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milepig

Themed Cruises - Barcelona-Lisbon Culinary

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We recently decided on the Fall Barcelona-Lisbon cruise on the Surf, and later realized that this is a special themed Wine and Culinary cruise. Is this something new for Windstar? A search didn't quickly pull up any existing thread.

 

Essentially, there are special culinary tours offered (2 of choices are complimentary), and also wine tastings on board each day, along with two dinners that include wine pairings (seemingly at no additional charge.) They claim to have a Spanish wine expert on board, and if they're pairing with Spanish wines this holds hope for both a more regional wine list and also some actual Spanish food!

 

From the agenda this all looks great, but I'm curious if anyone has done something similar.

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I believe this is new for Windstar. The first culinary cruise will be April 19 and the second (which they added later, maybe based on response for the first:confused:) is the one in November. Hopefully, those on the April cruise will report back on the experience.

 

I am waiting to see if they announce one in 2015 and will seriously consider it if they do.

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Update.

 

We completed our booking through our agent a couple days ago. When I went online to book the tours, both the regular and "culinary" tours were available to select, but there was no way to pick 2 as complimentary. Maybe they'd be comped at the checkout process, I didn't go that far.

 

But I just emailed our agent, and he booked them for us. The receipt he sent shows all the tours as billed, followed by a credit for the 2 we selected to be free (which were the most expensive options). So, your agent can do this no problem.

 

We also received the normal Yacht Club bennies - 5% discount and $100pp shipboard credit.

 

As a bit of a foodie and wino, I'm getting psyched by this cruise - seems like they have something special planned for every day.

 

I was somewhat amused that they were also offering the alcohol package. With all the free tours, wine tastings and wine dinners I doubt they'll have many takers!!

Edited by milepig

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We're booked for this April. It all looks great to us..... Wine, excursions, tapas!!!

We will post something after the cruise.

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The negative for the April cruise is no boarding till 6 pm. And Windstar won't say why. No Gala dinner that night either. Hans will hear from us.

They better pay for a day room also.

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The negative for the April cruise is no boarding till 6 pm. And Windstar won't say why. No Gala dinner that night either. Hans will hear from us.

They better pay for a day room also.

 

The scheduled arrival time is 7am, but I'm guessing they're allowing leeway in case the arrival after the ocean crossing is delayed.

 

Do you have a link to the detailed day by day agenda for this one? I was able to find one for the November cruise, but only after much digging, but I can't find the one for April.

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Hi!

My husband and I have just booked the November Culinary and Wine cruise. Very excited about it and have never been to either Spain or Portugal. Took a small ship cruise on the Paul Gauguin in Sept 2012 and will never sail a large boat again!

 

Have a question or two. I am wondering what the 5% discount milepig was referring to? We have received a $200 shipboard credit but remain unaware of any other discount.

 

I was also wondering if anyone was considering the add on pre/post trip in either Barcelona or Lisbon. And if so, are you going with the hotels sponsored by the cruiseline? The price seems a bit high but include transfers to ship...which I don't know is of any significant value. Would really appreciate some feedback. Thanks!

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Hi!

My husband and I have just booked the November Culinary and Wine cruise. Very excited about it and have never been to either Spain or Portugal. Took a small ship cruise on the Paul Gauguin in Sept 2012 and will never sail a large boat again!

 

Have a question or two. I am wondering what the 5% discount milepig was referring to? We have received a $200 shipboard credit but remain unaware of any other discount.

 

I was also wondering if anyone was considering the add on pre/post trip in either Barcelona or Lisbon. And if so, are you going with the hotels sponsored by the cruiseline? The price seems a bit high but include transfers to ship...which I don't know is of any significant value. Would really appreciate some feedback. Thanks![/QUOT

 

Let me have an email address if you'd like to chat offline. (I was going to send a PM, but can't figure out how to do it on this board??) We've been to both Barcelona and Lisbon and can recommend all sorts of options. I also have a lot of info on which WS tours are best from my TA - you get 2 of the culinary tours free if you hadn't already noticed. The 5% is automatic for Yacht Club members, which you are if you've used Windstar before. But, I've always had to "remind" them about it. In theory, you'll also entitled to a room "upgrade" pending availability, but that seems to mean a cabin in a slightly better part of the ship as most rooms are identical.

 

I agree that you can do better than the WS hotel prices if you shop around.

 

In terms of places to stay, we're in BCN for 3 nights before the cruise. I'd stay longer if it were our first time. We like the Barceloneta area which is close to the cruise port, and have booked an apartment via AirBnB, just be careful, many older buildings have no lift and the sixth floor in BCN is really about 8th as you have Ground, main, and another I'm blanking on the name of before you hit 1. We're paying $522 for three nights, total price, for a beautiful place with Mediterranean views from a terrace. Other good options would be Placa Catalunya since that's where the airport bus drops off, or toward the South end of Las Ramblas/Barri Gotic area for ease of getting to the ship. For Lisbon, we're only there 2 nights, but would recommend at least 3 for a first-time trip. A day trip to Sintra was a highlight, but pretty much ate up one complete day. We stayed at the Avenida Palace last time, and found it to be a great location, a grand old hotel with a breakfast that was well worth the price. In Lisbon, the ship will dock just a little to the west of the main part of the city, and getting a cab was not a problem.

Edited by milepig

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We stayed a couple of nights in Lisbon at the Solar do Castelo after our transatlantic cruise. It's a charming small hotel with breakfast, at the top of the Alfama on an impossibly narrow street. Our driver had to fold back the mirrors on his sedan to get through. The hotel has a lovely courtyard with peacocks and breakfast was included. The only downside was that is was in an ancient monastery and the rooms, while well appointed, were very small. I highly recommend it.

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