By Tom Blake
With the arrival of summer, I am often asked about travel, particularly by women who have no one to travel with.
Donia, who is from San Clemente, asked, “Have you written anything about traveling solo after age 50? I love to travel but find that, especially on cruises, the single supplements are daunting. I have traveled to India, Thailand and Europe with women friends (no tours) and would love suggestions on websites catering to our type of traveler.”
What Donia is referring to as “single supplements” is when cruise lines display the list price of cabins, the prices are based on two people or double occupancy. For example, when my partner Greta and I check out a cruise, and the price for the stateroom is $4,000, that means the price for each of us is $2,000.
But when Donia checks out the same cruise and the same-sized stateroom, the cost for her is $4,000. That is the single supplement and makes cruising for many singles prohibitively expensive.
Some cruise or travel companies offer to find roommates for singles to lower the per person room cost. That could be helpful, but what happens if you get matched with someone you don’t like? You sacrifice privacy as well.
Some travel companies cater only to women: Sights and Soul Travels, Women-Traveling.com and The Women’s Travel Group, for example. They often reduce fares for singles.
I asked travel agent Ann Ronan of San Juan Capistrano to comment on single supplements. Ann said, “The cruise industry recognizes the growing numbers of single travelers and is getting creative in balancing the need for profit with the demand for singles cabins. Norwegian’s Getaway, Breakaway and Epic ships, and Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas—now have solo cabins.
“All of the major river cruise companies also offer waived or discounted single supplements on select sailings,” Ronan continued. “For example, Tauck has no single supplements on any European river cruise if you don’t mind the category 1 cabins with a small window. Their French balcony cabins have discounted supplements.
“I have had such a demand for singles travel that I now send out a brief, Friday update of all the reduced or waived supplement cruise and tour itineraries and dates to all the singles on my email list who request it.”
Ann has arranged a four-day cruise on the Star Princess that leaves in November from Los Angeles, a ship she calls the “Tom Blake Loving Life After 55 Cruise.”
Greta and I will be onboard. I will be giving a singles presentation while sailing between Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico.
For women traveling alone, there are choices available that can reduce the cost of travel. Ask your travel agent or the travel companies directly.
For people who have never cruised before, a short cruise like this one is a perfect way to sample cruising on an extraordinary ship. Ann is working hard to get the cost as low as possible for singles as well as for couples. If you care to join us on the cruise, contact Ann. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone, 949.702.3977.
Cruise information/flyer/registration: https://mybookinggenie.com/?p=7403
On Life and Love After 50 now has a Facebook group, Finding Love After 50, where members can post messages, pictures and communicate with each other. It is a closed group, where only members can see posts and pictures. Joining the group requires Tom Blake’s approval. www.facebook.com/groups/48063349638.