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Yabba, yabba, yabba .......... the crew are all back onboard SDI waiting for a silly part.

"Missing Blondie especially" comment was grievously pointed dear chum but Hum will survive......somehow.......Hum knows not how.

 

Hope it arrives before we set sail in October. ;)

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Devastating news.

There had been some gossip onboard by a few passengers and then two crew told Hum.

Hum didn't believe it at first.

And Hum couldn't find any announcements.

And then it was confirmed.

Oh no, terrible news !

What the heck happened ?

Couldn't they sort it out ?

Our thoughts are with them of course and we hope things can be resolved amicably for their sake and everyone else involved.

Hum knows he shouldn't take sides but in the back of his mind he always thought Angelina Jolie was.........no Hum won't say.

We hope Brad Pitt will recover and find solace.

Brad and Angelina divorcing has hit us all very hard.

 

In other news, we are having a fabulous time onboard, the terrain we pass is beautiful and the temperature is perfect but with a few very heavy showers, amazing lightning and isolated heavy swells one night only, otherwise it continues to be a fabulous voyage with a great crowd onboard. The predominant nationality are Belgians: a sure sign then that the food onboard is of a very high standard.

 

Last night the Captain announced the situation of SDII taking over the charter duties of SDI which affected just three couples being unable to continue with their "back to backs" (including yours truly) so at least the effects were somewhat "light" however for passengers planning to come next week, it would of course have been disappointing news.

 

SD have responded very honourably and had no serious alternative other than to take the action they did and we completely accept that and wish them well.

SD shoreside management have been magnificent but they must be feeling the strain with so much more additional work re-organising matters which they have done to one of the highest professional standards Hum has ever encountered which only increases confidence in the company and individuals that work in it.

 

We were in a new port yesterday called Parga.

It was very beautiful and was full of tourists which is great for the Greek economy.

Hum read that the Greek government has had a boost in tourists due to troubles elsewhere in the world and especially Turkey.

We are now sailing onto Montenegro and the passing scenery is spectacular.

Just docked in Kotor and off to buy nuts and honey in the local market.

 

Internet issues delayed the pist.

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"Nuts and Honey"........Well if that doesn't just describe you and Blondie perfectly! So sorry to hear of the "bump". Live by the charter, "die" by the charter. It happened to us, albeit a bit less dramatically, a few years ago. It has been a very tough month for SD. Not just the payments to all the disrupted travelers, not just the fire damage and repair costs, not just the expense of relocating crew and temp housing but that this little company suddenly lost half of its cash flow nearly a month ago. Even with the previous debacle with the crankshaft on SD I, they were able to potter along with most of the schedule. Still have not figured out how a passenger ship with a main engine out was allowed to run but then there are ways.... Still waiting on a part? When engines are 32 years old you just can't pop over to Boats R Us and buy a new part. Here's hoping all is settled soon and SD can go back to making money.

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Surprisingly quiet here on the SeaDream board given all the current events and news going on. I know those onboard SD II have been having internet issues. Still, unusually quiet. I hope all the displaced passengers for next week have reconciled successfully. We know one couple that kept their flights and booked on Windstar. Last minute changes are always stressful though what we hear is that SD is taking care of passengers well.

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Yes, looking forward to hear more about this voyage and Croatia..... We are deciding between SD and Windstar Breeze for Croatia next August, hope those that switched over share their experiences on the boards.... Jim, perhaps you can nudge them :)

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Popper, have done three cruises on Windstar and, well lets just say more than two dozen

on Sea Dream.

 

First, SD is smaller and more intimate. The food superior, coupled with the opportunity

for more meals al fresco on the aft deck. I would give a slight nod to Windstar on

their cabins though once asleep, hard to compare.

 

Outdoor spaces I believe are better on Sea Dream and the crew, unbeatable. Did the

Rome to Venice via Croatia a couple of years ago, and it was one of our most

enjoyable. Opt for SD ... you won't be disappointed. :)

 

 

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Thanks for your comments.

We'll be on our third SD cruise in November, and we love SD - but getting concerned with the SD1 situation and know there are other choices for our Aug Croatia trip. Just thinking about options, cabin sizes, price/value etc. The length is the same, ports very similar and price quite different even factoring in tips and adding beverage pkg on WS Breeze....

Again, appreciate your comments.

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Well it was quite a week on SDII !

And we had an amazing time.....yes despite being "booted off" !

 

Days just sailed past but here is Hum's review of voyage.

"Fill yer boots" 'cos this will be the last for a while.

 

 

GUEST COMMENT REVIEW

SEA DREAM II: 17-24 September, 2016. Athens (Piraeus) - Dubroknik

 

1. Yacht Embarkation: 9.0

- no map of port

- Port officials good (no un-necessary bureaucracy, petty officialdom, off handedness)

- champagne offered (to me, at least)

- missed canapes

- greetings wonderful as always

- processing very efficient and friendly

- escorted to room by housekeeper: this aspect of service is crucially important for new guests as is the professionalism and friendliness of the housekeeper (Joanne, a new lady, who was wonderful

- bags delivered to room in good time

 

2. Stateroom Appointments: 9.0

- everything mostly worked

- toilet sporadically stopped operating but repaired very quickly

- internet worse, much worse sporadically: the internet is a necessity and the basic standard deemed acceptable dropped 2/3 notches at times

- very comfortable bed

- cabin quiet

- love the paintings

- nice plants

- fruit appreciated

- nicely stocked fridge

 

3. Stateroom Stewardesses: 10* (1 star)

- bedrock of ship experience, always so kind and cheerful.

- Joanne looked after us so well assisted by other wonderful ladies

- Head of Housekeeping: Ivana. Impressive as always and amazing ambassador for company

 

4. Cuisine: 10** (2 star)

The Chef and galley do all the basics right and source the best foods whilst the galley crew are all professionals with an incredible speed of service and focus on good presentation (simple and "clean": not overtly, contrived).

The portion sizing is always perfect though I do find that at dinner service, I am only able to consume lighter or fewer dishes.

The dishes are mostly very good and occasionally exceptional.

Chef Tomasz's accessibility, dynamism and enthusiasm is always extremely impressive.

Pastry chef Girry is ALWAYS producing great deserts. How they are never too sweet is miraculous.

On this voyage, I have been particularly impressed by a few additional aspects: they are:

- the terrine of foie gras presentation was exceptional and was delicious

- amazing sashimi at lunchtime with fantastic wasabi and ginger

- Wonderful simply grilled calamari for the table of 4 at lunch

- Wagyu steak was very juicy

- Fries brilliant

- I have been advised to take vegetable juices to increase antioxidants etc.. : the carrot, apple and ginger juice is very good

- Malay lobster curry with rice (brown/wild) and poppadum was exceptional

- the bread has really improved (now made into dough parcels the night before and heated closer to time of serving and a new type of top premium flour is used)

- cheeses are wonderful and are now labelled which is great

- daily dishes bought from ports were wonderful (antipasti, cheeses etc..

- deserts are exceptional

- wonderful Greek yoghurt and local honey divine

- incorporating dishes of countries visiting is a great idea but regrettably did not like the Croatian minced meat offering nevertheless this was simply a matter,of taste (nothing wrong with it)

 

And the minor critiques:

- the croissant pastry is heavier than previously

 

5. Restaurant Services: 10.0

- Robert is the complete professional and brings an elevated intelligence and air of sophistication to service without aloofness: a truly remarkable and talented individual who is more suited for senior management at the highest level

- Grenold from Mumbai is very pleasant, courteous and presents himself well

- service from ALL waiters (with NO exception) was very good

 

6. Bar Services & Sommelier: 9.5

- Working on SD is very difficult at times and is not for all and certainly no shame in that. Individuals not suited for ship service should be assisted with understanding, tolerance and as much encouragement as possible showing kindness for the welfare of the individual but for a time limit yet if there is no significant improvement then the matter should be terminated expeditiously as seems to have been the case.

- sad, sad news that Jasper will be leaving. An amazing person for whom I understand "the door has been left open". I wish him well.

- Cameron grows in stature as a complete professional whilst also being immensely personable.

- fantastic having Matt back: the "vibe" he exudes in his calm, life loving, intelligence is a joy to be around.

- Frank is masterful, fully reliable and must be the most hard working guy on the whole ship (yes everybody will hate him and myself after this comment !)

 

7. Concierge / Reception, Shop & Purser: 10* (1 star)

- Concierge. Frud and Arla are AMAZING and company legends

- Purser Thierry. Is an utterly charming man, a wealth of experience, efficient and an amazing asset to the company.

- the Concierge and Purser have had everything "thrown at them" due to events affecting both ships: they have been calm, professional and amazing. Events like these show true character

- Shop Manageress: Vivienne. Wonderful and efficient lady with great charm.

- Communications Officer: Gadel. Is extremely personable and helpful in all matters electronic. No fault of his that the internet equipment is not up to standard.

- having the Concierge open early on the last day is great

- my bill is always correct

 

8. Onboard Recreation: 10

- Club Director: Jeff. Have not sailed with Jeff for years now but he is in the form of his life ! He has so much energy, he is extremely accessible to passengers and is immense fun. You never feel he "pushes sales" but his always being present, morning, noon and night combined with "dropping" offers to talk about future voyages at any time creates an "easy lead" into re-booking. Much sought after to host tables too.

- Activity Director: Anna. What a coup finding this lady. Never have the discos been so well attended which creates a wonderful cohesive atmosphere onboard which spreads to all peripheries of the ship. This combined with her immense energy and open faced, enthused and kind demeanour is a rare quality. The "big ship" approach is evident but this is not a bad thing as she creates a ripple of energy: it may be simply her big personality and natural energy but there is also great awareness for each situation, circumstance and passenger she is conversing with. She politely declines drinks during the day and is accessible to passengers which demonstrates a professionalism and experienced person. She will become an incredible asset to the company. I suspect the crew adore her too.

- Casino Manager: Dragonania. A very perceptive and competent lady.

- Hosting. Owing to friends from Australia joining the voyage, we have been unable to dine with senior officers and crew, sadly.

 

9. Shoreside Activities: N/A

- all seemed to go well (as reported by other guests)

 

10. Ports of Call: N/A

- fine but the ship is the destination for me

 

11. Spa Services: N/A

- Spa Manger: Piro. Bright, well presented and great attitude.

- sadly not used this time

 

12. Overall Appearance of the Yacht: 9.0

- generally looks fine but a few slightly un-tidy / less than satisfactory finished minor areas in public sections (narrow passage from stairwell landing on deck 4 to external door out onto outside area between buffet area and kitchen)

- tender and deck hand uniforms and shoes are much smarter which combined with canopy on docks gives SD an upmarket appearance and admiring glances by others which raises prestige of ship and offers a sense of pride

- install thermometer and barometer at TOYB (always curious)

 

13. Overall Impression of your Voyage: 9.5

- I am always enriched, humbled and so impressed by the crew on this ship.

- very difficult situation (SDI & Charter) masterfully handled: very impressed

- Maitre d': Silvio. Ever present and caring for guests with great awareness and amazing ability to raise a smile.

- Hotel Manager: Jamie. In the best form and also ever present.

 

14. Shoreside Management: 10.0

- no issues with Reservations department for quite a while now: greatly appreciated

- handling of SDI situation has been excellent. There will be no winners when an event like this happens but the damage limitation, the protecting of the company's reputation (and in my case and many other Club Members and new passengers), the reputation has actually been enhanced !

- the speed of handling is truly excellent

- the openness is most refreshing but seeking the "Advisory" section is indicative of concealment. You have handled the situation to an excellent standard: so this should be clear for all to see.

- great leadership from very senior management

- great customer care all through the organisation where emotionally charged individuals could have presented increased challenges: no one shirked their duties and indeed demonstrated great humanity and tolerance.

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Yet again, another masterful, enjoyable read from Ho Hum. And good to hear that some of Hum's minor criticisms have been acted on, ie labelling cheese, early opening of concierge on last day. Makes his writing worthwhile and seemingly appreciated. What a great unofficial ambassador!

 

Cheers, Millie

Edited by MillieRyan08
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What with "Part 2" of incredibly idle jottings, Mr Hum being bumped, nay thrown off Seadream2 (the only surprise is that it has taken this long) and now apparently lost in space incommunicado...2016 is continuing to be a year when one should rule nothing out...

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What with "Part 2" of incredibly idle jottings, Mr Hum being bumped, nay thrown off Seadream2 (the only surprise is that it has taken this long) and now apparently lost in space incommunicado...2016 is continuing to be a year when one should rule nothing out...

 

Page 5 has now appeared with lots of communicado from Mr Hum...for a moment I thought, surely not, his Lordship missing in action somewhere in far reaches of the Aegean Sea.

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Have done SD and Windstar Legend (sister ship to Breeze). Will never do WS again. Not a luxury experience, putting it mildly.

 

Sorry, Ragnar - but we had a great cruise on the Star Breeze around Sicily mid-September and would surely do a WS cruise again.

Perhaps you were guest at the very beginning of this ship under WS?

 

@popper: Take a look at this thread - there are some opinions of other guests about this cruise.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2405744

 

And another very interesting thread shows the positive change of the reviews the longer they belong to WS - very helpful.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2399367

 

For us, SD is outstanding, but WS is "perfect enough" with a warmth and soul

as well (very important point for dearest ho-hum;)).

Food -which is very important for us - on SD was 10 - on WS was 8 (for us!).

We had a wonderful cruise on a 200 people yacht in a 277 sqft window cabin for half the price of SD (including all our drinks).

You must decide if the double price is worth the more or less "slight" difference ... :)

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Dear gcmv,

 

From years of reading your ebullient posts, our differing views on Windstar likely come down to you being a glass 7/8 full kind of guy, while ol' Ragnar is more of a glass empty, and broken into razor sharp shards, kind of guy....

 

 

Ragnar

 

PS - My first wife and her sister used to refer to me as "The Forteller of Doom"...

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Dear gcmv,

From years of reading your ebullient posts, our differing views on Windstar likely come down to you being a glass 7/8 full kind of guy, while ol' Ragnar is more of a glass empty, and broken into razor sharp shards, kind of guy....

 

Ragnar

 

PS - My first wife and her sister used to refer to me as "The Forteller of Doom"...

 

Haha.....love it Raggy.

So funny.

Of course no one believes a word you say about your temperament.......well not to the degree you lambast yourself.

 

Having said that, Hum is similar to you old chum.

Eating out with Hum in a restaurant is a ruddy nightmare for others and waiters if he is not happy !

But if people are doing their best then he is somewhat pacified.

 

Hum can testify that "The Baron" is truly a positive and fun guy but not without sensible critical discrimination.

 

Still "dry" ?

Knee update please.

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Well it was quite a week on SDII !

And we had an amazing time.....yes despite being "booted off" !

 

Days just sailed past but here is Hum's review of voyage.

"Fill yer boots" 'cos this will be the last for a while.

 

 

GUEST COMMENT REVIEW

SEA DREAM II: 17-24 September, 2016. Athens (Piraeus) - Dubroknik

 

1. Yacht Embarkation: 9.0

- no map of port

- Port officials good (no un-necessary bureaucracy, petty officialdom, off handedness)

- champagne offered (to me, at least)

- missed canapes

- greetings wonderful as always

- processing very efficient and friendly

- escorted to room by housekeeper: this aspect of service is crucially important for new guests as is the professionalism and friendliness of the housekeeper (Joanne, a new lady, who was wonderful

- bags delivered to room in good time

 

2. Stateroom Appointments: 9.0

- everything mostly worked

- toilet sporadically stopped operating but repaired very quickly

- internet worse, much worse sporadically: the internet is a necessity and the basic standard deemed acceptable dropped 2/3 notches at times

- very comfortable bed

- cabin quiet

- love the paintings

- nice plants

- fruit appreciated

- nicely stocked fridge

 

3. Stateroom Stewardesses: 10* (1 star)

- bedrock of ship experience, always so kind and cheerful.

- Joanne looked after us so well assisted by other wonderful ladies

- Head of Housekeeping: Ivana. Impressive as always and amazing ambassador for company

 

4. Cuisine: 10** (2 star)

The Chef and galley do all the basics right and source the best foods whilst the galley crew are all professionals with an incredible speed of service and focus on good presentation (simple and "clean": not overtly, contrived).

The portion sizing is always perfect though I do find that at dinner service, I am only able to consume lighter or fewer dishes.

The dishes are mostly very good and occasionally exceptional.

Chef Tomasz's accessibility, dynamism and enthusiasm is always extremely impressive.

Pastry chef Girry is ALWAYS producing great deserts. How they are never too sweet is miraculous.

On this voyage, I have been particularly impressed by a few additional aspects: they are:

- the terrine of foie gras presentation was exceptional and was delicious

- amazing sashimi at lunchtime with fantastic wasabi and ginger

- Wonderful simply grilled calamari for the table of 4 at lunch

- Wagyu steak was very juicy

- Fries brilliant

- I have been advised to take vegetable juices to increase antioxidants etc.. : the carrot, apple and ginger juice is very good

- Malay lobster curry with rice (brown/wild) and poppadum was exceptional

- the bread has really improved (now made into dough parcels the night before and heated closer to time of serving and a new type of top premium flour is used)

- cheeses are wonderful and are now labelled which is great

- daily dishes bought from ports were wonderful (antipasti, cheeses etc..

- deserts are exceptional

- wonderful Greek yoghurt and local honey divine

- incorporating dishes of countries visiting is a great idea but regrettably did not like the Croatian minced meat offering nevertheless this was simply a matter,of taste (nothing wrong with it)

 

And the minor critiques:

- the croissant pastry is heavier than previously

 

5. Restaurant Services: 10.0

- Robert is the complete professional and brings an elevated intelligence and air of sophistication to service without aloofness: a truly remarkable and talented individual who is more suited for senior management at the highest level

- Grenold from Mumbai is very pleasant, courteous and presents himself well

- service from ALL waiters (with NO exception) was very good

 

6. Bar Services & Sommelier: 9.5

- Working on SD is very difficult at times and is not for all and certainly no shame in that. Individuals not suited for ship service should be assisted with understanding, tolerance and as much encouragement as possible showing kindness for the welfare of the individual but for a time limit yet if there is no significant improvement then the matter should be terminated expeditiously as seems to have been the case.

- sad, sad news that Jasper will be leaving. An amazing person for whom I understand "the door has been left open". I wish him well.

- Cameron grows in stature as a complete professional whilst also being immensely personable.

- fantastic having Matt back: the "vibe" he exudes in his calm, life loving, intelligence is a joy to be around.

- Frank is masterful, fully reliable and must be the most hard working guy on the whole ship (yes everybody will hate him and myself after this comment !)

 

7. Concierge / Reception, Shop & Purser: 10* (1 star)

- Concierge. Frud and Arla are AMAZING and company legends

- Purser Thierry. Is an utterly charming man, a wealth of experience, efficient and an amazing asset to the company.

- the Concierge and Purser have had everything "thrown at them" due to events affecting both ships: they have been calm, professional and amazing. Events like these show true character

- Shop Manageress: Vivienne. Wonderful and efficient lady with great charm.

- Communications Officer: Gadel. Is extremely personable and helpful in all matters electronic. No fault of his that the internet equipment is not up to standard.

- having the Concierge open early on the last day is great

- my bill is always correct

 

8. Onboard Recreation: 10

- Club Director: Jeff. Have not sailed with Jeff for years now but he is in the form of his life ! He has so much energy, he is extremely accessible to passengers and is immense fun. You never feel he "pushes sales" but his always being present, morning, noon and night combined with "dropping" offers to talk about future voyages at any time creates an "easy lead" into re-booking. Much sought after to host tables too.

- Activity Director: Anna. What a coup finding this lady. Never have the discos been so well attended which creates a wonderful cohesive atmosphere onboard which spreads to all peripheries of the ship. This combined with her immense energy and open faced, enthused and kind demeanour is a rare quality. The "big ship" approach is evident but this is not a bad thing as she creates a ripple of energy: it may be simply her big personality and natural energy but there is also great awareness for each situation, circumstance and passenger she is conversing with. She politely declines drinks during the day and is accessible to passengers which demonstrates a professionalism and experienced person. She will become an incredible asset to the company. I suspect the crew adore her too.

- Casino Manager: Dragonania. A very perceptive and competent lady.

- Hosting. Owing to friends from Australia joining the voyage, we have been unable to dine with senior officers and crew, sadly.

 

9. Shoreside Activities: N/A

- all seemed to go well (as reported by other guests)

 

10. Ports of Call: N/A

- fine but the ship is the destination for me

 

11. Spa Services: N/A

- Spa Manger: Piro. Bright, well presented and great attitude.

- sadly not used this time

 

12. Overall Appearance of the Yacht: 9.0

- generally looks fine but a few slightly un-tidy / less than satisfactory finished minor areas in public sections (narrow passage from stairwell landing on deck 4 to external door out onto outside area between buffet area and kitchen)

- tender and deck hand uniforms and shoes are much smarter which combined with canopy on docks gives SD an upmarket appearance and admiring glances by others which raises prestige of ship and offers a sense of pride

- install thermometer and barometer at TOYB (always curious)

 

13. Overall Impression of your Voyage: 9.5

- I am always enriched, humbled and so impressed by the crew on this ship.

- very difficult situation (SDI & Charter) masterfully handled: very impressed

- Maitre d': Silvio. Ever present and caring for guests with great awareness and amazing ability to raise a smile.

- Hotel Manager: Jamie. In the best form and also ever present.

 

14. Shoreside Management: 10.0

- no issues with Reservations department for quite a while now: greatly appreciated

- handling of SDI situation has been excellent. There will be no winners when an event like this happens but the damage limitation, the protecting of the company's reputation (and in my case and many other Club Members and new passengers), the reputation has actually been enhanced !

- the speed of handling is truly excellent

- the openness is most refreshing but seeking the "Advisory" section is indicative of concealment. You have handled the situation to an excellent standard: so this should be clear for all to see.

- great leadership from very senior management

- great customer care all through the organisation where emotionally charged individuals could have presented increased challenges: no one shirked their duties and indeed demonstrated great humanity and tolerance.

Great review! Thanks for sharing Hum!

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"till "dry" ?

Knee update please."

 

Thank you for asking! Still dry, but see doc tomorrow about ending the IV antibiotic. And starting wine ;)

 

Knee is recovered enough so that today I was able to move about the house without a crutch or cane. In fact, while MrsD is out puttering in her gardens, I am making her a surprise dinner: italian sausages and peppers, with a side of anglehair pasta, with my homemade cherry tomato/basil sauce. No wine for me, but she can indulge :)

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Sorry to bore you all with details of dinner, but after 5+ weeks of incapacitation, doing something normal, like making dinner, was very exciting to me :p

 

Not boring us at all old chum.

But to aid completing the image of this domestic bliss scenario.

Kindly advise what kind of kitchen pinny you attire yourself in.

Is it a plain white lace linny with "ruffles" to the edges (as worn by gorgeous French lady waitresses)

Or

Is it a bad joke pinny with the superimposed outline of either a well endowed nubile lady or gentleman ?

The public has a right to know.

 

Glad to hear your knee is well on the mend old chum.

Edited by ho-hum
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Dear gcmv,

From years of reading your ebullient posts, our differing views on Windstar likely come down to you being a glass 7/8 full kind of guy, while ol' Ragnar is more of a glass empty, and broken into razor sharp shards, kind of guy....

Ragnar

 

PS - My first wife and her sister used to refer to me as "The Forteller of Doom"...

 

Dear Ragnar - gcmv understands, but for the real luxury experience you should join hum and gcmv on a REAL LUXURY cruise ship next time, and not on an old steamer with high repair susceptibility that has to cancel cruises due to technical problems or fire onboard ... ;)

 

For example, the Hapag Lloyd EUROPA2 - here's an excerpt of their latest press release:

 

EUROPA 2 Receives the Highest Distinction, 6 stars-plus in Stern's Guide to the Cruise Vacation 2017

 

Top distinction for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' EUROPA 2, 6 stars-plus and 6 stars for the EUROPA

In the 28th edition of Stern’s Guide to the Cruise Vacation 2017, the EUROPA 2, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ luxury ship, took top ranking with the highest distinction, 6-stars-plus for cruise ships worldwide.

"Having cruised on over 800 ships, I can honestly say that no other ships was as exquisitely beautiful as the Europa 2,“ said Steve Stern.

 

On this ship the glass is 9/8 full ... :D

 

Looking forward meeting you onboard one day, having a nice glass of Champagne together with hum, blondie, Mrs. gcmv and Mrs. Raggy. :)

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