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DebsCruise March 6th, 2003 06:12 AM

Singles Cruising
 
I hear many horror stories about singles getting onboard a ship to find themselves traveling alone. Many companies who advertise a "singles cruise" do so because they've booked a small group of singles (under 10). It doesn't mean there will be private activities/events onboard exclusively for singles. I would scruntinize what they are offering (how many complimentary cocktail parties, games, events private to their group), how many singles they've booked thus far (not how many they expect), and how many singles cruise directors from their office are going to oversee the group. Every day I hear stories from disappointed singles who sailed with a so-called singles group only to find themselves actually being alone. Some companies rely on the cruise line's activities to entertain you, rather than organizing private activities for their singles group. It's important that you ask the right questions so that you have the right expectations. How long has the company been organizing singles cruises? How many groups do they book a year? What exactly are they offering that is different from the cruise line? Remember the old adage of you get what you pay for. I would book with the most reputable company to ensure you have a memorable vacation.

norm March 6th, 2003 07:29 PM

Re: Singles Cruising
 
Deb,

Your point is well taken.

In reality, most organizers of group cruises do so with the hope of recruiting enough participants to qualify for a complementary cabin and thus a free, or nearly free, cruise. If they don't get enough participants to qualify for a complementary cabin, they don't go and those who booked are on their own.

While you might expect this from people who informally organize occasional groups, it's also true of supposedly reputable travel agencies. By way of example, my parents booked a AAA group cruise several years ago that was supposed to have a representative from AAA onboard and a "meet the group" cocktail party a couple weeks before their departure. Only two other couples signed up for the group cruise, so there was no AAA representative and no cocktail party. Nonetheless they had a wonderful time.

If going with the group is what's important to you, go ahead and put down the deposit -- but inquire as to how many cabins the group will occupy before submitting your final payment. I understand that standard practice in the industry is to give one free cabin for the group's leaders or escorts for every ten paid cabins that the group will occupy.

Norm.

New Yorker March 7th, 2003 04:37 PM

Re: Re: Singles Cruising
 


Norm,


I recently booked through singlescruises.com. More than 10 cabins were booked for this particular cruise. They had two leaders, "cruise directors." A male and a female..... they did not have their own cabins; they each shared with one of their paying customers (they did not pay for the cruise or shore tours, at least that is what I was told by one of them; I suppose that is part of their compensation...)

I would like to suggest that when considering booking through an organized singles tour, look around and see what the same cruise would cost you if booked independently.

TomS March 7th, 2003 09:20 PM

Re: Singles Cruising
 
I met a new friend on a Halloween singles cruise last year. She mentioned that she was on a previous Halloween cruise organized by an internet dating service. That particular cruise had no organized activities, and the group coordinator could be found most times bellying up to one of the bars.

Sometimes, travel agents will simply book a group and just market that particular cruise as a "special" while other agents will arrange private cocktail parties and other fun goodies. This is a fairly common practice in the cruise industry. You do need to be careful when booking a group cruise. Make sure that the people you book with have a good track record of providing a quality expierence for their clients.

TomS

Myles March 8th, 2003 08:39 PM

Re: Re: Re: Singles Cruising
 
Hello Guys, I agree with you about being careful when booking a cruise with travel agencies. I've heard that Singlescruise.com is a pretty good outfit. However,your suggestion about comparing prices might be like comparing apples and oranges. You can probably find the same cruise for a lower price on last minute deals,but you may be the only single at your dining table and you would not be participating in a single's groups activities. So I suppose the bottom line is whether being part of a singles group is worth a few extra bucks. I've tried it both ways and personally I prefer to be part of a group,but that's me. I find that there are certain intangibles that are worth much more than the difference in price. Have a good one.

Debscruise March 10th, 2003 06:52 AM

Re: Re: Re: Singles Cruising
 
Comparing prices doesn't always mean you'll get the same service. Be sure you're comparing apples-to-apples. Remember the old adage of you get what you pay for. Booking with a large singles group (200+) means better upgraded cabins, as well as many extra amenities. SinglesCruise.com offers 3 complimentary cocktail parties, singles activities/events, souvenir gifts, etc. These activities are not offered/open to the public but exclusive to the group. Booking with a "true" singles group can be lots of fun.


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