From the word itself, a double occupancy refers to a ship cabin with two people. What it means is that the room you booked is good for a couple of passengers.
During this time, expect to share the cabin with another.
In the United States, this is a popular marketing strategy. Upon looking at prices for a cruise, the rates for a double occupancy would seem lower. This would entice tourists to travel with a companion.
Also, a solo traveler on a cruise tends to pay more.
But what we do not know is that whether you travel solo or with a companion, the maintaining costs stay the same.
Now, that may be a bit hazy for now. But to give you a clearer view, here’s an example:
There would always be varying prices.
There is an advertised rate of $1,000, for example. Now, that would be more affordable. People get enticed to travel.
But if you go on the cruise solo, you will pay $1,700, for example.
But if you think about it, one thing is for sure. The maintenance cost will always remain the same. It does not matter whether there is one or there are two passengers.
To make my point clearer, here is an example. Let’s say the maintenance of a room is $300.
When you compare the two rates, the shipping line gets to earn more with double occupancy. How?
Considering that you are traveling with your companion, you each get to pay $1,000. For a total of $2,000 minus the maintenance cost of $300, the shipping line gets a profit of $1,700.
How about the solo traveler?
Because the solo traveler paid for $1,700, the shipping line gets a profit of $1,400. Try to compare both rates. The double occupancy would be more beneficial for the shipping line.
While the rates in my example may not always be accurate, I hope you got the concept.
And what’s in it for you? Well, here’s the advantage to both sides. You get to pay the cheaper price for a cruise. The shipping line gets the most profit. It’s a win-win situation.
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Are all cruises double occupancy?
Not all are double occupancy cruise ships.
Most cruise ships feature single occupancies as much as they do double.
This allows the cruise ship access to the solo traveler. This ensures that the solo traveler goes on a cruise without paying double.
Of course, as you already know by now, the single occupancy rates can be a little bit more expensive. This is when you compare the rates with that who goes on a cruise with a companion.
And I know you already know the reason why there is a discrepancy in the rates.
Anyway, let’s give you a few examples of the cruise ships with available single occupancy cabins.
For starters, there’s the Norwegian Epic. The ship features about 128 cabins for solo travelers. Then, there’s the Norwegian Breakaway and the Norwegian Getaway.
Both have about 60 cabins that are specific for solo travelers.
Ships with single occupancy cabins are common. Aside from that, other ships have roommate-matching services. What are these? How does it work?
The roommate-matching service is typical in the Holland America Line. They have what they call the Single Partners Program.
In this manner, two solo travelers of the same gender get to share a cabin. Now, what if they can’t find you a roommate? That’s fine. You will have the whole cabin to yourself.
Vacations on a cruise get more and more attractive to tourists each year. This is the reason why cruise lines think of ideal ways to offer more affordable rates.
It is one of their ways to ensure business continuity. It is also another way for tourists to go on a cruise they have been dreaming of, without breaking the bank.
Does double occupancy mean per person?
When you say “double occupancy,” you refer to accommodation for two.
It can be in a hotel or on a cruise ship. Double occupancy refers to cabins that are built for two passengers.
As you already know by now, double occupancy rooms are usually cheaper. Of course, this is considering that you are sharing the cost.
But if there is one thing you should take note of, it is this. When you see a cheaper price, don’t dive right into it. Check if it is for double occupancy.
If it is, you have to know that it is double the price. If they advertise it as $1,000 for double occupancy, you must understand that the total amount is for $2,000. This is cheaper if you have a companion. But if you don’t have, think again.
There are cruise lines that offer single travelers a chance to travel. Shipping lines made travel more affordable with its different offerings, considering the cost. One of these is for single occupancies.
Single occupancies are such blessings to solo travelers. It would be a bit higher than the per person price of double occupancy. But that is better than paying double.
Here’s an example.
If you choose a double occupancy and travel solo, you get to pay $1,000 x 2, which is $2,000.
But if you travel solo and get a solo occupancy cabin, you pay around $1,400 or something.
Note that these prices are just samples. But well, you get the drill, right?
Why is double occupancy cheaper?
One might think that single travelers never get it easy when it comes to rates.
When going on a cruise, single occupancy cabins cost much more than double occupancy ones. But this is because you get the brunt of paying for the tour yourself.
If you are traveling with a companion, that is when it gets cheaper. This is because you get to share the cost of the tour with a companion.
But cruise ships now have single occupancy cabins. This may be a bit more expensive than when traveling with a companion. But it beats paying a few hundred more than paying double.
There are also cruise lines that pair you off with another solo traveler. You get to share the cabin with another solo passenger of the same gender. And what makes it easier for you is because they assure a non-smoking solo traveler.
This is a great way to make new friends.
And if you get lucky during the cruise, you may not even get a roommate at all. There are chances that this happens.
Sometimes, there are not too many solo passengers on a cruise. And if you are the odd passenger out, you get to go on a cruise without a roommate.
Anyway, let us go back to the question. The double occupancy only gets cheaper when you share it with a companion.
Without a companion to share the cabin with, forget about the double occupancy. It will never work.
What is a single supplement for cruise?
Here, we get to be a little bit technical.
What is a single supplement?
The term itself refers to a surcharge that they add to the fare of a solo traveler. This always happens to solo travelers that get to stay in cabins that are good for two or more passengers.
Here’s one example.
We have a double occupancy cabin that costs $2,000. Since it is a double occupancy cabin, you can share it with a companion. Each of you gets to pay $1,000.
But what if you are traveling solo? This is when the single supplement comes in.
It is an added cost of about 10% to even as much as 100%!
So, if we go back to our previous example, you get to pay anywhere from $1,100 to as much as $2,000.
But as you already know by now, there are some lines with lower single supplements. This attracts solo travelers to go with this specific cruise line rather than the other.
And over the years, there has been better news for solo travelers. As years pass, there have been more and more ships that cater to solo travelers.
The popularity of cabins made for solo travelers has gone up. This is a better way for a solo traveler to cruise. Most of the time, the single supplement would be about 10%. Sometimes there is not even a single cent added to the rates!
How do you avoid single supplements on a cruise?
There are a few ways to avoid incurring the single supplements you pay on a cruise.
The words “single supplement” may sound positive, but it is not. It is a surcharge! And it being a surcharge, it usually drives tourists out of the cruise line.
In the name of not sharing a cabin with another person, one can pay as much as 10% to 100%.
In an era where the population is more single than with a partner, travelers are looking for ways to cut costs.
Lucky for you, there are many ways. There are a couple of ways that can help you slash out a few hundred to even a thousand from your total cruise costs. So, what are these steps? Here they are:
There are cruise lines that pair you off with another solo traveler. This would allow you to go on a cruise and, at the same time, save on costs.
Some travelers can be comfortable with this option. But some are not.
Shipping lines usually pair solo passengers off with another of the same gender. And when they run out of solo passengers to pair you with, you get to travel solo!
But whether you have a roommate or not, this is a great way to save on costs. For a $2,000 cabin, you only pay $1,000 when sharing it with another.
Plus, this is a great way to make new friends!
Find Your Own
If you are not comfortable sharing the cabin with a stranger, why not bring your roommate?
It would help if you had a lot of friends or family members. I am sure one of these friends or family members would be willing to go with you on a cruise.
This way, you can share the cabin with somebody, you know. Also, you get to divide the cost among the both of you.
This is a great way of traveling. You do not have to worry about sharing the cabin with a stranger. Plus, you also get to go on a cruise with a friend or a family member.
A Year in Planning
Some cruise lines show rates months before the cruise itself.
When you want to travel smart, you can try to book your tickets months in advance. Some tickets can go as far as a year before the trip itself.
This would be a better option for you because you are given enough time to prepare for the cruise. Plus, some tickets can be cheaper.
I don’t mean to say all tickets are cheaper if you book a year in advance. I would have to emphasize – some can be cheaper.
While the possibility may not be that much, at least there is that slim chance you can look into.
For some, going on a cruise is a dream. For others, this may already be your second, third, or even your nth time to go.
But if there is one thing to remember, it is always to travel smart. And traveling smart means, you also spend smart.
So, by this time I hope you have already decided.
Are you sharing the cabin with a stranger? Or are you traveling with a companion?
Whether it’s single or double occupancy, see you onboard the next time we set sail!