As a cruise specialist, one of the questions I get asked most often is “why do single cruisers have to pay a large supplement for having a cabin to themselves”. It is also one of the most difficult questions to answer.
When the costs are calculated for each cruise, they are of course based on full occupancy of the ship. Therefore when only one person is in a cabin which would normally have two, there will be less money spent in the bars, shops and excursions, which affects the overall costs of running the ship. One counter argument to this is that one person won’t eat double the amount of food, so they shouldn’t pay double.
The supplement for sole occupancy of a double cabin can vary from 0% up to 100%. While there are no set rules, and things vary from cruise line to cruise line, it is generally better to book early. Even cruise lines which charge a 25% or 50% premium early on, will usually apply a 100% supplement to any of the late departure deals which are offered for double cabins. There will be promotional times with some companies where they offer single occupancy of a double cabin with no supplement, or perhaps just 25%. The supplement for single occupancy of a double cabin with most cruise lines can vary by ship, departure date and cabin grade, so I cannot give a definitive list, but would however be happy to check out anything for anyone with a query. It is worth noting that river cruises are often a good choice for single travellers looking for a good deal on a sole occupancy of a double cabin.
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has more single cabins on offer than any other cruise line. The good thing is that in general they are the same size as the double cabins, but are designated for sole occupancy, and they range from a single inside cabin up to a single balcony suite. While they do cost more than the ‘per person’ price in a double cabin, they are nowhere near the double occupancy rate. Bear in mind though that these cabins are popular and sell out quite quickly. Fred Olsen Cruise Lines arrange a number of activities for solo travellers, should they wish to join in, and there are also dance hosts on their ships to ensure that anyone who likes to dance, but doesn’t have a dance partner, doesn’t miss out.
Norwegian Cruise Line, also known as NCL, has a good number of single studio cabins on Norwegian Epic, and will have some on the Norwegian Breakaway when she starts in April 2013. While these are all inside cabins they are spacious, with a full sized double bed, and are in a section of the ship only accessible to the people in those cabins. A number of them are connecting, which is great if two friends want to travel together, but still have their own space. There is also a dedicated Studio Lounge available for passengers in the studio cabins.
Just You offers a range of holidays, including river cruises and ocean cruise, specifically for people travelling on their own. There are other cruise lines which have a handful of single cabins on their ships, and more are being added to new ships, and also when ships are being refitted.
I keep a list of clients who travel on their own, and whenever I see any good deals I send then details in an email newsletter. To receive these email offers, or to get more information about cruising on your own, call GoCruise with Ian on 08002922850 or 01455821770.