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Sail Date: August 2019
My spouse, and my brother and sister with their spouses decided to try to get a vacation together and visit the South Pacific. it was easy to pick the islands around and including Tahiti. Should we cruise to do land tour. After only a ... Read More
My spouse, and my brother and sister with their spouses decided to try to get a vacation together and visit the South Pacific. it was easy to pick the islands around and including Tahiti. Should we cruise to do land tour. After only a brief discussion, we chose Windstar Cruises, Wind Spirit and, boy are we glad! The ship is small, only 148 passengers tops. The staterooms are on two decks, every one of them nearly identical. Practical room with room to hide suitcases. Bathroom only accommodates one at a time, but it works fine. Food, what can we say but, great! Great variety at all meals starting with breakfast. The one "specialty" restaurant is Candles, overseen by Assistant Maitre'd Prast. He and crew of wizards lay out great dinners under the stars on the rear deck. The Wind Spirit's entire crew are always welcoming guest when they see them, a very nice touch. The have a open Bridge Policy. You can tour the bridge at almost anytime. We met several very friendly officers while on the bridge. The Captain, Lyubo Garcityanov is available at all times. We had several very nice and long conversations with the Captain, who told us he evens call his mother regularly. A really nice man. Between ship arranged BBQ's on Motus and crew talent shows, it hard to thinks of a funnier cruise ship on the seven seas! The Wind Spirit is just the ideal ship for those who don't like crowds, who want good food, and the most beautiful islands anywhere. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the intimacy of the ship. We might have sacrificed all of the bells and whistle of a larger ship, but being on a smaller ship was well worth it. Embarkation was done in a very smooth and orderly fashion ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the intimacy of the ship. We might have sacrificed all of the bells and whistle of a larger ship, but being on a smaller ship was well worth it. Embarkation was done in a very smooth and orderly fashion and we were in our cabin within 15 minutes of boarding the ship. After ready some of the previous reviews, I was nervous about the age of the ship and it's condition, but our balcony cabin was clean and extremely spacious Yes, the cabins do need some updating, which they are planning a full refurbishment in the next year or so, but we were pleasantly surprised that it wasn't as bad as I had read. One of the things that makes this cruise line special are it's crew. They are so welcoming and friendly. They know your name with in the first day or so. The service level is amazing. Before you even take your last sip, they are right there asking if you would like another. Never a dirty glass or plate is sitting in front of you. And the FOOD!! Every night they offered their James Beard Foundation specialties along with other gourmet dishes and for those who are picky, they offer steak and chicken every night. Everything was done to perfection. The Executive Chef went over and above when we asked for a special dessert that was not being offered that night. The breakfasts were very good also. You can have made to order omelets along with a buffet. Or you can order something off the menu like waffles or pancakes or Egg Benedict. Same goes for the lunches where you can order a hamburger or chicken sandwich along with the buffet selections. Also the deck BBQ that they offered the evening we were in Cannes was spectacular! They bought fresh Sea bass that day and cooked it right there on the spot. Also, they had lobster and roasted pig, shrimp, carved beef, BBQ chicken and so much more. Then afterwards, they had line dancing that was so much fun! The crew really makes it a special night. The entertainment was what you might expect from a smaller ship. They had a duo singing every night up on the pool deck. And usually a special event in the Compass Lounge with fun things like a "Name that Tune" trivia game or the "Liars Club" where you had to guess which of the crew was telling the truth, and the crew talent show, which was very entertaining. But if you are expecting a big production show like what is on a large cruise ship, you will not see that here. We arrived in Rome a few days before the cruise and explored the city. We had Rome Cabs pick us up at the airport and give us a mini 1 hour tour of the city where we go out and visited the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. We had never been to Italy and we went to the usual touristy spots. The next day we went to The Colluseum where an archaeologist gave us a tour of the underground parts of the Colluseum then we had our regular tour guide take us round the rest of the Colluseum and the Forum. Very informative tour of these spectacular historical wonders. And on our last day in Rome, we went to the first entry to the Vatican, then it was off to our ship. The ports of call were very good. We did take a shore excursion through Windstar in Portofierro, Elba. It was well organized, even though it was supposed to be a morning departure and they had to change it to afternoon due to work being done on Napoleon's summer house. But our guide was very knowledgeable and got us back to our ship in time. We especially loved Portofino and Sanary Sur Mer probably because we like how small and quaint these ports were and their beauty! In Portofino, we walked to the top of Castle Brown, were the views were spectacular. Then we just walked around the beautiful little village. And Sanary Sur Mer was the prettiest little fishing village. There was a farmers market at the time where they had the fisherman, who just came in from the sea, put their fish on display along with fresh fruit and vegetables and lots of other items. Cannes and Monte Carlo, we just did our own thing, but the they are beautiful cities. The Grand Prix was just the week before, and they had an exotic car show going on the day we were in port. We saw many high end luxury sports cars being displayed and driven around the streets. Fun to see! We stopped in the small fishing village of Palermo, Spain where we did a lot of shopping. The prices were much more reasonable there and enjoyed our stay there. Our last stop was Barcelona where we disembarked. Again, this went very smoothly. We had a driver and guide waiting to pick us up for a private tour of Barcelona. Barcelona is a beautiful city with amazing architecture. We enjoyed our tour very much. I enjoyed our trip so much and was so sad to see it end. This is an older ship, but Windstar has kept it looking nice and clean. The service, food and overall experience was top notch! I would not hesitate to return to Windstar and am looking forward to our next cruise with them! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We had the pleasure of attending a private Indian wedding as set up on this cruise The Indian food menu was “out of this world” and the chef-Nilesh -truly went above and beyond to present us with delicious and different menus every ... Read More
We had the pleasure of attending a private Indian wedding as set up on this cruise The Indian food menu was “out of this world” and the chef-Nilesh -truly went above and beyond to present us with delicious and different menus every single day! The bar and restaurant crew were outstanding and taking care of our every request To our pleasant surprise the crew gave us an entertainment nite to be part of and have real fun! Every whim was taken care of!! I only wish that there had been a larger pool though the ocean was there too! Every island we docked on had such unique offerings that we wished we had more time to explore all Lastly the beach barbecue on the private island topped it all with the activities one could do all day long We will definitely set the sails with this cruiser in the future! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We had never taken a motorized yacht before and wanted to try the smaller cruise experience. Yes the food was very good, always fresh and served timely. And the crew was very pleasant and focused on customer service. But, the ship is ... Read More
We had never taken a motorized yacht before and wanted to try the smaller cruise experience. Yes the food was very good, always fresh and served timely. And the crew was very pleasant and focused on customer service. But, the ship is in disrepair. There are layers of peeling paint and rust everywhere. The entertainment is pretty lame and the specialty restaurants are nothing more than the main diningroom serves. We experienced two deck side barbecues and the second had few shrimp and no lobster. The bridge was supposed to be open to passengers when not in port and was closed half the time. So what did we like? The great waiters like Hari, Puji an amazing room steward and the Yacht Club where specialty coffees and snacks were served all day. The excursions were excellent although it took four frustrating visits to the excursion desk to get a refund. The guys working the tenders were great as were the crew in the marina. The port visits were on time and the tv offerings were nice. We found the room service to be excellent and very convenient during the 13 day mostly rough crossing. The embarkation was a disaster after sitting in a cold, dirty port in Lisbon six hours because a Windstar rep told us we could leave our luggage secured and there wasn’t anyone there from The ship to assist us. Disembarkay was leisurely and well organized. Despite the many pluses, we won’t be sailing Windstar again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We were a group of 18, parents in their 50's, with "children" from teens to twenty-somethings. How disappointing. First off, Windstar policies were over the top. We sailed from ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We were a group of 18, parents in their 50's, with "children" from teens to twenty-somethings. How disappointing. First off, Windstar policies were over the top. We sailed from Amsterdam and first off, the 18-20 year olds were not allowed to drink. Now, this isn't a deal killer, but let's be clear, when you are a 19/20 year old college student and you can drink "legally" it's fun. We were finally told we could sign a waiver to allow them to drink, well....OK, I guess. Then, it got worse - they wouldn't allow anyone under 21 to GAMBLE! Now where is this coming from? This is actually the one thing my son did on his 18th birthday just because he COULD! The dealers were rude and obnoxious. One of the stops on our trip was St. Petersburg, Russia (one of the BIG reasons we chose this cruise) and we were going to the ballet as an excursion through Windstar in the evening (we spent the night in SP) and the departure time for the excursion was prior to dinner being served; when we inquired what would be done about it, no one seemed aware that this was even happening. They did make an accommodation for those going on the excursion, but that should have been something they thought about in advance. Now for the worst part, the OTHER CRUISERS. What a bunch of snobs! A bunch of old snobby people who snubbed their noses at us.Nasty! Never again - back to Star Clippers we shall go. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
The staff and quality of food was outstanding. The suite was large and never felt confining. Double sink vanity, large tub, walk-in closet all made the 8 day experience just like home! Every evening after dinner and drinks, we came back ... Read More
The staff and quality of food was outstanding. The suite was large and never felt confining. Double sink vanity, large tub, walk-in closet all made the 8 day experience just like home! Every evening after dinner and drinks, we came back to a cabin that had been picked up and a bed folded down. Fresh water and a filled ice bucket everyday. The wine selection and knowledgeable wine steward was first class! The barbecue out on the deck was beyond anything we expected. The staff always made sure we had a drink. Deck chairs were plentiful and blankets were brought out for those chilly evenings. The duo that sang and played music were very good and entertained our requests making for fun evenings after dinner. The shore excursions were extremely organized and getting on and off the ship was easy and streamlined. Our only criticism, and this is very minor, was that the cabins could use a little updating, especially the bathrooms. But, storage was plentiful, and the laundry service was super and worth the extra money. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I have sailed on 7 different cruise lines on multiple cruises to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Russia, Alaska, and Europe. Wind Surf was launched for Club Med in 1989 (30 years old). Dry dock and total renovation and redesign cannot ... Read More
I have sailed on 7 different cruise lines on multiple cruises to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Russia, Alaska, and Europe. Wind Surf was launched for Club Med in 1989 (30 years old). Dry dock and total renovation and redesign cannot come soon enough! This is an old boat and feeling rundown and shabby (not chic). And the sails may wow folks in port, but there is a lot of hoopla over the "unfurling" of sails and playing the same Vangelis music every evening. First time was interesting, but come on folks, what's the big deal. The passenger demographic of this cruise line is well-healed seniors in their 70's who have more money than travel experience and are easily impressed. Overall, the value simply wasn't here. Some may feel they are part of an exclusive guest list of 300 passengers, but the ship is small, staterooms are very small, food service is adequate but average and entertainment is virtually nonexistent. Staff is under pressure to do their jobs and wanted little to do with passenger's requests or comfort. Overall the promise of Windstar's promotional website and literature does not match the promise of a personal and unique experience, an engaging staff, or amazing luxury cruise yachting experience. Boarding the ship in Rome (Civitavecchia), I was astounded that only one of the two elevator was functional at embarkation and the crew had that elevator tied up for hours delivering luggage to state rooms. No staff elevators on board this ship. I spoke with the Reception Desk and they promised each day that the second elevator would be fixed anytime. It took 3 days and constant reminding the desk that there are a lot of very senior passengers who have mobility issues and need the elevator. After repair and elevator started functioning again, they shut down the elevators several times during the cruise and placed an "out of order" sign on the doors. This old ship should never have left port without both elevators functioning. Our cabin was the smallest stateroom ever, with minimal closet and storage space. Bed linens were nice, but the beds were broken down and should have been replaced a year ago. But the bathroom was downright difficult and out dated. I'm 5'11", 185 lbs and it was close for me. Cannot imagine how some on board managed to shower or use the toilets as the space was so tight. Luxury Yacht? Not in my book. Each evening as passengers returned to the ship after a day of excursions, we would congregate on the pool deck expecting to watch the exit from ports during sunsets, relax, swim, chat and enjoy some bar beverages. At 6:00 pm, staff beginning removing all umbrellas, closing pool and jacuzzis, collecting all towels and bar glasses and shutting down the Pool Bar and Deck. Fresh towel bins were empty. Many passengers voiced their objections at this untimely closing of the large pool deck of the ship but staff had their orders and ignored the passengers requests. While reclining in swim wear, we were told to go upstairs and order our drinks at that bar. Then they collected and stacked the chaises to clear the deck. Stupid Ship and Bar Policy. After while, passengers gave up requesting to leave the Pool Bar and Deck open while we sail out of ports. The cruise itinerary was a major draw for us; visiting ports of east and west coasts of Italy, and the Dalmatian coast. Visiting the cruise ports was great fun, but certainly there were the other "mega ships" in port, also. So the idea that the ship is so "small" (700 ft isn't really small), we could sail into ports restricted to larger ships was false. And unfortunately for some, the rear ship "marina" was only lowered twice on the cruise. Many were disappointed that equipment was not in good condition and the kayaks were not available as they posed competition to the local businesses. Shore excursions? Unless you have money to burn, take time to research the cruise ports and figure out what interest you, rather than pay outrageous fees for Windstar excursions (yes, were talking several thousands extra for excursions). It seemed every time you turned around, there were extra charges, overpriced drinks, extra gratuity for staff (I'm glad to tip for extraordinary service), staff saying "no", not possible, cannot do that, sir. Certainly not the promise of the Windstar Cruises. One bright spot in the ships staff was the Gym Facilitor, Nathan from South Africa. Very knowledgeable in fitness and exercise and very aware of the age of his passengers. Well done! I will definitely sail more cruises in the future, but definitely not on Windstar ships. As a matter of fact, we've already booked a Viking River Cruise for 2019. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
To celebrate my 60th birthday with my family, we booked the Wind Surf cruise and set sail on March 3rd. I had done a lot of research for the trip, and tried to find information of anyone who found that they were sea sick, as I do suffer ... Read More
To celebrate my 60th birthday with my family, we booked the Wind Surf cruise and set sail on March 3rd. I had done a lot of research for the trip, and tried to find information of anyone who found that they were sea sick, as I do suffer from motion sickness from time to time. I wore the patch behind my ear, and was prepared with the bands on my wrists, but by the second day I was pretty sick. The rest of my family had a blast - the food was amazing, the crew so accommodating and friendly, but I was suffering quite badly. So much so that the ship doctor had to give me a needle to settle my stomach. In the end, I was unable to partake in any of the planned excursions, and was mostly in the cabin in bed. I would highly recommend this cruise, however if you suffer at all from any kind of motion sickness or vertigo give it a pass. I tried to find information before booking the trip but everything I read was positive for smooth sailing. Suffice to say, if I had read about any sort of sway or rocking of the boat, I would not have booked this holiday! 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was a trip circumnavigating Iceland, which was a very good way to see more remote parts of the country. Cabins very comfortable with plenty of closet, drawer, and shelf space and cabin service was excellent. I was disappointed that ... Read More
This was a trip circumnavigating Iceland, which was a very good way to see more remote parts of the country. Cabins very comfortable with plenty of closet, drawer, and shelf space and cabin service was excellent. I was disappointed that the shower in my cabin was over a bathtub, making it very difficult to get in and out of the shower. Bathtubs on ships don't make a lot of sense to me. And the shower head was placed awkwardly in a corner, making it difficult to get the full force of the shower. Service was very good and so was the food; dinners were elegantly served and there was always good entree choices. The Fitness Center is very well equipped. Generally, Windstar does a good job. My annoyance is that I felt "nickled and dimed" because there are so many extra charges. I would rather pay a little more and have more included (like wine at dinner and laundry). Another annoyance is to arrive at a "briefing" for the next day's activities only to have to sit through half an hour of marketing for future Windstar trips before the "briefing" begins. Another annoyance is Internet access; they sell it but tell you that it will work only intermittently and so much time is used up just trying to log on, plus it's expensive! But all in all, it was a good trip and I would do it again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
My brother chose this cruise and invited us to join him. While it wasn't an itinerary we had ever considered, we soon became excited about seeing such a different part of the world. From start to finish, we loved our time on the Wind ... Read More
My brother chose this cruise and invited us to join him. While it wasn't an itinerary we had ever considered, we soon became excited about seeing such a different part of the world. From start to finish, we loved our time on the Wind Surf. Both embarkation and disembarkation were quick and nearly effortless. The personable and attentive staff made us feel special, and the size of the ship (312 passengers) made it a much more intimate cruising experience than we'd previously experienced. The food was excellent and varied, so we looked forward to every meal. My husband is a vegetarian, and the kitchen staff were very attentive to be sure he was happy with his meals (they even gave him a preview of the next night's menu in case he wanted to request that they make him a special entree, which turned out not to be needed). We did not partake in evening entertainment (as we generally had to get up early for tours), but attended a couple of interesting lectures about upcoming ports of call or cultures. We chose some of the excursions offered by the ship, and booked others on our own. We were very pleased with the ports we visited (St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Tallinn, Klaipeda, and Gdansk), and felt we learned a lot. (The sea was too rough to tender in Bornholm, so we had an unexpected sea day, but it was the loveliest weather and we were under full sail for over three hours.) We spent four nights in Stockholm prior to boarding the ship (at the Grand Central Hotel by Scandic), and another three nights in Copenhagen at the end (at the Hotel Admiral), and very much hope to return to both cities. We very much look forward to traveling with Windstar again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Beware. Do not book this cruise over Spring Break- Caribbean. Beware of other voyages as well since Windstar apparently caters to these types of events and is oblivious to the impact on their repeat customers. Check if there are any large ... Read More
Beware. Do not book this cruise over Spring Break- Caribbean. Beware of other voyages as well since Windstar apparently caters to these types of events and is oblivious to the impact on their repeat customers. Check if there are any large groups booked on your ship. The cruise we were on during Spring Break 2017 was terrible. The cruise was taken over by an outside party band and it was NOT family friendly. The staff did nothing and there is no recourse once you are on the ship. Lots of drinking and vulgar activity. No class at all. We couldn't even use the pool or hot tub most of the time. The groupies took over the hot tub and pool almost every day yelling woo-hoo and drinking out of king size 7-11 cups. It was unbelievably rude and obnoxious. The entertainment from the cruise was often substituted with the "band" which was mediocre at best. Like seriously, how did this happen? This is a top of the line Cruiseline and they took it down at least 1000 levels. We had sailed on a previous Windstar cruise and it was top notch. Windstar catered to this group band and deteriated their entire reputation. We will never book a Windstar cruise again. This was a self-proclaimed "booze cruise" and Windstar should be ashamed. What a disgrace to allow families to be part of this. At the bare minimum, Windstar should have disclosed that this group was the majority of the cruise and any other passengers would be outnumbered. If you want a low-class, booze cruise, look no further. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Windstar cruise line offered an interesting opportunity to see more than Tahiti and Moorea by taking a week long cruise on the Wind Spirit. The itinerary included the additional Society Islands of Bora Bora, Taha'a, Raiatea, and ... Read More
Windstar cruise line offered an interesting opportunity to see more than Tahiti and Moorea by taking a week long cruise on the Wind Spirit. The itinerary included the additional Society Islands of Bora Bora, Taha'a, Raiatea, and Huahine. Each stop afforded us the opportunity to learn more about the Polynesian culture, the local history, and the current economy. The two tours we arranged before the cruise with Francyfranc Tours in Moorea and L'Excursion Bleue in Raiatea, were offered at half the price of similar ship-sponsored tours and were excellent - better than the two ship tours we booked for other ports, which were also good. We were invited to visit the ship's bridge when at sea, although most inter-island travel was at night. It was a rare opportunity to chat with the captain and each of the officers on duty throughout the cruise and we very much enjoyed our brief conversations and the explanation of the instruments used to control the ship. The food was delicious and the table service was generally very friendly and efficient. We enjoyed the two events ashore: the evening luau on Motu Tabu off Bora Bora, which included very entertaining Polynesian dancers, and the picnic lunch on a motu off Taha'a. However, the evening buffet on the open pool deck with a rain storm was not as successful. Of particular note was the Captain of the Hotel Staff and one of his Lieutenants assisting on the serving line during the picnic. This leadership approach results in the friendly, cheerful and efficient service provided by the entire crew directly serving the passengers. Do not miss the crew's talent show which is presented at the end of the voyage. The other onboard entertainment is limited to a husband and wife team singing popular songs. Be cognizant that the weather in the southern hemisphere summer (our winter) is sunny, hot and humid with frequent showers. Being from Houston, we know hot and humid, but we found this weather to be well beyond our summer experiences. If you like water sports (snorkeling, kayaking, etc.) you will love this cruise. Snorkel gear and other water sport equipment is provided without charge. Just a heads up: when snorkeling, be careful of currents carrying you into coral, which can cause significant injuries. You will probably not find any cheap cruises or airfare to Tahiti due to lack of competition. Be sure to allow plenty of time (3 hours minimum) if you're making connections in L.A. and be clear on whether your bags will be checked through. We almost missed our flight to Tahiti due to a misunderstanding in this regard. Also recognize that you must produce a return or continuing airline reservation or you will not be issued a boarding pass to fly to Tahiti. In summary, we very much enjoyed this unique cruise on Windstar and would definitely recommend it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We choose the cruise because of the ports of call and our previous Wind Star experience (this was our eighth Wind Star cruise and third on the Wind Surf). The cruise is Yachtsman, Caribbean. We were scheduled for: Philipsburg, St. ... Read More
We choose the cruise because of the ports of call and our previous Wind Star experience (this was our eighth Wind Star cruise and third on the Wind Surf). The cruise is Yachtsman, Caribbean. We were scheduled for: Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Falmouth Harbour, Antigua Soper's Hole, Tortola, B.V.I. Jost van Dyke Great Harbour, B.V.I , Virgin Gorda, Prickly Pear Beach, B.V.I., Gustavia, St. Barthelemy Philipsburg, St. Maarten Because of weather we did not visit Virgin Gorda or St. Barts. We also learned that Wind Star no longer uses Prickly Pear Beach after the cruise started. Instead of Virgin Gorda we spent the day at Road Town, Tortola. A terrible alternative and instead of a special day at the beach, we had a one hour steel band and a rum drink. There had to be a better port of call. It seems the weather was a surprise to everyone at Wind Star. We were to arrive at ST. Bart's at 0800 and leave at 10:00 PM. We arrived at 0700 and the captain decided to leave for St. Maartan at 0800. Since St. Bart's was a highlight of the cruise we thought we should at least wait a few hours to see if we could use the tenders. Communication from the Captain and crew was limited so we never were told the whole story. Again, there should have been alternatives since the weather was forecast. Also, the Wind Surf looks tired and out dated. Worn carpet, inside bright work is dull. Internet and electronic entertainment has not changed in the 12 years we have used Wind Star and it was old then. We feel the ship was under staffed as the crew could not provide the personal service we were used to on Wind Star (70 guests in the bar and one waiter as an example). Slow service in the restaurants and the food is mediocre. Disappointing experience for us Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Our main reason for selecting the Windstar Star Legend was the itinerary of generally smaller out of the way ports. We wanted to visit some small islands that we have not had the chance to explore during previous trips and cruises. ... Read More
Our main reason for selecting the Windstar Star Legend was the itinerary of generally smaller out of the way ports. We wanted to visit some small islands that we have not had the chance to explore during previous trips and cruises. Admittedly we were the folks who had previously loved voyages on larger cruise ships and enjoyed looking down from our lofty perch at the dock at the poor souls who were forced to be on that smaller boat. We will probably try to avoid the larger ships with their hoards of people, long lines, and impersonal service in the future. We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Star Legend and wouldn't hesitate to return. We liked that there was no "sea day" and that in some cases the ship stayed in port until late in the evening giving us plenty of opportunity to enjoy our land time. Embarkation: smooth as butter with no queues or hassles. Within moments we were dropping off our things in the cabins and heading out to explore San Juan. Cabins: We booked 2 rooms (227/225) for our family of four. They were adjoined by a common hallway with a door directly off the main central passage. The suites were roomy with nice beds & bedding, large windows, marble baths with quality towels, and a walk in closet. Our steward Yukti did a great job. Everything on the ship is within close proximity and easy to find. The cabins lack the electrical outlets for charging devices. Tip: bring a multi outlet surge protector or USB hub. Also: the unlimited laundry package is amazing. We travelled light and enjoyed fresh clothes during the entire cruise. This is one of the best perks I have ever seen offered on any cruise. Food in the main dining room was excellent. We enjoyed professional and friendly service during every meal. Hayrettin, the restaurant manager, went out of his way on multiple occasions to do anything he could to make our dining experience as fantastic as possible. We enjoyed an excellent breakfast al fresco everyday on the back of the boat. They had an excellent buffet, omelet station, order off the menu choices. We mostly had dinner in main dining room with no awkward set dining time. One evening we did dine at Candles and another at the on deck BBQ party which was excellent. All soft drinks were included which was very nice as our kids often can rack up a bill with juices and sodas. As foodies we appreciated Chef Nilesh who turned out a variety of dishes that was a cut above what we had experienced on other larger boats. We particularly enjoyed the Indian cuisine options that was appeared on a regular basis. On one evening the Chef produced a special favorite indian dish for our son--this never would have happened on a larger boat. While room service is available around the clock there are periods of time when food is not available in venues throughout the boat. Typical cruise ship buffets where around the clock food is served are not found on the Legend. Entertainment on the boat is limited. This is fine for us but if you are looking for a show, comedian or magician every night do not book this cruise. There are 2 duos that frequently appear at various events throughout the ship. Nothing spectacular. We did enjoy the crew talent show. Evening entertainment may be the weakest point of the cruise. Having an open bridge that you can visit was great. The club and deck above the bridge are nice places to hang out and watch as the boat pulls in or out of port. Ports: We loved all of the ports, but particularly Culebra, Jost Van Dyke, and St. Barts. We weren't able to tender at Montserrat due to high seas. On our previous Carnival cruise this lead to an extra day being trapped on the sea. The captain made arrangements to head over to St. Kitts (which happened to be having carnival that day). We appreciated this quick reaction and had a great day at the beach there. Excursions we loved: 12 Metre Sailing in St. Maarten, and the Cruise to Anegada in Virgin Gorda. 2 of our excursions (ATV on Montserrat and Zodiac on JVD were cancelled). The cancelled excursions were a pain. I wish that Windstar was a bit more helpful with concierge type services arranging other activities when their excursions were abruptly cancelled. Fitness/Spa: The spa is small and we enjoyed massages, facials and hair services. The gym is small and limited. My wife loved the daily pilates/yoga classes. One thing I normally enjoy on a cruise is running on deck in the morning. There really isn't a place to do that on the Legend. Note: Internet service is absolutely horrible. It is expensive and far worse than the horrible connectivity than I have experienced on other cruises. This may have been a function of the location of our rooms. If you need to be connected during the trip don't even think about coming on this cruise. I might consider bringing a Sat phone with data service if I really had to be connected. It might be cheaper and much more reliable. We did have US cell phone service in San Juan, Culebra, and for parts of Jost Van Dyke. Also the does move a bit more than the larger boats. Christmas winds in the caribbean often lead to bumpy cruising during the late months of December and early January. While the boat did move around none in our party became motion sick. It you are hyper prone to motion sickness then stick to one of the behemoths. Overall I recommend this cruise for its itinerary and excellent service. We are hooked on the small boat experience and may look to taking their cruises near Tahiti or Iceland. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Wanted to visit numerous islands and picked this one due to the inclusion of St. Bart's. Unfortunately, the captain decided to skip St. Bart's and go to another island instead. The lower on the staff totem poll, the better the ... Read More
Wanted to visit numerous islands and picked this one due to the inclusion of St. Bart's. Unfortunately, the captain decided to skip St. Bart's and go to another island instead. The lower on the staff totem poll, the better the attitude. Everyone wearing an officer costume seemed to have a poor attitude or just did not really care. Never seen anything like that before. The small ship was expected to be a plus, with only 200 guests, but the captain chose to run slowly on only one engine and the ship pitched all night. Many guests got seasick and Dramamine was the number one discussion on deck. Food was sometimes good and sometimes not so great. Windstar has two charges which are not known before boarding. First, no wine or alcohol is included - it is $650 per cabin - usually we expect to upgrade to premiums for a fee. No problem with that, but should be known. 2nd, there is an $84 per person additional charge for "tips". That is just additional ticket charge and does not change the pay of servicers. We tipped maids, waiters and other help - unfortunately most guests think the tip charge is really tipping. To me that is just Windstar being dishonest. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Choose because it's a small yacht. This cruise is great. Went to several ports Portoferraio , portofino, Monaco, Cannes, sanary sur mur, port vendres and Barcelona. The ship is refurbished and especially nice in public areas. ... Read More
Choose because it's a small yacht. This cruise is great. Went to several ports Portoferraio , portofino, Monaco, Cannes, sanary sur mur, port vendres and Barcelona. The ship is refurbished and especially nice in public areas. The service and staff and officers were very professional and visible. The food from breakfast to dinner and yacht club choices were amazing. If you have any special requests all you have to do if ask. The BBQ onboard is a treat don't miss it. The entertainment in the lounge is nice but there is no bar...but u can order from the staff. I like the lounge on windsurf because you can sit at bar and mingle and there is a nice dance floor. It has a more inviting atmosphere for socializing. We used room service for breakfast twice when we wanted to get off ship by 9:30. Service and food are great. The tours are expensive so choose carefully. We were 4 people so we arranged 3 private tours with a driver who showed us the sites for 7-8 hours each tour and cost less than through WS. We played the slots in a small casino two nights and did a little onboard shopping. This cruise is the best way to experience the Italian and French Riviera. Your hotel floats with you. Good food, beautiful yacht with all the amenities and NO CROWDS, PS...I lost my medication and the ship physician was able to write scripts and also had on handa few meds to hold me over.( charge was very reasonable ). This was very helpful when you rely on daily medication. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Booked this cruise because of the ports in Croatia, Montanegro and Italy. The ship and service turned out to be the best surprise. Prior CC complaints by cruisers were nonexistent on this trip. The ship was well maintained. Our cabin with ... Read More
Booked this cruise because of the ports in Croatia, Montanegro and Italy. The ship and service turned out to be the best surprise. Prior CC complaints by cruisers were nonexistent on this trip. The ship was well maintained. Our cabin with an ocean view was very large compared to many of our prior cruises. A balcony was not needed The staff were very approachable from the Captain to the deck force. Food was great including the post Kotor sail away deck barbecue. The morning and lunch were informal but dinner was five star food and service. Basically the staff could not do enough for us and our two teenagers on high school break. The two entertainment couples were very good and could play everything requested. This is not a ship which entertains 24 hours a day or takes a hour to get to shore. On and off the ship were a snap. The historical ports were every positive experience we expected. Wind star gets an "A". Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
My family and I chose this cruise because we wanted to go on a less crowded cruise, a relaxing and well facilitated one. This was perfect, hardly any flaws, impeccable service. Lots of things to do for entertainment- my favourite was ... Read More
My family and I chose this cruise because we wanted to go on a less crowded cruise, a relaxing and well facilitated one. This was perfect, hardly any flaws, impeccable service. Lots of things to do for entertainment- my favourite was working out in the gym. I'd like to give a special thanks to all the staff, especially the waiters and waitresses who worked so hard for so long and the lovely personal trainer onboard, Louis. His workouts kept me in shape even when I thought it was impossible after eating all the amazing food on the cruise! Food was impeccable, absolutely outstanding. Would definitely recommend Candles and The Amphora restaurants, both of high quality. I would say that Amphora is more family-friendly and has a "cosier" setting, one could say; Candles is perfect for couples who want to dine whilst watching the sun set. I went to both with my family as both were suitable, however if you choose not to eat at either and you want something so chilled you can eat in your pajamas, room service is just a phone call away! There were many excursions that were available and swimming in the sea will be a big hit with many people (no, not just the kids) as the sea is absolutely beautiful and the sun is shining and the view is jaw-droppingly amazing, definitely one of the best parts. BBQ night was most likely my favourite nigh onboard- aside from the crew's talent show...that was quite something ;)- there was so much dancing and incredible Mediterranean food, it was bliss. Everything was just lovely. So relaxing and by the end if the week you really felt as if everyone was family, so it broke my heart to have to say goodbye, both to the crew and fellow passengers. I would just like to say thank you so much to all of the Windstar crew who really made my summer memorable and I hope to travel with you all again very soon! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise because of the date, destination and my birthday. Our documentation stated the cruise left from Edinburg and the address on the ticket was for Edinburgh; however, when we gave our ticket and documentation to the cab ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the date, destination and my birthday. Our documentation stated the cruise left from Edinburg and the address on the ticket was for Edinburgh; however, when we gave our ticket and documentation to the cab driver, he took us to the port. When we arrived, we had to find a harbor master to locate ship-then we discovered we were to leave from Dundee. 75 miles away! We were lucky, our driver could take us and we arrived just in time to leave-$290.00 later!! We called the "emergency numbers 3 times-no one returned our phone calls-so don't bother calling them!! Our cabin lacked furniture by the bed and we had to charge phones, iPad and lay them on the floor with reading glasses and other nighttime things! First day, excursions were in chaos and we waited over an hour for the buses to arrive!! First day, we had booked an excursion to see a castle with falconry demonstration. Our guide decided we need to be back early 3 hours for lunch??) so she cut the trip short!! She treated us like we were small children and regaled us with stories of her teaching " dumb" royalty in a private school. The special exhibit for this trip was watching a high school band perform. Seriously!! A part of that trip-we were taken to a battleground with a nice Visitor's center-BUT! Our same guide did not let us go inside!! Instead she led us outside and lectured for 30 minutes! Guess she knew more than the historians!! When we returned, Windstar was contacted-which acted like all was our fault because we were ignorant and did not read our documentation! We are two doctors who travel a great deal and were insulted! We spent 4 days pre cruise in Edinburh-thank goodness-on our own or I do not know I'd we could have seen the city. Their excuse, we did not pay their transportation fee to port! And did not stay at their hotel. We stayed at a beautiful Trip Advisor boutique hotel which we loved!! We were less than impressed with Windstar-this was our second-had it been our first-it would have been our last!!after they have your $$, you are totally written off!! Trying to communicate with their staff before we left was a nightmare as well!! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We just disembarked from our Windstar cruise from Barcelona to Rome and were very happy and satisfied with our experience. The number one difference at Windstar is the Personal experience and how it is enhanced by the extraordinary crew! ... Read More
We just disembarked from our Windstar cruise from Barcelona to Rome and were very happy and satisfied with our experience. The number one difference at Windstar is the Personal experience and how it is enhanced by the extraordinary crew! In just 6 days, we knew all of our servers and staff by name and they greeted us by name. It is so much more personal to travel this way and never feel like a cattle call. The cabins were very nice and quite large and again they were clean and refreshed all day long. The food was wonderful and plentiful and the 24 hr room service was a great hit with our constantly eating sons who were traveling with us. The special events and barbecue night were fantastic and though we had to change itinerary due to Italian port alerts, the staff quickly changed excursions to make everyone happy. We will really miss One, Barus, Caroleena and Dody who made our cruise so special and made us sad to say goodbye. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Rarely does a second experience live up to a perfect first one but in the case of recent Windstar cruise, this is the case. Three years ago, we had the cruise of a lifetime on The Wind Star, highlighted by our marriage on board with ... Read More
Rarely does a second experience live up to a perfect first one but in the case of recent Windstar cruise, this is the case. Three years ago, we had the cruise of a lifetime on The Wind Star, highlighted by our marriage on board with Santorini as the backdrop. The Windstar experience was beyond our expectations and created such indelible memory for all of us that my wife and I decided that we must celebrate our 3rd anniversary with another Windstar cruise. Once again, we were fortunate to have all 3 of our adult children join us, although it was obviously not too hard to convince them! This time, we decided on the Star Breeze’ Italy and Dalmatian Coast itinerary. While the sails of the Wind Star create a majestic and awe-inspiring visual experience, the spaciousness of the cabins, all suites, and increased deck space of the Windstar motor yachts, such as Star Breeze, compensate for it in a different but equal way. What is not different is the warmth and feeling of being amongst friends from the minute you step aboard. For those of you who remember the TV show Cheers and the line from their theme song, “where everybody knows your name”, you would be able to easily apply that to the Star Breeze crew. From the minute you step aboard, somehow magically, the crew know you by name and immediately start to pick up on your desires and likes. You really feel as though you are on a private yacht and that you have known these people for much longer than a day or two. On big ships, other guests pass you anonymously and you are part of a large “pack” that moves around from activity to activity or reservation to reservation. On the Star Breeze, you almost immediately start to develop conversation an in many cases, friendships, with your very select 200 or so shipmates. You find yourself interacting and smiling much more than you though possible. You also do not have to worry whether you made a diner reservation or if you are running late, the Amphora dining room staff works on your timetable and when you show up for dinner, your table and very smiling, attentive staff are there waiting. Once again, Windstar did those little “extras” that mean so much and make you feel very special. We were welcomed onboard with a bottle of champagne and a beautiful flower arrangement waiting for us in our suite. We were then given a special Honeymoon gift of a professional family photo shoot, champagne at dinner and breakfast in bed. While most hotels or cruise lines would give a guest a mediocre bottle of champagne, ours was our favorite, Veuve Clicquot. This is just one more example of how Windstar shows how much they value their guests. Windstar’s itineraries have allowed us to experience more of each port of call as well as visit ones that we would never have even contemplated. Rovinj, our first port after departing Venice, was absolutely idyllic. The cobblestone streets and small shops that dotted the mountainside were only equaled by the incredible truffles sold in the local market. This is a port that no large cruise ship could visit nor would it be welcomed. Our ship at 214 passengers did not overrun the small town and allowed us to get the feel of a local Croate village. This is what true travel should be! In Dubrovnik, we sailed at 11:00 PM which allowed us to experience the Old City by gas lantern-light, truly a trip back to the Middle Ages and a page out of Game of Thrones. Overall, Windstar has once again given my family and I a truly memorable experience of not only fantastic ports but also of new friendships made and eager anticipation of our next Windstar cruise! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was our 2nd Windstar cruise. We are now serious fans of this line. We have been on both the "yachts" and the sail ships now and both, although different were excellent. Service was superb. We were thrilled to have ... Read More
This was our 2nd Windstar cruise. We are now serious fans of this line. We have been on both the "yachts" and the sail ships now and both, although different were excellent. Service was superb. We were thrilled to have the dining room server, Esther, that we had met on our first cruise. She was consistently helpful, accommodating and pleasant. We hope we meet her on our future cruises (and we have booked several others already). Our room Stewart, Iman, also went above and beyond. What ever we needed we got! And strangely, the ship's doctor was the most valuable crew member, as she aggressively treated the bronchitis I came on with and saved the vacation. Only two days lost--and can't say they were lost as I lounged on deck and was treated like a princess. We were fortunate to be on a James Beard cruise and the wine tasting, the special dinner and the learning experience was beyond compare. What fun we had! We had a suite and were very comfortable. The suites are two cabins combined so there is a living room and two bathrooms. Very comfortable. The tours included and those purchased were very good, the wine and food theme was carried on many hours of them. The highlight for me was Granada and the Alhambra. It was a perfect tour capped with an excellent lunch. A must do. And on the ship, we were truly well fed and entertained at the Barbeque. We were very fortunate that the weather was ideal. The sunset magnificent and the whole experience was amazing. And the crew line dances were so much fun. Highly recommend this ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We were on the Wind Star, 4-masted sailing yacht . While this is a ship that only holds about 150 guests, it seems like they have about 1 for 1 on the crew. The ship is well taken care of in all regards. The food is at least equal to ... Read More
We were on the Wind Star, 4-masted sailing yacht . While this is a ship that only holds about 150 guests, it seems like they have about 1 for 1 on the crew. The ship is well taken care of in all regards. The food is at least equal to bigger ships. Our Captain was on her first cruise as Captain and was available, friendly and got us where we needed to go. We found the cabins in the middle of the ship had less movement than those in front or back. I have a walking problem and had my walker aboard. While they have no elevators, a crew member offered to carry my walker up any stairs that needed to be traversed. The rails are easy to hold onto and climb the stairs. Dining was available in about three areas. If you are interested in sitting outside, on top, you need to make reservations ASAP. The food was excellent and very accommodative on a needed diet. A lot of showmanship went into the meal. While entertainment on board was limited, there were a couple of times the total crew was involved in entertaining us. The big adventure was raising the sails every night and the music from "1492 conquest of paradise" and the total ship involvement. Most of the time, we were worn out by the evening from all of the daytime activity. Probably the service was as fine as any I have had on a ship (other than the Paul Gauguin, in Tahiti). There was always someone ready to help or fill a need every time I turned around. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
While this was not our first time cruising my wife and I are 51 and 45 both have lived in Europe, the US and South America, it was our first time on Windstar - WindSurf. In short, it was a fantastic cruise and I could not have asked for ... Read More
While this was not our first time cruising my wife and I are 51 and 45 both have lived in Europe, the US and South America, it was our first time on Windstar - WindSurf. In short, it was a fantastic cruise and I could not have asked for anything more. We selected Windstar because of the Conde Naste review articles describing the smaller more intimate ships and also the promise of getting into smaller ports. Our cruise was the "Yachtsman's Caribbean" which sailed out of St Maarten - Philipsburg. We got on the boat around 4pm and set sail at 7pm promptly. First port was Antigua we arrived early in the am and the captain intended to anchor at a smaller port near Shirley Heights but it was too windy for the tender boats to safely load passengers, so we went around the island to the city of St John and docked there in a protected harbour. The island excursions tour was fun - but I suggest taking a taxi on your own over to Shirley Heights for the Sunday BBQ party and stay as late as you can becasue the Sunday party was so much fun, we wanted to stay until they closed the place down. got back on board late around 10pm and were still hungry but the main restaurant had closed and we were sweaty from dancing - the Executive sous chef saw us looking hungry and came out and offered to prepare a meal for us - it was delivered to our room just as we got out of the shower. Just one of many examples of the excellent service we got on the cruise. The cabins appeared to have been recently remodeled and were very well appointed - like staying in a 5 star hotel; wood trim, granite counters in the bath and on the desk. Most of the service staff was Indonesian and they were so intuitive and responsive to anything you wanted, that yo had to be careful wheat you said. Once I casually mentioned to the cabin steward that the bed was a bit more firm than I liked and when we came back from lunch, they had swapped the mattress and put a pillow top on it. A rare level of luxury and care. next stop was Sopers Hole a very small harbor and a wonderful little island with long empty beaches straight out of the magazines THIS is what we came for ! The excursion tour guide was Donovan and he had lots of fun toting us around in the back of a 4x4 from beach to beach. He sidetracked to a local Rum distillery and we all got lubricated. next day was Jost Van Dyke which is a smaller island and the captain said there were more people on the ship than live on the island ! Another perfect score. The tender boats ran every 20 mins so you could come and go as you pleased and explore the island. That night while anchored nearby, The staff prepared a huge on deck bbg with lobster, ribeyes, ribs, paella and of course deserts. the dinner was followed by a line dancing party on the top deck and all the crew, officers and service staff (including some of the cabin stewards ) came out and did the Whip and watched me nay nay. : -) it was BIG FUN and it was a level of intimacy with the other passengers and crew that you just don't find many places. Nexts ports were Virgin Gorda - definitely go see the Baths and swim on the beach there, and then while there, the crew went over to the uninhabited island of Prickly Pear Beach and set up another bbq beach party for us and also some volleyball nets and took all the watersports stuff: kayaks, sailboats, etc etc so we could spend the day on the beach. Volleyball was crew and passengers again. One day/night was spent sailing at sea and we thought it might be a bit boring but the crew had plenty of activities if we were up for it or you could just hang out by the pool/hot tub and sip on a cocktail. We did both :-) The second to last port was a stop at St Barts and while the refined paris of the Caribbean was certainly beautiful and impressive, after spending a week on small undeveloped beaches and tiny ports, we were a bit disoriented by the sight of million dollar yachts, celebrities, hotels for $3200 a night and topless french models parading up and down the beaches. Many of us agreed, we would have traded that for a second day at Jost Van Dyke. If you do go to St Barts, and want to experience it, then head over to Nikki Beach which is a beach and 4 star restaurant by the Eden Hotel. For lunch at Nikki Beach, we spent about $125 per person - and I might offer that the food on the ship was every bit as good or better and the service was WAAAY better on board. Another place to go on St Barts is La Plage which is walking distance from Eden Rock as well. Overall I will say that Windstar is now our favorite and we will be returning for another cruise as soon as possible. I would describe it as an affordable luxury cruise for those who are looking for a more intimate or romantic experience and who want to see smaller ports with fewer people. Read Less
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