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About Cruiseaddict1971

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  1. Forgot to mention that while in Huahine we did go to the water platform. We saw that some folks were tubing and being pulled by one of the zodiacs. Asked Shane if we could take it for a spin and he said it would be ready in ten minutes. I asked how much was the cost and he smiled and said it was included. Nice! It was a blast. Also saw saw some people wakeboarding with another zodiac. Noticed they have mountain bikes and other toys also. The kayaks were in the water along with some large foam sun beds. Think 16'x16' giant foam rafts. These were popular with several on each chatting away. We we brought our own snorkel gear but my friend used a snorkel and fins from the ship for the week and this is where she signed for it and returned it. Here is a a photo of a small part of the on deck bbq spread. The grilled lobster and lamb is the last area you get to past the suckling pig so save room on your plate. Other photo is of us during dinner in Amphora one night and at the island bbq.
  2. Well, the cruise came to an end this morning. It was a rocky ride last night and I miss the roll of the ocean already. Right now we are at the Manava resort in Papeete staying over night before taking Air France back to LA tomorrow morning. It has been quite overcast today but I hope the folks on board Wind Spirit this week has the weather we had last week. We are enjoying a beautiful view of Moorea from the Oceanside loungers. Perhaps we will see the Wind Spirit sail by. Dinner last night was a delicious lobster thermador followed by some great vanilla bean panacotta. We noticed that they have truffle garlic fries on the everyday menu so we had those also. A strange combination but delish. We woke this this morning and packed our bags so they were outside the door by 645 AM to be taken off the ship. Due the rain breakfast was brought to the Amora dining room. I absolutely loved this cruise so much. For those that have been, you understand. For those on the fence about going, you will not be sorry. I started this thread a few days ago whilst on the yacht saying I am sold on Windstar; I still feel the same. Such a great value. The extras thrown in (motus rented by cruise, bbq on island, bbq and candles onboard, included soft drinks and cappuccino) make this line a really strong value. We don't really drink alcohol and aren't 'cheapskates' but our final bill was $194 I think. For the gratuities. As far as costs go (not to be offensive as some don't like to discuss pricing, but to help others budget): cruise cost $2,000 each, air $1,200 each. We booked private excursions and prepaid those along with our pre and post hotels ($300/night). I would guess that our excursions were about $900 total, car rental Moorea ($120) and we probably spent another $500 on souvenirs, gifts and tips. We exchanged $500US at the airport in Tahiti for $470 French francs and still have $150 left. All in cost was about $8500 for two. Yikes! I think that's the first time I've put all the pricing together. Airfare is what stings the most so use points if you can. Glad we paid as we went along. In the market place in Papeete (second floor) there is a pearl shop where you choose your pearls and they make jewelry for you in about an hour. My wife chose her pearls and had a bracelet made of the 14 pearls she chose. The pearls are about 12mm and not perfect but she finds them pretty. The pearls are in baskets based on individual pearl price. From $2 to $150 each. She chose $4 pearls and the bracelet is actually lovely! All in cost was around $58. Crazy. Price of costume jewelry and makes for a nice inexpensive keepsake. Taxi cost from port to Manava hotel was $27; $23 for taxi and $1 for each bag. Cost for taxi to the airport in the morning is about the same. Thanks for hanging out with me during this fabulous cruise. My wife always says for every trip "it's the trip of a lifetime!". She was right.
  3. Last night I asked if there were any cancellations for Candles (al fresco dining) so we could eat there again (Maitre D suggested previously to check) but there were none. Matte D took our three cabin numbers and said he would see if anything opens on the last night. We went to the main dining room and I ordered the tuna and it was again cooked, like everything, cooked perfectly. Seared but pink inside. I also ordered the mussels but asked for them as an appetizer portion instead. For desert the fudge chocolate cake with a glass of milk (wife and friend had cappuccino) and that was delish! The scones are under glass at the little coffee shop and you have to ask for the clotted cream as it is in the refrigerator. Clotted cream was fresh and buttery smooth. Is your mouth watering? 🙂 another great nights sleep. Went to bed at 10 and slept until 530 (now). Feel so relaxed and refreshed. I was afraid the itinerary would be too busy but it isn't. It IS however too short. Petunia got it right with her (yes, I am jealous) 17 days. I'm at the point in the cruise where I wish I could Genie 3 more days added on. Oh how I don't want to leave. Lol. Yesterday, Bora Bora day 1, the water platform was down and all of the toys were in the water. Today is the island bbq. We received notice that our catamaran will depart at 445pm to the island for the evening festivities. Not sure what the rest of the day holds yet. The ladies plan to go shopping. I don't mean to sound so gushing about this trip but usually (after having done so many cruises) I am good with a cruise while I am on it and then when I look back I appreciate it more. For this one, I am appreciative as it is happening and said countless times 'oh my gosh I love this ship and I love Windstar'. I am am glad we are in yacht club on our MSC cruise this fall as it only has a couple hundred folks in that section. Perhaps that is the reason so many also love MSC yacht club is the smaller (and more personal and intimate) feeling. We are then cruising in Celebrity from Sydney in early January for 10 days. The Celebrtiy cruise may be the decision maker. Back to a traditional one size fits all cruise experience. I am already wondering if I will be missing this smaller experience. Or perhaps it will be nice to go back and forth (God willing that to be the case if course). But for now, I am grateful for the opportunity to work very hard to have experiences like this. The memories being made now are forever and it is worth the saving and little cutbacks we make in our daily lives to be able to do this. I won't be on my deathbed saying "I wish I bought a Tesla instead of a Prius" but I may be saying "remember when we swam with the sharks in Bora Bora?".
  4. I said hello to Danielle for you. She was a bit surprised! Today in Bora Bora we did Moana Tours jet ski tour, lunch, rays/sharks. I think it was $450/couple. Ridiculously amazing. The jet ski portion was super fun, lunch was a bit touristy feeling, first snorkel stop was just OK as the moth yesterday seemed to have better snorkeling...but then! The first shark stop was cool but the second...we'll let me just say it was out of this world. Best excursion I've ever done. Memories that will last a lifetime. The excursion was from 0930-400. A long day and just amazing. The strong water pressure and instant hot water makes for a great shower. The verbena Loccitane that are replenished when low fill the room with lemon goodness that is so relaxing. The shampoo, conditioner, lotion and bath gel are each 2.5 ounce bottles and accompany matching bar soap. The included mini bar sodas have been replenished upon consumption and extras of the club soda and Diet Coke were left when Ady noticed that this is what we have been drinking. I don't drink but my wife's wine that she brought was also placed in the fridge by Ady to cool. Very thoughtful. This cruise just just gets better and better. Had a scone with clotted cream and now for a bit of a nap or a movie. There are a few channels with different current movies being looped on them. We also picked up a couple movies this week from the front desk. We aren't missing the normal shows in the evening on larger ships. We've been in bed by 10 due long days. Bed is super comfy. Still an an absolutely flawless experience. I am feeling that there is great value for the money spent with Windstar. Fellow guests are lovely and have also been complimentary of the yacht size and service received on-board.
  5. Today we were on the private island that Windstar rents for the BBQ. Absolutely beautiful with some surprisingly good snorkeling. They brought the kayaks and paddle boards from the ship to shore for guests to use. We spent several hours on the island and came back for a shower, some reading and perhaps an hour nap. Lovely day! BBQ consisted of burgers and dogs, various salads, paella, grilled fish and other things. Deserts as good as always. Nice pineapple upside down cake. The drift snorkel company was Arii Moana. I would recommend them. Think it was $150/person. Includes vanilla farm and pearl farm visits (interesting but I would have been fine without visiting them). The weather forecast before we left was daunting with thunderstorms predicted for each day, however, the first two full days were beautifully sunny days. Today was overcast but no rain yet (430 pm) and it was actually pretty nice to sit up on deck reading and not get too hot from the sun. Grabbed a couple of still warm scones and some iced tea from the coffee shop on the way to the room to lie down. Delish. Tonights menu lists some some lamb chops that I will likely order but the mussels in wine sauce sound pretty tasty also. Oh, the eggs benedict from breakfast were perfect! There is a menu in the table that you can order from if you don't see items on the buffet that appeal (they will appeal. Lol). The almond croissant. Oh my how I will miss you!! I must have an extra each day just in case. I lost 27 pounds this year to reach my target weight and will have to return to my Whole 30 diet when I get home. I've probably gained 5 pounds in 3 days. Ha! Just may have to adjust the diet to 60 days rather than 30. Worth it. Captain in just announced that Bora Bora weather tomorrow is A-OK. Yippee.
  6. We are about half way through our cruise and I am completely happy with everything about Windstar. I think this is my 39th cruise (have cruised Carnival, Celebrity, Holland, NCL, Disney, RC, Princess) and this may be my new favorite line. Normally I wouldn't cruise without a balcony but I love this little cabin so much that I don't miss it all that much. We have cruised previously in the smallest inside cabin and the largest cabin (Garden Villa@6000 SF) but I am just smitten with this porthole cabin. The ship is small enough that it is so easy to go out for air. The service is top notch. I have had butlers before and this service is so personal and immediate its very similar to butler service. The food is the best of any line I have sailed. It is like specialty restaurant dining but at every meal. Everything, I mean everything, is delicious and of best quality. It seems they spare no expense on their food budget. And it is cooked perfectly. Last nights grilled lobster under the stars was amazing and I am not the biggest lobster fan. Maybe Im just under a Tahitian spell as this is a magical experience, but I mentioned yesterday that perhaps we should cancel one of our upcoming cruises and rebook on Windstar. Cabin 238 is quiet and a decent location. Perhaps a bit more toward the back would be better. And I think next time I would like to be on the lower deck to have a perspective of the water line being even closer. The drift snorkel on Raiatea was ridiculously fun. I did it three times and could have done it all day if time permitted. Just breathtaking. Not as many fish as we saw in Fiji but the experience was more fun here as you literally feel like a glider plane in the water with the current pushing you effortlessly past fish and corals. Our precruise hotel at Manava Resort (took ferry to Moorea) was ok. It served as a good prenight hotel but it was definitely worth taking the ferry to Moorea as we rented a car and spent the day exploring this magnificent island. Lunch at Snack Mahana is great! Delicious fish burger. Sorry this is all over the place chronologically but it's 5am and I'm doing this on my phone (t mobile has free texting and data in French Polynesia by the way). Just waiting to get up for a Latte and eggs Benedict followed by a lazy day and what I am sure is going to be a brilliant day at the motu bbq. What a nice Easter treat! We initially were booked on Paul Guagin but switched to Windstar. While I am sure the other line is also good, I am so happy with our decision as I now may have found the line that just feels like a perfect fit. Our next cruise is MSC Mediterranean in Yacht Club and that should also be a good experience. I guess that is what would define this cruise...an experience. Not just another cruise (don't take that the wrong way as I am grateful for my travel opportunities). For reference I am 48 and my wife is 59 and from Orange County CA. We seem to be the average age demographic with some older and some younger. There are no children under teenage years on board that I've seen. First review I've ever done while still in a cruise I think. My previous logon isn't working but I've been on cruise critic for about 20 years (when it was first created). 5 out of 5 Stars and a net promoter from someone who appreciates quality over quantity with a bit of luxury thrown in. While I want to tell everyone, selfishly I feel like I found a secret vacation option that I want to keep to myself.
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