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We've done 10 TAs since 2009, 5 WB and 5 EB, often doing 2/yr.  All but one on Princess, the other on HAL.  So obviously we love them!  They're cheaper/day than most cruises, we like the lectures offered, lots of Trivia and Bingo, have never been bored, and involves only one overseas flight.  The Cruise Critic groups are usually quite active:  planning private excursions in Europe, sea day activities just for CC members, etc.  I love the Azores which are usually a port on westbound and sometimes on eastbound.  Also love visiting Iceland (4x) and Greenland (2x).  We've also visited the Faeroe Islands on a TA.

Edited by BarbinMich

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We used to do a TA, spend time in Europe either doing a river cruise, or self tour for 2-3 weeks, then fly back.   We actually lived in Germany for awhile and took a TA over the first time!   It was actually before everything got so clogged up with Tourism, so a wonderful way to see Europe, and have a great slow trip over (and once back).   Now, I would never consider doing that with all the crowds.   We like the fact that we had many sea days to relax!   

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As we've also done a number of land-only tours in a lot of western Europe, we haven't felt the need to extend our cruise vacations by adding a land portion.

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13 hours ago, need2cruisesoon said:

On my bucket list just have to get the DW onboard.....

 

Give me your favorite all time trans-atlantic with stops and if Eastbound or Westbound?

 

Thanks, Need2Cruise

well Thurston two words Sea Days. One reason we booked a cruise ship is to be on a cruise ship. Over the years there are only so many things to see and do in ports and without new ports for us we'll take sea days.  When we were young we enjoyed the European and Mediterranean ports however; with mobility issues and lack of accessibility in many ports  we opt for a short walk or a hoho when in town. Barcelona is great for that as is  many other Med. ports.     Southhampton and surrounding country side was spectacular. My favorite will always be the French riviera.  The people, food .... wonderful times there.  

    2020 we are booked on the Enchanted  Princess Spanish passage. Hope to check off a few more ports before calling it quits spending twelve hours in a plane. 

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50 minutes ago, ldubs said:

BTW, I've never seen cricket on a cruise ship.  We are talking about the game that uses the flat bat yes?  That is one of the craziest sports I've seen.  I would enjoy watching that.  

You probably need to  be on a British ship to play it (with a flat faced bat, but with a rear wedge) and obviously given the limited space, it's only a truncated version of the real thing. A proper international cricket match lasts 5 days, 6 hours of play per day, so you need plenty of time to enjoy it properly! 

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4 hours ago, shipgeeks said:

We love eastbound TAs, and would do one every year except for the pain of the flights back.  A week of sea days is bliss.  Visiting several Med ports is really nice.  But that's the end of the positive experience.  If we could sail across, spend up to a week there, and sail back, that would be perfect.

Given that preference, you could take one of many T/A eastbound  repositionings avvailable in the Spring timed to match a QM2 westbound a week or so later,  or an eastbound QM2 in the Fall to tie in with a later westbound repositioning.

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4 hours ago, shipgeeks said:

We love eastbound TAs, and would do one every year except for the pain of the flights back.  A week of sea days is bliss.  Visiting several Med ports is really nice.  But that's the end of the positive experience.  If we could sail across, spend up to a week there, and sail back, that would be perfect.

That is essentially what we are looking to do - QM2 makes round trip sailings [marketed as 'grand voyages'] with 5 or more days between the Southampton stops. You can stay on board while the ship visits [for example] Norway so the vacation is entirely ship based - or disembark and do something on land rejoining the ship for the westbound crossing [usually at Southampton, sometimes at  LeHavre or occasionally other ports]  back to NYC.

 

Often there is a new mix of passengers as the round trip is sold in three [or more] segments.

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5 hours ago, Markanddonna said:

I agree with everything except the preference for the westbound TA which are usually in the fall. The more "usable" sunlight in April and May makes an eastbound TA preferable and the days seems longer and less gloomy. Also, with an eastbound from the US to Europe, your internal clock has had time to adjust and you are physically ready for all that touring in Europe.

I agree.  I do TAs as a travel option to get to/from Europe.  Eastbound to Europe is great because you arrive in Europe already acclimated to the time difference.  When I fly to Europe, the first day is pretty much wasted because of jet lag.

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We've only done one, on the Caribbean Princess, loved it.    We started with a 14 day trip around the British Isles in late August, then stayed onboard for the 14 day TA.    Our route went from Southampton>Rotterdam>2 ports in Norway, then Shetland Island (which we unfortunately missed due to high seas), then 3 ports in Iceland.   Then came 5 sea days, Boston, ended in New York.   We had relatively good weather, though some high seas in the North Atlantic.    During one of those days, one woman was wandering around the ship carrying a Caribbean Princess life preserver with a rope dangling from it.    Always something to watch!   

 

Yes, we'd do it again, in fact are looking at options now.   We did get a little bored on some sea days, but we settled into a very relaxing daily routine with our own books, music, and people watching, plus the ship activities.    If you need constant action and can't entertain yourself for long periods of time, or want to bake in the sun, then it's probably not for you.    

 

 

Edited by Kartgv

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New York to Copenhagen, a 10 day trans-Atlantic re-positioning cruise for the Royal Viking Sky during early June is my favorite.  No stops, just days at sea that were simply wonderful with service, entertainment, and cuisine that were excellent.  (And, to make it even better:  the cost per day was less than my return cruise from Hamburg-Southampton-New York on QE2 in Tourist Class during a period of time when the ship was experiencing labor issues.)

 

HAL's Voyage of the Vikings is a standout and can be booked one way.  The final segment of HAL's Grand World Voyage also can be booked and also is an excellent way to sail across the pond.

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Coming up on our 6th TA, small ships to large ones. One eastbound and five westbound. Love the 10 sea days,  6 or 7  25 hour days. Westbound are always shorts and t shirts after day 2.  We are in our late 60's and absolutely love the mega cruise ships. Last TA was on Symphony, 10 sea days almost no kids and absolute bliss. happy cruising

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The best transatlantic cruise I can imagine would be at the end of a round the world cruise. Another I'd love to do is Holland America's Africa circumnavigation round trip from Fort Lauderdale.

 

We've done four westbound transatlantics, would happily do another. The best was on the Prinsendam for 30 days from Piraeus to Fort Lauderdale. I like sea days, I'm never bored with a book.

 

Thu Oct 20 Athens (Piraeus), Greece 7:00pm

Fri Oct 21 At Sea

Sat Oct 22 Larnaca, Cyprus 8:00am 4:00pm

Sun Oct 23 Jerusalem / Tel Aviv (Ashdod), Israel 7:00am 9:00pm

Mon Oct 24 Haifa, Israel 8:00am 8:00pm

Tue Oct 25 At Sea

Wed Oct 26 Rhodes, Greece  8:00am 6:00pm

Thu Oct 27 Santorini, Greece  8:00am 6:00pm

Fri Oct 28 Crete (Heraklion), Greece 10:00am 6:00pm

Sat Oct 29 At Sea

Sun Oct 30 Valletta, Malta 8:00am

Mon Oct 31 Valletta, Malta 8:00am

Mon Oct 31 Mgarr (Victoria), Malta 10:00am 6:00pm

Tue Nov 1 Messina, Sicily, Italy 8:00am 5:00pm

Wed Nov 2 Naples (Capri), Italy 8:00am 6:00pm

Thu Nov 3 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 7:00am 4:00pm

Fri Nov 4 At Sea

Sat Nov 5 Barcelona, Spain 7:00am 5:00pm

Sun Nov 6 Cartagena, Spain Noon 6:00pm

Mon Nov 7 Malaga, Spain 8:00am 6:00pm

Tue Nov 8 Seville, Spain 7:00am 5:00pm

Wed Nov 9 Lisbon, Portugal 10:00am 8:00pm

Thu Nov 10 At Sea

Fri Nov 11 Funchal, Madeira, Portugal 7:00am 4:00pm

Sat Nov 12 At Sea

Sun Nov 13 At Sea

Mon Nov 14 At Sea

Tue Nov 15 At Sea

Wed Nov 16 At Sea

Thu Nov 17 At Sea

Fri Nov 18 At Sea

Sat Nov 19 Fort Lauderdale, FL 7:00am

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7 hours ago, mnocket said:

I agree.  I do TAs as a travel option to get to/from Europe.  Eastbound to Europe is great because you arrive in Europe already acclimated to the time difference.  When I fly to Europe, the first day is pretty much wasted because of jet lag.

Half of our flights to Europe are JFK-LHR - those can be daytime, so we go direct to hotel, or sister’s house in Herts., crash for the night and sleep in a bit -  by 10:30 AM we are on UK time.  Too bad Paris and Rome can be reached by daytime flights.

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45 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

Half of our flights to Europe are JFK-LHR - those can be daytime,

You're really lucky.  Left Coast non-stops are pretty tough...but enough alcohol helps 🙂

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We have done 5 over the years:

1- Golden Princess from Southampton England to NYC:  ports in Belgium La Havre France, possibly Portugal.

2- Ruby Princess - Ft lauderdale to Barcelona.

3_ Westerdam HAL, Ft Lauderdale to Barcelona with stop in Casablanca Morocco

4 - Queen Victoria Ft Lauderdale to Southampton, with stops in Portugal, France, Ireland and Scotland

5 - Royal Princess - Barcelona to Ft Lauderdale, love those southern spanish ports.

 

Found TAs to be very relaxing... 

 

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I have never been tempted by a TA -- however, I foresee a few trends that might change that. Flights to Europe keep increasing in price and hassle. Often I see TAs for about the price of a flight to Europe from my home city. So perhaps one day once I am retired and old(er), and time off from work no longer becomes a factor, I might consider a TA as a more pleasant way to cross the pond. Still, I'd look for one with interesting ports and fewer sea days (5 vs 6 or even 7 as I've seen on some....).  

 

1 hour ago, clo said:

You're really lucky.  Left Coast non-stops are pretty tough...but enough alcohol helps 🙂

 

Ugh....I was just in Del Mar CA a couple of days ago, thinking how pleasant life would be somewhere like that upon retiring. Then I remembered how many hours I'd be adding to my European flights. Nope.

 

Edited by cruisemom42

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2 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I have never been tempted by a TA -- however, I foresee a few trends that might change that. Flights to Europe keep increasing in price and hassle. Often I see TAs for about the price of a flight to Europe from my home city. So perhaps one day once I am retired and old(er), and time off from work no longer becomes a factor, I might consider a TA as a more pleasant way to cross the pond. Still, I'd look for one with interesting ports and fewer sea days (5 vs 6 or even 7 as I've seen on some....).  

 

 

Ugh....I was just in Del Mar CA a couple of days ago, thinking how pleasant life would be somewhere like that upon retiring. Then I remembered how many hours I'd be adding to my European flights. Nope.

 

We can fly non-stop almost nowhere from Reno so it's either SFO or SEA.  But they'll go over Northern Canada and a night flight isn't too bad.  A year ago we treated ourselves on Lufthansa to the upper deck, business class on the 747.  Spoiled.  Totally spoiled.  Our upcoming flight to Rio, we're booked in economy plus and I used points and $$$ to waitlist Polaris business.  Looking good so far so keeping fingers crossed.  From Houston to Rio, it's ten hours.

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11 minutes ago, clo said:

Our upcoming flight to Rio, we're booked in economy plus and I used points and $$$ to waitlist Polaris business.  Looking good so far so keeping fingers crossed.  From Houston to Rio, it's ten hours.

 

Good luck -- I try to get the "real" Premium economy seats for overseas travel unless I can catch a great special on points or miles to get closer to the front.  It's not terrible, I can live with it. 

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22 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Wow - the Atlantic is much warmer in October and November than in April and May,  25 hour days on ship are better than 23 hour ones, September and October in Europe are better than rainier April and May, and who wants to spoil the end of your trip with a flight?

We had four east bound in the spring and one westbound in the fall. The weather was pretty much the same (all from the southern US) except the fall trip was very rainy and rocky in the western Med. The Atlantic was like glass on all of them. We had glorious weather on all of our late April to early May TAs. I'm retired, so recovering from jet lag doesn't eat into my vacation time. November and April are about the same for a chance of rain.

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59 minutes ago, Markanddonna said:

We had four east bound in the spring and one westbound in the fall. The weather was pretty much the same (all from the southern US) except the fall trip was very rainy and rocky in the western Med. The Atlantic was like glass on all of them. We had glorious weather on all of our late April to early May TAs. I'm retired, so recovering from jet lag doesn't eat into my vacation time. November and April are about the same for a chance of rain.

November and April are equally chancy, but I had referred to September and October - which are probably the ideal months in Europe.

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9 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I have never been tempted by a TA -- however, I foresee a few trends that might change that. Flights to Europe keep increasing in price and hassle. Often I see TAs for about the price of a flight to Europe from my home city. So perhaps one day once I am retired and old(er), and time off from work no longer becomes a factor, I might consider a TA as a more pleasant way to cross the pond. Still, I'd look for one with interesting ports and fewer sea days (5 vs 6 or even 7 as I've seen on some....).  

 

 

Ugh....I was just in Del Mar CA a couple of days ago, thinking how pleasant life would be somewhere like that upon retiring. Then I remembered how many hours I'd be adding to my European flights. Nope.

 

If you shop around, there are TA’s with fewer sea days - our next involves the gap between Bantry, Ireland and St. John’s, Newfoundland - and more southern routes involving Madeira, the Canaries, and/or the Azores also break up the sea days.

 

Of course, you might find, as we did, that once retired and enjoying seven day weekends you learn to tolerate things like sea days fairly well.

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22 hours ago, wowzz said:

Not sure why you feel the need to sit around. Apart from the obvious diversions such as the gym and walking/jogging around the prom deck, there are numerous other activities (cricket,  golf, table tennis, etc ) plus of course guest speakers,  quizzes, films etc. Sometimes it's nice to get to a port for a rest!

Yes - it really depends on the ship's sea day offerings including the quality of any lecturers and unique offerings like a cooking school.

 

BTW, though we've done TAs both directions and varied routes, they pale in comparison to a TransPacific cruise like Sydney - L.A. or S.F.

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We did an EB TA this May, and found we disliked the numerous time losses, so if we do another, it will be WB.

 

Our TA was also southern, Cape Canaveral to Barcelona, as we were hesitant to do a northern route like NY or Boston to London chancing rougher seas.  This spring southern EB had totally flat seas, hardly a ripple.

 

Not sure if we'll ever do a Pacific crossing, just way too many sea days from LA to Sydney or wherever.  We liked having 5 or 6 sea days, but more than that might turn "boring" for us.  And we'd rather have 10 days in an overwater bungalow which we did twice, than just a cruise stop in Bora Bora and Moorea.

Edited by evandbob

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Now that Pacific has come up......in 1969 I took a freighter from NYC to Sydney, 42 days.  After Panama we did not see land again until we got to Australia.  It was wonderful!

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