I had the trip of a lifetime a few weeks ago……April 22 – May 7th, I took a Transatlantic Cruise from Fort Lauderdale, FL across the Atlantic Ocean with stops at the Azores in Portugul, Cork in Ireland, Liverpool in England, and finally Dublin in Ireland before flying back home! This knocked three major items off my big adventure bucket list — sail across the ocean, see Ireland, and see where it all started for the Beatles!!! And, it was so amazing — I’m still not fully over the thrills and emotional highs that overwhelmed me for sixteen wonderful days!!! It was a DREAM vacation – one I never thought I would ever actually get to do!
This first post will be an overview — mostly focusing on the cruise, itself, and the trip in general. I’ll write separate posts for the specific adventures at each of the stops along the way.
It took SEVEN full days to get across the ocean to our first stop at the Azores. I wasn’t worried – I love being on the water and not seeing land for multiple days doesn’t bother me, but it still gave me a bit of a queasy feeling when the Captain came on the loud speaker every day and told us how deep the water below us was in nautical miles…….unimaginable! In the days leading up to the cruise, friends kept asking me “what in the world will you do on a boat in the middle of the ocean for seven days???” — my response was “anything I want to do……or absolutely nothing at all!” LOL And, I did just that – a lot of absolutely nothing at all! Oh, I did take in most of the entertainment available every afternoon and evening, ate a lot, and did a few activities here and there……but, mostly, I just thoroughly enjoyed sitting out on the deck or on my private veranda soaking up the sun, reading, relaxing, napping, watching the water go by……you get the picture! I slept the best I’ve slept in years and was the most completely relaxed I think I’ve EVER been! I loved every single second of it!
Then……there was another TWO full days at sea between the Azores and Cork, Ireland.
The seas were so calm — I think the calmest of any cruise I’ve ever been on! For the most part, you hardly knew you were on a ship in the middle of the ocean – there was one or two nights that there was an ever so slight rocking and rolling, but I usually welcome that while I’m sleeping, anyway! And, the weather couldn’t have been better! It was in the 80’s leaving Ft. Lauderdale and for the first few days until we got further north and closer to the Azores. The rest of the trip was still very nice – a few chilly days / nights, but mostly in the mid-high 60s and low 70s – enough to need a sweater or light jacket, for the most part, and a heavier jacket on one day in particular. We had one quite chilly, rainy, foggy day, but mostly the sun was shining and Mother Nature cooperated with us! Absolutely nothing to complain about, for sure!
My Cabin and First Day At Sea:
Leaving the Port of Fort Lauderdale
On deck as we were leaving Fort Lauderdale
I had a lovely cabin with a veranda —- which I got a LOT of use out of!!!
Selfie on the couch in the cabin
Our first sunset – from my veranda
A Sampling of the Food On Board
The food was, of course, amazing……and always available somewhere on board!
For some reason, their hot dogs tasted so good, I enjoyed one with a salad 2 or 3 days in the afternoon up on deck!
Ice Cream…….whenever I wanted it!!!
The nightly chocolate on my pillow was a guilty pleasure I definitely enjoyed!
I bought the non-alcoholic drink package, so I also enjoyed specialty teas and hot chocolates, smoothies, and more!
On LOBSTER NIGHT, I made a pig out of myself with a second portion!!!
Around The Ship
I walked by this poster – an advertisement for one of the jewelry stores on board – every day and drooled!!! LOL
Yes! That’s REAL grass on a cruise ship!!! Deck 15 had LOTS of it to enjoy!
I spent a LOT of time on lounge chairs and other various seating options on deck!
I wanted to try the hammocks, but was afraid I wouldn’t get back out!!! LOL
Some people decorated their doors —- these are a few of the more interesting ones! LOL
OK, this isn’t a sunset, but wanted to include it because of the story behind it……I was sitting in my cabin reading and this HUGE bird (I believe it is an albatross) caught my eye — he was flying along side of us and kept right up with the speed of the ship and stayed (even though he was constantly flying) right outside my veranda door for several minutes before he veered off and I lost sight of him! It made me laugh and smile for quite a while!
The nightly shows were spectacular!!! Broadway shows, musical revues, singers, comedians, jugglers, magicians, aerial and acrobatic acts, and even a hypnotist! And, then there were the musicians, singers, dancers, and bands that played all around the ship at all hours — wherever you were, whatever time you were there, there was some form of entertainment!
The was a Q&A session with the Captain (center) and the head officers of all the departments
This was the head chef at one of the specialty restaurants demonstrating how to make the PERFECT steak!
Daily Veranda Selfies, Navigation Map, and Calm Sea Photos
Every day, I took a Daily Veranda Selfie and photo of the Navigation Map on the TV to post to Facebook…….some were taken in port, so will be on those specific posts!
So……there’s the overview……next up: Ponta Delgada, Azores – the island of Sao Miguel! See you there!