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  1. #1
    trevor432990, East Sussex's Avatar
     trevor432990, East Sussex is online now Master Member
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    How many solo cruiser members are there here ?

    Hi there ... just read a very interesting section of the Berlitz 2012 Guide to Cruising (thanks to PG for recommendation) that 4 million solo passengers per year cruise which equates to 25% of the total cruising public.

    I would therefore like to do a straw poll of how many members of this forum are solo travellers (like me) and is there anything you'd like to see the cruise companies or agents do to help us ??

    For example I would like the agents/consultants to always quote a single supplement price on the deals they are advertising so we don't have to keep asking them for the solo cost each time.

    How about you?


  2. #2
     Elsie's Mum is offline Purser Member
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    Hi Trevor,
    I am a solo cruiser and I agree that it might be nice to know from the advertisement what the solo cost will be. There is a snag though; if the cost is reasonable, many couples would prefer to have their own rooms, and if too many people chose the single room option, we would all end up paying extra because the cruise ship would not be carrying sufficient passengers to be viable. (I thinK)
    Probably better that we twist the TA's arm to have a better price. Goodnight


  3. #3
    trevor432990, East Sussex's Avatar
     trevor432990, East Sussex is online now Master Member
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    Hmmm never thought that many couples would prefer their own individual room I have to say but I guess that is a consideration but I'd still rather know the best solo occupancy rate from the TA up-front if I can. Nite nite


  4. #4
     luvtocruise, stirling is offline First Mate Member
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    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    Hmmm never thought that many couples would prefer their own individual room I have to say but I guess that is a consideration but I'd still rather know the best solo occupancy rate from the TA up-front if I can. Nite nite
    Yes I would also like them to quote the solo price.
    Mary


  5. #5
    davecttr, gillingham's Avatar
     davecttr, gillingham is offline Petty Officer Member
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    I don't know where Berlitz got that 25% from but my experience seems to indicate that, at least for the british market, it is far too high.

    Example - three Thomson ships have single cabins which are no more than 3% of the total available. On several Thomson cruises I have only met the occassional solo passenger who was occupying a double cabin, usually because it was a last minute booking and they were desperate to get rid of the last cabins. Others have reported that if you want to occupy a double they charge 100% supplement compared with the normal Thomson approx 30-35%. A number of the single cabins were also occupied by members of a party who were not cruising on their own.

    Example - On Ventura recently only 12 people turned up to the hosted solo coffee mornings and if that represented half the solo cruisers it is less than 1% of the passengers.

    Example - Fred Olsens Balmoral has 91 single cabins but even that only represents 13% of the total. Given the older demographic that Fred is aimed at it is not surprising but not much use for us younger minded travellers.

    So 25% solos is far too high for the british market. There may well be a huge potential demand but the bottom line is that the cruise companies basically make more profit out of couples.

    If you are cruising solo you have to either book very early to get the cabin you want or attempt to book at the last minute and risk getting the bad cabins. Either way, you have to pay the single supplement so it is better to have lots of money!.


  6. #6
    Rustynails, Wimborne's Avatar
     Rustynails, Wimborne is online now Leading Seaman Member
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    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    I don't know where Berlitz got that 25% from but my experience seems to indicate that, at least for the british market, it is far too high.

    Example - three Thomson ships have single cabins which are no more than 3% of the total available. On several Thomson cruises I have only met the occassional solo passenger who was occupying a double cabin, usually because it was a last minute booking and they were desperate to get rid of the last cabins. Others have reported that if you want to occupy a double they charge 100% supplement compared with the normal Thomson approx 30-35%. A number of the single cabins were also occupied by members of a party who were not cruising on their own.

    Example - On Ventura recently only 12 people turned up to the hosted solo coffee mornings and if that represented half the solo cruisers it is less than 1% of the passengers.

    Example - Fred Olsens Balmoral has 91 single cabins but even that only represents 13% of the total. Given the older demographic that Fred is aimed at it is not surprising but not much use for us younger minded travellers.

    So 25% solos is far too high for the british market. There may well be a huge potential demand but the bottom line is that the cruise companies basically make more profit out of couples.

    If you are cruising solo you have to either book very early to get the cabin you want or attempt to book at the last minute and risk getting the bad cabins. Either way, you have to pay the single supplement so it is better to have lots of money!.
    If the Berlitz guide covers world wide figures, then its probably right, there are 100s of cruise lines that we probably have never heard of, & in some cases we probably do not want to know about. The Italian cruise line, MSC, seems to have jumped on the Single cruise band wagon, likewise NCL, but perhaps not to such a great extent as MSC. I'm a single cruiser & over the last 2 years I have found perfectly acceptable Single cruise prices, but not with UK based companies, you do have to look for them but they are there.


  7. #7
    trevor432990, East Sussex's Avatar
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    You are probably right about the 'visible' ratio of solo cruisers in the UK being lower than 25% but I think that is mainly down to the fact that the cruise lines which operate from the UK do not cater for the solo passengers very well at all either because they offer very limited single cabin accommodation or by charging way too much in single supplement charges.

    P&O have introduced a few single cabins on the Azura but on checking several cruises over the next 12 months I see these are fully booked already so there is obviously a huge demand which is not being met. As a result we solo travellers are being forced to go further afield to find the deals we are looking for to places like the USA, Europe, Middle East, etc.

    Maybe one day the UK cruise lines will wake up to the fact they are losing a lot of trade this way and will start to rethink their policies but until then we solos will be using the fly-cruise route for the best value for money.


  8. #8
     Elsie's Mum is offline Purser Member
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    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    You are probably right about the 'visible' ratio of solo cruisers in the UK being lower than 25% but I think that is mainly down to the fact that the cruise lines which operate from the UK do not cater for the solo passengers very well at all either because they offer very limited single cabin accommodation or by charging way too much in single supplement charges.

    P&O have introduced a few single cabins on the Azura but on checking several cruises over the next 12 months I see these are fully booked already so there is obviously a huge demand which is not being met. As a result we solo travellers are being forced to go further afield to find the deals we are looking for to places like the USA, Europe, Middle East, etc.

    Maybe one day the UK cruise lines will wake up to the fact they are losing a lot of trade this way and will start to rethink their policies but until then we solos will be using the fly-cruise route for the best value for money.
    I doubt that I will fly again because I really love the simplicity of just cruising. It means that I will be able to afford far less cruises perhaps, but I do find it easier.


  9. #9
    trevor432990, East Sussex's Avatar
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    Quote QUOTE: View Post


    I doubt that I will fly again because I really love the simplicity of just cruising. It means that I will be able to afford far less cruises perhaps, but I do find it easier.
    I quite agree it would be great to be able to just cruise away from the UK but I am not prepared to pay double for the privilege at least whilst I'm still mobile and air fares/taxes are reasonable.


  10. #10
     Elsie's Mum is offline Purser Member
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    Smile

    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    I quite agree it would be great to be able to just cruise away from the UK but I am not prepared to pay double for the privilege at least whilst I'm still mobile and air fares/taxes are reasonable.
    Unfortunately, I am a bit disabled although I could manage a flight if there was no alternative.


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