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First Transatlantic - need advice before booking


hllwdcruiser
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11 hours ago, hllwdcruiser said:

 

Thank you for this - I bow to your experience. I am a bit nervous having only done tropical cruises for 7-10 days and one Alaska cruise tour that was port intensive and combined with daily doses of breathtaking scenery. I am also a tad worried that I am going to love it so much that I'll have to somehow convince DH that a trip to Europe may now have to be on our vacation rotation!

We were is the same position before we did our first TA.  Our history included lots of Caribbean cruises as well as a few Panama Canal and Alaksa cruises which do have more sea days than Caribbean cruises and we survived those <g>.

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On 12/10/2019 at 9:30 PM, hllwdcruiser said:

This will be a bucket list cruise celebrating a milestone birthday. We'll be flying from FLL to Europe for two weeks in the fall 2021 and rather than fly back we hope to sail home on a transatlantic. I'm leaning towards the new Royal Class ships as opposed to a sailing offered on the Island.

 

Except for Alaska, we usually hop on a last minute cruise in the Caribbean, normally never for more than a week and always in a balcony cabin. We opt for a larger balcony (aft and Forward on Royal class, Caribe on Grand class) and don't really care about the size of the cabin as we spend so much time outside. 

 

Here's my quandary: I'm thinking that being on a ship in the fall, a larger cabin, like a mini. may be more important so as not to feel claustrophobic especially if we are stuck inside during inclement weather. 

 

Or maybe not. Am I overthinking it? Do we need a balcony at all? Would a regular sized cabin and oceanview do just fine? 

 

I know that all of this is subjective but I'd really appreciate the opinions of those of you (seasoned Princess cruisers) who have sailed numerous Transatlantics in different categories. 

 

We've had cabins all over the ship and never get sick so midship location is not a factor. The only category we won't consider is an inside as having natural light is a non-negotiable. We would also love to stay in a full suite but alas (!) that category is beyond our budget.

 

Also - can you fill me in on what you do during all those sea days? DH is worried that it will get boring although I can't think of anything better than endless days at sea! 

 

I'm hoping to book during the Best Sale Ever if the price is right.

The best part of sea days is doing absolutely nothing

I like to walk on the track a mile or two while still dark as it gets light and watch the sunrise. This is after a snack at the international cafe where they have the best regular coffee that is free until 6AM when the horizon court opens. The coffee there is horrible as it is the dining room.

Usually join the DW for a light breakfast in the dining room around 7 or 7:30.

Then time for a short nap

Sometimes there are photography seminars which I attend. Before you know it it is time for lunch.

After lunch time for another snooze in a shady spot near the pool

Before you know it it is time for dinner. (We eat early to make the first show) If you don't get to the theater early you may not find a seat.

The days just flew by on our 49 day cruise earlier this year and before we knew it it was time to pack up and go home.

 

Howard

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6 hours ago, hm9912 said:

The best part of sea days is doing absolutely nothing

I like to walk on the track a mile or two while still dark as it gets light and watch the sunrise. This is after a snack at the international cafe where they have the best regular coffee that is free until 6AM when the horizon court opens. The coffee there is horrible as it is the dining room.

Usually join the DW for a light breakfast in the dining room around 7 or 7:30.

Then time for a short nap

Sometimes there are photography seminars which I attend. Before you know it it is time for lunch.

After lunch time for another snooze in a shady spot near the pool

Before you know it it is time for dinner. (We eat early to make the first show) If you don't get to the theater early you may not find a seat.

The days just flew by on our 49 day cruise earlier this year and before we knew it it was time to pack up and go home.

 

Howard

 

I just love your description of how you spend your days. Sounds absolutely perfect. 49 days you say? And here I am worried about a mere 16!

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10 hours ago, barante said:

We have done trans-Atlantic on HAL, Princess, Carnival, Celebrity and MSC. I prefer the eastbound crossing, from Europe to the U.S., which has most port calls in the beginning and then lots of sea days for rest. Because of time changes, a number of 25-hour days.

You're the second person to mention the 25 hour days. Often when we cruise the Caribbean we lose an hour only to gain it back on the last night returning to our home port. I always wish it was the other way around...

 

Thanks for all your awesome information!

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We are doing a B2B in 2021 on the island Princess, they have the ports on our bucket list 2 14 day cruises.

 

We have done quite a few transatlantics, one Spring and it was very cool and not as much fun, plus the lost time.

We look for cruises that end in Florida as it makes it easier to fly home.  Canary Islands vs the Azores is usually a warmer cruise.

We are on Rhapsody in 2020 and it ends in Tampa which should make it a lot of fun going up the Florida coast, plus Tampa airport is easy to fly out of.

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Thanks to all for your replies. You all were just as helpful as I thought you would be.

 

We bit the bullet!!!!  

 

We are officially booked on the Enchanted Princess, Nov 4th 2021, 16 day Spanish Passage, Civitavecchia to Fort Lauderdale. Phew. I think I'm getting the vapors...

 

We booked under The Best Sale Ever and splurged for a mini suite. Our wonderful TA gave us a 10% discount on the Princess rate and a little OBC. We will keep an eye on the fares and re-fare if necessary since we really don't need the Premium Beverage Package, although I do think it would be nice perk to have. I know there are amazing last minute deals on Transatlantics but I just don't have the stomach to wait and see and then risk not getting a cabin we want.

 

The best part of this? I have 693 days to anticipate and plan!

 

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We just got back from our first TA on the Sky and it was fabulous! We had a mini-suite on the lido deck and loved it. We do not get sea sick and even with some rough seas we never had to take anything. The 7 days at sea at the end were just what I needed. Having a balcony was great because I loved going out first thing and taking sunrise pics. 
 

I watched one movie the entire time, but I did download some Netflix stuff to watch and actually watched way less than I thought I would. Our favorite was being in various places around the ship just people watching, playing trivia, trying new drinks (had the pbp), and just watching the sea go by. I was never bored. 

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3 hours ago, fredflint said:

did you book on the port side it is the sunny side and much warmer, sometimes too warm later in the day but the other side pretty much has shade.

We did book Port side under the great advice we received here. We live in So FL for 7 months of the year so we are used to "too warm". I definitely think we'll prefer the sunny side in Nov to the shade.

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1 hour ago, Coffeeluvr05 said:

We just got back from our first TA on the Sky and it was fabulous! We had a mini-suite on the lido deck and loved it. We do not get sea sick and even with some rough seas we never had to take anything. The 7 days at sea at the end were just what I needed. Having a balcony was great because I loved going out first thing and taking sunrise pics. 
 

 

We booked a mini on Lido as well. The first time we ever were on the Lido deck was On the Regal in L103, all the way forward in the obstructed deluxe balcony. We absolutely loved that location. It was so quiet yet so close to all the fun/food/drinks that deck has to offer. Glad you didn't get sick at all - I'm hoping we'll be the same!

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On 12/12/2019 at 8:29 PM, hllwdcruiser said:

 

I just love your description of how you spend your days. Sounds absolutely perfect. 49 days you say? And here I am worried about a mere 16!

The best part was meeting the Penguins at the Falkland Islands

 

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Howard

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She Who Must Be Obeyed and I often use transatlantics or transpacifics to get to or back from land-based travel.  We have used Cunard, HAL, RCCL, Celebrity, and Princess (although we are no longer booking Princess since they pulled the barrel chairs out of the standard balcony cabins)

 

We love the number of sea days, finding them much more relaxing than port days where the day is scheduled by excursions.

 

Our biggest tip is that we always book a balcony on the sunny side of the ship, depending on which direction we are sailing.  Starboard eastbound and port westbound.  SWMBO loves the privacy of her own balcony rather than being subjected to over-amplified music on the Melanoma Deck.

 

Other than that, we always manage to adapt to the peculiarities of each line or ship and find that the transocean cruises beat flying any day.

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