10 Best Cruise Lines for Solo Travelers
How often are you able to make your our own vacation choices, able to wander the world and contemplate life on your own terms? The liberation of a solo cruise — of not having to be responsible for anyone’s pleasure but your own — allows you to appreciate the experience on an entirely different level than when you’re with a friend, spouse or family member. There is a difference between being a solo cruiser and a single cruiser. While single cruisers tend to want to find others with whom to congregate, those who choose to cruise solo have to be comfortable with the concept that they are responsible for their own good time, whatever path that takes. To be alone is a choice. That choice, however, doesn’t always guarantee a fabulous cruise vacation. In this coupled-up world, a solo can find it difficult to negotiate the obstacles inherent on larger cruise ships, from harried and inattentive maitre d’s to programs and activities that make it difficult for a solo to participate. And then there’s the issue of cost. A solo or single cruiser creates “spoilage” in cruise-speak. In other words, not only does it leave an empty bed that doesn’t add booking revenue, but it also means a missing body to add auxiliary revenue from drink sales, casino use, shore excursions and spa treatments. A single or solo can expect to pay between 150 and 200 percent of the published cruise fare to cover the cost of the “missing” passenger, but, in an effort to fill berths, cruise lines will sometimes waive those fees. For the North America-based solo, it used to be that luxury lines offered the best deals and the most amenable services. That’s starting to change, as Norwegian Cruise Line’s largest mega-ships — Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Epic — along with Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas as well as Holland America’s Koningsdam now have solo cabins. European cruise lines, from big ships to small, high-end ones, have been proactive in this area for a long time.
Here is a look at the best lines for those who like their “alone time.”