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Singles At Sea

By Elizabeth Armstrong

For a list of Vacations To Go's hosted singles cruises, click here

Singles cruises offer instant camaraderie and a fun-filled vacation

      When it comes to cruising, you can't blame the single traveler for feeling a bit neglected. Solo cruisers must pay "single supplements" if they wish to have their own cabins, which can as much as double one's cruise fare. And once aboard, singles find themselves in the minority, as their fellow passengers are largely comprised of families and couples. The fact is, cruise lines haven't made much of an effort to attract singles.
      "Single travelers are a growing, important part of the market that can't be ignored," says Kari Lee, coordinator of Vacations To Go's singles cruises. The Houston-based travel agency, which has offered deeply discounted cruises for 20 years, launches a series of hosted singles cruises this year.
      "There are more and more organizations that bring singles together; why not do that on a cruise ship?" says Lee.
      An energetic host or hostess will be on board to organize singles-only activities exclusively for Vacations To Go clients. These include poolside sail-away parties, private cocktail mixers with complimentary drinks, games and "single-mingle" dining. On some itineraries, singles shore excursions are available for an additional fee. They include swimming with stingrays in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands and a beach party in Mazatlan, Mexico.
      Plus, cruisers who participate in the singles sailings will enjoy group discounts. "By booking through Vacations To Go's Singles Division, not only are you getting the lowest possible price for a single traveler sharing a cabin, but you're getting the benefits of the singles experience," says Lee.
      Vacations To Go's hosted singles cruises cater to a variety of budgets, interests and ages. Cruises are offered on large, newer ships, each highly rated with four to six stars.
      Vacations To Go's single cruises have proved to be popular. More than 2,000 travelers sailed with Vacations To Go the same year they launched Singles At Sea. Vacationers who reserve a cruise gain access to a private chat room where they can meet fellow singles traveling on the same itinerary.
      "The chat rooms can get very active," says Lee. "Two ladies who signed up separately for the same cruise found out through the chat room that they live in the same town. They've already gotten together a few times before their cruise."
      Solo cruisers can avoid the single supplement by bringing a friend or taking advantage of Vacations To Go's Match Program, which pairs same-sex singles in one stateroom. But for those who prefer more privacy, single-occupancy cabins are available at the single-supplement rate.
      These hosted singles cruises are not open to the public and must be booked through Vacations To Go. For more information, go to Vacations or call 800-419-5179. To see a comprehensive list of non-hosted sailings with a low single supplement, click here.

Special Sailings for Single Parents

      Single parents and their children can meet and mingle on a Vacations To Go hosted cruises designed just for them. The single-parent sailing takes place this summer on family-friendly Carnival ships.
      "This was the biggest request we had from our customers after we announced our singles cruises," says Kari Lee, coordinator of Vacations To Go's singles cruises. "They told us, 'We'd love to do something like this as single parents, where we can bring our kids along.'"
      Cruising provides an active, fun-filled and safe vacation for parents and their kids, says Lee. "A cruise ship provides a closed environment, and that takes a lot of the worry about your children out of the picture."
      Carnival is widely praised for its supervised children's program. Kids enjoy age-appropriate activities in one of four Camp Carnival groups: "toddlers" for those ages 2 to 5, "juniors" for ages 6 to 8, "intermediate" for ages 9 to 11, and "teens" for ages 12 to 15. Parents who enroll their children in Camp Carnival receive beepers so that they can be contacted immediately should the need arise. Carnival also provides evening babysitting services for a fee.
      While kids are participating in arts and crafts, talent shows, storytelling, pizza-making, pool parties and more, single parents can socialize with other adults at specially organized activities. "We've also scheduled activities for parents and children to enjoy together, such as scavenger hunts and games," says Lee.

For a list of Vacations To Go's hosted singles cruises, click here