We got the following question from a MudGuide fan after his having read Seabourn Quest: Crossing with Cruisers …
Hello. Thanks for the review of the transatlantic crossing on Quest. Four of us are scheduled to do this next April, from Ft. lauderdale. We are interested in your “weather” experience. Was it warm enough, for example, to sit on your balcony and have coffee in the morning and cocktails in the afternoon? Did you feel the temperature gradually begin to drop as you got closer to Europe? Were you able to use the pool, or was the weather too chilly? We recognize that weather can be dicey and good for one crossing and not so good for the next, but we would find your take on the temperature and the seas to be helpful. Thank you very much for your consideration.
So here’s the information that we shared…
Congratulations on choosing a transitioning cruise ship. The weather, as you note, will depend on a variety of factors, not all of which can be anticipated. One big variable is your destination. If you are going to Portugal, Spain, or a Mediterranean port, then the ship will probably follow a central Atlantic route that goes from Florida to or near the Bahamas, Azores, or Funchal and then on to Europe. This route is far more temperate than a North Atlantic crossing, which would be the case if your destination port is in the UK or Northern Europe. In that case, transitioning cruise ships usually work their way up the US-Canadian Atlantic seaboard before crossing more or less directly to Europe.
That said, we have made three crossings from Florida to Lisbon or Barcelona and the weather has been different each time. There are usually several days of very nice weather in the middle of the cruise where you can hang out on your balcony or the many open areas of the ship in a early-summer beach-like setting. It is also quite possible that you will encounter rain and swells in the mid-Atlantic that will force a retreat to inside venues for several days. We found both Seabourn and Crystal ship layout and crew optimized for all weather conditions. however. So, for example, the main pool and jacuzzis are all heated so even if it is raining, windy, or chilly, those venues are a lot of fun and the staff will keep you well lubricated against the elements should you so desire. Sitting out at night in the mid-Atlantic is also very pleasant and the crew will again supply you with nice blankets to take off the chill as well as hot drinks.
The outside spaces are designed to allow some seating around the covered peripheries even in a downpour, although a strategic withdrawal to interior bars or cabins at some point in a squall would probably be wise. For a spring crossing, the warmest part of the trip will be the immediate days after leaving Florida and during the transit of the central Atlantic. After the Azores or Funchal, the European continent will start to being temperatures down (at least in our experience). On the other hand, the period when the ship moves from the deep mid-Atlantic to the European continental shelf is the best time to see wild life.
We have seen numerous porpoises and even whales in the last couple of days of sailing before docking in Lisbon or transiting the Straights of Gibraltar. It is important to keep in mind that a transition is the least “cruisy” of cruises with many consecutive days out of sight of land and no ports of call at night. This aspect is what gives the voyage an “out of time” ambiance. Unlike the Caribbean or the Med., it is possible that you will encounter significant weather, but that is also part of the experience. Once again the crew is adept at dealing with motion sickness or other weather associated physical complaints.
Please accept MudGuide’s heartiest bon voyage for your upcoming transatlantic voyage and do not hesitate to send us more questions as they occur to you.
And here’s what our fan said about our response:
The cruise would be Seaborn’s Quest from Ft. Laud. direct to Barcelona, with only one stop. So your advice was spot on. Thanks again.
Here are some photos from our Seabourn Quest voyage. Enjoy.