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Jana
September 6th, 2006, 08:40 AM
Hi,

Iím onboard Wind Surf right now. We boarded on Sunday but between activities and Internet / satellite woes I havenít been able to post until now.

The ship is lovely, the new bedding is fabulous and really makes the room look classy. The new mattresses and duvets are elegant and comfy. Most of the Degrees of Difference upgrades have already taken place in the staterooms, with the Bose iPod dock (heavenly), the flat screen TV (itís awesome, but mine has one dead pixel thatís driving me crazy!) and the yummy LíOccitane bath products.

When the ship goes into dry dock in November, most of the improvements will not be visible but rather beneath decks. There will be some major improvements though that will be readily apparent.

1. The bathrooms are going to be completely redone, with new lighting, granite counters, new fixtures, new shower and toilet enclosures. They ďpromisedĒ that they would leave the wood alone, though.

2. Two big suites will be added where the conference room and business center are now, and the Nautilus room will become a conference center. I didnít ask if the suites will have verandahs but since they are at the very top of the ship, I bet they do.

3. The library will be expanded and turned into an active ďcenterĒ of the ship, with a cafe, books, listening stations etc. similar to the Explorations Cafe on HAL ships.

4. The Bistro will be renamed Degrees.

5. New carpeting will be added where needed and the exterior stairways will get new decking and a coat of paint.

Iím writing this offline but Iíll come back later, so please, ask any questions you want to and Iíll try to answer them.

Oh, thank heavens for this board! Luvnorwayís hints about Porto Ferraio were perfect, and if Durant hadnít posted somewhere that the plugs were under the desk I never would have found them! The 110 doesnít work in my cabin, though. I have a converter kit and had to use the two 220s.

Jana

Jana
September 6th, 2006, 11:08 AM
Here's a photo of the new bedding. No more stripes! It's lush and pretty.


http://zeej.com/wsroomsm.jpg

"Wandering Wino's"
September 6th, 2006, 11:13 AM
Here's a photo of the new bedding. No more stripes! It's lush and pretty.


http://zeej.com/wsroomsm.jpg

Jana, thanks for your cheery message. We are almost packed and ready to leave. Flying from Los Angeles tomorrow and board on Sunday as you are sadly leaving. Can't wait. Shirley

Pudgesmom
September 6th, 2006, 11:25 AM
Thanks for the update. We'll be sailing in Jan. and trying the Windsurf for the first time. We loved our Windstar (the ship) trip to Costa Rica and Panama last year, and hope this one will be as delightful.

The new bedding looks beautiful. I think its a nice improvement.

How does the Bistro/Degrees restaurant work? Do you make a reservation, or does it operate like the main dining room? Is it hard to get a reservation if one is needed?

Thanks

Beth

ILCruiser
September 6th, 2006, 12:54 PM
Here's a photo of the new bedding. No more stripes! It's lush and pretty.


http://zeej.com/wsroomsm.jpg

Is that the TV I see over the head of the bed? Does that mean no watching TV while lying in bed?

bagheera
September 6th, 2006, 05:15 PM
Thanks Jana for the picture of your cabin. It looks great. We too are leaving from Los Angeles tomorrow. Have a great cruise, and thanks for the info. Tracey

rogfam
September 6th, 2006, 05:17 PM
Beth we were on the Windstar a few weeks ago and had the time of our lives! Each morning they post a menu for the main dining room and the Bistro. If you lprefer the Main, all you do is show up for dinner. If you prefer the Bistro, call reception after 8AM and make a reservation for between 7:30 and 9:30 that evening. We ate there a few times, and each meal was excellent (as was the Main dining room). Never had trouble making a reservation, they are very accommadating. Enjoy!!
ILKcruiser, no trouble watching TV.

Pudgesmom
September 6th, 2006, 05:52 PM
Thanks, rogfam.

Beth

Jana
September 6th, 2006, 06:55 PM
Pudgesmom,

I ate in the Bistro tonight. My friend made reservations at the stroke of 8 a.m. If you donít, itís likely to fill up. They said they will not change the reservation system... from 8:00 a.m. day-of. Take it or leave it. They said it works, and it will stay that way.

Lovely experience, very intimate and personal. We had lobster tonight and it was superb.

ILCruiser,

Your question made me laugh! No, thatís not the TV. Iím in cabin 131, which has a third bunk, pretty unobtrusive, actually. Thatís a framed print over the bed on the backside of the drop-down third bunk. The television is on the other side, so indeed you can see it from the bed! In fact, thatís the only place you can comfortably watch it, since itís in a fixed position and doesnít swivel.

My room is not tidy at the moment or Iíd take a photo for you. Maybe tomorrow. ;)

Jana

Bases5
September 6th, 2006, 09:35 PM
I hope you are having a great time, If you could check what kinds of games they have in the casino?
Thanks

also what is provided at the swim platfom and how much (avg) is the stuff
Thanks

little britain
September 7th, 2006, 10:40 AM
Jana - who is the captain please??

Jana
September 7th, 2006, 07:49 PM
The Captain is Mark Boylin.

I went to the casino to see what there is. Three blackjack tables, one poker table, one roulette wheel. About ten $1 slots, including poker machines, about the same number of quarter slots and three 10-cent slots. None are paying out (I speak from personal experience!)

There is no charge for the watersports. The platform at the back has a broken something so until the major refurb in November they are using a tender platform on deck two. Today they had sailing and kayaking, the other day (Elba) they had diving and Zodiacs.

The weather has been fabulous, St. Tropez today was just awesome. We left Monaco a bit later than planned because the steveadores didnít get to the dock on time to release the ropes. In a way that was great for us because it was just dawn when we pulled away, and the principality was gorgeous with the rising sun.

Captain Boylin hugged the shore most of the way so we got to see Villefranche, Nice, Cap díAntibes, Cannes and all of the other in-between towns along the way. The yachts in St. Tropez made the ones in Portfino look like WalMart purchases. Whew. Some of them have heli-pads on them.

It was caviar night on the aft deck (Compass Rose) and steak night in the Bistro. Another glorious day aboard Wind Surf.

SpicedPlum
September 7th, 2006, 10:01 PM
Thanks for all that information! With the addition of the 2 new cabins up there is there still cabin 501? Do you think they will put balconies? I don't think so because thats the walking deck up to the bridge. I know from personal experience cabin #501 does not have a balcony, And what are they going to do with the internet center that was in the business center? will they be relocating that as well? Thanks for all your info and enjoy the rest of your cruise !!

Jana
September 8th, 2006, 02:38 AM
Spiced Plum,

According to the Chief Officer (on this ship the equivalent of Staff Captain, in charge of everything below decks and the physical “plant” of the ship) there will be balconies. But I will ask again. The business center gets very little use now because they have Internet in the library, and when they update that into a center like HAL’s incredible Explorations Cafe, there will be more of them. They will change the Nautilus room into a conference center... it’s the room just forward of the aft elevators on Star Deck and gets virtually no use now.

I’ll look for 501, I forgot to do that, but don’t forget, when this ship was built (1990?) balconies weren’t de rigeur the way they are today. (I’m in France, “de rigeur” is appropriate, n’est ce pas?)

I’ll incorporate most of this stuff in my formal review; I’ll also take some more photos today and post them tonight.

By the way, the duo they have in the Compass Rose is just AWESOME. Last night was tribute night to Shania Twain and Tina Turner; the female singer is unbelievable and had everyone up there dancing, singing along and especially when she did Proud Mary, EVERYONE was on their feet hootin’ and hollerin’. It was just great!

http://zeej.com/tinaturner.jpg

Jana
September 8th, 2006, 06:44 AM
I found 501. Itís occupied so I canít get in to see it but Iíll make a point of going in before I leave the ship so I can get a photo or two.

Now someone said that there will not be balconies on the two new suites, and SpicedPlum, youíre right, where would they go? Each of those rooms has three large porthole windows, which will make them bright. But-- they also look right onto the walkway and the adjacent lifeboat so unless they block that walkway off, the drapes would have to be closed most of the time, I would think.

I love the standard rooms on this ship. I think the design is just brilliant, very forward-thinking. The bathrooms in particular are wonderful. Star Cruises (NCLís parent company) came out with the split-bath configuration about five years ago, with the toilet on one side, the shower on the other and the sink in the middle but with the way these Ėon Wind Surf- are slightly angled, I think they appear much bigger and feel much less claustrophobic.

The enclosures for both the toilet and shower, at least in my room, look like they are new. Apparently they are not... and the shimmery Formica does look dated in terms of style, but the maintenance has been extraordinary because I thought it had been added as part of the Degrees of Difference upgrade. They will be replaced during Novemberís refurb; I wonder what theyíll use?

One of the fellows in my group said that he thought the woodwork in the cabins looked scuffed and old. I thought it all looked shiny and magnificent. On closer inspection I can see what he means, but itís part of the character of the ship, I think. Very little wear, obvious loving maintenance. The only part of the room itself that looks ďagingĒ is that there are some slight rust areas on the door hinges and air-flow baffle, and a build-up and discoloration of the porthole caulking. Otherwise, with the new beds and bedding, the room looks like a stylized English manor with a very slight oriental flavor. And instead of fresh flowers in the room, which fade and lose their petals all over the desks, they have that mini-bamboo stuff, so itís green all the time, takes up very little space, doesnít have to be replaced from one cruise to the next, and adds an air of hominess to the cabin.

More later... and ask any questions!

Jana

Udrigle
September 8th, 2006, 11:34 AM
Hi Jana
I'm new to the site. I've been on the Windsurf twice and we are due to join the ship on the 15th October - Rome - Nice. My Husband loves to scuba dive and was looking forward to diving during our cruise. Can you check for me if they will still be diving at that time of the year. We cruised with Winsurf 1.Venice - Malta
2.Mexico - Honduras / Belize - Mexico
The diving then was spectacular.
The new bedding looks good!
Can't wait for my holidays
Udrigle

zoey8899
September 8th, 2006, 05:17 PM
Hi Jana,
We're going on the Wind Surf from Lisbon to Barcelona beginning Sept 17th. I've never been on any cruise nor to Spain or Portugal. So, could you give me some ideas of what's needed and what's not with clothes. How cool does it get at night on the ship? What do folks wear in the evening? How relaxed is relaxed attire? I'd like to pack wisely and not take things I won't need. :confused:
Stephanie

jsiegel
September 9th, 2006, 03:12 PM
Hi,

Iím onboard Wind Surf right now. We boarded on Sunday but between activities and Internet / satellite woes I havenít been able to post until now.

snip
When the ship goes into dry dock in November, most of the improvements will not be visible but rather beneath decks. There will be some major improvements though that will be readily apparent.

2. Two big suites will be added where the conference room and business center are now, and the Nautilus room will become a conference center. I didnít ask if the suites will have verandahs but since they are at the very top of the ship, I bet they do.

Jana

Thank you Jana for the information. Is the Nautilus room the fitness room or something else? We'd like to try the Windsurf (loved the Windstar) and one of the features that appealed to us was the larger fitness facilities.

Beth, you'll have to report back after January as I'm sure your husband will be checking out the situation.

Jackie

cruiseroo
September 9th, 2006, 10:54 PM
Spiced Plum,



By the way, the duo they have in the Compass Rose is just AWESOME. Last night was tribute night to Shania Twain and Tina Turner; the female singer is unbelievable and had everyone up there dancing, singing along and especially when she did Proud Mary, EVERYONE was on their feet hootiní and holleriní. It was just great!

http://zeej.com/tinaturner.jpg

Hi Jana

I'm brand new to this board...sent over by none other than that Tina Turner you discovered on the Windsurf! That's my daughter, Victoria Boland! She and her partner, Andrew Rudd are the Compass Rose Duo and will be on board until November 12, 2006. Since some of you are embarking tomorrow, I hope you'll catch up with Victoria and Andrew during the week and say hello from "mom"!

Thanks Jana for the wonderful compliment. Victoria emailed me tonight to tell me all about the "journalist" she met :) and was so thrilled that you enjoyed her and Andrew's performances. I'm going to put up links to this thread on several of my cruise/travel related sites and on both the "AndrewVictoria (http://andrewvictoria.com)" and Victoria Boland (http://victoriaboland.com)sites so their friends and fans can enjoy your comments on them and on the Windsurf. Oh how I wish I could be on that ship too! I'm green with envy. :D From your description, it sounds fabulous and some of the places you've mentioned, well I've only seen them in the photos Victoria has sent me. But maybe one day...:o

Jana
September 11th, 2006, 12:09 PM
I can post again! I'm home, near San Diego. It only took 26 hours from the time I left the ship, on the road, in the air, in airport waiting lounges. Whew. I walked in, at least, to two waggy, happy, kissy Shih Tzus, so all is right with the world.

Cruiseroo, you should be a very proud mama. Victoria and her partner are two of the best entertainers I have ever seen on ANY ship, big, small, old or new. Victoria has the chops to belt out a rock standard and then move to a sweet ballad. They MADE evenings on the ship; I might add that the ages ranged from mid-thirties to mid-eighties and everyone I spoke to was taken with AndrewVictoria. And not to sell Andrew short (he sings backup and manages the accoustics, including playing guitar) when Victoria went to change from Shania to Tina, I had my back turned and assumed (silly me) that they were both on break. I was sure that the David Bowie I was hearing was on tape, but no, it was Andrew, singing live (in a red vinyl wig, no less). I also think that being on this smaller ship was to their benefit, and I hope they go back after the refurb.

Re: suite 501... I never did get to see it. One of the other writers and I had late flights out of Barcelona so we were going to stay on board for an extra hour or so and cab over to the airport. He got a voicemail message that his home had been invaded and that he should get back to Scotland ASAP so we both hustled to get packed and on the early bus. Sorry. I did see the outside of it, though. It's accessed through a corridor just behind the bridge and has two larger verticle rectangular windows that look out onto the walkway. It's near some officer's cabins.

As for diving on your Rome to Nice cruise, Udrigle, the staff is committed to the platform sports program and will run it off the other side of the tender platform when the ship is at anchor. (That is until the refurb when the bent hydrolic lift thingy is replaced.) Look at your itinerary to see what tender ports you have, but remember, the Med isn't Equatorial tropics like Belize and Roatan, you're going mid-Fall, and if it isn't safe to conduct dives, they won't.

Jseigel, no the Nautilus room is not the fitness room, and I made a mistake when I said it was on Star deck, that is...indeed, the fitness center. The Nautilus room is on Bridge deck just opposite the elevators; it was closed once or twice with the notice "class in session" so it might have been used for pilates or yoga. The fitness center is large, with windows all round, and got a lot of use. A LOT of use. The equipment was, if not brand new, in excellent shape, and for a ship of this size, there was a large variety of equipment.

Zoey8899, I'll answer in another post.

Jana

cruiseroo
September 11th, 2006, 01:49 PM
Cruiseroo, you should be a very proud mama. Victoria and her partner are two of the best entertainers I have ever seen on ANY ship, big, small, old or new. Victoria has the chops to belt out a rock standard and then move to a sweet ballad. They MADE evenings on the ship; I might add that the ages ranged from mid-thirties to mid-eighties and everyone I spoke to was taken with AndrewVictoria. And not to sell Andrew short (he sings backup and manages the accoustics, including playing guitar) when Victoria went to change from Shania to Tina, I had my back turned and assumed (silly me) that they were both on break. I was sure that the David Bowie I was hearing was on tape, but no, it was Andrew, singing live (in a red vinyl wig, no less). I also think that being on this smaller ship was to their benefit, and I hope they go back after the refurb.

Jana

Wow...thanks so much for saying that Jana. You know us mothers. We can never hear enough good stuff. And I miss them both so very much. What I'd give to be on that cruise watching them and enjoying watching others who enjoy them! :D

Yes, Andrew is very definitely not just the other half of the act. I got the same shock when I first heard him do Bowie. He's a very accomplished musician for only 21 years of age. I'm just so delighted that he and Victoria met each other in Hong Kong back in Sept 2005 and formed a duo when their contract at "the cavern" in Lan Kwai Fong finished in January. They love being a duo and their talents are so complimentary to each other but Vicki loves tearing up a room with Tina and Shania.

Well thanks for taking the time to respond, especially so soon after your return and with everyone on this board asking you questions. I've also sent you a personal email and invite and look forward to hearing from you about its contents and invitation ;)

Jana
September 12th, 2006, 02:52 PM
Zooey8899, sorry it's taken me so long to respond. I'm still recovering from the jetlag.

Dress onboard is always resort-casual. Wind Surf, being a larger ship, might tend to be "dressier" than the others; there were quite a few men in jackets at dinner. That, however, was personal choice, and not required.

Women typically wore nice pant suits or coordinates with a shawl or pearls (no elaborate jewelry) and men wore comfortable collared shirts (and pants that ranged from Dockers to black silk). The Bistro (soon to ber Degrees) seemed to entice a little bit dressier mode, but it wasn't necessary. It just seemed as though there was more of a cocktail-dress vibe in there.

These "rules" apply only to dinner time, when no shorts, bathing suits or flip-flops are appropriate. During the rest of the day it's uber-casual, since most dining takes place outside if the weather is good.

The ship rides low in the sea and I noticed a lot of mist moisture at night. It wasn't chilly at all, but the decks, chairs and railings were damp without the sun to dry them. Lisbon to Barcelona might be a chillier and windier cruise than mine was, so I would suggest taking a light sweater or nylon windbreaker for those marvelous evenings on deck.

Does that help?

(I'm already jealous.)

Jana