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This was our 3rd Windstar cruise - the other 2 being in Europe. We enjoy the small ship atmosphere and have been very pleased with the level of service and casual elegance of the Windstar experience. This ship was full with 144 passengers, I believe, and 99 crew. This cruise started in Barbados with a fast and easy embarkation and a sunset departure that brought most everyone up to the deck to enjoy the "signature sail away" music and raising of sails. Our cabin was 2nd deck mid-ship and was comfortable with a firm bed and lots of storage space. I must comment on the water pressure in the shower - wow - far better than I get at home! We had read that the first night going from Bridgetown to St. Lucia could be rocky and, indeed, you definitely knew you were on a boat that first night! Preparing ahead with Bonine, patch, or whatever, would probably always be a good preventative against the swells. The final night also featured some rocking and rolling, but we didn't hear any complaints, so perhaps everyone had their sea legs by then. Of particular note on this cruise was the incredibly friendly group of people aboard. Mostly American with a good number of Canadians, some Brits, French and others. While most of the passengers were couples, we found nearly everyone inviting others to join them for dinner and tables for 4 or 6 quite common. We were really pleased with this aspect of the cruise and don't know if it is always replicated on these Caribbean trips, but it worked for us! There were a few men traveling alone and one commented at the end of the trip about how welcoming and friendly everyone had been to him --- unlike many cruises he'd taken on other lines. I think the small size of the ship helps - you feel like you know everyone on the ship by the end of the week! Phillipe, the Voyage Leader, did a good job of introducing us to the various ports of call each evening prior and was exceedingly patient and good natured throughout the trip. His French accent was adorable and his dancing skills were put on display during the on-deck barbeque dance party - fun! Michael, the bar manager, Haley and Jesus, the entertainers, the ship's doctor, the reception staff - all were 100% upbeat and enthusiastic in their interactions with us. While we know that there is repetition to their jobs week after week with a new crowd of passengers, the staff really made you feel like they enjoyed their work and were having fun. Even the captain showed off his sense of humor and was a genial host on the bridge visits. Our cabin steward, "T" was a delight and was at the ready with a smile and greeting whenever we met and quickly responded whenever a request was made. A few towel animals found their way into our cabin, too. A real highlight on board was the on-deck barbeque. We were fortunate to have beautiful weather throughout the trip, so being on deck with an absolutely amazing spread of food, a steel drum band playing, and then line dancing after was just terrific. Haley did a good job of getting people up and dancing and the crew dances were fun to watch. It was a great evening! The diversity of the ports made this trip quite memorable. We did 3 excursions and were satisfied with each one. In St. Lucia, the Sights and Casteries tour took us through hill and dale and to the capital city - so we had a good look at the island. The guide was very good and while we could have done without the final stop at an arts and crafts shop, overall it was a good trip to get a look at the island. In Grenada, we did the glass bottom kayak tour. It was an interesting area to kayak and we were taken to the location of the underwater sculpture park. It was a bit difficult to see much through the bottom of the boat given the sea being a bit stirred up, but it was a worthwhile paddle if you like to kayak.The staff took photos of our group arriving and boarding the kayaks and sold a CD for $10 that also included underwater photos of the sculpture park.The snorkel excursion in Tobago Cay was aboard a large catamaran with about 30 people aboard. The boat had two stops - the first took us to a reef, and then we went to an area with sea turtles to see. Rough seas made the first stop a challenge for some of us (who were weaker swimmers), but the second stop was great and most everyone managed to see some turtles, which was awesome. And the rum punch served on the way back to the ship was fantastic! Remember to bring tip money for the guides - something easily forgotten when you're putting on bathing suits. Our favorite day was on the island of Mayreau at the "special event." The day was magnificent, there was nice snorkeling right off the beach, lunch was served under the shade of the palms, the water sports items were available to use from the beach, and there were shade cabanas set up with lounge chairs all the way down the beach. Paddle boarding is harder than it looks! There was a steep walk from the beach to the top of the island where the area behind the church offered amazing views of neighboring islands and reefs and that crystal clear blue and green water. If you're up for it, you can continue on that road to the other side of the island and Salt Whistle Bay, which has small beachfront restaurants and bars. Its a steep walk both ways, but Salt Whistle is lovely. That night we had our dinner at Candles on deck (deee-lish) and then went to the crew show, which was so much fun (don't miss it!). It was truly a perfect day. We did have 1 day at sea and the activities and demos during the day made the time fly. Some folks can sit and read all day and others cannot, so towel animals, fruit carving, trivia, galley tour and line dancing instruction were appreciated! Name that Tune in the evening was well attended and well managed by Hailey and Jesus. We almost won! The breakfast selections were varied and quite good in our experience. Plenty of fruit, hot items, and the best Muesli! We mostly had lunch on board and it was fine. Caesar salad was very good. Best part was discovered at the end of the trip - bread pudding - OMG - soooo good. Don't miss it. Dinner in the dining room offered a nice and varied selection. But the best dinners were enjoyed at the on-deck barbeque and at Candles. If you have the chance to take the galley tour, do it - it's amazing what they accomplish in such a small space. Overall, the food was well presented, tasted good, and the service was excellent. Disembarking was done reluctantly - we didn't want to leave. But, of course, it was efficiently handled in spite of 3 mega ships also in port. Our flight was 1pm, so we hired a taxi to take us up to Holetown and see a bit of the island that we didn't see on our one day ahead of the cruise. $80 got us a 1.5 hour tour plus trip to the airport, which seemed very fair.There are excursions available with airport transfer, but your flight had to be after 3:30pm. So, our thanks to the crew and fellow passengers for a wonderful week at sea and visits to new and interesting ports. This is an itinerary that the big ships cannot offer, take advantage of it!

Lovely cruise with great staff and friendly travelers

Wind Star Cruise Review by snapdragon703

18 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2017
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom
This was our 3rd Windstar cruise - the other 2 being in Europe. We enjoy the small ship atmosphere and have been very pleased with the level of service and casual elegance of the Windstar experience. This ship was full with 144 passengers, I believe, and 99 crew.

This cruise started in Barbados with a fast and easy embarkation and a sunset departure that brought most everyone up to the deck to enjoy the "signature sail away" music and raising of sails. Our cabin was 2nd deck mid-ship and was comfortable with a firm bed and lots of storage space. I must comment on the water pressure in the shower - wow - far better than I get at home!

We had read that the first night going from Bridgetown to St. Lucia could be rocky and, indeed, you definitely knew you were on a boat that first night! Preparing ahead with Bonine, patch, or whatever, would probably always be a good preventative against the swells. The final night also featured some rocking and rolling, but we didn't hear any complaints, so perhaps everyone had their sea legs by then.

Of particular note on this cruise was the incredibly friendly group of people aboard. Mostly American with a good number of Canadians, some Brits, French and others. While most of the passengers were couples, we found nearly everyone inviting others to join them for dinner and tables for 4 or 6 quite common. We were really pleased with this aspect of the cruise and don't know if it is always replicated on these Caribbean trips, but it worked for us! There were a few men traveling alone and one commented at the end of the trip about how welcoming and friendly everyone had been to him --- unlike many cruises he'd taken on other lines. I think the small size of the ship helps - you feel like you know everyone on the ship by the end of the week!

Phillipe, the Voyage Leader, did a good job of introducing us to the various ports of call each evening prior and was exceedingly patient and good natured throughout the trip. His French accent was adorable and his dancing skills were put on display during the on-deck barbeque dance party - fun! Michael, the bar manager, Haley and Jesus, the entertainers, the ship's doctor, the reception staff - all were 100% upbeat and enthusiastic in their interactions with us. While we know that there is repetition to their jobs week after week with a new crowd of passengers, the staff really made you feel like they enjoyed their work and were having fun. Even the captain showed off his sense of humor and was a genial host on the bridge visits.

Our cabin steward, "T" was a delight and was at the ready with a smile and greeting whenever we met and quickly responded whenever a request was made. A few towel animals found their way into our cabin, too.

A real highlight on board was the on-deck barbeque. We were fortunate to have beautiful weather throughout the trip, so being on deck with an absolutely amazing spread of food, a steel drum band playing, and then line dancing after was just terrific. Haley did a good job of getting people up and dancing and the crew dances were fun to watch. It was a great evening!

The diversity of the ports made this trip quite memorable. We did 3 excursions and were satisfied with each one. In St. Lucia, the Sights and Casteries tour took us through hill and dale and to the capital city - so we had a good look at the island. The guide was very good and while we could have done without the final stop at an arts and crafts shop, overall it was a good trip to get a look at the island. In Grenada, we did the glass bottom kayak tour. It was an interesting area to kayak and we were taken to the location of the underwater sculpture park. It was a bit difficult to see much through the bottom of the boat given the sea being a bit stirred up, but it was a worthwhile paddle if you like to kayak.The staff took photos of our group arriving and boarding the kayaks and sold a CD for $10 that also included underwater photos of the sculpture park.The snorkel excursion in Tobago Cay was aboard a large catamaran with about 30 people aboard. The boat had two stops - the first took us to a reef, and then we went to an area with sea turtles to see. Rough seas made the first stop a challenge for some of us (who were weaker swimmers), but the second stop was great and most everyone managed to see some turtles, which was awesome. And the rum punch served on the way back to the ship was fantastic! Remember to bring tip money for the guides - something easily forgotten when you're putting on bathing suits.

Our favorite day was on the island of Mayreau at the "special event." The day was magnificent, there was nice snorkeling right off the beach, lunch was served under the shade of the palms, the water sports items were available to use from the beach, and there were shade cabanas set up with lounge chairs all the way down the beach. Paddle boarding is harder than it looks! There was a steep walk from the beach to the top of the island where the area behind the church offered amazing views of neighboring islands and reefs and that crystal clear blue and green water. If you're up for it, you can continue on that road to the other side of the island and Salt Whistle Bay, which has small beachfront restaurants and bars. Its a steep walk both ways, but Salt Whistle is lovely. That night we had our dinner at Candles on deck (deee-lish) and then went to the crew show, which was so much fun (don't miss it!). It was truly a perfect day.

We did have 1 day at sea and the activities and demos during the day made the time fly. Some folks can sit and read all day and others cannot, so towel animals, fruit carving, trivia, galley tour and line dancing instruction were appreciated! Name that Tune in the evening was well attended and well managed by Hailey and Jesus. We almost won!

The breakfast selections were varied and quite good in our experience. Plenty of fruit, hot items, and the best Muesli! We mostly had lunch on board and it was fine. Caesar salad was very good. Best part was discovered at the end of the trip - bread pudding - OMG - soooo good. Don't miss it. Dinner in the dining room offered a nice and varied selection. But the best dinners were enjoyed at the on-deck barbeque and at Candles. If you have the chance to take the galley tour, do it - it's amazing what they accomplish in such a small space. Overall, the food was well presented, tasted good, and the service was excellent.

Disembarking was done reluctantly - we didn't want to leave. But, of course, it was efficiently handled in spite of 3 mega ships also in port. Our flight was 1pm, so we hired a taxi to take us up to Holetown and see a bit of the island that we didn't see on our one day ahead of the cruise. $80 got us a 1.5 hour tour plus trip to the airport, which seemed very fair.There are excursions available with airport transfer, but your flight had to be after 3:30pm.

So, our thanks to the crew and fellow passengers for a wonderful week at sea and visits to new and interesting ports. This is an itinerary that the big ships cannot offer, take advantage of it!
snapdragon703’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom
Cabin AX 228
All the cabins are pretty much the same on this ship. Two portholes, no balcony. But you're never more than a 1 minute walk to the outdoor decks. I like the table with 2 seats - seems to provide more open space in the cabin than setups we've seen previously. Not sure if that is new or just unique to this ship. This cabin is mid-ship and Deck 2, so we didn't have an issue with engine noise like some on Deck 1 had. But you definitely hear the waves slapping against the ship. This ship is not for someone who doesn't want to feel the movement - you feel it - but most of the time it is a gentle rocking that becomes familiar.
Deck 2 Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Barbados
    Lovely island - had never been there before. Stayed one night at the Radisson and found it to be well positioned on the island between airport and cruise port, and a short ride into Bridgetown proper. Got it on hotel points, so can't say how it stacks up price-wise with other hotels. Nice hotel with attentive front desk staff. One elevator made for long waits if you're not up for a walk up the stairs. They are adding another elevator.
    View All 1,520 Barbados Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Bequia
    The town is pretty small, but has some shops and restaurants to sit and watch daily life and the port. Princess Margaret Beach is an easy walk (past some very lovely waterfront homes) and you can "rent" a lounge chair for about $5. Water was a bit cooler than previous stops for some reason, but still a beautiful beach. The tenders were picking up passengers in town and at the beach, so that was a real plus to be able to see both during a relatively short day.
    View All 34 Bequia Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Kayaking
    Kayak tour was good. Glass bottom boats did allow some viewing of fish and underwater sculpture park, but it's not like snorkeling since sun and shadows and water on the glass can impede your view. A walk around the town of St. George was interesting, particularly Fort George, which is part ruin and part living quarters for police trainees. Pretty steep walk up, but views of the port are worth it. Museum of chocolate was a nice stop - the nutmeg ice cream is yummy!
    View All 2 Kayaking Reviews
  • Island Tour
    Guide was very good and provided lots of information about the island. We covered alot of ground and saw both ends of the economic spectrum. Wood carving artist does lovely, high end art, but gift shop also had some moderately priced items. Colonial home was ok - best part was the view. The last stop at an local art gallery was just ok - situated on a nice waterway, however.
    View All 249 Island Tour Reviews
  • Tobago Cays
    Terrific snorkeling opportunity on the excursion - on the reef and then near a beach with sea turtles. Was told by other passengers that the snorkeling off the beach on the far side of the little island was even better than the reef.
    View All 10 Tobago Cays Cruise Port Reviews
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