23 Windstar Wind Star Greece Cruise Reviews

This is our fourth, and now last, Windstar cruise. The ship, the Windstar, is run down and tacky. The food was awful. The equipment in the “gym” creeky and poorly maintained. Lastly the shore excursions were often boardering on ... Read More
This is our fourth, and now last, Windstar cruise. The ship, the Windstar, is run down and tacky. The food was awful. The equipment in the “gym” creeky and poorly maintained. Lastly the shore excursions were often boardering on worthless. Internet? $245 a week for minimal and often nonexistent service. And all this for a premium price. Windstar needs to up its game considerably if it want to play in the premium market. Right now it a mid level experience with a too high price tag. Maybe it’s that the smaller ships aren’t as profitable but they have ignored the Windstar. When I complained, it took many tries to get an answer. The food was not fresh because we never docked in a port only anchored. Really? The poor satellite reception for the TV and internet was due to ground and sea interferences. Isn’t this 2019? All in all, it’s time to move on from Windstar. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
OK!
7 nite Athens Greece, round trip, 9/19 Cruise was fine, not unpleasant. Friendly crew, outstanding food and service related to food. Cabin comfortable but really missed having a private veranda (and just for the record, had one of us ... Read More
7 nite Athens Greece, round trip, 9/19 Cruise was fine, not unpleasant. Friendly crew, outstanding food and service related to food. Cabin comfortable but really missed having a private veranda (and just for the record, had one of us been quarantined here, as we observed happening to someone we had met, the same size and layout would have made for a miserable experience). Simple entertainment-evening duo-very enjoyable. Found co-passengers somewhat unsociable, missed the “cruise director” who would have facilitated interaction. Included event at Ephesus awesome. Two ports were cancelled, one shortened several hours, because of wind. Had the impression had been going on all summer. Poor planning of alternative activities, excursions, when situation changed. Purchased excursions costly, did not include all activities listed in descriptions. This was our first experience with a more “upscale” cruise experience and did not find it to be at all worth the additional cost. Although parts of the experience were better, many were the same, at double the expense. Large ships with problems can be uncontrollable and miserable, this not especially better. Believe it is time to return to other forms of travel. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
After planning for over 1 year I finally got to go on a Windstar cruise. I was expecting a lot and, for the most part it, met all expectations. Prior to going on the cruise my initial cruise was cancelled as the ship was chartered. ... Read More
After planning for over 1 year I finally got to go on a Windstar cruise. I was expecting a lot and, for the most part it, met all expectations. Prior to going on the cruise my initial cruise was cancelled as the ship was chartered. They gave us a $500/pp credit and paid to change our airfare. I loved the small size of the ship. The cabin was small but functional. The bathroom had nice bath products and good water pressure. The outlets were 110v. I brought a small power strip without surge suppressor and multiport USB charger. Otherwise there were 3 outlets in the cabin and 1 in the bathroom. There is a small minibar in the cabin. It has a bottle opener. We brought 2 bottles of wine and took glasses of wine with us to the dining room. I missed having a private balcony. I didn't think this would be a problem but there were always groups of people drinking and music up on deck. Smoking wasn't really a problem. The deck closes around 6 PM to set up for the restaurant. The food was average to good. Dinner was the best meal. Breakfast and lunch were buffet, with a variety of daily specials. Breakfast would close at 10 AM one day and at 9 AM the next so you have to check your daily program the night before. They do have room service included but it would take 30-40 minutes. Service is very good on the ship and getting a drink at a bar was never a problem. They usually have 1 or 2 happy hours/day with discounted drinks for $5.50. Typically drinks are $8-9 and a beer is $6-7. At $59/person/day I skipped the unlimited beverage package. They had a musical duo in the lounge every night as well as DVDs to take back to your cabin. One night they brought in a local dance group to perform. You were allowed in the bridge when they were underway. The sails were rarely up as the conditions have to be just right. We saw them once during a sail-away. The pool is small but refreshing. Probably much larger per person than the mega ships. I was most interested in the water platform. Due to sea conditions we only had it for one out of 4 planned days. The gym was also small but adequate but being that you can get off the ship everyday I was able to go for a hike onshore. We had to skip Mykonos due to windy conditions which would not allow us to tender. The tenders ran every 1/2 hour which was not a problem except that there was a Tauck tour onboard consisting of about 40 people and they would leave as a group and take a tender so if you didn't time it correctly you had to wait for 1 hour to get a tender. The other passengers, for the most part, were very nice. Most tended to be in their late 60s to early 70s and were a friendly group. There were a couple of newly-weds. We brought our teenaged children with us and they were the only children on the ship. They had a good time but would have liked it had there been people their own age, however, I was expecting this so they weren't disappointed. I did some laundry mid-way through the cruise for under $30. We gave it to the steward before 9AM and we had it back before 5 PM. Towards the end of the cruise they had an all you can stuff into a large laundry bag for $45 deal. Both options were less than the unlimited laundry for $7/person/day. We did get the kids the unlimited WiFi which is, as others have said, slightly better than nothing. I was able to get cell service everyday when we were in port. We went a few days early and stayed for one night at the Hilton and 2 nights at the Electra Metropolis, near Syntagma square. I liked both of them as they both had pools but liked the location of the Electra better as you can walk everywhere. We went on one ship excursion in Turkey but otherwise we did our own thing on the islands. I found the prices for the excursions to be on the high side and they tended to be 3-5 hours long. They had a port talk in the lounge the night before and a local guide would be in the main lobby to answer any questions you had about the island. They had a special dinner in Ephesus for us. The setting was great. The food not so great. The advantage of the smaller ship is being able to go to ports not visited by larger ships. I really enjoyed the ports of call. I was disappointed not to see Mykonos but we were able to go to a small beach in Samos. After Samos we went to Kusadasi in Turkey then to Patmos, Santorini, Monemvasia and finally Nafplion. We finished in Athens where I used the remainder of my OBC to get a private van to the airport for $118 for 2 ppl or $236 for the 4 of us. A taxi would cost 50 Euro. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Boarding began at 1 PM. We arrived around 1:30 and had to wait on line for 15 min to register. You are required to leave your passport with the ships bursa and it is returned to you on the last day. Luggage is out of your cabin by 6:45 AM and you leave by 8 AM. When I initially booked I paid $5,000 for the AX cabin and $4,500 for the BX cabin. Shortly after the price dropped and they let me cancel and rebook for the lower price. I did this 2 more times. There is no problem as long as it is 120 days out. Many passengers booked within 45 days of sailing and paid $3,100 for the same cabin that I paid $4,000 for. Not a big deal but I would not book a Windstar cruise far in advance. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I, and 2 other couples, chose this ship because we wanted a small ship. It was perfect in size...getting on and off ship was easy and quick. We were in cabin 240 which is at the very end of the hall. It proved to be a ... Read More
My husband and I, and 2 other couples, chose this ship because we wanted a small ship. It was perfect in size...getting on and off ship was easy and quick. We were in cabin 240 which is at the very end of the hall. It proved to be a great room in the sense that there wasn't much foot traffic outside our door. The cabin had more than enough storage cabinets and plenty of under bed storage for suitcases. Bathroom had a great shower and all amenities were good. My complaint about this ship is the last night before disembarking, they seemed to shut off all A/C. It wasn't just our cabin, but everyone else's, too. Don't know what the deal was, but our final night on board was sleepless...very hot. The gym was small, but adequate with a couple tread mills, 1 elliptical machine, 1 stationary bike and lots of free weights. None of us had a bad meal and all dinners exceeded our expectation. Cabin attendants were very good and all the staff was very helpful and kind. ENTERTAINMENT: Windstar needs to work on this aspect. Most of the music played outside around the bar and deck area was so old and tired...Jackson 5 genre. It seemed like our party ages 55-60 were the youngsters, and maybe the majority who appeared to be 70's and 80's enjoy that era of music. We would've enjoyed more current music. Our cruise had a pianist and singer that performed most evenings, but the room was small with low ceilings so the music was too loud. We always left for areas that we could converse. Our party of 6 did not go on any Windstar excursions because we found better value by booking private tours on our own. All in all, we loved the ship and would consider going again based on the service we received and the small ship size. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Wanted a smaller ship for the Greek Isles. The crew was great. The bar service was slow. They needed more bar staff. Meals were adequate. Went to the Crystal Restaurant our last night and my husband and I enjoyed a delicious meal on ... Read More
Wanted a smaller ship for the Greek Isles. The crew was great. The bar service was slow. They needed more bar staff. Meals were adequate. Went to the Crystal Restaurant our last night and my husband and I enjoyed a delicious meal on the deck. Also, the dinner seafood bar b que on deck was excellent. All excursions and guides were good, well organized and informative. Our room 211 was noisy from engine. More then a hum. The room was well organized and suitcases were stored under bed. I would not choose this ship again because the engine noise at night was too loud. See cabin review below for more details. Motor Coaches were comfortable. Enjoyed the Acropolis and Museum Tour when we disembarked. Athens was fun and Hotel Grand Bretagne was excellent. Enjoyed walking from hotel, view from our balcony of Parliament, the Square, the Acropolis. Weather was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Booked this island cruise long in advance. The highlight is a candle light dinner in the ancient library of Ephasis. Violin quartet, lovely meal under the stars. This was exceptional and only Windstar had the relationship with the ... Read More
Booked this island cruise long in advance. The highlight is a candle light dinner in the ancient library of Ephasis. Violin quartet, lovely meal under the stars. This was exceptional and only Windstar had the relationship with the Turkish ministry of culture to do this event. All the locations were wonderful. Excursions well managed and ship processes very smooth with a well led crew. The evening meals were fabulous with variety and a great selection. Breakfasts and lunches were well done; a good selection of buffet items in each. Embarkation and debarkation procedures were efficient. Easy to do with only 136 pax. They will push for you to buy the alcoholic drink package. With the average cost of drinks about 9$, you'll need to personally drink about 6 beers/wines per day. With the bigger mixed drink package as well, you'll need to have about 8-9 drinks a day. They will add on a 15% service charge on top of the cited package prices. We found it not worthwhile to buy a package for how much we drink. The top line wifi package is $350. The wifi reception in the cabin is poor and even on deck you shouldn't expect good bandwidth for much more than email or a basic news read. We cancelled after a day and they accommodated our request with a refund. This is still a solid value cruise. You get to meet a lot of folks but it's never crowded. Don't expect big shows or entertainment. There was one capable piano/singer duo on the cruise each night and a Cretan Greek dance group one night in Agios Nikolaous that was excellent. The service was personal and attentive from the bar to the dining room to the cabin. The Captain and senior officer in charge of "Hotel services", essentially all the guest interactions, were involved and interacted well with both pax and crew. We've been to Greece a lot; even lived there for a while and this cruise was a very fine way to visit Athens and the islands. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Bucket list item was the Greek isles and since we prefer the smaller ships, opted for a Windstar cruise. Only 135 or so guests so no crowds or lines. Ship is a little old but well maintained and except for the air conditioning and the ... Read More
Bucket list item was the Greek isles and since we prefer the smaller ships, opted for a Windstar cruise. Only 135 or so guests so no crowds or lines. Ship is a little old but well maintained and except for the air conditioning and the internet, very comfortable and enjoyable. Except for Monemvassia, there were no big buses for the tours which was nice but that may be dependent on the number of folks that signed up. All vehicles were comfortable.Crew was hospitable except for one wine steward and when brought to the attention of management, things changed promptly. Ports were all very enjoyable though I was pretty tired of ruins once everything was over. Stayed in the Electra Hotel for a few nights in Athens and it was nice with a rooftop dining area with views of the Acropolis. Just avoid room 211 which had a toilet so close to the wall and shower one had to be a contortionist to use. Last night we moved to the Grand Bretagne and it was a beautiful old hotel but probably not worth the extra money. Tried to get reservations for our group of 8 several weeks before for dinner on the rooftop but they were full. Could not even find space to have a cocktail that evening as most of the space was closed off for some reason. Went next door to King George hotel and had a wonderful meal on the top floor with even better views of the Acropolis. Highly recommend this! Crew was polite and accommodating but not as nice as Crystal Esprit. Food in the dining room was good but not exceptional. Candles was better and especially the on-deck barbecue...that was amazing. Dinner at the Celsus Library was also amazing. Went to the opera afterwards in the old theatre and sitting on stone, even for an hour, was awful. Delos and Turkey were wonderful stops but all were excellent. Chartered a private catamaran in Santorini instead of the ships cat tour and it was fantastic. Breakfasts were nice with a wide selection of food on the buffet with the opportunity to order off the menu if desired. Bridge tour was nice and informative. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Booked this cruise due to itinerary and being a small ship. The whole cruise was terrible starting with the ship not arriving into New York at 1 pm instead we boarded at 11.30 pm. Our first port of call was cancelled with a $55 refund ! ... Read More
Booked this cruise due to itinerary and being a small ship. The whole cruise was terrible starting with the ship not arriving into New York at 1 pm instead we boarded at 11.30 pm. Our first port of call was cancelled with a $55 refund ! Very little to do on board on the sea days. Food very average and sometimes cold. Shore excursions over priced and poorly run with guides that did not speak very clear English. The ship always docked way out of the towns, whilst other cruise ships docked in the towns. The information on the daily news sheet was never correct. There was no evening entertainment apart from two singers who were not very good and required an ipad to sing the words. Our cabin, whilst spacious, was old with the door not closing (requiring a total lock replacement) the shower over the bath did not drain and one of the vanity basins did not work. The cruise was a total nightmare with the detailed credit on our final statement never refunded. In 40 years of cruising this was just the worst ever. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Overall, this was an excellent cruise. The food is fabulous and despite the small size of the ship, the cabins are relatively spacious. The crew were extremely friendly and made a point of knowing everyone by name. Unlike larger ships, ... Read More
Overall, this was an excellent cruise. The food is fabulous and despite the small size of the ship, the cabins are relatively spacious. The crew were extremely friendly and made a point of knowing everyone by name. Unlike larger ships, there is no fighting for deck chairs, etc. A very relaxed experience. There were, however a couple of issues that need to be addressed. The WIFI on the ship is extraordinarily expensive (even when purchasing an internet package prior to sailing), which would be acceptable if it worked - it doesn't. Coverage was spotty at best and extremely slow. Windstar should really upgrade their equipment - I have been on other cruises where the Internet was fantastic even out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean a thousand miles from land. Shore excursions - Most were quite good, but we had a horrible experience in Nafplion. We were on an excursion that visited Mycenae and the guide was very longwinded, and did not allow us enough time to tour the entire site. To make matters worse, she made a stop at what can only be described as a tourist souvenir shop along the highway - we were forced to stay there for a bout 20 minutes while the proprietors gave us a hard sell on their "genuine, fake" reproductions of Greek trinkets. Really, this is not something one would expect from a luxury cruise line like Windstar. As mentioned in a previous review, the water sports platform is only open when the ship is at anchor (4 of the 7 ports of call). However they cannot open the water sports platform in Santorini because they are required to run the engine at all times. In the other three ports the sports platform was not open do to winds - so on a 7 day cruise, we were never able to swim in the Aegean! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I'm a Veteran, so I know the general weather of Europe in the fall. The first decision, timing of our cruise, was driven by weather. The second decision was location. We wanted a cruise which called at Patmos and Ephesus (port of ... Read More
I'm a Veteran, so I know the general weather of Europe in the fall. The first decision, timing of our cruise, was driven by weather. The second decision was location. We wanted a cruise which called at Patmos and Ephesus (port of Kusadasi, Turkey) in particular. The third decision was ship size. Frankly, we didn't want to live in a suburb, which is what the BIG cruise ships seem to be. Instead, we chose a small, intimate ship where we got to know people. Our decisions drove our selection, and we came to a Windstar small ship cruise. MSY WindStar has space for 148 guests, period. Our voyage was glorious. That's all I need to say. PLANNING FACTORS: We were first time cruisers, so we had a learning curve: - Laundry: Windstar's current rate is $112 per cabin for the voyage. VERY MUCH WORTH IT. My wife's bag was under 35 lbs at the airport, mine was under 30lbs. That was for 12 days of travel! - Liquor. You have a choice of three plans: $32, $52, or $72 per person per day. You have to drink a LOT for the plans to pay for themselves. THAT SAID, CAUTION: Windstar enforces a max 2 bottle per stateroom policy for liquor you bring to the ship yourself. - Internet access: GET THIS BEFORE YOU LEAVE FOR YOUR TRIP. The rate is $250 for two devices if you pre-book. It's $250 PER DEVICE if you buy on embarkation day. - Tours: If I was cruising the Rhein/Main/Danube, I'd pass on tours. I know something of where I'm going. In Greece, I took the tours, but I think I can do better. On this voyage, be wary of the full day Kusadasi-Ephesus tour. The last stop is an Oriental/Turkish carpet shop, and the sales pressure is beyond tremendous. Sorry, I just didn't have $24K budgeted. - Dining: You cannot go wrong. Period. - Ships' decor: No issues. There were a very, very few places where the ship showed she wasn't brand new, but you could see the ships' company working every day maintaining something or other! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My husband and I were so pleasantly surprised by the crew (excellent), the food (excellent) and the demographics of those on the cruise. The Captain was approachable, and entertaining! However, the ship is in need of upgrading. The ... Read More
My husband and I were so pleasantly surprised by the crew (excellent), the food (excellent) and the demographics of those on the cruise. The Captain was approachable, and entertaining! However, the ship is in need of upgrading. The rooms could have been more modern, the beds uncomfortable, and there are very few facilities onboard...and to claim to have a swimming pool is a misnomer. It is not much bigger than a bathtub. Terrible droning noise in the cabins and although the crew was aware, they couldn't do anything about it. (Better insulation could fix the problem) No need to purchase beverage packages unless you plan on just drinking all day. The itinerary was jam packed and the ship organized excursions we went on were mediocre. The tours were dedicated to those with the least amount of mobility and didn't adjust for those who wanted and could do more. Additionally, we experienced unusually warm weather and the buses did not have adequate air conditioning, nor did the tour guides adjust for the strong sun, heat and humidity. However, one can do much better by hiring local tour guides. On those days that we booked independent tours, we saw so much more and had a far greater experience for about the same price as what the ship's excursions cost. We would consider Windstar again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Overall a great trip! Some highlights: - The front desk staff performed an amazing feat of memorization, and knew everyone's name by the first evening - The food was *fantastic* throughout. - The 'signature event' ... Read More
Overall a great trip! Some highlights: - The front desk staff performed an amazing feat of memorization, and knew everyone's name by the first evening - The food was *fantastic* throughout. - The 'signature event' was amazing - private access to a major historical site, onsite dinner, and string quartet (this was at the Library of Celsus) - The crew in general were cheerful and friendly - For the ship enthusiast, the open bridge and engine room tours are pretty cool - The dramatic music and sails unfurling at every departure sounded like it would be cheesy, but it's actually kind of awesome. General notes: - It's easy to get a table for 2 at the restaurant (Amphora), or to eat in your room (all the rooms have a small table and chairs), if you aren't feeling like socializing at any given meal. - The dress code is surprisingly casual for such a fancy cruise; my husband and I are more jeans-and-tshirt type people, and we fit right in. - The pool is pretty tiny (10x7); it's fine for hanging out or playing around, but not great if you want to swim laps. It's also a saltwater pool, which makes for more buoyant swimming. Advice for future cruisers: - The watersports platform was only open in Monemvasia due to rough seas at the other ports. I suspect that it's common for it to only be open one or two days on a given cruise, so if it's important to you, check with the front desk the night before about the weather report/likelihood of the platform being open. - Forward cabins have less engine noise. Ours was cabin 133, and while we could hear the engines (you can hear them anywhere on the ship), it wasn't very loud; neither my husband or I had any trouble sleeping through them. - The website for Windstar is kind of a disaster; be aware that all information on the cruise will disappear from the site 5 days before the cruise (this wasn't a glitch, the site just said that you have to pick a cruise at least 5 days in the future to see itinerary information), so make sure to print/save everything well ahead of time. And heaven help you if they decide to revamp the site again - it was down for a solid 4 months after we'd booked our cruise over the phone. - Candles reservations go quickly, so if you have a tightly-packed itinerary, put in your reservation as soon as you board the ship. - Make friends with the band, and they will be happy to play your requests =) Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We went on the Greek island cruise on the Wind Star in June 2017. It was an amazing experience. The food was wonderful as was the staff. They were all very friendly and took the time to get to know you. We loved the ship. Our cabin had ... Read More
We went on the Greek island cruise on the Wind Star in June 2017. It was an amazing experience. The food was wonderful as was the staff. They were all very friendly and took the time to get to know you. We loved the ship. Our cabin had plenty of storage room and was bigger than expected. The excursion selections were well thought out with an excellent variety. Being a smaller cruise ship, there were no assigned dining times and you could stay in the restaurant as long as you wanted. Swimming off the back of the ship was a nice, fun bonus. The absolute highlight of the trip was the dinner at Ephesus, Turkey. Windstar took all the guest to the ancient library there for 4-5 course amazing meal. It was an experience of a lifetime. I know we’ll be taking many more Windstar cruises. I highly recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We took a cruise with Windstar on the Wind Star to visit the Greek Isles. It was our first time with this cruise line. Every single aspect of the cruise exceeded my expectations! From start to finish, (nearly) everything was perfect. The ... Read More
We took a cruise with Windstar on the Wind Star to visit the Greek Isles. It was our first time with this cruise line. Every single aspect of the cruise exceeded my expectations! From start to finish, (nearly) everything was perfect. The yacht, the food, drinks, the crew members (especially the crew members!) all made for a wonderful vacation. We could not be happier! The food was some of the best I've had while traveling, including at luxury all inclusive resorts. It's amazing how they can create such delicious and creative meals, at sea nonetheless! The menu varied each night, and included a nice variety of dishes from different cuisines and with meat, fish, seafood, vegetarian, etc. The dining service was also exceptional. We ate on the deck on night, and that was also an excellent experience! The crew in particular is amazing. They come from all over the world, with a large majority from Indonesia and the Philippines. We made friends with so many of the crew members, who went above and beyond to make us feel special. To mention just a few who really stood out: Joel, Rene, Noel, Marco, Philip, Endro, Asep and Saka (our cabin steward). They are always approachable, friendly and willing to please, all with a smile on their faces (even when having to deal with rude guests). We decided to double our gratuities, and also tipped cash to those we got to know best by the end of our 7 night cruise. They work extremely hard to make your cruise vacation spectacular, and deserve special recognition. I also have to mention the musical team, Duality (Marni and Chooi) who were outstanding and entertained us each afternoon and night! The only problem (if I'm being picky) was that our cabin was too hot. We asked about it twice, but it stayed hot for the duration of the cruise. I suspect this has more to do with the architecture of the ship (the cold air comes from front of the ship, and warms up before it gets to aft cabins). But apart from that, perfection! We took a few excursions with Windstar, and they were all very well planned and a good value. One excursion, however, seemed a little crowded. I looked at the excursions head of time and booked private tours guides through tours by locals at some ports. It ended up costing the same or just slightly more than the cost of an excursion booked through the ship for 2 people. One day, we decided to take a break and stayed aboard, enjoying the lounge chairs on the deck by the pool. I am definitely planning on taking many, many more cruises with Windstar. One of the major advantage is the small ship size. I would never want to travel on a "megaship" with thousands of people. A smaller "yacht" makes it a more personal experience, and there are no lines anywhere. We are looking at Tahiti next year, on the Wind Spirit, which features the same layout as the Wind Star. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My wife and I did the Treasures of the Greek Isles cruise that leaves from Athens and stops in Nafplio, Mykonos, Kusadasi (Turkey), Patmos, Santorini, and Monemvasia, returning to Athens. We enjoyed the small ship experience and the no ... Read More
My wife and I did the Treasures of the Greek Isles cruise that leaves from Athens and stops in Nafplio, Mykonos, Kusadasi (Turkey), Patmos, Santorini, and Monemvasia, returning to Athens. We enjoyed the small ship experience and the no dress up requirement. Very relaxing on board, hectic on the daily tours. Windstar picked us up from the airport on time...it was basically a taxi cab. We used them for the pick up based on past cruise experiences where the taxi driver couldn't find the ship because it had no address. Terrific crew on board that works very hard to make everyone happy. It is a beautiful ship. Unfortunately, they never seemed to put up more than a couple of sails. We used the Windstar tours every day except for Santorini and Athens. They were very well organized and everything went smoothly. However, most of the islands were very hot, even for June. We had read about mosquito problems in Santorini, but we didn't run across one. Unfortunately, the Kusadasi evening event was rained out for the first time in years, so we had dinner at the hotel that caters the event. Can't blame them for an act of god, but still disappointed we didn't get to do the dinner at the Ephesus library. For Santorini and Athens, our party of four used "Tours by Locals". They were quite excellent also, and provided a small group experience for less than half the cost of the equivalent tour from Windstar. For all the tours, the guides seemed to provide for periodic toilet stops, and the toilets for the most part were clean and modern. Watch out for the toilet in the ruins of Mycenae in Nafplio, my wife got locked in a dark stall for a while. Also the pay public toilet at the north end of the Oia walkway in Santorini was filthy. Food at breakfast and lunch on the ship was excellent. At dinner, the food was good, but not as good as some other cruise lines. Some observations not usually included in reviews: - Internet (an option that you can purchase) speed was measured at 1.5 Mbps download and upload speed if you sat in the lobby near the front desk. The wifi in the room was weak (-89 dBm) and limited the bandwidth further. Web pages loaded at low cost DSL speeds...about 10-20 seconds to open a page. - The toilet in the room was light brown in the bottom instead of white. It looked like the staff had scrubbed it a bit too hard and took the finish off, so now it couldn't be effectively cleaned any longer. - A few weeks before the cruise, we got an email from Windstar to make sure we got a Turkish visa for the Kusudasi visit. We didn't need it. Even the Turkey website says that you don't need one for such a short visit. All we needed was the ship ID (no passport). - Daily evening announcements can't be heard in the room. No option to turn it on or off like other ships. So you had to stick your head out the door to hear what they were saying. And the announcements sometimes modified the meeting times previously announced in the daily bulletin. - The Windstar documentation mentions "wet landings", where you jump out of the tender boat into shallow water. There were no wet landings on this cruise. The tender always dropped us off at a dock. At a couple of stops, the ship could actually tie up to a dock, eliminating the need for the tender. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My wife and I, retired airline people ,have been on many cruises(30plus). We were looking for something different and REALLY found it. Without question the cruise on the MSY Windstar was far and away the best cruise experience of all! ... Read More
My wife and I, retired airline people ,have been on many cruises(30plus). We were looking for something different and REALLY found it. Without question the cruise on the MSY Windstar was far and away the best cruise experience of all! The ship is beautiful. 30 years old but kept in tip top condition . Maximum capacity is 148 , but there were 135 on this cruise. As soon as you board which takes 10 minutes you feel like a special guest. The Captain and many crew meet you and welcome all passengers as you board. Within hours you are being called by name, even by the Captain. Baggage was at our door as soon as we boarded. There are 4 decks but no elevators. The 2 lower decks are cabins only, deck 3 is open space and the MDR and the Lounge and small Casino. 4 deck is the outdoor pool area , Veranda Restaurant and Bridge(open to visitors). Within an hour you will know your way around. There is a small gym on 2 deck which is open 24 .Stairways are easy to use as they are narrow and handrails can be used with both hands at once. The service provided by all staff was perfect. Food in all venues was superb. Deck BBQ on night 5 with unlimited lobster. Great. Food in the MDR was the best we have had on any ship. No reservations required. Dine at any time during dinner hours. Sit as a couple or a table with others will be set up. Breakfast in the Veranda (or sit outside) was wonderful. A small buffet or an extensive breakfast menu to choose from. Lunch on the ship was equally as good with a great Caeser salad station. The sandwich of the day was always good. Our cabin ,126, was one deck 1, right at the waterline and midships. No engine noise there. I liked the sound and the look of the ocean going by our portholes. The cabin itself was all brand new as the ship has just been refitted. Lots of space. An extendable table and sitting area is nice and the bathroom, with a great shower is good. Plenty of storage space. I must mention the shore dinner and show on the island of Rhodes. We were bussed a short way to the best hotel and had a great Greek dinner outside in an amphitheatre .Wonderful food and good show. All included in the cruise price. Open bar too ! Anything you wanted ! There is a watersport deck aft that has all outdoor ocean activities . It is used when the ship is anchored. Unfortunately the day we were to use it at Kalmynos, it was too windy and too much current. We plan to sail on the Windstar out of Barbados in December and hopefully can use it on most days then. If you want something different, sail on Windstar. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our 30 year anniversary trip, and after going on a cheesy Carnival cruise years ago, I knew my husband would never go for that. So after tons of research online, we chose Windstar. The Greek Islands have been on my bucket list ... Read More
This was our 30 year anniversary trip, and after going on a cheesy Carnival cruise years ago, I knew my husband would never go for that. So after tons of research online, we chose Windstar. The Greek Islands have been on my bucket list since I was a child so this seemed like a dream come true, and it was. From the moment we walked onboard, we felt special and well cared for. The crew, except for one inappropriate steward who was replaced immediately, was professional, fun and well informed. The food was absolutely delicious, every meal!!! There were special offerings every night as well as a main menu. The drink package worked well for us, although I'm not sure it was a deal financially. It certainly was worth the ease and no worry. Due to high winds and bumpy seas, we could not take part in water activities off of the ship, but had plenty of fun on the excursions in port. We weren't sure whether or not to take part in the excursions at first, (not crowd people) but due to the small size of the ship, the groups we went with every day were so small we were all able to become good friends by weeks end. The guides were very friendly and knowledgable. We even went fishing which was a selling point for my husband. Our cabin was spacious enough, modern, clean and had NO smell. Musty moldy mildew smell was a concern of mine after being on a Carnival cruise. I did need earplugs as the ships engine, (propellors?) were a constant humming in every cabin. But after a full day in the sun, a cocktail and great friends, we were pretty worn out anyway. I think a highlight for me was the setting sail ceremony every night as we left port. "Conquest of Paradise" by Vangelis (1492) was the perfect song providing just the right drama and crescendos as the sails unfolded. Very dramatic! I loved it!! It also is worth noting that the Captain of the Windstar is the FIRST woman Captain as well as the FIRST black Captain of the Windstar line. Captain Belinda is a total badass and led us through some windy seas with safety! This girl is really on fire!!! (her introductory theme) All in all, I have nothing but praises for this cruise line and this ship. Can't wait to do it again. Maybe for our 35th???? honey???? Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
My husband and I have wanted to take a Windstar cruise for years and finally decided to go for an anniversary trip. We took the Athens to Istanbul trip. Our first impression was very good! We were greeted and introduced to the outstanding ... Read More
My husband and I have wanted to take a Windstar cruise for years and finally decided to go for an anniversary trip. We took the Athens to Istanbul trip. Our first impression was very good! We were greeted and introduced to the outstanding staff upon arrival. The staff were exceptional at every step of the journey... Definitely the best part ( other than itinerary ) of the cruise. The small cruise size was all that it was said to be! Loved getting to know so many people from all over! The down sides.... The food reminded us of " wedding reception" caliber and with the exception of the steak options which my husband loved. Mass produced, sometimes having a freezer burn taste and usually luke warm. Just not top of the line by any stretch. Our room was lovely and very clean. However, the ship's decor could use a facelift. Carpet was worn, chips in the wood and other signs that a spruce up would be in order. All in all, it was a great time. For the money, I think some improvements are needed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
It was with some trepidation that I booked for this, the first cruise that we have ever taken. Having heard numerous stories of the decks on board in chaos from Zimmer frame traffic jams and drunken oafs staggering around trying to get ... Read More
It was with some trepidation that I booked for this, the first cruise that we have ever taken. Having heard numerous stories of the decks on board in chaos from Zimmer frame traffic jams and drunken oafs staggering around trying to get their money's worth of free booze, I was concerned. On op of it all, I was also apprehensive how we,a gay couple from the dark continent, would fare amongst the "Bush generation" of Americans who dominated the numbers of guests aboard. All of our fears and apprehensions soon dissolved virtually from the moment we set eyes on the yacht from the Piraeus port in Athens. From the greeting at the port, the embarkation process, meeting the crew, to entering the wonderfully air conditioned reception of the ship for the first time, we felt special and welcome aboard. Although the ship carries about 140 people, we never felt as if we were jostling for space or a preferred spot, there is more than enough room for everyone to feel very much as if this were their own private yacht. The food was simply exceptional - every meal was a master class, the chefs obviously taking great pride in their culinary creations. The service was outstanding - by the end of day 1 all the crew knew our names and I couldn't help but feel that they actually enjoyed being at our service. What I particularly enjoyed was the drama every evening at "sail away" time....when we left our port in the evenings, everyone on deck with a cocktail of sorts, music from "the mission" washing over us and the sails unfurling in an attempt at sailing (wind dependent). It was spectacular! Once the sun had finally set each evening its off to dinner, relaxing, unassuming and delicious. And best of all......wake up the next morning in a new port or at a new island, ready to explore for the day. So I guess you can gather that the cruise was terrific for us, all misgivings gone, beautiful memories remain and the next cruise in the planning phase. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Let me start by saying we loved the food and service on the Windstar which is a 25 yr old 150 passenger sailboat/ship. Also, the excursions and guides are all well worth it. The newest ship is Wind Surf which is twice as big. Sailboats ... Read More
Let me start by saying we loved the food and service on the Windstar which is a 25 yr old 150 passenger sailboat/ship. Also, the excursions and guides are all well worth it. The newest ship is Wind Surf which is twice as big. Sailboats usually like wind, but beware of the limitations on Windstar cruise. For starters, Windstar anchors offshore in many ports and the passengers must get on small tenders (42 passengers) to be ferried to the island. This is somewhat inconvenient and not real comfortable.The boast that Windstar is a smaller ship and can go where the big boats can't may be true in other parts of the world but not in the Greek isles and the Turkish ports of Kusadasi (Ephasus) and Bodrum. The actual fact is contrary. Dockage fees are based on the number of passengers. The big ships with 2,500 passengers get preference in ports and are often able to pull along side the dock while the smaller ships are forced to anchor offshore. The brochure says that visits to Mykonos are "weather permitting". We arrived there in 35 knot wind. The small tenders took us ashore where we chose to spend a few hours on Delos, another smaller island that requires a large ferry (250 passengers) out of Mykonos. Delos is a terrific destination. However, when we got back to Mykonos, we were ordered back to the Windstar because they deemed the wind unsafe. As a result, we never saw Mykonos. Worse was what happened in Kusadasi (Ephasus),what was to be the highlight of our trip. The wind again was in the 30 plus knot range (no precipitation). We were not able to get to shore and left without seeing it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was out 13th cruise with Windstar and it did not dissappoint. It was glorious. Windstsr set us up in a wonderful hotel in Istanbul for 2 days with a terrific representative who was very helpful throughout our stay. Boarding the ship ... Read More
This was out 13th cruise with Windstar and it did not dissappoint. It was glorious. Windstsr set us up in a wonderful hotel in Istanbul for 2 days with a terrific representative who was very helpful throughout our stay. Boarding the ship was the norrmal, easy process made more pleasant by being greeted by friendly faces and a glass of champagne. After the five minute boarding process we meandered to the Vernanda for a delicious lunch watching the busy and exciting harbor of Istanbul. The food on this cruise was one of the best I experienced. It was evident that Windstar purveyed the food locally and had selections of delicious local dishes. The sail away out of Istanbul Harbor was extraordinary with the very busy and picturesque harbor as the background to the sails being hoisted as the music of 1492 was being played. This cruise was loaded with amazing visuals of the Dardenals and the gorgeous islands of both Turkey and Greece. Somtimes the visuals from the ship were actually prettier and more dramatic than the islands themselves. Evening dining below the cliffs of Santorini is a sight never to be forgotten. Following the routes of the ancient Greeks and Turks was fascinating, the beautiful harbor of Bodrum, the glories of the past in Ephesus, swimming in the clear, warm shimmering Aegean Sea off the swimming platform, dining on local dishes, wonderful service that Windstar is noted for all made for a perfect cruise. We were 12 friends on this cruise 7 past cruisers and 5 new cruisers, we all agreed it was a fantastic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Very rarely in our lives are we lucky or privileged enough to be able to use the word PERFECT for an experience or encounter with people. Our voyage last week on the Wind Star is one of those rare opportunities. To say that our ... Read More
Very rarely in our lives are we lucky or privileged enough to be able to use the word PERFECT for an experience or encounter with people. Our voyage last week on the Wind Star is one of those rare opportunities. To say that our expectations for our wedding were met is a gross understatement. Captain Leech, Jason, the Hotel Manager, Kristy, Guest Services Manager, and the entire crew and hotel staff could not have possibly done more or showed more genuine concern and real caring for my family. From the moment we stepped aboard and introduced ourselves to Captain Leech and Jason we knew that we had made the right choice for this most significant of life events. Captain Leech with his warm disposition and genuineness was matched only by the commitment of Jason to deliver the best experience possible for us. This was delivered beyond anything we could imagine by Kristy Lamarche who, from the moment we were introduced to her, told us not to worry about a thing because she was handling every detail for us. To say that Kristy delivered on this promise does not do justice to how incredibly well planned our wedding was. Kristy used every ounce of her previous experience as a wedding planner to make this special event something that could never be surpassed. Her attention to detail, from the flowers for the women to a fantastic wedding cake and special table overlooking the aft deck of the yacht was beyond words. The spa staff, Alice and Beth, treated my wife and our two daughters like princesses and could not have done more for them, from hors douerves and champagne to just genuine caring and happiness in making all 3 of them look more beautiful than they have ever looked in their lives. Captain Leech is one of those rare leaders who shows his abilities and competency, not by overt actions, but in everything thing he does. His humor and warmth are only matched by his total commitment to making every passenger feel at home and 100% satisfied in every way. The day after the ceremony, his only concern was that he had done well and lived up to our expectations. For a Master of a vessel such as Wind Star to be so humble and caring is beyond words.After many cruises on the larger ships, where everything is driven by regimented routine and geared to increasing revenue, it was an absolute pleasure to experience the Windstar philosophy of meeting and exceeding each passengers expectations in ways that we could not even anticipate. One example is how Kristy arranged for crew members to help photograph and video the wedding. On a larger ship, this would have been delivered with a major charge for services, yet on the Wind Star this was just one more way to make our experience better. My family is now committed to the yacht experience and will never cruise the big ships again. We have already left a deposit for our next cruise and look forward to the inauguration of service for the Star Pride next year. We are already considering a one year anniversary cruise back to Santorini, where our wedding took place.I can never express the gratitude my wife and 3 children have to Captain Leech. Jason and Kristy for everything that they did in executing our wedding. I also cannot fail to make sure that Travis, Karma. Bobby and all of the rest of the hotel management staff are also mentioned as each and every one of them went out of their way for us and literally could not do more for this special day. I also want to thank Jillian Wikstrom, in the Seattle office, for all of her efforts in the pre-planning stages of our trip. My wife and 3 children cannot thank Windstar Cruises enough for giving us a wedding and experience that will never be surpassed and remembered with real fondness and warmth for Captain Leech and the entire Wind Star crew.If you are considering a special event or just want to be treated like family on your own private yacht then the only choice you have is to pick either the Wind Star, Wind Spirit or Wind Surf. I know that these are the only choices my family and I will make. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
I found Windstar cruises searching for a nice trip. We had cruised before but the ships were always so jammed and crowded. We booked the Wind Star for a cruise around Greek Islands and into Tukey for several ports. BEST decision we ever ... Read More
I found Windstar cruises searching for a nice trip. We had cruised before but the ships were always so jammed and crowded. We booked the Wind Star for a cruise around Greek Islands and into Tukey for several ports. BEST decision we ever made! From the moment we landed for our free 2 nights in Athens at teh St. George Lycabettus, we knew it would be fabulous. The St. George is high on a hill and you catch the Acropolis in the background as you take great photos from the pool deck or restaurant. The pool has a sweet little bar and several lounge chairs. It's small but who goes to Athens to sit by a pool! The restaurant is positively 5-star. Spectacular meals and choices of wines and other beverages. We loved it! Staff was attentive and took our photo for us! The trip came with 2 free nights here--well worth it! It also included transportation to the ship. What a beautiful sight to see. Boarding was accomplished easily and within 30-40 minutes we were enjoying a cocktail waiting for embarkation. As we left Pireaus (Athens) the music of Vangelis accompanied the raising of the 5 sails--thrilling! It was like this every time we left a port--a bit corny after a while but fun to see. There are under 200 guests on the Wind Star so there is never a crowd anywhere. No reservations were needed to eat dinner and tables were always available. We did meet a few friends and when our group got larger, we did take the time to make times; this was appreciated by staff and us as a good table was then ready for us. Everything is casual--dress up or dress down--not bathing suits for dinner but pretty much anything goes. VEY comfortable for my husband. Breakfast was buffet style with an omlette station and a spot for the day's special breakfast. You could also order from a menu. We didn't do many lunches as we took tours daily, but we did sneak a small lunch one day and it was great! There is entertainment but it is not a focus--relaxing is de riguoer. Dinner on the deck requires a reservation and is well worth it. The port tours are exceptionally well run-pricey but each one was a small group and our own private guide so well worth the $$. The staff has your name learned by 8PM on embarkation night and never forget it for the stay. They are pleasant and warm and attentive to your needs. True professionals all. I would recommend the Wind Star and all its glory for the cruise to the Greek islands and Turkey. Well worth the price for the smallness of the ship and the attention paid to your needs however small or big.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Wind Star Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.5
Family N/A 3.5
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.8
Service 5.0 4.9
Value For Money 4.5 4.1
Rates 5.0 3.8

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