Friday, May 29, 2009

Crossing the big pond! - Transatlantic Cruise on the Crown Princess


Destination: Ponta Delgado in the Azores (Portugal)

Where we stayed: 2 nights in Fort Lauderdale at the Marriott Residence Inn in Plantation ($42/night on priceline); Crown Princess - 21 days (actually 2 cruises back to back, the first a 9 day transatlantic and the second a 12 day Mediterranean) - $1049 per person plus tips $11.50 per day

Best restaurant: How about a favorite meal? My (Tracy) favorite cruise dinner is a goat cheese souffle, a bowl of crab legs and rack of lamb! For Jason, it's crab, crab and more crab!

Best of: We had perfect seas and weather for the first three days of the cruise...I spent a lot of time out by the pool relaxing and it was wonderful!

Worst of: My cold came back with a vengeance at the end of the first cruise. It probably had something to do with sleeping (or not sleeping) at the Lima airport....This time it was accompanied by a brutal cough which is finally starting to get better weeks later.

Our flight from Lima back to the US went smoothly although the night in the Lima airport was long and boring. Of course we couldn't check our luggage in for our international flight until 3:00 am so we carted it around with us while we killed time reading, snacking and writing to update this blog! Finally after 19 hours in transit from Cusco we landed in the good old USA! After picking up our rental car (priceline - $50 for 2 days) we headed to the mall to make a dent in our long list. After 4 months in South America we were both in need of a few items and we took advantage of being able to stock up! Our little shopping expedition continued in earnest the following day as we counted down the hours to our relaxing transatlantic cruise! The following morning we made a few last minute stops at Whole Foods for wine & Barnes & Noble for guidebooks and we boarded the Crown Princess, our home for 3 short weeks!

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I would like to say we stayed busy being productive for most of the cruise but to be honest we spent the first three days lounging in the sun, sleeping late and just relaxing. When the weather turned we used the time to catch up on photos, write entries for the blog, read and watch movies. It wasn't very exciting but it sure was relaxing! Our one bit of excitement came when we were attending a hypnotist's show one night. Both of us had talked about going up on stage and Jason decided to go ahead and give it a try. After seeing Jason scoot across the floor to put out an itch we will never think of "A Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash in the same way again!

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The transatlantic cruise had just one port, Ponta Delgado in the Azores. We wanted to see the lakes and ended up sharing a taxi with another couple (35 Euros for 3 hours - $45 per couple). If you are there and want an excellent English speaking driver contact Jose Raposo at The lakes were certainly beautiful but the weather was very overcast so we were disappointed that we were not able to see the blue and green colors that the lakes are famour for. We also stopped at one small village located on the shore of the lake and several other beautiful spots on the island.

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After the Azores we had one last day at sea. It was unfortunately quite rough and we spent most of our last day sleeping in the cabin and preparing for our port intensive Mediterranean cruise!

To see more photos of the Azores click here!

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