I feel for solo cruisers the surcharge is usually 100% which is too much. However, I don't know the "right" number. When you think about the line's expenses, food is really the only incremental cost. David is right that a solo cruiser might be more likely spend on extras than aa couple or family.. Of course if there were no surcharge my wife and I could book adjoining rooms and create our own little suite at no more expense than a room for two.
David I guess you and I will just have to agree to disagree. As I see it supply and demand is working pretty well in the cruise industry. Still making it one of the best bargains in vacations. (I write this from a rented condo overlooking the ocean - ahh). Is it possible that the industry is heading for a contraction? Maybe, but we should consider that a market adjustment.
I remember going to a timeshare sales pitch years ago. One of there lines was that hotels would become unaffordable and the only people who could afford a vacations would be those who had bought a time share - now. Some people love their timeshares, others not so much.
All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; John Masefield
Carnival: Glory 2004, Destiny 2008, Splendor 2009, Freedom 2011, Valor 2012, Dream 2013
Celebrity: Summit 2011
Princess: Ruby 2010, 2014, Caribbean 2013, Coral 2014, Regal 2014
Star Clippers: Royal Clipper 2015
Main stream cruise lines are headed for rocky waters if you ask me. These mega ships that are being built now are going to be tough to fill with the economy the way it is. If you have noticed, the price of cruises have been dropping dramatically over the past 6 months trying to fill the ships. The cruise lines can take a hit on the fares because they make up the difference once you board the ships with sales of Alcohol, Sodas, gambling and pictures and spa services.
Personally, I think that the cruise prices being offered right now make a cruise vacation the best investment one can make for a vacation. The problem I see, as mentioned before, is that new cruisers don't realize the costs of things on a ship and next thing you know a family of 4 has a $1000 onboard account to pay before leaving the ship that might discourage them from cruising ever again.
The cruise lines like Carnival Corp. has diversified their different cruise lines to cater to different segments of the population. One can start at their low end fare lines, like Carnival and graduate up to Princess, Holland America, and Costa then go on to Cunard and Yachts of Seaborn as an example.
What will be interesting to see is just how many people can afford to cruise in another year if the economy keeps going south like it is!
Caribbean Princess 07
Carnival Valor Feb. 08
Carnival Holiday Dec 08
Carnival Triumph Feb 09
Island Princess coming in Nov. 2009