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One of the questions I get asked most often is, "how can I get around paying double occupancy on my cruise?"
Well, it's no secret that cruising solo often means getting the short end of the stick when it comes to price and service. But there is good news--in today’s economy, some cruise lines are beginning to make life a little easier for solo travelers.
Traditionally, solo cruisers have had to pay the double occupancy rate for a room, or pay a hefty single-supplement fee. The cruise lines make their money from onboard spending, so having one person taking up a room for two isn’t their favorite option.
But the tides are changing. Norwegian Cruise Line's new mega-ship, the Norwegian Epic, has 128 studio rooms designed for solo travelers. For an upcoming seven-day Caribbean cruise, a single room rooms cost about $800. Based on double occupancy, similar rooms go for about $1,300. Sounds like a deal to me.
Other cruise lines are taking a different approach. If you’re an older woman cruising for a younger man—or vice versa—Royal Caribbean’s Cougar Cruise will set sail this May from L.A. to the Mexican Riviera. It’s co-sponsored by the Singles Travel Company.
Of course, on this cruise, the only way to avoid the single supplement is to get matched up with a roommate. Some luxury liners like Seabourn and Swan Hellenic have rock-bottom single surcharges on higher category cabins. Do the math before you book and you might find you’ll get a better deal on a pricier cabin.
What has been your experience when using roommate matching services? I want to hear your stories--good and bad.
So far, the only bargain I have found on a solo price was on the Island Princess from VaCouver to Whitier Alaska on May 31st. I usually book a balcony, but the solo price would have been $1400 more for that and not a bargain at all. I tried takng a room mate on a cruie I had already paid for two, lst Septembero on Carnival, but ended up just getting a companion and I still had to foot the whole bill. I am leaning to be more cautious in my choices now.