Crunching Solo Cabin Numbers

When Norwegian's Pride of America goes in for refurbishing that will interrupt its cruising around the Hawaiian Islands next spring, four new inside staterooms will be designed for single travelers.

Is this a glass half-empty or a glass half-full?

Our esteemed colleague, Phil Reimer of Ports and Bows, is a big fan of solo cabins — or the need for solo cabins. Therefore, he was disappointed that only four were included in the Pride of America's furbishing.

If this was a response to customer demand, it was a token response.

On the other hand, the first of two new Norwegian ships, the Breakaway, arrives next year. It will be the line's first new ship since the Epic in 2010, and it was the Epic that broke the cruise industry mold by including 128 solo cabins in its design. On the Breakaway (and presumably the Getaway), there will be 59 solo cabins.

If the Epic was indeed testing the market, the number of passengers on the ship who sailed solo (in what Norwegian calls "studio" cabins) was just over three per cent. If the same percentage was applied to the Breakaway, there would be 125 solo cabins, not 59. Apply the Epic percentage to the refurbished Pride of America and there would be 67, not four (admittedly there are physical limitations for an existing ship that's being refurbished).

Given that cruise lines are forever responding to the trends of passengers, the Norwegian strategy indicates there is a limited demand.

Norwegian Epic
7 nights
March 9, 2013
Miami (return): St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Nassau
Inside: $649
Cost per day: $81

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One Response
  1. Are all singles to be confined to inside cabins?  Often we singles do spend more and appreciate service.  Though not cruising as a single yet, I can foresee that there could be a time and would not like to be limited in my choice of staterooms.

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