Friday, August 20, 2010

Tips for Solo Cruisers

If you are a single traveler, you should be aware that most cruise lines charge what is referred to as a "single supplement". Cruise lines base their rates on two people staying in each cabin. If you are going to travel by yourself, they will charge you a supplement fee. Some cruise lines will charge as much as 200%, essentially charging you enough to cover a second passenger. The "single supplement" rates vary depending on cruise line and sail date. However, flexible travel dates and guidance from your Cruise Professional can help solo cruisers avoid many of the pitfalls of traveling alone.  

A "repositioning" cruise takes place when a ship is moved from one part of the world to another, generally on a seasonal basis. For example, many cruise lines will position ships in Alaska during the summer months when the days are longer. As the days grow shorter in the fall, these ships are moved back to the Caribbean.  You can often find some very reasonable rates on these repositioning cruises.

If you have some flexibility with your sail dates, it can make a big difference in your cruise fare. Holidays, winter school break and spring break are always more expensive. If you are planning a Caribbean cruise, consider a fall sail date once kids are back in school.  Many people are concerned about Hurricanes in the Caribbean. Hurricane season is officially June 1 through Dec 1. While many people tend to shy away from booking a cruise during this time, it is important (and smart) to keep in mind that not only are the rates much lower during hurricane season, but that a cruise vacation is the only vacation that allows you to avoid severe weather completely! Ships will never head into a storm, but rather their route to avoid any bad weather. In a situation like this, the worst case scenario is a change in port of call or an extra day at sea.  Programs, activities and shows offered on the ship will all go on as usual, regardless of a route change due to weather.

The Cruise Outlet, as well as many travel agencies,will offer their clients shipboard credits or other amenities as a bonus for booking a trip on certain sailings. An onboard credit can be as much as $2000.00 on a particular cruise!  Remember, on most cruises you pay for your drinks (sodas, cocktails, beer & wine), shore excursions/tours, spa treatments and gratuities. Having a shipboard credit helps to offset those expenses. The earlier you book your cruise, the better the amenities are.  Those that wait until the last minute because they think they will get a deal truly miss out on these great perks! 

An important part of getting a good deal is protecting your investment.  An  independent insurance company (one that sells insurance only) can offer coverage that is far better than the insurance offered by the cruise lines. The difference in coverage is so vast, don’t look at the cost of the premium without considering the coverage and how it will be paid to you.  The Independent companies pay you the amount of the claim while many cruise line insurance coverages give you a credit for another cruise with limited terms and conditions.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I had to tell someone about you guys and that you did say the truth! I have cruised a few times and I heard that sometimes rates go down or that something special happens but it never happened to me.

    Anita (my agent at the Cruise Outlet) called and told me that for my cruise this October she was able to give us a special promotion! We were put in a suite and given an additional $140 to spend on board the cruise. We were just in a balcony and this is great.

    All I did was answer the phone! You guys did what you said you would do. Look after us and get us the best of everything is anything changes.

    Thanks and I can't wait to go!

    Barb (West Haven, CT)