The question: Are there any cruises just for singles? I want an escape, but I don’t want to be stuck on board with noisy families.
There are bluegrass cruises, comedy fan cruises and motorcycle enthusiast cruises. So yes, there are ships at sea that cater to the married-free. While it’s possible for an entire ship to be chartered, typically the best way to hook up with this crowd is to join a singles tour.
SinglesCruise.com, for instance, offers what spokeswoman Vickie Meeuwsen calls “a hosted group cruise experience.” That means cocktail parties, ice-cream socials and karaoke contests on board for its passengers, as well as singles-only shore excursions.
While they aren’t the only passengers aboard, “quite often we are able to reserve private rooms and areas around the ship,” Meeuwsen says. “As for dinner, we reserve a large section of the dining room for our singles and we encourage them to move tables to dine and mingle.”
There are typically up to 200 vacationers in a SinglesCruise group with most checking the 35-to-55-year-old age box. To avoid single supplement charges, the company offers a roommate-matching service (but takes no responsibility if you end up sleeping next to a snorer).
It also offers sailings among its 20 excursions a year aimed at different age groups. This spring, for example, there’s a program aboard the seven-night Carnival Liberty for twentysomethings and thirtysomethings that stops in Cozumel, Mexico, and in Belize and the Cayman Islands, as well as an over-40 sailing aboard the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas with port calls in Jamaica, Mexico and Labadee, the line’s private island.
If organized waterslide contests and board-game matches aren’t your thing, you could join a regular cruise. Some lines host singles events, says Vanny Chhan of Vancouver-based CruiseExperts Travel ( cruiseexpertstravel.com). And one line, the Norwegian Epic, “has what they call studios: cabins designed for one person and priced for the solo traveller,” Chhan says. “Exclusive to travellers in these cabins, there is also a Studio Lounge where they can meet other solo travellers.” The Norwegian Epic sails the Caribbean in the winter and the Mediterranean in the summer.
Another way to find a cruise that appeals to singles is to look out for deals that skip the often triple-digit single supplement. Check Connecting: Solo Travel Network ( cstn.org), Theme Cruise Finder ( themecruisefinder.com), Cruise Critic ( cruisecritic.com) or ask a cruise specialist. The luxury line Silversea’s Silver Cloud, for example, is offering a 10-day Caribbean sailing in March with single-supplement fare starting at $4,699 (regular fare starts at $4,399) which includes, among other things, airfare from some gateways, Chhan says.
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Follow Karan Smith on Twitter: @karan_smith. Special to The Globe and Mail