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Let's start thinking about 2021 solo sailing


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With fingers crossed (and masks worn properly), let's hope cruising returns in a reasonable form in 2021. It's planning time! Here's what I have booked right now...

 

Booked but almost certainly not happening:

  • December 2020: NCL Breakaway, Western Caribbean, solo mid-ship balcony. The way things look right now, I'll most likely just cancel this before the final payment date in mid-August.

 

Booked for 2021:

  • April 2021: NCL Escape, 15-days transatlantic, solo mid-ship balcony. This is NYC to Southampton with stops in the Azores, Spain, France, Belgium, and England. I'm wondering if all of those locations will be open to cruise ships by then - or maybe the question is if these ports will be open to U.S. citizens by then. If I apply my current FCC balance to the final payment due, only a very small amount of extra cash (less than $200) would be required.
  • June 2021: RCL Quantum of the Seas, 7-days Alaska, Studio Balcony. Okay, I feel pretty certain we'll be cruising by this time. An affordable balcony in Alaska, hurray!
  • September 2021: Celebrity Solstice, 15 days transpacific: If you're a solo cruiser, RCL/Celebrity has bargains available! This is a 15-day transpacific cruise from Vancouver to Tokyo. I booked a solo Aqua Class balcony cabin - with exclusive restaurant, unlimited access to the thermal spa, priority boarding, and other category perks - for $2800. Whoa. That's the no-extra-perks price (although you can pick your cabin location). They do have a deal now with unlimited beverages and WiFi plus pre-paid service charges, but selecting that version would have been DOUBLE the price. Uh, no thanks, I can buy my own occasional cocktails.
  • December 2021: NCL Spirit, 17-days Singapore to Sydney, solo mid-ship balcony. I'd hate to cancel this one because the itinerary is amazing and I booked at a fare about 1/3 less than the current rate. While I have a good chunk of vacation time (and can carry over a lot from this no-vacations year), taking off for a 2+ week cruise after already taking 5 weeks off for the earlier cruises seems a bit much. If I don't use my FCC on the Escape TA, it'll cover a little less than 1/2 the remaining balance on the Spirit trip. Ouch. That's a lot of money for just a normal balcony cabin. I could do a similar land-based vacation there for less, flights included.

 

Considering my first cruise of 2021 is scheduled to be the Escape transatlantic, I'm wondering if it makes more sense to cancel the Escape TA and wait for June to get back onboard - the June Quantum cruise allows more time for the industry to test out its protocols, is a shorter trip with a domestic itinerary, and is departing from my home port of Seattle. If I keep the Escape TA, I'd want to cancel the Spirit cruise. I'd rather do the Spirit cruise but the price is steep for a solo traveler. I know that longer cruises often drop considerably in price and solo supplement after the final payment date, and thus can be great for bargain hunters with flexible schedules. However, that was before we had a year without cruises and a dedicated core of cruise enthusiasts with a lot of FCC that needs to be used before it expires. I think it could be harder to find solo bargains for a year or two.

 

Another option is to cancel both of the 2-week NCL cruises and apply all of the FCC to a 7-day NCL Caribbean cruise in November or December 2021. Heck, that should get me into The Haven. All 4 of my CruiseNext certificates currently holding cruises are valid through January 2024 so no rush in using them.

 

I'm keeping my nicely priced RCL and Celebrity bookings, though.

 

So many decisions to make. I'm inclined to cancel all the NCL bookings, then book a Haven cabin for fall/winter 2021 to use up the FCC. Thoughts?

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51 minutes ago, coastcat said:

With fingers crossed (and masks worn properly), let's hope cruising returns in a reasonable form in 2021. It's planning time! Here's what I have booked right now...

 

Booked but almost certainly not happening:

  • December 2020: NCL Breakaway, Western Caribbean, solo mid-ship balcony. The way things look right now, I'll most likely just cancel this before the final payment date in mid-August.

 

Booked for 2021:

  • April 2021: NCL Escape, 15-days transatlantic, solo mid-ship balcony. This is NYC to Southampton with stops in the Azores, Spain, France, Belgium, and England. I'm wondering if all of those locations will be open to cruise ships by then - or maybe the question is if these ports will be open to U.S. citizens by then. If I apply my current FCC balance to the final payment due, only a very small amount of extra cash (less than $200) would be required.
  • June 2021: RCL Quantum of the Seas, 7-days Alaska, Studio Balcony. Okay, I feel pretty certain we'll be cruising by this time. An affordable balcony in Alaska, hurray!
  • September 2021: Celebrity Solstice, 15 days transpacific: If you're a solo cruiser, RCL/Celebrity has bargains available! This is a 15-day transpacific cruise from Vancouver to Tokyo. I booked a solo Aqua Class balcony cabin - with exclusive restaurant, unlimited access to the thermal spa, priority boarding, and other category perks - for $2800. Whoa. That's the no-extra-perks price (although you can pick your cabin location). They do have a deal now with unlimited beverages and WiFi plus pre-paid service charges, but selecting that version would have been DOUBLE the price. Uh, no thanks, I can buy my own occasional cocktails.
  • December 2021: NCL Spirit, 17-days Singapore to Sydney, solo mid-ship balcony. I'd hate to cancel this one because the itinerary is amazing and I booked at a fare about 1/3 less than the current rate. While I have a good chunk of vacation time (and can carry over a lot from this no-vacations year), taking off for a 2+ week cruise after already taking 5 weeks off for the earlier cruises seems a bit much. If I don't use my FCC on the Escape TA, it'll cover a little less than 1/2 the remaining balance on the Spirit trip. Ouch. That's a lot of money for just a normal balcony cabin. I could do a similar land-based vacation there for less, flights included.

 

Considering my first cruise of 2021 is scheduled to be the Escape transatlantic, I'm wondering if it makes more sense to cancel the Escape TA and wait for June to get back onboard - the June Quantum cruise allows more time for the industry to test out its protocols, is a shorter trip with a domestic itinerary, and is departing from my home port of Seattle. If I keep the Escape TA, I'd want to cancel the Spirit cruise. I'd rather do the Spirit cruise but the price is steep for a solo traveler. I know that longer cruises often drop considerably in price and solo supplement after the final payment date, and thus can be great for bargain hunters with flexible schedules. However, that was before we had a year without cruises and a dedicated core of cruise enthusiasts with a lot of FCC that needs to be used before it expires. I think it could be harder to find solo bargains for a year or two.

 

Another option is to cancel both of the 2-week NCL cruises and apply all of the FCC to a 7-day NCL Caribbean cruise in November or December 2021. Heck, that should get me into The Haven. All 4 of my CruiseNext certificates currently holding cruises are valid through January 2024 so no rush in using them.

 

I'm keeping my nicely priced RCL and Celebrity bookings, though.

 

So many decisions to make. I'm inclined to cancel all the NCL bookings, then book a Haven cabin for fall/winter 2021 to use up the FCC. Thoughts?

 

Hi coastcat. Wow, I'm envious...I want to solo cruise like you someday! I think it may be wise to cancel the Escape 15 day transatlantic in April 2021. I totally agree with you, this would provide some more time for cruising to get back to "normal" and give more time for, hopefully, a vaccine to be developed and distributed (fingers crossed).

 

I like the the idea of cancelling both 2-week NCL cruises and apply all of the FCC to a 7-day NCL Caribbean cruise in November or December 2021. Mainly because this will save you a bunch of vacation time and get you into the Haven (once you go Haven, you'll never want to go back! (as if I know...).

 

I recently found out about the Quantum OTS redeployment to Seattle for Alaska cruises. Yeah, I agree, I would keep that one also. Especially leaving from/returning to your homeport of Seattle. Gives more time in to 2021 for this virus situation (for the above reasons) and sounds like you got a great price on one of those coveted solo balcony cabins. I wish more cruise lines (i.e. NCL) had those. Btw, how did you manage to book one of those? What was your secret? I know those go fast and are hard to book.

 

Your September 2021 Celebrity Solstice 15-day TP sounds incredible. Sounds like Celebrity's Aqua Class is similar to NCL's Haven experience. A solo balcony cabin in Aqua Class? Guess there is another cruise line besides RCL that has solo balcony cabins. $2800 for a 15-day TP cruise sounds like a great deal! Congrats!

 

Speaking of deals, your right, RCL does have some good solo deals currently. I spotted a 15-day TA on the Jewel OTS leaving Civitavecchia, Italy on Nov 26, 2020 for a little over $1500 for a balcony!. Cruise disembarks in Galveston, Texas with stops in a port in Spain (I can't remember which one), Gibraltar, Grand Canary and Nassau. I would "pull the trigger" and book this in a heartbeat if it wasn't for this darn virus. To tell you the truth, I don't think any cruises will go for the rest of 2020.

 

I noticed that all your booked cabins have balconies. I think we chatted before on this; I'm like you, I got to have me a balcony! I don't care if I'm sailing solo. Anyway, with all of the above that you have listed, sounds like you have many options. Best of luck with whatever you decide and I'm also definitely hoping that cruising resumes in 2021, if not sooner. Take care.

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2 hours ago, farmersfight said:

 

I recently found out about the Quantum OTS redeployment to Seattle for Alaska cruises. Yeah, I agree, I would keep that one also. Especially leaving from/returning to your homeport of Seattle. Gives more time in to 2021 for this virus situation (for the above reasons) and sounds like you got a great price on one of those coveted solo balcony cabins. I wish more cruise lines (i.e. NCL) had those. Btw, how did you manage to book one of those? What was your secret? I know those go fast and are hard to book.

 

Your September 2021 Celebrity Solstice 15-day TP sounds incredible. Sounds like Celebrity's Aqua Class is similar to NCL's Haven experience. A solo balcony cabin in Aqua Class? Guess there is another cruise line besides RCL that has solo balcony cabins. $2800 for a 15-day TP cruise sounds like a great deal! Congrats!

 

Speaking of deals, your right, RCL does have some good solo deals currently. I spotted a 15-day TA on the Jewel OTS leaving Civitavecchia, Italy on Nov 26, 2020 for a little over $1500 for a balcony!. Cruise disembarks in Galveston, Texas with stops in a port in Spain (I can't remember which one), Gibraltar, Grand Canary and Nassau. I would "pull the trigger" and book this in a heartbeat if it wasn't for this darn virus. To tell you the truth, I don't think any cruises will go for the rest of 2020.

 

I noticed that all your booked cabins have balconies. I think we chatted before on this; I'm like you, I got to have me a balcony! I don't care if I'm sailing solo. Anyway, with all of the above that you have listed, sounds like you have many options. Best of luck with whatever you decide and I'm also definitely hoping that cruising resumes in 2021, if not sooner. Take care.

Sorry, I should clarify. Celebrity does have balcony cabins designed for solo travelers on their Edge-class ships. This is a regular cabin - I'm just going solo and paying double. It's a really cheap price for something in this category, though! It wasn't much more than a regular balcony.

 

That's a great price for the Jewel TA but unfortunately I agree, it's not happening. Check out 2021 prices for RCL as there are some good deals available. Availability is going to be limited, though, since they offered the Lift & Shift for cancelled cruises. I just joined the roll call for my Solstice transpacific and it seems like most of the cruisers there were originally booked on the equivalent cruise scheduled for September 2020.

 

I checked the availability for my mid-June Quantum cruise and there are still 7 or 8 Studio Balcony cabins available (out of 12). Join us in Alaska! It's not a great itinerary for a once-in-a-lifetime Alaska visit but should still be fun.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, coastcat said:

Sorry, I should clarify. Celebrity does have balcony cabins designed for solo travelers on their Edge-class ships. This is a regular cabin - I'm just going solo and paying double. It's a really cheap price for something in this category, though! It wasn't much more than a regular balcony.

 

4 hours ago, coastcat said:

I checked the availability for my mid-June Quantum cruise and there are still 7 or 8 Studio Balcony cabins available (out of 12). Join us in Alaska! It's not a great itinerary for a once-in-a-lifetime Alaska visit but should still be fun.

 

Hi coastcat. Yeah, I think that we had previously discussed those solo balcony cabins on the Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex (Edge class ships). I think Celebrity calls them Solo (or single) Infinite Verandas as I recall. That $2800 price for a 15-day TP on the Celebrity Solstice is still a great deal, even paying double going as a solo in a regular balcony cabin. The 15-day Jewel OTS cruise I mentioned before showed something ridiculous like around $750 pp for a balcony cabin. With the 100% solo supplement, that's where it added up to around $1500. If my math is correct, that works out to around $100 per day - about the cost of a good hotel room on land. But on this cruise ship, for $100 per day you're getting the room (w/balcony), meals/some drinks (MDR), entertainment (broadway-style shows in the main theater, etc), and transportation (from Italy all the way to Texas) all included. Kind of hard to beat that! But it's in Nov 2020 - not going to happen.

 

Thanks for the idea of joining you on the Quantum OTS 7-day Alaska cruise. As a "bucket list" item, I did a 7 day Alaska one-way cruise on the (now COVID famous) Diamond Princess from Vancouver to Whittier (port for Anchorage). It had a 5 day (I believe) land tour after the cruise. Princess calls these cruisetours and they are very popular. Princess is well established/connected in Alaska, so the cruise/land tour was excellent. On the land side, it included a couple of train rides and hotel stays, as well. I'm sure I'll cruise to Alaska again some day,  just not sure when. Have you cruised to Alaska previously?

 

Speaking of RCL Quantum class ships, I was eyeing an 8-day Eastern Caribbean on the (currently still under construction) Odyssey OTS in Dec 2020 out of Ft. Lauderdale. I was also looking at another Dec 2020 12-day Southern Caribbean cruise on another RCL Quantum class ship, the Anthem OTS. For both of these cruises, I would definitely try a book one of those solo balcony cabins. But here again, both cruises are in Dec 2020 - most likely not going to happen (for sure wrt to the Odyssey, as I read that the construction slowed and the delivery date has been delayed to April 2021 due to COVID concerns/precautions at the shipyard in Germany). I don't want to tie up my $$ with RCL for cruises that will probably be cancelled.

 

Anyway, I'm monitoring the cruise industry and how/when they come back. Once I see that cruises are going again and see how they will look (new protocols?), then I will seriously look at booking. Silver lining in this COVID year (2020);  I'm saving some good $$, so I'm sure I'll be able to pay the entire balance for any cruise I book upfront! From the 17-day and 15-day cruises you have booked, I assume you're like me, and like the longer cruises. I have a self-imposed cruise length of at least 12 days. Seems like a bit much to fly from the western Michigan town I live in (Muskegon) to Miami/Ft Lauderdale, NY/NJ or LA, etc for a shorter 5 or 7 day cruise. Well take care and I hope you get some more solid feedback on your options here on this thread!

Edited by farmersfight
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Let's see ...

 

My upcoming booked cruises (all on Regent Seven Seas) are:

 

  • 68-day South America - Los Angeles, CA to Miami, Oct. 29, 2020 around South America with about 10 days on the Amazon, ending on Jan 5, 2021.  This will almost certainly be canceled.  I've already made final payment using the 125% FCC I got for the interrupted 2020 World Cruise.  The ship made it from San Francisco on Jan 24 to Fremantle, Australia before they cancelled it on March 17 - plus another 125% FCC for a canceled July 2020 Alaska cruise (yes, I would be on it right now if it hadn't been canceled -- 15 days, R/T from Vancouver to Seward, July 1-15).  The leftover FCC from all that was applied to the next cruise, ... 
  • 94-day North Atlantic/Arctic - R/T New York, May 31 - Sep 2, 2021.  Final payment due on Jan 1, 2021 -- if the cruise above gets canceled, the applied FCC from that will more than cover the final payment for this one, and overage will be applied to the next cruise, ...
  • 120-day Pacific - R/T San Francisco, Jan 5 - May 5, 2022.  Final payment not due until about a year from now.  

I'm ready to go whenever they start again.  I'm not planning to cancel anything myself unless something happens (heart attack, house burns down, etc.).  At my age, my "sailing days" are numbered anyway.  I have a couple of progressive medical conditions that will render me unable to travel at some point, so I'm determined to get in as much as I can while I'm still able to do it.

 

I'm keeping my eye on the news but whenever cruise travel resumes, I'll be ready.

 

Lana in Bellingham, WA

 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, ArtsyCraftsy said:

Let's see ...

 

My upcoming booked cruises (all on Regent Seven Seas) are:

 

  • 68-day South America - Los Angeles, CA to Miami, Oct. 29, 2020 around South America with about 10 days on the Amazon, ending on Jan 5, 2021.  This will almost certainly be canceled.  I've already made final payment using the 125% FCC I got for the interrupted 2020 World Cruise.  The ship made it from San Francisco on Jan 24 to Fremantle, Australia before they cancelled it on March 17 - plus another 125% FCC for a canceled July 2020 Alaska cruise (yes, I would be on it right now if it hadn't been canceled -- 15 days, R/T from Vancouver to Seward, July 1-15).  The leftover FCC from all that was applied to the next cruise, ... 
  • 94-day North Atlantic/Arctic - R/T New York, May 31 - Sep 2, 2021.  Final payment due on Jan 1, 2021 -- if the cruise above gets canceled, the applied FCC from that will more than cover the final payment for this one, and overage will be applied to the next cruise, ...
  • 120-day Pacific - R/T San Francisco, Jan 5 - May 5, 2022.  Final payment not due until about a year from now.  

I'm ready to go whenever they start again.  I'm not planning to cancel anything myself unless something happens (heart attack, house burns down, etc.).  At my age, my "sailing days" are numbered anyway.  I have a couple of progressive medical conditions that will render me unable to travel at some point, so I'm determined to get in as much as I can while I'm still able to do it.

 

I'm keeping my eye on the news but whenever cruise travel resumes, I'll be ready.

 

Lana in Bellingham, WA

 

 

 

 

Hi Lana. And I thought 12, 15, 17 day cruises were long! 68, 94, 120 day cruises...all I can say is "WOW"!! Not to mention the 2020 World Cruise. I can only imagine how many days that one was.

 

You've got great spirit and a great attitude. I hope you have many more sailing days ahead of you! Best wishes for your 2021 and 2022 cruises to go (I bet they will by then).  Here's also wishing you good health so you can enjoy these remarkable cruises (more like voyages).

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33 minutes ago, farmersfight said:

 

Hi Lana. And I thought 12, 15, 17 day cruises were long! 68, 94, 120 day cruises...all I can say is "WOW"!! Not to mention the 2020 World Cruise. I can only imagine how many days that one was.

 

You've got great spirit and a great attitude. I hope you have many more sailing days ahead of you! Best wishes for your 2021 and 2022 cruises to go (I bet they will by then).  Here's also wishing you good health so you can enjoy these remarkable cruises (more like voyages).

 

Thanks --

The world cruise was supposed to be 131 days -- it ended after 51.  It was great while it lasted and a lot of us really didn't want to leave.  In mid-March, COVID was mostly in WA state where I live, so I actually felt safer on the ship.  

 

Regent ships are small -- the two biggest ships hold 750 guests; I was on the Mariner - 700 guests --- so there's a lot of room to "spread out."  I always tell people I love going places and seeing new things, but I *HATE* to travel -- the airports, schlepping luggage, (stressing over) making connections, etc.  Once I'm on the ship, though, all that disappears and I can totally relax.  That's why I like longer cruises -- more time to relax before I have to worry about "traveling" again.  

 

 

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18 minutes ago, ArtsyCraftsy said:

 

Regent ships are small -- the two biggest ships hold 750 guests; I was on the Mariner - 700 guests --- so there's a lot of room to "spread out."  I always tell people I love going places and seeing new things, but I *HATE* to travel -- the airports, schlepping luggage, (stressing over) making connections, etc.  Once I'm on the ship, though, all that disappears and I can totally relax.  That's why I like longer cruises -- more time to relax before I have to worry about "traveling" again. 

 

Your plans sound amazing - I hope you get back onboard soon! It sounds like such a wonderful way to see the world without, as you note, the logistical hassles.

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17 minutes ago, ArtsyCraftsy said:

 

Thanks --

The world cruise was supposed to be 131 days -- it ended after 51.  It was great while it lasted and a lot of us really didn't want to leave.  In mid-March, COVID was mostly in WA state where I live, so I actually felt safer on the ship.  

 

Regent ships are small -- the two biggest ships hold 750 guests; I was on the Mariner - 700 guests --- so there's a lot of room to "spread out."  I always tell people I love going places and seeing new things, but I *HATE* to travel -- the airports, schlepping luggage, (stressing over) making connections, etc.  Once I'm on the ship, though, all that disappears and I can totally relax.  That's why I like longer cruises -- more time to relax before I have to worry about "traveling" again.  

 

 

 

Oh, o.k. I thought that your world cruise was cancelled but I see that you were able to go on for some of it. Some day, I'd like to do a world cruise.

 

I see your point about feeling safer on the ship instead of being in WA where COVID started out here in the U.S. I agree with you wrt traveling. That's what is great about cruising, your "hotel" goes with you to different places (and restaurants too). Yeah, once you unpack your luggage on the ship, you don't have to worry about it again until it's time to disembark.

 

I know my definition of a "long" cruise is probably much different than yours, but I'm setting the minimum length at 12 days for cruises that I will book. 15, 17 day cruises (i.e. transatlantic or transpacific voyages) will work for me also. Well, my fingers are crossed that we will be cruising again in early 2021, if not sooner. Take care.

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On 7/6/2020 at 7:26 PM, coastcat said:

With fingers crossed (and masks worn properly), let's hope cruising returns in a reasonable form in 2021. It's planning time! Here's what I have booked right now...

 

Booked but almost certainly not happening:

  • December 2020: NCL Breakaway, Western Caribbean, solo mid-ship balcony. The way things look right now, I'll most likely just cancel this before the final payment date in mid-August.

 

Booked for 2021:

  • April 2021: NCL Escape, 15-days transatlantic, solo mid-ship balcony. This is NYC to Southampton with stops in the Azores, Spain, France, Belgium, and England. I'm wondering if all of those locations will be open to cruise ships by then - or maybe the question is if these ports will be open to U.S. citizens by then. If I apply my current FCC balance to the final payment due, only a very small amount of extra cash (less than $200) would be required.
  • June 2021: RCL Quantum of the Seas, 7-days Alaska, Studio Balcony. Okay, I feel pretty certain we'll be cruising by this time. An affordable balcony in Alaska, hurray!
  • September 2021: Celebrity Solstice, 15 days transpacific: If you're a solo cruiser, RCL/Celebrity has bargains available! This is a 15-day transpacific cruise from Vancouver to Tokyo. I booked a solo Aqua Class balcony cabin - with exclusive restaurant, unlimited access to the thermal spa, priority boarding, and other category perks - for $2800. Whoa. That's the no-extra-perks price (although you can pick your cabin location). They do have a deal now with unlimited beverages and WiFi plus pre-paid service charges, but selecting that version would have been DOUBLE the price. Uh, no thanks, I can buy my own occasional cocktails.
  • December 2021: NCL Spirit, 17-days Singapore to Sydney, solo mid-ship balcony. I'd hate to cancel this one because the itinerary is amazing and I booked at a fare about 1/3 less than the current rate. While I have a good chunk of vacation time (and can carry over a lot from this no-vacations year), taking off for a 2+ week cruise after already taking 5 weeks off for the earlier cruises seems a bit much. If I don't use my FCC on the Escape TA, it'll cover a little less than 1/2 the remaining balance on the Spirit trip. Ouch. That's a lot of money for just a normal balcony cabin. I could do a similar land-based vacation there for less, flights included.

 

Considering my first cruise of 2021 is scheduled to be the Escape transatlantic, I'm wondering if it makes more sense to cancel the Escape TA and wait for June to get back onboard - the June Quantum cruise allows more time for the industry to test out its protocols, is a shorter trip with a domestic itinerary, and is departing from my home port of Seattle. If I keep the Escape TA, I'd want to cancel the Spirit cruise. I'd rather do the Spirit cruise but the price is steep for a solo traveler. I know that longer cruises often drop considerably in price and solo supplement after the final payment date, and thus can be great for bargain hunters with flexible schedules. However, that was before we had a year without cruises and a dedicated core of cruise enthusiasts with a lot of FCC that needs to be used before it expires. I think it could be harder to find solo bargains for a year or two.

 

Another option is to cancel both of the 2-week NCL cruises and apply all of the FCC to a 7-day NCL Caribbean cruise in November or December 2021. Heck, that should get me into The Haven. All 4 of my CruiseNext certificates currently holding cruises are valid through January 2024 so no rush in using them.

 

I'm keeping my nicely priced RCL and Celebrity bookings, though.

 

So many decisions to make. I'm inclined to cancel all the NCL bookings, then book a Haven cabin for fall/winter 2021 to use up the FCC. Thoughts?

I have been looking at the September transpacific cruise on the Solstice and the cruise after that. I’m booked on the Apex in December but I think it’s 50/50 weather or not she will sail. 

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On 7/10/2020 at 9:22 PM, journeymore said:

I have been looking at the September transpacific cruise on the Solstice and the cruise after that. I’m booked on the Apex in December but I think it’s 50/50 weather or not she will sail. 

 

At least Apex has been delivered, unlike other new ships & refurbishments which have been delayed. Unfortunately you're probably right that the December trip won't happen. Then again, I would expect the shiny newest ships to be the first ones returned to service - we'll see. Here's hoping! It looks like Solstice was due to be Revolutionized in October 2021 and I'm wondering if that schedule will slide to 2022 or later.

 

If you want to book the Solstice transpacific, cabins seem to be going fast. Based on what I see in the CC roll call, a lot of folks are using Lift & Shift to replace the fall 2020 crossing on Millennium (Solstice is the only currently scheduled fall 2021 transpacific).

 

I've officially cancelled the NCL December 2020 and April 2021 cruises but have left the December 2021 one in place for now. I'll cancel it later, though, once I decide on a 2022 replacement. In the meantime I've just booked another Royal Caribbean cruise, a 5-day western Caribbean sailing on Mariner of the Seas, for late January 2022.

 

Now I still need to apply all this NCL FCC to something before it expires! When in doubt, Alaska.

Edited by coastcat
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Unlike you, I have one cruise booked.  The rebook of the MSC annual repositioning from Dubai to Venice.....except that last week that got changed to a repo from Dubai to Rome on an entirely different ship with a lot fewer port stops.  At this point, I will take it as they cover the Middle East ports of interest. I expect it to 'go', but I wouldn't be surprised if there are more changes.  As a back up to use the FCC, I have a May Baltic cruise booked. 

I hope to retire in Nov 2021, so limited to vacation days between April and Nov so I will wait to do one of those Pacific repositioning cruises I have my eye on.  It may mean missing out on the deals, but that's the way it goes.

2018 was my year to jump on the deals and cruise with little notice. It was fun while it lasted.

I won't be cruising before April when I hope things are stable, and that I won't need to go into quarantine when I return to Canada. That quarantine issue will be the clincher on all my international travel in the foreseeable future.

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4 hours ago, mef_57 said:

Unlike you, I have one cruise booked.  The rebook of the MSC annual repositioning from Dubai to Venice.....except that last week that got changed to a repo from Dubai to Rome on an entirely different ship with a lot fewer port stops.  At this point, I will take it as they cover the Middle East ports of interest. I expect it to 'go', but I wouldn't be surprised if there are more changes.  As a back up to use the FCC, I have a May Baltic cruise booked. 

I hope to retire in Nov 2021, so limited to vacation days between April and Nov so I will wait to do one of those Pacific repositioning cruises I have my eye on.  It may mean missing out on the deals, but that's the way it goes.

2018 was my year to jump on the deals and cruise with little notice. It was fun while it lasted.

I won't be cruising before April when I hope things are stable, and that I won't need to go into quarantine when I return to Canada. That quarantine issue will be the clincher on all my international travel in the foreseeable future.

 

mef 57, which MSC ship (Dubai to Rome repo) do you currently have booked? And when? Also, which ship are you booked on for your May Baltic cruise? Sorry if I'm being nosy, just curious.

 

Congats on your upcoming retirement in Nov 2021. I'm recently retired and was about to embark (literally) on cruises during my new found freedom, flexibility and leisure time. Then COVID 19 hit the fan and it was "all stop" (to use a nautical term). From what I have read here on CC, I learned that NCL significantly discounts their cruise fares right before sailings. I planned on using my flexibility to book these last minute NCL deals. Plus, sailing as a solo, I know that NCL is very solo friendly (although I don't like their interior studio cabins). But, I was also going to be on the look out for no/reduced solo supplements on any of the cruise lines, especially for last minute sailings.

 

Yeah, I agree with you, I don't want to get on a cruise ship again until things are stable (i.e. vaccine). Don't think I would cruise with the virus still circulating even with ships implementing health safety protocols (mask wearing, social distancing, no buffets, no indoor pools, etc). Yeah, the quarantine requirement is also a deal breaker for me.

 

Unfortunately, things are not looking good for cruising out of the U.S. any time soon. Dealing with this virus on cruise ships is challenging enough but now Florida's and Texas' COVID  cases are spiking. Also, I don't see foreign ports accepting cruise ships any time soon, especially with U.S. citizens. Let's just say I'll be happy if cruising resumes sometime in 2021. I don't think there is a chance for the rest of 2020, IMHO.

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12 minutes ago, farmersfight said:

 

mef 57, which MSC ship (Dubai to Rome repo) do you currently have booked? And when? Also, which ship are you booked on for your May Baltic cruise? Sorry if I'm being nosy, just curious.

 

Congats on your upcoming retirement in Nov 2021. I'm recently retired and was about to embark (literally) on cruises during my new found freedom, flexibility and leisure time. Then COVID 19 hit the fan and it was "all stop" (to use a nautical term). From what I have read here on CC, I learned that NCL significantly discounts their cruise fares right before sailings. I planned on using my flexibility to book these last minute NCL deals. Plus, sailing as a solo, I know that NCL is very solo friendly (although I don't like their interior studio cabins). But, I was also going to be on the look out for no/reduced solo supplements on any of the cruise lines, especially for last minute sailings.

 

Yeah, I agree with you, I don't want to get on a cruise ship again until things are stable (i.e. vaccine). Don't think I would cruise with the virus still circulating even with ships implementing health safety protocols (mask wearing, social distancing, no buffets, no indoor pools, etc). Yeah, the quarantine requirement is also a deal breaker for me.

 

Unfortunately, things are not looking good for cruising out of the U.S. any time soon. Dealing with this virus on cruise ships is challenging enough but now Florida's and Texas' COVID  cases are spiking. Also, I don't see foreign ports accepting cruise ships any time soon, especially with U.S. citizens. Let's just say I'll be happy if cruising resumes sometime in 2021. I don't think there is a chance for the rest of 2020, IMHO.

I am willing to share details 🙂  My original cruise was on MSC Lirica, which now isn't doing any sailing until the Med in Summer 2021.  I am booked on MSC Fantasia for Dubai to Rome.  Baltic is on Splendida.

 

MSC still charges double for solo travelers, but it is so low priced, that I choose by itinerary and price per day.  I also prefer a smaller ship and European flavour, but I have enjoyed NCL when a repositioning with fewer people and off season.

On the RollCall for the April 2020 cruise, there was a woman who decided to winter in Dubai and did numerous cruises.  She moaned that she got better cabins and choices when she booked last minute - but she was already there so didn't have to account for the last minute airline ticket costs.  The repositioning cruise did drop price at least once, so I rebooked and got an oceanview with money in my pocket.  I don't know how this upcoming one will play out, as we don't know how full they will sail and supposedly the longer cruises are not selling well...for any cruiseline.

I booked the Baltic as one that was in my FCC price range and I am of the mind that cruise prices will go up and solo cruising be less affordable once the covid situation stablizes, so the Baltic was something I felt comfortable locking in - and it has 2 nights in Saint Petersburg which I would have liked.  It is still over my per night budget, but cheaper than many other similar itineraries.

I work in the world of hospital labs, so essential, but not front line.  I may have a different perspective on Covid than some, but even I know to give new roll outs some time to prove themselves. After the initial antziness of being grounded (so to speak), I am willing to wait until April to use my passport again.  Anything sooner will be direct flights somewhere warm and south.

But if you can get yourself to Europe some time, there would be cruise options.  They are sailing sooner than North America; but are also having severe problems as far as what they can do and what is happening with ships/new deliveries.  You just need to keep expectations low as far as customer service and meeting other solo travelers.  If you are a self sufficient introvert, it may work for you.

I hope can get back to your retirement plants.  Sorry they were sidelined, but sometimes there are reasons things happen.  Stay safe.

 

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24 minutes ago, mef_57 said:

MSC still charges double for solo travelers, but it is so low priced, that I choose by itinerary and price per day. 

 

24 minutes ago, mef_57 said:

I hope can get back to your retirement plants.  Sorry they were sidelined, but sometimes there are reasons things happen.  Stay safe.

 

Thanks for your reply. I never really thought about pricing solo cruises by price per day. I definitely consider the itinerary. For solo cruising, have you checked out cruiseplum.com? (hope CC doesn't have a problem with me mentioning another web site). They list cruises with no/low solo supplements as well as "hot deals" and "last minute deals" that also apply to solo cruisers. Anyway, ignoring whether the cruise line charges double (100% solo supplement) and going by price per day is a smart way of doing it.

 

I don't have any retirement plants (but being locked down at home these days, I should get some). Just kidding lol 😉, I know you meant retirement plans. Thanks for the sentiment and you're absolutely right, there are reasons things happen (I call it the silver lining). Not being able to cruise all this year = saving a lot of $$. When cruising does resume, I'll be able to pay for my cruise(s) upfront and in total. I won't have to use the old credit card which means not having to borrow the $$ and having that debt hanging over my head. This is the "glass half full" approach.

 

Stay safe, as well.

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1 hour ago, mef_57 said:

But if you can get yourself to Europe some time, there would be cruise options.  

 

The problem for US residents is getting there.  Even if you're allowed in, you have to quarantine for 14 days.  

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1 hour ago, farmersfight said:

 

 

Thanks for your reply. I never really thought about pricing solo cruises by price per day. I definitely consider the itinerary. For solo cruising, have you checked out cruiseplum.com? (hope CC doesn't have a problem with me mentioning another web site). They list cruises with no/low solo supplements as well as "hot deals" and "last minute deals" that also apply to solo cruisers. Anyway, ignoring whether the cruise line charges double (100% solo supplement) and going by price per day is a smart way of doing it.

 

I don't have any retirement plants (but being locked down at home these days, I should get some). Just kidding lol 😉, I know you meant retirement plans. Thanks for the sentiment and you're absolutely right, there are reasons things happen (I call it the silver lining). Not being able to cruise all this year = saving a lot of $$. When cruising does resume, I'll be able to pay for my cruise(s) upfront and in total. I won't have to use the old credit card which means not having to borrow the $$ and having that debt hanging over my head. This is the "glass half full" approach.

 

Stay safe, as well.

"Plants". Oops. Must be the gardener in me....and I am terrible about not reading before hitting 'send'.

Yes, I am aware of the plum site., and actually sort it by cost per day to see whether to bother stopping to read the deals.

It is prudent to have interests outside of travel for when travel or cruising isn't an option. I have plenty. They force me to be social at home, as well as creative.

Regardless, it sounds like you are set up for making quick decisions once thungs get moving again. You can always keep a cruise bag packed and most cruise lines accept bookjngs 24 or 48 hours prior. I think the days of booking at the gangway are over, but you can let them know before you hop in the car and drive to Boston, NYC or Baltimore.Have fun with it...and trip reports are always welcome.

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57 minutes ago, Roz said:

 

The problem for US residents is getting there.  Even if you're allowed in, you have to quarantine for 14 days.  

Yes, Roz, I take it for granted readers know their country rules. I am aware of the general US situation, and didn't say to gk tomorrow just 'if'. However, given that farmersfight is retired, he may have alternatives and time do quarantine or travel on a different passport.  I don't presume to know, just encourage. 😊

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2 hours ago, mef_57 said:

You can always keep a cruise bag packed and most cruise lines accept bookjngs 24 or 48 hours prior. I think the days of booking at the gangway are over, but you can let them know before you hop in the car and drive to Boston, NYC or Baltimore.Have fun with it...and trip reports are always welcome.

 

Good idea to keep a cruise bag packed but I don't think I have to because I can pack fast, lol. The one aspect of getting those low cruise fares by booking close to sailing date is the cost of traveling to the cruise port. Yeah, if I could, driving would solve that problem (lucky people who live near Miami or Ft Lauderdale or any other city that has cruise ships home ported there, i.e. Tampa or Galveston). But, living here in western Michigan, I would have to fly. As I understand, the price of airfare goes up the closer you get to departure date. Guess I'll just have to find that perfect balance in overall cost (cruise/airfare/hotel, etc).

 

Looking forward to the return of cruising fun. Yeah, I enjoy reading the trip reports (especially with pictures) posted here on CC. With cruising shut down for the foreseeable future, it looks like cruise trip reports are all we've got 😢.

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42 minutes ago, farmersfight said:

Looking forward to the return of cruising fun. Yeah, I enjoy reading the trip reports (especially with pictures) posted here on CC. With cruising shut down for the foreseeable future, it looks like cruise trip reports are all we've got 😢.

 

And YouTube videos. Lots and lots of YouTube videos. I've been watching vlogs and ship tours lately, partly to learn more about RCL and Celebrity but mostly to re-live the pre-Covid experience of cruising. I'm going to miss self-serve buffets! On the one hand, it's more sanitary to have crew serving the food since there are plenty of clueless/oblivious/inconsiderate individuals out there. On the other hand, now I'll have to confess to a crew member that yes, I would like a plate full of hash browns with some hash browns on the side. And hash browns for dessert.

 

As the CruiseNext certificates from the cancelled cruises were dropped back into my account, I booked a 2021 holiday cruise on NCL Bliss to the Mexican Riviera. Bliss is a wonderful ship and since my employer gives us the week between Christmas and New Year as a paid holiday, there's no need to use precious vacation time. 

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2 hours ago, coastcat said:

 

And YouTube videos. Lots and lots of YouTube videos. I've been watching vlogs and ship tours lately, partly to learn more about RCL and Celebrity but mostly to re-live the pre-Covid experience of cruising. I'm going to miss self-serve buffets! On the one hand, it's more sanitary to have crew serving the food since there are plenty of clueless/oblivious/inconsiderate individuals out there. On the other hand, now I'll have to confess to a crew member that yes, I would like a plate full of hash browns with some hash browns on the side. And hash browns for dessert.

 

As the CruiseNext certificates from the cancelled cruises were dropped back into my account, I booked a 2021 holiday cruise on NCL Bliss to the Mexican Riviera. Bliss is a wonderful ship and since my employer gives us the week between Christmas and New Year as a paid holiday, there's no need to use precious vacation time. 

 

Hi coastcat. Yeah, that's right...YouTube videos. I'm a regular viewer of that travel agency - H_rr Travel's (don't want to get in trouble with CC, lol) YouTube channel. I like that guy Danny and the full ship and stateroom tours he does. Also, when on YouTube, I've come across some really interesting ship videos, for instance, the tragic mishap of the Costa Concordia hitting the rocks off an island near Italy. I forgot that the captain of that ship went ashore during the crisis, leaving passengers to fin for themselves. When questioned why he went ashore during this calamity, he replied that he "accidentally tripped and fell into a lifeboat". Unbelievable!

 

Yeah, I agree with you, I'm going to miss the buffets as well. Guess I never thought about the clueless/oblivious/inconsiderate individuals out there. Guess it's safe to say you like hash browns, lol!

 

My strategy is to not book anything until cruising starts back up and safely (can you say vaccine?). Then, I'll look for "last minute deals" or no/reduced solo supplement cruises (using that plum website). And, as I mentioned before, I'm like you...I got to have me a balcony. That's why I'm interested in RCL's Quantum class ships that have solo balcony cabins. But, a regular balcony on any line/any ship will work also, as long as I can get a reduced or better yet, a waived solo supplement.

 

Anyway, fingers crossed 🤞 that cruising out of the U.S. resumes in 2021. I hate to say it but I don't think it will happen in 2020.

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23 minutes ago, farmersfight said:

Yeah, I agree with you, I'm going to miss the buffets as well. Guess I never thought about the clueless/oblivious/inconsiderate individuals out there. Guess it's safe to say you like hash browns, lol!

 

My strategy is to not book anything until cruising starts back up and safely (can you say vaccine?). Then, I'll look for "last minute deals" or no/reduced solo supplement cruises (using that plum website). And, as I mentioned before, I'm like you...I got to have me a balcony. That's why I'm interested in RCL's Quantum class ships that have solo balcony cabins. But, a regular balcony on any line/any ship will work also, as long as I can get a reduced or better yet, a waived solo supplement.

 

Most of the time I eat a low starch/low sugar diet. While I don't go absolutely wild on vacation - no milkshakes with a cheesecake jammed into the top and a lake of caramel poured on top - I do allow myself whatever quantity of hash browns will fit on the plate.

 

Pricing is going to be so weird next year. Hopefully you'll turn up some tempting bargains! Retirement should make it much easier to take advantage of those last-minute prices. I'm still a worker bee. Hmm. There are 11 sea days on the transpacific and can do my job 100% remotely so maybe I ought to buy the fast wifi and work for a few of those days...  (er, no)

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33 minutes ago, coastcat said:

milkshakes with a cheesecake jammed into the top and a lake of caramel poured on top

 

Yummm...sign me up! Lol.

 

34 minutes ago, coastcat said:

Hopefully you'll turn up some tempting bargains! Retirement should make it much easier to take advantage of those last-minute prices.

 

Thanks. I'm newly retired and was just about to book a fairly long cruise (Norwegian Jewel - Honolulu to Papeete, Tahiti) when COVID hit the fan. Glad I didn't "pull the trigger" and book it. Yeah, when cruising resumes, I should be able to take advantage of last minute prices. Just need to figure out how to get good prices on last minute flights.

 

44 minutes ago, coastcat said:

There are 11 sea days on the transpacific and can do my job 100% remotely so maybe I ought to buy the fast wifi and work for a few of those days...  (er, no)

 

I agree...er, no.

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11 hours ago, farmersfight said:

 

Good idea to keep a cruise bag packed but I don't think I have to because I can pack fast, lol. The one aspect of getting those low cruise fares by booking close to sailing date is the cost of traveling to the cruise port. Yeah, if I could, driving would solve that problem (lucky people who live near Miami or Ft Lauderdale or any other city that has cruise ships home ported there, i.e. Tampa or Galveston). But, living here in western Michigan, I would have to fly. As I understand, the price of airfare goes up the closer you get to departure date. Guess I'll just have to find that perfect balance in overall cost (cruise/airfare/hotel, etc).

 

Looking forward to the return of cruising fun. Yeah, I enjoy reading the trip reports (especially with pictures) posted here on CC. With cruising shut down for the foreseeable future, it looks like cruise trip reports are all we've got 😢.

Prices start to drop shortly after final payment is due. I bough soon after and could still get flights at a good price.  some waited until much closer to sail date and couldn't afford the flight bsck from San Juan so didn't book at all. My Canadian flight dynamics are different than yours but while you are waiting maybe do some flight price testing. chose a date, any date, about 100 days from now, and choose a port airport. Start checking airline prices at 90 days, 75 days, 45 days......you get the picture. It doesn't mean that price changes will be the same when you do want to fly, but it might give you an idea of where the break point might be from your airport. At the very least, it will be something different thsn watching cruise vlogs😉

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12 minutes ago, mef_57 said:

Prices start to drop shortly after final payment is due. I bough soon after and could still get flights at a good price.  some waited until much closer to sail date and couldn't afford the flight bsck from San Juan so didn't book at all. My Canadian flight dynamics are different than yours but while you are waiting maybe do some flight price testing. chose a date, any date, about 100 days from now, and choose a port airport. Start checking airline prices at 90 days, 75 days, 45 days......you get the picture. It doesn't mean that price changes will be the same when you do want to fly, but it might give you an idea of where the break point might be from your airport. At the very least, it will be something different thsn watching cruise vlogs😉

 

Yeah, I see what you are saying. I would still consider 30 days out from sail date "last minute" (I think that plum website uses that also). Even 45 days out. I'm thinking that I could still snag a good price on airfare at these points.

 

Thanks for the tip on doing some flight price testing. Good idea and it will give me an idea on what the prices would be like at 30 days, 45 days, etc out. Fortunately, I'm not yet tired of watching cruise videos on H_rr Travel's YouTube channel. Once you go there, you can find all kinds of other cruise/ship related videos on YouTube. I also like the cruise reviews (with pictures of course) posted here on CC. But like you said, doing some flight price testing would be a good diversion.

 

I live in a "smallish" western Michigan town (Muskegon) and there is a small airport here that United services with daily flights to/from Chicago O'Hare. By flying United and connecting through O'Hare, you can fly practically anywhere in the world that United flies to. Makes it real convenient. As an alternative, there is a larger airport about 40 minutes drive away in Grand Rapids, a larger "town" (actually a small city) than Muskegon and with many more flight options.

 

Well, like everyone else here on CC, I'm patiently (o.k., impatiently) waiting for cruising to resume. As I mentioned, I'm guessing the earliest will be sometime in 2021. I think we can write off cruising for the remainder of 2020. I saw some promising news on TV yesterday on a possible vaccine. Fingers crossed 🤞...

 

 

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