Are you a Muslimah (Muslim female) looking to book a solo cruise? Well, then you are in the right place. This post will answer your burning questions, quiet those fears, and give you all the reassurance you need to have an incredible cruise. But there is a method to this madness, so read on to find my top tips.
Who am I to tell you this? Well, I’ve just had my first cruise as a solo Muslim Female traveller and I built such an amazing experience for myself, that I want others to have the same. Read my review of the Celebrity Beyond Cruise Ship here.
How To Have An Awesome Solo Muslim Female Cruise
1. Book A Cruise That’s Right For You
That is right, make sure that you book the cruise that is right for you. Whether it’s the itinerary on offer, cruise length, onboard entertainment, make sure that you pick the one that you’ll enjoy the most. Here’s 8 Tips For Booking A Cruise For The First Time to help you decide which cruise is right for you.
Cruise Critic is my go-to website to find and compare the best cruise deals available.
2. Request Your Halal Food Before Boarding
If you think you won’t be able to go the entire leg of your cruise without eating Halal meat, then be sure to request it in advance. Some cruise lines may ask you to submit your request up to 6 weeks before your sail date. So let that be the first action that you take once you’ve booked your cruise.
TOP TIP: Should you forget to pre-order, or end up booking your cruise close to your sail date, you may also be able to request Halal meat onboard. Especially if the package that you’ve selected includes an exclusive dining restaurant. Though, don’t bank on this!
3. Non-Alcoholic Activities To Enjoy A Solo Muslim Female Cruise
Once onboard, take a look at the entertainment on offer and figure out which ones are solo Muslim female cruiser friendly. If you did your research correctly, you should have plenty to choose from.
These could involve fitness classes, rooftop film screenings, theatre shows, performances on ice, live musicians, magicians, game show style quizzes, art classes and even art auctions if that’s your thing. See, you don’t need to be consuming alcohol or the presence of another individual to enjoy any of those things.
4. Throw On Your Burkini And Head For The Solarium
I get it. You step aboard the ship, and you don’t see a single other hijabi around, let alone another person of colour, and your mind instantly wonders whether you will be harassed if you went swimming in your burkini. And the simple solution is to just throw your burkini on and rip off the band-aid.
I highly recommend heading to the adult-only solarium over the main pool, as it is usually less crowded. You’ll find most people are napping, reading a book or just lazing in the pool. And you paid just as much to be there, so you have the full right to use the facilities as well.
However, if you find that a bit too much of a bold move, maybe head for the solarium around 5pmish on your first day, as most people start to head back to their rooms to change for dinner. You may even get the area to yourself on the right day. This allows you to enjoy the facilities in peace, and hopefully helps to ease your fears, as your brain starts to realise that you are safe. Hopefully, after this, you’ll be more comfortable jumping in whether you like.
TOP TIP: If you want to be extra sure whether burkinis are allowed, you know in case a Karen pops up. Then be sure to email the cruise company ahead of time.
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Make Friends On The Cruise
Other than the spa, this was probably my favourite activity aboard the ship! I cannot emphasise enough how lucky I got with my fellow cruisers and the staff on board. I probably spoke to more Brits on the ship, than I did back home in London. And if there is one tip that I can give you, it’s to just be open to making friends.
Pretty much everybody that I spoke to, spoke to me first. People are going to be genuinely intrigued by your story and your bravery in cruising alone. And after one or two run-ins, you may even find them starting to look out for you.
Be sure to look out for the solo/single traveller mixers that the cruise ship puts on. This is usually in the first few days of the cruise so that you’ll have a chance to make friends that you can explore with or chill with once you’re back on board the ship.
TOP TIP: If, like me, you are always running around with your camera, then expect it to be a conversation starter.
6. Use The Downtime To Actually Do Something For You
In those moments when there’s nothing on, use that time to do something for yourself. Whether it’s reading a book, writing in a journal, breathing exercises, lounging or doing absolutely nothing, just do one thing that is selfishly for you.
One of the joys of solo travelling is that you can be as selfish as you want and focus solely on what is right for you. Especially as females, we naturally spend so much time catering to the needs of others. I.e., filling other people’s cups. Use this time to fill your own.
TOP TIP: If you’re anything like me, you may find that you’re unable to sit still. Especially when you’re on holiday, and you want to see and do everything and then some. My challenge to you is to find a seat with a view, and sit there and do nothing as you give your mind permission to relax. Trust me, you’ll very quickly get addicted to the sweetness of doing nothing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can A Single Person Go On A Cruise?
Yes, in fact, there are cruises that offer solo traveller discounts, and some that are even tailored to solo cruisers. On these cruises, you can get a cabin that is designed for solo travellers only. And some cruise lines even offer a “singles cruise” to give you the chance to find love at sea, should you wish.
Some popular cruise lines for solo travellers are:
Is It Weird To Go On A Cruise Alone?
Absolutely not. You’ll find that there are plenty of activities to get involved in without feeling alone. And that the staff and fellow cruisers are very accommodating of solo travellers. Trust me, everyone is there to have a good time, not to sit around and wonder why you are alone. Once you start believing that, you’ll feel yourself loosening up and actually not worrying about it so much.
In fact, you’ll find that there are solo travellers dotted in the crowd on most ships. Just make sure you don’t book yourself onto a romantic cruise!
Are Cruises Solo Traveller Friendly?
In theory, yes. Though, the better question you need to be asking when selecting your cruise, is, “is this cruise line solo traveller friendly?”. That is because no two cruise lines are the same. Some are tailored for couples, honeymooners, the uber-wealthy grandparents, 50+ only etc. You get the gist.
So be sure to figure out which cruise line is for you. Personally, I’ve had an awesome time aboard Celebrity Beyond, but there are many more cruise lines out there that are a perfect fit for solo travellers. Read 8 Tips For Booking A Cruise For The First Time to figure out which cruise line is right for you.
Are Cruises Muslim Friendly?
Again, this is like asking “are hotels Muslim friendly?”. But I get what you mean. Rather, the better questions should be, “is this cruise line/cruise ship Muslim friendly?”.
In order to help you determine which cruises are Muslim friendly, have a think about:
- What does the itinerary look like? Will the ship be embarking/disembarking from a country that you’re comfortable visiting? How about the port stops? Are they mostly in a country/countries that you’re comfortable exploring? Especially in a hijab, if you wear one?
- What are the onboard activities like? Are there things that you can get involved in that don’t revolve around alcohol? Are there water activities, theatre shows, art classes, fitness & wellness classes or anything else that you’ll enjoy doing aboard the ship?
- What Halal food options are there, that you’ll be able to eat as a Muslim traveller?
If the answers to the above are yes, then you can assume that the cruise line/ship that you have in mind is Muslim friendly.
If you’re still in doubt, ask your burning questions on sites like Cruise Critic, where your fellow cruisers can help to answer them and give you a feel of what to expect onboard.
You May Also Be Interested In
- Top 7 Hijab Friendly Travel Destinations
- 17 Best Ultimate Halal Holiday Destinations
- Best Muslim Countries To Visit In Your Lifetime
- The Ultimate Halal Travel Guide