Best Cruise Lines for Solo Cruising
It’s a fact– the price that you see for a cruise ship cabin is typically based on double occupancy. That means the price you are seeing is the cost of a cruise assuming that two people will be staying in a room, each paying the stated price. Essentially, if you want to travel alone, and have your own room…you pay double. More specifically you pay the Cruise/Port costs times 2, but the taxes and gratuities times 1.
The good news, solo cruising is on the rise and many cruise lines have added new features and accommodations for the solo traveler. Several cruise lines are including solo cabins and many are offering no or low single supplements for solo travelers.
What is a “single supplement?”
A single supplement is a surcharge to recover revenue lost when a solo traveler occupies a room that could accommodate two guests. These single supplements (that amount added to the stated per person price) can range anywhere from not having to pay extra at all to 100 percent of the cruise and port fees for the second person who’s not occupying the stateroom. That’s where our advisors at CruiseExperts.com can really help; we want our solo clientele to pay the best price possible with the best accommodations! We will put our expertise to work to for you finding the lowest supplements and best accommodations to ensure all of your travel needs!
Choosing a Cruise Line and Ship
The best part about being a solo cruiser is that you have your own private space to retreat to but still get to take part in all the exciting activities offered on board if you want. What you do or don’t do is completely up to you. You don’t have to consult with anyone, you’re in complete control. Proverbially speaking, who doesn’t like being the captain of their own ship!
That being said, depending upon your own desires you may want to have a ship size in mind. If you want the opportunity to meet new people, a smaller cruise ship may be a better choice. I know that may sound counterproductive; but, contrary to popular belief the smaller ships often give cruisers a better chance of getting to know other cruisers on a personal level. It’s kind of like going to your local town carnival verses Disney World or Universal Studios. You’re more likely to see the same people and have a one on one conversation at your smaller local venue than you are at one of the major amusement parks.
Holland America Line: Holland America has been catering to the solo cruiser for decades. One of their favorite features for solo cruisers is their Single Partner’s Program. This program is available on several of their voyages and will match you with a roommate of the same gender. You are guaranteed the double-occupancy (single person) rate even if a partner cannot be found. Other fun features onboard Holland America include a singles meet and greet cocktail mixer, and on voyages longer than 30 days, gentleman hosts are available for dancing. Many of their other onboard activities give solo cruisers a chance to mingle together; enabling new friendships to blossom that could last a lifetime!
Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line offers studio cabins so that solo cruisers aren’t forced to share a cabin or pay the extra single supplement. They started this trend with the Norwegian Epic, featuring 128 studio cabins priced for solo cruisers. It was such a huge hit for solo cruisers they have added more! They’ve already added 59 studio cabins on the Breakaway and the Getaway and 82 new studio cabins on the Escape. Don’t fret, they didn’t forget about their Hawaii clientele, they also added a few studio cabins on the Pride of America. While they are all inside cabins, you have access to an exclusive lounge for solo cruisers only, a full-size bed, flat-screen TV, and private bathroom. Although they are inside staterooms, they each have a window that looks out onto the corridor. Exclusive access to a shared social space called the Studio Lounge is also included, with large-screen TV’s, coffee-making facilities and a bartender during certain hours.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line: Speaking of cruise lines that are changing with the times, Royal Caribbean is on the fast track. They have added 28 studio staterooms to both the Quantum of the Seas and the Anthem of the Seas. What’s really exciting is 16 of the 28 staterooms feature Royal Caribbean’s virtual balconies. This is an industry first, introducing floor to ceiling live projection screens of the ocean and ports. Royal Caribbean also has their upgraded studios with 55 square foot open balconies! Royal Caribbean studios have zero supplements. There is a full 100% single supplement charge for rooms not dedicated for solo cruisers, but when booking closer to the sail date you might be able to get a solo-friendly price.
Princess Cruise Line: Princess features their Match Program. This program is dedicated to finding a solo cruiser a same sex roommate so that solo cruisers can pay the published double occupancy rate, the same as an individual would pay. It’s important to book more than 70 days in advance if you want this program and it’s only offered on select cruises. However, on these select cruises you will find private singles cocktail parties and mixers, with complimentary cocktails. Organized solo activities with a dedicated singles host, and even solos only dining.
Cunard Cruise Line: Cunard ships have attracted solo cruisers for a long time, due to its traditional ocean liners design and the sociable onboard atmosphere. Solos can easily make friends with their shipmates on Cunard, and solos are generally placed at dining tables with other solo travelers. The typical solo taveler will pay an extra of 100 percent for Queens and Princess Suites, and 175 percent for inside, oceanview and balcony cabins. However, since 2014 Cunard has been adding studio cabins onboard their ships as well to accommodate the growing needs of the solo cruiser. Occasionally they will offer additional discounts to solo cruisers.
Silversea Cruises: Even though Silversea Cruise Line does not offer “single” cabins, their cruise line has a large portion of solo cruisers. On an average sailing you will find that approximately 10% of the cruisers onboard are cruising solo. This is above average as an industry norm. If you book early enough or sail with certain offers you will find that with Silversea the solo traveler can sail alone without a huge penalty. Average solo fares are 25 to 75 percent above the single double-occupancy rate. Due to the smaller number of passengers, singles find it easier to feel at home. A cocktail reception onboard always draws a large number of solos, and male Social Ambassadors are available as dance partners and shore excursion escorts.
Crystal Cruises: Another very popular cruise line for singles is Crystal Cruises. A typical sailing might have on average up to 20-25% of their passengers traveling solo. If you plan ahead you can find cruises through Crystal featuring single supplements as low as 10%. Most solo cruisers love Crystal because of their unique dinning system for solo passengers. They provide a set-seating dining policy that will ensure you’re sitting with the same people every evening. Furthermore, Crystal offers several seminars onboard that cater to learning, which solo cruisers tend to really enjoy. You can take a language class, astronomy course, or even an acting workshop with your fellow cruisers!
These are just a few of our top favorites for solo cruising. Discounted single supplements and special solo cruising features can often be found on almost every cruise line. At CruiseExperts.com, we can find you the best deal if you’re traveling solo or simply prefer your own stateroom.
Contact us to learn more
If you have any questions on single supplements, please call us. We can help you find the best deal and show you how to save you money when traveling by yourself. Our experienced agents at CruiseExperts.com can provide you with all the information you need and answer any questions you have. We can also help you plan your dream vacation to the destination of your choice. From Alaskan cruises to European river cruises, we are the experts. Call us at 1-888-804-CRUIse(2784) or visit our website, www.CruiseExperts.com.
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Kimberly Wheeler joined the team at CruiseExperts.com in September 2014. Her role as a Social Media Marketer is to pass on the expertise of the agency to help travelers understand the world of cruising through blogging. Kimberly has an extensive background in Public Relations and Marketing and a passion for engaging the public. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication and Journalism with an option in Public Relations from Fresno State University in May 2014.