Traveling alone has benefits: you get to see and do what you want; you set your own pace; you don’t have to consult anyone on where to eat. But solo travel is also a little intimidating for some. For many, solo cruising is a wonderful solution that allows you all the benefits of traveling on your own, yet have a ready network of new acquaintances and plenty of activities at your disposal.
Cruise lines recognized the potential for their travel style to attract solo travelers, so several have enhanced their solo offerings to raise the appeal. Here are some great choices for solo cruising in three standards of travel.
Luxury Cruising for Solo Travelers
Crystal Cruises is one of the most popular luxury cruise lines with solo travelers. In fact, some sailings have up to 25% solos. Many solo travelers enjoy the sense of community, as well as the variety of classes in the Creative Learning Institute aboard Crystal’s ships. Unlike most luxury lines, Crystal uses assigned dining room seating so solos don’t have to eat alone or they can dine with other singles at the specialty restaurants in the Table for 8 program.
Crystal has single supplements ranging from 10 to 100 percent of double occupancy cruise fares on both of its ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity; however, they also offer limited-time single specials on select sailings.
Upscale Cruising for One
Holland America’s newest ship, Koningsdam, was built with 12 ocean view single occupancy cabins. The rooms have the all the same features as double occupancy cabins, except that they have one twin bed. These single cabins are priced for one person, without a supplement.
Solo cruisers aboard Holland America enjoy the Single Partners Program that hosts cocktail parties and games for solos, plus the line offers a plethora of workshops, culinary programs and wine tastings that are fun for guests with or without a partner.
Traditional Solo Cruising
Norwegian Cruise Line was the first line to purposely build studio cabins for solo travelers and now has over 200 on five ships: Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Escape, and Pride of America. Although the single studios are tiny – about 100 square feet – they have a full bed and private bathroom (also tiny). All studios are inside cabins but have a window to the hallway.
The differentiator for Norwegian’s single studios is access to the exclusive Studio Lounge, a hangout area with TVs, a coffee maker, and hosted pre-dinner gatherings only for studio guests. Pricing for single studios is without a single supplement.
Royal Caribbean International is the other mid-market line that excels in solo cruising. They offer a total of 99 dedicated “studio” cabins on four mega-ships, Quantum of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, and Harmony of the Seas. The single cabins are a mix of staterooms with real, open-air balconies, and inside cabins with an 80-inch floor-to-ceiling LCD “virtual balcony” that projects live images of the ocean and ports. Royal Caribbean’s studio cabins do not have a single supplement.
Royal Caribbean is known for offering an array of activities and solo cruisers are certainly not left out. From top deck signature adventure pursuits to show-style entertainment and wine tastings, solos will never get bored. “My Time Dining” allows singles to be seated at a large table with others or alone as they please.
Solo cruising allows travelers the autonomy of independence but has a safety net of a like-minded community and plenty of activities when you want them. To find out more about solo cruising itineraries and pricing, contact the cruise specialists at Covington.