Simple Guide to Solo Female Travel in Ship

Solo Female Travel in Ship
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More and more women are choosing to travel solo every year. While it can be an incredibly rewarding experience, safety is a valid concern for any solo female traveler. When travelling on ships and cruise liners in particular, there are special considerations that should be made for an enjoyable solo trip.

With some research, planning, and following simple safety precautions, any woman can feel comfortable and even empowered travelling alone on a cruise ship. This comprehensive guide breaks down thirteen simple rules women should follow when considering solo travel on a ship. Continue reading to learn the ins and outs of solo female ship travel.

Research Reputable Cruise Lines (Solo Female Travel in Ship)

When traveling alone, it is especially important to choose a cruise line with strict safety standards. Some key factors to investigate when researching ship lines include:

  • Staff Training: The crew should receive regular training on reporting crimes or suspicious behavior. They should know proper protocols to ensure passenger safety.
  • Security Personnel: The number of security personnel onboard relative to passengers is another key consideration. More guards results in quicker response times.
  • Safety Technology: Modern security cameras, face recognition software, locating trackers, and other tech can also enhance passenger safety.
  • Screening Processes: Thorough screening of passengers and staff during boarding can help identify potential threats or risks.
  • Missing Person Protocols: Cruise lines should have plans in place specifically for handling missing person cases efficiently.

Reputable lines like Disney, Holland America, Norwegian, Princess, and Celebrity consistently receive high marks across these criteria.

Choose a Family-Friendly Ship

Opting for ships with lots of kids, older couples, and multi-generational groups can provide a more comfortable, lower-risk environment for solo female travelers over 18+. Some great options include:

  • Disney Ships: Very family-oriented and great for first-time cruisers.
  • Holland America: Known to attract senior travelers looking for slower-paced cruising.
  • Princess Ships: Appeal to passengers of all ages with their affordable luxury.

No matter your age or interests, these types of ships offer safety in numbers for women travelling alone.

Get a Room Near Employees

When booking a room, choose a location closer to areas with more foot traffic from cruise staff and employees. Good options include:

  • Near the Elevators: Constant use means people coming and going
  • Close to Crew Rooms: Only authorized staff live in these employee areas
  • Near the Bridge: Where ship is controlled, key staff always present

Having more witnesses around makes inappropriate behavior less likely.

Pack Smartly

Pack light so you have fewer things to keep track of. But do make space for a few key personal safety items:

  • Mini Alarm: Attach to bag or wear as bracelet for loud emergency alarm
  • RFID Blocking Accessories: Protect IDs and payment info from remote scanners
  • Pepper Spray: Allowed on most ships, but double check cruise line’s policy
  • Satellite Communicator: Send SOS messages and GPS location anywhere
  • Hidden Money: Cash backup if wallet gets lost or stolen

Having backups, protective items, or distress signals nearby provides peace of mind when travelling solo.

Attend the Safety Briefing

Before departure, cruise ships conduct mandatory safety briefings covering emergency procedures, life vests, escape routes, and more. Attending demonstrates you value safety, and it is vital to know evacuation and emergency protocols.

Be sure to ask about any additional briefings for late arrivals too. Crew want passengers well-informed so everyone can have fun and feel protected.

Explore in Moderation

While exciting port adventures await ashore, avoid overdoing it when on your own. Set reasonable boundaries since no one is there looking out for you directly. Smart strategies include:

  • Research Excursions Thoroughly: Vetting guides and companies ahead helps avoid issues
  • Book Through Cruise Line: Their vetted shore excursions offer extra peace of mind
  • Set Self Check-In Times: Regular check-ins via text back to ship provide accountability
  • Travel in Most Populated Port Areas: Less isolated areas mean more people around
  • Avoid Nighttime Exploration: Doubly important when away from the ship

Following these simple limits lets you experience each destination while responsibly enjoying solo travels.

Use Code Words at Bars

If you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or threatened speaking to a stranger at a lounge or bar, using drink code words can discreetly signal to staff that you need help without angering an aggressor.

Phrase it casually like asking about a made up cocktail. Common code phrases include:

  • “What’s in an Angel Shot?”
  • “Does this place have a Safe Word drink?”
  • “Can I get an Emma?”

The bartender or server will then have security discretely walk you safely back to your room.

Keep Your Drink in Sight

Unfortunately, drink spiking remains a risk when cruising solo. Avoiding unattended beverages prevents tampering by anyone with bad intentions. Simple habits include:

  • Hold glass in hand when standing or dancing
  • Set it on a napkin rather than directly on the bar
  • Never accept opened drinks from strangers
  • Watch bartenders make fresh drinks

It only takes a few seconds for chemicals to dissolve into an unwatched cocktail. Erring on the side of caution protects against assault.

Learn Basic Self-Defense

Prep by taking a beginner self-defense course before your trip. Simple moves like palm heel strikes, elbow jabs, and knee thrusts can possibly create opportunities to escape unwanted physical advances.

Practicing builds muscle memory so your body responds automatically if unfortunately grabbed or attacked. But only use force if truly in immediate danger as legal standards differ across jurisdictions.

Share Your Itinerary

Leave a copy of your solo sailing schedule with someone trusted back home. Make sure they have:

  • Name and contact info for cruise line
  • Ports of call with dates
  • Return arrival date and location details

This makes coordination easier if an emergency arises requiring rescheduling travel arrangements.

Have Backups for Everything

When solo, you are solely responsible for yourself and your stuff. Save backups to deter theft or loss including:

  • Digital Itineraries: Email a copy to yourself as backup
  • Emergency Contacts: Carry a stored paper list just in case
  • Digital Passport Photos: Help speed replacement if yours is lost or stolen
  • Payment Backups: Have a hidden emergency credit/debit card as a reserve
  • Medication Copies: In case yours get lost or ruined

Research Women’s Clinics at Ports

Unfortunately, assault remains a risk when traveling. Researching sexual health clinics at ports of call allows discreet access to contraceptives or exams if needed following an attack.

While an extremely difficult scenario, being prepared with this information allows the quickest possible access to appropriate healthcare while abroad and solo.

Purchase Travel Insurance

Comprehensive travel insurance policies help solo travelers handle emergencies more easily by providing:

  • 24/7 Emergency Hotlines: Quick access to assistance for any dangerous or stressful situation
  • Coordinating with Law Enforcement: Help interfacing with police if a crime occurs
  • Travel Delay Reimbursements: Critical when handling issues alone
  • Medical Evacuations: Transport to proper healthcare back home if injured

While hopefully never needed, having this backup safety net provides comfort and support.

Trust Your Instincts

If a place, person, or situation starts raising red flags, trust your gut and remove yourself if possible. Do not feel pressured to be overly polite or engaged when uncomfortable or unsafe vibes arise. Common warning signs include:

  • Pushy Salespeople: Get too close, won’t take no for an answer
  • Secluded Areas: Stay in populated places
  • Stranger Danger: Feeling like someone is following you

Your safety comes first. Pay attention to those initial discomfort signals from your intuition and exit any scenario causing them immediately when reasonably possible.

Key Comparisons: Top Cruise Lines for Solo Female Travelers

Cruise LineSafety FeaturesTraveler ProfileGood for Solo Women?
DisneyHigh security standards family focusVery family-friendly Lots of kids/teensYes Great solo option
Holland AmericaAbove average safety crew trainingMostly seniors older couplesYes Slow pace good for new solo cruisers
NorwegianAverage security some advanced techYounger adults more drinking & nightlifeSometimes Depends on ship/itinerary
PrincessSlightly above average securityWide appeal across ages interestsYes Affordable balanced vibe
CelebrityAverage security & safetyTrendy aiming for modern luxurySometimes More couples less singles focus

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Solo Female Travel on Ships

Is it safe for a woman to travel on a cruise ship alone?

It can be very safe if you take proper precautions. Choosing a reputable cruise line, remaining in populated areas of the ship, taking self-defense classes, and following personal safety best practices makes solo cruise travel very manageable.

What security features should I look for in a cruise line?

Prioritize cruise lines emphasizing security personnel numbers, extensive staff training programs, cutting-edge technology like facial recognition or trackers, thorough passenger screening, and clear missing person protocols.

What areas of a cruise ship are safest?

Stick to busy areas like near elevators, crew rooms, the bridge, entertainment venues, retail shops and restaurants. Being around more people enhances safety through witnesses and faster emergency response.

Should I purchase travel insurance if cruising alone?

Absolutely! Travel insurance provides vital emergency support services from coordinating with law enforcement to medical evacuations. Key for handling issues when travelling solo without a companion to depend on.

What self-defense items can I bring?

Most cruise lines allow small pepper spray containers in carry on bags. Some forbid large cans. Check your cruise line’s website under the FAQ or guest conduct policy for specifics. Other smart defense tools include mini personal alarms and an emergency satellite communicator.

Advertorial: This post contains sponsored content, advertisements, or affiliate links. Read our full advertorial disclosure here.

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