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Reading posts, it appears the lounge is "not used that much", which leads me to believe that other than price and snacks there isn't much advantage to booking a studio cabin.  Comments from those who have used them please.  I know every cruise is different ...

 

 

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I used it quite a bit on my 11 day cruise.  Since the bed is the only place to sit in the room, the lounge is more comfortable.  Also, you never know when someone will come through who wishes to talk.  The crowd ebbs and  flows but the lounge is an all day meeting place and the solo director posted the day's planned activities there.  There are pastries and cereal in the morning and cookies the rest of the time.  Cold juice in the morning and iced tea the rest of the time.  The coffee machine made several types of coffee including cappuccino and hot  water for tea.  There was also a bartender there for 2 or 3 hours a night. 

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Posted (edited)

On my Mediterranean cruise in April, the studio lounge was used a lot late in the afternoon, when the bar was open and the solos host was there. However, you don't have to be in a studio to attend the solo passengers' gathering each afternoon (and on NCL ships without a studio lounge it is held in whatever lounge is convenient).

 

I agree that price is the main reason. Unless you can book when the single supplement is removed or reduced, usually very close to the departure date, an inside double will cost more than a studio. When there's no single supplement (rare) an outside double could cost less than a studio. Waiting for favorable terms is a good strategy if your schedule is completely flexible and you can get to the departure port without a high last-minute air fare.

 

Some other cruise lines have have ships with single inside cabins (without the special decor and lighting of NCL studios).  For example, Radiance-class ships on RCI have a very small number of single insides, at lower fares than NCL studios. I have one booked for 2020 and to get it I had to book almost on the day that bookings for that itinerary opened.

Edited by kochleffel

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  • Thanks.  I didn't know you could attend a singles/solo gathering on NCL without a studio!  I have only sailed NCL once (prefer Princess or Carnival) and it was not as a solo.  The only time I experienced a great singles meet/greet/mingle was on a Princess transatlantic to Europe several years ago.  Perhaps I will have to reconsider …  

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I enjoy cruising for the experience of being on the ocean, not the waterworks, corny pool games, etc.  Therefore, I usually try for a balcony even though they are so expensive.  Nothing beats watching the ocean go by on a warm, sunny day ...

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I more than got my money’s worth out of that cappuccino machine in the studio lounge.

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I only had one trip in a studio so my experience is limited but on my cruise most of the people in the studio were probably 50 or over.  But to be fair, my cruise was 11 days and the longer cruises tend to attract an older crowd.

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I had a trip in the studios last fall and I would say it was an older crowd, I’m 32 and I only saw one other cruiser who might’ve been under 40. 

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I have cruised twice in a Studio but prefer either a regular Inside or a Balcony. The price of a Studio (100 sq ft) is usually more expensive than a regular Inside cabin (Sail Away Rate). Sometimes more expensive than a Balcony at the "Sail Away Rate." Note that with the Studio, you get the UBP but not with a Sail Away Rate.

Edited by IrieBajan54
correction

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On my last 5 cruises (Epic, Breakaway 2x, Escape 2x) I booked Studios and then a week before on 3 of them upgraded to a balcony for minimal cost (sometimes $50-$100 total due to ship not being sold out and waving single supplement).

 

My main takeaway is even if you don't book a studio you can still attend the solo gatherings. Last year I did Bermuda and was able to upgrade, but Canada/NE was sold out so I kept the studio. The only thing that bothered me was less space to unpack and keep luggage but I would keep one suitcase underneath bed and one near phone standing up.

 

with my recent studios I took the UBP as a perk, for Bermuda I was able when I paid the $50 upgrade to pick another perk so I took 250 internet minutes and then upgraded to unlimited.

 

I have the Bliss booked for Alaska in August but might not go as in my opinion $1,849 + everything else is too much for a studio.

I';ll return next year on the Encore and hopefully upgrade.

 

Average age for Bermuda in studios was (45-60, I would say skewed more towards 53-55), Canada New England I heard the average on ship was 62. I was 45 on both but went and played at music venues, did roll call etc. so met a lot of people on both.

 

I would say I didn't use the lounge much- I would get Mojito's at 4 every day for an hour- they had a regular crowd there and then sometimes do the solo gathering. However, on this last cruise I ended up getting the meal package (since I won cruise critic roll call raffle) and did more things on my own than normal.

 

 

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On 1/24/2019 at 2:12 PM, IrieBajan54 said:

I have cruised twice in a Studio but prefer either a regular Inside or a Balcony. The price of a Studio (100 sq ft) is usually more expensive than a regular Inside cabin (Sail Away Rate). Sometimes more expensive than a Balcony at the "Sail Away Rate." Note that with the Studio, you get the UBP but not with a Sail Away Rate.

I prefer the bigger room as well.  Compared to the Sailaway rate the UBP is completely unaffordable; just plan to spend $20-$30 for a few drinks each day and really don't worry about it.

Edited by billslowsky

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On 1/24/2019 at 4:20 AM, Stonewolf Cruiser said:

I haven't sailed on NCL.  Do passengers of all ages book studios or does it tend to be a younger crowd?

 It was all ages on both of my cruises, you’ll see some youngsters that are traveling with family but are 18-25 so want their own space. Anyone traveling with family won’t hang around the solos meetups very much, but the others can be any age at all.

on my first the solos at the initial meetup ranged from 27 to 70+. On my second cruise it skewed a little bit older 35 to 85. I found myself hanging out with the younger folk on my first cruise as we were all first timers or first solo cruisers. On the second the older folks were an interesting bunch to talk to, one elderly lady had worked on the Us Navy’s submarine program, I’m from the village in Ireland where the inventor of the submarine was born so we learned stuff off each other. 

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The lounge is great for meeting people who need to be herded to dinner like 8 year olds from the kids club. For more self-reliant people, not so much. Daytime, pretty hit-or-miss. When I was on Epic, I went there during the day whenever there was nothing in the program which interested me, there was rarely anyone else.

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For those querying the cost of a studio v sail away rate, if you’re booking from Europe there’s absolutely sod all reason to go sail away. Our equivalent is called “just cruise” and most I’ve seen of a saving is €200 to €400, if we were to purchase UBP that costs €645 for a 7day cruise and wouldn’t include the bottled water and coffee that is included in the pricing of the studios for us. 

 

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On 1/23/2019 at 9:20 PM, Stonewolf Cruiser said:

I haven't sailed on NCL.  Do passengers of all ages book studios or does it tend to be a younger crowd?

I sailed on The Getaway, to Baltic, Northern Europe in Oct. '17.  The studio was fine.  I actually spent a bit of time in the lounge in the afternoon for cocktails, pre-dinner.  I'm retired and there were a few people that age, as well as 30s-40s.  I'm not shy, so I struck up friendships with a few other solo travelers. We would meet for dinner,  so we didn't dine alone

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One of the things that was great for me was being able to meet people right away.... there always seemed to be people hanging around before muster drill and to have drinks with prior to the solo meeting. 

 

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On 1/27/2019 at 11:47 AM, Dancer Bob said:

The lounge is great for meeting people who need to be herded to dinner like 8 year olds from the kids club. For more self-reliant people, not so much. Daytime, pretty hit-or-miss. When I was on Epic, I went there during the day whenever there was nothing in the program which interested me, there was rarely anyone else.

Well aren't you a joy.  I think those folks in the lounge are lucky not to run into you, or more likely, probably avoid you.

Edited by Mike_DeA

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I just booked a studio for the first time yesterday.  Now I am having qualms.  I am a little claustrophobic.  I am thinking I should upgrade to an inside.  The sail away insides are sold out.  So I'm looking at about $400 more give or take.  I know that studios are not offered the option for bidding upgrade later.  

Should I just hope that the balconies don't sell out and I can get one of those closer to the sailing for 400 or 500 more?  I often see the balcony prices dropping drastically closer to a sail date. 

 

I welcome suggestions from those that have been in studios and those were in studios that upgraded before the the sail date.  How did you do that?

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Shadygap,

If it were me, I would pay what I had to if it would prevent living in anxiety.  

That said, I didn't find the studio too confining but I also only stayed in the cabin to sleep.  Also I worked for years in mines that I had to crawl through, so I am probably a bad person to give advice on claustrophobia.

Would it help if you took scenic posters to hang on the wall?  It might give the illusion of space.

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I absolutely love the NCL solo studios and the lounge.  I think they are just the right size for me, and I spend so little time in my cabin on cruise that I can't justify a more expensive balcony.  It allows me to cruise more often :) 

 

I find the lounge quite practical, I often sit in the lounge with a drink and a snack as well as my laptop and cameras when I return from an excursion.  I can download the photos and videos off my memory cards and chat with whoever is in the lounge 

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I've sailed three times in an NCL studio cabin and used the studio lounge regularly.  I will say the lounge on the Breakaway was incredibly tiny, but the area on both Epic and Escape were much larger.  It's hard to say how old the group would be, it depends on the cruise, but in my experience we had mid 20's up to 70's+.  

 

I don't need to be "herded to dinner" but enjoyed the opportunity to have my meals with other solo cruisers. It is a great way to meet others.  On the first cruise I met a great group and sailed with two of them again a couple of years later.  

 

As for the size of the cabin, I think they are plenty adequate for one person.  There is lots of storage, two small closets, shelves, and cupboards.  What I like best is these are not like inside cabins with no light.  The porthole window with its blinds allows for diffused light to come in from the hallway.  I don't feel like I'm locked in a cave at night.  Also, I don't spend a huge amount of time in the cabin, sleeping, showering, changing clothes, etc.  Don't need much more than that, and while I love a balcony, the cost is generally prohibitive for this solo.

 

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If you are on the Epic and want a balcony, my suggestion is to buy whatever cabin rate is cheapest and then get a Thermal Spa pass- spa has a nice balcony! Studio space was fine for one person. The host tried hard on my Epic Mediterranean cruise, but the activities were timed poorly to all aboard. If you wanted to participate in the group things, you had to be back in port hours before in order to get cleaned up. Or, you could sightsee in the ports that you paid for and skip the group outings.

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On 2/1/2019 at 7:20 AM, Shadygap said:

I just booked a studio for the first time yesterday.  Now I am having qualms.  I am a little claustrophobic.  I am thinking I should upgrade to an inside.  The sail away insides are sold out.  So I'm looking at about $400 more give or take.  I know that studios are not offered the option for bidding upgrade later.  

Should I just hope that the balconies don't sell out and I can get one of those closer to the sailing for 400 or 500 more?  I often see the balcony prices dropping drastically closer to a sail date. 

 

I welcome suggestions from those that have been in studios and those were in studios that upgraded before the the sail date.  How did you do that?

 

Hello, in 3 instances I called 7-10 days before and paid the difference as if it were a new booking. However, it did not work for a recent cruise that was already sold out. I would go on 7-10 days before and price out the non-sail away prices for a balcony . 

In May, I paid $70 more- $50 for the balcony difference and $20 as my UBP service fee increased from original booking. I then picked up 250 minutes in internet as a free second promo which I upgraded to unlimited for around $125 (probably due to using the UBP extensively the first 2 hours of the cruise!!)

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