I recently returned from a 7-day Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Carnival Glory with friends and family.  It was a great cruise in some amazing ports like Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Grand Turk, and Dominican Republic.

EJT 10 Reunion Group Cruise

As I was on the cruise, with friends and family, I found myself constantly comparing the cruise experience with my previous cruise when I sailed alone.  I enjoy traveling with others, it is big fun with traveling in groups and I also prefer traveling solo, at times.  Some of the advantages of traveling by yourself are:

  1. You can go to bed at any time.  One of the most beneficial things of cruising alone is having the ability to go to bed when you please without guilt.  When traveling with others, you have the overwhelming feeling of peer pressure to stay up and party all night long.  And yes….no matter your age, peer pressure is still real.  When I am tired and have had enough, I would like to go to bed.  When you travel alone, there is no one to dispute your bed time.  When you are with a group, you get the cliché statement, “You can sleep at home.”  But I can’t!  At home, I go to bed around 2am because I have several job responsibilities, errands to run, laundry to finish, meals to prep, a house that needs cleaning, and an active social life.  The point of my vacation is to rest and relax.  You can’t do that with a group without ridicule.
  2. You don’t have to discuss your every move with everyone.  When you travel alone, you can go to any activity that you would like without consulting others first.  There is no coordinating schedules and going to the activities that your friends and family want to go to and compromising on what you want to do.  You are free to do anything that your personality desires without having to explain yourself.
  3. You can dine on your own time.  You can eat where you want, when you want and there is no discussion or vote needed to be had with anyone. 
  4. You are not obligated to be social or the life of the party at all times.  When you vacation with a group, there is a need to always be an active part of the group because no one wants to be the sour grape of a group.  When I traveled with my friends and family, I found inner self longing for some alone time.  When you travel alone, you have an abundance of alone time and then you can seek to be social with thousands of people, on the cruise ship, when you see fit.
  5. You can vacation how you want.  When you cruise alone, if you decide you want to spend your vacation on the Lido deck, by the pool reading a book every day, then you are able to do so without feeling like you are ruining someone else’s vacation.  You are only responsible for your happiness, on vacation.  When you travel alone, you don’t have the responsibility of making sure others enjoy their vacation.

Many of you may read this blog and think to yourself that one should stand strong and take a stand for the vacation they seek to have regardless if they are with a group or not.  That is easier said than done when you travel with a group.  It is a natural human reaction to feel the need to stick together as a group, dine as a group, and do activities as a group.  Sometimes you travel with people that make you feel guilty for wanting to vacation how you want to vacation.

If you cannot get people, who you travel with, to respect how you want to vacation, then the best option is to travel alone.