Malcolm and I have set sail on a thirteen night Transatlantic cruise to South Hampton, England, aboard the Celebrity Eclipse. This cruise is commonly referred to as a “re-positioning” cruise, which means that there will be lots of sea days and very few ports of call. Most cruise lines re-position some of their ships to Europe in April and bring them back to the US in October each year. Fares on re-positioning cruises are significantly reduced and comparable to the price of a flight, so we took advantage of the opportunity to travel leisurely and economically to England.
Some folks feel a bit unsettled at the thought of having so many days at sea, but Malcolm and I establish a routine and settle in quickly to make it memorable, not mundane. If you are wondering how we do that, read the following list of our favorite things to do.
We chose the ship, for it’s final destination, which opened up a variety of choices. There were other options, but we like cruising with Celebrity and also wanted to experience the Eclipse. Additional travel choices (as narrowed by us) included; take a train to London and fly home, rent a car and drive the countryside, or board another ship. The “board another ship” option got my vote. We found a cruise (which is port intensive) that leaves South Hampton for a tour of the British Isles just two days after we arrive. We have never spent time in Scotland or Ireland, so this will be a new adventure. This cruise will present a “taste” of the British Isles, which will whet our appetite for more, or it will be just enough. We’ll see.
As usual, Malcolm has the trip itinerary well organized into two small binders that contain boarding documents, tour tickets, hotel confirmations, train reservations, dinner reservations, and return flight information. Our “to do” list for the past two weeks included the following:
While we were busy making decisions about our trip, Malcolm diligently watched the price of both cruises. As expected, the fares dropped several times on each cruise and we received an up-grade or a credit for the price reduction. We are now in a balcony cabin on both cruises with enough on board credit to offset some expenses. I think this is pretty amazing considering we started with an inside cabin on one cruise and a sea view (porthole) on the other. Your travel agent should alert you to discounts, but if you want to take full advantage of each price reduction or special offers, it is advisable to call the cruise line directly and discuss your options with a representative.
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