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Cruising For Solos (Solo Cabins, Cruise Fares and Onboard Events)

Cruising on a budget when cruising solo can be difficult, so here we explore hints and tips to help you get the best value for money.

There are Two Different Cabin Options When You Cruise Alone:

  • A Regular cabin – usually with a solo supplement of 100% or more.
    • You are basically paying for that other person that isn’t there in your cabin. The cruise line will be losing out on the money the second passenger will spend on drinks, in the casino, spa treatments, excursions etc. That is how the cruise line makes a lot of its money, and you are basically compensating them for that by paying double.
  • A Solo specific cabin
    • Many cruise lines have these solo-specific cabins. The price you see is the price you pay, it is based on one person. It is normally more expensive than two people sharing a normal cabin – but cheaper than one person on their own booking a standard cabin.

Norwegian Cruise Lines are leading the way with solo travel. There are 128 solo cabins on the Norwegian Epic!

Solo cabins are basically the same as normal inside cabins but slightly smaller – it has a shower on one side and a toilet on the other, and the bed is slightly smaller too.

Everything is in there, but it is on a miniature scale.

Most of the big cruise lines do have some solo cabins, even if they are not “solo-specific.”

They have standard cabins that are kept aside for solos. I took a cruise with Marella recently, I had a standard inside cabin that had been assigned for solo cruisers.

My solo inside cabin on Marella Discovery 2

I paid no solo supplement, but the cost of the cruise fare was slightly more than that of two people sharing – but that was just the price of this cabin.

To find out more about my solo cruise with Marella, check out the article below:

​Marella Cruises Single/Solo Cabins – Photo Guide and Review​

It’s interesting to note that Carnival – who have more cruise ships than anyone else – have NO solo cabins!

Best Cruise Lines for Solo Cruisers

If you are cruising solo, looking at a specific cruise line that caters to single cruisers is a good idea.

Check out this article about the Best Lines for solo passengers:

​The Best Lines for Solo Passengers​

Celestyal are a Greek cruise line that are really good for solos, it can make a big big difference! You don’t want to end up on a cruise where you are paying for someone who doesn’t exist – that doesn’t seem fair!

Find out more about my wonderful Celestyal Cruise around the Greek islands here:

​I Took a Cruise That Visited 2 Ports a Day!​

Celestyal Olympia
Celestyal Olympia

If you are considering cruising solo, the place I would recommend you start is the website “Vacations to Go”

What you can do that is good about “Vacations To Go” is you can click on a specific solo area – every price is based on one person. You can sort by solo supplement or by the price you are going to pay. It will display the prices, in Pounds, American dollars, Euros, Canadian Dollars or Australian Dollars – whichever is best for you!

Some cruises have no solo supplement – others 10%, 20% – or more. Lots of cruise lines don’t seem to be very good at advertising solo prices...

When it comes to cruising solo I have a few tips!

If you want to meet people these tips will help – you don’t have to be sociable though.

Many people want to enjoy the cruise by themselves – and that is totally cool. If you are cruising solo you can do what you like, when you like.

Solo Cruise tips for those who want to meet people

  • Choose table sharing if possible.
    • If it’s an option choose table sharing, lots of people I know have made great friends like that.
  • Go on cruise line excursions.
    • You might meet people with similar interests to you.
  • Join “CruiseCritic Roll Calls.”
    • Roll Calls are online discussions where you can “meet up and chat with” other Cruise Critic members who will be on the same cruise as you.
  • Join Facebook Groups.
    • A great way of meeting new people before you get on board.
  • Bring a small “I’m cruising solo” card.
    • Leave it on the table if you need to go to the bathroom so that your food or drink is not cleared away whilst you are gone!
  • Consider sharing a cabin with another solo traveller.
    • Some people share cabins with strangers. I wouldn’t be comfortable with that, but it’s up to you! There are some Facebook groups and websites that help you find someone to share with.

Other Helpful Hints and Tips…

If you can do things like go on the cruise line excursions, go to trivia or go to gameshows, they are a good place to meet people.

Before your cruise, join Cruise Critic Roll Calls or Facebook groups, for your specific sailing or solo-specific Facebook groups that will really help. I am a member of one called “Cruising for Solos” which is a good place to start.

How to save money when cruising solo

  • Book as early as you can!
    • When it comes to saving money as a solo cruiser, book two or three years early if possible. When there are specific solo cabins, the cruise lines have a quota – and once they fill up that quota, that is it.
    • There are very rarely last-minute deals for solos.
  • Consider a repositioning cruise that starts and ends at a different place.
    • Solo deals for that sort of cruise are available more often as these repositioning cruises aren’t so popular.
    • I have many friends who have just sailed back and forth over the Atlantic, as the solo deals can be so cheap for that.
  • Don’t assume because the cruise line has solo cabins that will be cheaper!
    • Make sure you get quotes for the solo cabin and the standard cabin for one person.
    • A standard Ocean View cabin for one person may be cheaper than an inside solo-specific cabin.
    • It’s all about supply and demand so make sure you get multiple quotes.

Now you know where to start if you are, or want to be a solo cruiser!

Before You Go

Find out how to get the most value for your money, without downgrading your cabin type in the the article below:

Get The Best Cabin for Your Budget! Hints, Tips and Examples of How to Save Money Without Downgrading Your Cabin Type

I took a themed 1990’s party cruise with Marella. I had a solo cabin. Themed cruises are very different from your normal cruise experience! Find out how i got on here:

Theme Cruise Review – 90s Theme (Ship, Entertainment, Food & More)

Taking a Cruise: Recommendations and Resources

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