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48 minutes ago, FLAHAM said:

The southerly route affords a better chance of pool deck weather.  In addition, I have had very pleasant outdoor seafood lunches in Ponta Delgada, an outstanding food-oriented tour, and an interesting visit to the Jewish cultural museum of the Azores. 

 

But iceland offers you the unique opportunity to visit The Icelandic Phallological Museum and eating Hákarl  🙂  

 

Agreed it's a trade off....but I think the natural beauty of Iceland plus the other ports on the northern TA far outweigh the Azores.  plus port stops more often breaking up the cruise. Celebrity Summit is offering a nice northern TA on the Summit for example.  

Edited by ghstudio

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2 hours ago, ghstudio said:

 

But iceland offers you the unique opportunity to visit The Icelandic Phallological Museum and eating Hákarl  🙂  

 

Agreed it's a trade off....but I think the natural beauty of Iceland plus the other ports on the northern TA far outweigh the Azores.  plus port stops more often breaking up the cruise. Celebrity Summit is offering a nice northern TA on the Summit for example.  

 

Fully agree with the comments regarding a northern TA. We've did the more common TA crossing on the Celebrity Eclipse with stops in Bermuda, Azores, along with several European ports and thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. But, when we took a northern TA, we found it much more interesting and eventful.

 

If you're interested, I did a review of the northern TA cruise and you can find it here.

 

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On 2/1/2020 at 8:00 PM, JoseyP said:

I have just read thru this whole thread....entertaining.....I feel the need to comment---."just have to get the DW onboard"  Well, if she wont get on board, try to DO IT YOURSELF!  I have done 4 transatlantics. Two with my husband, and 2 without.  The downside is that you have to be very aware of the prices when you are sailing yourself. If you go alone you most likely have to pay double or almost double except on Norwegian, and I don't find the studios really worth it. So this may limit your choices.

So, if it's on your "bucket list" please consider going yourself or with a friend if your wife won't go with you.  Best wishes.

 

Thanks Josey for the response, now you have me thinking that a solo maybe an option for me.

It's good to know of the many options as mentioned from others here on southern versus northern crossings.

 

I'll keep you posted but hell or high-water I will do a TA.

Ron

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4 hours ago, FLAHAM said:

The southerly route affords a better chance of pool deck weather.  In addition, I have had very pleasant outdoor seafood lunches in Ponta Delgada, an outstanding food-oriented tour, and an interesting visit to the Jewish cultural museum of the Azores. 

Azores only a fueling stop? ghstudio says.  I thought the Azores were beautiful.  Sort of tropical, but with the Alps thrown in! I had 2 wonderful and different tours on my 2 stops there.  I thought it was a great stop. Would go again in a heartbeat.Tours were a geothermal region, a home for an Azorean meal, a restaurant meal, and a tea factory. Not even mentioning walking around in the port area.

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25 minutes ago, need2cruisesoon said:

 

Thanks Josey for the response, now you have me thinking that a solo maybe an option for me.

It's good to know of the many options as mentioned from others here on southern versus northern crossings.

 

I'll keep you posted but hell or high-water I will do a TA.

Ron

Good for you!  Life is short and flies by. Try to do it. I have, and in May and June i am doing it again. My ship is pretty much sold out now, otherwise I'd recommend it.  Please, keep me posted. I see it is harder for you than for me, since i am in NY. One day, maybe I'll do transpacific!  but i can't stand long plane rides. That is partially what has kept me out of Asia. 

I have found southern and northern routes equal. Both have advantages. Keep us posted!

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Northern transatlantic sailings can be interesting and they can also be stormy.  I have experienced hurricane winds and waves in the northern Atlantic and I can say it is not for the faint of heart.  When you go through 50 foot seas and 120 mile an hour winds you will know you have sailed!!  I was on the QE 2 in October, mid Atlantic, and we hit a trench wave estimated to be 100 feet high.  While it was exciting I wouldn’t care to repeat it...lol.  

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we did  a northern crossing last April  NYC to Southampton via Canada

not sure I would do one again at least not that early  in the season

the seas were rough after Halifax 

outside Decks were closed for several days

image.thumb.png.c94c4ad7c3eb5831ebfc1235e932d9e1.png

 

image.thumb.png.982a15ad1cf66b597445c6ee98387a7d.png

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Done about a dozen crossings and obviously love them.    Much prefer a southern crossing.   Both norther crossings we have taken were cold and stormy.   In 2018 we had to go south of the Azores to avoid a major storm and had all furniture on our balconies tied down for the crossing.    I wouldn't be in a hurry to book a Northnern Crossing anytime soon but would do a mid-atlantic or southern crossing anytime.

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We have been on two westbound TA's one from Barcelona and one from Southampton. We enjoyed them as the weather got better each day we travelled (Leaving cold and wet Europe). We loved the fact that we could get on the ship, chill and relax. We have booked another TA for the 1st November this year out of Southampton to the Azores, Bermuda (overnight) and then into NY. Looking forward to 12 nights of relaxing before a couple of days in NY with DW shopping until I drop!

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I recently returned from a Caribbean cruise on MSC Meraviglia as a Yacht Club guest.  Speaking with my stateroom's Butler one afternoon, he stated that the ship's Northern trans-Atlantic crossing from Europe in the early Fall was a rough one.  I thought that interesting inasmuch as rarely have I conversed with a staff member on a ship that has anything to say about sea conditions that they have experienced.

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Would we transatlantic again?  Well, after more then 3 dozen TAs I think you can guess the answer.  We would have been on another in April, but the virus issue has scared us off.  But we have another booked for August.   We even like doing round trip TA trips where we manage to use ships both ways with often a few weeks between that we spend in Europe.

 

Hank

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On 3/9/2020 at 7:12 PM, Hlitner said:

We even like doing round trip TA trips where we manage to use ships both ways with often a few weeks between that we spend in Europe.

 

Going back more than a few years, I recall that one could sail to Europe, spend 2-3 days (I think) in Paris or London, and return on the ship's next sailing to New York.  I think this was on the S. S. France; maybe QE2 as well.

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1 hour ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Going back more than a few years, I recall that one could sail to Europe, spend 2-3 days (I think) in Paris or London, and return on the ship's next sailing to New York.  I think this was on the S. S. France; maybe QE2 as well.

That is still possible although it would be a little more then 3 days.  This can sometimes be done using the Queen Mary 2.  For example, you could take the May 13 crossing from NYC to London, spend a few days in England, and then come back on the May 24 crossing.  That is not our style as we prefer to stay in Europe for weeks or even a couple of months.  Sometimes we will use a spring repositioning cruise from the USA to a European port, rent or lease a car for a few weeks or more, and then return to the USA on a different ship leaving from another port.  There are all kinds of interesting combinations for those who use some imagination and spend a little time researching the options.

 

Another option is to use either Icelandic or Aer Lingus for one of the crossings and take advantage of their extended free stopover in Iceland or Ireland.

 

Hank

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Some people might enjoy the current last leg of the P&O (UK) Arcadia rtw cruise,  from Australia to the UK which now consists of 5 weeks at sea! Although there will be some supply stops,  no pax will be allowed ashore. Thus is due entirely to certain nations banning cruuse ships,  nothing to do with Arcadia,  which is currently virus free. 

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On 3/11/2020 at 6:38 PM, Hlitner said:

That is still possible although it would be a little more then 3 days.  This can sometimes be done using the Queen Mary 2.  For example, you could take the May 13 crossing from NYC to London, spend a few days in England, and then come back on the May 24 crossing.  That is not our style as we prefer to stay in Europe for weeks or even a couple of months.  Sometimes we will use a spring repositioning cruise from the USA to a European port,

 

On 3/11/2020 at 6:38 PM, Hlitner said:

then return to the USA on a different ship 

 

I have no interest in remaining in Europe for an extended time.  I have considered some combinations that would allow for a few days in Europe between sailings.  Just have not found anything that says "this is it!".  

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We enjoyed our first transatlantic on the Visions of the sea October 2018 from Barcelona to Miami included Halloween. Excellent staff and activities. This followed our land Europe trip including Portugal Italy Poland and Spain. Very relaxing and bonus of gaining a Extra hour sleep every other day heading west across the Atlantic. 
We were supposed to be there again this fall but not now. 

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I just want to post something more generic about TA cruises.  For most folks doing their first, second, or even third TA they are very special.  I can still remember being very excited the first time we did a TA over 25 years ago.  But now, these cruises have become a lot more common and you will routinely meet fellow passengers who have done dozens of TAs.  For many of us it is as routine as a Caribbean cruise.  In fact, because of this thread I started thinkin about our history and it occurred to me that we have done far more TAs in the past twenty years then Caribbean cruises.   What is even more interesting is that when we do a TA cruise, in either direction, we almost always meet other passengers we know from previous TAs.  

 

For DW and I the TAs might actually be our favorite voyages, especially when back to back with a European voyage plus some significant land time.  Transpacifics are also fun voyages, but do take a lot more time and involve many more sea days.  We continue to look at TAs and the TPs as an alternative to long flights.  I still remember the first time we grabbed the QM2 home from Europe.  On one foggy morning I was sitting at the indoor pool, sipping my Bloody Mary, and I gazed up at the obscured sky and remarked to DW that "this sure beats being crammed into an airline seat."

 

Hank

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We did our first T/A last year from Barcelona and had a great time. We immediately signed up for another this year from Rome. Things have changed as you know but we are hopeful that everything will work out for the best and we can go as planned.

 

Anyway, what we liked best is:

<> Got to travel to Europe for a vacation before the cruise. I had never been to Europe so this was big for me.

<> The prices for everything were exceptionally low. Including the cruise, airfare, hotels, and the food while on land. (Basically, the explanation for everything is that you are traveling in the “low’ season.)

<> We paid for excursions from the ship (which we seldom do) and were extremely pleased with them. We did an excursion for every port (except CocoCay of course).

<> We did an East-to-West cruise so we had 6 days where we got an extra hour per day to make up for the time lost flying to Europe. This gave us a chance to catch up on some sleep and never had to worry about getting home with jet-lag.

<> We were on the RCL Rhapsody and found it to be well suited for the T/A cruise.

<> We were with several couples who either signed up with us or, after learning about the cruise, went along with us.

<> Even without getting any special perks, the overall cost of the cruise was one of the lowest we have ever taken.

<> The sea days were never boring and we found plenty to do on the ship. The meals were fine and there was ample entertainment on the ship.

<> The Rhapsody was equipped with a “Solarium “ that allowed us to use the pool with any weather. We actually had very good conditions during the entire cruise however.

<> Our cruise was in late November however, since we were crossing after we left the Canary Islands, we were quite far enough on a south Lattitude that the ambient temperature was very comfortable.

<> After crossing we stopped at CocoCay which had just recently opened (parts were still under construction). We found the island to be excellent and we very glad that it was on the itinerary.

The bottom line is that we really didn’t have anything that went wrong and with the companionship of our friends, had a great cruise.

0FDF0D55-B7FE-4751-B4A1-3F90C4ADE7DD.jpeg

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On 3/11/2020 at 5:00 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

Going back more than a few years, I recall that one could sail to Europe, spend 2-3 days (I think) in Paris or London, and return on the ship's next sailing to New York.  I think this was on the S. S. France; maybe QE2 as well.


Those were the days RK.  Sail from NY on the SS France, land at Southampton and go up to London on the special train from the pier to Victoria Station.  Spend 4 days in London then take the 5:00 PM Boat Train from Victoria directly to the pier in Southampton and board the SS France around 7:00 PM and sail off to NY at 8:00 PM.  You had to go directly to the MDR when you boarded after 7:00 PM or you would miss dinner and starve until the next day...no Midnight buffet...lol.  

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57 minutes ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

  You had to go directly to the MDR when you boarded after 7:00 PM or you would miss dinner and starve until the next day...no Midnight buffet...lol.  

 

😧  No Room Service available?  Such deprivation!  LOL. 

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I should have been taking my first TA crossing right now..:classic_blink:….we all know what happened to it.:classic_sad:

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1 hour ago, rkacruiser said:

 

😧  No Room Service available?  Such deprivation!  LOL. 

 

Strange as it may seem...the France had just come across from Le Havre and in those days people could book the cross channel segment and have dinner on the France.  Then the pax in Southampton boarded and the cross channel pax disembarked.  All the luggage was transferred from the boat train to the ship.
Amongst all this mayhem, unfortunately, there was no room service available until the first morning at sea.  (We were young kids, just married, traveling in Tourist Class).  Needless to say...we devoured breakfast in the DR the next morning.  I’ll never forget those croissants...yummm!  

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23 hours ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

 

Strange as it may seem...the France had just come across from Le Havre and in those days people could book the cross channel segment and have dinner on the France.  Then the pax in Southampton boarded and the cross channel pax disembarked.  All the luggage was transferred from the boat train to the ship.
Amongst all this mayhem, unfortunately, there was no room service available until the first morning at sea.  (We were young kids, just married, traveling in Tourist Class).  Needless to say...we devoured breakfast in the DR the next morning.  I’ll never forget those croissants...yummm!  

 

What wonderful memories!

 

I do recall the possibility of such short crossings between or among European ports.  My QE2 voyage started in Bremerhaven near the end of one of her Northern Europe cruises followed by the TA from Southampton.

 

Surely, we cannot forget the Priest who boarded Titanic in Southampton and then disembarked at Cobh.  His photos are historic.  

 

Maybe such a time will return as cruise companies need to tweak their business models.  I know its an old cliche, but sometimes "what is old becomes new again".  This may be such a time.  

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On 4/18/2020 at 7:57 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

What wonderful memories!

 

I do recall the possibility of such short crossings between or among European ports.  My QE2 voyage started in Bremerhaven near the end of one of her Northern Europe cruises followed by the TA from Southampton.

 

Surely, we cannot forget the Priest who boarded Titanic in Southampton and then disembarked at Cobh.  His photos are historic.  

 

Maybe such a time will return as cruise companies need to tweak their business models.  I know its an old cliche, but sometimes "what is old becomes new again".  This may be such a time.  


Hi RK,

 

I hope that you find this since there has been nothing posted here for the past two weeks.  
 

It has occurred to me that due to the limitations caused by “The Hunan Virus” that there will be few ports available.  Cruising, as we know it, might start by sailing southern transatlantic from Florida to Europe or from Europe to Florida.  The ship would be the destination and the Port will become the point of embarkation for those sailing in the opposite direction.  The passengers could return via chartered flight or sail back to back.  All passengers will have to be tested before boarding ship and boarding the plane.  If they test positive they will have to quarantine on land at a prearranged hotel with hospital access before returning to the USA or Europe.  

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8 hours ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:


Hi RK,

 

I hope that you find this since there has been nothing posted here for the past two weeks.  
 

It has occurred to me that due to the limitations caused by “The Hunan Virus” that there will be few ports available.  Cruising, as we know it, might start by sailing southern transatlantic from Florida to Europe or from Europe to Florida.  The ship would be the destination and the Port will become the point of embarkation for those sailing in the opposite direction.  The passengers could return via chartered flight or sail back to back.  All passengers will have to be tested before boarding ship and boarding the plane.  If they test positive they will have to quarantine on land at a prearranged hotel with hospital access before returning to the USA or Europe.  

 

I like your idea.  Many of the ships have become so resort like that marketing them as a "resort vacation at sea" could be possible.  I would hope that if such an arrangement happened, in the interest of those guests that are b2b guests, the entertainment and menu offerings in the MDR could be alternated.  

 

I'll expand on your idea a bit by suggesting a Florida-Caribbean type of itinerary.  A 7-10 day cruise to a port that has an airport that could accommodate those guests that might want to fly to/from that port.  Florida to San Juan; Florida to St. Maarten; Florida to Cozumel, etc.  As part of the itinerary, scenic cruising around some of the islands in the vicinity.

 

The cruise companies might benefit from some creative itinerary planning and marketing.

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