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6 St. Thomas to Caribbean - Western Cruise Reviews

I reviewed our trip last year on Seadream I (which is incorrecly listed as December, it was actually February) so I won't go over the same things I wrote about in that review. I will just add some different thoughts We flew into ... Read More
I reviewed our trip last year on Seadream I (which is incorrecly listed as December, it was actually February) so I won't go over the same things I wrote about in that review. I will just add some different thoughts We flew into St Thomas on a Cape Air 8 passenger plane from San Juan. It was a $20 fare to the pier and took about 10 minutes. I didn't think the service was quite as good as our first trip, but that could easily be because of my extremely high expectations. It was still far better than any other cruise line I have sailed on. Some of the crew were the same we met on our cruise the year before. I would note that the crew turnover is quite low, no doubt due to how much they all like their jobs. I wanted to address the wonderful flexibility the Captain has. Our first full day on the cruise was in St John and it was the Sunday of the NFL conference championships. Many on the cruise wanted to be able to stay in town later than our 6:00pm departure to see the games so the yacht stayed at anchor until everyone could watch their games and get back onboard. Additionally, there was poor weather forecast the day we were to be in Anguilla so the yacht switched to St Martin. This type of flexibility ensures a great cruise. We did not experience any problems with the marina and have used the toys and swam on both our cruises. We have had some good excursions and some less so. For instance, on our snorkle trip in Virgin Gorda, the contract boat had no flotation devices, which I had never encountered before. There was one gentleman on this trip I would have preferred to see less of but you do run into the same people. On this trip there were only 72 passengers so it was an extra small group. Once again we found the people we met to be enjoyable travel companions. I like that the yacht is seldom at sail. It's especially important for those who think they might get seasick on a small vessel. Between the short sails between ports and the ability to not stick to an itinerary that might include poor weather, I would opine that the chance of getting seasick is limited. We had one evening eating out on the deck where it was chilly and windy enough I would not have wanted the ship to be moving on top of the conditions. This type of cruising is certainly not for everyone, but one last thing I would note is the volume of return customers. (which is not apparent from these reviews) I would say that over half of the passengers were return visitors, some had cruised on the yachts up to 20 times! That is a ringing endorsement. My husband and I look forward to our next trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
This was our first time aboard Seabourn Legend, will I ever go back again..... DEFINITELY !!! I am now totally hooked .... Embarkation we arrived 30 minutes prior to the time given, we were taken to the King Olav Lounge to register this ... Read More
This was our first time aboard Seabourn Legend, will I ever go back again..... DEFINITELY !!! I am now totally hooked .... Embarkation we arrived 30 minutes prior to the time given, we were taken to the King Olav Lounge to register this took around 15 minutes, once all procedures were completed we were taken to our suite about 15 minutes later. Our suite was a lovely size and very clean, upon arrival a bottle of champagne was in our room, we decided to have a glass we had just opened the bottle then their was a knock on our door our stewardess introduced herself offering canapes and another glass of champagne and also a selection of soaps very nice touch !! this was just the beginning...... The service throughout the ship exceeded our expectations not having to lift a finger was very hard to get used to but it did not take us long, for instance you would sit at the Sky Bar and would be asked what you would like to drink, and before you finished your first drink a waiter appeared and refilled your glass. By the second day the staff knew your name (yes I did ask how they did this and was told the secret!). Veranda Cafe / Restaurant "2" We everyday enjoyed breakfast in the Veranda Cafe, lots of choice from a cold to a hot breakfast, the service was excellent the staff would not even let you take a glass of juice to the table everything was carried. Restaurant "2" We enjoyed two wonderful tasting menus over the fortnight, the food was out of this world example below: Chef's Cocktail: Crispy Foie Gras, Port Wine Splash Lobster Roll, yoghurt caviar sauce, Bacalaito Fritter, Avocado & Tomato Salad seared Panela Salmon, White Bean Salsa, Piquillo Coulis, and the menu goes on !!! I could go on about the ports but I think I enjoyed the ship more !!!! The Main restaurant was outstanding the menu was varied, if you did not like the wine provided that evening you can ask what other wines were available. The people aboard the Seabourn Legend were of a varied age range from a 1 year old to probably 90 +, everyone had a story to tell and we made some wonderful lifelong friends, overall the staff and the guests really made this holiday for us. Negatives, As we were on the Ship for two weeks after the first week we were docked again in St Thomas for people to disembark, unfortunately we had to go through customs on the ship this included all guests in transit at 07:15 in the morning !!! not good if you have had a late night and too much champagne. Room Service Menu was ok but thought this could do with more options. Overall a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2008
This is a belated review of our marvelous Wind Spirit Caribbean voyage round trip out of St. Thomas in January 2008. It was a wonderful travel experience in all respects. I traveled with my sister, who flew to St. Thomas from her ... Read More
This is a belated review of our marvelous Wind Spirit Caribbean voyage round trip out of St. Thomas in January 2008. It was a wonderful travel experience in all respects. I traveled with my sister, who flew to St. Thomas from her home in Hawaii; I live on Whidbey Island, WA, and flew out of Seattle. We arrived two days before our cruise began in order to have a rest after our long red-eye flights. We stayed at The Green Iguana, a small hotel up on the hill next to Blackbeard's Castle. It was a fine place to stay, from which you can walk into downtown Charlotte Amalie; it's an easy walk DOWN the "99 Steps", much harder back UP those many steps! On our extra day between arrival at STT and our departure on Wind Spirit, we booked a private tour with T.J.'s Terrific Tours, and as it happened we had Thomas's entire safari-type open air vehicle to ourselves. This was great for us (but not so great for his budget, so we tipped him more than the cost of the tour) as he would show us exactly what we wanted to see, and skip what did not interest us. He picked us up at The Green Iguana and returned us there at the end. At our request, he also stopped at a grocery store frequented by locals to buy wine to take on board with us. He's affable and knowledgeable, highly recommended. The Wind Spirit was as wonderful as her sister ship, Wind Star, whose Costa Rica cruise I had loved a year earlier. The ship's size is wonderful, the passenger mix interesting, the food fine, the crew marvelous, and the itinerary is lovely. Our weather was perfect as well, always a big plus! For photos with captions and descriptions, done as a "photo story", go to http://fredasphotos1.shutterfly.com and go down the page until you come to "Caribbean on Wind Spirit"; click on that, then click on "Slideshow" to see photos in large size with captions and explanations. This will give you a feel for the ship, the trip, and the islands we visited, and will tell you more than I can do with words in this report (remembering that a picture is worth a thousand words!). It's a good idea when booking this cruise to plan on one or two hotel overnights in St. Thomas before the cruise, and an additional night after the cruise. This gives you a day for exploring St. Thomas, which is most enjoyable, and also, on the day the ship returns to Charlotte Amalie, saves you from finding yourself off the ship with your luggage, wondering how to amuse yourself until it's time to go to the airport. We solved it by taxiing to the Marriott for a leisurely lunch, after asking the concierge to keep our bags until it was time to go to the airport for our late afternoon flights. If you have a late morning flight, no problem, then just go to the airport from the ship. But it seems most flights out of STT leave mid- to late afternoon. My plan for all future cruises is to have one or two overnights before the cruise (important to guard against your incoming flight being delayed, which could result in your missing your cruise), and one or two more after the cruise to avoid the problem of being stuck toting your luggage around between disembarkation and time for your flight. Other specific recommendations from our experience: TJ's Terrific Tours on St. Thomas; Joyce Prince's private tour on St. Maarten/St. Martin; the ship's excursion to The Baths (it's very difficult to get there on your own, and it's a highlight site to visit); White Bay Beach for snorkeling on Yost Van Dyke. St. Barths was a favorite port, especially Shell Beach, an easy walk from the dock and a nice place for swimming and a GRAND place for hunting through the infinite number of shells on that beach, huge swathes of shells, sometimes 2 feet deep. Spend a lot of time on deck with those glorious sails! Enjoy the crew, the sights, the sun, the sand, the cuisine, all of it! I loved the experience so much that I'm booked on Wind Surf's southbound itinerary out of Barbados for January 2009, and as well, a cruise leaving just a week from today, on November 1 2008, from Barcelona to Lisbon. As you can see, I love Windstar ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2008
Background Information: This was our first Seabourn cruise and only our second cruise ever. We planned this trip for almost a year. I had done a large amount of research before selecting Seabourn and had very high expectations based on ... Read More
Background Information: This was our first Seabourn cruise and only our second cruise ever. We planned this trip for almost a year. I had done a large amount of research before selecting Seabourn and had very high expectations based on what we read. I should also mention I am difficult to impress. We choose the 7 day Caribbean Hideaways voyage as our first taste of Seabourn. We are also not what we understand to be the typical Seabourn cruiser. I am 25 and my husband is 31. We were looking for a cruise that was not action packed and would allow us to meet different people. We enjoy socializing and excellent service. We don't enjoy drunken conga lines and the hairy chest contest. Embarkation: We arrived at the Havensight pier in St Thomas around 1:45. Surprisingly, there were no lines to get in or masses of people wandering around. In fairness, the Legend was the only ship at the pier that day but it was nice to begin the trip without the hassle of a large crowd. Once we cleared security at the pier we walked a few hundred feet to the stairs to board the ship. Our carry on bag was immediately carried for us by a gentleman wearing white gloves (impressive). He introduced us to the cruise director and several other staff members on our way to the King Olav Lounge. We were offered fruit punch or champagne upon entering the Lounge. We were given a piece of paper with a number on it and were told they would call our number and we would receive additional instructions. As we waited, we were offered more drinks and sandwiches were available at the back of the Lounge. After 15 minutes our number was called and we made our way to the stage in the Lounge. Our credit card and passports were requested. The woman who checked us in explained that we would be taken to our room at 2:45 pm (about 30 minutes). Thus far the service was attentive. The embarkation process overall was pretty standard. It was nice to sit in a cool, comfortable lounge with a drink in my hand though. Cabin: Our cabin was fabulous. We had a standard suite on deck 4 but there was nothing standard about it. It was about the size of a hotel suite. We had a small walk-in closet and a full sized bathroom. I found the cabin more than spacious. About an hour after arriving in our cabin our stewardess, Claire, brought us two glasses of champagne and salmon crostini. This was impressive. She seemed genuinely nice and helpful, a spirit I found common on Seabourn. Claire explained where everything in our suite was located. She also offered a basket of a variety of soaps. I loved this! Details like this really made us feel special on Seabourn. We also found that in the bathroom there was a medicine cabinet stocked with all of the necessities one might need on vacation like an emery board, cotton balls, q-tips and even sunscreen. The bathroom also had very plush towels and Molton Brown products. My only complaint about the bathroom was the shower. The shower head is a handheld unit. There is a mounting on the wall but it's on the side shower wall and only about 4 feet up. There's really no way to position it like a true shower head. This was a very minor issue though. There is a small refrigerator in the room that was full of soda, beer and bottled water. We also had two bottles of liquor that were in the room when we arrived. Several months prior to the trip we filled out a form online asking about our preferences while onboard. One question was what liquor we would like stocked in the room. We requested Jack Daniels and Captain Morgans. We received some brand of scotch and Absolut Vodka. The stewardess asked us of they were ok and I mentioned what we had requested. She said she would swap them out in the morning but that never happened. We really never drank anything in the room except water so it was not a major inconvenience. I am certain if we had mentioned it again it would have been rectified. We could frequently hear the guests next to us slam there door. Most guests probably had no problem but our neighbors were a bit rude and did not observe the multiple notices asking for courtesy to your neighbors by gently closing the door. We could also hear the low hum of the engine. It was actually soothing to me, especially at night. We never heard anything else from the rooms on either side of us. Ship info: I found the ship to be clean and well-kept in all public areas. For example, the room where the computers are kept for internet access was well lit, decorated in blue tones with dark cherry furniture. Upscale, clean, luxurious but not stuffy and pretentious. I could definitely feel the ship moving and rocking. It wasn't a violent movement in any sense but just the normal rocking of a smaller ship. I am very sensitive to motion though. When I was grabbing for a rail most people around me were standing fine. The average passenger would probably be just fine. The elevators were very small. 2-4 person max I would guess. The whirlpools, pool and deck always had vacancies. I hate to fight a crowd so this was a blessing for me. We did have a few instances where we couldn't find a waiter for a drink and after 10 minutes my husband went to the bar to get them for us. Down a few decks was the marina and gangway to the tenders. The marina was one of my favorite features of the ship. We had a Marina Day the third day on the ship. Again, I was surprised at how few people were actually down there. They had banana boat rides, water skiing, kayaks, paddle boats and a caged area to swim in the water. They also had drinks and a spread to make ice cream sundaes. It was really a day in paradise. We greatly enjoyed Marina Day. We visited the casino one night before dinner. We were the only gamblers for some time. The casino is actually a small glass partitioned area in the Midnight Sun Lounge. There are only a few tables but quite a few slot machines. It was obvious the casino was not a big draw for most passengers on the ship. We also took advantage of the complimentary washers and dryers on the ship. It seemed to be a popular option as several times both washers and dryers were in use. In the typical Seabourn fashion, laundry soap was furnished. Overall, we appreciated that the ship was smaller. We left with a very positive impression of the ships public rooms. Activities: The next day's activities were communicated in the Seabourn Herald that was left nightly in our cabin. It also included the dinner menus in the Restaurant and 2. Daily, there was Bridge, Massage Moments (on-deck complimentary chair massage) and Afternoon Tea. There was also an evening activity each night around 10pm. A few days there were additional activities during the day. Our first full day on the ship was a sea day. There was a trivia game held in the Midnight Sun Lounge. We had cocktails, ate popcorn, socialized and played trivia for about an hour and a half. Out of seven teams playing, we some how ended up in second place. It was really a good time. There was also a cooking demonstration earlier that same day that I did not attend. Everyone I spoke to who did attend seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. There was a presentation/ lecture about the ports we would be visiting. It was also broadcast on television for the next 6 days. We watched a rerun on TV the next day. It was very informative. There is also a library that houses hundreds of CD and DVD's that can be checked out free of charge. There were quite a few newer releases. We appreciated the availability of the DVD's on the ship. One thing I liked about Seabourn is that I never had a sense of not knowing what was going on. I think Seabourn did an excellent job of keeping us well informed through various mediums while on board. Fellow Passengers: We enjoyed almost all of the people we met on board. Most people were well traveled, 40-60 years old and repeat Seabourn passengers. We found one person who was very impressed with himself. Everyone else was there to have fun and not worried about who had the most money or prestigious job. The people we met were really one of the biggest highlights for us. The Seabourn passengers are some of the warmest, most interesting people we have ever met. We were a little worried we may not fit in because of our age and lack of experience traveling. The fact is we were embraced by the other guests and truly enjoyed meeting everyone. Shore Excursions: We only participated in two excursions: the Botanical Gardens and Rum Distillery in Guadeloupe and the Beach BBQ in Virgin Gorda that was complimentary. The excursion in Guadeloupe only had Seabourn passengers and was a small group of 15 or so. It was a great excursion. The Beach BBQ was beyond amazing. The food and service were excellent. The line for food at the beach was the only line we stood in the whole trip and it moved very quickly. There were indoor and outdoor seating options. Lots of lounge chairs for everyone. The Caviar in the Surf was awesome. Several crew members serve caviar on crostini on a surfboard in the water. One crew member also walks around the lounge chairs with a tray of small folded towels soaked in ice water and hands them to you with little silver tongs. We had become really spoiled at this point by the Seabourn service and details. We found the excursions to be priced in line with what we had seen on our other cruise and read on other websites. Entertainment: Several nights a movie was shown as the after dinner activity. One time it was shown in the King Olav Lounge and the other was shown outside on deck. We did not attend either so sadly can't comment too extensively. There were also several nights of singing by various members of the staff. We did not attend but heard good thing about all the shows. We did attend the Fruit FlambE on deck after dinner and saw the Rock the Boat Show. The fruit flambE was bananas foster and cherries jubilee. Both were great as was the show. Dining: We felt that there was ample choice considering the size of the ship. Each day for breakfast you could order room service, go to the Restaurant or Verandah. For lunch there was usually one more option at the Sky Bar or on deck. For dinner you could dine in your suite course by course from the Restaurant menu, dine in the Restaurant or dine at 2. In the evening the Verandah became 2. 2 had a fixed menu nightly with little or no choices between course selections. The food at 2 was always different than what was served in the Restaurant. We ate at the Verandah for breakfast most days but also ordered room service twice and ate in the Restaurant once. Breakfast in the Verandah was buffet style but certainly not the usual buffet fare. The quality of the food was exceptional. There were lots of fresh fruit (pineapple, mango, papaya, kiwi, blueberries, blackberries, plums, peaches, strawberries) cereals, hash browns, lox, various cheeses, sausage, muffins and pastries. We fell in love with the brioche and donuts. My husband liked the chocolate donut and I liked the cinnamon sugar. They were closer to a beignet in texture and the chocolate was more like a hard ganache. Very yummy. There was also a standing menu to order from that included omelets, waffles and pancakes. I ordered one each of the blueberry, strawberry and banana pancakes one morning and all were delicious. I also had the Swedish pancakes with lingonberries and they were very good. Room service breakfast was just as good as the Verandah and always right on time. The morning we ate at the Restaurant it was almost completely empty. Most people ate in their rooms or in the Verandah for breakfast it seems. The food in the Restaurant was really the same as the Verandah just a higher level of service. We felt more attended to in the Restaurant. In fairness, the Verandah was much, much busier. For lunch, we ate two afternoons in the Verandah and one day at the Sky Bar. All other days we ate in port. Lunch at the Verandah was also buffet style. One day was a Mexican themed day. Truly some of the best salsa I have ever eaten. I also had a made to order fajita that was very good. There was cheese, sliced meats and numerous salads on the buffet. There were also items to make your own salad, fresh fruit and a menu for made to order burgers, hot dogs and a pasta of the day. Both days we ate in the Verandah for lunch it was very busy and we waited at least 10 minutes before we were asked about a drink. The desserts in the Verandah for lunch were fantastic. Each day they had a special flavor of ice cream and fruit sauce. I loved the fruit sauces. I had pear, kiwi, peach and apricot over the course of the week. The apricot sauce over vanilla ice cream was heaven. The day we ate at the Sky Bar they grilled kabobs along with hamburgers and hot dogs. All were very good. They also had different salads, fresh fruit and cookies. The wait staff at the Sky Bar was very attentive and friendly. For dinner we did the course-by course dining in our suite two nights, ate at 2 once, and the Restaurant the other 4 nights. The course-by-course dining was fantastic. Samuel was frequently the one who brought us room service items and he was very attentive and friendly. The food at the Restaurant was also very good. The presentation was very nice and the selection varied from night to night. Some of the salads were a little bland for my taste. My husband really enjoyed the soups. Before dessert was served each night, a small tray of tarts or some sweet was put on the table to share. These were all fantastic. Some of my favorite dishes were the goat cheese soufflE, Parma and shaved asparagus, filet mignon with peppercorn sauce and Concord grape cheesecake. The evening we ate at 2 the theme was "Steak House". This meal was one of our favorite. We ate outside over the water with one of our favorite couples and had a great time. The couple we ate with at 2 ate there almost every night while on the ship. The Beach BBQ was on Sat (the day before disembarkation). We had steak, grilled jumbo prawns, fried turkey, prime rib, hamburgers, hot dogs, salad, corn on the cob and so much more. This was also a major highlight of the Seabourn experience. Each night there was a different red and white wine served. We found most of the wines to our liking. We both had many mixed drinks, all of which were made to exactly to our request. My margarita was made with Grand Marnier at no additional charge. I also had a Kir Royale with dinner several nights that was fantastic. A fellow passenger told me that one day on deck they were served vanilla ice cream with crème de cassis over the top. She raved about how good it was. I also enjoyed the different flavored butter each night slathered over the yummy breadsticks. I had heard that Seabourn will pretty much make you whatever you want within 24 hours. I asked Samuel (the wait staff captain) if this was true and he confirmed the rumor. I told him I would love to have some late night nachos and cheese. He simply asked me "What time?". At 11pm the next night my husband and enjoyed our gourmet nacho's and cheese and drank champagne. They also brought me some of that fabulous salsa. The nachos came on a huge platter, enough to feed 6 people at least. Service: This is really what Seabourn is known for. All of the waiters were very friendly and knew us by name after about the third day. They poured every sauce and syrup and carried every plate of ours. We were formally escorted nightly to our tables in the Restaurant. The staff tries to anticipate any need you might have. For example, my love of the flavored butter became apparent pretty quickly and so when room service was delivered for dinner I received extra flavored butter without even requesting it. Everyone seemed so kind and genuine. All of the small details really made for an overwhelmingly fabulous service experience. Disembarkation: We received a page of instructions on disembarkation several days prior to the end of the voyage. We were given color coded luggage tags based on our plans when leaving the ship. Our flight was not until late afternoon so we were able to disembark later in the morning. We were told to be at the King Olav Lounge at 7:15am to obtain our passports and meet with immigration. We were in and out in about 15 minutes. We had to vacate our room by 8:15. We did so and went to breakfast in the Verandah. We spent some time saying good-bye to our new friends and talking to pass some time before we finally left the ship. In my mind I was screaming "No, you can't make me leave!". It was sad to leave our new friends and the service we had so become accustomed to. In Summary: We are already planning our next Seabourn cruise. Seabourn is definitely not a line for children or college spring breakers. Seabourn caters to a more reserved crowd. On the other hand, there were still loads of fun to be had by everyone. Cruisers looking for luxury, relaxation, extremely high service and great food, Seabourn is the best bargain around. Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
We posted this last year but trip advisor didn't have a "cruise review". I happened to still have this saved, so I thought I'd try to save other travelers from wasting money! The caribbean is beautiful and we'd ... Read More
We posted this last year but trip advisor didn't have a "cruise review". I happened to still have this saved, so I thought I'd try to save other travelers from wasting money! The caribbean is beautiful and we'd definitely try another cruise there, but this time on Royal Caribbean (see my Mexico Monarch of the Seas review).... We went on a one week St. Thomas cruise to 7 other little islands in the Caribbean in Feb. 2007. Overall: 1.5 stars/D-. The only reason it even got 1.5/D- rating is because the Caribbean is so beautiful- great destination (but the beauty of the destination has nothing to do w/ Windstar...you can do this on your own w/ either a "regular" big cruise or all-inclusive land vacation. If you want to save yourself a big waste of your hard earned money (an all inclusive land package would've been half the cost if not less), read this. Also, during our trip they announced Windstar had been sold (which helps explain the crappy management on board). The current owner is Holland America and they will complete the sale in April 2007. TIP: don't buy the "whole travel package" from Windstar...big rip off. Better off taking taxi ($5-10 vs. Windstar's $64), and booking your own airline. They market themselves as "180 degrees from ordinary" and 5 star/first class. Their brochure shows everything under the sun...but unless the only vacation you've ever been on has been a $29 special to Vegas, you will be sorely disappointed when you get on board (others on our cruise said the same thing). We asked some other cruisers how this compared vs. a "regular big cruise line" and they reacted this way "Uh, well...dead silence"...enough said. I just wish I would've known this before wasting so much money. We wanted to try a cruise so badly and decided to start w/ "the best" which is what they proclaimed to be...not so!! Read on. Airport customs at St. Thomas: great; very efficient & short both ways. Workers: Since they nickel & dime you for everything ($2.50 for a can of soda + 15% service charge on every single drink purchase + a daily tip fee of $11 per day PER PASSENGER )...unless you are buying booze or soda, hard to get them to wait on you (which makes sense since the workers don't get "paid" for serving the free drinks which is only tea and water). Water sports are supposed to be all included, but we found that they didn't really have any water sports except for one kayak & a little boat thing (and snorkeling gear)...all weather depending of course. You can only check out the snorkeling gear when they say so which is typically 7-8 am- so much for sleeping in (whatever happened to focusing on customers?) However, the sports platform is pretty cool whenever they were open (this is where all this stuff takes place). We got to swim in the ocean from the boat...but they were only open for a few hours twice in a one week cruise. Very different from Sandals (where we typically go for vacation), where everything is truly all inclusive. Rooms: Standard, very small (it's a cruise ship so we weren't surprised). But there's nothing 5 star about it. Equivalent to Days Inn. You get two HARD twin beds pushed together. Very uncomfortable. Bathrooms (both in cabin & throughout ship) are like being in a port-o-potty...no ventilation...smells horrible!! Restaurants: The only "saving grace". Gourmet like- the 2 restaurants are great. You won't be disappointed w/ the food...if you can manage to get in a meal...since the dining hours are TERRIBLE! e.g.,. one day, b'fast was 7-9 am (hello, you're on vacation), lunch was 1-2:30, and dinners are always 7:30-9:30. It was so sad, people are literally waiting for the doors to open to get their lunch & dinner. Many of us on board were disappointed and irritated at the extreme limited dining hours. WARNING: don't do the shore excursions. Alot of pple. on our cruise said what a rip off they were (overpriced, misleading descriptions). We paid $260 for a catamaran snorkeling trip and saw one fish! Another couple paid $400 for a "beach escapade" to be pampered at a 5 star resort and they came back irritated at having spent so much for "swimming at a hotel and getting a crappy lunch"... BTW, at a land all inclusive vacation, you get snorkeling, catamaran, etc. all w/o any add'l costs! They NICKEL & DIME you for EVERYTHING! Food is the only thing included (when you can get food). They had a special "Captains Sailaway" and "Beach BBQ" event and charged for all drinks...we figure that the average cabin paid an extra $1000-$2000 on excursions and beverages. From what I hear from the "big cruises" at least you can eat 24 hrs/ and get free sodas. They have NO amenities. The "pool" & jacuzzi...seats 4-5 people (yes I'm talking about the pool). They're not heated. Jacuzzi is like warm bath water at best. If more than a few pple. got in the pool or jacuzzi, forget about using it...no room for you. Nothing to do on the ship unless you're on the excursion b/c the ports they take you to have nothing to do. One port we went to was literally you get dropped off and walk up & down a sandy road w/ 2-3 stores and that's it...so you go back on board and there's nothing to do b/c they don't feed you til 1pm! Their "wind spa" that they brag about is in reality a teeny, tiny cabin w/ a massage bed in a small room. We did get a massage to try and recover from the plane ride, and it was good, but she doesn't massage your arms or front of your legs (all other 50 min massages I've gotten is full body). Fitness center has one treadmill (the other one broken), one elliptical & stairmaster & 2 bikes, & some weights. But if you're a man taller than 5'7 forget about using them, the ceilings are so low you'll hit your head. Management: TERRIBLE! But since they've sold the company, it doesn't surprise me. We brought up a couple of issues and they didn't resolve anything. Basically, even reasonable customer requests are ignored and you're told "this is our policy"... I kid you not, they will only replace your shampoo if they have proof that it's used up EMPTY and in your trash can (so I guess they rummage thru guests' trash cans, which is kind of scary). One day, since they didn't replenish our toiletries b/c our existing set wasn't 100% empty (and I had left it in the shower, instead of the trash), I had to call 3 times and beg them for more shampoo so I could was the gritty sand out of my hair! Yes, this is a true experience. Geez, even Holiday Inn & Motel 6 gives free shampoo!! The best comparison I can make is that they're like the Northwest Airlines of cruises (yes, quite an insult). NWA charges you extra if you want to sit next to your travelling companion. Here, they charge for every little thing. And on the last day, once they have gotten all your money they turn off the air conditioner and 150 passengers are sweating in the lobby going thru customs for over 1 hr! Overall, I guess it's to each his/her own. Some pple on board thought this was the greatest vaca. ever...go figure. But there were enough "negative" comments on board that I felt I should post this to warn other travellers. I would give anything to get my money back. The only saving grace was that the destination/scenery of the Caribbean is so gorgeous, and perfect weather nearly everyday (but again, this has nothing to do w/ Windstar)...you could get the exact same thing on a big cruiseline for about 1/3 of what we paid...also, to be fair...the food was very good (but it's comparable to Sandals resorts, which includes all beverages (non & alcoholic) and all activities. I wish Trip Advisor had some reviews on Windstar B4 we booked, so I decided to be the first. Anyone who is a discerning traveller who is accustomed to really nice vacations will be very disappointed by this. We don't mind paying more, if we actually get something for it. This is so overpriced, that even if they offered me $1,000-$2,000 off a future cruise w/ them, I wouldn't do it. Do yourself a favor...just book any all inclusive vacation....you'll pay less and get more w/ better service. Read Less
Sail Date February 2007

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