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Sail Date: October 2018
We were part of a Tauck group that began with a 2 night stay in Lisbon and ended with a 2 night stay in Barcelona. This was our first Windstar cruise, but we've been on quite a few other cruises. Our cabin was the largest cabin we've ... Read More
We were part of a Tauck group that began with a 2 night stay in Lisbon and ended with a 2 night stay in Barcelona. This was our first Windstar cruise, but we've been on quite a few other cruises. Our cabin was the largest cabin we've ever stayed in! It's was great: had a doorbell, a walk-in closet, a full bathtub, and double sinks in the bathroom! Yes, it was older, but it was very comfortable. We had ample storage space! The ship is a little "dated," but otherwise very nice. The food was outstanding! This was the best cruise line food we've ever had. Service from the crew was friendly and many of them learned our names quickly. We really liked the itinerary. We were very anxious to see Gibraltar and it did not disappoint! We also really liked Seville, Malaga, and Mallorca. We would have liked an overnight in one of these cities, so we could explore more. We were blessed with beautiful weather and that enhanced our experience. Except for our two days in Barcelona, it was warm and sunny (with no humidity). Barcelona turned chilly and rainy and we hadn't packed appropriately for the sudden change in weather. Since we were with a Tauck group, all our excursions were separate from the ones offered by the ship (although very similar in most cases). Tauck kept us busy; we either had 2 excursions each day, or one very long one. Consequently, we were away from the ship most of the day and didn't get to do much on the ship. And, we were not encouraged by our Tauck Tour Director to participate in Windstar activities (or mingle with the non-Tauck guests). We had daily meetings in the Compass Rose lounge, and that was where we returned (on our own) at other times. To me, the Star Breeze is like a "shrunken down" cruise ship. It has some of the same amenities as a bigger ship, but on a much smaller scale. There is no specialty restaurant; at night, the breakfast/lunch buffet becomes "Candles" for a small number of passengers, and if the weather cooperates, passengers have the option of dining outside. There wasn't much entertainment offered (there was a good duo in the Compass Rose lounge). There was a very small "casino" but I didn't see anyone in it. We did not use the spa or the fitness room (we had only one sea day and the remaining days, we were on excursions). We discovered the lovely Yacht Club lounge late in the cruise. We probably should have done some exploring on our own early in the cruise! In summary, this was a very nice cruise! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Chose for autumn colors and small port venue. Captain can’t control weather but after missing the fjord in Quebec and Our stop in Prince Edward Island there was no attempt to make it up to the passengers. No amenities offered. Ship ... Read More
Chose for autumn colors and small port venue. Captain can’t control weather but after missing the fjord in Quebec and Our stop in Prince Edward Island there was no attempt to make it up to the passengers. No amenities offered. Ship was not really equipped for cold rough weather. Probably should not be used for northern cruises after mid September Times for events and shore excursions were often late. We expected to be docked in town in Quebec City and Halifax but ended up having to be bussed into town. Service staff was great but seemed overwhelmed at meal time.Food was excellent for the most part but took a long time to arrive. Cabin was nice and well maintained. Being in North America in the fall and stuck on the ship due to bad weather one would think there would at least be college football and NFL on tv . No! Games could have been streamed if they did it over the Internet. Lack of tender service ( only 1 per stop) caused huge delays when we could finally visit a port shortening our shore visits. Paid a premium for”the small ship experience “ do not feel they met our expectation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise for our 30 th anniversary thinking it was going to be about luxury. The cabins were spacious but outdated. Our cabin steward was great and Maria ( ship consultant) tried to keep customers upbeat with her great ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our 30 th anniversary thinking it was going to be about luxury. The cabins were spacious but outdated. Our cabin steward was great and Maria ( ship consultant) tried to keep customers upbeat with her great attitude. At dinner, the food was good and the dining room was nice. The service was usually mediocre. Breakfast and lunch was served at an indoor/outdoor area. The inside could accommodate 30 people and our cruise had 200 passengers. What that meant was that when everyone got off their excursion at the same time, all of us were at the same time. Several meals were spent outside (covered) but sometimes cold and rainy. Oh, they would give you blankets...who wants to wear a blanket or shiver eating a meal ? Not me. We rushed several meals just to get back inside. We did room service a few times so we wouldn’t have to sit in the cold. Most of the excursions were nice but a little pricey. Entertainment was 2 sets of duos, elevator music but they could sing well...just not very upbeat. This was my first Windstar cruise-just average , nothing extravagant. The ship rocked and rolled our last night which gave a lot of passengers motion sickness. I will not be a return customer on Windstar. Many repeat customers said this cruise did not measure up. I was a little disappointed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Booked the Rome to Venice cruise on the recommendation of some friends and enjoyed it. Pre-cruise Windstar reps were readily available to answer questions with details and options. We utilized the well appointed gym most days and thought ... Read More
Booked the Rome to Venice cruise on the recommendation of some friends and enjoyed it. Pre-cruise Windstar reps were readily available to answer questions with details and options. We utilized the well appointed gym most days and thought the staterooms were as described with plenty of storage and a comfortable bed. Service and food was excellent throughout the ship. We elected to sign up for two excursions through Windstar and did others on our own, which was the right combination for us. There was a glitch with an engine communication issue that added a day at sea, but they made some adjustments to try to alleviate the impact—we were glad the issue was resolved. The onboard internet did not work as advertised. To Windstar’s credit, we were refunded charges we had paid in advance, but would have made other arrangements had we known onboard connectivity would be fairly nonexistent. We travelled as a couple, and it was nice to have options to either share a table at dinner or dine as a couple and enjoyed meeting fellow guests. We like a variety of modes of travel, but Windstar is a very good option for a small luxury cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our travel agent raved about Windstar, told our group how excellent they were. She is now our ex travel agent. This experience was'nt even close to what she told us. Most everything was poor, I don't know where to start, but here is my ... Read More
Our travel agent raved about Windstar, told our group how excellent they were. She is now our ex travel agent. This experience was'nt even close to what she told us. Most everything was poor, I don't know where to start, but here is my review. Starting with the positive, the ship was clean, the room was of good size. That's the positive. NOW, for the negative, being genereous the food was hit and miss, mostly a miss. The service in the dining room was slow. The coffee bar had stale cupcakes, they were stored in the frig and displayed the next day, and the next day, etc. We were suppose to have fresh fruit in our suite, had it for a few days, then it stopped. I asked reception why I had no fruit as advertised, they told me that I had to request it, which I did. After a few days they ran out of bananas and plums. They also ran out of the kleenex that fits under the bathroom sink. Also the coffee bar ran out of oatmeal cookies. It looks like Windstar has cut alot of corners all over the ship and it shows. The staff looks overworked. The excursions were overpriced and hit and miss. One was so bad, Windstar gave us a full refund, when many guests complained. There were many unhappy people on this cruise. As far as entertainment goes I did not expect much, but got much less. Non existant, with two terrible hookey acts. No lecturers as promised, we basically got nothing. We had a Captian's party, one drink, one appitizer. This cruise was comparable to a Carnival cruise, if not worse. One guest who was on his third cruise with Windstar, was so disgusted, he said, he would never cruise with Windstar again, nor would I. There were many more negative things, but I don't even want to discuss then. All I can say is don't pay luxury fares for a low end cruise. , Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was advertised as a "sailing" ship," filling its sails with the tradewinds of Tahiti" in every advertisement, and we fell for it. As experienced sailors on a 40' sailboat, San Diego to Hawaii and back, pacific ... Read More
This was advertised as a "sailing" ship," filling its sails with the tradewinds of Tahiti" in every advertisement, and we fell for it. As experienced sailors on a 40' sailboat, San Diego to Hawaii and back, pacific northwest, central america and panama canal, we know sailing. The feeble efforts to make this look like sailing consisted of releasing tiny pieces of storm jib type sails for photo purposes, playing a sailing song, and departing port. The Captain himself said one sail was missing, and a crew member said the hydraulics weren't working--however, on excursion days we could look back and see that once again those fragments of sails were set while at anchor strictly for photographic value. Rough nights on board could have been improved with stabilizing sails, and the winds of 25 knots would have provided a wonderful experience. But this ship doesn't sail. We gave up the option of a veranda and having the fresh tropical air waft through our cabin with the expectation there would be sailing. Instead, the ports were sealed (two 16" port holes per cabin) and our cabin was a snug air conditioned capsule with no outside contact. From deck 1 it required 4 sets of stairs to get to the pool deck and breakfast. (we were on deck 2--only 3 sets) To depart the ship, however, required maneuvering down and back a steep 25 step stairway which hugged the side on the hull. On the plus side, the cabin space was well designed , sparkling clean, the crew was fantastic and friendly and the food was good. The high priced excursions varied in quality, several required riding in truck beds with boards on each side for seats, others used small SUV's requiring a lot of crawling into them. There was one well narrated comfortable bus ride. Our excursions alone for two cost about $1700 dollars. The worst was one advertised as a "romantic sunset cruise" and it turned out to be a small runabout boat, that speeded around for about an hour, served tiny plastic glasses of champaigne, got several of us wet with spray--all for a price of $300 for two. Dining on deck in Candles was magical, but had to be reserved. Amphora was the main dining room, very large, extremely noisy. One of the most disappointing aspects was their failure to obtain return airline seating assignments for us, claiming all they promised was a seat. This problem was not made known until we had paid all fees. As a result we ended up in separate seats on the 8 hour return flight. I had tried to correct this well prior to departure,with multiple phone discussions with an unhelpful staff member, but could not get her manager to return calls or emails or provide access to their air department. We have taken tours with Viking and their customer service far exceeded the haphazard approach found on Windstar. Their sales staff, of course, was charming and helpful. Never again!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
First cruise and probably the last. The list of problems on this ship are too numerous to elaborate. Briefly - no hot water some days, no self serve coffee/tea available - only available with room service after 6:00 pm, inadequate ... Read More
First cruise and probably the last. The list of problems on this ship are too numerous to elaborate. Briefly - no hot water some days, no self serve coffee/tea available - only available with room service after 6:00 pm, inadequate seating spaces for breakfast and lunch during inclement weather, options for meals are severely limited, old and outdated stateroom, poorly coordinated and overpriced excursions, movie room had seating for about 8 people. At embarkation they lost 2 of our 3 pieces of luggage so that we had to track them down. Three full days at sea with nothing to do - what a waste of time and money. TV program listings on the daily activity sheet were for the day before. They cleaned the brass handrails on the stairs with Brasso and failed to wipe it down thoroughly. Got black on our hands when we used them. Service providers were overly friendly but many did not understand English. One redeeming quality was the workout room was well equipped. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the ship for the itinerary and had been on the ship once before in Croatia. Great itinerary then and only 1 sea day. On this trip, The itinerary was changed about a month before departure, cancelling several experiences due to ... Read More
We chose the ship for the itinerary and had been on the ship once before in Croatia. Great itinerary then and only 1 sea day. On this trip, The itinerary was changed about a month before departure, cancelling several experiences due to WHALE MIGRATION. The whales migrate every year so the company should have not been surprised and should have offered other ports. There were 3 sea days...keep in mind we were in Canada, so we did not expect warm weather. With 3 sea days, there was little to do and of course we couldn’t sit out on the deck...too cold and windy. We took 1 ship tour against our better judgment. We spent a lot of time waiting for people to come out of the bathroom. Food was good but service was inconsistent. Many times meals did not arrive together or parts were forgotten and never delivered. Often food was not hot. Reception staff was excellent. Captain did not keep us very informed about sea conditions and was also invisible. Disembarkation was smooth and pleasant. I would not recommend this itinerary (Canadian Maritime) on any ship in the chilly spring or fall if there are many sea days without programmed activities. The movies that were chosen during sea days were horrendous. Overall, not up to our previous Windstar experiences. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This was the middle portion of our back2back2back cruise aboard Wind Surf celebrating my husband's 65th birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary. Originally we were going to do the first cruise (Treasures of Southern Spain & Morocco) ... Read More
This was the middle portion of our back2back2back cruise aboard Wind Surf celebrating my husband's 65th birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary. Originally we were going to do the first cruise (Treasures of Southern Spain & Morocco) and then rent a car and travel through the south of France but when we realized this was the next cruise, we booked it! We love Windstar cruises and the port intensive itineraries. We also love the small ship experience and the amazing crew on board. This was our 4th cruise on Windstar and it just gets better and better. Yachtsman's Harbors of the Rivieras was a lovely itinerary and all the stops could easily be done DIY. Since we were already on board, Barcelona was really a stop on our itinerary rather than a boarding day. And since we were staying on board, the day before we had made reservations for Candles and Stella Bistro and found out our key cards would still be valid. Barcelona: We booked tickets ahead of time at Sagrada Familia and Park Guell and walked off the yacht and took a taxi to Sagrada Familia. We had the 9 am tour and were one of the first folks in that morning. We opted for the audio tour which allowed us to go at our own pace. At the end of our visit, we hopped a taxi and headed to Park Guell for our 12 noon group tour. I'm glad we had a tour guide and the views were spectacular but the park was so crowded. One more taxi ride to the market at Las Rambles, a few tapas and a walk back to the yacht put us back on board just prior to our 4 pm all aboard. It was a quick day but we were able to see the sights we had wanted to see. Would more time had been nicer? Of course but it was time for sail away and rest of the Riviera! Port Vendres, France - We had no idea what to do at this port but some friends that were on the first cruise with us suggested we hike to Collioure along the path by the water so we did. It took us awhile but the views were beautiful and Collioure was an adorable town. We wandered throughout and found a wonderful restaurant for lunch run by a mother and daughter team. Shopping afterwards and then we hopped on the small tourist train to take us through the vineyards and back to Port Vendres. Sanary-sur-Mer, France - The market in Sanary-sur-Mer is very large and on Wednesday's it has even more to offer. This was also the day of the Chef's Market Tour so we signed up the night before and away we went. The market was filled with vendors and so many shoppers! We were told people come from all around for this market and I believe it! We stopped at several meat and cheese places and tasted several different kinds of cheese and meats. But quickly the tour was over and we hadn't even seen the chef purchase anything! He told we would see the new items in the next day or so but to be honest, we never could figure out what he might have purchased. We walked around for a bit more and then went and found a meat, cheese and wine shop in town and proceeded to have a lovely, impromptu wine tasting with the owner! We left with several new bottles of wine and a new friend. Monte Carlo, Monaco - Prior to booking this cruise our plan was to rent a car and tour the south of France and stay in Nice for a few days. Hence, the decision to take the train to Nice from Monte Carlo. It was easy to find the train station but trying to purchase a train ticket from the automated machine not so easy. We ended up finding the live person selling tickets to make sure we understood which train to take to Nice and more importantly, how to get back to Monte Carlo. We had just missed a train so it was lunch time by the time we got on. We arrived in Nice in time for a quick walk through the Flower Market which was filled with the most beautiful flowers! We walked to the beach (lots of pebbles) and then found a place for lunch. After a leisurely lunch, we had enough time to wander through some shops and buy some wine at a grocery store (inexpensive and delicious!) before catching the train back to Monte Carlo. We did a bit more shopping in Monte Carlo and then headed back to our yacht. I have to say we were SO thankful to be on Wind Surf that day in Monte Carlo. There was one of those monster ships with hoards of people trying to get back on board. We got caught up in their madness for a brief moment before the port staff realized we were on Wind Surf and got us right through security. It looked like a nightmare on the other side! Cannes, France - Our next stop was in Cannes and we had booked the WS tour Provence Wine Tasting with Chateau Saint Roseline. I had tried to book a private wine tasting tour through several companies prior to boarding but they were so expensive (over 500 euros for the 2 of us) that when we saw this one for $129 each, we went ahead and joined the tour. It turned out to be a wonderful day with 2 different wineries, 7 bottles of wine purchased, and good friends to share the experience. The history of both wineries was interesting and the tour guides well versed. Overall a delightful day tasting wine in Provence! Portofino, Italy - We couldn't make up our minds what to do here so my DH decided we should take the WS tour Cinque Terra by Boat Tour for $189 per person. I would hesitate to recommend this tour to anyone that loves to explore on their own. Here's our experience... The swells were pretty high as we pulled into Portofino which meant a hairy experience boarding the tenders. Because of the weather, it took over an hour to get all the folks on this tour over on the tenders. We then boarded a ferry boat (filled only with the WS tour) to take us to Cinque Terra. Well, you can imagine if the swells were bad on the tenders, they were just as bad on the ferry boat. What was suppose to take about an hour turned into almost double that amount of time. It was a rough morning but the best part was that we were able to see by sea, the 5 villages of the Cinque Terra. (My DH jokes those 5 photographs were the most expensive photographs I ever took!) By the time we finally landed at Monterooso (no other landings available that day due to the waves) we were so far behind we were told we had only 2 hours before we had to board again to go back to Portofino and the yacht! Well, I wasn't the least bit happy about that and I told my DH and the Aussies we were traveling with that day that I was taking the train to Riomaggiore for lunch and I'd figure out how to get back to Portofino later. They all agreed and we told the tour guide we were heading out on our own, found the train station and hopped the next train to Riomaggiore. It was one of the best decisions we made the entire trip! After walking up the one main street in Riomaggiore, we stopped for the most fabulous lunch at the most delightful restaurant! After several courses, many bottles of wine and some limoncello, we ad to say good-bye to our new friends/owners of the place, and litearlly had to run back to catch the train to Santa Margherita. There was an art festival along the water we checked out and then grabbed a taxi back to Portofino in time for pizza, beer and wine. The sunset was glorious over Portofino and we were the last ones on the last tender at 8:30 back to the yacht. It was a most memorable day! We missed the Deck BBQ because we stayed in Portofino so late but we didn't really care since we had such a great day with our Aussie friends. Portoferraio, Italy - Another day without a real plan so we did what we had been doing for 15 days and wandered around Elba on our own. We hiked up to the fort and checked out the views; we found a sidewalk cafe and joined all the locals having Sunday dinner out; we sat back and just relaxed. Easy and delicious! And that brought us to Civitavecchia. A turnaround day for us but a sad day too since we had to now say good-bye to our friends we had met while boarding in Lisbon on cruise #1. Originally I had thought to take a cooking class on our own here but we wandered around instead and took in the local market and stopped for pastries and coffee at a local place. It's definitely a working man's port but we saw lots of families out and about too. It wasn't as scenic as some of our other stops but it is a big city compared to the last few ports of call. We walked the waterway and stopped for a beer and free WiFi before boarding to continue on to our next Wind Surf adventure...Sicilian Splendors! A few notes about our total Wind Surf experience on our back2back2back... We enjoy the wonderful folks who work so hard to make Wind Surf a special place. Captain Pedro, Hotel Operations Officers Calvin and Julian, Maitre d' hotel Merrick were out and about and available and willing to chat. Our favorite staff, Aladdin made our time onboard so very special as did Farid our cabin steward and Hari, Russ and Ada our servers. Anna at the tour desk and Anne at reception always had a smile and greeting for us as we walked by. Within a few days everyone knows your name and after 25 days on board, they really know all about you! Our opinion on the food is that it is very good. That being said, having been on board for 25 days, we learned that the rotation of the menus is about 5 days. With more and more Star Collector choices being offered, WS must rethink this policy. I enjoyed most everything on board during cruise 1 but by the time cruise 3 came along, I'd had enough of a few of the choices. The deck BBQ was wonderful and they have re-done the layout of where the food stations are since we last sailed with Wind Surf which made it seem roomier. I had originally booked a room on Deck 1 but the upgrade fairy came to visit several months later and we were upgraded to Suite 306. The location is towards the back of the ship and can be very noisy when the tenders are being used. But, it is so close to the Yacht Club and the Pool Deck, plus getting off the ship, we didn't let the noise ruin it for us. Plus, having 2 bathrooms in the suite saved my marriage after 25 days at sea! We were lucky to have the laundry service during our cruise and it was amazing! I did specify for cold wash and hang dry and just about everything came back perfect. One black sweater wasn't so black anymore but other than that, we were very pleased. Overall, we love Windstar cruises because it suits us. We love port intensive cruises. We love the smallness of the ships and that it affords you the opportunity to get to know your fellow cruisers as well as the officers and staff and they get to know you. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our fourth Windstar trip. The 3rd on a sailboat. We love the informality of Windstar. If you are looking for a Seaborne experience with butlers and dressy evenings this is probably not for you. We loved the sail as we wanted to ... Read More
This was our fourth Windstar trip. The 3rd on a sailboat. We love the informality of Windstar. If you are looking for a Seaborne experience with butlers and dressy evenings this is probably not for you. We loved the sail as we wanted to get an overview of the islands. Patmos was lovely and not filled with hordes of tourists. I’d love to go back! Santorini has breathtaking views from the island and from the boat at night where we were having a barbecue on the deck. We did a non Windstar winery tour with Safowi and it was outstanding! Mykonos was a beautiful busy island where we did our only Windstar tour which was to spend the day at gorgeous new luxury beach resort where we swam in the sea and infinity pool. The Windstar event of dining at the ancient Celsius Library at Ephesus in Turkey was beyond amazing and reason alone to do the cruise! We had some wonderful fish dinners as the chef bought fresh fish at local ports. Eating local food is important to us so we ate every lunch at a local taverna. We had some heavy seas and some people were seasick one evening. My husband managed ok with medication. Lastly, don’t expect good entertainment! We retired after dinner except for my husband stopping at the small casino a few nights. We swam off the boat the last day and it was heaven! We spent 4 nights on Milos prior to the cruise and loved it! Spectacular beaches! Windstar has it on its itinerary next year. Read Less
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