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I had a wonderful experience on the Wind Spirit in 2014 going through the Panama Canal. When Windstar advertised a trip to the Italian and French Riviera, stopping for the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, I was all in. Expensive, but I expected it would be worth it. It wasn't. We were on the Star Breeze, one of the three ships they purchased from another cruise company. The room was nice, but the ship is poorly managed, poorly maintained and just not a place you want to be. The officers don't care and make excuses for their failings. Food service is a disaster, tender service is worse. We paid a lot of money ($15,000 for a couple before shore excursions) for a luxury cruise that we did not get. Food was mediocre, availability limited and service very disorganized (other than the lady in the "Yacht Club" where you could get sandwiches and snacks - she was phenomenal!). Tender service was a joke. Poor operation, long waits, rocky rides, crash landings. Rarely anyone on the dock to assist you. We had a pre-arranged, all passengers invited dinner part at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. When we returned on the bus (arranged 100% by Windstar), there were no tenders to take us to our ship. More than enough to take passengers to the Wind Surf (a sister ship of the original sailing type), but 100 or more of us were stranded in fancy clothes, cold weather, at 11:30 pm. Finally a 24 person tender arrived. I was on the first tender, but I understand that it took more than an hour to get everyone back to the ship. No one from our ship came to help, by the way. We were assisted by the Wind Surf's Hotel Manager. There were many maintenance issues, the staff was nice by untrained, and the officers were unhelpful and largely disinterested. When things did not go well, it was someone else's fault. When we disembarked in Nice (and we were SO READY to disembark) it seemed orderly until we got out and realized everyone that had preceded us to the dock to get their luggage was still there - no ground transportation was available. It took about 90 minutes to get 100 or so people into cabs or vans. We were simply going to a hotel, so it was not such a big deal. But many people were concerned about missing flights or were just unhappy with this final coup de grace. Importantly, the Hotel Manager and other officers were rather disinterested. They passed out water bottles but, par for the course with this ship, took no effort to solve the problems. Fortunately, a couple of energetic young women made continuous phone calls and finally got everyone off of the dock. But it was just a fitting end to an otherwise poorly managed, chaotic, amateurish cruise experience. Avoid this cruise ship. Growing pains is one thing. This is a cultural faux pas.

Terrible Management

Star Breeze Cruise Review by Nancy from RSF

24 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I had a wonderful experience on the Wind Spirit in 2014 going through the Panama Canal. When Windstar advertised a trip to the Italian and French Riviera, stopping for the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, I was all in. Expensive, but I expected it would be worth it.

It wasn't. We were on the Star Breeze, one of the three ships they purchased from another cruise company. The room was nice, but the ship is poorly managed, poorly maintained and just not a place you want to be. The officers don't care and make excuses for their failings. Food service is a disaster, tender service is worse. We paid a lot of money ($15,000 for a couple before shore excursions) for a luxury cruise that we did not get.

Food was mediocre, availability limited and service very disorganized (other than the lady in the "Yacht Club" where you could get sandwiches and snacks - she was phenomenal!).

Tender service was a joke. Poor operation, long waits, rocky rides, crash landings. Rarely anyone on the dock to assist you. We had a pre-arranged, all passengers invited dinner part at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. When we returned on the bus (arranged 100% by Windstar), there were no tenders to take us to our ship. More than enough to take passengers to the Wind Surf (a sister ship of the original sailing type), but 100 or more of us were stranded in fancy clothes, cold weather, at 11:30 pm. Finally a 24 person tender arrived. I was on the first tender, but I understand that it took more than an hour to get everyone back to the ship. No one from our ship came to help, by the way. We were assisted by the Wind Surf's Hotel Manager.

There were many maintenance issues, the staff was nice by untrained, and the officers were unhelpful and largely disinterested. When things did not go well, it was someone else's fault.

When we disembarked in Nice (and we were SO READY to disembark) it seemed orderly until we got out and realized everyone that had preceded us to the dock to get their luggage was still there - no ground transportation was available. It took about 90 minutes to get 100 or so people into cabs or vans. We were simply going to a hotel, so it was not such a big deal. But many people were concerned about missing flights or were just unhappy with this final coup de grace. Importantly, the Hotel Manager and other officers were rather disinterested. They passed out water bottles but, par for the course with this ship, took no effort to solve the problems. Fortunately, a couple of energetic young women made continuous phone calls and finally got everyone off of the dock. But it was just a fitting end to an otherwise poorly managed, chaotic, amateurish cruise experience.

Avoid this cruise ship. Growing pains is one thing. This is a cultural faux pas.
Nancy from RSF’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony Suite
Cabin BS 212
This cabin was nice. View was good. Room was large. Needs maintenance, as does most of the ship. Sliding glass windows did not work right and were hard to use, phone had issues, wall socket plate was falling off, a/c was hard to control and noisy, late night washing of deck above left balcony and windows dirty. Were cheap about toiletries, likely to save money, which is ridiculous. Nice Occitane items, but only provided shower gel and shampoo. Had to supplement with our own conditioner, etc. Then on the second to the last night the additional toiletries (conditioner, lotion) show up. Gave the impression that simply did not want to provide these items and have them used up early in the trip and have to replace them. So ridiculous and petty.
Deck 5 Suite Cabins