In the Middle of the Atlantic

01f5ad1273e01249ace376828b0566c03dd484827d_00001.jpgWe are now into our 3rd sea day since leaving Lisbon and are pretty much in the middle of the Atlantic. We passed the Azores yesterday afternoon. We have been heading due west but are now turned slightly south west towards Bermuda, days ahead. The sea has been amazingly calm, today almost glassy which is very pleasant. Temperatures are climbing, now in the high 70sF, around 26C. Today has been even warmer and we have spent all day, sunbathing on deck and swimming. We watched the afternoon movie on the big screen around one of the main pools: Mama Mia! So enjoyable…. I managed to avoid singing out loud, which I always normally do….
Yesterday I went swimming twice in one of the smaller pools on the aft decks. It’s very peaceful back there. For a long time it felt like I had the whole deck to myself. The ship is full but it is so vast you can always find lots of places to be alone. I even had the pool totally to myself.
Daytime activities on Princess are very different from daytime activities on P&O, the cruise line we are more familiar with – or at least more familiar taking long sea cruises with. We’ve cruised with Princess before but in the Mediterranean where nearly every day is a port day, which tends to absorb all your time on shore visits. This is the first time we have had lots of sea days with them. To be honest it is just as well that the weather is good and that we also enjoy reading because the daily programme is pretty shallow in comparison to P&O or Cunard. There are lots of quizzes, shopping opportunities, activities which turn out to be thinly disguised excuses to try and flog you something! There aren’t the enrichment activities we are used to and enjoy so much. Instead of art classes, there are the odd arts and crafts sessions, example: make a paper boat and try to sail it! Or napkin folding or make a paper rose….. not my cup of tea really. No amazing guest speakers. It’s a shame…
Having said that, the evening entertainment is amazing. All of the artists so far have been totally top drawer, from tv and the West End. Really enjoyable and a variety of acts. Tonight we have a singer just out of the male lead of We Will Rock You in London.
So, although we are enjoying this cruise very much, we would not choose Princess for a long sea cruise as we have done with Cunard and P&O. Princess are much better at what I guess is their core offering, one and two week, port intensive cruises where they wrap the ports up with great evening entertainment, a glitzy 5 star hotel of a ship and excellent and very plentiful food.
Cruising companions are mostly a mix of older Americans and Canadians with a smattering of us Brits. Quite a large contingent of Chinese Canadians aboard. Given the time of year, it is not surprising that there are only two children aboard so the amazing children’s decks and facilities are open for adults to relax in too.
It’s our second formal night tonight, so no doubt the dinner will be extra special too. Lobster I should think, for at least one choice.