9 Barcelona to Mediterranean Windstar Star Breeze Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for our 30 th anniversary thinking it was going to be about luxury. The cabins were spacious but outdated. Our cabin steward was great and Maria ( ship consultant) tried to keep customers upbeat with her great ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our 30 th anniversary thinking it was going to be about luxury. The cabins were spacious but outdated. Our cabin steward was great and Maria ( ship consultant) tried to keep customers upbeat with her great attitude. At dinner, the food was good and the dining room was nice. The service was usually mediocre. Breakfast and lunch was served at an indoor/outdoor area. The inside could accommodate 30 people and our cruise had 200 passengers. What that meant was that when everyone got off their excursion at the same time, all of us were at the same time. Several meals were spent outside (covered) but sometimes cold and rainy. Oh, they would give you blankets...who wants to wear a blanket or shiver eating a meal ? Not me. We rushed several meals just to get back inside. We did room service a few times so we wouldn’t have to sit in the cold. Most of the excursions were nice but a little pricey. Entertainment was 2 sets of duos, elevator music but they could sing well...just not very upbeat. This was my first Windstar cruise-just average , nothing extravagant. The ship rocked and rolled our last night which gave a lot of passengers motion sickness. I will not be a return customer on Windstar. Many repeat customers said this cruise did not measure up. I was a little disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Chose Windstar for second time due to casual nature of cruise and generous size of cabin. Went from Rome to Barcelona. Love the small ship and the advantage of docking right at the town we are visiting. Upgraded one level from last time ... Read More
Chose Windstar for second time due to casual nature of cruise and generous size of cabin. Went from Rome to Barcelona. Love the small ship and the advantage of docking right at the town we are visiting. Upgraded one level from last time to a balcony cabin and appreciated the large glass door. Do wish they had balconies large enough to sit on. Ship very similar to 2 years ago and could use a little spiffing up in the room. Highlights this time was the food which is now amazing. The partnership with the James Beard Foundation has made a huge improvement. Service was excellent as always. Staff members really make an effort to remember your name. Had an opportunity to eat one night at Candles restaurant on the ship. It was very enjoyable. One of best parts of the ship is the lounge behind the bar area where you can go anytime of day and get a drink. in my case Ice Coffee. Even took advantage of room service on the last night of the cruise and it was a great experience. We generally don't do the excursions and prefer to explore the towns on our own but did do the Wine Tasting in Provence which was wonderful. Overall a great easy casual well priced cruise . Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We choose this cruise mainly because of the itinerary. Very familiar with Windstar but 1st time on one of their power yachts. Service and food was excellent! Every service personnel was pleasant, eager to help, and just as friendly as can ... Read More
We choose this cruise mainly because of the itinerary. Very familiar with Windstar but 1st time on one of their power yachts. Service and food was excellent! Every service personnel was pleasant, eager to help, and just as friendly as can be. Our cabin was to die for as we upgraded to an owner suite. Lots of space! It does need some refurbishment however. The ports were lovely and most were very easy to walk around. Excursions were disappointing. We booked a wine tour and Jeep tour in advance and when on board found out the wine tour started at 8:15a, a little early for us to start wine tasting so canceled. Then found out that the Jeep tour which read like it was a two or four seater jeep turned out to be a Land Rover with bench seats in the back for 10 ppl. Ugh! Not our way to spend 3+ Hours. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We did check out more cities in Spain before the cruise. Arriving into Madrid for. Several nights, day trip to Toledo and a couple nights in Valencia before making our way to Barcelona. Great trip all in all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My favoured ship (Swan Hellenic's 'Minerva') stopped operating late last year, so I was looking for something to replace it. I tried to get on a Tauck tour cruise which unfortunately was fully booked, but then decided to ... Read More
My favoured ship (Swan Hellenic's 'Minerva') stopped operating late last year, so I was looking for something to replace it. I tried to get on a Tauck tour cruise which unfortunately was fully booked, but then decided to book directly with Windstar for the same itinerary. Whilst the ship is great and has facilities of a larger vessel, unlike Minerva they simply do not cater for solo travellers, which could be quite embarrassing at meal times. Apart from that the cabins are a good size and overall it could have been a terrific alternative. The shore excursions (extra cost) were all good and staff were mainly friendly. With one or two exceptions the people I was able to meet made me welcome. Not much choice in Dining but good quantity and quality - only gripe was that the 'Yacht Club' snack bar closed at the same time the main restaurant opened. (On one excursion we had a very late lunch on our tour and I didn't feel like a full meal - only alternative was room service). Nevertheless a great way to travel with family or friends. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was our fourth Windstar cruise. This journey took us from Barcelona to Lisbon. Even the before and after cruise days at Windstar selected host hotels are great! Our previous three cruises have been on the Windstar ships with ... Read More
This was our fourth Windstar cruise. This journey took us from Barcelona to Lisbon. Even the before and after cruise days at Windstar selected host hotels are great! Our previous three cruises have been on the Windstar ships with sails. This cruise was on Star Breeze which is an all suite ship without the sails. We miss the sails but greatly enjoyed the extra space in our cabin suite with a balcony. The service, food, excursion experiences and the genuinely friendly support provided by all members of the officers, staff and crew of Windstar makes every cruise an exceptional vacation experience. The small size of the ships allows you to experience your own private sailing yacht at sea! The only trips we have made without Windstar have been due to scheduling or destination choices. If Windstar provided cruises to every place on our "bucket list" we would always choose to travel with Windstar! We are RAVING fans! Everyone knows you by name and quickly learns what you possess for goals and desires that will make your vacation experience an exceptional highlight of your life experiences. The Windstar staff seek to exceed your own expectations and continue to achieve that high level of performance. We continue to be amazed that they keep finding ways to dazzle, amaze, surprise and just treat us in an exceptionally positive manner. We have already booked our next Windstar cruise to Alaska. And we have at least three more cruises planned for 2018 and 2019 including a repositioning cruise that will be a trans-Atlantic crossing. Obviously we love the sea and we love the total Windstar experience! We know that some travelers prefer the additional amenities of very large cruise ships. For us we prefer the smaller sailing ships because of the intimate service and support. We also have experienced the great and special opportunities to visit unique ports, sights, people and cultures that are not available to large ships and their excursion groups. Windstar may not be for everyone but everyone should try the experience! I can't imagine anyone being disappointed in their choice. We live in an amazing time with wonderful opportunities to explore the land and sea of our world. We have unique opportunities to interact with a great variety of people and to learn about their history and their cultures and customs. By doing so in the form of a travel adventure we add value to our lives and the lives of the people who host our visits. Windstar helps us realize that it truly is a SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL! Finally, Windstar guests are generally well educated and well traveled. They have accomplished much in their lives but are mostly humble people. The informal and relaxed atmosphere and culture of a Windstar cruise proves that excellence in service and experiences and a more relaxed style of dress and routines can add up to an exceptional vacation experience that is very special to enjoy, experience and most of all to desire to repeat in the future! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Chose for the Monaco Grand Prix. The schedule for the Grand Prix was exactly what my husband wanted. It was very well done. However the ship itself did not live up to expectations. The air conditioning didn't work properly either ... Read More
Chose for the Monaco Grand Prix. The schedule for the Grand Prix was exactly what my husband wanted. It was very well done. However the ship itself did not live up to expectations. The air conditioning didn't work properly either freezing cold or really hot and you couldn't turn off. The Hot water barely worked. The meal in the top restaurant left a lot to be desired as it was a very limited menu and you couldn't delete things you were allergic to even though the menu said you could. Some staff did not appear very competent. There is room for a lot of improvement. The bed was hard, the fan in the bathroom ran all the time so had to keep the door closed all the time. Our cabin steward was fantastic but some of the other staff would rather talk to each other rather than serve. The way the Monaco Grand Prix was handled was excellent and the Saturday night entertainment in the Café De Paris was outstanding. The guest speaker was not really interested in anyone else. The tender service was not well run nor organisation of the people to be loaded. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We are well cruised, first and last time with Windstar. The slogan of this company is "180 degrees from ordinary" - believe me there was nothing ordinary at all about the Star Breeze or the crew. We boarded the Star Breeze ... Read More
We are well cruised, first and last time with Windstar. The slogan of this company is "180 degrees from ordinary" - believe me there was nothing ordinary at all about the Star Breeze or the crew. We boarded the Star Breeze in Barcelona, a ghost ship, walked into the theatre where passports were CONFISCATED for the ENTIRE DURATION of the cruise - the only way to get your passport back is curtailing the cruise. There are no border/ immigration/ customs between Spain, France and Italy, plus passports are scanned into Windstar’s system upon boarding, so why confiscate passports? This is only done to deprive people of their freedom. We have had new passports issued post cruise following Consular advice as we do not know what has been done in our name using our passports during the confiscation period (cruise) – possible identity theft – BE WARNED. Would you willingly surrender your passport to a stranger? This Star Breeze is VERY, VERY OLD. The cruise line boasts a mega refit but it is aging badly and rust is visible all over, the refit obviously fell short of a paint job. If this is what you can see then what you cannot see is more of a concern. If you are bothered by motion sickness or the ships movements bother you then please keep in mind that this is a smaller ship with BIG, BIG MOVEMENTS – we had one rougher day at sea (18 hours of rough seas), plates and glasses smashed off tables as the ship tilted and lurched violently in the water day and night. Although it did not bother us, most guests took to their bed as they were unable to stand, sit reading or walk around the Star Breeze. Bathrooms are very clean but old, mirrors badly needing replaced, fixtures covered in long term rust stains. Hot water ran red with rust most days. Cabin was well appointed and very clean. The only TV channel available 24/7 was Fox News. Dining was very poor: food quality poor the service was just PATHETIC. Breakfast and lunch buffet cabinets are not lit so you cannot see just how bad the food actually is. Hot drinks are not available anywhere on board the Star Breeze after 5pm unless you call room service – we did, it took 55 min. to get two cups of coffee. Dining in the main dining room was a sick joke – waiters gave you what they wanted when they wanted and not what we ordered, they then changed tables leaving you to battle it out with a different waiter. Mineral water was not available on board – filtered sea water is bottled on board and passed off as bottled mineral water. We had to buy mineral water when we got ashore; mineral water was only made available to the Star Breeze’s officers and not to guests. If you like ice in your drinks then watch the pool bar staff use their dirty bare hands to serve your ice and a slice in your glass. We ate room service one evening; they took 2h25min to serve a very simple meal. We were told initially that they were busy and still cooking (1 hour after placing the order), they had lost the order (1hour 20 min.), and how about a burger as the chef had finished his shift (1h 30min. after placing the order). Officers were around eating and drinking and enjoying their “vacation” big time, while fare paying guests were suffering BIG TIME on their vacation. The Star Breeze has two tender craft, one of which just happened to be out of service again – read other reviews; we had to wait 3 hours to go ashore in Alghero, Italy to find officers already lazing under a sunshade on the dock. The office who was calling out the tenders as and when they became available went ashore and never called our tender – we are still waiting for our tender to be called today. We had our entire day wasted in Alghero, Italy due to the lack of interest in guests, lack of management and absolute absence of customer service. A whole day lost on a six night cruise. The highlight of this cruise was the stop in Portovenere, Italy and was the reason we purchased this cruise. A special highlight stop still shown on Windstar’s website today as I write this, the Star Breeze was not allowed to tender in Portovenere- a port where only small ships such as the Star Breeze can go: “step into amazing places ….as only a small ship can help you do”, in this case Portovenere, Vernazza and Cinqueterre. The day before we were due to arrive in Portovenere, Italy we were told that the Star Breeze was not able to go there, we were diverted to Livorno which is not a picturesque once in a lifetime cruise stop, it is an industrial roll on roll off ferry port located 2 hours from Portovenere by car. Again another complete day wasted as we never got to the place we had contracted to sail to: Portovenere for Vernazza and Cinqueterre. The taxi drivers in Livorno knew days before that the Star Breeze was due to dock, however, we as passengers were told of the itinerary change the day before we were due to arrive in Portovenere. No compensation was given, no apology. Everyone knew about this itinerary change except the passengers. We had been taken for a ride. If we had known in advance we would have not taken the cruise. Excursions were obviously cancelled, one month later we are still fighting Windstar for this to be refunded. We did not get what we paid for. We took our issues up with Windstar once home, their customer service is similar to that on board. No interest at all. We have very limited vacation time and as most, we look forward to a relaxing enjoyable vacation. Windstar wasted our time, and that unfortunately cannot be replaced. Do not allow these people to waste your time, failing to meet expectations and failing to give you what they advertise, what they sell and failing to give you what you purchase. We had two complete days wasted on a six night cruise on the Star Breeze, we never got to see Alghero, Italy, we never even got to Portovenere, Vernazza or Cinqueterre, Italy. We never got 1/3 of what we contracted with Windstar. Please, before you find a great deal, a last minute discount or a “too good to be true” fare, consider what happened on our cruise. Make an informed choice and an informed purchase. Take a moment to imagine how you will feel if you do not get what you paid for and get nothing in return. Know what to expect on board the Star Breeze before you go ahead and commit to booking, if anything goes wrong you will get nothing on board or post cruise to compensate. They are, indeed, “180 degrees from ordinary”. Good luck. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I would recommend exploring Barcelona before embarking on the cruise. Barcelona is a city not to miss. As with the other cruises we have taken with Windstar, embarkation and disembarkation is quick, efficient, with no hassles or long ... Read More
I would recommend exploring Barcelona before embarking on the cruise. Barcelona is a city not to miss. As with the other cruises we have taken with Windstar, embarkation and disembarkation is quick, efficient, with no hassles or long waiting lines. You are greeted with a drink and hors d’oeuvres for completing paperwork and getting your suite's key. All the rooms are suites so there is plenty of room including a bathroom with 2 sinks and a full-size tub with shower. I can't say enough good things about the cruise...great accommodations, fantastic food (expertly prepared and presented), were able to dine when we were ready and where we wanted to sit in the dining rooms. The outdoor barbeque was great and a lot of fun. I always like to see the staff also enjoying themselves, even learned a few line dances! As with the dining, the service was exceptional - everyone knew your name and preferences and were always there to assist and please. Had some fun activities like a mixology class, trivia games, and good music and dancing. Shore excursions were great and the guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. We enjoyed every excursion - the 4 wheel drive in the countryside in Portimão was not only interesting but fun! We got to try their "Fire Water". The special event planned by Windstar was special! Because we were a smaller ship or yacht, we were able to get into all the ports without any tenders. Can't say enough good about our cruise with Windstar! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The May 2016 Barcelona-Rome “Glam of the Riviera” (Star Breeze) was our fifth WS cruise. We were disappointed in December (Caribbean, motorized yacht), but gave WS another try. This time, the disappointments started before we ... Read More
The May 2016 Barcelona-Rome “Glam of the Riviera” (Star Breeze) was our fifth WS cruise. We were disappointed in December (Caribbean, motorized yacht), but gave WS another try. This time, the disappointments started before we left. Our cruise “begins” when the nifty documents bag arrives in the mail. This time, no bag, just a tacky email. We used an Oceania bag for our WS e-tickets, airline documents, passports, and tour vouchers. Last year, as repeat WS customers, we were invited to dinner with a ship’s officer, Trevor (wonderful!). Trevor was on this cruise. He recognized us and we talked, but there was no ship invitation to an officer’s table (other repeats we met said the same). On previous WS cruises, we got water bottles on leaving and warm face towels on returning. No more. TENDER MERCIES! In December, a tender was down and we replaced Culebra PR (swim with sea turtles!) with Saint Kitts (shop the mall!). Another WS cruise, another broken tender. We replaced Sanary-sur-Mer with Marseilles. We like Marseilles. But still. Other cruise lines swap ports because of bad weather. Only WS consistently misses port calls because of maintenance negligence. MEALS ON BOARD. The food is international airline. Even the coffee! We are cruising Spain, France, & Italy. Our last cruise was from Puerto Rico. These are coffee cultures! If WS cannot buy locally, could they hook up with another Seattle company, Starbucks? NIGHTLIFE (OR LACK OF). We like to socialize (we are 65+). After dinner, the rock music in the lounge is concert blasting-loud, and the room is empty. Connection? We chatted with the music duo. They are delightful and talented, but also recognize they are out of place on this cruise. We do not cruise to be in our room by 9:30 at night. AS OTHER CRUISE CRITIC WRITERS SAID . . . We sailed with Captain “Have a Smashing Day.” Don’t go there. The Zodiacs are wonderful for water sports, not so great for transporting dressed-up visitors to spiffy Portofino. Skimpy in-room toiletries. Disappearing wine stewards. Neglect and management indifference set the WS course. WE ARE CRUISERS. WS has many unique itineraries that we would love to do. But WS needs to do a better job of making our dreams come true. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Star Breeze Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.6
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.8

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