Avoiding the Dreaded Single Supplement (Part 2)

| July 20, 2009

Single cruisers, don't you just hate single supplements? Well here's a few ideas to help you avoid, or at least minimize them.

SINGLE CRUISER BOOKING OPTIONS There are still ways to get a deal on a single cabin, however, so don't give up without trying the few tricks we have listed below.

The Rare "Single Cabin" It is still possible to find the rare cabin designed for one person. Some of the niche cruise lines operating "expedition" type vessels have a few solo cabins onboard. Holland America's ms Prisendam, the oldest ship in the line's fleet, has a few solo cabins onboard. Few people know about these, but if you book early you can often snag one.

Consider a Cruise Line Cabin Share If you use a cruise line's matching program, you're limited to the few cruise lines that even offer such a program (most of them don't), and you're also restricted as to cabin category. Most share programs only offer cabin mate pairings in basic inside or oceanview cabins. The cruise line doesn't care if your sleeping habits are different, if one of you is 30 years older than the other, or if one has habits that may make a bad fit for the other.

It is true that some cruise line arranged cabin shares turn into horrific nightmares, but many form the basis of lasting friendships as well. And, let's face it -- for a shorter cruise, isn't it worth it to take the risk and save a substantial amount of money in the bargain?

In addition to cruise lines that offer a share program, there are other ways to set up a cabin share that is even more likely to work out.

Online Cruise Companion Finders Instead of using the cruise lines' share programs, there are many internet and cruise message boards today that will help you set up your own share arrangements. Right here on CruiseMates we have a message board called Seeking Cruise Companion, where members can search for cabin mates on a wide variety of cruises. If you've already got a cruise in mind, you can post it in detail, or you can respond to someone else who has posted a cruise that looks interesting to you.

The nice thing about finding your own cruise companion online is that you have more options as to cabin category, ship and cruise line. Even more important, when you search for a cabin mate online you have the opportunity to get to know the potential share to see if the two of you would make a good fit.

Start with email and then proceed to the telephone. Discuss what each of you are looking for and what you expect from the other person. For example, if one of you is looking for a buddy to share activities onboard, while the other is just looking to share a cabin to save money, you are probably not a good fit.

In addition, both singles should agree on a set of ground rules before the cruise starts. For example, certain hours of the night should be considered quiet time and if one of you comes in late, the lights stay off and they move about the cabin quietly. And, what about bringing others back to the cabin? Are you both on the same page with regard to overnight "guests?" Believe me, such unexpected circumstances can boil over into a huge conflict once onboard.

If you have all these issues ironed out in advance, and you trust your future cabin mate will honor them, you will reduce the potential of a share arrangement going bad and possibly ruining the cruise for both of you.

Continue Article >> Consider a Hosted Singles Cruise (Part 3)

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