(1:18 p.m. EDT) -- Heads up, solo cruisers. Starting August 30, if you want to cruise on Carnival, you're going to have to fork over more dough earlier in the booking process than before. That's because Carnival is doubling the amount required as a booking deposit.
Cruise Critic was alerted to this change by member DGP1111, who posted on the message boards, “Starting August 30, all bookings for solo passengers will require a double deposit immediately, rather than just the one deposit that was required for numerous years.”
Carnival confirmed the policy change to Cruise Critic, adding: "This policy change applies to new individual and group bookings made on or after August 30, 2012, and does not affect bookings made prior to that date."
The spokesman for Carnival said the reason for the change was that it "brings the single occupancy rates in alignment with the cruise fare payment, which is currently 200% for single occupancy guests."
Despite this reasoning, this practice is not common among cruise lines. Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean only ask their solo customers to pay a per-person deposit.
Overall, Cruise Critic readers were not happy with the change, believing the move is yet more proof that Carnival is not interested in solo cruisers.
However, crusinpsychRN may have had the harshest words for Carnival. "I'm so mad about this I'm already looking at other lines. I also sent them an email. The rationale is idiotic. 'To bring us alignment to the cruise fare payment.' ?!?!?!? Pure trash and gobbledygook… To me, $500 is a significant decision where $250 doesn't hurt as much."
--Written by Dori Saltzman, News Editor