Party of One
Go it alone with today’s options for solo cruisers.
By Theresa Norton Masek
Sometimes it might seem like cruises are geared toward happy couples, who board hand-in-hand like a modern-day Noah’s Ark, oblivious to those sailing alone.
Adding insult to injury are the dreaded single supplements, which can cost solo cruisers up to twice as much to occupy a cabin alone as what is paid by those who have someone to share their stateroom.
No wonder single travelers complain that they’re penalized for cruising alone.
But things have been rapidly changing, and cruise lines today are becoming friendlier and more accommodating to travelers who have the time, money, and the inclination to explore the world on their own.
Cruise lines today are hosting onboard mixers, reserving dinner tables for single cruisers, reducing or sometimes eliminating the single supplement on select departures, and some are actually building ships with a growing number of solo-occupancy cabins.
Meet and Mingle
If you’re cruising solo, chances are you’ll find at least some onboard events catered to solo travelers.
For example, on a recent Caribbean voyage on Princess Cruises’ new Regal Princess, there were scheduled daily gatherings for solo travelers, both in the morning for those who wanted company on excursions and at cocktail hour before dinner. The get-togethers weren’t hosted by the cruise staff, but provided a place for solos to find each other and get acquainted.
“Carnival Cruise Lines hosts quite a number of solo travelers,” says John Heald, the company’s senior cruise director, who writes a wildly popular cruise blog, johnhealdsblog.com. “Given that we’re the ‘Fun Ships,’ we do our best to create …
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Photo: Digital Vision/Getty Images