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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The cabin size and the decor, the staff, the food - all excellent. The staff were amazing and always tried to please and solve any issues. But our cabin 300 right up front on deck 6 was extremely disappointing as we felt every ... Read More
The cabin size and the decor, the staff, the food - all excellent. The staff were amazing and always tried to please and solve any issues. But our cabin 300 right up front on deck 6 was extremely disappointing as we felt every little wave on the ocean. I have never felt so much motion in a cabin before. When traveling on a small ship make sure you are midship and down low. Unfortunately my cabin mate was sick for a lot of the cruise. I actually slept on the couch a few nights as this gave more support than the twin bed. Few activities on board. Pool area was disappointing with a very small above ground pool. More activities could have been organized e.g. films in the lounge. I was some what disappointed with the ports of call. Puerto Princesa and Brunei were the only interesting ports to me. All told a very disappointing cruise for us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and small ship size and we were not disappointed! We were aboard for 3 segments: Comprehensive Indonesia, Borneo and Philippines and Icons of S.E. Asia (Vietnam), all of which gave us an insight into ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and small ship size and we were not disappointed! We were aboard for 3 segments: Comprehensive Indonesia, Borneo and Philippines and Icons of S.E. Asia (Vietnam), all of which gave us an insight into the culture and beauty of the various ports and countries. We were fortunate to be in Vietnam during Tet (Chinese New Year) so we got to partake in many festivities, including the most amazing fireworks display in Saigon, where Star Legend was docked in the perfect location. We enjoyed all of our 37 nights, with the exception of crossing the South China Sea from Philippines to Hong Kong, which was very bumpy, but other than that we hardly felt any motion. We did a mixture of shore excursions, some with Windstar, but most booked independently after making connections through Cruise Critic, which significantly less costly. Our cabin 124 was perfect, low deck and mid ship and very comfortable. The housekeeping staff took care of us very well and the service from the wait staff and bar staff was great. Kudos to all the crew. Food was excellent in Amphora Reataurant and Candles as well as the deck BBQ, and room service was quick and hot when it arrived. The evenings were sometimes quiet as a lot of the guests retired early, but we enjoyed dancing on the Star Deck and trivia at Compass Rose most nights. The ship is in great shape for its age, well maintained and soft furnishings are very nice. We definitely recommend Windstar and plan to sail on Star Legend again after it had been refurbished and stretched to accommodate 300 guests. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Just got off the wind star legend....wow...good thing they are taking this ship into reparations... It has seen better days... No thermostats work in the suites, 1 ply toilet tissue, main dining room a/c stuck on coldest setting, so low ... Read More
Just got off the wind star legend....wow...good thing they are taking this ship into reparations... It has seen better days... No thermostats work in the suites, 1 ply toilet tissue, main dining room a/c stuck on coldest setting, so low , a large % of passengers got a cold in the first 3 days and passed it around for a week. Outdoor seating on upper deck fine dining area had incredibly uncomfortable chairs, the skinny legs of the cheap seating kept getting stuck in the grates of the floor tipping them sideways. The 'Candles' experience was 'filled" with reservations and when you got one ,you noticed very few people there because they were so understaffed... Fillet mignonette was precut to 6 ounces , served medium to medium well no matter what you requested. Service was spotty, some nights good, some you had to ask for water. Servers would often approach table interrupting guests in middle of a sentence.. Dining hours reflected the understaffing, very limited hours it became necessary to plan around so as not to run out of certain selections. Room service menu was a set menu devoid of nightly specials... Seldom could you make a selection where to eat... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
"Comprehensive China Exploration" Beijing to Hong Kong or reverse The title suggest that there is more “China” than there was, even before one port was deleted. But we certainly hit a lot of countries on the trip. (Note ... Read More
"Comprehensive China Exploration" Beijing to Hong Kong or reverse The title suggest that there is more “China” than there was, even before one port was deleted. But we certainly hit a lot of countries on the trip. (Note that you should get the 10-year “Multi-Entry” visa from China if you go on such a trip. It costs the same as a “Single-Entry” visa, and uses the same annoying application form.) This itinerary is part of a long sweep of Star Legend cruises from Southeast Alaska to Malaysia and beyond. This may be the one with the most sea days, and it would be hard to market without Beijing and Hong Kong. But I would suggest that they reduce the total mileage covered. It was just too many sea days and too many lines for immigration. But if you stayed several days in Beijing before the cruise (which we did not, having been on the previous cruise), you might feel differently about the title! We booked fairly close to the trip, because of a Windstar sale announcement in their weekly specials. We had to pay the full amount at the time of booking. It was interesting to note that the Windstar proprietary "travel insurance" product is priced on the total actually spent, so it was an especially good value when the cruise has been discounted. Number of ports: 6 159 Guests of 212 possible, 161 Crew 7 Australia 2 Belgium 24 Canada 1 China 3 Germany 2 Mexico 2 Netherlands 4 UK 113 USA If starting here, please read my description of Embarkation from Beijing/Tianjin in the other review. I also (at the end of the linked review) make some general comments about Windstar cruising and about Star Legend in 2018: https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=639146 Now that I understand the CC system, I'm entering the port descriptions separately as designed. I hope you can see how the itinerary required so many sea days. That's our only disappointment with the trip. At the reception for repeaters, the couple that "won" the bottle of Champagne had been on more than 20 Windstar cruises. Our Captain had just reported to the Star Legend on the immediately preceding cruise leg. On this, his second, we did not notice a Captain's Table at a dinner. We did notice two nights when the ship's senior officers each hosted a table at dinner, providing wine for their guests. Because we had been invited to the Captain's table on the previous leg, we didn't mind not being invited (or however it was that the officer tables were created) to any of these. I think we had been invited because, with 8 cruises, we had the high number on the previous leg. We had booked Back2Back, and the second Embarkation was Tianjin, China. The second cruise had two independent groups, about 14 that may have been “Scientific American”, and 44 from a Seattle boutique travel agent The first group had many private activities, and dined together. The larger group mixed freely with us, the opposite of stand-offish. They were going to meet up with "Alan" at Disembarkation. I'm repeating some of my description of Tianjin from my previous review, because it's the Embarkation point for this cruise. Tianjin, China (for Beijing). It takes two sea days to get to Tianjin, China, the port for Beijing. There may be a high-speed train from Beijing to Tianjin city, but it seemed that the Windstar embarkation transfers were by three-hour bus from Beijing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Wanted a smaller, less crowded ship, as we are not fans of the 3000 person ships. This had an itinerary that was heavy in ports with many overnight stays in bigger cities. We do not prefer so many "at sea" days. The ... Read More
Wanted a smaller, less crowded ship, as we are not fans of the 3000 person ships. This had an itinerary that was heavy in ports with many overnight stays in bigger cities. We do not prefer so many "at sea" days. The smaller ship has less amenities, so "at sea" days are not as enjoyable. This smaller ship was able to dock closer the many of the downtown areas, since it could navigate the rivers to get closer to towns, making exploring independently easier. The staff on this ship was very competent and responsive to all the guest's needs. There were reviews the evening before each port, providing information about that port, as well as promoting the ship's excursions. This information was helpful, although sometimes not totally accurate on dress requirements of temples, etc. The cabins are very spacious, although they are getting somewhat dated. We were told that Windstar is remodeling and expanding their fleet, one ship at a time. We will definitely cruise again on a Windstar ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We were very disappointed with this cruise. The food was of poor quality and boring. The breakfast and lunch area was in crowed space at the back of the ship and smelled of exhaust when the wind was in the wrong direction. Plus they ... Read More
We were very disappointed with this cruise. The food was of poor quality and boring. The breakfast and lunch area was in crowed space at the back of the ship and smelled of exhaust when the wind was in the wrong direction. Plus they seemed to varnish the deck furniture next to the entrance to the eating area. There were very few onboard activities. On sea days most guests seemed to be in their cabins watching movies on their tvs. The shower head was mounted in the corner of the shower so that it was next to useless. Sometimes the ship docked in very nice locations, other times it docked far from town. For those not taking the overpriced excursions, getting into town was a challenge, either had to get through the gauntlet of hawkers, or there was no taxi at all. We had booked for 34 days, it was actually 3 segments, so their limited activities and food preparation was repeated 3 times! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Our cruise departed from Tokyo in October, 2018, from the Harumi Port. If you're a fanatic about avoiding cab rides, we took the subway from our independent Shinjuku-area Hilton's Tochomae Station (E28, Oeda line), a 30 minute ... Read More
Our cruise departed from Tokyo in October, 2018, from the Harumi Port. If you're a fanatic about avoiding cab rides, we took the subway from our independent Shinjuku-area Hilton's Tochomae Station (E28, Oeda line), a 30 minute ride to Kachidoki Station (E17.) Crossing the street (depending on which exit you use), you have to determine (say, with Google Maps) the correct direction for the 03 or 05-1 bus to the nearby end of its line, Harumizen. This is, literally, the Cruise Terminal, so don't get off at any of the nearby hotels just before the end of the line. It looks like a transportation terminal! Another guest told us there was a convenient city bus from the Tokyo rail station, which is much closer to Harumi Port than Shinjuku. There were all-afternoon lunch hours upon boarding, so you did get a round three-meals for every day of the cruise. Shimizu, Japan, our first stop was a short run. This is not much of a town, although they did give our small ship a warm welcome, with a ceremonial fireboat, and a sweet send-off, with local musicians and a small display of daytime fireworks! The reason to come here is to, maybe, view Mt. Fuji in the distance. Although they told us that the last two Windstar visits revealed no trace of the mountain, we were luckier! Happening to have a starboard cabin, when we threw back the curtains during the 7 AM pilotage, we found Mt. Fuji magnificently in front of our window. In addition, our ship-tour to a mountain shrine (Kunozan Toshogu), accessed by a five-minute cable car ("ropeway") ride just happened to coincide with a seasonal costumed procession and devotional ceremony by local civic groups and supporting businessmen in suits. No one had to tell us to step back respectfully and stand quietly. But the locals warmly gestured for us to join them in paying their respects. You may know that this is called by some travel-book readers a "Rick Steves moment." Many steps had to be climbed, despite the cable-car ride. It is theoretically possible to do this outing independently, with a local bus. I don't know the details. Our ship excursion included a second stop at a 2-story tower for viewing Mt. Fuji. It was starting to cloud over by then, and was invisible when we got back to the ship. Osaka, Japan The second cruise stop was not far away, an overnight stay. Our Tempozan port was just three blocks, in a straight line, from elevated rail station C11, (Chuo line). This gives you prompt, full access to the city. (There is a very nearby free city ferry to the next peninsula, but it looks like the other ferry stop could be a mile from Universal Studios and Harry Potter.) But I will suggest that (especially since the overnight stay eliminates any danger of missing the ship's departure) that you skip Osaka and go on your own to Kyoto. If you have been to Kyoto, you could go to Nara for the day instead. Both trips are quite inexpensive. Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara use the same RFID public transit card. Even the differently-named RFID card popular in Tokyo works in these three cities too. You can even use the card to pay for single JR tickets. However, I never found any way to put money onto the card other than (obviously, Japanese) CASH. And I didn't have time to get my 500 Yen deposit back by turning in the card. I cannot overstate how wonderful are Kyoto and (the lesser of the two ... ) Nara. We slept three nights in Kyoto and two nights in Tokyo before the cruise. It is true that many of the finest Kyoto (many, UNESCO WHS) sights are not near subway stations. This means either learning about busses and waiting for them, or lots and lots of walking. We also stopped at Inari, just outside Kyoto, to walk the four kilometers (!, and "uphill both ways") of vermilion Tori (gates) that inspired Cristo's "The Gates" of Central Park, NYC. We're garden fans, so we enjoyed Osaka's 95% indoors plant conservatory Sakuya Konohana Kan, left over from a 1990 Osaka exposition. It's a 15-minute walk through the park/exposition grounds, now filled with elementary school fresh-air outings, from Subway station N26 (Tsurumi-Ryokuchi). Tamano, Japan/Uno Port is the gateway to Kurashiki, known (a slight exaggeration) as "the Bruges of Japan." It is a pretty canal town (one hour away), with ancient warehouses converted to restaurants, ryokans, and decent art and craft shops. (Credit cards often accepted.) Our ship tour had a superb (if very ethnic and fishy, not to the taste of every cruiser ... ) lunch in the pretty Turugata restaurant. Shoes off, we had a gracious private tatami room, but with western chairs to sit on. We had lovely, restful views of their Zen gardens, through glass windows. This town is also the home of the multi-building Ohara Museum of Art. His "Annunciation" by El Greco is enjoyable even for those who don't care for El Greco. But much of the collection is of competent Japanese artists painting in European styles. Better to concentrate on the Ohara's archaeology, applied arts, and printmaking pavilions. Most ship tours here also (ours did) go to Korakuen Garden, one of the three finest gardens in Japan. (It is wonderful, but is only 1/20 the size of Longwood Gardens or Huntington Gardens.) Buy the ship excursion, although it might be possible to do just one or the other independently by rail. Hiroshima, Japan offers either the chance to take a substantial bus ride to Miyajima island, to see the famous red Tori in the water, and the UNESCO WHS Itsukushima Shrine, or to explore the city of Hiroshima and visit the sobering museum and associated outdoor memorials. The Atomic Bomb Dome building is a UNESCO WHS, that is viewed only from behind a railing. Importantly for cruise travelers, the outdoor portions never close. We were there before any buildings opened. The port provided an hourly shuttle to the Peace Memorial Museum. It looked like there is a subway stop within a half-mile of the port, but it's a desolate (not "scary") industrial area with no charm. There's a tram terminus stop about a mile from the port. We also visited the excellent small but exquisitely landscaped Shukkei-en Garden, which is adjacent to an art museum we didn't have time for. We managed to use our Kyoto transit cards by presenting them to the tram driver upon entry, rather than touching them to the unattended contact panels, where they didn't work. Busan, Korea, was a revelation. It makes current high-rise redevelopment in New York City look like amateur hour! The city is splayed out over miles and miles to provide as much sea view as possible, and the average height for hundreds of buildings seems like fifty stories. (Opinion, not actual statistic.) This sprawl, even with a vast Metro subway, makes seeing very much on your own a challenge. There is not much "old Busan" to see, but our first-day tour (Sea Breeze of Busan) included the busy but charming seaside Beomusa Temple, as well as some forgettable modern architectural landmarks, and a large and pretty urban beach. There is surprisingly little pedestrian traffic in downtown Busan. I'd say that Korea is ripe for a commercial "real estate bubble." On the second Busan port day, we chose the ship tour "Journey Back In Time." This is 90 minutes each way, (with heavy 12-lane highway traffic both ways) to the multiple-UNESCO WHS ancient sites of Geyongju. This covers many square miles, and some mountain sites are accessible only on foot. But we saw several highlights, the Tumulus Park, with 20 Shilla Dynasty tombs, one open with replicas of the (moved to a museum) artifacts found there; That National Museum, with five modern buildings of exhibits, plus outdoor material; and the first-rate Bulguksa Temple Complex. Lunch was in a clean, fast, attractive modern highway Korean BBQ restaurant. It was worth the $189 p/p. We barely got back in time for the Deck Barbecue at 7 PM. One Windstar option in Busan was a very expensive train trip and overnight stay in better-known Seoul, Korea, including a visit to the DMZ near the border between the two Koreas. You could also take a very long same-day trip to Seoul. Because we were on the "next" cruise as well, and a stop in Incheon, Korea was substituted for a scheduled port, we could take a much shorter excursion to Seoul from Incheon. Those on the double cruise (maybe 14 people) were allowed to cancel previously-ordered "long" excursions to Seoul from Busan. Please read about Seoul in my post about the second cruise segment if that's important to you. Karatsu, Japan This tiny modern town is a perfect example of everything good about Windstar. Everything (almost, maybe not the castle) is within walking distance of the port's short shuttle bus to the center of town. I can't imagine a big ship coming here. The major sights are: A local style of modest art pottery, with modern kilns and showrooms, and a few ancient kilns; Twelve 19th century wooden floats hand-rope pulled through town every year in a November featival (that has an element of neighborhood competition); An adjacent mostly-modern multi-temple complex; A deceased coal baron's splendid estate and mansion; And a large and imposing (but concrete replica) castle. If you've been to concrete Osaka castle, you can skip this one in favor of the estate. Their middle & high school brass concert band saw us off, with 3 jazzy school singers and dancers. It was just charming. There is also a nearby contemporary art island accessible by ferry. Tianjin, China (for Beijing). It takes two sea days to get to Tianjin, China, the port for Beijing. There may be a high-speed train from Beijing to Tianjin city, but it seemed that the Windstar embarkation transfers were by three-hour bus from Beijing. Those of us taking the back-to-back cruises that bookend in Tianjin, did NOT have the option to visit Beijing. (We had previously been, on a Viking Yangtze River trip.) Tianjin city was still an hour by bus from the ship. It seemed wise to get off, but with nothing to do within many miles (and new passengers boarding from 1 PM to 5PM), we paid for Windstar's Tianjin tour. Much of our visit was free time on the "Ancient culture street scenic area pedestrian", which was neither ancient nor cultural! We did manage to find a more remote local flea market area where used books, stamps, old bank notes, army insignia, and the like were browsed by a mainly male audience. Many of the escalators (on the "Ancient street!") were broken, but the frequent public restrooms were perfectly satisfactory. Most of the merchandise was regional snacks and sweets prepared under questionable conditions, plus a vast array of (opinion!) fake jade, porcelain, and mineral specimens. This was better than sitting in our cabins while the ship was cleaned, but not a memorable outing. There was a misunderstanding about lunch being included, although I could see there was no time for it, or need to include it. (That's because the ship had lunch from 1-5 for new passenger arrivals. Everyone on the tour got a $50 credit back to their account, although I would not have filed a complaint.) Because the Windstar Star Legend is only 440' long, (212 passenger capacity) it is sometimes able to use a better port location than larger ships. This was our first time (of 8 cruises) on Windstar when the Voyage Leader's "Port Talks" specifically and very usefully addressed the needs of INDEPENDENT travelers in each port. OTOH, the long distances between some of the cities on our dual (i.e. two ten-night back-to-back cruises) cruise created a lot of at-sea-days, and a lot of immigration formalities. I can't blame Windstar, because we knew the itinerary before we paid for it. The ship averaged 12 knots on the long runs, so they weren't taking it easy. One of our ports had to be changed after Embarcation (Incheon, Korea replacing Quingdao, China) because of Chinese decisions about a shipping concept I had never heard of, "cabotage." We bought this pair of cruises on a substantial, Windstar-promoted discount. Some possibly useful Windstar ANY CRUISE tidbits: 1. If your cruise has an overnight in a port, there could be either a special dinner (i.e. the elaborate Deck Barbecue), or you might have the option, rather than eating in the indoor restaurant, to make a limited reservation for "Dinner Under The Stars." In a special port with a skyline like Shanghai, or an 8 PM laser light show like Hong Kong, that might even be your choice, over a local shore Michelin place. The electric votive lights don't illuminate the outdoor food very well, so you might bring a folding book light to dinner! 2. The alternate normal dinner-dining option is mostly outdoors but under well-lit cover, in the breakfast restaurant (The Veranda), weather permitting. It's called "Candles", and has a grill or steakhouse focus. It's much smaller than the Deck 3 indoor, open-seating, "European" Amphora dinner restaurant, and requires a reservation. Some guests really liked the difference, but we didn't find it very special at all. The Amphora maitre d' asks couples if they want to share a table or have a private 2-top. 3. Exceptionally, Amphora was opened for two lunches on sea days that were expected to be very cold or rainy. Normally, the fresh-air, railing deuces in the outdoor part of Veranda are the most popular breakfast and lunch seats. 4. P.O.S.H.: Our phone bank sales rep suggested that we select a starboard side cabin because our cruise sailed primarily southwards. But because our sea travels were typically 50 miles offshore, we saw nothing until approaching a port. Perhaps a trip south from Amalfi to Sorrento is a different matter! Furthermore, the fact that our "Balcony Room" window (with floor to ceiling glass french doors) faced the pier :-( in the STUNNING-skyline tie-ups of Shanghai and Hong Kong, does not prove to me that you should choose a port side cabin for our destinations. In fact, we did have a (starboard) dead-on view of Mt. Fuji upon arising during the approach to Tamano/Uno Port, Japan. But the heavy harbor traffic we always saw does not make me confident that the harbor pilot would not jump on an opportunity to rotate the ship in preparation for departure. OTOH, both those lovely ports were a straight shot to tie-up forwards on the direction-of-travel side of the channel (i.e. starboard parallel parking.) 5. Look around for reviews of the cabin air conditioning if you're going on a Tropical cruise. We had two nights, in southern Japan and in Hong Kong when we felt our cabin (despite the thermostat on the wall ...) was too warm. 6. We hate days at sea, but a few 500-mile runs required them.(We only had sea days that we signed up for in the original itinerary.) One couple made the brilliant decision to fly to Beijing (at their own expense, of course) from Karatsu, Japan, in order to avoid the TWO upcoming sea days and to sleep three nights in Beijing. Note that because we were staying for the second cruise segment, we had no option to even set eyes on Beijing (3 land hours away) during the 8-5 Disembarkation/Embarkation day in Tianjin. I'm mystified by reviews saying there is nothing to do on sea days. I agree that there isn't a lot, and you can't make people participate, but I'd say there was some stereotypical boat activity every two hours. We enjoyed the galley tour and the okonomiyake demonstration, and also got in some quality gym time. 7. We had two nights with noticeably rough water, one due to a rainstorm, and another due more to the open sea on a two-day run. There was difficulty sleeping due to the bouncing, but there was not the smashing, yawing motion that makes me quickly feel ill. We both take Meclizine prophylactically. It was not the roughest passage we've ever had. But some other guests reported illness, and one guest fell at night (in the Compass Rose bar … ) and had to be hospitalized, I think.) No ports were changed. 8. EVERY port stop on these two cruises was tied up to a concrete pier. (We've had some annoyingly long tenders on some other Windstar trips.) Sometimes we saw a larger, more conventional cruise ship in another part of the same terminal. Several ports (not, "Windstar") provided an hourly or half-hourly shuttle bus to a midtown point. They only promised to carry ONE busfull. These cruises had a LOT of immigration sessions. They were often expedited, but still could call for extra-early rising, or a brief delay for independent visitors so the ship tours could get off. Several of our immigration processes left us with rubber-stamped color copies of our passports, with the actual passports held by the ship. 9. We learned that Star Legend will be drydocked soon for a month to replace the elderly diesel engines and, perhaps, alter the cabins. I'm filing two reviews, but am not repeating all this preliminary data in the post for the second cruise. Note that the marketing titles of the cruises are likely to change, as they refine and vary the itineraries in the future. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and we had been on 12 other WindStar cruises and had a good experience on all of them. This cruise was different. The food was horrible- repetitive, lacking fresh fruits and vegetables ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and we had been on 12 other WindStar cruises and had a good experience on all of them. This cruise was different. The food was horrible- repetitive, lacking fresh fruits and vegetables with a high concentration of carbs. For breakfast we had cold scrambled eggs and cold sausages with canned fruit. I even found a hair in my food. Even the desserts were boring - mousse and more mousse and bread pudding every day. The exact same lunch was served two days in a row. The salad bar consisted of the same boring ingredients every day. The service has gone downhill and the ship was very tired looking. After 10 Days only a couple of the wait staff knew our names and they certainly didn’t remember our preferences. The gym was a disgrace with only one properly functioning bicycle and several mornings no towels. The public carpeting was stained with ares of fraying. There were almost no activities on board. We had an extra sea day due to weather and the crew did nothing to fill the very long day. Everything is extra including a mandatory service charge All of this with an exorbitant price tag. On the plus side our cabin was spacious. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Recently back from this 14 night cruise via Phillipines, Borneo and Brunei. Overall a very good trip. This is our second cruise with Windstar, and they certainly run a quality operation. The whole crew are friendly and helpful, and ... Read More
Recently back from this 14 night cruise via Phillipines, Borneo and Brunei. Overall a very good trip. This is our second cruise with Windstar, and they certainly run a quality operation. The whole crew are friendly and helpful, and you are greeted by name within few days. Lovely cabins, we had a balcony suite, which was spacious, and well appointed, and it was lovely to be able to see the sea from our bed, or our bath! Our cabin was midships, which I would recommend. Some passengers at the lower front of the ship reported bad seasickness, and lots of noise, particularly on the first night which was rough. We found the food excellent, with plenty of choice and variety. The one thing lacking is decent evening atmosphere. Two singing duos were playing each night in two separate venues- one indoor and one on deck. Trouble is the older passengers go to bed early, so the smallish number of people looking for entertainment are spread between the two venues, which means both lack any real atmosphere. Not sure why you would want to be inside when you could be outside in the balmy weather - makes more sense to me to have one venue open at a time dependent on the weather. Compared to other small cruise lines, there was little opportunity to dance apart from at one of the deck bbqs which was very near the end of the cruise. Would have liked this opportunity sooner, as it made for a great atmosphere. The excursions are pretty pricey. We held back from the visit to a beach including lunch for $129 US each! You can usually organise your own excursion, or just take the tender, or shuttle bus into the town and have a mosey round yourself. The Philippines are pretty new to the cruise circuit, we did not see any other cruise ships after the first couple of days. Bear in mind that this country is poor, and Manila in particular is pretty grim, but there are some lovely small islands, lagoons, and beaches too. Overall would recommend. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We spent 2 nights in Bangkok prior to departing on the cruise to adjust to the time zone. Getting a taxi to the ship was a challenge, since it was close to our hotel. The taxi drivers didn't want the fare. Our cabin was fine, ... Read More
We spent 2 nights in Bangkok prior to departing on the cruise to adjust to the time zone. Getting a taxi to the ship was a challenge, since it was close to our hotel. The taxi drivers didn't want the fare. Our cabin was fine, with a walk in closet and a tub. We spent 2 evenings at Candles on this trip and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The AmphorA dining room staff was wonderful the other evenings. If we did not find anything on the dessert menu appealing, at least there was always ice cream available. We were able to try lots of local food the chef would bring back from shopping trips at port. I would not do this itinerary this time of year again though due to weather. We hardly saw blue skies. The rain prevented the deck barbecue too. Rough seas made the sea days difficult. The ship does provide medicine, but it puts us to sleep. Our favorite activities were the ship's Hoi An excursion and the destination event beach day in Koh Kood, Thailand. Our day in Nha Trang was too short. We would have loved to have more time there. The rickshaw ride on our excursion was nerve wracking. In Hong Kong, we spent 3 more days exploring the city before returning home. Transit was easy with Octopus cards. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We lived in Asia for many years and thought a boat trip over Christmas and New Years would be fun, but Windstar were disappointing. There were positives: The Indonesian crew and Filipino are delightful, albeit not as well trained as can ... Read More
We lived in Asia for many years and thought a boat trip over Christmas and New Years would be fun, but Windstar were disappointing. There were positives: The Indonesian crew and Filipino are delightful, albeit not as well trained as can be. But the people are so nice it mostly makes up for the poor management. Food is good, not great. The boat itself is stylish and comfy, with great suites of good size and with good bathrooms, even a bath. But entertainment is a total bust. There were two duos performing nightly. Neither selected music to match the audience and repartee was zero. Even on New Year's Eve they couldn't manage good dancing music. My spotify collection would have been much better received. Besides the duos, absolutely zilch! Enrichment? Only decorative towel folding....good grief. Nada!! Nothing whatsoever to do on sea days. Nothing planned, nothing offered. On Christmas we went to promised carols on deck, but no one showed up. When we called to find out where it was, they said we had the wrong day...on Christmas! Absolutely nothing else planned or done....pitiful! Ports were as expected but we didn't expect having to tender in to almost all ports using a single vessel to transfer all guests. Some waits approached one hour. So we thought we'd avail ourselves of the much advertised water sports, which were advertised as free sailing boats, kayaks and paddleboards. They only opened this twice for 4 hours on the entire 14 day passage and would not bring out the sailboats. Why not? "Sometimes people can't come back and we have to bring them back." When management was asked why did they advertise something not offered, they just shrugged. So no more Windstar for us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
We just got off the Star Pride recently after a wonderful 10-day cruise of SE Asia. The ship looks great...all internal spaces are beautiful, pool and jacuzzis are clean, food is great, and the crew is phenomenal. All the negative reviews ... Read More
We just got off the Star Pride recently after a wonderful 10-day cruise of SE Asia. The ship looks great...all internal spaces are beautiful, pool and jacuzzis are clean, food is great, and the crew is phenomenal. All the negative reviews from mid-2014 no longer apply as things have either been fixed or replaced. I was in cabin 110 and very pleased with its location on the vessel. I enjoyed waking up early, going up to level 8 to the Yacht Club for a cappuccino, smoothie, and pastries, then over-indulging even more with a full breakfast in the Verandah. As mentioned in other forums, the cabin decor is dated but the overall look has been refreshed and the walk-in closet, dual sinks, and an array of lighting options make it comfortable and completely functional. Note: if you have a bedside appliance (CPAP, etc.), bring a 10-foot extension cord with you as the closest outlet is across the room by the vanity. The SE Asia itinerary was very diverse with long port calls. The weather was hot and humid as expected, but very little rain. Unfortunately, due to low sales levels, Windstar will not be returning to SE Asia in 2016. We were spoiled on this cruise as the ship was less than half-full and there were more crew than passengers. You can imagine the attention we received from the crew…..truly remarkable. If you use the swimming pool you will want to sail on the Star Pride soon as they plan to remove it at the next dry dock, and extend the seating area for the Verandah restaurant. In the meantime, they open the Amphora dining room for breakfast and lunch on full cruises to accommodate everyone. This wasn’t necessary on our cruise. We definitely plan to book more Windstar cruises in the future. Thanks to all for a memorable voyage. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
We cruise often on Seabourn, and other lines) but wanted a port intensive cruise of Vietnam and liked the 10 day itinerary of Hong Kong to Saigon. We had been on the Pride twice before under Seabourn and liked the ship so chose it for our ... Read More
We cruise often on Seabourn, and other lines) but wanted a port intensive cruise of Vietnam and liked the 10 day itinerary of Hong Kong to Saigon. We had been on the Pride twice before under Seabourn and liked the ship so chose it for our first Windstar cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and the Windstar experience. The food compared to Seabourn, the staff were responsive and cordial and the informal dress code was much to our liking. Two areas of concern, the outside maintenance of the ship is lacking. We never saw anyone with a paint brush although rust spots permeate the ship. ( This never happened under Seabourn). Also, the cabin housekeeping staff seemed very stretched and we would go away for several hours but our room still wasn't made up. This despite the ship being only 75% full. Another annoyance was the dining room never was open for lunch and the Verandah became very crowded as the only venue, especially on sea days. We heard from crew the itinerary was not very popular and will not be offered in 2016. Glad we did it this year. It's a much better itinerary than the traditional Singapore to Hong Kong route and the small ship is able to dock downtown in several ports, including Saigon. We took several ship's tours and they were well organized and reasonable value. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. In Hong Kong, our taxi dropped us at the gangway with no apparent port security. We definitely would do another Windstar cruise and look forward to their planned " better" renovations of the two new ships joining the fleet from Seabourn this Spring. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our first voyage with Windstar and first on the Pride since it came over from Seabourn. This was our sixth cruise, having done Seabourn, Azamara, Celebrity, and Crystal before. The route was Singapore-Saigon-Nha Trang-Qui ... Read More
This was our first voyage with Windstar and first on the Pride since it came over from Seabourn. This was our sixth cruise, having done Seabourn, Azamara, Celebrity, and Crystal before. The route was Singapore-Saigon-Nha Trang-Qui Nhon-Danang-Hanoi-Halong Bay-Hong Kong. Our priority was seeing Vietnam, and the ship's condition was of secondary importance to us. We kept our expectations in check upon boarding per the prior reviews of the ship. So, we ended up having an enjoyable journey and overall experience in Vietnam. Things to note: - The ship was only half full, so we had lots of room and lots of attention from staff, who were exceptional. -This was a holiday voyage, so crew made very nice Christmas and New Years Eve celebrations, in addition to a wonderful on-shore event in Hoi An. -I would call this a voyage or sea journey, rather than a cruise, since it was full of adventure and it was certainly not a relaxing vacation! -Embarkation was excellent (good for first impressions!). Singapore main cruise terminal is crazy busy and once we found where to drop our luggage and make our way upstairs to Windstar greeters, we were whisked ahead of all other cruise ship passengers on the larger ships right to our ship. Check in was seamless and were shown to our suite in minutes. - This ship is tired, as others have mentioned but not any worse than some other older ships we have been on. We did have a problem with our suite - the tempered glass that sits below the french balcony railing shattered, so we were moved to another suite so that they could do repairs at the next port. Our new suite had some uneven flooring under the carpet, but otherwise was fine. - We had very heavy seas for several days in the South China Sea, with the worse a Force 7+ wind for one night. Most of us were a bit seasick or woozy for for several days at the beginning of the voyage. But the second half of the voyage was much more pleasant. Most of us had thought we would have several sea days lounging in the sun in our swimsuits, but that was not the case! I think I saw the tiny swimming pool used once and the jacuzzis used a few times only. -This was the maiden voyage of the Pride along this route, so the captain and officers had their work cut out for them dealing with Vietnamese port authorities, language limitations (no one on board spoke Vietnamese), and the heavy seas. But it all made for an interesting adventure! -We took some time to adjust to the laid-back philosophy of Windstar and its crew. No stiff/formal presence as on the finest ships, such as Crystal. We ended up very much liking the casual atmosphere for a change which I think suited this Asian destination. -We arranged independently for private guides ahead of time in Saigon, Danang, and Hanoi so that we could get the most out of our visits there. (We arranged through Toursbylocals.com and used Chau Le in Saigon, Thuan Pham in Danang, and Leon Le in Hanoi - all were excellent and we highly recommend them!) We did a Windstar shore excursion in Qui Nhon to visit the Cham Towers which was good but we could not understand our guide very well. We also did a Windstar shore excursion in Halong Bay, kayaking from a local boat with lunch included - very fun activity with other shipboard guests and the guide was very good. -We thought the food onboard was very good and appreciated there wasn't a ton of food always available - jut the right amount and dining times were limited which we thought was a good thing! Candles, the private dining venue, is not very atmospheric if you have to sit in the inside portion due to weather. Outside seating is much better. -The watersports platform and equipment was not used at all during the trip. I had thought they would use it in Nha Trang and Qui Nhon, but both those ports we were due to dock, not anchor off. There was a possibility they would open it while in Halong Bay, but it was obvious where we were anchored just off Halong Bay town, that it was a heavy ship and boat traffic area and not conducive to using water sports equipment. -There was a very good mix of ages, nationalities (17), and backgrounds of guests onboard. It was really easy to get to know many people since there were only 92 of us! - For pre and post voyage hotels, we used Fairmont in Singapore and InterContinental in HK. Both were great. The Fairmont is in the heart of the city and across the street from Raffles. The Hop On-Hop Off bus was a great way to get your bearings in the city. The InterCon in HK (Kowloon) has the best location on the waterfront to see the nightly Sound and Light Show. There is however major construction going on on both sides of the InterCon, but if you aren't using the pool area, you are pretty insulated from the noise and intrusion. - We would definitely go with Windstar again if the destination suits the style of this cruise line. i.e. - if we are going someplace laid back (islands etc) or developing world. It is good value for the money. We had originally booked a holiday cruise on the Crystal for similar dates, but they completely changed their itinerary. We found out from friends on board Crystal that they ended up only going into Saigon and completely bypassing the rest of the coast, going direct to Hong Kong! And they paid triple the fare of the Windstar!   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
Windstar knows how to treat their guests. From the transfer from the aiport to the transfer to our hotel, it was smooth sailing. The cabin was what we expected for an A category. It was well laid out, upscale and very comfortable. ... Read More
Windstar knows how to treat their guests. From the transfer from the aiport to the transfer to our hotel, it was smooth sailing. The cabin was what we expected for an A category. It was well laid out, upscale and very comfortable. There was plenty of closet/storage space. The restaurant/food choices were excellent at all meals. We particularly enjoyed the varied menu each evening in the main dining room. There was never a line for anything. There was always an available cushioned lounge chair. It was the most unhurried, pampered cruising we have done. We took advantage of the $99.00 unlimited laundry (which we read about before we arrived) and were able to pack half of what we normally would have. It left plenty of room for purchases and no worries about additional baggage fees. We only took one shore excursion and the guide was of the highest quality. The ports we visited from Athens to Istanbul were outstanding. We took advantage of checking out one of the complimentary Ipods and emjoyed the musical selections on the speakers that were also provided. Although it was only available at two ports, due to port regulations, we enjoyed the availability of the water sports platform. This is a truly unique attraction for a cruise. I would highly recommend the Windsurf to couples and families with older children. I look forward to cruising with them again in the not too distant future. Read Less
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