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RobinKY

Cruising Solo

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I have a non-working sabbatical next year (8 weeks off).  I'm planning on a couple weeks with my kids and girlfriend on a beach somewhere.  My kids and gf cannot take much more time off.  I will have 5-6 weeks to find things to occupy my time.  I am considering a short cruise alone (3-5 nights).  I first considered a repositioning cruise but I don't want to be gone and no contact with kids and gf that long.

 

Has anyone cruised solo?  What has been your experience?

 

Aren't cabins based on double occupancy so I will be basically paying double rate or are there rooms for single occupancy?

 

One cruise, I was seated at breakfast with an older lady who was by herself and remember seeing her by herself at other meals.  Can you request to be at dinner table with other solo cruisers or with same group each night?

 

Any other tips?

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CruiserBruce got you started in the right direction to the solo forum, but let me answer a few questions here.

A repositioning cruise doesn't have to be across a vast ocean....and you can buy onboard internet packages (though quality can vary). I just took a repositioning cruise from Boston to San Juan - 9 days, 5 islands between. So 3 sea days.  You could find wifi in all ports. Remember, if there is an emergency, they can call the emergency number and they will contact the ship. 

As to how much a person pays as a solo traveler, yes, there is usually a single supplement that can be from 3 - 100% depending on the cruise line and how hungry they are to sell a cabin.  Mine was virtually no single supplement, and Canadian $ on par.

Norwegian Cruise Lines tends to have the best solo traveler deals and has an entire area of solo studios which share a lounge area if you are a social type. - more lines are adding solo rooms, but they often sell out.  NCL's studios can sometimes sell more than an inside room even after the single supplement is considered.  I am an introvert and would take an inside over the studio any day.

Those fortunate to be in driving distance from a port, can get a last minute deal (less than a week or so prior to sailing) that can be well under $100 a day. These are not as beneficial for those having to buy flights as flights that soon to departure tend to be pricey.  It might still be worth it, however.

Of course, there was just Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, but there might be Boxing Day or New Year sales.

You have to decide whether the sales offering 'free drinks packages, free internet, free****) is worth it, as it is just rolled into the price. A guarantee room (which is a level of room, inside, ocean view, balcony etc) is usually the cheapest, but you have no say of where it is located and you might be upgraded.

As to dining, I prefer to eat alone, but certainly you can state you are willing to share.  Pretty much all cruise lines have a solo get together early in the cruise.  My last had a large group of solo travelers (good price), so they arranged dinner options together every night. Sometimes, it is not well attended.  Some cruise lines only have assigned dinner times.  Some will also try to put solo travelers together but I can't tell you definitely which.

CC has articles about which are the better cruise lines for solo travelers, and also the reviews on specific ships tells you whether they have solo traveler rooms, or set dining.

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The solo forum has a thread where people post solo travel deals. There are cruises that you can book with no solo supplement. Often these are last minute deals so it helps if you have flexibility.

 

Star Clipper has a no solo supplement special on many of their cruises including some in March and April. I'm looking forward to trying them on that. 

 

I mostly prefer to sail on small ships. I took a 28-day back-to-back on Windstar which is open seating for dinner. The Maitre D' would ask if I wanted to share a table and all but one evening he was able to seat me with others who wanted to share. Some nights, some of us who had been on the back-to-back arranged to have dinner together. 

 

I don't see much point to a 3 to 5 day cruise. You have practically just unpacked and it is time to pack again. I wouldn't do less than 7 days.

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I usually cruise solo and have no issues doing so. I don't book a solo cabin as my preferred line doesn't have any. I've looked into them but would rather pay for an oceanview or even get a good deal on a balcony that a small solo room that is an interior and really not much less than paying double.

 

Once you decide on your cruise go to the rollcall and sign up. You'll be able to meet people before cruising and join excursions if you'd like. I choose the traditional dining option so there are other people at the table. Just be open and willing to talk to people. I've never felt alone or excluded on any of the cruises I've done solo. 

 

It's all what you want to make of it.

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here is a link to the thread that specifically posts solo cruise deals:

 

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