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We chose this cruise for the small ship experience. It also called at ports not available with larger ships. It was our first cruise with Windstar. While it would have been interesting to explore Vancouver before the cruise, we scheduled air the same day as embarkation. Embarkation was smooth although delayed due to loading and unloading of supplies and waste.Disembarkation was also slightly delayed, although announcements were clear. The ship was in good condition with maintenance occurring continuously as the cruise proceeded. This was only a problem when painting and varnishing occurred in the vicinity of the public areas, particularly the Yacht Club (the room above the bridge with great views, puzzles and games as well as snacks, sandwiches and barista service), where the smell was unpleasant. We had chosen a lower cost cabin back in February and received an upgrade before the cruise started. The cabin was spacious (compared to our only other experience on a Costa Mediterranea cruise). Fresh fruit, bottled water and chocolates were provided every day (if you had eaten them, otherwise the old ones were left). Cabin service was very good with the stewards calling us by name every day. Announcements were very weak in the cabin until the dial was set on any other position than the one selected by the stewards. The best part of the trip was the "Windstar signature expeditions" departing from the ship's marina. We chose the Zodiac experiences instead of the kayak ones. Misty Fjords, Endicott Arm (Dawes glacier), Kenai Fjords (Aialik glacier). Simon was a great guide on these, pointing out wildlife and natural features. The other excursions were provided by external providers. Highlights were the whale watching at Icy Straight Point and the Mendenhall glacier walk. The cost of the excursions seemed a little pricey, but there was only a little mark-up by Windstar who provided the scheduling and reservations. Dining service started earlier or was extended when excursions required. Dining service was a little hectic due to everybody showing up at once, Service was slow in Amphora because of this, taking up to two hours for a three course meal. We had to go down to the Amphora dining room twice for breakfast due to there being no room at the Veranda because the outside seating was not usable due to the weather. We also had room service for dinner twice which was provided flawlessly (they even returned with the baked alaska dessert on time without our calling again!). Two ports of call had little in the way of things to do on shore, Icy Straight Point and Haines, but top-notch excursions. Juneau and Ketchikan had too many gift shops and jewelry stores but interesting sights could be found away from those. On-board entertainment was slim. There was a musical trio in the bars at night, a crew talent show (hilarious) and a liars club. The port and expedition briefings as well as the expedition re-caps were interesting and useful.Days at sea had more varied talks. We chose to extend our vacation by adding a land tour, through Windstar. This included stops in Talkeetna, and Denali, ending up in Fairbanks. There were no extra cost options as all excursions were included, including many meals. The only disappointment in this vacation was not seeing Orcas at sea or wolves in Denali. All the other wildlife biggies were seen: bears, moose, caribou, whales, seals, otters, bald eagles and various other birds. We saw Denali! One caveat about small ships is that they are not as stable as the megaships. Rough seas on sea days can affect those sensitive to motion sickness. Get your patches before you embark!

Wonderful Alaska Itinerary

Star Legend Cruise Review by gary12

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Suite
We chose this cruise for the small ship experience. It also called at ports not available with larger ships. It was our first cruise with Windstar. While it would have been interesting to explore Vancouver before the cruise, we scheduled air the same day as embarkation. Embarkation was smooth although delayed due to loading and unloading of supplies and waste.Disembarkation was also slightly delayed, although announcements were clear.

The ship was in good condition with maintenance occurring continuously as the cruise proceeded. This was only a problem when painting and varnishing occurred in the vicinity of the public areas, particularly the Yacht Club (the room above the bridge with great views, puzzles and games as well as snacks, sandwiches and barista service), where the smell was unpleasant.

We had chosen a lower cost cabin back in February and received an upgrade before the cruise started. The cabin was spacious (compared to our only other experience on a Costa Mediterranea cruise). Fresh fruit, bottled water and chocolates were provided every day (if you had eaten them, otherwise the old ones were left). Cabin service was very good with the stewards calling us by name every day. Announcements were very weak in the cabin until the dial was set on any other position than the one selected by the stewards.

The best part of the trip was the "Windstar signature expeditions" departing from the ship's marina. We chose the Zodiac experiences instead of the kayak ones. Misty Fjords, Endicott Arm (Dawes glacier), Kenai Fjords (Aialik glacier). Simon was a great guide on these, pointing out wildlife and natural features. The other excursions were provided by external providers. Highlights were the whale watching at Icy Straight Point and the Mendenhall glacier walk. The cost of the excursions seemed a little pricey, but there was only a little mark-up by Windstar who provided the scheduling and reservations. Dining service started earlier or was extended when excursions required.

Dining service was a little hectic due to everybody showing up at once, Service was slow in Amphora because of this, taking up to two hours for a three course meal. We had to go down to the Amphora dining room twice for breakfast due to there being no room at the Veranda because the outside seating was not usable due to the weather. We also had room service for dinner twice which was provided flawlessly (they even returned with the baked alaska dessert on time without our calling again!).

Two ports of call had little in the way of things to do on shore, Icy Straight Point and Haines, but top-notch excursions. Juneau and Ketchikan had too many gift shops and jewelry stores but interesting sights could be found away from those.

On-board entertainment was slim. There was a musical trio in the bars at night, a crew talent show (hilarious) and a liars club. The port and expedition briefings as well as the expedition re-caps were interesting and useful.Days at sea had more varied talks.

We chose to extend our vacation by adding a land tour, through Windstar. This included stops in Talkeetna, and Denali, ending up in Fairbanks. There were no extra cost options as all excursions were included, including many meals.

The only disappointment in this vacation was not seeing Orcas at sea or wolves in Denali. All the other wildlife biggies were seen: bears, moose, caribou, whales, seals, otters, bald eagles and various other birds. We saw Denali!

One caveat about small ships is that they are not as stable as the megaships. Rough seas on sea days can affect those sensitive to motion sickness. Get your patches before you embark!
gary12’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Suite
Cabin S2 201
The cabin was spacious (compared to our only other experience on a Costa Mediterranea cruise). Walk-in closet, vanity and a sitting area near window with couch, two chairs and a table where you could eat your room service. Fresh fruit, bottled water and chocolates were provided every day (if you had eaten them, otherwise the old ones were left). A curtain was available to separate the sitting area. It was mostly useful to reduce light that leaked around the window curtains of which was plentiful as the nights got shorter the further north we traveled.
Deck 5 Suite Cabins