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For lone travellers, there’s no time to feel lonely on a cruise ship. Relaxation, fun and friendship are what cruises are all about! The chances are that you’ll come away from your cruise with a whole list of new friends without even trying. But if you’re concerned, here are seven tips to help.

1. Book the right cruise

The type of cruise you book will determine your chances of making friends. Take a family cruise. Families have enough people to talk to within their own party and generally won’t actively be looking to make new friends. That’s not to say you can’t make friends on family cruise, just that the chances are slimmer than, say, a singles cruise. Even if you’re not looking for love, on a singles cruise, people are more open to meeting people and it can be a great place to make lasting friendships.

2. Book the right ship

The same goes for the ship’s size. If you book a trip on a smaller ship, with fewer than 1,000 passengers, you will generally see the same people around the ship. The more people there are on the ship, the more difficult it becomes to form a connection. Also, if you sign up for a longer cruise, you have more time to form a friendship.

3. Get involved in onboard activities

Shuffleboard, karaoke, cooking classes, wine tastings, talent shows; sign up for those onboard activities that appeal to you. This is a great way to meet likeminded people who enjoy the same things as you and easily get the conversation flowing. The more activities you take part in, the more friends you will make!

4. Dine with the masses

What better way to get the conversation going than over a good meal and glass of wine? When you dine in the main dining room, seating is often mixed so you can meet new people at every meal. Or you can sit with the same people every night, with is ideal if you want to make lasting friendships. Chances are you will be seated with people you’d never otherwise have spoken to. Let the stories begin…

5. Never dine alone

If you find yourself in the buffet dining room at lunch, join a table with other people. If you spot someone sitting alone, they would probably welcome the conversation.

6. Hang out

There are lots of places in the ship that are designed for socialising, such as bars, lounges and deck areas. Find those areas that attract the kind of people you would like to get to know. When you see familiar faces, why not approach them for a chat? Better yet, choose a random person and start a conversation. You’ll be surprised how open they are.

7. Smile and be happy

People are naturally drawn to those people who are friendly and positive. This doesn’t mean you have to be the loudest person on the deck, but it helps to be open to new conversations and opportunities for friendship. There’s always one thing you have in common and that’s the cruise itself!