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Cruising Alone

Tips for solo travellers

An on-going complaint about cruising vacations has been from solo cruisers; people travelling alone. Solo cruisers pay double the cruise fare most of the time because cruise lines base their costs on double-occupancy. That does not mean that solo cruisers just have to resign themselves to either paying double or forgetting about going on a cruise. Things are changing and there are steps the solo traveller can take to get the best possible value.

The good news is 2010 may have been a banner year for solo cruisers. P&O Cruises' Azura debuted in April 2010 with 18 dedicated single cabins, a first for the U.K.-based line. But, the real story is Norwegian Epic -- 2010's massive NCL new-build. The ship features 128 cabins designated for solo travelers. The so-called "studio cabins" are 100-square-foot accommodations with full-size beds and separate areas for the bathrooms, sinks and showers. Studio passengers also get an exclusive, shared social space called the Studios Lounge, featuring a bar, two large TV screens and a concierge for booking dinner reservations and shore excursions. All 128 of the studio cabins will be priced for single occupancy. 

But other than that bold move by Norwegian and P & O, we've just heard some rumblings that Royal Caribbean maybe slapping a few single cabins on some of the older ships during drydock.                       

  • Buy way far in advance. That's always a good idea. You get the best selection of cabins and often the best price too.
  • Consider bringing a friend. I know, that's the easy answer but maybe it’s time to really seriously consider it. A relative, someone from the office, a neighbour, maybe someone you know who did something nice for someone else and deserves recognition.
  • Look at it differently. Instead of "Oh no, I don't have anyone to travel with!", try   "Yes! I am going all by myself and can do whatever I want to, without regard for others". You don't have to be concerned about who's turn it is to use the shower, where you will put your stuff in the cabin and what shore excursions "you both" or "all of you" would like.

There is no one single tool or idea that will make the cruise world totally fair for solo travellers. But by taking another look at the whole process, from booking to sailing, and by being actively involved along with your travel expert, solo cruising can be a rich and rewarding experience.


 Relaxing & a catch-up