I'm seriously thinking about doing a transatlantic cruise next year. The prices are great, and I have enough air miles to cover the airfare. I haven't read too much about crossing the Atlantic in April or November. I'm not too keen about the idea of rough seas. Has anybody been there/done that?
My last transatlantic cruise was in November of 2005 on the Splendour of the Seas. It was the trip with the infamous trip from the airport in Dusseldorf where my wife was bumped from first class to make room for a (unknown to me) famous German entertainer. What do you expect from Lufthansa? This problem was rectified and she remained. Anyways, it was raining when we arrived at the port in Barcelona. Embarkation was great. The cruise was fantastic. The ship was undergoing some mid-cruise refurbishment but it was still lots of fun. Sonny, you know as well as I do, some people will get sick in flat seas, but the water was absolutely calm. Some areas, it was calm enough to make it seem eerie. The arrival in Galveston was a little hectic, as always. In answer to your question, when I have time, I intend to do another transatlantic "repositioning" cruise some November. I will be sailing on the Splendor again in October on the Mediterranean and I can't wait!!
Sonny, a couple of clients sailed the Queen Mary 2 from New York to Southhampton starting on April 30 of this year. They said they found the seas a little rougher than they expected, considering the size of the ship, latest stabilizers, etc. It was not to the point where anyone was getting sick or having trouble walking around, but they did notice the motion. They said they are happy they did the eastbound crossing which was with the wind, rather than against the wind.
Sandy, is the wind always from the East? I don't get seasick, and my wife wears the patch. I just don't care to see other people upchucking in front of me. Would you recommend the April cruise? I may book something when on the Sovereign.
Jens Walpert, one of the German section's administrators, did the "Navigator of the Seas" spring trans-Atlantic this year. They encountered strong winds resulting in the cancellation of a port call in Bermuda as all Bermuda ports had been closed but he reported that the ship took the heavy seas extremely well.
By the way, you might want to re-check the year of the "Independence of the Seas" eastbound trans-Atlantic. I'm fairly sure it's 2009, not 2008.
SonnyV, you'll do the zip line but don't want to see someone getting sick Seriously, I doubt many if any one would be to that point. That is unless they've embibed too heavily. The ship doctors have stuff that can calm the stomachs and help passengers sleep. If the price is right, go for it. I bet it would be an awesome experience. I'd love to go across the pond, take a a train down to Italy, catch the Princess 21 day repo from Athens to Ft. Lauderdale via the Caribbean. Just have to hit the lottery first!
I don't get seasick, and my wife wears the patch. I just don't care to see other people upchucking in front of me. Would you recommend the April cruise?
Weather generally travels from west to east, so my clients were assuming that sailing with the direction of the weather is smoother than sailing against it. I don't really know. If you don't get seasick and your wife has a good result wearing the patch, you'll probably do fine on an April transatlantic.
If the wind is a little strong, and continuous, the waves can become very large. The distance the wind blows across open water is called the "fetch". The greater the fetch the higher the waves get. It's over 3,000 miles from Ft. Lauderdale to the first port of call across the Atlantic. I'll have to hope for very little wind if I do this cruise.
I did the Atlantic crossing in April of this year on the Brillance from Miami to Barcelona. I did a tongue in cheek review (but reasonably accurate)on it and you can probably find it on search if you are so inclined.
However, the crossing was perfect. The temperature was 82 degrees every day and, while the seas ran about 6 feet, there was no movement on deck. You would have thought the sea was glassy.
Winds on occassion were 20+ miles an hour and had no impact (that I could see) on the waves. On the protected pool deck, there was virtually no wind and every deck chair was filled with sunbathers.
Never saw (or heard) of anybody experiencing sea sickness and people were always walking and jogging on the running track.
On just one day of the cruise, the water in the pool sloshed a bit, but not enough to drive anybody out of the pool.