Category Archives: singles travel

“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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Does the TSA really want to “Touch His Junk”?!

 

Fly Safe...

POP QUIZ…

Question :

Where was John Tyner when he said “If you touch my junk, I will have you arrested”!

A. – At the Collingswood Flea Market

B. – At the Jones’ yard sale in my neighborhood.

C. – At the Airports’ TSA security line.

If you guessed “C” then you guessed right (and that means you aren’t living under a rock!).

OMG!  This is all I have heard about today!  Like this is something new?  Just last month my husband got the “Pat Down”  at the Airport & I have seen hundreds of other people experience this…yet today, this is the hottest news to talk about?!  I thought this was old news!

So here is what happened:

This John Tyner was at the Airport, going through TSA security checkpoints and he refused to go through the new body scanner that they are using.  As protocol has it, if you refuse to go through the scanner, your option is to get a “pat down” (as seen on cop shows since the Dragnet days!).  Well, this John Tyner wasn’t happy about that! So as the TSA agent was giving an explanation of how he would be “Patting him down” he said “If you touch my junk I will have you arrested”.  The TSA Agent informed him that he needed to call a supervisor since he made that statement (OF COURSE!  that statements says “I am going to sue you and have your job”, so he had to protect himself!).

Long story short…John Tyner never went on his trip. TSA is pretty straight forward – If you don’t go through security, you don’t get on the plane!  I personally like that rule.  But apparently there are many people who disagree with me.  Here is my case…

I fly often and have been very inconvenienced at the TSA security.  I too have bitched & moaned about the time delay (it’s just human nature to complain). And through it all…I am so happy that they are there doing their jobs.  I gladly take my shoes, belt, sweater &  bracelets off.  I gladly pull out my laptop, ziploc filled with liquid items & electronics.  I gladly step aside to be searched more thoroughly when it is requested of me.  I actually get excited, because to me it means that they are doing their jobs!

They are not there to get their “Jollys”.  TSA is there to protect the people, the planes & America from another tragedy.  I say “Thank You” and I gladly oblige.  The day I stop believing this, is the day I stop flying.

John Tyners’ first problem is that he didnt want to go through the Body Scanner.  Me?  I kinda agree with that.  Not because I am worried about someone seeing an image of my body…but because I am not convinced that the radiation is safe.  (Although, I think people wearing burkas or other large garments that could hide so much should HAVE TO be scanned.  That is just common sense!  Cut the “I don’t want to profile and hurt anyones feelings” crap, because this is about safety, and safety supersedes political correctness!)

So I would agree to be patted down.  I have nothing to hide.  I sacrifice a little inconvenience for the safety of all.  I am getting on a plane with many other people, and that is a privilege, not a right.  And everyone else on that plane deserves to have the comfort that I am not hiding anything.  I personally don’t want to get on a plane & worry about someone having circumvented TSA!

John Tyner needs to get over himself and start thinking about the collective good for Airline travel and that is preventing terrorists from attacking us again!  Does he really think that TSA agent wanted to touch his junk?!

I remember when everyone was freaking out that their pocketbooks and carry-ons were being scanned.  I remember when everyone was freaking out about having to take off their shoes!  I remember when people were freaking out about not bringing liquid or sharp instruments through security…and now this is the new thing.  TSA security keeps evolving & changing due to threats and concerns that we (the general public are not even aware of.  As Americans, we need to kinda “go with the flow” as it is a learning process for all of us, and totally for our own good!

Sure, could the process be improved?  Yes.  Is it flawless? No. Are there always a few bad eggs in ANY job place, that abuse authority and should be fired? YES. But I believe that the TSA is doing the best they can to keep America & Americans safe.

So if the TSA agent accidentally touched this guys junk, I say “Who freaking cares!”

It is simple to me…If you want to fly, you have to follow the rules…or don’t get on my plane!

Just my opinion…..What’s yours?

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“Aha” Moments onboard the NCL Epic

Ever Cruised? Sure, Cruising is about relaxation.  But what I love about cruising is that it is the perfect mix of Relaxation and FUN!  And the Epic has it all…for EVERYONE!

I have cruised many times over the years.  I have cruised all the major Cruise lines and have definite opinions on them all.  And now I have an opinion on the NCL Epic!

My first impression was “WOW”! The Epic is definitely a beautiful ship!  Total “eye candy”.  But what makes the Epic stand out in the sea of Cruise Ships is the vibe of FUN on the ship and the variety of FUN on this ship to please every type of cruiser.

For me, there are 3 types of “cruisers” – Couples, families and singles.  The Epic has them all covered. (I know these 3 types, because I have BEEN all of them!)

Solo Travelers have the best of everything with The Studios and Lounge – exclusive to solo travelers at special “single” cruise fares!  (See previous post “Single Traveler Heaven”)  This urban style complex is your home while the Epic is your playground!  Chill out in the Svedka Ice Bar, laugh at the Second City comedy troupe, go bowling with new friends or just relax by the pool! (My first cruise was as a single, I would have loved The Studio complex!)

Families – Parents will truly be able to relax with great accommodations in the Family Staterooms & Suites.  Not to mention the special clubs for kids of all ages!  Teens gather in “Entourage”…with a staircase warning adults to “enter at your own risk”!  And younger children are excited when parents drop them off at “Recess”, a gigantic area exclusive to kids and tweens!  Relax on a lounge chair, hit the spa and Hydrotherapy Courtyard, dine at one of over 14 restaurants in peace (including Cagneys and Teppanyaki), see the shows you have always wanted to see without interruption & party like a ‘Rock Star”  at one of the many exciting bars on the Epic.  And your kids will never realize how much FUN you are having, because they are having their own! (I raised 5 kids and KNOW how important that is!)

Couples – This ship is huge, but small enough to feel intimate & romantic.  The innovative staterooms even have a “sexy” curvy feel!  The nightlife (more than 14 bars and lounges!), casino (there is even a poolside Casino!) and entertainment (Blue Man Group!!!) is exciting & bold.  Join the NCL Pub Crawl and sample the diverse “Maltings” – Whiskey and Beer Bar, “Fat Cats” – Jazz & Blues lounge, “Headliners” – Howling at the Moon & Second City and “Cascades” – Casino Bar.  Feel like dancing?  Head over to “Spice H20”, “Ultra Bliss” (stayed way too late at these clubs!). And what could be more romantic than Dinner & Dancing at the “Manhattan Room” (Dancing with the Stars never had it so good!).  (Oh! I know…shopping in the Promenade for the perfect bauble for your wife!)

One of the coolest things about the Epic is the iTV in your stateroom.  It is your virtual control center for your Cruise.  With so much to do on the Epic…it really became my lifeline.

Did I forget to mention the outdoor activities? Epic has the 1st ever rappelling / Rock Climbing  Wall at sea!  The Epic plunge is the grand daddy of all water slides and did tempt me…(I chickened out!).  There is also a full court Basketball / tennis court.  But you can also work out in style at the Pulse Fitness Center (awesome classes and equipment!). (I am exhausted just thinking about it)!

It was a great week on the NCL Epic…so for now, I will just sit back, close my eyes and remember what that breeze felt like………

YOU? Take a tour with me in the Video below, then call me at CruiseOne to book your NCL vacation TODAY!!


Teens warn parents "Enter at your own risk!"

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“Single” Traveler Heaven on the NCL Epic!

 

 

 

 

Studio Updates from your friendly bartender!

Part of the Studio Lounge

Corridor for The Studios

I just came home from a Cruise onboard the NCL Epic.  It was so much fun. The entertainment was great!  Blue Man Group, Cirque Dreams, Second City Comedy Group, Fat Cats Jazz Club and Legends in Concert were all fantastic!  I usually never do “shows” (which always put me to sleep) when I am cruising, but these were definitely not “sleepers”!  I was impressed.

And then of course, there was the nightlife.  I am almost embarrassed to say how late I was up every night!  Let’s just say that the night started with a Pub Crawl and ended with me singing Karaoke at Bliss Ultra Lounge!  (Which I might not have remembered until I saw the video!!)  The Pub Crawl was a great event that NCL does, because it is a great way to get to know other people on the cruise.  (I recommend doing the Pub Crawl early in the cruise).  I have cruised alot and it was evident that The Epic really goes out of it’s way to make this a friendly ship for Singles to travel on.  But it can be daunting as a single to just walk into any of the awesome bars & lounges that are on the Epic –

Bliss Ultra Lounge – O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill – Sake Bar – Shakers Martini Bar – Svedka Ice Bar (YES!  An ICE BAR AT SEA!) – Spice H2O – Fat Cats Jazz Bar – Cascades – Maltings Beer & Whiskey Bar – Waves Pool Bar – Humidor Cigar Lounge – Headliners – and most importantly for Singles “The Studio Lounge”!

I have so many friends and family that are single (I was there twice myself!) and going on a cruise alone is not just daunting, it is expensive (on a cruise, there is a higher charge to travel alone)! The really cool thing about The Epic is that NCL has solved both of those problems for Singles who want to travel by creating an exclusive Staterooms and a 2 story Lounge that make traveling as a Single both Affordable and Friendly!

The Studios –  This is a private Key Card Access complex of staterooms designed and priced for the solo traveler.  The staterooms feature a full sized bed, bathroom and one way window into the corridor.  I have been in them and they are so nice!  They did not feel small at all!  It is the perfect room for a single.  But the best is…..

The Studio Lounge – Only accessible by the Studio Guests, this is a lounge where you can feel comfortable meeting other Singles. Have morning coffee, watch a movie or Sports Game, have cocktails or just hang out!  This was a great idea.  Kudos to NCL!

As a single on my first cruise many years ago, all cruises have that infamous “singles cocktail party”…but it is not enough.  It is actually very awkward.  This Studio complex is not just an hour of pressure, it is a 24 hour long comfortable situation.  The perfect way to mingle and meet others who want to enjoy all the entertainment the Epic has to offer.  Make new friends and see the Blue Man Group or visit the Jazz club then stay out till the wee hours at Ultra Bliss!  Remember, everyone in the Studio complex is a single…so there is no awkwardness!

Single and traveling with a Single friend?  There are many Studio Staterooms that do connect, so you can have your doors open and privacy when you want.  It is really a great situation for Singles!

To see more on the NCL Epic Studios click here!

To find other Singles interested in travel- Meetup with Single Cruisers!

For great pricing and other information on the NCL Epic: I recommend ME! I’ve been there and experienced the Studios! Visit CruiseOne!

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