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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

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. I had Room 137, Spanky, on the lowest passenger deck and pretty far aft. I was happy with the location. I think the ship was full or nearly so. Weather was chilly or cool most of the time, and we had lots of rainy days, so using the water platform probably wasn't an option. I didn't even see much use of the pools/hot tubs. I bought the all-inclusive package, so my drinks were included; I don't know about individual drink prices or gratuities. We had several days that were challenging because of rough seas and big swells, and I think they were dispensing plenty of Dramamine from the reception desk. I've learned that the North Sea and Norwegian Sea can be challenging at any time of the year.
  9. I've just returned from 10 days on the Star Pride and had a very enjoyable time. Rough seas and a disturbing storm forecast forced cancellation of three of our ports (Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands and Faroe Islands), but most of us on board appeared to feel that the prudent decision was made. As for the ship itself, there are plenty of scratches, chips and dings visible. Overall, the Pride looks as if she could use a facelift; presumably, when the "stretch" takes place next year, some of these other issues will be addressed. My impression was that things were clean and well maintained, and I wasn't bothered by what seemed primarily to be cosmetic matters. The crew and staff were uniformly outstanding: a "can do" attitude, warm smiles and good service. Since we had some unforeseen time at sea, the entertainment started to get a little thin, but I ate well, met an interesting mix of people and saw some great scenery. I'd be happy to respond to any questions, though I'm not a veteran cruiser and can't offer expert opinions.
  10. I'm just back from 10 days on the Windstar Star Pride, on a "lands of the midnight sun" itinerary. Three of our ports (Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands and Faroe Islands) were canceled due to rough seas and a disturbing storm forecast. A major disappointment, of course, but most of us on board felt Windstar was making the prudent decision. Those of us who'd booked excursions through the ship got full refunds. Several, however, had made independent plans and had serious worries about whether they'd recoup anything. It's worth keeping in mind that nothing is certain in cruise itineraries, and the captain gets the final decision.
  11. I'll be aboard, too, and will be happy to share my experiences on the Pride. I last sailed on her in 2013, before the transition from Seabourn to Windstar.
  12. No rock-climbing wall? No Andrew Lloyd-Webber knock-off show? No casino? Sounds perfect to me.
  13. I'll be looking for that waving hand on the Breeze as it departs Lerwick. Thanks for the background on the Pride. I was last on the Pride in June 2013, during what I think was its last season as a Seabourn ship. I'm looking forward to seeing and sailing on her again, now that she's part of the Windstar fleet. My only previous Windstar experience was in 2011, when I traveled on the Wind Surf between Barcelona and Lisbon - most enjoyable journey.
  14. Just pulled the trigger on the Star Pride cruise departing Copenhagen on August 18. Thanks for the comments, folks.
  15. Thanks for the encouraging response. I agree - it's the crew who can make or break the experience.
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