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About new_cruiser

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Sacramento, California
  • Interests
    Small ship cruising and small group tours.
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  1. Final payment for my cruise is due tomorrow. I think I'm going to cancel instead. With the uncertainty on when it will be possible/safe to travel, I'm finding that I can't get into the mind set to make the accompanying travel plans (flights, hotels, etc.). There is a similar itinerary in July. Windstar is doing no solo supplement on all 2020 cruises so I may keep an eye out to see if that or something else farther out goes on sale.
  2. I also expect that they know this will end sometime and don't want to end up having cancel cruises that could have gone ahead so they are only cancelling to a certain point in the future. In case anyone has trouble getting to the web page from outside the US, they have extended the cancellations: Travel Health Statement Re Travel Health updated at 23 March 2020 Due to governmental action requiring restrictions and closure of ports to cruise ships, Star Clipper sailings are now cancelled until 9 May 2020. Royal Clipper sailings are currently cancelled until 11 May 2020 and Star Flyer sailings cancelled until 2 May 2020. Further saildates will be reviewed soon. Star Clippers, Monaco
  3. I'm in a similar boat. Final payment is coming up for June 30 Norwegian Fjords on Wind Surf. I don't have the uncertainty of whether the ship will be ready. But we don't know whether this virus will subside before summer like a flu virus or whether travel will still be a problem then. I hate to let this cruise go because it was booked under their no solo supplement deal and it was the only one of those that worked for me. Part of what I liked about the cruise was that I've never been to Scotland before so I would combine it with a week or two of land travel before hand but I don't want to book that and the flights either until I see how this is panning out. It is so hard to plan on travel right now. I really wish they would push out the final payment date.
  4. It is on their website, but not obvious. There is a page for "Travel Health": https://www.starclippers.com/us-dom/travel-health-us.html Currently, it says: Due to governmental action requiring restrictions and closure of ports to cruise ships, Star Clipper will cease Asia sailings from 21 March to 11 April 2020. Royal Clipper sailings are currently cancelled until 11 May 2020 and Star Flyer sailings cancelled until 2 May 2020. There is no banner or anything highlighting the cancellation. When, I first found the Travel Health announcement, Plan Your Cruise still showed cruises that the announcement said were canceled. It now shows only cruises starting with the date they expect to resume.
  5. Windstar had a Facebook post today showing Breeze in dry dock just after getting painted. The post says she'll be moving to wet dock in a few days. Presumably some work can start on Legend (e.g. removing things) in wet dock if she's there before Breeze is out of dry dock.
  6. Perhaps there should be a new thread started since conversion of some suites back to two cabins has changed things in deck 3. Or perhaps not because there seem to be Very few comments about deck 3 cabins. We are in 309 (about half way through 17 days now). It's fine, quiet enough during regular sailing. Some vibration and noise as we manuver into dock or anchor position, but I think that can be felt in most of the ship. I was in cabin 155 one afternoon. They were welding at the stern one day to add something needed for entering the Panama Canal which stunk up the stern part of the ship - not something likely to recur. They kindly gave me a key to 155 so I'd have someplace to take a nap away from the smell. Due to narrowing of the ship, there is less room for the bed in 155 - that's why there is no night stand on the window side. The space is very tight between the wall and side of the bed there so you have to turn sideways go along the bedside. Other than that, it's a normal cabin. I didn't detect any smells.
  7. I ran on Wind Star. There are at least 2 treadmills. The fitness room was pretty quiet. I liked that the treadmills face the side of the ship. I saw dolphins out the porthole while running.
  8. No, we are on our way out now. We will dock in Colon in the evening so the tenders can be reinstalled & the extra life rafts taken off. Tommorow is turn-around day so many will be debarking.
  9. Thanks for posting the pictures Essiesmom. We are in the lake now, but have clearance to leave after the next ship so we won't be here long. It's been really great doing the locks on this ship because three decks have promenades so there is lots of viewing space.
  10. We are in Gatun Lake now having completed the transit up.
  11. There is some conflicting info out there on Wind Star beam & a site I saw had it at ~58 feet, but the 51 feet on Wikipedia is probably correct - stateroom dimensions are very similar on Wind Surf and Wind Star, but Wind Star has a central hall between the two sides while Wind Surf has a hallway for the odd cabins & one for the even cabins with device areas and stair ways between the two hallways so around 15 feet width difference makes sense. I've been on bother ships and the life boat mounting is similar. So width or width plus practical considerations, e.g. partial vs. full transit logistics are probably the difference. The Windstar "Star" ships also do full transits. They are about the same width as Wind Surf. Their lifeboats are more inset into coves so they protrude less or perhaps not at all from the widest part of the hull. I haven't paid attention on board and can't find a picture that makes it clear.
  12. It is a bit hard to pick out if you don't know what you are looking for. It's a dark olive green toward the back of the picture. The man with the orange hard hat is standing in front of it and a white crane (for lowering lift rafts?) is behind it.
  13. I'm on a ship that will be entering the Panama Canal for the first time tomorrow, Windstar Wind Surf. It hasn't been in the canal before because it's masts are too high to fit under the Bridge of the Americas so it can't exit into the Pacific. As part of a journey around the Caribbean, it will do a partial transit. Part of the preparation is installing a Panama chock at the stern. It and accompanying hardware are being welded on today while we are at anchor off Colon. I understand that - a strong attachment point is needed for the lines from the mules & the ship didn't have one judged robust enough by the canal authority. The overhanging lifeboats were removed & left in port last night; additional life rafts were loaded to take there place until we return to port at the end of the transit. I only sort of understand that. The original canal locks allow for a ship width up 106 feet. The Wind Surf beam is 66 feet. The tenders overhang about 10 feet to each side making the width with overhang about 88 feet. Wind Star, one of the Surf's smaller sister ships goes through the canal with overhanging lifeboats in place. It is about 8 feet less in beam. I can understand that lifeboats's fiberglass sides are more easily damaged than the ship hull should they accidentally rub so in case of a tight fit, overhanging lifeboats inside the envelope of the lock become an issue. But 10 feet per side seems like a decent margin of error. What am I missing?
  14. I thought someone else would post something, but since no one else has, here goes. Since last afternoon, Wind Surf has been at Colon preparing to enter the Panama Canal for the first time. It is too tall for a full transit (can't go under the Bridge of the Americas on the Pacific end) so it hasn't been in the canal before. We will be doing a partial transit tomorrow as part of the Surf's journey around the Caribbean. They have to install a Panama chock and associated hardware at the stern. That's a very strong attachment point for the lines to the mules (engines on tracks) that keep a ship centered in the locks. The tenders/lifeboats have been replaced with life rafts because they stick out from the hull. I don't think they make the ship too wide for the canal. Apparently the concern is that they could be damaged if they contacted the side of a lock. We docked at Colon late afternoon yesterday for all the equipment and life rafts to be loaded on. The tenders were left at the dock. Today, we are at anchor while the work is being done. A smell of welding gas invaded our aft cabin. Hopefully, that will dissipate before night. The attached picture shows the big box of equipment they loaded on to do the work.
  15. There is a banner with a link to the letter at the top of Windstar's home page. This is the link to the letter PDF. https://windstarcruises.blueconic.net/s/17n?profileid=f6e47bbf-ff63-4797-a4d7-bbd271ab721f We haven't received an email with the letter. Perhaps they are only sending it to those cruising soon.
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