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Golfingdeb15

Solo Travelers

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I am planning to take my first solo cruise in 2020.  Taken few cruises with a partner, so this is new.  Here is my wish list... any suggestions?

1.  Want to leave out of the US.

2.  Trying to find the best price....is there a website to register at...I am pretty much available last minute.

3.  Kinda fond of NCL but open to another line with solo cabin prices.

4.  Where do you find specials that wave the single supplement?

thanks 

Debe

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Hi there, 

 

Solo travel can be great. Hopefully the links shared above will help you learn some strategies. Its great that you have the flexibility to travel last minute because some sailings that did not have a lower or even no single supplement sometimes end up with a low or even no supplement as you get closer to the sale date. Ive benefited from this a lot since I can travel short notice sometimes as well. As long as the airfare is not an issue, the short notice fare drops or reduction in supplement is awesome. Ive even ended up in a mini suite by myself for a steal. Good luck! 

 

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Consider a studio cabin on NCL's larger ships.  I find them outstanding.  Moreover, they will often save you $1,000 or more over a balcony. 

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The Studio cabins aren’t any big bargain if you are available last minute?    NCL- currently drops supplements on over supply cabins.  To be successful flexibility is essential.    And despite all the interpretations of “last minute “-  most often it’s less than a week prior.     I cruise like this continuously.   You need to be proactive with your frequent searches.   And the ability to make fast decisions and arrangements.     But the more you do the easier it is.  No issue for me to grab a dumped cruise,  determine travel and lodging- pack and be out my door in hours.    🤩.      My priority is itinerary.   

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Studio cabins are often a bargain if taken when the cruise is first announced.  I have deposits on three cruises where the current price of a studio is $500-$1,000 above the first announced price. 

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6 minutes ago, FLAHAM said:

Studio cabins are often a bargain if taken when the cruise is first announced.  I have deposits on three cruises where the current price of a studio is $500-$1,000 above the first announced price. 

The op states they are available last minute.   Studios aren’t any bargain compared to a supplement drop.  Add to the negative-   You are significantly eliminating a lot of ships and itineraries if only sailing in studios.  

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43 minutes ago, Budget Queen said:

The op states they are available last minute.   Studios aren’t any bargain compared to a supplement drop.  Add to the negative-   You are significantly eliminating a lot of ships and itineraries if only sailing in studios.  

And if you are limiting yourself to complete supplement drops, you are eliminating right off the bat the large majority of itineraries and cruises.   You are also unlikely to make dinner and show reservations prior to sailing and may miss out on a good number of shore excursions.  Cabin selections may also be very limited. Moreover, if studio cabins are unsold they may also drop in price well below other cabins offered without single supplements. My best guess is that only a tiny percentage of NCL solo cruisers in other cabins do better than the price of a studio at its lowest. 

Edited by FLAHAM

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14 minutes ago, FLAHAM said:

And if you are limiting yourself to complete supplement drops, you are eliminating right off the bat the large majority of itineraries and cruises.   You are also unlikely to make dinner and show reservations prior to sailing and may miss out on a good number of shore excursions.  Cabin selections may also be very limited.

 

I’m not unique and have picked up-  W Carribean,  South America,  Tampa to NY repo,  San Antonio to Miami repo,  Alaska; (6 cruises),  Bermuda,  Hawaii and 5 Europe cruises.  I’m currently on my 2nd New Zealand sailing.  ALL this year.  (22). ALL no supplement.  🤩   Doesn’t sound like I had many “limits”.  🤩.     

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12 hours ago, Golfingdeb15 said:

I am planning to take my first solo cruise in 2020.  Taken few cruises with a partner, so this is new.  Here is my wish list... any suggestions?

1.  Want to leave out of the US.

2.  Trying to find the best price....is there a website to register at...I am pretty much available last minute.

3.  Kinda fond of NCL but open to another line with solo cabin prices.

4.  Where do you find specials that wave the single supplement?

thanks 

Debe

Historically, you won't do better than NCL for solo pricing, in my opinion. There is new management coming in for 2020, so it remains to be seen if this continues. You'll want to shop NCL.com anywhere from 30 days to 2 days prior to sailing. Typically, you'll find great sailaway rates - which means NCL will assign your cabin location and you won't qualify for the perks marketed as free. But sometimes you'll find deals for rooms where you can pick your stateroom location and get a perk marketed as free. Often times, studio rooms are more expensive than regular interior rooms, so just be sure to price it out.

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I'm pretty sure Budget Queen is the expert at last minute bookings, so I would pay attention to her advice for booking last minute and getting those no solo supplement deals. However for solo travellers who can't, or don't want to, do the last minute thing, I do agree that booking a studio cabin in advance is often the best way to go... has been for me anyway. I only travel twice per year and enjoy the planning part almost as much as the cruise itself... plus I wouldn't want to cruise without a drinks package. If I was sailing every month my strategy would be different. 

 

For checking last minute deals I reckon the best strategy is to get in the habit of checking the NCL website daily. 

 

There are other places where you will find good deals promoted, but they can't be mentioned on here. 

Edited by CazV

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6 hours ago, Budget Queen said:

 

I’m not unique and have picked up-  W Carribean,  South America,  Tampa to NY repo,  San Antonio to Miami repo,  Alaska; (6 cruises),  Bermuda,  Hawaii and 5 Europe cruises.  I’m currently on my 2nd New Zealand sailing.  ALL this year.  (22). ALL no supplement.  🤩   Doesn’t sound like I had many “limits”.  🤩.     

You are my girl.  People ask for advise and when you give it,  it is well that really doesn't work for the most of them.  Well to bad people.  I too was able to cruise 15 weeks this year using Budget Queens method.  The key is to be able to cruise at the last minute.  I have waited up until 2 days before cruise to book to get the solo supplement waived.  And if not, I do not cruise that week.  Maybe the next.  It all comes down to flexibility.  And do not try to bring up the travel costs Those costs are usually more than the cruise itself.  Some people live near cruise ports but most cruisers don't.  It is all a part of cruising.  The more you do it, the better you get.  And I will never book a studio cabin because I will always find an inside for half the money.

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I almost exclusively travel solo... Look at Miami and New Orleans.  I've seen great deals on the Getaway lately cruising out of NOLA to the Western Caribbean.  Getaway has studio cabins, but will often drop rates in other cabins below what the Studio's cost based on availability.  Since they have a Studio lounge, there is a daily solo traveler meet and greet, typically around 5:30 pmish.  Any solo traveler can to to the solo meet and greet, not just those in the studio cabins, I've traveled solo 15 times and this is always the case.  relax and have fun whatever you choose!  Let me know if you want to know more about traveling solo!

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WOW.... this is news to me..... and something I am interested in.  So do I understand to get the best deal, check days before the sailing date and possibly I can find an inside cabin with no single supplement?  Brilliant.  Never thought of that.  I live in San Diego, so I will start small..... cruises out of SD first.  Any other tips?  Definitely will be attempting to do this.  Always wondered where the “last minute deals” were.  I could never find them.  🙏

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3 hours ago, Golfingdeb15 said:

WOW.... this is news to me..... and something I am interested in.  So do I understand to get the best deal, check days before the sailing date and possibly I can find an inside cabin with no single supplement?  Brilliant.  Never thought of that.  I live in San Diego, so I will start small..... cruises out of SD first.  Any other tips?  Definitely will be attempting to do this.  Always wondered where the “last minute deals” were.  I could never find them.  🙏

The Joy is sailing out of San Pedro this winter.  Check out the dates after the holidays.  I cruised two weeks ago and got a great rate for the cruise after Thanksgiving.  And when on the ship purchased Cruise Next certificates for your next NCL cruise.  You will lower your costs this way too.  

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If you happen to be a gambler, you can get cruises thru casino at seas, either thru them directly or by offers from your local land based casino.  there is never a single supplement.  All of my cruises have been on casino offers, comped rooms.

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Studio Cabins are great.  However, why doesn't NCL give solo travelers a break?  For instance, they run "specials" for 2nd/3rd/4th/kid/cousin/friend/neighbor/pet and they stay for FREE.  How does that make sense? Are they gambling they will spend more $ in Arcade/Laser/Race Track?

Not everyone can take advantage of "fire sales" and need to plan.  Maybe I'm missing something...

 

JMO

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6 hours ago, OceanBlueWaters said:

Studio Cabins are great.  However, why doesn't NCL give solo travelers a break?  For instance, they run "specials" for 2nd/3rd/4th/kid/cousin/friend/neighbor/pet and they stay for FREE.  How does that make sense? Are they gambling they will spend more $ in Arcade/Laser/Race Track?

Not everyone can take advantage of "fire sales" and need to plan.  Maybe I'm missing something...

 

JMO

You're right, of course.  I think NCL can't afford to miss the market for parents who must sail with a child or two.  I can't complain.  The difference between a studio and a minimum balcony above "sailaway" on my upcoming transatlantic on the Getaway will more than pay for a 5 dinner plan (I chose the beverage package as my "perk"); my share (one-fourth) of four private shore excursions with friends; a night in a Rome hotel; and an "economy plus" air ticket back to Dayton.  I'm really looking forward to it.

 

By the way, I recommend retirement--makes planning a lot simpler. 

Edited by FLAHAM

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