1 Rome (Civitavecchia) to Mediterranean Windstar Star Breeze Cruise Reviews

This is the WORST boat ever. There was no greeting. They would tell us to have a "magical day" on the PA... that would have been a real trick! The sliding doors on the balcony did not work. The wait staff in the restaurants ... Read More
This is the WORST boat ever. There was no greeting. They would tell us to have a "magical day" on the PA... that would have been a real trick! The sliding doors on the balcony did not work. The wait staff in the restaurants couldn't get a job in a diner because they do not have a clue about getting the orders straight or on time. The restaurant at the stern suffers from engine noise, serious vibration and cooking oil smells so they add loud music to the clattering of plates and silverware. Since it is so confined you can look straight into the kitchen and see the dishes being washed.They would always apologize for how long the order was taking so I only ate there a few times before abandoning the idea. As we would come aboard in the afternoon after being ashore and there would not be any food available until 7 PM unless you called room service. REALLY?!? Nothing?!? How is this possible? There was one dining room for dinner room and we went there one night starving at 6:30 and the staff was all there just sitting around waiting for 7 pm. We concluded they were cutting back the food to save money. After all if you ate at 5:30 then you might be hungry again later and that would cost more to feed us. And room service could screw up anything too! We ordered a Caesar salad and got three including a chicken. A scary tuna salad sandwich which was warm and inedible (over the side with it.) You never got ice with a soda... who drinks hot cokes? A glass of white wine had $1.78 tax on it so it was always $10. tax?!? The HVAC was weird and would blow really loud if you adjusted it so we ended up leaving the sliding doors ajar so outside air would come in to keep the room fresher. I noticed the first night and confirmed the second night someone previously in the room had a meal like spaghetti and threw up because I could smell it without the sliding doors being open. So one night I discovered the deck washing was dripping down the side of the boat each night (It sounded like some one peeing over the side) streaking the glass balcony: it hit the wood railing and splashed into the room onto the carpet. Perhaps this is why I had a headache the whole week: mold in the room? The night the whole cruise (200 people) went to the Cafe de Paris in Monte Carlo for dinner was great and then they left us all on the dock for 90 minutes without any way to get back to the ship. At the same time Wind Surf (with only 80 guests aboard) was there and had two tenders leave with 12 people aboard (I counted them) and a locally chartered tender that held 100 people was also serving Wind Surf although it was hired to serve the Star Breeze; it left EMPTY for the Wind Surf!!! I seriously thought there was going to be a riot: we paid $7500 each for this cruise and it had plenty of type A people on it. They were not taking this sitting down; they were livid! Later the captain apologized and said it was the fault of the late bus delivering us to the dock (NOT!) and he said he 'got a lot of hate' about it. When I got on board Star Breeze I see there was one tender in the water and one inside. A blonde female officer with a germanic accent at reception told me they didn't have any trained staff to man the boats due to the hours they had worked that day. How is that when everyone was at the race all day?!? How did they plan to get the guests back aboard?!? There wasn't even dinner service as the kitchens were closed down because everyone went to the dinner party. Even at the end of the cruise in Nice there were NO taxis, buses or anything for us. We all waited for over an hour. People were so exasperated it was stunning. And yet it came as no surprise despite being the one thing you would expect they could get right! There was one poor woman trying to help find taxis and called our hotel who sent over a taxis for us (after 90 minutes) and we were screwed 60 euro for a 2 1/2 mile trip. This cruise was highlighted by the Monaco Grand Prix and our charming captain (Mr. "Have a smashing day!") anchored 1/4 mile offshore from the Heliport!!! Who does that? And FOR TWO DAYS!!! Everyone was under the impression we were tying up in the harbor but instead we were the farthest way. You know anchoring far away makes the logistics worst since the tender trip takes a lot longer each direction and can't make as many runs (they only carry 24 people) At 8:30 AM the helicopters started buzzing 150 feet over the boat. When we returned from the race I counted EIGHT helicopters flying in front of me from my cabin balcony. Those things are soooo loud and the turbines make a screaming noise! It was nuts! I took video because who would believe it at home? Who is that stupid as to anchor there. There had to be a reason. This is not the first time the ship had done this route so they knew what to expect there. There were other strange anchoring locations too.The Sea Dream boats anchored in close in one port arriving after we did. The pilots took them ahead of us and we watched them anchor where we thought we would be. The captain claimed they stole our spot but no one believes it for a minute. The better spots cost more. After that we we always the last boat to show up (of boats on the similar itinerary.) We concluded the boat is a cost center and they were cutting corners to boost profits. How DUMB is that? An expensive high end cruise that sucked and made everyone (and many were repeat Windstar customers) mad because it was so very poorly managed. Who pisses off their best customers? Oh and the tender drivers... They clearly had little to no training. They destroyed the tenders during the week. I watched the tenders hit the dock at 80 degrees: nearly right angles!!! I heard one lady say that she saw a big piece of paint fly off the boat but the boats aren't painted; they are fiberglass! The tenders would bounce 10 to 15 feet off the docks and they would try and try and try and then switch drivers to try again. When they finally would get tied up to on/off load the crew would stand in front of the railings so you couldn't grab them; trying to hold your arms as you tried to gain a footing to get on or off. How stupid!?! The railing is the best possible thing to hold on to. Windstar went from hero to zero with this crappy cruise. I didn't hear anything good from anyone about their experiences. Everyone was unanimous about being more than ready to get off that damned boat. Before I forget I also want to throw in that the chef was Indian; the tomato soup was spicy hot (not supposed to be) and I thought it was curry when room service brought it. But the other dishes were lame. The pastry chef cut the chocolate out of the chocolate deserts and the creams didn't have any taste. What cruise line has lousy desserts??? Even plain vanilla ice cream wasn't vanilla. Without trying I lost weight on this cruise. And for the record we had to walk one (1) mile uphill from the dock to the race track stands and they had escort leaders so you would not get lost. Yeah, and there was no soap in the bathroom the first two days , we had to ask for some. Where do I stop??? The longer I think about it the more come to mind!! The elevators that did not work... waiting 5 minutes to get hot water in the shower... When everyone (all 200 guests) were in the large auditorium room and there was always just one guy serving drinks for the whole room (on several occasions.) Really we were robbed taking this cruise. We were really excited and it was a travesty. Hah, even leaving the ship for the race they wrote the names of people leaving on paper because their security computer (registering who was on and off the ship) did not work. It would be funny it is didn't just stink so bad. I laugh when I read the categories below for rating; such as the treadmill where you would bump your head on the ceiling... The entertainment?!? not my taste and I thought they were terrible (perhaps from a Vegas 'off the strip' dive in the 80's) The shore excursions were mediocre at best. I wanted to strangle one tour guide if I heard another inane word out of her so I avoided the group. She would stop in the middle of nowhere and tell us how her favorite perfume was made from fig trees and waste 5 minutes do so. Who cares about her favorite perfumes?!? She'd tell us about this church while standing next to a huge blank wall and then not go in it (until the end of the tour (and there wasn't much to see anyway.)) I swear she walked us up and down the steep roads and alleyways on purpose to wear us down all the while telling us things like "You can see where the door hinges were when this was a gate!" Cheesiest tours ever. And I could not understand why the buses would drop you off and then they made you walk up to where the tour would begin... with tours in parking lots next to the admin buildings in these little tourist towns. What kind of tour is that? CHEAP CRAP tours. They waste time walking you and telling you stupid stuff to fill up the time. Consider between my wife and I; we spent about $17,000 on the cruise (not including airfare or other costs); well over $2000 a day and this was total BS. . So read some some of the other reviews for this boat; you'll love hearing how they went through the Panama Canal at night and other wacky (truly sad) escapades. Windstar I regret every stinking minute of that damned cruise. You screwed us, one and all and apparently it is not the first time. 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Sail Date May 2016
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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