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DINING ALFRESCO, SO MUCH THE BETTER,...REALLY?


Barrycat
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We have long London/Athens cruise scheduled for September and an equally long list of questions and reservations about Windstar’s ability to manage all of the aspects of port calls in six different countries. We just got a promotional email assuring us that Windstar is aware of the current complexity of this Mediterranean itinerary and that they are working on dealing with the issues involved with each country and port. Let’s hope.

Besides the various countries entry issue, the restricted excursion issue, the mask issue, and the cost issue, now there is a new potential problem. Part of the Windstar email states

 

will you have to wear a mask? Probably - mask policies may change according to evolving guidance and to meet a destination’s requirements. Will it mean a bit more dining alfresco? So much the better. We have every confidence you’ll be able to enjoy the same pleasures of a Windstar Cruises vacation that you would in any other year. 

 

Dining alfresco sounds like code for “sorry but Amphora is closed”. Apparently the main dining room was seldom open for dinner on current Caribbean cruises and I’m afraid the Windstar is setting the stage for the same on our cruise. Ending the day with a cocktail and an elegant dinner is an integral part of our enjoyment of a cruise. Candles is ok but I don’t want to be forced to dine at one of the new, more casual, Star Legend restaurants all 28 nights. Not a big deal to some, and maybe alfresco in the Caribbean on a seven day cruise might  be fun but for us this may be the final straw for that poor camel.

 

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Hi,

Just to reassure you…….we were on the inaugural Greek cruise and Amphora was open every evening  except the one where we had the deck BBQ. We had some lovely meals there.

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Thanks Mocamps. Passengers on the Caribbean sailings said that Amphora was seldom used since the ship was at half capacity. That’s about the case on my cruise so hopefully that will not be the determining factor for Amphora openings.

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As a matter of interest, how did you find out how many people are going to be on it?

 

We were looking at your cruise as a possible alternative for our Caribbean one which we’ve had to cancel due to the difficulties in getting there without being able to transit US, but I believe there are still too many restrictions on shore excursions, aren’t there?

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No choice, book WS excursions or stay on board. We booked for about half of the days on board but that is one of the negatives about this cruise which may cause us to cancel. We would only transit in the UK so we should be ok boarding but the Delta in Portugal and Spain is a concern. Conflicted

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How different these two cruises sound! But such is our world today...Since we're on Ath-Ath in August we've been closely following cruisers' feedback/reviews so far. Since we can wander freely in Greece we're pretty happy. We'll see which restaurants are open onboard... It'll be interesting to see how full Wind Star is. Cheers all!

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Mocamps

You may be taking our place on the London start. With all of the other concerns we have about this cruise, now I’m dreading the possibility of flunking one of the many COVID tests despite being fully vaccinated. I’m confident we wouldn’t be really sick but being denied boarding on any of the flights or the ship or shore excursions would be a nightmare. 

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We won’t be taking your place with those restrictions on shore excursions!! We wouldn’t want to be captive on the ship but equally don’t like being herded in a group or stuck on a tour bus! We usually like to hike and swim - both activities are probably less risky than a ship’s tour but hey ho!! We’re probably sticking to cruises where we DON’T get limited  to ship tours.

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Posted (edited)

Barrycat, I share your concerns.  I am on one leg of your sailing.  Final payment is due this Thursday, and I am seriously considering cancelling.  At the time of booking, I felt pretty good, but with the rise of the Delta variant, I am wondering if taking this trip is wise.  Although I am fully vaccinated and am careful, I am worried about traveling, testing positive, and being stuck someplace in Europe isolating.  I am working in a COVID related field, and I realize this is only anecdotal evidence, but every day I speak with people who are fully vaccinated who have contracted COVID, and this is in an area with a high vaccination rate.  And, I don't want to end up in that spot while traveling. *sigh*  What to do?

Edited by 6rugrats
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4 hours ago, 6rugrats said:

Barrycat, I share your concerns.  I am on one leg of your sailing.  Final payment is due this Thursday, and I am seriously considering cancelling.  At the time of booking, I felt pretty good, but with the rise of the Delta variant, I am wondering if taking this trip is wise.  Although I am fully vaccinated and am careful, I am worried about traveling, testing positive, and being stuck someplace in Europe isolating.  I am working in a COVID related field, and I realize this is only anecdotal evidence, but every day I speak with people who are fully vaccinated who have contracted COVID, and this is in an area with a high vaccination rate.  And, I don't want to end up in that spot while traveling. *sigh*  What to do?

Ugh, what a predicament. For what it's worth, I think your inclination to cancel is correct. JMHO.

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For us there are just too many questions/negatives about these two cruises to go ahead with them. Despite the great itinerary combo which I don’t see repeated in the next eighteen months and all of the perks Windstar has included, the danger of flunking one of the required tests and quarantining is just too great.

Windstar has six ships sailing 52 weeks a year. We should be able to find something among those 300 plus itineraries that gets us excited. If not there are other cruise lines but hopefully it doesn’t come to that, we love Windstar

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I hear you on the Amphora. And the multiple unknowns along the way. I hope you do find that itinerary you’re looking for!  We will be doing the Black Sea circuit (Istanbul-Istanbul) Sept ‘22, and have added civil instability to our list of things to worry about (or not.)

 

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Back from the July 24th St Maarten Cruise and Amphora was open 5 nights.  Closed on Wednesday and then for the Deck BBQ.  We have fabulous meals at Cuadro (we really love this new restaurant), Candles, and Amphora was really spectacular.  In the end the best part was the crew, just so wonderful.

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CDC guidance by county

Current list of countries listed by the CDC as Level 4, do not travel, added St Martin and Greece yesterday and include BVI, US Virgin Islands, Martinique, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, and most of the EU coastal countries including the UK. All primarily due to the spread of the Delta variant. All problems for Windstar sadly

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In the previous post I misstated the detail on the CDC level 4. It is not specifically do not travel but rather COVID risk very high. That’s the same to me but I wanted to clarify.

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2 hours ago, Barrycat said:

In the previous post I misstated the detail on the CDC level 4. It is not specifically do not travel but rather COVID risk very high. That’s the same to me but I wanted to clarify.

That's the same as most of the US.

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