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Everything posted by milepig

  1. OK. Our Tahiti itinerary was the 10/11 day version. Our direction had us with Moorea as the last port before returning to Papeete. The ship sailed from Moorea to Papeete in the late afternoon/early evening and then overnighted in Papeete before a normal sort of early morning disembarkation. Those 12:01am times always indicate something is going on - they use that when you're overnighting, and also for a day at sea. On our itinerary: some people disembarked in Moorea and took the very short ferry ride to Papeete in time to catch the evening flights - this avoided a sort of worthless night at port in Papeete and then for many an extra nights since there was no flight the day of our arrival. The ferry terminal is right next to the cruise port and short taxi ride to the airport. some people disembarked upon arrival in Papeete the night we arrived. some people got off at the crack of dawn the night morning. Possibly to catch a flight, but maybe for other reasons. In any case - if you're coming from Moorea, WS will work with people on board to make this happen. I inquired during our cruise and they said it would be fine, but in the end we didn't do it as the flight we hoped to change to wasn't available. I don't know what would happen if you come from the other direction. There's a long thread about this hanging around somewhere as well. Again - if the send us the departure date of your cruise, there are ways to look this up. With that, we're only speculating. Milepig.
  2. Even though this is cheating, if there is a night where you just don’t want to change out of your shorts and slip flops, you can generally just slip in the back door point to seats and the server will just say “go ahead”. Once you’re seating no one knows. But, we don’t make a habit of this. On some cruises, especially with long stretches of sea days the crew will announce “tonight is casual night.” I’ve also had it in strong weather conditions. They may say something like “we know everyone is uncomfortable, If you are hungry Amphora is open normal hours, just come as you are.”
  3. And. Although the room service needs to be delivered to your room, there’s nothing to prevent you from taking it anywhere you want, including on deck if the weather is nice. Aren’t there always burgers on the Amphora menu?
  4. I’ve looked at their itins and am not impressed. They seem very pedestrian at first glance. Nothing new but the same routes everyone else had been doing for years. Then it gets worse. Every one I checked had very few ports. 2 days in London, then a day at sea, then two days somewhere else, then a day st sea, etc. I guess they maybe think people just want to chill and don’t care where they’re going?
  5. Newleno - I think this is your first posting on that thread, so we don't know what itin you're on. With that information we could take a stab at answering your question based on scheduled arrival into port. With that information along with whether you're disembarking on your own, are using a WS transfer, and booked into a hotel with them, what time your flight (if any), we can probably provide an estimate of when you'll be allowed to disembark, but you'll find out the exact time when onboard. At some point you'll receive a form to fill out - it will be placed in your cabin. It was ask abot your plans along the lines of the categories I outlined above. You will then receive colored luggage tags along with a schedule - something like "Orange tag - 9"15 disembarkation." They will then call the groups and you're welcome to leave. If you're really in a hurry just write on the form "First possible departure" and they'll likely accommodate you. When I'm not in a real rush but need to schedule a pickup I generally plan to pickup for an hour after arrival, and that's always worked. The general order I've seen usually begins with the "on their own" pax, then people with early flights, then the WS transfer groups, then later flights, and that process begins as soon as they can - believe me, on this day they're all in "get their butts of the ship ASAP" mode since the next group is soon to arrive. The wild card is how long the immigration check will take - I've seen it be very fast and not so fast. If you don't travel heavy, you can also speed up the process by just keeping your bags with you, there is nothing requiring you to turn them over. The entire process doesn't take as long as you'd think - this isn't a 7,000 passenger mega ship. There have been times when we had nowhere special to be and just hung out - it wasn't long before they cut off coffee then began to vacuum under our feet and then we were politely told "time to go now." If you need to know sooner than mid-cruise, I suspect that reception could show you the schedule at any point, I've just never asked. While they can't work miracles, the sooner they know you have some special need the more time they'll have to try to find a solution. If you let them know you're in a hurry they will try to help. Due to a change in flight schedule we had a short connection to KEF, which is a long way away from port. My TA let WS know and they matched us up with one other couple making the same connection. After we checked in we let reception know, they put us in contact with the other couple and suggested when we should have a cab ready. I'd prebooked the cab, so I contacted them to change the pickup time and that there would be 4 of us. During the cruise, reception left a note in our cabins to not surrender our bags but keep them with us, to be at a certain place a few minutes before disembarkation was scheduled to begin and with that we confirm our cab to also arrive then. The time came, crew came to us and swept away our bags, someone (I think the Purser) walked us off, If Iceland is a port where they clear the ship before you get your passports (I think it is) the Purser had our passports in her hand, the cab was waiting, the crew had already loaded them in the back, off we went and we got to KEF in plenty of time. None of this was WS's fault, but they bent over to make it work for us. WS has it's problems, but this is why we keep booking them.
  6. At first glance, I'm impressed. The online info is a little short on details, especially in terms of what actually included. They mention multiple restaurants - are all included or is there an upcharge? They mention "premium beverages" but that covers a lot of ground. What's actually included? The teaser fares are for the lowest level cabin - not unusual, and they seem pretty small, especially when you look at the grand suites first. I found part of my answer - it looks like all the restaurants except the high level one are included. Also are "selected" alcoholic beverages: Your cruise fare includes suite accommodations, a dedicated Personal Concierge in all suite categories, onboard gratuities for all restaurant, bar and housekeeping services, multiple dining venues, 24-hour in-suite dining, beverages such as beer, select spirits and wines, soft drinks, coffee, tea and bottled water in-suite and throughout the yacht, onboard entertainment and enrichment, use of the marina-style platform with access to watersports, and Wi-Fi. The smallest suites are listed at 312 Square Feet plus the terrace. As a point of reference the standard suite size on the Windstar Legend/Pride/Breeze is listed at 277 Square Feet and we find those spacious.
  7. I would have loved to have experienced it on the Song. She met her end far too soon. RIP.
  8. Too bad, but for $70pp, in most ports you could have a fabulous lunch on shore for less. And have a break from WS chow.
  9. This has been discussed on this forum many times. You don’t get luggage labels and such so don’t stand by the mailbox waiting for them. The only documentation you need is your passport. Exact departure information is right there on your booking paperwork which would have been emailed to you when you booked. There would have been two documents, one financial and the other detailed non-financial. This is where to look. This is also detailed in a thread. It’s in a big box in the middle if the first page. I you didn’t receive those your TA messed up. And, yes, you can book excursions online yourself.
  10. I agree with 6rugrats. If I was working with a TA who told ME to call a provider that’s the last time I’d use them. That is their job, not mine. Not only that, they have a special line with better agents. You do do seem to have had run of bad luck, but all of us have had flavors of what you describe. Ports can change and we’ve missed at least one that we partially booked an itin for. We sat right outside Porto for an entire day fogged in. We almost lost money big time on a shore trip when a stop in Japan changed, but the operator refunded our money. I’m not defending Seattle, they’re hopelessly inept or overworked or both. I’ve often wondered if they’re someone seen as sales more than service and they’re somehow paid for the irons they book rather than helping post-purchase. Even when WS sent a text and emails to call them about a cancelled itin, my TA was already on it. I knew that if I also got involved it would only mess things up, so I sat back and let him deal with it.
  11. Agree on all counts. This is the Itin the Spirit was made for!
  12. This for a single day. We had a multi-day crossing if the Indian Ocean from Thailand to India, and the crew kept us busy with activities, I especially remember a Bollywood festival where we could sit and watch movies for hours with popcorn supplied. There was also a sort of Chopped event where you had to make something from a mystery basket, trivia games, guess which crew member is lying, etc. Or you could just chill, the time passed. We tending to sleep in and then have naps in the afternoon just recharging our batteries. I think is also helped that we were in a major sea lane with tons of freighters passing by so there there was always something to look at.
  13. milepig


    My recent data point is the Spirit in French Polynesia. I’m not sure it was all ports but on at least a couple hit days we had water and iced tea, I don’t ever remember cookies. If you get off ship first and/or return late it will probably already be broken down as it’s usually “last tender and the let’s go” mode.
  14. milepig


    "Drinks in the water" by which I think you mean "by the pool"?? I'd hold out for serving me drinks while I'm in the tub. EEK! Please, everyone, don't get me wrong, WS is still a great experience overall, but there are certainly signs of prices rising with fewer incentives at the same time as cost cutting is happening. I really meant that there may be cruise lines that offer better value for the money and maybe new itins that WS doesn't offer. We had a great time this fall in Tahiti, but were concerned when the Seattle Bean Counters boarded and attended the Motu BBQ with us - as we were leaving I heard one of them ask "wow, that was really lavish, what does this cost us?"
  15. milepig


    Those of use who are WS veterans know the routine down pat, and there is certainly a lot of cost cutting going on. Prices keeping going up, bennies go down - all the way from canapes, to drink package dilution only 18 months after the new packages were announced, to fewer booking incentives - shore events, food choices reduced. On a recent cruise the pre-printed menus at breakfast always had dishes list as coming with sides of potatoes, but there weren't any on the entire cruise. On another the fruit selection got sparser and sparser with each day until we were down to canned stone fruit (apricots or peaches, can't recall which). Stupid things like the little glass jars of jams got down to one type, then ran out completely and were replaced with little peel off the top Denny's style. There are reports of the coffee machine in the Yacht Club on the Pride (and others?) being MIA and the food selection up there grim. Death by a thousand cuts. I guess they have to pay for those upcoming lengthenings somehow, but after 15+ itins we're thinking of jumping ship (pun intended). So much is still great - the cabin crews superb, but now we have to sort of beg for a new bar of soap. One cruiser reported they ran out of kleenex.
  16. milepig


    Special events seem to be mostly gone. Canapes - they were always hit or miss, and when they were present you'd see a server maybe once, or they'd go down the other side of the room and then disappear, never to return. It isn't something I count on.
  17. No. A mixed drink is a mixed drink. I think a decent brand G&T was around $10, maybe a little less.
  18. You need to buy in the first day or two. There are no free bottles on the package it’s by the glass and they keep track of who at a table is on the plan. Of course, they’ll serve YOU as many glasses as you care for. If your daughter wants a daiquiri buy her one. Trying to slip one on the side is not worth it. There are discounts on bottles above a certain price. In that case you’re buying the bottle and the transaction is done, so it may not matter who drinks it. Probably a problem if you start to buy for multiple tables or an entire table of twelve.
  19. I'd add that there were guys on shore hawking tours, but that doesn't really narrow it down either, I guess. Oh - there may have been a pearl store.
  20. All - it's good to point out that the area where Windstar anchors and tenders is NOT the Ferry Terminal port on Moorea. I haven't been able to figure out where they do anchor and is was at the end of our 11 day itin - so all I know for sure is there was water, a beach and palm trees. I don't know how far apart the two are or how available taxis are - you may need to arrange for one.
  21. Yes. You need to get from where WS anchors in Moorea, to the ferry terminal, but several couple got off on our Itin. The ferry ride is short, they run frequently during the day, and then the airport is about 20 minutes, max, from the terminal. Very doable. As always, make sure WS knows you're planning on doing this before the cruise - it avoids any nasty surprises. That having been said - I actually investigated the option while onboard and the guest services person was very amiable and agreeable. In the end it was a no go as the flight I'd been looking into changing to was fully booked.
  22. They did have a reasonable Scotch selection in the $52 plan which was not true before. I’ll need to see a list for the new plan.
  23. I forgot about Raiatea. You do dock there.
  24. My TA said “yes” a few days ago, but that the WS agents don’t know about it and have no way to apply it. He’s working on it, but it’s really meant to be done on board. Only $5 a day, so doesn’t even cover the increase. He has not yet been able to navigate the waters. What can I say. Typical WS “who’s on first.”
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