Powered by a new owner, new leadership, and $18 million of renovation, Windstar Cruise’s three ships are sailing again with vim, vigor, a contemporary interior, and a batch of new sails that total the size of seven football fields.
Wind Surf at anchor off Dominica in the Caribbean
Windstar’s energetic president and CEO, Hans Birkholz, said that bookings for 2013 are up 60 percent over 2012, and that the cruise line is looking to expand. Birkholz said that means additional ships, coming soon, though the added vessels may be without sails.
Cruise ship changes that allow you to pick the time for dinner -- as well as the cuisine style and a table for two or a few close friends -- are partly responsible for the continuing increase in the popularity of sea vacations. Comfort food, casual dress and anytime eating are among the top draws for new passengers.
Still, true to my sense of adventure, I miss the traditional system that forced passengers to dine every night for a week with a group of strangers, usually at a table for eight or more.
In Oceania Marina's grand dining room, you'll find any size table you want. (Photo by David G. Molyneaux, TheTravelMavens.com)
Through the years of renting cars in Florida, I’ve been all over the Internet. My expeditions have yielded dozens of cars from websites and rental companies, with varying degrees of success.
Goal for my latest Florida car rental was hanging out with the pelicans in the Keys (Photo by David G. Molyneaux, TheTravelMavens.com)
The cost of a rental car can be a major expense, especially in Miami, where locals add on a brace of taxes and fees that seem to nearly double the original cost. Rent a car in Miami and you know you have contributed to the local economy.
Finding the best deal is getting easier, because of up-to-date Internet
search engines that seek the lowest rates. Sometimes, prices vary