Let me add something that I have noticed.
Like the previous post, I cruise solo most times. I prefer Carnival because I could book their lowest category (inside 1A) for 150% or less of the double occupate rate to book the next higher catergory (also inside).
I have noticed that Carnival is no longer selling Cat 1A cabins in the number that they did before. In the past, once the 10 or so Cat 1A cabins were booked on a ship Carnival would continue to offer Cat 1A rates on a guaranteed cabin basis which means you take what they give you for the lower Cat 1A rate.
Two things are at play here. One, after many many years, Carnival has recently lost to RCCL, their brilliant VP of sales (Vicki Freeman?). The change in command is at work with their decision to discourage this solo cabin affordability. The second is that Carnival is now (probably for reason 1) viewing Cat 1A Guarantee cabins that are booked by a solo cruiser as loss revenue.
The problem with this decision is that it is easier to get a solo traveller to purchase a last minute cruise. Solo cruisers tend to book more ship excursions and spend less time in their cabin thereby running up their sale and sign on drinks, bingo, casino, etc. They were one of the few cruiselines that offered this type of price break to solos. I guess the new powers-that-be do not feel that the higher sail & sign charges offset losing 50% of the cost of an inside cabin.
As a result of this new policy, while in the last 5 years or so, I took approximately 3 cruises each year, I will probably not be cruising as much and when I do, Carnival no longer has the incentive that always sent me sailing on their ships. With their new pricing policy, a 7 night cruise will cost a solo approximately $1,500 just for the cabin. (I have one last cruise booked for next week and for the last 3 months, the lowest cost for a solo has been $1,698, plus tax, fuel, port charges)
For $1,500 my vacation options are greatly increased and no one company or vacation style has an edge. I can do an all-inclusive solo on a tropical island for $1,500. I can do any of the mass market cruiselines for $1,500. I can combine my three cruises into one and do an amazing vacation to some far off exotic location like Africa, Turkey, China, etc.
I will sit back and see if they rethink their decision to eliminate Cat 1A cabins and the financial incentive they offer to solo cruisers. This is good timing for me because after so many cruises (15+), cruising has started to lose its shine to me and maybe it is time to expand my vacation/travel repertoire.
(cruzin' solo by design)
Freedom ('09), Imagination ('08), Victory ('08), Destiny ('08), RCCL Navigator ('08), RCCL Majesty ('08), Glory ('07), Liberty ('07), Fantasy ('07), Destiny ('06), NCL PofAm ('05), Fascination ('04), Victory ('04), Fascination ('04), RCCL Voyager ('03), Fantasy ('99)