Destination: Crossing the Atlantic, Final Destination Boston, MA
Number of Days Spent: 13 days (6 at sea)
Where we stayed: 1 night on the Stena Brittanica for $70/person in a 2 berth cabin then we walked onto the RCI Jewel of the Seas - Our 12 night cruise ran us about $1000/person for an outside cabin. It certainly wasn't the steal we got traveling east bound but it wasn't too terrible either, especially considering the price of flights back to the US.
Best restaurant: Jason really liked the pub grub at the Sea View Cafe at the back of the ship. The dining room sold a bottle of wine we both loved, Carmenere Arboleda from Chile (about $35).
Best of: We loved going Westbound on the ship. It was great to gain an extra hour every day at sea! We arrived in Boston well rested & jet lag free.
Worst of: We picked up some wonderful but very smelly camembert at the market in France. It was fabulous with a glass of red wine & a freshly baked baguette. Sadly, even double bagged with ziploc baggies it made our room stink (big time). We eventually had to dispose of the remainder of the cheese in the public waste receptacle. We still wonder what our stateroom attendant thought about our stinky room :-)
Most Memorable: It's not a nice memory but it was interesting seeing a lady get air lifted by helicopter off the ship by the Canadian coast guard. Good thing she was in Canadian waters...free health care :-)
Useful Tip: We booked our trip last minute from a travel agent that bid on it from www.cruisecompete.com. While it wasn't the stellar deal we found going East bound it was the best we could find and we ended up getting an onboard credit by going with an agent from that site.
After a great time in Amsterdam we said goodbye to our friends, Marije & Fetze, and headed for the sea. Fetze was kind enough to drive us to the ferry terminal at Hoek van Holland where we boarded an overnight ferry for Harwich. Jason and I were pleasantly surprised, while our cabin was teeny tiny with bunk beds it was was very clean and a comfortable way to travel overnight to the UK. When we arrived in Harwich we walked right off the ferry, through immigration and then next door to the cruise terminal where the Jewel of the Seas was parked. As fellow British travelers would say, It was a seamless connection. We had to wait several hours to board the cruise ship so we passed the time by catching up on this blog and watching the passengers disembark from our ship.
A few hours after we arrived it was finally time to board the ship, Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas. This was the first time for us for on RCI & our first time with an outside window (for those of you that cruise in an inside cabin it's like sleeping in a cave, you have absolutely no idea what time it is when you wake up).
Our cruise included the following stops:
- Le Havre, France
- Cherbourg, France
- Cork, Ireland
- Belfast, Northern Ireland
- Boston, MA
We will write more about these stops in future entries. In addition to the scheduled ports we also had 6 sea days while crossing the Atlantic. We spent the time playing trivia (our team won the cruise wide trivia game), board games, making beaded crafts (not sure why but this ship had a lot of them), reading books, getting caught up on the blog (it seems like we are ALWAYS doing this), chatting with our shipmates, playing putt putt, swimming in the solarium & lounging in the hot tub. As always on cruises dressing up for dinner is always part of the fun!