We chose this cruise for the Sicilian Splendors itinerary which also included Sorrento and Capri. We left several days early to stay in Positano and explore the Amalfi Coast prior to the cruise, then ended up with a day in Rome before returning home. We had a less than ideal experience on the Legend last year as one of the first few journeys with Windstar, and are happy to report a 180 degree improvement - the Windstar culture of great service was back and the entire crew was a delight, including officers who were visible and engaged throughout the trip. The ship was in better condition, we had no hot water or plumbing issues, and food was much improved and generally very good. Embarkation was a breeze.
The cruise got off to a very rocky start sailing into bad weather that caused terrible motion for two days and nights - we were ready to get off the boat! We missed our first three ports of call. Although not sure why we sailed into the storm, the captain and crew worked hard to find an alternative plan and managed to get the voyage back to smooth sailing by moving around the days in some ports and adding two additional Sicilian ports to replace some of the ports missed and we ended up having a very enjoyable journey. We had a mix of Windstar excursions and on our own adventures planned; however, due to the changes in itinerary two of the tours didn't happen due to missed ports and one was cancelled with too few people, so we ended up with just one ship tour, which was very well done, and the complimentary private event in Agrigento, which was also well done and we enjoyed very much.
We also enjoyed the Chef's market tour, which was a first for us. Overall, we enjoyed the ports of call. We can't say enough about the overall friendliness and service of the crew - everyone sincerely seemed to want to make the cruise memorable. We used room service, the Yacht Club, and the Veranda at different times for breakfast, and all were very good. We only had lunch on board in the Veranda a few times, and it was not impressive - limited choices on the to order menu and the buffet was fairly basic. Dinners were mostly very good in both the main dining room and at Candles and service was good all around. Entertainment is limited on this ship. The Compass Rose seemed to be the most popular choice in the evening, but it was a bit chilly and we didn't care for the duo. We enjoyed the jazz duo at the Star Bar, but it was often too cold to sit outside at night. Debarkation was also a breeze. All in all, a very pleasant vacation, and we will not hesitate to sail with Windstar again.
Cabin was spacious and in good condition and spotless. Plenty of hot water. Love the walk in closet, and more than enough storage throughout. The balcony doors made a terrible noise the first night - maintenance responded promptly and worked for quite a long time to fix the problem - nice and quiet after that. It is not a real balcony, although you can just step outside to see the view, but it was nice to be able to open the doors when the weather was nice.
Booked our own food tour to the village of Schiazzano that we loved. Include a lemon and olive farm with great guide and lots of food tastings, including instructions on making and then tasting limoncello, then off to a cheese maker's farm that was really interesting with cheese making demonstration, and of course lots of tasting a wine, then wrapping up with the pizza maker at a charming restaurant where we made our own pizza, following by more eating, and of course, more wine. A very enjoyable day.
Despite the rain, we enjoyed a day in Rome before flying home the next morning. Stayed at the Hilton Rome Airport for convenience with an early morning flight, and it was perfect for this. They also offer a free bus to the city center, which we used to go into Rome. Enjoyed exploring around the Piazza Navona and the Pantheon, then a wonderful lunch at Il Bacaro before taking a cab to the Galleria Borghese with amazing sculptures by Bernini before taking a cab back to the hotel.
Lovely island. We toured on our own, first taking one of the convertible cabs to Anacapri to stroll around and tour the Villa San Michele with excellent views, then took the bus to Capri Town to explore the piazza and surrounding areas, as well as the Gardens of Augustus with breathtaking views, then rode down to the Marina to wrap up the day.