You Want Me to Pay WHAT? Sometimes hearing the cost of traveling solo can make staying at home under the covers sound like a good idea.
Girlfriend Guru Janet DeVito explains that the cost of solo cruising may sound outrageous at first, but really makes sense when you understand it.
Over the years of organizing Girls Getaway Cruises, approximately one-quarter of all the women who travel on our GirlsonaCruise.com Cruise Getaways come solo. It is not unusual at all. In fact, it is a great way for women to travel who don’t have friends or family that can travel with them. After a day on a cruise with our group of women, solo travelers are suddenly “not so solo” anymore! It is the best of both worlds…they meet new friends who share a love of travel and at the same time have the privacy of their own stateroom. Group cruising is definitely a great way for a woman traveling solo.
There is however, one question that always comes up when someone traveling solo calls for information…“Why do I have to pay double to have a have my own room?”
For those of you unfamiliar with cruising, the cruise fare is usually quoted in a “per person” rate. That rate is always based on double occupancy. However, if you are planning to have your own stateroom as a solo you are required to pay “double” (except on very few occasions where the cruise line is running specials). For many this seems unfair and sometimes it is a deciding factor in cruising.
On the surface, it does seem unfair. But if you think about the cost of a cruise in terms of booking a hotel rate, it is really not unfair at all.
If you are planning a weekend vacation at a hotel, you are quoted a “per night” rate based on the room you choose. For example, you may choose a hotel accommodation that costs $300 per night. If you are traveling alone it will cost you $300 per night. If you are sharing with a friend and splitting the cost, it will then cost you each $150 per night. The hotel does not charge you half the room price if you are only one person in the room. The hotel bases their operating budget on the cost of the room, whether one or two guests are in the hotel room.
A cruise ship is very similar. If a stateroom costs $300 per night, as a solo you would pay $300 per night, and if you share the stateroom you would split that. Sounds fair…but why does it seem so unfair?
It is the way cruise pricing is quoted…on a “per person basis.” If a client hears that a cruise is $150 per person/per night, it is hard to understand why as a solo you have to pay double ($300 per night). It somehow sounds wrong for a cruise to charge a 200% cruise fare for a solo traveler. But the reality is that the stateroom has to be paid for, exactly like the hotel room. The cruise lines formulate a budget based on each stateroom being filled whether one or two guests are in the room.
Some suggest that the difference is that cruise fares include meals, and the solo traveler is only eating for one, so shouldn’t there be a discount? Yet if you were staying at a hotel that included daily breakfast, you would not get a discount on the hotel room rate if you are solo. Again, it is thought of in terms of a “room charge per night.”
As a solo cruiser, it might sound unfair to pay double, but when you compare it on equal terms to a hotel vacation, you will still find the cruise a much better value…even when you are traveling solo!
So don’t let that 200% charge for a solo cruise fare scare you away…it is just in the way it is phrased. And let’s not forget the benefits of having your own room – privacy, space, and your own closet!
JANET DEVITO is 48 years old, happily married and just plain happy! She always wondered what she would do when her kids were grown. After raising five children, she decided to follow her passion for travel and friends by hosting Girls Getaway Cruises. Definitely not an “empty nester!” You can find Janet at www.GirlsOnACruise.com.
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