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12 Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera) to Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

Giving a very detailed account of our trip because a similar review VERY MUCH helped me plan a previous trip to Hawaii. Loved having details to help plan days on shore.Bottom line, I can’t recommend this cruise highly enough. Small ship, ... Read More
Giving a very detailed account of our trip because a similar review VERY MUCH helped me plan a previous trip to Hawaii. Loved having details to help plan days on shore.Bottom line, I can’t recommend this cruise highly enough. Small ship, great staff/passenger ratio. Large rooms and wonderful food, service etc etc. Each night there was a short program in the lounge to debrief for the next day and the day. Costa Rica/Panama Canal Wednesday January 16th 2019 overnight in Louisville for 7AM flight to San Jose Thursday January 17th travel day San Jose via Atlanta.Arrived at Restaurante del LaRosa LOS Americas in the afternoon. This was the coolest place. They told us to help ourselves to the fridge and keep tabs to pay later. Had drinks by pool, wonderful dinner with Edwin taking great care of us. Lots of wine and local food Friday January 18th we awoke, at least in our building, to the sound of something scampering across the roof and birds so close they sounded like they were inside. With the warm climate, a metal roof is all that is between you and the great outdoors at this hotel. Today is the trip from San Jose to Caldera where we will meet our ship on Saturday. pick up by Henry from a travel co. I don’t remember at 8am for tour of coffee plantation. Stopped for wine and cheese tasting at roadside store, on toward Caldera with stops at Our Lady of Mercedes (church with exterior made of iron.) Lunch at La Finca, ending with visit to oxcart factory. Wonderful day with lots of fun surprises especially seeing an ox cart man on the side of the road and getting our picture made with him. Arrived at Costa del Sol late afternoon and checked in to a quaint little hotel. We had rooms ranging from large suites to very small and sparse rooms but the whole place had less than 20 rooms. A large open air veranda at the end of the hall provided a view of the ocean and the ship we’d be boarding the next day. We had a wonderful dinner of fresh seafood with a view of the water before retiring. Another long day in the books. January 19th board Star Breeze today. We spent an easy morning at the pool in Caldera. Had to walk down the street to another hotel for this. We were all amazed at how this quaint little hotel was in the middle of such a rough looking area but we are learning that there are lots of metal bars and razor wire here. We boarded the ship around 1:00 with the hotel providing transportation we soon started to get aquatinted with our home for the next week. Cabins on this trip proved to be spacious and the crew is exceptional. During the afternoon, some had naps others had drinks and we met in the main dining room for a delicious dinner. Everyone turned in at that point except for one couple and the nightlife didn’t prove to be enough to keep them up much longer. Sunday January 20th Quepos- early coffee and breakfast for most. We soon learned via social media that we are missing out on a snow and ice storm at home and are all happy to be in sunny Quepos Last night at dinner our waiter Yogi promised us the best coffee in the world at the Star Bar and it didn’t disappoint. We disembarked at 8:30 for a trip to Manuel Antonio National Park. After convincing a cab driver that 10 of us couldn’t squeeze into 2 Corollas we finally made it to the park in 3 cars. We thought we could do this walk without a guide but the long wait and the promise of moving to the front of the line prompted us to get one and we were super glad we did. He carried a long lens and knew exactly where to spot sloth, monkeys, iguanas (or something like that) He arranged a van for us to get back to the ship where we engaged in swimming, naps, and drinks. What a life we are living this week. Dinner in the main dining room again tonight. Best part of the day for me today, swimming in the Pacific, seeing white faced monkeys, and marking a National Park of the list. Monday January 21st today we are signed up for afternoon kayaking at port Jimenez. Spent the morning in the Yacht Club having coffee and we grabbed some lunch there before meeting our boat. We booked this tour on our own and were scheduled to be picked up at noon on the beach. A zodiac took us in where we had a “wet landing” meaning you will get your feet wet. The cruise line provided towels that we were advised to take to put over our legs while kayaking as the weather was so hot. We did about a 3 hour excursion seeing some local birds and more monkeys stopping toward the end at a beach to rest, cool down and have some delicious pineapple provided by our guide Jessica. Back on the ship for a few drinks before dinner, followed by some music on deck Tuesday January 22nd Isla Perida cancelled due to high winds near the shore. Day at sea. Not much to report. Time on top deck, a game of scrabble in the yacht club (which we are sure will be named the redneck yacht club by the time we leave) lunch, naps, drinks, dinner, ending the night with a talent show by the crew which proved to be fun. Wednesday January 23rd Balboa Panama (since day at sea came early we have an extra excursion planned) Indian village. We rode a bus through the outskirts of Panama and couldn’t believe how this part of the world lives. It did not seem to be so impoverished but trash was everywhere. Our guide told us they don’t recycle and it seemed to us that they didn’t have anything to do with garbage. We went down to the Chagres River and took a dugout to a Embera Indian Village where we learned of their customs and saw goods that they make. So glad we had the opportunity to do this. Thursday January 24th Island of monkeys, a long ride through the city with long delays on the way due to a World Youth day and a visit by the Pope to Panama. Once there we took a boat out on an eco tour and saw more monkeys and a couple of crocs. Excursion was ok but glad we had taken the unplanned Embera village tour the day before. It was much better. We ended the tour with a stop at a hotel/resort for a restroom break and some complimentary fruit punch. Back to ship for late lunch left in our cabin by the steward and a nap and drink before dinner. Dinner was a barbecue on deck with a feast of sushi, ribs, lobster tail and on and on....followed by line dancing. This small ship with a big crew does not disappoint in any way. Friday January 25th Panama Canal passage awake and on deck a little after 5 AM. Very interesting going through the locks and seeing how the canal works. The crew brought around champagne and the small nature of the ship provided great viewing.I’ve heard such horror stories of not being able to even see the canal on those mega ships. Later in the day we viewed a video of the history of the Canal. Very interesting. Other than that naps and packing were the order of the day. A nice dinner to top off the trip Saturday January 26th left the ship at 7:15 guided bus trip to airport (blah blah blah) at the airport at 9:30 for a 3:15 flight. Found some Mexican food and free WiFi then on to Atlanta for a late flight home. Great trip with great friends. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We typically choose active, land-based travel but decided to do a cruise for a special anniversary. We chose the Star Breeze for its mixture of small luxury ship with casual attitude, small ports of call, and availability of water sports. ... Read More
We typically choose active, land-based travel but decided to do a cruise for a special anniversary. We chose the Star Breeze for its mixture of small luxury ship with casual attitude, small ports of call, and availability of water sports. We wanted to have fun, but we did not want the fussiness of formal dinner nights. We were not disappointed. The ports of call included a good mix of those with many tourists and those with very few tourists. (It was helpful to know some Spanish but not necessary). We booked one excursion with the cruise line in Puerto Jimenez, but explored on our own the other days. We were able to do water sports off the ship in one port of call and on the private island day. For some reason, they couldn't offer waterskiing, although the equipment was available. Not a big deal, but it was something we were looking forward to. Otherwise, the crew really worked hard to impress. The cabins were spacious, well appointed, and serviced several times a day. Service was phenomenal and always with a smile. The food was excellent. We liked that they sourced fresh seafood from locals and that the chef made all of his stock on board. No corners were cut! We dined most nights at Amphora, which was consistently excellent. We did take advantage of Candles, which is a romantic steak house offered for free once per voyage. The special BBQ night was a highlight and not to be missed. Breakfast and lunch offered the ability to order a la carte or dine from the buffet. One exception: the coffee at the Veranda had an odor. I typically took my coffee at the Yacht Club (which offered continental breakfasts, non-smelly coffees, and light lunch fare) and then went to the Veranda for a full breakfast. Late afternoon activities included cultural talks and/or performances, with a next day port briefing just before dinner. The ship has a "pool" (it's really just a large, warm bathtub) and 2 hot tubs. We never had a problem finding a poolside lounge chair. The 5th deck hot tub is a great place to stargaze at night (or look for porpoises), but carry a cellphone for the flashlight. We did go to the gym several times, which was better than I expected. The ceiling is low, so tall people would have a problem with the treadmill and one cannot do overhead weights without sitting down. The fitness classes are basic and nice for a good stretch. With the average guest age being in the 60-75 range, there was not a lot of night life. We enjoyed the guitarist, who sang a mix of contemporary slow pop, Latin music and oldies but goodies. He also played great dance music. The other couple, the Radio Stars, were fine for music while you sunbathed but really not good for evening entertainment. The crew also entertained us with a crew talent show one night and line dancing after the outdoor BBQ. A number of activities were offered on our day at sea, including a cooking demo, galley tour, and blackjack tournament. We were saddened to learn that Star Breeze will go into dry dock this year and its size will be increased by 50 suites. We think this will alter the small ship experience significantly. In summary, this ship is great for couples aged 45+ who want some interesting port adventures and some luxurious pampering without the stuffiness of a more formal cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this because Lat November it was on a flash sale at 75% discount from the rack rate. It's at the end of winter, but rest assured, we are warming up. Compared to MSY Wind Star, the MV Star Breeze is huge. There are three ... Read More
We chose this because Lat November it was on a flash sale at 75% discount from the rack rate. It's at the end of winter, but rest assured, we are warming up. Compared to MSY Wind Star, the MV Star Breeze is huge. There are three different public spaces, we prefer the Yacht Club. It's the equivalent of a Flag Bridge on a naval vessel, sitting overtop the navigation bridge. The cabins are huge, at 270 sq ft! The photos are truth! The picture window is five feet by four feet. The main dining room and the ships galley are on deck 3. Decks one and two are engineering spaces and cargo. The crew has spaces forward and aft on deck 4, along with staterooms. Deck five is more staterooms, the hotel business office, and the lounge. Deck six is the larger suites, more staterooms, the inside bar, screening room, and library. Deck seven is the buffet(veranda), the pools, the outside bar, the spa, and the navigation bridge. Good food, great staff, flat seas, combine for a fantastic voyage! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
For us the best part of the Windstar experience is the crew! They are fantastic! We have been on all three of the sailing yachts and now this, our first motor yacht, and the crew has been the common stand out thing on all of them! Our ... Read More
For us the best part of the Windstar experience is the crew! They are fantastic! We have been on all three of the sailing yachts and now this, our first motor yacht, and the crew has been the common stand out thing on all of them! Our cabin was great, the food excellent. Friends with the French Balconies really liked them for the fresh air but our large picture window was just fine. We just popped out on to the deck when we wanted a better view. We prefer the smaller ships Wind Star and Wind Spirit, but we were very comfortable on the Star Breeze. We would gladly sail again on a motor yacht if the itinerary demanded it. Embarkation in Costa Rica was a breeze. Disembarkation in Barbados was a little confusing but sorted itself out once off the ship. Then went very smoothly. Just wish wi fi was a lot cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We selected the 7 day Windstar Costa Rica/Panama cruise because we wanted to visit these two countries and to transit the Panama Canal. First, the Star Breeze and her crew were one of the highlights of this experience. While the ... Read More
We selected the 7 day Windstar Costa Rica/Panama cruise because we wanted to visit these two countries and to transit the Panama Canal. First, the Star Breeze and her crew were one of the highlights of this experience. While the ship was built in 1989, and updated in 2015, it was in excellent condition and every one of the crew focused entirely on making our experience a memorable one 24/7. We enjoyed pulling into the small, out of the way ports of call and very much enjoyed getting to meet and greet the Costa Ricans and Panamanians away from the hustle and bustle of the larger tourist focused areas. The food on board was world class in every respect. I cannot conceive of finding fault with regard to the culinary offerings. They just blew us away! Our stateroom was well appointed and spacious (277 sq ft). Plenty of room for my wife and I to stretch out and enjoy the cruise. Two of our excursions focused on preparing typical Costa Rican and Panamanian foods, which included trips to the local grocery stores to purchase the necessary produce and other items needed. These were a lot of fun. A note to possible travelers: Windstar cruising requires at least a modest amount of physical ability to get on and off the ship, as many transfers are via a Zodiac (perfectly safe and fun, but not for immobile or wheel chair bound people). Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Pros and Cons As always, the ship’s staff were very friendly, and the waiters and much of the staff always remember your names. There is always at least one crew member (this trip, two) who remembers us from a previous cruise (my ... Read More
Pros and Cons As always, the ship’s staff were very friendly, and the waiters and much of the staff always remember your names. There is always at least one crew member (this trip, two) who remembers us from a previous cruise (my wearing a Windstar T-shirt doesn’t hurt). Breakfast and lunch in the Terrace is always a nice buffet, and there are also items available from a menu if you want to order them. The destination manager Kuba always gave a 15-minute overview of the next day’s destination before dinner began at 7:00. The first day in Quepos we did the national park trek, and we saw both 2- and 3-toed sloths, capuchin and howler monkeys, beautiful blue morpho butterflies, and some assorted birds and lizards. The second day in Juarez we did the dolphin watch excursion. Judging by the excitement of our guide, we had very good success. For over an hour we encountered several pods of many spotted dolphins, which from time to time were jumping out of the water. We were invited to the captain’s table the second night for dinner. Captain Chris Dodds and Hotel Manager Henri Lemay were both very enjoyable dining companions, as were the other guests. The next evening we did the outside dining, called Candles; it began raining just before it got underway, so the staff had to move all the tables under the roof. They had several additional choices beyond the choices in the main dining room that evening, including two kinds of fish, lamb chops, all grilled well done. Also a number of choices of side dishes were available, and three choices for dessert. The sapecial attention was nice, but I did not think the food was really anything special. One day we swam off the back of the ship’s marina, but the current was quite strong, so most of the time we had to hold on or stay near the rope and floating pads they deployed. We brought our snorkel masks for some minor snorkeling at Panama’s Isla Parita, but when we wanted to check out flippers from the marina at the back of the ship, twice they tried to talk us out of it. We were not expecting that we would see that much, but it would be our one snorkeling day, and we finally succeeded in checking out flippers. The beach day on Isla Parita was fine, the small beach was very nice, and the water was nice and warm. The lunch barbecue did not have the traditional BBQ chicken and ribs, just some spicy chicken, hot dogs, and hamburgers. But the jambalaya was very good. They also had salads, some side dishes, banana bread, sweet potato bread, and cookies. So it turned out despite having low expectations, we were glad that we did the snorkel. We saw lots of small and large sergeant majors, semicircle angelfish, some schools of silver fish, a few butterfly fish, a pufferfish, a sea star, several blue-headed wrasse, some parrotfish, and a couple of queen triggerfish. We were wearing our skins for sunblock and protection and were fine, but apparently a couple of people were stung by jellyfish that we did not notice. Windstar every afternoon puts out some light snacks and tea or coffee on the pool deck at 3:00, but they never list it in their daily program. They had a Costa Rican naturalist on board who gave three lectures. One day they brought on board Costa Rican musicians, and another day they invited dancers from a local school. The dancers ranged in age from 21 to 4 and were awesome, with beautiful costumes. During our one day at sea, we competed in a trivia quiz, attended the naturalist’s lecture on Central and South American mammals, and did the galley tour. Head chef Danilo did a great galley tour presentation. It was very impressive that most everything is made from scratch, which is why the food tastes so good. It was obvious how dedicated he is to his work. The Miroflores Lock and Old Panama City tour was good, and we had a good guide, but we thought they could have scheduled the timing of the tour a little better. When we got there, the 4th floor viewing platform was already very crowded with other tour groups, and you couldn’t get near the rail to see very well the last of the northgoing ships going through the lock. Also, there was not enough time to watch the movie presentation. We walked right by some nice looking gift shops, and local vendors in the park, to instead stop for 15 minutes at a REALLY inferior souvenir place. The penultimate evening of the cruise we had a great barbecue out by the pool, followed by music and dancing. All the food was terrific. Finally, the last day of the cruise we went through the Panama Canal. There were three sets of locks, for a total of six separate times our ship was raised or lowered in a different lock. There was a guide on the ship’s PA system explaining things as we went, but outside, on deck, it was sometimes hard to hear him. It took about seven hours to make the transit through the canal to the Caribbean Sea. We spent much of the time out on deck, and it was an awesome experience. Sometimes there would be a big cargo ship near us in the other lock, and it was cool seeing these much larger vessels going up or down. Unfortunately, the hot tub never was very hot, just lukewarm. One day they allowed couples to go to the very overwater bow of the ship to take pictures of the guests. The last get together before the Friday dinner time he entire staff of the ship from all departments came to say goodbye, and then asked us to sing with them a goodbye song. During dinner the dining room manager, Abdul, would go from table to table to make sure everything was all right, and the last dinner even the head chef came by. Service was sometimes a little slow, but acceptable once you knew everything was made from scratch and prepared after you ordered it. The only thing I would like to improve is adding a fish entree to the normal dining room menu. The reception ladies and the woman at the small onboard shop were also very friendly and helpful. There was a singer and musician that played music in the evenings before and after dinner. All in all, a nice cruise again on Windstar. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Really nothing to complain, we cannot compare because it was our first cruise. Ship was small enough to meet people and feel as home. Ports and share excursions were quite well done. Entertainment and activities were pretty nice, ... Read More
Really nothing to complain, we cannot compare because it was our first cruise. Ship was small enough to meet people and feel as home. Ports and share excursions were quite well done. Entertainment and activities were pretty nice, having in account that it is a small ship, even during the "at sea days" we found activities to do, such as visiting the kitchen or a cocktail course. The only problem at these days were to find one shadow in the pool area. The beach party were perfectly organized. We enjoyed very much the ambience and the non-formal cruise, meeting people who has travelled very much and does not care about fancy clothes for having dinner. Service were good, most of the people working are from Indonesia or Philipines. We had one upgrade and obtained one Balcony Suite, very nice, incredible to open the doors and enjoy the views and the sea sound, we think it worths. For our next cruise we have booked a suite with terrace. In summary, a very nice itinerary, very well organized and a good cruise company that we would like to travel with again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to sail through the Panama Canal, do a little snorkeling, and get away from crowds. Our prior experience with large cruise lines, left us feeling uncomfortable with cruising. We ran across ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to sail through the Panama Canal, do a little snorkeling, and get away from crowds. Our prior experience with large cruise lines, left us feeling uncomfortable with cruising. We ran across Windstar's much smaller ship, and decided that it might be just right for us. Because we weren't interested in shows, socializing too much, visiting crowded ports with T shirt shops, and waiting in long lines, Windstar was perfect. The Star Breeze surprised us by offering beautiful Oceanview suites as their smallest cabins. We also took advantage of the free 24 hour room service. The food was plentiful, and delicious. Our crew was always eager to please. We arrived at each port on schedule. For a tropical cruise on Windstar, I would recommend packing clothing that dries quickly (fishing shirts, etc.), 1 or 2 country club outfits for dinner, and 3 pairs of shoes (water, hiking, and resort casual for dinner.) Aside from that, get the laundry service. We regretted our decision to overpack and not order laundry service. Highlights included: Manuel Antonio National Park with Odyssey Tours, Beach BBQ and snorkelinig on Isle Parida (don't give up, the fish are by the rocks), lobster one night, and actually going all the way through the Panama Canal, and relaxing in the yacht club at the front of the ship. We are already talking about a future Windstar Trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was our first ocean cruise on a small ship. Star Breeze is comparable to a river cruise in that there were fewer than 200 passengers.. Accordingly, the ship offered little in the way of entertainment, though it did feature a library ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise on a small ship. Star Breeze is comparable to a river cruise in that there were fewer than 200 passengers.. Accordingly, the ship offered little in the way of entertainment, though it did feature a library that offered videos as well as books. The crew-to-passenger ratio was almost 1-1, and the personnel were wonderful. The chef elicited my list of allergies, and prepared versions of the menu choices that I could eat safely. He even made a special anniversary cake for us, whose presentation was accompanied by a chorus of dining room staff. The food in the main dining room was fantastic, as was the breakfast buffet. The latter featured fresh local fruits and squeezed orange juice. The small number of passengers made for effortless embarkation and disembarkation. However, in the ports, we always dropped anchor in the harbor and got to the shore on zodiacs. Windstar celebrated the adventure of this arrival mode, claiming that the small rubber boats allowed the ship to enter small ports that could not accommodate larger ships. Perhaps that's true, but we did zodiacs even in the large port of Panama City. I did not enjoy the 10-minute rides, and when the sea was choppy, getting back onto the ship was a slightly scary adventure. Port visits were preceded by talks given by the onboard enrichment lecturer; I found them informative. Our first port was Quepos, where we, along with four other CC members, had booked a guided tour of Manuel Antonio National Park.from Odyssey Tours. That is the same local outfit we had engaged to drive us from San Jose to Puerto Caldera; their prices for both services being lower than those offered by Windstar. During our short pre-trip stay in San Jose, we had booked the Rainforest Adventure, which picked us up at our hotel. I got to wear my jaguar pattern rain poncho. One would not wish to do these park visits without a guide. He found the animals we came to see. Only the Capuchine monkeys were easy to spot. We would not have seen the other critters. No-cost optional swimming at a very nice beach was offered at the end of the tour. Our next stop was Puerto Jimenez, where we had booked a visit to Rancho Raices through Golfo Dulce Dart Tours. It is a chocolate farm run by a family that has been there for several generations. We saw the trees, and followed the stages from pod to chocolate bar. At the end of the tour, we were offered a chocolate drink and other fruits grown on the farm. Owner German and English-speaking guide Marco were excellent hosts, showing us a variety of plants grown there that serve both culinary and medicinal purposes. The highlight might have been the appearance of a large troupe of wild squirrel monkeys, who come daily for the home-grown bananas set out by Marco at noon daily. The monkeys know the schedule. This was my favorite excursion. The ship offered a barbecue at the next stop, which was a private island. The food was excellent, as we had come to expect, and we had an an opportunity to swim and snorkel, although the latter was unexciting.as the visibility was poor. After that, the stops were in Panama. We took a Windstar tour in Panama City and another on the post-disembarkation ride from Colon back to Panama City. These were overly expensive with not much to see, and their content overlapped. I cannot recommend either of them. In between, we traversed the Panama Canal, which we saw from a small ship for the first time. It was interesting to see the locks from the inside. I have to confess that after a while, the excitement waned, at least for me. Most passengers kept doggedly taking pictures. Would we do it again? No. But I'm glad we did it once. My final bit of advice is to bring a warm jacket. Although the tropics are as warm as you would expect, the public spaces on Star Breeze were always uncomfortably chilly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Let me start by saying that it sounds like Windstar got off to a very rocky start on their inaugural voyages in 2016! This was our third Windstar cruise. The first 2 were on sailboats. Windstar is absolutely not for people who have been on ... Read More
Let me start by saying that it sounds like Windstar got off to a very rocky start on their inaugural voyages in 2016! This was our third Windstar cruise. The first 2 were on sailboats. Windstar is absolutely not for people who have been on large ships and like all the entertainment etc. In our experiences the Windstar is clear that there is a specific hotel near the airport from which transfers (for a fee) to the ship take place. Otherwise passengers make their own transportation arrangements as some of the passengers did on our voyage. We had a great time on this voyage! Though the wind, especially in the North, can interrupt the itinerary. We were to spend first afternoon in Nicaragua but it was too windy to take the zodiacs into shore. Because this itinerary goes to out of the way stops without docks ( except Quepos) the excursions are mostly wet landings on the shore. This is not a trip for those not comfortable with these landings that can be in windy conditions. With that said, the fellow passengers were very very active experiencing the variety of excursions from easy to "strenuous". FYI, most passengers were between mid 50s to early 70s. Our excursions: 1) River Cruise and Traditions: The cruise was great and saw crocodiles, monkeys, iguanas etc. I personally did not like the "traditions " part ( not my thing but others disagreed)but the hacienda visit and lunch were nice . 2) Catamaran Adventure with snorkel: no coral in north but nice beach and saw smaller fish: puffer, angel etc . I wore a Pacifica SPF long sleeve shirt that provided a little extra warmth too . Water here was not bath water as it was further south 3) Marenco to Caletas Nature Walk: saw some birds . Walk along beach ( gorgeous rocks formations) and thru rainforest over extension bridge etc. was nice. 4) Afternoon in Bird Realm: saw hundreds and hundreds of frigates and some brown boobys and huge pelicans . Stopped at a stunning black sand beach! 5) Manuel Antonio Park: very very crowded! However saw many monkeys and cool sloth climbing down a tree 6) Curu Nature preserve: not my favorite but others including my husband loved it! 7) Tortuga Beach picnic for everyone was great! I kayaked. Others did paddle board ( younger group!). Fun day! The people who did horseback riding , rafting and zip lining ( not for the faint of heart!) were pleased with their excursions. We splurged on Juliette balcony and never shut the door! Loved it!! The barbecue on board is always fun and the staff dancing is great! Otherwise, entertainment were 2 duos in different locations. No one went to casino or at least whenever my husband showed up. Great staff! Many passengers hugging staff and saying goodbye at the end! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My husband and I have cruised before on the Windstar Wind Surf and enjoyed tremendously so we decided to try the Jan 2 - Jan 9, 2016 Costa Rican cruise aboard the Windstar Star Breeze to celebrate his 60th birthday. We flew into San ... Read More
My husband and I have cruised before on the Windstar Wind Surf and enjoyed tremendously so we decided to try the Jan 2 - Jan 9, 2016 Costa Rican cruise aboard the Windstar Star Breeze to celebrate his 60th birthday. We flew into San Jose on New Year's Eve and stayed at the Hotel Intercontinental at Escazu/MultiPlaza Mall for two nights. Nice hotel; would stay there again. It's across the street from a mall and rooms are clean, pool area great and food was very good. We hired Odessy Tours to drive us to Puerto Caldero on Jan 2nd and they also drove us back to the San Jose airport airport at the end of the cruise. Very reasonable, prompt and much easier and faster than dealing with a large cruise bus and 100 other passengers. The Cruise Pros - Service - excellent!! This ship's crew is by far the best we have ever experienced. They were all very pleasant, made an effort to know our names, and genuinely seemed to enjoy being on the ship. Food - again, excellent! My husband had steak twice and said it was as good as any he's had in top Chicago steak houses. The seafood was also great. Our food was served piping hot and promptly. Rooms- large for a cruise ship. Big walk in closets and large marble bathrooms. We were in a standard room (room 202) at the front of the ship. It had a large sitting area with a couch and two small chairs. The cabinetry and windows are original and there was no clock in the room. These parts of the ship appear to have not been upgraded but in my opinion this is minor. The Cruise Cons - Air conditioning - the ship's air conditioning malfunctioned for the entire cruise. As a result, some areas of the ship were unbearable. The main casual dining room upon boarding was so hot you couldn't comfortably sit and eat a meal. The ship's store was so hot my husband had beads of sweat pouring down his face. So many people complained that the ship ran out of portable fans and also ran out of rooms to upgrade/move people to. The crew's rooms were next to the engine rooms. They said their rooms were so hot it was difficult to even sleep and we heard that some of their fans were taken and given to guests. We were lucky- our room was ok. We kept the curtains closed all day and it was fine. It would have been nice to have it a little cooler but again, not worth complaining about. The ship did comp everyone $200 per guest plus 25% of our cruise cost toward a future cruise. I thought that was fair; others of course did not. I guess if i had truly had a miserable and hot room and couldn't sleep it would be a different story. I do wonder, however if some people just complained to see what extras they could get for nothing. Bottom line, i think the ship's officers should have been more forthcoming about the problem from the get go, given us more details, etc. Not really sure why it didnt work, when it is supposed to be fixed, could we have cancelled and taken a different cruise, etc? Boarding - not organized. Go here, no, go here first, oh no, fill out this first. Simple signs would have solved the issue. As it was, it did not take very long to get on board but this area could be very easily improved. Pools - the ship's pool is like a giant bathtub. This part of the ship could definately be improved. Drinks - ingredients were not fresh. Powdered mixes were used as well as premixed bottles for mai tais, tom collins, pina colada. It is not that hard to make those items from scratch and when you are in the tropics, why not use fresh fruit or cocoa lopez? Even the mojitos were bad. Bottom line- even with the air conditioning issue i would definately take another Windstar cruise. I love the small cruise ship, food and service. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
this was our 32 cruise, and since we had not been on carnival since they moved the glory, we decided to do the dream, and do a back to back.the price was right, and for the first time we used the carnival rep. i must say they were ... Read More
this was our 32 cruise, and since we had not been on carnival since they moved the glory, we decided to do the dream, and do a back to back.the price was right, and for the first time we used the carnival rep. i must say they were terrific, we are stockholders, and did all the paperwork ourselves, and carnival was very prompt, and our onboard credits were placed right away.we could not get the same room for the two weeks, because the second cruise was booked at a different time it was a pack and go, which we grabbed right away.we always pre-cruise stay at the radisson at the port, and have been doing so for the past 10 years. as always the room was clean, the service great and the shuttle terrific. can't say enough about the hotel, we love the park and cruise package as it let us leave our car for the 14 days we were gone.embarcation went fast as we are platinum. and were one of the first ones onboard at around 11 a.m. we in and found the ship to be really beautiful. we thought the layout was very similar to their other ships, with the 5th floor going thru from front to back. the first week we were on the 7th floor, and never heard a sound or any movement. this ship is solid, and we have been on some that you felt for the entire cruise rock and roll. this ship really moves, and one night we saw that she was going 23 knots, we never went that fast before. we went to lunch which i must say was pretty blaa i had the stir fry, and the noodles were tough, go figure., but we just thought "well it's first day" there are two pools on this ship that holds 3,500 passengers, the first week 1100 kids under 18, the second 1800 under 18.the pool at my house is 20x40, i don't think these pools are 25x25. it 's a real joke. first of all on either week the kids had no PARENTS if they did they were no where to be seen or heard. i think the crew were afraid to say anything to anyone. chairs were used by TOWELS, pools were used by KIDS. the crew did not enforce any of the rules that any cruise line puts in place. i'm not a old grouch, and i was not bothered, i like to sit in the sun and read, so a regular chair is fine for me, and i always found one in the back area,but i saw a few people ask the crew to remove things from chairs that were left unattended. the same held true in the encore theater. the seat thing is a big issue on this ship, more so than any we've been on. the food was terrible, so bad that one night i ordered from the kids menu and had a burger, and even that was dry overcooked, the bun cold.we tried the buffet one night pretty sad. yes we missed roatan just like the rest of the cruises before and after us. seems to me carnival would just drop the stop if they miss it 4 out of every 5 times.oh we got the platinum gift. the same thing for both weeks, we now have 4 pads and pen sets huh.... the second week we had a room on the second floor. every time the captain used the thrusters the whole floor rumbled, our room was great and we had plenty of everything we needed, and the cabin stewards made the change so easy for us. i give them cudos.the slots are so tight we won more money in st maartin, in one hour that we did in two weeks. the plus is the area is practically smoke free. you must be playing a machine to smoke, and there are special machines where you can smoke.Yea for carnival. now if they can have a curfew for kids like royal Caribbean i'd give it two thumbs us.i can blame anything on the size of the ship, as i've been on bigger. i think security could have done a better joB, sure we want kids to have fun, but when they hog ever hot tub, and pool space, it just gives adults no options. i love carnival, but it will be a very long time before i go on the dream again, i might try the legend out of tampa, i hear they go to roatan every time.hA Read Less
Sail Date March 2011

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