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We've been thinking about taking a repositioning cruise. I wonder whether it is better to go from the US to Europe or From Europe to the US. Are there any advantages or disadvantages to going one way or the other.

Thanks in advance for anyone's help

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I think that this time zone change is hogwash as you your hourly change only occurs once every few days. My only parameter would be if I want to rest before my Europe land trip or after. That doesn't make any difference to me so I guess that in the end, whichever way is cheaper.

 

DON

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I actually tend to look at the ones that move right to the Caribbean from Europe. The ed is still warmish, to tropical heat vefore a return to cold, prolonged winter of Canada.

That being daid, my personal preference would be to cruise back from Europe using the cruise to redtmup from whatever vusy land travel I would have done first. As I still work, that would suit me best.

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I think that this time zone change is hogwash as you your hourly change only occurs once every few days. My only parameter would be if I want to rest before my Europe land trip or after. That doesn't make any difference to me so I guess that in the end, whichever way is cheaper.

 

DON

On both our westbound and eastbound trans Atlantic cruises the time change (5 hours) was done on consecutive nights while we were at sea.

 

That's 1 hour forward (lose an hour) or 1 hour back (gain an hour) for 5 days.

 

By day 3 on our eastbound cruise (where we were losing a hour's sleep each night) I could definitely "feel" it.

 

On the westbound cruise (where we were gaining a hour each night), it was much more relaxing.

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Westbound in the Fall has several advantages over Eastbound in the Spring:

 

1) The Atlantic retains its Summer warmth until November, while it is still cold in April and May.

2) Given the time zone changes, you have five or six 25 hour days rather than that many 23 hour days.

3) Assuming you will be flying the other direction, it strikes me as better to get that less pleasant bit out of the way first, rather than have it to look forward to at the end of your vacation.

4) Assuming you will spend some time in Europe either pre- or post-cruise, you are likelier to have better weather there in September or October than in April or May.

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Westbound in the Fall has several advantages over Eastbound in the Spring:

 

1) The Atlantic retains its Summer warmth until November, while it is still cold in April and May.

2) Given the time zone changes, you have five or six 25 hour days rather than that many 23 hour days.

3) Assuming you will be flying the other direction, it strikes me as better to get that less pleasant bit out of the way first, rather than have it to look forward to at the end of your vacation.

4) Assuming you will spend some time in Europe either pre- or post-cruise, you are likelier to have better weather there in September or October than in April or May.

I completely agree with you on all points, but....one drawback is that autumn is hurricane season in the Atlantic, whereas spring is not. On both of my autumn east-2-west TA's we had hurricane issues....one time we flew to Europe during the remnants of a hurricane and there was tons of turbulence plus we missed 2 ports on the cruise because of rough seas and high winds. The second one made us miss one port plus had 3 days of very rough seas and high winds. Obviously it won't always happen, but you never know when you book it.

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I completely agree with you on all points, but....one drawback is that autumn is hurricane season in the Atlantic, whereas spring is not. On both of my autumn east-2-west TA's we had hurricane issues....one time we flew to Europe during the remnants of a hurricane and there was tons of turbulence plus we missed 2 ports on the cruise because of rough seas and high winds. The second one made us miss one port plus had 3 days of very rough seas and high winds. Obviously it won't always happen, but you never know when you book it.

 

While Autumn is hurricane season, the fact is that any particular area is likely to be at risk for only a day or two in any given year - and with modern monitoring most itineraries can be readily modified. There is always the chance of port cancellations, but the odds are that most itineraries will not be impacted.

 

Yes, there is a somewhat greater chance of heavy weather in Autumn, but I believe the other benefits of sailing that time of year far outweigh that downside.

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Both seasons in the Atlantic have the potential for some nasty weather.

 

Heading East, a Great Circle (shortest distance between 2 points) is normally followed, as this route also follows the Gulf Stream. The negative, is you head into the N/Atlantic. While Tropical Revolving Storms (TRS) get lots of media coverage, some of the northern storms can be nasty, but don't get the same media coverage.

 

When Westbound, normal courses tend to head South to avoid the Gulf Stream. This tends to provide calmer weather, than the N/Atlantic. However, you are crossing during the last month of the TRS season. These storms are well forecasted and fairly easy to avoid. Captains and Deck Officers are trained in Meteorology and the ships also receive weather routing info from shore based specialists.

 

Going East, you will experience 5- 23 hr days. Depending on the Captain, this could be 1 hr less sleep when cloxs are advanced at 02:00, or you could get 1 less hour of daylight, when clox are advanced at Noon. In addition to considering the passengers, the Captain also needs to consider the crew rest periods when cloxs are advanced.

 

Westbound, you will experience 5 - 25 hr days. When clox are retarded, it is normally at 02:00, which provides an extra hour of sleep.

 

Personally, when the options are predominantly East or West, we will always take the Westbound option.

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When Westbound, normal courses tend to head South to avoid the Gulf Stream.

My first TA was westbound, but in the North Atlantic in Sept. We started in Southampton, England, had to spend 2 days in Dublin, Ireland (missing Belfast, NI) because of a bad storm in the Irish Sea, then up to Iceland but missed Reykjavik because of a storm. Went to Greenland, then rough seas all the way down the east coast of Canada and the US. There were bad storms as we were cruising next to Long Island and when we got to NYC many trees where down because they had had a tornado go through that night. All the weather was because of the remnants of 2 hurricanes that headed over through the N. Atlantic and the British Isles. My other TA in Oct. also had remnants of a hurricane when we were off the coast of Portugal....we were going in a southwestern direction.

 

Unfortunately the captains couldn't avoid them completely (they weren't the hurricanes at their peaks anymore) and we just had to put up with rough seas. Obviously rough seas can happen anytime and anywhere, but there is a good chance of some rough weather during autumn in the Atlantic....that's why those cruises are often cheaper than other times of the year. ;)

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My first TA was westbound, but in the North Atlantic in Sept. We started in Southampton, England, had to spend 2 days in Dublin, Ireland (missing Belfast, NI) because of a bad storm in the Irish Sea, then up to Iceland but missed Reykjavik because of a storm. Went to Greenland, then rough seas all the way down the east coast of Canada and the US. There were bad storms as we were cruising next to Long Island and when we got to NYC many trees where down because they had had a tornado go through that night. All the weather was because of the remnants of 2 hurricanes that headed over through the N. Atlantic and the British Isles. My other TA in Oct. also had remnants of a hurricane when we were off the coast of Portugal....we were going in a southwestern direction.

 

Unfortunately the captains couldn't avoid them completely (they weren't the hurricanes at their peaks anymore) and we just had to put up with rough seas. Obviously rough seas can happen anytime and anywhere, but there is a good chance of some rough weather during autumn in the Atlantic....that's why those cruises are often cheaper than other times of the year. ;)

 

Go-Bucks - Having crossed the N/Atlantic a few times, as DW doesn't handle rough weather too well, we would only consider a s'ly routing, which has a higher chance of missing the nasty weather. Even our 2015 WC had 25 - 30 kts winds approaching Iceland in July.

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Did a repo Southampton to Miami in November a few years ago. We found ourselves following the tail end of a really bad storm which put paid to two of our ports of call. It seems to me that you pay your money and you take your chance. Mother Nature is very fickle and you don't necessarily win any arguments with her!!

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I much prefer the westbound transatlantic cruises for the same reasons as navybankerteacher. Even with the potential for occasional bumpy seas and the potential for a missed port now and then. I like reaching FLL well rested!! Depending on the itinerary, sometimes a missed scheduled port can be replaced with another port if berthing there is available, such as the Azores replaced with Madeira. That has happened to me twice, but I found I really like Madeira. I imagine I would like the port in the Azores, if I ever get there! It's on the itinerary for the cruise next month, so we'll see if it works out this time.

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We will be sailing at the end of September. West bound London to Ft. Lauderdale. Flying East and get the jet lag out of the way ;)

 

Follow the sun south so to speak. We enjoy the slow cruise home and not flying back. Don't like the abrupt end to a cruise. Disembark and run to the airport is no fun. Get home and wobble around for a couple of days with jet lag, or gain. Would much rather wobble around on the ship.:cool:

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I prefer the Spring TAs. I like to spend time in Europe in the Spring. Longer days so not dark at 5pm.

 

 

I agree with Maryann. May is a delightful month in Europe. You have lots of daylight and arrive in Europe all ready to go touring. In the fall, you fly over and have to deal with the jetlag during your vacation.

 

In the end, you get back those few hours that seem so beneficial. Also, I had to deal with Superstorm Sandy on my first TA. Not excited about fall TAs after that.

 

The sailings on all of our TAs has been smooth and the weather was about the same.

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"Best" is defined by you - there are pros and cons to going east to west and west to east. Some may be important to you, others less so. The time zone changes, the time of year and your schedule (i.e. except for Cunard, virtually all ships go in one direction in the spring and the other in the fall), hurricane season (important with some itineraries, not others), flight availability and prices, etc.

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I've taken 3 TA cruises, all of them eastbound from the USA. Never had any issues with time changes, it didn't seem to be a big thing. Then again, I am not someone who pays close attention to a clock or tries to follow a fixed daily schedule. The first TA cruise was as part of a charter group to Europe and we took what was offered. The other two were chosen based on itinerary and price -- mostly the price for the flight needed to complete the journey. What worked for us in both of those just happened to be eastbound but we would have taken a westbound just as quickly if the schedule and airfares had been as good.

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We've been thinking about taking a repositioning cruise. I wonder whether it is better to go from the US to Europe or From Europe to the US. Are there any advantages or disadvantages to going one way or the other.

Thanks in advance for anyone's help

We have done both and prefer Europe to US. You feel relaxed when you get home.

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