4 Rome (Civitavecchia) to Italy Windstar Star Breeze Cruise Reviews

This was our fifth Windstar Cruise, but the first on the Sea Breeze. Overall it was very good value for the money. Some observations : 1. The logistics at the Port of Civitavecchia (Rome) necessitated two(2) coach transfers - no easy ... Read More
This was our fifth Windstar Cruise, but the first on the Sea Breeze. Overall it was very good value for the money. Some observations : 1. The logistics at the Port of Civitavecchia (Rome) necessitated two(2) coach transfers - no easy task when you are 80 years old, the temperature is in the low 30C's, and you have handle your own luggage....................However, both embarkation and disembarkation went extremely smoothly. 2. Customer service was excellent, and left a big impression that the satisfaction of the client was a number one priority. Some examples: - on two (2) separate occasions my Wife had issues with her meal. On both occasions the Head Chef was at our table within 5 minutes. - By the third evening it was becoming very obvious that the initial high standard of service in the Main Dining Room was starting to deteriorate (getting sloppy- I am still waiting for my dessert.............). Having informed the Dining Room Manager that it was not acceptable, the service the next evening, and for the balance of the cruise, was back to it's initial high standard. - The shore excursion to Gozo was abandoned due to a heavy swell - a full refund was given without asking. - The boat excursion to Positano had to be changed to a visit to Positano by Coach - again due to a heavy swell. A partial refund was given - again without asking. - My Birthday was celebrated twice - once at breakfast with a croissant adorned by two (2) candles, and again in the evening with a more formal birthday cake. 3. The Laundry Package/Service was excellent and good value for the money. 4. The Wine and Beverage Package was, in my opinion, overpriced. You would have to be a confirmed alcoholic to get full value............. 5. A nice touch was the offering of local wine and locally sourced food - especially the Branzino (European Sea Bass) which was cooked to perfection. 6. Candles Restaurant was superb, as was the on-deck BBQ. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My husband and I just returned from the taking the Star Breeze, Sicilian Splendors cruise (Sept.17-27) and I wanted to provide you with first-hand feedback and many thanks to the crew. We had a great time and Windstar is to be ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from the taking the Star Breeze, Sicilian Splendors cruise (Sept.17-27) and I wanted to provide you with first-hand feedback and many thanks to the crew. We had a great time and Windstar is to be congratulated for providing us an excellent experience. The food was top quality and Chef Rohit showed his skill and innovation in procuring and preparing local products meeting and exceeding our every request. The dining room service was great and Dining Manager Allen made sure that all of our needs were promptly met making every dining experience memorable. Lastly, Hotel Manager Stephane’s skilled staff ensured that the rooms were clean and ready. What a treat to have a new towel animal to greet us as we returned from our tours which were very organized and fun filled. The special luncheon and stops for a snack/drinks were welcoming and elegantly executed. It is hard not to complement every member of crew for their excellent customer service, wonderful attitudes and providing every guest with personalized care. Last year, we cruised on the Wind Surf from Dublin to Lisbon and while that cruise was fantastic, this most recent cruise on the Star Breeze was even better, hard to imagine but it was! We also enjoyed the staff's dance night and talent night, and it's clear they enjoy their jobs and working with each other, therefore providing great customer service. We look forward to taking another Windstar cruise in 2016. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We had extremely high expectations for this cruise, and rightfully so given our previous excellent experience on the Wind Surf along the Croatian Coast. Let's begin with the ship. The Star Breeze is a different type of vessel from ... Read More
We had extremely high expectations for this cruise, and rightfully so given our previous excellent experience on the Wind Surf along the Croatian Coast. Let's begin with the ship. The Star Breeze is a different type of vessel from those who are accustomed to the Windstar sailing ships, but we knew that going in. Having acquired the ship from Seabourn, and recently completed a much touted multi-million dollar renovation, our expectations for the ship were higher than what was delivered. The staterooms are more spacious than on the sailing ships -- a big positive. The public areas are ok, but a bit underwhelming. The main dining room is the nicest area on the ship, as far as the public areas go, and they certainly did much to make it elegant. The "Candles" restaurant really is not a step up in food quality from the main dining area, and other than the fact that you are seated outdoors, there is nothing special about the ambiance. It is the same area used for serving breakfast every morning. With that said, we certainly did enjoy the outside seating and the wait staff did an excellent job with their service. Larry is the ship's officer responsible for the dining room staff, and he is truly committed to service excellence and to making sure that the client experience is very positive. We found him to be very personable and engaging. One of the most frustrating aspects of the ship was the horrible internet infrastructure onboard. I have an extensive background in technology and am well aware that satellite-based internet service is inherently slow. That's not the issue. The issue was the ongoing outages and continual dropped connections to the ship's router that occurred throughout the duration of our cruise. There were times that I got dropped 10-12 times over an attempted 1 hour session -- finally giving up in frustration. One morning, I got up almost 2 hours early to take care of some time-sensitive business matters back home, only to find that the internet connection was down completely. I politely complained about all of the above to the nice young woman at the reception desk, only to be told, "I'm sorry sir... our officers have been made aware of the problems..." I'm now in Day 9 of our trip and I feel like there should be some adjustment made to the outrageous $250 fee I paid for "unlimited" internet use. It has not been offered yet, although I intend to ask for one at the end of the cruise. Today, our port of call was Capri. Knowing it was a "short" day with the last tender returning to the ship at 3:45pm, we were up waiting for the first tender at approximately 8am. Nothing happened. The number of people started to build in the waiting area, and clearly there was frustration. No communications. Finally, the Captain made an announcement over the ship's PA system at around 9:30am, explaining that they had been negotiating with the Port for a place to anchor and regarding the use of the ship's tenders, versus the port's. This made no sense to me since it is well known that Capri requires the use of their own tenders. We watched the "comedy" as the Italian tenders from Capri were sent out to the ship, as they bobbed and rolled in the fairly mild seas, yet posing great difficulty for people to safely board from the ship. Ultimately, only one of their tenders was useable, and it needed to be shared with the larger ship anchored next to us. We ended up waiting until about 11 am to finally board and head to shore. We also observed the crew staff tell one of the other passengers that he and his family needed to wait because first priority boarding was being given to passengers who booked shore excursions through the ship. He politely told the crew staff that he had his own excursion and was going to board the tender with the same priority as those who purchased theirs through the ship. Unexpected things happen in every business, and how you handle matters with your customers differentiates the best businesses from the others. This matter was very poorly handled by the Windstar crew, and ultimately the responsibility resides with the Captain who was nowhere to be seen. Frankly, he should have left his ivory tower and explained the situation to the multitude of very upset passengers... personally, and not via the PA system. People should have been offered refreshments to keep them comfortable, and there should have been ongoing communications about the problem, what was being done to resolve it, and when people should expect to make it onshore. Instead, there was very little communication, and the ship's staff appeared to be confused and ill-prepared to handle the problem. The finger of responsibility was pointed at the Italian's at Capri's port, but this issue was totally foreseeable. Instead, many of us felt that there was a lot more to the "story" than was being communicated to the passengers. Even though the shore time was extended by almost 2 hours to "make up" for the delay, many passengers lost confidence in the system that would supposedly get us back to the ship, and ended up cutting the afternoon short in order to return early and avoid the chaos we had witnessed in the morning. After missing one of our earlier ports of call due to heavy seas, our final port of call in Capri was substantially compromised. It was not a positive way to conclude our cruise experience on the Star Breeze. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We went on the 7-night Star Breeze cruise, Rome to Nice, based upon the belief that this would be a 6-star experience, docked in each port because this was a"yacht," and could go to ports where the big ships could not go. THE ... Read More
We went on the 7-night Star Breeze cruise, Rome to Nice, based upon the belief that this would be a 6-star experience, docked in each port because this was a"yacht," and could go to ports where the big ships could not go. THE GOOD: The ride was really smooth. We were concerned that the yacht, being small, might not be comfortable in not-so-calm waters. The ride was a pleasure. The cabin was large and beautiful. It was about the length of a Princess mini-suite, bet about 1-1/3 wider. The decor was tasteful, and the bathroom large and beautiful (double sinks!) The food was excellent and plentiful, particularly the baked goods. The croissants were about the best I've had. A small thing, but do not miss the orange juice. I appreciated it as I enjoyed it on board, but, now at home, I miss it. The service was super, except for a few hiccups. The ports were beautiful. Portofino, in particular, lived up to its hype. Cinque Terra should not be missed. THE BAD: Do not go if you want entertainment. They had 2 duos, who were good, but offered only sporadically. The free "Glitterazzi" excursion to the Monte Carlo Casino was a bust. We only took 1 of their offered tours, the boat trip to Cinque Terra. It ww q bit pricy, but we were glad we did it. Otherwise don't bother. They offered a walking tour of Monaco for $115 each. 30 yards away was a hop-on-hop-off bus for 19 Euros. These are good values for an overview, and then use it to return to those sites which interest you. THE UGLY The promised ability to dock in the smaller ports was not true. We had to tender in half of the ports. And the tender was awful. Most cruise ships use their life boats, relatively stable catamarans. Windstar, however, used a couple of old 1930-era speed boats, which bounced terribly. When at the ship (er, "yacht"), they only used one rope, and you had to jump on and off the tender. Several people were bruised, and one lady had a rather nasty injury to her arm. All in all, I give this cruise a C+. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Star Breeze Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.6
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.8

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