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Everything posted by Joolsverne

  1. Both are great, but we really love the Windstar. The crew, their fantastic, jolly female Captain - all of it. The cabins are fine - yes I think they are all as you describe bar the suites. Very comfortable. You will have a great time whichever you choose. If you have already tried Windsurf and don't mind a slightly smaller ship, then why not go for Windstar.
  2. We have sailed on Silver Shadow, which had really excellent service - but food was much better on Seabourn. However, for a Greek Isle cruise we would usually go with Windstar - smaller ships more suited to island sailing. So far as ports are concerned, Bodrum and Rhodes and of course Kusadasi (for Ephesus) remain favourites and 'must do's'. Don't miss the Crusader castle at Bodrum. Mykonos was disappointing - Pretty, but not much to see or do at all and we were soon back on the boat.
  3. The timer shown in the first post is a great idea and definitely a step in the right direction. I read this post with disappointment, but it was certainly a factor in our decision not to sail Encore any longer. The pool deck there was not pleasant, people were packed in like sardines - and that was just the pool itself. It does seem that Seabourn is starting to suffer from the 'Carnival' effect. Perhaps the behaviour from the larger ships owned by the group is starting to make itself felt. Its a great shame and disappointment that people can be so selfish - especially on Seabourn.
  4. We always just grab a taxi from the taxi rank outside the terminal and have never had a problem.
  5. Earlier in May this year we used a company run by Pedro called ‘Lisbon Taxi - Splendid Transfer’ for airport and hotel transfers. They were reliable, had nice drivers and reasonably priced. They also offer tours although we didn’t try those. We will certainly use them again. Would also recommend the free Discover Walks (they operate on a tip basis) which we enjoyed very much. Get a Viva Viagem card from any Metro station and ride the tubes, buses and trams - €6.90 for 24 hours and use it as much as you want. OR you can just Pre-load the amount you want for one or two journeys. Staff speak good English. if you want the HoHo buses they go from just outside Marques de Pombal Metro Station in Eduardo V11 Park. Enjoy Lisbon, it’s lovely.
  6. Aliguna is not quite the same as the vaporetto but it’s still public transport. DO take a water taxi - it’s a real treat and so, so worth it. The Vaporetto and Aliguna gets crowded and you don’t want to but trying to negotiate it with luggage. We paid about 80 euros from the airport to the Marriott last year. Also, check out ‘Venice Unica’ the official tourist info site for info on day tickets for the Vaporetto and more.
  7. We have only done one SS - on Shadow, a couple of years ago. We felt misled by those who had told us that SS and Seabourn were much similar. Seabourn is more relaxed and definitely superior except for the service - where SS staff ran them close and House champagne which was also much better on SS. Food was not great at all and the ship was dated and in need of a makeover. We enjoyed our cruise on SS, but did not like it as much as Seabourn.
  8. That’s a very nice itinerary. We especially enjoyed Valencia, Majorca and Menorca. Valletta is wonderful. Formal nights usually mean cocktail dresses for ladies and suits for men but you will also see some long evening gowns and black ties. Those who don’t wish to join in usually dine in the Colonnade or by the pool. i hope you enjoy the cruise and look forward to your trip report.
  9. I’m guessing that this was one of the porters hired locally to deal with luggage, as onboard crew would never ask for a tip. There is a lot of poverty in the Caribbean and we always tip locals - so it would not have been a problem for us.
  10. I agree, let us hope that common sense kicks in eventually. We always enjoy a visit to Antigua, Nelson's Dockyard is a 'must see' and the view from the National Park is beautiful.
  11. Yes, I don’t understand why a premium line like Seabourn doesn’t have a website to match!
  12. I believe the cancellations kick in from November so March should be ok.
  13. I agree about the Seabourn website. I wish they would spend a bit of money and get a new one, its impossible. However, back to Antigua - it seems to have only just happened in the last few days. Sorry I am not smart enough to copy links etc, however try googling 'Carnival cancels Antigua' and it should come up. Cruise Mavens and Cruise Hive among others are also carrying it. The Antiguan newspaper 'Nation News' dated March 12 carries the story 'Carnival Cruiselines cancels stops to Antigua'. I think I am right in saying that Carnival Corp own Seabourn? Seabourn Odyssey is on the list of cancelled cruises on the Cruisehive.com site I'm afraid. It looks as though Windstar may also have cancelled. At this stage its not at all clear what is going on - or why - but something is definitely up. Its a shame because its one of the most interesting of the Caribbean ports.
  14. Does anyone know why Carnival is cancelling all Seabourn calls to Antigua later this year? I happened to see it online in some of the Caribbean papers as well as Cruisehive (sorry, I wasn't able to copy a link). I gather that Holland America are set to follow suit. Its disappointing for us as we love visiting Antigua.
  15. Well the poor Windstar Consultant had clearly not been briefed properly. We gathered that this is a new policy currently being enforced by Seattle and it seems no one had bothered to tell him. Its interesting to hear that other cruise lines also restrict perks - since they are all advertised online without any disclaimer that I have managed to find. Any UK Company would certainly be in breach of the law if they tried to do this. As for the onboard booking, we also sail Seabourn and there is no problem at all booking onboard with their Cruise consultant, even though we normally use an agent. Does this mean that the onboard Consultant is only for those who have never used an agent? As Rugrats has pointed out, the Consultant should indeed have known - but it does seem that no one from Head Office had bothered to tell him about this new rule. I'm not at all clear what Seattle hopes to gain by it. There was a sort of happy ending because the UK Agent eventually agreed to fund the perks themselves, just as our friends were thinking of giving up. I'm not sure what Seattle thinks it gains by this sort of nickel and diming because it loses them far more in terms of goodwill. In the end as usual, it was the ship and the Windstar crew who saved the day and it was their magic that made our friends want to put this behind them and book another cruise - despite Seattle.
  16. Lucky you! Welcome to the world of Windstar - enjoy! It remains our favourite line. Friends recently took their first voyage on Windstar with a Windsurf Caribbean cruise. We had explained to them that its the Crew who make it extra special. After the cruise they told us that they knew exactly what we meant. They have already booked another Windstar cruise.
  17. I'm sad that all of the 3 little sisters are 'going large' but its still very a very exciting project and we can't wait to try them out. Seabourn were foolish to let them go.
  18. As others have already observed on this forum, the disconnect between Seattle and the wonderful Windstar crew continues. We recently introduced English friends to Windstar who loved it and were keen to book another cruise with the excellent onboard Windstar Consultant who had spent alot of time drumming up trade. It is a 30 day cruise and many wonderful 'perks' were on offer. We were on the cruise with them but (only just) managed to resist. They were somewhat surprised when he came back to them looking somewhat embarrassed, to say that Head Office had decreed that they must book through the UK Agent that they had previously used for their first( and only Windstar cruise). They duly spent hours in port calling UK from Windsurf and eventually got the Agent to take over the booking - to then be told that the promised perks only applied to Americans. Well done Windstar, how to shoot yourself in the foot. Who is the person at Seattle (we gather it is a he) who is insisting on this ridiculous and unfriendly policy. What is the point of having a cruise consultant on board? Windstar Cruise Consultants - you have my sympathy - Seattle, sort yourselves out.
  19. Yes, I do understand the concerns about security - but somehow lines like Silversea and Seabourn seem able to cope with this, given enough notice. However I imagine that its all extra work and can see that its up to each line to decide whether or not they are prepared to offer this.
  20. I enjoyed this review - we were on your cruise for the first 7 days, but we did do the full 14 days of the same cruise about 4 years ago. Very interesting and helpful, thank you. I didn't know about the excursion you did in Dominica - its on the list for next time. We weren't offered the Dining under the Stars either - don't know why. I think I may have had a chat with your friend about gluten free ice cream at lunch one day - I was checking for a friend of mine who is also gluten free. Also agree that 2 hours for lunch is not long enough. An extra half hour would be good. As ever, it was all over all too soon!
  21. Yes, I did see that in the general blurb some years ago, but was just wondering (hoping) whether anything might have changed. For this reason we did consider doing our cruise with Seabourn or Silversea instead - but prices for a similar cruise with them are much higher than with Windstar.
  22. I know that Seabourn and Silversea do sometimes allow booked guests to invite friends onboard for lunch. Last time I checked I think that the cost per head was around $70. Has anyone ever managed to do this with Windstar? We have family in one of the ports that we will be visiting and it would be fun for them (and easier) just to invite them to join us onboard for a meal.
  23. Bleu Azur, we came off Windsurf 10 days ago and enjoyed the cruise very much. She is in good shape and the crew were as great as ever. We checked our luggage in early at the port with Windstar (about 12, but you could go earlier) then were free to get the water taxi back into town and do the whole embarkation thing later that afternoon. unfortunately the beach BBQ was not on Prickly Pear Island this time round, it was at a small hotel on Virgin Gorda, which was not as much fun. Food as excellent as ever, however.
  24. Good detective work there Misty Morning, I meant to take a look to try and work it out but kept forgetting. Will remember to avoid this general area in future.
  25. Ride the tide - thank you for picking that up. I clearly got my numbers mixed up there, as you are right, it’s 100 guests, not rooms.
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