A Tale of Two Transatlantic Cruises

Cruising has always fueled the imagination with dreams of far-flung destinations, and 2020’s unimaginable pause in cruising has amplified those dreams tenfold. It is very likely that we took this indulgent mode of travel for granted … but never again. Only when it was taken away from us could we fully appreciate the privilege of high-seas travel.

Destinations can play an important part in our cruise decisions, but I realized long ago that sometimes just getting away from it all, with nowhere in sight, is just as appealing. For those with a propensity to seek total relaxation, these extended types of cruises are an easy sell. That said, I like to think of myself as a spry, young-at-heart, 40-year-old cruise aficionado. (I like to think that, but reality bites with the fact that my mid-life era passed some 20 years ago.) I’m not one to buy into the idea that I’m supposed to sail quietly into the golden years with cruise selections that reflect a sedentary lifestyle. So then what could I possibly be thinking in choosing two transatlantic cruises with a majority of the days spent at sea.

Today’s Holland America Line has taken on the challenge of implementing a peppy, more buoyant appeal while upholding its hallmark reputation of first-class cruising, ideal for a transatlantic voyage. And if you’re looking for a dose of pure luxury complemented by an all-inclusive upscale experience, coming home from Europe with Crystal Cruises is a very astute choice.

Sea-juvenation with Holland America

Encouraged by recommendations from like-minded friends about their experience aboard Holland America’s Koningsdam, I figure a two-week slow boat journey would fill the prescription for an invigorating springtime reboot. This wouldn’t be my first rodeo with multiple days at sea. I would board in Ft. Lauderdale, aim for Rome, and disembark a New Me.

The black-hulled beauty had earned stellar acclaim since its debut in 2016, and as first impressions go, I am immediately impressed by this energetically charged vessel with a rhythmic pulse. This cruise would provide the perfect opportunity to start a procrastinated fitness regimen, one easily put off by lame excuses at home. Taking the reins on day one, the New Me saddles up on a high-tech elliptical in the ship’s exceptionally well-equipped gym. Ear buds in and new sneakers on, I’m out of the chute on a calorie-burning quest to offset the cruise’s inevitable adult beverage and culinary intake.

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As a former Cruise Director, Steve has been cruising the world for the past forty years. Bringing a new dimension to cruise journalism, he continues to spin the globe searching for off the grid cruise adventures and unplugged destinations to share with Porthole Cruise Magazine readers.