15 Night Transatlantic Cruise on the Zuiderdam
Hello MS Zuiderdam!
So we signed up for a Transatlantic Cruise. 15 Nights on a boat from Fort Lauderdale, USA to Civitavecchia, Italy. I know, I know. As independent travelers, we’ve long dodged the idea of mass market vacations and cruises, falsely assuming that it was for the lazy and unadventurous. So wrong. There were plenty of awesome adventures, and We had a blast! Regardless, making the decision was not easy. (15 nights on a ship? The first stop is on the 8th day?) But we knew Europe was the next leg for our trip, and after weighing out options and prices, taking this Transatlantic crossing was an experience we became more and more curious about. We found a great deal on Holland America’s Zuiderdam, and committed to the journey.
The night before sailing, we took a red-eye plane from LA and arrived in Ft. Lauderdale early in the morning. With several hours to kill before embarkation, Abraham found us a restaurant famous for Cuban sandwiches (when-in-Florida) and some good, strong coffee. We walked with our bags to the market and bought a couple bottles of wine to bring onboard, and after that took a taxi to the port.
As first timers, we were pretty impressed with how organized the whole operation was. We didn’t have very much luggage and fully expected to carry our own bags, but the porters were quick to collect them from us explaining they needed to be screened first, and will be delivered straight to our room. After that was a short line for processing and handing out of room keys, and within 30 minutes, we were allowed to board the ship.
Our cabin was on the Rotterdam Deck 7 and our bags were already there. We both nerd out for views and fresh air, and since it will be where we spend days and nights for the next 2+ weeks, we sprung for the Verandah cabin. The minute we stepped out to the balcony, we knew it was worth it. I’ll write about it in another post, but there is something very trippy about seeing only sky and water for many days in a row.
We felt the ship begin to move, so we joined the other passengers on the main deck and waved goodbye to Florida. The Zuiderdam is our home for the next 15 nights, and it will be 8 nights of sailing until we see land again. There is internet access available on the Zuiderdam but the per-minute rates were atrocious, so it would be reserved for emergencies. We wanted this time. The vast ocean was ever-present, and we are on our way to Europe by ship. There are sunrise and sunsets to wait for, photos to take and edit, books to read, stories to write, tutorials to complete, naps to take, next steps to plan. Extra happy, grateful, and stoked.