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Background: Just completed a special tour where our sales group had the complete ship for a week. We started in Bridgetown, Barbados and called on Pigeon Island, St. Lucia, Les Saintes, St. Kitts, St. Barts, Jost Van Dyke and ended in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. This ship will be going into dry dock in about a month. After 30 years of service it needs to. The staff have done a great job of keeping it clean and refreshed but after some time it just needs a compete make over. The staff from the Captain to the tender drivers were very polite, helpful and called you by name. English is a second language to most so be patient. Make sure you are at the back of the boat for the "sail away". The officers make this a big deal with the overture from 1492 playing loud as each sail is unfurled and you sail out of anchorage. Other boats stop to watch also. Bring your cameras and video it. Food & Drinks: This is a Diet Coke friendly ship. Real Diet Coke from the States. In fact, if you are looking for locally sourced fruits, vegetables or meats sorry because everything is from the States preserved in vacuum packages. If you like to eat unhealthy then this is the ship for you. If you at least try to watch your weight then you can find fruits and some grilled vegetables along with granola but you better take your own light or fat free dressing. Overall the food was good and the Chef did go out of his way to make anything you wanted. If you have been on the Windstar before it is my understanding that the prior Chef has left the ship to join another line. The people I talked with said the prior Chef was amazing. We did not drink a lot on the ship but the selection of scotches were impressive. The bourbons were run of the mill and the same with vodkas and gins. Most people drank rum punches or the drink of the day. I talked with several people who did the drink package and they said they got their monies worth. Most drinks ran $6-$8/drink (beer, wine and punches). Scotches were $10-$15/shot. Beers were local so if you like Coors Light or Bud you are out of luck. In our brochure it said you could bring two bottles of wine on board but we never had a problem with purchasing wine especially on the French islands to bring on board and drink in our cabin. In fact, there was no screening like you normally have to with X-Rays on the bigger ships. I did buy a bottle of scotch in Duty Free in Miami and it was not taken at check in so I drank on it all week. Dining: Breakfast starts most days at 7:30 am and goes to 9:30 am. There is a light breakfast and coffee/tea bar by the pool that starts at 5:30 am for early risers. Ordering off the ever changing menu for breakfast was great. If you like eggs benedict, blueberry pancakes or French toast then you will be in Nirvana. Lunch is casual and served at mid-ship either inside or outside. There is always a well supplied salad bar which will have something for everyone. There was a Caesar Salad offering every day but realize you're on a cruise ship so it's the full leaded dressing. There are also hot entrees each day and a special dish like roasted chicken, salmon wellington or pork shoulder craved by the lunch Chef. You can order off the menu also for hamburgers with French fries or a hot dog. Save room for two selections of ice cream with caramel or chocolate topping (no cones). In the evenings, after the port talk from Ana, the main dining room will open at 7:30 pm. The food was vey good and there were a lot of interesting options. The Chef is eager to assist with any dietary issues. One evening during the cruise you can book to sit on the back of the ship and dine under the stars. I would suggest you look at your itinerary and book your reservation when the ship is anchored. They try their best to set the tables in a way when the ship is moving that you are not getting wind blown. The food at Candle's is good but Veranda's is better. If it's your anniversary by all means book an evening under the stars but bring a light jacket or sweater to cover up. Gym: There is a small workout room and it's a 100 degrees if more than two people are working out together. Two treadmills, one elliptical, one up right bike and one incumbent bike along with a full range of hand weights with a bench. There is a machine to do lat pulls. If you are taller than 6 foot then you will hit your head on the treadmill running! Cabins: Remarkably comfortable from the bed on down. We had plenty of space to store a month's worth of clothes (my wife does not travel light!). Cabin steward (Ben) was helpful and friendly. Entertainment: We had a duo and they were good. We didn't spend any time in the lounge because there were DVDs that you could check out. The TV programming is limited (SKY, BBC, FOX, CNBC, Food Network, Travel Network, a sports channel of soccer or cricket, a movie channel that the ship ran, and a video of the bridge). We read mostly and watched out our first floor port hole. It gives a new meaning to be "sea level". We had cabin 136 which was in the front of the ship. I feel badly for the people in the last cabins at the back of the ship. They complained about the noise and ear plugs didn't help much. I guess the engine noise is something on a small ship you can't avoid. The ship bills the "sport deck" as being something great. They did let down the door in every port except one. Each time we were told to hang on to the line because the current was so strong it would take you out to sea. They had these huge rubber mats that you could tan on but they moved some much with the current it was not very relaxing. We used our assigned snorkel gear one time because you could not snorkel off the back of the boat (never). Ports of Call: We did not have time to visit Bridgetown or St. Maarten (we had been to both of these stops before on ships). Except for St. Kitts (we met two massive cruise boats there) most people either visited abandoned forts or walked to beaches because there was not much of a town to visit. About half the ship would take excursions that took them to beaches to snorkel. The best snorkeling was in Virgin Gorda. The shopping for trinkets was best in St. Kitts (t-shirts, hats). The liquor stores are right by the pier where the big boats dock (we never docked the whole week). In St. Barts the shopping is good but expensive. We went to Le Select so I could see where Jimmy Buffett wrote "Cheeseburgers in Paradise". The wine stores where great because this is a French colony. Everyone asked be about Jost Van Dyke. You must visit "Foxy's" at night (live band and limbo dancing) and "Soggy Dollar" during the day (relaxing place to sit in the water or under a tree, no music, no dancing). There is no town. These are beach bars that you will be amazed are standing and you will wonder why you didn't nail up a couple of 2x4s and mix rum drinks earlier. I think it's just a place where people who have been sailing all day want to pull into a sandy beach area, out of the wind and drink rum until it's time to make dinner. There is nothing special about either one of these places (except maybe it's a special place in your mind) but for some it is a bucket list item. Someday someone is going to ask you whether you have been and you will want to be one of the cool kids and say "YES". Overall: If you want to visit ports that most cruisers will never see then this is something you need to do once or maybe twice. We had people on the ship that had done this cruise 3 and 4 times. They love the intimate, relaxed sailing of a small ship. I have to admit it was nice to visit the bridge, talk to the Captain, walk out on the front of the ship like a scene from the Titanic and visit places that I didn't have to fight 5,000 of my fellow cruise mates getting on and off the ship.

Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went

Wind Star Cruise Review by Chickie1958

65 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2016
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview Stateroom
Background: Just completed a special tour where our sales group had the complete ship for a week. We started in Bridgetown, Barbados and called on Pigeon Island, St. Lucia, Les Saintes, St. Kitts, St. Barts, Jost Van Dyke and ended in Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

This ship will be going into dry dock in about a month. After 30 years of service it needs to. The staff have done a great job of keeping it clean and refreshed but after some time it just needs a compete make over. The staff from the Captain to the tender drivers were very polite, helpful and called you by name. English is a second language to most so be patient. Make sure you are at the back of the boat for the "sail away". The officers make this a big deal with the overture from 1492 playing loud as each sail is unfurled and you sail out of anchorage. Other boats stop to watch also. Bring your cameras and video it.

Food & Drinks: This is a Diet Coke friendly ship. Real Diet Coke from the States. In fact, if you are looking for locally sourced fruits, vegetables or meats sorry because everything is from the States preserved in vacuum packages. If you like to eat unhealthy then this is the ship for you. If you at least try to watch your weight then you can find fruits and some grilled vegetables along with granola but you better take your own light or fat free dressing. Overall the food was good and the Chef did go out of his way to make anything you wanted. If you have been on the Windstar before it is my understanding that the prior Chef has left the ship to join another line. The people I talked with said the prior Chef was amazing.

We did not drink a lot on the ship but the selection of scotches were impressive. The bourbons were run of the mill and the same with vodkas and gins. Most people drank rum punches or the drink of the day. I talked with several people who did the drink package and they said they got their monies worth. Most drinks ran $6-$8/drink (beer, wine and punches). Scotches were $10-$15/shot. Beers were local so if you like Coors Light or Bud you are out of luck. In our brochure it said you could bring two bottles of wine on board but we never had a problem with purchasing wine especially on the French islands to bring on board and drink in our cabin. In fact, there was no screening like you normally have to with X-Rays on the bigger ships. I did buy a bottle of scotch in Duty Free in Miami and it was not taken at check in so I drank on it all week.

Dining: Breakfast starts most days at 7:30 am and goes to 9:30 am. There is a light breakfast and coffee/tea bar by the pool that starts at 5:30 am for early risers. Ordering off the ever changing menu for breakfast was great. If you like eggs benedict, blueberry pancakes or French toast then you will be in Nirvana. Lunch is casual and served at mid-ship either inside or outside. There is always a well supplied salad bar which will have something for everyone. There was a Caesar Salad offering every day but realize you're on a cruise ship so it's the full leaded dressing. There are also hot entrees each day and a special dish like roasted chicken, salmon wellington or pork shoulder craved by the lunch Chef. You can order off the menu also for hamburgers with French fries or a hot dog. Save room for two selections of ice cream with caramel or chocolate topping (no cones).

In the evenings, after the port talk from Ana, the main dining room will open at 7:30 pm. The food was vey good and there were a lot of interesting options. The Chef is eager to assist with any dietary issues. One evening during the cruise you can book to sit on the back of the ship and dine under the stars. I would suggest you look at your itinerary and book your reservation when the ship is anchored. They try their best to set the tables in a way when the ship is moving that you are not getting wind blown. The food at Candle's is good but Veranda's is better. If it's your anniversary by all means book an evening under the stars but bring a light jacket or sweater to cover up.

Gym: There is a small workout room and it's a 100 degrees if more than two people are working out together. Two treadmills, one elliptical, one up right bike and one incumbent bike along with a full range of hand weights with a bench. There is a machine to do lat pulls. If you are taller than 6 foot then you will hit your head on the treadmill running!

Cabins: Remarkably comfortable from the bed on down. We had plenty of space to store a month's worth of clothes (my wife does not travel light!). Cabin steward (Ben) was helpful and friendly.

Entertainment: We had a duo and they were good. We didn't spend any time in the lounge because there were DVDs that you could check out. The TV programming is limited (SKY, BBC, FOX, CNBC, Food Network, Travel Network, a sports channel of soccer or cricket, a movie channel that the ship ran, and a video of the bridge). We read mostly and watched out our first floor port hole. It gives a new meaning to be "sea level". We had cabin 136 which was in the front of the ship. I feel badly for the people in the last cabins at the back of the ship. They complained about the noise and ear plugs didn't help much. I guess the engine noise is something on a small ship you can't avoid. The ship bills the "sport deck" as being something great. They did let down the door in every port except one. Each time we were told to hang on to the line because the current was so strong it would take you out to sea. They had these huge rubber mats that you could tan on but they moved some much with the current it was not very relaxing. We used our assigned snorkel gear one time because you could not snorkel off the back of the boat (never).

Ports of Call: We did not have time to visit Bridgetown or St. Maarten (we had been to both of these stops before on ships). Except for St. Kitts (we met two massive cruise boats there) most people either visited abandoned forts or walked to beaches because there was not much of a town to visit. About half the ship would take excursions that took them to beaches to snorkel. The best snorkeling was in Virgin Gorda. The shopping for trinkets was best in St. Kitts (t-shirts, hats). The liquor stores are right by the pier where the big boats dock (we never docked the whole week). In St. Barts the shopping is good but expensive. We went to Le Select so I could see where Jimmy Buffett wrote "Cheeseburgers in Paradise". The wine stores where great because this is a French colony. Everyone asked be about Jost Van Dyke. You must visit "Foxy's" at night (live band and limbo dancing) and "Soggy Dollar" during the day (relaxing place to sit in the water or under a tree, no music, no dancing). There is no town. These are beach bars that you will be amazed are standing and you will wonder why you didn't nail up a couple of 2x4s and mix rum drinks earlier. I think it's just a place where people who have been sailing all day want to pull into a sandy beach area, out of the wind and drink rum until it's time to make dinner. There is nothing special about either one of these places (except maybe it's a special place in your mind) but for some it is a bucket list item. Someday someone is going to ask you whether you have been and you will want to be one of the cool kids and say "YES".

Overall: If you want to visit ports that most cruisers will never see then this is something you need to do once or maybe twice. We had people on the ship that had done this cruise 3 and 4 times. They love the intimate, relaxed sailing of a small ship. I have to admit it was nice to visit the bridge, talk to the Captain, walk out on the front of the ship like a scene from the Titanic and visit places that I didn't have to fight 5,000 of my fellow cruise mates getting on and off the ship.
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