Travelers all across the world enjoy going on cruises. Millions book cruises each year. So what happens if you’re sober from alcohol and want to go on a cruise where it’s typically free to drink any alcoholic drink you wish?
There are so many exciting places to travel to on a cruise line. Beautiful beaches in Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and Cabo San Lucas. Imagine sitting back and watching the sunset over the ocean. With so many fun places to go, going on a cruise and visiting different places are excellent choices for a vacation.
Did you know regular cruises offer a variety of travel options for sober travelers? If you are a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and are looking to take a sober vacation, read on to learn more about sober cruise opportunities.
How do you take a cruise sober?
Traveling to the British Isles, New Zealand, or any other beautiful location via a cruise line is always fun, but what if you were a little afraid to go on a cruise as a sober person? There are many opportunities and strategies for sober people to go on a sober cruise. These options are a way to meet new people, find a support group while traveling, and travel with other sober curious travelers. And using the following strategies makes cruising not only fun but a spiritual growth opportunity.
Sober Celebrations – Sober Cruises
The founder of Sober Celebrations, Snow P., started a cruise company that offers a great way to travel sober by taking group trips. According to their website, a “sober cruise” or a “sober vacation” is a way of identifying a trip where, as far as anyone can tell, all attendees have the primary goal of staying sober while out in the real world on vacation. Different locations may have alcohol, but at Sober Celebrations, they offer a sober holiday with other sober travelers, so you never have to be strong on your own. When we travel together, we have a safety net like no other.
Sober Celebrations offers some of the below sober activities on their cruises:
- Keynote Speakers
- 12 Step Meetings
- 24-Hour Fellowship Station
- Al-anon Meetings
- Group Shore Excursions
Are there any sober activities on a regular cruise?
Yes! There are many activities to keep you busy and having fun. And hopefully, a few new things will give you new experiences!
The pool is not just for lounging by. There are water volleyball games and other games to play in the pool.
Hit the Gym
You can work out on a cruise. Health clubs are available to improve your physical health, burn some calories, and release those endorphins.
There are plenty of restaurant choices on a cruise. You can dine casually or dress up at night. While there is alcohol served, be sure to dine with fellow sober passengers and order non-alcoholic beverages such as tea, coffee, soft drinks, or sparkling waters.
Each evening there is live music. Order sparkling water with lime or a Sprite drink mixed with fruit juices. You can also order alcohol-free beers and other non-alcoholic beverages at the bar. With these non-alcoholic drinks, it’s easy to sit back and relax with your sober community while listening to music.
Treat Yourself to a Massage
The spas on cruises are luxurious. Cruise ships offer massages, nail salons, hair salons, and more. This can be a time to get quiet and relax.
Ports of Call
Go on shore with a trusted sober friend that’s part of your support network. It’s easier to avoid alcohol and create alcohol-free trips on land. Find a meditation retreat inland to create some quiet time for yourself. If you are on your first trip, asking the cruise staff for group trips with like-minded people is especially important.
Friends of Bill W. (AA Meetings)
Although cruises are not alcohol-free vacations, the major cruise lines offer the Friends of Bill W. meetings for anyone who wishes to attend. Major cruise lines like the Princess Cruises and the Norwegian cruise line are examples of cruise lines that offer sober alternatives for sober passengers. On board, there are a variety of 12-step meetings. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on board are called Friends of Bill W.
Attending Friends of Bill W. meetings give opportunities to meet other sober friends. These friends can become sober villages that will provide you with support to make your sober cruise the best cruise experience. With sober friends aboard, it’s easier to stay sober. They may even take part in some of the activities you’d like to do. After all, cruises are about having a good time.
To find a Friends of Bill W. meeting on board, check out the daily activities board or ask tour operators to get information on where and when the Friends of Bill W. meetings take place
Challenges for Sober Singles on a Cruise
Open bars are a challenge on cruises for sober singles. A wine tasting can present a difficult choice for a newly sober person, and some cruises have daily specials on different alcoholic drinks. Dining usually includes complimentary alcoholic beverages. And there are bars around nearly every corner of the cruise ship.
Good news! There are plenty of strategies and solutions for sober people to stay sober on a cruise.
Strategies and Solutions for Sober Singles on a Cruise
If possible, bring a sober buddy with you on a cruise. With a buddy, you can keep yourself accountable for the choices you make. Traveling together creates lasting memories, and having that companionship helps keep you sober.
Plenty of non-alcoholic drinks are offered in the drink package that is part of the cruise fare on cruises. Soft drinks and fruit juices are a few examples as well as coffees and teas.
Avoid the areas where alcohol is served as much as possible. This may not be easy sometimes, so staying with your support network and planning activities with them is a good idea. When dining, tell the server you do not drink, and they will not offer any alcoholic drinks. They will remove the alcoholic drink menu for you.
Other things to do to stay sober are to hang out on your balcony and read the AA Big Book, meditate by the pool in the early morning hours, and or listen to music while you run on the track. Lean on the tools you’ve learned in recovery.
There are so many virtual opportunities now it’s easy to connect with your support group. Call your sober friends back home. You can also Facetime with them or attend Zoom recovery meetings online. Stay in touch with the people back home that know you best. They can help you navigate difficult situations.
Remember to take care of your physical health. Take a yoga class. Find out if they have group meditations. Visit the spa. Run on the track. Stay active.
Cruising is fun, and sober cruising can be even more enjoyable. Connecting with a sober community can make a sober cruise an unforgettable experience. Plan a cruise soon, and you’ll find out for yourself what all the hype is about. And be sure to check out all of the sober cruise options available.