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Frequently Asked Questions about Singles Cruises
Please read the FAQ's below before you call. You will find the answers to 95% of your questions here!
What is included, are there other expenses?
Passports and Documents
Booking a Cabin
Types of Cruises, Ships and Destinations
Budgeting For Shore Excursions
Services on board the Ship
Hurricane Season, Safety and Motion
What are the best ships to meet other Single Professionals?
If you are a single professional looking to meet other single professionals, you will not want to cruise on a "budget ship". Budget ships tend to attract blue collar, seniors, and people that may not be as sophisticated. Ultra Deluxe Trips have seniors and wealthy couples. Our Singles Trips are in the moderate and deluxe categories. These trips are affordable, but provide deluxe amenities and cater to singles in their 20's to 40's. We have chosen cruises where there is a relaxed, fun atmosphere, and the elegance of dressing up only a few nights.
Going independent, traveling as a single:
If you're the type of traveler who likes to blaze your own trail, you'll be happy to know that escorted shore excursions are not a requirement on any cruise. When the ship lets you off in port, you are free to do as you please until it's time to shove off again.
In many ports, you can arrange your own private tour with an entrepreneurial taxi driver who can take you to the same sights as the tour busses for the same price or even less. What you get is a personalized tour with more freedom and flexibility.
Finally, shore excursions, whether escorted or taken independently, allow you to have a brief glimpse into another land or another culture. By tapping into our innate sense of discovery and wonder, we learn a little more about ourselves.
Is it easy to meet people?
A cruise ship is a great place to make new friends, because everyone's so friendly. The atmosphere is cordial, relaxed. And you'll have all kinds of things in common to talk about. At dinner. At cocktails. Around the pool. Or along the promenade rail. And don't be surprised if you find yourself making arrangements to meet them aboard ship again next year.
Can singles have fun on a cruise? Cruising is ideal for people traveling alone, because it's so easy to meet other people. In fact, most ships have parties just for singles early on, so you can start to be involved right away. Most ships also have single cabins as well as single rates for double staterooms. In many cases, a cruise line will even find you a roommate to share a double if you ask them.Many of the cruise lines seat you with other singles for meals as another opportunity to meet others.
Which cruise lines do you work with and which ones offer the best deals
We work mostly with Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Costa Cruises, Princess Cruises, and a few European lines. We are experienced with all cruise lines and destinations and find that these lines offer the best rates and activities for singles. With most other cruise lines, you can expect to pay 200% to travel solo. Our preferred cruise lines offer other options for singles. If you are tired of paying premium rates to travel on your own, give us a try! And, if you are looking for other singles, you can bet they'll be attracted to the good rates and activities these cruise lines offer!
DO YOU OFFER CRUISES FOR SINGLES ONLY?
We've found that singles are often looking for a ship of just singles. Although this may become available in the future, at this time it just doesn't exist. The larger, newer ships that offer the best activities and entertainment carry 2,000 - 2,500 or more passengers on a sailing. They offer activities for singles on board, but carry couples and families as well. The season you cruise, and even the day of the week your ship departs can make a huge difference in the number of singles on board. This is why we package trips that will attract a large number of singles.
WHEN SHOULD I MAKE MY RESERVATIONS?
While it's always a good idea to plan ahead to guarantee your choice of availability and the best rates, we understand, as a busy single, that's not always possible. So, whenever you find yourself with some free time and the urge to go cruising, give us a call! We'll help you find the best deals possible.
HOW DO I MAKE MY RESERVATION?
Due to limited availability on most of specials, we recommend that you put a deposit down as soon as possible so we can reserve your space. We can usually check availability and quote a complete price, including the best airfare, in a matter of minutes. If the cruise you like is available, we'll offer to make the reservation. Or, if you still need to firm up your plans, we'll arrange for a courtesy hold that will guarantee your rate and reservation for 2-24 hours. Then, when you've decided to go ahead, we'll take your deposit or full payment on any major credit card.
HOW MUCH IS MY DEPOSIT AND WHEN IS FINAL
A deposit of $200.00 per person for 4 - 5 night cruises, and $250.00 for 7 night cruises is required to secure a written and confirmed booking. Specific information on final payment dates are found on the bottom of each individual cruise page, and will be printed on your written confirmation.
IF I HAVE TO CANCEL MY CRUISE, WILL I RECEIVE
Generally, for Caribbean and Mexico cruises, if the cancellation is received at least 75 days prior to departure for 7 day cruises and 65 days prior to departure for 4-5 day cruises, your deposit will be refunded. Since the cancellation and refund policy will vary by cruise line and length of cruise, you will be advised of the specific policies for the cruise you selected, at the time of deposit. These terms will also be included on your written confirmation. Trip Cancellation Insurance can be purchased, any time prior to final payment. For details on rates and coverage, check the information page on the cruise that you are interested in.
Passports and Documents:
WHAT TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND FORMS OF IDENTIFICATION ARE NEEDED?
For travel to the Caribbean and Mexico, U.S. Citizens are required to carry proof of citizenship (valid passport or certified copy of birth certificate) and a photo I.D. card. Acceptable photo I.D. cards are; state driver's license, US company employee I.D. card, or local government issued I.D. card or an I.D. card issued by a private identification card service. A Voter's Registration Card IS NOT acceptable. Non-U. S. citizens residing in the U.S. must show valid Alien Registration (green) cards prior to boarding the vessel. All others must show valid passports and any other required visas prior to boarding the vessel. Please check with your government agencies, embassies, or consulates to determine documentary requirements. For European travel U.S. Citizens are required to have a valid passport. Expiration date must not occur within six months of the voyage termination date. NO REFUNDS WILL BE GIVEN TO INDIVIDUALS WHO FAIL TO BRING REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION.
Nothing on earth compares to the value of a cruise! One low price covers everything - all your meals, every shipboard activity and even the entertainment is included. This means that almost everything’s included at a fixed price that you know in advance. Compare that to most land vacations, when you are constantly faced with added expenses of meals and entertainment. The hassle of searching for things to do is gone! And, what land vacation can take you from one exotic destination to another while you dine and dance the night away? Here is what's typically included in the cost of your cruise at a price that is generally lower than a comparable land-based vacation:
WHAT EXPENSES ARE NOT COVERED IN THE PRICE OF MY CRUISE?
There are a number of expenses that are not generally included in the cost of your cruise, which you also need to be aware of. These include: Gratuities (a suggested amount is $7.50-$9 per day per person, or $52.50-$63 per passenger per week for a 7-day cruise - paid at the end of the cruise); Port charges and government fees (approximately $125 per person for a typical 7-day Caribbean cruise, but varying in price depending on destination); Shore excursions (discussed below); Items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, casino, boutiques, etc. We always price cruises with PORT charges so you know what you are paying up front.
More on value
From a financial perspective, cruising makes good sense. But it isn't just the comparison between how to spend one's vacation dollar that is important. Cruising stretches the vacation dollar because of what you get for what you spend. This translates into real VALUE.
Take the dining experience, for example. Dining on a cruise ship is the equivalent of going to the best-rated restaurant in town. At every meal you will find fine china, crystal, and silver, impeccable service, and excellent cuisine. If the food is not gourmet, it will most certainly be presented and served as if it were. And there are no limits on quantity. You can have as many servings of whatever you like as often as you like. There is simply no comparison to the value one finds in the dining experience aboard a cruise ship, especially when contrasted to taking the family out to a typical family restaurant, or even a restaurant at a land-based resort.
HOW DO I PAY FOR ON-BOARD PURCHASES?
Cruise lines use a onboard signing system. This system allows you to charge all onboard purchases (bar drinks, gift shop, shore excursions) simply by presenting your validated passenger cruise card which is issued to you on boarding. You will active your card by giving the cruise line a major credit card or a cash deposit on day of sailing. Your balance may be checked any time at the Purser's Office, and an itemized statement of your account will be delivered to your cabin the morning you leave the ship.
WHAT ARE THE TIPPING GUIDELINES?
We encourage you to recognize the efforts of those who try so hard to serve you on the cruise. The following amounts are suggestions only. Dining room waiters and cabin stewards are typically "tipped" $3 per passenger per day; assistant waiters, $2 per passenger per day. Tipping of Head Waiters and Wine Stewards is left to passengers discretion. PLEASE NOTE; A 15% gratuity will be added to all bar and wine checks.
Is there a charge for entertainment?
Never. On a cruise vacation, the entertainment is on the house. There's no cover. No minimum. No charge for an admission ticket. The shows are live. The movies are first-rate. The variety is limitless.
Shipboard Activities :
WHAT KIND OF
SHIPBOARD ACTIVITIES CAN I EXPECT TO FIND?
You can be as active or lazy as you like. In the morning, why not join an aerobics class, take a walk, jog on deck, or just relax and enjoy a good book! In the afternoon, check out the pool deck. Whether you jump right in or watch from a distance, the crazy pool games and lively calypso band are sure to spice things up. When the ship is in port, take an organized shore excursion or explore the islands on your own with some new found friends. Here is a list of some of the activities you'll find!
Welcome aboard run swizzle party / Captain's cocktail party / Fine dining, including late night buffets / Casual dining alternative in the bistro / Complimentary 24 hour room service / Spa cuisine menu items (healthful selections low in fat, calories and sodium) / Pampering service / Wide range of entertainment, including different shows every night at sea / Several nightclubs and a disco for late night dancing / Full casino, including slots, blackjack, craps, wheel of fortune, roulette, and Caribbean stud poker / Spa program / Three bands and orchestras, including a lively calypso band / Choice of 2 pool areas complete with hot tubs / Onboard duty free shopping / Briefings prior to arrival at each port of call / First run movies shown daily / Pool games and activities for days at sea / Dozens of fun activities possible every day.
THE SHIP IS TO CONFINING, WILL I BE BORED?
Think of the most exciting and well-planned resort and you have the modem cruise ship. Now add some of the most beautiful and exotic places on earth, the majesty of the sea, and the impeccable and attentive service of the cruise ship staff. Is it possible to be bored on board? Millions of satisfied cruise passengers think not.
Outside, there are literally acres of deck space with plenty of open areas where one can sun bathe, swim or just relax.
Inside the ship, there is a numerous activities and things to do. Numerous lounges cater to a wide variety of tastes. Generally, you will find a main show lounge hosting Las Vegas-style reviews or Broadway shows. In addition, almost all ships have a disco for the young at heart, and a dance band lounge for the more staid-at-heart. Throughout the ships, you will find smaller lounge areas where people can meet and greet each other. There are also card rooms, libraries (book and video), cinemas, and other nooks and crannies for small gatherings.
There are also a wide variety of activities organized by the Cruise Director and ship's personnel to keep you busy from sun-up to sundown ff you choose. Bingo, simulated horse races, aerobics, yoga, volleyball, a myriad of games and contests, and bridge tournaments - just to name a few. And, don't forget the casino, which is open, when the ship is not in port.
Following the continuing trend toward physical fitness, most cruise ships now have state-of-the-art health spas and gyms. Many ships have jogging tracks and some ships even have tennis courts and basketball courts.
Lastly, a cruise ship is not confining because of the destinations themselves. Remember that while you are enjoying all of the amenities of a floating resort, you are also in motion toward a completely new port of call. When you get off the ship you will often be in a different country with different culture, different people and different scenery. In each port of call, you will find new discoveries and a host of new activities (golf, sightseeing, shopping, etc.).
What is there to do at night?
At night, life aboard a cruise ship really turns on. There's dancing; live entertainment in nightclubs, discos and lounges; feature films; and parties with all your new friends. Most ships even have casinos. There are also many special events like the Captain's Cocktail Party, Passenger Talent Night, the Masquerade Parade, the Late Night Buffet (just for one last bite to tide you over until breakfast). And the night can go on as long as you want. Even until the spectacle of sunrise at sea.
WILL I FIND ROMANCE ON BOARD?
There is something about a cruise that is conducive to romance. Perhaps it is the fresh air, the majesty of the stars and the sea, the lack of responsibility, the easiness which is encouraged and which occurs so quickly and spontaneously among cruise passengers. For whatever the reason, cruising is becoming increasingly popular for singles of all ages. Between the mixers and activities, you will meet a lot of other singles that want to make new friends, many looking for romance.
If your dinner seating is of particular concern to you, please be sure to tell us, so that we can be sure to note your preferences. You can also enjoy a continental breakfast in your cabin, or a buffet breakfast on deck. Lunch and dinner are also available buffet style on Pool Deck, or inside the dining room. Room service is available at 24 hrs a day at no charge.
Which is better, Early or Late Dining?
As a rule of thumb, Early Dining means you'll have dinner between 6 pm and 6:30 pm. Late Dining means you'll have dinner between 8:15 and 8:45 pm. There are many reasons why one dining may be better for you than an other.
You may want Early Dining if:
You may want Late Dining if:
There are some trends that we have noticed with regards to itineraries and the popularity of a particular dinner seating.
Many of today's cruise lines including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Princess are now offering alternatives to having dinner in the dining room or room service. For example, Norwegian Cruise Lines now has the Bistro on all of their ships. This is a separate a la carte restaurant open between 6:30 and 11:00 pm where you can go to dinner anytime you'd like. Carnival, Princess, and NCL are now using their upper deck breakfast and lunch facilities to offer a buffet version of their dinner menus. These restaurants are more casual allowing you to be more flexible with your meal time and dress.
Since the Caribbean is our most popular destination, Late Dining always books first and is often on a wait-list 6 months prior to sailing. (Carnival does not confirm dining at booking. Your assignment will be made once your board the ship with them). If you want to confirm a particular seating, book early, book early, book early.
Is cruise ship dining as good as I've been told?
Everything you've heard about cruise ship dining is true. You'll find a varied selection of entrees (appetizers, salads, soups, vegetables, and desserts, too) every time you sit down. And there's virtually no limit on what or how much you can order. Just because your cruise ship offers plenty of delicious food doesn't mean you'll come home out of shape. You can choose low-cal, spa, or fitness menu selections that are just as tempting as the regular menu. You can also jog, do aerobics, work out in the gym, swim, golf, play tennis, and much more. Burning calories was never so much fun! Best of all, the one thing you'll never see on a cruise ship menu is a price!
Can I get a special diet?
Most ships can accommodate salt-free, low-carbohydrate, Kosher, or other diet preferences. However, this request must be made in advance, so be sure to advise your agent of this requirement when you book your cruise.
What if I don't like my tablemates?
Rarely is this a problem. However, if you wish to move to another table, speak with the maitre d'. He'll make every effort to seat you with more compatible dining companions...discretely and politely.
Can we get a table for two?
On the more upscale lines like Crystal, Radisson Seven Seas, Seabourn and such a table for two is usually no problem. It's on the mass market lines where this request is a little more difficult to confirm.
The newer ships (circa 1995 and later) are being built with more tables for two. We can never confirm a table for two, we can only request it. Table and Dining Assignments are made by the ship's Dining Coordinator who works in the cruise line's corporate office. This person makes the assignments 2 weeks prior to sailing and submits the list to the maitre'd the week before sailing. We make your request by submitting a letter to the Dining Coordinator 30 days before sailing, but it is your responsibility to remind us to do this for you. Again, we can't guarantee you'll get it, but we will make the request.
If you get on board and you didn't get a table for two, see the Maitre'd. Maybe he can do something for you if it's available.
I am NOT a morning person. Will I miss breakfast? This may not be a bad idea after a couple of days on the ship, but the answer is - NO. (Unless you sleep right into lunch). Breakfast and lunch are always available in the buffet (Lido or whatever it is called). Breakfast is usually served until 10 a.m. or later.
Breakfast and lunch used to be served at two seatings, but many ships now have an "open" dining room - which means you can come at any time when they are open (i.e. 12 - 2 for lunch). This not to be confused with "open seating" which means that you'll sit at whatever table is open (sometimes at their direction).
Can I eat anytime I want? What about room service?
Most ships have room service available 24 hours a day. Some lines are even letting you order off the dinner menu (during dinner hours) if you prefer to eat in your cabin.
You can eat all day if you want. Let's look at a day on the Carnival Destiny:
The answer is yes, you can eat anytime you want.
Are there non-smoking areas?
Today, virtually all ships have smoking and non-smoking table and/or sections in the dining rooms and lounges. In fact, many cruise ship dining rooms are now totally smoke-free, reflecting passenger requests. If you want your dining table in a non-smoking area, just tell your CLIA-affiliated travel agent. Onboard, in open-seating situations, you can advise your waiter or the maitre d'.
Can we celebrate a special day?
Absolutely! Most cruise lines will even treat you to a complimentary cake and a chorus of Happy Whatever to honor the occasion. Your birthday or anniversary can be more festive with champagne, flowers, canapés, wine or cheese. You can even arrange for a special private party.
SHOULD I PACK?
Casual attire is in order during the day. For one or two nights, formal dress, dark suit, or sports coat and tie is suggested. The dress code for other evenings is casual resort wear. Shorts and T-Shirts are not permitted in the dining room during dinner. A good rule of thumb is to bring "business casual" resort type dress for evenings that are casual. Casual dress is the suggested attire for alternative dining (buffet style on Pool Deck). Cruise ships tend to be cool inside so you may want to bring a sweater or wrap. Also bring comfortable walking shoes and rain gear.
What do I wear to dinner?
Dinner falls into 3 categories: Formal, Informal (also called semi-formal) and casual. Since there are many types of outfits women can wear, we won't comment on this - just dress to compliment the guys.
Breakfast & Lunch: no special dress code, even in the dining room. Shorts and tasteful t-shirts are acceptable. No swim suits or cover-ups.
Dinner: no shorts
Casual: slacks (nice jeans) and sport shirt/polo shirt, no t-shirts
Informal: suit or sports coat with tie; some ships don't mention a tie (i.e. Holland America)
Formal: dark suit or tuxedo.
Some newer ships (i.e. Sun Princess) now have alternative dining facilities where you can dress almost any way you want to. On a seven night cruise they will normally have two formal nights and one or two informal nights. 3 and 4 night cruises have one formal night. If you would really like to go informal, look into one of the "sailing ships" (Windstar Cruises; Windjammer) or one of the smaller ships (Clipper, etc).
What should I pack?
Check this packing list to help you with your next cruise!
Cruise boarding ticket and airline ticket
Proof of U.S. Citizenship (a birth certificate with raised seal, or valid passport.)
Luggage Tags (Provided by Cruises Inc. to meet airline standards)
Sunglasses (and any other necessary eye-wear)
Comfortable walking shoes
Camera & film
1.Toothbrush and toothpaste
3.Hair brush or comb
4.Hairdryer / curling iron
Casual Wear: Slacks or skirt, Shirt or blouse one for each day
Formal/Semi Formal Wear:1 dress/suit for 4-5 day cruise, 2 formal semi-formal
dresses/suits/tux for 7-10 day cruise
Bathing suit and flip flops
T-shirts, shorts and sneakers if you plan on using the gym
A lightweight jacket or sweater
Any necessary medications
Poncho or rain coat in case of inclimate weather
Credit Card, Traveler's Checks and / or Cash
Booking a Cabin:
CAN I BOOK MY OWN CABIN OR DO I HAVE TO SHARE?
Single cruise passengers traveling alone typically pay 125-200% of the double occupancy rate. Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian Cruise Line and Cunard have a limited number of single occupancy cabins at reduced rate. Some lines offer "Single Share" programs where you are matched with a cabin-mate of the same gender. You pay the lower double occupancy rate even if they fail to find you a roommate. Carnival, Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, NCL, Princess and Royal Caribbean offer "Single Shares" on a limited basis. Infrequently, some lines offer special discounts just for singles. Our rates are quoted double occupancy. If you need a cabin all to yourself, please let us know.
WHAT IS THE BEST CABIN LOCATION? That depends on your personal preference. Generally, there is less motion the further down and the more mid-ship you are. Some people like to be higher up and nearer to the public areas of the ship, even though most ships have elevators. Generally speaking, the higher you go, the larger and more expensive the cabins will be.
Do the cruise lines ever give free upgrades?
Everyone either knows someone, met someone on a ship, or they themselves have been upgraded to a higher category than they paid for. Yes, it does happen and but not as frequently as people think. How do upgrades work? Who knows? We're still trying to figure it out, but here's our theory.
Most upgrades go to passengers who book early and buy the lowest category on the ship in the form of a "Category Guarantee." A "Category Guarantee" means that when you book your cruise, you are not assigned a cabin number, you are simply guaranteed that category or better. Since most people who cruise simply want to get the best price, "Guarantees" are a great way to fill the ship with people looking for a good rate.
The cruise lines always sell more guarantees in a category than there are cabins in that category. For example, the lowest rate on Celebrity Cruise Line's Zenith is a Category 12, inside cabin. There are approximately 6 category 12 cabins. However, on each sailing, Celebrity will sell between 40 and 60 Category 12 guarantees. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that 34 people are going to get a free upgrade. Usually these upgrades are given on a first come first serve bases.
Where is the best cabin location if I am concerned about the motion of the ship?
While motion sickness shouldn't be a major concern on today's ships, you should still know the best way to avoid it if possible. If it's available, you should request a cabin that is relatively close to the middle of the ship. If you can imagine a see-saw in the play ground, it's the ends that go up and down, not the middle. (No, cruises are not like see-saws). You should also look for a cabin that's closer to the bottom of the ship, not the top. The higher you are, the greater the potential to feel a left to right rolling motion. Example, the top of a tall palm tree will always sway more in the wind than the bottom of the tree.
Again, today's ships are fully stabilized making your cruise comfortable in virtually any location. As a matter of fact, if motion discomfort were such an issue, the suites on a ship wouldn't be at the top and near the front.
To make sure you get the best cabin for you, book early, book early, book early. If wait, you'll have less to choose from.
Is an Oceanview cabin worth the extra money?
The biggest advantage of having an Oceanview cabin is that it makes your cabin seem so much bigger. It's amazing what natural light will do for a room. It also gives you some perception of time. When you wake up at 7:00 am in an inside cabin, you can't tell if it's 2 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon. For them an oceanview cabin is worth it for this reason alone. Want to know what the weather's like? Open your curtain. With an inside cabin, you throw on some clothes, run outside and run back again.
On the other hand, our other valued clients say the opposite. "Who needs a window. I'm only going to be in there when I sleep anyway. I could use that extra money on shore excursions, my bar tab, or my next cruise."
Who's right? They both are. It's really up to you. Oceanview cabins generally cost about $100 more per person for a 7 or 10 night Caribbean cruise and about $200 more per person for a European or Exotic itinerary. Our agents will be glad to discuss the features and benefits of both types of cabins without pressuring you into something you don't want.
The only itinerary where we highly suggest an Oceanview cabin is Alaska. With daylight hours approaching 20 - 22 hours in the peak season, it's wonderful to be able to enjoy it from your cabin.
How many people can I get into my cabin?
Most cruise ship cabins are built to accommodate two passengers. However, there are many on each ship that can accommodate three and four passengers. Carnival, The Big Red Boat, and Disney all have ships that sleep five in one cabin. These cabins are obviously very popular among families and go quickly during family vacation times. So book them early if you have other single friends that are looking to share a cabin with 3 or 4 of you.
Is there any difference between cabins on the lower decks and cabins on the higher decks?
On today's newer ships, there are basically four types of cabins:
Inside Cabins - these are cabins without windows
Oceanview Cabins - basically the same size as inside cabins only they have port holes or picture windows.
Deluxe Cabins - about the same size as an oceanview cabin, except it may have a private balcony which adds to the overall square footage of the cabin.
Suites - significantly larger than other cabins on the ship, often with a private balcony or verandah.
You find the Deluxe Cabins and Suites on the higher decks of a cruise ship, so, yes, there is a difference here. However, Standard Inside Cabins and Oceanview Cabins are basically the same on any deck. For example, a Category 4, Inside Cabin on Carnival's Fantasy on the Riviera Deck is the same size as an Oceanview Category 9 on the Empress Deck. The difference become evident in the Cat 11 and Cat 12 Demi-Suites and Suites.
Most upgrades are often from low inside cabins to higher inside cabins, or low outside cabins to higher outside cabins. Rarely do passengers get upgraded from inside to outside but it does happen. But don't book an inside cabin expecting a free upgrade to an outside. It probably won't happen.
If you are assigned a cabin when you deposit on your cruise, your chances of an upgrade are very small. If you are travelling in a quad, your chances are very rare in that there are relatively few quad cabins on a sailing. Cabin assignments on guarantees are usually made between a few weeks and the day of sailing. If you don't like the cabin they give you, tough luck, you're stuck. So if you're afraid of being at the front, back, top, bottom, under the dining room, then don't take the chance. Take an assignment at time of booking.
Types of Cruises, Ships and Destinations:
WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO AND FOR HOW LONG?
There are different ways to determine where you would like to go. How long depends, of course, on your work or holiday schedule, your personal or family obligations and your budget. Cruises come in virtually every length from 2-days to more than a 100-days. The most popular cruises for singles are 3-, 4-, 5- and 7-days in length. Cruises that are more than 7 days tend to have more couples and families.
We have put together cruise trips for singles that are to popular destinations, cater to singles, with quality and value in mind.
BUDGETING FOR A CRUISE:
How much do you want to spend on your cruise vacation? This is certainly one of the first questions you must ask yourself when planning a cruise. Remember that the cheapest cruise or the best cruise bargain is no bargain if it does not suit your needs. You know the old saying, you get what you pay for. If you compare our cruises and values with what is being promoted by competitors, there may be cruises at lower prices. But when you compare apples to apples, cruise line, destination, cabin category, etc, you will find we offer you the BEST cruises for singles.
What distinguishes a "budget" ship from a more expensive one? This is not an easy question because cruising is known for its emphasis on quality and service. Generally speaking, the difference is something abstract and intangible. It could be the quality of service, the attitude of the crew and staff, the difference between good food and haute cuisine, the entertainment, the ship's amenities and decor, or the "feeling" created on board.
Choosing a cruise ship can be like choosing a hotel: When you travel, are you more comfortable in a budget, moderate, or deluxe hotel? There are five basic categories in cruising: the budget/"Motel 6" cruise, the moderate/"Holiday Inn" cruise, the deluxe/"Hyatt" cruise, the ultra-deluxe/"Ritz-Carlton" cruise and the 'Boutique" or "Niche" cruise. This last category includes al suite ships as well as "expedition" ships, ranging from moderate to deluxe. Please keep in mind that these classifications are subjective, at best, and are meant only to serve as a general guide to choosing a cruise.
"Motel 6" cruises include Commodore, Premier and First European' "Holiday Inn" cruises include American Hawaii, Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Olympic and Costa. "Hyatt" cruises include Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Disney Cruise Line and Celebrity. "Ritz Carlton" cruises appeal to the most discriminating cruise goers and are at the upper end of the spectrum in terms of expense, quality of service and amenities. Lines in this "ultra-deluxe" or "six-star" class include Crystal, Cunard, Radisson Seven Seas, Seaboum and Silversea. "Boutique" cruises overlap the above categories and include the cruise/sail ships of Windstar and Star Clipper, and destination-oriented lines like Orient Lines and Society Expeditions.
Choosing a destination -The Caribbean
In choosing a cruise to the Caribbean, it is helpful to think of the Caribbean as three separate areas; the Eastern Caribbean, the Western Caribbean and the Southern or Lower Caribbean.
The Eastern Caribbean consists of ports such as Nassau, St. Thomas, St. John, St. Maarten, San Juan and St. Croix. The Western Caribbean includes Jamaica (Ocho Rios or Montego Bay), Cancun, Grand Cayman, Playa del Cannen, Roatan and Cozumel. These ports are also referred to as the Mexican Caribbean because, with the exception of Jamaica, they are on or near the Yucatan Peninsula (part of the Mexican landmass). Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises sail from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa and New Orleans.
The Southern or Lower Caribbean refers to ships that are based in San Juan or other Caribbean ports such as Montego Bay, Barbados or Aruba. Since these cruises begin further south into the Caribbean, they are able to visit islands such Antigua, Martinique, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Barts, Guadeloupe, Caracas, Curacao, Trinidad and Tobago.
Budgeting For Shore Excusions:
Shore excursions add to your trip:
For many cruise goers, shore excursions are the highlight of the cruise vacation. Even in an age when the cruise ship is becoming its own destination, shore excursions add a rich dimension to the experience that can be fun, educational, or even both at the same time.
Whether you want to just relax on the beach, or get an in-depth historical or cultural perspective of the island or port you are visiting, there is a shore excursion for everyone. And since the average tour lasts only 2 - 3 1/2 hours, you still have ample time to return to the ship for some rest and relaxation, or wander at your own pace through the port city.
Shore excursions are varied in both content and price and can be classified into three categories; party fun (ie: beach party or party cruise), sightseeing (i.e. island tour, city tour, cultural tour), or theme/attraction-oriented (i.e. scuba diving, touring a specific site such as the Mayan ruins of Tulum or the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg).
While cruise ship brochures do not list tour options, many cruise lines send a descriptive brochure along with documents so that by the time you board the ship, you have had the opportunity to plan your activities on shore. Some of the more popular shore excursions have limited space and do sell out. To reserve the ones you want, plan on signing up early at the Shore Excursion Desk when you first board the ship. Ships have interactive in-cabin tv which allows you to preview and order shore excursions.
To assist you in planning your shore activities, special lectures are offered during the week by the Cruise Director, the Shore Excursion Director, or guest lecturers. Topics might include the best p laces to shop or dine, the best sights to see, or a cultural and/or historical overview of the port. These lectures can sometimes be seen from one's cabin via closed circuit TV.
The price of shore excursions varies widely depending on the port visited and the cruise line. An average price is $28-$42 per person for escorted activities such as city or island tours, snorkeling, beach parties, and glass-bottom boat rides.
Special shore activities may have higher prices. These include golf ($70 to $100 per person), scuba trips ($45-$82 per person), seaplane or helicopter reides ($95 person), submarine rides ($37-82 per person), horseback riding ($60 per person), sailboat rides ($40-$80 per person), or extended land tours (ie: 7 ˝ hour tour to the Tulum Mayan ruins from Play del Carmen - $72 per person).
Longer shore excursions are more expensive. A half-day of Copenhagen has an average price tag of $47 per person, while a full-day tour of St. Petersburg costs around $135 per person. A 9 1/2 -hour tour of Rome averages around $150 per person. Royal Caribbean offers Mediterranean shore excursions ranging from $33 per person to $154 per person.
In Alaska, you can enjoy a salmon bake for $25-$42 per person, take a 2- hour motorcoach tour for around $40 per person or fly over Glacier Bay for 1 1/2 hours for $145 per person.
One of the advantages of taking an escorted shore excursion is that it allows you to become better acquainted with your shipmates. You are likely to run into fellow passengers again on board the ship and feel a sense of familiarity The warmth and friendliness fostered by the cruise and on-shore experience is just one of many reasons that people enjoy cruising so much.
Services on board the Ship:
Can I use my hair dryer or shaver?
Most ships have 110-volt outlets in the staterooms so you should be able to use your hair dryer and shaver. However, most new ships include air dryers in the room.
Are there safes and safety deposit boxes on board a ship?
Yes, there are. As a matter of fact most new ships have safes right in the cabin with instructions on how to use them. If you would like a safety deposit box, the purser's desk will get one for you.
Are wheel chairs available or do I have to bring my own?
As a rule of thumb, wheel chairs are available for passengers who are injured after they get on board. Most suggest that you bring your own collapsible one if you will need it throughout the cruise. Holland America Line has in the past provided a wheel chair throughout the cruise if it is requested in writing 30 days prior to departure. Check with your agent when booking regarding your ship's policy on providing wheelchairs to passengers.
Can we stay in touch with the outside?
Quite easily. Most ships have a daily newsletter with news, headlines, selected stock quotes and sports scores. Staterooms on many ships are even equipped with televisions. While many ships now have telephones in passenger cabins, you can also call someone on shore through the ship's radio operator while at sea. And, you can make phone calls from most ports. In addition, many ships have fax capabilities.
Are there medical services on board?
Virtually every cruise ship (except for some smaller vessels operating in coastal waters) has a fully-equipped medical facility and staff to handle almost any emergency.
Are there laundry services aboard?
Yes. Almost all cruise ships have laundry facilities and a great many provide dry-cleaning services. There is, however, an additional charge for professional laundry and dry-cleaning services. Holland America, Princess, and Crystal also have self-service launderettes on board simply because many of their itineraries are 11 nights or longer. Most people don't have enough underwear for a 96 day world cruise. Can you imagine your laundry bill on a trip that long?
Do they take cash on board a ship?
Today's cruise ships have made the transition to a "cashless society." All passengers are given an onboard charge card that typically doubles as their boarding pass. You would use this card for all purchases including drinks, souvenirs, shore excursions, boutique services, spa services, and etc. Cash is accepted in the casino, for gratuities to the staff that served you, and at the purser's desk to settle you onboard account.
Hurricane Season, Safety and Motion:
When is Hurricane Season?
If we could only predict the future. Officially, the National Hurricane Service states that hurricane season starts on June 1 and ends November 31st. That's 6 months of the year. However, history has shown us the the greatest concentration of hurricane and tropical storm activity tends to be between late August and mid-October. Since we've been in business, we've only seen one sailing date was cancelled due to hurricane activity.
Does this mean you shouldn't cruise during September? Not at all. Some of your best rates are during this period and your Captain would never jeopardize your safety. Cruise ships are certainly safer than land-locked Caribbean Islands during a hurricane. With speeds of 20 - 22 knots, cruise ships can outrun a 14 knot hurricane. Today's ships are equipped with state of the art weather equipment that keeps the Captain and his crew fully aware of a storm's position and if he feels that there is any danger to his passengers, crew, or his vessel he can simply "move" this floating resort to safer waters.
IS CRUISING SAFE?
Modern day cruise ships represent one of man's greatest achievements in the art and science of high technology. Cruise ships are designed to withstand the furies of the most angry seas, to transport passengers in maximum comfort, and to protect the lives and safety of its passengers and crew.
Cruise ships conform to international and national maritime codes for fire safety, seaworthiness, and lifeboats with life support systems (enough to safely transport all passengers in the event of an emergency). As to the whims and fancies of the sea, modem telecommunications, meteorology and weather forecasting have allowed ships to be warned well in advance of hazardous weather conditions, and to take evasive action should it be necessary.
One of the first things that you will be required to do when you board your ship is to participate in an emergency drill. You will be told where to find your life vest and will then be directed to go to a specific location on the ship which will be your designated area in the unlikely event of an emergency.
WILL I GET SEASICK?
Modem ships have hydraulic stabilizers, which regulate the movement of the ship at sea to create more balance and less motion. However, the sea is one of the greatest forces in nature and during rough seas, even the largest cruise ships can be subject to motion.
There are many over the counter, non-prescription medications available to help avoid or eliminate seasickness. Dramamine, Marazine, and Bonine, to name a few, have all been time tested and seem to be effective for many people.
Scopaloniine, also known as "the patch," is a prescription medication that is wom behind the ear and time releases small amounts of medicine through the skin. Many people have found this to be effective against motion sickness. All medication should, of course, be carefully considered and your physician should be consulted if necessary.
One of the most recent developments in avoiding the discomfort of motion sickness is a product called the "Sea Band." The Sea Band is not a medication and, therefore, one may avoid some of the side effects that are common with some products such as drowsiness, dryness of the mouth, etc.
In the event that one does get seasick during a voyage, most ships are equipped with modem medical facilities and a ship's physician.
Lest we emphasize the negative, let us say that for most passengers aboard cruise ships, especially the passengers on the new generation of superliners, seasickness is very uncommon. The large ships take to the sea well and on most ships, one is barely aware of any movement.
People are generally aware as to whether or not they might be susceptible to motion sickness. If you have ever gone out on a small powerboat or larger motor yacht on a lake or in the ocean, and you haven't gotten seasick, chances are that you won't be getting sick on a large cruise ship. If you acquire motion sickness on an hour and a half drive in the country, you may be more susceptible to seasickness. In this case, we suggest taking some precautions and/or consulting your physician.
Singles Fun Travel Group Cruises
How can Singles Fun Travel save me money? As part of Net Cruise Travel, we are one of the largest cruise buyers in America, we negotiate with the cruise lines from the strength of sending thousands of passengers annually on cruises. You benefit by receiving volume discounts and preferred rates. In many cases, we have pre-purchased space for a specific cruise well in advance and can provide you with discounts normally afforded only to cruise passengers traveling in large groups. This is what we have set up for singles like yourself.
Can I feel comfortable doing business with you over the phone and over the Internet?
Our agencies represent memberships of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and The National Tour Association (NTA). We are also members of the National Association of Cruise Only Agencies (NACOA), the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA. Millions of passengers have traveled with our companies over the years. Information sent over the internet is secure.
How can I reserve my next cruise? A. Please feel free to browse the singles cruises listed. If none of the cruises fit your schedule or budget, check the cruise finder section of our website to search for other cruises outside of the Singles Cruise options. To make your reservation complete and submit the form on the page that has the singles cruise that you would like to sign up for. When your cruise has been confirmed, a deposit will be due to hold your reservation (an average deposit for a seven-day cruise is $250 per person). We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover (acceptance varies by cruise line). Final payment is due 65-75 days prior to sailing. Your cruise and airline tickets will be sent to you from our headquarters as soon as we receive them. Cancellation and refund policies are listed in the individual ship's brochure. For your maximum protection, we recommend cancellation insurance, which will be listed on your invoice as an optional expense.
What are the best ways to meet singles in your city? Go to as many singles events as you can. Variety is the key. Don't focus on any one type of group. First: Meet young single professionals at fundraisers, singles charity and civic organizations. Second: Join sports leagues, singles hiking, biking, outdoors, or adventures clubs. Third: Join a church or religious group for Christian, Catholic, or Jewish singles. Also check out singles cruises and travel. Newly divorced or single parent? Get help at a singles support or divorce recovery group.
What about online dating? Check out dating advice on Singlesonthego.com to learn how to place personal ads to meet single men and women online. Find great dating advice for online personals and meeting singles by using various dating services, dating agencies, matchmakers, introductions services. Check out the singles scene in your area to find a new relationship today! Check out the list of online dating services above categorized by general, foreign/ethnic, religious, alternative, senior and single parents.
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