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JFreshwater

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About JFreshwater

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    Cool Cruiser
  1. JFreshwater

    need advice on mercury cabin

    Considering a cruise to Alaska in August on the Mercury. An inside cabin on the Plaza deck is the least inexpensive, but concerned about noise, claustrophobia, smells, etc. Has anyone stayed there before? What do those who have been there/done it advise? Better to wait till you can afford a better cabin, or is it worth it just to go?
  2. JFreshwater

    irons

    It seems as if pressing only was a couple dollars for a dress. Turnaround was amazingly fast, but we were given top priority because our luggage was lost. We put stuff out at 9 p.m. and it was ready early the next morning. And more professionally done than my local cleaners. We decided we would never pack a whole week's worth again, but just send stuff out.
  3. JFreshwater

    irons

    Windstar provides you with an iron upon request. However, their pressing is a whole lot better than mine. I sent a silk dress to be pressed and it came back looking as if it had been at the cleaners. The cost is inexpensive.
  4. JFreshwater

    windsurf beds

    Had not been changed as of 10/17. If you're real picky, pack a thick mattress pad/cover.
  5. JFreshwater

    Windstar Internet & Phone Access Cel?

    I've not used a cell phone, but their internet access was VERY expensive- either 5 dollars for each out going and 7 for each incoming, or vice versa. We just found it was easier to check in at an internet cafe in the ports. They're easy to find and cheap - like 3 euros for 30 minutes. International phone cards are also cheap- can buy those easily in port as well.
  6. JFreshwater

    Windstar Internet & Phone Access Cel?

    I've not used a cell phone, but their internet access was VERY expensive- either 5 dollars for each out going and 7 for each incoming, or vice versa. We just found it was easier to check in at an internet cafe in the ports. They're easy to find and cheap - like 3 euros for 30 minutes. International phone cards are also cheap- can buy those easily in port as well.
  7. JFreshwater

    GreeceTaxi (Athens) - Beware

    We were in Athens last month- had Paul one day and Nicholas (his son) the other. Both were fabulous. It really is confusing (most likely on purpose) that all the companies are similarly named.
  8. JFreshwater

    comfort of beds

    Just got off the Windstar September 17th, Rome to Athens. I'm sorry to tell you that the mattresses have not been upgraded yet, at least not in our cabin. While my husband and I didn't have trouble sleeping on them, they do not seem to be on a par with the quality of other furnishings and services on the ship. That said, I would still sail on them again- everything else was fabulous. How about if you take your own pillowtop mattress pad? My daughter bought one for her uncomfortable dorm room bed and it made a huge difference. I would think you could roll one up and stuff it in a duffle bag.
  9. JFreshwater

    ocean sickness

    just did rome to athens on the windstar; used something called SeaCalm that the ship provided. It worked great and didn't make me groggy.
  10. You cannot pre-book, but you can book for the whole week when you arrive upon the ship. They will have a form for you to fill out. We just got bck from Rome to Athens and had no problem getting the excursions we wanted. You might have problems if you add at the last minute, but not if you plan ahead.
  11. JFreshwater

    Malta to Venice 10/2

    Goldendaze, It was very warm when we were in Taormina- shorts and sleeveless shirt weather. Hints on shopping- there are some great little prints of Taormina- 3 for 10 euros; pottery (plates, glazed stuff, hand-painted wine corks) were neat- wish I had bought some now! Right outside the Greco-Roman Theater is a beautiful hotel with a patio overlooking the coast- good place for tea/drinks.
  12. JFreshwater

    Windstar-Athens to Barcelona 10/15 -10/29

    Sandy, The Etna tour was canceled due to lack of sign-ups. I have a friend who had done the cruise and gone to Mt. Etna a couple years ago and she had told me it was very boring. The scenery was dry and barren. I loved Taormina, and so did my husband (who is a mountains and volcano kind of guy in general). As for seasick, I was a little queasy the first day, and during the 27 hour downpour that we had. There is a bin outside the ship's infirmary that holds SeaCalm- the ship's alternative to dramamine. I thought it worked much better than dramamine. Food was quite good at dinner- a nice selection of appetizers, entrees, etc. Breakfast was adequate, but we're not big breakfast people. We generally just hit the continental buffet that was on deck. There was a full breakfast with omelettes, waffles, etc. inside. We had lunch just a couple times and it was good. Great bread pudding. .
  13. JFreshwater

    Malta to Venice 10/2

    We did the excursion to Taormina from the Windstar last week. It's a great little village, and the Greco Roman Theater was quite impressive. The guide, a teacher from Messina, was also good. Would definitely recommend this excursion.
  14. JFreshwater

    Windstar-Athens to Barcelona 10/15 -10/29

    We just got back on Monday- did Rome to Athens, with stops in Capri, Messina, Gythion, Napflion, and Syros. We did the Blue Grotto excursion in Messina and it was great. The small boat that took us to the grotto had a great Scottish guide with a very droll sense of humor. His commentary on tourist from various parts of the world was hysterical, if not politically correct. The Blue Grotto itself was quite beautiful. We did Taormina in Messina, and it was really good. We had a fabulous local guide who was a school teacher. She was very informative and her style was entertaining. We went to Sparta/Mystras from Gythion and felt that was well worth the trip. In Napflion we also took the trip to Mycenae and the Palamidi Palace. It was a good trip as well, though it was raining very hard. The Mycenae site was particulary worthwhile; the walking is quite rugged, though downhill. For both Mystras and Mycenae, Windstar had tour buses and guides come from Athens. The groups were small- 20-25, and the guides for both were excellent. Syros is a small island, and we just spent the day wandering there. In Athens, we had Paul's son, Nick, pick us up at the ship at 7:30. We were at the Acropolis by 8 a.,m., and missed all the crowds. The Grand Princess docked right next to us- luckily we got off before the 2600 passengers from there did. Anyway, Nick took us from one site to the next, parked, told us how to access the monument (i.e., Temple of Zeus, Archaeological Museum, etc.). We were able to see most of the historical sites fairly easily. Paul took us down to Cape Sounion the next day; we wandered the monument till sunset. By the way, the subway is quite easy to use in Athens, too. Someone mentioned laundry. Laundry services were excellent on the ship- we put clothes out at night and they were back in the morning- washed, dried, and pressed. Prices were surprisingly reasonable. Actually, very reasonable for us as we were without luggage for most of the cruise and Windstar kindly gave us free laundry service as well as prioritized our laundry. As for clothing, sounds like you're on track. With not having our luggage for so long, I realized we really don't need a whole lot. Make sure you take some kind of rain jacket with a hood/poncho. It rained for 27 hours straight on our cruise. Take shoes with rubber soles; the deck is quite slippery when wet. One gentleman fell and broke a couple ribs. (The doctor was great). Anyway, I would be happy to answer any questions while things are still fresh in my mind. Jan
  15. Hello Cruisers, We'll be in the Med next week- and can't decide what to pack. Is this still summer season? capris and tank tops? Is it cooler at night? Will we need to pack long pants and jackets or sweaters? Thank you!
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