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Sail Date: March 2019
We travel with a group from local travel agency. We had 20 in our group and this was my first time on Windstar. I love the smaller ship. The cabins were spacious and the biggest of any cruise line. There was a walk in closet and large ... Read More
We travel with a group from local travel agency. We had 20 in our group and this was my first time on Windstar. I love the smaller ship. The cabins were spacious and the biggest of any cruise line. There was a walk in closet and large bathroom. Our cabin was clean and well stocked the entire cruise. Our group mostly hung out at the Star Bar during the afternoon. The pool was small and did not really have a spot to all meet up. Sevice at the bars on board was friendly and great at getting items for our group when possible. (Coors Light and Baileys). I enjoyed the Dining room meals and was happy with service, offerings and taste. Some of travelers in our group were not as impressed. We ate at Candles one night and was very impressed. Great food and loved the outside dining experience. The entertainment was a bit slow for our lively group. Enjoyed the one night we spent dancing. Steve did a great Elton John show. We would have liked more dancing upbeat music. There was a small casino open most nights for a few hours. All ports were nice and most days had to tender to shore.There were excursions offered but we did our own thing at each stop. We found the embarkation and disembarkation an easy process without any issues. We were also happy we took the drink package. Overall it was a great time with our group. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our first experience on the Breeze since the change of ownership  from Seabourn to  Windstar.  We were catching another ship in Europe for a cruise in the Mediterranean for a month so we decided to do the two week Windstar ... Read More
This was our first experience on the Breeze since the change of ownership  from Seabourn to  Windstar.  We were catching another ship in Europe for a cruise in the Mediterranean for a month so we decided to do the two week Windstar crossing from Barbados to Lisbon rather than fly.  Having read other reviews, we were pleased to discover the ship was not carrying a contingent of workmen contracted to do maintenance work that would interfere with our enjoyment of the cruise. Comparing the different Windstar ships is  like comparing different champagnes.  Each experience is delightful and different.  The unifying overall enjoyment originates from  the hard working and faithful Windstar officers and crew who make every effort to call you by your name and remember little things from how many towels you want in your bathroom to your personal beverage preferences in the diningrooms. Our suite was mid ship on deck 5 and steps away from the circular stairway and the elevator.  We found ourselves spending more time relaxing in our beautiful, spacious suite than on any other cruise.  Our cabin steward provided the highest, most personalized service we have ever experienced on any cruiseline.   She not only kept our suite spotless, she capitalized on our appreciation for creative towel animals.  For fourteen nights she created different amazing animals or humorous creations;many of them were so unique, she became well known throughout the ship because of the photos we shared with other passengers. The quality and variety of food was the best yet of any Windstar ship, including the freshness and taste of the croissants, rolls and breads. The only disappointment was the ship itself which is in need of some major maintenance.   Hopefully many of the things listed below will be corrected when the Breeze goes into dry dock next week. 1.We saw a number of cloudy Thermo Pane windows with broken seals in the  Yacht Club that need replacement. Similarly the aft window frames in the Compass Rose lounge have been  shoddily repaired. 2. Large sections of teak deck on  decks  7 and 8 need major repair/replacement. 3. The swimming pool heater and the broken electronic control panel for the pool swimming jets need repair/replacement. The pool heater was broken for several days making they pool unusable and the Jets never worked at all the entire cruise.  Others aboard ship who boarded the week before us had already complained about the jets .    4. Rusty areas were visible around many windows. As far as the daily schedule, we would have enjoyed having more than just one lecturer to listen to aboard  during the two week crossing since there weren't a many activities offered. We took advantage of the discount for booking a further cruise on board. Although we are had a great cruise,  we both decided that for ocean crossings especially we prefer the Surf for several reasons: the ship is an additional 100 feet longer and with the sails up and lower center of gravity, there is less ship motion; we prefer the location and open design of the veranda on the Surf as well as the amount of open deck space for lounging and waking ; we prefer the location and adjacencies of the public lounges and diningrooms; there Surf offers a much more extensive fitness center, especially elliptical machines. The Breeze only has treadmill machines. Windstar remains our favorite cruise line by far.  We are fond of many crew we have repeatedly sailed with over the decades.  We think the Anschutz Corporation, owners of Windstar, have the right vision and commitment to maintain and improve this amazing fleet of small vessels. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We have just spent 2 weeks sailing from Barbados and with out any debate this was the best cruise-boat /crew we have ever been part of, we both don't think we can ever go back to the mega ships we have been on before. Embarkation ... Read More
We have just spent 2 weeks sailing from Barbados and with out any debate this was the best cruise-boat /crew we have ever been part of, we both don't think we can ever go back to the mega ships we have been on before. Embarkation was right on time and we were shown to our cabin(503)after passing the SPA & drinks package guys (which is a no brainer if you intend to have a few) We did several land excursions and while some were not for us they were exactly as described and james did a great job- he doubles as the cruise director and i must say gives it 110%every day even meeting us at 5 am on the day we left- good job mate again. The fact we were in BS503 allowed us to dine where ever and when we wanted even when busy and the guys always made that happen- first class service again Merrick and ipund and all their band off cooks and wait staff (seem to all work 23 hours a day) The laundry worked well always back by 5 ish in the afternoon - The veranda (lunch and doubles as candles at night)guys just awesome nothing was ever a problem great food good variety. There are signs of wear and tear around the boat highlighting its not new but really nowhere in the safety aspect and we not worried by a few worn carpets. Most nights we sailed the music belted out the "1492 conquest of paradise" as they unfolded the sails great display and begins the nightly party! we found the band every night at the compass bar was great - many headaches created there. This boat uses its tenders quite a bit for the small ports/islands it visits and we had a almost a drama one day but the crew of lifeboat 6 acted instantly with out hesitation and boosted my wife back to the windsurf ! in very tough conditions-again great job done by all these crew guys.- the effort put in to take everything to the beach for a great BBQ is amazing-and then bring it all back! The only downer is the WIFI - slow and expensive -fix this and you truly have it all. all in all one of the best 2 weeks we have spent ever! Windsurf - we'll be back! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We recently took the the new concept cruise “back to back” (14 days) with Windstar Cruises on the Wind Surf. It appears that this will be successful for Windstar Cruises because over half the passengers stayed on for two weeks. After ... Read More
We recently took the the new concept cruise “back to back” (14 days) with Windstar Cruises on the Wind Surf. It appears that this will be successful for Windstar Cruises because over half the passengers stayed on for two weeks. After flying long distances it is great to be able to stay for an extended time. It felt like time was much slower. This cruise was perfect for us in every way. This was our 22 cruise with Windstar Cruises we are obviously fans. Having said that I have to state that she , Wind Surf, is a beautiful “old lady”, high maintenance yes but absolutely beautifully maintained. Her interiors are modern, bright and cheery,immaculate in every way. Because she is a motor sailing ship there is a tremendous amout of outside space to enjoy the ship. Both weeks she was neary full at at no time did we feel there were 300 people onboard. There was always space to find sun and shade, space for privacy, your very own nook, and space to meet friendly people and have a refreshing rum punch. She was fitted with new sails so the sail aways were great with bright white new sails being unfurled as we listened to the signature music. For this cruise I have to say that of all the cruises we have been on with Windstar the food and dining was the best. I know food, the science behind it, how it is prepared, adventurous eaters, etc. Every evening we were WOWed by the dinners in the Amphora, Candles and Stella Bistro. Stella was authentic French, Candles under stars, dreamy romantic, Amphora simply lovely, and in all restaurants all meats were perfectly prepared, the fish was never dry and my favorite the lobster bisque the real thing! The Veranda for lunch great salads and if you are late for lunch the sandwiches in the Yacht Club fantastic. Afternoon tea terrific little finger sandwiches and scones with real clotted crean. Breakfast, not my meal, good fresh fruit, eggs made to order, excellent granola and freshly squeezed orange juice. In all past cruises we really never ate the bread because that is where I am a complete food snob but whoever the baker was the breads were fantastic especially the Italian bread sticks, perfect. The breads were never soggy from the saltly, humid, sea air. I know that food is very subjective but this was our take. Service perfect as usual, always above and beyond. Captain Hogan ran a happy ship. James, the nightly host and excursions manager, from Scotland, was absolutely terrific. His nightly talks were informative but full of great humor. He was so enjoyable. Housekeeping perfect from our cabins, public rooms and bathrooms, restaurants etc. For having to really revamp and move the cruise due to the hurricane Windstar did a great job. A mixture of culturally interesting, great beaches and beautiful scenery. We could not get into Monserrat due to 7-10 foot sea swells so instead we went into Antiqua, not too shabby! Our sail by the Pitons of St. Lucia was extraordinary not only the landscapes but the many sailboats and a clipper ship in full sail all sailing in front of the Pitons showing the reflections of their shadows. It seemed every afternoon around 4 we had a rain shower followed by a rainbow and then followed by red sunsets. Magical Great cruise, looking forward to our next. For good reason we are happy customers. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
With winter wearing us down we felt it was time to book another cruise to soak up some sun and heat. We ended up choosing Windstar because 1) It wasn't departing out of the cruise ports we'd done many times before (Miami, Ft. ... Read More
With winter wearing us down we felt it was time to book another cruise to soak up some sun and heat. We ended up choosing Windstar because 1) It wasn't departing out of the cruise ports we'd done many times before (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, etc.) and 2) the ports were not, with the exception of Castries, places we had been to before. Yeah, basically we wanted to try something different in the Caribbean! We ended up flying in the day before to Bridgetown, Barbados. I'm not a fan of flying in the same day as the cruise especially during winter storm months as the likelihood of delays is high and who wants to miss at least one day of cruising because of flight delays! It's also a great way to get in a day of exploring at the homeport. And were we ever glad to go in the day before! It seems like all the major airlines arrive at the airport at about the same time, resulting in very long immigration lines. In fact, a number of people arrived on the ship on departure day during the lifeboat drill due to the length of time it took to clear customs. We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard in the Garrison area of Bridgetown - chosen entirely because I could get the room on Marriott Rewards points. The hotel was clean, staff were friendly, and, although not on the beach, beach access was directly across the street from the hotel. There are a number of dining options near the Marriott. We ended up walking along the beach boardwalk and had dinner at Tapas - a wonderful restaurant on the beach about a ten minute walk from the hotel. The following day, prior to packing up and heading to the port, we spent a couple of hours on the beach. All beaches in Barbados are public. We expected to have beach vendors offer to sell us trinkets but in all the time we had only one vendor approach us. Around 1 pm (we had a late checkout) we packed up and grabbed a taxi to the port. Hint: ALWAYS confirm the price with the driver before getting in. In fact, ask the hotel what the rate is. They have the official rate cards and can tell you what you should be paying. The port was a bit of a nightmare. There were a number of ships berthed that day, including the P&O Azura (a really big ship!). We got about 300 yards from the security checkpoint and then stopped...and waited...and waited. And finally got out and walked through the checkpoint and on to the Windstar check in area. This was the initial check in only, where they collect your bags and have you fill out the standard health questionnaire. After you drop your bags off, you wander around trying to figure out how to get to the ship! There was no signage and little guidance until we found someone in a Windstar shirt who was able to point us to a shuttle bus to take us to the ship. Getting on the ship we experienced what was the first hint of the outstanding crew that the Windstar has. Climbing up the gangway we were greeted Jeffery, the Hotel Manager, and Belinda, the captain. One of the benefits of the small ship experience is that you get to know the crew and they get to know you. Checking in left a lot to be desired. After the greeting, cold towels, and drink, we were directed to the lounge for registration -- where it was a general mass of people standing around waiting to get to the registration desk. It might be a minor quibble but having a some sort of line would have made things a lot smoother! From there you are escorted to your cabin. While this was easily the smallest cabin we've had in some time it was also the best laid out cabin we have ever had. More storage than we could ever need...and a surprisingly large bathroom! Speaking of the bathroom, it was stocked with L'Occitane brand of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap, etc. On to the ship... It's small. 70 cabins in total, all but one the same size. No balconies. There is a lounge and the Amphora restaurant on Deck 3. The casino (about 8 slot machines and two gaming tables) is attached to the lounge. There is a small but well equipped spa located on Deck 3 as well. Deck 4 has a bar, tiny pool and hot tub, and a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch. There are plenty of deckchairs fore and aft to enjoy the weather. The interior of the ship is very well maintained. For a ship built in 1986 the interior looks fantastic. The exterior was in good shape as well but you could see where it could use a coat of paint (some rust) and there were some nasty dents in the side of the ship. Eating... You could have room service delivered 24 hours a day with no fee (unlike some of the big ships). Selection was quite good. Although we didn't try it, you could have dinner items delivered from the restaurant during the dinner items. We did order in the fresh popcorn a few times while watching a movie (the ship has a large selection of DVDs that you can check out to watch). Breakfast was served upstairs on Deck 4, and consisted of a hot and cold buffet, an omelette station, and a la carte items that you could order. This was probably the weakest in terms of service. We found that ordering from the omelette station was hit and miss - hot dishes made quickly about half the time; other times dishes took 20 minutes to get and were cold or incorrect. Lunch was also served in the same restaurant with a similar format: hot and cold buffet, a hot dish station, and a limited (burgers, hot dogs, sausages, and one entree) a la carte menu. Dinner was typically offered after the daily port talk session and consisted of appetizers, soups, mains, and desserts. All were prepared to order; unfortunately, this caused problems when everyone stampeded to dinner after the port talk! The kitchen clearly got overloaded and significant delays in getting food occurred a couple of nights. However, the food quality was quite good - think as good if not better than the Blu restaurant on Celebrity. One night of the cruise Windstar has a deck barbecue. This was very good with excellent food (paella, steak, shrimp, ribs, chicken, fish, lobster) and local music. One of the highlights of the cruise! Entertainment There really isn't any. They have a duo playing pop song covers every evening in the lounge. On the one sea day trivia games, kitchen tours, and the like are offered. And there's the DVD library and in room TV movies to watch. Ports and Shore Excursions The ports are where Windstar either excelled or failed...badly. Being a small ship Windstar can get into ports that most other ships can't. But when going into the larger ports Windstar seems to end up with some horrible berths. We were supposed to go to Pigeon Island but, for 'operational' reasons we ended up at Castries on a Sunday. The city is essentially closed down on Sundays and we were berthed in an industrial area. Having not booked an excursion there was very little for us to do. Our next port was St. George, Grenada. Again, Windstar was relegated to a commercial area of the port far away from the city and the spice market. It's the small ports where Windstar shines. We went to Tobago Cays, Moreau, and Bequia. Wonderful ports with beautiful beaches and very few people around! The excursions offered by Windstar were geared primarily towards snorkeling and scuba diving. Since we aren't into that we did not have a lot of choice for excursions and ended up doing only one - a Barbados tour and airport transfer on departure day. The Service... Windstar really shines here. The crew are friendly, approachable, and really want you to have a good time. The one issue we had was acted upon promptly. In fact, many of the crew members addressed us by name within two days of the cruise. It was the crew service that took this cruise from an 'Average' rating to a 'Very Good' rating. In Summary... There are a few things that really stand out with Windstar: 1. Special events - the deck BBQ and the Moreau beach BBQ were outstanding. 2. The sailing experience - we were able to go to areas of the ship (open bridge, bowsprit) that are typically off limits. We were shuttled to the smaller ports on Zodiacs (you aren't getting that on a larger ship!). 3. The small ports - going places we wouldn't get to otherwise 4. The Crew. Outstanding. There were a few things we didn't like: 1. The big ports - Windstar seems to get shunted to the less desirable areas due to its size. 2. Entertainment - there really is none. 3. Shore Excursions - mostly geared to the scuba and snorkel enthusiasts. Would We Go On Windstar Again? The jury is out on this one. We both wanted to try the small ship experience and found that the lack of entertainment really detracted from our enjoyment. Additionally, we found the limited selection of excursions (a small ship really can't support a wide variety) detrimental for us. There really were none that we wanted to do. If you like snorkeling or scuba diving, Windstar's Caribbean itineraries are a great option. If you like to sit back and be entertained, Windstar probably isn't the cruise for you. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We sailed on the Windstar to the Caribbean, St George to St George, in early March 2017. The ship was lovely, the crew was very attentive and food was quite good. The advantage of cruising on a small ship like this is that visits to small ... Read More
We sailed on the Windstar to the Caribbean, St George to St George, in early March 2017. The ship was lovely, the crew was very attentive and food was quite good. The advantage of cruising on a small ship like this is that visits to small ports and hidden away places are possible and the itinerary was full of promise. While the first few days of this cruise confirmed this expectation, bad weather (high wind, strong seas) forced the cancellation of at least 50% of the itinerary. This was bad luck and no fault of anyone. The crew did a great job of keeping us safe. What was disappointing was that the cruise line did not offer one single bit of compensation. No complementary drinks, or services and no rebates or discounts on future trips. I would be hesitant about recommending this trip at this time of year. Our trip was dramatically restricted due to weather as were other sailing during this time. There were no foul weather plans or alternative itineraries so we spent most of the time cruising at sea often under adverse weather conditions. Overall it was a disappointing experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2017
After our experience with UNPROFESSIONAL and uncharming service in The House Hotel in Barbados we enjoyed the so well trained and friendly service of the windstar crew!!!!!- just perfect! The cabin was well kept and clean. Breakfast, ... Read More
After our experience with UNPROFESSIONAL and uncharming service in The House Hotel in Barbados we enjoyed the so well trained and friendly service of the windstar crew!!!!!- just perfect! The cabin was well kept and clean. Breakfast, lunch or dinner were always phantastic and it´s great to have breakfast or lunch or dinner sitting outside in the deckchairs on the veranda while You watch the sea. The captain - Melinda ist charming and knows her job as do the other members of the crew. We can´t say much about the entertainment or the off shore tours because we had been on a private cruise. It was a wonderful first experience even we had often rain and the sea was quite rocky for february, but I do hope that we will sail again with the Windstar and Melinda in the Mediterranean or Sweden and Norway or the baltic!!! Thank You all! Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We loved our week on the Star Legend and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in a relaxing, low key cruise. Super friendly staff and great food morning, noon and night. Most passengers were North American. The age profile was ... Read More
We loved our week on the Star Legend and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in a relaxing, low key cruise. Super friendly staff and great food morning, noon and night. Most passengers were North American. The age profile was mainly over 50s with a lot of couples aged 60 plus. We were told this was a typical profile for passengers on the ship. There were no children aboard; just as well as there are zero facilities for them on board. The entertainment was low key with two sets of duos performing in different parts of the ship in the evenings plus several crew based fun evening events. Most guests were in bed by 22:00. The ship holds a maximum of 212 passengers and is usually 95% full we were told. With a crew of over 150 there is plenty of personal service. All the accommodation was suites and our mid-priced room was certainly the biggest we've ever had on a cruise with a large picture window, walk in wardrobe and large bathroom with a bath as well as a shower. Higher rated suites had French balconies on higher decks. There was a fridge in the suite pre-stocked with free soft drinks and pay-for alcoholic drinks but also with plenty of room for some of your own purchases. Although fully refurbished the Star Legend is an old vessel so there is the constant thrum of the engines and generators although this soon melds into the background. So why just 4 stars? Because of the high costs of 'add ons' on board (see TIPS below) TOP TIPS & OTHER INFO. * You can officially take two bottles of wine on board although this is supposed to be drunk in your cabin. There was however, no check on how much you brought on board. Several guests regularly took their own glasses of their own wine into the evening briefings or dinner. * For several of the remote beaches visited we took a small, soft cooler bag ashore with ice from the ship and drinks bought from local stores. * Several features weren't fully explained in the arrivals briefing although they are covered is some of the cabin information. For example, a light breakfast menu and hot drinks is available from 06:00 each day in the ship's Yacht Club. * There is a free raffle for discount vouchers in the ship's spa but you must attend the short introduction in the gym to stand a chance of winning. For our presentation, there was about a 1 in 10 chance of winning – we won a $50 discount voucher although this failed to cover little more than a portion of the high treatment costs. * Anyone with mobility problems will have considerable difficulty boarding or leaving the ship’s tenders which was the only way of getting on and off the ship during our week on board after we sailed. Access was down several stair cases and, an often, precarious step on to the tender and then again down steps into the tender. * Snorkels and googles are available for free each time you go ashore from the activities deck area at the rear of the vessel where you get on the tender. * We felt that all the optional ‘add ons’ available on board were expensive. $109 US for the laundry package (although you could also get individual items done); $250 for unlimited, but slow, wifi; (most stops had local cafés with free wifi). * All on-board purchases and services had a 15% service charge added. * There is a $12 service charge per passenger per day added to your final bill. This is distributed amongst all staff. Individual gratuities over and above this as optional. Amongst several of our fellow travellers this seemed to be $20 for favoured ‘wait’ staff and $30 for the state room attendant. * There was a wide variety of shore excursions. Doing the most expensive each day during our one week cruise would have cost over $800 US per person! We did several of the trips independently using local taxis or just walking around at less than half the price quoted on the ship. For most shore based activities independent trips can be arranged in advance via contact with local companies on the Internet. * The ship’s drinks package does not include bottles of wine, only wines by the glass. You would have to drink a LOT of alcohol to justify buying the package! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
So many positives on this cruise. The food was fantastic, the crew exceptional and the ship beautiful. I have cruised over 15 times and on this one I brought three other couples. We all agreed the cruise was top rate, The entertainment ... Read More
So many positives on this cruise. The food was fantastic, the crew exceptional and the ship beautiful. I have cruised over 15 times and on this one I brought three other couples. We all agreed the cruise was top rate, The entertainment on deck was perfect. Two issues. On our day we docked in Puerto Rico the boats pool and top deck were closed. The reason was unclear as some said normal maintanance and others said to prepare for an inspection. It was very hot so one day of our cruise was eliminated by these closures. We were forced into an itinerary. We went to the Bicardi Rum factory which was nice and the shop charged 95 dollars a person. When we arrived we saw the tour we took was 15 per person. A cab would have been a total of 20 This was disturbing. Otherwise an A plus cruise which I would strongly reccomend. One couple paid half what we paid as they booked late. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was our 3rd Windstar cruise - the other 2 being in Europe. We enjoy the small ship atmosphere and have been very pleased with the level of service and casual elegance of the Windstar experience. This ship was full with 144 passengers, ... Read More
This was our 3rd Windstar cruise - the other 2 being in Europe. We enjoy the small ship atmosphere and have been very pleased with the level of service and casual elegance of the Windstar experience. This ship was full with 144 passengers, I believe, and 99 crew. This cruise started in Barbados with a fast and easy embarkation and a sunset departure that brought most everyone up to the deck to enjoy the "signature sail away" music and raising of sails. Our cabin was 2nd deck mid-ship and was comfortable with a firm bed and lots of storage space. I must comment on the water pressure in the shower - wow - far better than I get at home! We had read that the first night going from Bridgetown to St. Lucia could be rocky and, indeed, you definitely knew you were on a boat that first night! Preparing ahead with Bonine, patch, or whatever, would probably always be a good preventative against the swells. The final night also featured some rocking and rolling, but we didn't hear any complaints, so perhaps everyone had their sea legs by then. Of particular note on this cruise was the incredibly friendly group of people aboard. Mostly American with a good number of Canadians, some Brits, French and others. While most of the passengers were couples, we found nearly everyone inviting others to join them for dinner and tables for 4 or 6 quite common. We were really pleased with this aspect of the cruise and don't know if it is always replicated on these Caribbean trips, but it worked for us! There were a few men traveling alone and one commented at the end of the trip about how welcoming and friendly everyone had been to him --- unlike many cruises he'd taken on other lines. I think the small size of the ship helps - you feel like you know everyone on the ship by the end of the week! Phillipe, the Voyage Leader, did a good job of introducing us to the various ports of call each evening prior and was exceedingly patient and good natured throughout the trip. His French accent was adorable and his dancing skills were put on display during the on-deck barbeque dance party - fun! Michael, the bar manager, Haley and Jesus, the entertainers, the ship's doctor, the reception staff - all were 100% upbeat and enthusiastic in their interactions with us. While we know that there is repetition to their jobs week after week with a new crowd of passengers, the staff really made you feel like they enjoyed their work and were having fun. Even the captain showed off his sense of humor and was a genial host on the bridge visits. Our cabin steward, "T" was a delight and was at the ready with a smile and greeting whenever we met and quickly responded whenever a request was made. A few towel animals found their way into our cabin, too. A real highlight on board was the on-deck barbeque. We were fortunate to have beautiful weather throughout the trip, so being on deck with an absolutely amazing spread of food, a steel drum band playing, and then line dancing after was just terrific. Haley did a good job of getting people up and dancing and the crew dances were fun to watch. It was a great evening! The diversity of the ports made this trip quite memorable. We did 3 excursions and were satisfied with each one. In St. Lucia, the Sights and Casteries tour took us through hill and dale and to the capital city - so we had a good look at the island. The guide was very good and while we could have done without the final stop at an arts and crafts shop, overall it was a good trip to get a look at the island. In Grenada, we did the glass bottom kayak tour. It was an interesting area to kayak and we were taken to the location of the underwater sculpture park. It was a bit difficult to see much through the bottom of the boat given the sea being a bit stirred up, but it was a worthwhile paddle if you like to kayak.The staff took photos of our group arriving and boarding the kayaks and sold a CD for $10 that also included underwater photos of the sculpture park.The snorkel excursion in Tobago Cay was aboard a large catamaran with about 30 people aboard. The boat had two stops - the first took us to a reef, and then we went to an area with sea turtles to see. Rough seas made the first stop a challenge for some of us (who were weaker swimmers), but the second stop was great and most everyone managed to see some turtles, which was awesome. And the rum punch served on the way back to the ship was fantastic! Remember to bring tip money for the guides - something easily forgotten when you're putting on bathing suits. Our favorite day was on the island of Mayreau at the "special event." The day was magnificent, there was nice snorkeling right off the beach, lunch was served under the shade of the palms, the water sports items were available to use from the beach, and there were shade cabanas set up with lounge chairs all the way down the beach. Paddle boarding is harder than it looks! There was a steep walk from the beach to the top of the island where the area behind the church offered amazing views of neighboring islands and reefs and that crystal clear blue and green water. If you're up for it, you can continue on that road to the other side of the island and Salt Whistle Bay, which has small beachfront restaurants and bars. Its a steep walk both ways, but Salt Whistle is lovely. That night we had our dinner at Candles on deck (deee-lish) and then went to the crew show, which was so much fun (don't miss it!). It was truly a perfect day. We did have 1 day at sea and the activities and demos during the day made the time fly. Some folks can sit and read all day and others cannot, so towel animals, fruit carving, trivia, galley tour and line dancing instruction were appreciated! Name that Tune in the evening was well attended and well managed by Hailey and Jesus. We almost won! The breakfast selections were varied and quite good in our experience. Plenty of fruit, hot items, and the best Muesli! We mostly had lunch on board and it was fine. Caesar salad was very good. Best part was discovered at the end of the trip - bread pudding - OMG - soooo good. Don't miss it. Dinner in the dining room offered a nice and varied selection. But the best dinners were enjoyed at the on-deck barbeque and at Candles. If you have the chance to take the galley tour, do it - it's amazing what they accomplish in such a small space. Overall, the food was well presented, tasted good, and the service was excellent. Disembarking was done reluctantly - we didn't want to leave. But, of course, it was efficiently handled in spite of 3 mega ships also in port. Our flight was 1pm, so we hired a taxi to take us up to Holetown and see a bit of the island that we didn't see on our one day ahead of the cruise. $80 got us a 1.5 hour tour plus trip to the airport, which seemed very fair.There are excursions available with airport transfer, but your flight had to be after 3:30pm. So, our thanks to the crew and fellow passengers for a wonderful week at sea and visits to new and interesting ports. This is an itinerary that the big ships cannot offer, take advantage of it! Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was our first small ship experience and we loved it. I was a little worried about not having a balcony but come to find out on a small ship it is just one flight of steps to sitting outside. The cabin had enough storage and space. ... Read More
This was our first small ship experience and we loved it. I was a little worried about not having a balcony but come to find out on a small ship it is just one flight of steps to sitting outside. The cabin had enough storage and space. The outdoor area is large with a bar and also set up in the morning for a continental breakfast. Very small pool and hot tub. The food and service was excellent and our Social Director (Felippe) was the best I have every seen. Everyone on the crew seemed genuinely happy and wanted us to have a great time. Other than Grenada we enjoyed all the ports or I should say harbors...we tendered into most of the small islands....one time we had to take the rubber boats into land...so if you have a mobility problem this could be difficult. Breakfast and lunch is buffet or order off the menu in a restaurant on the top level......dinner is down in the dinning room and is off a menu. You can also sign up to have dinner under the stars.........up on the deck - it was lovely. They also had a barbeque night up on the deck, most food I have ever seen and all of it was great, this was followed by line dancing with the crew. I think we will be hard press to go back to a big ship after such a great time on the smaller ship.......granted it was a little rocky on the first night due to a super moon but it calmed down after that. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was super fun! The ship is small, I think 190 or so passengers, and nearly a 1-1 ratio crew. It is wonderful, watching the anchor lift up, and then the music starting, as the beautiful sails slowly unfold, and we get underway. you ... Read More
This was super fun! The ship is small, I think 190 or so passengers, and nearly a 1-1 ratio crew. It is wonderful, watching the anchor lift up, and then the music starting, as the beautiful sails slowly unfold, and we get underway. you can’t really go wrong, with a friendly, helpful, cheerful crew, good food all day, and service, and the SEA! The magnificent, ever changing sea and sky! The fresh air, the sights, the tiny islands we visit… There are no elevators on this ship, but I was amazed at the fortitude with which some very elderly guests, went up and down the stairs several times a day, including one blind man. The guests were mixed, mostly couples, I’d say middle aged and a bit older perhaps, I’m sure it varies, with the sailing dates, as kids were back in school, when I went. I went solo, and had a great time - my only minor whine, was that after a large dinner, they had music and dancing in the lounge, and as a single, I found it awkward to dance. On a fabulous barbecue night, outside on the deck, the entertainment directors started us line dancing, so anyone could join in, and it was a blast. It’s great to have exercise, after a big meal. The pool is very small, and not heated, and it’s also, on the deck where the outside bar is, and which turns into the alternative dining spot “Candles”, in the evening, so no lovely night time swims in the moonlight are possible, which I usually adore, especially as I’m very pale, so I can swim without worrying about sunburn. The jacuzzi is there also. “Candles” has to be reserved, and each passenger is only allowed one night’s dining in Candles, unless they have room. They have a platform, which can be lowered, when we’re not sailing, or parked right in town, which is great fun. They provide you with snorkeling equipment, and all kinds of water sport goodies to enjoy. Luca was in charge of water sports, and very knowledgeable and helpful. The cabins are small, with no balcony, but charming, and old fashioned, and well designed. the beds are comfy, the rooms are clean, the showers hot, and there is a mini bar, plus TV with cable and DVD player. You’re allowed two bottle of wine per cabin I believe, to bring on board. Drinks are about $7.50 to $10.00 or more US. I didn’t buy any excursions, as I had already had to pay a single supplement, but they have tenders that take you to shore, and one can explore, or go to a beach and swim. This was only a 7 day cruise, so I just wanted to relax and have fun. Breakfast and lunch are at the “Verandah” Restaurant, with some, coveted seating outside. There is a small library, small spa, and the main dining room, which one does have to dress for a bit, and which is very nice. We did hit some swells, with the full moon, so the ship was gently (mostly gently), rocking us back and forth, but if you love the sea, you won’t care. Apparently the full moon often brings swells in the ocean. The islands we visited were beautiful, and the entertainment at night was pretty darn amusing. The singer was sweet, and had a beautiful voice, and Philipe, the head of Voyage something - was a hoot. Everyone had a great time, and everyone was sad and quiet the last night. It is just a great experience. I almost asked if they had any cabins available for the next sailing, so I could stay on another week! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
After a spectacular Windstar experience through the Panama Canal several years ago, we could not wait to do it again with our two younger sons - and this time - adding our oldest son and his wife. We planned a Christmas week cruise out of ... Read More
After a spectacular Windstar experience through the Panama Canal several years ago, we could not wait to do it again with our two younger sons - and this time - adding our oldest son and his wife. We planned a Christmas week cruise out of Barbados and talked it up for months. Our first indication that things would be different was the first night's sail away. This is Windstar's brand, their signature sail away. It's what makes the cruise so memorable and filled us with joy the last time. This time we got our drinks, met on deck, and grinned like crazy waiting to see the reaction of the oldest, his wife and new friends we had already made on the cruise. As the music hit the crescendo, the large sail didn't move. And that was it, our magical sail away hit that sour note every single night. Comments that first night and subsequent nights: "That's it?" After speaking to the crew, we found out it had been broken for at least two weeks. It remained broken through our entire cruise. We noted small things that added up as well. The back flag was frayed, there was rust around the pool, the pool and hot tub were often empty and closed for repairs, the back stairwell smelled like cat pee (very strongly), there was only one tender making excursions a long process, they chipped rust every day off the hull, the carpet was ripped in two places in our cabin, the AC was very warm (could never get it cool enough), and there was a loud, high pitched noise anytime the engine was running (the reply was yes we know and can't find it) - just to name a few things. Service saved the cruise for us, it was as good as the first time. For the price we paid for a small luxury cruise for 6 adults, we were very, very disappointed and will not cruise Windstar again. And we were so looking forward to experiencing their brand again - i just didn't come close to expectations. Other comments that week from returning guests: - They seem to be getting awfully close to cheapening their brand. - This feels like a small Carnival ship this time - This entertainment is so cheesy. Wasn't it much classier last time? - That's it again? (the sail every night) Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My wife and I did this cruise on Dec. 16-23. It is our second with the Windstar line and 14th overall. We picked this trip because of the given itinerary ( three days in the Grenadines) was new for us. Here is our observations: ... Read More
My wife and I did this cruise on Dec. 16-23. It is our second with the Windstar line and 14th overall. We picked this trip because of the given itinerary ( three days in the Grenadines) was new for us. Here is our observations: Embarkation: was very smooth and quick. The reps met us at the terminal and collected our luggage. Ten minutes later a bus took us to the ship and the paperwork took us only five minutes to process. Once your issued your sea pass, your room steward will escort you to your room and will point out where everything is at. Room: very comfortable, spacious. Had plenty of storage. Wife liked the built-in table/dinette area. Bathroom was well lit and organized. Dining: all the meals were great. Breakfast and lunch in the Veranda was varied. Each meal had a buffet area with fruit, meat and cereals. The hot station had eight different items to choose from and a menu with five to six choices. What was nice was it never felt crowded or rushed at either meal. Dinner was nice, open seating to meet new people each night and a great four course menu with five different entrée choices. Ship: it was very comfortable. Enjoyed sitting up by the pool or in the lounge. There were 129 passengers (out of a max of 148) for this trip and I never felt crowded at any time. Ports: if you a lover of beach time, this is the trip for you. Grand Anse beach in Grenada, Dover beach in Barbados, Tobago Cays and Mayreau beaches were ideal. The taxi ride in Bequia was fun for us to research a couple of resorts for future trips. Service: what made us give this review a five star was the crew. Hands down was the best we ever had in our thirteen years of cruising. The wait staff in the dining areas and the bar staff remembered we were drinking diet coke and ginger ale and would have glasses ready as we were sitting down. That is just one example of the outstanding service we experienced from everyone on board this ship. There are four members of the crew we would like to extend special cudos to: Azhar (Cabin Steward): While showing us the room, Azhar had mentioned the laundry service and showed us how to fill out the form correctly. He would then follow up with us each day to see if we had anything to have cleaned. When he showed us the mini bar, he asked what we liked to drink and immediately brought extra of the diet coke. Each day he would ask if there was anything we needed to make our stay more comfortable. Gretchan (Receptionist): She knew our names before we had even met her. She greeted us personally the first day on the way to breakfast. She made us a personalized Christmas card, which was very sweet. My husband would saran aid her when we went through the lobby and got her some Skittles for just being her. Phillipe (Cruise Director): when our excursion did not meet the required number of people, he went to the vendor and made it happen. This was crucial because this catamaran trip to the location has been on my bucket list for ten years and he made it happen. His enthusiasm at the port talks and at trivia was welcomed. Jeffrey (Executive Chef): on the first day we met up with Jeff and asked him if he ever did an excursion with guests when he went shopping in port. He said he had not but had no problem joining us for a trip to the Farmers Market in Grenada. He met us at reception and over the next two hours spent his time this us helping us pick out different spices. Whenever we saw him on the ship he would come and talk to us at length. Overall this cruise was a great success, Those who would like to try the small cruise experience will have a delightful time taking this ship on any itinerary. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Was an excellent itinerary. 9 nights from Barbados to Aruba. Enjoyed this ship experience very much; staff was absolutely the best EVER. Can only think of 2 negatives and they would not deter us from going back. 1) The ships ... Read More
Was an excellent itinerary. 9 nights from Barbados to Aruba. Enjoyed this ship experience very much; staff was absolutely the best EVER. Can only think of 2 negatives and they would not deter us from going back. 1) The ships entertainment left a little to be desired. From a quality standpoint. Perhaps due to it being a Holiday cruise (over Thanksgiving). Their limited amount of songs tended to repeat. 2) I think the ship could do a better job with the shore excursions; there were several hiccups on a couple stops. And I think everyone rolled with it well. But at this level you would expect a little better. That being said. this was perhaps the best food we have had at sea in over 20 years. The staff was absolutely fabulous and amazing in every way. The itinerary was something that you couldn't get on just any ship. And the feel of a small ship was so appreciated. Can't wait to go again...just need to check out new itineraries and dates.! 5 Stars. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
My husband picked this cruise called the Best of the ABC Islands as his retirement (as of October 31) cruise; we liked the itinerary as it was to return to some of our favorite ports in the Grenadines and the ABC islands. Only two ports ... Read More
My husband picked this cruise called the Best of the ABC Islands as his retirement (as of October 31) cruise; we liked the itinerary as it was to return to some of our favorite ports in the Grenadines and the ABC islands. Only two ports would be new to us - Tobago and Bonaire. We are avid snorkelers and all the ports featured snorkeling excursions except St. Lucia; we did snorkeling excursions in all but two of them: St. Lucia and Mayreau which did offer an excursion to three locations, but we elected to snorkel at the end of the beach there (there was a day-long beach BBQ event included). Embarkation for us was very simple as we had arrived 2-1/2 hours after it began due to the scheduling of our flights. There were only 139 guests out of 212 full capacity, so we missed lunch and the Shore Excursions Mgr. Gonzalo was about to give his presentation shortly after checking in, followed by the safety drill. The ship was formerly owned by Seabourn and we had done research about all aspects (including Cruise Critic reviews and YouTube videos) of the Star Pride. We found public rooms were well maintained and included two lounges, two bars, a complete spa and gym, counter-current swimming pool, two hot tubs (one near pool & one at bow on deck 5), the Yacht Club (for views, books, early morning continental breakfast or lunch sandwiches), library next to casino, and Signature Shop. Specialty coffee is complimentary at any venue. See Cabin review below for details of our stateroom. The ship also has a Sports Marina aft with non-motorized equipment for use when anchored. Snorkeling equipment is available complimentary for the entire cruise as well. Two tenders are also stored in this area. The main dining room AmphorA restaurant was open seating from 7-9 p.m. daily for dinner only. You can ask for whatever size table you desired and change the option nightly. Verandah which was aft on pool deck was used for Breakfast (7-9:30 am) and Lunch buffet daily (usually 12:30-2). There was indoor seating, but most guests ate on deck. There were always 4-5 options for special orders or you could help yourself - I never found any type of food to be missing, though the hot lunch buffet variety was lacking. Many ate fresh fruits and salads, and there were always several desserts of the cake/pastry variety and two frozen options (ice cream and sorbet) with toppings of all kinds available. Verandah is transformed into Candles at night for an upscale (think Specialty dining) experience out on deck which all guests are complimented once during the sailing; however, reservations are required due to limited space (book at embarkation). Service was always excellent at all dining venues. Activities - There were several events that were part of the planned activities which included a deck BBQ dinner in Grenada with local entertainment by the Angel Harps Orchestra Steel Drum Band after line dancing with Staff and Crew for a half-hour prior to sailing. Another event was the Beach BBQ lunch on Mayreau, Grenadines (smallest inhabited Grenadine island). This was placed midway through the itinerary and made for a relaxing day after several busy port days. We, however, decided to explore the steep hillside to get views of the surrounding islands (definitely worthwhile). There was another town, Saltwhistle Bay which we had visited on a previous stop, on the other side which some of the guests explored as well. A surprise came at our last port when after a full day in Curacao on Thanksgiving following our "Turkey dinner", we found that Willemstad had decorated for the holidays all day, and during our 9 pm sail away, the town was lit beautifully for our enjoyment. On the sea day, there were several tours and demonstrations one could attend such as towel animal folding demonstration, cooking demonstration with Chef Stany, galley tour with chocolate covered strawberries, cocktail demonstration, photography seminar, engine room tour, and an innovative Putt Putt Golf Tournament. A movie and Card, Wii, & Board games were also available. There is a small casino with a few one-arm bandits, and a blackjack table. Five of the nights in port, we sailed after 6 p.m. (between 8 and midnight) and arrived no later than 8 a.m., allowing ample time in port. Entertainment - There were two duos, D'Harmony from South Africa and Mistura Fina from Argentina playing every night at the two venues of the Star Bar and Compass Rose. They also were featured during other events such as the Captain's party. There was also a Crew talent show at the end of the cruise, in addition to the local Steel Drum Band mentioned above. Staff/Crew/Service - With such a small ship with few guests, it was very easy to get to know everyone. The crew learns your name within 24 hours and there is great comraderie among everyone. Some of the guest services staff, the photographer and occasionally an officer participated on shore excursions. The Captain, Alan MacAry of Scotland, was very approachable and we had several conversations with him and he posed for us (not in the formal dress whites) as well, even while on the bridge when tendering at small ports. There is a deck area in front of the bridge and guests did participate in viewing and photographing arrivals and departures from ports while simultaneously seeing what the Capt. and officers were viewing. The exception sometimes occurred when the port required docking. He also frequented the Star Bar for the entertainment in the evening with his Chief Engineer. Ports Pigeon Island, St. Lucia (anchored) - We had visited this island several times, but this time, we anchored at Pigeon Island where local water sports is in full view including parasailing and snubing (half snorkeling/half diving); on the way to the Rainforest Hike and River Pool excursion, we passed through Castries, the capital. Our only disappointment with the entire cruise was this excursion as we had taken another rain forest excursion 15 years ago and could compare them. This one was rated moderate to difficult, but the accompanying photos did not indicate the steepness of the hills, both up and down, nor the occasional steps being steep and with rotten wood. This was the end of the rainy season, and there had been quite a bit of rainfall, adding muddy conditions to the mix. We literally spent 90%+ of our time looking at our feet and determining where to step and therefore did not enjoy the tour. The guide was exceptional in helping everyone, but no-one could enjoy looking around at much, as there was little level ground (even when stopping to look). Our excursions manager did secure a partial refund for us. Bequia (anchored) - Although we had visited less than two years ago along with Grenada and other Grenadine islands, we only had 4 hours then and really only walked through the town in 2015. We elected to snorkel and made two stops (our ship's photographer and a guest relations staff member was along as well). The tour also involved boating around the island a bit. We spent the afternoon exploring more of the town and some stayed ashore until late as sailing was at midnight. St. George's, Grenada (docked) - We opted for the Shadowfax Sail & Snorkel as we had done this on our last visit, but due to the wind then, were not able to snorkel where the excursion is scheduled to - at the Underwater Sculpture Garden. The tour is with a large 60 ft., well-maintained catamaran and stops at Hog Island (think Robinson Crusoe) past Point Salines along the Atlantic side of Grenada for our lobster full lunch prepared by locals which was as good as the first time we did this excursion. Charlotteville, Tobago (anchored) - Small quaint town. Our excursion Angel Reef/Glass Bottom Boat and snorkel, took us over the mountains to the northeastern town of Speyside to a private resort to board the boat. Angel Reef is very shallow, but I felt we moved too fast to be able to see what was passing below us. The snorkel was across the bay and was excellent. Saline Bay, Mayreau (anchored) - Island Event. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, we explored the hillside town of 300 and snorkeled at the end of the beach later. There were two optional tours, one with three snorkeling stops. Kralendijk, Bonaire (docked) - Our intention of snorkeling here (as it is ranked in the top ten of the Caribbean for diving and snorkeling) meant that we did two excursions, one private and one through the ship). We booked a morning, private tour online through Blue Bay Sailing. The owners are a couple transplanted from the Netherlands and they have a beautiful sailing boat with a lovely platform at aft to facilitate snorkeling. We sailed across the bay to "Little" Klein Bonaire - well-known in those parts for excellent snorkeling and diving. I then did a little shopping in town after lunch and we then took the mid-afternoon ship excursion Samur Sail, Beach, & Snorkel on a Siamese Sailing Junk. It also went to a different location around Klein Bonaire, where after anchoring, all guests transferred to a zodiac (which took two trips) to the beach. Then snorkelers walked the beach to Ebo's Reef, where we drifted with the current back to the zodiac at the beach. The scenery was quite different from the morning's snorkel but could see the wall for diving. Willemsted, Curacao (docked in the industrial port area) - I took a Unesco World City Heritage Walk as in the previous visits, I hadn't had the opportunity, conducted by a transplanted Dutch lady from the Netherlands -- included was walking across the Queen Emma pontoon bridge, the governmental buildings area, Punda, the Maritime Museum, and the floating market where Venezuelans sell their fruits and vegetables and fishermen sell today's catch. As noted above, we were treated to a most lovely holiday lights display as we sailed for Aruba. Later, I finally had the opportunity to visit the gymnasium as it is opened 24 hours. Disembarkation - Quick and easy - We had completed customs forms several days prior which enabled Windstar to complete customs for all guests, so we merely retrieved our luggage and went on our way. Many passengers had made arrangements to spend at least one night in Oranjestad, so there was a line of taxis available to transport everyone to their location. We stayed one night at the Divi Village Golf and Beach Resort, but also visited the Renaissance Resort's private Renaissance Island which has flamingos, iguanas and other wildlife at several different beaches, and snorkeling which I enjoyed. In the evening, I walked to the Divi beach to watch Star Pride sail on her next cruise, the same as ours in reverse. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I have been on a good many cruises. This was far and away the best. Service second to none. Smaller ship really a Yacht. Every room a Suite. Food magnificent. The excursions were so well thought out. Like went on a snorkeling excursion. 30 ... Read More
I have been on a good many cruises. This was far and away the best. Service second to none. Smaller ship really a Yacht. Every room a Suite. Food magnificent. The excursions were so well thought out. Like went on a snorkeling excursion. 30 foot new boat with 3 Yamaha 250's was so much fun getting there. Get in to smaller ports and they anchor and drop the back of the boat down and you are swimming, water skiing, sailing, snorkeling,. right off the end of the boat!!!! Room service was so fast. Just I could go on and on. Crazy fun and just 5 Star. Well I am a real foodie, and they had for instance a bar-b-q that was the most lavish and best I have ever ever seen. I ate so many fresh lobster tails I lost count. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our 3rd cruise with Windstar and had an amazing time! I've been reading the other reviews about the Star Legend and was very curious to see the "complaints" for myself. I read a lot of complaints about the ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise with Windstar and had an amazing time! I've been reading the other reviews about the Star Legend and was very curious to see the "complaints" for myself. I read a lot of complaints about the tenders. This would be the only aspect that I would agree with. We used the life boats on previous sailings, so using these tenders gave us more room and less fumes! The negative of these tenders is that the crew didn't seem to understand how to operate them. We were slammed into the dock many times before the tender was secured. This happened both times that we were anchored. The rest for the positive: We purchased transfers from Windstar from the Barbados airport and had a quick 15-minute drive to the port. Within 5 minutes we were walking up the stairs to the yacht. Check-in was quick as usual and we were escorted to our room by our room steward. Food was excellent everywhere - Amphora, Candles and the Yacht Club. We purchased the beverage package and had Shirley & Jocelyn making sure that our glasses were always replenished! On one day when our Windstar excursion was late getting back, the manager of Vernada/Candles (Yogi) made sure that lunch was extended until we got back to the yacht. We purchased Windstar's nutmeg & chocolate factory excursion. Excellent tour guide & driver, but the only thing that was confusing was that both factories were closed on a Sunday. We still toured the inside of both factories. The private event on Mayreau was excellent and the BBQ was amazing! The crew work so hard to get all of the food and water sports equipment tendered to the island. The deck party was postponed a day because of high winds in Curacao so it was re-scheduled for our last night. A perfect ending to an amazing cruise. Excellent food, excellent music by "Splash" and great entertainment from the staff. We're looking forward to booking the next cruise! Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I rarely write reviews of any of our trips but feel compelled to alert others regarding this ship. We have sailed with Windstar five previous times and this was our first cruise on a "motor" ship. First, the good The crew ... Read More
I rarely write reviews of any of our trips but feel compelled to alert others regarding this ship. We have sailed with Windstar five previous times and this was our first cruise on a "motor" ship. First, the good The crew were their usual fantastic selves doing all they could to make the journey satisfactory, the entertainers were very good and the food was pretty much up to Windstar standards.The cabins were fine and larger than those on the sailing ships, but who spends much time in the cabin? The not so good. The first night on the ship, the air conditioning failed. My wife and I have traveled enough to know that stuff happens and have learned to live with it The problem was that no announcements regarding the problem were made until the following morning when the problem was virtually fixed. It was fixed around midday. Several people called the desk throughout the night and were assured that it would be fixed within one half hour. Several people slept in deck chairs that night. Windstar did issue a $100 per person credit for the inconvenience. While limited smoking areas are provided on the ship on one occasion people were smoking on the outside Star Bar well away from the smoking area and on another occasion,I smelled smoke when I opened our balcony door. I found that someone one deck below and two cabins forward was smoking on their balcony. When I pointed this out to an officer on the flying bridge, he merely shrugged as if to say so what. I later pointed this out to the cruise director and the issue never occurred again. While the crew performed admirably, I always had the feeling that they were operating short handed. Service in the restaurant just wasn't what we had come to expect on Windstar. If you have any difficulty negotiating stairs, and expect to take any excursions that require the use of tenders, be cautious. Access to the tenders is through the bowels of the ship on two or three dark sets of steps which can be a problem. The tenders are not the life boats but real tenders, but they have been beaten up well used and need some refer, Excursions were an aggravation. The Destinations manager did not know how to properly pronounce the names of a couple of destinations, but this was the least of the problems. On the Glass bottom Boat and Snorkel trip, I would have been sorely disappointed had I gone for the glass bottom boat ride since it lasted about ten minutes and the snorkel lasted about an hour. We snorkeled. The boats looked like our excursion might be their last. Boarding was by climbing from the dock onto a ladder and then descending onto the deck. Again, mobility could be an issue. The Samur sail and snorkel was a farce, but I refer you to Trip Advisor for an accurate description of that fiasco. Again, if you have mobility issues do not take this excursion as you have to go from a slippery zodiac to the deck the ship by climbing up the side of the ship. One of the things we have always loved on Windstar is the Christopher Columbus sail away music. On the Legend it was very loud at the center of the ship but should barely be heard for and aft. Disappointing While none of these items were disastrous, They were aggravating and not up the standard txt Windstar has set on the sailing ships. Being seasoned travelers, who enjoy each others company, we enjoyed our cruise in spite of the issues. Read Less
65 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Background: Just completed a special tour where our sales group had the complete ship for a week. We started in Bridgetown, Barbados and called on Pigeon Island, St. Lucia, Les Saintes, St. Kitts, St. Barts, Jost Van Dyke and ended in ... Read More
Background: Just completed a special tour where our sales group had the complete ship for a week. We started in Bridgetown, Barbados and called on Pigeon Island, St. Lucia, Les Saintes, St. Kitts, St. Barts, Jost Van Dyke and ended in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. This ship will be going into dry dock in about a month. After 30 years of service it needs to. The staff have done a great job of keeping it clean and refreshed but after some time it just needs a compete make over. The staff from the Captain to the tender drivers were very polite, helpful and called you by name. English is a second language to most so be patient. Make sure you are at the back of the boat for the "sail away". The officers make this a big deal with the overture from 1492 playing loud as each sail is unfurled and you sail out of anchorage. Other boats stop to watch also. Bring your cameras and video it. Food & Drinks: This is a Diet Coke friendly ship. Real Diet Coke from the States. In fact, if you are looking for locally sourced fruits, vegetables or meats sorry because everything is from the States preserved in vacuum packages. If you like to eat unhealthy then this is the ship for you. If you at least try to watch your weight then you can find fruits and some grilled vegetables along with granola but you better take your own light or fat free dressing. Overall the food was good and the Chef did go out of his way to make anything you wanted. If you have been on the Windstar before it is my understanding that the prior Chef has left the ship to join another line. The people I talked with said the prior Chef was amazing. We did not drink a lot on the ship but the selection of scotches were impressive. The bourbons were run of the mill and the same with vodkas and gins. Most people drank rum punches or the drink of the day. I talked with several people who did the drink package and they said they got their monies worth. Most drinks ran $6-$8/drink (beer, wine and punches). Scotches were $10-$15/shot. Beers were local so if you like Coors Light or Bud you are out of luck. In our brochure it said you could bring two bottles of wine on board but we never had a problem with purchasing wine especially on the French islands to bring on board and drink in our cabin. In fact, there was no screening like you normally have to with X-Rays on the bigger ships. I did buy a bottle of scotch in Duty Free in Miami and it was not taken at check in so I drank on it all week. Dining: Breakfast starts most days at 7:30 am and goes to 9:30 am. There is a light breakfast and coffee/tea bar by the pool that starts at 5:30 am for early risers. Ordering off the ever changing menu for breakfast was great. If you like eggs benedict, blueberry pancakes or French toast then you will be in Nirvana. Lunch is casual and served at mid-ship either inside or outside. There is always a well supplied salad bar which will have something for everyone. There was a Caesar Salad offering every day but realize you're on a cruise ship so it's the full leaded dressing. There are also hot entrees each day and a special dish like roasted chicken, salmon wellington or pork shoulder craved by the lunch Chef. You can order off the menu also for hamburgers with French fries or a hot dog. Save room for two selections of ice cream with caramel or chocolate topping (no cones). In the evenings, after the port talk from Ana, the main dining room will open at 7:30 pm. The food was vey good and there were a lot of interesting options. The Chef is eager to assist with any dietary issues. One evening during the cruise you can book to sit on the back of the ship and dine under the stars. I would suggest you look at your itinerary and book your reservation when the ship is anchored. They try their best to set the tables in a way when the ship is moving that you are not getting wind blown. The food at Candle's is good but Veranda's is better. If it's your anniversary by all means book an evening under the stars but bring a light jacket or sweater to cover up. Gym: There is a small workout room and it's a 100 degrees if more than two people are working out together. Two treadmills, one elliptical, one up right bike and one incumbent bike along with a full range of hand weights with a bench. There is a machine to do lat pulls. If you are taller than 6 foot then you will hit your head on the treadmill running! Cabins: Remarkably comfortable from the bed on down. We had plenty of space to store a month's worth of clothes (my wife does not travel light!). Cabin steward (Ben) was helpful and friendly. Entertainment: We had a duo and they were good. We didn't spend any time in the lounge because there were DVDs that you could check out. The TV programming is limited (SKY, BBC, FOX, CNBC, Food Network, Travel Network, a sports channel of soccer or cricket, a movie channel that the ship ran, and a video of the bridge). We read mostly and watched out our first floor port hole. It gives a new meaning to be "sea level". We had cabin 136 which was in the front of the ship. I feel badly for the people in the last cabins at the back of the ship. They complained about the noise and ear plugs didn't help much. I guess the engine noise is something on a small ship you can't avoid. The ship bills the "sport deck" as being something great. They did let down the door in every port except one. Each time we were told to hang on to the line because the current was so strong it would take you out to sea. They had these huge rubber mats that you could tan on but they moved some much with the current it was not very relaxing. We used our assigned snorkel gear one time because you could not snorkel off the back of the boat (never). Ports of Call: We did not have time to visit Bridgetown or St. Maarten (we had been to both of these stops before on ships). Except for St. Kitts (we met two massive cruise boats there) most people either visited abandoned forts or walked to beaches because there was not much of a town to visit. About half the ship would take excursions that took them to beaches to snorkel. The best snorkeling was in Virgin Gorda. The shopping for trinkets was best in St. Kitts (t-shirts, hats). The liquor stores are right by the pier where the big boats dock (we never docked the whole week). In St. Barts the shopping is good but expensive. We went to Le Select so I could see where Jimmy Buffett wrote "Cheeseburgers in Paradise". The wine stores where great because this is a French colony. Everyone asked be about Jost Van Dyke. You must visit "Foxy's" at night (live band and limbo dancing) and "Soggy Dollar" during the day (relaxing place to sit in the water or under a tree, no music, no dancing). There is no town. These are beach bars that you will be amazed are standing and you will wonder why you didn't nail up a couple of 2x4s and mix rum drinks earlier. I think it's just a place where people who have been sailing all day want to pull into a sandy beach area, out of the wind and drink rum until it's time to make dinner. There is nothing special about either one of these places (except maybe it's a special place in your mind) but for some it is a bucket list item. Someday someone is going to ask you whether you have been and you will want to be one of the cool kids and say "YES". Overall: If you want to visit ports that most cruisers will never see then this is something you need to do once or maybe twice. We had people on the ship that had done this cruise 3 and 4 times. They love the intimate, relaxed sailing of a small ship. I have to admit it was nice to visit the bridge, talk to the Captain, walk out on the front of the ship like a scene from the Titanic and visit places that I didn't have to fight 5,000 of my fellow cruise mates getting on and off the ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We were on the Wind Star, 4-masted sailing yacht . While this is a ship that only holds about 150 guests, it seems like they have about 1 for 1 on the crew. The ship is well taken care of in all regards. The food is at least equal to ... Read More
We were on the Wind Star, 4-masted sailing yacht . While this is a ship that only holds about 150 guests, it seems like they have about 1 for 1 on the crew. The ship is well taken care of in all regards. The food is at least equal to bigger ships. Our Captain was on her first cruise as Captain and was available, friendly and got us where we needed to go. We found the cabins in the middle of the ship had less movement than those in front or back. I have a walking problem and had my walker aboard. While they have no elevators, a crew member offered to carry my walker up any stairs that needed to be traversed. The rails are easy to hold onto and climb the stairs. Dining was available in about three areas. If you are interested in sitting outside, on top, you need to make reservations ASAP. The food was excellent and very accommodative on a needed diet. A lot of showmanship went into the meal. While entertainment on board was limited, there were a couple of times the total crew was involved in entertaining us. The big adventure was raising the sails every night and the music from "1492 conquest of paradise" and the total ship involvement. Most of the time, we were worn out by the evening from all of the daytime activity. Probably the service was as fine as any I have had on a ship (other than the Paul Gauguin, in Tahiti). There was always someone ready to help or fill a need every time I turned around. Read Less
38 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
MVY Windstar - Barbados - Jan 5th 2016 - Caribbean cruise. Wonderful Cruise, wonderful people and staff, and a great ship EXCEPT for the noise in some of the cabins at night while underway. The noise is a very high pitched wine that makes ... Read More
MVY Windstar - Barbados - Jan 5th 2016 - Caribbean cruise. Wonderful Cruise, wonderful people and staff, and a great ship EXCEPT for the noise in some of the cabins at night while underway. The noise is a very high pitched wine that makes it impossible to sleep. When we complained that ultimately moved us to a cabin much further forward, The noise was almost eliminated but still there. BUT you could sleep. Many people on the cruise complained of the noise and i think they played musical cabins because one couple that we talked to had complained and we found that they were going to be moved to the cabin that we had vacated! What really bothers me and I find unbelievable is that the noise issue has been going on for about 3 years. That the company could rent out the cabins, cruise after cruise, and put their on board staff through the process of trying to appease upset customers every cruise is, to me, unprofessional at the best and disreputable at the worst. The cruise itself was exactly what we'd hoped for - slow and relaxing. Stopping at smaller ports, not visited by the giant cruise ships, allowed you to see what the Caribbean was all about. A couple of days spent on a white sand, sun drenched beaches with lounges and cabanas supplied by the cruise line, with clear blue water to swim and snorkel in was our idea of paradise. This was capped of on one stop with a great BBQ lunch setup on shore. The ship itself was older but very well maintained. The hall carpets were pretty threadbare but other than that everything w was beautifully maintained. The food was probably the best we have ever had on any cruise ship! One other thing that bothered me was this ship has an open bridge police - that means you can visit the bridge anytime the ship is underway. In itself this was great, it gave one an opportunity to witness, first hand, what the running of a ship like this entails. Unfortunately the Captain was an arrogant and condescending individual who treated questions as if he were talking to children. Not a good representative of the company. As I said earlier, the location, the routes, the ports visited, the ship itself, the food and most definitely the staff are all fantastic. it is too bad that the issue of the horrible whining noise had to ruin or first day but after a lot of complaining we were finally given a cabin much farther forward which was lot better. The noise was still there but did not interfere with sleep. It is just too bad that the noise has to put such a dark cloud on the cruise. I would definitely NOT recommend this ship for a cruise until they repair their very noisy propulsion motor!. I would recommend the same cruise on a different ship. If you do doubt the noise level I am talking about go to YouTube and type in WINDSTAR CABIN 205. Some one in 2012 - 4 years prior - in Cabin 205 (the same cabin we initially had) recorded their experience with the noise. By all means take a similar cruise just not on this ship. If you choose to go on this ship insist on a forward cabin. Read Less
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