Deals On Unsold Cruise Cabins
Unless the situation is dire, you are not going to find crazy promotions such as a weeklong cruise for $70 or a suite listed at inside cabin prices. Cruise lines try to protect their pricing, especially on balcony cabins and suites. They dont want cruisers to expect discounts on the top staterooms or get used to booking last-minute to get the lowest fares.
Therefore, they get a bit sneaky when they want to increase bookings on a ship thats selling slowly. Here are some ways that cruise lines try to fill unsold cruise cabins with deals and discounts:
The Drink Package Covers Specialty Restaurants As Well
Royal Caribbeans drink package covers drinks included in the specialty restaurants as well. There may be exclusions but a majority of beers, cocktails, and liquors can be taken at the specialty restaurants at no extra cost as they are covered in your drink package. As an added bonus you also get to sample specialty beverages offered only in these restaurants.
How Big Are Studio Cabins On Cruise Ships
Much like regular staterooms, the size of studio cabins varies widely. With that said, the studios on most lines can make a New York City micro apartment look spacious. Sizes can be as small as 100 square feet for comparison, oceanview and balcony cabins on mainstream cruise lines are typically at least 150 to 200 square feet.
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Balcony Cabins On Royal Caribbean Ships
Balcony cabins are what everyone wants these days, and Royal Caribbean is delivering, with huge numbers of balcony cabins on all its newest ships. On the lines four Oasis Class ships, which began debuting in 2009, around 65% of rooms are balcony cabins. On the lines even newer Quantum Class ships, which began debuting in 2014, the percentage is even higher: around 69%.
The typical Royal Caribbean balcony cabin has a contemporary look, with clean lines and relatively minimalist furniture. Theyll typically offer twin beds that can be converted into a royal king bed, a desk and a sofa that often pulls out into an additional bed. They typically measure around 180 square feet, not including the balcony area.
A few Royal Caribbean ships have balcony cabins that face toward the center of the vessel, not toward the outside. If this seems like a paradox, it is. Its the result of an unusual design feature of one series of Royal Caribbean ships, the Oasis Class.
Related: 6 reasons to book a balcony cabin
The Oasis Class vessels are so wide that they have room for an interior, open-air boardwalk amusement area at their backs lined with inward-facing cabins. On Oasis Class ships, you thus can get a balcony cabin that faces the sea or a balcony cabin that faces inward, toward the boardwalk area.
Cruise : How To Book A Cruise
Things to know about planning for your cruise.
The launch of Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas, the worlds largest cruise ship.Aerial views off Miami.
You are ready to set out on your first cruise, but now you must decide how to go about actually booking it. What is best: should you call the cruise line directly or call a travel agent, or maybe you prefer to go online and book the trip yourself. It is a little different than planning a resort getaway, so here are a few tips to help you consider your options.
DIY vs. Travel Agent
You can go to your chosen cruise lines website and book directly, you can even call up one of their specialists and talk through your vacation options, but if this is your first cruise you may want to use a travel agent. For one, if you are still researching which company is best for you Royal Caribbean versus Celebrity Cruises for example a travel agent can help you figure out which is a better fit for your personal style. Agents can also help you plan your air itinerary with appropriate cushion to ensure that getting on and off the ship is not stressful.
Not All Travel Agents are the Same
Travel agents will also have lots of information on the many cabin categories from which to choose. Some ships have more than 30 different cabin types: inside, outside, balcony and ocean view are not the only features to consider.
Best Time to Book
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Save On Shore Excursions
If you are familiar with the port of excursion, save yourself the expensive shore excursions offered by the cruise ship and venture out on your own. Alternatively, book your shore excursions through an independent tour company but ensure it is a recognized and reputable tour company. The larger it is the better the perks.
Here are some tips regarding Dining and Drink on your Royal Caribbean cruise ship.
These 8 Cabins Are Great For Travelers Cruising Alone
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If youre new to cruising, you might not know that cabins on most ships are designed for a minimum of two people.
This means the lines expect each room to bring in revenue in the form of at least two cruise fares. If you choose to sail by yourself in a stateroom meant for two or more, youre almost always charged the double-occupancy rate, meaning youll pay two full cruise fares even though its just you in the room.
With solo cruising on the rise, cruise lines are beginning to take notice by adding accommodations for one to their newest ships. Some have even outfitted older vessels to offer accommodations for singles. Although they can be pricey, they usually represent some savings versus what youd pay for a voyage in a cabin meant for two.
These are the best types of cabins for solo cruisers to book across the major cruise lines.
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Holland Americas Oceanview Single Cabins
From its Alaska itineraries to the impressive music scene on its newest vessels, Holland America might be more up your alley. In its lineup of accommodations, HAL includes 127- to 172-square-foot solo cabins on Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam and the new Ryndam.
Each of the single rooms on these ships has an ocean view and a twin bed.
What The Cruise Lines Dont Want You To Know About Cruising Solo
Experienced solo cruisers never hesitate to set out on their next cruise. We love to cruise solo on a whim, take over an entire stateroom, do what we want when we want to do it. All looks really rosy. And it usually is.
What cruise lines and experienced solo cruisers dont tell you about cruising solo probably isnt what youd would expect.
No, its not about being alone on your balcony under a beautiful moonlit sky. Or having no one to schmear suntan lotion on your back. The occasional awkwardness of dining alone in a crowded main dining room. Or even having an end-of-the-cruise glass of champagne by yourself. None of these situations are unexpected or surprising.
Theres a challenging side to a solo cruise that we, as solo cruisers, have simply had to adapt to and accept in order to survive.
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Mscs Solo Inside Rooms For One
MSC Cruises has undertaken a shipbuilding boom, rapidly increasing the size of its fleet in a bid to make itself the largest cruise line by 2030. As the lines ships grow in size and amenities, they have begun to add cabins for solos. Currently, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Virtuosa, MSC Grandiosa and MSC Bellissima are outfitted with rooms for one.
However, they are all insides with a single bed and roughly 129 square feet of space.
How Can I Meet People On My Cruise
As mentioned above, cruising is one of the few forms of travel where you will plenty of chances to mingle with others. After all, you’re with a finite group of people in the same place for an extended period of time.
Daily onboard activities — such as deck parties, gameshows, poolside competitions, dance classes and trivia — are some of the best ways to get out and join the fun while making new friends. Put yourself out there: be an on-stage volunteer for the magic show, take part in the hairy chest competition, or strike up a conversation with others on your shore excursion.
If you’re not necessarily a joiner, try opting for set seating in the main dining room for dinner, and be sure to request placement at a table with others. Most ships will do their best to seat you with other solo vacationers, so you’ll have something in common right off the bat.
If you’re booked in a single-occupancy cabin with access to a solos lounge, make a point to visit at various points throughout the day. You never know whom you might meet.
Also be on the lookout for dedicated singles lunches, happy hours and other mixer-style events, which are generally listed in each ship’s daily program on the first day or two of each voyage.
Some cruise lines even have hosts — usually gentlemen for the single ladies onboard — who can accompany passengers to dinner or offer someone to dance with afterward.
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Benefits For Arriving Early And Being Among The First Onboard
There are many benefits of being among the first people on board, such as getting time to explore the entire ship and figuring out where everything is at before the crowds build up.
Get an early dive in the pool, or be the first to enjoy the activities on board such as Flowrider surfing, without the queues. On some ships like Anthem of the seas, ride the North Star on embarkation day just after the rooms open there will be little to no queues at that time.
Cruising Solo: What The Cruise Lines Dont Want You To Know
Ive been a solo cruiser for a very long time and almost always by choice. If youre just about ready to commit to your first solo cruise or only have a couple solo adventures under your belt, here are some things to know that the cruise lines dont tell you.
Or they simply dont want you to know. Period.
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Get Out And Mingle The First Night
You might be tempted to unwind in your stateroom the first night, especially if you had to travel a long way to get to your solo cruise and are still feeling tired from the journey. However, spending time in public spaces on the ship is a great way to meet new people and one of the best things to do on a cruise.
Strike up a conversation and make some new friends on the very first night of the cruise. Nothing is better than a familiar face when youre traveling solo.
Check the program in your stateroom before you head out to the next activity. You may find events that are solo cruiser friendly.
Exchanging stateroom numbers is helpful, too, so you can call new friends later on in the cruise to arrange times to meet up for dinner, a drink, or games.
Choose Your Preferred Dinner Time
To avoid the dinner rush, go to dinner early before 6 p.m or late, after 8 p.m. . Choose my time dining and go for dinner when you are ready, without rushing.
Consider my family time dining option. This option will get your kids seated and served within 40minutes and later taken to the adventure ocean, to allow you and your partner to have a quiet leisurely dinner.
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Book Shore Excursions Through The Cruise Line
Shore excursions highlight the best parts of a destination and provide unforgettable experiences. Bond with fellow passengers by exploring the port together. Youll have the chance to run into them again on the ship for more fun and conversation.
When you book a shore excursion, you know youll be spending your day surrounded by other travelers on your ship. Most ports have multiple ships calling at them each day, so its better to spend the day making new friends with people who will board your ship at the end of the day.
Choose an excursion that features a hands-on activity. This gets people out of their element and provides easy conversation starters. Chatting with others while hiking through a rainforest or waiting on a zip-lining platform can lead to fun conversations.
If you go on a sightseeing shore excursion on a bus, try to sit up near the front so youre close to the guide. Theyll usually be open to conversations and are a wealth of knowledge on the destination youre visiting.
You can ask questions and also learn about what its like to live there. Its a way to have some socialization throughout your solo cruise day in port while also learning more about the city or town youre visiting.
The best part? All the details are taken care of for you. Youll be conveniently guided right to your shore excursion transportation from the ship. Youre guaranteed to be back to the ship in time before it leaves for the next port.
Inside Cabins On Royal Caribbean Ships
These are the cabins you stay in when youre on a tight budget. On any Royal Caribbean ship, they almost always are the least-expensive option when youre booking a cabin, and you often can save considerable money by booking an inside cabin versus an ocean-view or higher-level cabin.
What youll give up, of course, is that ocean view. Your room will have four walls and no windows offering a glimpse of the outside world .
Youll also be in a very small room. Inside cabins on Symphony of the Seas measure just 149 square feet, quite a bit less than the typical ocean view cabin on the vessel . The typical balcony cabin on Symphony of the Seas is 182 square feet, not including a 50-square-foot balcony.
As I hinted at above, there is one way to get a glimpse of the outside world from an inside cabin on a Royal Caribbean ship. In one of the great cruising innovations, Royal Caribbean has created some inside cabins which have a virtual balcony that offers a view of the outside.
Related: The upside of booking an inside cabin
The virtual balcony is a high-definition screen built into one end of the windowless room that projects a real-time view of the ocean outside. Its designed to make you think youre actually in a balcony cabin with a view, and it is quite realistic-looking.
Just dont try to walk through the faux balcony opening.
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Why Book A Solo Stateroom
The primary reason why someone cruising alone would want a single/solo stateroom is because Royal Caribbean will charge a fee for someone trying to stay in a traditional stateroom by themselves. Royal Caribbean refers to this fee as a “single supplement fee,” and it is a means of recouping the cost of that second passenger that is expected to be in the stateroom. Quite often, the single supplement fee is equivalent to double the cost of a single guest. Because the cruise lines business model depends on staterooms filled with at least two guests in them, single supplement fees have been the means of ensuring the cruise line is not taking a loss on a solo cruiser.
With single staterooms, there is no single supplement fee. When Royal Caribbean added these rooms, they designed them to be respective of the ship’s business model and this means solo cruisers do not have to pay double the cost of what the cruise should be.
Studio staterooms are smaller than standard rooms, but they are meant to have enough space for a single guest to live in during their cruise.
Choose Your Drink Package Accordingly
Choose your drink package accordingly, if you dont consume a lot of alcohol, you can purchase the soft drinks package instead of the alcohol beverage package. This way, anytime you need an alcohol beverage you can buy it individually instead of incurring extra charges daily for the unconsumed alcoholic beverage.
Also, keep your coca cola souvenir glass that comes with the soft drink packages safely. You will have to part with at least $5 for another. Mind you the Coca-Cola soda machines dont work without the cup.
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Best Cruise Ships For Solo Travelers
While there are ten Royal Caribbean ships that offer solo rooms of one kind or another, I think a few stand out for offering the best options for a solo traveler.
The Quantum Class of ships, which include Quantum of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, and Anthem of the Seas, offer not only standard studio staterooms, but also studio balcony rooms.
These Super Studio Ocean View balcony rooms offer a private balcony that measures 55 square feet, and is a rare commodity for any solo room.
If you want to try one of Royal Caribbean’s biggest ships, check out Harmony of the Seas for their Studio Interior and Studio Ocean View rooms. Harmony is the only Oasis Class ship to offer studio rooms, so if you want to cruise on the largest ships in the world, this is the one for you.
The Main Dining Room Is Underrated
Try breakfast and lunch in the main dining room, for a leisurely-pleasant-meal-atmosphere. Avoid the herd of people at the Windjammer and enjoy a delicious breakfast in the dining room.
Most people dont seem to know that there is an option to have breakfast in the dining room. Alternatively, just order-in breakfast, its the only free room service offered by the Royal Caribbean. The breakfast is however strictly continental, you pay extra for items not on the menu.
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