The folks at the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) have decided to celebrate the season of love by taking a bit of a different approach. They are putting a spotlight on the relationship between singles and cruise travel, and have highlighted tips and benefits for travelers interested in going solo to cruise.
1. Cruise Matchmakers
When it comes to finding the best cruise for solo sailers, travel agents can be the perfect matchmakers to help them find the best cruise line.
In an effort to attract solo guests, there are lines that are waiving the usual single supplement fee or are offering studio staterooms. Avalon Waterways is offering a number of rooms without a single supplement on every departure in Europe in 2017. Tauck has waived the fee on all Category 1 cabins on their European riverboats for every departure this year. AIDA Cruises offers a stateroom for sole occupancy; a select number of which are offered on every cruise. AmaWaterways is offering nine river cruise itineraries where the single fee is waived if booked by March 31, 2017. And last but not least, Uniworld is waiving or reducing their single supplement fee on 30 of its most popular itineraries in 2017.
3. Studio Staterooms
Some cruise lines offer studio rooms designed specifically for solo travelers. Norwegian Cruise Line was the first to build staterooms and common areas for the single cruiser, and they are available on select cruise ships. Royal Caribbean is offering studio rooms as well on some newer or revitalized ships, including those with balconies or virtual balconies. Cunard has long had a tradition of offering single staterooms, and over the years each ship has received them: Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth, and most recently Queen Mary 2 during her significant remastering last summer.
4. Making Connections
Before setting sail, join discussions in cruise forums specifically for solo cruisers for a chance to meet others who will be on your sailing. Cruise Critic or Cruiseline.com are great places to find such forums.
5. Singles Exclusive Experiences
Many cruise lines offer activities and excursions created with solo travelers in mind. American Cruise Lines, for example, offers singles itineraries with shore excursions and onboard programs conducted in intimate groups to cultivate a bonding experience among guests. They also offer cocktail hours each evening, which is a perfect setting for singles to mingle.