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new_cruiser

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Posts posted by new_cruiser

  1. In some cabins, one side of the bed is against the wall. I don't know how to tell which cabins that applies to. My Star Clipper cruise was a solo trip so it didn't matter but if my husband and I were to take one, we would like to avoid that configuration. Which cabins have both sides of the bed accessible? 

  2. On 6/13/2021 at 8:58 AM, Snow cat said:

    Another skeptic here. Breakthrough infections possible, but odd that it happened to both people in a cabin.

    I'm also somewhat skeptical. However, I can see some reasons that might help explain why two people sharing a cabin might have had vaccine-breakthrough cases even though the vaccines are highly effective. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are around 95% effective against the original COVID strain, so two people randomly both getting breakthrough cases would be around 5%^2 times the probability of two unvaccinated people getting COVID^2. 5%^2 is 0.25%

     

    However, the vaccines are less effective against variants, perhaps around 75% effective against some variants. Two closely associated people might have been exposed to the same variant - e.g. seeing a friend who is infected with that variant. 25%^2 is about 6.25%; still small not as unlikely. Also, perhaps two people sharing a cabin were related and had genetic commonalities that made them more vulnerable. These numbers were for Moderna and Pfizer vaccines as they've been around in the US longest but some vaccines have a lower efficacy and they may have gotten one of those.

     

    So, it makes me wonder if this is a case of people faking their vaccination record, but the probability of rare things happening somewhere isn't that low and this might just be an improbable event that occurred. 

     

    There is promising evidence coming out that vaccinated people are unlikely to spread COVID even if they get breakthrough cases. If the rest of the ship stays clear, it will actually be a hopeful sign for cruising resuming. 

  3. We always get the package, but their per piece prices aren't bad. The only time I've noticed a per bag special was on an Alaska cruise, but since I have the package, I may not have noticed other bag offers. The laundry package is included for Cruise Collecors.

     

    Out of curiosity,  I priced out what I was putting in the bag and I'd have had to stuff hard to get much better than the per piece price. Perhaps, a bag price would work out better on a warm weather cruise with shorts and light shirts than for a May Alaska.

     

    We've been happy with the laundry quality. I generally hand wash bras because I don't want to shorten their useful life. We send everything else in (mostly cottons, permapress. T-shirts and polos).

  4. 6 hours ago, Redtravel said:

    Perhaps there should be a loyalty discount for all in.  Those all in features are often standard on other cruise lines. 
    free WiFi for all should be a standard feature on any cruise.   If Windstar improved their WiFi , they might attract more guests.   
     

    They have improved their WiFi. I used it last January/February on a cruise with several sea days and was pleasantly surprised.

  5. The beverage package plus beverage and hotel service charges are $82.35. The All-in-package is $6.65 more which is slightly less than the laundry charge and a lot less than unlimited WiFi. So, it's a good deal if you would otherwise buy the beverage package and either unlimited WiFi or laundry.

     

    The beverage package daily break even is about 5 drinks if you tend toward drinks that are near the package max ($11.50 per drink). Obviously, it takes more drinks to break even if you tend toward beer, the daily cocktail and other less expensive drinks (there are a fair number that cost around $8.50). Some people like to get it even if they aren't at break even so they don't have to sign for drinks.

     

    Note: if you take a Cruise Collector, laundry is free. Sometimes a sale has included free WiFi as one of the perk choices. Also, depending on your Yacht Club status, laundry and wifi are free or discounted. For 4 star Yacht Club, the All-In package is never a deal since we get free WiFi and laundry and 10% off on the beverage package. The 3-star level gets a 5% discount on the beverage package and 10% off on WiFi and laundry - at that point, the All-In package is cheaper than getting the beverage and WiFi separately but not cheaper than beverage and laundry separately. The All-In package has no loyalty discount. 

     

     

  6. 2 hours ago, FLbeachbaby said:

    Yes the way I figured according to what I was told, at 80% the passenger max would be 250 or approx 125 cabins. Does not mean they will sell 80% just that it won't be more than that. I wish someone at WS would just say "hey  your sailing is almost full" or " the ship still has large availability" but I couldn't get anything more out of them. I will say some excursions are sold out, but again no idea what the cap is on those because there is no info.

     

    I will say I went in and poked around Celebrity and information is very clear about excursions, vaccine protocols, testing, tips for forms etc. They did impress me

    They have a lot of cruises on reduced solo supplement so some capacity reduction might be due to having cabins with one occupant.

     

    I've been on nearly full Windstar cruise 3 times. The way you could tell is that the price stayed constant or went up. Two of them had sales early on (6 or more months out) and the third never went on sale. As the cruise dates got closer, the price never dropped. If they are pretty empty, you will see them on 7-for-7 or last-minute sale price reductions. Since most of the cabins are the same size and similar layouts other than the "Star" vs old layout on the motor yachts, often the cheaper categories mostly sell out and they do upgrades to put the category on sale again. 

     

    When the cabin availability website was working, you could also see that they would hold some cabins for Star Collectors so people who book them can have the same cabin for the whole cruise. Those cabins wouldn't show up as available for the single segment cruises, but they obviously weren't booked because they were available for the Star Collector. 

  7. I don't think that's why they have the policy. If it is, they aren't doing a very good job of getting profit out of it on our fall cruise. They appear to be having trouble lining up enough excursions. They have one stop with no excursions at all and the second day of an overnight stop only has the private car/van options. A couple of stops that we have been to before just have fairly generic excursions - ones that go to the places that anyone whose been there before has already visited.

     

    In any case, I really hope that they change the policy. It is too restrictive and we really like to be able to have some ports where we just wander around town and some ports where we go to less common sites.

     

    I don't think the policy offers meaningful protection. It is maximum pain for minimal or no gain.

  8. 1 hour ago, FLbeachbaby said:

    Well I posed this exact question just yesterday to the “helpful” Windstar agent.  I was considering moving to a balcony since it is a big birthday celebration for me. I was told that there are no discounts or price drops honored and if I want to upgrade it will be at whatever rate it was when I booked. First time Windstar cruise btw. I have cruised extensively on various other lines and have never met with that response so it was quite eye opening and would then make me wait until the last minute to book Windstar in the future if I decide it is a line I enjoy. The jury is still out in pre-cruise mode.

    Somebody either:

    • misunderstood your question,
    • gave you an answer specific to a cruise less than 90 days out, or
    • gave you the wrong answer.

    Windstar has a price assurance policy that lets you take advantage of price drops up to 90 days before sailing. I've had my price adjusted many times. Sometimes the drop has been over $1000. When you change price, you get the conditions that go with the new price so if your original price had some perks and the current lower price doesn't you will loose those perks. For example, our 18 day Med cruise for this fall originally had $400 in OBC. We lost that when we repriced, but the cruise price went down by $2600 so definitely worth it. 

     

    You can choose to upgrade instead based on availability. I've also sometimes had Windstar offer a free upgrade. One time I took the upgrade. One time I didn't as we preferred our cabin location and the cabins were otherwise the same. (Neither cruise happened as they were cancelled due to COVID.)

     

    As patty1955 mentioned, there is a $50 pp charge for changing the price but they offset it with an equal amount of on board credit. 

  9. 1 hour ago, Essiesmom said:

    Am I correct in that no one has had the opportunity to sail in the stretched ships yet?  We are in a cabin in the new section, and are wondering if there are more outlets and any USB ports...  Also, are there nightlights in the bathrooms?  Or an outlet to plug one in?  EM

    Yes, you are correct. Cruising shut down after work had started on the first one. 

    There is an outlet in the bathroom. I should know but can't remember whether there in a night light in the bathroom. 

     

    I avoid using built-in USB outlets anywhere because they usually don't indicate their charging capacity and don't deliver the power for fast charging. Some don't even deliver enough to keep up with modern device run power needs.

     

    There's always been at least one 220 V Euro outlet and one 110 US outlet at the desk/vanity.

     

    I take a universal plug adapter that provides a couple of okay USB outlets and a US power outlet, a travel USB charger with high power ports and a couple of power banks. One power bank to provide power when out and about and charge at night, one power bank to use bedside and charge during the day. That way I don't have to be concerned about where the outlets are. 

  10. You can buy the things in the all-in-one package separately. Usually we have just used the our cell service and wifi in ports and not paid for shipboard internet. In Jan 2020, we had a cruise with several sea days and I bought the unlimited internet for just me so I know you can buy that for just one person in a cabin. 

    I don't think you can buy the laundry for just one in a two person cabin but we pack light and use it a lot so I've never asked.

  11. If you test positive in the pre-boarding test because you have COVID, you shouldn't go on the cruise. I'm willing to rely on vaccine protection being good enough that that's a pretty low risk. 

     

    I'm slightly worried that it would be possible to have a false positive which would keep me off the cruise without having COVID, but apparently the false positive rate for the antigen tests is quite low. I'll be continuing to check on that. 

     

    Meanwhile, I'm currently waiting for results of a COVID test that I took today due to symptoms that I think are more likely an unusually bad seasonal allergy flare-up. They aren't the most typical COVID symptoms but the doctor says that they are something COVID could present as. I am fully vaccinated and I've been wearing a mask when out and about so it's hard to figure where I could have been exposed. 

  12. Since our fall cruise starts in the EU (Greece) I expect that all the non-EU crew (which is most of the crew) will have to be vaccinated to get into Europe and I'd hope that any EU crew is also vaccinated. I'd be uncomfortable sailing with unvaccinated crew. 

     

    I think the vaccinated (passengers and crew) should be able to go on shore without taking a Windstar excursion. From the excursion descriptions, I don't see how they will provide much if any additional protection and the vaccine protection should be enough. 

  13. 2 hours ago, adomatic said:

    I asked about the beach barbecue and I was told that it was up to the Capitan but it's usually on the longest day/overnight in port. I thinking it will be in Virgin Gorda. 

    I think the person who gave you that answer may have been confused. It's the deck barbecue that's usually on the longest day/overnight in port. That's because it is nice to be anchored in the evening during the deck bbq though they may sometimes do it while sailing. The beach bbq has to be at a port where there is a beach near the ship that works for it so it's based more on whether the local facilities work for it. 

  14. On 5/20/2021 at 9:31 AM, sail2day said:

    All cruise lines will eventually drop the requirement. Windstar might end up being one of the few outliers.

    I sincerely hope that Windstar does drop the requirement. Even though I've purchased Windstar excursions in case they don't drop the policy and we still decide to take the cruise, I'm also considering cancelling the cruise if they don't drop or loosen the policy. I don't think that the policy provides meaningful protection against the virus yet it significantly restricts passengers.

     

    There are 5 port days (out of 15) where we aren't able/willing to book an excursion: 

    Limassol has only one excursion and it is currently wait-list

    2nd day in Haifa only has the private car/van excursions and

    Ashdod (Jerusalem) has no excursions that interest us - they either go to places we've been too before and aren't interested in revisiting or go to sites that don't interest us. 

    Athens (turn-around day in the middle of our Cruise Collector) only has excursions for departing passengers with drop off at airport or hotel.

    Messina - no excursions listed 

     

    The Windstar agent did say that there may be some more excursions added as the cruise gets closer but at least at this point, Windstar has some ports with little or no excursions to choose from on this cruise. 

  15. 4 hours ago, TakingFlight said:

    It’s been awhile but I think that My Windstar will show me all excursions that are available to book. I’m open to correction if that is not other’s experience.

    That's not my experience. 

    For our Fall cruise, there was one Windstar excursion that I knew we wanted take even before we booked the cruise - an overnight trip from Port Said to Cairo and the pyramids. So, as soon as the booking was live on My Windstar, I purchased that excursion and then went back to the purchase shore excursions page to start browsing what was available for the other ports. All the Port Said excursions were gone from the listing - they would all have conflicted with the one we already bought.

     

    Last week I went to purchase the other excursions for the cruise in case the Windstar policy doesn't change. Since it is an 18-day cruise, I selected the excursions for about half the ports than reviewed the list and made the purchase as it seemed easier to review it carefully in segments. When I went back to the purchase shore excursions page to choose the next set, all the ports for which I'd already purchased excursions were gone. All the excursions for 5 ports didn't sell out in the few minutes between purchasing excursions and going back to review the page.

     

    Usually I've only purchased shore excursions for one or two ports in advance and I recall the same behavior. We do our own thing or independent excursions in a lot of ports. 

     

    Furthermore, there is an excursion that I tried to purchase but the purchase wouldn't go through. I called Windstar and the agent said that it is wait-listed. The excursion still shows up on the purchase shore excursions page so apparently being sold out doesn't necessarily make it disappear.

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