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Windstar Cruise on Star Legend - Jan 2-9, 2016 - Embarkation San Juan Puerto Rico Quick Review Great Cruise! I did not hear any complaints. Food was wonderful. There were 178 passengers and 150 crew and the service was great, very friendly staff. Ports were all accessed by tender and the tender service was fine, minimal waiting times. We were the only cruise ship in the ports we stopped at. Snorkeling was not great but the beaches were beautiful and the water was warm. The yacht had a large water sports platform where you could swim or kayak when the ship was at anchor. The gym was well equipped. The entertainment consisted of 2 musical duos which were very good. Dress: "resort casual", no jackets needed for men; pants and a collared shirt for dinner for men. Arranging your own excursions was difficult but not impossible. Weather was typical for the Caribbean in January, high in the low 80's, partly cloudy, nice breezes, occasional showers. We found no bike riding on any of the islands. The yacht is older but was in great shape after its refurbishment in 2015. Detailed Review This was our first cruise on a Windstar yacht. We are veterans of about 15 cruises, ocean and river, large ships and small vessels. Embarkation Pier 4 (sometimes they are at Pier 1) in Old San Juan We boarded the yacht at 1pm. Lunch was served till 4. The yacht left San Juan at 10pm. Windstar’s sail-away song is “Conquest of Paradise” by Vangelis, an amazing instrumental you hear every time the yacht leaves port. Staterooms We were in 228, an Ocean View Category 2, no balcony. The room was 275 square feet and felt quite large. It included a nice sitting area with a couch, coffee table and 2 chairs. We had a refrigerator with free bottled water and sodas and beer & wine for purchase. The bar in the room had wine, beer & soda glasses, a wine opener, a bottle opener, and an ice bucket. You can bring 2 bottles of wine on board with you per room per cruise. We opened a bottle of wine in the room and brought glasses of wine with us to dinner, no problem. Other people brought wine to the table and the staff opened them with no corkage fee. Our room had a walk-in closet and plenty of storage space. The room only had only one 110 volt plug. You'll likely need a power strip to charge all your electronics. There also was a 220 plug, so you could bring a converter to double your power supply. The yacht seems set up for Europe more than America. The TV channels had mostly European coverage, lots of soccer, no American sports coverage. You got BBC, Fox News and MSNCB, but no CNN. A Blu-Ray DVD player was included with the flat screen TV and the library had a hundred or so DVDs to check out at no charge. A Bose blue tooth speaker is in the room to play music from your phone or tablet. Internet Coverage The ship sells a $250 per week package per internet device. Windstar tells you the coverage is spotty. I got limited cell data service with T-Mobil in some of the islands but it was also weak. I could get emails and sports scores in some ports, but no downloading a newspaper or ESPN 3 to your device. No service for my wife’s Verizon phone once we left San Juan. Verizon customers may want to buy Verizon’s International Package, which is a good idea if you want to stay connected, especially if you are setting up independent tours. GPS Coverage I like to know where I am when I am touring another country, so I downloaded an App called Google Offline Maps (free) and the maps of the countries we would be visiting when I was on WiFi. Then, when you have no cell service, you open that Country’s map and your GPS feature on your phone will locate you on the map and track you all day, which is great if you are hiking or on a tour. Note The ship supplies you with beach towels, ponchos and snorkeling gear for your excursions. Robes and slippers are in your room. Water bottles are in the room. The bathrooms have good shampoo & conditioners. You Should Bring Good water shoes with a decent sole, not the $6 water slippers, that you can use to walk on hard & soft surfaces and in the water as some days you'll be walking & swimming in the same shoes. A day bag or backpack to tote your stuff to the beach, which are some distance from the tender pier Water proof camera would be very useful, other wise put your camera or phone in a zip lock bag or two. 3 bathing suits, they take a while to dry in your room Drinks to purchase You could purchase an unlimited drink & wine package for $108 per cabin per day. The price was the same even if only one person in the room was drinking. Single beers were $6 or $7, wines were $8.50 to $11. Cocktails were $8 to $11. Bottles of wine were in the $30 to $40 range. Windstar adds 15% gratuity to all of the above prices. The wine selection was good. Dining Dinner was served in Amphora on deck 3 from 7-9pm, open seating. The food was very good and the service was very good. Breakfast and lunch were served on Deck 7 aft, with inside and outside seating. You could order off the menu or choose from the buffet or do both. This restaurant was converted in a specialty restaurant for dinner, no extra charge, you need to book in the morning to eat there. They had a different menu and you could sit outside. The Yacht Club on Deck 8 forward had coffee, sandwiches and treats throughout the day which came in handy when you came in late from an excursion. Water Sports Deck Weather permitting, the crews lowers a huge stern platform where you can kayak, swim, paddle board, go on a short ride in an inflatable motor boat around the harbor. They put some floating devices in the water for you to hang onto when swimming as the current is sometimes strong. It's a good place to cool off quickly, just jump in! Spa/Gym - Deck 7 forward All the usual spa services were offered. Great gym for a small boat - open 24 hours. There are 6 cardio machines and quite a few individual weight machines, not one of those combo weight machines that you see in many small gyms. There were free weights, matts and space for yoga or stretching. Ports 1. Culebra - Sunday. 8-5pm We thought we could rent bikes by the ferry landing - wrong! No bike shop, and if there was the streets were not wide enough to ride a bike with all the traffic. We just walked around, not much to see. We should have done the snorkeling tour. Shipmates reported it as a good excursion. There were no independent tours being sold on land that we could find. Most people took the $5 p/p each way shuttle to the Flamingo Beach which was beautiful, but there were no restrooms or chairs. So bring 2 towels each. Good day to kayak off the boat's swim deck. 2. St. Bart's - Monday 8am to 10pm We did the sailing catamaran snorkeling excursion. The sailing was great, the water was clear and warm, the snorkeling was fair. Back to the boat for lunch, then back to St Bart's to explore the town of Gustavia. Lots of mega-yachts in harbor. No independent tour operators that we could find. The harbor side walkway is pleasant to walk around. The rest of the streets were very steep and full of traffic. The shops were "high end" and French. 3. Little Bay Montserrat - Tuesday 8 to 5pm We found a private tour for $40/person for 4 people. It lasted 5 hours, great trip. Our guide was David Lee who also runs the Hilltop Restaurant with his wife. David doesn't do many tours, but his son does. I don't have his contact info. Very interesting tour of the volcano devastated island. The ship was selling a similar tour for $139 p/p. There were taxi drivers at the pier available to take you on tours. For the really good hikers, there was a hilly up and down trail with Rendevous Beach waiting on the other end where there was snorkeling - bring your own gear from the boat. Good shoes are a must. The hike was moderate to strenuous and took about 1 hour each way. 4. Marigot-St Martin Wednesday 8 to 10pm Very busy island, way too much traffic for the available roadway network, very few places to safely ride a bicycle although there was a German bicycle group trying to do so. Beautiful bays and beaches. The north half is run by the French, the south half is run by the Dutch. There is no border crossing, just a sign along the road. The small cruise ships like the Star Legend come into Marigot on the French side, while the big cruise ships use the pier in Philipsburg on the Dutch side, about an hour away in the heavy traffic. We did the America's Cup Sailboat racing event down in Philipsburg. There were 3 Americas Cup boats with about 18 people on each boat and we raced an America's Cup windward/leeward course after proper training. It was one of the highlights of the trip. Theses boats are really fast! About half the passengers helped with the sailing, the other half just hung on and enjoyed the ride. We did not get wet although you could if the seas were higher. They stored your bags to keep them dry during the sail. 5. Jost Van Dyke BVI Thursday 8 to Midnight We did the helicopter flight which was quite a thrill. We saw the whole island from the helicopter. The snorkeling on this island was not good due to choppy seas and the lack of coral. Not a lot to do on this island. Foxy' was a good place to buy logo gear including rash guards for snorkeling or taking the high speed boat ride the next day. 6. Virgin Gorda - BVI - Friday 8 to 5pm Great Final Day We took the power boat ride excursion offered by Windstar, it was great. It was a 5 hour tour in a high speed inflatable type host. We stopped at a flock of pink Flamingos in a shallow area along with a swim in an area of stacked conch shells. The water was 3' deep. We stopped at islands of the rich & famous. The trip lasted 5 hours. The ship arranged a "private beach" day on Prickly Pear Island, which was an amazing day from 10-4. Beach bbq, games, all the boats and water toys, beach chairs with huge umbrellas. We got there about 1:30 after our boat ride, still in time for the BBQ. Disembarkation Very smooth, we off the boat by 8:30 and at the airport by 9:00am. You have to go thru customs at the pier, which was very quick. Cab fare was $25. Do not buy the ship transfers which cost triple that and not as convenient. The Rainforest tour from the yacht with drop off at the airport might be worthwhile, although you could probably find a cab driver to do that at the pier in San Juan. There were plenty of drivers who spoke English, although they do drive fast. The TSA line at the airport was very long, causing people to be late for flights, so get there early. We had TSA pre-check, so we breezed thru in 5 minutes.

7 Great Days on Windstar

Star Legend Cruise Review by pwchief

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2016
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Suite
Windstar Cruise on Star Legend - Jan 2-9, 2016 - Embarkation San Juan Puerto Rico

Quick Review

Great Cruise! I did not hear any complaints. Food was wonderful. There were 178 passengers and 150 crew and the service was great, very friendly staff. Ports were all accessed by tender and the tender service was fine, minimal waiting times. We were the only cruise ship in the ports we stopped at. Snorkeling was not great but the beaches were beautiful and the water was warm. The yacht had a large water sports platform where you could swim or kayak when the ship was at anchor. The gym was well equipped. The entertainment consisted of 2 musical duos which were very good. Dress: "resort casual", no jackets needed for men; pants and a collared shirt for dinner for men. Arranging your own excursions was difficult but not impossible. Weather was typical for the Caribbean in January, high in the low 80's, partly cloudy, nice breezes, occasional showers. We found no bike riding on any of the islands. The yacht is older but was in great shape after its refurbishment in 2015.

Detailed Review

This was our first cruise on a Windstar yacht. We are veterans of about 15 cruises, ocean and river, large ships and small vessels.

Embarkation

Pier 4 (sometimes they are at Pier 1) in Old San Juan We boarded the yacht at 1pm. Lunch was served till 4. The yacht left San Juan at 10pm. Windstar’s sail-away song is “Conquest of Paradise” by Vangelis, an amazing instrumental you hear every time the yacht leaves port.

Staterooms

We were in 228, an Ocean View Category 2, no balcony. The room was 275 square feet and felt quite large. It included a nice sitting area with a couch, coffee table and 2 chairs. We had a refrigerator with free bottled water and sodas and beer & wine for purchase. The bar in the room had wine, beer & soda glasses, a wine opener, a bottle opener, and an ice bucket. You can bring 2 bottles of wine on board with you per room per cruise. We opened a bottle of wine in the room and brought glasses of wine with us to dinner, no problem. Other people brought wine to the table and the staff opened them with no corkage fee.

Our room had a walk-in closet and plenty of storage space. The room only had only one 110 volt plug. You'll likely need a power strip to charge all your electronics. There also was a 220 plug, so you could bring a converter to double your power supply. The yacht seems set up for Europe more than America. The TV channels had mostly European coverage, lots of soccer, no American sports coverage. You got BBC, Fox News and MSNCB, but no CNN. A Blu-Ray DVD player was included with the flat screen TV and the library had a hundred or so DVDs to check out at no charge. A Bose blue tooth speaker is in the room to play music from your phone or tablet.

Internet Coverage

The ship sells a $250 per week package per internet device. Windstar tells you the coverage is spotty. I got limited cell data service with T-Mobil in some of the islands but it was also weak. I could get emails and sports scores in some ports, but no downloading a newspaper or ESPN 3 to your device. No service for my wife’s Verizon phone once we left San Juan. Verizon customers may want to buy Verizon’s International Package, which is a good idea if you want to stay connected, especially if you are setting up independent tours.

GPS Coverage

I like to know where I am when I am touring another country, so I downloaded an App called Google Offline Maps (free) and the maps of the countries we would be visiting when I was on WiFi. Then, when you have no cell service, you open that Country’s map and your GPS feature on your phone will locate you on the map and track you all day, which is great if you are hiking or on a tour.

Note

The ship supplies you with beach towels, ponchos and snorkeling gear for your excursions. Robes and slippers are in your room. Water bottles are in the room. The bathrooms have good shampoo & conditioners.

You Should Bring

Good water shoes with a decent sole, not the $6 water slippers, that you can use to walk on hard & soft surfaces and in the water as some days you'll be walking & swimming in the same shoes.

A day bag or backpack to tote your stuff to the beach, which are some distance from the tender pier

Water proof camera would be very useful, other wise put your camera or phone in a zip lock bag or two.

3 bathing suits, they take a while to dry in your room

Drinks to purchase

You could purchase an unlimited drink & wine package for $108 per cabin per day. The price was the same even if only one person in the room was drinking. Single beers were $6 or $7, wines were $8.50 to $11. Cocktails were $8 to $11. Bottles of wine were in the $30 to $40 range. Windstar adds 15% gratuity to all of the above prices. The wine selection was good.

Dining

Dinner was served in Amphora on deck 3 from 7-9pm, open seating. The food was very good and the service was very good. Breakfast and lunch were served on Deck 7 aft, with inside and outside seating. You could order off the menu or choose from the buffet or do both. This restaurant was converted in a specialty restaurant for dinner, no extra charge, you need to book in the morning to eat there. They had a different menu and you could sit outside. The Yacht Club on Deck 8 forward had coffee, sandwiches and treats throughout the day which came in handy when you came in late from an excursion.

Water Sports Deck

Weather permitting, the crews lowers a huge stern platform where you can kayak, swim, paddle board, go on a short ride in an inflatable motor boat around the harbor. They put some floating devices in the water for you to hang onto when swimming as the current is sometimes strong. It's a good place to cool off quickly, just jump in!

Spa/Gym - Deck 7 forward

All the usual spa services were offered. Great gym for a small boat - open 24 hours. There are 6 cardio machines and quite a few individual weight machines, not one of those combo weight machines that you see in many small gyms. There were free weights, matts and space for yoga or stretching.

Ports

1. Culebra - Sunday. 8-5pm

We thought we could rent bikes by the ferry landing - wrong! No bike shop, and if there was the streets were not wide enough to ride a bike with all the traffic. We just walked around, not much to see. We should have done the snorkeling tour. Shipmates reported it as a good excursion. There were no independent tours being sold on land that we could find. Most people took the $5 p/p each way shuttle to the Flamingo Beach which was beautiful, but there were no restrooms or chairs. So bring 2 towels each. Good day to kayak off the boat's swim deck.

2. St. Bart's - Monday 8am to 10pm

We did the sailing catamaran snorkeling excursion. The sailing was great, the water was clear and warm, the snorkeling was fair. Back to the boat for lunch, then back to St Bart's to explore the town of Gustavia. Lots of mega-yachts in harbor. No independent tour operators that we could find. The harbor side walkway is pleasant to walk around. The rest of the streets were very steep and full of traffic. The shops were "high end" and French.

3. Little Bay Montserrat - Tuesday 8 to 5pm

We found a private tour for $40/person for 4 people. It lasted 5 hours, great trip. Our guide was David Lee who also runs the Hilltop Restaurant with his wife. David doesn't do many tours, but his son does. I don't have his contact info. Very interesting tour of the volcano devastated island. The ship was selling a similar tour for $139 p/p. There were taxi drivers at the pier available to take you on tours.

For the really good hikers, there was a hilly up and down trail with Rendevous Beach waiting on the other end where there was snorkeling - bring your own gear from the boat. Good shoes are a must. The hike was moderate to strenuous and took about 1 hour each way.

4. Marigot-St Martin Wednesday 8 to 10pm

Very busy island, way too much traffic for the available roadway network, very few places to safely ride a bicycle although there was a German bicycle group trying to do so. Beautiful bays and beaches. The north half is run by the French, the south half is run by the Dutch. There is no border crossing, just a sign along the road. The small cruise ships like the Star Legend come into Marigot on the French side, while the big cruise ships use the pier in Philipsburg on the Dutch side, about an hour away in the heavy traffic.

We did the America's Cup Sailboat racing event down in Philipsburg. There were 3 Americas Cup boats with about 18 people on each boat and we raced an America's Cup windward/leeward course after proper training. It was one of the highlights of the trip. Theses boats are really fast! About half the passengers helped with the sailing, the other half just hung on and enjoyed the ride. We did not get wet although you could if the seas were higher. They stored your bags to keep them dry during the sail.

5. Jost Van Dyke BVI Thursday 8 to Midnight

We did the helicopter flight which was quite a thrill. We saw the whole island from the helicopter. The snorkeling on this island was not good due to choppy seas and the lack of coral. Not a lot to do on this island. Foxy' was a good place to buy logo gear including rash guards for snorkeling or taking the high speed boat ride the next day.

6. Virgin Gorda - BVI - Friday 8 to 5pm Great Final Day

We took the power boat ride excursion offered by Windstar, it was great. It was a 5 hour tour in a high speed inflatable type host. We stopped at a flock of pink Flamingos in a shallow area along with a swim in an area of stacked conch shells. The water was 3' deep. We stopped at islands of the rich & famous. The trip lasted 5 hours. The ship arranged a "private beach" day on Prickly Pear Island, which was an amazing day from 10-4. Beach bbq, games, all the boats and water toys, beach chairs with huge umbrellas. We got there about 1:30 after our boat ride, still in time for the BBQ.

Disembarkation

Very smooth, we off the boat by 8:30 and at the airport by 9:00am. You have to go thru customs at the pier, which was very quick. Cab fare was $25. Do not buy the ship transfers which cost triple that and not as convenient. The Rainforest tour from the yacht with drop off at the airport might be worthwhile, although you could probably find a cab driver to do that at the pier in San Juan. There were plenty of drivers who spoke English, although they do drive fast. The TSA line at the airport was very long, causing people to be late for flights, so get there early. We had TSA pre-check, so we breezed thru in 5 minutes.
pwchief’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Suite
Cabin S2 228
We were in 228, an Ocean View Category 2, no balcony. The room was 275 square feet and felt quite large. It included a nice sitting area with a couch, coffee table and 2 chairs. We had a refrigerator with free bottled water and sodas and beer & wine for purchase. The bar in the room had wine, beer & soda glasses, a wine opener, a bottle opener, and an ice bucket. You can bring 2 bottles of wine on board with you per room per cruise. We opened a bottle of wine in the room and brought glasses of wine with us to dinner, no problem. Other people brought wine to the table and the staff opened them with no corkage fee.

Our room had a walk-in closet and plenty of storage space. The room only had only one 110 volt plug. You'll likely need a power strip to charge all your electronics. There also was a 220 plug, so you could bring a converter to double your power supply. The yacht seems set up for Europe more than America. The TV channels had mostly European coverage, lots of soccer, no American sports coverage. You got BBC, Fox News and MSNCB, but no CNN. A Blu-Ray DVD player was included with the flat screen TV and the library had a hundred or so DVDs to check out at no charge. A Bose blue tooth speaker is in the room to play music from your phone or tablet.
Deck 5 Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews