First of all, we are big fans of Windstar's sailing yachts and were a bit skeptical about the Legend, especially after reading some of the less than stellar reviews. We've done most of the islands on this itinerary but were very interested in returning to Montserrat as we were there in 1984 (on the old Yankee Clipper), and followed the devastation from the volcano very closely over the years. This was our first opportunity to return so we decided that the Legend was the way to go. As usual with Windstar, our embarkation was flawless although there was a bit of a discrepancy between the website information and the final boarding information that was sent to us. We did make it onboard at 1:00 p.m. even though we were not departing San Juan until 10:00 p.m. When we were shown to our suite I was blown away. We have reserved suites on the Surf for a lot more money and were stunned at the value in the Legend's suites. The walk in closet was amazing, large sitting area by the window, bathroom with full tub, etc. Everything was immaculate and our room steward, Eddy, was the best we've had on any cruise. This is not a brand new ship so there were signs of that but no more than a hotel room that was renovated 1 - 2 years before. We explored the ship and found all of the public rooms to be in excellent condition. Everything was immaculate, and in true Windstar style, a smiling and friendly crew. We ran into some crew that we had sailed with on the Surf and the warm greetings made us feel like we were home.
Now - as for the sails and the sail away! It IS different than the Surf, Spirit, etc., and there were a few people on board who could just not get over it. Please people, it IS a different type of ship and hoisting the flag is NOT the same as the sails unfurling. But after the first night it was a non issue for us. We would suggest different sail away music though. It just doesn't feel right.
Back to the public areas. The Yacht Club is lovely and quiet - great for reading a book. AmphorA had the best food we've had on Windstar which is saying a lot as it's always good. Candles is on the Verandah. My only quibble is that it feels more enclosed than the Surf or the Spirit but the food was excellent. Yougi runs the Verandah and Candles like a total pro. Bobby was the barman in Candles and we knew him from the Surf. A great guy! Breakfast and lunch was outstanding with lots of fresh fruits, omelets made to order, all of the "usual" that we expect from Windstar.
Excursions were similar to the other Caribbean sailings. Lots of water things but we did get the opportunity for a French cooking class (more of a demonstration) on St. Martin in a lovely restaurant overlooking the water. Food was excellent, lots of wine, fun company. Loved it! My husband did the Stars & Stripes America's cup and had a blast.
The highlight of our trip though was Montserrat and a private tour that we booked on our own. The ones that went from the ship were shorter in duration and we wanted to spend the day seeing what was and what is. The residents are excited that finally, after all of these years, some tourism is coming back to their island. They are resilient and hopefully they will make it. There are only 5,000 people left living there and they need our support. Jimmy Buffet made the island famous with his Volcano Song. We wish he would do one about their survival and encourage tourists to return. If anyone knows him (hahaha), please make the suggestion!
We had a port change from Culebra to St. Thomas as one of the tenders was on the fritz. A bit of a disappointment but things like that can happen. Windstar did provide lots of opportunities for things to do that day so it seemed to work out okay. Probably our biggest disappointment was being unable to disembark on Virgin Gorda unless we took a Windstar tour. We were especially looking forward to this stop as we love the Bitter End and Pussers and going there each year has become kind of a tradition for us. Since we had already done the usual tours on this island, I stayed aboard and read a great book, my husband went to the beach BBQ. This is the big "private event" on this trip but I had enough sun and beach by the last day. Our fellow passengers who had not done this itinerary before loved it. The crew works hard and does a great job out there.
Disembarkation was almost too easy! We were off the ship and on our way very early in the morning. Since we had a late flight we did the ship's rainforest tour outside of San Juan. It was worth the money and the experience. Included was a drop off at the airport so it all worked out.
In summary - we would go on one of the sailing yachts again in a heartbeat. No hesitation - none!
Wonderful spacious cabin! Deck 5 is convenient to everything. Loved it! Not really sure of the suite category. There was a "French Balcony" which allowed us to open the doors but if couldn't have, it would not have made a difference.
Took at cab to Nikki Beach. Had a wonderful but expensive lunch. Felt like we on the Riviera. Gorgeous!
Very interesting. Small group - good guide.View All 129 Rainforest Reviews
American's Cup sailboat - excellent! French cooking demonstration - excellent!View All 8 Sailing Reviews
If you want to truly see Montserrat as it is and as it was, we suggest getting in touch with Sun Lea of Montserrat Island Tours. Sun and his family are known all over the island and he is the expert on everything Montserrat.View All undefined undefined Reviews
The most beautiful beach is here. Take a cab over to Gertrude's (next to the Soggy Dollar) and have her Chicken Roti and Conch Fritters. Pour your own drinks, swim and relax. Don't forget the bug spray - lots of sand fleas!