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We are well cruised, first and last time with Windstar. The slogan of this company is "180 degrees from ordinary" - believe me there was nothing ordinary at all about the Star Breeze or the crew. We boarded the Star Breeze in Barcelona, a ghost ship, walked into the theatre where passports were CONFISCATED for the ENTIRE DURATION of the cruise - the only way to get your passport back is curtailing the cruise. There are no border/ immigration/ customs between Spain, France and Italy, plus passports are scanned into Windstar’s system upon boarding, so why confiscate passports? This is only done to deprive people of their freedom. We have had new passports issued post cruise following Consular advice as we do not know what has been done in our name using our passports during the confiscation period (cruise) – possible identity theft – BE WARNED. Would you willingly surrender your passport to a stranger? This Star Breeze is VERY, VERY OLD. The cruise line boasts a mega refit but it is aging badly and rust is visible all over, the refit obviously fell short of a paint job. If this is what you can see then what you cannot see is more of a concern. If you are bothered by motion sickness or the ships movements bother you then please keep in mind that this is a smaller ship with BIG, BIG MOVEMENTS – we had one rougher day at sea (18 hours of rough seas), plates and glasses smashed off tables as the ship tilted and lurched violently in the water day and night. Although it did not bother us, most guests took to their bed as they were unable to stand, sit reading or walk around the Star Breeze. Bathrooms are very clean but old, mirrors badly needing replaced, fixtures covered in long term rust stains. Hot water ran red with rust most days. Cabin was well appointed and very clean. The only TV channel available 24/7 was Fox News. Dining was very poor: food quality poor the service was just PATHETIC. Breakfast and lunch buffet cabinets are not lit so you cannot see just how bad the food actually is. Hot drinks are not available anywhere on board the Star Breeze after 5pm unless you call room service – we did, it took 55 min. to get two cups of coffee. Dining in the main dining room was a sick joke – waiters gave you what they wanted when they wanted and not what we ordered, they then changed tables leaving you to battle it out with a different waiter. Mineral water was not available on board – filtered sea water is bottled on board and passed off as bottled mineral water. We had to buy mineral water when we got ashore; mineral water was only made available to the Star Breeze’s officers and not to guests. If you like ice in your drinks then watch the pool bar staff use their dirty bare hands to serve your ice and a slice in your glass. We ate room service one evening; they took 2h25min to serve a very simple meal. We were told initially that they were busy and still cooking (1 hour after placing the order), they had lost the order (1hour 20 min.), and how about a burger as the chef had finished his shift (1h 30min. after placing the order). Officers were around eating and drinking and enjoying their “vacation” big time, while fare paying guests were suffering BIG TIME on their vacation. The Star Breeze has two tender craft, one of which just happened to be out of service again – read other reviews; we had to wait 3 hours to go ashore in Alghero, Italy to find officers already lazing under a sunshade on the dock. The office who was calling out the tenders as and when they became available went ashore and never called our tender – we are still waiting for our tender to be called today. We had our entire day wasted in Alghero, Italy due to the lack of interest in guests, lack of management and absolute absence of customer service. A whole day lost on a six night cruise. The highlight of this cruise was the stop in Portovenere, Italy and was the reason we purchased this cruise. A special highlight stop still shown on Windstar’s website today as I write this, the Star Breeze was not allowed to tender in Portovenere- a port where only small ships such as the Star Breeze can go: “step into amazing places ….as only a small ship can help you do”, in this case Portovenere, Vernazza and Cinqueterre. The day before we were due to arrive in Portovenere, Italy we were told that the Star Breeze was not able to go there, we were diverted to Livorno which is not a picturesque once in a lifetime cruise stop, it is an industrial roll on roll off ferry port located 2 hours from Portovenere by car. Again another complete day wasted as we never got to the place we had contracted to sail to: Portovenere for Vernazza and Cinqueterre. The taxi drivers in Livorno knew days before that the Star Breeze was due to dock, however, we as passengers were told of the itinerary change the day before we were due to arrive in Portovenere. No compensation was given, no apology. Everyone knew about this itinerary change except the passengers. We had been taken for a ride. If we had known in advance we would have not taken the cruise. Excursions were obviously cancelled, one month later we are still fighting Windstar for this to be refunded. We did not get what we paid for. We took our issues up with Windstar once home, their customer service is similar to that on board. No interest at all. We have very limited vacation time and as most, we look forward to a relaxing enjoyable vacation. Windstar wasted our time, and that unfortunately cannot be replaced. Do not allow these people to waste your time, failing to meet expectations and failing to give you what they advertise, what they sell and failing to give you what you purchase. We had two complete days wasted on a six night cruise on the Star Breeze, we never got to see Alghero, Italy, we never even got to Portovenere, Vernazza or Cinqueterre, Italy. We never got 1/3 of what we contracted with Windstar. Please, before you find a great deal, a last minute discount or a “too good to be true” fare, consider what happened on our cruise. Make an informed choice and an informed purchase. Take a moment to imagine how you will feel if you do not get what you paid for and get nothing in return. Know what to expect on board the Star Breeze before you go ahead and commit to booking, if anything goes wrong you will get nothing on board or post cruise to compensate. They are, indeed, “180 degrees from ordinary”. Good luck.

AVOID. STAY HOME. HORRIFIC. WASTE OF TIME and MONEY. BE WARNED !!

Star Breeze Cruise Review by GRADEFES-LEON

23 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We are well cruised, first and last time with Windstar. The slogan of this company is "180 degrees from ordinary" - believe me there was nothing ordinary at all about the Star Breeze or the crew.

We boarded the Star Breeze in Barcelona, a ghost ship, walked into the theatre where passports were CONFISCATED for the ENTIRE DURATION of the cruise - the only way to get your passport back is curtailing the cruise. There are no border/ immigration/ customs between Spain, France and Italy, plus passports are scanned into Windstar’s system upon boarding, so why confiscate passports? This is only done to deprive people of their freedom. We have had new passports issued post cruise following Consular advice as we do not know what has been done in our name using our passports during the confiscation period (cruise) – possible identity theft – BE WARNED. Would you willingly surrender your passport to a stranger?

This Star Breeze is VERY, VERY OLD. The cruise line boasts a mega refit but it is aging badly and rust is visible all over, the refit obviously fell short of a paint job. If this is what you can see then what you cannot see is more of a concern. If you are bothered by motion sickness or the ships movements bother you then please keep in mind that this is a smaller ship with BIG, BIG MOVEMENTS – we had one rougher day at sea (18 hours of rough seas), plates and glasses smashed off tables as the ship tilted and lurched violently in the water day and night. Although it did not bother us, most guests took to their bed as they were unable to stand, sit reading or walk around the Star Breeze.

Bathrooms are very clean but old, mirrors badly needing replaced, fixtures covered in long term rust stains. Hot water ran red with rust most days. Cabin was well appointed and very clean. The only TV channel available 24/7 was Fox News.

Dining was very poor: food quality poor the service was just PATHETIC. Breakfast and lunch buffet cabinets are not lit so you cannot see just how bad the food actually is. Hot drinks are not available anywhere on board the Star Breeze after 5pm unless you call room service – we did, it took 55 min. to get two cups of coffee. Dining in the main dining room was a sick joke – waiters gave you what they wanted when they wanted and not what we ordered, they then changed tables leaving you to battle it out with a different waiter.

Mineral water was not available on board – filtered sea water is bottled on board and passed off as bottled mineral water. We had to buy mineral water when we got ashore; mineral water was only made available to the Star Breeze’s officers and not to guests. If you like ice in your drinks then watch the pool bar staff use their dirty bare hands to serve your ice and a slice in your glass.

We ate room service one evening; they took 2h25min to serve a very simple meal. We were told initially that they were busy and still cooking (1 hour after placing the order), they had lost the order (1hour 20 min.), and how about a burger as the chef had finished his shift (1h 30min. after placing the order).

Officers were around eating and drinking and enjoying their “vacation” big time, while fare paying guests were suffering BIG TIME on their vacation.

The Star Breeze has two tender craft, one of which just happened to be out of service again – read other reviews; we had to wait 3 hours to go ashore in Alghero, Italy to find officers already lazing under a sunshade on the dock. The office who was calling out the tenders as and when they became available went ashore and never called our tender – we are still waiting for our tender to be called today. We had our entire day wasted in Alghero, Italy due to the lack of interest in guests, lack of management and absolute absence of customer service. A whole day lost on a six night cruise.

The highlight of this cruise was the stop in Portovenere, Italy and was the reason we purchased this cruise. A special highlight stop still shown on Windstar’s website today as I write this, the Star Breeze was not allowed to tender in Portovenere- a port where only small ships such as the Star Breeze can go: “step into amazing places ….as only a small ship can help you do”, in this case Portovenere, Vernazza and Cinqueterre. The day before we were due to arrive in Portovenere, Italy we were told that the Star Breeze was not able to go there, we were diverted to Livorno which is not a picturesque once in a lifetime cruise stop, it is an industrial roll on roll off ferry port located 2 hours from Portovenere by car. Again another complete day wasted as we never got to the place we had contracted to sail to: Portovenere for Vernazza and Cinqueterre.

The taxi drivers in Livorno knew days before that the Star Breeze was due to dock, however, we as passengers were told of the itinerary change the day before we were due to arrive in Portovenere. No compensation was given, no apology. Everyone knew about this itinerary change except the passengers. We had been taken for a ride. If we had known in advance we would have not taken the cruise. Excursions were obviously cancelled, one month later we are still fighting Windstar for this to be refunded. We did not get what we paid for.

We took our issues up with Windstar once home, their customer service is similar to that on board. No interest at all.

We have very limited vacation time and as most, we look forward to a relaxing enjoyable vacation. Windstar wasted our time, and that unfortunately cannot be replaced. Do not allow these people to waste your time, failing to meet expectations and failing to give you what they advertise, what they sell and failing to give you what you purchase. We had two complete days wasted on a six night cruise on the Star Breeze, we never got to see Alghero, Italy, we never even got to Portovenere, Vernazza or Cinqueterre, Italy. We never got 1/3 of what we contracted with Windstar.

Please, before you find a great deal, a last minute discount or a “too good to be true” fare, consider what happened on our cruise. Make an informed choice and an informed purchase. Take a moment to imagine how you will feel if you do not get what you paid for and get nothing in return. Know what to expect on board the Star Breeze before you go ahead and commit to booking, if anything goes wrong you will get nothing on board or post cruise to compensate.

They are, indeed, “180 degrees from ordinary”.

Good luck.
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