This trip was my 5th with Windstar Cruises. Since my first trip they have changed owners twice. The new owners have spent time and money renovating the public areas and keeping the cabins up to standard. However there needs to be a lot more effort, time and money spent on the decks to get the ship sailing again.
Advising the passengers on the amount of time the sails were up is not sailing. I have sailed on the Windstar in the Caribbean and Tahiti and looked forward to being under sail on the recent trip from Athens to Istanbul. As a ship's master and a competitive sailor, I realised that there were several opportunities to sail the ship.
It appeared that the deck gear such as travellers which control the angle of the sail were not working. The sails also appeared old and it seemed that the crew were afraid of sail damage in the wind. We, therefore, did not sail with the engine off at any time during the one week cruise. The noise level in the cabins under power are not conducive to a good nights sleep.
The cabins are virtually the same as when the ship was launched in 1986. The layout is good and the bathrooms are compact and functional. The installation of a safe seems to have taken up too much of the storage area and was poorly planned. The bed, linen and towels were comparable with any 5 star cruise line.