8 Windstar Star Legend Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

I took this cruise because it was a James Beard Food Cruise. The suite offered very little I wouldn't pay extra for it. This is the second time I booked on this cruise line and was disappionted both times.The communication was ... Read More
I took this cruise because it was a James Beard Food Cruise. The suite offered very little I wouldn't pay extra for it. This is the second time I booked on this cruise line and was disappionted both times.The communication was not good aboard the boat. There were activities that were not listed except if you found something in small print so you had to make sure you kept up. Examples the chefs on shore food purchases were not communicated, the galley tour was orly communicate and so was the star light dinner. So for a person who paid top dollar did not get any benefits. Other lines provide a person that takes care of the suites . I think they should adopt that practice. Food on the ship was ok even though it was such a small boat and a special James Beard cruise. Entertainment was limited but acceptable. This is an al carte cruise so everything is extra. While annoying we knew that going in. The staff was great . Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Before reviewing a wonderful five-star cruise, let me dispense with my booking frustrations with the Windstar office. Without burdening you, may I simply say that the powers-that-be in Seattle need to properly train their representatives, ... Read More
Before reviewing a wonderful five-star cruise, let me dispense with my booking frustrations with the Windstar office. Without burdening you, may I simply say that the powers-that-be in Seattle need to properly train their representatives, empower them to answer concerns and questions, and then abide by their answers. Should anyone want details, please contact me. Now for the Star Legend cruise from Lisbon to Dublin with port calls in Porto, El Ferrol, Bordeaux, La Rochelle, and St Malo. First, my wife and I have been enjoying cruises for 25 years on both larger and smaller ships. As in the Goldilocks story, we found the Star Legend to be just right. Boarding was seamless and pleasant at about 1:00 in the afternoon. After having a glass of Champagne, providing our passports and receiving our boarding cards, we were escorted to our “suite” which was in order and immaculate. We were then invited to enjoy lunch on the Veranda. From that point on, for the next 10 days, service from every member of the staff was always with a sincere smile and immediate. From laundry service to in-room meals, from tour escorts to bartenders, from the personable Captain to the fellow polishing brass, everyone was willing and able to be of service. Yes this ship has some age, but I have learned to appreciate the workmanship in older vessels. The walls of our spacious cabin were solid, constructed of wood, mirrors and padded fabric. We did not hear our neighbors and I doubt they heard us. All meals were outstanding in all of the venues, with a great variety of menu selections. The wine list was more than adequate. Here I must give special kudos to the wonderful young lady who served us three meal per day, almost without exception, (not that she was assigned to us, but because we sought her, or she looked for us). Trisna, from Bali, was the most caring, attentive, friendly individual imaginable, and able to do all that she did with the graciousness of a prima ballerina. Thank you so very much Trisna! Our ports of call were unique, and great launching points for some very interesting tours. It was so nice to dock at every port. No tendering. Before wrapping this up, I must mention two tiny aspects which did not please us. One, the music provided by the entertainers included amplified computer accompaniment. In some places this was bearable, but in the Compass Rose room it was not. We entered this room on two different occasions after dinner and the volume was so loud we turned around and left. My only other gripe would be that I bristled at having time taken from my 50 min. massage to pitch my need for additional massages and a $55.00 “cooling gel.” Yes, we would do it again, and recommend it highly. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My husband and I chose this cruise for the itinerary, which was very interesting: Dublin, Orkney Island, Norwegian fjords, Faroe Islalnds, Reykjavik. Being an old Seaborne ship, the cabin is a suite which was large with a sitting area, ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise for the itinerary, which was very interesting: Dublin, Orkney Island, Norwegian fjords, Faroe Islalnds, Reykjavik. Being an old Seaborne ship, the cabin is a suite which was large with a sitting area, walkin closet, large bathroom, and very comfortable. We very much enjoyed the itinerary. The cruise itself was a disappointment. Service was not very good. The food was fair and served cold at times. A language barrier existed between staff and guests and you never knew what might show up at the dinner table. When the ship has to make an announcement over the intercom system, asking guests "to be more patient" at dinner in the dining room because it takes over 2 hours to get a meal, you know there is a problem and many people are complaining. Obviously, a middle management and training problem exist. Could not wait to get off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Did a circumnavigation of Iceland. Ship was in very good condition, considering its age (but it did have a refurb last May). A few minor things could have been better, tho. Liked our window stateroom - at 277 sq. ft, it was large for a ... Read More
Did a circumnavigation of Iceland. Ship was in very good condition, considering its age (but it did have a refurb last May). A few minor things could have been better, tho. Liked our window stateroom - at 277 sq. ft, it was large for a very small ship. Everything in good working order. Asked for feather pillows, and our room steward got them for me. Food, for the most part, was very good. My wife had a standard steak in AmphorA that was not very good, but the filet mignon in Candles was excellent. Otherwise, I'd rate it very good. Lots of variety for on-deck BBQ, incl lobster. But did not open Verandah for breakfast or lunch, due to chilly weather. Very pleased with wait staff in restaurants! Gave 3 of them an extra tip. We were on the Star Legend's inaugural voyage last May, and some of the staff remembered us. My wife remembered the casino mgr when she was with another cruise line; they bonded. Shorex varied from Good to Fair; ditto for tour leaders -- primarily English language skills (accent and vocabulary). But remember you're in very small towns (several hundred to a few thousand), so not a lot of population to draw from for tourism. Only truly negative was a local actor who came on board for a one-man show on one of the Icelandic sagas, He was terrible! Overall, a very good experience and I'd go again on one of Windstar's power yachts. Ignore the negative reviews - chalk it up to "learning curve". Give Windstar a try. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I must confess at the outset that I have never been a fan of "cruising" and that sentiment has been further confirmed as I have watched ever larger, slab-sided monstrosities blot out the vistas of some of the most beautiful bays ... Read More
I must confess at the outset that I have never been a fan of "cruising" and that sentiment has been further confirmed as I have watched ever larger, slab-sided monstrosities blot out the vistas of some of the most beautiful bays and harbors of the world. This feeling perhaps first began when I was invited to lunch on board the SS France when she visited Sydney, Australia on her final voyage before being cast into the role of a floating university, a venture that proved to be folly. Nonetheless, any vessel that could boast twenty three pastry chefs had to be a winner in my book and a testament to the fact that the French would allow a kitchen of any less proportion or caliber to cross an ocean under the Tri-color flag of France. Those are sadly bygone days and the commercial employment of the current-day behemoths to introduce the masses to the joys of travel are a mere shadow of the all but forgotten days of the great ships. However, over recent years I have become quite enamoured of the 100 to 600 passenger vessels of the SeaDream and Azamara brands that have brought new life to my hope for a better quality experience at sea. My exploration of these offerings has proven most satisfactory and the emphasis on melding a superb, all-inclusive on-board experience with longer stays in port and more overnights to allow the traveler to really enjoy local cuisine and culture without the rush on and off for what is often a dissapointing "tour" of the local town. Additionally, the shallower draft of these smaller vessels permits them to transport one to ports and river destinations denied their larger competitors. The true all-inclusive products these lines offer is a refreshing change from the need to always be reaching into your pocket for everything such as gratuities or a glass of wine. It was with this new appreciation for the call of the sea that I was promted to coax some friends to join me in sampling Windstar's newly acquired motor ship, the Windstar Legend for a "Culinary and Wine Delights" voyage from Dover down the coast of France and Spain to Portugal. "Legend" indeed! It might more appropriately be called "Myth" as it has proved to be about one and a half stars short of its perported five. Notwithstanding the comments to follow, I would not wish to take anything away from the largely Indonesian (non-officer) crew who were absolutely wonderful in creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere at every point of contact. The kitchen staff also produced a very satisfactory offering at every meal despite the fact that they and the wait staff were as frustrated as we passengers at the daily changes as to where breakfast or lunch would be served. The daily bulletin was invariably wrong and even junior officers, when found, had difficulty in directing us to the correct location! When an investment is made to re-fit a ship one has to bear in mind that the steel structure of the original designer's vision is unchangeable. Thus it is the exterior facade and the interior furnishings and other items of decore that are the focus of any expenditures. In this instance I found it difficult to see beyond the ovbviously new carpet, just where had the $millions been spent? My bathroom fixtures had been re-caulked, although to say it was a shoddy job would be generous. The missed piece around the basin faucet was evidence of the grunge that the new grout was to cover. Our friends found a three legged chair (one broken) propped up against the wall of their cabin and the table at which I sat in the Yacht Club had the surround veneer peeling way. Poor quality choice of furnishing or poor upkeep, take your pick! The steel edge of our balcony already was showing deeply encrusted rust which would indicate a lack of detail in cleaning and painting the exterior. In all, this lady shows her age and is not up to the standard befitting a five-star hotel at sea. All of this pales in comparisonm to the failure of the fresh water system at the start of our first at-sea day. Guests reported being caught in full lather as hot water turned brown and diminshed to a trickle. Toilets ceased to work and even ingenious efforts to flush with bottles of Perrier were thwarted due to the vacuum system also being turned off! Not what one had hoped for and again, perhaps evidence that the re-fit dollars were not fully deployed in support of the mechanical areas either. Hence we were diverted to the port of Brest to have the tanks flushed and repairs made. Disembarkation was not an option but then, Brest harbor did not appear inviting enough to venture out. The price point of our voyage was far from inexpensive which made the nickel and dime-ing plus constant efforts to up-sell (spa) more annoying. The partially inclusive price was certainly five star, the product not so. One clear point of differentiation from either Sea Dream or Azamara has been the officer corp. Aboard the Azamara Quest the officers were constanlty mingling and talking with guests, always ready to answer a question or engage them in a story about the next port of call. On no less that three occassions the captain or another officer would casually stop by and ask if they could join us for breakfast or lunch. Not so aboard the Legend where senior officers have rarely be seen. In speaking of officers, another detail involves the daily bulletin where in the header we are advised that our captain is one, whereas in the body copy another person is introduced as the captain (whom we later learned was the prior captain!). This gave rise to some discussion as to whether our captain might indeed be new to his rank. At every announcement he would commence with "Ah, good morning ladies and gentlemen, this is er (pause) your captain speaking..." He never sounds quite sure that he might only be the first officer, perhaps the most recent rank he occupied? With the notable difference between the Wind Star experience and that of Azamara where very officer from the captain down were constantly visible and mingling with the guests it was clear that the "servant/leader" model was in play as officers set the example in creating a unique on board sense of "family" from the top down. Not so with the WindStar executive team! With little desire to bash the efforts of this crew to work around the product they have been given, there is little point in mentioning the "World Class" gym that isn't, or the morning mystery of where breakfast is being served on any given day. Suffice it to say that this is an okay cruise, but not the five-star experience promised. It certainly is well below the price point charged. Come on Wind Star, take note of what Azamara And Sea Dream are doing and shape up. You can do better than this! If you are getting ready to book this Cruise, don't..... Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My wife and I and another couple chose this cruise for the timing, the itinerary, the small ship and the food/wine theme. We had all used Windstar before (Windsurf) and loved it. As other reviewers have testified, this cruise was ... Read More
My wife and I and another couple chose this cruise for the timing, the itinerary, the small ship and the food/wine theme. We had all used Windstar before (Windsurf) and loved it. As other reviewers have testified, this cruise was marred by engineering malfunctions, and was less organized than one would expect on a luxury cruise. The pre-cruise experience was mixed; we booked over a year in advance, and were told we would be able to benefit from any subsequent price reductions. I had to be very alert and very assertive to get these, though. Had I waited until the last minute to book, I would have saved some money (but that is not really practical because of the need to plan ahead for this major a vacation). We enjoyed most of the places we visited (especially St. Malo, Bordeaux, El Ferrol, and Lisbon, where we stayed an extra 3 days). We also enjoyed meeting and spending time with many other passengers. The food was excellent for the most part, and the wine was pretty good. The deck layout is not as functional as on other cruise ships of this size. The cabin was fine (when the plumbing worked). The front line staff members were very nice. Some of the shore excursions were poorly planned with too much time in a bus and not enough time to explore or have a meal. The special evening at the Bordeaux wine estate was disappointing. We enjoyed exploring the cities of St. Malo, Bordeaux, El Ferrol and Lisbon on our own. I, especially, loved the two oyster farm tours (Cancale and La Rochelle). We enjoyed the on board entertainment (small lounge, Fado singer), but this was not a major feature of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My husband and I went on the Star Breeze for a trip around Ireland and Scotland. The itinerary was wonderful and we enjoyed the excursions that the cruise ship laid on ; they were VERY expensive but well run and first class all the way. ... Read More
My husband and I went on the Star Breeze for a trip around Ireland and Scotland. The itinerary was wonderful and we enjoyed the excursions that the cruise ship laid on ; they were VERY expensive but well run and first class all the way. We stayed in Suite 6. It was a two room suite, not too bad until you went to the windows. Outside our bedroom was a very restricted view ( lifeboat hanging there). Outside one living room window the curtains were never opened because the view out there was just a mess of steel supports, beams, ropes and general mess. The sliding balcony was another story. Half of the overhead space was taken up by an old "rescue" boat. Heaven forbid if they ever have to use it. It was held together ( barely) with black tar and tape that was hanging off. Really unsightly. Needless to say we were not out on our balcony very often. If you go on this ship stay away from Suite 6! Also the ceiling above the bed had rust stains on as though there had once been a leak in there. I know that they spent money refurbishing this ship but certainly a lot of areas were left completely untouched. It really could use a thorough inspection. I can't really say that the food was all that great. Some nights good, some nights just okay. To much sodium in most dishes. Lunch time looked more like a cheap cafeteria. There was no imagination used in the salads whatsoever and it was the same old thing every day. ( Raw broccoli or cauliflower anyone) . Also on some nights the waiters had no idea how to explain the food that was on the menu. One item I asked about was described as a Spanish rice - it was actually and awful colored sauce, full of peppers and spices that was poured all over the fish. Sad, to say- all of the best meals that we had were off the ship as we decided to eat lunch out on most days that we were on shore. Staff were really nice and friendly. All in all - good cruise just a little more attention needed to the menus, the food in general and the items around the ship that still needed attention. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our sixth Windstar cruise and our first on the Star Legend. I really wanted to submit a glowing review as I have in the past; unfortunately, this cruise was not quite up to the Windstar standards we have come to expect. ... Read More
This was our sixth Windstar cruise and our first on the Star Legend. I really wanted to submit a glowing review as I have in the past; unfortunately, this cruise was not quite up to the Windstar standards we have come to expect. Embarkation was easy and smooth; however, for the first time in all our cruises we were not greeted by any ship's officers (usually the Captain). This "invisibility" of officers continued throughout the cruise. We have always been amazed in the past with them wandering the ship and getting to know them - not so on this cruise. The renovations of the Legend were very nicely done. All the public areas were comfortable and clean. As time goes by, I’m sure the ship will only get better. The crew were out (weather permitting) cleaning, varnishing, etc. every day. Our suite was great - the bathroom could use a little more attention, nothing bad just looking a little worn. There were two different duos on board performing and they were both excellent. What was strange was there never seemed to be more than four or five couples enjoying the entertainment in the evenings after dinner. Breakfast and lunch were served in the Amphora (except for our last day) due to unpredictable weather. They were buffet-style with an additional menu listing daily specials. Here we encountered a minor peeve - they continually served our Eggs Benedict with solid yolks even after we reported it to the chef. Only once during the entire cruise were the yolks properly done. I know this is a minor thing; however, it is also something that should not have happened to begin with and should have been easily corrected and was not. The evening meals were exceptional as always. Service was not up to par with it taking up to three hours for our meal until we found one server, Esther, who was efficient. We stuck with her for the remainder of the cruise. Not sure exactly what the problem was – training, lack of staff, or the crew not “jelling” yet. Also, found the wine steward service lacking - sometimes difficult to get the wine list. More than once he would come by a table, take an order and then completely ignore other couples seated at the same table. We loved the itinerary and we enjoyed wonderful weather. With the exception of a few showers one day, we experienced “Camelot” weather where it only rained after sundown. We took two ship tours and they were both excellent. In Invergordon, we had rented a car for the day and were so tired that we did not participate in the Fields of Culloden private event but those who did said it was great. All other touring we did was privately arranged. The tendering was another issue. I liked the actual tenders used, but the tender crews needed additional training – it bordered on unsafe when we were in rough waters. We were assured that this matter would be addressed and, hopefully, it will. Overall, this was not a bad cruise – just not a great cruise. I know Windstar is experiencing some growing pains with doubling their capacity in one year. I feel confident that as time goes by, they will appropriately address the various issues and deliver a great cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Star Legend Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 5.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.6

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