Taking a Windstar cruse has always been a “bucket list” adventure for me. My husband has never been to Italy and I always wanted a reason to return, so the itinerary sold us and we could cross many travels off our list. So this is a first-time Wind Star cruiser review.
I loved the idea of sailing on a smaller ship. I’m 49 and my husband is 59, so we weren’t looking for a large ship, nor all the hoopla of the large ship offerings. We knew going in the entertainment at night was limited, and the general age population was going to be a bit older and were okay with this.
Upon getting to the port, the embarkation process was quick. We signed waivers for the water sports deck, a health questionnaire and shook hands with the captain and onboard we went! They collected our passports (they hold onto them for the duration of the cruise and provided us with our key cards. We were able to sign up for dining options (a couple of restaurants require reservations) at that time and then headed off to our room to drop off our hand luggage. The veranda was already opened for lunch, which was welcoming and had a good variety.
See my general review.
Rome can be overwhelming for a first timer. There is a lot to see and is a great port to come in early and take in the sights. The port itself is in Citivitavecchia, about an hour away. You can take a train or a private shuttle to the port. Shop around to get the best prices. We used a shared shuttle company for less than most companies
We took the train to Pompeii and back. Upon getting back, we stopped and ate at a cafe on the water. Easy to get around yourself if you aren’t into doing shore excursions.
We hired a private guide (just us and our guide) to Mt Etna and a wine tasting. It was a beautiful way of seeing the port and we could tailor it to our needs.
We were the inaugural cruise for WindStar to this port! It doesn’t have a ton to see, but it’s charming and there are sights to see. We found a great restaurant for lunch where we had a pleasant and memorable day.
Another inaugural port for WindStar! A cute little town for walking around and getting lost in the city. There are lots of churches to see and he town is really charming. Again, we found a cafe to stop and eat, which became a tradition for us.
We walked the famous trail up the hillside up to the fortress. Beautiful views and then came down and walked through the city. Again, another charming town and good restaurants.
It’s a beautiful city, but Game of Thrones has turned this beautiful city into a tourist trap, which I find sad. It’s overcrowded and all the restaurants and shops are geared toward tourism. We enjoyed walking the walls of the city, but it wasn’t a highlight to our trip.
We took a private cycling tour in Stari Grad. This was a highlight to our trip. We got out of the port proper and see the rolling countryside, the wineries and the small towns. Because the larger cruise ships can’t reach this town, it has t been overrun with tourism.