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Del Rio

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About Del Rio

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    California Central Coast
  • Interests
    house concert presenter & volunteer for local NPR station..."day job" for 20+ years in travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Windstar, Holland America, American Cruise Line, Avalon Waterways, Lindblad, Regent, Viking
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    South Pacific

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  1. We have been on Star class ship many times over the past 5 years (both in S1or 2 and BS) We are likely to stick with the design with the bed near the bathroom. Wife is the later sleeper on cruises, but I enjoy being at the window or balcony with my coffee and "morning news". This gives her a darkened bedroom and me a "daybreak" window seat. Yes, I could just go to the Yacht Club (and often have) but like to start the day in a quieter place. I love the conversation at the Yacht Club (I often start too much of it) but waiting for my wife always seems to feel best. The bathroom is not hard to find either way.
  2. For years now Windstar is our first travel choice, as much for the crews as for the experience. The nature of how the crews are treated like family (and carry it out to passengers) is truly what makes our memories last forever. sb44, thank you for posting the link to this blog.
  3. I am really wondering about your relationship with your TA. If they do not give you honest information, stop using them. A TA who is registered with Windstar should be able to see cabin availability for any Windstar sailing. The cannot give you direct access to the Windstar booking site, but it is not hard to provide you with a cabin list. (or read it off to you over the phone) FYI: Windstar Wizard was someone's personal hobby. It was not a Windstar Line site.
  4. Petoonya, I am not sure how you bought ATN tickets via Qantas, and they may have some unusual "code share" arrangement. But if that was not the case, here is some information which may help you. The control of tickets, and how they can (or cannot) be cancelled, exchanged or refunded rests with the "ticketing carrier". AND that is the carrier you should be able to discuss this with. Take a look at the "ticket numbers" on your confirmation. That number should be 3 digits followed by 10 digits (example 123-1234567890). If the first 3 digits are "244" the actual "ticketing carrier" was ATN. If the digits are "081", the tickets were issued by Qantas. If it is 244, ATN should be willing to talk with you about this, but they still may not give you what you need. Hope this helps.
  5. I also wish to see Windstar still around. And I must say I am less concerned. If Windstar was just Windstar, this all might be harder to live through. But Windstar is part of the Xanterra Travel Collection; and Xanterra is part of The Anschutz Corporation. Anschutz is one of the world's largest privately help business organizations. I suspect this has not been a good year for the Anschutz family's holdings; but I think they can weather this. I just hope they still enjoy owning Windstar, as much as most of us enjoy sailing with them.
  6. kbr, we were on the 1/2 to 1/9/2020 sailing. A couple of 15 minute or less downpours, but not enough to slow us down. The heaviest rainfall was actually on the afternoon of 1/9, when we circumnavigated Tahiti by rental car before our evening flight home. Remember, when it is 90f degrees, you dry out faster than you expect...and enjoy the "wind chill".
  7. CanadianKate, thanks for the clarification, related to the cancelled sailings. Since the original comment in this thread was about frustration over what OBCs could be used for gratuities, that was the path I was following. I know the cancelled cruises can make this a more complex issue.
  8. There are only two types of credit, regardless of what name a passenger or cruise line may use for them. Promotional credit is the kind the cruise line (might) give you as some type of incentive for buy their cruise. Prepaid credit is the type someone had to actually pay for and then "gift" to you. (Sort of like a gift card.) Almost every cruise line will let someone (including your TA) buy onboard credit. When my daughter took a cruise for her honeymoon, I bought her some shipboard credit, by cc, before they left. Either you do not use a TA; never get any shipboard credit from your TA; or are only trying to make an unusual point here. If your TA gives you a "thank you gift" of $200 in onboard credit, they paid for it with real dollars. I cannot imagine any travel agent NOT telling you that extra (or only) onboard credit on your account was a "thank you gift from us, for your business".
  9. We just returned (on January 10) from a wonderful 7 days on the Wind Spirit (our third Windstar cruise with many more to come.) Whether you book directly with Windstar or with a TA, we all receive an email shortly before our cruise: Subject line: Bon Voyage! Here are your travel documents for your upcoming Windstar Cruises trip. Attached to that email is a pdf document titled GTB Ticket. I believe "GTB" stands for "Good To Board", but I am not sure and I have never bothered to ask. While there is a lot of information, over about 10 pages, it is very easy to read on a desktop or laptop computer and as a pdf can be directly printed. Here is the wording on this topic copied directly verbatim: HOTEL SERVICE CHARGE (GRATUITIES) A Hotel Service Charge (HSC) will be added to your onboard account. This charge is per day per person and will be added and collected via your onboard account. Promotion Shipboard credit cannot be applied to the HSC charges. Prepaid Shipboard Credit can be applied to the HSC charge. This seems very clear to me. And this information is provided before you board and again when you "preview" your account the day before disembarkation. While typed comment on CC can be misunderstood, the tone of this discussion does bother me greatly. So while I might be unclear about why this bothers some folks. But I must say this: If you (or we) can afford a Windstar cruise, I am very surprised that the added gratuity bothers you. AND if Windstar clearly states the "promotion shipboard credit" cannot be used for this, why do you then see $14.50 per person, per day to be such a strain on our travel budget?
  10. If you head up in front of the bridge (on either class) you can set your own agenda, without hearing any music.
  11. Milepig I appreciate and respect your insightful comments all the time. But on this one, I think you are the only one who does not appreciate the playing of 1492 at Sail Away. And we even like it on the Star Class yachts. Actually we would prefer that it be played on all outside/open decks. Last week, on the Wind Spirit, out of Bora Bora well after dark, the wife and I spent Sail Away on deck four in front of the Bridge. As small as the "little sisters" are, you can only hear the music back on the pool bar area on deck four. Our first Star Class sailing was on the Pride out of Rome in 2016. We were delighted to have Sail Away, even then, without sails.
  12. We found this summer on the Legend, there were always a couple of dinner selections showcasing a James Beard award winning chef. While we have always been happy with the food on WS, I feel the whole arrangement with the Beard Foundation, now has the chef on every ship looking at how they showcase their own talents. The old adage still applies: "A raising sea raises all ships". We can give you all a "second opinion" after we return from a week on the Wind Spirit, in January. We are expecting a joyous experience.
  13. Spanky My, I did not want to imply you were a glutton. And I am sorry if you felt that. I agree with you. I have just heard so many people imply that a fuller plate in any dining room is better. Strenz, WS 25 times in 20 years. A life to be rejoicing about. You see Windstar in the same light I do, just with way more opportunity to attend the event. Thanks for reminding us why we all come to this party.
  14. Within the last 3 years, we have now been on the Star Pride (in Europe) and the Star Legend (in Alaska). Headed to the Wind Spirit in less than 3 weeks. Our first time on one of the sailing ships in over 20 years. I wanted to comment briefly on breakfast and overall dining questions here. The omelet station is an outstanding part of the breakfast selection. My wife, an egg lover, has been very pleased with the style and construction those offering, every morning. I on the other hand have changed my breakfast choice on Windstar, because every morning there is a different French Toast offering. I start thinking about the French Toast, months before the cruise, because I seldom have it at home. The selection is often stuffed with a cheese (like mascarpone). It has become my Windstar daily breakfast at sea. We have been delighted with the dining improvements over the last few years. Even before the Beard Foundation relationship, Windstar was moving toward a better overall dining experience. I would consider the overall food service at Windstar to be well above the expected level for a cruise line at their price point. Regarding portion size; I would consider this to be realistic for most people. Restaurants over portion so no one thinks they got cheated. On Windstar, as on most better cruise lines, this is about overall presentation. Not gluttony. I have never had a bad meal on Windstar and always had room for dessert.
  15. If you work with a travel agent/advisor, who is registered with Windstar, they can see every available cabin. It is not difficult and it does not take up much time.
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