To celebrate our mom's 80th birthday, my sister and brother-in-law's 40th wedding anniversary and me and my husband's 25th anniversary we decided on a cruise. We started in Harwich and were surprised by rough seas on our first "at sea" day. Our first stop in La Rochelle was great and the weather was better than expected. Our second stop in Gijon, Spain was also delightful. That evening, though, we got caught in what we later found was described as the "storm of the century" in Britain. Walking on board was challenging with the winds estimated at over 82 MPH (hurricane force) and waves from 45-50 feet. The storm went on all night. The Captain later said he had been in some bad weather but this was among them and another officer thought the storm was magnificent. Luckily our family weathered it well but it was quite the experience. Unfortunately we arrived three hours late in Vigo so had to forego seeing Santiago de Compostela which was a big disappointment as that was one of the highlights we wanted to see.
I enjoyed the transatlantic and that part of the sailing was much smoother, but I still enjoy itineraries that offer more sightseeing. We are not to the point of wanting quite so many days at sea. We did have some excellent entertainment on board via a test program called Cruising with the Classics. This featured Brooke Aehron and an up and coming flautist. Hopefully this program will continue. All in all we had a wonderful time.