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Sail Date: August 2019
After planning for over 1 year I finally got to go on a Windstar cruise. I was expecting a lot and, for the most part it, met all expectations. Prior to going on the cruise my initial cruise was cancelled as the ship was chartered. ... Read More
After planning for over 1 year I finally got to go on a Windstar cruise. I was expecting a lot and, for the most part it, met all expectations. Prior to going on the cruise my initial cruise was cancelled as the ship was chartered. They gave us a $500/pp credit and paid to change our airfare. I loved the small size of the ship. The cabin was small but functional. The bathroom had nice bath products and good water pressure. The outlets were 110v. I brought a small power strip without surge suppressor and multiport USB charger. Otherwise there were 3 outlets in the cabin and 1 in the bathroom. There is a small minibar in the cabin. It has a bottle opener. We brought 2 bottles of wine and took glasses of wine with us to the dining room. I missed having a private balcony. I didn't think this would be a problem but there were always groups of people drinking and music up on deck. Smoking wasn't really a problem. The deck closes around 6 PM to set up for the restaurant. The food was average to good. Dinner was the best meal. Breakfast and lunch were buffet, with a variety of daily specials. Breakfast would close at 10 AM one day and at 9 AM the next so you have to check your daily program the night before. They do have room service included but it would take 30-40 minutes. Service is very good on the ship and getting a drink at a bar was never a problem. They usually have 1 or 2 happy hours/day with discounted drinks for $5.50. Typically drinks are $8-9 and a beer is $6-7. At $59/person/day I skipped the unlimited beverage package. They had a musical duo in the lounge every night as well as DVDs to take back to your cabin. One night they brought in a local dance group to perform. You were allowed in the bridge when they were underway. The sails were rarely up as the conditions have to be just right. We saw them once during a sail-away. The pool is small but refreshing. Probably much larger per person than the mega ships. I was most interested in the water platform. Due to sea conditions we only had it for one out of 4 planned days. The gym was also small but adequate but being that you can get off the ship everyday I was able to go for a hike onshore. We had to skip Mykonos due to windy conditions which would not allow us to tender. The tenders ran every 1/2 hour which was not a problem except that there was a Tauck tour onboard consisting of about 40 people and they would leave as a group and take a tender so if you didn't time it correctly you had to wait for 1 hour to get a tender. The other passengers, for the most part, were very nice. Most tended to be in their late 60s to early 70s and were a friendly group. There were a couple of newly-weds. We brought our teenaged children with us and they were the only children on the ship. They had a good time but would have liked it had there been people their own age, however, I was expecting this so they weren't disappointed. I did some laundry mid-way through the cruise for under $30. We gave it to the steward before 9AM and we had it back before 5 PM. Towards the end of the cruise they had an all you can stuff into a large laundry bag for $45 deal. Both options were less than the unlimited laundry for $7/person/day. We did get the kids the unlimited WiFi which is, as others have said, slightly better than nothing. I was able to get cell service everyday when we were in port. We went a few days early and stayed for one night at the Hilton and 2 nights at the Electra Metropolis, near Syntagma square. I liked both of them as they both had pools but liked the location of the Electra better as you can walk everywhere. We went on one ship excursion in Turkey but otherwise we did our own thing on the islands. I found the prices for the excursions to be on the high side and they tended to be 3-5 hours long. They had a port talk in the lounge the night before and a local guide would be in the main lobby to answer any questions you had about the island. They had a special dinner in Ephesus for us. The setting was great. The food not so great. The advantage of the smaller ship is being able to go to ports not visited by larger ships. I really enjoyed the ports of call. I was disappointed not to see Mykonos but we were able to go to a small beach in Samos. After Samos we went to Kusadasi in Turkey then to Patmos, Santorini, Monemvasia and finally Nafplion. We finished in Athens where I used the remainder of my OBC to get a private van to the airport for $118 for 2 ppl or $236 for the 4 of us. A taxi would cost 50 Euro. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Boarding began at 1 PM. We arrived around 1:30 and had to wait on line for 15 min to register. You are required to leave your passport with the ships bursa and it is returned to you on the last day. Luggage is out of your cabin by 6:45 AM and you leave by 8 AM. When I initially booked I paid $5,000 for the AX cabin and $4,500 for the BX cabin. Shortly after the price dropped and they let me cancel and rebook for the lower price. I did this 2 more times. There is no problem as long as it is 120 days out. Many passengers booked within 45 days of sailing and paid $3,100 for the same cabin that I paid $4,000 for. Not a big deal but I would not book a Windstar cruise far in advance. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Our first Windstar cruise (my second cruise (Regent Seven Seas), my wife's first). My wife and I were traveling with six other couples to celebrate multiple 50th birthdays. We were collectively thrilled with our choice of Wind Surf. ... Read More
Our first Windstar cruise (my second cruise (Regent Seven Seas), my wife's first). My wife and I were traveling with six other couples to celebrate multiple 50th birthdays. We were collectively thrilled with our choice of Wind Surf. We had read many reviews on this forum and others and we prepared to be underwhelmed -- no chance! The Wind Surf is getting a bit long in the tooth (scheduled for a three-week dry dock in the next month) but it did not deter from our enjoyment. Food: Amazing! Having read reviews, the food gets mixed ratings. I don't get it -- we are somewhat picky and it exceeded expectations (common theme). Our only gripe is that we needed reservations in the two higher-end dinner spots and many tables were open. Great variety and top-notch quality. I had steak multiple nights and on EVERY occasion it was prepared perfectly! Service: Over-the-top! Andreas and his team were wonderful. They got to know us early in the cruise and went out of their way to make us feel like it was our private yacht. Andreas -- wow, he gave us such personal attention. We all said we will try to base our next cruise on his schedule. Cabin: Again, prepared to be under-whelmed but was pleasantly surprised. Were were forward in cabin 151. Good sized, great storage, no issues. Would we rather of had a private balcony, of course. But no worries! Entertainment: Understated but perfect! We had great evenings with the bands (some of us participated more than others (BK). The crew show was hilarious. Water platform: SO MUCH FUN!! A great touch. Size: Loved the size of the ship -- more than enough variety and the personal touches. Atmosphere: Casual but not too casual. Perfect blend. Gym: I used the gym most mornings. Great location -- all windows on the top deck. Enjoyed watching us come into port each morning. Tips: buy the laundry package -- do NOT hesitate. We also purchased the full drink and wifi package. As reported, wifi is weak but that was more than offset by the drinks! Very good scotch selection. They purchased local beers at most ports. The wine selection is just adequate. Aside from requiring dinner reservations, we LOVED IT! Highly recommended! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Ok, first off this was a 10 day Greek Island cruise not an 18 day one that the default this review site shows. Our first trip to Greece. Took the Windstar transfer from the airport. Navigating the Athens airport was easy. Transfer was ... Read More
Ok, first off this was a 10 day Greek Island cruise not an 18 day one that the default this review site shows. Our first trip to Greece. Took the Windstar transfer from the airport. Navigating the Athens airport was easy. Transfer was a taxi driver with a sign. It was fine. Stayed at the Windstar hotel, the St. George. Lovely hotel. Rooms are fine. Location is great and the views from the rooftop restaurant and pool are spectacular. Took the transfer to the port. Bit of nonsense about having to have your luggage out 4 hours early. Don’t worry about that. You can bring it at the last minute. The port at Athens is a bit of a hassle. Pretty large and not well organized. Windstar did their best to get us on the ship as quickly as possible. But once on board it wasn’t very well done. Long line to register (which we had never experienced before). Then you had to stand in another line to book dinner in the specialty restaurants, another line for drink packages and yet another line to get the wifi package. Went to our room and signed up for the laundry package. We find this great value for the money. Never met our cabin steward until 2 days in which seemed a bit odd. Went to the main dining room, Amphora, the first night. Not our favorite. So we set out to try and get into Candles and Stella specialty restaurants the rest of the nights. Other than one night back at Amphora for a dinner hosted by the Destination Manager we managed to accomplish that. Candles is the outdoor eating experience and is our favorite spot. The French themed restaurant Stella is also very good with the best service on the ship. There is also a few nights where they offer a Sunset Dinner at the back of the ship. Not well advertised but you should take advantage of it. Our worst dining experience was actually the BBQ. We were really looking forward to it. A favorite night on our other cruises. The BBQ started at 7. It was overcrowded. We couldn’t get a seat outside. Had to sit in a corner of the bar eating almost off our laps. Food lines were long and frustrating. This one was a bust and a major disappointment. Our first stop was Napoli. We didn’t book a shore excursion there. Nice little town. Not crowded. Easy to manage on your own. Went back to the ship in the afternoon and swam off the sports deck (you had the option to do this at 3 stops). Take advantage of this. Much better than the pool. ( Before I forget, there was a very large group onboard from Purdue University. Nice enough crowd but a group booking this large kind of pushes everyone else to the side lines as the ship tends to cater first to them. ). The next stop was Mykonos. Definite hotspot for the party crowd and quite busy. We opted for a private tour here to a farm and dinner through Get Your Guide ( you can check out our review there). Great experience away from the din of the town. Then on to Syros. Place you likely haven’t heard of. Overall we liked these unexpected, unknown stops. Where the big ships dont go are the best stops. Took a ship tour of the town and monetary which we enjoyed very much. From there to the lone stop in Turkey. We really enjoyed Turkey. Took a long tour of Ephesus and a village. Ephesus was wonderful to experience. Draw back here, and it was a theme on our ship tours, you go with a bus load. The tour is long and difficult. That is spelled out in the description. But we still ended up with a contingent of folks who couldn’t handle the terrain and the pace. It caused some tension in our group. In the future we will stay away from the ship tours and book our own where we are in smaller groups. It is law in Turkey that at the end of a tour that you have to go for a Turkish rug explanation. We did this gritting our teeth knowing we had to get through it. Big surprise. We had a great time and ended up buying two carpets! Who knew. Then to top it off, of the last night of the cruise we won another carpet drawn from everyone who had bought one. That night was a big highlight. Windstar arranged for a dinner back at the ruins of Ephesus on the Harbor road where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra walked with the backdrop of the amphitheater where Paul preached to the Ephesians. It was a spectacular night that would be near difficult to beat. It was after hours and only the people from our ship. Not something that happens often. Rhodes was next. Good stop. Then on to Crete. Great time there because we booked our own tour. Went on the Landrover off road adventure through the mountains. Picked us up at the ship and took us right back 8 hours later. Toured the highest points over goat trails and had a ball with the English expat driver nick named Gary the Goat Killer (review on Get Your Guide). Lovely lunch, including our first taste of goat. Try it. It is quite good. On to Santorini. Probably our biggest disappointment. It is so overcrowded. Other than that picture card view you know, there isn’t much there. One person in our group was the victim of a pickpocketed so if you go beware in the crowded streets. We skipped the overpriced shopping and picked a lovely restaurant in Oia overlooking the sea. Excellent meal and they werent rushing us. Last stop was in Monemvasia. Only ship in port. Did the tour of the walled city and the Olive Oil farm. That would have been a real highlight if the guide wasn’t so bad. Was looking forward to the olive oil tasting at the end but she rushed us and we didn’t get the experience we wanted. There was no reason to screw it up. Our next stop was back to the ship and we had hours before it was leaving. Then overnight and our exit in Athens. Handled fairly well but it is a bit of a circus at the port. You pretty much have to trust that in the hectic place your luggage will make it to the airport. Instructions are not real clear and you have to listen to the local tour people what to do with your luggage along the curious route to the bus. Overall we enjoyed our first taste of Greece. Windstar was pretty much as expected. We did not enjoy the experience as much on Wind Surf as we have on the smaller Wind Star but not enough to keep us away. The ship is getting an upgrade in November so lets hope it looks a bit more ship shape next time we see her. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We sailed for 10 days in the Greek Isles this year. This was our second time on the Wind Surf having gone 15 days from Venice to Barcelona in October 2018. With one exception the entire officer crew had changed from the previous cruise. ... Read More
We sailed for 10 days in the Greek Isles this year. This was our second time on the Wind Surf having gone 15 days from Venice to Barcelona in October 2018. With one exception the entire officer crew had changed from the previous cruise. This seems very unusual so not sure what is happening. A few of the service staff remained and remembered us. They were great. Embarkation: This was a bit chaotic in Athens Port and there were lines to register on the ship and to make dinner reservations. If you are not taking the pre/post cruise transportation through Windstar they are not able to provide any helpful information. We took the metro to the port and walked like 2 miles to get to the ship. The metro in Athens is the easiest to use of any city we have visited. They actually have humans to sell tickets and offered senior discounts without us asking. Drinks: My wife did not get the drink package while I did as part of the $89 deal that included wifi, laundry and tips. The laundry service was excellent. This year the drink package wines et al were not nearly as clear as they were last year so you are really asked to buy a drink package on faith. (Last year I simply carried the included list in my key card so there were no questions. This year there was no list) A couple of times they ran out of things in one bar and had to be asked to go to another bar to get specific things which they did reluctantly. Also not all the wines by the glass on the bar menu are included in the "Captain's Package", which is very confusing and disappointing given the high price. Restaurants: Breakfast at Veranda is good, but pretty much the same each day. Lunch at Veranda has a different cooking station set up with a special each day so that is very nice. Amphora the main dinner restaurant where you do not need reservations is noisy and rushed although the food is fine. Hint - ask for a table near the front and it is much quieter. The game on board is to try for extra reservations at Stella and Candles to avoid Amphora. One trick many people used is to hook up with a couple that already has a reservation. Stella Bistro is Stellar. The food and service are superb. Candles was also nice. On 3 nights they offered a sunset dinner on the stern, however it is only a note on the daily schedule put on your bed at dinner time the day before. We called each time for a reservation around 8:30 AM and they were always full. We were able to get in with another couple who heard our plight while we were discussing it at reception and invited us to their table. The restaurant manager reluctantly gave his approval. By the way this guy always seemed very stern but meticulous moving plates at the buffet in the Veranda restaurant if they were off by 1/8th inch. He should be assigned to walk the ship - the trash cans that were overflowing each morning and the elevator that was broken for several days (yes I got stuck in it) would not be permitted on his watch. On the previous trip you were at times offered an opportunity to go with the chef to buy fresh fish and produce. This was not offered this trip and we are not sure if they got fresh things locally or not. One passenger told us that he asked the waiter if the fish was fresh and the waiter told him it was "Frozen fresh". The ship had a special dinner included in the fare at the 1000 BC Ephesus Theater in Turkey. This was the highlight of the trip. (Wow) Entertainment: We enjoyed the duo's in Compass Rose on both trips but neither of the bands in the main lounge measured up. On the first trip for example on Beatles night the band was so bad there were probably only 3 guests there. Tours: We took only one tour on this cruise since they seem way overpriced. In Kusadasi Turkey and on Patmos we simply took local taxis and paid them a very small amount to act as our tour guides. This permitted us to see what we wanted at our pace and schedule. Ports: In several ports we were the only ship there which was great. We liked Mykonos where you could lose yourself in the small streets with all the white buildings. Santorini provided a great view of the huge Caldera (Scary to think a volcano can be so big). You really need to take a bus (very easy) or taxi to the city of Oia, We also loved the ports on Crete, Syros and Patmos since they were small and uncrowded. We know it was a busy time of year, but Rhodes while worth seeing was absolutely crazy busy. Groups: This cruise had a big Purdue donor contingent. Nothing against them, but they got preferential seating at the BBQ night and tended to stay with their own so one of the fun things about a cruise of meeting other people was somewhat curtailed. Windstar Reservations: This area really needs help. We had attempted to take advantage of an offer for a cruise to Alaska that Windstar emailed to us, but the reservations department had no clue about it even after forwarding the email and numerous phone calls. On this trip the reservations people gave us conflicting answers on the need for a Visa when visiting Turkey. For example one said we needed to do a Windstar Tour in order to go ashore. Even though we requested an email to clarify none came and calling back were were told that no Visa was needed for a cruise ship visit. Accounting: Be sure to check your bills. We had to dispute a couple of erroneous drink charges on board which were corrected When we got home the total billed to our credit card was $18 more than our final bill on the ship. I'm sure many people taking a Windstar cruise would never notice this. After a couple of phone calls etc they emailed us that it was for a laundry bag they say we took. After informing them that we did not take it and could not imagine anyone doing so they credited it, but to do this without even informing us was very tacky. Overall we enjoyed the trip despite very hot weather and a few things that could be improved with the Windstar line and with Wind Surf. The server staff of mostly Indonesians is superb. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My husband and I, and 2 other couples, chose this ship because we wanted a small ship. It was perfect in size...getting on and off ship was easy and quick. We were in cabin 240 which is at the very end of the hall. It proved to be a ... Read More
My husband and I, and 2 other couples, chose this ship because we wanted a small ship. It was perfect in size...getting on and off ship was easy and quick. We were in cabin 240 which is at the very end of the hall. It proved to be a great room in the sense that there wasn't much foot traffic outside our door. The cabin had more than enough storage cabinets and plenty of under bed storage for suitcases. Bathroom had a great shower and all amenities were good. My complaint about this ship is the last night before disembarking, they seemed to shut off all A/C. It wasn't just our cabin, but everyone else's, too. Don't know what the deal was, but our final night on board was sleepless...very hot. The gym was small, but adequate with a couple tread mills, 1 elliptical machine, 1 stationary bike and lots of free weights. None of us had a bad meal and all dinners exceeded our expectation. Cabin attendants were very good and all the staff was very helpful and kind. ENTERTAINMENT: Windstar needs to work on this aspect. Most of the music played outside around the bar and deck area was so old and tired...Jackson 5 genre. It seemed like our party ages 55-60 were the youngsters, and maybe the majority who appeared to be 70's and 80's enjoy that era of music. We would've enjoyed more current music. Our cruise had a pianist and singer that performed most evenings, but the room was small with low ceilings so the music was too loud. We always left for areas that we could converse. Our party of 6 did not go on any Windstar excursions because we found better value by booking private tours on our own. All in all, we loved the ship and would consider going again based on the service we received and the small ship size. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Wanted a smaller ship for the Greek Isles. The crew was great. The bar service was slow. They needed more bar staff. Meals were adequate. Went to the Crystal Restaurant our last night and my husband and I enjoyed a delicious meal on ... Read More
Wanted a smaller ship for the Greek Isles. The crew was great. The bar service was slow. They needed more bar staff. Meals were adequate. Went to the Crystal Restaurant our last night and my husband and I enjoyed a delicious meal on the deck. Also, the dinner seafood bar b que on deck was excellent. All excursions and guides were good, well organized and informative. Our room 211 was noisy from engine. More then a hum. The room was well organized and suitcases were stored under bed. I would not choose this ship again because the engine noise at night was too loud. See cabin review below for more details. Motor Coaches were comfortable. Enjoyed the Acropolis and Museum Tour when we disembarked. Athens was fun and Hotel Grand Bretagne was excellent. Enjoyed walking from hotel, view from our balcony of Parliament, the Square, the Acropolis. Weather was perfect. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Booked this island cruise long in advance. The highlight is a candle light dinner in the ancient library of Ephasis. Violin quartet, lovely meal under the stars. This was exceptional and only Windstar had the relationship with the ... Read More
Booked this island cruise long in advance. The highlight is a candle light dinner in the ancient library of Ephasis. Violin quartet, lovely meal under the stars. This was exceptional and only Windstar had the relationship with the Turkish ministry of culture to do this event. All the locations were wonderful. Excursions well managed and ship processes very smooth with a well led crew. The evening meals were fabulous with variety and a great selection. Breakfasts and lunches were well done; a good selection of buffet items in each. Embarkation and debarkation procedures were efficient. Easy to do with only 136 pax. They will push for you to buy the alcoholic drink package. With the average cost of drinks about 9$, you'll need to personally drink about 6 beers/wines per day. With the bigger mixed drink package as well, you'll need to have about 8-9 drinks a day. They will add on a 15% service charge on top of the cited package prices. We found it not worthwhile to buy a package for how much we drink. The top line wifi package is $350. The wifi reception in the cabin is poor and even on deck you shouldn't expect good bandwidth for much more than email or a basic news read. We cancelled after a day and they accommodated our request with a refund. This is still a solid value cruise. You get to meet a lot of folks but it's never crowded. Don't expect big shows or entertainment. There was one capable piano/singer duo on the cruise each night and a Cretan Greek dance group one night in Agios Nikolaous that was excellent. The service was personal and attentive from the bar to the dining room to the cabin. The Captain and senior officer in charge of "Hotel services", essentially all the guest interactions, were involved and interacted well with both pax and crew. We've been to Greece a lot; even lived there for a while and this cruise was a very fine way to visit Athens and the islands. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our fourth Windstar trip. The 3rd on a sailboat. We love the informality of Windstar. If you are looking for a Seaborne experience with butlers and dressy evenings this is probably not for you. We loved the sail as we wanted to ... Read More
This was our fourth Windstar trip. The 3rd on a sailboat. We love the informality of Windstar. If you are looking for a Seaborne experience with butlers and dressy evenings this is probably not for you. We loved the sail as we wanted to get an overview of the islands. Patmos was lovely and not filled with hordes of tourists. I’d love to go back! Santorini has breathtaking views from the island and from the boat at night where we were having a barbecue on the deck. We did a non Windstar winery tour with Safowi and it was outstanding! Mykonos was a beautiful busy island where we did our only Windstar tour which was to spend the day at gorgeous new luxury beach resort where we swam in the sea and infinity pool. The Windstar event of dining at the ancient Celsius Library at Ephesus in Turkey was beyond amazing and reason alone to do the cruise! We had some wonderful fish dinners as the chef bought fresh fish at local ports. Eating local food is important to us so we ate every lunch at a local taverna. We had some heavy seas and some people were seasick one evening. My husband managed ok with medication. Lastly, don’t expect good entertainment! We retired after dinner except for my husband stopping at the small casino a few nights. We swam off the boat the last day and it was heaven! We spent 4 nights on Milos prior to the cruise and loved it! Spectacular beaches! Windstar has it on its itinerary next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Bucket list item was the Greek isles and since we prefer the smaller ships, opted for a Windstar cruise. Only 135 or so guests so no crowds or lines. Ship is a little old but well maintained and except for the air conditioning and the ... Read More
Bucket list item was the Greek isles and since we prefer the smaller ships, opted for a Windstar cruise. Only 135 or so guests so no crowds or lines. Ship is a little old but well maintained and except for the air conditioning and the internet, very comfortable and enjoyable. Except for Monemvassia, there were no big buses for the tours which was nice but that may be dependent on the number of folks that signed up. All vehicles were comfortable.Crew was hospitable except for one wine steward and when brought to the attention of management, things changed promptly. Ports were all very enjoyable though I was pretty tired of ruins once everything was over. Stayed in the Electra Hotel for a few nights in Athens and it was nice with a rooftop dining area with views of the Acropolis. Just avoid room 211 which had a toilet so close to the wall and shower one had to be a contortionist to use. Last night we moved to the Grand Bretagne and it was a beautiful old hotel but probably not worth the extra money. Tried to get reservations for our group of 8 several weeks before for dinner on the rooftop but they were full. Could not even find space to have a cocktail that evening as most of the space was closed off for some reason. Went next door to King George hotel and had a wonderful meal on the top floor with even better views of the Acropolis. Highly recommend this! Crew was polite and accommodating but not as nice as Crystal Esprit. Food in the dining room was good but not exceptional. Candles was better and especially the on-deck barbecue...that was amazing. Dinner at the Celsus Library was also amazing. Went to the opera afterwards in the old theatre and sitting on stone, even for an hour, was awful. Delos and Turkey were wonderful stops but all were excellent. Chartered a private catamaran in Santorini instead of the ships cat tour and it was fantastic. Breakfasts were nice with a wide selection of food on the buffet with the opportunity to order off the menu if desired. Bridge tour was nice and informative. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Booked this cruise due to itinerary and being a small ship. The whole cruise was terrible starting with the ship not arriving into New York at 1 pm instead we boarded at 11.30 pm. Our first port of call was cancelled with a $55 refund ! ... Read More
Booked this cruise due to itinerary and being a small ship. The whole cruise was terrible starting with the ship not arriving into New York at 1 pm instead we boarded at 11.30 pm. Our first port of call was cancelled with a $55 refund ! Very little to do on board on the sea days. Food very average and sometimes cold. Shore excursions over priced and poorly run with guides that did not speak very clear English. The ship always docked way out of the towns, whilst other cruise ships docked in the towns. The information on the daily news sheet was never correct. There was no evening entertainment apart from two singers who were not very good and required an ipad to sing the words. Our cabin, whilst spacious, was old with the door not closing (requiring a total lock replacement) the shower over the bath did not drain and one of the vanity basins did not work. The cruise was a total nightmare with the detailed credit on our final statement never refunded. In 40 years of cruising this was just the worst ever. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Overall, this was an excellent cruise. The food is fabulous and despite the small size of the ship, the cabins are relatively spacious. The crew were extremely friendly and made a point of knowing everyone by name. Unlike larger ships, ... Read More
Overall, this was an excellent cruise. The food is fabulous and despite the small size of the ship, the cabins are relatively spacious. The crew were extremely friendly and made a point of knowing everyone by name. Unlike larger ships, there is no fighting for deck chairs, etc. A very relaxed experience. There were, however a couple of issues that need to be addressed. The WIFI on the ship is extraordinarily expensive (even when purchasing an internet package prior to sailing), which would be acceptable if it worked - it doesn't. Coverage was spotty at best and extremely slow. Windstar should really upgrade their equipment - I have been on other cruises where the Internet was fantastic even out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean a thousand miles from land. Shore excursions - Most were quite good, but we had a horrible experience in Nafplion. We were on an excursion that visited Mycenae and the guide was very longwinded, and did not allow us enough time to tour the entire site. To make matters worse, she made a stop at what can only be described as a tourist souvenir shop along the highway - we were forced to stay there for a bout 20 minutes while the proprietors gave us a hard sell on their "genuine, fake" reproductions of Greek trinkets. Really, this is not something one would expect from a luxury cruise line like Windstar. As mentioned in a previous review, the water sports platform is only open when the ship is at anchor (4 of the 7 ports of call). However they cannot open the water sports platform in Santorini because they are required to run the engine at all times. In the other three ports the sports platform was not open do to winds - so on a 7 day cruise, we were never able to swim in the Aegean! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
The voyage to "Arabia & Ancient Spice routes took place over 34 nights. In a nutshell: 1. Shore experience in Luxor was disappointing as the Windstar Luxor tour put the group up at the Hilton as opposed to the superb and ... Read More
The voyage to "Arabia & Ancient Spice routes took place over 34 nights. In a nutshell: 1. Shore experience in Luxor was disappointing as the Windstar Luxor tour put the group up at the Hilton as opposed to the superb and historic Winter Palace. 2. Food management and organization was poor. The fruit was unripe during the entire voyage and they even ran out of bananas onboard when ashore in India plentiful supplies of good quality were available. Throughout the voyage, the French "baguettes" had the crust of a hot dog roll. 3. Thermostats in cabins didn't function and resulted in extreme cold or heat. 4. Lecturer had inadequate of the ancient history of the eastern Mediterranean. 5. Wifi charges were extraordinarily high. 6. The cabins are spaceous and well-appointed 7. In general, the serving staff were very courteous, pleasant and reasonably efficient. 8. Given the size of the vessel, both the embarkation and disembarkation were expeditious and easy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Windstar offers an outstanding cruise. The crew and staff, in particular, were friendly and accommodating. The captain was capable and comforting. Our cabin was comfortable and had a large window. The food was spectacular and varied ... Read More
Windstar offers an outstanding cruise. The crew and staff, in particular, were friendly and accommodating. The captain was capable and comforting. Our cabin was comfortable and had a large window. The food was spectacular and varied (except Candles). Room service offered and delivered with no questions asked. Internet was quite difficult to access and was very expensive. Laundry charge high (charge/person) but convenient. The onboard speakers were excellent. More should be boffered and organized for the many days at sea. Windstsr’s home office is a nightmare. They demanded that we obtain our own VISAs and threatened not to let us on the ship without them. $600 for VISAs for two countries. THEN just a few weeks before we left we received a notice that these could be obtained on the ship at a much less expensive rate, It is impossible to reach anyone on the phone. Upon returning we discovered that one expensive blouse was kept by the laundry. I phoned; no answer, no message returned. We have been on a number of Windstar cruises and on each and every one of our cruises the home office has been tough. One had to do with an excursion conflict. On this cruise our dive excursion was cancelled last minute. No help finding other dive trips was offered even though this was one of our bucket list. The Star Legend is a beautiful, safe ship and its crew is memorable. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I'm a Veteran, so I know the general weather of Europe in the fall. The first decision, timing of our cruise, was driven by weather. The second decision was location. We wanted a cruise which called at Patmos and Ephesus (port of ... Read More
I'm a Veteran, so I know the general weather of Europe in the fall. The first decision, timing of our cruise, was driven by weather. The second decision was location. We wanted a cruise which called at Patmos and Ephesus (port of Kusadasi, Turkey) in particular. The third decision was ship size. Frankly, we didn't want to live in a suburb, which is what the BIG cruise ships seem to be. Instead, we chose a small, intimate ship where we got to know people. Our decisions drove our selection, and we came to a Windstar small ship cruise. MSY WindStar has space for 148 guests, period. Our voyage was glorious. That's all I need to say. PLANNING FACTORS: We were first time cruisers, so we had a learning curve: - Laundry: Windstar's current rate is $112 per cabin for the voyage. VERY MUCH WORTH IT. My wife's bag was under 35 lbs at the airport, mine was under 30lbs. That was for 12 days of travel! - Liquor. You have a choice of three plans: $32, $52, or $72 per person per day. You have to drink a LOT for the plans to pay for themselves. THAT SAID, CAUTION: Windstar enforces a max 2 bottle per stateroom policy for liquor you bring to the ship yourself. - Internet access: GET THIS BEFORE YOU LEAVE FOR YOUR TRIP. The rate is $250 for two devices if you pre-book. It's $250 PER DEVICE if you buy on embarkation day. - Tours: If I was cruising the Rhein/Main/Danube, I'd pass on tours. I know something of where I'm going. In Greece, I took the tours, but I think I can do better. On this voyage, be wary of the full day Kusadasi-Ephesus tour. The last stop is an Oriental/Turkish carpet shop, and the sales pressure is beyond tremendous. Sorry, I just didn't have $24K budgeted. - Dining: You cannot go wrong. Period. - Ships' decor: No issues. There were a very, very few places where the ship showed she wasn't brand new, but you could see the ships' company working every day maintaining something or other! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My husband and I were so pleasantly surprised by the crew (excellent), the food (excellent) and the demographics of those on the cruise. The Captain was approachable, and entertaining! However, the ship is in need of upgrading. The ... Read More
My husband and I were so pleasantly surprised by the crew (excellent), the food (excellent) and the demographics of those on the cruise. The Captain was approachable, and entertaining! However, the ship is in need of upgrading. The rooms could have been more modern, the beds uncomfortable, and there are very few facilities onboard...and to claim to have a swimming pool is a misnomer. It is not much bigger than a bathtub. Terrible droning noise in the cabins and although the crew was aware, they couldn't do anything about it. (Better insulation could fix the problem) No need to purchase beverage packages unless you plan on just drinking all day. The itinerary was jam packed and the ship organized excursions we went on were mediocre. The tours were dedicated to those with the least amount of mobility and didn't adjust for those who wanted and could do more. Additionally, we experienced unusually warm weather and the buses did not have adequate air conditioning, nor did the tour guides adjust for the strong sun, heat and humidity. However, one can do much better by hiring local tour guides. On those days that we booked independent tours, we saw so much more and had a far greater experience for about the same price as what the ship's excursions cost. We would consider Windstar again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Overall a great trip! Some highlights: - The front desk staff performed an amazing feat of memorization, and knew everyone's name by the first evening - The food was *fantastic* throughout. - The 'signature event' ... Read More
Overall a great trip! Some highlights: - The front desk staff performed an amazing feat of memorization, and knew everyone's name by the first evening - The food was *fantastic* throughout. - The 'signature event' was amazing - private access to a major historical site, onsite dinner, and string quartet (this was at the Library of Celsus) - The crew in general were cheerful and friendly - For the ship enthusiast, the open bridge and engine room tours are pretty cool - The dramatic music and sails unfurling at every departure sounded like it would be cheesy, but it's actually kind of awesome. General notes: - It's easy to get a table for 2 at the restaurant (Amphora), or to eat in your room (all the rooms have a small table and chairs), if you aren't feeling like socializing at any given meal. - The dress code is surprisingly casual for such a fancy cruise; my husband and I are more jeans-and-tshirt type people, and we fit right in. - The pool is pretty tiny (10x7); it's fine for hanging out or playing around, but not great if you want to swim laps. It's also a saltwater pool, which makes for more buoyant swimming. Advice for future cruisers: - The watersports platform was only open in Monemvasia due to rough seas at the other ports. I suspect that it's common for it to only be open one or two days on a given cruise, so if it's important to you, check with the front desk the night before about the weather report/likelihood of the platform being open. - Forward cabins have less engine noise. Ours was cabin 133, and while we could hear the engines (you can hear them anywhere on the ship), it wasn't very loud; neither my husband or I had any trouble sleeping through them. - The website for Windstar is kind of a disaster; be aware that all information on the cruise will disappear from the site 5 days before the cruise (this wasn't a glitch, the site just said that you have to pick a cruise at least 5 days in the future to see itinerary information), so make sure to print/save everything well ahead of time. And heaven help you if they decide to revamp the site again - it was down for a solid 4 months after we'd booked our cruise over the phone. - Candles reservations go quickly, so if you have a tightly-packed itinerary, put in your reservation as soon as you board the ship. - Make friends with the band, and they will be happy to play your requests =) Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
We went on the Greek island cruise on the Wind Star in June 2017. It was an amazing experience. The food was wonderful as was the staff. They were all very friendly and took the time to get to know you. We loved the ship. Our cabin had ... Read More
We went on the Greek island cruise on the Wind Star in June 2017. It was an amazing experience. The food was wonderful as was the staff. They were all very friendly and took the time to get to know you. We loved the ship. Our cabin had plenty of storage room and was bigger than expected. The excursion selections were well thought out with an excellent variety. Being a smaller cruise ship, there were no assigned dining times and you could stay in the restaurant as long as you wanted. Swimming off the back of the ship was a nice, fun bonus. The absolute highlight of the trip was the dinner at Ephesus, Turkey. Windstar took all the guest to the ancient library there for 4-5 course amazing meal. It was an experience of a lifetime. I know we’ll be taking many more Windstar cruises. I highly recommend them. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We took a cruise with Windstar on the Wind Star to visit the Greek Isles. It was our first time with this cruise line. Every single aspect of the cruise exceeded my expectations! From start to finish, (nearly) everything was perfect. The ... Read More
We took a cruise with Windstar on the Wind Star to visit the Greek Isles. It was our first time with this cruise line. Every single aspect of the cruise exceeded my expectations! From start to finish, (nearly) everything was perfect. The yacht, the food, drinks, the crew members (especially the crew members!) all made for a wonderful vacation. We could not be happier! The food was some of the best I've had while traveling, including at luxury all inclusive resorts. It's amazing how they can create such delicious and creative meals, at sea nonetheless! The menu varied each night, and included a nice variety of dishes from different cuisines and with meat, fish, seafood, vegetarian, etc. The dining service was also exceptional. We ate on the deck on night, and that was also an excellent experience! The crew in particular is amazing. They come from all over the world, with a large majority from Indonesia and the Philippines. We made friends with so many of the crew members, who went above and beyond to make us feel special. To mention just a few who really stood out: Joel, Rene, Noel, Marco, Philip, Endro, Asep and Saka (our cabin steward). They are always approachable, friendly and willing to please, all with a smile on their faces (even when having to deal with rude guests). We decided to double our gratuities, and also tipped cash to those we got to know best by the end of our 7 night cruise. They work extremely hard to make your cruise vacation spectacular, and deserve special recognition. I also have to mention the musical team, Duality (Marni and Chooi) who were outstanding and entertained us each afternoon and night! The only problem (if I'm being picky) was that our cabin was too hot. We asked about it twice, but it stayed hot for the duration of the cruise. I suspect this has more to do with the architecture of the ship (the cold air comes from front of the ship, and warms up before it gets to aft cabins). But apart from that, perfection! We took a few excursions with Windstar, and they were all very well planned and a good value. One excursion, however, seemed a little crowded. I looked at the excursions head of time and booked private tours guides through tours by locals at some ports. It ended up costing the same or just slightly more than the cost of an excursion booked through the ship for 2 people. One day, we decided to take a break and stayed aboard, enjoying the lounge chairs on the deck by the pool. I am definitely planning on taking many, many more cruises with Windstar. One of the major advantage is the small ship size. I would never want to travel on a "megaship" with thousands of people. A smaller "yacht" makes it a more personal experience, and there are no lines anywhere. We are looking at Tahiti next year, on the Wind Spirit, which features the same layout as the Wind Star. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
My wife and I did the Treasures of the Greek Isles cruise that leaves from Athens and stops in Nafplio, Mykonos, Kusadasi (Turkey), Patmos, Santorini, and Monemvasia, returning to Athens. We enjoyed the small ship experience and the no ... Read More
My wife and I did the Treasures of the Greek Isles cruise that leaves from Athens and stops in Nafplio, Mykonos, Kusadasi (Turkey), Patmos, Santorini, and Monemvasia, returning to Athens. We enjoyed the small ship experience and the no dress up requirement. Very relaxing on board, hectic on the daily tours. Windstar picked us up from the airport on time...it was basically a taxi cab. We used them for the pick up based on past cruise experiences where the taxi driver couldn't find the ship because it had no address. Terrific crew on board that works very hard to make everyone happy. It is a beautiful ship. Unfortunately, they never seemed to put up more than a couple of sails. We used the Windstar tours every day except for Santorini and Athens. They were very well organized and everything went smoothly. However, most of the islands were very hot, even for June. We had read about mosquito problems in Santorini, but we didn't run across one. Unfortunately, the Kusadasi evening event was rained out for the first time in years, so we had dinner at the hotel that caters the event. Can't blame them for an act of god, but still disappointed we didn't get to do the dinner at the Ephesus library. For Santorini and Athens, our party of four used "Tours by Locals". They were quite excellent also, and provided a small group experience for less than half the cost of the equivalent tour from Windstar. For all the tours, the guides seemed to provide for periodic toilet stops, and the toilets for the most part were clean and modern. Watch out for the toilet in the ruins of Mycenae in Nafplio, my wife got locked in a dark stall for a while. Also the pay public toilet at the north end of the Oia walkway in Santorini was filthy. Food at breakfast and lunch on the ship was excellent. At dinner, the food was good, but not as good as some other cruise lines. Some observations not usually included in reviews: - Internet (an option that you can purchase) speed was measured at 1.5 Mbps download and upload speed if you sat in the lobby near the front desk. The wifi in the room was weak (-89 dBm) and limited the bandwidth further. Web pages loaded at low cost DSL speeds...about 10-20 seconds to open a page. - The toilet in the room was light brown in the bottom instead of white. It looked like the staff had scrubbed it a bit too hard and took the finish off, so now it couldn't be effectively cleaned any longer. - A few weeks before the cruise, we got an email from Windstar to make sure we got a Turkish visa for the Kusudasi visit. We didn't need it. Even the Turkey website says that you don't need one for such a short visit. All we needed was the ship ID (no passport). - Daily evening announcements can't be heard in the room. No option to turn it on or off like other ships. So you had to stick your head out the door to hear what they were saying. And the announcements sometimes modified the meeting times previously announced in the daily bulletin. - The Windstar documentation mentions "wet landings", where you jump out of the tender boat into shallow water. There were no wet landings on this cruise. The tender always dropped us off at a dock. At a couple of stops, the ship could actually tie up to a dock, eliminating the need for the tender. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Very nice cruise--great destinations, most notably smaller islands where big ships couldn't go. Kusadasi was wonderful--dinner at Ephesus was spectactular; food utterly unedible, but setting and light chamber music was ... Read More
Very nice cruise--great destinations, most notably smaller islands where big ships couldn't go. Kusadasi was wonderful--dinner at Ephesus was spectactular; food utterly unedible, but setting and light chamber music was extraordinary. Three big problems. Fumes filled the second and first decks on Monday--might have been paint, but more likely adhesives or sealant. Terrible, but no one on the ship would acknowledge or explain. Ship's hotel director went down after complaints and ship's doctor was notified, but nothing done. Fumes stayed for two days. Food was mediocre--butter is not a substitute for fresh. We're in Greece and no greek salads, fresh fish. The only fresh food was "sea bass," which is not a term for fresh or supple. It's whatever happens to be around. Finally the constant ship conditioning with electric grinders is not okay. Do it before the season, do it in-between cruises but not when passengers are on deck trying to read. A great cruise marred by perfectly preventing sloth. Sorry Windstar. Not okay. Oh, don't get me started on the sermons whenever we took excursions to monasteries and religious sites. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
The main problem with Windstar, confirmed many times over by other guests onboard, is that their office NEVER responds . If you have an issue, and you will have because they have some serious internal communication issues, forget reaching ... Read More
The main problem with Windstar, confirmed many times over by other guests onboard, is that their office NEVER responds . If you have an issue, and you will have because they have some serious internal communication issues, forget reaching them by phone, email, mail, or fax. Yes, tried them all. You leave voicemails, they go un-answered. Emails to multiple addresses...forget a response. You fax or snail mail and the result is the same. This company won't even respond to credit card company or Better Business Bureau. Call reservations, hold 30+ minutes ...and get nowhere. There are obvious signs they are cutting back significantly. Water sports equipment that they rave about off back of ship...in sorry shape. Sails they talk about....yeah, right. One main sail had a huge tear in it most of the cruise. Rear sail completely inoperative. Whirlpool and pool is something in dire need of refurbishment. We good go on and on. Expect information before a cruise (boarding time, where?, anything)...forget about it. Its a shame, because the crew is outstanding. This is a company that was in financial trouble only 6 years ago, was bought out by Xanterra - national park concessioner...so you can imagine for yourself the result. Running lodging and food services in some national parks is not maintaining cruise ships. We think, and have said as much to the cruise line, is that they are in financial trouble. Since it is a private company and they don't report financial information like publically owned companies (e.g. Carnival), no way to substantiate it. Be forewarned. As much as we enjoy their crews of the high seas, their land based operation is simply horrible. Any company that doesn't communicate or respond to repeat guests speaks volumes. Accordingly, Windstar is dead to us. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This Windstar cruise was marvelous and well organized with exceptional service onboard. The room was exactly as advertised, very comfortable and nicely laid out. The food was consistently delicious (I especially liked that we had many ... Read More
This Windstar cruise was marvelous and well organized with exceptional service onboard. The room was exactly as advertised, very comfortable and nicely laid out. The food was consistently delicious (I especially liked that we had many options to choose from at each meal--healthy, decadent and in-between). Information on tour times, length of time in each port and the next day’s itinerary was presented each evening, and someone was always available to answer any questions we had. Loved the small ship experience with the limited number of passengers--it was easier to meet people and make friends. And the ship was well designed, we never felt cramped or like there wasn’t enough room. Amenities were good on a smaller scale, including a spa, gym, library/DVDs and free room service, although some amenities, like laundry service, were pricey. Several types of excursion options were offered at each port, but in some ports 30 people in a tour group was too overwhelming for the smaller shops and narrow streets. We enjoyed exploring on our own and felt like we had plenty of time in each port. Lots and lots of amazing, colorful photo ops everywhere we went! The Evening in Ephesus dinner at Kusadasi was magnificent and definitely one of the highlights of the trip. Other than the initial check-in, we experienced no long lines at meals, transferring from ship to ports, etc. Awesome!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Wonderfull! Al thé Time. The departure city was fantastic and we stained 2 days at a beatyfull hotel that was indicated by "windstar cruises". It was very easy to get on board.the ship was above all speciation! The cabin was ... Read More
Wonderfull! Al thé Time. The departure city was fantastic and we stained 2 days at a beatyfull hotel that was indicated by "windstar cruises". It was very easy to get on board.the ship was above all speciation! The cabin was excellent, The restaurants were perfect. The crew was absolutely friendly. There are some intertainments and activist on board but all the ports were so interesting that we stayed ashore the most part of the time. The travel's highlights were fantastic! Greece is marvelous! All the ports we stopped are one better than the others. The excursions were excellent.The passengers were all Americans, I and my niece were the only Brazilians passengers. If we had a wish, it would be real in one minute.Now my only dream is to do another cruise .I intend to go another time next year. I have already travel with my husband in many bigger boats but Star Breeze is the best one I have known. Sorry for the bad English, I speak Portuguese and French. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
First time with Winstar. Great experience. Nothing to complain about. Embarcation and disembarkation went smooth. The ship is small and very elegant. Cabin are specious and confortable. Love the marble bathroom and the walking ... Read More
First time with Winstar. Great experience. Nothing to complain about. Embarcation and disembarkation went smooth. The ship is small and very elegant. Cabin are specious and confortable. Love the marble bathroom and the walking closet. Food is top quality and service is first class. Lobster, filet mignon, veal and lamb chop, amazing pasta, very hard to complain. Maybe the desserts could have been a bit more sophisticated to fit with the rest. No lineup. Great wine list with good selection at all prices. ALL the staff were useful and friendly. The ship is very nice but I think I prefer Azamara because there is a bit more things to do. All ports of call were interesting. Athens and Venice are, like usual, always nice to visited. Especially the one in Albania, an unusual stop. So overall, I highly recommend it and for sure I will book with them again. 5 Stars. Read Less
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