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About Pudgesmom

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    Southlake, Texas

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  1. My recollection is that there are two different ways to see the shore excursions. I don't have a cruise booked now or I would look. One way is to go through your booking by logging in. I'm pretty certain that way you'll only be able to see which are actually available. The other way is to log out of the website, look at the cruise itinerary and then look at the excursions. You'll see all of them whether or not they are already full. (I might have this backwards. :P) This might give you a better idea of what is already gone and/or not there yet.
  2. Ships in the higher price ranges do not have deck chairs this close together. Of course, you have to pay a higher price to get that... 😉
  3. I finished my 9th cruise with Windstar in December and have a couple of comments here. Traveling with my 32 year old son in law and 30 year old daughter, they had one and only one complaint about dining. The dress code is too much for us. They are both professionals, but he doesn't see the need for a collared shirt and she wanted to wear flip flops. The way they expressed it was as a desire for a more casual dining opportunity, and said they would probably eat there every night. Could be done by switching the Stella Bistro on Windsurf, and possibly the very unatmospheric Candles on the three sisters, or just relax the code in AAmpora. Attracting younger people to the line is a good idea, in my opinion. Secondly, on the jeans thing, we are from Texas. I know here and many other areas of the Southwest, jeans are fine anywhere. My accountant son often wears jeans to work with a button down, jacket and boots. Why do the standards for jeans have to be East Coast style? Overall, I would like to see them get back to more focus on the service in dining room and less on the attire. The last three cruises have had a reduction in the service that we have known and loved for many years.
  4. We've done this four times, both from Barbados and St. Maarten. We've only had one rainy day at sea, but the weather does cool off as you approach Lisbon. If you're on the Windsurf, make sure to be on deck for passing under the city bridge. Its worth it at any time of day. They have to wait for low tide, and you'll swear the ship won't make it!
  5. I would like to see the deck plans for the extensions, because from the description it doesn’t sound like an improvement for what we enjoy on a ship. I’m my opinion, there is already a shortage of usable outdoor space. The top deck is narrow and not pleasant near the noisy engines at the stern. (Maybe the new engines will be quieter?) Raising the pools and lengthening the space on the deck below won’t really make that area anymore pleasant. I expect it will still be dark and anyone seated will still have a view of the lifeboats. Adding 50 cabins will only create more people in the already crowded nice areas on deck. Improving the dining areas will be a welcome improvement. The veranda situation was untenable in bad weather and the space lacked ambiance for Candles. Seating was inadequate and crowded when the weather closed the outdoor area. The newer outdoor area near the pools was dark and not particularly pleasant. Adding venues - where will they be? - will hopefully be a good change, albeit with another 100 passengers. I was on the Star Pride when the engines shut down off Martha’s Vineyard and we drifted for several hours. Windstar handled the situation very well for our cruise, but I assume the engine replacements will decrease the chance of that happening again.
  6. Our temporary Viking ship has been parked near the the Chain Bridge in Budapest for two weeks. The water level is so low that they were given a half hour to move the ship today about a half mile downstream to Liberty Bridge.
  7. Yes we were but this ship can’t leave Budapest. It has been here for 14 days and they are cycling passengers through daily. We will be leaving here tomorrow at 2 pm- finally got that info. 150 mile bus ride to Vienna after lunch at a local restaurant. We will miss lunch due to already cutting our full day private tour short by 3 hours and we want to see Budapest. They are offering the original tours in Bratislava the following day from Vienna; another 50 miles on the bus. We will be sightseeing in Vienna.
  8. We’ve just boarded Viking Idun for one night in Budapest. They will be bussing us to our originally booked ship in Vienna tomorrow. We were unable to obtain ANY info from ship or headquarters prior to leaving the US about timing for busses leaving the city. We are very frustrated as we have private tours booked in several of our intended stops. The tour director was just short of rude when we arrived and asked for information about leaving tomorrow. Has anyone here ever had their Vienna- Passau section canceled due to low water on the Danube?
  9. Avoid alcohol and drink lots of water to reduce swelling. Bring something to elevate your foot slightly if you’re flying in coach and you’re not too long legged to straighten your leg. (I’ve seen an inflatable square pillow sold for this but I usually use my carry on.Take frequent walks. I find the most room for my bad knee to be with the knee closest to the wall in a window seat. With all the electronics under the seats now, I often find aisle seats have less leg room than a window. If swelling is a big issue, bring your own baggie and ask the flight attendant to fill with ice.
  10. I disagree with the comment that ocean cruises are all about the ship. It depends on where you’re going and what type/size ship you have chosen. In our case, we prefer a very small ocean-going ship and our cruises are often much about the ports we visit. To get a better idea of what to expect, read some posts on any forum here for small, medium and large cruise ships. Additionally, there is a much greater variety of prices and inclusions or pay as you go. A good travel agent can discuss your individual wants and needs and help you to make an informed choice.
  11. Oh that they would finally get the twin to the Windsurf!
  12. We did a cruise two summers ago from Iceland, to Norway, and then several stops in the British Isles before stopping in Dublin. You never know with the seas and weather there. We had to shelter from a storm with 25 foot seas. Every single item on the ship was tied to something. We sheltered in the lee of an island near Ireland with several tankers around us doing the same thing. It was not for the faint of heart. After about 12-15 hours, we were able to continue. We did another cruise this summer from Iceland to Greenland to northern Canada. We had one day of roughish seas, in the 12 foot range. We missed one port stop on each of these cruises due to the weather. Your're unlikely to find anything in the area except in the summer. Windstar does a circumnavigation of Iceland for a couple of weeks in July/August. You might be able to combine it with something to Ireland.
  13. I mean I don’t tip room service each time I order. It is possible to tip room service without handing a couple bucks each time one orders. The OP did not ask what line I was sailing on or whether I tip outside of individual delivery, so chill.
  14. I’m not impressed with this Fox News story, which just repeats another story from the Sun. No original reporting or factfinding. The Sun report- which is linked in the Fox story, also seems dubious to me. There is no actual investigation of this firm which claims it can ferret out fake reviews with an algorithm. No concrete information is given on how they have checked and verified that their methods work. One and only one person is interviewed for the entire article. Check your sources! There may be many fake reviews out there but this reporting proves nothing about them.
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