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Saturday, August 13. 2022
Crossing the North Atlantic
There is always something to do on a ship (lectures, music, dining, socializing), but watching the ocean and the ocean critters is the best part for me.
Not an expensive trip either. I recommend heading for Southampton (London's ship harbor), but Le Havre also. Below are two links for Atlantic crossings, but I would avoid Norwegian Cruise Lines. Another note: Don't get an inside cabin. Those are places to put your kids.
Posted by The Barrister in Travelogues and Travel Ideas at 13:14 | Comments (18) | Trackbacks (0)
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I simply cannot think of a reason to go on a cruise. Maybe food, I love to eat but I can eat anything and all I want right here on shore. I have tried to examine cruises with an eye to try it and it is a turnoff.
Here is one example : I found a 7 day cruise of the inside passage from Seattle to Alaska and the prices was incredibly chealy, about $300 pp. But then it said I get about $500 credit for something or other and my spidey sense tells me something is wrong here. How do you get $500 credit if the trip only costs $300??? I think there is something they aren't telling me.
But what would I do on board? At least in the inside passage you are mostly within sight of land and can set on deck and look at it. But what do you look at crossing the Atlantic? I suppose I could read some books but I can do that at home for free. I don't drink, don't like crowds, don't shop, what would I do?
I was on a trans-Pacific cruise from Oakland to Cam Ranh Bay. I haven't taken a single cruise since then.
I agree with you that Norwegian Cruise Line is simply terrible, but Cunard and Holland America, both owned by Carnival, also are not as good as the were under former ownership.
For cross-ocean crossings, I recommend Azamara Club Cruises, which now is independently owned and good value. Its four 30,000 ton ships are identical and 20 years old, but beautifully maintained, and the service is simply super. And everything, including alcoholic beverages of moderate quality, is included. We have taken their ships all over the world. The trip around the Japanese islands is particularly wonderful.
Azamara used to go annually from NYC to Rouen, but no more. Now it goes from Lisbon to South America, or Florida to Lisbon, mostly.
As with all cruise lines, prices go up and down with some frequency and a knowledgeable travel agent is the key to happiness.
See here: https://www.azamara.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/azamara_quest_predrydock_deck_plans.pdf
There are still a few sailing vessels. IIRC the trans atlanctic crossing is mostly when they change their operational area for the season (i.e. move to the Caribbean for the winter, and back to the fjords or Mediterranean for the summer).
You even get to participate to some extent. Saying you were standing watch at 02:00 in the morning makes for a better story than attending a lecture in the theatre. (Although of course the most meaningful duty assigned to me was doing fire prevention checks every 2-3 hours.)
It is my understanding that Carnival has also purchased Princess Cruises(formerly P&O). IMHO Carnival is THE MOST DISGUSTING cruise company in the world!! It is owned and operated by the Vegas crowd with one purpose only -- steal from the passengers at every possible opportunity. Nothing gracious about this crowd!
We have made three crossings on the Queen Mary 2. Crossings, not cruises. Enjoyed them immensely. They run a 25 hour clock over and a 23 hour one coming back, on a 7 day trip, so absolutely no jet lag. Dressing up is fun as well.
What do you and Barrister consider so bad about NCL? My wife and I have done half a dozen NCL cruises, including a trans-Atlantic, plan on Alaska next year (a couple we are friends with just did an Alaska NCL and loved it) and have thoroughly enjoyed all of them.
Sorry to tell you that the Azmara cruise company was bought out in late 2021 buy a take over company that buys up loosing properties and might find it more profitable to drive them into bankruptcy! I hope not because one of this ships is the marvelous old "Pacific Princess".
I've been on several cruises - always on Holland America , to Alaska , the Baltic and South America ( Chile to Argentina , with a stopoff in the Falklands ) .
Never thought I'd like cruises , but I've yet to have a bad experience with HA , and the price is hard to beat .
Besides - how else would you get an opportunity to "round the Horn" ?
Not sure that a trans-Atlantic cruise wouldn't get boring after the third day or so , though .
This discussion took me on a cruise through Wikipedia!
I was invited to attend one of the first inaugural parties on the original Pacific Princess. OMG! We were so stunned. In those days most cruise ships carried somewhere around 350 passengers. The PacP carried nearly double that at 685! Unheard of!!
Look up in Wikipedia: MS PACIFIC
Her replacement is now docked in Wikipedia as:
PACIFIC PRINCESS Interesting history to read about cruise ships! I was wrong when I thought I saw the original PACP in the Azmara website.It was the second version of that ship~
I did the 'inside' on the Pacific. Great ship, just the right size.
"...but I would avoid Norwegian Cruise Lines."
These sort of assertions are silly and unfair to your readers without qualification.
The reason for the lowish price for the cabin is that you're a captive audience and they now can charge you the grand prize for everything else.
From food to entertainment, expect to pay and pay and pay some more.
And the main form of entertainment on those boats are casinos (which, operating only outside of territorial waters, are completely unregulated).
That's the standard income model for the companies running those liners.
I recently crewed on a nice sailboat from Halifax to Bermuda. Unfortunately, 4 days of 'heavy weather' made me lose my taste for ocean crossings ;-)
Cruise ships are boring and unhealthy.... but the alternatives can be worse...
So it's not like the hotel scam where they double the cost of the advertised price of a room by charging resort fees?
Do you pay for meals? It seems like some cruises include meals, I'm not sure.
My cousin has a "connection" with a large sailboat in Halifax. What was the name of the boat you were on?
I had to go look at my pictures to see the ship so I could remember the name. It is the Bluenose II. My cousin owns a sail loft business in Nova Scotia and made the sails for it when it was completely rebuilt some 10-12 years ago.