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About Pudgesmom

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    Southlake, Texas
  • Interests
    Horses, reading, travel
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    All of them

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  1. My guess is that in order to get the ports open again, the cruise lines are offering these sponsored excursions. If this is what it takes to actually get them cruising again, I’m all for it. I’ve never taken a Windstar shore excursion, but would jump at the chance right now. That’s a good point about increasing the number of excursions and operators. Certainly all of the other cruise lines are doing the same thing, so hopefully many of the independents will at least get a renewal of some of their income.
  2. We’ve done four transatlantics on the Windsurf. (Obviously we like them!) There is no additional evening entertainment on the long cruises. We’ve had a couple of enjoyable nights dancing in the Compass Rose to the duo onboard. Usually just us or maybe one other couple. We’ve also spent many evenings just chatting and sipping in the Compass Rose with passengers and occasionally crew, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning. I’m actually not sure if the band in the lounge continues into the evening as we prefer the duo. The best activity day or night, is
  3. We had one of our best worldwide hotel experiences at the Jumeirah Dar al Masyaf about two years ago. The suite was quiet and lovely at the beachfront hotel and located not as far from the souks in the city center as some hotels further out. The service is impeccable and the ubiquitous water taxis awesome. We had great food at several of the restaurants and walked to the Jumeirah al Qasr next door to meet some friends. We did not have a guide so I can’t speak to that. Taxis are everywhere, including the pink ones driven by women for women or a mixed group. Don’t m
  4. Windsurf has many areas along the sides of the ship to sit in the shade, depending on the time of day and direction the ship is sailing or parked at port. The Compass Rose is also well shaded. I haven’t been on the smaller ships for many years and can’t speak to the amount of shade.
  5. We are going to prefer the older layout, with the sitting area near the window. We have spent many afternoons on colder sea days watching the sea go by from those seats. The downside is being a bit crowded when two people are negotiating the space between the bed and the closet/bathroom. We are booked on the Star Legend in 2022. My biggest concern is going to be lack of good outdoor deck space with the addition of the large restaurant on deck. They don’t show any seating near the star bar. Sitting at the rear is noisy and colder. Although the pool area will be brighter, the
  6. Barrycat, I’ve been thinking exactly all of those thoughts. In addition, and this may apply less at Windstar than at some more afforable cruise lines, some people will simply not be able to afford their cruise if they must purchase a ship sponsored excursion in order to get off the ship.
  7. We are going to have our population vaccinated much faster than most of the world. Less well off countries are getting outbid for vaccines. Sub- Saharan Africa has almost no one vaccinated yet. South Africa, according to a story I read last week, has 25 people vaccinated. I don’t believe borders are going to be open for international tourists until this improves. And do you really want to visit if everything is closed for Covid? I don’t.
  8. Civitavecchia is a town about 80 km from Rome. This is where you will board your ship. You will want to allow plenty of time to transfer from Rome to the cruise terminal as traffic can be brutal. Also, unless your ship makes stops before crossing the Atlantic, there will be no way to “catch up” to it if you arrive late.
  9. Seabourn did not invent this idea. All three sailing ships have it. I think the first was built around 1985 and the sisters were several years later.
  10. We’ve traveled 4 times from St Maarten to Lisbon on Windstar. It takes 13 sea days on the sailing ship. We’ve never encountered more than a couple rainy days and some low 5-8 waves. Your mileage may vary
  11. Why would they say they are reducing capacity on the website then?
  12. On the website, it says they are reducing capacity. It’s unclear to me whether they mean total passengers or just venues. However, it would make sense to reduce total guest count if they will be lowering capacity in the venues. Here is the link: https://www.rssc.com/HealthSafetyProtocols
  13. I'm familiar with Windstar and Regent, and those cruises have happened later than you're saying. And hurricane season ends November 4, the rest of November is not hurricane season.
  14. This is exactly what I was thinking. The ships move east in the spring for summers in the Med and west in the fall after hurricane season for winters in the Caribbean. Cunard may be the best if not only option for sailing when they return to service.
  15. We have recently booked our first cruise as well, except on the Mariner. On the website, create an account for yourself and sign in. There is a place to book your shore excursions. Underneath that is a place to preorder some alcohol as well as mixers and juices. I see now the poster above me has already answered this. 🙂
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