8 Transatlantic Cruise Lessons Learned

Carnival Sunshine: Home for the next 16 nights
Carnival Sunshine: Home for the next 16 nights

When I first booked my transatlantic aboard Carnival Sunshine I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I knew one thing, there was going to be a lot of sea days and I knew 16-nights was a long time.
Just to show you the amount of sea days, here is what the itinerary looks like:

Embark in Barcelona

Palma De Mallorca, Spain

Fun Day at Sea

Malaga, Spain

Fun Day at Sea

Canary Islands

6 Fun Days at Sea

Grand Turk

3 Fun Days at Sea

Debark in New Orleans, LA

That’s 11 sea days total!

Here are a couple things I learned within the first few hours of being aboard for this transatlantic crossing:

Older demographic. There is definitely an older demographic on these sailings but with reason, not just anyone can take 16-days of work to do a cruise. You will find a lot of retirees and honeymooners. They said the average age on this sailing is 65 but I feel like it’s a lot younger.

Different menu items. The main dining room has to change things up because they have a captive audience for 16-nights in a row. You will find meals that aren’t on the traditional cruise ship menu.

Very few ports. On the 16-night cruise we have four ports of call, which can be a good thing. Less port and government taxes and less money you have to spend on shore excursions.

Continuous sea days. One thing I knew going into this transatlantic crossing was there was going to be a lot of seas days. I don’t think the actual amount of sea days actually sank in until I boarded the ship and unpacked. Our longest stretch of sea days is six in a row, followed by three more on the tail end of the cruise.

Chance to sleep in. If you want to let your hair down and stay out late, you can. Sea days are meant for staying out late and sleeping in. Go ahead and catch that late show and have a nightcap, or two, no one is watching.

Guests Lecturers. You can expect guest speakers on longer voyages. On our cruise we have a lecturer named Mickey Live who speaks every sea day about photography and our GPS track through Google Earth. He speaks twice a day and has some great information on the course we are taking from Canary to Grand Turk. Turns out it’s the same course that Christopher Columbus sailed.

Reading opportunities. If you have a stack of books at the house that you want to catch up on, a series of DVD’s or writing, you can do it. I’ve already read one book and have started my second book.

The second book I’ve started is the autobiography from Gavin MacLeod, “This is Your Captain Speaking.” Gavin really pulls back the curtain. You can check the book out here.

You’re disconnected. Unless you have a lot of cash to spend on internet time, you’re pretty much disconnected. Some cruise lines allow you to view free news sites, their website or blog. Carnival lets you visit John Heald’s Blog, their Fun Hub and their website.

Have you ever done a transatlantic or pacific sailing? Any lessons learned?

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