More cruise travelers in the past decade have been enjoying the freedom and flexibility that comes with setting off on a trip on your own. Of course, it’s an amazing and rewarding experience to share a cruise vacation with a loved one or a friend or family member. But sometimes, scheduling just doesn’t work out, and you are left with the choice: cruise by yourself, or don’t cruise at all.
Also, many people simply enjoy the liberating feeling of going it alone on their journeys.
Cruise lines have heard this message, and are reacting. Solo cabins are becoming more mainstream on cruise ships. This means solo cruising, which too often can be cost prohibitive because of the dreaded “single supplement” penalty is now more accessible than ever if you can find the right cruise ship. Always check the fares closely, though, because high demand for solo cabins combined with sales promotions on standard staterooms can mean that you still might get a better deal booking a regular stateroom.
With that in mind, here is our list of the best cruise ships for solo cruisers.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line was the first in the industry to design ships with solo cruisers in mind, offering a revolutionary Studio Complex and Lounge space that truly makes solo travelers feel like they have a home onboard with fellow single cruisers. These cabins also do not carry a “single supplement” fee (a higher rate – up to double — typically charged to solo cruisers staying in standard staterooms).
Several Norwegian Cruise Line ships feature solo cabins. You can book them on Norwegian Epic (128 cabins), Norwegian Escape (82), Norwegian Bliss (82), Norwegian Breakaway (59), Norwegian Getaway (59) and Pride of America (four).
The Studios are specifically designed and priced for solo travelers, offering up to 100 square feet of space. These stylish cabins also come with exclusive key-card access to the Studio Complex and Lounge (no lounge on Pride of America). This is a private shared space that has drink and room service. In the lounge, you can get a snack like fresh-made cookies or enjoy your morning breakfast or coffee. It also features a big-screen TV and reading materials.
Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas all offer 28 solo cabins, and Harmony of the Seas has 15 solo staterooms.
None of the solo cabins on Harmony of the Seas offer balconies, while Ovation, Quantum and Anthem feature interior cabins with virtual balconies and “Super Studio Ocean View with Balcony” solo cabins.
Several other Royal Caribbean cruise ships offer a handful of solo staterooms, all interiors. Adventure of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas have between two to five solo cabins.
All of these Royal Caribbean solo cabins carry no single supplement charge and range in size from 96 square feet to 199 square feet.
To keep up with the rising demand from cruisers who want to sail alone and don’t want to be penalized with the added cost of paying for a whole cabin on their own, Cunard refurbished its ships to offer solo staterooms. The new Britannia Single Staterooms on Queen Mary 2 (15 cabins), Queen Victoria (nine) and Queen Elizabeth (nine) offer oceanview and interior rooms that range in size from 140 square feet to 180 square feet.
Cunard is a great choice, too, because of programming that appeals to solo cruisers. Set dining times allow passengers to join together with one another at assigned tables (solo cruisers are often seated together), and the ships also have gentlemen dance hosts who are there to help single cruisers fill their dance cards.
Holland America’s biggest and newest ships have included solo cabins. Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam each feature 12 staterooms designed for singles, with no single supplement charge. These cabins offer ocean views and range in size from 127 square feet to 172 square feet.
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