Originally Posted by Barbara1
Some friends invited my husband and I to go on a cruise with Holland America in April. My husband says he doesn't want to fly 8hrs to Athens where the cruise begins. I phoned HA and inquired about this cruise, but refused to give a name or any information, since it was not relevant at this time. They said it would be almost double if I went alone in a cabin. It is so good to know that I should not sign up myself and later add a companion if I can find a friend to go with. The bottom line is they will get double no matter what.
This is normal for most cruise lines, not just Holland America.
The advertised price consists of two fares; the cruise fare and the port fees (aka non-commissionable fees). When traveling alone, all cruise lines will add a single supplement - usually double the cruise fare, what we call a 200% supplement. Sometimes specials will be offered whereby the single rate may be 150% or 125%. In the past, we would even get specials that had it as 100%, but that doesn't happen much anymore.
Now here's the thing; the port fees should only be included once for a single because that's what they pay. However, alot of cruise lines will double the port fees just to make extra profit, which is unfair to the single traveler. Personally, I think this ought to be outlawed.
To show how this works, as an example, NCL will charge the port fees once to a single booking one of their special single cabins on the Epic. But if a single books any other cabin, then they are charged the port fees twice, even though the ports charge based on the number of people on the ship, not for the number of berths.
So, when a single books one of these cruises, they are, in affect, paying double for the cruise fare and the port fees, but not for the taxes. If you were to book a single rate and then later add another person, the only difference would be the extra taxes. There are no fees for adding a second person, so the initial post does not tell the true story on how all this works.
This is why it pays to use a good travel agent who can not only explain all this to you, but can be of tremendous help should any problems arise. If you book directly with the cruise line and have problems, who do you think they represent? Plus, all advertised rates are based on double occupancy. Your agent call check to see who's offering the best overall rate for a single and it may not be the one that showed the cheapest rate for two people.