Studio Stateroom - Royal Caribbean

Want to know the top cruise lines for booking the best single cabins with no added supplement and an abundance of amenities? Look no further.

For those of us who are solo travellers, grabbing the best single cabin on the cruise ship is one of our unique challenges. For decades, cruise lines seemed to only see the couples (and the pay-per-person numbers). Then cruisers started voyaging on their own, and companies seemed a bit confused about how to deal with single travellers (and, by implication, the reduction in revenue). We were faced with the dreaded ‘single supplement’: a penalty fee (of sorts) levied for occupying a space meant for two. There were also no rooms on ships designed for the solo traveller. We were placed in a couple’s room and charged for the invisible travel companion.

But times have changed. In the new age of solo travel, here’s what you can expect aboard the leading cruise lines in their best single cabins.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Studio - Norwegian Cruise Line
A studio stateroom

Several years ago, Norwegian Cruise Line broke the mould. On Norwegian Epic unaccompanied cruisers could finally book a for singles. NCL has now extended cabins for one to Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Pride of America, and Norwegian Getaway. Look forward to:

  • Approximately 100 square feet of space
  • Full-size bed, flat-screen TV, adjustable lighting, full bathroom facilities
  • Modern styles with clean, white foundations and bright highlight colours
  • Key card access to the private singles’ areas known as the Studio Complex and Lounge or Living Room (drinks, room service, TV)
  • No single supplement (as of publication)

Royal Caribbean

This cruise line offers dedicated solo cabins on Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, and Harmony of the Seas. You will have a choice of two types of single cabins: interior studio or super studio with a balcony. You can also expect:

  • Room sizes a bit over 100 square feet (interior) to 199 square feet (outside) with a 55-square-foot balcony
  • Studio interior cabins that have either full or twin beds; ocean view solo cabins have full-size beds
  • Flat-screen TV, full bathroom facilities
  • 80-inch LED display of ocean views in interior single cabins; super studios have a private balcony
  • No single supplement (as of publication); cruisers can earn loyalty programme points if they choose a regular stateroom and pay the supplement

Holland America Line

Single Ocean View
A single ocean view cabin

This cruise line offers single cabins on the ms Koningsdam and the ms Nieuw Statendam (launching December 2018). Other details include:

  • 12 single ocean view cabins on the Koningsdam that are 127-172 square feet, located throughout the ship
  • Twin beds, sophisticated colour palettes, USB ports, bathrobes, fruit baskets
  • (On Nieuw Statendam) a corner bar, safe, mini-fridge, ice and turndown service, Egyptian cotton towels, and other luxurious amenities
  • No supplement (as of publication)

Costa Cruises

A leader in offering the best single cabins in the industry is Costa Cruises. Over half its fleet has dedicated solo travel accommodation. Look for:

  • Inside and outside single staterooms (102-199 square feet); outside staterooms have portholes
  • Twin beds, sophisticated décor
  • Flat-screen TV, full bath facilities
  • Different services on different ships (complimentary breakfast in bed on the Costa Diadema)
  • No supplement (as of publication)

Fred. Olsen Cruise Line

All ships in this line have the option of booking a Single Interior Room (130 square feet), Single Superior Interior Room (160 square feet), Single Ocean View Room (165 square feet), or Single Superior Ocean View Room (160 square feet). Features include:

  • Oversize single bed
  • En-suite shower (also tub option), desk, telephone, TV, hairdryer, tea and coffee machine
  • Some rooms with picture windows, others with a small balcony
  • No supplement for designated single cabins (as of publication)

Cunard Line

Enjoy luxurious solo travel with this respected cruise line. The Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 all offer single cabins, both inside and outside. Other points to note include:

  • All single staterooms 159-183 square feet Britannia class
  • Oversize twin beds, flat-screen TV, full bath, seating area with desk, large windows
  • Complimentary 24-hour room service
  • No supplement (as of publication)

For adventurers who are cruising the rivers of the world, you can find solo cabins with American Queen Steamboat Company, AmaWaterways, Vantage, and Viking River Cruises. (Insider tip: in order to waive the single ‘tax’, just ask!)

Book solo studios and single staterooms early. They are limited in number (still), and fill up quickly on all cruise lines. If you’re unable to secure one, consider partnering with another solo traveller. Most lines have a programme to pair solo travellers with same-gender travel partners. (Insider tip:  if they cannot find you a matching bunkmate, most cruise lines let you have you the whole room to yourself with no extra costs.)

Read more helpful hints on solo cruise travel.