I wanted to review my recent Transatlantic cruise. I know it seems more suited to Cruise Critic, but I wanted to share my experiences with RS-style travelers, as I consider myself to be one. I participate on Cruise Critic, but too many participants over in that community are the antithesis of RS and his travel style.
We booked this cruise after a wonderful February 2015 Caribbean cruise. I always said I wouldn't cruise Europe, but I was interested in a Transatlantic. Lo and behold, I came home from work and DH, all doped up on cruise, had booked it and had convinced several of our friends to join us. We were a group of four couples.
As mentioned, despite loving Caribbean cruising, I didn't want to cruise Europe because I love my "European nights". I couldn't imagine getting to that magical time of day and heading back to a ship rather than strolling the streets or enjoying a sunset drink in a cafe with a view. I thought a Transatlantic would be nice though because I love sea days, and I could still have some European nights at the end. More on this later.
Our itinerary was: Embark in Fort Lauderdale - Six sea days - Ponta Delgada - two sea days - Lisbon - Cadiz - Malaga - Alicante and lastly Barcelona for disembarkation. We were on Celebrity Equinox. I will review some my ports separately; this review is focusing on getting to Europe by sea.
I thought I might beat jet lag, and I mostly did. We changed to European time by losing one hour at night on six different nights (including three in a row). This was a bit tiring, but nowhere near as bad as usual jet lag (which I suffer from in varying degrees).
The eight sea days went very fast. We fell into a routine of rising around 7am, and having breakfast between 8am and 9am. At 9:15, three in our group, including me, joined the "Go with the flow" class on the pool deck. This was a kind of yoga/tai chi/stretch class. There was always something to do after that until lunch. After lunch we would either go to a matinee show or some activity. We were kept busy enough that I only got through one of the books I brought along.
We had "select" dining, which meant we could show up for dinner at any time of our choosing. We met our friends for drinks at a particular bar around 5:30-6:00pm, and then proceeded to dinner. We went to the big show of the day after dinner. Occasionally there'd be some kind of big party later in the evening, and we went to three of these.
The clientele was definitely older. DH and I are 46; that made us among the youngest passengers. There were apparently 20 children onboard (I can only think of six that I saw). Also apparently there were 15 people over 100 years old (so the joke going around the ship was that we left Fort Lauderdale with 25 of them!).
We had one very rough sea day and as it happens it was the same day I was a bit hungover. I kept hoping my queasiness was the hangover and not seasickness, and sure enough the next day I was fine, as expected. The rest of the crossing was as smooth, or smoother, than any seas we've experienced in the Caribbean.