Caribbean Cruise Part 7: Crossing the Atlantic to the UK

To read the previous instalment (Antigua): click here

Crossing the Atlantic
Wed 28 March 3pm

P&O Cruise Ship Arcadia, originally uploaded by garybembridge. Click on the photo or links to view all the photos

Today is the first of 5 days crossing the Atlantic from Antigua to the Atlantic island of Madeira, where we stop for half a day before carrying on for 3 days to Southampton (our final stop).

We woke during the night noticing that it was fairly “rocky”. Although the sea looks pretty calm especially versus the huge waves experience crossing the Atlantic on the QE2, there is apparently a swell causing the ship to pitch and roll more than the sea would suggest. The pool at the back of the ship was great fun to swim in as it was like swimming in a pool with a wave machine!

I took a video of it to illustrate the water slopping back and forth.

It was very overcast like it had been in Antigua but a warm 25 degrees Celsius so we are lying on the deck as I wrote this. It is now starting to clear and so off for another swim in the swirling pool.

Saturday 31 March 1:45pm

So it is now our 4th day at sea and we are into the 2nd half of our holiday. Last night we crossed the half point on our trip to Madeira. We are right out in the middle of the Atlantic and so the only thing to look at is the sea of course! We did see a large oil tanker type ship passing us in the other direction yesterday during the day.

As I write this I am sitting on the deck sunning myself (again). It is warm (and 24 degrees) but there has been a Force 7 wind, which makes it pretty “blowy”. It was a Force 6 yesterday, but was overcast and drizzling. They closed the decks for a while yesterday morning as it was too windy but opened them. Today if you sit in areas that are protected from the wind it is very pleasant.

The sea got pretty rough on our 1st day at sea and due to the swell the ship was a bit rolling so they made some people feel a bit queasy. I have not really felt any real effect of the sea (so far!).

The sea today was actually looking choppier than on the other days due to the wind but the Arcadia is not really moving about that much. Maybe we are also more used to it? Take a look at the video and see how windy etc it was…

Our table at dinner is on the lower level of the huge 2 level Meridien Restaurant, and right at the back which in theory should make it one of the most “moving parts” of the ship as ships move up and down front to back as they work through the waves.

People often seem to avoid trips with a lot of sea days like on this trip (5 and then 3). It is amazing just how fast the days go and you run out of time to do everything planned. The other good thing is you can just lie in and get up when you want with no pressure to rush to join booked trips. Lying in is just not possible when you have port-to-port back-to-back trips, as even if you have nothing booked all the announcements being made will wake you up anyway.

The days at sea have, so far anyway, consisted of lying in the sun, eating, going to the gym and more lying about. The evenings are late as we are on 2nd sitting (8.30pm) and then usually either watch one of the shows (last night was the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber, which was fabulous) or gambling. Doing ok on the gambling front, mostly been playing Blackjack and the slot machines.

P&O Cruise Ship Arcadia, originally uploaded by garybembridge. Click on the photo or links to view all the photos
Final instalment: coming soon..

Gary Bembridge

I grew up in Zimbabwe, but I have been based in London since 1987. My travel life spans more than three decades and that includes more than 95 cruises. In 2005, I launched Tips for Travellers to make it easy and fun for people to discover, plan and enjoy incredible cruise vacations. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have the largest cruise vlogger channel currently on YouTube, with more than 3 million video views per month.

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