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Repositioning Cruises - Which way is best


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Jet lag kicks my but, so if I'm planning to spend extra days vacationing in Europe I prefer to cruise US to Europe and arrive without jet lag relaxed and ready for my post-cruise touring. I fly home - better for me to experience jet lag at home than on vacation.

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We did an eastbound on a ship with an enclosed solarium. This a great feature for any heavy sea day cruise, even Hawaii which we did twice. A US port stop of Boston. The 3 European ports were terrific, (Cork, Brugges, and Cherbonne), as well as the final port where we did a short tour on the way to a hotel. Others joined us for the tour and continued in the van to the airport for late afternoon flights. I can't even remember immigration, but something to consider. I'd ask someone who did this recently.

 

On our westbound, no enclosed solarium, so huddled under blankets in the corner near door for afternoon nap. The ports were Boston, N.Y. overnight and Cape Kennedy. For us this was transportation from a European cruise home and not much more expense than plane tickets. Immigration was horrendous for the 3,100 non US citizens who wanted to see Boston. Only maybe half an hour for us who were 2 of 350 US citizens. Even though I lived 65 years in NY/NJ there is nothing like sailing into Manhattan and being in Times Square in the evening.

 

To sum, take into consideration ship, ports, and the ports you will start out and end up in.

 

Sent from my SM-T113 using Forums mobile app

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  • 1 year later...
On 9/23/2018 at 7:23 PM, donaldsc said:

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

Since Central European Time (CET) is 6 hours different from East Coast Time (EST), the time change actually occurs 6 times during a transatlantic cruise; sometimes 2 or even 3 days in a row.

Alan

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On 9/25/2018 at 10:17 PM, Daytona_MAc said:

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.

We were on a RCCL transatlantic once where the Captain decided to change the ship's clock at Noon rather than at 2 am. It provided one hour less during the day to do whatever activities you had in mind, but it did not take away an hour of sleep.

Alan

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We love TAs and did 10 of them (5 WB, 5 EB) between 2009 and 2017.  Mostly on Princess, but last one was on HAL.  Obviously we love them!  They're a good deal price-wise and we've been to a variety of ports from Greenland/Iceland to Norway/Denmark and ports in between.  Only missed several ports (Shetland Islands twice due to weather) so we were lucky perhaps.  We've only done one from the Mediterranean (Venice to FLL), but enjoyed that one also.  The Cruise Critic groups are usually quite active on them, setting up small private excursions, which is a big plus IMHO.  The CC groups also usually plan a variety of onboard activities on sea days.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Much prefer a Westbound.    Getting an extra hour sleep every night on the crossing is so much better than  loosing an hour every day.    The crew also are much more relaxed as they also get the extra time to enjoy the crew bar.

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  • 4 months later...

gain an hour....lose an hour....no difference to us one way or another. We have done 10 EB and 10 WB and we greatly prefer WB. It has nothing to do with gaining or losing hours. When we are going WB, we fly over and walk "the living dead" walk until about 8 PM when we crash and sleep like logs. The next day we wake up feeling normal and are over the jet lag almost entirely. 

 

The Nice thing to us is that we get the port,port,port at the beginning of the cruise and then spend the next 7 to 10 days relaxing at sea. We LOVE the sea days....so much to do on the ship!

 

The EB( we do whatever TA is available to us) are much tougher on us. The port,port,port comes at the end of the cruise and we have no time to relax until we head to the airport. The big thing is that for some reason, flying home leaves us with jet lag that can take up to 2 weeks to get over. Also, when we fly over and want to spend extra days in Barcelona, London, Rome, Venice, or where ever it is a treat and we enjoy it. When we get off the ship all we really want to do is go home.

 

Doug

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/23/2018 at 5:08 PM, jmk22 said:

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 enjoyed our land based Europe experience in October 2018 a couple of weeks in Portugal and Poland Italy then transatlantic from Barcelona to Florida. Wonderful way to recover from our experience on land. Bonus is you gaining a hour extra sleep every other day on way back. Flying out to Lisbon was first thing in the morning and we enjoyed our sleep and recover nicely there. We can’t wait to return. But for covid19 we’d be going back soon!

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  • 3 months later...

I think it is kinder to one's wife to fly to Europe and get this dreadful experience over early on ahead of the cruise.  Once in Europe you do an  enormous amount of shopping for shoes and other essential fashion items.  These would not fit into airline hand baggage restricted spaces but you have circumvented all that.  A relaxing voyage back to US with an extra hour sleep on five nights is worth having, I don't know where the cruise lines get this time from but they usually come up with the facility.

 

Regards John

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15 hours ago, john watson said:

I think it is kinder to one's wife to fly to Europe and get this dreadful experience over early on ahead of the cruise.  Once in Europe you do an  enormous amount of shopping for shoes and other essential fashion items.  These would not fit into airline hand baggage restricted spaces but you have circumvented all that.  A relaxing voyage back to US with an extra hour sleep on five nights is worth having, I don't know where the cruise lines get this time from but they usually come up with the facility.

 

Regards John

Another option is to take the QM2 eastbound, stay in Europe for a few days, and then take your transatlantic westbound. Doing it that way (if the timing of the QM2 works to your advantage), you never have to fly across the Atlantic.

Alan

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  • 3 months later...

I don’t do well with time change when travelling and felt sleep-deprived after flying to Barcelona first and not enjoying my stay because I was tired all the time & felt like a walking zombie. 

Looking forward to leaving from the US next time to see if it’ll make a difference 

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54 minutes ago, lyannea said:

I don’t do well with time change when travelling and felt sleep-deprived after flying to Barcelona first and not enjoying my stay because I was tired all the time & felt like a walking zombie. 

Looking forward to leaving from the US next time to see if it’ll make a difference 

 

Clox at sea is way different than flying, as the 6 hr difference is spread over at least a couple of weeks.

 

Heading Eastbound, you will lose an hour, which on most ships that change clox at 02:00 means an hour less sleep. If you are lucky, you may experience one of the Masters that change clox at Noon.

 

A Westbound TA gets an extra hour sleep on 5 or 6 nights and is generally considered less sleep depriving. 

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16 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Clox at sea is way different than flying, as the 6 hr difference is spread over at least a couple of weeks.

 

Heading Eastbound, you will lose an hour, which on most ships that change clox at 02:00 means an hour less sleep. If you are lucky, you may experience one of the Masters that change clox at Noon.

 

A Westbound TA gets an extra hour sleep on 5 or 6 nights and is generally considered less sleep depriving. 

I agree - I loved that extra hour - though slept most of the time on the cruise -

I usually have a lot of energy -all the fresh air and activities- and looking forward to seeing if going to Europe will make a difference, plus, I want to enjoy Barcelona and not feel as though I’m dragging myself around.

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We have enjoyed the sailings going both ways.  Going eastbound even though there are multiple time changes, you don't notice it as much as if you have an 8 hour time difference all at once.  In the spring you don't have to worry so much about weather especially on the southern route.  Luckily we have had relatively calm Westbound cruises as well.  On our last eastbound we were lucky enough to be in Funchal for the Flower Festival Parade.  On the 2022 Odyssey sailing you miss the parade but can see the Wall of Hope ceremony.  We usually spend a week or more in Florida at the beginning or the end of a cruise to extend the vacation and spend additional time in Europe on the opposite end.

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I didn't notice anyone talk about repositioning Pacific - ie Vancouver, BC to Tokyo/Yokohama, Japan via Alaska and Russia.  Viking, Regent Seven Seas, and Holland America.  I think we'd be interested in that itinerary.  Anybody taken those trips?

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10 hours ago, canadjineh said:

I didn't notice anyone talk about repositioning Pacific - ie Vancouver, BC to Tokyo/Yokohama, Japan via Alaska and Russia.  Viking, Regent Seven Seas, and Holland America.  I think we'd be interested in that itinerary.  Anybody taken those trips?

 

There are various threads and trip reports in the forums for the cruise lines that offer these itineraries, but they may not be easy to find. Here's one that I started in the Celebrity forum; one of the replies contains a link to an extensive trip report.

 

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I prefer to get my time change on hour at a time during the trip, then I can adjust to the massive one at home in the end. Since I am in the USA, I would prefer westbound Pacific and Eastbound Atlantic. 

 

I DO have a large 'jetlag' adjustment compared to others, so let it be at home in the end.

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Westbound is always more relaxing, but it would depend on what you are planning to do in Europe.  If you are flying into Europe and boarding the ship, westbound would be the way to go.  However, if you plan to travel for a week or two in Europe before boarding the ship, go Eastbound and get over the time changes on the ship rather than on the1st 2-3 days in Europe.

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On 2/22/2021 at 5:13 PM, canadjineh said:

I didn't notice anyone talk about repositioning Pacific - ie Vancouver, BC to Tokyo/Yokohama, Japan via Alaska and Russia.  Viking, Regent Seven Seas, and Holland America.  I think we'd be interested in that itinerary.  Anybody taken those trips?

 

We took the Norwegian Jewel eastbound from Tokyo (Yokohama) to Vancouver in May 2019.  We started by flying to Japan (from Australia), then a 9 day cruise around Japan on the (now infamous) Diamond Princess (catching the cherry blossoms in the north of Japan), a week or so around Tokyo and Mount Fuji during the changeover of the Emperor, the the Norwegian Jewel crossing.

 

Petropavlovsk was one of the highlights, volcanoes and huskies in  Russia's far east.  Like all eastbound transpacifics you get a day duplicated which can be confusing for dinner reservations - do you want the first May 12th, or the second May 12th? 🙂

 

Then you get a full Alaska cruise at the end, from the top to the bottom. Early in the season but nice long days and we had good weather.  We'd recommend it, one of our best cruises.

 

Norwegian have scheduled a similar cruise on the Sun in April 2022, arriving Seattle.

 

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

We have done two transatlantics west bound and one eastbound as well as one transpacific from Sydney to Seattle.

 

We prefer the west bound TA since we have the cruise after our land trip.   The cruise is more relaxing than the touring and a nice way to slow down after touring.   

 

 

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Put us in the group that has found the Europe to US westbound route much more relaxing....it’s like a vacation after the vacation, and sometimes you need that....especially now that we are older and our recovery time is longer.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I’ve gone both ways.   Going US to Europe was like going through the change of the clocks in the fall six times.  We had six days of 23 hours. Arrived with no jet lag but was a bit tired. People just stopped trying to get to activities before 10. Morning just got earlier and earlier and earlier.  
 

Europe to US was like going through the time change when the extra hour was added.   We had lots of days with 25 hours.   More relaxing. 
 

We hit the Gulf Stream.  It was amazing.  November in the mid-Atlantic.   People were in the pool.  Everyone seemed to be outside.  Sunshine.  It was magic.  And then back to reality.  

 

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