Travelers Cruising Solo – Beware of the Single Supplement Charge!

Cruises are a great vacation option especially for those that are without a travel companion. They offer a diverse social atmosphere and activities that passengers in every age group will enjoy. A fantastic and often budget-friendly way to travel. Many cruise lines and travel agents frequently advertise great pricing and last minute discounts. However, upon reading the fine print, those prices typically reflect 2 passengers occupying the same cabin – “rate per person- double occupancy”.

The cabins on most of the newer ships are designed to hold at least two passengers. If you book a cruise and are the only occupant of the cabin, the cruise lines will lose money. To make up for this revenue loss, cruise lines often charge single passengers a fee called a single supplement. This is a fare that is typically 25 to 200 percent higher than the regular per-person fare for a double occupancy cabin. It doesn’t seem fair does it?Fortunately, there are several options for the solo traveler that will help you steer clear of this single supplement.Although this would seem like the most obvious option, it can also be the most difficult. Most of the newer ship’s cabins are built for double occupancy. Check for smaller ships or “boutique” cruise lines. They will often be your best bet if you are looking for a “single” cabin. Crystal, Cunard and Orient Lines cruises all offer single cabins.

Book a Cabin with No Single Supplement or a Reduced Singles Fare

Find a Roommate and Share a Cabin You can avoid the single supplement charge by finding a roommate and splitting the cost of the cabin. Ideally, you would want to share a cabin with a friend, but in the event that this is not possible, there are other avenues available.

Use the “Singles Match” service offered by some large and several smaller cruise lines.

Holland America and Princess offer roommate matching services. Most will guarantee to find you a roommate of the same sex and smoking preference, but not much more.

If you would prefer to have more of a say of who you bunk with on you next cruise, try one of the several organizations that specialize in matching single travelers. One popular choice is Connecting Solo Travel Network CSTN is a not-for-profit, international organization which focuses in connecting single travelers around the globe. A one-year online subscription costs $28 and includes a subscription to Connecting: Solo Travel News, their newsletter full of solo travel tips and stories, and singles tour listings and recommendations, All of these resources will help you plan safe, fun and affordable solo cruise or any other sort of vacation getaway that you desire.