Hello from the beautiful Wind Surf
PHOTO: The Windsurf docked this morning in Amalfi Coast (c) Sery Kim
I am not the least bit sorry to be posting this photo of my lovely yacht, the Wind Surf, today as it was docked on the Amalfi Coast. My friends back in Washington, D.C. were telling me how miserable and cold they are since it is raining back home. Um ... sorry not sorry?! ;-) The weather could not be any more perfect here. High of 69 and not a cloud in sight!
I've never cruised Italy before, though, I have cruised twice before (my best trip ever was the Seabourn Cruise to Antarctica and Patagonia and I also did the Uniworld Bordeaux cruise). I have to say, sailing up into Amalfi this morning around 7:00 am, was a beautiful sight. There is a reason why the entire region is UNESCO World Heritage designated -- plus there is the whole thing about how romantic and La Dolce Vita the entire experience is.
While today was my first full day onboard, yesterday is when I boarded the Wind Surf. I had an immensely easy transfer from my hotel in Rome. Even my "special" carry-on luggage, the one with all the valuables, made it to my cabin with no issue at all. The drive even, which was long from Rome at nearly 75 minutes, was quite bucolic and easy (thank goodness for international data).
PHOTO: Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries awaiting me in my suite (c) Sery Kim
I boarded the Wind Surf and it was readily apparent why someone would chose this vessel. Right next to it in the dock at Port was a massive cruise ship, aka the kind which are referred to as "floating cities." I would hate to be onboard with that many people. I love cruising and part of the fun is moving with a small group of people. In my case, on this trip, there are less than 300 people including one other journalist. Super ideal.
PHOTO: Yesterday's drink of the day (c) Sery Kim
Checking in was a literal breeze. I showed up; they greeted me; I went to my room where champagne and chocolate covered strawberries greeted me; and while I drank the "beverage of the day" my luggage magically arrived in my room! YES!! Everywhere you go the staff onboard is so nice and, on a small luxury cruise like the ones Windstar offers, you really get a chance to get to know the team. They are always so great at remembering people's names and even our room numbers. I love it! This is also one of the reasons why I like to stay at super luxury hotels: the customer service. In fact, for one of the few times ever in my entire life (including when I used to work in politics), the onboard team recognized me by my face!! I didn't even have to say my name!! This made me feel quite famous and, since I am decidedly not, I enjoyed this as well.
PHOTO: My suite onboard the Windsurf (c) Sery Kim
I was lucky enough to get assigned a really big suite. The levels, and pricing, are super affordable when you consider that the starting price is around $3,000 for a 8-day cruise. This includes all meals, snacks, basic beverages with add-ons available for unlimited wifi (spotty but super good right by the reception desk), unlimited drinking every day (note that it's not free alcohol or even limited alcohol onboard a Windstar Cruise), great spa services (everything from waxing to mani/pedis, massages, facials and even body treatments) and of course daily excursions. This comes down to around $150 a night and that is a crazy good deal when you consider we will be going to three different countries and all around Italy.
You also get entertainment and if you like to gamble you do have access to a Casino! How crazy is that!?!
PHOTO: A view of my enormous suite (c) Sery Kim
Tomorrow we are off to Giardini Naxos in Sicily for a private event. Friday is a day at sea and then Saturday, May 13th we will be in Kotor, Montenegro. Such a great day!!