Category Archives: cruises

“Why does it seem unfair to pay double to cruise single?”

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! 

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Top 5 Reasons Cruising is Great for Families!

TOP 5 Reasons Cruising is Great for Families!

  1. Kids are split into age appropriate groups so making new friends is easy and fun is supervised!
  2. Teens have their own Dance Clubs onboard where parents can’t “Hang around”!
  3. On deck sports activities such as Golf, Rock Climbing, Zip Lining & Water slides keep kids entertained!
  4. Raining?  No Problem!  How about Movies, Arcades, painting, Ice Cream Sundae Parties and MORE!!
  5. Late evening entertainment for the kids & that means MOM & DAD can stay out and have fun where kids can’t “Hang around”!!
Okay, here is the scoop.  I have raised 5  kids  who are now all in their 20’s and I can honestly tell you that Cruising was the perfect vacation for us.
Disney World?  Pretty awesome…but you really need a vacation when you come back from there!!  It certainly isn’t relaxing!
Beach Resort?  I love to relax on the beach and get a massage at a beautiful island resort….but not when the kids get bored and start saying “Mom, can you come in the water?”  “Dad, can you walk me back to the room”?  I
OH!  And did I mention how expensive it is to feed everyone every day?!!!!  Totally unpredictable when each family member has different desires for lunch  or dinner.  Maybe that should be # 6  – Kids can eat WHAT they want WHEN they want it.  (and it’s all included!)
A Cruise solves all of these issues …
 Kids are entertained so Mom & Dad can enjoy some alone time to relax or “whatever”!
Days at sea are just what us parents need to decompress and relax.
Everyone can eat what they want, when they want.  No hassles, no expensive dining bills…and that means no stress!
After our first 3 cruises, it was our families vacation of choice.  Cruising made everyone happy!
Our favorite Cruise Lines for Family vacation?
  • Royal Caribbean (The kids favorite!)
  • Celebrity Cruise Lines
  • Princess Cruises
  • NCL
Now that the ids are grown up, we still love those Cruise vacations…in fact I look forward to our Super Bowl Cruise on the Celebrity Millennium in 2012 with the whole family!
It is still the #1 vacation for our family because a vacation is really about relaxing, having fun and creating your own mix.

Join us on our Super Bowl Cruise in February 2012!  www.MoreThanJustaCruise.com 

A great holiday Gift for your family…togetherness on a cruise!

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Planning a Girls Getaway?

Rules #1 & #2

Rule #1 for a Girls Getaway –

DO NOT invite the Girls who can’t understand the invitation for a “Girls Getaway” (okay…a bit of sarcasm!).  

A classic example of a “Girls Getaway Gone Wrong” happened on the Real Housewives of Orange County when Vicky planned a Girlfriend Getaway to Fort Lauderdale… and most of the women showed up with their husbands!  To top it off, when Vicky got upset, the other women just didn’t get it!  Why?

Seriously, why would Vicky go out of her way to plan a Girls Getaway?  (Think real hard now) The answer is  -” TO GET AWAY WITH THE GIRLS!”  What don’t they get about that?  I thought that statement was completely self-explanatory…and I totally thought that they were rude to just ignore it and bring the GUYS.

I was yelling at the TV screen when I watched that episode.  I totally understood why Vicky was so mad!  There is something very special about “time away with the Girlfriends” that just isn’t the same when half of the group is “couples”.  It would destroy the “girly” atmosphere of any Girls Getaway.  

 Lesson #2 for a Girls Getaway –

Choose the right venue & atmosphere for the Girlfriends Getaway that allows choice, but makes it easy.

The best aspect of Vicky’s Girls Getaway Vicky was that she planned the whole event, day by day, activity by activity…all the way down to dinners.  She could easily get away with that & be in total control as she was paying for everything. But that is usually NOT the case when a group of girls travel.  Everyone has different budgets, desires and ideas of what they want to do, which can lead to catastrophe!

I recently did a Girls getaway to Los Angeles and the 5 days were filled with “Where do you want to have lunch?” “What time do you want to go shopping?”  “We have plans for dinner so you can’t get your hair blown out?”   Of course, I was not “the boss” as everyone was paying for themselves…and that led to half of our time spent discussing / debating all of this.  Don’t get me wrong, I still had a great time…but “ideally” life would have been easier without having to make plans!  AND that could have been accomplished by a change of venue.

The most important factor that goes into selecting the best place to have a Girls Getaway?  Go to a place where everyone can be together yet also have space so each girl can do their own thing. It is essential to take the “thinking & planning” out of the equation once you arrive at your destination.  Choice is essential, but should be a pleasure, not a major decision!  Free time should be spent having fun, relaxing & laughing!

My favorite picks for a Girls Getaway is a Cruise or an All-inclusive Resort. Both offer an easy vacation with a super wide menu of activities all within easy reach.  Shopping, Gym, Spa, Dining Options, Pools, Beach, Entertainment and more!  And the best is that on any particular ship or at any particular resort there are accommodations to suit every budget…and every woman will STILL be able to participate in the same activities!  A cruise has the added feature of being able to satisfy everyone with visits to different ports of call.  That is what it is all about Girls, taking the decisions away from the day to day and making it easy!

Options + Options + Options + Ease = A great “Girls Getaway”!

(And please remember the key word –  “GIRLS”!)

For Fun, Carefree Girls Getaway options….go to “GirlsonaCruise.com” 

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Cruise & Travel Deals of the Week!

April 4, 2011 Last Minute Cruise Deals

Confused by all of the offers and websites on the internet?   Sometimes it can be overwhelming!

Just remember…”The internet is for looking, your Travel Specialist is for booking!”

When you are spending money on a vacation, it is important that it is the right “fit” for you.  Every Cruise ship and Resort has a unique personality and it is my job to match your personality up with the perfect vacation!  As a Travel Specialist, I can clear the confusion and make your life easier (and happier!).

Don’t make planning a vacation become a huge headache…

Check here for Weekly deals and then call me to make your life easier!

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The Celebrity Century,
in THIS Century!

In 1997, my whole family cruised on the Celebrity Century for a family reunion in honor of my parents 30th wedding anniversary. It was a huge success! Everyone (new and experienced cruisers alike) LOVED the Century. Everyone was impressed with its service and atmosphere (decorated in the rich nautical colors that you think a Classy Ship at sea should be).

12 years ago, the Century was considered a huge ship, by standards today, she is small and intimate. It amazes me that even after the introduction of “Mega” ships, the Century is still impresses

After a total revitalization 6 years ago, the Celebrity Century She still is the classy ship that she was 12 years ago, only better!!! And yes, small and intimate are 2 perfect ways to describe her. Yet she is large enough to offer every amenity that larger ships offer, only with a bit more class and style. In fact, ALOT more style!

We were fortunate enough to be staying in the Royal Suite, but I can testify to the fact that the interior rooms were just as elegant and classically styled. Warm, rich colors and woods make every stateroom feel like a Penthouse suite! Ocean View rooms have very large windows that make you feel as though you are in a verandah stateroom. The designers of the Century should be applauded!

Our favorite places on the Century:

The Martini Bar – Great Martini selection served on an Ice Bar.

The Murano Restaurant – Table side cooking and elegant service.

The Aqua Spa – New and Improved Gym and Spa.

Healthy Cafe – Great option for healthy meals!

Sushi Bar – Open every night from 5 – 8 for the perfect snack!

The Hemisphere Lounge – Great Music till the wee hours!

The Grand Restaurant – Still my favorite dining room on the Seas!!

So many great attributes. I plan on doing my next Girls Getaway on the Century in Fall 2010. And I have no doubt that every one will be impressed!!!

For more information on the Celebrity Century, click here!


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WIN A ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE!

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Cruise Assurance

CruiseOne, CruiseAssurance!

Consumers might be concerned about losing their jobs, but they no longer need to worry about a pink slip ruining their vacation plans. CruiseOne unveiled the first-ever comprehensive job loss travel insurance policy covering travel on all cruise lines. The new “CruiseAssurance” initiative is an exclusive benefit to consumers booking through CruiseOne, even if they have to cancel their trip at the last minute because of an unexpected layoff.

The best part? CruiseOne is picking up the tab for “CruiseAssurance” for consumers purchasing their basic travel insurance. Combined with lower-than-ever prices, cruising is now the most affordable and worry-free vacation option.

“In today’s environment, it is crucial for businesses to step up to the plate showing we understand consumer challenges, and a handful of companies have recently done this with their versions of job loss protection,” said Dwain Wall, General Manager of CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. “Our ‘CruiseAssurance’ policy takes the concept of job loss insurance to a new level, easing the concerns of consumers at no charge and on any cruise line of their choice.”

Under the “CruiseAssurance” policy, travelers booking a cruise with CruiseOne can cancel their trip up to the day of departure, or even during the vacation. The only requirements are that travelers purchase an entry-level travel insurance plan from their CruiseOne agent – administered by Travel Guard – and present their termination letter. One year of employment is required. “CruiseAssurance” applies to bookings made March 1 through May 2, 2009 and is offered in addition to an already comprehensive travel protection policy.*

“We have our finger on the pulse of what is happening with consumers and travel, and we are passionate about finding innovative ways to problem-solve, making cruise travel accessible and affordable for everyone,” said Wall.

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