Do Your Research

My top advice would be to do your research before booking, and read reviews from people who have traveled on the cruise line and even better still, on the same route as the one you’re interested in. Check out to read reviews of the vessel from people who have traveled on it before.

Bring entertainment

On transatlantic repositioning cruises, you’ll be spending at least six days at sea. Certain cruise lines will add some additional activities to occupy passengers on all those consecutive sea days, but you’ll still find yourself with lots of free time on board. Bring lots of reading materials and toys for your kids. You might want to load up your iPad or Kindle, or pack books you can leave behind once you’ve finished them.

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Pack carefully

Depending on your itinerary, the weather can be unpredictable. Our Atlantic crossing was in April, so the weather was mild and relatively warm. Even though it was warm sunbathing weather in both the Caribbean and Spain during our visit, it got rather windy and cold when we were in the upper decks during the crossing. If you’re traveling from the UK to New York, or in cooler months, remember to layer up. We also needed our jackets and trekking shoes on the top of Mount Teide on Tenerife.

Know the dress code

Most transatlantic cruises have gala evenings (usually at the start and end of the crossing) where guests are expected to dress in formal wear — tux for men and evening gowns for women. I didn’t bother bringing an evening gown, but I did carry a few short dresses. You can’t pop out to a shop if you’ve forgotten to pack a nice dress, though the ship shops will stock formalwear.

Pack seasickness medication

Seas can be rough; remember to pack Dramamine. I only used it once, on day one of the crossing. Most ships only offer them at the reception.

Set your time

This depends on which way you’re traveling on your transatlantic cruise. If you cruise westward like we did, you’ll wind up with a handful of 25-hour days. Going east? You get cheated of an hour, with some 23-hour days. In either case, you get to avoid jet lag on any Atlantic crossing.

transatlantic cruises