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Transatlantic cruises late Oct. to mid-Nov. & Celebrity ship choice

Transatlantic cruises late Oct. to mid-Nov. & Celebrity ship choice

Dec 1st, 2014, 04:54 PM
  #1  
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Transatlantic cruises late Oct. to mid-Nov. & Celebrity ship choice

We are considering our first transatlantic cruise next fall on Celebrity's Equinox, Silhouette, or Constellation starting in Europe and ending in Fort Lauderdale. We have read many reviews but no one ever addresses the weather on those "at sea" days. Is it cold, rough, and windy or is it possible to relax around the outdoor pool? If anyone has been on several of these ships and prefers one over the others, we'd be interested in hearing those comments also. Thanks for your help!
Purdue74 is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2014, 07:52 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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I can't comment as to the transatlantic part, but I have been on the Constellation and the Solstice, which is the same "class" of ship as the Equinox. I'll be sailing on the Equinox next month.

The Constellation belongs to the "Millennium class" and the Solstice, Equinox and Silhouette (and a couple other ships) belong to the "Solstice class".

The Constellation is smaller and older than the Solstice class ships. When we sailed on it (granted, 5 years ago) it was well maintained and I had no complaints about it. The cruise we took on the Constellation has been my favorite one to date.

We sailed on the Solstice last year and in comparison to the Constellation, found the Solstice to be larger with a much larger percentage of cabins having balconies. There were more specialty restaurants and areas that the Constellation didn't offer like the lawn and hot glass show area. More lounges/bars and a bigger shopping area.

The Constellation has apparently undergone refurbishment to include some of the same amenities that the Solstice class ships have. The Constellation carries about 700 less passengers.

If everything was equal (itinerary, cost, schedule) I'd probably choose one of the Solstice class ships first. However, if those things skewed more favorably towards the Constellation, I wouldn't hesitate to sail on that ship again.
chepar is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2014, 02:01 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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We have done 3 transatlantic crossings and love the sea days! Weather can be very changeable year to year so it is difficult to give you an accurate analysis of a crossing. We did a crossing in Sept. and had some rough weather due to the aftermath of a hurricane. Missed a port stop.

Our most recent crossing was 2 years on the Constellation beginning of December and we loved the ship. It is smaller than some of the other ships we've been on but we prefer being on a ship w/ less passengers and find it is easier to navigate a smaller ship. I believe the Connie has recently undergone refurbishment. Everything was perfect, entertainment, food was good, we have a great balcony location. We had no complaints about the cruise. We flew to London and boarded the ship in Southampton (2 hr. trip from London), visited Paris (what a day in Paris), a day in Tenerife (Canary Islands) that was amazing. Tenerife was stunningly beautiful and one of our favorite places to visit. Our 8 days crossing were the smoothest we have had on our 3 crossings, weather was very warm and you could sit on the deck and enjoy. Everyone said we were crazy but the weather gods were with us for sure.

There is no magic ball for the weather on a crossing but you hope for the best. The sea days are very relaxing and there are many activities on board to keep you busy. I would suggest that you book a balcony cabin on a transatlantic as they are nice on the crossings. Sometimes the pool areas can be crowded if weather is nice so having a balcony is a big plus.

Hope this helps. I would be happy to answer any other questions as far as itinerary is concerned. Good luck.
Luv2travel15 is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2014, 03:29 PM
  #4  
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Thanks to both of you for taking the time to reply. The Equinox is 13 nights and starts in Barcelona. It then goes to Valencia and Malaga Spain, Lanzarote and Tenerife Canary Islands, and has 8 days at sea.
The Silhouette is 15 nights and leaves from near Rome. The other ports are Pisa (Livorno), Provence (Toulon) France, Barcelona and Palma De Mallorca Spain, and Tenerife Canary Islands. There are 9 at sea days. The Constellation is also 15 nights starting near Rome and traveling to Pisa, Cartagena Spain, Agadir Morocco, and Lanzarote and Tenerife Canary Islands. This cruise has 9 days at sea. Maybe someone can comment more on a ship choice from the ports they liked best. We were on the Reflection for a Mediterranean cruise this past fall and stayed in Rome 3 nights at that time. All of the other ports on these itineraries would be new to us. We definitely will book a balcony. We had one off the back of the Reflection. I have read to "book a balcony (location) for warmth" on trans-Atlantic cruises.
Purdue74 is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2014, 03:33 PM
  #5  
 
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Excellent info on something we have been thinking about.
TPAYT is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2014, 06:07 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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We've done two crossings, one on the Cunard Queen Victoria, New York to Southampton, and one on Celebrity Eclipse, Ft Lauderdale to Southampton, the first in mid-March and the second early April.

The Cunard crossing was standard 8-day southern route, NYC to just west of Portugal then north to UK. We had many sunny days but not warm enough to swim, I don't think the pool was open. Very nice to lounge in a deck chair with a blanket over your legs and a steward serving hot drinks (or whatever).

The Celebrity crossing was 12-day with stops in the Bahamas, Bermuda and Azores. Much warmer than the Cunard crossing until we started heading north after the Azores. If you liked the Reflection, you will like the Equinox (we also took a Med cruise on the Reflection). Both the pools were open, the enclosed adults-only pool was better for swimming.

I recommend an Aqua class balcony stateroom as it includes a few perks, the best of which, imo, is use of the Blu restaurant for breakfast and dinner--smaller, quieter with better views and food than the MDR, which you can still use if you wish.

All your choices are southerly routes so have about an equal chance of warm weather. I've not been to Morocco or the Canaries, we're doing another crossing in April, Reflection this time, 16 days west to east, which stops in the Canaries, two ports in Spain, Nice, Livorno and debarks Rome. I'm looking forward to Tenerife, mainly because my husband used to holiday there years ago and wants to show me the island.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2014, 07:03 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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I forgot to mention that you should really try to get a port side balcony as it makes a difference on the crossing. We had starboard on one crossing and didn't have any afternoon sun. As Cathinjoe has indicated, all of your 3 cruises will be southerly routes so you should have some decent sunny weather. No guarantee! Your cruise dates are earlier than our last one which was December.

If it were my choice I would opt for the 15 nights as it's nice to spend so much time aboard. You will have one more sea day also. I also look at the # of port stops as this all factors into your cruise price.

http://cruiseline.com/ship/celebrity.../review/383785

"Being the fourth ship of her class, Constellation is powered by Gas Turbines and manouvered via Mermaid Pods designed by Rolls Royce. For a vessel of her size, the well worn expression "can turn on a dime" would seem to be an exaggeration. However, this ship is supremely capable of the highest degree of manouvererability I've ever experienced. Leaving the port of Vigo, Spain, the largest natural harbour in the world, unless you focused on the mountains or buildings you would never sense that the vessel had turned 180 degrees and was moving toward the open sea. The harbour at Vigo is so large, it took one hour to sail from the quay to the open sea." (comments from a cruiser on Constellation)

Note: Constellation is a 7 day crossing and 2 sea days between ports.

Equinox is also a 7 day crossing and 1 sea day between ports, and only a 13 day cruise.

Silhouette is 15 day cruise and 7 day crossing w/ 2 sea days between ports. Unless you care about the price of the 3 cruises, pick the itinerary you like best or compare the price per cruise of each cruise bearing in mind that Equinox is only 13 day. We like the most days we can get on a transatlantic! LOL

If I were choosing, looking at the 3 itineraries I would lean towards the Silhouette. I really like that itinerary and you said you have been to Rome before so unless you wanted to arrive Rome to do sightseeing, Rome wouldn't be a big deal to me. However, you can never get enough of Rome!

If you haven't been to Florence that is an amazing port stop, so much to see and do and it's difficult in a day. We took a tour with the ship to Florence. It is about 1.5 hr. drive from the port.


Palma de Mallorca looks like an interesting port stop, we haven't been there but it looks like a Moorish city.

We have been to Barcelona and loved it.

I have had Provence, France on my wish list but not been there. The French Riviera is so beautiful to see. I would book a private tour guide and see as much as you can of the countryside. There are some nice reviews on TA you can look at. I have booked a couple of private tours in France on our cruises.

You would only have the 1 day in Tenerife but you would be seeing so many other beautiful ports. Again, you can book a private tour guide and take the trip up to Mt. Teide, views are outstanding at the top. We loved this day in Tenerife.

There you have it, some nice choices. I think that I would try and narrow down my choices and at least book a cabin now before the good ones are gone. You can always cancel and change if you want. Again, bear in mind that the Connie is going to be much smaller than either of the other 2 so you can decide if you want bigger or smaller. I would be happy to give u my email address if you want more detailed info on any of the ports.
Luv2travel15 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2014, 11:03 AM
  #8  
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Appreciated finding more information online today! Do you like to use cruisecompete.com or what online sites having you had good luck with booking? What about the flights? We have frequent flier miles we'd like to use on American but wonder if it works better to use Celebrity's air deal, since we don't arrive and leave from the same airport?
Purdue74 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2014, 11:37 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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We've used both Celebrity's air partner, http://www.celebritycruises.com/html...rity-choiceair and air miles. Just get quotes and compare.

I think we paid $900 per person one way, London to Boston, Virgin Atlantic premium economy. (We were traveling in the States for 5 weeks before we sailed out of Lauderdale). This was March 2014.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2014, 12:25 PM
  #10  
 
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I have successfully used Cruise Compete for a few cruises and have been pleased with their services. We booked our last cruise (transatlantic Constellation) with the agency that offered the best bid and got some great perks. I do my homework first on prices, etc. and then submit a bid on CC. I then compare what the agency offerings are (on board credits, any Celebrity free (1-2-3) offers, although these are not generally available on transatlantic crossings. Sometimes the CC offers are not any better than booking w/ another internet agency.

I have also booked our air thru Celebrity Choice and had good luck doing so. I have read others not had good luck. We fly out of Boston so we can usually get good flights and I try to find non-stops. Again, do your homework. I have found prices to be very competitive w/ Choice Air as well. Sometimes you will get better prices if you do a one-way trip for both flights. For some reason I have found prices much higher when doing an Open Jaw flight. Just price both and see which comes up better. Sometimes I have found pricing the return trip home from FL gets better prices if you go to Jet Blue or SW, etc. and price the one way. If u have AA miles, then you can see what u can do for flights.

Here's an article on using cruise lines air program u might like to read. I have also read that many people have had problems when booking thru Choice Air, etc. but as I said have used them a few times w/ no problems.
http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=60

Hope this helps.
Luv2travel15 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2014, 07:16 AM
  #11  
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Thanks for the above information. I am leaning toward the Silhouette. We would fly to Rome the day before the ship leaves. We would not need to do any sightseeing, since we spent 3 nights there in Oct. I would not splurge on the same hotel. I would now appreciate help with hotel options, transportation to the ship, and which company do you like for private tours in the ports (if we don't go with Celebrity's)? We used Viatour in Oct. to get to the ship. We wanted to board earlier than the Celebrity shuttle would have gotten us on the ship and were picked up at our hotel (rather than needing to get to Celebrity's meeting place).
Purdue74 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2014, 08:34 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 495
Good Choice! But u can't go wrong w/ any of the 3. I just think this is a fabulous itinerary and when I comped it out the price per night was almost the same for all 3.

I would be happy to try and give you private tour info while in the ports. I do have a couple of guides that I can recommend for France and will look up for you.

That would work well for you if you arrived Rome the night before. If you don't want to tour Rome then how about going directly to Civitavechhia after your arrival flight and spend the day before there? Our friends did this as they had been to Rome several times and didn't want to re-visit. I would not necessarily book Viator as they are just a booking agent and not tour guides.

You could stay in Rome and spending a relaxing day before and then take the train to the port or see if you can share a ride w/ others going on your cruise. This is what we did. I found a private limo driver and got 4 others to share the ride and it was very reasonable doing this. We have never taken the train because we always have too much luggage. LOL I can give you directions for the train if this is your choice. I can put together a Word doc w/ lots of info for you so you can look at your leisure. Your brain will be on overload otherwise.

Once you make your decision about which ship, I would be happy to assist you w/ tours, etc. You have plenty of time for that but I do recommend booking tour guides early because the most popular ones always book quickly. I have a couple of internet agencies I can give you to check prices as well. I would definitely suggest the cruise compete agency as well.

I found several nice hotels in Civit you could stay at. The problem w/ the ship shuttles is you have to wait for everyone! We've done this before and don't like waiting around. You can work out all these things once you book.

I'm not sure how to give you my email address on this website. Perhaps someone can advise me and I send you info via email. You can do a private message on Trip Advisor and I like that feature.
Luv2travel15 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2014, 06:18 PM
  #13  
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Luv2travel15--sounds good. Thanks again for your help. Will keep checking back in hopes that someone can advise you on the e-mail deal.
Purdue74 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2014, 10:55 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Hi Purdue, just seeing how things are progressing on your cruise selection. Did you make a decision yet? I am still happy to assist you in any way w/ tours, etc. Let me know and I'll see how we can connect via email.
Luv2travel15 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2014, 05:20 PM
  #15  
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Thanks for not forgetting me! In the next few days we plan to put a message on cruisecompete.com to start pricing the Silhouette. We are a couple traveling with our adult daughter. We might have enough FF miles to use for the flight, but she does not. We first wanted to check air prices but found out the return is not in the system yet. Today we decided to go ahead and work on a cabin so we get a portside balcony that accommodates 3. We hope we can cancel and get our money back, if the air is outrageous since it is not round-trip Rome-to-Rome.
Purdue74 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2014, 03:01 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Hi Purdue, glad you are making progress. You should get immediate responses from the Cruise Compete agencies bidding on the Silhouette. Sometimes you will have quite a few and other times only 4 or 5 agencies. After they all come back I print the quotes out and sit and compare the prices, any OBC, and any other perks offered. You can actually call the agencies and ask specific questions you want answered. It is a simple process. Once you make your selection you can book the cruise and make the down payment required.

Yes, you should be able to cancel within the designated final payment date for the cruise. If you cancel before the final pay date then you should receive a refund. Make sure you read the booking terms.

As I explained in my other post, pricing air can be daunting but keep pricing on Choice Air and see what they are offering. Once you book the air it is more difficult to cancel. If you are taking insurance, read the cancel terms as well.

Let me know how you make out with CC and we can move to the next step.
What city are you flying out of? Forgot to ask you before.

Have a nice weekend.

May
Luv2travel15 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2014, 03:16 PM
  #17  
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Luv2Travel--We fly out of Indianapolis. We do have a few replies from cruisecompete.com. Trying to plan a trip and getting ready for Christmas at the same time is not ideal! Of course the day we need to fly out is not available with our FF miles. Choice Air prices were much better than what we were seeing on airline sites so we were pleasantly surprised. We are also debating whether to spend the night before the cruise in Rome or at the port. We do feel like we covered sightseeing in Rome for 3 days in Oct.
Purdue74 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2014, 06:22 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 495
Yes, it is hectic this time of year w/ Christmas preparations, etc. I am trying to finish up my shopping and then do baking!

If you feel that you have spent 3 days in Rome recently then I think I would opt to find a hotel in Civi and spend your day there. There are things to see there. I found some hotels there as well and thought some were quite nice.

If you feel too pressured w/ Christmas prep, I would suggest that you just wait and tackle your cruise after the first of the year.

I am more than happy to assist you w/ your planning. I would like to exchange emails w/ you and we can continue privately rather than posting. One suggestion I have is for you to do a post on Trip Advisor in the cruise section and I can send you a private message w/ my email. This would allow us to exchange emails at least. I have lots of info I can give you. You can use your same screen name or take a different one.

Have a good day.
Luv2travel15 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2014, 03:48 PM
  #19  
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Luv2travel15--As of yesterday, we booked a cabin on the Silhouette! That part is checked off our list and we can worry about air, after Christmas. I looked on Trip Advisor and am not sure where I am supposed to post. I saw a cruise forum to click on but did not see a place to write a message. Does not look as user friendly as this. Maybe you can guide me to where I am supposed to be on Trip Advisor, at your convenience. I know this is a busy time for us all and now that we got the cabin we wanted, we can ease up a bit. I'll check back on here from time-to-time...and thank you for your kind offer to give us some suggestions to consider on hotels and excursions.
Carol
Purdue74 is offline  
Dec 17th, 2014, 05:43 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Hi Carol, Awesome! Now you can breathe a bit. Just relax til after Christmas and then start looking at air.

Trip Advisor - It is easy to use their website. However, I forgot that if you select the "cruises" forums it will bounce you to the Cruise Critic Boards as they are now part of the Trip Advisor website. Sorry for the confusion.

Here is the easy way to sign up on TA.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/
open this link and at top right you will see "join". Click that and sign up. You don't need Google or Facebook to join. Fill out info requested and give yourself a screen name (just as you do here). Use same name or pick another one. That's it, you are good to go and ready to post.

You can post on any of the forums, just don't do Cruise Critic yet. That can overwhelm you. Pick Europe forums, then any country, and post (Ask a Question). Perhaps you want to start w/ Rome and do a short post on what to do in Civitavecchia. You will get responses same as on this forum. Difference is that on TA you can do private messages and contact the person directly.

If you don't feel like doing this now you can try after the first of the year! You got a cruise booked! Yeh.

May
Luv2travel15 is offline  

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