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FINLANDER 05-16-2010 06:54 PM

Hi all...just a quick note to let everyone who has thought of doing a TransAtlantic sailing to JUST DO IT. We had a fabulous time, left Ft Lauderdale on May 1st and returned from Rome on May 15th. First 8 days were at sea, weather was reasonably warm, seas were calm and the ship and activities were wonderful. The first night we had an all stations alarm, there was a report of someone overboard, but after a full passenger count (took less than 2 hours) it was determined that all were accounted for and then we were back on our way. On the 2nd day, we made an unscheduled stop outside of Bermuda harbour to have a passenger removed to hospital. We heard he had fallen and broken his hip. Thank goodness the rest of the cruise was not as eventful.
We found that we settled into a routine quickly; breakfast, check emails, lecture series, deck time, lunch, afternoon movie, cappucinos at the International Cafe, get ready for dinner, show and or movies under the stars and then good night. The time difference did not affect us as much as some, as it was only an hour at a time, unlike on a plane when you have to do 6 or 7 hours in one shot.
We had overcast, rainy and cool weather in all our ports; Gibraltar, Alicante, Barcelona, Marseilles, Livorno and Rome but that did not deter us from enjoying each port.
As I said, the ship was great, lots of activities, good food and a very broad range of ages on board....from backpackers in their early 20's, families with small children, not yet retired yuppies and a couple who were 90 and booked their next cruise while on board!!!!
If anyone has any particular questions, please do not hesitate to ask, I'll be happy to reply.

Nadine 05-17-2010 05:26 AM

Thanks for the great information. Sounds like you had a wonderful cruise!


fairground 05-18-2010 01:56 AM i wonder if that was your ship i saw in the distance last week.

i live in a place called Benidorm which is about 30 miles up the coast from Alicante on the way to Barcelona

FINLANDER 05-18-2010 04:03 AM

Hi Fairground...lucky you living in such a beautiful area. We were in Alicante on Tuesday May 11 and spent a good part of the day in Guadalest. The scenery was amazing and we had a great time exploring.

rockwallrick 05-18-2010 11:04 AM

I was just wondering what you did in Marseilles?
That's one of the Ports we will be stopping at on our Cruise in July.

poormom 05-18-2010 01:15 PM

This must prove that a positive attitude makes you live book your next cruise at 90 must mean you are a true optimist!
I hope the captain had the good sense to invite them to his table!

FINLANDER 05-18-2010 02:54 PM

Hi was Ascension Day when we were in Marseilles so most of shops were not open but we did take the shuttle to the Old Port and explored on our own. The market was very interesting with the fishmongers handling their fresh catch....we noted a defined share of labor...the men had caught the fish so the women did the gutting and cleaning....hmmm
We walked to Fort Saint Jean and enjoyed that but as the weather was a little iffy we did not spend a lot of time there. People had booked ship tours to Aix and Provence and sounded very happy with them. Also in Marseilles is the basilica Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde. It is on the highest point in town but not within walking distance but a tour of Marseilles offered it.
Have fun, wear good walking shoes and sunblock.

penny3333 05-19-2010 09:43 AM

Welcome back, Finlander Thank you so much for your great review! I do want to try a transatlantic some day in the near future. Sounds marvelous, especially the days at sea. Even though your first 2 days sounded a little too exciting. What did you have to do when they had an all stations? Did you have to report to your muster areas? I know that had to have been a little nerve wracking.

How did you like the Crown Princess? Did they have the Sanctuary? Did you do traditional or anytime dining? Did they offer the chef's table?

Sorry the weather wasn't great. What was your favorite port? Sorry for all the questions, but it sounds like such an exciting cruise!

Have you booked another?

rockwallrick 05-19-2010 11:49 AM

So the women had to do the dirty work, now that's a switch!! Thinking about doing a ship tour for Marseilles??

FINLANDER 05-19-2010 01:15 PM

Hi I noted before, just do it,
you will not regret it. I would like to try the westbound version; that way you get to be busy touring and sightseeing first and then rest and relax for the latter part.
When the Captain sounded the all stations, he just asked everyone to return to their staterooms and the crew conducted a head count from there. It was a little unnerving; we were also asked to go out to our balconies and watch from there for anything; as the Captain said, the more eyes the better. It was disconcerting to have the Captain have to reiterate his request for passengers to return to their staterooms 3 times...some people assumed it did not mean them.....go figure.
The Crown was beautiful, bigger than I personally like but since it was only about 75% full, it was great. Yes, it has a Sacturary, we peeked in but did not indulge as there were so many other quiet spots (eg aft pool area) that were almost as nice and they were free.
We chose open dining, never had a problem getting a table, as we always asked to share. We met lots of interesting people and heard lots of interesting stories about their cruises.
I think there was a Chef's table but it was not advertised anywhere that I saw.
Favorite port was probably Barcelona...such a vibrant, many faceted city, lots to see and do and so little time.
No I don't have another cruise booked, I am doing an all-inclusive to Antigua in November but who knows when the urge will strike.....
Thanks for asking....

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