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Planning a Cruise Solo?

Waiting for a family member to join you on a trip is becoming less and less of a requirement in the current digital age, especially for the LGBTQ community.  For me, it’s become less of something that I am willing to do, as I am in a different place than many of my other family members, and my siblings specifically.  My older sister is married with kids, and my younger sister is married; I am currently single, so even if I were to travel with them, which I do quite frequently, the fact that we’re in different places in life means we require different things. Sometimes it means adjusting what I want to do just because my older sister may need to bring her kids, or my younger sister and her husband may want to do something a little more romantic by themselves.

When I took my first solo cruise, I wasn’t shocked by the fact that I would have to pay for the stateroom by myself, but I was a little unhappy with the fact that I was basically paying for a second person to be there that wasn’t going to be with me.  When you book a cruise they generally will advise you of what the price is per person and you’re paying $1299 per person for the seven day cruise as a solo traveler you’re paying $2600 plus taxes, port fees and gratuities, and the Solo Supplement. This can very easily shift a cruise that was affordable to something that is no longer, especially after adding on the flight to the port and from the port, as well as if you’re staying overnight in a hotel before your cruise along with any of your shore excursions that you choose to do.

@travelinpride

Would You Take A Solo Cruise? With the Virgin Voyages App and Solo Sailor Meetup I think at #VirginVoyages would make it worth it. SoloCruise. solovacation. singletraveler. Gaytravel. #GayBear Gaybearsoftiktok. TravelGay. #Travel

♬ Storytelling – Adriel

One of the reasons why I chose to cruise solo on my first Virgin Voyages cruise is the fact that one, it was a cruise that quoted the rate per stateroom, so you don’t have that uncomfortable feeling of needing to pay double of what a couple would pay. But it also included two port stops that I didn’t really need to pay for a shore excursion. With a stop in Key West, I walked around did some shopping and returned to the ship; as well as Bimini which is where their beach club exist all of that was included in the cruise fare.  

However, there is news of adjustments to some cruise lines and how they charge for a solo traveler.  One of the worst that I’ve noticed as of now is Celebrity Cruises.  For a lot of the cruise lines that are making a move, their Solo Sailors pay a much higher Solo Sailor Supplement; sometimes upward of 25% + above the price of a Cabin for two, and others are shifting to making their Solo Sailors feel welcome, supported, and a part of a Community.  Celebrity Cruises falls into that first category overcharging for a single guest with a Higher Solo Supplement.  

This past weekend I was considering taking a cruise for my birthday and I decided to take a look at a solo sailing for myself departing for the Caribbean or Bermuda.  Wanting to get a good perspective since I’ve done a Carnival as well as a Virgin Voyages cruises I decided to look at a few other opportunities and the first one I priced out was on Norwegian and Celebrity and it was certainly shocking comparison.  As there is a possibility that my sisters and their spouses may go I wanted to take a look at it a stateroom for two as well as a stateroom for just myself.    For a 7-day cruise on May 19th going from Cape Liberty, New Jersey to Bermuda on the Celebrity Eclipse for a cabin for two in a Deluxe Veranda Stateroom the pricing was $3582.26.  That wasn’t the shocking part the fact that for my stateroom as a Solo guest, the price went up to $4689.13 an increase of over $1100 This means that not only am I paying more per person for myself, but I’m paying more than my married sisters’ staterooms by 30%. Meanwhile, I’m eating for one, I’m paying port fees and taxes for one, and I’m only able to be in one place at one time, so I’m only seeing one show or taking advantage of one event at a time.     This immediately turned me off of the opportunity and the possibility that I will be sailing on Celebrity Cruises regardless of where the cruise is going, as someone sailing alone should not have to pay a premium to do so on your ship, especially for a ship that is 14 years old.  

On the completely opposite spectrum is Norwegian Cruise Lines.  They seem to be courting and promoting sales and deals to single sailors.  On almost all their ships in their fleet they have a Solo Sailor cabin which is a lot more affordable if demand has not increased its rate.  Yet even if it is a slight bit more it comes with a Cruise Director, only for single sailors to ensure that we can meet and greet each other and have events that are cultivated towards the fact that they are sailing alone.  They assist with getting show tickets so that you are not worrying about locating a single seat in a large theatre on own. If you book a Solo Cabin they are all located in the same area; meaning that anyone in that area is a Solo Traveler.  So you have the comfort of knowing that if you strike up a conversation on the way to breakfast they are going to have a spouse or kids to sit next them when you get up to the buffet!  They also have a Solo Sailor Lounge which anyone who has booked into one of their fellow cabins gains access to 24 hours a day with snacks some drinks and other perks that aren’t available outside of that lounge.   In this sailing, the pricing was much more aligned with what I have grown accustomed to; a Cabin for 2 in an Aft Facing Balcony was $4062.80 and for a cabin for myself, it was $3890.40; which reflects the fact that I am paying for taxes, fees, and port charges for myself. But it’s a little more costly; but what does one expect 120 days out from the Cruise.


Regarding Celebrity they are much better on the newer ships; as they have staterooms that are designed for Solo Sailors; so if you book on the Celebrity Ascent (Which is brand new) you are getting a lower price for a Solo Sailor; but you are also paying the new ship premium to get what should be the proper pricing on ANY sailing; which is that as Single guest who is going to eat less than most Double Occupancy; especially considering for my Birthday Cruise the pricing was more closely aligned to the cost of 3 guests in a Cabin for the Single Pricing ($4693.13 versus $4903.39).  And as magical as I am, I certainly know that I cannot be in 2.5 places at the same time; and I can force myself to eat that much but then I really wouldn’t enjoy my cruise being that bloated!    So I will be looking into Norwegian Cruise Lines to experience that Solo Sailor lounge and see how much of a community.

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