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Looking for advice, I'm thinking of doing a transatlantic on my own.  Need advice.  I'm female from UK 49 and three quarters (lol) it would be my first solo cruise.

 

probably looking Southampton/Miami 2025 ish, indoor cabin ( possibly studio)

 

which way is best? and early in year or late in year? Smoothest sailing?

 

Ship wise looking at Breakaway, Getaway, Encore, Bliss or Joy - any favourites for TA and why?

 

I know these questions are subjective, so looking for people that have done either and can advise. Looking to find things I may not have thought of to consider.

 

And I'm fine with multiple sea days, I love them, and not prone to sea sickness.

 

Thanks in advance!

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1 hour ago, MrsTabs said:

Looking for advice, I'm thinking of doing a transatlantic on my own.  Need advice.  I'm female from UK 49 and three quarters (lol) it would be my first solo cruise.

 

probably looking Southampton/Miami 2025 ish, indoor cabin ( possibly studio)

 

which way is best? and early in year or late in year? Smoothest sailing?

 

Ship wise looking at Breakaway, Getaway, Encore, Bliss or Joy - any favourites for TA and why?

 

I know these questions are subjective, so looking for people that have done either and can advise. Looking to find things I may not have thought of to consider.

 

And I'm fine with multiple sea days, I love them, and not prone to sea sickness.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Indoor cabin is a great idea. Can get cold & windy on a TA, and (IMHO) only an aft-facing balcony would be worthwhile.

 

Not a lot of kids on a TA, so the "adult only" benefit of the studios is negated. As TAs have a lot of solo availability, I'd go for a full inside for the extra room.

 

Smoother sailing will generally be found on the more southern routes or route portions.

 

In general, TAs go West to East in the spring and East to West in the fall. I'd highly recommend choosing the East to West as you will add an hour for each of the five time zones. That gives you 5 25 hour days as opposed to going the other way and getting 5 23 hour days because the clocks jump forward.

 

Likely you will spend more time indoor than outdoor. Don't bother with the Vibe and pick your ship based on the interior offerings over the exterior offerings.

 

A TA is great for catching up on your reading. A fully loaded Kindle can be your best friend!

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We have done 3 TA so far, Epic 4/18, Getaway 10/19 and Epic 11/21 with our next TA scheduled for 4/23 on Epic. Out of 33 cruises TAs are my absolute favorite. I enjoy the relaxation of not having to hustle on and off the ship in every port and especially enjoy the chance to meet new travelers. It just seems like no one is in a hurry to rush to lunch or dinner.

 

We have been in a hurricane and a cyclone coming across and I’ll admit it wasn’t smooth as silk but was tolerable. For a short period the outside decks were closed but it didn’t last long. We’ve also been across when the Captain said it was his smoothest sailing ever. 
 

If I were you I would look at the Solo cabins. Our friend traveled in one and it was perfect for her. The opportunity to attend the Solo Meet/Greet and join each other for dinner if you chose would open up a world of new friends. Check out the videos of the Solo Cabins and get more information. 
 

FYI be prepared for the ever changing time changes that happens on a TA cruise. 
 

Enjoy your journey.

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19 minutes ago, realtorgranny said:

If I were you I would look at the Solo cabins. Our friend traveled in one and it was perfect for her. The opportunity to attend the Solo Meet/Greet and join each other for dinner if you chose would open up a world of new friends. Check out the videos of the Solo Cabins and get more information. 

It's not necessary to be in a solo cabin to go to the solo meetings/dinners.

NCL has also introduced a "solo" category for all ships, so inside, OV, and balconies at a slightly reduced cost over double occupancy for those categories. If the ship has a solo lounge, you also get access to it.

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Bring from the UK, we preferred going West to East so that the flight back home is the shorter one. Yes, the clocks went forward a few times but it didn't really impact our cruise. However it is definitely personal choice. 

 

Weather wise, it can be anything as it is out in the Atlantic Ocean. But I've thing I did learnt is depending on the direction of sailing, we took a starboard cabin and got more sun than our friends on the port side 

 

 

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3 hours ago, MrsTabs said:

Ship wise looking at Breakaway, Getaway, Encore, Bliss or Joy - any favourites for TA and why?

We have had much better times on smaller ships. The logistics of getting 4,000 people on and off the ship in the unique European ports everyday can create bottlenecks and long lines both disembarking in the am and re-embarking in the pm. If you can only do the large ships, try to avoid itineraries with a late am arrival (11am) or early afternoon departure (4pm). It will be a much easier process if the ship arrives in port at 7 am and leaves after 6 pm. That said, our experiences on TA's has been wonderful and relaxing. We really enjoy being out at sea for many days in a row and have found the opportunity to talk with the crew more frequently. TA's are special cruises for the crew, too.

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I have done 3 TAs and loved them all. All done East to West, loving gaining that hour for 5 days. 2 were from Europe (Barcelona and Rome) in November and the weather was very mild and enjoyed lots of outside time. The Encore from Southampton had no stops and was Rocky but it was fine. 
Often TAs don’t go out full, less kids but enough people to have a good atmosphere. The are heaps of meet ups for solos and groups to meet people. Have met some awesome people on all my cruises, at bars, themed parties etc. 

 

if it’s going to be a cold crossing, I’d pick a ship with an observation lounge. These are amazing venues at the front of the ship with a bar and comfy seating. Great way to look out at the ocean with a book and drink. 
 

hope you enjoy whichever one you pick. Let us know how you go 😀

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We have done only 1 TA.  It was a unique itinerary on the Sun with 8 - count them 8 - ports of call (not including embarkation and debarkation).

 

Lisbon

Cadiz

Canary Islands (x3)

Madeira

Azores (x2)

Bermuda (overnight)

New York

 

It was in April, east to west when most TAs are west to east.

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5 hours ago, Yinster said:

Bring from the UK, we preferred going West to East so that the flight back home is the shorter one. Yes, the clocks went forward a few times but it didn't really impact our cruise. However it is definitely personal choice. 

 

Weather wise, it can be anything as it is out in the Atlantic Ocean. But I've thing I did learnt is depending on the direction of sailing, we took a starboard cabin and got more sun than our friends on the port side 

 

 

Are you sure about that direction?

Clocks moving forward and shorter flight times both indicate moving eastward.

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1 hour ago, cruiser2015 said:

Are you sure about that direction?

Clocks moving forward and shorter flight times both indicate moving eastward.

 

I think they were sure about it. What made you think otherwise?

-- They specifically mentioned "going West to East"

--They mentioned the flight home being the shorter one (they are from UK, so the short flight is at the end of the West to East TA)

--They mentioned the clocks going forward which indicates Eastward movement

--They also mentioned getting more sun with a Starboard cabin, which is what you will get when heading East.

 

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1 hour ago, cruiser2015 said:

Are you sure about that direction?

Clocks moving forward and shorter flight times both indicate moving eastward.

 

I think "going West to East" is the same as "moving eastward".  Unless I'm living on a different planet (which is entirely possible).

 

Or, what Capitan said.

 

Edited by IAcruising
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16 hours ago, MrsTabs said:

Looking for advice, I'm thinking of doing a transatlantic on my own.  Need advice.  I'm female from UK 49 and three quarters (lol) it would be my first solo cruise.

 

probably looking Southampton/Miami 2025 ish, indoor cabin ( possibly studio)

 

which way is best? and early in year or late in year? Smoothest sailing?

 

Ship wise looking at Breakaway, Getaway, Encore, Bliss or Joy - any favourites for TA and why?

 

I know these questions are subjective, so looking for people that have done either and can advise. Looking to find things I may not have thought of to consider.

 

And I'm fine with multiple sea days, I love them, and not prone to sea sickness.

 

Thanks in advance!

In my opinion, even if you are traveling solo, you should definitely consider doing a transatlantic cruise. I took my first solo cruise ten years ago at the age of 39, and a few months later, my first transatlantic solo. That initial transatlantic remains one of the best cruises I have ever taken. Oh, and I also met my wife on that sailing. She has a couple more crossings under her belt than I do, but in the last ten years, we have completed 14 together.

 

We have sailed three eastbound routes, and the rest were westbound. When I lived in the US, the westbound crossings were easier adjusting to the home time, and there were typically 5-6 days with 25 hours each. Now that I live in Europe, adjusting to the home time zone is easier on the eastbound crossings, but the time changes don't influence our choice.

 

For us, the ports of call are not as significant as the ship itself. The Prima is the smallest ship we have taken on a transatlantic. While we are not opposed to smaller ships, we are more inclined to choose larger ones. Perhaps that preference will change in the future. The inagural Encore and Prima TA's were not our favorites, primarily due to the absence of Spice H2O. We've completed seven transatlantics on the Epic and four on the Getaway, and we would gladly embark on another one on either of these ships. We are eagerly looking forward to our winter crossing on the Joy in February, sort of. I'm not particularly excited about the cold weather during the initial part of the voyage, but it should improve as we get closer to Florida. During the corona lockdown, we had four TA's on the Escape canceled. We really want to experience another crossing on the Escape, hopefully in the near future.

 

I aim to wear shorts and flip-flops everyday on all my cruises. Ideally, we prefer to depart from the Mediterranean and arrive in Florida, or vice versa. As far as I recall, these crossings were predominantly filled with mild and warm sunny days and calm seas. We've departed from Southampton three times, and on each occasion, we encountered unfavorable sea and weather conditions. The conditions were rough, cold, and windy. However, on the inaugural sailings of the Escape and Encore from Southampton, the weather did improve the futher south we sailed.

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50 minutes ago, cruiser2015 said:

Bt, you opened your post saying you preferred going west to east due to the shorter flight time - perfectly logical; but only If west to east refers to the return flight. 

 

The whole sentence in the original post said the flight home would be the shorter flight.

 

 

Like someone else said, you are confusing yourself. Everyone else seems to have grasp the spirit of the contents. 

 

Apologies to the original poster, I didn't think my wee post would have been so controversial 

 

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Trying to bring this back to the OPs initial questions.  😃

 

I’ve only done one TA - from NYC to Rome on the Breakaway last Spring.  We absolutely loved it.  In fact we liked it so much we booked the Epic in December for basically the reverse of the trip except it goes to Canaveral instead of NYC.  We’re looking forward to the Southern route, especially since it’s an early winter cruise and are hopeful that the weather will be warmer and seas calmer than going through the North Atlantic that time of year.  We’re also looking forward to gaining an hour each day instead of losing one each night, as well as the shorter flight home on the return.  All these things have been mentioned - understanding that the shorter flight scenario only applies if you live in the US, which I see the OP doesn’t.  Obviously your return flight will be longer, and likely a red eye returning to the UK from the US.  That will negate your slowly getting over time changes.  I have to say that I’m looking forward to not being jet lagged when I get off the ship.  😃

 

One thing that hasn’t been mentioned, unless I missed it, is that we’re looking forward to the relaxing part of this trip (the crossing) being at the end, instead of the beginning.  The time in Europe is port intensive and exhausting.  We loved every minute of it, but think we’re going to prefer front-ending the ports and having six days to relax at the end.

 

as far as the ships go, I love them all.  I think it would be nice to be on a ship with an Observation Lounge on a TA, given the unpredictability of the weather.  This would be especially true if you’re in an inside cabin.  It’s a lovely indoor space with great views, food and a bar.

 

As far as the cabin goes, that’s obviously your choice.  Personally I’d want at least an oceanview.  I like a cabin with some natural light, especially on that long of a sailing.  That being said, I have stayed in the studios four times and absolutely loved them.  They’re small, but well appointed and bright.  Plenty of space for a solo.  And the coffee machine in the lounge is phenomenal.  No need for a Starbucks package.  😃

 

There will be plenty of solos on any TA and NCL has solo meetups every nights.  You’ll never not have someone to chat with.  

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10 minutes ago, Russiamomm said:

 

One thing that hasn’t been mentioned, unless I missed it, is that we’re looking forward to the relaxing part of this trip (the crossing) being at the end, instead of the beginning.  The time in Europe is port intensive and exhausting.  We loved every minute of it, but think we’re going to prefer front-ending the ports and having six days to relax at the end.

 

 

A very good point that agree wholeheartedly with! 
But I can also see the opposite point. I am now retired, but if it had been during my busiest working years it could have been a good thing to have the sea days in the beginning to be able to wind down and get into vacation mode before hitting lots of ports.

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7 minutes ago, Asawi said:

A very good point that agree wholeheartedly with! 
But I can also see the opposite point. I am now retired, but if it had been during my busiest working years it could have been a good thing to have the sea days in the beginning to be able to wind down and get into vacation mode before hitting lots of ports.

I can see that too!  The trip in the Spring was my retirement cruise.  I stopped working two weeks prior.  Definitely enjoyed that down time!  

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1 hour ago, cruiser2015 said:

 you not fly from east to west to board your ship?

 

Hello again

 

I thought saying I prefer the flight home to be the shorter of the two would suffice but I can explain further. Not an issue 

 

Yes we flew to our cruise but like most people when you start your holiday/vacation that flight is part of the adventure. So you look forward to it and excitement is built in 

 

After the cruise, like most, you just want to go home. Well we do. So having the shorter flight is a factor for us. Not a big factor but still a factor. If we lived stateside then I guess we would prefer the other way

 

I don't usually suffer from jetlag but on this trip, it didn't matter. I didn't really adjust to EST as we were only in NY for two days before we sailed. Then we were adjusting to one less hour every couple of days so it was ideal. 

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1 hour ago, Yinster said:

Hello again

 

I thought saying I prefer the flight home to be the shorter of the two would suffice but I can explain further. Not an issue 

 

Yes we flew to our cruise but like most people when you start your holiday/vacation that flight is part of the adventure. So you look forward to it and excitement is built in 

 

After the cruise, like most, you just want to go home. Well we do. So having the shorter flight is a factor for us. Not a big factor but still a factor. If we lived stateside then I guess we would prefer the other way

 

I don't usually suffer from jetlag but on this trip, it didn't matter. I didn't really adjust to EST as we were only in NY for two days before we sailed. Then we were adjusting to one less hour every couple of days so it was ideal. 

Thank you kindly for the explanation; thorough and rational.

I am pleased to know that you enjoyed your adventure - even the flight across to NY (my home town).

I had a somewhat similar choice recently. We are doing a Panama Canal between Los Angeles and Miami. Like yours, the flight home from LA would be shorter than going out there (but only about 1/2 hour). I chose to take the longer flight, however for other reasons. By finishing the cruise in Miami, we are first of all in the home time zone; secondly, the flight is 3 hours. The result is we will be home (heavens allowing) in the late afternoon instead of around 10PM home time. Added bonus, we have cousins who live about 50 miles west of LA and we hope to meet them for dinner the day before embarkation. This is my little master plan to work the circumstances for the best outcome - just like you did.

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On 11/2/2023 at 7:55 AM, sicness4x4 said:

In my opinion, even if you are traveling solo, you should definitely consider doing a transatlantic cruise. I took my first solo cruise ten years ago at the age of 39, and a few months later, my first transatlantic solo. That initial transatlantic remains one of the best cruises I have ever taken. Oh, and I also met my wife on that sailing. She has a couple more crossings under her belt than I do, but in the last ten years, we have completed 14 together.

 

We have sailed three eastbound routes, and the rest were westbound. When I lived in the US, the westbound crossings were easier adjusting to the home time, and there were typically 5-6 days with 25 hours each. Now that I live in Europe, adjusting to the home time zone is easier on the eastbound crossings, but the time changes don't influence our choice.

 

For us, the ports of call are not as significant as the ship itself. The Prima is the smallest ship we have taken on a transatlantic. While we are not opposed to smaller ships, we are more inclined to choose larger ones. Perhaps that preference will change in the future. The inagural Encore and Prima TA's were not our favorites, primarily due to the absence of Spice H2O. We've completed seven transatlantics on the Epic and four on the Getaway, and we would gladly embark on another one on either of these ships. We are eagerly looking forward to our winter crossing on the Joy in February, sort of. I'm not particularly excited about the cold weather during the initial part of the voyage, but it should improve as we get closer to Florida. During the corona lockdown, we had four TA's on the Escape canceled. We really want to experience another crossing on the Escape, hopefully in the near future.

 

I aim to wear shorts and flip-flops everyday on all my cruises. Ideally, we prefer to depart from the Mediterranean and arrive in Florida, or vice versa. As far as I recall, these crossings were predominantly filled with mild and warm sunny days and calm seas. We've departed from Southampton three times, and on each occasion, we encountered unfavorable sea and weather conditions. The conditions were rough, cold, and windy. However, on the inaugural sailings of the Escape and Encore from Southampton, the weather did improve the futher south we sailed.

I sailed from NYC to Southampton in early January and except for one night, smooth seas and not terribly cold. Of course it will be a little cold as it is January in the North Atlantic. Only one overnight were there rough seas.  We got a little snow one morning but the hardy deck walkers were out anyway

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Lots of info for you there.

 

I'll be on my 3rd TA in November 2024 from Miami to Southampton with NCL (Encore).

 

My first was with MSC from Rio de Janeiro to Marseille and I couldn't recommend MSC less for solo travellers, and my 2nd was with P&O from Barbados to Southampton. This trip was much better than MSC as there was a daily solo meet-up (only too early - 9 a.m. for my liking). 

 

I met some great people on both trips and I'm still in contact with a few of them.

 

I'm just off 11 nights with NCL (Epic) around the Med. This was my first time with NCL and it was a blast. 

 

I prefer east to west because I don't see the point of trying to sleep on a plane.

 

Weatherwise, I've been very lucky. Both TAs were in early spring and there was hardly a breeze with the Atlantic like a mill pond.

 

The worst part for me was the journey from Southampton up to Cheshire

 

Enjoy!

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On 11/1/2023 at 6:01 PM, luv2kroooz said:

We have had much better times on smaller ships. The logistics of getting 4,000 people on and off the ship in the unique European ports everyday can create bottlenecks and long lines both disembarking in the am and re-embarking in the pm. If you can only do the large ships, try to avoid itineraries with a late am arrival (11am) or early afternoon departure (4pm). It will be a much easier process if the ship arrives in port at 7 am and leaves after 6 pm. That said, our experiences on TA's has been wonderful and relaxing. We really enjoy being out at sea for many days in a row and have found the opportunity to talk with the crew more frequently. TA's are special cruises for the crew, too.

There are usually no port stops on a trans -Atlantic cruise, sometimes there is only one. The disadvantages of a large ship in a small port is negated here.

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1 hour ago, Pudgesmom said:

There are usually no port stops on a trans -Atlantic cruise, sometimes there is only one. The disadvantages of a large ship in a small port is negated here.

False. There are six NCL TA cruises sailing in the next month. Number of port stops range from a minimum of three to a maximum of ten. Ours from April 2023 had 8. None had zero port calls. Facts.

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