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Everything posted by milepig

  1. We enjoyed the Motu BBQ - I thought the participatory dancing went on too long, and I was the one in the men's room at that point a couple weeks ago. I got caught by the similar event during the lei making demonstration on board. WS does a really nice job of the Motu night, and the food was excellent, although dessert, which we didn't need, was a bit week. I mentioned in another thread that we had the WS Brass on board. They had their own little VIP table on the Motu, and as we left they were behind me and I heard the CEO say "nice event, what did it cost us?" Bring your camera and watch for the sunset, it was unbelievable the night we were there. Also a great chance to get some shots of the Spirit with the sails illuminated.
  2. The breeze should come up at dusk, but our night in port in BB was miserable. We made an early night of it and crashed. The next morning was already very hot by breakfast. On the postive side. If you take the tender and then go to the road and walk right a very short distance you’ll find a gallery with the only real art we saw the entire trip. Beautiful glass.
  3. You depart from Berth I at 17:00, which means boarding will commence at 13:00.
  4. You you should have received your final invoice by now. That has the departure and boarding time on it. She ship can’t be hard to find in Aruba, but if you google aruba Cruise port I suspect you will find an actual berth number. I have no idea what an “electronic ticket” is. I’ve never received one in 15 WS Cruises. Just that final invoice. Just call your TA or WS if you booked directly and ask for a PDF of your final invoice. They should be able to do that immediately.
  5. We were onboard the itin before you. Toward the end the weather became so humid that it was almost unbearably hot - even the crew was complaining. Did it get better for you? Our day after the cruise we had one of those "get really hot, have a little rainstorm, the humidity improved, then it got hot and humid again, then it stormed..." days. People seemed to have two reactions - sit in the pool at the hotel up to your neck or hunker down in your room. Almost no one was walking around, the balconies were empty. Just miserable.
  6. With our global plan we do just fine using cell phone data access in most places. It certainly works 100% when you're in port and very often whenever you're close to land. For many areas that's much of the time. Just be sure to disallow the OnWaves carrier or you'll be in for a big shock when the warning about using a ton of paid access start to come. On most days we had access from when we woke up in the morning until a fair amount of time after we left port in the evening, a window of maybe 12 hours without access, 8 of which you're sleeping, worked for us. As long as I can get my email fix in the morning and evening I'm good to go. We had no included data in French Polynesia, so I did get the unlimited WS package. Access was indeed spotty, and on several occasions I almost threw my device overboard, but once things got sorted out I mostly made it work. When you get your access code on boarding they'll also give you a list of things they suggest you turn off. While that is aimed at people who are paying as they go, I also used it to turn off all my stuff that goggles data, and it seemed to help. Hint: write down what you changed so you can reverse it later. The biggies were auto app updating, cloud backup, and I deleted my trash. To help with lag in loading full messages, I increased my preview to 5 lines, which helped me know which emails I could ignore. I had a lot of trouble with emails I thought I'd deleted coming back to life like zombies and when it took you 20 minutes to delete a hundred messages doing it a second or third time becomes a real pain. The answer for me was the sit on my hands and wait before starting to read things. Let the phone say "completed" and then close the inbox and reopen it a couple times, if it is still saying "completed" then you're probably OK to delete stuff. Even so, I'd delete a few at a time, close the inbox and then reopen to be sure the stuff stayed deleted. The biggest annoyance is that even with the prepaid plan they make you log back in like every 10 minutes. It is indeed two devices at a time, so with only the two of us that was fine. The technique we used to only allow wifi access was to: turn off wifi then put the phone into airplane mode then turn wifi back on and log into the WS port - there are several ports around the ship and I needed to be sure I chose the one closest to where I currently was - Veranda, Pool Bar, etc. Each level of cabins had several options to try. Sometimes it would connect automatically and sometimes it wouldn't/
  7. All guests in the cabin need to buy the package. There is no option for one to buy and not the other.
  8. The procedure on the Spirit is: they want the bags outside your door by 6:30 (or maybe 6:45, can’t temember) not the night before as has been out experience in the last. Breakfast began at 6:30 so we got up threw our bags out and headed for some brekkie. Some people were let off earlier, but the transfer to the Sofitel (aka Meridien) was at 8:30. We were called at 8:15. Bags were ready to be claimed and off we went. The group filled a large bus and van. Most were day guests before their evening flight, and they seemed pleased to spend the day swimming and lounging. We were one of only a handful who were staying the night and we had a small group having a light dinner (tapas at the pool bar from 5-7) and the next day the hotel has a fairly priced shuttle into town. We took it and just bummed around to waste time. By our 7:45 pickup for the airport we were the only ones left. I wish we’d gone to Chez Remy next door for dinner the first night but we were still full of WS chow and were dated. Our itin had Moorea last, and a bunch got off there and took the ferry to catch the flights that night instead of going on to Papeete, getting home a day or two early.
  9. I can add that we were just on the Spirit for Thanksgiving, and they pulled off a very good traditional Thanksgiving Dinner - turkey, giblet gravy, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. There were other options on the menu as well. The only think I missed was baked ham. In general, it appears that you will find much Christmas tradition on the islands. When we left the Sofitel was putting up their Christmas trees, and stores were decorating and a couple shops we walked through were selling very traditional decorations, wrapping paper, etc. There were signs for the Christmas Market in the market in Papeete, running, IIRC from the 18th through the 24th.
  10. Just remember that the ship isn’t equipped for major stuff, in a normal itin a hospital is always close, not so in the middle of the Atlantic.
  11. The boulangerie is indeed fantastic, I felt like we were in Paris. Nice people, great goods, a baguette is still the standard Euro (more or less) quick walk with 2 minutes on the road then you’re in a parking lot. The entire walk took five. The bakery is just past the grocery store which is well stocked with basics. . Our driver also raves about the French Restaurant that’s behind the pharmacy. I lost the name but you can’t miss it, there’s just the one. She said it has a French feel about it. The hotel, now a Sofitel, is nice but not luxurious. Our “ocean view” is mostly blocked by palm trees. After our itin a full sized bus plus a small van, both full, went there. Most were on a day room plan, and the place the next day feels very empty.
  12. Can you look at a similar earlier itin? They tend to not vary much.
  13. RIght you are - I'm over relaxed from French Polynesia! I momentarily thought that all the suites on the triplets are called "classic suites" my TA must have gotten quite a deal since he booked a Balcony Suite for one leg and a Classic suite on the other without asking me (we'd been working on this for awhile) .We will be in luxury!
  14. I know that midnight approaches for many, but if you hurry you can snag some deals. My TA got us a back to back for next summer - alumni and recent cruiser discounts intact, a special price on one leg and a $500 shipboard credit on the other. Still a WS loyalist!
  15. No real chance onboard, toward the end of a cruise the staff is always very busy and distracted, but it will certainly be made known to WS though direct contact and the survey. I also don't want to get specific crew in trouble as is seemed like something else was going on to cause the general issue. If anything, i think there was a bit of extra work for the brass- meeting to provide food for, group lunches, private party, etc.As I said in my OP, this is a phenomenon we've noted on several occasions, service begins as top notch and they fades toward the end. But, we're still WS fans and have just booked our next adventure - look for the Cyber Monday post.
  16. Yes. I was, or technically still am. I think what struck me was the night and day difference. Some of the best service ever on WS and then, boom. In general we didn’t have an issue with drinks service and in the afternoon someone would even circle through Veranda and upfront taking orders, maybe every 30 minutes. Then the last 2 days nothing. BTW. the WS brass boarded in Bora Bora.
  17. I’m posting since this is the third time this has happened to us. It seems to especially affect the Veranda. The experience is, great service and then about 3 days before the end there is a steep nosedive. The last two breakfasts it seems like no one is working, no one pouring coffee, no one taking orders. Tables sat uncleared and what seemed like a host of servers is down to almost no one. Yesterday to find anyone I had do sit with my menu over my head for 5 minutes waving it before someone wandered by. The few who are working seem to be mostly staring off the side or walking around not making eye contact. The one who greeted me by name every time is sullen. Lunch yesterday was a joke. Scheduled until 2, the salad bar was mostly emptied and then cleared away by 1:45. The buffet sat there empty except for dead minute steaks that no one wanted to touch. The ice cream ran out. Today was also also pretty much the same. No one walking around taking orders, no one taking drink orders (until today they brought my drink as I was sitting down) we had to go back to the bar. We wanted rose, they were out and we were told there was no one to go get more. Just night and day, and not for the first time. Everyone was grumbling about it. Has as anyone else noticed this phenomenon?
  18. We’re in 210. Ending tomorrow. Have a safe trip. I am about to post a thread about bad service at the end of the journey casting a cloud over the trip. This is not the first time this has happened to us. It’s like half the staff has disappeared. Still very hot here. Much more so that he beginning of the trip.
  19. That is apparently the plan. There was a rumor that the one on the Spirit was gone, backed up by a new deck map showing a Yacht Club Cafe, but we’re on the Spirit right now and it is very much open. It seems like many cruise lines are removing the casinos. They can’t make much money, they’re always mostly empty. Perhaps you can challenge your wife to a friendly game of gin or cribbage.
  20. Yeah. She wasn’t on the one cruise ship locater I checked, but we saw her outside the reef about 10 last night and she was anchored this morning.
  21. I guess we’ve adjusted. But the noise is there. Think of it as white noise I guess. You will likely have Victor as your cabin attendant. He’s great. I have comments on the specialty coffee thread about ports and such. All ports are very small so don’t plan to do much just “walking around shopping.
  22. Full thanksgiving dinner last night. There was also pumpkin pie.
  23. Still in Bora Bora. Beach BBQ dinner day. We were joined by the Paul Gauguin this morning. First ship, passenger, freight or ferry, that we’ve seen since leaving Papeete over a week ago.
  24. casino absolutely open We’re on day 1 of Bora Bota. The 4x4 tour was great. We are on the 11 day. Fakarava Blue Lagoon was wonderful. Rangiroa we just did the glass bottom boat and actually had a good time. Tahaa was the vanilla and pearl farm, very nice. Raitea we did squat. Only three days left. Weather is still amazing. If i were more relaxed I’d be a puddle.
  25. So it does. I think they use the same plan for the a Spirit and Star, and I think I read that the Star Casino is gone? In any case it is still very much in place on the Spirit.
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