16 Windstar Star Legend Cruise Reviews

Just got off the wind star legend....wow...good thing they are taking this ship into reparations... It has seen better days... No thermostats work in the suites, 1 ply toilet tissue, main dining room a/c stuck on coldest setting, so low ... Read More
Just got off the wind star legend....wow...good thing they are taking this ship into reparations... It has seen better days... No thermostats work in the suites, 1 ply toilet tissue, main dining room a/c stuck on coldest setting, so low , a large % of passengers got a cold in the first 3 days and passed it around for a week. Outdoor seating on upper deck fine dining area had incredibly uncomfortable chairs, the skinny legs of the cheap seating kept getting stuck in the grates of the floor tipping them sideways. The 'Candles' experience was 'filled" with reservations and when you got one ,you noticed very few people there because they were so understaffed... Fillet mignonette was precut to 6 ounces , served medium to medium well no matter what you requested. Service was spotty, some nights good, some you had to ask for water. Servers would often approach table interrupting guests in middle of a sentence.. Dining hours reflected the understaffing, very limited hours it became necessary to plan around so as not to run out of certain selections. Room service menu was a set menu devoid of nightly specials... Seldom could you make a selection where to eat... Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This cruise went to Alaska. Chose Windstar because of port visits. This is my fifth cruise to Alaska; before this always the same ports. Windstar substitutes smaller towns — Haines, Sitka; and Wrangell. The main problems are ... Read More
This cruise went to Alaska. Chose Windstar because of port visits. This is my fifth cruise to Alaska; before this always the same ports. Windstar substitutes smaller towns — Haines, Sitka; and Wrangell. The main problems are passenger comfort and excessive nickel and dimeing. The ship, in an apparent effort to save costs, is too cold. Most passengers wear winter coats to the longes, casino, and dining rooms. Initially the cabins were also icy, but that has improved thought not toasty. We have been on other cold weather crises, including around Patagonia, and never experienced this problem. Another extremely irritating condition is excessive promotion of products and services including costly liquor packages. Everything is for sale. The crew takes every opportunity to promote shore excursions. The eat more and weigh less seminar seemed to be a thinly disguised promotion for electronic monitoring and sale of a pill package. The fitness facilities are limited, but OK. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Star Legend is not suited for Alaska but rather warmer climates. For example the only indoor bar area, the Compass Rose, was so cold at night that they were actually handing out blankets to try and keep passengers warm. Other ships we have ... Read More
Star Legend is not suited for Alaska but rather warmer climates. For example the only indoor bar area, the Compass Rose, was so cold at night that they were actually handing out blankets to try and keep passengers warm. Other ships we have been on have entertainment at night but all Star Legend had was a duo who sang and unbelievably on some nights were scheduled to perform on the open deck at 9.15pm in Alaska! I went up there one night at 9.30 pm and the whole area was empty and the 2 entertainers were sitting in the corner wrapped in blankets. It was quite obvious that Windstars focus was how to extract as much money as possible from the captive passengers onboard, the land excursions were very expensive being 50 to 100% more than what you could buy the same excursion direct from the operator onshore and everything onboard, excluding the food, cost money including the WiFi. On the positive side the layout of the cabins were very good but the showers were warm at best and the "balcony's" are only 1 foot wide ledges. The crew being mainly Indonesian and Filipino were very good as they are on all cruise ships. The itinerary was too long and just focused on the excursions so that we ended up in tiny little towns like Wrangel which you could walk around in less than an hour but we were there for the entire day. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Things I wish I had known: If you are choosing a Windstar Alaska itinerary because you think the small ship will do lots of scenic cruising that large ships cannot do, be aware that during the 3 days described on the itinerary as ... Read More
Things I wish I had known: If you are choosing a Windstar Alaska itinerary because you think the small ship will do lots of scenic cruising that large ships cannot do, be aware that during the 3 days described on the itinerary as "cruising" in Misty Fjords, the Kenai and Tracy Arm the ship does not cruise. What it does is travel into these areas and drop anchor so the boat can act as a dock for the expeditions on zodiac (1 hour) or kayak (2 hour) which passengers have paid for. The capacity of these excursions is less than half of the capacity of the ship so half of the passengers spend all day and all of the passengers spend most of the day just floating in place looking at the same glacier or treed hillside. There were no enrichment activities or entertainments or musical acts during these days. The only things on the schedule on all three days combined was one wine tasting (fee required) and a few exercises classes (fee required for most--capacity 8) and some pitches for spa products. The weather was nice enough for hot tubbing but the larger hot tub was under repair for all but the last couple days of the cruise. The nature expeditions were exciting (we had great weather) and were the highlight of many passengers' trip. But there were lots of long boring hours involved as well. OTHER REVIEW ITEMS: THE SHIP Is beautiful and classic with nice well maintained wooden decks. It is kind of old and the carpets and furnishings show wear. There was a leak in the windows on the 6th floor lounge causing a dank smell. The tender area is not accessible by elevator, causing inconvenience on tendered days for anyone with mobility issues DINING and BEVERAGE The food in the dining room was very good with interesting menus. The wine list was extensive, especially wines by the glass. Craft beer drinkers were excited to see ALASKA Brewing beer available but supplies ran out after two days and were not replenished until Juneau. The most exotic beers on board most days were Molson and Grolsch, Breakfast in the Veranda was nothing special and pretty much the same every day. The biggest issue with Veranda at both lunch and breakfast was lack of room as it was too cool for most people to want to sit outside. The crowding made coffee and tea service hard to come by. The problem could have been helped by extending hours, but Windstar chose instead to curtail hours. On some days there was no breakfast buffet after 8:30 and on other days the dining room was open for just one hour for lunch. Other reviewers have noted that dinner service in Amphora took an excessive amount of time and I would agree. The staff was very professional but seemed spread thin. CABIN Our balcony cabin was spacious with a lovely sitting area and a nice walk in closet. The bathing set up is a tub with a shower head on the end of a hose which can be mounted on the wall at kind of an odd angle. This arrangement could be a problem for anyone with mobility issues who would not want to step up into a tub. The thermostat in our room did not work. The cabin was alternately and randomly hot or cold with no relationship to settings. We heard others passengers complain of the same thing. The balconies on this ship are actually ledges you can step out onto. Do not expect an actual veranda. EXCURSIONS The excursion staff was the best group on the ship. They gave good overview talks for of every port and the excursion groups were well organized. We booked a number of excursions through Windstar and they were all as advertised and well run with good local guides. ON BOARD EXPERIENCE WIndstar has lots of loyal customers and they are themselves a good feature of the boat. They are well traveled and interesting and the small ship size makes it easy to mingle and enjoy each other. The ability to visit the bridge and the officers there is a great feature. We had trouble with on- board accounting. We managed to get a couple of errant charges reversed while on board, but once we got home discovered Windstar had charged our credit card for more than the amount shown on the "final Billing" left on our door the last morning. We have no idea what the extra amounts are and are disputing them. Windstar does not have customers present cards or sign for each purchase. Instead the staff punches in the passengers' room number. The idea that the staff knows everyone by name is supposed to insure that they notice errors, I guess. Obviously, errors get through. ENTERTAINMENT There was one duo and one solo act that performed at the same hours every day. There were two trivia contests and the Liars Club performance and the staff night entertainment. A native dance group came aboard one day. These performers appeared to be high school or college students. SUMMARY Windstar has many loyal customers and I can appreciate much of what they love about a small ship. However, a price of more the $450 per day (not including tips, beverages, excursions or transfers) for an itinerary of 12 days with only 7 days in ports, causes me to rate this as a very poor value for the money. Compared to my previous experiences on Windstar, I found the staff to be spread very thin and the little luxuries -such as chocolates at dinner, theme dinners or parties, and even towel sculptures on my bed-- to be missing from this trip. I will be monitoring the Windstar reviews to see if some of the issues continue or begin to right themselves. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We lived in Asia for many years and thought a boat trip over Christmas and New Years would be fun, but Windstar were disappointing. There were positives: The Indonesian crew and Filipino are delightful, albeit not as well trained as can ... Read More
We lived in Asia for many years and thought a boat trip over Christmas and New Years would be fun, but Windstar were disappointing. There were positives: The Indonesian crew and Filipino are delightful, albeit not as well trained as can be. But the people are so nice it mostly makes up for the poor management. Food is good, not great. The boat itself is stylish and comfy, with great suites of good size and with good bathrooms, even a bath. But entertainment is a total bust. There were two duos performing nightly. Neither selected music to match the audience and repartee was zero. Even on New Year's Eve they couldn't manage good dancing music. My spotify collection would have been much better received. Besides the duos, absolutely zilch! Enrichment? Only decorative towel folding....good grief. Nada!! Nothing whatsoever to do on sea days. Nothing planned, nothing offered. On Christmas we went to promised carols on deck, but no one showed up. When we called to find out where it was, they said we had the wrong day...on Christmas! Absolutely nothing else planned or done....pitiful! Ports were as expected but we didn't expect having to tender in to almost all ports using a single vessel to transfer all guests. Some waits approached one hour. So we thought we'd avail ourselves of the much advertised water sports, which were advertised as free sailing boats, kayaks and paddleboards. They only opened this twice for 4 hours on the entire 14 day passage and would not bring out the sailboats. Why not? "Sometimes people can't come back and we have to bring them back." When management was asked why did they advertise something not offered, they just shrugged. So no more Windstar for us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Wanted to visit numerous islands and picked this one due to the inclusion of St. Bart's. Unfortunately, the captain decided to skip St. Bart's and go to another island instead. The lower on the staff totem poll, the better the ... Read More
Wanted to visit numerous islands and picked this one due to the inclusion of St. Bart's. Unfortunately, the captain decided to skip St. Bart's and go to another island instead. The lower on the staff totem poll, the better the attitude. Everyone wearing an officer costume seemed to have a poor attitude or just did not really care. Never seen anything like that before. The small ship was expected to be a plus, with only 200 guests, but the captain chose to run slowly on only one engine and the ship pitched all night. Many guests got seasick and Dramamine was the number one discussion on deck. Food was sometimes good and sometimes not so great. Windstar has two charges which are not known before boarding. First, no wine or alcohol is included - it is $650 per cabin - usually we expect to upgrade to premiums for a fee. No problem with that, but should be known. 2nd, there is an $84 per person additional charge for "tips". That is just additional ticket charge and does not change the pay of servicers. We tipped maids, waiters and other help - unfortunately most guests think the tip charge is really tipping. To me that is just Windstar being dishonest. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Cruise was supposed to depart from San Juan on 12/9 but the cruise line didn't file proper paperwork with port authority so ship went to St Marteen. Passengers were told to meet at Sheraton hotel in San Juan and wait for shuttle to ... Read More
Cruise was supposed to depart from San Juan on 12/9 but the cruise line didn't file proper paperwork with port authority so ship went to St Marteen. Passengers were told to meet at Sheraton hotel in San Juan and wait for shuttle to airport where two planes were chartered to take us to St. Marteen. A cruise that was supposed to embark at 6pm was clearly not going to start for many hours. The cruise line gave us all a $150 credit for the inconvenience - which was completely inadequate for the late start, extra flight and confusion. Charter on Miami Air wasn't prepared for us when we arrived. long lines in airport - which seemed ridiculous since Windstar knew in advance who was on the plane THEY chartered. Plane left for St. Marteen late and the two people from Windstar did nothing. We arrived in St. Marteen and amateur hour continued. We arrived at cruise terminal and NO ONE from Windstar met the the bus - so the bus driver kept us on board. By now it was after 10pm and we were sitting on a bus in a closed cruise terminal. We finally boarded and filled out paperwork. Why didn't they give us paperwork in San Juan? We were captive for 8 hours already (boarding was supposed to open at 1pm) - but now we were doing routine paperwork. We got to our cabin around 11pm. We went to bar and learned that drinks were free - but there was no announcement at check in. Give free drinks - tell no one to reduce expense. Great strategy! They extended free drinks into 2nd day of cruise with limited communication. On second day we attend Captain's briefing. He announced that this was his last cruise before vacation.......clearly his mind was elsewhere and his "I'm going home" attitude spilled onto crew. There was a persistent and often shocking lack of attention to detail in every aspect of service. I blame the Captain and his senior staff. Around 2am we wondered why the ship was still in port and learned that they were waiting for emergency batteries. Why didn't Windstar communicate anything to the passengers? Was there a mechanical issue with ship all along - and the paperwork story was just a smoke screen? the change in embarkation port shifted the first two days of the itinerary. They made little effort to tell people "excursions planned for Sunday are now on Saturday and excursions for Saturday are now on Sunday".....no announcements. No changes to the tickets. Nothing. So Saturday was a scramble since we didn't sail until well after 3am after having got on board very later. On Sunday, we went to Antigua a day later than planned and learned that basically 90% of everything on port was closed on Sunday. So this stop was a complete waste of time. We went to the watersports dock one day and floated behind ship on water mat. A Zodiac from the ship was hauling in a broken sail boat and apparently didn't see us in the water. The Zodiac ran over the mat and spilled my wife and I off the mat - which was very dangerous to say the least. Room service was comical. After 3 wrong orders we gave up ordering things in the room. Casino had exactly one blackjack table and one poker table.....and exactly one dealer. So basically one game at a time. There was also supposed to be a Roulette wheel but there wasn't one. Slots and one table game at a time......the ship again failed to plan. The spa booked up very quickly - again, very few workers. To their credit, the spa didn't spend the entire treatment trying to sell lotions and potions like on most cruise lines. The ship directory in room was obsolete. None of the phone numbers were correct - so we had to call operator. Leaving ship was just as bad. We were told to be at gangway at 7:30am. They let us off at 7:50am with no explanation of delay. They didn't have enough shuttles to airport (mind you, we all had to declare where we were going on Wednesday so they had an accurate count of the people going to airport) So we stood outside an hour. Then, when the shuttle arrived it couldn't fit everyone's luggage in back - so they filled the aisle with bags. Good thing there wasn't an accident because no one could get to door through the stack of bags. I am sure that I am leaving off lots of details. For a supposedly "high end" private yacht we got impression that they never sailed before. There was limited planning and poor execution in every aspect of service. We won't sail Windstar again Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was the same cruise that dsyoung422 was on, so many comments are similar. The cruise was supposed to start in San Juan and we flew down the night before as independent travelers. I guess that was the first mistake as the first we ... Read More
This was the same cruise that dsyoung422 was on, so many comments are similar. The cruise was supposed to start in San Juan and we flew down the night before as independent travelers. I guess that was the first mistake as the first we knew that the itinerary had changed was when we arrived at Muelle1 (Pier #1) in San Juan at 1:10pm (boarding was at 1:00pm) and there was NO SHIP! I called the main office in Seattle who told me there was a paperwork problem and to go to the Sheraton in Old San Juan to meet some Windstar reps. The kind taxi driver took us about 50 yards to that Sheraton, where the bellmen told him the Windstar people had left and were probably at Muelle 4. He then drove us over to Muelle 4 where two local Windstar people handed us a sheet of paper explaining the change and claiming that the "Vacation Planner team in Seattle contacted all guests and their travel agents to advise of this change"...well, we found out on returning home that they had sent out an email the previous day when we were already in transit. They should know that communication has not occurred until confirmation has been received and when traveling not everyone has access to email. Anyway, the two reps at Muelle 4 told us to go to the Sheraton Convention Center (not the one Seattle had just directed us to) to arrange to get on one of the two charter planes to Sint Maarten. The long suffering taxi driver did just that and we found the Windstar reps in a little office. They advised that we were assigned to the 7:30pm charter and the bus for that would leave at 4:30pm. I expressed my concern at the lack of communication, to which the response was to say that "Mister Ulf" would be along shortly and to take it up with him. Mister Ulf (apparently the customer service manager for the cruise, Ulf Rademaker) duly arrived and when one of the other prospective passengers expressed concern that we would not be on board until very late and whether there were any plans for providing dinner told them "Don't worry, we won't let you go to bed hungry" and proceeded to bury his nose in a laptop. Windstar had provided a "hospitality room", but this had obviously been set up for lunch for the first charter plane and by 2:15pm consisted of unrefrigerated cold cuts and stale bread...really sanitary. When 4:30 rolled around, a scrum formed to get on the one overloaded minibus, leaving some to be abandoned waiting for a replacement minibus. Checkin was not bad to the Miami Air charter, but proceeded very slowly. Then there was a 2-hour wait for the departure time during which most of the passengers found something to eat at their own expense at the airport. Meanwhile Mister Ulf arrived in the departure area and spent his time in conversation with other crew members, avoiding the passengers seemingly at all costs. Arrival and Immigration in Sint Maarten were surprisingly rapid and we were then loaded on another bus to get to the ship. After a long scenic trip across the island, we arrived at the cruise terminal to find that there was nobody to meet us and escort us in and down the pier. Someone finally turned up and escorted us to the ship where we had to go through the usual check-in, which was overloaded as everyone was arriving at once. The customary safety drill was then held, and by the time that was over it was 11:00pm. I asked reception if there was any food available, and they told us that the dining room would be open for another 15 minutes. It was in the dining room that we found out that drinks were being comped for the rest of the day...more good communication, they could have told everyone that at check-in! Now we were finally on board. The itinerary was supposed to be San Juan - Culebra - St Barths - Montserrat - St Maarten - Jost Van Dyke - Virgin Gorda - San Juan. What we got was St Maarten - St Barths - Antigua - Montserrat - St Maarten (again) - Jost Van Dyke - Virgin Gorda - San Juan. Missing Culebra was a disappointment but understandable in the circumstances and moving St Barths from Sunday to Saturday was probably a plus as most of it is closed on a Sunday. Ports in order visited: St Barths - we have always like this island and Saturday was better than Sunday would have been. You are tendered ashore here and we noticed that the tender crews seemed poorly skilled at handling the twin-engined tenders compared to other small ships we have been on. They appeared to be being trained by one of the officers, but did not seem to be paying much attention. The drinks were still being comped on this day...not that any notice was given other than one brief announcement. Antigua - added because of the changed itinerary. This was a docked location, so no tender issues. On a previous visit, we had been anchored off Falmouth near Nelson's Dockyard in the south of the island and that would have been much nicer and less exposed to the incessant "marketing" at the cruise pier in St Johns. Montserrat - If you don't take a tour here (we didn't) this was pretty boring. Sint Maarten - (again) - tied up to the pier, so access is good. The toilets on the ship went out of action for about an hour, but they appeared to be pumping out the black water tanks at the time, so we assumed that was the reason (more on this later). Sint Maarten seems to be all about shopping. Jost Van Dyke - not much to do here as a tender access port. Unfortunately, the toilets went out of action again for the whole ship at about 10:00am. After lunch, they were still out of action and when my wife asked if there was any progress or projected fix was told about 2 more hours. She remarked that it might be a good idea to have an announcement, the reception staff commented that that was a decision "for the stripes"...amazingly within a few minutes the captain made an announcement that it would be about 2 more hours (it was a bit less in the end)...but why was it not announced right up front instead of just locking all the public access toilets? More non-communication. Virgin Gorda - This is the beach party location that is also used by the older Windstar ships and by Sea Dream. The food at the beach was good, but the 200+ passengers seemed to overload the facilities and the sand fleas and mosquitoes were voracious. Unfortunately, the tender service did not extend to the Bitter End Yacht Club. San Juan - Disembarkation was delayed, presumably by customs/immigration..again no announcements as to what was going on. We were on a late flight, but would have been pretty anxious if we had been on the first batch of passengers with an early flight. Food on the whole was OK, but appeared to "benefit' from the Indian chef's native foods - almost all the menus had a curry flavor choice included. Breakfasts were OK, but the setup of the buffet is not conducive to good flow of people. Lunch is quite limited and the one time I ordered a hamburger, I found out after 25 minutes that the grill was broken and it would take another 10 minutes to arrive...again communicate. The main dining room was pleasant and we had no troubles with being assigned a 2-spot if we wanted it. Wine service was slow (understaffed) and not that helpful. The one night of the deck BBQ was rained out and set up in the dining room instead...the best food of the cruise! We eat in the alternative restaurant (Candles) one night; this is set up as a steakhouse and tries to serve that way. The food was good, but the service was amateurish, with long waits between the main plate arriving and sauces and sides appearing...and one of the sides appeared wrong and cold. Entertainment was two different singing acts, both quite pleasant and one very accomplished (Vice Versa) and to our taste. Service was in general mediocre - not for want of trying by the staff who really wanted to please, but they just seemed to be lacking in supervision, and the supervisors appeared to be taking more time to preen around in their uniforms than pay attention to the actions of their staffs. We had booked on this Windstar (we had been on Wind Spirit many years before) to see how it compares to SeaDream, acknowledging the lower price and fewer inclusions. Unfortunately, the lower price point does not in our minds compensate for the poor performance of the company in communication and supervision, so, absent a compelling itinerary we are unlikely to be back. It's a shame as the ship is a nice size, the cabin comfortable and the low-key entertainment was a pleasant addition. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We originally travelled on the ship nine years ago when it was owned by Seabourn. We decided to revisit the ship for sentimental reasons. The ship is now run by Windstar. All I can say to anyone who is thinking of doing the same not to ... Read More
We originally travelled on the ship nine years ago when it was owned by Seabourn. We decided to revisit the ship for sentimental reasons. The ship is now run by Windstar. All I can say to anyone who is thinking of doing the same not to do so as you will be very disappointed. The experience was a million miles away from the experience we previously had. It was like everything that made the cruise so special with Seabourn had been taken away and the cruise with Windstar was down to the absolute basics. On Seabourn the food is stunning. With Windstar the food was on the whole uninspiring and in many cases tasteless. On Seabourn the wine is of a very high standard and included. With Windstar we had difficulties finding decent bottles worth buying. On Seabourn the courtesy of the staff is exceptional. On Windstar the service was over familiar and some of the staff walk around the ship with their hands in their pockets and some were even entertaining their own family and friends on the ship while leaving guests unattended to. I do not want to recall the number of times I had to re-order food or drinks because the first order never arrives. On Seabourn there is a refined party atmosphere. On Windstar there was no atmosphere and hardly any entertainment provided on an evening. We were in bed most nights by 9.00 p.m. as there was nothing to do. In the main bar for pre-dinner drinks, the bar was closed shortly after 7.00 p.m. so that the staff could help elsewhere. When we complained, there was no offer to redress the position and instead we were asked to complete a complaint form ! A member of the senior staff spoke to us on the last day to ask whether we had enjoyed our holiday. We said not and the lady concerned just walked away and did not dare ask us why or what could have been improved. This came as no surprise since the senior staff appear very complacent and uninterested. The overall standard of the ship when run by Seabourn was exceptional. It was very sad to see how tired the ship has become. I dare not recall how many times I said to my partner "this would not happen on Seabourn" when we encountered a problem. If you treat a cruise on this ship like a bargain basement cruise or a school holiday you will be ok. If you have high expectations this will not be for you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I rarely write reviews of any of our trips but feel compelled to alert others regarding this ship. We have sailed with Windstar five previous times and this was our first cruise on a "motor" ship. First, the good The crew ... Read More
I rarely write reviews of any of our trips but feel compelled to alert others regarding this ship. We have sailed with Windstar five previous times and this was our first cruise on a "motor" ship. First, the good The crew were their usual fantastic selves doing all they could to make the journey satisfactory, the entertainers were very good and the food was pretty much up to Windstar standards.The cabins were fine and larger than those on the sailing ships, but who spends much time in the cabin? The not so good. The first night on the ship, the air conditioning failed. My wife and I have traveled enough to know that stuff happens and have learned to live with it The problem was that no announcements regarding the problem were made until the following morning when the problem was virtually fixed. It was fixed around midday. Several people called the desk throughout the night and were assured that it would be fixed within one half hour. Several people slept in deck chairs that night. Windstar did issue a $100 per person credit for the inconvenience. While limited smoking areas are provided on the ship on one occasion people were smoking on the outside Star Bar well away from the smoking area and on another occasion,I smelled smoke when I opened our balcony door. I found that someone one deck below and two cabins forward was smoking on their balcony. When I pointed this out to an officer on the flying bridge, he merely shrugged as if to say so what. I later pointed this out to the cruise director and the issue never occurred again. While the crew performed admirably, I always had the feeling that they were operating short handed. Service in the restaurant just wasn't what we had come to expect on Windstar. If you have any difficulty negotiating stairs, and expect to take any excursions that require the use of tenders, be cautious. Access to the tenders is through the bowels of the ship on two or three dark sets of steps which can be a problem. The tenders are not the life boats but real tenders, but they have been beaten up well used and need some refer, Excursions were an aggravation. The Destinations manager did not know how to properly pronounce the names of a couple of destinations, but this was the least of the problems. On the Glass bottom Boat and Snorkel trip, I would have been sorely disappointed had I gone for the glass bottom boat ride since it lasted about ten minutes and the snorkel lasted about an hour. We snorkeled. The boats looked like our excursion might be their last. Boarding was by climbing from the dock onto a ladder and then descending onto the deck. Again, mobility could be an issue. The Samur sail and snorkel was a farce, but I refer you to Trip Advisor for an accurate description of that fiasco. Again, if you have mobility issues do not take this excursion as you have to go from a slippery zodiac to the deck the ship by climbing up the side of the ship. One of the things we have always loved on Windstar is the Christopher Columbus sail away music. On the Legend it was very loud at the center of the ship but should barely be heard for and aft. Disappointing While none of these items were disastrous, They were aggravating and not up the standard txt Windstar has set on the sailing ships. Being seasoned travelers, who enjoy each others company, we enjoyed our cruise in spite of the issues. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
If not for the crew, food and beverage servers, and our room steward, our first Windstar "Luxury Cruising" experience would have been a complete disappointment. With that said, my wife and I decided on the Windstar Legend. We ... Read More
If not for the crew, food and beverage servers, and our room steward, our first Windstar "Luxury Cruising" experience would have been a complete disappointment. With that said, my wife and I decided on the Windstar Legend. We were more than excited to board such a "luxury" style yacht for this very special vacation. As we boarded, we were greeted by Captain Richard and Hotel Manager Calvin, which was a very nice personal touch. Our cabin was pleasant and comfortable. We began to walk around the exterior of the ship, and found it not welcoming at all. It seemed like the ship was closed down. There was no water in the pool, lounge chairs were stacked up, and no music was playing. We walked further and began to get a common theme that the Windstar Legend was far from Luxury but was a very weathered yacht. My wife and I looked at each other and I actually asked her if we just made a big mistake and if she wanted to get off before it sailed. We are optimistic people so we went with it... We met amazing people, and the staff could not have done more for us. They were great. Windstar marketing and advertising manager should receive a raise because what is portrayed on the videos and the website is a far cry from reality. The broken ice cream machine/freezer, the aged tenders, the lack of watersports, which was a very big attraction for us, and inflatable zodiacs were completely unacceptable and embarrassing. Tenders were constantly broken, and the drivers were incapable of controlling a tender frequently slamming them into the platforms the days they were in operation. There was actually a day when we had no functioning tenders at all, and elderly passengers with canes were taking the zodiacs back to the ship. This was not safe, and as a result, I was helping to get them on and off the boat. It was ridiculous. Most passengers on the ship felt the same. I heard the couple staying in the owners suite did not have Air conditioning in their room for 3 days and asked to get off the ship. The reality of the situation is that the Windstar Company should be embarrassed to provide their employees with such old broken down equipment. The next consideration for the Legend might be providing the employees with the proper resources to do their jobs. As I stated previously, we had a great time on our Honeymoon, but it was only because of the staff and the wonderful people we met. In fairness to Windstar, I must mention we did voice our concerns with them after returning home and were compensated for our dissapointment. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I believe that an objective and unemotional review is critical for the reader (YOU) in gaining the most information possible in both the positive and negative aspects of any review for a cruise line, hotel or resort. I so hope this ... Read More
I believe that an objective and unemotional review is critical for the reader (YOU) in gaining the most information possible in both the positive and negative aspects of any review for a cruise line, hotel or resort. I so hope this review will assist or guide you in your decision about a Windstar cruise or act as a tool in your decision in comparing it to equal or similar lines (Azamara, Oceania and Silversea). Guests/passengers sail Windstar Cruises for its itinerary foremost and Windstar Cruises isn’t yet capable of delivering that promised itinerary or product as of now. Let me share quickly here just a bit about myself: With the completion of this Windstar Cruise, I now have fifty-one (51) sailings completed with various cruise lines. I also have spent my entire life within the travel industry with 25 of those years flying for a major global airline. My sailing was aboard Windstar Cruises ‘Star Legend’. This October 2015, sailing from Rome to Nice. Stateroom 132. It was my first Windstar experience and sadly, it will be my last Windstar experience. Windstar Cruises has decided to aggressively enter the cruise market with what they call Yachts. Instead of just their sailing ships; they’ve now gone to smaller power vessels that Seabourne Cruises (another cruise line) no longer wanted due to age and condition. Enter ‘Star Legend’ and ‘Star Breeze’ and ‘Star Pride’. The line promotes itself as unique in getting you, the passenger into smaller ports that the mega or big cruise lines can’t get into. However, in my case or my sailing, Windstar Cruises failed to deliver the small port product while it argued with Italian port authorities over tender fees and instead decided to miss the most important port of the sailing. You’ll find a main dining room, an aft dining venue used both day and night, a lounge snack area forward and of course room service 24/7. The boat/ship shows older and has few venues or entertainment options but remains quite comfortable and easy to navigate due to its 9000 GRT size. The aft pool has been removed and there is a very small pool and Jacuzzi mid-ship. Oddly enough, there is a petite sized casino and small gift shop that is mostly closed the entire cruise due to the time spent in port(s). The ship is older. Nearing 25 years of service with its former owners, Seabourne Cruises and initially Royal Viking Line. Built in 1990. It’s a challenge to see where the recent $8.5 million in refurbishment per ship has gone to but the boat/ship shows well; albeit older. There is some pitch and roll in the ride quality as it is a smaller vessel but that always depends on weather and sea conditions. Staying on a lower deck and mid ship will resolve or improve the ride quality greatly. The crew shared with us that they will not carry passengers when she makes her Atlantic crossing in the near future to North America. Let’s go over the PROS: 1) STATEROOM/CABIN: Largest standard stateroom ever at 275 square feet. Amazing comfort except for poor bedding/pillows. Walk-in closet, upscale L’Occitane bath products, tub/shower and power outlets for both European and North American appliances (No USB slots). 2) CUISINE: Food! Food! Food! Excellent and the best at-sea cuisine I have had since the early days of Princess or Sitmar Cruises. High quality in taste, selection and presentation. Room Service was just as good and dining in-suite was a delight! 3) PRIVATE EVENT: Windstar’s Complimentary Private Event (much like Azamara’s Amazing Evenings). As professional and well managed as one could expect (ours took us to the famous Monte Carlo Grand Casino Square). Complimentary casino admission, complimentary lavish dessert and champagne offerings and transfers were included that evening. Way too special! 4) CREW: Indonesian general ship crew/staffing is chosen by a third party vendor and supplied to Windstar cruises to cover everything from the dining room to photography services and about 90+% of the ships/boats overall staffing. Gracious, friendly and welcoming 24/7! 5) ITINERARY: Advertised or promised small harbor/harbor/port itinerary-BUT WARNING: That is how it is advertised but failed to occur because Windstar did not want to pay the tender fees in our case thereby missing the most important port of call. We were dumped/substituted for the day at the highly industrial port of Livorno, Italy next to cargo ships and loading cranes. Let’s go over the CONS: 1) ITINERARY RELIABILITY: As said, the key port of call was missed by the cruise line because of a dispute over tender fees. There were no weather issues and the captain disclosed that it was Windstar management (in Seattle) that had made the decision to abandon the intended port and park us instead at the industrial port of Livorno, Italy. That sub-standard and poor decision left the ships passengers with few alternatives. It was the port for Cinque Terre and Portovenere. Twice, the captain referred us to THE CONTRACT from the cruise line that stated that the cruise line had the option of missing or cancelling any port, for any reason. 2) OCCUPANCY/PASSENGER LOADS: We sailed with just a 55% occupancy factor. That in itself was a decisive aspect of the judgement to abandon a port that was costing the cruise line money for a 55% occupancy factor. If Windstar Cruises can’t fill its small ships for one of its most inviting itineraries; it will simply cease to exist; especially in light of its aggressive expansion goals. It certainly lost two passengers for repeat business forever from us and I share here that so many other passengers were so discontent at the overall handling by its Seattle Corporate headquarters. 3) SHIPS OFFICERS: The ships officers or management were arrogant, abusive and intolerant. I managed to gain a 30 minute meeting with the Captain, the Hotel Manager and the Voyage Leader. Only the Hotel Manager had any customer skills. The captain was often angry (as was the Voyage Leader) in that we were disputing the decision by Windstar to abandon its most important port. The captain was so very angry with us for questioning the operation that we later offered to disembark the vessel by his request. We also emailed the cruise line asking to leave the vessel for failing to deliver the promised product but Windstar Cruises ignored all emails we sent. Windstar Cruises (to date) has refused to answer or address our written correspondence. 4) ELEVATORS: The ship has two elevators in the center atrium area. One failed and was never repaired the entire week. 5) TENDERS: The ship uses motorboats instead of its tenders/lifeboats for ports where tendering is needed or permitted. These small motorboats are stored in what used to be the sports platform when the ships belonged to Seabourne Cruises. One of the two motorboat outboard motors remained inoperative the entire week yet the tender operation continued from the ship to the dock/port(s) on a single motor/engine. The entire week… 6) PHONES: In-room phones were often inoperative if you needed to contact room service. Instead, you would have to call the operator and have room service return the call to you. 7) TV: There is small older TV (maybe 20”) located in the stateroom and of course using satellite reception. It operated about 40-50% of the time. We remained along the coast of Italy and France the entire week with that same limited reception. The only alternative was to watch a continuous loop Rick Steve’s production about Rome. TV wasn’t essential for us as we were onboard for the ports of call but it along with other maintenance issues were evident the entire week. 8) BOTTLED WATER: (complimentary) is supplied upon boarding in each stateroom. BUT-NOT-SEALED. So we asked our stateroom attendant and was told that the water is refilled with the ships tap water with the same bottles being used cruise-after-cruise. There are no water packages available for sale onboard. 9) INTERNET: An astonishing and exorbitant $250.00 for one (1) device for the length of the cruise is optional. You may also purchase a $60.00 version but that only gives you 200MB and lasts a day or so for very limited access to emails. 10) LIQUOR PACKAGES: There are no ‘Wine Packages’ offered onboard Windstar cruises but a liquor package is offered for approx.; $1000.00 on a 7 day cruise per stateroom ($117 per day plus tip). 11) SHORE EXCURSIONS: These all vary but expect much higher-than-average shore excursions and a very limited selection. In our case, we sailed at only 55% occupancy so some were cancelled and some operated at half a bus load. You’ll do much better planning your own shore excursions where needed. Detailed information about each excursion offered is best found online before your sailing. 12) TRANSFERS: We used Windstar’s transfer service from the airport in Rome to the port where the ship was waiting for $115 per person. However, we instead used a cab from the port in Nice to the Nice airport for $30 per couple or $15 each. A major improvement over Windstar’s excessive transfer prices. If you book a Windstar Cruise, I would highly recommend that you purchase insurance from a third-party vendor (AIG, Travel Guard, etc). The solvency and the survivability of Windstar Cruises operating at a 55% occupancy factor and investing millions of dollars in older boats along with a very sub-standard managed operation in Seattle; make for an uncertain future. I was stunned and amazed that Windstar Cruises was operating so haphazardly that a contract or agreement wasn’t in place for the ships arrival at the various ports. As the captain shared with us; he was on the phone with Italian authorities’ right up until the last minute trying to arrange for tender operations at Portovennere, Italy. You’ll travel thousands and thousands of miles (in most cases) to get to a Windstar ship and you’ll invest well over the cruise fare itself to do so. To make such a journey and then have it fail because of a very incompetent operation; would cost you financially and emotionally; missing the cities you traveled so far to see. I would probably have to admit that while I prefer the professional and competent lines of Celebrity Cruises or Royal Caribbean; I’d even sail again with Carnival Cruise Lines before I would ever step aboard another Windstar Cruises ship/boat. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Firstly Windstars site does not work properly so had to phone to book excursions we wanted to do. Toll call to America listening to what a wonderful stress free cruise etc we were going to experience. Wines are very disappointing about ... Read More
Firstly Windstars site does not work properly so had to phone to book excursions we wanted to do. Toll call to America listening to what a wonderful stress free cruise etc we were going to experience. Wines are very disappointing about American supermarket quality. No decent Italian wines. The food except for the BBQ night was pretty poor to average. (have had better food and wine staying at a club Med resort) Some guests left after 3 days because of this, they had been on Windstar cruises before but said never again. Some staff are friendly and helpful, some are not, Bar manager snatched my cocktail off the table before I had finished it was quite rude. Excursions are way over priced not worth paying for, Some guides English are very poor. If you go a shore and not go on their excursions very little information is given to you (Capri we cued with others at the Vanicular 20 mins and then told we had to go and get tickets some way away from the vanicular and join another cue. At Sorrento we were left to either walk up the road no pavement and nearly get run over. Claim a very steep staircase. We were about to give up when we came across a lift to take us up. All this could of been avoid should Windstar provide a little information about places. Lastly Give a large tip to staff that you want to look after you at the beginning of the cruise because this will insure you will get looked after. I will use another small boat cruise line but never Windstar again Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Our first cruise and the most expensive per day we have had. Traveled extensively to South America, UK, Europe, Australia, the Pacific Islands and Madagascar. The "balcony" cabin we had was clean and well serviced with the ... Read More
Our first cruise and the most expensive per day we have had. Traveled extensively to South America, UK, Europe, Australia, the Pacific Islands and Madagascar. The "balcony" cabin we had was clean and well serviced with the exception of toiletries which we had to from time to time ask for. The en-suite was a bit tired and could use a face-lift. My gripe with the cabin is that is a joke to call it a balcony cabin. There are two sliding door that open to a foot wide board and a hand rail to lean on - no table and two chairs that you would expect with a balcony cabin. Service throughout the ship was on the whole reasonable which is more than I can say about the food. I rate the food as being only average as there was virtually nothing that I, or most reasonable cooks, couldn't have prepared themselves. The food the first three nights was dreadful - way overcooked steak and salmon and vegetables that were hot and raw (not cooked at all). This did improve afterwards but not to the level one would expect from a 5 star operation. The food at Club Med Mauritius or Princess Bora Resort and Spa in Madagascar I would rate at a good 8.5 Star Legend's at 3 out of 10 - very disappointed. As far as the wines were concerned (and I have had years of being a wine-broker); I had expected and hoped that there would be a good selection of Italian wines considering the cruise was from this area and considering that Italy produces great wines as well as great value-for-money wines but alas mostly cheap American supermarket wines at high prices and a very poor selection of local wines again at high prices for what they were. All in all beverage rating 2 out of 10. Excursions; Grossly over priced, sometimes with guides with poor English and sometimes with guides that don't have a stop button (They talk non-stop often repeating themselves). If you do book with Windstar and you don't want to use their excursions don't expect any help from them other than a very basic map of the city your visiting - do your homework first. I have held off on writing this review because out travel consultant said the Windstar agent wanted to talk to me regarding my concerns. As expected that hasn't happened so all in all I strongly suggest before paying good money to Windstar do your homework first. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I must confess at the outset that I have never been a fan of "cruising" and that sentiment has been further confirmed as I have watched ever larger, slab-sided monstrosities blot out the vistas of some of the most beautiful bays ... Read More
I must confess at the outset that I have never been a fan of "cruising" and that sentiment has been further confirmed as I have watched ever larger, slab-sided monstrosities blot out the vistas of some of the most beautiful bays and harbors of the world. This feeling perhaps first began when I was invited to lunch on board the SS France when she visited Sydney, Australia on her final voyage before being cast into the role of a floating university, a venture that proved to be folly. Nonetheless, any vessel that could boast twenty three pastry chefs had to be a winner in my book and a testament to the fact that the French would allow a kitchen of any less proportion or caliber to cross an ocean under the Tri-color flag of France. Those are sadly bygone days and the commercial employment of the current-day behemoths to introduce the masses to the joys of travel are a mere shadow of the all but forgotten days of the great ships. However, over recent years I have become quite enamoured of the 100 to 600 passenger vessels of the SeaDream and Azamara brands that have brought new life to my hope for a better quality experience at sea. My exploration of these offerings has proven most satisfactory and the emphasis on melding a superb, all-inclusive on-board experience with longer stays in port and more overnights to allow the traveler to really enjoy local cuisine and culture without the rush on and off for what is often a dissapointing "tour" of the local town. Additionally, the shallower draft of these smaller vessels permits them to transport one to ports and river destinations denied their larger competitors. The true all-inclusive products these lines offer is a refreshing change from the need to always be reaching into your pocket for everything such as gratuities or a glass of wine. It was with this new appreciation for the call of the sea that I was promted to coax some friends to join me in sampling Windstar's newly acquired motor ship, the Windstar Legend for a "Culinary and Wine Delights" voyage from Dover down the coast of France and Spain to Portugal. "Legend" indeed! It might more appropriately be called "Myth" as it has proved to be about one and a half stars short of its perported five. Notwithstanding the comments to follow, I would not wish to take anything away from the largely Indonesian (non-officer) crew who were absolutely wonderful in creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere at every point of contact. The kitchen staff also produced a very satisfactory offering at every meal despite the fact that they and the wait staff were as frustrated as we passengers at the daily changes as to where breakfast or lunch would be served. The daily bulletin was invariably wrong and even junior officers, when found, had difficulty in directing us to the correct location! When an investment is made to re-fit a ship one has to bear in mind that the steel structure of the original designer's vision is unchangeable. Thus it is the exterior facade and the interior furnishings and other items of decore that are the focus of any expenditures. In this instance I found it difficult to see beyond the ovbviously new carpet, just where had the $millions been spent? My bathroom fixtures had been re-caulked, although to say it was a shoddy job would be generous. The missed piece around the basin faucet was evidence of the grunge that the new grout was to cover. Our friends found a three legged chair (one broken) propped up against the wall of their cabin and the table at which I sat in the Yacht Club had the surround veneer peeling way. Poor quality choice of furnishing or poor upkeep, take your pick! The steel edge of our balcony already was showing deeply encrusted rust which would indicate a lack of detail in cleaning and painting the exterior. In all, this lady shows her age and is not up to the standard befitting a five-star hotel at sea. All of this pales in comparisonm to the failure of the fresh water system at the start of our first at-sea day. Guests reported being caught in full lather as hot water turned brown and diminshed to a trickle. Toilets ceased to work and even ingenious efforts to flush with bottles of Perrier were thwarted due to the vacuum system also being turned off! Not what one had hoped for and again, perhaps evidence that the re-fit dollars were not fully deployed in support of the mechanical areas either. Hence we were diverted to the port of Brest to have the tanks flushed and repairs made. Disembarkation was not an option but then, Brest harbor did not appear inviting enough to venture out. The price point of our voyage was far from inexpensive which made the nickel and dime-ing plus constant efforts to up-sell (spa) more annoying. The partially inclusive price was certainly five star, the product not so. One clear point of differentiation from either Sea Dream or Azamara has been the officer corp. Aboard the Azamara Quest the officers were constanlty mingling and talking with guests, always ready to answer a question or engage them in a story about the next port of call. On no less that three occassions the captain or another officer would casually stop by and ask if they could join us for breakfast or lunch. Not so aboard the Legend where senior officers have rarely be seen. In speaking of officers, another detail involves the daily bulletin where in the header we are advised that our captain is one, whereas in the body copy another person is introduced as the captain (whom we later learned was the prior captain!). This gave rise to some discussion as to whether our captain might indeed be new to his rank. At every announcement he would commence with "Ah, good morning ladies and gentlemen, this is er (pause) your captain speaking..." He never sounds quite sure that he might only be the first officer, perhaps the most recent rank he occupied? With the notable difference between the Wind Star experience and that of Azamara where very officer from the captain down were constantly visible and mingling with the guests it was clear that the "servant/leader" model was in play as officers set the example in creating a unique on board sense of "family" from the top down. Not so with the WindStar executive team! With little desire to bash the efforts of this crew to work around the product they have been given, there is little point in mentioning the "World Class" gym that isn't, or the morning mystery of where breakfast is being served on any given day. Suffice it to say that this is an okay cruise, but not the five-star experience promised. It certainly is well below the price point charged. Come on Wind Star, take note of what Azamara And Sea Dream are doing and shape up. You can do better than this! If you are getting ready to book this Cruise, don't..... Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I have taken sometime to reflect on my recent cruise on the Star Legend, from 9/1 – 9/11. I took this time to ensure that I was being objective in my thoughts/opinions/perspectives on this 10 day long trip through France/Spain/Portugal. ... Read More
I have taken sometime to reflect on my recent cruise on the Star Legend, from 9/1 – 9/11. I took this time to ensure that I was being objective in my thoughts/opinions/perspectives on this 10 day long trip through France/Spain/Portugal. With that perspective I write you this letter. My wife is a travel agent and had made the decision to test out Windstar with one of her clients we were extremely excited to be traveling on the recently renovated Star Legend with its luxurious staterooms, state of the art gym, and 5 star experience. There are many things to speak about, but it comes down to one thing that you would expect from a "5 Star Experience" and that is; “it’s about attention to detail”. Here are the examples of “attention to detail” that made this cruise a less than exceptional event for her clients: “State of the art Gym”: 1 of the bikes is broken, and has been for over a month from what the staff told me. Im 6’4” I was not able to use the treadmill as my head hits the ceiling in the gym Water System: The fact that it broke is not the issue. The fact that not once after the system was fixed, and we had to make changes to the next day itineraries did the captain speak to the passengers and apologize by either having a free drink for the passengers, or any other kind of concession. Bordeaux Dinner Event: 1 choice for entrée…. Let me say that again, 1 choice for entrée for 250+ people.... Even more interesting is that it was Beef Wellington, and it was barely rare. 4 people at my table asked for it to be cooked more, and it came back burned on top and still raw/rare in the middle. The staff put the meat near a broiler to “warm it up”. Quite possibly the worst meal I have ever had. What is stunning to me is that there was not a choice of meat or fish, let alone the meal that was served. Again, no recognition by the leadership of the ship that this event was ruined. Excursions: I will not beat up on each of these, yet a few examples…. On both the St. Malo and Bordeaux excursion we drove around for a few hours and were pushed for time at the Crepe/Cider tasting and the actual wine tasting. The icing on the cake was Porto! A beautiful city, that we visited the Stock Exchange, and toured the city on the bus. We were given 18 minutes to “shop/look around” on our own. Really? The coordination here with the local tour groups has to be better, or explained in the brochures that you will not have time to tour these beautiful cities. My favorite: Day 4, a day at sea. We have had a tough start to the trip, but it is a gorgeous day. Sun is out, everyone is on the deck, the bar is jumping, and people are enjoying themselves and getting ready to put the past few days behind them. I go into the bathroom on Deck 7 and I come out laughing…. There are no hand towels to dry my hands after you wash them. I look at my wife and say “attention to detail”. Wine Tasting: The wine expert could not wait to get this event over every night, we would barely sit down and he would be saying that we need to get moving as we did not have much time. The best wine of the night on at least 3 occasions ran out. That’s right while eating dinner we were told that there was no more of that kind of wine. Scheduling: Everything was on top of each other. Wine tasting had to go quickly because the next day itinerary meeting was coming up. Trivia had to be done quickly as the room was needed for something else. Leadership: The captain has to take leadership here. While at the Bordeaux event he has to grab a microphone and say thank you to the customer. While walking the ship early in the morning to get coffee he should stop and say hi to me (since we saw each other 3 times), as this is what his role is. I have more examples and issues yet I think you get the point here. This cruise was far from the upscale experience that is advertised. I would think that Windstar has heard from others regarding this trip, along with a poor evaluation report from the survey given to the passengers. FYI We cancelled our cruise in April Read Less
Sail Date September 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 4.0
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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