We arrived early and enjoyed a very quiet Istanbul. People were friendly and we so enjoyed our second visit there. Embarkation was extremely smooth! They had plenty of employees to do each step of the embarkation process and there was no line when we arrived.
This was our first cruise with them and will not be our last! Just loved it. All the cabins on the Wind Star are the same so decks really do not matter. No elevator so if stars are an issue then get the upper deck; we were on the first deck (bottom deck) and I loved hearing our ship ply through the waters. The ship has everything the big ships have (casino, gift shop, library, etc.) just in a smaller scale. Dining is open seating at all meals unless you make reservations for Candles. We enjoyed a nice meal in Candles but remember that it is outside. It was cool that evening and several guests had a blanket wrapped around them due to the coolness (it was cold to me). All other meals were good (I especially liked the breakfast choices; either buffet or ordered off the menu) and it was fun to meet others during the meals.
There were 84 passengers and 99 crew on our adventure. Entertainment was limited but enjoyable. Local dancers from Turkey and Greece (belly dancer) and there was an employee show one night; it was a highlight! There is nothing like a guy from the Philippines singing Elvis! It was such fun. The employees at the front desk, in the gift shop and at some of the bars had our name memorized as soon as we came aboard. With this being our first visit with them it was really special. We did take a couple of shore excursions and they were wonderful, informative and fun. We did a cooking class which I've always wanted to do which was such fun. Tours did not feel rushed and the guides were all excellent. We did not get to experience the water sports area as the water was just too chilly for us but did watch others enjoy the area. We hope to return to Windstar in the future and would love to visit Tahiti with them. With the outdoor water sport area it would be a delightful addition to our next adventure with them.
Our cabin was spacious and had more storage than any cabin we've ever had on a ship. The bathroom was good; shower only with one sink and small toilet area but adequate. If you time it right you can both be in there. Shower was a decent size with plenty of hot water and a nice shower spray. Bed was comfortable; linens very nice. Flat screen TV, small sitting area with table, large mirror and plenty of lighting.