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151 Caribbean - Southern Luxury Cruise Reviews

Having recently cruised on Oceania we were expecting high quality food on Silver Spirit- regrettably that was not the case. Dinner service was extremely slow and food quality was mediocre at best. Food preparation was marginal (uncooked ... Read More
Having recently cruised on Oceania we were expecting high quality food on Silver Spirit- regrettably that was not the case. Dinner service was extremely slow and food quality was mediocre at best. Food preparation was marginal (uncooked meat...) Only Buffet service was breakfast and the specialty restaurants that we tried were unimpressive. The Butler service is a mislabeling - cabin steward was polite but had been working on SIlversea only a couple of months. In general the entire service staff was good but they did not have much to work with. We understood that Silversea headquarters had revamped the entire restaurant service and obviously reduced the food quality. We shared dinner with several dedicated Silversea passengers who were very disappointed and are likely to avoid this line. To repeat, the service staff was attentive but obviously worked with the owners guidance. We booked this pricey cruise with high expectations, but were truly disappointed. We found that free wine and alcohol was of very marginal value to us. Having one showtime only was disappointing - many of the older people (like we) would have preferred an earlier showtime - to follow an earlier dinner. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
What can corporate Windstar be thinking? Just got off the Star Legend, the most dangerous and old ship I have ever sailed on in 30 cruises. No safety signs (even for wet paint and varnish), tenders don't work, people are expected to ... Read More
What can corporate Windstar be thinking? Just got off the Star Legend, the most dangerous and old ship I have ever sailed on in 30 cruises. No safety signs (even for wet paint and varnish), tenders don't work, people are expected to climb dozens of stairs to tenders and hop onto poorly parked and operated tenders - both of which are now broken - and rubber dingies. A nice but in some cases inexperienced crew can do nothing with awful, unsafe, old equipment. And it was a rocky and sea sickening ride more than 1 night. Also, ship does not port where anyone else does and doesn't tell you before hand. No board games onboard or daily activities. What a nightmare. RUN AWAY from this "luxury" cruise. Most annoying things: Used balcomy stateroom next to mine to store and fold sheets. Left door open at night to bang open and close; also went in and out at all hours. WHAT? People were so bored, absolutely nothing was going on on this ship. Even movies and tv reception were lacking. Embarkation is a nightmare. Prepare to wait in the hot sun and wait a lot more before climbing 30 stairs to get onboard and get in another line to get your keys, etc. Tenders broken, waffle machine broken, ice cream machine broken, cannot make pancakes, cannot make a soft egg to save their lives (be it over easy or poached.) Huge markup if you take pre cruise hotel, excursions, or transfer to or from airport (transfer was 3 times more expensive than a cab.) One bbq and one shore party (where people got stranded for almost 2 hours) for lack of transportation does not make a good time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
You might notice that I have written several (read as "a lot") of cruise reviews, having been traveling with RCCL and Celebrity for years. We're fans of the "modern luxury" approach to cruising but have wanted to ... Read More
You might notice that I have written several (read as "a lot") of cruise reviews, having been traveling with RCCL and Celebrity for years. We're fans of the "modern luxury" approach to cruising but have wanted to try Windstar for years. So if you're like us and enjoy the amenities provided by larger ships but want to dip your toe into waters of smaller ships then read on...(WARNING: long review!) [I'm not going into the blow-by-blow detailed description of what we did every day (phew!), but instead will offer my opinion of how Windsurf differs from her significantly larger counterparts.] A (very little) background: We're in our 50's and work in the hospitality business. We cruise for the food, relaxation, itinerary and - most importantly - service, always booking a suite category cabin. We usually find the beverage packages a good value, but lately have been happy to find that our level of cabin includes a complimentary beverage package. We don't care much for the onboard entertainment, lectures, classes, art auctions, trivia, etc. We are nitpickers - we're on vacation - so if something is awry here and there we don't stress about it. We were sent an email offer from Windstar in the early Spring that we simply couldn't pass up. I booked over the telephone, which was easy and quick. Closer to our sailing date I also booked our shore excursions directly with Windstar as well, having the same positive experience. One of us was celebrating a birthday, which I let the booking agent know, and was informed that the information would be passed on to the ship (more on that later). Overall a very good experience with Windstar over the phone (note: the WS website is not great, so don't hesitate to contact them the old fashioned way). Less people means a better, more personalized vacation. Embarkation was a simple no muss, no hassle affair, and from the moment you board Windsurf every staff member (Windsurf features an almost exclusively Filipino crew) learns your name and greets you with it throughout the journey and every effort is made to provide you with a customized vacation tailored to your preferences. The service was exceptional. Unlike a lot of people who complain that the food on the large ships is not hot enough or well seasoned or too small, we find the food on the ships we have sailed to be good to excellent. The food on Windsurf is in another category altogether. There was not one single meal - breakfast, lunch, or dinner - that was not freshly prepared, visually well presented, and amazingly delicious. [I lie: The pizza at lunch in the Verandah sucks. Don't order it, it's a waste of calories and just, well, sucks!] The two "specialty restaurants" (included in your cruise fare) are equally excellent but dining in the main dining room AmphorA (yes, that's how Windstar spells it with the uppercase "A" at the end, and - no - I don't know why) is not a step down, more like a step to the side. Food on Windsurf was hands down superior to any "specialty" restaurant (that you pay for) on the bigger ships. For us this was a HUGE positive. There are two entertainment venues one (Compass Rose) featured a duet, the other (the Lounge) featured a band. We had cocktails before dinner each evening at the CR (lovely, outdoor seating). The duet there was good, but their playlist was bit outdated (no kidding, Tom Jones and the Carpenters!) but they were playing to their audience (average age on this trip was mid-60's). Again, entertainment isn't our thing so they could have had a CD playing and we would have been happy. Point is you don't cruise on Windsurf for the entertainment. A previous reviewer suggested guest lecturers, etc. If I'm on a sailing ship in the Caribbean (or Mediterranean) I don't want to sit inside listening to someone drone on about the history of pirates unless it's Johnny Depp talking about the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean. Seriously. Big ships are known for the (mostly mediocre) entertainment so if that's your thing stick with them. We booked a Suite at an awesome price and loved it! The suites are two cabins combined into one. The standard cabin might have been ok, but we preferred having the extra space. Love the L'Occitane bath amenities (yes, I stole some to take home) and our cabin was always spotless. For the size of cabin to ship ratio the Suite was on par with the big ships, albeit maybe a bit smaller. We thought we would miss having a balcony, but we didn't as there are tons of public areas inside and out to take advantage of. Again, who wants to sit inside when your sailing the beautiful seas? We didn't use the Spa or the Fitness Center. Both looked lovely: the Spa offered the same menu of services you would find in the big ships and the Fitness Center was state of the art, but our dance card was filled with snorkeling and zip-lining. An amenity you will NEVER find on the big ships is the Marina, Windsurf's water activities platform at the stern (that means back) of the ship that is opened for guests' use including kayaks, floating mats, sailboats, and more. It's awesome! As I mentioned earlier we booked our shore excursions through Windstar (i will review each port separately) and were very happy with each one. The price/value was much better than you would find on the big ships because you're not with 1000 others and having to wait for hours while this one finds the perfect tchotchke to take home and that one needs the bathroom for the bazillionth time. Smaller excursions meant more personalized attention from the tour operators as well and you got to meet and chat with more of your fellow cruisers, enhancing the fun factor of the excursion. The "Special Event" in St. Lucia (Windstar's signature event) was okay. We took a zip-lining trip that was a little far away, so we got back with a 1/2 to spare before lunch was taken away. However, the effort that went into putting on the event was clearly evident and the officers and staff are to be highly commended and congratulated for doing such a fantastic job of pulling it off. Herculean really. Two days later the second signature event, the on deck barbecue, was held and again the staff of the Windsurf hit it out of the park. Honestly there was more food than the 250+ guests could ever eat. This event, too, was phenomenal. [If you need to refill your coffee, now is a good time.] It's the little things on Windsurf, like learning your name and what soda you like, that differentiate this cruise from the larger ships. I mentioned earlier that one of us was celebrating a birthday. When we returned to our cabin after an amazing snorkeling trip we found a note wishing him Happy Birthday and signed by the Captain and Hotel Director. Later than evening (at the on deck BBQ) he was presented with a birthday cake (freshly made strawberry shortcake with fresh whipped cream and berries) and sung to (you've never lived until you've heard "Happy Birthday" with a Philippine accent!). So in the midst of putting on the event they took the time to recognize one guest's special day. For us that was priceless. Windsurf is 26 years old. Yes, she is showing her age here and there, but who cares? After 26 years on the open seas you would too, and when the Captain raises the sails to the dramatic music from Vangelis' "1492" (got goosebumps every time) and you set sail for your next port you realize it really just doesn't matter. You want brand new? Go to the bigger ships. You want authentic? With Windsurf you got it. When you go to bed and realize you don't hear the thrum of engines because the ship is actually sailing you understand THAT'S the reason you booked the trip in the first place. OK. Enough. We're hooked. Will we go back to the bigger ships? Sure. They serve their purpose too, but any concern we had of the Windsurf being "too small" were for naught. Windstar's motto "180 degrees from Ordinary" is spot on. You won't find an experience like this anywhere. Anywhere. p.s. - WiFi? Don't bother. No one has the technology yet. The big ships don't. Windstar doesn't. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We set sail on the Star Legend Dec.19 with great expectations of a high end cruise experience. Unfortunately it was just average, and in some perspective outright disappointing. On a positive side the room was beautiful and very spacious. ... Read More
We set sail on the Star Legend Dec.19 with great expectations of a high end cruise experience. Unfortunately it was just average, and in some perspective outright disappointing. On a positive side the room was beautiful and very spacious. The cabin service was also exemplary. The food was good, not great, but the chef was more than happy to accommodate special requests, a very nice touch. Despite Windstar having invested $18M in a makeover after acquiring the Star Legend from Seaborn, the ship still showed its age in several critical areas. The tenders were past their useful life and failed several times during our journey. The first time we were on the tender when one of the engines quit. High seas prevented us from docking and we sat stranded for 30 minutes while they struggled to get it working. The next day we waited two hours and almost missed our excursion due to the fact that the same tender was not working, leaving one working boat. To exaserbate an already bad situation the crew had forgotten to fuel the one working tender before the start of the day and had to stop for an additional 20 minutes to refuel. Perhaps the worse part in the two hours of waiting was the fact that the staff failed to make a single announcement to advise the passengers of what was going on. One of the amenities that attracted us to Windstar was the availability of water sports off the back platform. In seven days of sailing the platform was NEVER OPENED. We were told by the staff that it was due to the fact that the seas were to rough. Ironically on two different days we passed other cruise ships that had their platform open to guests. Talking to other members of the staff we came to learn that there were frequent mechanical issue with the platform the was complicating its use, let alone equipment challenges. Again, the communication from the staff was notably absent and left passengers guessing. Over our past five cruises we always appreciated the memories captured by the ship photographers. Unfortunately this was not the case on this cruise. We even asked the photographer to take a formal family photo on Christmas Eve. When we went to review the pictures the next day we learned that she had only taken one photo (???) of the immediate family which she said did not turn out, and only one of the extended family was oddly centered. So much for memories. The true test of a business is not what happens when everything goes as planned, but how they handle the situation when things run aground (pun intended). In this case the crew failed miserably. When an office could be found, and engaged, they seemed indifferent to the plight of the passengers and unwilling of take any steps toward addressing the issues at hand. How hard is it to take a passenger name and cabin and send a note of apology. Staff members we befriended told us that Windstar corporate is well aware of the tender and mechanical problems and has yet to provide a response as to when they would be addressed. The cruise line could be amazing, but it needs to pick up its game, improve communication, take responsibility, and deliver on the promise it communicates in its marketing materials. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We just returned from the Jan. 16 SD I sailing from Marigot to Barbados. We sailed the same week in 2015 out of St. Thomas. While eager to enjoy SeaDream again, we also wondered whether a second trip would live up to our experience last ... Read More
We just returned from the Jan. 16 SD I sailing from Marigot to Barbados. We sailed the same week in 2015 out of St. Thomas. While eager to enjoy SeaDream again, we also wondered whether a second trip would live up to our experience last year. Any anxiety/concerns were unnecessary, as SeaDream I exceeded our memory and expectations! The Ship: Every aspect of the ship was in great condition--remarkable for a vessel 30 years old. The high standards for cleaning, maintenance and care were evident inside and out. Crew: What maybe surprised us the most was the welcome from members of the crew that we had come to know on our previous cruise. While absolutely a reflection of the excellent training and standards on SeaDream, many seemed genuinely to remember us, and made that a special part of the SeaDream experience. We were happy to see Gareth and Pierre again in their leadership roles, and especially excited to learn that Tomislav was promoted following Enes' departure from SeaDream--a very well deserved promotion. Stateroom 324: We sailed on Deck 3 again, appreciating the easy access to the pool deck and tender. We definitely like this level. The configuration and amenities were identical to last year, though we felt the difference being at the far forward position on the ship. The anchor dropping got our attention a couple of mornings, and the motion was a bit more pronounced during the final leg into Barbados. We would take the cabin again (it was the only Deck 3 remaining when we booked in May), but if possible would move midship to avoid the anchor noise. Our Stateroom attendant Kat was excellent, friendly and took great care of us. We packed lighter this year, and utilized the laundry service more, which was a good choice. We generally put laundry out when departing the stateroom for dinner, and it was always back the next afternoon. Food: If possible, even better than last year. This was the first sailing with new Executive Chef Alistair, and he was visible every night at dinner getting feedback and asking for reaction. His enthusiasm was great, and his skill was evident with every meal. Doramus, Robin and Zsambor made every meal a treat, offering great suggestions and perfect timing with every course. Christian was aboard as Sommelier, and provided excellent wine service at lunch and dinner. We thought the quality of wines poured at dinner was very good. We ordered a separate bottle off the list only once this trip, as we were very satisfied with the wines offered. We also enjoyed the opportunity to dine with the Captain one evening, who was a great host. Bar Service: Francisco, Danny and Martin provided outstanding service, with Martin making great Mojitos in the afternoons at the pool bar. Again, selection and quality of drinks was outstanding during the day and at night. The Piano Bar with Sammy was much frequented on this sailing compared to last year, with a good crowd every night and action at the Blackjack table most evenings. Land Adventures: A highlight of the trip was the Cat Sail/snorkeling from Mayreau to the Tobago Cays. The crew was outstanding, and the turtles around the ship and snorkeling site was a real treat. The sail back to Mayreau for the Beach Splash was beautiful. We also tried the Clear Kayaks on Ile de Saintes. It was a cloudy day, which limited visibility, though the clear kayaks were great. We stayed in very close to the main harbor. The tour leader indicated it is normally a 3 hour trip they tried to fit into 90 minutes. This excursion would be better if longer. Ports: Marigot: We arrived one day early, and stayed at the Mercure Hotel on Baie Nettle. The hotel was very nice and worked well for a short pre-cruise stay. They provided a very nice breakfast buffet. Guests were predominantly European. We ate dinner and lunch the next day at Dreams Restaurant, about a 200 meter walk from the hotel. The food at Dreams was outstanding at both meals. I would especially commend the selection of pizzas for lunch. The SD I departed from Galisbay Port, about a 15 minute taxi ride from the hotel. Gustavia: We dined on the ship and tendered over to the port. For a Saturday night, the town felt pretty quiet. We met some fellow passengers at Bar L'Oublie, where we enjoyed live music and dancing from a bar across the street until midnight. The next day we rented a Suzuki Jimny from Turbe rental cars, and spent the day visiting beaches around the island. We enjoyed Gouvernor's Beach the most. Lunch at Restaurant Santa Fe on a cliff overlooking the beach--excellent Mahi ceviche, gazpacho and lobster salad. Iles des Saintes: A small, quiet port--definitely a different feel in the Caribbean. We did the Clear Kayak excursion here. Grande De Anse, Martinique: Highlight here was Gareth's hike--a 2 km. rough trail up one hillside then down to Plage Arlot and swimming at the beach. If he offers the walk, do it! Rodney Bay: We experienced rain showers through the morning here, so after a brief walk, came back to the ship for lunch and enjoyed sun in the afternoon by the pool and swimming off the watersports platform. We would consider renting a car here next time, and exploring more of St. Lucia--there's not much at Rodney Bay. Bequia: The sail through the Grenadines was a highlight of the trip, and Bequia was a wonderful destination. Perfect weather, and Princess Margaret Beach was a $3 water taxi from the pier. We had lunch at Jack's on Princess Margaret beach, with excellent grilled mahi and grilled local lobster. The beach was crowded as another ship was in port, but the sand and water were outstanding, with lots of palm trees providing shade if you wanted a break from the sun. Mayreau: Cat Sail snorkeling here, described above. The Beach Splash location was ideal--completely private and an amazing barbeque lunch. Again, Chef Alistair was about ensuring all was perfect. Beach was great with lots of time in the water. Was the ideal end to the trip. Barbados: We had a late flight out Saturday afternoon, so we arranged a tour to visit the Mount Gay Rum Distillery, Harrison Caves and lunch before arriving at the airport around 2:30. Carson was waiting for us at the port, and provided an excellent tour. The blizzard on the east coast made travel back challenging, but our flight did depart later that evening, getting us as far as Atlanta. Getting home to DC is another story..... Conclusion: While the SD I had 104 passengers compared to 84 last year, the ship never felt crowded, and service never missed a beat. We've not repeated many trips over the years, and were surprised we wanted to take SeaDream again after only one year. We made an open booking for our next trip on the last night--our easiest decision on the trip. There is nothing about the trip I can really criticize or highlight for improvement--its just that good. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This is the first cruise I've been on in which it improved with each day. At first, I had misgivings & couldn't see any differences, but the overall service and attention to detail soon became apparent. The ship is ... Read More
This is the first cruise I've been on in which it improved with each day. At first, I had misgivings & couldn't see any differences, but the overall service and attention to detail soon became apparent. The ship is beautifully decorated with modern art and amphora vases throughout. It is kept immaculately clean. Our balcony cabin was very well appointed, the bedding was super soft and the marble bathroom had a stall shower in addition to a full size tub. Many thanks to Joel and Komong for your excellent service and ice deliveries each afternoon. The ship's library consisted of tall book cabinets making small cubicles within which comfy chairs and tables were placed. A reader could sink into a chair surrounded by books, enjoy a coffee and zone out. It was heaven!!! Dining was strictly done by servers at the Terrace Cafe. There was always a nice variety of food for breakfast and lunch, especially healthy ones which pleased me. Beverages were served tableside. The specialty restaurants were outrageously delicious. We did not try Red Ginger. The majority of passengers were 60+. We met many nice people from England, Canada and the midwest. Our trivia team BRITUS won the competition! It was a lot of fun and good times. Kudos to social director, Dottie Kolloso, who without a doubt, is the busiest social director on the seven seas. She can outperform the Energizer Bunny. We loved the casual dresscode, no photographers and no pushy sales people. It was a very laid back, lowkey cruise. We bumped into past Crystal cruisers who switched over because, according to them, Crystal had become too "stuffy". The in-room TVs never had good reception (satellite problems we were told), but we didn't care since we weren't on vacation to watch TV. I got my hair cut by JOSEPH. It was the best precision cut I ever received, so I rushed back to the cabin and took selfies so my stylist could copy it. Thanks, Joseph!!! The one complaint we had was the entertainment troupe was pretty bad. It amounted to a bunch of kids jumping around & screaming through their headsets. I suffered through two performances and opted to go to the casino after that. The magician, Greg Moreland, was good. He gave 2 magic tricks classes that were excellent. Also, harpist Shirley Dominguez, entertained us with her electric harp. In conclusion, the consistently very good food, specialty restaurants, relaxed dresscode, and lovely cabin amenities made it a cruise worth repeating. It truly is a "Your Cruise, Your Way" atmosphere. Skip this cruise if you are a family with kids because Oceania provides NOTHING in the way of Kidtertainment. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Fantastic cruise! We are a recent empty nest couple in their late forties who love to travel. We have cruised over nine times but always on the bigger ships. Decided to try the smaller ship and see some new port sites. Really liked ... Read More
Fantastic cruise! We are a recent empty nest couple in their late forties who love to travel. We have cruised over nine times but always on the bigger ships. Decided to try the smaller ship and see some new port sites. Really liked that we didn't depart three of the islands until after 10 pm. Overall, we loved the cruise, especially the personalized service and the wonderful fresh, delicious food. It was true that the staff learns your name and we bonded with several and enjoyed talking and seeing them everyday. Our fellow 183 passengers were a mix of mostly well-traveled, friendly age 40 thru 60s. There were a couple of family groups with older teens and twenties and some older folks but most were 50 to late 60s. Embarkation: So easy! Boarded at 1 pm. Walked to the room and then had a delicious lunch. Toured the ship. Won a treatment in the spa raffle and enjoyed the sail away out of San Juan Pier 4. We had a small snafu as the captain changed our port in Saint Maarten to Phillipsburg from Marigot as the previous two weeks the seas were too rough to tender in. I was glad he let us know at the start so we could rearrange our independent booking. Stateroom: We were in 129, an ocean view category S1 on Deck 4. The bathroom was great with a nice size tub and shower. The suite had lots of storage and space with a nice couch and sitting area. The only negative about the stateroom was the bed/mattress was too hard but after the first night we asked to have something put on it to soften the mattress and our steward took care of it right away and we were much happier. It was also the first time we didn't have a balcony but thought the large window kept the room bright. Missed having a balcony when we were coming and going into islands but really was not that important as we anchored out in the bays and tendered in so it wasn’t the same as being docked. For sail-away we always just went out on the decks. I would definitely do the ocean view again for the price. The room itself was large and our attendant kept the mini bar stocked with free soda and water. We did not buy the alcohol package as we wouldn't drink that much but my husband bought three bottles of wine which each cost 45 dollars and we had some mixed drinks that cost about 12 dollars a piece. I also brought my own bottle of wine on board which you are allowed up to two. I poured a glass before dinner and on the BBQ night I easily went back to my room for a second glass. All nonalcoholic beverages were free. Amenities: beach towels and water supplied port side and rooms stocked with good vanity necessities Dining: breakfast and lunch were served on deck 7 aft. Breakfast was great and you could have eggs and omelet’s cooked anyway you liked and they also had made to order items such as French toast, pancakes and waffles. The buffet was also very good with fruit, pastries, yogurt, and various meat items. We had dinner in Amphora on deck 3 and thought the variety and freshness of the food was very good. Candles, located where breakfast was served, was the specialty restaurant we ate at one night. Made reservations the first day for one of the days we were in port late. Loved the filet mignon, other food and service but the area was much noisier than Amphora so we didn’t enjoy the atmosphere as well as the dining room. We did get coffee and snacks in the Yacht club, which is very beautiful and loved sitting in there talking with others at the end of the day. Water sports: this is where my husband was a little disappointed with the lack of equipment. No waterskiing. Passengers were not able to take dinghies by themselves etc. But we spent most of our days on the islands so it wasn’t a priority for us. On Prickly Pear we were too late in the day to be able to use the bigger equipment: the one Hobby cat always had a line and we were too late i.e. another wait list to go tubing. We did kayak and many others took better advantage of the floats, paddle board etc. I did see the younger family groups spending a lot of time at the platform deck Spa: Did a massage, which was good but expensive. No real extras/sitting areas. They did have a very small steam room and sauna. Tenders: All worked well on this trip without problems. Minimal wait in the morning. We were either on the first or second tender as they gave priority to the passengers that bought their shore excursions but we never waited long coming or going. Disembarkation: Easy off the boat at 830am after a full breakfast. Walked our luggage for about 10 minutes up into old San Juan and left them at Barrachina. No charge but they asked for donation. We gave them five dollars a bag. That allowed us to walk the old city and outside the wall on the trail around to el Moro. Did some shopping, ate lunch and then took a 25-dollar cab ride to the airport. Security line was long at the airport but we bypassed as we have TSA pre-check Ended a wonderful, relaxed cruise that exceeded our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This cruise was supposed to be my honeymoon but my husband of 8 Months passed away before the cruise. I am glad I did go on the cruise as I promised my husband on his dying bed I would! This cruise was excellent, the food was delicious and ... Read More
This cruise was supposed to be my honeymoon but my husband of 8 Months passed away before the cruise. I am glad I did go on the cruise as I promised my husband on his dying bed I would! This cruise was excellent, the food was delicious and the service exceptional, I was very impressed! I had been on a cruise in 2012 to the East Caribbean with Holland America and it was also an excellent vacation! There are many crew members who really made my trip so enjoyable, and I would like to praise a few...Shawn the cruise director, Kari the Northern Lights disc Jockey, she kept us rocking the night away, dining room crew... Dedy and Rani, and I couldn't forget our bar server Ronnie. The BB King Band was terrific and they were all very talented! I'm already looking forward to my next cruise! I did participate in the 5k walk in memory of my husband who had recently passed away from pancreatic cancer! He would have been proud of my achievement because I did finish the walk! Thanks for making this trip one of the best for me! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our 3rd cruise with Windstar and had an amazing time! I've been reading the other reviews about the Star Legend and was very curious to see the "complaints" for myself. I read a lot of complaints about the ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise with Windstar and had an amazing time! I've been reading the other reviews about the Star Legend and was very curious to see the "complaints" for myself. I read a lot of complaints about the tenders. This would be the only aspect that I would agree with. We used the life boats on previous sailings, so using these tenders gave us more room and less fumes! The negative of these tenders is that the crew didn't seem to understand how to operate them. We were slammed into the dock many times before the tender was secured. This happened both times that we were anchored. The rest for the positive: We purchased transfers from Windstar from the Barbados airport and had a quick 15-minute drive to the port. Within 5 minutes we were walking up the stairs to the yacht. Check-in was quick as usual and we were escorted to our room by our room steward. Food was excellent everywhere - Amphora, Candles and the Yacht Club. We purchased the beverage package and had Shirley & Jocelyn making sure that our glasses were always replenished! On one day when our Windstar excursion was late getting back, the manager of Vernada/Candles (Yogi) made sure that lunch was extended until we got back to the yacht. We purchased Windstar's nutmeg & chocolate factory excursion. Excellent tour guide & driver, but the only thing that was confusing was that both factories were closed on a Sunday. We still toured the inside of both factories. The private event on Mayreau was excellent and the BBQ was amazing! The crew work so hard to get all of the food and water sports equipment tendered to the island. The deck party was postponed a day because of high winds in Curacao so it was re-scheduled for our last night. A perfect ending to an amazing cruise. Excellent food, excellent music by "Splash" and great entertainment from the staff. We're looking forward to booking the next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My husband and I were really looking forward to taking this trip because of the ease of leaving from Miami, and we live in Florida. We've been on the Riviera three times before so knew the elegance and luxury of this ship. ... Read More
My husband and I were really looking forward to taking this trip because of the ease of leaving from Miami, and we live in Florida. We've been on the Riviera three times before so knew the elegance and luxury of this ship. Unfortunately, the second day we started to hear rumors that people were getting sick. Then the captain announced that, yes, people were getting sick with suspected norovirus and CDC pocedures were put in place. That meant that the library was closed, also Baristas, no cooking classes and artist loft closed. Then they started to sanitize everything, and I do mean everything! The teak chairs in Waves Grill were sticky and clung to your back! No silverware was put on the table so everything looked sparse and empty. When you sat down in any restaurant, the table was empty. Then, the waiter came along and put down some plates and silverware, but no salt or pepper, or milk in the morning. The lounge tables were constantly wiped down and goopy, that's the only word I can think of. The atmosphere was completely lost! practically everyone we spoke to was afraid of getting sick. It ended up that 98 people were ill and had to be quarantined for four days. There were red tapes put on their doors so they couldn't leave, and their ocean cards were taken away so they couldn't go to the dining rooms. We had to show our cards every time we ate, even if it was an ice cream! And you couldn't go to the Terrace Café and bring anything back to your room because food was not allowed out of the café. Now, did we have a good time? Well, my husband and I enjoy each other and we met some really nice people so we had a good time. Aruba wouldn't let the ship dock so that port was cancelled. But, this was the second time out of our four cruises with Oceania that the virus has been in the ship and the last time we got sick! Norovirus isn't pleasant, to say the least. So bottom line, that is the end of Oceania for us. The only "compensation" anyone got was free drinks during dinner two days of the cruise and our waiter told us to keep quiet about it. We still don't know if only our table got the drinks or everyone did! How tasteless. There are many luxury lines in the cruising market and I just don't want t waste my money feeling afraid that I will get it. Pass on Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We are 4 time cruisers on Oceania, 3 times on Riviera and 1 time on Marina. We LOVED Oceania! But this cruise was a huge disappointment!! First up was the food.. they advertise that its for foodies of which we are.. we did love their ... Read More
We are 4 time cruisers on Oceania, 3 times on Riviera and 1 time on Marina. We LOVED Oceania! But this cruise was a huge disappointment!! First up was the food.. they advertise that its for foodies of which we are.. we did love their food and thought is was truly the best of all the lines we travelled on. On the first day (embarkation) at the Terrace Buffet (one of my favourite places to dine on the ship) I noticed that instead of having 4 choices on the main buffet they had 4 of the same thing.. the service was unorganized in the Terrace, some of the servers just wandering around and not even looking to see if you are trying to call them (their were other servers at the other dining venues that were really great) I racked it up to first day embarkation but it was just the start of a bad situation.. don’t get me wrong the food is not bad.. but it has really really gone down hill since last year. I heard they were bought by Norwegian so maybe this is why?? I find it hard to believe that any of the wonderful french chefs are still aboard this ship... the food and presentation at most dining locations was mediocre.. Then there was NOROVIRUS!! We got sick on the 3rd day but pretty sure it was not from Noro, we felt it was food poisoning, we were sick just once and the runs for a few hours and then we were ok. Our cabin attendant found it necessary to report us to the ships infirmary on Tues, they took away our guest cards, basically locking us in the room for the next 48 hours (coming in with masks, rubber gloves, food was brought into us on paper plates, plastic knives and forks, plastic cups and the food was alway served cold, they fumigated our whole cabin, bed and all) Don’t get me wrong I understand the need to quarantine people that have NORO, but we were not diagnosed with NOGO. The “nurse” only came in the day later, we had no temperature taken, a couple of questions as to how we were, a bottle of immmodium and another pill for the nausea and she was gone, we never saw anyone from the infirmary again. We were treated as if we had leprosy..even fellow passengers were not admitting to anyone if they were part of the sick group or not, other passengers commented that we must have lied on our declaration at the airport and really were sick. For me, if you have NORO the last thing you would want to do or could do is fly and travel.. I realized now that a ship is the last place you want to be if you are sick, it’s a dictatorship and you have no rights. Now, we were on the list of sick people along with others that “maybe" had Noro. Once we were out of quarantine and given back our cards we were still on this list and could not get off in the first 3 ports.. of course the cruise line blamed it on the ports and did not take any responsibility for the outbreak or even our situation. Talking to officers on board the comment was “well some tourists must have been sick and brought it on the ship”. Just remember that this was the 3 sailing since Dec that Riviera had an outbreak. We were not notified by our travel agent or Oceania prior to sailing that this had taken place. When we asked Oceania what compensation we could be given the answer was NONE... When we asked out travel agent why they didn’t tell us, they claimed they didn’t know and they said when they called Oceania, they were also unaware there had been any outbreak before this, or even on this cruise... Like really??? I won’t bother to mention what others have on reviews before me.. the crew washing down walls, elevator buttons, railings, door handles, basically everything was wet and sticky. The Library was closed, the artists loft was closed, the cooking classes were cancelled.. and this is not a reasonably priced cruise, I would consider it fairly expensive compared to other lines, so the bar was high. Frank Del Rio and the others that envisioned Oceania as a wonderful Lux Lite line with amazing food must be so disappointed...Never again...... Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We have almost 300 days at sea with Cunard, Crystal, Hollande America, Celebrity, Royal Carribean, Princess, Norwegian and Oceania! This first Cruise with Oceania was a complete disapointment. Food was just ok not the ´best food at ... Read More
We have almost 300 days at sea with Cunard, Crystal, Hollande America, Celebrity, Royal Carribean, Princess, Norwegian and Oceania! This first Cruise with Oceania was a complete disapointment. Food was just ok not the ´best food at sea' as advertized by Oceania. Oil was used in the pastries instead of butter. Same sauce served with beef,veal and chicken, same vegetables served in the Terrace Café every lunch... Entertainment was poor. No activity to participe in since everything was closed - the norovirus was with us! CDC came on the ship to investigate , is it only norovirus ?? 10 spécimens were evaluated and are still under investigation by the CDC. One of our party of 4 was sick the second day at sea and there was no doctor visit, no temperature taken, no specimen taken, is it the norovirus? Minimum 48 Hours in your cabin with your spouse and no right to go out of the ship for the next 3 ports! We had no welcome glass of wine when we board the ship - thank you to Celebrity for doing it. Hat and jeans in the dining venues for men, no jacket for the Captain's evening - is it country club? Pricing of the wine questionnable - a $15 botte sold at $60 + 18% for the service! And the wine list is not long and not interesting. Will We recommand Oceania? NO. Will we repeat with Oceania? NO. And many other passengers on this cruise who were repeaters told us that they will not repeat again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our third cruise with Oceania, first on Riveria (probably our last), second with Marina. We were very excited about this cruise because the ports of call were different from any we had taken in the past, especially Aruba. Lo and ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Oceania, first on Riveria (probably our last), second with Marina. We were very excited about this cruise because the ports of call were different from any we had taken in the past, especially Aruba. Lo and behold, two days out, Norovirus was announced by the Captain and the ship went into quarantine mode and all of the niceties that we have come to expect from Oceania disappeared immediately. The tables were cleared, the buckets of disinfectant came out and hands had to be sanitized at least a dozen times a day. It was like being on a floating horror movie with disinfectant dripping down the walls, wallpaper lifting off the walls, railings, counters and doors all sticky and goopy to the touch so much so that you couldn't even hold the stair railings when you went up and down. It was serious overkill. There were passengers who had a bit of stomach upset who were reported by room stewards that were quarantined without being tested for Norovirus and then subjected to the same stigma as those that actually had the virus. We were not allowed to dock in Aruba by the port authorities. We were very upset as this was the main reason we chose this cruise in the first place. We had to show our world cards every time we entered any of the restaurants to make sure we were not one of the "infected" people as they took their cards away and taped their doors shut and took them food on paper plates and plastic cutlery; apparently cold food for at least 48 hours. There was no captains reception for returning guests as is the norm on Oceania, the culinary school was closed, library, anywhere that they thought could pass germs. As soon as you got up from a table, the cloth was whisked away and it was sloshed down, table and chairs with disinfectant and left for at least 10 minutes. You had to ask for cream and sugar or salt and pepper and they would bring it to you and pour the cream and give you a paper packet of sugar or salt and pepper. I felt like I was in a low class cafeteria not a luxury cruise ship. Lastly, this cruise was completely sold out. Full to the brim. We should have been told that this ship had had Norovirus not once but twice before this cruise so that we could have made an informed decision as to whether or not we wanted to put ourselves into this situation. Oceania did send an urgent email to my travel agent shortly before left but it was only to offer us an upgrade for an additional cost. They chose not to tell us about the Norovirus. Fortunately for us and fortunately for Oceania, we did not get sick. Had we been one of the many very elderly people with depressed immune systems on board, this could have gone very badly. One last thing. Oceania did not plan very well for a sold out cruise ship. They ran out of wine, Pellegrino water, several foods. I for one like blueberries in my blueberry pancakes. When you have a full ship, you plan accordingly, and clearly they did not. I was not impressed. The saving grace for us was we had a penthouse suite with a lovely butler named Hamesh that saw to our every need. He brought me my Pellegrino and lots of it to the room. I suffer from migraines and always had a full ice bucket for my ice pack thanks to Hamesh. We had dinner in our room which was wonderful and daily canapés and drinks on the veranda as we pulled out of port. The room was beautifully appointed and we would never book anything other than a penthouse suite. It is well worth the extra money you pay for it. We have always enjoyed sailing with Oceania and sing their praises to all of our friends and while we know Norovirus is not their fault, they could have behaved very differently at the end of the cruise to make us feel better about the whole thing. They never said the simple words we are sorry for this or that this has inconvenienced you or perhaps ruined your holiday and hope that it won't influence your decision to sail with us again. Simple words that would have made a big difference and perhaps made us feel better. Secondly, I think they should have provided a cruise refund for this cruise and a credit for a future cruise. This would have made us want to cruise with them again and give them another chance. This cruise was seriously ruined and we spent major dollars with this company. We have told our travel agent that we were tried and true Oceania'ers but we are now looking at other luxury cruise companies. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our second cruise on the Riviera and we were so looking forward to the food, playing tennis, golf and croquet on the forward sports deck and taking art and culinary classes when we were at sea. We also had high expectations for ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Riviera and we were so looking forward to the food, playing tennis, golf and croquet on the forward sports deck and taking art and culinary classes when we were at sea. We also had high expectations for the entertainment as it was better than average on our previous cruise. But, above all we booked the cruise for the food. Before I start, let me just say Oceania, unlike other cruiselines, DOES NOT require passengers to santitize their hands the first 48 hours of the cruise prior to going into a dining area. Due to this company policy, we feel strongly the 100+ passengers that caught the norovirus on this cruise as well as those of us that caught a solid case of bronchitis could have been minimized. What we found so amazing was this was the 3rd time CDC had been notified by the Riviera that over 2% of the passengers had come down with the virus since Nov 2015! If fact according to our room steward, it was actually the 5th time. I guess the other 2 times didn't reach the CDC notification level. Now, for the rest of the story, but I'll try to be brief. By the second day there were so many cases of the norovirus being reported, they cancelled the culinary and art classes for the duration of the cruise as well as all the sports equipment was put under lock and key. As far as access to dining areas, they started making everyone sanitize their hands and show their room cards before entering. The room card check stumped me until I found out they had confiscated the infected passengers room cards. They did that for the remainder of the cruise, which was fine, especially when it came to sanitizing hands. As far as the entertainment went, they only had 2 acts that boarded the 14 day cruise and stayed for a few days before leaving. The rest of the time there was a comedian, who was pretty good, that was married to the cruise director, 2 solo singing acts which were meager at best performed by the assistant cruise director and from one of the girls from the Oceania singer and dancer group. My point being saving money on entertainment appeared to be one of the goals of this now Norwegian-owned cruise line and it showed. Now, the reason we came on the cruise as I mentioned earlier was for the food! What a let down. When we went last spring on the Riviera we were definitely wowed! Not this time. It was still good and the specialty restaurants were still good, but they never reached the wow factor, except for maybe the Polo Grill and the Red Ginger. The rest of the time we ate outside up at the Terrace Cafe. However, most of the time we ordered from the grill because the prepared food was just so so. Again, nothing like the last cruise. As a final note Oceania did not compensate anyone on this cruise that we know of for their lack of being able to provide a quality cruise. It goes without saying this will be the last time we will sail on an Oceania cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our third Regent cruise, first one on the Mariner. Although the cruise was fully booked, it never felt crowded. There are lots of quiet places. Service on board is what makes this cruise line stand out, it is excellent. The ... Read More
This was our third Regent cruise, first one on the Mariner. Although the cruise was fully booked, it never felt crowded. There are lots of quiet places. Service on board is what makes this cruise line stand out, it is excellent. The food is good in the main dining room, but very good in Signatures and Prime 7. We are not crazy about Setti Mari. The cabin was roomy, lots of storage and a walk-in closet and a nice bathroom. The room steward and stewardess were excellent. The shore excursions are varied and well organized. No problems getting off the ship on time, or in the tenders where necessary. There are not a lot of organized events which is OK, but a bridge class would be nice for sea days. The lectures on this cruise were not good, about villains of the Caribbean which is not inspiring! Embarkation in Miami was unusually slow with long lines, but may be explained by the ship having to be sanitized due to sick passengers and crew on the previous cruise. We love this line with their all inclusive pricing and we already booked a cruise for September and next February. Although expensive we feel we get a great product for the price. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Last year was my first cruise and I sailed on the Reflection. I was hesitant to try a Millennium class ship, as I enjoyed the Solstice class so much. The Summit far exceeded my expectations, and I didn't think that was even possible. ... Read More
Last year was my first cruise and I sailed on the Reflection. I was hesitant to try a Millennium class ship, as I enjoyed the Solstice class so much. The Summit far exceeded my expectations, and I didn't think that was even possible. The staff of the Summit created such an exceptional experience. I was treated like a VIP and was just a normal passenger like everyone else. It was rare that I needed to ask for anything, as it was usually provided for already. The food was excellent. From the Cosmopolitan to the buffet, all food was fresh and high quality. Qsine and Tucson Grill are well worth the extra price. The ship itself was beautiful. Lost of areas had been recently remodeled. While the ship does show some minor signs of aging, it in no way detracted from the experience. The celebrity Life Activities were fun and relevant. My cabin was fresh and well attended to. I was blown away by the entertainment. The shows were of Las Vegas quality. I would recommend sailing the Summit to anyone, no matter what the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The trip was everything that I imagined a tall ship cruise to be. We had incredible weather, saw some wonderful sights and incredible beaches, but the trip was made by the crew. Everyone of the crew members did their outmost best for ... Read More
The trip was everything that I imagined a tall ship cruise to be. We had incredible weather, saw some wonderful sights and incredible beaches, but the trip was made by the crew. Everyone of the crew members did their outmost best for us! From the Captain right down to the Steward...they were always looking out for our safety, our enjoyment, absolutely everything that anyone would want! We only needed some attention to our cabin air conditioning once. It sure didn't take for the ships Engineer to get it up and working again (within an hour or so). The meals and appetizers were also amazing. It's hard to belief what our chef could produce from such a small kitchen...We had lobster, an excellent variety of fish, disappointed with the meals on board the Diamant. The ports that we visited were so lovely and the secluded beaches were incredible. At one beach the Captain had the locals prepare a bonfire for us. What a treat. The locals collected wood for most of the day and when they set the pile on fire as we were landing on shore that evening, the sight was nothing short of specular. The Diamont is a beautiful ship. I don't know much about sailing vessels, but I would cheesecake, all prepared on board. You certainly would not go hungry, nor be guess that ships like her are not too plentiful. She has so much character..so pretty to look at and even greater to be aboard. I think I have a little understand now of what sailors see in sailing ships and how they can say that a ship is beautiful. I hope to be able to sail on her again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My husband and I chose this cruise because of the advertised reputation of Oceania and because it embarked in Venice, which was a place we wanted to return to, and it had a stop in Antibes that would allow us to see the French Riviera for ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because of the advertised reputation of Oceania and because it embarked in Venice, which was a place we wanted to return to, and it had a stop in Antibes that would allow us to see the French Riviera for the first time. We are not expert cruisers, having only cruised twice before, once with Royal Caribbean and once with Celebrity. We were also drawn to Oceania because of the smaller ship size. We felt like the price was reasonable, especially considering the perks being offered on our particular cruise. After we booked the cruise directly with an Oceania representative, we found all of the talk online about norovirus having been on this ship, the Riviera, 4 times during the period of November 2015 through April 2016. We were extremely upset at not having been informed of this prior to our booking, but we discovered the cruise line had no obligation to do so. We then worried ourselves sick about the possibility of not just getting sick, but about the changes aboard ship that would be occurring should other passengers or crew become ill with the virus. This is not a good way to begin what was supposed to have been a relaxing luxurious vacation. We sent numerous emails and questions concerning the outbreaks and asked what had been done by the cruise line to ensure the elimination of the norovirus to no avail. They would not even tell us if our assigned cabin had housed guests who had been diagnosed with norovirus during the recent outbreaks. They had our money, and we were stuck. To my knowledge, and according to the CDC, the Riviera has not had an outbreak since April 2, 2016, which was about 6 weeks prior to our cruise in May 2016. The Riviera was not full during our May 21--June 2 cruise, which was probably why we had been given such a good price. We found many return cruisers, so obviously this cruise line has a good reputation. Several of the return cruisers commented that the ship did not feel full. In the end, we were satisfied with the ship (beautiful and easy to get around), crew (top notch), and dining. (Room service was excellent as well.) Our Concierge level room was very nice, had plenty of room, and the beds were good enough to have at home. We thought the ports of call were weak overall--Venice, Zadar (Croatia), Kotor (Montenegro), Sicily, Rome, Florence, Antibes (France), Marseille (France), Port Vendres (France), and Barcelona. We had to cancel our full-day French Riviera tour from Antibes due to inclement weather; we lost another scheduled tour when the Captain chose another port over Port Vendres due to choppy seas. So that left only Venice, Rome, Florence, and Barcelona that had (in our opinion) something to offer on the 12-day cruise. We are a couple in our mid 60's and wanted to see things; we think that a lot of Oceania cruisers (on this cruise) had either already "been there." We may have been toward the lower end of the age bracket on this cruise, which did not matter to us at all. The entertainment was ok, but not as good as what we experienced on RC and Celebrity. A final note is that we packed for country club casual, but felt a little underdressed for dinner most nights. A lot of the customers chose to wear more cocktail attire than country club casual. The shore excursions offered by Oceania were over-priced and the transportation provided by the cruise line seemed disorganized in several ports, especially in Zadar, Croatia. All that said, we would probably cruise with Oceania again if the ports have more to offer. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Mattress was very hard, I complained , cabin steward came in , I showed him it was ripped. For a year old ship I would not expect this. I had to complain to his boss to get it replaced, it took hours for them to find a bed, what a joke. ... Read More
Mattress was very hard, I complained , cabin steward came in , I showed him it was ripped. For a year old ship I would not expect this. I had to complain to his boss to get it replaced, it took hours for them to find a bed, what a joke. Cagnes Steak house, was very bad got entrees then our cold sides. manager just said next time will be better, we new came back. Steaks at sizzler are better. Traveling with kids beware, only two pools on board. Main pool is adult only, so with the unlimited cocktails that they poor, was like a mtv video, my teenager loved it, my little one i had to cover his eyes!. The only other pool for kids, is under the slides , it a 12 by 18 foot pool , TOO SMALL for all the people on board. My kids had no where to swim, all the ice carvings and entertainment was at adult main pool, poor design. Over all the food was good, cagnes don't waste your time. The brazilian Steakhouse is the best along with the best service. We had the unlimited drink package, not many waiters now because of this, had to pay off a bar tender to get Great service but worth it! We wont be going on NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Southern Caribbean.-small ship-Inclusive package Embarkation from airport cumbersome--check in @ terminal very efficient. Disembarkation @ 5:15 AM very organized with coffee & transport to airport. Ship was very sleek & ... Read More
Southern Caribbean.-small ship-Inclusive package Embarkation from airport cumbersome--check in @ terminal very efficient. Disembarkation @ 5:15 AM very organized with coffee & transport to airport. Ship was very sleek & clean. Cabin layout/storage above expectation. No children. Not handicapped friendly--wheel chairs on board for emergencies only. Dining-Buffet variety excellent -rock crab claws had no flavor(probably soaked in water to defrost). The 2 upscale restaurants were below par--ate at each & canceled 2nd chance and ate mostly @ THE RESTURANT. The music in the Atrium was boring & repetitious. Room service excellent. Overall staff service very good. Mini Bar included the Penthouse Veranda replenished daily--2 beers,1 mini bottle each of scotch, gin, vodka, rum. Sodas & candy bars. Shore excursions included were extremely disappointing. Winding rough bus rides in the hills to visit a church, graveyard with tombs decorated with blue and white tiles. The expectation visiting the Caribbean is the water, beaches etc. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We had never sailed on Viking and wanted to try a new line. We did not explore our departure city but did the Bacardi rum factory instead. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. Getting through customs was very easy. The ship was ... Read More
We had never sailed on Viking and wanted to try a new line. We did not explore our departure city but did the Bacardi rum factory instead. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. Getting through customs was very easy. The ship was beautiful, the staff were exemplary and the food was great. The salt shakers in the upstairs dining area need updated and the mini bar supply needs improved.. we would love to do Costa Rica and the Panama Canal just not sure if on Viking or another line.. We were pleased with the spa area- we had massages and took advantage of the Nordic spa room. We were a little disappointed with the main dining room - when we ate there the first night we were there for three hours with a lot of waisted time. The food food was not bad but the service needed improvement. Our experience with the Italian restaurant was the same the first night - service was not top notch. Overall the cruise was very nice and we would do Viking again. We would like to do a river cruise one day. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Been on Start in the east Mediterranean and loved the ship. This trip was even better! We had a suite for a reasonable price and the best part was being able to be at a different Island every day. Learned a lot, snorkeled often, enjoyed ... Read More
Been on Start in the east Mediterranean and loved the ship. This trip was even better! We had a suite for a reasonable price and the best part was being able to be at a different Island every day. Learned a lot, snorkeled often, enjoyed the beaches and towns. We started actually in Puerto Rico and island hopped down to Barbados and back. The ship is excellent and well maintained. Staff are helpful and courteous. Just a good, memorable experience. Not sure what else I can say - this was 3rd Viking trip, we have 2 more already scheduled. In May we are Paris to Normandy and back, France river trip and in October 2017 we are going to the Mekong. We like the Viking trips because they are a good value and we feel safe and comfortable. Cabins are comfortable, there are dining choices, service is good, and the excursions are usually good. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
From the moment we boarded, we felt like we were returning family, this was our sixth cruise with WS, our first on one of their new motor launches, so we weren’t sure what to expect, but Star Breeze delivers in the same manner as the ... Read More
From the moment we boarded, we felt like we were returning family, this was our sixth cruise with WS, our first on one of their new motor launches, so we weren’t sure what to expect, but Star Breeze delivers in the same manner as the sail-ships. The check-in process went smoothly. Andre, the ship's Bar Manager made it easy for us to choose the Beverage package. Then it was straight to our Balcony Suite and what a lovely surprise, so spacious and our Cabin Steward, Abdul, was there to take care of our immediate laundry/pressing needs. The sail away is always so special and gets everyone to come together at the Star Bar or bow of the ship, the Vangelis music from the 1492 Conquest of Paradise soundtrack is inspiring every time. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED - FOOD & SERVICE This was our first on STAR BREEZE (well actually, we experienced her when she was a former Seabourn ship). Seabourn it could be argued, were the first to introduce white-glove luxury to cruising. Luxury can take on many different levels; it can be a pretentious lifestyle of the rich and famous, or it can be simply, casual and elegant - a Windstar cruise is the graceful equivalent and as they are fond of saying, “180 degrees from ordinary”. So what does all this mean for the first time WS guest? Extraordinary service, as WS encourages, all you have to do is ask and I did - I like a Bloody Caesar made with Clamato juice, which they didn’t have, but after our next port call voila! Andre brought me one the next day at the appointed hour. Excellent cuisine - They say you eat with your eyes first, it was like eating in a Five Star restaurant.I can’t speak highly enough about the Chef’s presentations at dinner in the Amphora restaurant ( the curry lamb-pops, the beef wellington, the mushroom stuffed vol-au-vents and the light creamy chocolate souffle - all mouth wateringly delicious) Our wine steward, Rod proved very knowledgeable and paired our wines well with each mouth watering course. And at the Veranda for breakfast and lunch the choices were many. Chef’s one-time Indian buffet one day was so delicious, the chic-i-chic chicken with the nan bread down to the Major Grey’s Mango chutney, well let's just say the flavors literally took you on an Indian journey, the only thing missing was Ravi Shankar’s sitar music. We like to think of our cruises with WS,, as our own private yacht vacation, with a familiar ‘family-like’ crew, taking us places to escape the rat race in today’s ever fast paced world. THE BRAND Our families have always been close to the sea and might be considered sailing enthusiasts, in various locations like, the Royal Sydney, Vancouver, St Lawrence and Waikiki Yacht clubs. So what do yacht clubs and Windstar have in common? “yachties”, people with a sense of adventure. Brands are sometimes difficult to define. If you look closely, the most synonymous with sailing are Ralph Lauren Polo, Docksiders, and Veuve Clicquot, they all dove-tail nicely to Windstar, casual yet stylish, even iconic. What you get on board a Windstar vessel, be it motor launch or motorized-sailer, is a guest list of diverse, successful people, from all around the world, united in one common goal, to relax, explore, dream and discover unique itineraries and ports of call, at the same time wanting for nothing. For those reading this and other WS Cruise Critic reviews, you’ll already be on the ‘I get it page’ that a Windstar cruise, is for it’s first time and returning guests, you are rather like being a member of a yacht club, where you mingle with fellow guests, with tanned faces, white linens, popped collars, topsiders and an easy going way about them. You are not on a massive floating hotel or even an expedition cruise, you are here to take it easy and at the same time be pampered. Having done many other WS cruises on WIND SURF (As reviewed in my article, ‘Jewels of the Caribbean’ on two weeks back to back: “All these islands in the sun hold unique memories and history from discoveries past that make them what they are - a flavor for each which makes the Caribbean dance in harmony and yet with such diversity. Our ship strung these jewels of the Caribbean together, clasped by the Wind Surf alone, a precious gem wherever she may sail.”) & WIND STAR, (As reviewed in my ‘Dreams of Tahiti - Tropical Romance’...“for Tahiti is a place unique unto herself, like an unspoiled child, precious in her innocence, like the blessing of true love newly discovered – do Tahiti, for you shall find, tropical beauty and romance in abundance, especially seen from the deck of Wind Star.”) BOUTIQUE LIKE HOTEL AT SEA Think for a moment about small boutique hotels (eg: Villa Rolandi - Isla Mujeres, Carl Gustav - St Barts, Chateau Eze, France - Hotel Danieli, Venice). Now think of your own small luxury floating Windstar ship - boutique hotel, taking you to any number of these exotic destinations around the world in the space of week or two. Bathed in one-on-one service at every turn, introducing you to different cultures up close and personal. Our STAR BREEZE, Secrets of the Southern Caribbean, was no less than sublime in all categories of new ports of call, although we didn’t do many excursions, passengers who did, came back with stories to tell and seemed to have had a great time. We did do the old city tour by horse drawn carriage in Cartagena, which we thoroughly enjoyed - what fascinating history, We discovered new found friends, from the US, Canada, Great Britain some of which we definitely will keep in touch with. In summary, perhaps like BMW, which is hailed as the Ultimate Driving Machine, so to can we say WS is our ultimate cruise line. There are some legendary figures in life I have related to, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Katherine Hepburn, Ernest Hemingway. One author who captures my sentiments most closely, Mark Twain, who said it best, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”. We can only add, treat yourself, give yourself permission and join the Windstar yacht club. We’re thinking our our next WS sojourn, Singapore and Thai Treasures. Like so many like & before us, you’ll soon discover why WS considers themselves to be in the magic moments business - perhaps you might like to consider them, your cultural Ambassador to the world, leaving a softer foot print wherever your Windstar cruise sails. PS: A personal“Thank You” to crew who went above & beyond in making us feel extra special, Rod, Afrin, One, Noel, Abdul, F&B Mngr, Hubert & Executive Chef, Holvin Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Was worried when I saw some negative reviews. I don't know what their problems were, but this cruise was amazing! The new ship is truly beautiful, from Versace china to glass and crystal chandeliers. Service is beyond good. We were ... Read More
Was worried when I saw some negative reviews. I don't know what their problems were, but this cruise was amazing! The new ship is truly beautiful, from Versace china to glass and crystal chandeliers. Service is beyond good. We were staying in a Penthouse suite. Suki our butler was very efficient and pleasant. He kept our bar filled with whatever we needed and always asked what he could do for us. Service in all areas is top notch. Always smiling, helpful. Our suite was huge, the bathroom bigger than mine at home. Loved the power washing shower heads! very comfy bed. Food in every dining area was very good. Lunch by the pool was the least tasty, tended to be a little heavy on the salt. We ate in all the specialty rest. they were all very good. Pate, souffles, steak, quesadillas, all great. we found that you could also eat in Prime some days for lunch. It has a different lunch menu and it was great. This cruise is NOT for people looking for a party time or for small children. Most of the people are retirement age, (68,55) fine with me. Only a couple of minor issues. Wifi is a pain. always having to sign back on and could be faster. Wish they had CNN and ESPN on the tv. Those are my only tiny complaints. Already put my deposit down for our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Over priced. Ship is way overrated. Poor service, poor food, poor company. Only nice thing was the people we met. TERRIBLE customer service. The only thing Regent is efficient at is taking your money. Casino is very unfriendly. You ... Read More
Over priced. Ship is way overrated. Poor service, poor food, poor company. Only nice thing was the people we met. TERRIBLE customer service. The only thing Regent is efficient at is taking your money. Casino is very unfriendly. You can see the NCL touch - cheapening everything. They offer free side trips, but unless you book them months in advance - forget about them. Also, most people on these ships are old, but they offer lots of excursions that most people don't have the physical capability. When we asked waiter for coffee in card room, we were told they could not service us there. Also, there is a big pole in the card room , so instead of 6 tables, it is only 5 1/2. Really bad design for brand new ship. Regent/NCL is only interested in taking you money. I can stress enough, stay away from this greedy, non-caring cruise lines.!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016

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