Embarkation on Transatlantic

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Windstar Cruises
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1,441 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
It's been many years since we have sailed on Windstar, and are looking forward to another transatlantic crossing. We have received our final cruise documents and, listed on the voyage plan, they state the Wind Star arrival in Lisbon is 4 p.m., and the departure is 5 p.m. Our cruise information states that we are to check-in at 4 p.m. This is different from our past experiences, and is a much later boarding time. I'm hoping someone on this board will be able to answer the following questions:

1) Are we to arrive at the port at 4 p.m., or do we arrive before that time so that Windstar has time to get all of the luggage onboard and we will see it in our cabin when we board the ship?

2) How do they manage to have us board at 4 p.m., and have muster before the ship sails at 5 p.m.? (Do we get to go to our cabin once we board the ship? Is there still time to get a drink?)

3) When do you unpack? Trying to figure out if there is time before dinner or if we should just put the necessary items in our carry-on and unpack the first morning onboard.

4) We have always been on deck for the sail out of Lisbon. Do they still play "1492" when leaving?

5) Is it necessary for us to book the dining on deck when we first board the ship? If so, how do you decide which night to have it on a transatlantic?

Thanks to anyone who can provide some or all of the answers.
14,696 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I would arrive at the time listed on boarding documents. After you complete your paperwork and get your card, you can go to your cabin. The bar on the aft deck opens early. Muster drill doesn't take too long. You just grab your life jacket and meet in your appointed place. Bags get to your cabin pretty fast. Unpack at a time convenient to you. You can book Candles any time after boarding. I don't know why there would be a difference on a crossing.
Southlake, Texas
1,162 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
I've been into Lisbon 5 or 6 times on the Windsurf. Arrival and departure times are completely dependent on the tides. Windsurf, and probably Windstar, can only clear the bridge at low tide. It is astonishing to stand on deck while going under. The first time, I would have bet my last dollar we weren't going to make it. Is it possible they are trying to end and start another cruise at the same low tide?

They still play the song.
Muster can happen after the ship departs.
You'll have plenty of time to change before dinner if you want to. Remember the dress code is country club casual.
We have only done the TA on the Windsurf, which has an additional dining room. When the ship isn't full they don't open all of the venues every night. If can be a bit windy on deck at sea, although I love the menu at Candles, we usually eat in the dining room or have room service.
1,441 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Pudgesmom, we have almost 100 nights on Windstar, including 6 transatlantics, but have not sailed with them since 2003. I cannot wait to listen to the music, and sail under the bridge after we leave Lisbon. Some years, we were closer to the bridge than other years, but it was always a magical experience to watch.

I'm sure that the tide will have something to do with the timing of our departure. I am a creature of habit when it comes to cruising. I love to unpack as soon as we get to our cabin, and one hour will not be enough for me. That being said, I will happily adjust to the change as I want to be on deck.

Years ago, groups of passengers managed to arrange the occasional dinner on the deck, and I'm thrilled that this is now a regular option. The only room service I remember was popcorn, but I'm sure there were probably other items on the menu.

I expect there will be many changes since we last sailed with Windstar. The one thing that won't change is the wonderful feeling of being at sea as well as the small ship experience.

Thanks for providing the additional information.
Southlake, Texas
1,162 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Never fear, they still have awesome popcorn. The eggs Benedict aren't too shabby either. Of course you remember that dinner only starts at 7, no rush at all to arrive.
573 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Those times on the paperwork have been wrong for months. I'm 99.999% sure that the 4pm is the time boarding ends. I'd plan on boarding beginning at the normal time, 1pm.
573 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by mariners
Thanks, mile pig! I will try and reach Windstar to confirm the 1 p.m. boarding time.
The Star is arriving from Barcelona, and the arrival time for that is posted on the WS site as "arrival 7:00am" so this is textbook WS. They'll have all the pax off the ship by 9, and will prepare for your group to begin boarding by 1:00. Textbook.
1,441 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Just giving an update that Windstar has sent out a correction of the time to board. milepig, you were correct; we do get to board at 1 p.m. That gives me lots of time to follow my usual routine of unpacking, and enjoying being up on deck.

Pudgesmom, I will definitely try the eggs Benedict.
Gold Canyon, AZ USA
270 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Does anyone know where to find out which terminal the Star Breeze will be at to begin our TA on 4-November? I have found that there are 3 terminals - "Ships dock directly at the port on any of three cruise terminals: Alcântara Terminal, the Rocha Conde de Óbidos Terminal and the Santa Apolónia Terminal". They are some distance apart, and we were hoping to walk from our hotel, but not sure to which one we should walk.
224 Posts
Joined May 2011
Years ago, groups of passengers managed to arrange the occasional dinner on the deck, and I'm thrilled that this is now a regular option.
How does this occur? This sounds fun. My wife & I will be on our first WS cruise this NYE and would love to have something like this.
Gold Canyon, AZ USA
270 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by new_cruiser
When we boarded in Lisbon last spring, it was Santa Apolonia Terminal. Your cruise documents should say.
The "forecast for cruise ship calls" on the Lisbon port site says Santa Apolonia for Star Breeze on Nov 4.
Thank you for that - I spent a lot of time on that site, but don't seem to be able to get it to give me the info - seemed to want me to create a login. I appreciate it! Looks like the metro might be a better bet for us than walking. My documents just say Lisbon Cruise Terminal, Lisboa - I had figured out that much :-)
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Southlake, Texas
1,162 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
We have done four cruises which ended in Lisbon on Windsurf. All ended at Santa Apollolina. It is across the street from a train station if you are using public transportation.

Windstar does not control where the ship docks.

I would be surprised if there are any hotels within walking distance of the port, but taxis are cheap there. They also have Uber. It will be less than $10 from anywhere in town for either.
413 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
One night on our last WS cruise I didn't feel that great and we ordered room service off the dinner menu. We could get everything on it including the souffle that was on the dessert menu. That was particularly tasty! Personally, we weren't that impressed with the popcorn everyone raves about.
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14,696 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by imcpa
How does this occur? This sounds fun. My wife & I will be on our first WS cruise this NYE and would love to have something like this.
Make a reservation for Candles.
224 Posts
Joined May 2011
Make a reservation for Candles.
Thanks. I should have thought of that. I was thinking it was something else available that has to be specially arranged. I am definitely planning on dining at Candles and am hoping we can several times on our 7 night NYE cruise.
Ocala, Florida
391 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
A little off topic. I hear that Lisbon is one of the most beautiful and most inexpensive cities in the world. Some of the ships have only Suites while others also have Ocean View cabins. Any relative information would be appreciated as we are considering the Lisbon to Barbados TA.
Sacramento, California
952 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Windstar has two kinds of ships, sailing yachts and motor yachts. All of them have motors and motors do most of the propulsion. The sailing yachts also have sails and on the cruises I've taken have had one night that they did on sail alone.

All of their ships are quite comfortable and have plenty of public space. I've never felt crowded there. Lots of space to enjoy the decks.

Sailing yachts:their original ships. The names begin with Wind. Includes the 310 passenger Wind Surf and two 148 passenger ships. The two smaller ones don't have elevators. The decor has a very nautical feel. I think the staterooms other than some suites have porthole windows. The standard staterooms are 188 sq ft. The layout works well but they aren't huge.

Motor yachts: Names begin with Star. There nearly identical ships acquired from Seabourn. 212 passenger capacity. All suite. The standard suites are 277 sq ft and have a sitting area with a couch and two arm chairs. Most have a walk-in closet (perhaps all but the two most forward ones on the lowest deck). There is a curtain that can be used to separate the sitting and bedroom areas. Nice big windows on the ocean view suites. The balcony suites have a Juliet balcony - it's about 1 foot deep, not something that can have chairs on it. I kind of liked it better than a regular balcony because it brought the ocean closer to the room - one could open the door and admire the view, sound and ocean air while sitting on the couch.

Edited to add: Lisbon is very beautiful. I'd say one of the most inexpensive cities in Europe (or at least Western Europe). The world is probably too far a stretch.