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Astalarasta

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About Astalarasta

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    San Diego,California

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  1. Misty Morning, Mgirvin has a good suggestion in the Holland House. We bought a day pass there for out port visit. Just an FYI you might want to check with Holland House on the shower/towel situation. We were offered the use of an outdoor shower that was open to the bar/sidewalk... more for rinsing sand than cleaning up for a flight and our beach chair rental did not include towels. Happy sailing
  2. Hi Ridethetide, That is a funny picture! It brings back fond memories. It never crossed our mind to take a photo.
  3. The upper deck staterooms might give you a better view. We were on the lower deck on our first cruise on MS Windstar. We left the curtains open on a rough crossing and looking out those portholes reminded us of a frontload washing machine...which gave a laugh. When we arrived in port in Grenada, our portholes looked out to a concrete port wall. We still had a great time and the movement was much less than last years deck six suite on Star Pride, that caused me a bit more motion sickness. Happy sailing whatever deck you choose!
  4. Strenz, Thank you for the suggestions. We will have to take a look at the schedule, as I might be worried about missing the ship sailing with ferries and such and I don't like to worry on vacation. I do like shopping, but don't love the big crowds, which was one of the reasons for selecting a Windstar cruise. 6rugrats, I was really surprised that we didn't hear from Windstar about the change. We had this itinerary booked for last December and they were very good about letting us know about the changes after hurricane Maria. Maybe because it was just one port, they don't feel it is necessary to notify us. I'll try to keep an open mind about Charlotte Amalie. If it's not a great port for exploring, we might take one of the excursions, if we can get some more information about them.
  5. We are just about a month out from our sailing and I logged on to Windstar's site to possibly book an excursion. It looks like they have changed the first port from Vieques to Charlotte Amalie. We have not yet received any notice from Windstar. We are not disappointed since we like enjoy wandering around ports and exploring and Vieques looked like it would be either a snorkeling or beach day, without much to explore in town. I have a couple of questions: Windstar's site show tour options for Charlotte Amalie, but no descriptions. How do we get more information about the tours? Does anyone who has been to Charlotte Amalie on a Windstar cruise(or other) have any suggestions for excursions or tips for exploring independently?
  6. We sailed in 2016 and yes they do expect you disembark early. I think that it was by 9:00AM back then. Since our bags had to be packed and outside the cabin the night before, it was enough time to get dressed and have breakfast, even to have coffee on deck and gaze at the other huge cruise ships that had come in all around us from tiny Windstar. We took a ship excursion/ island tour that left us at our hotel just in time to check in and we were on the road by 9:30.
  7. Hi Griller, We have had the beverage package on both of our past cruises and I can say that Windstar has some very talented bartender/mixologists. Why not talk to them about mixing some tasty sugar free cocktails? If you like white rum...try a sugar free mojito. You just have them muddle the mint and lime with the sugar substitute of your choice. We like stevia or Splenda. We don't have diabetes, but try to watch our weight and can't justify the high calories in those sugary cocktails. I can think of some other options too SF margaritas, kamazee, you get the idea.
  8. 6rugrats, now I feel silly for posting a reply to what is perhaps a fictitious review and in retrospect it does seem quite melodramatic. If it is genuine, you have to feel a little sorry for a guy that admits to being a workaholic who suffers from sleep apnea, anxiety, migraines, claustrophobia, digestive illness and sensitive skin all in the course if less than two days.
  9. It sounds like you had a terrible time and I am sorry to hear it. It is a pity that you only joined Cruise Critic after you sailed and didn't use it to help find the best vacation for your needs and expectation. There is a lot of great information here from people who have been passengers before. I think that the reviews are most helpful, but I take them with a grain of salt and paying special attention to patterns of complaints about the things that we care about when we travel. Aside from the food, which is really subjective and the cleanliness issue in the bath which I think that Windstar would/should have addressed for you, most of your complaints wouldn't have been deal breakers for us. I have only sailed twice, but from what I have read, it seems that quarantine of passengers with Norovirus-like symptoms is pretty much industry standard and prudent for preventing the possible spread of illness to other passengers. Inconvenient for the patient, yes, but in everyone's best interest. Although researching on CC might not make our voyages perfect, they do help us to chose the best fit and travel with reasonable expectations, based upon what we have read and heard from other CC members. I hope that if you wait another five years for a vacation, that you take the time to research it first and it turns out to be everything you have hoped for.
  10. Marble29- I think that they are pretty strict, since they searched our bags at embarkation and then our purses and backpacks every time that we returned to the ship on both of our Caribbean cruises. We have always taken the beverage package and we just made our final payment for this year's trip and bought it again. For us it a good value...but we tend to enjoy our drinks on vacation. Elklemi- I am surprised to hear that your sailing didn't have the caribbean beers. We sailed the Grenadines itinerary in Dec 2016 on the Windstar and a roundtrip from San Juan last year Dec, on the Star Pride and both had beers from at least some of the islands that we were visiting: Banks, Piton etc. and for some reason Red Stripe.
  11. In my opinion your characterization of Windstar as a “predator” and implying thattheir contractual practices relative to tours are in some way nefarious, improper or ”anti- trust” is unfair.The business of selling group tours to a cruise line or resort hotel is a very different business model from selling individual tours to travelers. So, in my view, they are not competing for the same business. Suggesting that Windstar may have limited competition, is not founded in fact, since we have no information about how many tour operators may bid for the cruise line contract.Only the parties to the contact are privy to the terms, however it would be foolish to believe that the terms are beneficial to only one of the parties. Although Windstar passengers may pay a premium for the tours offered, should they choose to buy them, my experience has been that they were curated,well organized and interesting/fun. Taking their tours also gave us some peace of mind, since there was always a crew member on the tour (unless it was a tour after disembarkation)and we were assured of making it back to the ship before it’s departure. I don’t understand why Windstar would have denied you any ofthe advertised discounts. Although this winter’scruise will only be our third on Windstar, our experience has been that they were fair and even generous with us. Wereceived the early booking bonus, the alumni discount, price adjustments according to their price assurance policy and even an unsolicited complimentarycabin upgrade that was offered about a month before our last cruise, which was an unexpected and very pleasant surprise.
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