My husband and I were frequent ocean cruisers.
With the large ships still not operating due to COVID, we decided to try a small ship as a vacation option. We are THRILLED that we did! I knew it was a smart option when we could just pull right up to the ship without going through embarkation with thousands of other passengers. We were shown to our stateroom and were greeted with a bottle of wine and appetizers. By the first meal we met new friends. Because of the intimate environment of the ship, by the end of the week, we had dined with almost every passenger and had the opportunity to know them better then if we were just assigned a table in a large cruise restaurant setting.
There were several single travelers, including recent widow or widowers, and whatever apprehension that they had of traveling alone was quickly dispelled. It was heartwarming to see our fellow passengers look out for each other and be inclusive. NO ONE sat alone or, from what I observed, felt lonely.