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Star Breeze Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
121 reviews
8 Awards

Out of the ordinary

Review for Star Breeze to Pacific Coastal
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cruzen07
10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

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Additional details

Sail Date: Sep 2022
Cabin: Balcony Suite

Our experience started out really rough at the Port in Vancouver. No one seemed to know what the heck was going on and where to send us. There was a lot of walking involved and a lot of waiting! We arrived two hours after our embarkation time and still had to sit and wait at least 45 minutes to board. We found there to be little to no direction throughout the cruise. When in port they utilized One Shuttle bus that ran once an hour and had no sighnage so that we could find where to pick a bus up if we had not taken it from the ship. On Catalina there was not marking as to which pier we needed to catch the tender back. The Oceania ship had a nice set up a table and cold drinks and a sign that said Oceania so ppl knew where to get their transfer....Nothing at all for Windstar. This was the case everywhere. There were no staff or signs telling you where to go. They do not place the paper Daily Schedule in your room. It's on the TV. Once you are away from your room, you have no idea where or what time anything is happening. You had to go to the service desk to get any port information like a map!! Would have been so helpful if they put one in your room the night before. We had free internet with our package which was a joke. I know ship internet is slow, but this was ridiculous! It barely worked and only while on board. There is no app so when off the ship, you have no information. Evidently, Windstar chose not to pay the fees necessary to use the television stations while in port, so there was no news or live TV whenever you were in Port. Overnights were especially annoying with no news! The first overnight we had was Victoria, CA. They changed the schedule and did not stay docked for the night. They had to go out to sea and anchor then go back to the Port in the morning. If you had any late evening plans, you had to cancel. No explanation, so the only conclusion was it would be too expensive for them to pay dock fees, so they floated!! Same thing happened in Seattle. Instead of docking at the Downtown Seattle port, we were 40 minutes away with traffic. They only ran one bus, so you wasted a lot of time scheduling around their departure. We had no idea of the bus schedules because they never posted them anywhere not even on the daily planner on the TV! If you missed the shuttle, you wasted an hour on board waiting for the next one. All of it was so poorly run, you would think it were their first cruise! Conclusion: They cheaped out on everything because the boat was 1/2 empty and they just didn't get enough money for the sailing.

That all being said, we were surprised that this cruise was perhaps one of the best times we have had on a cruise ( I've been on approx 40) in spite of the ship being Tired, Old and in need of a lot of updating! We had the best time with the people we met on board. The crew, Starring PJ as the head of entertainment, was FANTASTIC! The Captain was Great...Personable and available! They have an open bridge policy that makes it easy to pop in anytime. The staff in all areas of the ship were the best I've ever sailed with. They were efficient, friendly and totally professional. For the most part the food was some of the best I've had on a cruise! The chef was fantastic! In the main dining room we found the food to be delivered very hot which is mostly not the case on cruise ships. There were many unique dishes as well as ordinary meals that were excellent. There are specialty restaurants that are included, but you do need to make a reservation. As this shipped sailed more than 1/2 empty, the specialty restaurants were not open every night. We found the Spanish Restaurant to be the weakest of them all. The food was not hot and the selection was not desirable. Everyone we spoke with had the same opinion of it and many people canceled their reservations. The low occupancy of the ship created more than a problem at the restaurants, almost all shore excursions were canceled due to no interest and lack of the min number needed. The shore excursions on this cruise were more expensive than I've ever seen on any cruise. On our last day we had a late flight out and had chosen a day trip ending at the airport. There was lack of interest, so it was canceled. This made our departure day very difficult because we had 7 hours with nothing to do. It's not easy sightseeing with 4 pieces of luggage! There were storage places, but I wasn't trusting them with my carry ons that held a lot of expensive items.

I call this ship a rust bucket because of the fact that they say they did so much work to it during covid yet it has a myriad of patchwork paint Everywhere! There are mixes of flat and gloss painting all over the ship inside and out. It looks cheap, old and very tired. There were rust drips in many places and worst of all it smelled of sewage in many locations, including the rooms, especially every time we were in port. We heard from a few people that their cabins leaked and flooded. We had problems with our a/c (which they fixed), but it had all the makings of the old Carnival ships that were all over the news a few years back! Some of the doors leading to the outdoor spaces were so heavy and hard to open, I needed help and I'm not weak or handicapped in any way. This ship is not set up to easily maneuver with a wheel chair. There ware some ramps to doorways but the edges are so high I can't imagine a wheel chair could get over it unless someone is pushing.

Cabin Review

Balcony Suite

Windstar professes to be a "luxury cruise line" and has boasted a multi million dollar renovation to their ocean ships. They have been cut and stretched and supposedly overhauled. Most rooms were refreshed, not overhauled. When a ship is 34 years old, it needs a LOT of upgrades to bring it equal to the ships that are sailing nowadays. This was definitely NOT a luxury cruise ship. There is ONE 110plug in the room. All the other plugs (2) are European plugs. There are no phone charging outlets which makes it a circle jerk trying to charge all electronics. The "new" part of the ship that was added has some outlet upgrades and we could not fathom why they did not invest in upgrading the rest of the ship to bring it into the 21st century!! The balcony suites had a huge walk-in closet and the bathrooms were remodeled. Bathrooms were very spacious and well appointed. Cabins were large but very narrow, so we had to remove the desk chair to be able to walk by the bottom of the bed. Compared to other ships we've been on, there were no real drawers for clothing. The drawers that were there were very, very shallow. There were a stack of very skinny shelves in the closet, but they did not hold much. One of the craziest things we found was that Luggage does not fit under the bed. I've never been on a ship that did not store luggage under the bed. The only place to put a suitcase was in the closet which took away from the hanging and floor space. How hard could it be to make the beds a few inches higher?? Simple improvements would have made the rooms so much nicer and user friendly.

Port Reviews

Victoria

Loved Victoria with it's quaint city. It is easy to get around and has an abundance of good food and sightseeing.

San Francisco

This was an easy port to walk around and spend a good part of the day not that far from the pier if you choose. Except for the hills, this is a very walkable city with so much to do. With a great "little Italy" and "Chinatown" there is some fantastic food! Plenty of sightseeing and easy to get around. Fisherman's wharf is a short walk from the pier and can easily occupy most of your day if you would like!

Catalina Island (California)

Could not wait to get to Catalina Island as I have never been there before. Wow, was I disappointed! It is a very small stop. It was more expensive than any other port we were in and it was extremely crowded! We ate in a mexican restaurant and it too was expensive and horrible! Island Had some charm and an old time seaside feel, but I am fine never going there again!

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