Cruise fares are priced based on the assumption that each cabin will be occupied by two passengers.
So, for example, if the cruise fare for each person in a cabin is $10,000 then the cruise line pricing assumes they will be paid $20,000 in total fares for the cabin.
Since cabins occupied by only one passenger do not bring in as much revenue, cruise lines levy a “single supplement” charge to make up for some of the lost revenue the additional passenger would have paid.
While they vary quite a bit, on average the single supplement fare is charged at a rate that is 75% higher than the double occupancy fare.
In our example above, where the double occupancy fare per person is $10,000, the single supplement fare would be 75% higher or $17,500.
If you are traveling “solo” your Cruise Specialists Consultant has a number of creative ways to “take the sting” out of high single supplements, including the following:
Low Single Supplement Cabins Fees
Some cruise lines, such as Crystal Cruises, offers anytime low single supplements on certain cabins. Crystal, for example, adds only 25% as a single supplement on categories C1 through E3. Similarly, Silversea has cabin categories that typically carry a single supplement as low as 25%.
Single Supplement Sales
Quite a few cruise lines we represent will occasionally drop the single supplement charge to as low as 10% on select sailings. Of course, this limits itinerary and departure date options but the savings can be significant. We are happy to notify you when these sales take place, just let us know of your interest.
Waived Single Supplement Fees
A number of the river cruise lines, such as Tauck River Cruising, Avalon Waterways and Uniworld reserve a certain number of lower category cabins for solo travelers and waive the single supplement altogether. Snagging these cabins frequently requires booking early, once an itinerary has been opened for sale.
A number of the new mainstream ships – from Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line — have a small number of cabins that were built specifically for solo travelers. These studios and “super studio” staterooms are always priced without any single supplement.
Sharing a cabin with a stranger is certainly not for everyone, but some cruise lines offer this service. Both Holland America and Princess Cruises offer a free service that attempts to match you with a roommate of the same gender and age range. Lindblad Expeditions also offers roommate matching, and if they can’t find the right match will place you in your own double occupancy cabin without any single supplement fee.
We can handle all the details for you should you be interested in going down the roommate matching path.
Have more cruising questions? Like pre-paid gratuities or the benefits of travel insurance? Let our Cruise Specialists help make it all easy to understand.