8 Windstar Star Breeze Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Star Breeze - Ex Rome to Barcelona - we picked the itinerary based on the ports and departure date plus the very special fare our agent could secure, & we wanted to try the small ship experience. Let me be frank I would NOT pay ... Read More
Star Breeze - Ex Rome to Barcelona - we picked the itinerary based on the ports and departure date plus the very special fare our agent could secure, & we wanted to try the small ship experience. Let me be frank I would NOT pay full price for these cruises. when you compare full price against other lines the quality , age & upkeep of the ship, average food etc just doesnt add up. I'm not loyal to on company having cruises on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Oceania & Viking - so have a broad appreciate of what lines can offer. However for the price we paid for our 7 day cruise - 50% off - I felt this was better value cruising at this price. If you find a crusie at $230pp/night - thats good value. One point to note MANY loyal Windstar guests on-board - Windstar has a fan club who keep coming back - again i feel they look for better value than the advertised price & enjoy their time on the ships at a certain price point. For a 30 year old ship it shows and its time either to replace these ships of run them through a tip to tail refurbishment - no expense spared. Ports were fantastic - expect Palamos - not well chosen - town was post its season peak and allot of shops closed and nothing much else to see unless you did an excursion. Highlight was Sannary Sur Mer - beautiful, laid back, great food and friendly locals.....Genoa a surprise visit due to weather - the old town was charming - but all museums closed on a Monday - again not well planned. Food is average at best - despite the partnership the line has with James Beard nothing really stood out. Candles is just a re-purposed morning buffet area with Candles on the table. We had a beverage package that is very good value for money if you have more than 2 glasses of wine per meal - selection of wines was fairly good. Best Meal was the dine around buffett where they set up a great BBQ in the kitchen & you got to meet the kitchen team & have excellent food choices. Public Areas - are in dire need of updating.....30 years young.....plus the attention to detail you see on other lines just isnt there in execution. Staff - all seemed reasonably happy - with a full ship maybe another 5 or 10 staff would lift the service elements a little - best service was in Compass Rose & select staff in Amphore A. Shore excursions - we organised our own as dont like being part of the larger groups. Did see any of the entertainment. Would I cruise with Windstar again - unless the port choices were amazing, price was truly a bargain and the ship had been refurbished I dont think so. I would try other small ships like Seabourn knowing that its a notch up and better value for the quality of the ship and inclusions. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise for our 30 th anniversary thinking it was going to be about luxury. The cabins were spacious but outdated. Our cabin steward was great and Maria ( ship consultant) tried to keep customers upbeat with her great ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our 30 th anniversary thinking it was going to be about luxury. The cabins were spacious but outdated. Our cabin steward was great and Maria ( ship consultant) tried to keep customers upbeat with her great attitude. At dinner, the food was good and the dining room was nice. The service was usually mediocre. Breakfast and lunch was served at an indoor/outdoor area. The inside could accommodate 30 people and our cruise had 200 passengers. What that meant was that when everyone got off their excursion at the same time, all of us were at the same time. Several meals were spent outside (covered) but sometimes cold and rainy. Oh, they would give you blankets...who wants to wear a blanket or shiver eating a meal ? Not me. We rushed several meals just to get back inside. We did room service a few times so we wouldn’t have to sit in the cold. Most of the excursions were nice but a little pricey. Entertainment was 2 sets of duos, elevator music but they could sing well...just not very upbeat. This was my first Windstar cruise-just average , nothing extravagant. The ship rocked and rolled our last night which gave a lot of passengers motion sickness. I will not be a return customer on Windstar. Many repeat customers said this cruise did not measure up. I was a little disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Some title? Well, some mirrors. I thought I would start with that. Mirrors in all the bathrooms, including the small public ones, positioned so you can see yourself on the toilet. Tell me that is not bizarre. That was about it for ... Read More
Some title? Well, some mirrors. I thought I would start with that. Mirrors in all the bathrooms, including the small public ones, positioned so you can see yourself on the toilet. Tell me that is not bizarre. That was about it for entertainment! Other than that, the bathrooms were the best part, especially for those of us with an ocean view cabin. We had double sinks and a huge (by ship's standards) walk in shower. The tubs in the French door cabins were dauntingly tall, in my view, particularly at sea. My main goal is to stay upright in a shower and, with a wet hand towel on the shower floor, I achieved that goal since I did not have to try to get into a bathtub. Great amenities, as well. There were two grab bars and plenty of storage. Helpfully, there was a cord for hanging your undies if you did hand wash. We eschewed the heavy duty laundry bill in favor of washing out a few things after each shower. Worked great. I will say that we only showered in port because of the rocking. The negative was that our inept and disinterested cabin boy forgot twice to give us a back up roll of toilet paper. When we ran out the second time, my husband was dispatched to reception. There, he met the captain who was so appalled that HE got us the toilet paper! Really, it was that kind of ship with only 200 passengers. Just how inept was that cabin boy? We were surprised at two things in the room when we arrived. One was that the beds are so low that you cannot put your luggage under them. We parked it on either side of the window. When we went to bed the first night, I found the mattress to be very uncomfortable, with some kind of metal support under my back. That and the rocking boat kept me from sleep most of the night. The next day, we examined the mattress to find that the cabin boy had flipped the mattress and we were sleeping on the supports. That got fixed very quickly. First time ever on a ship. At that, it was not the best mattress we have slept on at sea. However, we did not have issues with the thermostat as some did. The room was huge by our previous standards and having a window was normally just fine. It was quite large, the weather was too cool anyway to want to sit outside, so we were quite content with that kind of room. It would have been nice for someone to wash the window, however. The food. Where to begin? Both lunch and dinner were served up top. You had to cross over from the elevator to the outside to get to your meals. The highly touted bbq was on that deck and we about froze as we were not allowed inside the restaurant. That food was pretty good, however. The breakfasts and lunches were very ordinary for a ship that advertises that it is using James Beard recipes. It is bland, even for spicy ethnic dishes such as adobo. Bread pudding was available at every lunch along side ice cream. The rest of the desserts were mainly mousses as one guest mentioned. At dinner in AurorA, food portions were not only small but were mounded in the middle of the plates unattractively. The headwaiter had a hard time remembering if you asked to be seated with others so you could sit a while and have to send a waiter to remind him. The special Candles meal was in the buffet room so lacked any ambiance. My husband's veal chop was full of gristle, my filet was fine, but the bernaise came out of a can. The Caesar salad was very bland, like most of the food. AND, horror of horrors, we missed lobster night in AurourA! The negative of negatives was that exhaust fumes came into our room several times during the cruise with no way to blow the air out. We spoke to the captain about it and he said it happened all the time when the ship was bouncy. It bounced along the Portuguese coast both coming and going. One night we returned to our cabin after dinner to find it full of fumes which caused our eyes to burn. We ended up having to go to bed before the air cleared. That would keep me from sailing with Windstar until this issue is solved. It was one of the examples of the company not spending its money on things that matter. The ship clearly had been dressed up so the reputed $18 million spend on the 3 Seabourn ships went to superficial decorating, not to keeping its equipment repaired. We are supposed to sail on Legend and that ship had its tender fail. People were ferried by zodiacs with wet landings. That would have done me in as I only brought one pair of shoes. I read a report on Breeze that it also had tendering issues. When you arrive on the ship, there is a big hustle to sell you a laundry package (no self laundry), a booze package, and a wifi package. All very expensive. We did not buy any. I have no experience with the spa or the exercise room. Non- alcoholic beverages are included which I really liked. Fed my Coke addiction. Besides there being no entertainment and few port talks, there was a perfectly good room set up for movies but the equipment was missing or broken. We could set up a card game if we wanted but no one did. The library was pretty good for its size with a couple of shelves for passengers to exchange books. We really missed having something fun to do after dinner. There is a very small casino and a couple of bar areas but we do not drink much. A huge plus on this ship is the Yacht Club which not only provides expansive windows but also has a very nice mini breakfast and small sandwiches and desserts for lunch. We grabbed a couple of sandwiches sometime for our excursions. It shuts down the food at 6 pm when most people trot off to dinner. Excursions were the highlight of the islands. The Canaries and Madeira had amazing, wild mountains. The best excursion was a 4 wheel in the Algarve in Portugal. Because of the fabulous islands, we really were happy we went on this cruise. Most of the issues were not really so big.... Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Having sailed on the Wind Surf three years ago, I must say that I was slightly disappointed with the STAR BREEZE experience. First of all the PROS - . very nice stateroom on deck 4 (130), large, confortable bed, wonderful shower and ... Read More
Having sailed on the Wind Surf three years ago, I must say that I was slightly disappointed with the STAR BREEZE experience. First of all the PROS - . very nice stateroom on deck 4 (130), large, confortable bed, wonderful shower and a very ample walk-in closet with plenty of room to store everything. . wonderful Itinerary, leaving from Venice, cruising Croatia, Montenegro and southern Italy, ending in Civitavecchia, Rome. . wonderful personnel at the Amphora Dining Room with a very special mention to AYU, CHARLIE and Raul who all provided excellent service to us (we were a group of 6 friends). - NEGATIVES . Absolutely NO ENTERTAINMENT whatsover. We were aware that the Star Breeze was not a cruise focused on entertainment, but aving cruised on the Wind Surf where there was a gentleman/crooner and an orchestra that allowed for dancing,we were disappointed with the two duos on the Star Breeze and did not especially like them. . there are no conferences, no classical music, no games, nothing at all. There is absolutely nothing to do after dinner except go to a bar (one of the bars, the Compass Rose, was freezing cold and they even had blankets there for the passengers). . "swimming pool" is a joke. it is nothing but a larger than normal bathtub, always absolutely hot and as soon as 4 people go in, it is overcrowded. Not refreshing at all. . there are not enough deck chairs on the two open decks. there is no service either. I had to look for a free chair and drag it to where I wanted to sit with absolutely no help at all from the crew. . food at the Veranda is always the same, both at breakfast and at lunch. Packaged vegetables coming from the freezer and on a cruise that stops daily at a different port, I cannot imagine why the chef does not got to the market for fresh ingredients. No quiches, no soufflés, no fresh salads with finely grated carrots, for example, or prosciutto and melone since we stopped at two Italian ports before arrival. We did not experience this lower quality of food on our previous Windstar Cruise - in fact, it was far superior to other cruises we had taken (this is our 12th. cruise). I would say this is not the case on the Star Breeze - the food is absolutely standard. . Tender service pretty bad. They always priorize the shore excursions from the ship and so we missed our chance of going to Capri from Amalfi, as we had intended. Very disorganized. Instead of handing out numbers in order of appearance at the lounge, no, they call out when the tender arrives and there are arguments. . Wifi terribly expensive and quite poor. Outrageous, this being the 21st. century! . Drinks on deck are hard to get - one has to go up to the bar, sometimes on the upper deck, to get one. . it amazes me that people cannot let go of their drinks when going into the "pool". Very annoying and very bad manners indeed. . shampoo, conditioner, etc., were not always replenished. . small chocolate left at turndown, again, always the same and NOT FRESH (chocolate had different colors a sure sign it changed temperatures). . NO CHOCOLATES left on the last night of the cruise. Our soft drinks were not replenished either from day 6 of the cruise. Cheap indeed! Big difference with our previous Windstar Cruise which was a 5*. On the whole, I would rate the Star Breeze as a 3*+ cruise. Do not know if we shall cruise with Windstar in the future. Another nuisance were the horribly loud passengers, but Windstar has no fault in this!! We asked to be moved twice at the Amphora restaurant. Not the same kind of people on our previous cruise. What a pity! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Used Windstar several times over 20 years ago. Recently tried Seabourn and Viking (river). Windstar charges for wine at dinner when others don't. Then they charge outlandish prices for wifi. Food great but also charged very high ... Read More
Used Windstar several times over 20 years ago. Recently tried Seabourn and Viking (river). Windstar charges for wine at dinner when others don't. Then they charge outlandish prices for wifi. Food great but also charged very high prices for shore excursions! The ship size of 100 to 200 cabins is what I am looking for. However, as an earlier respondent said, It was a very"Ala carte" cruise. Nothing included except good food and service. Reminds me of paying 250.00 for a room in a large city and then paying 1.00for phone calls....just leaves a bad taste in your mouth! The crew did a great job but the ship owners tried too hard to make as money as possible. As a last note, first ship I have been nowhere the Captain did not dine with some of the guests-ever. I won't be using them again. . Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Having taken only two previous cruises, one with Regent and one with Silver seas I don’t claim to be an expert on reviewing cruises. However, here is my opinion of the Windstar Barcelona to Lisbon cruise aboard the Star Breeze. The ... Read More
Having taken only two previous cruises, one with Regent and one with Silver seas I don’t claim to be an expert on reviewing cruises. However, here is my opinion of the Windstar Barcelona to Lisbon cruise aboard the Star Breeze. The appeal of a small ship like the Star Breeze is crowd avoidance. However, The Star breeze feels crowded at times especially when at sea. Most of the cabins have widows that don’t open so people want to be on the decks to get fresh air. Unfortunately, there are not enough lounge chairs on the two outside decks. Consequently, everyone tries to claim a chair early by putting stuff on it. Latecomers move the stuff which causes arguments. The lounge chairs have a one inch pad and are very hard. There are umbrellas over some chairs but usually can’t be open under way due to the wind. So, there is little shaded area on the upper deck when the ship is moving. The cabins that do have a sliding door have a tiny deck you can stand on if you have small feet. In effect, all you get is a window that opens. These cabins sell out early. The cabins with a window that doesn’t open are large enough but claustrophobic in my opinion. There is one pool which resembles an oversize bathtub and two small hot tubs. There is a constant roar from the smoke stacks even when the ship is docked. It is quite annoying on the outside decks including the Candles restaurant. I suggest you bring a noise cancelling headset if you want to read a book on the deck. Compared to the two previous cruise ships I was on the Star Breeze seemed dated and overcrowded. There are two restaurants. One is used for breakfast lunch and dinner. This restaurant at dinner time is called Candles and you can go there once during the 8-day cruise. The outside seating area is subject to the exhaust noise. The main dining room on the lower deck is used for dinner only. The food is quite good in both restaurants. Entertainment. Two musical duos played guitar and sang on and off all day. There was one free flamenco dance show on the ship one evening. The cabin crew sang some songs and danced. Sort of an amateur hour show. Amenities I'm not sure if all Windstar cruises are ala carte but this one was. You can buy drinks for $54/day per person or individually. You have to sign for each drink which is annoying. All tours are extra. Even laundry and WI Fi are extra. There are different Wi FI plans priced by the G bytes you use. Shore Excursions Tours were very good and well organized although none were free. Cost varied for $60 to 250/person Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Chose for the Monaco Grand Prix. The schedule for the Grand Prix was exactly what my husband wanted. It was very well done. However the ship itself did not live up to expectations. The air conditioning didn't work properly either ... Read More
Chose for the Monaco Grand Prix. The schedule for the Grand Prix was exactly what my husband wanted. It was very well done. However the ship itself did not live up to expectations. The air conditioning didn't work properly either freezing cold or really hot and you couldn't turn off. The Hot water barely worked. The meal in the top restaurant left a lot to be desired as it was a very limited menu and you couldn't delete things you were allergic to even though the menu said you could. Some staff did not appear very competent. There is room for a lot of improvement. The bed was hard, the fan in the bathroom ran all the time so had to keep the door closed all the time. Our cabin steward was fantastic but some of the other staff would rather talk to each other rather than serve. The way the Monaco Grand Prix was handled was excellent and the Saturday night entertainment in the Café De Paris was outstanding. The guest speaker was not really interested in anyone else. The tender service was not well run nor organisation of the people to be loaded. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The May 2016 Barcelona-Rome “Glam of the Riviera” (Star Breeze) was our fifth WS cruise. We were disappointed in December (Caribbean, motorized yacht), but gave WS another try. This time, the disappointments started before we ... Read More
The May 2016 Barcelona-Rome “Glam of the Riviera” (Star Breeze) was our fifth WS cruise. We were disappointed in December (Caribbean, motorized yacht), but gave WS another try. This time, the disappointments started before we left. Our cruise “begins” when the nifty documents bag arrives in the mail. This time, no bag, just a tacky email. We used an Oceania bag for our WS e-tickets, airline documents, passports, and tour vouchers. Last year, as repeat WS customers, we were invited to dinner with a ship’s officer, Trevor (wonderful!). Trevor was on this cruise. He recognized us and we talked, but there was no ship invitation to an officer’s table (other repeats we met said the same). On previous WS cruises, we got water bottles on leaving and warm face towels on returning. No more. TENDER MERCIES! In December, a tender was down and we replaced Culebra PR (swim with sea turtles!) with Saint Kitts (shop the mall!). Another WS cruise, another broken tender. We replaced Sanary-sur-Mer with Marseilles. We like Marseilles. But still. Other cruise lines swap ports because of bad weather. Only WS consistently misses port calls because of maintenance negligence. MEALS ON BOARD. The food is international airline. Even the coffee! We are cruising Spain, France, & Italy. Our last cruise was from Puerto Rico. These are coffee cultures! If WS cannot buy locally, could they hook up with another Seattle company, Starbucks? NIGHTLIFE (OR LACK OF). We like to socialize (we are 65+). After dinner, the rock music in the lounge is concert blasting-loud, and the room is empty. Connection? We chatted with the music duo. They are delightful and talented, but also recognize they are out of place on this cruise. We do not cruise to be in our room by 9:30 at night. AS OTHER CRUISE CRITIC WRITERS SAID . . . We sailed with Captain “Have a Smashing Day.” Don’t go there. The Zodiacs are wonderful for water sports, not so great for transporting dressed-up visitors to spiffy Portofino. Skimpy in-room toiletries. Disappearing wine stewards. Neglect and management indifference set the WS course. WE ARE CRUISERS. WS has many unique itineraries that we would love to do. But WS needs to do a better job of making our dreams come true. Read Less
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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