HOW TO AVOID THE SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Many cruise lines
charge extra when you have a cabin to yourself, anywhere from 25 percent
to 100 percent extra over the per person rate with double occupancy. But
some cruise companies are single friendly. They have small cabins for
single occupancy or allow single occupancy of double cabins without
extra charge if a cruise is not fully booked. Some will match you with another single traveler
if available, and if they don't find you a match, you are given a cabin
alone without extra charge. Some will not charge a supplement if you are willing to be flexible on location
and take whatever cabin is available.
Or you can go
with a tour group organized just for singles, people sharing similar
interests and eager to make new friends (see the box Upcoming Cruises &
for current trips scheduled. Click on them to see
what you would like, then sign up for a week of new friends and great
THAT ARE SINGLE FRIENDLY
Cruise lines are more and more realizing the importance of marketing
to single cruisers and many are setting aside greater numbers of single
cabins. For example, American Cruise Lines have
singles cabins on all their ships. Norwegian Epic has a section of 128
inside cabins known as Studio Staterooms that are designed for single
cruisers and carry no single supplement.
following cruise lines have single cabins on some ships,
for matching singles, or sometimes waive single
American Canadian Caribbean Line
American Cruise Lines
Queen Steamboat Company
ANGERMEYER Cruises (Galapagos Islands)
Canadian Sailing Expeditions
Galapagos Island Cruises - Evolution
Norwegian Cruise Line
Sea Voyager Expeditions
Voyages to Antiquity (26
ON CRUISING ALONE
For any single person who is hesitating about cruising -- don’t hesitate.
Go. A cruise is a great way for a single person to
On a cruise,
you never have to eat alone unless you want to, and you can walk up
and talk to somebody at the railing or at the bar without feeling
awkward about it. Almost always there are other singles on board,
and even if not, most people are so open and outgoing that you
quickly feel at home and part of things, much more so than at a
hotel or resort as a single.
Typical examples: On one
Central America cruise I met a TV producer who loved jazz as much as
I did and we listened to the piano player on many evenings. On a big
band cruise to the Caribbean I was on the ship for less than an hour
when two dance hosts introduced themselves. We still keep in touch.
On small ships it is easy to become friends with the officers or
staff, exchanging ideas and stories about their countries. Even if
all passengers are couples, there is much to do and see and share.
You can go on a cruise as a single in several ways: you can go totally
alone; you can go with one other person or several friends; or you can
go with a tour group specifically marketed for singles. If you have
trouble finding a friend to share a cabin, some cruise lines will match
people. Some cruise companies have
HOW SHOULD I PICK A CRUISE MATE?
Make sure you and your potential cruise mate
are compatible on important points. Does he snore and you’re a light
sleeper? Does she talk incessantly and you like to read? Do you like to get up at dawn and
he sleeps till noon?
Don’t worry if you have different interests.
You are not obligated to go to all the same things. If you want
to go on the early morning birding trip and your traveling companion wants to
check out the local museum, go your separate ways. You can compare experiences at dinner.
WHAT ABOUT MEN AND WOMEN TRAVELING TOGETHER?
It’s acceptable these days for a man and woman to cruise together,
sharing a cabin, when they are ‘just friends’. So don’t be shocked or insulted
if someone of the opposite sex asks if you want to go on a cruise -- just discuss the ground rules first.
WHAT ABOUT BEING BORED OR FEELING CONFINED?
haven’t cruised sometimes have the idea that they might be bored on
a cruise. The days are gone of passengers swathed in blankets
snoozing in their deck chairs. There are usually more things to do
than you have time for. And you won’t feel confined ...
being at sea usually gives you a sense of freedom and openness.
HOW DO I CHOOSE A SHIP
AS A SINGLE?
Ships come in all shapes and sizes. They may be huge with thousands
of passengers, small with a few hundred, or really small like a
private yacht. There are ocean liners and sailing ships,
icebreakers in the Antarctic and Arctic, and river boats that
go on the Mississippi, Danube, Nile, Yangtze, Volga, or the remote
tributaries of the Amazon. Some ships have casinos, others have lectures;
some are dressy, some are casual. Many have theme cruises from wine
tasting to golf, opera, bridge, and gardens. Think what pleases you and choose accordingly.
HOW CAN I MAKE FRIENDS ON BOARD?
Board early rather than at the last minute and use the
time to get acquainted with the ship and meet some of the other early
arrivers. It’s easier to talk to people in small groups and when
everyone is as new to the ship as you are. Go to the mixers. You
will have one or two persons you will know the next day. Wear an
interesting tee or sweat shirt showing another ship you have been on
or a remote place you have been that people will comment on. Look at people. Smile.
CRUISING FOR A SINGLE PARENT
Cruises are a good choice for a single parent with a child or
for a grandparent giving a very special experience to a grandchild. Some ships have special activities
for kids, but even if they don’t, there are plenty of things to do so that boredom
is not a problem. A cruise can give a child the opportunity
to relate to different people and cultures. Hundreds of years of history can come to life
in visits to historic ports. Remember to check for current regulations
if traveling out of your country with a child. You probably need a notarized
statement from a parent giving permission for the child to travel with
DANCING ON A CRUISE SHIP
Many ships have
dance hosts who are available to dance with single women or women with
husbands who don’t like to dance. Some ships with dance hosts: Silver
Wind , Silver Cloud, and ships of Crystal,
Celebrity, Costa, Cunard, Holland America, Orient, Regent Seven Seas, and
Norwegian Cruise Line. Some of them have hosts on board only for cruises
of more than seven days, so if this is important to you be sure to ask.
If you are on a ship with no dance hosts sometimes officers like to be
asked to dance. You can also join groups such as Merry Widows that book
as a group and bring their own dance hosts, or join one the group at the
Upcoming Cruises box.
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