Cruising solo can cost more

Q&A

June 17, 2007|By Los Angeles Times

I am writing about the discrimination against single travelers when it comes to cruises. Last month, I desperately wanted to go on a cruise that cost $13,000, which was a bit steep for me. But when the cruise line got through with me, the cost of going solo was $27,000. I didn't go. Why can't cruise lines give us a break?

The bottom line is the bottom line. If there's only one of you, you're consuming only half the overpriced drinks, buying only half the overpriced jewelry and taking only half as many overpriced shore excursions.

Some lines will try to link solo travelers with someone to share a cabin, and if you don't mind sharing, you can keep your costs down.

Find a good travel agent who will watch for specials and will know what lines don't charge two-fares-for-one.

If you think the single supplement is unreasonable, ask for a discount. (What's the worst that can happen?)

Consider smaller or more-upscale lines. Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor of the interactive online magazine for cruise travelers cruisecritic.com, says that many cruises have shifted from "being a village to a city."

Among smaller lines that Brown and Michael Hannan, owner of San Marin Travel in Chino Valley, Ariz., noted were Crystal Cruises and Silversea, both of which charge single travelers as little as 25 percent extra for solo status.

Consider an itinerary that's not the hottest ticket going. Some of the more-offbeat, less-popular routes or a repositioning cruise just may have extra space that the line will give away for a song.

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