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I'm happily married but ditch my husband to go cruising. It might be strange, but it works for us

Allie Carnival Mardi Gras

Cruising is the perfect vacation choice for travelers of any age. This is one of the many reasons that cruising is becoming so popular, along with affordable cruise fares, exciting destinations, and bigger ships than ever.

I’ve been cruising for as long as I can remember, starting around the age of ten. Over the last two decades, I’ve cruised more than 40 times on sailings around the world. During college, I even lived on a ship for an entire semester while studying abroad. I've visited 60 countries around the world, mostly by cruise ship! 

Needless to say, cruising is my preferred style of vacation regardless of where I am traveling or who I am traveling with.


While marriage usually means settling down, this has been far from the truth for me. I am happily married to my husband of six years - whom I’ve known for the last ten years - and I am traveling now more than ever. In fact, most of my cruises have been without my husband!

Some might call it unconventional while others might say this is a cause for concern. One thing I’ve learned about marriage in my 29 years of life is that everyone’s marriage looks different. What works for one couple would doom another.

It might not be normal to cruise frequently without your spouse, but it works for us. Here’s why I typically ditch my husband to go cruising - and why you should consider doing it too.

Even though I cruise frequently sans my husband, this doesn't mean I prefer cruising without him


In fact, quite the contrary!

My husband is my favorite travel buddy and we love cruising together. Dating back to college, we embarked on our first spring break cruise on Carnival Fantasy. That sealed the deal for him! We’ve cruised around the world together, including destinations across Asia and Europe. Engagement, honeymoon, and anniversaries have been celebrated onboard cruise ships around the world.

Each year, we plan to take one big vacation together onboard a cruise. Last year, we sailed to Iceland from Amsterdam while the year prior brought us to the Canary Islands, Spain, and Portugal. This summer, we are planning a highly-anticipated cruise to Norway and Belgium.


Because we don’t have children - other than two lovable pups - we have more disposable income to spend on traveling. We also don’t have the responsibility of caring for children yet, allowing us to prioritize travel during this season of life. 

Unfortunately, my husband lacks the same flexibility that I have when it comes to traveling


Although my husband and I are both hard workers and gainfully employed, he has far less flexibility than I do when it comes to taking time off work. As a military pilot, his schedule is chaotic and unpredictable. He must receive prior approval to do any kind of traveling, meaning last-minute trips are usually off the table.

Between training, deployments, and required work trips, he is unavailable most of the time for traveling. On the other hand, I work remotely with multiple part-time jobs that provide me with an abundance of flexibility. Because of this, we can usually only take one cruise together each year, often planned far in advance.

He is especially unable to take longer itineraries (my favorite) because of limited vacation time. He's required to take a vacation even on the weekends when he is away from our home! Considering we live across the country from family, his vacation time has to be spent visiting our hometowns for holidays, birthdays, and weddings. 

On the flip side, I do not have to take allocated PTO for traveling or cruising. However, I do make an effort to space out my travels to ensure I can get my work done. I don't want to be constantly away from the office, and - shocker - I do need money to travel!

Read more: I'm 28 and spent $20,000 on cruising in the last year. Here's why I don't regret blowing the budget

As an avid cruiser and global traveler, I simply want to travel more than once each year

Grandeur of the Seas

Cruising is more than a vacation for me - it’s one of the ways I find fulfillment and joy in life. It has also become work for me as a freelance writer. I love experiencing new cultures and countries around the world. Simply put, I want to cruise more than once each year and I refuse to wait around for my husband’s military commitments to subside.

It’s not uncommon for people to travel only once each year for a family vacation; in fact, this was how I grew up in my own family between the demands of school and sports. Since I graduated college and started working full-time, I was able to afford cruising more than once a year.

Before getting married, my husband and I traveled frequently before his military commitments began. Once my husband started working active duty, our ability to cruise shifted drastically.

Jewel of the Seas

Even still, I pride myself on being independent and self-sufficient in my marriage. My husband doesn’t want to hold me back from pursuing my own interests, nor would I want to hold him back from doing what he loves. Because he doesn’t have the same flexibility that I do, he encourages me to do what makes me happy.

I have my own travel bucket list, including destinations that my husband has little interest or ability to visit


Since my husband is a military pilot, he has already been to many destinations around the world - some that most people could only dream of visiting. He’s also visited countries on my bucket list that he has no desire to return to.

Finally, the military has to approve any of his travel. As you can imagine, certain countries are off-limits for service members to visit due to security risks. Itineraries might include visits to certain countries that require special approval or are simply forbidden for leisure travel. There is not only a lack of flexibility, but also a lack of freedom for my husband to travel with me.

Selfie on Safari

For example, taking an African safari cruise was always on my bucket list and my husband said he has no interest in this kind of cruise. In addition, one of the ports on the itinerary required special approval. So, I ended up booking a 12-night cruise to South Africa with one of my best friends, and we had an incredible adventure together!

Cruising without my husband allows me to spend quality time traveling with my friends and family

Family Photo

I’m fortunate to have incredible friends and family, many of whom love to travel as well. I learned my love of cruising from my parents - and I’ve sailed many times with my parents and sister in recent years.

Last year, I sailed to the Holy Land with my parents. This was a bucket-list trip for my dad and one we rescheduled for years due to the pandemic. Since my husband had a work trip already scheduled - and he was unable to visit two of the ports - I opted to travel without him. Although I wished he could have come, I am glad I didn’t miss this precious opportunity with my family.

Family Photo

Similarly, I love to cruise with friends as a means to catch up and spend quality time together. Many of my friends love to cruise, so it works well to plan cruises that align with our schedules. For instance, I sailed on two European cruises with Hayley - fellow Cruise Blog writer - last year. We had epic adventures visiting the United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, and Portugal together!

Read more: I flew standby to Europe for a cheap cruise and I would never do it again - here's why

Standby Trip

Finally, I plan most of my cruises during the periods when my husband is deployed or away from home. Since he is already gone too much, I prefer to travel while he is also on the road (or in the sky!). Cruising during his last two deployments gave me something to look forward to and helped the time pass quickly. I cruised on six different sailings during his most recent deployment!

It’s more affordable to cruise without my husband, as I have more flexibility and only pay for my share of the cost


Since I cruise often, I always try to save money whenever possible. I usually book the cheapest cabin available, as long as my travel buddy is on the same page. Being frugal with my travels allows me to cruise more often.

When I cruise without my husband, I have more flexibility in choosing which cruise itinerary to book. I am not subject to his schedule - this is key to snagging a great cruise price! On the other hand, when we cruise together, I am restricted by his schedule to itineraries that align with his work responsibilities.

For instance, Hayley and I sailed on a British Isles cruise in late October. Since this was off-season, it was only $1,500 per person for the cruise - including international airfare! My husband was away for training, so I would have missed this opportunity had I waited for him to be available.

Read more: 16 tips to not waste money on your first cruise

NCL star

Cruising with friends or family not only allows me to spend quality time with loved ones, but it also helps me spend less money overall. Only having to pay for my share of a cruise vacation is inherently cheaper than my husband and I paying for the trip entirely.

Read more: I always stay in an inside cabin on a cruise ship. Here's why I actually like these rooms

There is nothing wrong with the concept of traveling without your significant other


Although I would love to travel everywhere with my husband, it’s not realistic for us. Just as I support his endeavors, he is supportive of me cruising without him. Being each other's cheerleader is how we keep our relationship strong - and it allows us to each have some independent time doing what we want.

I’ve never felt a stigma about cruising without my husband. In fact, I’ve met other married travelers who have to ditch their significant other for the same reasons. Whether it’s work or different travel styles, it’s not uncommon to find married cruisers without their spouse. In particular, longer itineraries can be difficult for those with work obligations.

Some might even prefer to solo travel as a way to recharge, relax, and disconnect. While I don’t necessarily want to cruise alone, I cherish the cruises I can take with friends and family.

Life won’t be like this forever, so I am enjoying the ability to take my bucket-list cruises


Being able to cruise frequently, even without my husband, is a very fun season of life. This year alone, I’ve already visited four new countries throughout Africa and Europe. I feel great fulfillment being able to see the world, as it broadens my horizons. Not to mention, I love working as a freelance writer and sharing my cruise experiences. 

I realize once my husband and I have children in the future that this chapter of constant cruising will come to an end. Ditching your husband to cruise is one thing, but being an absent parent to continue frequent cruising isn’t a goal of mine!

Until then, I look forward to taking a few more bucket list cruises - both with and without my husband. In particular, I look forward to precious memories that I’ll make with my parents and sister as they book their own bucket list cruises in the near future.

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