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Carolfay

Members
  • Content Count

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About Carolfay

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Oregon (Portland area)
  • Interests
    piano, singing, reading, attending theater, classic films, group exercise at the athletic club
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn, Windstar, AMA, Silversea
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe

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  1. Inexpensive? Nope. But worth it to me as a solo traveler? Absolutely. I've used the service twice for Seabourn cruises and twice for theater jaunts to NYC, and everything has been handled as promised. And tv24 is correct: You have to be thoughtful in your packing, as the bag has typically been collected from my home a week before I travel. Of course, this pays off in not having the last-minute packing frenzy I've sometimes gone through . . .
  2. The all-inclusive package was right for me, as I like my cocktails and my wine with dinner and didn't want to be signing chits every time I wanted a drink. The Windstar per-drink cost seemed pretty high, anyway. I made good use of the Wi-Fi to communicate with the spouse at home, I was glad to have the gratuities dispensed with beforehand, and it was dandy to have access to laundry service. On Seabourn (my preferred cruise line), I like having the drinks and gratuities included in the fare. Yes, it looks like a steep price for the Windstar package, but they're at least allowing passengers to make the choice. For me, "You can pay 'em now, or you can pay 'em later." And by the way, this thread really does need a different heading . . .
  3. The corny joke many of the guides tell goes as follows: Tourist to young man: "Does it always rain here in Bergen?" Young man to tourist: "I don't know. I'm only 16."
  4. I was on board, and we did arrive in Reykjavik one day earlier than scheduled. We had the day for sightseeing and tours, slept aboard, and disembarked as scheduled the following morning - so they did in fact feed and shelter us for the agreed number of nights.
  5. If you're on board Windstar, where most of the staff and crew are Indonesian and Filipino, you might try asking if you can have what they're having. During my recent Star Pride cruise, our chef explained that there's a separate kitchen on board and a chef dedicated to preparing the crew meals. As he put it, "They don't want to eat what you're eating." Interesting . . .
  6. I'm not particularly put off by Windstar (although the fact that one of the dining room chandeliers fell into the center of a table during dinner one night had me wondering about their maintenance). Maybe it's more accurate to say I'm going to be leery of cruising in general. My next international trip will likely be land based.
  7. I was also on this cruise and, yes, I was deeply disappointed about the missed ports. We weren't disembarked a day early; we arrived in Reykjavik a day early but stayed on board that day and disembarked on schedule. To my mind, the upside of all this was that we got two more days in Iceland than originally anticipated, including a stop in Grundarfjordur and the opportunity to see the dramatic Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Our detour around the north side of Iceland also resulted in all us becoming "blue noses" once we crossed into the Arctic Circle. (I've got my certificate to prove it.) We'd already experienced very rocky seas before the itinerary was altered, and I wouldn't have wanted to sail into a severe storm. I guess it's a "glass half full" or "glass half empty" choice, as far as passengers' attitudes. I haven't felt the need to apply for any compensation. That said, I admit to mixed feelings about choosing Windstar again. The recent reports about Norwegian Cruise Lines' debacle seem to underscore that the North Sea can be wildly unpredictable.
  8. I second the recommendation for Cafe Loki. Our lunch here was delightful, even topped off with rye bread ice cream (yes, really). The view of the church is one you'll remember.
  9. I was aboard Windstar's Star Pride from August 18 to 28, with a "Lands of the Midnight Sun" itinerary. My prior experience with the Pride was in 2013, when she was still being operated by Seabourn. I had an enjoyable time on board, the only real negative being rough weather in the North Sea and several occasions of heavy swells. My impression of the ship is that she's showing her age, with plenty of nicks and dings and scratches both in the suites and in the public areas, so next year's facelift is certainly needed. I was overall happy with the facilities and maintenance, and the flaws appeared to me to be mostly cosmetic. I believe we had our full capacity of just over 200 guests. That's just about the perfect size of passenger list for me, but adding space for another 100 people won't be a deal-breaker. I was particularly impressed by the service on board. Staff and crew had a genuine eager-to-please attitude, and I felt well looked after. Seabourn will probably remain my first choice for future cruises, but I'll certainly continue to consider Windstar's offerings.
  10. True. When our captain gave us all the bad news, he brought his navigator into the main lounge with him -- and he also noted that there had been consultations with Windstar's main office in Seattle. He also provided website information so that passengers could look for themselves at the storm forecast and other weather data.
  11. Good point. Our Icelandic guides also pointed out the turning leaves as we drove around and noted that the sheep appeared to be moving down from higher elevations.
  12. Windstar took good care of us, but the weather couldn't be defeated. I'm wondering now if I waited too late in the season for this itinerary. We Pride passengers did get two additional days in Iceland for touring, one at Grundarfjordur in the west, and one more in Reykjavik, so that allowed us to see some spectacular terrain.
  13. A very enjoyable travelogue, Fishin'. I'm recently returned from the identical itinerary, on the Star Pride. Your photos replicated much of what I saw in Norway and Iceland -- but I'm envious of you, because rough seas prevented us from calling at the Shetland, Orkney and Faroe islands. We went directly to Iceland from Alesund, to the disappointment of most passengers. I'm happy that you folks were more fortunate with weather conditions. I perhaps should have booked my cruise earlier in the season.
  14. I was quite satisfied with my room's cleanliness and general layout. Plenty of closet space, a nice-sized seating area, roomy bathroom - though I didn't need a tub and would have preferred a shower enclosure. My steward did a very good job keeping things tidy and supplied. Food was well prepared, and there were plenty of choices. I had two meals in Candles, and they were very nice - though both times, we were indoors in the Veranda, as it was too wet and chilly to dine on deck. For entertainment, we had two guy-and-gal duos, and they provided pleasant, familiar tunes in the lounges. A guitarist came onboard when we were at a Norwegian port, but I was otherwise occupied and didn't hear him perform.
  15. Yes, I was aboard the Pride - and yes, we did miss all three ports. Disappointing, but we'd already had some pretty big swells on our first sea day, and many passengers were sick puppies. We went straight from Alesund to Iceland, with two full sea days. The upside was that we skirted the north coast of Iceland and crossed a bit of the Arctic Circle, so we are now all "blue noses." I think most of us felt the Windstar did the prudent thing, but it was an "ouch" to miss all three of those island ports.
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