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About new_cruiser

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Sacramento, California
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    Small ship cruising and small group tours.
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. We are in Gatun Lake now having completed the transit up.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. There are also small ship cruises that do full transits. Windstar generally goes from Colon, Panama to Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica or vice versa with a stop in Fuerte Amador.
  12. Agree with those who say it's hard to give advice as there are many different kind of cancer and kinds of treatment. Over 10 years ago, I was treated for breast cancer; stage 1 but because it was an agressive type, I had surgery, chemo and radiation. My chemo was once every 3 weeks. I was able to schedule it so some week long business meetings fell during the 3rd week of the chemo cycle when my immune system & energy would be best. The meetings were all in the US so flights weren't terribly long and I wasn't far from medical care. I skipped one outside the US. Because of the danger of getting an infection when immune system was depressed, I think I'd hesitate to do a cruise that had sea days or other times far from medical care (on board care can only do so much) while on chemo.
  13. I'm currently in the middle of 31 days on Wind Surf. I didn't take WiFi during the first two segments as I could use roaming and wifi in ports and there was only one sea day. The current segment has a lot of sea days and we had only booked the last half of our cruise a few weeks ago so I'm still planning what to do at the stops. Others had said WiFi was working well so I've gotten it for this segment. It's working great. It works from our cabin, from veranda, lounge, yacht club, etc. It's been more consistently responsive so far than cellular data and some of the WiFi hotspots on land.
  14. They are offering a reduced* solo supplement on many crossing so even if it sells out, the number of people may be low. *They say it is 20% instead of their usual 75%, but the price I received on my booking was actually slightly less than the website per person double occupancy fare so it doesn't show any solo supplement. The booking had pick-your-perks. My cruise was on 7-for-7 last week so my agent called Windstar and got the fare reduced by ~$800 - lost pick-your-perks because that's not combinable with 7-for-7, but apparently reduced solo supplement is combinable with either.
  15. Our ship was anchoring in Soufriere. We had had earlier stops in Castries & Pigeon Island so we wanted to focus on the are around Soufriere with a hike along Tet Paul Nature Trail and a visit to Diamond Falls and Botanical Garden. Based on a recommendation here, I contacted a few taxi companies. Vicky from More Than a Cab responded. She already had a couple from our ship who wanted to go to those spots plus the volcano and we could join them. Vicky met us at the dock. She was a very good driver and gave us interesting info as she drove. She set us up with guides or guided us herself at each stop. Tet Paul gave us great views of the pitons. Denver, our guide along the trail, described the plants along the way. It was a pleasant hike, not too hard but just hard enough. We enjoyed the volcano stop and were happy to be in a group of 4 instead of a bus load. She took us to the Interpretive center before stopping at the volcano where a guide led us on a short walk. Vicky guided us at the botanical garden and was knowledgeable about the plants there. The website for More Than a Cab is www.morethanacab.com Email: info@morethanacab.com
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