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I have done two Pacific Crossings, and I recently booked (finally) my first transatlantic.  The westbound crossing departs Barcelona on the 31st of October.  Is this a little late in the season for this trip? I have been at sea during all times of the year in the Atlantic, but for a crossing on a cruise ship it seems like this is a little late. Is this a normal time for a transatlantic?  

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13 hours ago, Thebosn1 said:

I have done two Pacific Crossings, and I recently booked (finally) my first transatlantic.  The westbound crossing departs Barcelona on the 31st of October.  Is this a little late in the season for this trip? I have been at sea during all times of the year in the Atlantic, but for a crossing on a cruise ship it seems like this is a little late. Is this a normal time for a transatlantic?  

no is normal time, We once took one that started the week after Thanksgiving and ended mid December. Ours next year Westbound is October 19 from Rome for 18 days.

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On 1/22/2020 at 3:55 PM, preschool teacher said:

Wow !!! A dedicated board!!! That is some awesome....

so I am doing my first trip from Tampa to Amsterdam in May.

all the ports are new and I’m excited about all the sea days.

the ship is the Brilliance and I like that size. I have been on big, small, and in between.

i read good reviews about the Brilliance, except for the Smokey casino.

 

some questions I have are on a May sailing will the solarium pool be usable? Or too cold?

we bought the 3 night dinner package, will the food keep rotating or get repeated?

i want to pack light, As much as I can, do people get really dressy for formal night?

 
I do have an active roll call, but it will be great to have this chat board.

thanks for any and all help!!!!

 

Solarium pool will defiantly be open and heavily used.

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We have done about a dozen TA's and 1 TP.  Each is a different experience and have had everything from smooth as a pond to 25 Foot seas.   I would have no qualms of taking another.   All or our cruises have been on Celebrity and have only done one East Bound TA.   

 

Our preference is a Westbound where you and the crew gain an extra hour every day for 5-6 days as oppose to loosing an hour a night.  

 

TA's and TP's have a huge following but if you are the type that need constant activity you may find yourself getting bored.  The cruise director is very busy and have things scheduled from early morning to late evening.    I don't participate in many of the activities but love spending time walking and working out and listening to audio books.   It is also really nice to stay up late and take a nice nap during the afternoon.   No pressure to do anything.    Do as much or as little as your enjoy.

 

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I'll kick in too.

 

We've done 3 so far, all Westbound, all on Princess.  We're booked on a 4th next year (also Princess).

In general we like sea days and thats a must as there will be a stretch of 5 or 6 (or 7) days at sea.  Folks who like to get off every day or two to stretch their legs struggle with TA's.  However, as I say, we love sea days and love to settle into our little routine and repeat it day by day.  Have never felt ship bound or uncomfortable.

 

Our most recent on Caribbean Princess was just days after a fairly active hurricane period.  This did stir up the sea (not to an uncomfortable level) but more significantly stirred up the sky.  We had 2 or 3 days of unsettled weather and 'dirty' sky.  Prior sailings were glassy seas and brilliant skies.  As others have written, the weather will be whatever it will be.

 

As to the question of whether to spring for a big upgrade, not sure I'd do so.  The ship is very active with more lectures, movies and other entertainment to keep you busy.  We didn't find ourselves spending any more time than any other cruise in the cabin so why upgrade?  On the other hand, TA's typically go off at a discount compared to similar length cruises in the Med or Alaska so an upgrade might be more affordable and tempting - if so - perhaps go for it!

 

Finally, one negative I'd report, and this may be Princess specific, but on all of our voyages we've experienced shortages on particular wines and beers.  The explanation is always the same - the season has ended in Southampton (Barcelona or Rome) and the warehouses are empty.  I'd be reluctant to purchase a beverage package in the future knowing there may be few (or even no) choices that fit my preference.  Other lines may avoid this problem, but I suspect the empty warehouse phenomenon is real and applies to others who sail European ports only seasonally. 

 

Sorry to be so verbose, hope this is of help to someone.

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We have done two TA’s, one from Barcelona (Carnival Vista) and one from Southampton (Independence of the Seas) and really enjoyed the cruises. We have booked on Anthem of the Seas TA 1st November this year and are counting the days down. To us TA’s are relaxing and we get to chill, explore the ship and meet people from our side of the pond and those going back over to their side of the pond. We like the fact that we can spend a lot of time doing what we want on board and not have to worry about a very port intensive trip. We try and make sure we get a couple of days at our final destination before flying back to the UK and reality (after shopping till we drop , me carrying bags of shopping for my DW). A TA  is a great experience And one am sure once tried you will do again. 

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On 2/12/2020 at 5:35 PM, Thebosn1 said:

I have done two Pacific Crossings, and I recently booked (finally) my first transatlantic.  The westbound crossing departs Barcelona on the 31st of October.  Is this a little late in the season for this trip? I have been at sea during all times of the year in the Atlantic, but for a crossing on a cruise ship it seems like this is a little late. Is this a normal time for a transatlantic?  

We are on Allure of the seas TA leaving Nov. 1, three other westbound TA'S have all been last week of Oct.  

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On 2/11/2020 at 10:25 AM, RhondaLea said:

We have booked our first TA cruise Barcelona to New York. The airfare I have found so far is shockingly HIGH! I believe it is because I am searching one way tickets. Who have you used in the past to get to Barcelona? 

Late to the party but, check your cruise line airfare option. We have done 6 one way flights from Lax to Barcelona or London, all priced under $350. All flights have been on Virgin, Air France or Lufthansa.  We are just about to book for Oct, 2020 and Norwegian air from Lax to Barcelona is $850.00 for non stop premium.  Economy coach on Norwegian starts at $250.00

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hubby and I are booked on the Rhapsody from Barcelona on November 30 to Tampa on December 14, 2021. This will be our first TA and looking forward to it! We originally had an OV cabin on Deck 3; however, after reading more info on CC, decided to upgrade to an AFT cabin with a large balcony to enjoy those sea days! We prefer the AFT cabins to see all of the beautiful views on both sides! Cheers all!

 

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  • 1 month later...

I'm so glad to have found this forum. I'm just about to sign on for my first TA eastbound (Miami to Barcelona) for May 2021 and looking forward to the extended time to explore the ship. Will be going solo so I'm also looking at all of the advice for solo cruisers. Will be sure to find the CC Roll Call for the cruise once I book. Thanks to everyone for their really helpful advice on this and other pages. 

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13 minutes ago, Spellykins said:

I'm so glad to have found this forum. I'm just about to sign on for my first TA eastbound (Miami to Barcelona) for May 2021 and looking forward to the extended time to explore the ship. Will be going solo so I'm also looking at all of the advice for solo cruisers. Will be sure to find the CC Roll Call for the cruise once I book. Thanks to everyone for their really helpful advice on this and other pages. 

there is  a forum for solo cruisers  it may be helpful to you

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/279-solo-cruisers/

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi everyone

I love transatlantics. I have done several on different cruiselines. Like Cunard, Windstar, Princess, HAL, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara. Most have been westbound but eastbound are ok too. Was scheduled to do two transpacifics on Radiance this year but the Roma virus has basically killed those. I have booked Harmony of the seas for next year. My first Oasis class cruise. I look forward to trivia and enrichment lectures and just relaxing. I booked an ocean view cabin on Harmony overlooking the helicopter in front of the ship so I can see what the Captain sees. Hopefully it won't be too Rocky but I do enjoy a little motion of the ocean.

 

Denise

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't claim to be any kind of expert, but we have done 20 trans Atlantic and one trans Pacific. I have learned a few things.

1. If you are going to spend any time pre or post cruise in Europe( or anywhere) be aware that the electricity is different. You need to bring both plug adapters and power converters so you can use your devices.

2. The mighty US dollar is not generally accecpted over seas. You need the foreign currency. We use Visa and Mastercard to pay for hotels and resturants and shops. The best card we have found is Chase Sapphire preferred which has no foreign transaction fees and gives the current exchange rate. The vendor will usually ask if you want the amount first converted to Dollars. NEVER do that! They will charge a very high conversion fee. Tell them to put it in the local currency.

3.We take NO local currency on a cruise unless we have some left over from the previous trip. We use ATM's to get our local currency and we never take large amounts. ATM's are everywhere and are very safe. Our friends used to get their Euro's from their own bank at home.....very bad idea. Your bank willcharge an extremely high fee . Besides....how much do you know how to take anyway? Not all countries in Europe use the Euro. We only use our Schwab Debit card in the ATM. Schwab pays ALL ATM fees no matter how ridiculous and they charge no conversion fee. As I write this the Euro is = to $1.1243. If I got 100 Euro at this moment I would be charged $112.43.

4. Finding a public toilet can be a challenge sometimes. We have had great success at the Burger Kings and McDonalds. This is not as big of an issue as it was years ago.

 

As far as the cruises go, we greatly prefer going East to West as we don't have to fight the jet lag for a week like we do cruising West to East. The seas have cooperated with us and we have had only 2 crossings where the seas were rough. Most of the time it is very smooth. It will be very windy on deck for the most part.

 

We like the East to West cruises also for doing the ports first and then having all those wonderful sea days to relax and rest up. There is so much to do on the ship that we are never bored. 

 

I do have a caution for those doing a TA for the first time......They are very addictive and you may find that you do not want to do anything else. You will see the same people over and over because they are addicted as well.....ENJOY!

 

Doug

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Not really about TAs  but  since it was mentioned above  

re toilets

 some do not look like toilets

We walked by this one several times before  noticing  it was indeed a w/c

DSC00839

 

OsloW/C      5 Euro

 

 

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We are booked on a transatlantic on the Apex, May 2021. Can anyone tell me about how much sun you get on the sunset veranda during this cruise. Thank you so much!  

Susan Widsten

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I don't know about that ship, but most Trans Atlantic cruises we have done seem a bit chilly for laying out for a tan. It depends on where the Apex is going....I just looked it up...Ft Laud to Barcelona....At least that is the Southerly route. Even so....It is quite windy on the crossings. Sometimes the outside decks are not so comfortable. The ship is going 20 knots or there abouts and id there is even a slight head wind it is pretty gusty. The Apex is new so I doubt there is much experience with however the Sun Deck is. At any rate, you will love the cruise.

 

Doug

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2 hours ago, Sasue1 said:

We are booked on a transatlantic on the Apex, May 2021. Can anyone tell me about how much sun you get on the sunset veranda during this cruise. Thank you so much!  

Susan Widsten

Eastbound is much chiller than Westbound. Be aware that ONLY the starboard cabins get sun.  Portside cabin balconies are very cold.  Sun never makes to straight overhead. Westbound TA"S are exact opposite.  TA"S are now our favorite way to cruise.. happy cruising

Edited by taglovestocruise
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We have an AFT balcony at the very end of the Rhapsody booked for a TA in November/December, 2021 from Barcelona, through the Canaries, and on to Tampa, which will be our first TA! Would have preferred to have the corner AFT, which was unavailable but I continue to check to see if it suddenly becomes available! Love the bigger AFT balconies! Ready to get hooked on TA's!😍

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SilkySal.....I envy you the joy of discovering how wonderful that first crossing is. I suggest studying the Compass each night and marking with a highlighter everything that you might want to do the next day. It is very annoying to hear about how great a speaker was, or how fun the Trivia was or....well....you get the idea, from your table mates at dinner. If you miss something dont worry. There is always another Trans Atlantic.

 

Doug

 

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  • 1 month later...

I am thinking of doing a TA from Florida to southern Europe in April 2021. I would also like to do several back to back cruises while in Europe, then do another TA from Europe to the US in November. Is this feasible? Is there a special visa I can get to stay in the Schengen area/Europe for longer than 90 days?

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European Visa's will be different next year. Before, we never had to have them. I would suggest checking with the State Department site to get that information.

 

Feasible? Why not? You are going to have a wonderful time.

 

Doug

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10 minutes ago, spunks said:

European Visa's will be different next year. Before, we never had to have them. I would suggest checking with the State Department site to get that information.

 

Feasible? Why not? You are going to have a wonderful time.

 

Doug

I saw that visas will be different next year but the 90 day rule will stay in effect. I’m wondering if anybody has had experience with staying longer than 90 days while cruising. Do they count all the time you’re on or off ship the same?

 

Looking forward to making plans but my first step is to make sure I’m not gonna run into any immigration issues.

Edited by Watrfrnt
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again, check the State Department site. As far as the 90 days.....If you are not exceeding 90 days in any one country I dont see how this could be an issue. For example....the Swiss probably could care less how much time you spent in Italy....

 

Doug

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