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Loretta Ruby

Age: 65


Number of Cruises: Around 20

Cruise Line: Wind Star

Ship: Wind Spirit

Sailing Date: May 1, 2004

Itinerary: Eastern Mediterranean

Wind Star was Five Star on Land as well as Sea....A hotel fire can ruin your whole vacation. If something goes drastically amiss, be sure to be on a Wind Star cruise. We were booked into the G.H. Parco dei Prinipi in Rome, Italy, on May 1, 2004, when there was a horrible fire. We escaped the smoke and fire by going from balcony to balcony on the 7th Floor (US would have be 8th) until we reached a sloping roof that got us to within 10' of the 6th Floor (where fire evacuation equipment could reach us), droping into a chaise lounge. Andy Roddick, tennis star, was on that floor and he kept us from falling forward. We eventually were rescued. My husband was injured in the drop and had severe hematomas on his shins and right foot trauma. Wind Star's Italian liasion land company, Inter Trav. found us in the ambulance before we were sent to a Rome hospital. Wind Star had interpreters and representatives at the hospital immediately. They also provided new hotel rooms, interpreters, morale support, cleaning of smoke damaged clothes, meals, etc., throughout our week's ordeal of dealing with Italian hospital staff, private doctors, visit to American embassy, replacement of luggage (smoke damage), filing of police report, etc. They even flew out their Guest Relations Manager from Seattle who was a very caring professional who gave us so much needed support.

When my husband was well enough to travel, although we had missed the first week of the cruise, we did join the Wind Spirit from Athens to Istanbul. What a great ship. A lovely sailing ship, small, with only 148 passengers, great crew and helpful staff. The cabin was very sell designed - plenty of room for everything. The Philippino room and restaurant/bar staff were very friendly. Great food, ambience, and a very interesting itinerary. It also had the only email computer system (and we have sailed on many other ships)that was hassle free and worked easily in all our trafvels. We hope to do the same cruise next year - but starting from Rome to Istanbul! My husband's feet did not heal enough to take advantage of all the wonderful shore excursions but next year....!

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