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Call Jon Fletcher on: (0161) 408-2161, or e-mail: jfletcher@cruiseholidaysuk.co.uk

 

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

SOLO STUDIOS

A GREAT WAY FOR SOLO GUESTS TO CRUISE?

BY

JON FLETCHER

 

Norwegian Cruise Line has always liked to be at the forefront of innovation as far as guest experience is concerned.  So I am sure you will not be surprised to learn that this quest for innovation extends to the experience of their solo guests and true to form they are setting new standards and leading the way.  Traditionally cruise lines have either sold a cabin for two at the price it would normally sell to 2 guests or at a hefty supplement and do very little else to cater for the solo guests needs.  So when Norwegian Epic was launched in 2010, they included a new category of cabin called studios, that were specifically designed with solo travellers in mind, and with a studio lounge it raised the bar.  Norwegian Cruise Line have continued with this innovation and there are now studio cabins and lounges on all their Breakaway and Breakaway Plus ships.  I am told they plan to continue to include them on future ships. Which I am particularly pleased to hear as I thoroughly enjoyed my experience of a cruise in one of these cabins on Norwegian Epic.

 

So lets take a look at what the Studios offer the solo traveller on Norwegian Cruise Line.  The first thing to say is that the studios are in there own complex within the ship, accessed by key card, so only Studio guests can access the area.  The next important thing to point out is that all the Studios are interior cabins. 

 

One of the first things solo guests notice is that Studios are more compact than a standard interior stateroom, but they are cleverly designed to give you all the things you might expect from a larger stateroom and not feel cluttered.  The first thing you notice is that rather than a single bed. you have a regular double bed.  It could be argued that a single bed or a sofa bed would give more space but is nice to feel you have room to stretch out. 

 

There is a shower cubicle actually within the room with a glass door.  This is a space saving feature, haowever there is a separate toilet cubicle, but the hand basin is in the room.

 

Another thing you will notice is that there is more than adequate storage space with vertical storage spaces and closet and to make the most of the space you will find that all the doors are sliding and you will find the safe in one of the small closet.  One thing you will find missing is a fridge, however you will have an ice bucket, which your friendly room steward will keep topped up with ice.  However if you need a medical fridge for insulin or medications they can be requested before you board. 

 

There is a small desk with a roll out extension.  While the desk is small it is adequate.  Under the desk you will find a stool that cleverly doubles as a coffee table.  Also to save space you will find the telephone on the wall and the bed side lamps are either on the wall or in the ceiling.  You will of course find an interactive flat screen tv. 

 

There are some really clever innovations to make your stay more comfortable such as air conditioning, ambient lighting that you can change the colour of to reflect your mood, and either a one way window on to the corridor so you can see out but others cannot see in or a virtual window that allows you to see what guests with a window would see.  Finally if you want to charge up your phone or tablet up you will also find 2 USB charging points.

 

 

Where Norwegian Cruise Line have been innovative is that they have gone beyond just creating well designed solo traveller studio accommodation they have also looked at how they can improve the cruise experience for solo travellers.  As part of the Studio complex they have created a Studio Lounge where Studio guests can relax and meet other studio guests.  in The Studio Lounge you will find comfortable seating, on some of the ships there is a bar area which is staffed between 5pm and 7pm and makes a great place to meet friends for dinner or an evening.  There are also coffee and teamaking facilities and a selection of snacks.  You will also find the Studio Cruise Director who organises groups activities, tables for meals together, excursions and groups to see the shows etc.  If you are travelling solo but not in a studio keep an eye out on the daily news sheet as you will be able to attend solo events in the studio lounge.  So travelling with Norwegian Cruise Line in a Studio or as a solo guest you need not be alone and there are plenty of opportunities to make friends and share experiences.

 

 

A couple of things solo travellers should think about when considering booking a Studio.  The first thing is that all studios are interior cabins, so if an ocean view or balcony are important to you then you will be better advised to book that and pay the supplement, however you would not be able to access the studio lounge.  As I pointed out earlier Studios are much smaller so if you value more space then again I would recommend a standard stateroom and paying the single supplement.  Again you would not be able to access the Studio Lounge facilities. 

 

However if you are the type of solo traveller who simply uses their cabin to sleep and change clothes etc, then you will find the Studio a great solution.  But as there are only a limited number of Studios it is important to book early.  Norwegian Cruise Line are leading the way in creating a fresh approach to solo traveller cruise experience.

 

 

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