The more we are on board, the more we realise what a great way this is for women to travel solo. It’s safe, comfortable and relaxed but it’s not cheap. Cabin costs are inevitably based on two sharing: note that Regent Seven Seas are among the priciest. Some cruises companies give solo travellers a discount on that double rate but it will never be very generous as passengers travelling alone are not the preferred option. That said, being an all-inclusive cruise, it is very easy to budget for – you pay up front and that’s it. All food, drink, transport, tours, transfers and entertainment are included.
We have spoken to a number of women travelling solo or in pairs. Some are sisters, like ourselves, some mothers and daughters, others are friends. Most are of the opinion that this is the only way to travel – all were agreed that they felt perfectly safe, all the time and that included going ashore.
How successful the tours are largely depends on the tour guide and that is in the lap of the gods. Some have been knowledgeable, charming and entertaining, others have been the exact opposite, with little or no understanding of the place we are visiting, displaying a woeful lack of preparation and understanding of visitors’ expectations: mindless ramblings are no substitute for genuine knowledge. All guides should be compelled to attend the talks at The Original Jade Factory and Museum in Guatemala which was unexpectedly excellent.
The fact that everything is so safe means that you and your sister or friend can pick different activities ashore with absolute confidence.
When not out and about there is plenty to do on board – learning bridge, ballroom dancing, arts and crafts, attending lectures, taking part in plays, trivia quizzes, deck games, even a communal jigsaw fill up the days for some. Others read and lounge by the pool. And then there are the multiple eating places with alcohol available all day, every day including caviar and champagne for breakfast should you so desire: personally, I stuck to cornflakes.
By the pool, drinks are served all day, either on your sun lounger or at a table or at the bar.
Seven Seas also has a meeting of solo and social travellers every evening for drinks, with the option of going on to dinner together so no need to take a book for company.