Cruising Solo –
“Do I really have to pay 200%?”
I have been a Cruise Specialist for almost 12 years now and approximately 1/4 of my clients are solo/single travelers. Cruising is a great way for singles to travel. Whether it is with a group or a couple of single friends, after a day on a cruise solo travelers are suddenly “not so solo” anymore! On any given cruise ship there are bound to be quite a few singles…so you won’t be alone! Cruise lines do cater to the singles by hosting “meet & greet” cocktail parties throughout the cruise.
For singles & solo cruisers, having your own cabin is often the most preferred way to cruise as it is nice to have the privacy of your own cabin. There is however, one question that always comes up when someone traveling solo calls for information…
”Why do I have to pay double to have a have my own room?”
For those of you unfamiliar with cruising, the cruise fare is usually quoted in a “per person” rate. That rate is always based on double occupancy. However, if you are planning to have your own stateroom as a solo you are required to pay “double” (except on very few occasions where the cruise line is running specials). For many this seems unfair and sometimes it is a deciding factor in cruising for a single/solo.
Although on the surface, it does seem unfair. But if you think about the cost of a cruise in terms of booking a hotel rate, it is really not unfair at all.
If you are planning a weekend vacation at a hotel, you are quoted a “per night” rate based on the room you choose. For example, you may choose a hotel accommodation that costs $300 per night. If you are traveling alone it will cost you $300 per night. If you are sharing with a friend and splitting the cost, it would then cost you each $150 per night. The hotel does not charge you half the room price if you are only 1 person in the room. The hotel bases their operating budget on the cost of the room, whether 1 or 2 guests are in the hotel room.
A cruise ship is very similar. If a stateroom costs $300 per night, as a solo you would pay $300 per night and if you share the stateroom you would split that. Sounds fair…but why does it seem so unfair?
It is the way Cruise pricing is quoted…on a “per person basis.” If a client hears that a cruise is $150 per person/per night, it is hard to understand why as a solo you have to pay double ($300 per night). It somehow sounds wrong for a cruise to charge a 200% cruise fare for a solo traveler. But the reality is that the Stateroom has to be paid for, exactly like the Hotel room. The Cruise lines formulate a budget based on each stateroom being filled whether 1 or 2 guests are in the stateroom. IF the cruise was quoted in a “Per Cabin” rate instead of a “per person” rate, no one would think twice about the solo pricing.
Some cite that the difference is that Cruise fares include meals and the solo traveler is only eating for 1, so shouldn’t there be a discount? Yet if you were staying at a hotel that included daily breakfast, you would not get a discount on the Hotel room rate if you are solo. Again, it is thought of in terms of a “Room charge per night”.
As a solo cruiser, it might sound unfair to pay double, but when you compare it on equal terms to a hotel vacation, you will still find the Cruise a much better value…even when you are traveling solo!
So don’t let that 200% charge for a Solo Cruise fare scare you away…it is just in the way it is phrased. And let’s not forget the benefits of having your own room – privacy, space and your own closet! Plan your solo travel today!