 50th birthday so have just over 5 years to save!

Thanks for your advice!
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1992 - P&O Sea Princess
1993 - P&O Canberra
1999 - P&O Oriana and Arcadia
2000 - P&O Arcadia
2001 - P&O Arcadia twice!
2002 - RCI Grandeur of the Seas (got married on board)
2003 - P&O Oceana
2004 - P&O Aurora
2005 - P&O Oriana twice
2005 - 2010 - Cunard QE2, QM2, Queen Victoria, NCL Nowegian something, Oceania Cruises, RCI Independence of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas
2010 - P&O Oriana (celebrated divorce on board)
2012 - P&O Ventura - could have been Azura?
2013 - P&O Oriana and Aurora
2014 - P&O Oriana twice and Oceana
2015 - P&O Oceana twice and Ventura
2016 - P&O Ventura, Azura, Ventura and Aurora!!
2017 - P&O Britannia, Cunard Queen Victora and P&O Oriana

2021 - Looking at doing a World Cruise for my 50th birthday....


I only work to pay for my cruise "habit"!!
#3
Eastleigh, Nr Southampton
62 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by jburton59
Check for the book, Views from a Cruise: Solo around the world by Fabienne Wolf. She went solo on P&O I believe.

Sent from my SM-J700T using Forums mobile app

Thanks JBurton59, will check it out!
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1992 - P&O Sea Princess
1993 - P&O Canberra
1999 - P&O Oriana and Arcadia
2000 - P&O Arcadia
2001 - P&O Arcadia twice!
2002 - RCI Grandeur of the Seas (got married on board)
2003 - P&O Oceana
2004 - P&O Aurora
2005 - P&O Oriana twice
2005 - 2010 - Cunard QE2, QM2, Queen Victoria, NCL Nowegian something, Oceania Cruises, RCI Independence of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas
2010 - P&O Oriana (celebrated divorce on board)
2012 - P&O Ventura - could have been Azura?
2013 - P&O Oriana and Aurora
2014 - P&O Oriana twice and Oceana
2015 - P&O Oceana twice and Ventura
2016 - P&O Ventura, Azura, Ventura and Aurora!!
2017 - P&O Britannia, Cunard Queen Victora and P&O Oriana

2021 - Looking at doing a World Cruise for my 50th birthday....


I only work to pay for my cruise "habit"!!
#4
Virginia
23,994 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
I did a World Voyage solo on Cunard in 2014. Loved every minute of it and would have stayed on for another 118 days if they had let me! I was never lonely.

We had about 85 doing the full World Voyage solo out of about 525 total.

Cunard put 10 solo cruisers together at dinner. We became like a family and checked on each other if someone got sick, etc. I would recommend asking for a large table at dinner.

I would have gotten the same price from my TA (at the time) as booking directly but have since found a TA that does give a discount on World Voyages. Not sure what the situation on discounts is like in the U.K.

Cunard included gratuities for the full World Voyage. I believe Cunard is now giving some other perks as well. We also got a few gifts along the way (a diary, a Wedgwood mug with the WV logo on it, a silk scarf for ladies or silk tie for men, a totebag for ladies or ball cap for men, and maybe one other gift I can't remember).

I took what I thought would be enough toiletries but after two months realized I would run out before the end so I stocked up in Sydney. I needed three tubes of toothpaste, three deodorants but used the ship's shampoo, etc. so didn't have to worry about replenishing them.

When I planned my World Voyage I really believed I would take only one so I booked a balcony. I chose my stateroom specifically and checked that I was not interested in an upgrade. I have not heard of anyone getting a major upgrade on a full WV. Since about 3/4 of the people on Cunard's World Voyage are doing segments, they seem to get the upgrades (this happened to me when I did the first segment of QE's 2015 World Voyage - I booked a balcony but was upgraded to Club).

Going back to the lonely thing. When you do book, be sure to join (or start) a Cruise Critic roll call. We had an amazing one and I felt I had friends before I even got on the ship. Once onboard I was seeing friendly faces all the time!

Feel free to ask any other questions.

I'll end by saying I loved my World Voyage so much I am going on another one in 2018!
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My Cruise Blogs
World Voyage Blog - http://kathisworldvoyage.blogspot.com/
A Winter Crossing - http://cunard2015.blogspot.com
The Sail-Away Gang's Cruise - http://westerdam2015.blogspot.com/
Fall Foliage Cruise -http://fallfoliagecruise2015.blogspot.com/
South Pacific/North to Alaska - http://halcruises2016.blogspot.com/
Around the World Again - https://2018halgwv.blogspot.com/

Evangeline - Nassau - 1960
Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt - EB TA - 1962
Queen Mary - WB TA - 1962
Raffaello - Caribbean - 1968
MV Three Gorges - Yangtze River - 1988
Atlas - Nile River - 1995
Olympic - Aegean Sea - 1996
Constellation - Baltic Sea - 2005
Disney Fantasy - Caribbean - 2012
Queen Elizabeth - World Voyage 2014
Queen Elizabeth - Southampton to Fort Lauderdale - 2015

Westerdam - FLL to Seattle with the "Sail-away Gang" - 2015
Liberty of the Seas - Canada/New England - 2015
Westerdam - Hawaii, Tahiti, and the Marquesas with the "Pearls of the Pacific" - 2016
Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 2016
Amsterdam - Grand World Voyage - 2018
#5
2,329 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by pomcruise
Ahoy!

Thanks for your advice!
Hi karen, in addition to Scranana's well thought out reply, i did the world cruise on the QV this year as a solo....can recommend it with every fibre of my being and yes even with the solo supplement I dont regret a single penny.

I wrote a wc blog which included the couple weeks afterwards, though if you want to skip through it for a few posts after the cruise, you will get a general feel of what its like from start to finish...

http://exitviathegiftshop.blogspot.co.nz

I hope you do it....im saving for another 2019....im hooked.
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2016 World Cruise Blog http://exitviathegiftshop.blogspot.co.nz/?view=magazine
2017 World Cruise Blog http://butarewethereyet.blogspot.co.nz
the more polished general cruise bloghttp://roscoesseafever.blogspot.co.nz
QE2 2002 Tahiti - Auckland
QM2 2004 Southhampton - New York
QE2 2006 New York - Panama - Los Angeles
QV 2008 Singapore - Southampton
QV 2010 Singapore - Southampton
QE 2011 Auckland
Pacific Pearl 2011 South Pacific Cruise
QV 2011 Venice to Rome
QV 2011 Rome to Rome
QE 2012 San Francisco - Sydney
QM2 2013 Auckland - Africa - Southampton
QV 2014 Rio to Sydney
L'Austral 2015 Auckland
QV 2015 Auckland
QV 2016 Southampton - Southampton Full World
QV 2017 Valparaiso to San Francisco
Explorer of the Seas 2018 Sydney to Sydney
QE 2019 Japan to Alaska
QV 2019 San Francisco to Auckland
#6
Eastleigh, Nr Southampton
62 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by Scrapnana
I'll end by saying I loved my World Voyage so much I am going on another one in 2018!
Thank you so much for your kind reply to my many questions! The more I read, the more I want to go, but don't want to have to wait

Sounds like a world cruise isn't a "once in a lifetime" trip

Thanks again...
Time to start saving like mad and/or start playing the lottery!

Regards
Karen
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1992 - P&O Sea Princess
1993 - P&O Canberra
1999 - P&O Oriana and Arcadia
2000 - P&O Arcadia
2001 - P&O Arcadia twice!
2002 - RCI Grandeur of the Seas (got married on board)
2003 - P&O Oceana
2004 - P&O Aurora
2005 - P&O Oriana twice
2005 - 2010 - Cunard QE2, QM2, Queen Victoria, NCL Nowegian something, Oceania Cruises, RCI Independence of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas
2010 - P&O Oriana (celebrated divorce on board)
2012 - P&O Ventura - could have been Azura?
2013 - P&O Oriana and Aurora
2014 - P&O Oriana twice and Oceana
2015 - P&O Oceana twice and Ventura
2016 - P&O Ventura, Azura, Ventura and Aurora!!
2017 - P&O Britannia, Cunard Queen Victora and P&O Oriana

2021 - Looking at doing a World Cruise for my 50th birthday....


I only work to pay for my cruise "habit"!!
#7
Eastleigh, Nr Southampton
62 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by roscoe39
I hope you do it....im saving for another 2019....im hooked.
Hi Roscoe,
Wow! I couldn't wait to get home from work today to finish reading your blog! Thank you for posting a link to it, makes for great reading and a good laugh, plus seeing blue skies and sandy beaches when it's frosty outside here in the UK at the moment was an added bonus!

You and Scrapnana have inspired me to "go for it"and my spreadsheet looks a little empty at the moment, so I shall start saving hard! But as I said to Scrapana, I wanna go noooowwwww!!! Lol!

Hope you have as much fun on the 2019 cruise

Happy travels
Regards
Karen
xx
#8
Triangle area, NC
1,139 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
I haven't done a world cruise solo, but I did become friends on a WC with several people who did--and have done it multiple times and loved it. You might want to look at Crystal Cruises. They are pricey, but their single supplement is usually pretty modest so you often wind up ahead. And they are inclusive of tips and beverages, so that saves some expense. Plus, the benefit to a solo is that the lower single supplement attracts other solos, so you have a lot of others in the same boat (so to speak). Plus, with that much experience with catering to solos, the cruise line is very comfortable for people traveling without a companion.
#9
The Third Coast - Nashville
8,654 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Hi Karen,

I'm a solo cruiser, and a world cruise is a dream of mine also. Like you, I better start saving in earnest if I'm serious about this. I keep track of prices so I have a target to shoot for. I've read posts here on Cruise Critic from several solo world cruisers, so apparently it's not that uncommon. If I do this, I will only be able to afford an inside or outside cabin, and quite frankly, I can't imagine sharing it with another person for over 100 days.

I understand your wanting to sail round trip from Southampton from a convenience standpoint, but you may want to consider a round trip World Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale on Holland America. They only charge a 50% single supplement on inside and outside cabins. Their are no inside cabins available for the 2018 WC, so they go fast. I won't be able to do this until I retire, so I have time to plan and prepare, and would be able to book well ahead of time. There are added perks for those who book early, so best to work with your travel agent to get the best deal.

A big added expense is the shore excursions. Why sail the world if you're not going to see it?

Roz
#10
Tucson, AZ
3,857 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
One way to determine how much personal item "stuff" to take (which I am doing in anticipation of a 2018 World Cruise) is to track how long it takes to use hand cream, deodorant etc. now. I just put a starting date on a piece of paper and then an ending date. So if it takes 2 months to use up a container of shampoo, then take 2 containers for a 4 month cruise. Of course, as Scrapnana says, you can always stock up along the way.
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#11
126 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
I also would love to do a world cruise, I might have to wait until I retire, cause it would really be hard for me to be gone one month much less the time required for a world cruise.

For those who have where there many travelers under 50 years old?
#12
2,329 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by sunshine3215
I also would love to do a world cruise, I might have to wait until I retire, cause it would really be hard for me to be gone one month much less the time required for a world cruise.

For those who have where there many travelers under 50 years old?
Hi Sunshine,
I did my world on Cunard, the average age of the world cruisers is well over 60, but there were a number of younger passengers getting on and off at various sectors.

Choosing the line is really important and definately look at the demographics of thos who travel on it but having said that even though I was one of the youngest doing the WC this year I found that age want a barrier to having a good time.
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2016 World Cruise Blog http://exitviathegiftshop.blogspot.co.nz/?view=magazine
2017 World Cruise Blog http://butarewethereyet.blogspot.co.nz
the more polished general cruise bloghttp://roscoesseafever.blogspot.co.nz
QE2 2002 Tahiti - Auckland
QM2 2004 Southhampton - New York
QE2 2006 New York - Panama - Los Angeles
QV 2008 Singapore - Southampton
QV 2010 Singapore - Southampton
QE 2011 Auckland
Pacific Pearl 2011 South Pacific Cruise
QV 2011 Venice to Rome
QV 2011 Rome to Rome
QE 2012 San Francisco - Sydney
QM2 2013 Auckland - Africa - Southampton
QV 2014 Rio to Sydney
L'Austral 2015 Auckland
QV 2015 Auckland
QV 2016 Southampton - Southampton Full World
QV 2017 Valparaiso to San Francisco
Explorer of the Seas 2018 Sydney to Sydney
QE 2019 Japan to Alaska
QV 2019 San Francisco to Auckland
#13
126 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Originally posted by roscoe39
Hi Sunshine,
I did my world on Cunard, the average age of the world cruisers is well over 60, but there were a number of younger passengers getting on and off at various sectors.

Choosing the line is really important and definately look at the demographics of thos who travel on it but having said that even though I was one of the youngest doing the WC this year I found that age want a barrier to having a good time.
thank you for the information, I'd so jealous of your travels. Safe travels.
#14
413 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Originally posted by pomcruise
I'm planning for my 50th birthday so have just over 5 years to save!
I've been thinking of taking a world cruise or a segment, I live my life/cruise solo, and I hope to turn 50 in 2017.

Luckily, not only am I fond of cruises and a member of the CC boards, I also have been practicing Mustachanism (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/) for a couple of years, which means that I already have saved/invested enough money to afford a world cruise or segment right now if I wanted. In fact, when my employer at the time terminated my employment last year, I seriously considered taking a rare mid-year world cruise. If I knew I would be coming back to a job after the cruise, I'm pretty sure I would have gone.

So, maybe I'll tentatively plan to take a world cruise in early 2021, a few months after I turn 50 and about when I hope to be almost completely financially independent...
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55 nights on Fred.Olsen
47 nights on NCL
17 nights on Royal Caribbean
7 nights on HAL
3 nights on Disney
#15
Eastleigh, Nr Southampton
62 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Dear All,
I haven't dropped into Cruise Critic for a while, so it's been great to catch up on the World Cruise thread I started last year!

I was seated with a lovely lady on a November cruise who had done several world cruise with her hubby and said that they loved every minute of it and yes, I probably would be one of the youngest on board even at 50, which still seems very grown up to me!

I've already sown the seeds with the boss that I'd like a sabatical in 2021 (despite them saying they coldn't cope with me being gone for two and a half weeks)! Best I start saving in earnest seeing as i keep telling everyone I'm "doing a world cruise for my 50th birthday"!!

Thanks again for all the feedback and advice and bon voyage for now

Karen

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1992 - P&O Sea Princess
1993 - P&O Canberra
1999 - P&O Oriana and Arcadia
2000 - P&O Arcadia
2001 - P&O Arcadia twice!
2002 - RCI Grandeur of the Seas (got married on board)
2003 - P&O Oceana
2004 - P&O Aurora
2005 - P&O Oriana twice
2005 - 2010 - Cunard QE2, QM2, Queen Victoria, NCL Nowegian something, Oceania Cruises, RCI Independence of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas
2010 - P&O Oriana (celebrated divorce on board)
2012 - P&O Ventura - could have been Azura?
2013 - P&O Oriana and Aurora
2014 - P&O Oriana twice and Oceana
2015 - P&O Oceana twice and Ventura
2016 - P&O Ventura, Azura, Ventura and Aurora!!
2017 - P&O Britannia, Cunard Queen Victora and P&O Oriana

2021 - Looking at doing a World Cruise for my 50th birthday....


I only work to pay for my cruise "habit"!!
#16
2 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Wonderful thread. I'd like to do a solo world cruise myself. My biggest anxiety is about medications. How do you get refills on such a long journey? I am only 43 but take several essential medications daily.
#17
Triangle area, NC
1,139 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Originally posted by darnheather
Wonderful thread. I'd like to do a solo world cruise myself. My biggest anxiety is about medications. How do you get refills on such a long journey? I am only 43 but take several essential medications daily.
Get the amount you'll need before you leave. Call your insurance company and ask for a vacation waiver on the quantity limitations. I've always had success with this. A pharmacist once told me that the only time he'd ever seen one denied was for someone who asked for it multiple times in one year.
#18
2 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Originally posted by wishIwerecruisin'
Get the amount you'll need before you leave. Call your insurance company and ask for a vacation waiver on the quantity limitations. I've always had success with this. A pharmacist once told me that the only time he'd ever seen one denied was for someone who asked for it multiple times in one year.
Thank you very much. One less thing to worry about.
#19
Henderson NV
1,402 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
I too want to do a world cruise solo. It won't be for a few years since I need to retire first, but starting to gather information and of course save plenty of money. I've cruised on Princess and Holland America, so those are possibilities, and I keep reading about Oceania and hear that while they are more expensive, the amenities may make up for the higher up-front cost, so I"ll consider them as well. While I enjoy a few formal nights, I've ruled out Cunard as being a bit too formal for me.

So, of the three contenders (Princess, HAL, and Oceania), wondering which is better for solos in terms of solo supplement, and dining arrangements. I would prefer not to eat alone (especially for that many nights) and I know Princess and HAL have traditional assigned dining, which would work, but not sure how "anytime" dining would work on world cruise, especially on Oceania.

This is probably one of the less important considerations (cost and itinerary being top considerations), but still a factor in overall enjoyment. Any advice/comments appreciated.


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Upcoming Cruises:
Diamond Princess, Mar 18-26, 2019, Japan and Taiwan

My cruise blog: http://phoenix-voyager1.blogspot.com/
Past Cruises:
Emerald Princess, Nov 22-26, 2017, Cabo San Lucas Getaway
Diamond Princess, Oct 17-26, 2017, Circle Japan
Ruby Princess, Nov 19-26, 2016, Mexican Riviera
Crown Princess, Feb 13-20, 2016, Mexican Riviera
Star Princess, Nov 25-29, 2015, California Coastal Thanksgiving Cruise
Royal Princess, Aug 1-13, 2015, British Isles
Ocean Princess, Jan 27-Feb 6, 2015, Tahiti and French Polynesia
Golden Princess, Oct 24-27, 2014, West Coast Getaway Weekend Cruise
Pacific Princess, Jun 3-10, 2014, Alaska Inside Passage Cruise
Star Princess, Dec 20, 2013 to Jan 4, 2014, Hawaii Holiday Cruise
Caribbean Princess, Mar 16-23, 2013, Southern Caribbean
Holland America's Amsterdam, Dec 5-22, 2012, Panama Canal (Eastbound)
Diamond Princess, Mar 14-29, 2012, SE Asia and China
Sapphire Princess, Dec 31, 2011 to Jan 7, 2012, Mexican Riviera
Sapphire Princess, Sep 11-18, 2011, Alaska Inside Passage
Sapphire Princess, Apr 9-16, 2011, Mexican Riviera
Holland America's Zaandam, Dec 19, 2010 to Jan 2, 2011, Circle Hawaii Cruise
#20
The Third Coast - Nashville
8,654 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Bassett Mom,

When I've done mock solo bookings, HAL's pricing for singles always beats out the competition.

Roz