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Everything posted by milepig

  1. The picture is hard to place but it doesn’t look like the Yacht Club, and looks a bit like the lounge. This is on the top deck behind the star bar, right. When you enter and take a hard right there should be a serving area with a bunch of smoothies, sandwiches, etc. along with a person operating a big coffee machine. Is that gone, or just not in operation?
  2. A couple more. The last is from the Motu bbq.
  3. Great pics indeed. Then, it’s really hard not take them on this itin. The one is a joke. Apparently WS couldn’t decide whether it was center or centre, so they just left out the R entirely.
  4. Here you go. The Star Bar/Yacht Club are on deck 8, and the closest cabins are on 6 (two floors with elevator right there) and the closest cabins are 310-313 - balcony or 302-303 and 320--321 - ocean view. The Star bar is open throughout the day through cocktail hour and again after dinner. The same cabin numbers on the floors below would be the same and are served by the same elevator. Compass Rose is on deck 6, and the closest cabins are also on 6 324-225 - Ocean View and literally right across the lobby from the compass rose, the closest balcony are 316-319. These also put you right next to the elevators/steps up to Veranda and Amphora. Compass Rose isn't open as much as the Star Bar, I think mostly cocktial hour and after dinner with music/dancing. They also serve in all the dining areas, at meal times. Of course, the other option that involves no commute or waiting for a server is your mini bar. That having been said, you can walk from one end of the ship to the other in less than 3 minutes.
  5. This is the place you should begin: http://ca.chineseembassy.org/eng/lsyw/gzrz/vusa/ The fingerprint requirement begins January first, so if you hurry you can avoid that.
  6. Other than the restaurants, there’s the pool bar that also serves the yacht club, as well as the bar in the lounge. They’ll also serve you anywhere on deck although it may make a bit of time to flag down someone.
  7. You mean the very back past the inside area. And not the spot before you enter where no one wants to sit? in any case, I’d think they have to order a replacement and then get into some port where it can be installed. The only other option would be to cancel the itins until it can be replaced. I’m a bit surprised they didn’t open Amphora.
  8. If you're looking at this trip you may want to investigate airfare adding in Xian and doing Xian on your own. This was a couple years ago, and involved a stop in NRT, not HGK, but the Xian market was priced very low for some reason. I was able to purchase business class for a Chicago-Xian round trip ticketed as: Leg one - ORD-Xian - [break in journey] - PEK-Xian Leg two - Xian-ORD (with a change of plane in PEK) It was about half the price as ORD-NRT-PEK-ORD All travel was on United or Air China. I was expecting it to ticket as an multi-destination trip - ORD-NRT, then PEK Xian, then PEK-ORD and was very surprised when UAs system combined the first two legs into one, pricing it as a Round Trip.
  9. Not in our experience. They may hand you one freebie when you arrive - usually a very weak tropical sort of thing.
  10. Must be. She was showing as just a bit outside port so very possibly repositioning. I wonder what’s up?
  11. The port site says she was supposed to depart at 17:00. It looks like the Breeze is hanging out just outside port and It looks like the Breeze and Star are both using dock I. Edit. Scratch the Breeze that was a false hit on another Breeze. Vessel Finder is now showing the Star as underway, just a bit outside port. I hope that’s true.
  12. At a recent Indian wedding I attended there was no elephant but the entire wedding party must have practiced their dance routine for weeks - spot on Bollywood and then there were fireworks off Navy Pier. Chartering the entire Spirit for a family event - great idea for those with deeper pockets than mine. I can imagine the group line dancing all around the Spirit from the Bow aft to the Pool deck and then around again. It sounds like a total blast. Does the large travel agent group bother you? We had one itin. where they sort of took over the entire ship and the rest of us felt almost captive. On our trip many people gathered on the pool deck as Candles was starting to finish up. The breeze was up and there were beautiful evenings up top. I must admit that we never poked our noses into the Lounge after dinner - I hate that space and with the evening breezes calling... Our cabin was right below the lounge and I could hear a bit of noise coming through our vent in the bathroom, but it didn't penetrate into the cabin. To anyone else reading this thread. If you'r thinking about French Polynesia just DO IT. The Spirit is the perfect ship for the ininerary. We did the 11 day and had a great trip, but if you only have time for the 7 do it anyway. The 17 sounds like a dream, but by the time our 11 days were over work was calling. The trip is great for anybody, but if you scuba or snorkel the agenda is beyond perfect.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. You depart from Berth I at 17:00, which means boarding will commence at 13:00.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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/
  19. All guests in the cabin need to buy the package. There is no option for one to buy and not the other.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Can you look at a similar earlier itin? They tend to not vary much.
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