Wednesday, August 15, 2012

TP Thursday: Cruise Blues

A friend who recently spent two days at sea on an Alaskan cruise proclaimed he wasn’t a cruiser after the experience. And then, in an incredulous tone asked us,

“How do you do it? I nearly went nuts knowing I couldn’t get off the ship??!!” 

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Unlike our buddy, our favorite cruises are those that involve crossing an ocean – the kind that have at least a  half dozen ‘sea days’; those kind of days where you see no other signs of life – no land, no ships, no birds, just blue. Cruise blues. In this photo our ship was leaving Fort Lauderdale, Florida bound for Europe.

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This strip of Florida beach was the last land we would see for nearly a week. The next land would be the Azores, 3,117 miles (5,016KM/2,706NM) away.  The islands that make up the Azores are 1,118 miles (1,800 KM/900NM) west of Portugal.

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We began many of our sea days with a trip to the gym (also hues of cruise blues) – a necessity when they ended with . . .

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gourmet food. . .and sommelier served wine. (BTW, that was a piece of fish hidden under the veggies in that artistic display above.)

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Sometimes we watched other guests play lawn croquet. (If you missed my earlier posts about this Celebrity Solstice ship – it, like others in its class, has a real live lawn.)

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Other times we watched glass artists at work, thanks to a partnership between Celebrity and the Corning Museum of Glass. We’d attend those lectures on subjects that interested us, but skipped the multitudes of  bingo sessions, dance classes, contests, games and other activities that drew contingents of  fellow cruisers.

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Generally on these types of sailings, when it comes to sea days – we prefer to soak up the ‘cruise blues’. The kind created when sea and sky merge.

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A day dreamin’, book readin’ and sun tanning kind of cruise blues.

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A where-did-the-day-go-so-fast kind of cruise blues. . .

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The kind of cruise blues that gave way to blazing orange sunsets.

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And then it seemed too soon we'd reached the Azores -  our first in a series of  ports of call en route to Barcelona, Spain.

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Transatlantic cruises, like this one, offer some of the best cruise bargains to be found.  We’ve taken several and have been able to book a balcony room for as little as $125 – $185 per night, not per person but per cabin! 

Also called repositioning cruises, sailings take place  generally in the spring and fall because that is when the ship’s are being ‘repositioned’ from one area of the world to the other. 
As cruise enthusiasts, we want to spend as much time on board as possible and yet visit interesting ports of call. This type of cruise provides for both.  Companies we use and recommend for cruise deals  can be found on Joel’s Deal Finder page.

Today is Travel Photo Thursday so head on over to Nancie’s Budget Travelers Sandbox for more photos from around the world.

24 comments:

  1. We went on our first cruise recently and. although I was really prepared to hate it, but it was a great vacation. My kids loooooved the Sea Days! There was so much to do on the ship that they really didn't want to get off. The grass on the ship is unreal. I had to look twice-it looks just like a backyard somewhere. Thanks for the tips about repositioning cruises. I will have to look into that.

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    1. I didn't like cruising after our first cruise, but luckily a friend convinced me to try it a second time and I've been hooked ever since! Thanks for visiting today.

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  2. The first time that we cruised I didn't think that I would like it but I loved the feeling of sailing on the ocean! We've been on 5 now but I would love to do a transatlantic some time. We sailed on the Celebrity Equinox last summer - beautiful ship and I loved watching the glass blowing!

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    1. There is something magical about the ocean isn't there? And to think back to the likes of Columbus who had the courage to sail in those ships the size of present-day tenders is amazing to me.

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  3. I've never actually cruised (I don't count a 2 day cruise to nowhere)but would like to try it at some point. Not sure I'd enjoy the "at sea" days as much as you do but it would be a great adventure, I'm sure!

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    1. I wasn't sure on our first cruise that I could handle that many days on the ship, but I was amazed at how quickly a week could pass doing basically nothing. (A nice change of pace!)

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  4. I have yet to take a cruise, but I am eagerly planning one so I was excited to read your post. I think I would really enjoy the sea days, especially with all the activities on board. And who can resist gourmet food and wine...not I! :-)

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    1. On one of our first such cruises I made myself crazy trying to get to everything and do everything they offered; I have since relaxed myself and enjoy doing nothing over being busy. . .but there is certainly something for everyone.

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  5. I'm always a sucker for sunset shots- love the golden glow in the last one!

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    1. A trip isn't a trip for me without a daily attempt of the perfect sunset. . .so even though it didn't quite fit the blue theme, I decided with so many shots taken during the crossing I had to add it in. Glad you liked it.

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  6. I have cruised twice. That would have been back in high school and my room was a 20 bed dormitory. I remember how much fun we had. Your photos are wonderful, and make me think that an adult cruise might be fun!

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  7. Yay for cruising! We're planning our 12th cruise later this year. My husband loves sea days while I'm more of a 'visit as many ports as possible' person. You're so lucky to have done those transatlantic and repositioning cruises. We've wanted to do them but just a bit hard with kids in school and full-time jobs.

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    1. I understand completely. When I worked as a newspaper reporter even had I used all my annual vacation days, I wouldn't have had enough for one of these cruises. We love the shorter ones as much as these though. Look forward to reading about your 12th - where are you heading?

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  8. I'd like to take the post boat from England to St Helena. That's 31 days and almost all at sea. That's far from a cruise ship, so normal food and no shows or lectures or anything, I expect, so have to entertain oneself.

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    1. We often said we'd maybe like to do a freighter trip which sounds similar to the post boat you've described. Not quite sure I am ready for that though. If you do take it, it will make for some great posts (pun intended)!

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  9. The ship you travel on makes a huge difference. On our first cruise, we traveled on a Celebrity Solistice class ship and loved it. For the next cruise, we budgeted more and tried out Carnival. It was not worth the money we saved.

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    1. You are right, although we've taken and enjoyed Carnival cruises as well. I've found though if you want history and culture sessions on board the best of those are found on Holland America and Celebrity ships - two who still have on-board lecturers that go beyond the 'best places to shop in port' as Carnival emphasizes.

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  10. I think that sounds fantastic and wouldn't have a problem with that many sea days!

    Have a great weekend!

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  11. I like the sound of the classes offered on board - classes you probably don't normally have time for but end up being really interesting. And the thought of 4-6 days with some exercise and a number of great books to read followed by wine and a gourmet dinner sounds like a little slice of heaven - especially if there was no internet so you could totally unplug.

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    1. There is a point about half way across when the ship isn't able to receive a signal from one place and hasn't yet reached another, you are totally unplugged and it is great. However, among the classes they offer are computer classes - so most of the time you are never unplugged.

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  12. I have yet to take a cruise, but get tempted when I read articles like this. There really are so many things there are to do -- it would be difficult to be bored. They really go all out, don't they? The grass lawn for croquet is pretty cool!

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    1. There is no one to blame for boredom on one of these except yourself. . .but the flip side is that I always feel somewhat lazy when I opt out of participating in these activities they work so hard to offer.

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