Why is it if one wants to travel alone the price is so much more than the P/P double occupancy rate? I wanted to take a short 3-day or 4-day cruise to relax a bit and found my price was going to be 150%, 175%, even 200% of the regular P/P rate. I'm not going to eat twice as much, I'm not going to use more of the facilities, I'm not using more towels.
Why can't the cruise lines do as the airlines and allow you to cruise "standby?" If the cabins are not all filled, let cruisers occupy those cabins at the regular P/P rate at the last minute. I suspect people who live in areas which are easily accessable to the ports would jump on the boats at the last minute if they were allowed to cruise at the regular rate.
I'm not interested in sharing a cabin with anyone other than my lovely wife or a close friend, but she can't always get away as I can and recruiting a friend at the last minute is difficult. Wouldn't the cruise line be better off having someone in the cabin paying the same rate as everyone else rather than no one paying double?
I think Pamda is exactly correct. I think the reason cruiselines charge a single's supplement is not only are they not receiving income from drink purchases and etc., but they are not receiving the cruise fare they would have had from the second person.
And I could be mistaken, but I believe the cruiselines have a program similar to "standby", called "run of the ship", in which you pay a reduced cruise fare, and are pretty much guaranteed a cabin, but you don't know which one until you board. Meaning you could end up anywhere!
Pamda's response is exactly what a RCL telephone agent explained to me when I was checking on one of their cruises. I made the same argument that the orginal poster did about not eating twice as much or taking up twice as much space. She flatly explained that the supplement covered "projected lost revenue from the casino & on board alcohol consumption". I mentioned that I never gamble anyway & asked if I ordered 2 drinks instead of one would I still have to pay the SS, we both laughed we she said, "NO".
I understand the reason why they charge the supplement, but I don't agree with it. Like thomas said, they should let singles cruise at the last minute with no additional supplement. Isn't a cabin with one person occupying it better than an empty cabin? As a single person (whose friends are all married w/children), I refuse to pay anything additional.
I guess it wouldn't help if I told the cruiseline I probably drink more than enough to cover the share of two?
I agree - I understand it but hate it. I, too, am single with nothing but married friends and it is difficult to pay the extra money when my average bar tab for a 7 night cruise is somewhere around $500. (bottle of wine or two with dinner every night adds up quick.) I refuse to take the risk of the guaranteed share and I won't ever stop cruising. I wish they would look at it like the extra person that would have been in the room would have been straight laced and not drink or gamble....then I wouldn't have to cover the loss. I am currently pricing single rooms for New Years (which is higher anyways) and have almost had two heart attacks looking at the prices. I guess I am just going to have to pick one of my expensive habits to give up for the rest of the year to cover that supplement.
We all seem to be in agreement here. I don't like the SS, I am single, all my friends & family are married (with kids), and I like to cruise. The sad part is that cruise lines market cruises as the safest & easiest vacation for single women travelers. Unfortunately, they don't care about our wallets.
I just don't understand how they calculate the supplement. On luxury lines the supplement can be anywhere from 110% for lower cabins up to 125% for higher ones. On most mass market lines its anywhere from 150%-190%-200%. What gives?
Uconn1 is right that I think they should remove the ss for last minute bookings rather than let them sail empty. But, I'm sure some smart marketing analyst has informed them that would not be $ sound because singles would wait until the last minute to book. Then again, post 9/11 when all the families & couples were cancelling their cruises left & right they suddenly remembered the singles & waived the supplement.
They know that the have some sailings yearly that are way under sold, Why not lift the SS for those & fill the ships? Well, it really doesn't do the cruise line any good to repeal the single tax, they know we are going to cruise & they know we will pay it.
The airlines do that because most last minute travelers are business people and their companies are paying for the flights. Most vacationers make travel plans far in advance. Also, those great prices only apply to a certain number of seats on any given flight and will always sell out first. Having worked for a travel agency for 3 years, I learned a lot of things that go on that we don't understand and sometimes have no logical basis. Six months ago I tried to get my flights to Honolulu with my frequent flier miles and lo and behold, the 4 seats they had earmarked for free tickets were already booked. I ended up paying more for my flight (1st class) than I did the 12 night cruise in Cat. 11. It makes me sick to my stomach to think that my flight would have paid for another long cruise.
P.S. I would normally have booked coach, but traveling with mother who needs the "comfort" factor for long flights. I also booked through CCL and even with the deviation cost, got a lower fare than DL or Orbitz, et. al. could get me.
I agree with everyrone and the frustration about single supplements but I do understand where the cruise lines are coming from. More revenue if there are two people in a cabin than one. You have to be very dligent in searching out the specials for cruises with little or no supplements. Sometimes it's just pure luck. For example when I cruised on the Explorer of the Seas over New Years. (Of course, the circumstances were unique, it was just after 9/11 and no one was booking cruises.) I just happened to be on the phone with my TA one day and he mentioned this cruise and was able to book an inside with no single supplement. Never will that happen again for a holiday cruise!
Anyway, If you cruise off season, the ship isn't selling well, and you can book last minute, sometimes you can get a cruise with little or no supplement. I''m on an email list with a TA who occassionally finds cruises with no single supplement. If you would like her email address, just let me know.
Let's take a minute to look at our question about air fares...book far in advance, get a great rate, book last minute, you get gouged...
As Ex-United Management, let me tell you a story. i am with one of my reps one day in a corporate account in Columbus, Ohio. A Vp comes into our meeting raging about his ari fares to Chcago. My rep said: "Do you absolutely have to go to Chicago?", he replied yes! My rep looked at him and said, now you know why we can charge so much or last minute travel.
The gentleman, loked at us and replied..makes sense! smiled and left the meeting he had interrupted.
It is called "yield mangement" An airline know, historically, what a specific flight on a spefic say of the week will generate in revenues. The number of seats allocated to full coach, partial discount and deep discount are then loaded into the computer reservation system. We KNOW how many people are looking fo a discount 10months, 6 months 3 months before a flight,we KNOW how many business travelers will be on the flight and we know the percentage of those that have to make quick flight choices and will buy a higher fare ticket.
It is a very sophisticated computer program designed to maximize revenue opportunites.
that's still stupid... (the airline formula for how many seats go for which price)
it's like raising the price of bread and milk on saturdays because store managers KNOW that's the day people will be doing their shopping. and lowering the price on, say, tuesday because maybe history shows fewer people do their grocery shopping on that day of the week.
it's plain and simply what pamda called it GOUGING. if gas companies can be held liable for raising prices inexplicable (which they can be now in certain states) because that's gouging, what's the difference in airlines raising and lowering their fares, also inexplicably?
i don't think government needs to get involved with gas stations raising their prices... it should be up to the consumer to make sure they always rememebr which station shafted them at the pump and NEVER go there again. too many short memories in this country.
if i find an airline that doesn't have good rates (and continually have considerably higher fares to the same cities where i can find better ones) i stop looking at that air carrier that includes the one named by the guy who wrote about airline pricing formulas -- that airline is ALWAYS much higher than others i look at, so the one with a "u" in its name usually doesn't appear on my radar screen.