This post will have nothing to do with e-discovery or computer forensics, so feel free to pass it by. I write this from 37°36.83’ N latitude and 025°40.65 W longitude, which puts me in the Azores, the first land I’ve seen in days, and a sign that Lisbon is less than a thousand miles away. There are a fast diminishing two miles of Atlantic Ocean beneath our keel as we make way at 20 knots in light-to-moderate seas.
Though I would love to report that we are crossing under sail and I am at the helm; in fact, my wife and I are aboard the Royal Caribbean vessel, Liberty of the Seas on our 30th cruise and third Atlantic crossing. We are using the Liberty as a means to get across the pond and enjoy some quick stops in Lisbon, Seville and Barcelona before making our way north to the Netherlands to catch a flower parade in Haarlem and roam Holland and Belgium by car.
We love going to and from Europe by ship. There’s no jet lag, and it costs less than flying while delivering a far more civilized experienced than a seat in any carrier’s first class cabin. Plus, there is nothing more relaxing than a week in the open ocean with no land in sight save brief glimpse of Bermuda. No port stops. No tenders. No excursions. And after so many cruises, no abiding need to attend any towel folding seminars or magic shows. No compulsion to ride the surf simulator one more time or tour the bridge. Been there. Done that.
Instead, I’ve enjoyed sleeping in, taking breakfast in the cabin and watching tons of movies. A cruise vacation can be almost anything you want it to be. It can be a social experience, or a private one. You can eat, drink and gamble like a Barbary pirate or eat spa cuisine, take Pilates and enjoy a state-of-the-art workout facility. There’s live music of all sorts, and something to do (or ignore) from dawn to midnight. There are lectures and pickup basketball games and production shows. Food is served at some venue aboard at any time, so you needn’t be a slave to the ship’s schedule.
But there is no shuffleboard, and you can skip bingo, if you wish.
If you’d like to learn more about the cruising experience, my wife contributes to a site called Cruisecritics.com under the handle “Artemis;” so, read her thorough (and thoroughly enjoyable) reviews there. Here is our cruising experience, in case you’re seeking information on a particular vessel or line:
1. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) Liberty of the Seas – Transatlantic – April 2013
2. Celebrity Reflection – Holidays 2012
3. RCCL Freedom of the Seas – Western Caribbean – June 2012
4. RCCL Splendour of the Seas – Brazil & Argentina – Spring Break 2012
5. Pacific Sunrise – Whitsundays, Australia – November 2011
6. Cunard Queen Mary II – Westbound Transatlantic – July 2011
7. RCCL Oasis of the Seas Eastern Caribbean – Spring Break 2011
8. Celebrity Summit – Bermuda – August 2010
9. Celebrity Solstice – Eastern Caribbean – Spring Break 2010
10. Carnival Conquest – Western Caribbean – Holidays 2008
11. RCCL Liberty of the Seas – Eastern Caribbean – August 2008
12. Caribbean Princess – Eastern Caribbean – Spring Break 2008
13. Turkish Blue Cruise – Mediterranean – July 2007
14. RCCL Liberty of the Seas – 2-night pre-inaugural – May 2007
15. Grand Princess – Western Caribbean – Thanksgiving 2006
16. Carnival Conquest -– Western Caribbean – June 2006
17. Sun Princess – Southern Caribbean – Holidays 2005
18. Holland America Rotterdam – Baltics – July 2005
19. Carnival Miracle – Western Caribbean – June 2005
20. Abercrombie & Kent Sun Boat IV – Nile, Egypt – June 2004
21. Celebrity Millennium – Mediterranean – June 2004
22. RCCL Mariner of the Seas – Eastern Caribbean – Holidays 2003
23. RCCL Serenade of the Seas – Westbound Transatlantic – Maiden 08/04/03
24. Star Princess – Mexican Riviera – Holidays 2002
25. Dawn Princess – Alaska – July 2002
26. Norwegian Cruise Lines Star – Hawaii – June 2002
27. RCCL Rhapsody of the Seas – Western Caribbean – Holidays 2001 (TX-to-Aruba)
28. RCCL Rhapsody of the Seas – Western Caribbean – Holidays 2001 (Aruba-to-FL)
29. RCCL Explorer of the Seas – Eastern Caribbean – Holidays 2000
30. Norwegian Cruise Lines Sea – Western Caribbean – Holidays 2099