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More Breaks For Single Cruisers

 

Cruise times are changing. They always are. Here’s one of the latest…

Cunard announced a refurbishment of the Queen Mary 2, and with it comes news that 15 single staterooms will be added. The rationale from Cunard is that single rooms are necessary because not only are more people cruising solo, but there are more family groups traveling together that include singles. There are already single staterooms available on fleetmates Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria

There is no single supplement for these cabins. In other words, you pay the same per-person price as you would if two to a cabin.

Other cruise lines have been ahead of that curve for some time. The Epic, with 128 solo cabins (some connecting) was the first in the Norwegian fleet with the highly-popular option for single travelers. There’s also a Studio Lounge, for the exclusive use of passengers who book in the solo cabins. With no single supplement they sell out quickly. Surprisingly, there are fewer single cabins on Norwegian’s latest ships, the Getaway and the Breakaway (59 on each). 

The Escape, being launched in the fall, will have 82. 

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas each have 28 single staterooms, and Ovation of the Seas, also arriving this fall, will apparently also have 28 solo cabins. No single supplements apply.

Costa Cruises has 17 solo cabins on at least two of its ships, Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa. There is a single supplement, although not exorbitant.

Carnival does offer some value-priced solo cruise fares, with some supplements as low as five per cent.

One thing is certain: In the cruise world, singles are being heard.

Today at portsandbows.com: Celebrity's 'Evenings Around The World'

Norwegian Jewel
5 nights
May 1, 2016
Los Angeles, Astoria, Victoria, Vancouver
Inside: $309
Cost per day: $61
www.ncl.com

Royal Baby Royal Treat For Cunard

 

Ah yes, the Royal Baby. She arrived on the weekend, in case you haven’t heard. Her birth was on the very day that Britain’s three queens of sailing — Victoria, Mary 2, Elizabeth — were launching another celebration: 175 years of Cunard.

The connection was not lost on Cunard.

When the news broke, thee three ships of royal lineage were all in British waters and in unison sounded their whistles three times. The significance of three comes from the “time-honored Magpie rhyme”…

“One for sorrow,
“Two for joy,
“Three for a girl…”

When Royal Baby Girl’s brother George was born two years ago, the three queens must have had scheduling problems because they didn’t blast “four for a boy” in unison. Or at least they weren’t close enough to be in tune.

This time, the timing was ideal.

The cruise line Samuel Cunard founded in 1840 planned this weekend retreat for its three ships long before England’s most famous mother of two even knew her Royal Daughter was on the way. So call it coincidence, luck or celestial intervention…but the perfect little one arrived on the perfect big weekend, when ships named after her ancestors — including her great-grandmother — were within driving distance.

Cunard’s anniversary year was kicked off at the home port, Southampton. Sunday’s royal procession was delayed until Royal Caribbean’s new ship, Anthem of the Seas, had left on its inaugural voyage. The three ships later broke formation on cruises to Hamburg (Queen Elizabeth), Guernsey (Queen Victoria) and New York (Queen Mary 2).

They’ll get together again later this month to take the River Mersey to Liverpool, Cunard’s ancestral home, for an event that’s expected to be watched by a million people on the shoreline.

In the meantime, like everyone else, Cunard’s people are waiting to hear the new queen-to-be’s name…

Elizabeth? Victoria? Mary?

Now that would be TOO much!

In the news…

• Balconies for the price of oceanviews on Anthem of the Seas
• $20 million loan to make Alaska's Icy Straight Point better port by fall
• Silver Whisper fails CDC health inspection with unsatisfactrory score of 82

Today at portsandbows.com: Star Wars to be a hit for Disney

Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
12 nights
May 28, 2015
Barcelona (return): Nice, Florence, Rome, Salerno, Venice, Ravenna, Kotor
Inside: $699
Cost per day: $58
www.royalcaribbean.com

TSC: The Solo Cruiser's Status Grows

You know that something is official when the most traditional of (fill in the blank) accepts it, no matter what the industry or walk of life is.

Today, the blank is filled in with Cunard.

Regarded by passengers as the most traditional (some might say staid) of all cruise lines, Cunard has now come to the table to recognize and cater to TSC. 

vcsPRAsset_515440_109314_3cc0484a-8135-4c89-8ae4-3ea1e68e154e_0That's The Solo Cruiser.

On the newest Cunard ship, Queen Elizabeth, there will be eight outside and one inside single staterooms. The cruise line is doing this — the first sailing will be December 16 — because it's "recognizing the increasing popularity of solo travel."

Besides solo staterooms, Cunard will also have special activities, a welcome reception and specially organized events on the ship and excursions on the ship…all for the single traveler.

It's also called changing with the times.

Today at Phil Reimer's portsandbows.com: Cruising the Crystal way in 2016-17

Caribbean Princess
7 nights
September 13, 2014
Fort Lauderdale (return): Princess CaysSt. MaartenSt. Thomas, Grand Turk
Inside: $599
Cost per day: $85
www.princess.com

An Assessment of Cruise Deals Posted

When is a "cruise deal" a good deal?

If you book a cruise based on somebody's suggestion or pitch that it's a bargain, and the price goes up after that, then you got a deal. Just like anything else that you buy…you want to try and catch it at its low, low price.

Every day, we post a new cruise deal here at cruisingdoneright.com. The research is totally subjective. The outcome is always something of a gamble. There are no guarantees the price will go up, or won't come down.

Today, we are self-assessing. Picking five of this year's Daily Deals at random, here's what we discovered:

1) Posted January 23, Alaska cruise on the Grand Princess from Seattle (return). 
Price then: $598
Price today: $914
Difference: Booking now would cost $316 more

2) Posted February 5, Mediterranean cruise on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth from Venice to Rome 
Price then: $986
Price today: $799
Difference: Booking now would save $187

3) Posted March 10, Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Constellation from Fort Lauderdale (return). 
Price then: $699
Price today: $749
Difference: Booking now would cost $50 more

4) Posted March 13, Alaska cruise on the Holland America Zaandam from Vancouver (return). 
Price then: $699
Price today: $699
Difference: No difference

5) Posted May 13, Caribbean cruise on the Norwegian Sky (3 nights) from Miami (return). 
Price then: $159
Price today: $329
Difference: Booking now would cost $170 more

Like we said, no guarantees…but we'll take three out of four and a tie!

Today at Phil Reimer's portsandbows.com: Seabourn in European in 2015

Celebrity Millennium
7 nights
September 5, 2014
AnchorageHubbard GlacierJuneauSkagwayIcy Strait PointKetchikanVancouver
Inside: $619
Cost per day: $88
www.celebritycruises.com

Prince Philip Returning To Ship Of His Past

When you get really old, the saying goes, you don't buy green bananas…and not because you're afraid of slipping on one.

How old is really old?

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is two months away from his 93rd birthday and most recently made a few headlines by being hospitalized, not an unusual occurrence Royal couplefor a man of his vintage. None of this keeps the Duke from making plans. In three weeks, he intends to attend the 10th anniversary of Cunard's Queen Mary 2 in Southampton, proving that (a) Elizabeth is not the only Queen in his life, and (b) he is not about to roll over just because he's in his nineties.

Queen Mary 2 is the flagship for Cunard, and has been for a decade. Since then, she has crossed the Atlantic more than 200 times, visited 182 ports in 60 countries and been home on the water for over 1.3 million passengers.

The ship was christened by Queen Elizabeth — that would be Prince Philip's wife of 67 years — and he was there, naturally, for the occasion.

But then he was only 83. Clearly, it was safe for him to buy green bananas.

Today at portsandbows.com: The latest in cruise news

Norwegian Sun
7 nights
June 2, 2014
Anchorage, Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait Point, JuneauTracy ArmSkagwayKetchikanVancouver 
Inside: $399
Cost per day: $57
www.ncl.com

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