1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We typically choose active, land-based travel but decided to do a cruise for a special anniversary. We chose the Star Breeze for its mixture of small luxury ship with casual attitude, small ports of call, and availability of water sports. ... Read More
We typically choose active, land-based travel but decided to do a cruise for a special anniversary. We chose the Star Breeze for its mixture of small luxury ship with casual attitude, small ports of call, and availability of water sports. We wanted to have fun, but we did not want the fussiness of formal dinner nights. We were not disappointed. The ports of call included a good mix of those with many tourists and those with very few tourists. (It was helpful to know some Spanish but not necessary). We booked one excursion with the cruise line in Puerto Jimenez, but explored on our own the other days. We were able to do water sports off the ship in one port of call and on the private island day. For some reason, they couldn't offer waterskiing, although the equipment was available. Not a big deal, but it was something we were looking forward to. Otherwise, the crew really worked hard to impress. The cabins were spacious, well appointed, and serviced several times a day. Service was phenomenal and always with a smile. The food was excellent. We liked that they sourced fresh seafood from locals and that the chef made all of his stock on board. No corners were cut! We dined most nights at Amphora, which was consistently excellent. We did take advantage of Candles, which is a romantic steak house offered for free once per voyage. The special BBQ night was a highlight and not to be missed. Breakfast and lunch offered the ability to order a la carte or dine from the buffet. One exception: the coffee at the Veranda had an odor. I typically took my coffee at the Yacht Club (which offered continental breakfasts, non-smelly coffees, and light lunch fare) and then went to the Veranda for a full breakfast. Late afternoon activities included cultural talks and/or performances, with a next day port briefing just before dinner. The ship has a "pool" (it's really just a large, warm bathtub) and 2 hot tubs. We never had a problem finding a poolside lounge chair. The 5th deck hot tub is a great place to stargaze at night (or look for porpoises), but carry a cellphone for the flashlight. We did go to the gym several times, which was better than I expected. The ceiling is low, so tall people would have a problem with the treadmill and one cannot do overhead weights without sitting down. The fitness classes are basic and nice for a good stretch. With the average guest age being in the 60-75 range, there was not a lot of night life. We enjoyed the guitarist, who sang a mix of contemporary slow pop, Latin music and oldies but goodies. He also played great dance music. The other couple, the Radio Stars, were fine for music while you sunbathed but really not good for evening entertainment. The crew also entertained us with a crew talent show one night and line dancing after the outdoor BBQ. A number of activities were offered on our day at sea, including a cooking demo, galley tour, and blackjack tournament. We were saddened to learn that Star Breeze will go into dry dock this year and its size will be increased by 50 suites. We think this will alter the small ship experience significantly. In summary, this ship is great for couples aged 45+ who want some interesting port adventures and some luxurious pampering without the stuffiness of a more formal cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this because Lat November it was on a flash sale at 75% discount from the rack rate. It's at the end of winter, but rest assured, we are warming up. Compared to MSY Wind Star, the MV Star Breeze is huge. There are three ... Read More
We chose this because Lat November it was on a flash sale at 75% discount from the rack rate. It's at the end of winter, but rest assured, we are warming up. Compared to MSY Wind Star, the MV Star Breeze is huge. There are three different public spaces, we prefer the Yacht Club. It's the equivalent of a Flag Bridge on a naval vessel, sitting overtop the navigation bridge. The cabins are huge, at 270 sq ft! The photos are truth! The picture window is five feet by four feet. The main dining room and the ships galley are on deck 3. Decks one and two are engineering spaces and cargo. The crew has spaces forward and aft on deck 4, along with staterooms. Deck five is more staterooms, the hotel business office, and the lounge. Deck six is the larger suites, more staterooms, the inside bar, screening room, and library. Deck seven is the buffet(veranda), the pools, the outside bar, the spa, and the navigation bridge. Good food, great staff, flat seas, combine for a fantastic voyage! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
For us the best part of the Windstar experience is the crew! They are fantastic! We have been on all three of the sailing yachts and now this, our first motor yacht, and the crew has been the common stand out thing on all of them! Our ... Read More
For us the best part of the Windstar experience is the crew! They are fantastic! We have been on all three of the sailing yachts and now this, our first motor yacht, and the crew has been the common stand out thing on all of them! Our cabin was great, the food excellent. Friends with the French Balconies really liked them for the fresh air but our large picture window was just fine. We just popped out on to the deck when we wanted a better view. We prefer the smaller ships Wind Star and Wind Spirit, but we were very comfortable on the Star Breeze. We would gladly sail again on a motor yacht if the itinerary demanded it. Embarkation in Costa Rica was a breeze. Disembarkation in Barbados was a little confusing but sorted itself out once off the ship. Then went very smoothly. Just wish wi fi was a lot cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We selected the 7 day Windstar Costa Rica/Panama cruise because we wanted to visit these two countries and to transit the Panama Canal. First, the Star Breeze and her crew were one of the highlights of this experience. While the ... Read More
We selected the 7 day Windstar Costa Rica/Panama cruise because we wanted to visit these two countries and to transit the Panama Canal. First, the Star Breeze and her crew were one of the highlights of this experience. While the ship was built in 1989, and updated in 2015, it was in excellent condition and every one of the crew focused entirely on making our experience a memorable one 24/7. We enjoyed pulling into the small, out of the way ports of call and very much enjoyed getting to meet and greet the Costa Ricans and Panamanians away from the hustle and bustle of the larger tourist focused areas. The food on board was world class in every respect. I cannot conceive of finding fault with regard to the culinary offerings. They just blew us away! Our stateroom was well appointed and spacious (277 sq ft). Plenty of room for my wife and I to stretch out and enjoy the cruise. Two of our excursions focused on preparing typical Costa Rican and Panamanian foods, which included trips to the local grocery stores to purchase the necessary produce and other items needed. These were a lot of fun. A note to possible travelers: Windstar cruising requires at least a modest amount of physical ability to get on and off the ship, as many transfers are via a Zodiac (perfectly safe and fun, but not for immobile or wheel chair bound people). Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We spent 7 days on the beautiful Star Breeze and were totally spoiled. The crew is very friendly, service is amazing, food is delicious and the cabins are big and beautiful. We did the Naturally Costa Rica cruise and had to take zodiacs to ... Read More
We spent 7 days on the beautiful Star Breeze and were totally spoiled. The crew is very friendly, service is amazing, food is delicious and the cabins are big and beautiful. We did the Naturally Costa Rica cruise and had to take zodiacs to shore. Most were wet landings where we stepped off the zodiac into water on a sandy beach. This was easy for us as we are relatively young and mobile. This was harder for some older passengers- particularly boarding the zodiac when the waves kept it bouncing. However, the crew were great at helping us on and off the zodiacs. The highlights of the cruise were the deck BBQ and beach BBQ. We also loved that there were only 180 passengers on board and 145 crew so we were very spoiled!! Our only complaint was that at our first 2 "ports" passengers who were not booked on tours with the ship could not depart until the tours had left. As we had independent tours booked, this caused us to be late for our tour. However, from day 3 onward, the crew seemed aware of the fact that independent travellers needed to get off in a timely manner and we had no problems. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was our 1st cruise on a smaller ship. Really liked the size vs.the bigger ships. Windstar was 1st class from beginning to end. Personnel were friendly, polite,professional and fun. Food was excellent. Excursions were accurately ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise on a smaller ship. Really liked the size vs.the bigger ships. Windstar was 1st class from beginning to end. Personnel were friendly, polite,professional and fun. Food was excellent. Excursions were accurately described and fairly priced. The Sports Deck off the rear of the ship is an extra bonus and very enjoyable. The day on the private island was fun; and the deck party/celebration was amazing! The Panama Canal experience is most impressive and educational, and the ship does a good job presenting it. Pre and post hotels (in San Jose and Panaa City) were 4 or 5-star -- very nice. We were very satisfied and would recommend Windstar and this particular itinerary highly. P.S. while in Panama City, we hired a taxi to give us a personal, sight-seeing tour of the city. His name is Eric A. Singh; 507-6040-9459. He was great! Very fair, informative, clean/comfortable car and a real gentleman. Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our second cruise with Windstar, having sailed the first time on the Windsurf last year, we were excited to see Costa Rica on their new Star Breeze. The ship was not quite full 181 pax)....perfect. We loved our cabin location ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Windstar, having sailed the first time on the Windsurf last year, we were excited to see Costa Rica on their new Star Breeze. The ship was not quite full 181 pax)....perfect. We loved our cabin location (307), and definitely loved the size! Walk in closets and larger bathrooms with double sinks are a plus. A nice little French balcony allowed you to take a peek out to see the beautiful scenery. The staff, as always, were exceptional and always wanting to do anything to make your trip memorable. The food is outstanding! Chef Budhi and his team did a great job. Chef specials from local sourced seafood in a couple of the ports were a treat. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were all very good. Breakfast and lunch are available in the Veranda area, which has a cooked-to-order option along with a small buffet. Indoor/outdoor seating options available. Evening entertainment is limited to the occasional bar trivia or duo singers indoors and on deck... Both very good. Oh, and the deck BBQ evening is a don't miss! Great energy and fun. What we didn't care for, and what was different from the Windsurf, were the enormous swells in several of the ports making the transfer onto the rubber zodiacs (15-18 pax) very challenging! We are a pretty active/in shape couple so other than being a little tentative, we were fine, but caution is advised for those less mobile. We also did not care for the transfer buses from pier to airport, because we were informed as the bus was leaving the pier that the air conditioning was broken for our 2 hr ride....and it was hot and humid. We were given water, but there was no bathroom on the bus. We will definitely sail with Windstar again because everything about it is so nice. Our sailing had a great age mix, from 9yrs - 80+! We have cruised the big ships 20+ times and are totally sold on the small, luxury "yacht" experience. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our first cruise on Windstar. We were on the February 13-20, 2016 Star Breeze cruise from Puerto Caldera to Colon, Panama. We flew into San Jose the day before and used the Windstar transfer to the San Jose Marriott. The ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Windstar. We were on the February 13-20, 2016 Star Breeze cruise from Puerto Caldera to Colon, Panama. We flew into San Jose the day before and used the Windstar transfer to the San Jose Marriott. The hotel is in a colonial, hacienda style on a large property. Rooms are standard Marriott ( and this is meant as a complement). That evening there was a Windstar rep set up outside of the lobby to check us in and explain the transfer process. She was there the next morning also. For the transfer, there were 3 separate buses,leaving approximately 30 minutes apart. The entire process was very efficient and relaxed. The transfer to the port took almost 2 hours due to the traffic leaving the San Jose area. The port is an industrial port, but did not pose any problems or issues. The ship: Yes, this ship is 30 years old. The interior has been nicely re-done, but.. if you look close in places it will show its age. This did not take away from our enjoyment of the cruise. The exterior of the ship (not the deck areas, but the hull ) did look dingy in places, but I did note that during the week the exterior was being painted. The outside public deck areas were the passengers spent most of their time was always clean and in good repair. Because this is a small ship, the pools/whirlpools are small. While we did not use the pools, the passengers that did appear to enjoy them and there was always adequate space. Food: Food was very good. We ate at the Veranda most days for breakfast and lunch, and AmphorA for dinner. There was always a wide variety of selections, well prepared and a willingness to prepare what ever was requested within reason. We took the galley tour one day and met the Executive Chef. We explained how all dinners were prepared to order and that all bread and pastries were baked daily on board. We also ate one night at Candles, the open air part of the Veranda dining room at the rear of the ship. It is a traditional steakhouse presentation and was well done. We did have room service the evening we went through the Panama Canal and it was prompt and well presented. They brought the courses separately as they would be served in AmphorA. One slight disappointment in the Food area were the wine choices. I thought it was very limited and would have appreciated a wider selection. The cocktails were always well prepared. The lunch BBQ on the beach was extremely well done considering having to bring everything from the ship to shore. The BBQ on board was also great with grilled lobster and a roasted pig. Service: The staff was fantastic, especially the food service and bar staff. They all were very personable and remembered your name and would take extra time to have conversations. All with a smile on their face. Activities/Entertainment: There were two duos on board, both with a female lead and backup singer/ keyboard accompanist. Both were appropriate for the size of the ship and the level of interest in the passengers for this type of entertainment. They would play on deck during the sailaways and provide light entertainment in the lounge in the evening. We had a local, Costa Rican naturalist as part of the cruise staff. He provide several days of lectures with in depth information on the areas history, biology, etc. Very well done. His lectures were well attended and informative. Ports/Excursions: One aspect of this cruise that I feel Windstar should make all potential passengers aware of is that this cruise does not dock at any port except at embarkation and disembarkation. All other ports are reached by zodiac tenders boarded on the ships platform with several landings being "wet". The Star Breeze's own tender was pulled out in Balboa. The crew appeared the have the method of getting passengers in and out of the zodiac in the open seas pretty well down pat. We took Windstar shore excursions in all of the ports and we enjoyed all of them and they were all well done. Disembarkation: Disembarkation saw the most disappointing Windstar experience of the cruise. Apparently due to the pace of the Panamanian authorities to clear us and stamp our passports, the process to leave the ship was about an hour behind schedule. I don't fault Windstar for that... But, the water in the public areas of the ship was turned off during this time ( scheduled maintenance)... which means the toilets would not flush!!! Not a pleasant last memory of an otherwise great trip. We took the tour of Panama City as part of our transfer to the Bristol Hotel for one night post-cruise. The tour was OK. The Bristol Hotel was extremely nice and is highly recommended. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
I am not one to write anything negative, but this really was a disappointment. Stateroom phenomenal, food good but not phenomenal. Service good but not like in the past. Exercise room fair -- no elypical was a complaint of many of us. ... Read More
I am not one to write anything negative, but this really was a disappointment. Stateroom phenomenal, food good but not phenomenal. Service good but not like in the past. Exercise room fair -- no elypical was a complaint of many of us. We have sailed Windstar before, my 4th sailing, and we were looking forward to the wonderful small yacht experience with no waiting lines and quiet ports -- using the sports platform and enjoying the true island experiences as we had in the past. But this ship is not like the sailing ships. We docked in the open ocean where swells precluded the use of the sport platform despite good weather and it never opened the whole week. We are told that it is designed differently than the sailing ships and does not work well unless in a flat water bay. So why didn't we dock where it would be usable? And the choice of docking WAY out meant that the zodiacs were tendering amidst typical ocean swells (again, not bad weather, just that in the middle of the ocean you have swells to contend with and the captain opted to dock WAY out). The zodiac rides were at times unsafe - we had one load of older folks knocked to the floor as ours went on its side once (really due to error on the part of the driver, not swell) and others were left bobbing for 90 minutes one day awaiting swells appropriate for reboarding, again, not with a bad weather day. The biggest issue we had other than the nonfunctional sports platform though was the waiting. On Windstar, you do not expect to wait in line. On this ship, you wait, and wait, and wait to board the zodiacs to the shore. Not what one expects when you board this cruise line. The ship itself is renovated on the inside with very nice cabins, but the outdoor areas are very run down, and just feel kind of sad. While we enjoyed our precious week away and appreciate our vacation experience, it just was not up to Windstar standards. It was poorly organized, and it just seemed that they have a lot of kinks to work out in taking on a different style of ship to their line. Cruise director very nice and pleasant but a poor communicator and seemed inexperienced. Information conveyed often wrong and/or conflicting. Honestly all the return Windstar guests were disappointed, and those new to the line vowed they would not return. It is too bad, but has us looking toward other lines next time, or at least if we do Windstar it definitely will not be this ship. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We boarded the "yacht", capacity 212, to sail south to and through the panama canal. There were numerous shore excursion and we enjoyed all, and the crew worked hard on the island adventure providing excursion and Bbq lunch. ... Read More
We boarded the "yacht", capacity 212, to sail south to and through the panama canal. There were numerous shore excursion and we enjoyed all, and the crew worked hard on the island adventure providing excursion and Bbq lunch. Overall, the service was great and we enjoyed the crew, esp. Sammy, Andi, Tata and Dian. The cabin was clean and well cared for. Two glitches occurred however. Our first night we ate at the signature restaurant, Candles. We were seated and served our appetizer in timely fashion, but then waited an hour to have our entree. I tasted well over cooked and like it had been under lights. The lamb chops were tough and Ann's pasta heavy. We bought the beverage package, but found that didn't included bottles of wine with dinner, although the glasses of wine for the most part were the same. There was no comment about the marked delay and we did not go back. The second glitch was an engine broke down and this slowed the ship on the last day. My best understanding was there was then a domino effect resulting in the fact that the Canal pilot was very late to board the ship so we passed the panama canal at night and while the locks were lit up, the remainder had only lights marking lanes for ships. We could see nothing of the Culebra cut which cost some 40,000 lives to build, This was disappointing. We were also charged for 2 unlimited wifi packages even though we had one computer and only received on ticket. I am still waiting to see if one was remover as I talked to the manager. Food overall was good, but not great, however i have to complement breakfasts which had good choices, were well cooked and timely. The duo Cloud 9 were good and very friendly. We enjoyed listening and talking to them. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We had previously cruised on Azamara (3 Journey, 1 Quest) when they were seeking their niche. Now, several years later, the cruises are shorter now and much more expensive. However the cruise was worth every penny. The crew was ... Read More
We had previously cruised on Azamara (3 Journey, 1 Quest) when they were seeking their niche. Now, several years later, the cruises are shorter now and much more expensive. However the cruise was worth every penny. The crew was outstanding, the food superb, and the overall management by Hotel Director Heike left nothing to be desired. Every effort was made to satisfy the passengers. We are long term Celebrity cruisers (about 20) and enjoyed this departure from the norm immensely. We look forward to another opportunity to travel on Azamara again. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise