There’s definitely some different options out there for solo cruisers it just depends on which cruise appeals to you. Here’s a list of the best 5 cruiselines and what they can offer solo travellers, in no specific order.
1. Norwegian Cruise Line
Why: Norwegian Epic was the first Norwegian Cruise Line ship to feature studio cabins (128 in all) targeted at and priced for solo cruisers. The line continued the trend with Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, which each have 59 studio cabins, and Norwegian Escape, which has 82 studio units. Four studios also can be booked on Pride of America, which sails year-round in Hawaii. Evening meet-ups in a quiet bar, such as the Sailing Solo Social, are held fleetwide including onboard Norwegian Jewel, which is based part-time in Sydney from November 2017.
Special Extras: A full-size bed, flat-screen TV and private bathroom are all squeezed into these nine-square-metre accommodations. Although all studios are inside cabins, each has a window that looks out onto the corridor. Four different colours of ambient lighting jazz up the room, but the biggest perk is access to an exclusive, shared social space called the Studio Lounge. It’s a sleek hangout area with its own large-screen TVs, coffee-making facilities, a bartender at certain times of the day and daily hosted pre-dinner gatherings (from 5.30pm to 6.30pm).
Discounts Available: The studio cabins are priced for solo travellers, with no extra supplement to pay.
2. Holland America Line
Why: Holland America Line is renowned for catering to solo cruisers. There are plenty of programs that don’t require partners and activities that can be delightfully solitary or a means to meeting others. (The culinary programs, from hands-on workshops to wine tastings, are tons of fun.) Most voyages also have hosted solo events like pre-dinner or post-dinner drinks; the solo afternoon tea is usually a bigger hit.
Koningsdam has 12 solo cabins; even the smallest in the fleet, Prinsendam, has three. Koningsdam’s solo cabins are all oceanview and range from 12 to 16 square metres. They feature all of the same amenities of a double-occupancy cabin, but with a twin bed. On Prinsendam, the trio of solo cabins measure 14.5 to 19 square metres and again, share standard cabin features, with the exception of one twin bed and a shower instead of a bathtub.
Special Extras: Singles are invited to dine together (by advance request), and, on voyages of 40 days or more (or if you’re on a sector of a world cruise), gentleman hosts are available for dancing and dining.
Discounts Available: Koningsdam’s cabins are priced for one. Typical rates for Prinsendam’s cabins run from 150 percent to 200 percent of the double-occupancy rate.
3. Royal Caribbean International
Why: Royal Caribbean International’s Ovation of the Seas (based in Australia for half the year), Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas feature 28 dedicated studio cabins for solo travellers on each ship, a mix of virtual balcony cabins (80-inch floor-to-ceiling LED display screens that project live images of the ocean and ports) and staterooms with five-square-metre open-air balconies. Harmony of the Seas also offers two categories, but only 15 cabins are available.
Special Extras: A variety of singles-friendly activities onboard Royal Caribbean ships allows solo cruisers to have just as much fun at sea as couples and groups. From scuba training in the pool and group fitness activities to wine tasting demonstrations and cooking classes, solo cruisers can easily keep themselves well entertained. And with the line’s “My Time Dining” policy, passengers who wish to enjoy a meal with others can request to be seated at large table — no need to eat alone.
Discounts Available: Royal Caribbean’s studio staterooms carry no supplement.
4. Silversea Cruises
Why: Silversea doesn’t have allocated single cabins, but its occasional special fare deals mean that a solo traveller can sail alone without a huge penalty. Their typical solo fares are 25 to 75 percent above the double-occupancy rate. Singles makeup about 10 percent of the line’s passengers, which is pretty significant in cruising. Another plus: With just 296 passengers on Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, 382 apiece on Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper and 540 on Silver Spirit, solo cruisers find it easy to feel at home. Some of the enrichment programs and special-interest cruises ensure a compatible mix of people with like interests, solo or not.
Silver Discoverer, part of the expedition fleet, makes regular calls at Australia and has a dedicated Kimberley program. Expedition cruising is perfect for solos as the Zodiac rides and other shore activities are perfect for meeting people.
Special Extras: A welcome reception with Champagne is held on every voyage with a large number of solos. Most voyages of more than 10 days also have gentleman hosts onboard as dance partners and shore excursion escorts (except on expedition vessels).
Discounts Available: Solo fares are often as low as 125 percent of the regular fares, but occasional sales can bring single traveller rates down to 110 percent. The line is quick to point out that these fares are “capacity controlled and subject to availability.” In other words, book early.
5. Cunard Line
Why: Cunard is spending increasing amounts of time in Australian and New Zealand waters. The famous line has long attracted solo travellers to its traditional cruise ships and ocean liners, and the convivial onboard atmosphere means that solos can easily make friends with their shipmates if they choose. Cunard does try to accommodate passengers who wish to dine solo, but this depends on how full each voyage is. In general, solo travellers are assigned to tables with other singles. In addition, gentleman hosts are available to whirl single ladies around the dance floor.
Special Extras: Queen Elizabeth has nine midship single-occupancy cabins; eight are oceanview cabins, while the ninth is a standard inside cabin. Queen Victoria has nine solo cabins, and Queen Mary 2 has 15 oceanview single-occupancy cabins, located on decks 2 and 3. Additionally, Additionally, many activities taking place onboard are ideal for solos such as watching a planetarium show on QM2 or participating in theatrical workshops and performances by members of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Discounts Available: Cunard’s typical solo supplement is 200 percent for Queens and Princess Grills and 175 percent for inside, outside and balcony cabins. On occasion, the line offer discounts to solo travellers.
This article was sourced from Cruisecritic.com.au.
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