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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I took this cruise because it was a James Beard Food Cruise. The suite offered very little I wouldn't pay extra for it. This is the second time I booked on this cruise line and was disappionted both times.The communication was ... Read More
I took this cruise because it was a James Beard Food Cruise. The suite offered very little I wouldn't pay extra for it. This is the second time I booked on this cruise line and was disappionted both times.The communication was not good aboard the boat. There were activities that were not listed except if you found something in small print so you had to make sure you kept up. Examples the chefs on shore food purchases were not communicated, the galley tour was orly communicate and so was the star light dinner. So for a person who paid top dollar did not get any benefits. Other lines provide a person that takes care of the suites . I think they should adopt that practice. Food on the ship was ok even though it was such a small boat and a special James Beard cruise. Entertainment was limited but acceptable. This is an al carte cruise so everything is extra. While annoying we knew that going in. The staff was great . Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
It was always my dream to cruise the Tahitian islands and it was my chance to try the Windstar Cruise Line. I was not disappointed in taking this cruise! I have limited experience in cruising, having only been on an Oceania Cruise before ... Read More
It was always my dream to cruise the Tahitian islands and it was my chance to try the Windstar Cruise Line. I was not disappointed in taking this cruise! I have limited experience in cruising, having only been on an Oceania Cruise before this. I think Oceana sets a high bar and this cruise met that bar. The cabins on the Wind Spirit are all the same size. There is a price difference between level 1 and level 2 and cabins in the mid-ship. I do not see any real difference in these cabins other than a few extra stairs and the water level outside your 2 port holes. I would avoid cabins 205, 207 and 209, which are right by the tinder. The people in the cabins will look out at the tinder but to be honest, can't say when I was on the tinder, that I could see in these cabins. The cabins had a ton of storage. Sufficient hanging space, 4 drawers and more under the seats of the banquette. Shelves in the bathroom both above the sink area and below. There were shelves next to the bed for night reading and other items. Outlets were US compatible. The TV in the room was adequate. There were a variety of movies that played during the week and a ton of DVDs in the library. We only watched the news when getting ready for the day. We had a standing order of coffee delivered each morning, which was wonderful. The breakfast had a nice buffet as well as different al a cart items each day. I only had lunch a few times but it also had a changing buffet and al a cart items. Dinner in the dining room was fabulous each evening we ate there. For one evening we had a buffet on a motu- good food, another, a BBQ on deck which also had good food. Candles was an option for one evening and it good as well. We heard from others they had a great meal at Candles, but our steaks were a little tough. We ordered room service on the pool deck a few times and once in the room. The staff was wonderful and accommodating. Everyone was cheerful, went out of their way to be helpful and extremely polite. They knew our names by the first evening! Several of the wait staff were more than welcoming and were more like friends by the end of the cruise. We can not say enough about the level of service on this ship! Embarkation was quick and easy. The work out room was really small and a little warm. There was yoga and stretching on the upper deck each morning. Snorkel gear is available for use for the week, just go to the marina to check out the items. You can kayak, swim or SUP from the back of the ship. You can also use these items from the motus in Ta'haa and Bora Bora. You can not use these from the ship when it is docked in Raiatea. I used the ship's excursions for a discovery dive in Raiatea and a snorkel safari, as well as a catamaran tour in Bora Bora. The other excursions I booked myself directly with the tour companies. I used Marc's Combo Tour in Huahine, Francky Franck's in Moorea, We took a taxi bus for an island tour on Bora Bora. We also did an impromptu boat tour of the river in Raiatea. We stayed at the Intercontinental pre and post cruise. There is more rocking in this sailboat than the larger ships. I was on a relatively small ship on Oceania, the Regatta, but it had much less rocking than this ship. If you have sea sickness, be sure to bring your meds. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
My husband and I sailed previously on two Windstar cruises over 20 years ago, first to Costa Rica and then Turkey/Greek Islands. We had such a memorable experience that we wanted to re-enact it again! The last cruise I had been on was a ... Read More
My husband and I sailed previously on two Windstar cruises over 20 years ago, first to Costa Rica and then Turkey/Greek Islands. We had such a memorable experience that we wanted to re-enact it again! The last cruise I had been on was a large cruise ship of 2000 passengers; a sea of people in a gigantic floating hotel. I told my husband I vowed never to go on a cruise that felt like I was being “cattle herded" We choose the Star Legend for its intimacy of being on a small ship (less than 200 passengers and almost a 1 to 1 ratio of passenger to crew members) and its yacht like experience. By "YACHT LIKE" I am referring to many advantages of traveling on a small cruise ship. The cabins were spacious with walk in closets & marbled bathroom stocked with comfy bathrobes and slippers. We rarely called housekeeping because our room was always promptly cleaned & well maintained during our breakfast and before getting ready for dinner. Overall the ship had impeccable service. Just as we had experience on previous Windstar cruises the crew makes the Cruise! It's a very personal and luxurious experience when everyone working on the ship remember your name and seemingly anticipate your requests. I was most pleased by the culinary experience i had on the ship. I have a passion of collecting and blogging about cruise ship vintage menus on the internet. One of my favorite excursions was having the Executive chef Jeffery Miller take the passengers on a tour to the local farmer and fish market. We helped him select the fresh ingredients for the entrees being served that day and in addition to teaching us about the Dalmatia & Italian cuisine he included everyone in a tasting of the local cheeses, olives, breads from the region. Each meal felt like a farm and ocean to table experience. And when it comes to special dietary request, they also surpassed in meaning the needs of the passengers with certain food allergies. Being gluten intolerant, I was happy that I could order anything I wanted off the dinner or breakfast menu and it was specially prepared for me. One evening when couldn’t make up my mind between two entree’s whose descriptions were equally mouth watering, my server happily brought me both dishes! Most importantly we choose the Italy & Dalmatian coast destination because for the calmness of the Adriatic Sea & quaintness seaside villages. We were really lucky to have superb sunny and warm day in September that allowed us maximize the tours offered by the ship. Voyage leader have to biggest responsibility of making sure everyone on the ship has a good time on the tours and our charming leader Alina did not disappoint us….She could spot that I was a foodie a mile away and she recommended all the best epicurean and wine tours. My favorite was the The Truffle Experience in the Rovinj port in Croatia. Our tour guide was funny and well informed about the history culture of Croatia. Who knew that the necktie was invented by the Croatians!! After meandering the cobbled streets of the walled in city of Motovun perched high up in the mountains with truffle forest and olive groves, we had an sumptuous truffle lunch complete with Croatian wines! 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Even though everything didn't go perfectly on this cruise, the staff on Wind Surf did everything in their power to make it memorable and special. There's just a feeling on Windstar cruises--the crew seem genuinely happy to be ... Read More
Even though everything didn't go perfectly on this cruise, the staff on Wind Surf did everything in their power to make it memorable and special. There's just a feeling on Windstar cruises--the crew seem genuinely happy to be there, the views are so gorgeous, the other passengers so pleasant. There's no fighting over deck chairs, no scrambling to get the best seats, no worry you'll get reservations to the restaurant of your choice. There's a feeling like, "Relax. Chill. There's enough of everything and they have it all planned out." From the time I arrived at the airport at Venice and a Windstar agent was waiting to take us to our hotel, I just feel relaxed and taken care of. The food on t his cruise was even better than the food on Windstar, the last ship on this line I cruised, and that's really saying something! There was more variety, I think, more food from local markets featured in all three meals. I honestly couldn't have imagined fresher, more appealing meals than all of those that were offered--I can't think of one that wasn't really delicious. In the city where I live, I can't get food anywhere this good! Yes, the entertainment isn't great (although I liked the duo Splash). But really, the entertainment is in the vistas all around you and the conversations with other passengers. We didn't get to have our signature event, which was supposed to be a cocktail party with folk dancing in Dubrovnik. The lead dancer died that day, so you couldn't fault Windstar for that. And they brought in some folk singers on to the ship instead (not the same, though; I didn't care for them much). Our deck barbeque had to be moved indoors because of weather, but it was delicious and brilliant all the same--they work so hard on this! And we missed one of our ports, Capri, one of the ones I was most looking forward to, because it wasn't safe to tender (seas were too rough). The usual captain of Wind Surf was on vacation, and the substitute captain had an emergency, so the first officer became captain for his first time ever. Even with all of this, though, there was such sincere desire to please the passengers and make their vacations memorable that I think the crew cared more about the things we missed than we did. The ports of call were great, the available tours were outstanding, our cabin was comfortable and so well taken care of during our voyage (thanks, Azhar!) that it was just overall a really great vacation. Windstar, you've spoiled me! 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was our 5th cruise on the Wind Surf, 7th on Windstar ships. This cruise was not on our radar until Windstar announced the partnership with the James Beard Foundation for what was to become a truly memorable food and wine experience. ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise on the Wind Surf, 7th on Windstar ships. This cruise was not on our radar until Windstar announced the partnership with the James Beard Foundation for what was to become a truly memorable food and wine experience. This was the first of three scheduled JBF cruises and exceeded all expectations. I think it exceeded those of the JBF representatives and the Windstar staff as well. In addition to the 7 ports that we would visit after leaving Lisbon, we had nightly tastings of Spanish wines that were poured and examined at length by Sommelier Steve Olson. He is known as "the wine geek" for good reason. Besides 3 full glass "tastings" each evening, the wines of the night were then served at no charge with dinner. Some of the wines are available in my local stores for upwards of $75 per bottle; some we can't even get here. Then the food! Our chef was Michel Nischan, a three time James Beard awarding winning chef. He had presentations, classes, and shopping tours for guests. There was a final dinner that Chef Michel, Steve Olson, and the Windstar corporate chef collaborated on that was beyond belief. The representative from the JBF left the day before the cruise ended to get to JBF annual awards in Chicago. These guys were personable, approachable, and seemed to be having the time of their lives along with their families. A true once in a lifetime experience for us. As for the rest of the review, it is not possible to find fault with the spectacular Windstar staff, the cleanliness of the ship, the officers availability and the overall willingness to do whatever it takes. We were so happy to see old crew members who are like a big family to one another and to us. The ports on this itinerary were okay; nothing that I was particularly excited about, but interesting and each one different. Lisbon and Barcelona, of course, are two of the great cities of Europe and we were thrilled with each. We did mostly private tours and enjoyed each port. Lots of Roman ruins, etc. One port, Ibiza, has the Sa Cova winery (like we needed more wine) that was lovely and in the same family since the 1500's. Almeria is a seaport that is next to desert sites where many famous movies were filmed, from Lawrence of Arabia, to Exodus, to the spaghetti westerns. All and all, a really memorable 8 days that we will think and talk about for years to come. Read Less
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