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Solo World Cruise - With Visitors?


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Greetings all!  I'm in the brainstorming/research(/saving!) phase of planning a world cruise for retirement that is several years away.  I'm wondering if anyone knows if it is possible to book a solo world cruise, but to also have friends or family book segments of that cruise and stay with me?

 

Thanks in advance!

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I believe most, if not all cruise lines with World Cruises will offer options for solos. However, they all have different policies with respect to the solo supplement.

 

Have only completed WC's with Princess and Viking. Wasn't aware of any solo pax on Princess that had guests join them for portions of the cruise.

 

With Viking, I did meet and chat with a chap that was sailing solo, but had his son join him for about 2 weeks. I note while Viking often sell out the full World Cruise, so may not have segments, but your guest could most likely join and leave at any ports.

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I’m hoping to do this for one segment of a Princess cruise, joining 2 others who will be on the full world cruise. 

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I am aware of 2-3 situations on a HAL Grand World Voyage where a DH was able to join their full cruise DW for a segment or more during the cruise.  Obviously, DW already had her stateroom which would have accommodated two guests at least.  What the pricing was, etc., no idea.  

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I know on Oceania there have been solo travelers who had other solos join them in their cabin several times during the 6 months.  Since they have to pay 200% for the cabin,  not sure if their friend/family reimburse them or not.  I’m not positive, but pretty sure the cabin fare was paid in full by the original passenger,  but Oceania had to approve the pax for the segments in advance. 

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Very glad to hear of solo travelers successfully having people join them for portions of a world cruise.  I called Oceania to ask this exact question a few months back and was told that this was not possible.    

 

I wonder though if it might be more possible if the person who is joining does so for a route that has been designated as a "segment" by the cruise line?

@Officer20 - If you are able to set this up could you post the details back here?

Many thanks.

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58 minutes ago, Smokeyham said:

I called Oceania to ask this exact question a few months back and was told that this was not possible.    

 

I wonder though if it might be more possible if the person who is joining does so for a route that has been designated as a "segment" by the cruise line

 

Does Oceania have segments for a world cruise?  Maybe they anticipate sailing booked for the entire world cruise.  

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6 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Does Oceania have segments for a world cruise?  Maybe they anticipate sailing booked for the entire world cruise.  

That is a very good question.  The answer is probably not, especially since their 2023 World Cruise booked fully within 24 hours of being opened!

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What ship is that? Is the deposit fully or mostly refundable ( meaning there will be cancellations and availability for others to book)? 

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33 minutes ago, sjde said:

What ship is that? Is the deposit fully or mostly refundable ( meaning there will be cancellations and availability for others to book)? 

@SJDE,  - Sue,

The ship I was referring to is Oceania Insignia.   In talking with others I have heard that it is very likely that some will cancel, but I am not sure how long the waitlists are for the various classes of cabins.

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Our '23 Viking WC is also sold out, but I fully expect some cabins will open up over the next 22 months, especially about the time of full payment.

 

However, I have tracked the '22 Viking WC, which has also been sold out for many months. Cabins have opened, but are quickly filled, as I have no doubt they have a wait list.

 

With the current pandemic, many of have wondered if they are selling all cabins, or are they reducing the pax capacity, which could open additional cabins closer to sailing, or introduce segments.

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The situations I know of where guests joined a full cruiser for part of the cruise were all segments. I'd be surprised if any ship would accommodate someone joining for random periods--too many customs/immigration issues.

 

I have never heard of a ship doing a world cruise that didn't also offer segments within that cruise, though I suppose some might. But it would be financially challenging, since inevitably some world cruisers will cancel at final payment, and at that point it would be hard to replace those bookings. Reserving some cabins for segment bookings means that they can fill in with the much more popular shorter cruises.

 

Also, I have heard that world cruises that have too many passengers on for the full ride are an unpleasant experience for both crew and passengers. I was on the Crystal 2016 WC, and people who had been on the previous year's WC said that 2016 was a much better experience than 2015, primarily because more than half the passengers were world cruisers in 2015 and only about 1/3 in 2016. A staff member said that Crystal had done this deliberately because of complaints about 2015.

 

So, yes, even if a world cruise is listed as sold out, there will be space on segments of it.

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13 minutes ago, wishIweretravelling said:

Also, I have heard that world cruises that have too many passengers on for the full ride are an unpleasant experience for both crew and passengers. I was on the Crystal 2016 WC, and people who had been on the previous year's WC said that 2016 was a much better experience than 2015, primarily because more than half the passengers were world cruisers in 2015 and only about 1/3 in 2016. A staff member said that Crystal had done this deliberately because of complaints about 2015.

Do you know why having a higher ratio of World Cruisers would make the experience less enjoyable? 

 

Do people start to get tired of each other after awhile and it is better to have different passengers come on board?

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10 minutes ago, wishIweretravelling said:

The situations I know of where guests joined a full cruiser for part of the cruise were all segments. I'd be surprised if any ship would accommodate someone joining for random periods--too many customs/immigration issues. 2019/20 Viking Ultimate 245 day WC, I met a chap who had his son board the ship in Papeete and disembark in Auckland. These ports weren't a segment

 

I have never heard of a ship doing a world cruise that didn't also offer segments within that cruise, though I suppose some might. But it would be financially challenging, since inevitably some world cruisers will cancel at final payment, and at that point it would be hard to replace those bookings. Reserving some cabins for segment bookings means that they can fill in with the much more popular shorter cruises. The inaugural 2018 Viking WC had no segments from departure L/A. Total pax were about 830 out of 930. Yes some pax cancelled, but they had a wait list. The 2022 & 2023 Viking WC's are also sold out without any segments. I believe Oceania has also sold the 2023 WC without segments.

 

Also, I have heard that world cruises that have too many passengers on for the full ride are an unpleasant experience for both crew and passengers. I was on the Crystal 2016 WC, and people who had been on the previous year's WC said that 2016 was a much better experience than 2015, primarily because more than half the passengers were world cruisers in 2015 and only about 1/3 in 2016. A staff member said that Crystal had done this deliberately because of complaints about 2015. Viking's 2018 WC had very positive feedback and many have booked subsequent Viking WC's

 

So, yes, even if a world cruise is listed as sold out, there will be space on segments of it. While our 2023 WC itinerary is set up for segments, I don't anticipate Viking indroducing them, as the ship is sold out. The 22 WC has also been sold out for many months and whenever a cabin opens, it is quickly filled again.

 

While most WC's have segments, it is not true for all, especially Viking Ocean. Please see responses in red

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4 minutes ago, Smokeyham said:

Do you know why having a higher ratio of World Cruisers would make the experience less enjoyable? 

 

Do people start to get tired of each other after awhile and it is better to have different passengers come on board?

 

I'll suggest it varies by both cruise line and each specific cruise, based on the crew and pax. An example is Viking's 245 day WC - R/T Greenwich (London), which was also sold as 2 shorter World Cruises - Greenwich to L/A and L/A to Greenwich.

 

The first half had about 55 join for the entire 245 days and about 120 from Greenwich to L/A. To fill the ship, they had segments about every 2 weeks for the 4 months, with over 700 joining for each segment.

 

We started in L/A, with about 400 pax doing the 2nd half. Therefore, we had about 50/50 on to Greenwich and those on segments.

 

Full timers we met, were not very complimentary on the atmosphere during the first half, as it was more like a bus. The 2nd half, with more WC'ers was more enjoyable.

 

On our first WC, where we only had about 25% on for the duration, it seemed more like a B2B2B than a WC. So in our experience, a higher percentage of World Cruisers provides a better atmosphere during a WC.

 

Also on our 1st WC, we had traditional dining, having the same 3 couples at our table for the entire 104 nights. When 1 couple suggested a specialty restaurant, we all went. We also shared a number of shore-excursions, so no, we didn't get tired of people. On our 2nd WC, we met a number of fellow pax pre-cruise and stayed at the same hotel pre-cruise. We developed great friendships, which are ongoing and at least 6 couples have booked the 2023 WC, coming from Canada, US and Sweden.

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On 3/8/2021 at 3:54 PM, Smokeyham said:

Do people start to get tired of each other after awhile and it is better to have different passengers come on board?

 

On 3/8/2021 at 4:20 PM, Heidi13 said:

I'll suggest it varies by both cruise line and each specific cruise, based on the crew and pax.

 

It's impossible to predict, as Heidi13 said.  As a 17 day segment guest on the Amsterdam in 2007, the guest mix and atmosphere was different--for whatever reason--than I experienced in 2008 on the full world cruise.  

 

2007:  didn't sense any cliques; my dining table of six was composed of two couples sailing the full cruise, a woman who was a one port before me segment guest, and me.  The two couples were welcoming and friendly.  

 

2008:  the ambiance was somewhat different.  Many, many pleasant, welcoming experienced full world guests.  But, cliques did develop.  "Territories" at the Crow's Nest Bar were established.  (To the amusement of the bartenders one evening, I "invaded" the "territory".  If looks could kill by the "property holders", I would have been buried at sea.)  I was seated at a dining room table whose occupants were as diverse as possible and were as mercurial as possible as well.  (The DRM stopped visiting our table during the cruise.)  

 

I met and remained friends with several people from that cruise.  Some of whom, I have sailed with since that cruise.  There are, however, a few whom I hope I will never sail again.  And, they may well feel the same about me. 

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On 3/8/2021 at 3:54 PM, Smokeyham said:

Do you know why having a higher ratio of World Cruisers would make the experience less enjoyable? 

 

Do people start to get tired of each other after awhile and it is better to have different passengers come on board?

I don't think it was a matter of people getting tired of each other, although people did enjoy meeting new people as they joined. From what I gathered, the problem they had with so many full WC'ers in the prior year was that WC events tended to be overcrowded, and it was harder to get to know everyone during the cruise because there were so many. Also, reading not far between the lines, I gather that world cruisers can be more demanding than those on for a segment, which would be exhausting for staff (though, in truth, I'd have thought it would be the other way around, as world cruisers tend to settle in for the duration rather than try to squeeze pleasure out of every second). 

 

Heidi, that's interesting about Viking and Oceania. I assume that it works for them financially or they wouldn't do it that way.

 

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