19 Windstar Star Legend Cruise Reviews

The Star Legend will be in dry dock soon to completely refurbish it and add 100 staterooms. And it need it. Everything was from gently to quite worn. Seals were broken on three large windows in the Yacht Club lounge, obscuring the view. ... Read More
The Star Legend will be in dry dock soon to completely refurbish it and add 100 staterooms. And it need it. Everything was from gently to quite worn. Seals were broken on three large windows in the Yacht Club lounge, obscuring the view. That said, the staterooms were quite comfortable and the house staff attentive. Excursions are extremely expensive. Choose wisely. It’s much more fun to explore charming towns like Wrangell and Sitka on The zodiac tour of Tracey’s Arm glacier was worth it in every way. Food was hit and miss. The hits were lunch and breakfast, and dinner had some poor choices, like a seafood bisque with uncooked seafood in it. The Indian dishes, including a curry bar, were beautifully seasoned. Candles featured fresh salads and fish and meats grilled to order. Overall, for a luxury cruise, we thought Windstar could have done better with the condition of the ship furnishings, and attention to detail at Amphora Restaurant. The staff was gracious and the naturalists knowledgeable. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The cabin size and the decor, the staff, the food - all excellent. The staff were amazing and always tried to please and solve any issues. But our cabin 300 right up front on deck 6 was extremely disappointing as we felt every ... Read More
The cabin size and the decor, the staff, the food - all excellent. The staff were amazing and always tried to please and solve any issues. But our cabin 300 right up front on deck 6 was extremely disappointing as we felt every little wave on the ocean. I have never felt so much motion in a cabin before. When traveling on a small ship make sure you are midship and down low. Unfortunately my cabin mate was sick for a lot of the cruise. I actually slept on the couch a few nights as this gave more support than the twin bed. Few activities on board. Pool area was disappointing with a very small above ground pool. More activities could have been organized e.g. films in the lounge. I was some what disappointed with the ports of call. Puerto Princesa and Brunei were the only interesting ports to me. All told a very disappointing cruise for us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We are previous Windstar passengers and had a fabulous experience on our honeymoon cruising along the Amalfi coast. When we received the email notice Windstar would be introducing a cruise to Alaska, we immediately booked to celebrate our ... Read More
We are previous Windstar passengers and had a fabulous experience on our honeymoon cruising along the Amalfi coast. When we received the email notice Windstar would be introducing a cruise to Alaska, we immediately booked to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. Our very good friends made arrangements with Windstar in advance of the cruise to have a bottle of champagne and a card delivered to our stateroom upon embarkation to wish us a happy anniversary. Windstar charged their credit card the same day. When our friends did not receive a note of thanks from us, they followed up with Windstar and were told the champagne had absolutely been delivered. Now they were offended by our silence but thankfully on our last day of the cruise, they emailed to confirm we had indeed received the champagne. Of course, nothing had been delivered to us. We immediately went to the front desk to inquire and were told that there was nothing noted on our account. The staff member demanded to see proof of the gift before making any inquiries within the Windstar organization. Once provided, the issue was elevated to the Beverage Manager who said there was nothing he could do unless and until he was able to speak with someone from Head Office. We heard nothing more until a bottle of champagne was delivered to us at dinner. No explanation. No apology. We took the time to write an internal review after disembarking and raised several customer service issues with this being a highlight. A month later and we have still heard nothing from Windstar. Clearly they have no real or genuine interest in the post cruise reviews from their passengers. The dining experience was mixed. We had no issue with the pace of service at Amphora but we typically enjoyed a cocktail in the lounge before going down to dinner thereby allowing the initial rush of diners to get a start. The breakfast and lunch buffets were fine but without relying on the outdoor patios there was not enough space to accommodate the number of guests. The Alaska weather did not allow for comfortable al fresco dining. The staterooms were larger than we have experienced on other cruises but the decor was dated and showing its wear. Every time we sat on the sofa, the bed mechanism loudly creaked. Windstar would do well to consider renovating this ship. The Expedition Group were terrific. Each person was knowledgeable and absolutely committed to ensuring the passengers had a great experience. So too were the Excursion staff. There was a wide range of offerings and it was often a challenge to narrow down the choices. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We spent 2 nights in Bangkok prior to departing on the cruise to adjust to the time zone. Getting a taxi to the ship was a challenge, since it was close to our hotel. The taxi drivers didn't want the fare. Our cabin was fine, ... Read More
We spent 2 nights in Bangkok prior to departing on the cruise to adjust to the time zone. Getting a taxi to the ship was a challenge, since it was close to our hotel. The taxi drivers didn't want the fare. Our cabin was fine, with a walk in closet and a tub. We spent 2 evenings at Candles on this trip and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The AmphorA dining room staff was wonderful the other evenings. If we did not find anything on the dessert menu appealing, at least there was always ice cream available. We were able to try lots of local food the chef would bring back from shopping trips at port. I would not do this itinerary this time of year again though due to weather. We hardly saw blue skies. The rain prevented the deck barbecue too. Rough seas made the sea days difficult. The ship does provide medicine, but it puts us to sleep. Our favorite activities were the ship's Hoi An excursion and the destination event beach day in Koh Kood, Thailand. Our day in Nha Trang was too short. We would have loved to have more time there. The rickshaw ride on our excursion was nerve wracking. In Hong Kong, we spent 3 more days exploring the city before returning home. Transit was easy with Octopus cards. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The voyage to "Arabia & Ancient Spice routes took place over 34 nights. In a nutshell: 1. Shore experience in Luxor was disappointing as the Windstar Luxor tour put the group up at the Hilton as opposed to the superb and ... Read More
The voyage to "Arabia & Ancient Spice routes took place over 34 nights. In a nutshell: 1. Shore experience in Luxor was disappointing as the Windstar Luxor tour put the group up at the Hilton as opposed to the superb and historic Winter Palace. 2. Food management and organization was poor. The fruit was unripe during the entire voyage and they even ran out of bananas onboard when ashore in India plentiful supplies of good quality were available. Throughout the voyage, the French "baguettes" had the crust of a hot dog roll. 3. Thermostats in cabins didn't function and resulted in extreme cold or heat. 4. Lecturer had inadequate of the ancient history of the eastern Mediterranean. 5. Wifi charges were extraordinarily high. 6. The cabins are spaceous and well-appointed 7. In general, the serving staff were very courteous, pleasant and reasonably efficient. 8. Given the size of the vessel, both the embarkation and disembarkation were expeditious and easy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I took this cruise because it was a James Beard Food Cruise. The suite offered very little I wouldn't pay extra for it. This is the second time I booked on this cruise line and was disappionted both times.The communication was ... Read More
I took this cruise because it was a James Beard Food Cruise. The suite offered very little I wouldn't pay extra for it. This is the second time I booked on this cruise line and was disappionted both times.The communication was not good aboard the boat. There were activities that were not listed except if you found something in small print so you had to make sure you kept up. Examples the chefs on shore food purchases were not communicated, the galley tour was orly communicate and so was the star light dinner. So for a person who paid top dollar did not get any benefits. Other lines provide a person that takes care of the suites . I think they should adopt that practice. Food on the ship was ok even though it was such a small boat and a special James Beard cruise. Entertainment was limited but acceptable. This is an al carte cruise so everything is extra. While annoying we knew that going in. The staff was great . Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We have cruised with sea dream 3x and Seabourn twice, so our comparison is to those, not larger ships. We were actually on this ship (star legend) when it was Seabourn legend. A few quick points: - the food is good. Not outstanding ... Read More
We have cruised with sea dream 3x and Seabourn twice, so our comparison is to those, not larger ships. We were actually on this ship (star legend) when it was Seabourn legend. A few quick points: - the food is good. Not outstanding but good overall. Breakfast was great, lunch was ok, dinner was generally good. Drining room was too bright however. - buying the alcohol package is ok but perhaps not worth it. It did not include champagne at all or many of the things we would have preferred. We are not heavy drinkers but like nice wine with dinner and a good cordial. - they are understaffed for beverage service at dinner. We often had to wait through the first course to get a glass of wine. The wine steward was always frenzied trying to catch up. - they are not doing a great job of cleaning. There was a film of scum in their tiny pool (and they took out the old pool that Seabourn had and replaced it with a sitting area no one ever used. We miss the original pool. The cabins are decently clean but yet we found hair that was not ours (dark) in the shower when we arrived. - the average passenger age was older than expected (maybe mid 70's) and I think that factored into their decision to skip two ports based on waves. However sea dream was smaller and on similar itinerary at the same time and made both ports we skipped. We missed the best two - st Bart's and st Martin. - entertainment is two duos. Splash was good but the other one (double malt) belongs in a lounge somewhere. Too dreary for the ship. - there were no snacks when you got back from an excursion. There was no welcome feeling at all. -staff seemed young and not as well trained as the other two lines mentioned. -overall, it gets an average from us and we are not likely to try windstar again. It failed a little in every area when compared to sea dream and Seabourn. And the price is not differ when you add the alcohol package and yet it offered much less. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our 13th Windstar cruise and the 2nd on the Legend. Many of the comments I will make here I've posted before - after our last cruise in June 2015. Also, I read some recent reviews by others on Cruise Critic and my comments ... Read More
This was our 13th Windstar cruise and the 2nd on the Legend. Many of the comments I will make here I've posted before - after our last cruise in June 2015. Also, I read some recent reviews by others on Cruise Critic and my comments will be somewhat repetitive. I thinks that's fine - maybe someone at Windstar will actually read this and do something. At the outset, I want to be clear that none of my negative comments pertain to the on board staff. They try. Hard. They work long hours and do what they can. However, I am quite disappointed with Windstar at the corporate level. First, there is no loyalty program. Because we've cruises with Windstar some many times, you'd think we'd be welcomed back as repeat customers. Nothing! Not even flowers or fruit in the room. And no one at check in said anything. I had this discussion on previous cruises and still nothing changed. I talked to Calvin, the hotel manager. He listened, but nothing happened. The only one that actually did anything was Bianca, the guest relations manager. Airlines and hotels pride themselves on their loyalty programs. Norwegian has one, so does Seaborn. Not Windstar. Next, the ship is in bad shape. Tenders were both broken on one day. No matter how good the tender operators are, they can't manage with bad equipment. On one occasion, Windstar had to hire a tender operator and it was so bad, that vessel crashed int our ship and the tender cracked. There is rust in a lot of places. The brackets in the bathtub holding the hand-held shower were loose. There really is no attempt to provide activities in the case of rain - which we had daily. Clearly, the weather isn't anyone's fault, but there ought to be some on board contingency plans. On the plus side, the crew, as usual, was great: Yogi - always a pleasure. Yaya, Lyn, Bobby, all work hard and always smile. The staterooms (suites) really need sprucing up. I do like the Yacht Cub and AmphorA. Food is better since Chef Michael took over. Overall, I think we will be taking a break from Windstar. I need to see if management really wants this to be considered a luxury cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was my second Windstar cruise and it did not live up to the first. Two of us sailed on the Windsurf in March and I was very excited to bring my whole family (11 of us) on the Star Legend for Christmas week. It was disappointing. ... Read More
This was my second Windstar cruise and it did not live up to the first. Two of us sailed on the Windsurf in March and I was very excited to bring my whole family (11 of us) on the Star Legend for Christmas week. It was disappointing. The ship should not have been put into service after being purchased until all of the systems were upgraded. One tender broke down and it took us almost 2 hours to get to shore. The sports deck was inoperative much of the time. The staff was embarrassed and apologetic, but little from the Captain. The least the company could have done was buy us a drink. We received inconsistent information regularly. As an example, at one bar we were told that the ship was out of limes and then in the dining room there was no problem getting a lime for our drink. We took a shore excursion and upon checking was told that we did not need our tickets. Upon reaching shore, the tour company needed our tickets. Small things - but consistent. I rarely saw any of the officers, especially the captain. I would have hoped that they would have been more accessible, given some of the problems. Some of the Windstar basics were in place - excellent service from the cabin, bar and dining room staff; roomy staterooms; and well maintained public spaces. 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
There were a lot of small irritations that would not keep me from sailing with windstar again. Like the broken ice cream machine. But,there is no excuse for the tenders. By the time the cruise was over neither one was working. They tried ... Read More
There were a lot of small irritations that would not keep me from sailing with windstar again. Like the broken ice cream machine. But,there is no excuse for the tenders. By the time the cruise was over neither one was working. They tried using the zodiacs at one point, 4 passengers at a time,but one of them got punctured. Ended up hiring a local to transport us. The tenders were frequently breaking down, slow, broken seats, broken floor cover and inexperienced drivers. I wasted way too much of my vacation waiting for tenders!!! The excursions were poorly organized and poorly vetted. There was poor local knowledge of the ports by the staff. Having said that, there were many bright spots. great support staff! Housekeeping, wait staff, front desk, bar staff, all great. Very good food and drink. Fabulous day at prickly pear beach, the private beach event. Stay away from the beach excursion in antiqua. It's too long a drive,not a nice drive,and the beach was too rough for most. Many less fit swimmers had to be helped out of the surf. Also very shelly bottom. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We travelled on the 7 day Meediteranean cruise from Barcelona to Rome on Sept 19, 2015. We had previously sailed on this ship 12 years ago when it was owned by Seabourn. While the Windstar experience is a step above traveling on the ... Read More
We travelled on the 7 day Meediteranean cruise from Barcelona to Rome on Sept 19, 2015. We had previously sailed on this ship 12 years ago when it was owned by Seabourn. While the Windstar experience is a step above traveling on the larger 2000 plus passenger ships, it is not up to par with the overal experience when it was operated by Seabourn. They advertised that they spent $5 million on renovations upon purchasing the ship from Seabourn but with the exception of the main dinning room, Star Lounge and the Yacht Club it is hard to tell where they spent the money. Aside from those areas, it appeared that none of the carpeting had been replaced in most of the common areas and staterooms. It is not that big of a ship and it defiantly appeared as though they tried to do as minimal amount of renovation as possible. The tender boats look as though they were ancient relics and had not even been touched in a number of years. While the daily staff was overall friendly, curtious and attentive, the ship senior management was nowhere to be found the entire cruise. The cruise director, who is typically the most visible person on a ship, never once socialized with the passengers individually, as a group, or made announcements about upcoming events or ports of call. Especially, after some events that took place during the cruise that certainly warranted apologies and explanations to the passengers that were impacted. Overall I think the ship is understaffed which appeared to be a conscious cost cutting measure. Usually only one bar would be open at a time, no nightly entertainment (the main show lounge was never used), and same two person entertainment daily. If you have previously sailed on a Seabourn or Regent cruise, it is likely your expectations will not be met and you will be disappointed with a Windstar experience. It is the difference between staying at a Marriot versus a Ritz Carlton. The difference is noticeable from the minute you board the boat. There is a slight price difference and like most things in America, you get what you pay for so don't be fooled. If you have high expectations and like to stay in nicer venues when you travel, then spend the additional money and book a Seabourn or Regent cruise. You will notice a substantial difference in the quality, maintenance and appearance of the ship including cabins and common areas, quality of staff, food and excursions, etc. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My wife and I and another couple chose this cruise for the timing, the itinerary, the small ship and the food/wine theme. We had all used Windstar before (Windsurf) and loved it. As other reviewers have testified, this cruise was ... Read More
My wife and I and another couple chose this cruise for the timing, the itinerary, the small ship and the food/wine theme. We had all used Windstar before (Windsurf) and loved it. As other reviewers have testified, this cruise was marred by engineering malfunctions, and was less organized than one would expect on a luxury cruise. The pre-cruise experience was mixed; we booked over a year in advance, and were told we would be able to benefit from any subsequent price reductions. I had to be very alert and very assertive to get these, though. Had I waited until the last minute to book, I would have saved some money (but that is not really practical because of the need to plan ahead for this major a vacation). We enjoyed most of the places we visited (especially St. Malo, Bordeaux, El Ferrol, and Lisbon, where we stayed an extra 3 days). We also enjoyed meeting and spending time with many other passengers. The food was excellent for the most part, and the wine was pretty good. The deck layout is not as functional as on other cruise ships of this size. The cabin was fine (when the plumbing worked). The front line staff members were very nice. Some of the shore excursions were poorly planned with too much time in a bus and not enough time to explore or have a meal. The special evening at the Bordeaux wine estate was disappointing. We enjoyed exploring the cities of St. Malo, Bordeaux, El Ferrol and Lisbon on our own. I, especially, loved the two oyster farm tours (Cancale and La Rochelle). We enjoyed the on board entertainment (small lounge, Fado singer), but this was not a major feature of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Some background before I write this review - we have taken numerous cruises on all levels of ships around the world (small, medium, large, riverboats, etc.) so we have a lot of reference points on what we like and expect as a function of ... Read More
Some background before I write this review - we have taken numerous cruises on all levels of ships around the world (small, medium, large, riverboats, etc.) so we have a lot of reference points on what we like and expect as a function of the price point and the specifics of what the cruise line advertises and offers as compared to their competitors. Having recently traveled on Viking (river cruise in China which we absolutely loved!), we wanted to try another ship with a small number of passengers. After a thorough search, we decided to give Windstar (and the Star Legend) our business - per their advertisement - "fully refurbished boat, approximately 200 passengers, gourmet food and wine, world class gym, elegant staterooms and unique and memorable shore excursions'. So let's discuss what was accurate and what was off the mark - the pro's - very spacious stateroom, cabin attendant was excellent, on-board entertainment was very enjoyable, Candles dinning was great, majority of crew worked very hard to make the trip memorable, and select staff management (Elena and Bianca) worked very hard to listen to our concerns and to the extent practical within their control make our travels and pleasant as possible, and the people were so much fun to meet. The cons - (1) for a refurbished ship, the interior was in dire need of a fresh paint and varnish (age of the ship was not well hidden), the bathroom was not updated - pealing paint and wall tiles in shower were old and separating), (2) wine - not paired with dinner or the countries visited, wine tastings were poorly planned and executed (rushed so the room could be turned over for dinner, no wait staff to serve additional portions to the customers, and wine selections ran out during dinner, "wine expert" was not organized and could not keep the attention of the customers) - we stopped going after day four, quality of wines served were average to below average at best and had low Wine Spectator ratings, (3) on-board dinning service - very dis-jointed for the first three days - meals were late (i.e. not everyone was served at the same time), side dished were missing or wrong, and if you ordered fish it was guaranteed to arrive overcooked and dry, (4) food quality - got better as the days went by but serving three shrimps on top of rice is not gourmet, (5) bar service - with the exception of a few bar staff, very inconsistent service for mixed drinks - long wait (10 minutes), wrong order, glass half-filled - deferred to wine and beer to avoid the the hassle which was not our preference, (6) broken water system during seal day - no showers or running water - things happen at sea so my issue is not that this happened but how the ship handled the situation - the captain made an announcement at approximately 9 am and mentioned that the water system broke and we would make a stop at Brest for repairs - not apologetic in any form and tried to make a joke about it - not funny for the guests who were stuck on board without a bathroom or shower - in terms of compensation - NONE...we asked them to open the bar and provide free drinks and were denied....the system was repaired and then broke again around 10 pm (no notice from the captain) - I called the front desk and the staffer did not understand why I was mad as he did not get a chance to shower (paying customer versus employee....where is the training...), (7) off-board dinner in Bordeaux - very elegant, classical music, wine in the courtyard and then dinner - only one selection - a meat dish that was served raw to myself and three others at our table - after 15 minutes and sending it back twice I decided not to eat the dried out mass in front of me. Two wines were served of which one was a beautiful 2001 Margaux - we each had one glass and asked for another bottle - they "ran out" even then we observed other tables actively getting additional bottles, (8) world class gym - broken equipment and missing weights - need I say more, (9) excursions - unlike Viking or other high end cruise lines, Windstar only includes two free shore excursions and the guests have to pay for any other trips so desired - the selections were marginal at best with the most notable being a wine tour of a local vineyard in the Medoc region of Bordeaux - expected elegant wines and encountered less than marginal samples - would have expected a higher quality vineyard to be made available. We did email Hans (CEO) a note summarizing our experiences and have not received any reply as of this review - not terribly surprised since he already has our money and from the experiences listed above, apparently does not have a keen focus on customer service. Some final thoughts and impressions - we probably wont use this cruise line again unless Han's contacts us and don't recommend anyone else using them unless you do a full due-diligence on all high end cruise and read the review, the ship management fell flat on attention to details and building/maintaining a strong and consistent team to perform and execute their respective duties flawlessly every time, and if you are going to offer a marginal experience then charge a marginal price so expectations can be tempered with reality. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I found it very hard to come up with a number to rate this cruise. There was very good, there was average and there was bad. I also need to mention that we were first time cruisers as were the couple who traveled with us. We were ... Read More
I found it very hard to come up with a number to rate this cruise. There was very good, there was average and there was bad. I also need to mention that we were first time cruisers as were the couple who traveled with us. We were celebrating the wives 60th birthdays, and this is what they chose to do. I also need to say for the past 30 years I have been a special event planner, who has organized meetings all over the world, and I like to be in control. That being said, I knew that I would have no control once aboard the ship, and I was going to have to deal with it. We chose this cruise because it was dedicated to wine and culinary tourism, and Windstar was including complimentary wines from the three countries we were visiting each night with dinner, and before dinner a tasting of those wines with a guest sommelier (more on that later). I tried hard to do my research on the ports, as if I was planning to do an event there. I also did research on cruising which brought me to Cruise Critic, which I perused continually for the year before we sailed. In reading previous reviews, I learned that we were going to be the outliers, as most of the reviews were written by folks who have been on many, many cruises. As for the cruise, embarkation was a breeze. There were tons of smiles, and the sight of the Cliffs of Dover upon leaving was awesome. We arrived at our cabin, and were pleasantly surprised with the size and layout. We had been upgraded to a "balcony" suite (more on that later). The first day at sea was very nice, as we settled in and got to know the ship. We loved the size and the fact that of the 160 passengers, there were no children. I would agree with the term of casual luxury. We loved going to dinner in Aloha shirts, and wearing topsiders. The front line staff, cabin stewards and waiters were awesome. They could not do enough for us, and they always had smiles on their faces. I have always been a morning person, so even on vacation I was up at 530am, into the shower, and then up to the Yacht Club, where I was met by Yahya, had a coffee, juice and pastry. Most days I was the only one in there until 630 or so. Very peaceful and relaxing. On day three after we left St. Malo, I jumped in the shower only to find no water. Same for the sink and toilet.. I headed up to the Yacht Club to learn the water systems were down and they were working on it. The captain finally came on at 9am to say they were diverting to the town of Brest where there was a French Naval Base, and engineers who could fix the problem. We were in Brest until 3pm, and it wasn't until we departed that the Captain came on and apologized for the inconvenience. No offer of any compensation. If it was me at one of my events, the bar would have been thrown open. I know from experience that stuff happens, but the key is how the problem is addressed. As for shore excursions, we booked two of Windstar's offerings, and I booked two private guides on my own. No comparison. At El Ferrol, we went on the Windstar excursion to Santiago de Compostela. Cost $189pp. Most of the time was spent on a coach with 40 other passengers. We then marched around this UNESCO World Heritage Site following a guide listening to her commentary through a headset. Not so good. In Porto I hired Douro Exclusive and the owner Marco picked the 4 of us up, visited wineries in Douro and then had the most amazing lunch at a Michelin starred restaurant on a deck overlooking the river and vineyards. Cost $150pp.. In St. Emilion we took the Windstar excursion to Chateau Soutard. Again 40 pax on a coach. The winery was not ready for us when we got there, and were then dropped off in the old town of St. Emilion with no instructions on when to be back at the coach. I wanted to grab the microphone and take over. Not good at all. In Lisbon I hired "Your Friend in Lisbon" to take us on a port and tapas tour of town. Again an incredible experience. Cost $100pp. In addition to their "offered" excursions, Windstar included a dinner at Chateau Giscours in Bordeaux. This was a fabulous evening, with great coordination, food, classical music, and premium wines, all held in the great room of this fantastic old Chateau. This was included in the cost of the cruise, and it was fantastic. Now the guest sommelier was going to do a tasting each evening at 6pm in the main dining room. Each night there were three wines, one from each of the countries we were visiting(France, Spain and Portugal). I found the speaker a bit overbearing in his method and style. Almost like being talked down to. We went the first four nights, and then I decided I had had enough. Since we were going to have these wines at dinner, I didn't want to sit through the "talk". Our traveling companions did go every night, and said that by the end of the cruise the room was only 1/2 full. Not sure if Windstar did their due diligence on this selection. As for disembarkation, it was also a breeze. Finally my biggest gripe with this cruise is what happened on the front side. We booked in 17 months in advance. Paid the 10K final payment 3 months in advance, and then 2 days after making that payment, I was showing a colleague the cruise on the Windstar web site. I was shocked to see they had lowered the price $800pp. So I called our travel agent and she too was surprised by that amount and that she was going to call Windstar in Seattle. When she got back to me, she said Windstar offered a $100 per cabin shipboard credit, and she didn't think that was fair. Since this agency belongs to the Virtuoso organization, she told me they have pull, and was going to have her manager call. In the end they offered a $200 per cabin shipboard credit and upgraded us to the "balcony" suite. Being able to open the window in the cabin was nice, but certainly not worth the premium that Windstar assigns to those rooms. It was not so much the money (as the price we paid was what we had budgeted for), again it was the way it was handled. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I have held elite flyer status with Alaska Airlines for years. Their policy is if the fare goes down before you fly, you get a credit. No questions. As for Windstar, if I have learned one thing over this past year is that premium cruising is a very competitive business. Here they had two couples, right in their demographic wheelhouse. We are on the cusp of retirement, have disposable income and the time to spend it. And they decide to play the nickel and dime game. I'm sure their argument would be, well our cabins are highly perishable. The minute the ship leaves, it is revenue that cannot be recovered. We held that cabin for you (albeit with $1500) for 17 months, and you were able to be sure you were on the ship, and make your air travel plans far in advance. There may be some weight in that, but in the end it is very short sighted. Even before I stepped foot on the Star Legend, I was pretty sure that if I ever cruised again it would not be on Windstar. And now after the cruise, I feel the same way. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first sailing with Windstar and we were looking forward to the "Luxury" experiences that they advertise. We were sorely disappointed. We are seasoned travelers. This was our eleventh sea-going cruise and we have ... Read More
This was our first sailing with Windstar and we were looking forward to the "Luxury" experiences that they advertise. We were sorely disappointed. We are seasoned travelers. This was our eleventh sea-going cruise and we have sailed with other luxury lines, so we know that our expectations were not out of line. We sailed with Crystal twice, and Seabourn four times and never were disappointed. We sprang for one of their more expensive suites - came to over twelve thousand dollars, so naturally our expectations were high. We did like the itinerary - Northern Europe. Sailed from Copenhagen with stops in Northern Germany on the Baltic Sea, then to the North Sea with stops in Amsterdam and Belgium. The shore excursions were very enjoyable, though pricey. The problems were with the service. The staff that deals with the public could not adequately speak or understand English. We have never encountered this before. It was close to impossible to understand some of the waiters. It was very difficult to make our needs and wishes known, to the reception desk, to our steward. Some specific mishaps: a non-existent wake-up call; extremely hard pillows, when I asked for down pillows was given more of the hard ones, asked a second time, same results - ended up sleeping without a pillow for the next six nights; minibar not refilled, then filled sporadically, but charged us as if it had been restocked; whirlpools closed more often than open, info book in room stated they were open until 11pm, were locked at 9pm. Food was only average. Twice I had lamb chops, both times they were tough and flavorless. You could not hear the announcements in the room. I called reception, they said to go our into the hallway if I wanted to hear them. No clock in the bedroom. Safe was located on the very top shelf in the closet at the very back. I had to climb on a chair to be able to open and close it. The door to our patio did not seal well, heard a whistling wind and felt a draft all night. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This review is written by a couple that has done 9 Windstar cruises since 2003. Obviously one continues to return for a great experience but this review will outline why we will search the market again before we decide which cruise line ... Read More
This review is written by a couple that has done 9 Windstar cruises since 2003. Obviously one continues to return for a great experience but this review will outline why we will search the market again before we decide which cruise line to choose for our next experience. Over 100 people on this cruise have sailed with Windstar multiple times but day after day we spoke to people who felt similar to us. Windstar of today is not of the quality of years prior. Clearly, the signs of a large company owning this once new concept in a cruise line are evident and I will outline them in detail below. Please understand, we had a nice time and the itinerary from Iceland to Norway and Denmark is fabulous. Many of us felt there were far too many days at sea which can be rather boring, or one can use them to catch up on reading or relaxing. Here are the issues for the consumer to consider in deciding on what cruise to take. By the way, remember this cruise cost over $5K/ person The Ship We were on the Star Legend, previously a Seaborne ship. Despite the $18M investment at drydock the ship is old. It is by no means falling apart but the signs of age are everywhere as you walk around the ship. The Crew First of all, our Captain was the most delightful, professional we have experienced in our years of cruising. The open bridge policy continues and is always informative and exciting. It you sailed Windstar before, you knew that each crew member would know your name by the end of the first day. On this voyage only 25 % of the crew were veterans and the other 75% were Windstar crew for a few months. The Dining Room Manager has been with the line 5 months. This is all important as the food and service have definitely taken a hit. We waited 20 minutes for someone to take a wine order at the beginning of dinner, we saw breakfast orders in the dining room never delivered and my wife's pancakes were raw. The food "looks fancy" but is not memorable. Remember, $5k/ person for this! If you talk to the crew you learn they are very understaffed which is apparent to many of us. They work so hard and they are delightful but they are human. If your getting the feeling that this is a large company really watching its bottom line, it's exactly what many of us felt during this 11 day cruise. Even they will tell you the food , choices and selection and service is not the same. Few vegetarian options, no gluten free options (except one bread) and the same vegetable sides every night. One day in sailing into a port the Captain suggested we get up early to watch the beautiful scenery and he would narrate and offer some history on the area. We got up at 630 am and found one dining room attendant in the Yacht Club serving coffee to a long line of guests. We all felt sorry for him but no one staffed that room properly. In addition, we could not hear the Captains narrative as promised. The Rooms The rooms are quite nice and sizeable ( I think 277 sq ft) but the beds, linens, towels and pillows leave something to be desired. The TV is tiny with few options. The mini bar is stocked with soft drinks and beers ( or whatever you choose to pay for) . While they offer a Bose speaker, the Internet service is horrible and streaming music is not possible with Sirius XM or Spotify. The PA system in the rooms does not broadcast the captains messages and we had to open our cabin door to hear them. So let's talk about the Internet. They charge $250 for unlimited access by one device at a time. Dare I say that it could take 5 minutes to download one e mail to an I pad but more significantly at many times Internet was not available including in port at Gairanger. Now, we know the cruise line is aware of this but no one was ever told. No, a prorated credit was never offered for the inconvenience. We found this feature to be no less than a rip off but Windstar has a captive audience for this and frankly we felt it is abused. The Food Good- not great. The buffet choices for breakfast and lunch are not as grand as in the past. One day someone made a bad decision to have us dine outdoors for lunch in Norway when it was 50 degrees. The grill makes burgers and some sandwiches but quality has slipped. Candles restaurant has the ambiance of a mid level chain restaurant and the portions were quite small. Yes, you can always ask for more food but of course this all takes time etc. we would not call this a fine dining experience. The classic Windstar Barbeque was held on deck one evening and was outstanding. We had to wait 20 minutes on two occasions to order an initial glass or bottle of wine, had to send the food back to the kitchen a few ties during this cruise. Excursions Very,very expensive and in this day of on line bookings it is not necessary to book through the ship. We were able to do the same excursions as the ship offered but at half price or less and with the same vendors. The activity director, Travis was excellent and very informative as is his staff. Windstar failed to notify many of the passengers that it had included a complementary excursion in Flamm, Norway which required some of us to cancel our independent plans and get refunds from the vendors. Entertainment- One doesn't go on a Windstar cruise for the entertainment. There were two duos playing at all times in the evening and they are fine. Very few people wind up listening and the quality is just OK. Definitely need more enrichment activity for those who like to learn as they cruise as so many of the guests do. In summary, we believe that at this price point several other lines deserve a shot...perhaps Silversea or Seaborne. We hope that Windstar will again try to deliver the personal, high quality product of years gone by as the experience of intimate groups on a cruise ship is unique. Unfortunately, the lack of value delivered on this cruise makes competitors products more attractive. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My husband and I went on the Star Breeze for a trip around Ireland and Scotland. The itinerary was wonderful and we enjoyed the excursions that the cruise ship laid on ; they were VERY expensive but well run and first class all the way. ... Read More
My husband and I went on the Star Breeze for a trip around Ireland and Scotland. The itinerary was wonderful and we enjoyed the excursions that the cruise ship laid on ; they were VERY expensive but well run and first class all the way. We stayed in Suite 6. It was a two room suite, not too bad until you went to the windows. Outside our bedroom was a very restricted view ( lifeboat hanging there). Outside one living room window the curtains were never opened because the view out there was just a mess of steel supports, beams, ropes and general mess. The sliding balcony was another story. Half of the overhead space was taken up by an old "rescue" boat. Heaven forbid if they ever have to use it. It was held together ( barely) with black tar and tape that was hanging off. Really unsightly. Needless to say we were not out on our balcony very often. If you go on this ship stay away from Suite 6! Also the ceiling above the bed had rust stains on as though there had once been a leak in there. I know that they spent money refurbishing this ship but certainly a lot of areas were left completely untouched. It really could use a thorough inspection. I can't really say that the food was all that great. Some nights good, some nights just okay. To much sodium in most dishes. Lunch time looked more like a cheap cafeteria. There was no imagination used in the salads whatsoever and it was the same old thing every day. ( Raw broccoli or cauliflower anyone) . Also on some nights the waiters had no idea how to explain the food that was on the menu. One item I asked about was described as a Spanish rice - it was actually and awful colored sauce, full of peppers and spices that was poured all over the fish. Sad, to say- all of the best meals that we had were off the ship as we decided to eat lunch out on most days that we were on shore. Staff were really nice and friendly. All in all - good cruise just a little more attention needed to the menus, the food in general and the items around the ship that still needed attention. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was my first Windstar cruise. Based on the prices and their own marketing material - how they position themselves as a luxury experience for the most discerning traveler - and having been on a whole range of other cruise lines, I ... Read More
This was my first Windstar cruise. Based on the prices and their own marketing material - how they position themselves as a luxury experience for the most discerning traveler - and having been on a whole range of other cruise lines, I expected a good-to-great experience. What I got was more like a poor-to-mediocre one. Disappointment abounded - from the food to the ports of call to excursions to the service to the lack of sleep. POSITIVE - Staterooms: The all-suite staterooms are the largest I've ever stayed in - easily 2x the size of others. They've been recently renovated and are generally nice - additional thoughts under 'Negative' below. - Service: Almost every crew member I encountered was friendly and warm and wanted to help. Unfortunately, that niceness didn't equate to excellent service. 'Nice', 'friendly', 'warm' all go a long way in providing good service - but they don't replace the quality of the actual service provided. E.g. The waiter can be the nicest guy I've ever met, but it only goes so far in making up for the fact that I've asked for iced tea 3x and still don't have it. NEGATIVE - Staterooms: The key word about the ship is that it was 'renovated' - other than most of the public spaces (and not all of them were completely renovated), nothing looked new. In the rooms, you'll see stains in the marble in the bathroom, odd chipping/peeling in the veneers on the furniture, notice the age of the drawers and shelves in the closet, and the ancient tvs and dvd players. - Food: The dinner menus almost always looked good, but the food rarely impressed. Breakfast and lunch actually tasted like bad cafeteria food. At dinner one evening, I was served a pasta with pesto sauce, in which the pesto had been so badly prepared (and this is pesto, folks - not a difficult thing to make) that it was burnt and blackened. The dish was gross, but knowing how long I'd have to wait - and how disappointing another dish could be - I just ate it. - Overflowing toilets: One of the public restrooms, just off one of the main public rooms, overflowed into the public space several times during the cruise. And they kept putting a fan on the carpet to dry it. Well, that fan blew the air into the public room - so you could smell the disgusting scent of sewage mixed with deodorizer in the front half of the room. - Boat vibration and rocking: Yes, these are things that are to be expected on any cruise, and that I've experienced myself. I've never, though, had my bed shake - not just vibrate - so intensely, all night before that I couldn't get any rest. We weren't in the least expensive stateroom offered - not that it would be 'ok' even if we were. When you're paying these prices, no one should have a room that shakes so intensely every night. And the rocking - they rarely extend the stabilizers, and I heard many guests complaining and talking about intense sea sickness. It should be noted that the waters were *not* bad or rough at any point during the cruise. One night a woman was asking reception for some sea-sickness medication, and was told that the doctor couldn't be reached. This was after the poor woman had been up all night prior being sick. Pathetic. - Service: There was absolutely *nothing* excellent, luxurious or even 'good' about the service. I lost count of how many repeated requests - at dinner, with reception, with the maitre'd - were forgotten or had to be repeated several times. I was served the wrong meal numerous times, after having waited far too long to receive it in the 1st place. Our 2nd night, the waiter actually explained the severe delays were due to them being understaffed. !?!? How many times do I need to order iced tea or water or what-have-you before I actually get it? Again, this is supposed to be a higher-end experience - I've gotten better service on a Carnival Cruise back in college. The maitre'd offered, unsolicited - *he* offered - to send the menu for the following day to our room 3 times, but it never appeared. And he was surprised every time that it didn't show up. - Activities: There's really nothing of interest scheduled. - Ports of call: Two of the six ports should never have been part of the itinerary. One was a low-income vacation town and the other was an economically depressed town with literally nothing going on. - Excursion Director: This guy was nice, sure. But had absolutely no personality, gave no opinions or expert advice about any of the ports. All we heard were generalities and bland 'this is great, this is great, that's great' - everything was nice and great. Those words lose their meaning and provide no actual insight into the various options. His powerpoint presentations bordered on being sad. He cancelled our tickets on one of the excursions accidentally, with nothing to say but 'I'm sorry - try visiting the museum on your own'. I thought this was supposed to be a luxurious experience. You make a mistake, make it right - period. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Star Legend Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 5.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.6

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