What astounds me is how much people have been willing to pay to travel solo on a cruise. Avalon Waterways' announcement about waiving the single supplement on some 2011 cruises in Europe says that you can save up to $5,396.
Yikes. If that's the savings, how much is the cruise? Not only am I not going solo, I'm not going at all unless somebody treats me to it! Then again, some of the cruises are 23 days long so the price may not be outrageous for what you get.
But clearly the clientele is wealthy and retired. Either that or these cruisers saved vacation days and money to take the trip of a lifetime.
But there are other, less expensive, cruising choices. USA Today says that MSC Cruises is reducing the cost for solo travelers as much as 30 percent on 7-night Caribbean voyages.
And Uniworld is waiving the single supplement on a spring cruise down the Rhine from the Netherlands to Germany. The trip includes a stop at Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands, the worlds' largest flower garden. (See if you count can all seven million or so flowers on display.)
Louis Cruises is waiving the single supplement on cruises to the Mediterrean. Never heard of them? Me neither. That's because they depart from Greece, France or Italy. But if you happen to be in the neighborhood...
And, as I wrote in August, Norwegian Cruise Lines ship, the Epic, offers 128 studios at single-occupancy rates. This is not just a ship with single rooms. The company caters to solo travelers, who have a lounge created just for them, off limits to couples. I think. The Washington Post sent a reporter on a voyage and she wrote an extensive story on her experience of cruising solo on the Epic.
For single parents with children, USA Travel recommends three cruise lines, including Disney Magic. Baby sitting services are available for parents sailing with young children. Cruises sail to Europe, South America and the Caribbean.
Finally, Solo Female Traveler, a blogger, has come up with 8 reasons why a cruise is a good way to dip your toe in the waters of solo travel. One reason? You don't have to spend a lot of time planning and booking hotels, cars and the like. A couple of phone calls and the vacation is set.
Photo: Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Lines