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05-04-2017 Notes from a transoceanic cruise

If you are looking for sheer relaxation a transoceanic cruise may be tough to beat. We recently completed a Miami to Barcelona cruise on Oceania’s Marina and found some things to share that may be helpful in planning for a transoceanic voyage. With so many days at sea, these cruises are more “ship-intensive,” if you will, than the more typical port intensive cruises we are more accustomed to enjoying.

In no particular order here are some things that may be helpful:

If you rely on the Internet to keep up with business or communications you may find buying an unlimited Internet package useful. e.g. on Marina, the early price of $22/day for 14 days is a total of $308. By day 6 we logged 960 minutes. At the package price of $160 for 200 minutes we’d have spent $800 half-way through the cruise. A la carte pricing, $.99/minute, was even more expensive. Not everyone has the same connectivity needs but an unlimited package could be a money saver.

On a related note, one of the prizes awarded during an event was free unlimited Internet for the remainder of the cruise. That one drew more oohs and aahs from the crowd and the winner was exuberant.

I should also add that the wireless service aboard Marina was the best we have experienced. Our cabin came with an HP laptop. We put that in a drawer and were happy campers with our iPads.

With so many days at sea your fitness center time may increase. Pack accordingly.

We found the four specialty restaurants onboard are busier on days at sea than on days in port when some take advantage of the opportunity to eat local. Reserve as far in advance as you can.

The restaurants on Oceania are always outstanding but so is the Grand Dining Room. It is never the consolation prize - the choice is simply themed-great or great.

We spent more time in our stateroom than a typical port intensive cruise. Not because we were bored but because we could work, prepare for the next event, nap, whatever we wanted. So stateroom selection may be more significant on a transoceanic cruise than otherwise. Particularly with regards to category and location.

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Uluru (Ayer's Rock), Australia. It’s curious to think that without a little rust, Uluru wouldn’t be red at all. This extraordinary rock formation rears abruptly from the heart of Australia’s dusty, russet desert and famously glows a fiery orange-red, especially at sunset. As you hike round the base of what’s probably the world’s largest monolith, think also about Uluru being made up of arkosic sandstone. This acquires its distinctive reddish hue when exposed to oxidation and the iron in the arkose rusts. So what color would this iconic, vivid chunk of rock be without a little chemical decay? A dismal, rather dull grey.