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Everything posted by new_cruiser

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. Silversea wouldn't work for me. I wouldn't want the formal or even the informal nights. I prefer Windstar's smart casual every night. Some people choose to dress up more and some follow the minimum of slacks and a nice shirt/blouse.
  5. I think the distortion in that version of the photo makes it look more crowded than it is. The undistorted photo on the website looks better.
  6. I'm hoping, with more data on the vaccine over the next few months, rather Windstar will be able to reconsider and loosen their policy on shore excursions. For example, I read that they found vaccines highly effective in a study where they checked nasal swabs on vaccinated people in high exposure jobs (e.g. health care) once a week to see if they got asymptomatic infections that could spread COVID. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p0329-COVID-19-Vaccines.html
  7. The answer is yes, Windstar is requiring the vaccine per an email we received from them this morning. Also, they are requiring a negative test result within 72 hours of boarding and will be doing a second test on the pier. I'm a bit concerned about handling the timing for getting tested 72 hours before an Athens departure. Either we get tested right before leaving and get results electronically and don't plan on much leeway for flight delays and un-jet-lagging before the cruise or we get a test in Athens.
  8. We are on the Star Collector that starts 25 Oct so the second segment of our trip will be the first segment of yours. Our first segment is Athens to Athens and then we stay on for Athens to Barcelona.
  9. I enjoyed the solo experience on Windstar. There weren't very many other solos but I find people on Windstar to be very welcoming and had no issues with socializing with couples. When going in to dinner, the Maitre d' will ask each party (single or couple) if you prefer a table to yourselves or sharing. When traveling with my husband, we almost always opt for sharing and when I traveled alone I opt for sharing. Enough others want to share that our shared table has always been populated reasonably quickly. That gives a chance to get familiar with other passengers. I h
  10. It would have been more clear to include the heading that goes above the list of dates instead of just posting a list of dates without an indication of the meaning: New timeline for resumption of operations For the first time, I am hopeful with the vaccine roll-out that this will be the last update of the dates. We are scheduled for 18 days Athens to Barcelona in Fall 21 and I think it will go. I also hope that they will be able to loosen up on the private excursion and independent wandering around in ports by then. We might cancel if they don't but I'm torn.
  11. Well, we did it. We have switched to the 18-day Cruise Collector instead of just doing the 10-day cruise that starts it. For the first time in a year, I feel that I have a cruise booked that is likely to actually sail. (Edited to clarify - we had the first part of the cruise booked since the May one was cancelled, but at that point I didn't feel as confident about it sailing because the vaccination program was just starting and going so slowly). I've also booked solo on the crossing (my husband has no interest in doing an ocean crossing). It all makes me very happy (
  12. They have often had 2 ships (Wind Star and one of the motor yachts) doing the Panama Canal Costa Rica cruises at the same time. Some of those cruises get heavily discounted. They have been doing it for a long time so I assume that they are happy with the results. Some Tahiti cruises (often the close in ones) are often substantially cheaper than other dates so that's not unusual even when they have had only Wind Spirit there. I expect that Star Breeze will attract some passengers who haven't gone before because they don't like the smaller rooms on the sailing ships and/or the l
  13. I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel too. My husband and I are booked on a cruise in October - a similar itinerary to our canceled Greece, Israel and Egypt May 2021 cruise. We are thinking of switching to the cruise collector that adds an Athens to Barcelona itinerary. Also, I'm leaning toward booking a 23-day cruise for March 2022 - reduced solo-supplement on an Atlantic crossing followed by a stops in the Canary Islands and Casablanca.
  14. My favorite is to take small ship cruises - ships with a capacity of 350 or fewer passengers. Mostly I've been on Windstar, but I've also done one cruise on Star Clippers. Star Clippers almost always has some cruises with no solo supplement. https://www.starclippers.com/us-dom/specials/waived-single-supplements.html The one I took with them was one of those and there were quite a few traveling solo on the cruise. I love the casual atmosphere, the long port days. I've been on Windstar solo at times and with my husband other times. In some ways they are simil
  15. Typo: I meant 5 or more drinks a day (most wines and cocktails are between $7 and $11).
  16. Are you asking about Windstar? All non-alcoholic beverages (e.g. coffee drinks and sodas) are included. Specialty restaurants are included (everyone can reserve one night for each at the start of the cruise and later in the cruise you can get additional bookings if space is available) Information on the All-In Package (alcoholic beverages, wi-fi, laundry and gratuity) is here: https://www.windstarcruises.com/all-inclusive-cruise-package/ Information on the individual packages is here: https://www.windstarcruises.com/voyage-plan/general-informatio
  17. For those interested in trying small (~300 or fewer occupancy) ship cruising, Windstar currently has a lot of reduced solo supplement cruises. They have been offered pretty rarely in the past and you had to call to see which sailings had them. Now they have a lot of cruises with reduced supplement and the list is on the website: https://www.windstarcruises.com/reduced-single-supplement/ They pretty much have something for each region. Unfortunately, they don't have price per category on-line but they do show the starting price for each cruise.
  18. Finally they have added a list of cruises with reduced solo supplement to the website: https://www.windstarcruises.com/reduced-single-supplement/ Also, it is currently a pretty long list including something for each region. Unfortunately, they don't have price per category on-line but they do show the starting price for each cruise.
  19. We did 31 nights on Windsurf. We had booked a 14-day cruise collector and then when there was a big price drop we added on a 17-day cruise collector so we had a cabin on Deck 2 for the first part and a cabin on Deck 3 on the second part. I didn't notice any difference in noise level between the two.
  20. I think I'll wait until they relax restrictions on excursions. I'm comfortable traveling once fully vaccinated but not interested in cruising if I can't wonder around a port or book a small independent excursion.
  21. We were on Wind Surf in January/February shortly before cruising shut down. We were on b2b Cruise Collectors (31 days in all) moving cabins in the middle so we had one that hadn't been refurbished and one that had. The differences between the two cabins were subtle and the non-refurbed cabin was fine.
  22. That's not accurate. Most vaccine trials to date only monitored for whether participants got symptomatic infections so it's unknown whether the vaccinated can still be carriers and infect others. It may prevent transmission but it's not been confirmed either way. One trial did check a small sample of participants and the results said they didn't become asymptomatic carriers, but the sample size was too small to be definitive.
  23. If you look at the deck plans for Wind Star, Wind Spirit and Wind Surf, none of the cabins are in the very prow on those ships. The cabins star about a third of the way back. The Amphora and Stella Bistro restaurants on Wind Surf are farther forward (and higher) than any of the cabins and we haven't found the ride rough in them. I've read the cabin review thread and didn't feel that any of the issues mentioned there would make one of the cabins unacceptable to me. Sometimes one person has reported a cabin as noisy that another person found to be fine. In the motor ships, I might b
  24. When it says Call for Availability and I've checked, there weren't any guarantee cabins available. When it shows a price, there is probably one available. They only started offering guarantee cabins in the last couple of years and they are only available some of the time (possibly when the ship is starting to fill up so it let's them sell cabins to people who are willing to accept any cabin while retaining some cabin selection for those who find that important). When they have them, the price is usually slightly below the lowest category price. More recently, I've noticed a guarantee balcony c
  25. We've also gotten the 125% FCC certificates promptly after the cancellation was announced. Waiting for the certificate isn't delaying the refund by more than a few days so I doubt delaying refunds is the goal. They may be hoping that when people see the 25% larger figure that they are tempted to use the FCC after all. It may just be a way of avoiding having a refund request and the sending of the certificate cross in the time so that someone gets a refund and uses the certificate which then has to be straightened out. They could prevent this by having customers request either the refund or the
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