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Everything posted by milepig

  1. Don’t wait for a cruise. Just go!! I’m not shilling for the hotel I linked but it was in a neighborhood close to many local restaurants you’d never find except by wandering and an easy walk to the new city. Not touristy so safe. Istanbul is amazing. Go.
  2. Leaving Istanbul is also on the list - made more so by the hotel we chose last time we were there, the Witt. This was out room: https://www.wittistanbul.com/king-panoramic-with-terrace/ every morning and evening we'd sit on the terrace and just listen to the sounds of Istanbul, especially when the various calls to prayer rang out for minaret to minaret. We actually saw the, um, Spirit I think, sailing in the morning of our boarding. Then at the end, sailing out with all the boats, sailing past Gallipoli with a live commentator. Istanbul is another magical place, another port that the sailed ships are made for. I miss it and wouldn't hesitate to go back and will do so soon. I can't imagine a more charming and welcoming people.
  3. This was before they added the dinner, but we did a WS tour that day which was good. We had a good guide, and this was one of our first itins before we really knew about private tours. THere was a period when I think both ships were routinelyin Rhodes on the same day.
  4. Rhodes was also the single best WS moment ever - that that's saying a lot. The Star and the Spirit were in port on the same day, one going West and one East. We sailed at the same time, a late sail so it was dark. The two captains turned on all the sail lights and we circled each other two or three times before we left port and then one went in one direction and one in the other. Magical.
  5. I'll concentrate on the islands: Nafplio. Very nice town, we docked right in the middle of town. There's a very well kept central area with interesting shops. We took the steps up to the old fortress, not for the faint of heart, better to take a taxi or tour up the back way. There are two museus that we didn't go to. I remember a very nice seafood lunch right at the port. Mykonos: we missed due to high winds/currents. This is apparently comment. We went to Milos instead, which turned out to be fascinating. Ermoupoli: another nice stop. Again we moored very close to the center. If I have the cities right this is the one with the two churches on the two hills. I walked to the one on the right when you face the city from the ship. I look a fairly easy short route up, and than back to the city down a long stretch of steps. Impossible to get lost - on the way up just keep looking for the tower, on the way down, all steps lead tot he city center. Again, a nice main area to walk around. Kusadasi: This is all about Ephasus. No question, just go. Patmos: Not on our itin. Rhodes: You dock a bit of a walk from the center of town, but it's very doable. If you head right along the shoreline you'll come to the palace of the Grand Knights is wonderful and has nice gardens. Also the archaeological musuem. On our way back we took a street a bit above the shore route that was filled with shops and restaurants, and then a street that led downhill right to the harbor. I don't remember having to look to find them, it just seemed natural. Some people did trips around the island and came back pleased, we just stayed in town and had a great day. If you have a late sail like we did, many from the ship went back into down for dinner at about sunset and came back RAVING about the experience. Agaio Nikolaos: Not on our itin. Santorini: We actually did a WS tour that day and liked it a lot. We started at the top of the hill and walked along the part with the white villas. The views were amazing. The sesame coated peanuts they sell everywhere are amazing. We did NOT take the donkeys back down to the shore and am glad, those who did smelled really bad. Modemvasia: not on our itin
  6. Not the James Beard, but we were on a wine and food themed cruise from - IIRC - Barcelona to Lisbon a few years back. It was on the Surf, and every afternoon we had a tasting in the big lounge which was FILLED with tables with more glassware than I've ever seen in my life. A very self-important SOMM discussed the four (or was it eight, things blurred) wines we were tasting, and then the wines re-appeared at dinner, in theory paired with the wines, WS did OK with that. The poor WS staff had no idea what they were pouring and you could easily wind up with a regular sized wine glass filled to the brim with sherry or some other heavy dessert wine. They just poured and poured and poured. At the tasting many people tried a couple and got bored and walked away leaving their untouched glasses of some really good stuff. Let's just say it was good that none of us were driving. I still have the brochure somewhere - they were pouring really nice wines, some in the $100+ range for sure. Each night was regional based on where we were, and I sort of had the impression that local wine marketers brought them in, so I don't know how many WS actually purchased. Great fun - hic. Most days there was a land tour included at no extra charge - a visit to a winery, something like that. They were OK.
  7. Could you point us to your itin on the WS website and/or post the islands you're visiting.
  8. Wait. After all these years you’re telling us that the purpose of a SOMM isn’t to find us the perfect wine for my meal regardless of price but rather to “up-sale”??
  9. Are the SOMMs still around? There was no sign of them on our last two cruises. Given WSs middle of the road wine list they didn't actually serve much purpose.
  10. I'm really curious about this as well. That idea never occurred to me.
  11. When we first started with WS we were in a different place financially and we bought as much wine on shore to cover afternoon drinks, etc. sometimes we’d grab a glass in the cabin, fully kosher. We might go back up top after dinner to a quiet spot on the deck with a glass. We would order a bottle with dinner. I found the prices high and the selection not go great. But we were spending too little time mingling and meeting fellow travelers. Fast forward. We’re more financially comfortable, the wine list has improved and with a nice range of prices. We just buy the package and don’t think about it.
  12. Yes in the dining room or by the bar. We’ve been known to bring a bottle and glasses up on deck in the afternoon and no one has said a word, but I’d be happy to pay the corkage if anyone asked.
  13. There was just a post on the roll call thread. The itin was canceled, people are being allowed to stay on board, although the PPT port isn't where I'd like to be for a week. The are getting their WS payment back along with airfare, but not any accommodations other than "stay on board." There wasn't any mention about also the charges to rebook a flight. Anyone is free to leave to go to another island or hotel, but WS isn't paying for that. There was talk that some pax managed to rebook on the Paul Gauguin, WS gave them the phone number and said they were on their own. This is one time that explains why I use a TA - one call to him (or actually he might call me first) and he'd get it all sorted out. We were caught in the aftermath of the Pride grounding - not that itin but the next. And he contacted me by email phone and text before we heard anything from WS. Those messages from him came as we were leaving for the airport and he saved the day.
  14. And they even have a TA program that they've recently enhanced. I stumbled across this when searching for something else; https://www.travelagentcentral.com/cruises/windstar-launches-new-travel-agent-rewards-program Sorry about the obnoxious overlay ad.
  15. I don't know why I didn't think of this before, but I just looked and found a few more pieces of information on the 6/6 sailing roll call. They're saying that the 6/6 itinerary has been canceled and that the 6/13 may be as well. So many disappointed and inconvenienced pax. My first thought was that if WS would be willing to pay for a week on Moorea (in addition to other compensation) that wouldn't be the worst place in the world to be. Those PPT flights tend to be fairly full, I'd think it would be hard to find last minute flights, and the change fees would be huge. My guess is that since the damage seems to be so minor that the issue is trying to sort out what happened to cause the loss of power, which is never a good thing. Also possible that they can't sail until the investigation is complete, but since they actually sailed back to PPT, that isn't completely logical.
  16. This is classic why I use a TA. Apologies if you did and they failed you. Mine is like a dog with a bone and he had access to people at WS I don’t.
  17. Here’s one more old report. First I’ve seen about other ships being struck https://maritimebulletin.net/2019/06/02/cruise-ship-msy-wind-spirit-struck-yachts-pier-after-engines-failure-south-pacific/
  18. Wow. Do we know if there were pax on board or if they were out testing with no pax? So odd that there’s been no press I’ve seen about this continuing situation or from the affected pax. Sort of shows how few people are on cruise critic!
  19. I can’t follow this progression. She was moving again. you confirm you can “see her sailing right now” and then “now back in port in PPT. Did she sail sail out and then return??
  20. We almost always book when we’re leaving the last one, getting the recent cruiser credit.
  21. I the case of the sweater I'd just bring the receipt and ask for the sale price - in stores they'll often honor the price if the purchase was close - and one time a store gave me the price with a wink, saying "this stuff is all going on a 40% sale tomorrow, I'm putting in through now. In the case of WS, the terms are very clear that once you've made the final payment you're done. Sometimes you lose. I tend to not look at the prices once I've committed since I know I'll just get a little upset.
  22. I think Jazzbeau meant that we don't complain when we "got a deal" and would have paid more if we'd waited until later. So, it's OK if the price later goes up and we paid less. So, we shouldn't complain when the price goes down and we can'g get the lower price. Once you're booked (even with just the deposit) WS will never change your price.
  23. I that, but when you're essentially paying the price of a regular cabin, I'll call them perks.
  24. Yep. At least now it shows up on your final paperwork you get mailed, but in some ports the port can be split into multiple locations miles apart. I like to book a hotel close (often walking distance) from the port, and by the time they tell you it's too lake to book a hotel. The good thing is that if you scrounge around there's almost always a port site that shows all the upcoming arrivals and where they dock. Not 100% certain, but it always has been so in my case. I've never figured out what it is, but our taxi driver who picked us up at the airport in Barcelona had an app he used to call up a map of the cruise port that showed where all the cruise ships were docked along with their boarding and departure times.
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