Originally Posted by Michelle1959
Also what is the best place to find the best deal. I'm going to try and do this one without a TA. I'm hoping to do a 7-day eastern caribbean cruise.
I find that the best singles deals can be had in two places: Go with a luxury line's 2-for-one sale ... many of them feature certain sailings as 2-for-one specials. Problem with these sailings, however, is that they are onboard luxury lines, so your base price will be much higher for the cruise. However, on the bright side, they could actually work out cheaper in the long-run if the cruise includes a lot of the things that standard cruises don't ... such as one or more free shore excursions, perhaps a free marina day, liquor, gratuities, etc. On that type of cruise, you could actually very well walk off the boat with a zero (or close to it) onboard bill for the week, where on a main stream cruise line ... yes, your cruise would have probably been cheaper, but then you might be paying $1,000 or more in onboard charges.
Your other option is to investigate the various main stream cruise lines and see what kind of single supplements they are offering. Sad to say, I've found these almost uniformly to be 200% or close to it. Unless the sailing is selling very, very poorly ... like an end of season Alaska run (where the weather may turn out to be crap), or a sailing right after the holidays when the cruise line is struggling to fill the ship, the major cruise lines have absolutely no concern for singles. Their cabins are set up to hold two people minimum, and that's what you will pay for ... two people ... whether or not you have that many in the cabin.
Now, of course, understand that I am not talking about singles rates for special groups here. I'm just talking someone booking a cruise as a single on their own. There are some travel agencies that offer special singles cruises where the single supplements may be better.
I've found in my extensive research that only Holland America routinely gives consideration to singles. They offer single supplements of anywhere from 30% to 50% to 60% on basic inside and outside staterooms. They also offer a single partner program on most sailings where you can pay one-half the double-occupancy rate for a certain class of stateroom, and the cruise line will match you with another same-sex roommate. If they can't match you, then you make out. You get the stateroom to yourself without having to pay anything additional.
As far as I know, Holland America is the only cruise line to offer so much for singles, with the exception of the luxury lines. The old QE2 has some single occupancy staterooms (in all cabin categories), but of course, as we know, that ship is going into permanent dry dock in Dubai this November.
I plan to do a more formalized survey in the next month or so all the cruise lines to get some more information about their singles programs and rates, but I have a feeling my initial findings will be about the extent of what I come up with.
Blue skies ...