6 Windstar Star Breeze Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Mediterranean from Rome (Civitavecchia)

We chose this cruise because it was going to a part of the world (Sicily and the Amalfi Coast) we had not yet seen and we had enjoyed our last Windstar experience. This ship accommodates @200 people and that's the size cruise we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was going to a part of the world (Sicily and the Amalfi Coast) we had not yet seen and we had enjoyed our last Windstar experience. This ship accommodates @200 people and that's the size cruise we thought we would like. We had a wonderful time. Our cabin was very spacious although there were a couple of minor annoyances. The air conditioning controls did not work. The cabin was quite cold or too warm. This was corrected, but only after 4 requests. We lost running water on 2 occasions due to a broken pipe. The sailing was very smooth with the exception of one evening. The food was excellent in the dining room and outstanding in Candles (the specialty dining room) Candles specializes in grilled meats and fish … the veal chop is exceptional. For a small ship the recreation area is very nice. Plenty of lounge chars on 2 levels, a hot tub and a small resistance swimming pool. The ship is kept quite clean. The crew is very friendly and dedicated to making sure you have a good time. For us the cruise was enhanced because we met so many wonderful people. The first day of the cruise was at sea and by the end of that day we had met several couples who we continued to spend time throughout the cruise. I think a few of them, will remain friends for a long time to come. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our family took Star Breeze (our fourth cruise with Windstar cruises) from Rome, to Capri (Italy), Sicily, Kotor (Montenegro), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Split (Croatia) to end in Venice. The Star Breeze is not one of the sail masted ships ... Read More
Our family took Star Breeze (our fourth cruise with Windstar cruises) from Rome, to Capri (Italy), Sicily, Kotor (Montenegro), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Split (Croatia) to end in Venice. The Star Breeze is not one of the sail masted ships (Windsurf and Wind spirit are), however, it has its own charms. Our captain was Roman (from Croatia) and he, along with his entire staff, were just wonderful and accommodating. One day we had a power outage while at sea and it only lasted about 20 minutes. They were able to manage the disruption efficiently right out at sea! The staff pride themselves on getting to know passengers (about 212 of us) on a first name basis. The staff is almost 1 to 1 with passengers. Our room was fabulous - actually, we had four rooms - we traveled with our five adult children ages 20 - 30. We were on deck 4 - rooms 131, 133, 135, 137 and each were equally wonderful. We had every need attended to and were treated with such class. The bathroom was spacious. With the small size of the ship my biggest disappointment was the pool. So so small. It is actually just an oversized whirlpool with a wave pool (jets). We were able to anchor three days and get the waterplatform out. That was fun. We paddle boarded, kayaked, snorkeled and used the trampoline. Absolutely a must. Biggest highlight was the on-deck BBQ which included lobster, crab claws, shrimp, and much much more. Food was amazing, not only at the BBQ, but throughout the cruise. Ports... loved Capri - we took a private boat around the island into all grotto's. Next, Sicily where the ship had a private event and we visited the Gambino vineyard (bought so much wine... can't tell you). It was a highlight. Then, Kotor. Loved the old town - best old town ever! DO the steps to the top - I personally counted 1982 steps up and the same back down (my son counted less, however, he is 6'2 while I am only 5'5). Worth every step. Dubrovnik was our least favorite of them all and then reignited in Split. Do the multi ticket of the Bell Tower, Baptistry, Palace and Crypt. Good shopping for coral bracelets, and leather. Our favorite Windstar trip was the French Riviera, then the Spain and Portugal one, followed by Italy and Greece and lastly, this one (Croatia and Montenegro), even though it was wonderful. We will still do another. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
With much anticipation and a positive attitude we boarded the Star Breeze recently. We love the tall ships but thought we would give the Star Breeze a try. Our last cruise was on a bigger Seabourn. The Star Breeze is lovely in many ... Read More
With much anticipation and a positive attitude we boarded the Star Breeze recently. We love the tall ships but thought we would give the Star Breeze a try. Our last cruise was on a bigger Seabourn. The Star Breeze is lovely in many ways but I think Windstar needs to rethink their theme...180 degrees from ordinary. We are talking about two vastly different types of cruise experiences...the tall ships and the cruise ships. Herein lies the problem. Having come off a Seabourn ship it was hard not to compare. (also because the Seaboard logo is still displayed on most cabin doors etc.) The difference between the two was most obvious when it came to housekeeping. Granted Windstar has doubled its fleet as well as staff. Many of the crew on board were welcomed and familiar faces. But most were new to the Windstar line. You know that "Ahh I'm home" feeling you get when you are first shown your new cabin? Sadly that was lacking. I sat on the couch and looked at the mirror behind the 2 opposite chairs. It obviously had not been cleaned in a long time! When I entered the bathroom the same was true of all mirrored surfaces. Left behind were remnants of the previous guest...yuck. Housekeeping issues were also apparent in other public spaces. For the last few days we passed two badly stained dining room chairs left at the entrance of the Amphora restaurant. These were obviously pulled from the restaurant. Enough on housekeeping. I did speak the the head housekeeper at the reception for previous guests. She was speaking to our steward as we returned to the room. Very nice young man but not well trained. He then smeared the mirrored surfaces with a dry cloth. Made it look worse. Enough on housekeeping. The crew really works hard but they greeted us with a smile and many times by our name. A hallmark Windstar experience. They are to be commended. The food was excellent as well. Certainly nothing but praise there. BTW, we were on the cruise where a drunk 43 year old woman went overboard. Fortunately the seas were calm and boat drifting. She was pulled into the rescue boat alive and well about 1:10 minutes later. Kudos to the entire staff! We enjoyed our week aboard the ship. I think the potential is there to make the new vessels shine in the market. However, it is an entirely different cruise experience than the tall ships. The experience will be compared to other "cruise ship" and Windstar needs to look at the competition and step up. Attention to detail is what makes Seabourn stand out. Winstar take notice! This isn't a barefoot cruise any more! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
There are really no words to describe the experience we had on Windstar's StarBreeze! From the moment we arrived at the Port and were greeted by staff welcoming us aboard- taking our luggage to our cabin and taking pictures as we ... Read More
There are really no words to describe the experience we had on Windstar's StarBreeze! From the moment we arrived at the Port and were greeted by staff welcoming us aboard- taking our luggage to our cabin and taking pictures as we arrived....the experience was beyond our wildest dreams. Luxurious, nurturing, welcoming, accommodating, impeccably clean, amazing food, amazing options, amazing staff, crew, chef, tours, fitness center, spa, etc etc. I have never cruised before and so was a little nervous about such a small ship but the ship itself is awesome and big enough and there is always enough space to either be alone if you want or mingle and socialize if that is what you are interested in at any given time. The room (cabin) is large enough with a separate area for the couch/balcony. Our room/cabin was the perfect place to hang out in after spending time on the decks when we were at sea for the day. I can't say enough about the tours (amazing- magical-worth every penny) and the crew!!! I LOVE Windstar and will definitely be booking another. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was a first cruise for my friend and I and I was surprised I enjoyed it so much. The itinerary was excellent and length of the cruise was perfect. The service was impeccable. I couldn't fault it. All the crew members that ... Read More
This was a first cruise for my friend and I and I was surprised I enjoyed it so much. The itinerary was excellent and length of the cruise was perfect. The service was impeccable. I couldn't fault it. All the crew members that learned my name, greeted me morning noon and night by name. I even had a special dessert made by the executive chef, Eddy. It made me feel so special. The dining room staff were excellent and catered to our every request. Karnik welcomed us to each venue and Larry kept the laughter going with his quick wit and jokes. On our last day, Miko even told us to take care be extra careful of pick pockets in Rome. The staff just treated us like were we close friends. At Amphora, Kyle provided lively conversation whenever he had the chance. And our room attendant Cecep made a towel animal every night at turn down service for my friend. We were well entertained on our second last night of the cruise with a deck BBQ and dancing by the crew. The only critique I have is that our room required a bit more maintanance despite Windstar had spent so much money refurbishing the ship. Our bathroom door almost fell apart and the drapes to separate the room required extra cleaning. All in all, we had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Confessions of a cruise skeptic DAY 1, Civitavecchia, Italy I’m trying to put my finger on when I last had the feeling I have barely ten minutes into my first cruise, then I remember...it’s when a comedian announces there'll ... Read More
Confessions of a cruise skeptic DAY 1, Civitavecchia, Italy I’m trying to put my finger on when I last had the feeling I have barely ten minutes into my first cruise, then I remember...it’s when a comedian announces there'll be audience participation and I’m in the front row. I’m not exactly sure what’s causing my rising anxiety. Perhaps it’s the low ceilings of the ship I’ve just boarded, or the cacophonous soundtrack vibrating the speakers on the deck as we push away from the dock, or the check-in that’s less five star hotel and more reminiscent of registering for a convention. A fellow traveller grimaces as the music gets louder. "Is that karaoke, or is that actually a band?" he asks. This could be a very long eight days. I've chosen my first cruise carefully: small ship, docking somewhere new every day, reasonable-sized rooms, a reputation for good food, and ports where you can easily do your own thing. I've always had a motto in travel: never get on anything you can't get off. I’ve scorned bus tours and sneered at anyone who sees a place from behind a tour guide holding up an umbrella. But for the next eight days I’m sharing my travel experience with around 200 strangers. I’ve broken my own rules for the convenience of seeing a lot of places in a short time without having to pack, unpack or visit an airport or station. Slowly, things start to look up. First, the room, er cabin, is great. It has a picture window, marble bathroom (with bathtub) stocked with fancy toiletries, walk-in robe, living area with a sofa and armchairs and a queen bed with Egyptian cotton sheets. Secondly, I find an idyllic spot up the pointy end of the boat (ok, the bow)--a timber-decked triangle with banana lounges and bubbling turquoise jacuzzi. And my fellow traveller and I have it to ourselves. By dinner, we are hooked. From our table at the open air restaurant at the back, er stern, of the boat, we watch the sun sink into the ocean past our vessel's fluttering flag. Dolphins cross the moonlit wake as waiters deliver lobster carpaccio, followed by good steak and a glass of montepulciano. The steward suggests we take our unfinished wine back to the cabin, or he’ll hold it for tomorrow’s dinner. That first night I’m lulled to sleep by the gentle seas and distant hum of the engines. DAY 2 Capri, Italy I wake with Capri shimmering and misty on the horizon. Dolphins playfully circle a fishing boat and elegant little tenders line up to take us ashore, 30 at a time. What's not to like? We break into groups for an island tour, skipping queues for the Blue Grotto, and the chairlift to Monte Solaro. As we slip through the tourism bureaucracy, another traveller shrugs and observes: “If you can't beat ‘em, join ‘em”. This is travel with all the kinks ironed out. That evening, watching Capri slip towards the horizon from our virtually private jacuzzi in the bow, I’m already planning the next voyage. DAY 3 Sicily, Italy Early irritations have disappeared. The low ceilings of the little 106-cabin Star Breeze are offset by elegant shared spaces, there are quiet places to get away from livelier bars and groups, the school camp-style processing diminishes once everyone's in the groove. And while the buffet can get buzzy at breakfast, there’s always a quiet table where you can order your eggs benedict a la carte. But by day three I feel we need to set out without a posse. Waiting for cabin 106 to turn up for the morning tour, again, as thirty other adults cool their heels for ten minutes thinking they could have had a second coffee, is wearing thin. A crew member happily delivers a briefing on what cabs should cost, where to eat, and what to see. While most go to the included tour and lunch at a winery on the slopes of Mt Etna, we wander the streets of Taormina, shopping for ceramics after lunch on a terrace high above the ocean. Back in the ship’s main restaurant, a ballroom-like space, the food is American, classic, with a few modern and ethnic flourishes, and sometimes sweetness, like salmon marinated with maple and topped with cranberry orange chutney. There are simple dishes like steak and grilled fish each night, and more elaborate ones like pork tenderloin with bourbon ancho sauce. You can dine when you like with whom you like (or alone). There are no formal nights, so I don't have to travel with clothing I will only wear on board. Food (breakfast, lunch, dinner and 24-hour room service) is included in the price. Drinks are reasonably priced, good wines $US 7-10 per glass. Cocktails are priced similarly, and 15 per cent service is added. I’d considered taking the ‘drinks package’ which gives you alcoholic beverages for $US134 per cabin per day but our actual expenditure is way below this. DAY 4 At sea A fellow Australian admits he woke in the night, and thought, "I didn’t think I'd had that much to drink" before realising the ship was rocking side to side. It's barely noticeable, but it's more movement than we've had so far on the glassy Mediterranean. Today is a full day at sea, from 5pm push off at Messina last night until arrival in Kotor, Montenegro, around 9am tomorrow. Some see this as a necessary evil, and chuckle about the inventions crew have created to pass the time (a demonstration of how to fold towels into little animals; a lecture on mastering digital cameras from the ship’s photographer). For others, a day at sea is bliss, permission to rack up spa treatments, loll on a banana lounge, drink cocktails, read. A few hit the gym, where several men discover they are too tall to use the treadmills without hitting the ceiling. Some opt for the exercise bikes, others slink away in apparent relief. On the open bridge, where the crew show chat with passengers. Somehow it's cocktail hour before I know it. DAY 5 Kotor, Montenegro The 'fjord' in which Kotor rests is known as one of the most beautiful ports to enter. Sadly lovely Kotor is choked by tourists, tacky souvenirs, and touting taxis squabbling over who's legal and who's not. Our hour-long Windstar walking tour traverses from tedious to torturous, so impulsively we rent a tiny Toyota and head to a beach where we hobble across grey pebbles into azure water. With a 10pm sailing, we dine onshore on local mussels, octopus and calamari paired with a dry Montenegran rose. Back on board the Star Breeze the signature Windstar deck barbecue is in full swing, tables laden with prawns and salads and a duo singing Volare. With wine bought on shore I slip quietly past to watch the lights come up just as the duo launch into Pharrell’s Happy, urging everyone to dance. DAY 6, Dubrovnik, Croatia, With five cruise ships in port, we’re advised to walk the walls early. It’s good advice, afterwards, a larger ship’s passengers are lined up for several hundred metres in the hot sun, while only six of us wait for our tender. It’s not the only difference I notice. I see other ships’ passengers wearing stickers to identify them. I never want to wear a sticker to identify me. Our cruise builds time for independent exploration into shore excursions, too. We choose to see what we want, lunch where we want, shop, swim at local beaches, hike and buy local wine to drink in our cabin (free) or with dinner (for a reasonable corkage charge). Day 7, Split, Croatia AFTER a cruise-organised tour an Istrian hill town, I bump into fellow voyagers who've taken the mountain bike tour. They’re red faced, dusty, sweaty. Two fit young Americans say it was “intense”. They'd preferred the previous day’s white-water rafting trip, and the sea kayaking in Dubrovnik. So much for cruising's walking-frame clientele reputation. DAY 8 Rovinj, Croatia After hiking above Rovinj on our own, stopping to swim at a small bay, I realise how much I’ve looked forward to returning to the comforts of our elegant little ship each day. I’ve even started to enjoy the thundering rendition of Vangelis’s 1492 as the Star Breeze sails nightly. DAY 9, Venice, Italy As the ship sails into Venice at sunrise, I remember the words of a stylish acquaintance who surprised me by admitting an addiction to cruising, so much so that “You can see my fingernail marks down the gangplank where they’ve had to drag me off at the end.” I’ve got to admit, I’m starting ro relate...and already wondering how soon I can do this again. A skeptic’s tips for cruising .Use the boat as a floating hotel and explore at least some ports independently. .Choose a ship that appeals to your personality, sensitivity and interests. Formal nights, smoking policy, group activities can be deal breakers or makers. .TheTripAdvisor of cruising, www.cruisecritic.com, is useful for getting inside information from seasoned voyagers. .Register your email address with any cruise lines you’re interested in. You’ll be bombarded by money-saving deals. Between booking and payment our cruise dropped in price. The cruise Windstar Classic Italy and the Dalmatian Coast, The Star Breeze, June 2015. We paid Aus$2667 per person and spent a further $800 per head on drinks, spa treatments and shore excursions. www.windstarcruises.com Read Less
Sail Date June 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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