There's plenty of fun to be had while single at sea, writes online guru Eli Orzessek.
Regards, Marsden Stanton
Many cruise lines charge an industry standard "single supplement" cost to those travelling alone - which can make things quite expensive for the solo traveller who enjoys life at sea. However, demand for single cabins is growing and many cruise lines have upped their game in this area. I've reached out to my contacts in the industry to find out which companies are best for solo travellers. Here are some great options to consider.
Royal Caribbean has recently improved provisions in this area, with its newest ships Ovation and Anthem offering cabins specifically for solo travellers, with no single supplement cost.
Ovation of the Seas - one of the world's largest cruise ships - travels to Australia and New Zealand in December. Launched in April with capacity for 4900 passengers, Ovation has 28 single cabins, including 12 with balconies. Prices currently start at $2689 for a 10-night cruise around New Zealand, departing from Sydney. And I have a feeling that all the crazy new features - the robotic bar, the surf machine - will be heaps more fun if you're single.
P&O Cruises World Cruising also offers single staterooms aboard a number of ships on its fleet, with single balcony cabins introduced for the first time aboard Arcadia in 2014. Britannia offers the most single cabins across the fleet. P&O Cruises World Cruising ships also feature coffee mornings for passengers travelling by themselves, which are advertised in the ship's daily newspaper.
Cunard also added nine single staterooms to its Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria ships recently, as well as a further 15 on the Queen Mary II.
Across the fleet, solo travellers can enjoy special activities organised by the ships' social hostesses, so there are plenty of opportunities to make new friends. These include a welcome reception on embarkation day, coffee and cookies every morning at sea, and specially organised meeting points and excursions on port days.
Norwegian, Holland America, Costa and Crystal Cruises also cater well to single passengers, and as far as river cruising goes, Avalon sometimes offers deals for solo travellers with no single supplement.
Obviously, not all lines are as friendly to the single passenger and some of the single supplement costs can be quite exorbitant - even single cabins can sometimes have this charge, so make sure to read the fine print. Otherwise, it looks like it's a great time to be single - and if you want to, mingle - at sea.
What has been your best solo cruise experience? As always, it's great to hear what readers recommend.
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