Research is a good thing…mostly.

The rains have come (and sometimes with attitude). The lawn and the garden are very happy with that and it has helped keep our watering bill down. The rain barrels and overflow barrels are full which is good because the heat seems to be on its way this week (mid-July 2022).

So time is certainly going by and in a somewhat orderly fashion. As I had mentioned in a previous post, many things will happen before the cruise. I wasn’t wrong…so far.

Out anniversary just passed and 45 years has just…disappeared. The kids grown and grandkids growing in a similar mode as our weeds (except we Really Love the grandkids…weeds not so much).

Only 3 months (and a little) til we board the plane. And THAT has become its own challenge.

Originally we had a low-cost flight arranged from Edmonton to Toronto to Barcelona. TO is not the most sought after connection but as I said, the whole flight was quite cheap. BUT…Air Canada, in their infinite wisdom, let us know that our flight to TO had changed. It was now going to take place a half hour earlier. Wellllll…that’s ok. Actually made the travel day a little easier.

What they did NOT POINT OUT was the second part of the flight (you know…to Barcelona where we get on the ship) was cancelled entirely. No reason or rationale and no real notification as they did with the time change.


That, effectively, leaves us stranded in TO with no connection to Spain. Did they expect us to swim perhaps? Anyway…long, long story short, we looked high and low for a solution. Finally found that we could fly a day earlier DIRECT to Amsterdam (from Edmonton…note, No Toronto) through KLM and get a same day connection on to Barcelona (also note, No Air Canada!). (With that upgrade (so to speak) of course comes extra cost. Again, Thank You Air Canada!) That leaves us with getting an extra day in Barcelona.

Having that extra day is certainly not a bad thing at all. We had planned on three nights in Barcelona prior to embarkation anyway. Loyalty points used means that hotel stay (more on that will come on actual arrival) cost us nothing. The only issue now was we needed the extra night. The loyalty points came into play again, same hotel just not the same room and we’re good to go. As we get closer to departure, we’ll contact the hotel directly to see if we can possibly get the same room for all four nights. It really is a NICE room. 🙂

Never having been on such a long cruise (26 days on the ship) and never having done any kind of cross-ocean version of a cruise suggested further investigation.

Research is a good thing…mostly. YouTube has proved itself to be a great way to have some insight. But…with insight comes both the good and the bad. In all fairness, just about everything that was mentioned about Trans-Atlantic crossings was exactly as we had expected. There will likely be ‘ups and downs’ (yes…bad pun…sue me. 🙂 ) and the temperatures will not be conducive to spending a lot of time in the pools or hot tubs. However, the time allowed to simply do…whatever or nothing…is tremendous.

Weather is almost certainly going to be some kind of factor. It IS the Atlantic Ocean after all. With that in mind should also come the reassurance that ocean cruise ships today are Very Well equipped to handle just about anything Mother Nature flings its way. Long-range radar that will apprise the crew of when and where a storm may be developing, allowing time to change course. Stabilizers to help keep the ship on a (fairly) even keel. And if you’re REALLY concerned, a LOT more (and much bigger!) lifeboats than the Titanic had on hand.

This will be our fourteenth ocean cruise. Have we had inclement weather? Yes a few times. Have we ever had the ship move noticeably because of same? Yes, twice. Have we ever experienced sea-sickness or had to stay in our stateroom because of bad weather? Nope. In fact, the worst one was off the west coast of South America. They drained the pool and closed off a couple of decks. I still managed to go up as far as I could (as a passenger) and get some rather impressive video of Large (Very Large) waves. I’m a guy that (honestly) has major issues with roller-coasters. So much so, I don’t do them, at all. Ever. This experience should have been one of Major Concern to yours truly. Being perfectly honest I was more than a little surprised at how well both the ship and I handled the waves. No problems for either of us.

One of the Main reasons we love cruising so much is the opportunities it provides to visit many different countries, cultures, people, history and food. BUT…cruising (on sea days, no ports of call involved) also presents an unparalleled excuse to just sit back and totally relax. No rush to DO anything. Food and drink are but a wave of the hand away. Accommodations are always ready when you are. Entertainment is all around. Exercise facilities await your arrival (although on a VACATION, I personally see no reason to torture my body). Your choices are many.

More work to do on this website, but more postings will come as we get ever closer to the Much Anticipated departure date! 🙂

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