5 Windstar Star Legend Family Cruise Reviews

Beware. Do not book this cruise over Spring Break- Caribbean. Beware of other voyages as well since Windstar apparently caters to these types of events and is oblivious to the impact on their repeat customers. Check if there are any large ... Read More
Beware. Do not book this cruise over Spring Break- Caribbean. Beware of other voyages as well since Windstar apparently caters to these types of events and is oblivious to the impact on their repeat customers. Check if there are any large groups booked on your ship. The cruise we were on during Spring Break 2017 was terrible. The cruise was taken over by an outside party band and it was NOT family friendly. The staff did nothing and there is no recourse once you are on the ship. Lots of drinking and vulgar activity. No class at all. We couldn't even use the pool or hot tub most of the time. The groupies took over the hot tub and pool almost every day yelling woo-hoo and drinking out of king size 7-11 cups. It was unbelievably rude and obnoxious. The entertainment from the cruise was often substituted with the "band" which was mediocre at best. Like seriously, how did this happen? This is a top of the line Cruiseline and they took it down at least 1000 levels. We had sailed on a previous Windstar cruise and it was top notch. Windstar catered to this group band and deteriated their entire reputation. We will never book a Windstar cruise again. This was a self-proclaimed "booze cruise" and Windstar should be ashamed. What a disgrace to allow families to be part of this. At the bare minimum, Windstar should have disclosed that this group was the majority of the cruise and any other passengers would be outnumbered. If you want a low-class, booze cruise, look no further. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Our main reason for selecting the Windstar Star Legend was the itinerary of generally smaller out of the way ports. We wanted to visit some small islands that we have not had the chance to explore during previous trips and cruises. ... Read More
Our main reason for selecting the Windstar Star Legend was the itinerary of generally smaller out of the way ports. We wanted to visit some small islands that we have not had the chance to explore during previous trips and cruises. Admittedly we were the folks who had previously loved voyages on larger cruise ships and enjoyed looking down from our lofty perch at the dock at the poor souls who were forced to be on that smaller boat. We will probably try to avoid the larger ships with their hoards of people, long lines, and impersonal service in the future. We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Star Legend and wouldn't hesitate to return. We liked that there was no "sea day" and that in some cases the ship stayed in port until late in the evening giving us plenty of opportunity to enjoy our land time. Embarkation: smooth as butter with no queues or hassles. Within moments we were dropping off our things in the cabins and heading out to explore San Juan. Cabins: We booked 2 rooms (227/225) for our family of four. They were adjoined by a common hallway with a door directly off the main central passage. The suites were roomy with nice beds & bedding, large windows, marble baths with quality towels, and a walk in closet. Our steward Yukti did a great job. Everything on the ship is within close proximity and easy to find. The cabins lack the electrical outlets for charging devices. Tip: bring a multi outlet surge protector or USB hub. Also: the unlimited laundry package is amazing. We travelled light and enjoyed fresh clothes during the entire cruise. This is one of the best perks I have ever seen offered on any cruise. Food in the main dining room was excellent. We enjoyed professional and friendly service during every meal. Hayrettin, the restaurant manager, went out of his way on multiple occasions to do anything he could to make our dining experience as fantastic as possible. We enjoyed an excellent breakfast al fresco everyday on the back of the boat. They had an excellent buffet, omelet station, order off the menu choices. We mostly had dinner in main dining room with no awkward set dining time. One evening we did dine at Candles and another at the on deck BBQ party which was excellent. All soft drinks were included which was very nice as our kids often can rack up a bill with juices and sodas. As foodies we appreciated Chef Nilesh who turned out a variety of dishes that was a cut above what we had experienced on other larger boats. We particularly enjoyed the Indian cuisine options that was appeared on a regular basis. On one evening the Chef produced a special favorite indian dish for our son--this never would have happened on a larger boat. While room service is available around the clock there are periods of time when food is not available in venues throughout the boat. Typical cruise ship buffets where around the clock food is served are not found on the Legend. Entertainment on the boat is limited. This is fine for us but if you are looking for a show, comedian or magician every night do not book this cruise. There are 2 duos that frequently appear at various events throughout the ship. Nothing spectacular. We did enjoy the crew talent show. Evening entertainment may be the weakest point of the cruise. Having an open bridge that you can visit was great. The club and deck above the bridge are nice places to hang out and watch as the boat pulls in or out of port. Ports: We loved all of the ports, but particularly Culebra, Jost Van Dyke, and St. Barts. We weren't able to tender at Montserrat due to high seas. On our previous Carnival cruise this lead to an extra day being trapped on the sea. The captain made arrangements to head over to St. Kitts (which happened to be having carnival that day). We appreciated this quick reaction and had a great day at the beach there. Excursions we loved: 12 Metre Sailing in St. Maarten, and the Cruise to Anegada in Virgin Gorda. 2 of our excursions (ATV on Montserrat and Zodiac on JVD were cancelled). The cancelled excursions were a pain. I wish that Windstar was a bit more helpful with concierge type services arranging other activities when their excursions were abruptly cancelled. Fitness/Spa: The spa is small and we enjoyed massages, facials and hair services. The gym is small and limited. My wife loved the daily pilates/yoga classes. One thing I normally enjoy on a cruise is running on deck in the morning. There really isn't a place to do that on the Legend. Note: Internet service is absolutely horrible. It is expensive and far worse than the horrible connectivity than I have experienced on other cruises. This may have been a function of the location of our rooms. If you need to be connected during the trip don't even think about coming on this cruise. I might consider bringing a Sat phone with data service if I really had to be connected. It might be cheaper and much more reliable. We did have US cell phone service in San Juan, Culebra, and for parts of Jost Van Dyke. Also the does move a bit more than the larger boats. Christmas winds in the caribbean often lead to bumpy cruising during the late months of December and early January. While the boat did move around none in our party became motion sick. It you are hyper prone to motion sickness then stick to one of the behemoths. Overall I recommend this cruise for its itinerary and excellent service. We are hooked on the small boat experience and may look to taking their cruises near Tahiti or Iceland. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Wanted to visit numerous islands and picked this one due to the inclusion of St. Bart's. Unfortunately, the captain decided to skip St. Bart's and go to another island instead. The lower on the staff totem poll, the better the ... Read More
Wanted to visit numerous islands and picked this one due to the inclusion of St. Bart's. Unfortunately, the captain decided to skip St. Bart's and go to another island instead. The lower on the staff totem poll, the better the attitude. Everyone wearing an officer costume seemed to have a poor attitude or just did not really care. Never seen anything like that before. The small ship was expected to be a plus, with only 200 guests, but the captain chose to run slowly on only one engine and the ship pitched all night. Many guests got seasick and Dramamine was the number one discussion on deck. Food was sometimes good and sometimes not so great. Windstar has two charges which are not known before boarding. First, no wine or alcohol is included - it is $650 per cabin - usually we expect to upgrade to premiums for a fee. No problem with that, but should be known. 2nd, there is an $84 per person additional charge for "tips". That is just additional ticket charge and does not change the pay of servicers. We tipped maids, waiters and other help - unfortunately most guests think the tip charge is really tipping. To me that is just Windstar being dishonest. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I'm an avid, frequent, and very guilty cruiser. I'm guilty in that I often read reviews, but seldom write or contribute. I'm in my mid 40's and recently travelled on the New Year's sailing of the Star Legend with ... Read More
I'm an avid, frequent, and very guilty cruiser. I'm guilty in that I often read reviews, but seldom write or contribute. I'm in my mid 40's and recently travelled on the New Year's sailing of the Star Legend with my wife, 18 year old son, 16 year old daughter and my parents. By way of background, we are very experienced cruises. I'm fortunate to be approaching 80 cruises under my belt and spend about 8 weeks a year at sea. Over the years my taste in cruising has changed for a variety of reasons including maturity and unfortunately the commercialization of the cruise industry. Years ago (i.e. 1982) I loved the food, service and traditional service on lines like Princess and Sitmar. In fact, those early life cruise experiences are what ultimately conditioned my brain to subconsciously always be on the hunt for a vintage cruising experience of days gone by. The introduction of mega ships which are built with every square inch and second on board designed to be profit centers has cheapened and ruined the cruise experience in my opinion. Upcharges for eating, peeing, standing in the grand atrium etc. while fighting large crowds and eating poor quality food seems to have become the norm for many of the large mass market lines. Over the years as my taste in cruising has changed so has my consideration of what lines I will and won't spend my hard earned dollars and vacation time on cruising. In recent years, I have really enjoyed Oceania, Regent, and Azamara as to me these lines have recreated the magic of cruising and done it so well. The two mass market lines I still think do a "good" job compared to the others are Celebrity & Holland America - especially in their suite class (I see that's a topic of many other threads). So...for the New Year I booked my family on the Summit 7 night Caribbean cruise out of San Juan. After securing non-refundable airline tickets from Los Angeles to San Juan I learned that he Summit was due for a major refurbishment in early 2016 and was not keen on sailing on a ship about to go into dry dock. Enter the Star Legend of Windstar Cruises. It turned out the Star Legend was sailing the exact same day from San Juan as the Celebrity Summit on a 7 night itinerary so I decided to take a risk - cruising on a ship and line that non of my family had sailed on before and more worrisome had really bad reviews. I was determined to go have a great time no matter what. A new experience awaited. We flew in a few days early and stayed at the Ritz Carlton San Juan which was a great opportunity to unwind after a long day of travel and enjoy a few days of rest and relaxation before the cruise. On the day of embarkation we hired a van to take us to the Old San Juan Pier ($32 fixed rate for 6 people and 10 bags - they charge $1/bag). While driving to the pier we passed the mega ships. My daughter asked "daddy is that our ship?". While driving along the piers at the Old San Juan water front our driver missed our pier because he could not see the Star Legend behind the pier building. Yes - that's how small the Star Legend is - 10,000 tons. 200 passengers. Half the size as the original Love Boat (Pacific Princess 20,000 tons) with 1/3 the number of passengers. We quickly unloaded our luggage at the pier and within 5 minutes were the only passengers (3pm) climbing the gangway to be checked in on board. Upon embarkation we were taken to the ships lounge to be checked in and were offered complimentary welcome aboard drinks. This process took just a few minutes. By far this was the best embarkation process ever. The friendly crew who checked us in also had other jobs on the ship and we saw them often. So...off to our cabins we went to unload our carry-ons and start exploring the Star Legend. The Star Legend is the former Seabourn Legend and underwent a $8.5 million refurbishment in early 2015. For a 23 year old ship (and please remember it is a 23 year old ship!) this yachts looks fabulous! We opted for the lowest category suite (all cabins are suites) on deck 4 as I didn't see the value in upgrading to a higher deck for the same size suite and rocking is always less the lower you are. The suites were very well appointed and immaculately kept. We were all impressed by the size. The bathrooms are clearly older, but also very clean and marble clad (Carrera white). Bath amenities included L'Occitane products and large towels. There is a combined bathtub/shower combination with a handheld shower sprayer (mounted in awkward way) that always had great pressure. Next we were off to explore this tiny yacht. Interior spaces are very well kept and the renovation was well done - in my opinion. A very warm and welcoming feeling throughout the yacht. We were disappointed by the outside decks and the restaurant/buffet on the back of the ship which had a very bad feng shui (to be kind). In my opinion, Windstar really screwed up badly by getting rid of the aft pool and replacing it with a dining platform forward of the rear buffet. My daughter referred to the pool as a bathtub. Frankly, some people probably have bathtubs at home which are larger. Our favorite outdoor spot was he forward hot tub on the bow. After that scathing review of the pool area why would I give a 5 star review to this ship? A cruise experience is not just about being on the biggest, newest and fanciest vessel. There is so much more that goes into making memories. Let me make clear, that despite the less than ideal pool area and some really old and dilapidated other outdoor spaces (sports marina and aft crew area which you walk through to board tenders) this ship shines in every other way like a 5 star hotel. Service was consistently excellent throughout. Food was good to very good. Being a small ship dinner options were limited and was 7-9pm in the Amphora Dining Room and 1 night during the cruise guests can enjoy Candles (verandah café turned into steak house at night). Food was consistently solid for dinner. One night the dining room is closed and dinner is a deck BBQ which was terrific and very well done. Breakfast and lunch were served in the aft buffet and offered typical fare (nothing to get excited about). Room service was outstanding, fast, and the menu extensive. By the second day on board the crew knew most passengers by their first names and the amazing bar tenders even knew drink preferences. What a game changer. No entertainment offered other than 2 duos (both very good). The ambiance was incredibly friendly with most guest quickly mingling and getting to know one another. Interestingly, many of my friends thought we were crazy to bring our teenagers on Windstar as they said "there's nothing to do". As it turns out about 1/3 of the passengers were in the 15-25 age range traveling with their families. The kids/young adults LOVED this cruise! Not everybody needs to be entertained 24/7 and it was refreshing to make socializing our own entertainment. My kids even commented that they enjoyed the Star Legend more than the Oasis and Allure of the Seas. Much to be said about this and a whole commentary can be written about back to the basics. One of the best features of Windstar is having only 200 passengers. Never a line! The ability to call on smaller ports that large ships can't was also an amazing bonus. I won't go into detail about the ports as this review is already quite long. However, I will say the ports were AMAZING! The beach BBQ on Prickly Pear Beach was the BEST we have ever experienced and Trumps (pardon the expression) Seabourn and other "luxury" lines. Yes - it's true. Tender service is not optimal and the tenders are just that - tenders. The ship to shore boats Windstar uses on the Star Legend are NOT dual use life boats and tenders like those used on most other ships. These tenders are actually deployed from the sports marina by hydraulic devices. These boats are slow, but comfortable. Hopefully, Windstar will replace these tenders with new ones. Apparently, the Star Breeze or Star Pride has new tenders. The sports marina was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. It was deployed daily and staffed with 2 amazing crew. We enjoyed the trampoline, water mats, kayaking and swimming. There is also a sailboat for use. My kids loved being towed around by the Zodiac on a banana boat type thing. The captain could not have been more kind and accessible. Great sense of humor. We took advantage of the open bridge policy to watch sail away one night and were amazed at how welcome we were made to feel. Of note, the captain also had a terrific sense of humor despite previous posts. In summary, I gave this terrific and very enjoyable cruise on the Star Legend 5 stars because of the amazing overall experience - much of which can be attributed to the most amazing, wonderful, kind and attentive staff we have ever experienced. There are a few areas where Windstar is rough around the edges, but this is not a traditional cruise and cannot be viewed as such. You really feel as if you are on a very large private yacht. My family is hooked on Windstar and cannot wait to return. Keep up the amazing work Windstar! Windstar truly is 180 degrees from ordinary. Sure, there are other ships/lines which are much more polished and luxurious, but in all fairness I don't think reviewers should be comparing the Star Legend to the likes of these other ships/lines. The only conclusion I can take away from the negative reviews are that some people are just miserable and choose to be that way or their expectations were so off that the Windstar Star Legend experienced shocked them like jumping into cold water. I'm a luxury travel connoisseur and certainly could write a critical review of an experience that disappoints or does not meet advertised expectations. However, Windstar delivers exactly what it promises. Thanks again Windstar! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
What can corporate Windstar be thinking? Just got off the Star Legend, the most dangerous and old ship I have ever sailed on in 30 cruises. No safety signs (even for wet paint and varnish), tenders don't work, people are expected to ... Read More
What can corporate Windstar be thinking? Just got off the Star Legend, the most dangerous and old ship I have ever sailed on in 30 cruises. No safety signs (even for wet paint and varnish), tenders don't work, people are expected to climb dozens of stairs to tenders and hop onto poorly parked and operated tenders - both of which are now broken - and rubber dingies. A nice but in some cases inexperienced crew can do nothing with awful, unsafe, old equipment. And it was a rocky and sea sickening ride more than 1 night. Also, ship does not port where anyone else does and doesn't tell you before hand. No board games onboard or daily activities. What a nightmare. RUN AWAY from this "luxury" cruise. Most annoying things: Used balcomy stateroom next to mine to store and fold sheets. Left door open at night to bang open and close; also went in and out at all hours. WHAT? People were so bored, absolutely nothing was going on on this ship. Even movies and tv reception were lacking. Embarkation is a nightmare. Prepare to wait in the hot sun and wait a lot more before climbing 30 stairs to get onboard and get in another line to get your keys, etc. Tenders broken, waffle machine broken, ice cream machine broken, cannot make pancakes, cannot make a soft egg to save their lives (be it over easy or poached.) Huge markup if you take pre cruise hotel, excursions, or transfer to or from airport (transfer was 3 times more expensive than a cab.) One bbq and one shore party (where people got stranded for almost 2 hours) for lack of transportation does not make a good time. Read Less
Sail Date November 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 4.1
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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