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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Solo discrimination by the cruise lines

I'm actually a little surprised that it's taken me this long to write about how badly single cruisers are dealt with by the various cruise lines. I guess as I've never tried cruising solo it's sort of flew under my radar a little. So for all the cruisers out there that cruise on their own I apologise it's taken me this long to comment on it. As you've guessed by now from the title of this post I definitely believe anyone trying to do a solo cruise gets the short end of the stick. But how bad is it really?
Playing Devils Advocate I'd probably have to admit that the cruise lines are right in applying a single supplement. If a single passenger wasn't charged any extra for booking a double cabin then the cruise lines would lose out in monetary terms as single cruisers will obviously spend a lot less onboard.
I know you're all probably saying "tough" right now; "who cares if the cruise lines lose a bit of money?" But the thing is if you had your own cruise line you'd probably do the same as well.

What I do think is unfair is how last minute deals are priced and how onboard credit is worked out.

The onboard credit first. Lets pretend a cruise is priced at £1000 with £100 onboard credit per person. That means a couple booking the cruise will pay £2000 but get £200 onboard credit. Now most cruise lines will charge a 100% single supplement so the solo traveller, for the same cruise, will stay pay £2000 but only get the £100 onboard credit as it's calculated per person.
How is that fair!!!!
If they're being made to pay the same as the couple why don't they get the same amount of credit as the couple? All cruise lines calculate on this basis and I've always viewed it as nothing short of theft.

The second thing I take issue with is last minute availability.
On a late deal quite often the cruise line will dramatically reduce the price of the cruise, (this is to make sure there are people onboard booking their shore excursions and spending money in their shops and bars etc). But if they're so desperate to get people onboard why charge a single supplement at all for last minute deals?

So, whilst I can see why cruise lines charge a single supplement for cruises if it was up to me I'd abolish supplements for last minute deals and calculate the on board credit a lot more fairly.

Being as honest as you can, what do you think of single person supplements. Fair or not? How would you try and make things fairer for all?

Happy cruising 

1 comment:

  1. Yes I agree with your comments
    Azamara only charged 125% so that was good as far as I am concerned. A very good deal for an excellent cruise incl food and friendliness
    of the staff plus all grats paid and freewine at lunch and dinner.
    The cruise was not fully booked,
    It would appear that the cruise ships would rather have empty cabins than charge no single supplement.
    Some cruise companies have not heard of opportunity cost. However if they made discounts etc towards sailing date no-one would book early and wait for the prices to drop.

    Some cruise companies should rethink their ideas and come up with something better than
    charging sinlge people the same as a couple as more and more single people are out there wanting to travel but not in the market for rip off prices.