This week Anthony Nicholas gets to grips with the pitfalls of looking for cruises for singles and solo travellers.
The cost of single cabins is one of the biggest bugbears in the entire cruise industry. Supplements for sole occupancy of a cabin can range from the reasonable to the truly eye watering. But there are deals out there, and some lines are now even reverting to installing single cabins. In one or two cases, they are even being retrofitted into older tonnage.
P&O’s Azura installed a number of single cabins when first built, and these have proved so popular that some will soon be added to sister ship, Ventura. Oriana also had a handful of singles shoe horned into her recently.
Even Royal Caribbean are finally getting in on this; some of their older Vision class ships now also incorporate singles as part of their mid life extension refits. But the real game changer was Norwegian.
While some design aspects of Norwegian Epic were maligned, there is no question that the complex of ‘studio’ cabins for singles has been a huge success. So much so that the new Breakaway will incorporate something similar. This ship will debut on the New York to Bermuda run next summer. Hawaii-based Pride of America will also get a quartet of studio cabins next March.
The problem is that all of these rooms are inside and, invariably, they are only slightly larger than a pygmy’s postage stamp. Functional, but fine for purpose. But what if you want more space and choice?
Some solo supplements are almost coronary inducing. But in the mainstream, the likes of Costa and, more especially MSC, have very reasonable single supplements of around thirty per cent. On some sailings, these are waived altogether. Longer, repositioning cruises tend to be very good value. if you have the time to spend a week or so art sea, then your ship might well have come in.
In the luxury market, newly all-inclusive Crystal Cruises has some voyages where the solo supplement starts at around ten per cent; a marketing track matched by rivals such as Regent and Silversea. Here you do get superlative accommodation and service and, if the on board ambience and comfort level is more important than the actual destinations, then this is another avenue worth exploring.
Watch out for more single cabins sprouting on older ships. Cruise lines are waking up to the fact that singles now comprise around twenty five per cent of the cruise market. That’s a financial windfall that no savvy operator worth his salt can really afford to ignore.
If you’re a solo traveller and thinking about a cruise holiday, please give our team a call on 0800 008 6677 for our latest singles’ cruise deals. Alternatively you can view a selection of the best singles cruises here.
3 Great Single Cruise Offers
P&O Cruises – Canaries and Morocco: 30th January 2013 (12 nights): £1188pp – LOW SINGLE SUPPLEMENT Click here
Hapag-Lloyd – Land of Maori: 4th March 2013 (14 nights): £5100pp – NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT Click here
Holland America – Eastern Caribbean: 7th April 2013 (7 nights): £688pp – 50% SINGLE SUPPLEMENT Click here
Are you a solo traveller? How easy to you find it to find the right sailing at the right price? Leave your thoughts in the comments below…