Cruising alone is very popular, but many solo travellers are frustrated by the high prices that they have to pay compared to couples and families.
Single supplements can inflate the price of your cruise. But, there are ways to get around them. This guide will give you lots of information to help you to plan the best cruise as a solo traveller with P&O Cruises.
What are the accommodation options for solo travellers with P&O Cruises?
Single travellers have three options when booking a cruise:
- Book a double cabin for single occupancy
- Find a cruise buddy to share a twin cabin with
- Book a single cabin
Which of these is the best is a personal choice that only you can make. Read on for the pros and cons of each…
Double cabins for single occupancy
Pros: Most availability, most space
Cons: Often the most expensive option
Many solo travellers opt to book a double cabin just for themselves. Doing this has its advantages, as you’ll have the widest choice of cruises and lots of space to spread out with a double bed all to yourself.
Booking a double cabin for one person is often most expensive option, as you’ll have to pay a single supplement. This essentially means that you’ll pay almost as much for one person as you would for two. This is something which many cruisers find to be unacceptable
Read on to find out how you can avoid P&O Cruises single supplement…
Sharing with a stranger?
Pros: No single supplement, cheapest option, make a new friend
Cons: Less time to spend alone, reduced privacy
If you’re on a tight budget, the cheapest option would be to find someone to share a cabin with. If you do this, you’ll obviously have no single supplement to pay.
Sharing a cabin with a stranger certainly isn’t for everyone. But, if you’re a sociable person, then there are groups on Facebook where like-minded cruisers make friends online and save money by sharing a cabin on their cruise. To find them, type ‘solo cruise’ into the Facebook search bar, click ‘groups’ and you’ll see a list.
Just because you share a cabin doesn’t mean that you need to spend your whole holiday with your roommate. It would be a good idea to set some expectations about how much time you’ll actually spend together before you book the cruise so that there are no concerns over appearing too distant or too full-on.
Pros: No single supplement, often located near the other single cabins
Cons: Smallest cabins, sometimes costs more than a double cabin
For many solo travellers, the best option is to book a single cabin. P&O Cruises single cabins don’t have any single supplement. However, the price that you’ll pay for a single cabin varies depending on the cruise.
Sometimes, you’ll pay only a little more for a single cabin than you would for half of a double room. Other times, it actually works out cheaper to book a double cabin for solo occupancy than it does to book a single cabin!
In the example below, you can see how you would be better of booking a standard double cabin to yourself than to opt for the single cabin.
P&O Cruises single cabins are limited in number and tend to sell out quite quickly. If there are no single cabins left for the cruise that you want then don’t worry, it may be the case that a double cabin would work out cheaper anyway.
P&O Cruises single cabins
Here are details of all of the single cabins that are available on each P&O Cruises ship. Please note that cabin sizes are approximate.
Iona single cabins
- Single inside – 10 cabins across Decks 5, 9 and 12 (101 sq ft)
- Single balcony – 12 cabins across Decks 9, 12 and 14 (107 sq ft)
P&O Cruises new ship Iona has 22 single cabins with a choice of inside and balcony cabins.
Iona’s single cabins are some of the smallest you’ll find at sea, so if you don’t want to feel like you’re sleeping in a broom cupboard, an upgrade to a double cabin for single occupancy could be a wise idea.
The single cabins on Iona are dotted around the ship in pairs. The inside cabins all have handy midship locations, whereas the balcony cabins are all towards the aft (back) of the ship.
Suggested read: P&O Iona cabins: How to choose the best one
Britannia single cabins
- Single inside – 12 cabins on the Lido Deck (134 sq ft)
- Single balcony – 15 cabins on the Lido Deck (164 sq ft)
Britannia is arguably the best P&O Cruises ship for single travellers as she has the most single cabins. What’s more, these are all located on a single corridor on the Lido Deck. This makes it really easy for solos to meet up, as your new friends will also be your neighbours.
The Lido Deck is one of the highest decks on the ship and Britannia’s single cabins are located right at the front of the ship. This means that if the sea is choppy, you’ll feel the motion much more than you would do in a lower deck, midship location.
The single cabins are located right by the Lido Grill and Pizzeria though, which will be handy if you fancy a snack to ease any seasickness.
Single balcony cabins on Britannia aren’t great for sunbathing on, as they’re in the shade of the deck above. Luckily, the sun loungers of the Lido Deck are just steps away.
Suggested read: P&O Britannia cabins to avoid
Azura single cabins
- Single inside: 6 cabins on F Deck (130 sq ft)
- Single outside: 12 outside cabins on F Deck (130 sq ft)
If you won’t cruise without a balcony, then a single cabin on Azura isn’t for you. The only single cabins available on this ship are inside cabins and outside cabins, which have a window but no balcony.
The single cabins on Azura are in a fantastic location – they’re all together on a single corridor which is right by the atrium. This is handy for meeting other single passengers and also for getting around the ship. It’s also a great location to be in for anyone who’s worried about seasickness.
Ventura single cabins
- Single inside: 6 cabins on F Deck (130 sq ft)
- Single outside: 12 outside cabins on F Deck (130 sq ft)
Ventura is a sister ship to Azura and the ships are virtually identical. Just like on Azura, the single cabins are all together on a single corridor, but there’s no option for a balcony.
Suggested read: P&O Ventura cabins to avoid
Arcadia single cabins
- Single inside: 4 cabins on the Sun Deck (189 sq ft)
- Single balcony: 2 cabins on the Sun Deck (206 sq ft)
Arcadia is one of P&O Cruises adults-only cruise ships. She has only six inside cabins, so if you want one, you really must book early.
Arcadia offers some longer duration cruises so if you’re wanting one of the only two single balcony cabins for one of these, you’re probably going to need to book it as soon as it goes on sale.
All of the single cabins on Arcadia are a really good size. The single inside cabins on Arcadia are 72% larger than they are on new ship Iona, whilst the single balcony cabins on Arcadia are almost twice as big as the ones on Iona!
Aurora single cabins
- Single outside: 4 cabins on Decks 9 and 11 (150 sq ft)
- Single balcony: 6 cabins on Deck 8 (179 sq ft)
Aurora is P&O Cruises oldest and smallest ship and she is exclusively for adults. The ship has ten single cabins with a choice of a window or a balcony. There are no single inside cabins on this ship.
The single outside cabins on Aurora are forward-facing and are located just below the bridge. They don’t have the best sea views, because you’re looking down over the nose of the ship from this location. The view from Deck 11 will be a little better than from Deck 9 though.
The single balcony cabins on Aurora are all together at the back of the ship, by the terrace pool. Whilst this location is great in many ways, these cabins are above the show bar, so if you like to go to bed early, you may hear the music from below.
The balconies of the single cabins on Aurora are steel-fronted, which means that you can’t see the sea when you’re sitting down. They’re also shaded from the deck above. Luckily, the outdoor terrace and pool are just steps away.
Tips for solo travellers with P&O Cruises
Here are some tips for travelling solo with P&O Cruises…
1. Book early
Booking your cruise one to two years in advance means that you’ll have the largest choice of cabins and the best prices. The best time to book our cruise is as soon as the itineraries are released.
2. Consider your dining options*
*Note: Due to social distancing measures, it’s not currently known what P&O Cruises’ policy on table sharing will be in 2021 and beyond. Information below is relevant to cruises in 2020 and earlier.
P&O Cruises offer the option of traditional dining at the same table at the same time each night or My Time dining where you can arrive as you please.
If you choose traditional dining, all the solo passengers will be seated together. You’ll be able to get to know your fellow solos better as you dine with them each night.
If you have a choice of table size, always go for the largest. Sometimes people will opt to eat in the buffet or a speciality restaurant, so if you’re on a larger table it’s less likely that you’ll be left alone.
If you choose My Time dining, you can opt to dine alone or with new people each evening. This can be fun, but you’ll likely be seated with couples and won’t get to know people as well if you never see them again.
3. Check your daily schedule
Each cruise will have solo traveller events which you’ll find listed in your daily cruise schedule.
Solo events are a great way to make new friends. Even if you’re sure that you want to keep yourself to yourself on holiday, it can be nice to attend one of these events and see who else is travelling alone.
Get the best price when you book your P&O cruise
The price you pay for your cruise will be different depending on who you book it with, even though what you get will be exactly the same.
It’s generally always cheaper to use a specialist cruise travel agent that can access discounted rates.
Of course, not all travel agents are equal in terms of the service that they provide. If you’d like to get a quote from a trusted travel agent that I’ve used to book multiple cruises myself, click here to get a quote.
While there are many benefits of travelling alone, the cheapest way to cruise solo with P&O Cruises with no single supplement is to find a cruise buddy to share a twin cabin with.
If that’s not an option for you, then there are single cabins that have no single supplement. However, it sometimes works out cheaper to book a double cabin for single occupancy and pay the supplement.
You’ll need to study the prices carefully to work out which is the best option for you.
If you’d like more info about the various cabins on P&O Cruises’ ships, take a look at my detailed cabin guides…