I love sailing on classic liners, but prices are too high for one person to go alone who is on a budget. I search and search for the best price to get on one of these smaller budget liners, but prices are always over $1,000.00 for a single when as a double it would be $500.00. I took a seven day on the Rembrandt (my first cruise) alone in May and I am totally hooked!!
I am not looking to have romances or "meet" other singles for relationships on board, just to go to sea economically. I enjoy meeting new people, but that is not the reason I am posting. I would like to know about any cruises that can be had for a single under a thousand dollars or how to get a roomate who would be the best fit, seeing that you never meet until you go onboard...sort of like college...oy.
Would appreciate any info. I am one of those people who could be on the sea, on the promenade, gazing out at the sea forever...you know the type.
Like you, I just went on my first cruise--to Alaska. Mine was for two weeks aboard the Universe Explorer, an older ship that usually does semester at sea programs. We visited many ports and had an extensive lecture program on our days at sea. One of the reasons I took this trip was that they waived the single supplement (I went from late May to early June, one of the first cruises of the season).
I figure, as the market gets flooded with more and more ships, the cruise companies may be willing to waive these supplements (or at least reduce them) during the slower cruising season. At least this is what I'm hoping.
I live in CA but travel to NY to visit my family. I was thinking about doing a 7 day cruise on the Rembrandt maybe this fall or next spring or fall. I like the idea of sailing on a classic oceanliner and I've read that the Rembrandt is one of the best.
Any information you'd like to share with me would be greatly appreciated.
Faith at email@example.com
I appreciated your insight about cruising as a single. I enjoyed my first cruise--to Alaska but, at times, I did feel like a single on Noah's Ark. Next time I might try hooking up with others.
My ?s are:
What's the best way to find budget type cruises?
What type of ships attract the over 40 crowd?
Cabin sharing--Do most lines do this? What's your experience?
I called cruise.com about a September sailing for the Regal Express and the rate for singles and doubles was the same. Do lines do this in the off season?
Hi, Ralph: It stinks doesn't it? I have sailed solo quite often.. and have had to bite the bullet. I find that if I sail during the slower months, many mass-market lines will reduce the single supplements from 200 to 150. Not great, but at least it is something.
On their longer cruises, Orient Cruise Lines offers reduced single supplements. At times Crystal will only charge 110%. You have to shop all the time. Sometimes when I do the math, it is actually cheaper for me to sail with the luxury lines rather than HAL or Princess my preferred lines.
I just booked myself on the Galaxy ship for a transatlantic cruise April 2001. It is my first cruise and I am going by myself. I have to admit to being a little nervous about it. Is this a good cruise to go on? What would you recommend as alternatives?
Hi Lori: Wow a translatlantic for the first cruise. I hope it turns out that you like cruising.
Seriously, a transatlantic would not be my choice for a first cruise. Cruising is not for everybody. I think for a first cruise, I would pick the Caribbean..... eastern for shoppers, western for active types and southern for those who like port-intensive trips.
Pat is on a cruise! (where else would she be?) So I will try to fill in...
> What's the best way to find budget type cruises?
The best way is to look around CruiseMates, look at the ads, the classified ads page and put a post in "Bargain Finder"
> What type of ships attract the over 40 crowd?
If you are referring to singles there is a lot of stratification. Carnival has a high number of singles, but they tend to be younger. However, there will be singles of all ages on the larger ships.
When you get to an older age demographic, say 60, you will find more singles on Crystal and even Silverseas because of their very reasonable singles' rates.
Other ships tend to attract the over 40 crowd, like Princess and Holland America, but I'm a little doubtful about how many singles there will be aboard.
I wouls suggest looking for singles cruise groups sponsored by different travel agents. There is a list of them in our singles area.
> Cabin sharing--Do most lines do this? What's your experience?
Carnival, Celebrity and Cunard do it. Commodore and Costa do it on select sailings. There are good experiences and bad ones - it's the luck of the draw. I think it is better if you can at least get to know someone a little before you sail with them.
American Cruise Lines, American Hawaii and Cunard have singles cabins.
> I called cruise.com about a September sailing for the Regal
> Express and the rate for singles and doubles was the same. Do
> lines do this in the off season?
Most lines do not vary their policies according to season.
Most of the major cruise lines offer a "guaranteed share" program for single travellers. Generally, you pay the standard (double occupancy) fare and allow the line to match you with another solo traveller of the same sex. If the line does not find a match, you get the cabin to yourself.
I'm a bit leary of playing "Russian roulette" with a roommate situation (though a friend does it regularly and never has had any problems), but I have done very well by booking relatively late on ships that are nowhere near full. While the fare for single occupancy might be twice the best fare for double occupancy, it probably still is less than the discounted fare published in the brochure and the odds of upgrades are very high. On my second cruise aboard MV Sun Princess, for example, I received an upgrade from an inside cabin to an outside cabin with a balcony -- about seventeen categories! Best of all, the service is inherently more efficient when the ship is not very full because the staff has less to do.
Most of the time, I tend to book whichever itinerary has the best fare on one of the better lines. So far, I have taken five cruises, all with Princess, but I also would consider either Celebrity or Royal Caribbean International. Most lines offer great bargains on ships that are not full within the last three months or so prior to the date of the cruise. About two weeks ago, I booked single passage for ten days aboard MV Sun Princess for the Eastbound "Classic Panama Canal" itinerary departing from San Jose, Costa Rica, on 30 October and ending at San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 09 November, for $1429, including all taxes and airport transfers at both ends (but not the flights). That's a pretty good deal for single occupancy!
Most of the major cruise lines do offer a "guaranteed share" program in which you pay the normal double occupancy fare in exchange for allowing the line to match you with a roommate of the same sex. I personally am leery of playing "Russian roulette" with a roomate situation (which is why I pay the supplement for single occupancy), but I have a friend who books guaranteed shares regularly and has been very satisfied with that arrangement. If you want to book this a guaranteed share, you probably will find the best deal on a vessel that has another passenger who booked a guaranteed share and does not yet have a roommate assigned.
Finally, bear in mind that the lowest fare is not necessarily the best deal. A premium line might provide some items or services on a complementary basis for which the "budget" lines might charge extra. You probably also will notice the difference overall in the service and the quality of the product.
My first cruise was a transatlantic cruise -- from Little Creek, Virginia, to Rota, Spain, aboard the USS Spiegel Grove (LSD-32). Perhaps there's nothing quite like jumping in with both feet, but those days at sea are wonderful!
Lori, don't sweat the fact that it's a transatlantic cruise. There will be plenty to do aboard the ship.
Ralph, I just returned from a Singles cruise on Commodore's Enchanted Isle. Some passengers paid as little as $499 for the 7-day cruise to the Caymans, Conzumel, and Jamaica. You may have to share a cabin with a stranger to get such a low rate, but from my observations, this was no problem to anyone. Keep an eye on my Singles cruise calendar for schedules and bargains.
Faith, for bargains keep checking Cruisemates. Also check my singles calendar. Singlescruises.com has good rates for a five-day New Year's cruise out of Miami.
As for ships that attract over-40s, it might be easier to say that's the age range and under that (IMO) Carnival draws. It also depends on whether it's a theme cruise. For instance, NCL's jazz and blues cruises on the Norway attract 50s and over, while their Fitness cruise attracts 40 and below.
Lori, I had one of my most memorable cruises on a transatlantic voyage, sailing right by myself! Just make up your mind not to be shy. Get out and mingle. Don't hesitate to walk up to someone, whether male or female, and introduce yourself. If you find yourself at a dinner table with couples, ask the dining room manager if there are other singles with whom you might be seated.
Most of all, relax. You're going to have a wonderful cruise.
Norm & Pat:
Thanks for sharing your experience with me. Actually planning 2-3 months out would work best for me. The Cruisemates cruises look/seem like fun--but planning a year out wouldn't really work for me.
Next year I will probably visit NY to visit family (I'm from CA) and maybe do a shortie cruise out of NY (probably NY-Canada).
I've never seen a review about that singles cruise from Commodore you were just on. They do it a few times a year right? Could you tell us a little about it? It would also be fun to spend a few days in New Orleans. Last time I was there was 10 years ago.
Hi there Pat,
I'll be going on my first cruise in late January on RCCL. I'm 29, single, and attractive and have heard alot about the people you meet on cruises and the fun to be had. However, recently I was told that if you want to meet other single people, RCCL is not the cruise for it, and Carnival would be the cruiseline of choice. A friend of mine who has done Princess, Carnival, and Royal Carribean says that RCCL is primarily couples. Is this true? Do I really have nothing to look forward to as far as meeting other singles?
Kimby, it's really hard to say. It always depends on a particular cruise. One week there might be more singles than others; however, I don't think it is fair to say that RCL is only "couples." I've cruised single on several of their ships and met people (guys) and had a great time. However, if you want to be assured of lots of singles then perhaps you would be better off booking on a singles theme cruise. Check out my singles cruise calendar for dates.
Good luck. And if you have other questions, just let me know and I'll do my best to answer.