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new_cruiser

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  1. Here is an example of a Windstar tour description: Trapani, Walking Tour with Sicilian Coffee Break (Moderate) 3 hours - Approximate Tour Departure 8:30 AM Trapani is an attractive old port town, rediscovering its charms after years of neglect. Halfway between Europe and Tunis, it was a rich trading center throughout the early Middle Ages, then, flourished again in the 19th and early 20th centuries as a stronghold of the tuna-canning industry. After that, it went into decline, and became a salty old port. Then, it was selected to host the 2004 America’s Cup and rec
  2. 95% effectiveness doesn't mean that 95% of participants got COVID. It mean that the vaccinated group got 5% of the cases that the unvaccinated group got. E.g. if 300 unvaccinated people would have had 20 people who got COVID, than a vaccinated group would have had about 5% of 20 get COVID - that's about 1 person. And the vaccinated group wouldn't have severe cases - for example they wouldn't end up in the hospital because the vaccines are extremely effective at preventing severe cases and death. The effectiveness may be somewhat lower now - it is possible that the better numbers f
  3. Since some of the Windstar excursions include time to wander around a market or town on your own, they don't maintain a "bubble." Some descriptions of excursions where that time is at the end of the excursion someplace near where the ship is docked even say that you can go back to the ship after the wandering time with the excursion group or make your own way back. Then a bunch of excursions are to hire a car, driver and guide to a private excursion based on your own agenda (which could include things such as museum visits, eat in restaurants, explore town). How does that maintain
  4. Mostly back online. My ocean crossing Star Collector isn't there even though it's two segments are. Maybe that's the only one missing because it includes the last cruise they took offline with the first one that stayed on line. So it might need some extra handling to re-establish. Anyone here booked on one of the cruises that's back online? I'm interested in whether you can manage the booking on MyWindstar to see the detailed itinerary, add excursions and such. My cruise booking is on MyWindstar (was there even when it was missing from Find a Cruise) but the ManageBooking button d
  5. Generally it takes 5 or more drinks per day (obviously with some variation depending on what you drink) to break even on the drinks package. We don't drink that much so we've never gotten the drinks package. We often buy a bottle of wine for dinner. They will store your bottle and bring it to your table the next night. There are usually some free drinks during the cruise - fizzy stuff or punch when you come on board for embarkation, wine at the captain's reception. wine or simple cocktails at the Yacht Club reception. I like the laundry package and we've usually gotten that. Often
  6. We have been using a TA for our Windstar bookings. For some cruises, we have gotten a better fare with her than the one on Windstar's website. We usually get some OBC; sometimes the amount is small and sometimes it has been pretty large. I'm not sure what you mean about TA's holding back something. Also, what is "r&rd"? We are fortunate in our TA. She has always been available when we needed her and she has been helpful when something went wrong and needed to be straightened out. E.g. when Windstar changed our room assignment in the process of getting a fare re
  7. I'm wondering how policy that you can only get off the ship with Windstar excursions policy is going to work with turn-around days. That is, the days between sailings for those on Star Collector and other b2b bookings. Generally, the only excursions that Windstar has offered for the last day of a cruise segment (debarkation day for passengers ending their cruise) are ones with a transfer to the airport or hotel. They usually don't have anything for the passengers remaining on board for the next sailing. Our fall cruise has a turn-around day in Athens. The only excursions showing up fo
  8. The first Star Pride cruise showing on the website is still the April 1, 2021 Lisbon to Lisbon that's the second part of my Star Collector. It seemed like the cruises should be back up by now so I called Windstar to see what's up. The agent said that the cruises for fall and winter are still happening - they are just still tweaking the itineraries. He said the cruises are on their booking system and they can still make bookings. He's expecting them to be back on the website by sometime next week.
  9. We haven't been to Tahiti but the Windstar dress code is the same everywhere. I don't do dresses or skirts so I wear slacks (e.g. khakis) and a polo or other top that's nicer than a T-shirt.
  10. Source? Is it based on the website not showing the cruises? I'm booked on the crossing back to Lisbon in April. I got an update email 3 days ago that they are changing the departure port from San Juan to St. Maarten. Possibly they have taken the cruises down to while they update the itineraries to remove US ports.
  11. The price is per car, not per person even though it shows up on the excursion booking page as bookable for each of you - checking both would get you two cars. Still really expensive. I'm seeing prices on our Med cruise of $500 to $1200 depending on port and half or full day. If you doubled $800 to get $1600, it's just $800 per car.
  12. I have no problem with being cautious, for example mask wearing when close to others even if vaccinated. I think caution is appropriate. But I don't like illogical restrictions like it's okay to wander around town during a Windstar excursion and even to make your way back to the ship on your own but not okay to go into town on your own? How does that distinction increase protection? The private car/van excursions from Windstar have always been super expensive. It is for a car with a driver and a guide (two people), not a single person, but still really expensive. I hope it's a real
  13. Usually the same day or, if it is late in the day, the next day. Generally, I send a email with a specific question. I usually don't expect a response on the weekend especially when it concerns my cruise booking because Windstar's offices are only available on weekdays. But she usually drops me an email anyway to let me know she will contact Windstar on Monday. If I phone, we usually talk then or if she is unavailable she calls back in an hour or two. I wouldn't keep working with a TA that was sluggish or non-responsive.
  14. It appears that they are shifting away from US ports for the whole season. I just received notice that my Star Pride Trans-Atlantic in March has also been changed to leave from St. Maarten.
  15. Sometimes when they are in a port overnight or for a late night, they will bring a local performing group on board to provide some entertainment/local culture. I'm kind of skeptical about excursions creating an effective bubble. Looking at the offered excursions, there are ones that include time for independent wandering around the town or marketplace - not much different that what would do when touring on one's own. Also, they have the private car/van + guide excursions where you can decide where you want to go (at a much higher cost than private guides I've booked independently)
  16. Windstar allowing a "lift and shift" of a cancelled cruise price to a later cruise seems to be a case by case thing. We weren't able to get that for our cancelled May 2020 Med cruise. We decided to rebook anyway despite the price increase. We had initially booked the May 2020 cruise in Jan 2019 at a higher price and had it repriced with a big discount when it was on a 7-for-7 sale. It would have been nice to be able to keep the lower price, but the price for the October 2020 cruise was a bit less than what we had initially booked May 2020 at though higher than the sale price. So if we were in
  17. What time does the tour depart? Usually (maybe always) when I've been on a Windstar tour that spanned lunch times, it has included lunch. In those cases lunch was mentioned in the descriptions. I've seen at least one case, actually the Alhambra tour, where lunch was mentioned in the description but the description didn't make it clear that lunch was included. Given the time that the ship is in Santorini, it is possible that the winery tour leaves in the very late morning or early afternoon (say 11:30 AM or later) and they expect you to grab an early lunch on board before departing. Or it leave
  18. Yoir numbers are off. 4 of the 6 ships carry ~300 passengers at full double occupancy. Most tour busses carry around 40 passengers but even pre-COVID Windstar usually ran them less than full for better comfort.
  19. Perhaps more solo cruisers are single, but it isn't unusual for married people to cruise solo. I have gone on solo cruises (and other solo vacation travel). My husband likes to travel but not as often as I do and he isn't interested in going some of the trips that interest me. We have a planned 18-day cruise together this fall in the Mediterranean and I've booked a solo cruise for next spring that includes an ocean crossing. He has zero interest in ocean crossings but I've done one and enjoyed it a great deal.
  20. The solo forum here is a good place to start even though it isn't specifically for seniors: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/279-solo-cruisers/ There are various discussions there of how different lines/ships are for cruising solo and there is a long running thread on solo cruise bargains. I'm married but travel solo when my husband isn't interested in going. My solo trips have been on small ships: Windstar and Star Clippers lines. Star Clipper almost always has some sailings with no solo supplement. When I went on one of those, a lot of the other travelers were solo. In eithe
  21. Medicare doesn't cover international expenses, but some of the supplemental policies do so you might want to check with your particular insurance. I generally get travel insurance anyway in order to cover other expenses that medical insurance wouldn't cover (e.g. extra costs due to having to rebook travel arrangements, medical support during the trip home, expenses for a companion; someone on a trip we took in China had the hip replacement fail and their travel insurance paid for first class airfare home because they needed the upgraded seat due to the joint failure). My Medicare Advantage
  22. Booked excursions (whether booked ahead on-line or booked on board) are generally cancellable up to 24 hours in advance. If any are not, it should say in the excursion description. The one hitch is that I don't see any way to cancel an excursion on-line and I don't think it will let you book a conflicting excursion. If a new excursion is added that you prefer to one you've already booked, you could probably cancel the booked one by calling Windstar since the on-line system doesn't handle cancellation. Since your cruise is less than 2 months away, it probably would be best to go ah
  23. I never got the email and I'm not sure how long the promo was supposed to last. Thanks to this post, I contacted our TA and she was able to get the discount on our October sailing. We lose the $400 OBC from the promo we booked the fare reduction is quite a bit more than that.
  24. The concern that prompts masks is the the vaccines aren't 100% protection. Frankly, I don't mind wearing a mask and a requirement for them wouldn't inhibit me from sailing. Because it seems like mask wearing will be around with us for an extended time and with being vaccinated I'm out where a mask is required more often, I recently bought some more masks. I found ones that are made of silk and have a better shape. I find the material and the better shape makes them pretty comfortable to wear even at the gym. I care more about excursions. I sincerely hope that they lift the require
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