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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I really wanted to love this cruise. My husband and I are at a point in our lives where we are often willing to pay extra for a little luxury and ease. Windstar promised that, but only partially delivered. The value was just not there. ... Read More
I really wanted to love this cruise. My husband and I are at a point in our lives where we are often willing to pay extra for a little luxury and ease. Windstar promised that, but only partially delivered. The value was just not there. Pros: --Small ship with sails: we don’t enjoy large ships anymore and the sails were beautiful --Excellent service: from the Captain on down, everyone was charming with just a very few exceptions (see cons) —Good food: Mostly excellent. No fails! --Nice fitness room Cons: —Aging ship that needs total re-furbishing: Formica EVERYWHERE, stained carpets, lots of thick, painted-over rust. Small porthole windows and no balconies. —We felt nickeled and dimed: expensive beer and wine prices made us buy the package. Then they tried to up-sell us to the fine wines and mixed drinks. WIFI package was $60 and data ran out in just one day of checking email. So slow! Shore excursions are very pricey—none are included. —Itinerary should have been tweaked for this late-in-the-season cruise. Ibiza was a ghost town—should have been replaced. We did not get Windstar’s usual on-shore special event. Why not? —Docking: the line advertises its ability to dock in small towns and ports, however, we were always docked in a large, industrial port. —Staffing: the front desk staff was cold and dismissive. Everyone else was warm and tried very hard. However, the lounge is terribly understaffed at cocktail hour. Table service was almost non-exisistent! You had to fight your way to the bar and wait. I guess we were hoping for more of a river cruise experience, but perhaps that was unreasonable. I doubt that we will try Windstar again. We will try other small, high-end lines and hope for a better value. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise for our 30 th anniversary thinking it was going to be about luxury. The cabins were spacious but outdated. Our cabin steward was great and Maria ( ship consultant) tried to keep customers upbeat with her great ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our 30 th anniversary thinking it was going to be about luxury. The cabins were spacious but outdated. Our cabin steward was great and Maria ( ship consultant) tried to keep customers upbeat with her great attitude. At dinner, the food was good and the dining room was nice. The service was usually mediocre. Breakfast and lunch was served at an indoor/outdoor area. The inside could accommodate 30 people and our cruise had 200 passengers. What that meant was that when everyone got off their excursion at the same time, all of us were at the same time. Several meals were spent outside (covered) but sometimes cold and rainy. Oh, they would give you blankets...who wants to wear a blanket or shiver eating a meal ? Not me. We rushed several meals just to get back inside. We did room service a few times so we wouldn’t have to sit in the cold. Most of the excursions were nice but a little pricey. Entertainment was 2 sets of duos, elevator music but they could sing well...just not very upbeat. This was my first Windstar cruise-just average , nothing extravagant. The ship rocked and rolled our last night which gave a lot of passengers motion sickness. I will not be a return customer on Windstar. Many repeat customers said this cruise did not measure up. I was a little disappointed. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was the middle portion of our back2back2back cruise aboard Wind Surf celebrating my husband's 65th birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary. Originally we were going to do the first cruise (Treasures of Southern Spain & ... Read More
This was the middle portion of our back2back2back cruise aboard Wind Surf celebrating my husband's 65th birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary. Originally we were going to do the first cruise (Treasures of Southern Spain & Morocco) and then rent a car and travel through the south of France but when we realized this was the next cruise, we booked it! We love Windstar cruises and the port intensive itineraries. We also love the small ship experience and the amazing crew on board. This was our 4th cruise on Windstar and it just gets better and better. Yachtsman's Harbors of the Rivieras was a lovely itinerary and all the stops could easily be done DIY. Since we were already on board, Barcelona was really a stop on our itinerary rather than a boarding day. And since we were staying on board, the day before we had made reservations for Candles and Stella Bistro and found out our key cards would still be valid. Barcelona: We booked tickets ahead of time at Sagrada Familia and Park Guell and walked off the yacht and took a taxi to Sagrada Familia. We had the 9 am tour and were one of the first folks in that morning. We opted for the audio tour which allowed us to go at our own pace. At the end of our visit, we hopped a taxi and headed to Park Guell for our 12 noon group tour. I'm glad we had a tour guide and the views were spectacular but the park was so crowded. One more taxi ride to the market at Las Rambles, a few tapas and a walk back to the yacht put us back on board just prior to our 4 pm all aboard. It was a quick day but we were able to see the sights we had wanted to see. Would more time had been nicer? Of course but it was time for sail away and rest of the Riviera! Port Vendres, France - We had no idea what to do at this port but some friends that were on the first cruise with us suggested we hike to Collioure along the path by the water so we did. It took us awhile but the views were beautiful and Collioure was an adorable town. We wandered throughout and found a wonderful restaurant for lunch run by a mother and daughter team. Shopping afterwards and then we hopped on the small tourist train to take us through the vineyards and back to Port Vendres. Sanary-sur-Mer, France - The market in Sanary-sur-Mer is very large and on Wednesday's it has even more to offer. This was also the day of the Chef's Market Tour so we signed up the night before and away we went. The market was filled with vendors and so many shoppers! We were told people come from all around for this market and I believe it! We stopped at several meat and cheese places and tasted several different kinds of cheese and meats. But quickly the tour was over and we hadn't even seen the chef purchase anything! He told we would see the new items in the next day or so but to be honest, we never could figure out what he might have purchased. We walked around for a bit more and then went and found a meat, cheese and wine shop in town and proceeded to have a lovely, impromptu wine tasting with the owner! We left with several new bottles of wine and a new friend. Monte Carlo, Monaco - Prior to booking this cruise our plan was to rent a car and tour the south of France and stay in Nice for a few days. Hence, the decision to take the train to Nice from Monte Carlo. It was easy to find the train station but trying to purchase a train ticket from the automated machine not so easy. We ended up finding the live person selling tickets to make sure we understood which train to take to Nice and more importantly, how to get back to Monte Carlo. We had just missed a train so it was lunch time by the time we got on. We arrived in Nice in time for a quick walk through the Flower Market which was filled with the most beautiful flowers! We walked to the beach (lots of pebbles) and then found a place for lunch. After a leisurely lunch, we had enough time to wander through some shops and buy some wine at a grocery store (inexpensive and delicious!) before catching the train back to Monte Carlo. We did a bit more shopping in Monte Carlo and then headed back to our yacht. I have to say we were SO thankful to be on Wind Surf that day in Monte Carlo. There was one of those monster ships with hoards of people trying to get back on board. We got caught up in their madness for a brief moment before the port staff realized we were on Wind Surf and got us right through security. It looked like a nightmare on the other side! Cannes, France - Our next stop was in Cannes and we had booked the WS tour Provence Wine Tasting with Chateau Saint Roseline. I had tried to book a private wine tasting tour through several companies prior to boarding but they were so expensive (over 500 euros for the 2 of us) that when we saw this one for $129 each, we went ahead and joined the tour. It turned out to be a wonderful day with 2 different wineries, 7 bottles of wine purchased, and good friends to share the experience. The history of both wineries was interesting and the tour guides well versed. Overall a delightful day tasting wine in Provence! Portofino, Italy - We couldn't make up our minds what to do here so my DH decided we should take the WS tour Cinque Terra by Boat Tour for $189 per person. I would hesitate to recommend this tour to anyone that loves to explore on their own. Here's our experience... The swells were pretty high as we pulled into Portofino which meant a hairy experience boarding the tenders. Because of the weather, it took over an hour to get all the folks on this tour over on the tenders. We then boarded a ferry boat (filled only with the WS tour) to take us to Cinque Terra. Well, you can imagine if the swells were bad on the tenders, they were just as bad on the ferry boat. What was suppose to take about an hour turned into almost double that amount of time. It was a rough morning but the best part was that we were able to see by sea, the 5 villages of the Cinque Terra. (My DH jokes those 5 photographs were the most expensive photographs I ever took!) By the time we finally landed at Monterooso (no other landings available that day due to the waves) we were so far behind we were told we had only 2 hours before we had to board again to go back to Portofino and the yacht! Well, I wasn't the least bit happy about that and I told my DH and the Aussies we were traveling with that day that I was taking the train to Riomaggiore for lunch and I'd figure out how to get back to Portofino later. They all agreed and we told the tour guide we were heading out on our own, found the train station and hopped the next train to Riomaggiore. It was one of the best decisions we made the entire trip! After walking up the one main street in Riomaggiore, we stopped for the most fabulous lunch at the most delightful restaurant! After several courses, many bottles of wine and some limoncello, we ad to say good-bye to our new friends/owners of the place, and litearlly had to run back to catch the train to Santa Margherita. There was an art festival along the water we checked out and then grabbed a taxi back to Portofino in time for pizza, beer and wine. The sunset was glorious over Portofino and we were the last ones on the last tender at 8:30 back to the yacht. It was a most memorable day! We missed the Deck BBQ because we stayed in Portofino so late but we didn't really care since we had such a great day with our Aussie friends. Portoferraio, Italy - Another day without a real plan so we did what we had been doing for 15 days and wandered around Elba on our own. We hiked up to the fort and checked out the views; we found a sidewalk cafe and joined all the locals having Sunday dinner out; we sat back and just relaxed. Easy and delicious! And that brought us to Civitavecchia. A turnaround day for us but a sad day too since we had to now say good-bye to our friends we had met while boarding in Lisbon on cruise #1. Originally I had thought to take a cooking class on our own here but we wandered around instead and took in the local market and stopped for pastries and coffee at a local place. It's definitely a working man's port but we saw lots of families out and about too. It wasn't as scenic as some of our other stops but it is a big city compared to the last few ports of call. We walked the waterway and stopped for a beer and free WiFi before boarding to continue on to our next Wind Surf adventure...Sicilian Splendors! A few notes about our total Wind Surf experience on our back2back2back... We enjoy the wonderful folks who work so hard to make Wind Surf a special place. Captain Pedro, Hotel Operations Officers Calvin and Julian, Maitre d' hotel Merrick were out and about and available and willing to chat. Our favorite staff, Aladdin made our time onboard so very special as did Farid our cabin steward and Hari, Russ and Ada our servers. Anna at the tour desk and Anne at reception always had a smile and greeting for us as we walked by. Within a few days everyone knows your name and after 25 days on board, they really know all about you! Our opinion on the food is that it is very good. That being said, having been on board for 25 days, we learned that the rotation of the menus is about 5 days. With more and more Star Collector choices being offered, WS must rethink this policy. I enjoyed most everything on board during cruise 1 but by the time cruise 3 came along, I'd had enough of a few of the choices. The deck BBQ was wonderful and they have re-done the layout of where the food stations are since we last sailed with Wind Surf which made it seem roomier. I had originally booked a room on Deck 1 but the upgrade fairy came to visit several months later and we were upgraded to Suite 306. The location is towards the back of the ship and can be very noisy when the tenders are being used. But, it is so close to the Yacht Club and the Pool Deck, plus getting off the ship, we didn't let the noise ruin it for us. Plus, having 2 bathrooms in the suite saved my marriage after 25 days at sea! We were lucky to have the laundry service during our cruise and it was amazing! I did specify for cold wash and hang dry and just about everything came back perfect. One black sweater wasn't so black anymore but other than that, we were very pleased. Overall, we love Windstar cruises because it suits us. We love port intensive cruises. We love the smallness of the ships and that it affords you the opportunity to get to know your fellow cruisers as well as the officers and staff and they get to know you. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We had been on three Wind Star cruises before but all were on the smaller Wind Song and Wind Spirit ships so we weren't exactly sure on what to expect with the larger Wind Surf. We loved it. Our cruise had 296 guests on board but you ... Read More
We had been on three Wind Star cruises before but all were on the smaller Wind Song and Wind Spirit ships so we weren't exactly sure on what to expect with the larger Wind Surf. We loved it. Our cruise had 296 guests on board but you never seemed to see any crowds at all except perhaps during dinner in the main dining room. As like all Wind Star cruises the crew were so friendly and helpful. Cruises typically make or break themselves on the food, our food was exceptional, both in quality and variety and having 2 other dining options besides the main dining room was great. Our stateroom was not overly large but was very well laid out and had all the amenities we had come to expect from Wind Star. It was great having 2 options to dance and listen to live music after dinner in both the lounge and the Compass Rose bar. We left ports quite late each night so rarely saw the casino open or very busy, they could use a craps table to give us dice players an option. The ports of call were amazing, each one different and offering great options to do and see. If I was to get picky my 2 negatives were the cost of the shore excursions and the beverage packages. Shore excursions seem to have become a major profit center for the cruise line. On past cruises our nightly introduction to the next day's port was more a general discussion of the history/culture while now it's more of a run through of all the shore excursions that can be bought. We booked 2 shore excursions on our own prior to travelling that were identical to the ship's version and paid less than half the price. The shore excursions we did do through the ship were very well run, professional and insightful. The beverage package is pricey and sort of mickey mouse for an upscale cruise line. Why not just add $300 to the price of the cruise and make it all drinks included, minus the high end stuff. Bartenders always needing to determine what package you have or if you even have one, it was annoying and unnecessary. Overall, a great cruise with great people, love the Casual Elegance atmosphere. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose to sail with Windstar to celebrate my 50th Birthday accompanied by both my parents and sister. Below is an honest and unbiased review of what was a very positive experience. It is obvious on boarding the Wind Surf that she is ... Read More
I chose to sail with Windstar to celebrate my 50th Birthday accompanied by both my parents and sister. Below is an honest and unbiased review of what was a very positive experience. It is obvious on boarding the Wind Surf that she is not just any cruise ship and that Captain Gerry Hogan is very proud her. Quite rightly so. Wind Surf is the flagship of the Windstar fleet and she is a beautiful sailing motor yacht. Captain Hogan is there to welcome his guests onboard and he is there at the end the journey to bid you farewell. It’s a personal touch that sets the tone for a cruise that is truly different. As she sails from destination to destination you’ll feel immersed in the experience, rather than just a passenger travelling upon a ship. The Staterooms might be more functional than they are luxurious, but they are nicely appointed with comfy beds, quality bathroom products and lots of storage space. The Staterooms give you the feel that you are actually on a sailing yacht rather than some grandiose floating hotel. The quality of the food throughout the ship is excellent and there are some lovely dinning options, with two speciality restaurants located on deck and a ship’s BBQ night which none of us will forget! AmphorA is the main dining room. It is sophisticated and elegant with service to match, without being over stuffy. However it is customer service where Wind Surf really excels and without doubt it has to be said, it is second to none! The ship’s crew are beyond outstanding and work tirelessly to ensure your cruise will be an unforgettable one. They have a sense of camaraderie that will make you feel you’re amongst friends and not just there as a paying guest. Windstar deserve every accolade they win. Congratulations! Our thanks go to all the Wind Surf crew for making our trip so memorable. They say Windstar is “180 degrees from ordinary” … “that she will feel like your own sailing yacht.” They are bold claims, but when her sails go up on your last sail away, you’ll know what they mean. Wind Surf … She is is special ship that none of us will forget. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
The staff and quality of food was outstanding. The suite was large and never felt confining. Double sink vanity, large tub, walk-in closet all made the 8 day experience just like home! Every evening after dinner and drinks, we came back ... Read More
The staff and quality of food was outstanding. The suite was large and never felt confining. Double sink vanity, large tub, walk-in closet all made the 8 day experience just like home! Every evening after dinner and drinks, we came back to a cabin that had been picked up and a bed folded down. Fresh water and a filled ice bucket everyday. The wine selection and knowledgeable wine steward was first class! The barbecue out on the deck was beyond anything we expected. The staff always made sure we had a drink. Deck chairs were plentiful and blankets were brought out for those chilly evenings. The duo that sang and played music were very good and entertained our requests making for fun evenings after dinner. The shore excursions were extremely organized and getting on and off the ship was easy and streamlined. Our only criticism, and this is very minor, was that the cabins could use a little updating, especially the bathrooms. But, storage was plentiful, and the laundry service was super and worth the extra money. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Chose Windstar for second time due to casual nature of cruise and generous size of cabin. Went from Rome to Barcelona. Love the small ship and the advantage of docking right at the town we are visiting. Upgraded one level from last time ... Read More
Chose Windstar for second time due to casual nature of cruise and generous size of cabin. Went from Rome to Barcelona. Love the small ship and the advantage of docking right at the town we are visiting. Upgraded one level from last time to a balcony cabin and appreciated the large glass door. Do wish they had balconies large enough to sit on. Ship very similar to 2 years ago and could use a little spiffing up in the room. Highlights this time was the food which is now amazing. The partnership with the James Beard Foundation has made a huge improvement. Service was excellent as always. Staff members really make an effort to remember your name. Had an opportunity to eat one night at Candles restaurant on the ship. It was very enjoyable. One of best parts of the ship is the lounge behind the bar area where you can go anytime of day and get a drink. in my case Ice Coffee. Even took advantage of room service on the last night of the cruise and it was a great experience. We generally don't do the excursions and prefer to explore the towns on our own but did do the Wine Tasting in Provence which was wonderful. Overall a great easy casual well priced cruise . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We choose this cruise mainly because of the itinerary. Very familiar with Windstar but 1st time on one of their power yachts. Service and food was excellent! Every service personnel was pleasant, eager to help, and just as friendly as can ... Read More
We choose this cruise mainly because of the itinerary. Very familiar with Windstar but 1st time on one of their power yachts. Service and food was excellent! Every service personnel was pleasant, eager to help, and just as friendly as can be. Our cabin was to die for as we upgraded to an owner suite. Lots of space! It does need some refurbishment however. The ports were lovely and most were very easy to walk around. Excursions were disappointing. We booked a wine tour and Jeep tour in advance and when on board found out the wine tour started at 8:15a, a little early for us to start wine tasting so canceled. Then found out that the Jeep tour which read like it was a two or four seater jeep turned out to be a Land Rover with bench seats in the back for 10 ppl. Ugh! Not our way to spend 3+ Hours. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We did check out more cities in Spain before the cruise. Arriving into Madrid for. Several nights, day trip to Toledo and a couple nights in Valencia before making our way to Barcelona. Great trip all in all. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Bait and switch!!!! The publish destinations are as follows, 1. Grenada 2.Pigeon Island 3. Bequia 4.Guadeloupe 5. St Martin THAT IS NOT WHERE WE WENT!!! Where we went was: 1. No Grenada, they instead took us to ... Read More
Bait and switch!!!! The publish destinations are as follows, 1. Grenada 2.Pigeon Island 3. Bequia 4.Guadeloupe 5. St Martin THAT IS NOT WHERE WE WENT!!! Where we went was: 1. No Grenada, they instead took us to Anse Mitaln Martinque. All I can say is we got off the boat at their 'so called beach' and it was a few feet wide, not pretty sand, and the locals looked like they would mug you! 2. we ..did go to Pigeon Island, it was ok, no place I would ever go back to. They had a lunch on the beach. 3. Bequia....never saw it!!! 4. Guadeloupe, never went there either, the generator went out and with that the air conditioner and some of the bathrooms. You would wake up in the night pouring sweat! Several people left the boat. You could smell the bathrooms and with the heat, well you can just imagine! 5.Little Bay, Montserrat....JUST PLAIN GROSS, Not where we were suppose to go!..Again!!! They keep hyping this 'buried city'. It seems the volcano erupted and buried a 3rd world city. We gave up and ..tried...to go to their beach and it just might have been the worst of all. They called it a black sand beach, but it was more like a big mud pie. We didn't even stay 30 minutes. 6. St Barts, not on the route but the best. But that was trashed too, as we paid $175.00 a person to go their snorkling deal. When we went to get in the water, they told us we had 20 minutes! When I got home, I looked at the tickets they had emailed us. It seems that even though I talked to their booking agents at length about the stops POSTED on their web site, they changed them and put them on our confirmed tickets before we ever hit the boat! THAT IS JUST PLAIN WRONG! Bait and switch! They took us to every pile of hot rocks and no beach they could find. They refunded $450, but you can't give me back a week of my life. I would never take them again because I don't trust them not to pull the same stunt again. Also, I would like to add, after they roasted us for 3 days and never got the generator working, I asked if they were going to put the boat in dock back in San Juan and fix it. The answer was "no", they were going to have someone stand there and manually turn it on every time it tripped! One of our group went on from San Juan to Portugal, which was the next trip. He stated it went out again in the Atlantic. They slept with their cabin doors open and it wasn't so bad. I will bet you that thing sails the Mediterranean with the air out! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
I had waited a long time to experience this special yacht and I put off writing this review because I do not enjoy writing negative comments ...but here we go..... Like many people now, we have been on dozens of cruises and around 9 or so ... Read More
I had waited a long time to experience this special yacht and I put off writing this review because I do not enjoy writing negative comments ...but here we go..... Like many people now, we have been on dozens of cruises and around 9 or so different cruise lines so I was looking forward so much to the quality and service on this large yacht. The cabin we had was very spacious and well designed. Our cabin steward was very polite and professional. I was looking forward so much to 5 or maybe 4 star dining like they have in most cruise ships "speciality restaurants ".The FOOD.....Example.…They had burgers on the written daily lunch menu....The lunch choice was limited, so I ordered a burger without chips.....The waitress brought a burger WITH CHIPS ….why did you bring me chips I asked politely......IT COMES THAT WAY !!! the waitress replied staring at me with a rather puzzled look. She offered no options. Is this professionally trained waitressing ? There were several more instances which I will leave out because it will annoy me to recall them. This was the general level of service and food quality we experienced on this luxury cruise. The officers were very friendly as were the majority of the crew with plenty of passenger space and good quality live music. In my experience and on this particular cruise we were on, If you enjoy "Thomson" (Marella) cruise levels of professionalism, service and food choice and quality, then the Windsurf will not disappoint you To end on a very positive note.....The guests, who were mainly American speaking and almost all of them thought that almost everything was " AWESOME " including the "CHICKEN STOO " in the pot ,in the self-service buffet..... .Hopefully we were one of only a few couples who were disappointed with this particular cruise. This is only OUR opinion Please ,someone tell me that we got this review all wrong because I really like this very special sailing ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My favoured ship (Swan Hellenic's 'Minerva') stopped operating late last year, so I was looking for something to replace it. I tried to get on a Tauck tour cruise which unfortunately was fully booked, but then decided to ... Read More
My favoured ship (Swan Hellenic's 'Minerva') stopped operating late last year, so I was looking for something to replace it. I tried to get on a Tauck tour cruise which unfortunately was fully booked, but then decided to book directly with Windstar for the same itinerary. Whilst the ship is great and has facilities of a larger vessel, unlike Minerva they simply do not cater for solo travellers, which could be quite embarrassing at meal times. Apart from that the cabins are a good size and overall it could have been a terrific alternative. The shore excursions (extra cost) were all good and staff were mainly friendly. With one or two exceptions the people I was able to meet made me welcome. Not much choice in Dining but good quantity and quality - only gripe was that the 'Yacht Club' snack bar closed at the same time the main restaurant opened. (On one excursion we had a very late lunch on our tour and I didn't feel like a full meal - only alternative was room service). Nevertheless a great way to travel with family or friends. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My husband and I along with friends had a wonderful 8 day cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon on the Windstar a couple of weeks ago. It was our friends first time on a small ship, but we had experienced both Sea Dream and the Star Clipper in ... Read More
My husband and I along with friends had a wonderful 8 day cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon on the Windstar a couple of weeks ago. It was our friends first time on a small ship, but we had experienced both Sea Dream and the Star Clipper in the past, so had something to compare the experience with. Although we had thoroughly enjoyed our past trips we have to say that this recent trip was our favourite. The staff were exemplary, the food delicious and the accommodations were well appointed with ample storage. Small ships are not for everyone..the entertainment is limited ( although our lounge duo were terrific) and it's more an early to bed early to rise format. However, if you want the intimacy of getting to meet people from all over ( generally North Americans of average age in 60s) you can't beat this small ship. We loved it! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
we have sailed on many of the standard cruise lines (but will never on those huge 6k passenger ones). we sailed last January on the Windstar windsurf in the Caribbean and thought we'd try one of Windstar's motor- only ships, ... Read More
we have sailed on many of the standard cruise lines (but will never on those huge 6k passenger ones). we sailed last January on the Windstar windsurf in the Caribbean and thought we'd try one of Windstar's motor- only ships, from Barcelona to Lisbon. what a nice trip. the food was great. the ship was very stable even in some rough seas(we missed our last port because of rough weather). we did not hear our neighbors at all (we had deck 4, cabin 132). one deck down to dinner. 3 flights up to bfast. good location. Deadora keeping our room was super. ALL other passengers were very friendly. crew was always friendly, with a good, real smile. the rooms are really large, beds very comfy. bathrooms plenty of room. good bath/shower. on this cruise we always docked. in Seville we actually went up the river to the city til could not get under bridge. always good locations. we took bus tour in most ports, to towns off coast. always clean and neat. very walkable. went to compass rose lounge with duo 'sophistication' often. good music. fun time. not many up for dancing tho. show put on by crew was really good. very talented. note that even tho this ship has a sports platform aft, it was never open as an option. we never minded, but at least one fellow passenger was very disappointed. this cruise was more costly than many. but was a great splurge! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our fourth Windstar cruise. This journey took us from Barcelona to Lisbon. Even the before and after cruise days at Windstar selected host hotels are great! Our previous three cruises have been on the Windstar ships with ... Read More
This was our fourth Windstar cruise. This journey took us from Barcelona to Lisbon. Even the before and after cruise days at Windstar selected host hotels are great! Our previous three cruises have been on the Windstar ships with sails. This cruise was on Star Breeze which is an all suite ship without the sails. We miss the sails but greatly enjoyed the extra space in our cabin suite with a balcony. The service, food, excursion experiences and the genuinely friendly support provided by all members of the officers, staff and crew of Windstar makes every cruise an exceptional vacation experience. The small size of the ships allows you to experience your own private sailing yacht at sea! The only trips we have made without Windstar have been due to scheduling or destination choices. If Windstar provided cruises to every place on our "bucket list" we would always choose to travel with Windstar! We are RAVING fans! Everyone knows you by name and quickly learns what you possess for goals and desires that will make your vacation experience an exceptional highlight of your life experiences. The Windstar staff seek to exceed your own expectations and continue to achieve that high level of performance. We continue to be amazed that they keep finding ways to dazzle, amaze, surprise and just treat us in an exceptionally positive manner. We have already booked our next Windstar cruise to Alaska. And we have at least three more cruises planned for 2018 and 2019 including a repositioning cruise that will be a trans-Atlantic crossing. Obviously we love the sea and we love the total Windstar experience! We know that some travelers prefer the additional amenities of very large cruise ships. For us we prefer the smaller sailing ships because of the intimate service and support. We also have experienced the great and special opportunities to visit unique ports, sights, people and cultures that are not available to large ships and their excursion groups. Windstar may not be for everyone but everyone should try the experience! I can't imagine anyone being disappointed in their choice. We live in an amazing time with wonderful opportunities to explore the land and sea of our world. We have unique opportunities to interact with a great variety of people and to learn about their history and their cultures and customs. By doing so in the form of a travel adventure we add value to our lives and the lives of the people who host our visits. Windstar helps us realize that it truly is a SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL! Finally, Windstar guests are generally well educated and well traveled. They have accomplished much in their lives but are mostly humble people. The informal and relaxed atmosphere and culture of a Windstar cruise proves that excellence in service and experiences and a more relaxed style of dress and routines can add up to an exceptional vacation experience that is very special to enjoy, experience and most of all to desire to repeat in the future! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
After much research and back and forth decison making, we chose this cruise line and a marvelous itinerary. Our experience met and exceeded our expectations by a wide margin. EVERYTHING WAS WONDERFUL. Delicious food, romantic ... Read More
After much research and back and forth decison making, we chose this cruise line and a marvelous itinerary. Our experience met and exceeded our expectations by a wide margin. EVERYTHING WAS WONDERFUL. Delicious food, romantic moments, INCREDIBLE STAFF, Simulating and fun tours, fun activities and more. My wife had special dietary needs and the two chefs-Stany and Nilesh went over the top to please her. We even vistited the local markets with the chefs, as they chose the produce, cheeses, olives, and fish for the evening meals.WOW-that was fun. The receptionists and tour desk were so helpful, never saying no to anything. And the ship is just beautiful. Captain Alan allowed us to vist the Bridge and learn about how this ship does it's magic. And our room was more spacious than we expected-comfortable and well positioned-even a bath tub! Loved the dining room and the maitre d' Karmic-who made every night special-plus OKA, I Pung and Merra, our great servers! We will be back again-thats for sure. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Chose for the Monaco Grand Prix. The schedule for the Grand Prix was exactly what my husband wanted. It was very well done. However the ship itself did not live up to expectations. The air conditioning didn't work properly either ... Read More
Chose for the Monaco Grand Prix. The schedule for the Grand Prix was exactly what my husband wanted. It was very well done. However the ship itself did not live up to expectations. The air conditioning didn't work properly either freezing cold or really hot and you couldn't turn off. The Hot water barely worked. The meal in the top restaurant left a lot to be desired as it was a very limited menu and you couldn't delete things you were allergic to even though the menu said you could. Some staff did not appear very competent. There is room for a lot of improvement. The bed was hard, the fan in the bathroom ran all the time so had to keep the door closed all the time. Our cabin steward was fantastic but some of the other staff would rather talk to each other rather than serve. The way the Monaco Grand Prix was handled was excellent and the Saturday night entertainment in the Café De Paris was outstanding. The guest speaker was not really interested in anyone else. The tender service was not well run nor organisation of the people to be loaded. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was the second cruise of a B2B from Lisbon to Rome. This cruise went from Barcelona to Rome. Glitter and Glam 7 days. We had the same cabin for both cruises. The B2B experience was very good. Our boarding card was the same for both ... Read More
This was the second cruise of a B2B from Lisbon to Rome. This cruise went from Barcelona to Rome. Glitter and Glam 7 days. We had the same cabin for both cruises. The B2B experience was very good. Our boarding card was the same for both cruises. On the turn around day, we departed on a private tour. When we returned later in the day, we walked back on the ship. It was the best b2b turn around day experience. The ports were very interesting. We tendered in 3 ports: Sanary, Cannes, and Portofino. It was nice to visit smaller towns that big ships skip like Port Vendres and Sanrary. We attended the private event at the Villa Durrazzo when we were in Portofino.. It was excellent. The included lunch was delicious. It is not to be missed. We were enjoyed dining in all venues. The menus were repeated. However, it wasn't a problem. With so many good choices, it was easy to select menu items.The disembarkation process was a pleasure. Bags out by 6:30 am on the day of departure. Our private transfer from was waiting for us when we disembarked. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
We wanted a small, luxury ship experience. Far exceeded our expectations. Will only cruise small luxury ships in future and we will definitely choose Windstar Cruises. Your every need is anticipated by their exceptional and ... Read More
We wanted a small, luxury ship experience. Far exceeded our expectations. Will only cruise small luxury ships in future and we will definitely choose Windstar Cruises. Your every need is anticipated by their exceptional and professional crew. You are addressed by your name every time you meet them. We renewed our wedding vows onboard and I had them plan every detail. The Guest Relations Manager, Marina, did a stunning job. From choosing the vows to the music, everything was perfect. The Hotel Director, Bar Director and Dining Room Director were all present and made this special occasion extra special. Aside from the wonderful excursions and their own Discovery Event all guests are invited too, you are able to visit the Bridge while at sea. This was an added bonus. The food onboard was absolutely delicious. We had the opportunity to dine at "Candles" for our special day. Amazingly delicious. Entertainers onboard were fabulous and very good singers. Our Cruise Director, Ana (not little Anna - very good too) and her staff made us very aware of the various ports we would be calling at. Great Job ! The Captain made himself very available to all guests and should be very proud of his ship and staff --- Bravo to the Star Pride! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
My husband and I travel to Europe often but this was our first cruise. We didn't want a mega ship with thousands of people so we chose Windstar Cruises as they hold approximately 200 people. We booked the Glitter and Glam tour ... Read More
My husband and I travel to Europe often but this was our first cruise. We didn't want a mega ship with thousands of people so we chose Windstar Cruises as they hold approximately 200 people. We booked the Glitter and Glam tour starting at Barcelona moving to the French and Italian Rivieras and ending in Rome. The staff, food, and accommodations were first rate. The ship was immaculate which could be seen by the staff polishing the railings each morning. They knew our names by the second day. They were accommodating and friendly. We chose the Star Pride because all rooms are suites with a walk-in closet, bathroom with a double vanity, a bedroom and a sitting room. The food was very good. Breakfast was a buffet with everything from smoothies to fruit to omelets to yogurt to pancakes. Lunch was a buffet with salads, hot and cold entrees and also ala cart items. Dinner was in AmphorA or Candles (the steak house). The menu changed each night. We enjoyed salmon, filet mignon, chicken breast, scallops and shrimp, sirloin steak, etc. Our favorite night was the on deck BBQ with lobster tails, crab legs, a roasted pig, shrimp, and many tables of salads, fruits, and desserts. We were able not to gain the ten pounds that many cruisers do. I 'm sure the walking helped. We took four of the shore excursions but you can also go out on your own. They had a private event for us at a villa with pesto making, a lovely lunch, and a beautiful view. It was interesting being in a different place each day. Windstar made traveling easy. Each day you receive an itinerary with the day's events and shore excursions.I usually make the hotel, flight, transfer and restaurant arrangements. This time, Windstar took care of it all. The only thing that we had to do was show up, have fun and enjoy. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
My family and I chose this cruise because we wanted to go on a less crowded cruise, a relaxing and well facilitated one. This was perfect, hardly any flaws, impeccable service. Lots of things to do for entertainment- my favourite was ... Read More
My family and I chose this cruise because we wanted to go on a less crowded cruise, a relaxing and well facilitated one. This was perfect, hardly any flaws, impeccable service. Lots of things to do for entertainment- my favourite was working out in the gym. I'd like to give a special thanks to all the staff, especially the waiters and waitresses who worked so hard for so long and the lovely personal trainer onboard, Louis. His workouts kept me in shape even when I thought it was impossible after eating all the amazing food on the cruise! Food was impeccable, absolutely outstanding. Would definitely recommend Candles and The Amphora restaurants, both of high quality. I would say that Amphora is more family-friendly and has a "cosier" setting, one could say; Candles is perfect for couples who want to dine whilst watching the sun set. I went to both with my family as both were suitable, however if you choose not to eat at either and you want something so chilled you can eat in your pajamas, room service is just a phone call away! There were many excursions that were available and swimming in the sea will be a big hit with many people (no, not just the kids) as the sea is absolutely beautiful and the sun is shining and the view is jaw-droppingly amazing, definitely one of the best parts. BBQ night was most likely my favourite nigh onboard- aside from the crew's talent show...that was quite something ;)- there was so much dancing and incredible Mediterranean food, it was bliss. Everything was just lovely. So relaxing and by the end if the week you really felt as if everyone was family, so it broke my heart to have to say goodbye, both to the crew and fellow passengers. I would just like to say thank you so much to all of the Windstar crew who really made my summer memorable and I hope to travel with you all again very soon! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We just disembarked from our Windstar cruise from Barcelona to Rome and were very happy and satisfied with our experience. The number one difference at Windstar is the Personal experience and how it is enhanced by the extraordinary crew! ... Read More
We just disembarked from our Windstar cruise from Barcelona to Rome and were very happy and satisfied with our experience. The number one difference at Windstar is the Personal experience and how it is enhanced by the extraordinary crew! In just 6 days, we knew all of our servers and staff by name and they greeted us by name. It is so much more personal to travel this way and never feel like a cattle call. The cabins were very nice and quite large and again they were clean and refreshed all day long. The food was wonderful and plentiful and the 24 hr room service was a great hit with our constantly eating sons who were traveling with us. The special events and barbecue night were fantastic and though we had to change itinerary due to Italian port alerts, the staff quickly changed excursions to make everyone happy. We will really miss One, Barus, Caroleena and Dody who made our cruise so special and made us sad to say goodbye. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We are well cruised, first and last time with Windstar. The slogan of this company is "180 degrees from ordinary" - believe me there was nothing ordinary at all about the Star Breeze or the crew. We boarded the Star Breeze ... Read More
We are well cruised, first and last time with Windstar. The slogan of this company is "180 degrees from ordinary" - believe me there was nothing ordinary at all about the Star Breeze or the crew. We boarded the Star Breeze in Barcelona, a ghost ship, walked into the theatre where passports were CONFISCATED for the ENTIRE DURATION of the cruise - the only way to get your passport back is curtailing the cruise. There are no border/ immigration/ customs between Spain, France and Italy, plus passports are scanned into Windstar’s system upon boarding, so why confiscate passports? This is only done to deprive people of their freedom. We have had new passports issued post cruise following Consular advice as we do not know what has been done in our name using our passports during the confiscation period (cruise) – possible identity theft – BE WARNED. Would you willingly surrender your passport to a stranger? This Star Breeze is VERY, VERY OLD. The cruise line boasts a mega refit but it is aging badly and rust is visible all over, the refit obviously fell short of a paint job. If this is what you can see then what you cannot see is more of a concern. If you are bothered by motion sickness or the ships movements bother you then please keep in mind that this is a smaller ship with BIG, BIG MOVEMENTS – we had one rougher day at sea (18 hours of rough seas), plates and glasses smashed off tables as the ship tilted and lurched violently in the water day and night. Although it did not bother us, most guests took to their bed as they were unable to stand, sit reading or walk around the Star Breeze. Bathrooms are very clean but old, mirrors badly needing replaced, fixtures covered in long term rust stains. Hot water ran red with rust most days. Cabin was well appointed and very clean. The only TV channel available 24/7 was Fox News. Dining was very poor: food quality poor the service was just PATHETIC. Breakfast and lunch buffet cabinets are not lit so you cannot see just how bad the food actually is. Hot drinks are not available anywhere on board the Star Breeze after 5pm unless you call room service – we did, it took 55 min. to get two cups of coffee. Dining in the main dining room was a sick joke – waiters gave you what they wanted when they wanted and not what we ordered, they then changed tables leaving you to battle it out with a different waiter. Mineral water was not available on board – filtered sea water is bottled on board and passed off as bottled mineral water. We had to buy mineral water when we got ashore; mineral water was only made available to the Star Breeze’s officers and not to guests. If you like ice in your drinks then watch the pool bar staff use their dirty bare hands to serve your ice and a slice in your glass. We ate room service one evening; they took 2h25min to serve a very simple meal. We were told initially that they were busy and still cooking (1 hour after placing the order), they had lost the order (1hour 20 min.), and how about a burger as the chef had finished his shift (1h 30min. after placing the order). Officers were around eating and drinking and enjoying their “vacation” big time, while fare paying guests were suffering BIG TIME on their vacation. The Star Breeze has two tender craft, one of which just happened to be out of service again – read other reviews; we had to wait 3 hours to go ashore in Alghero, Italy to find officers already lazing under a sunshade on the dock. The office who was calling out the tenders as and when they became available went ashore and never called our tender – we are still waiting for our tender to be called today. We had our entire day wasted in Alghero, Italy due to the lack of interest in guests, lack of management and absolute absence of customer service. A whole day lost on a six night cruise. The highlight of this cruise was the stop in Portovenere, Italy and was the reason we purchased this cruise. A special highlight stop still shown on Windstar’s website today as I write this, the Star Breeze was not allowed to tender in Portovenere- a port where only small ships such as the Star Breeze can go: “step into amazing places ….as only a small ship can help you do”, in this case Portovenere, Vernazza and Cinqueterre. The day before we were due to arrive in Portovenere, Italy we were told that the Star Breeze was not able to go there, we were diverted to Livorno which is not a picturesque once in a lifetime cruise stop, it is an industrial roll on roll off ferry port located 2 hours from Portovenere by car. Again another complete day wasted as we never got to the place we had contracted to sail to: Portovenere for Vernazza and Cinqueterre. The taxi drivers in Livorno knew days before that the Star Breeze was due to dock, however, we as passengers were told of the itinerary change the day before we were due to arrive in Portovenere. No compensation was given, no apology. Everyone knew about this itinerary change except the passengers. We had been taken for a ride. If we had known in advance we would have not taken the cruise. Excursions were obviously cancelled, one month later we are still fighting Windstar for this to be refunded. We did not get what we paid for. We took our issues up with Windstar once home, their customer service is similar to that on board. No interest at all. We have very limited vacation time and as most, we look forward to a relaxing enjoyable vacation. Windstar wasted our time, and that unfortunately cannot be replaced. Do not allow these people to waste your time, failing to meet expectations and failing to give you what they advertise, what they sell and failing to give you what you purchase. We had two complete days wasted on a six night cruise on the Star Breeze, we never got to see Alghero, Italy, we never even got to Portovenere, Vernazza or Cinqueterre, Italy. We never got 1/3 of what we contracted with Windstar. Please, before you find a great deal, a last minute discount or a “too good to be true” fare, consider what happened on our cruise. Make an informed choice and an informed purchase. Take a moment to imagine how you will feel if you do not get what you paid for and get nothing in return. Know what to expect on board the Star Breeze before you go ahead and commit to booking, if anything goes wrong you will get nothing on board or post cruise to compensate. They are, indeed, “180 degrees from ordinary”. Good luck. Read Less
33 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
It's hard to say enough great things about this cruise! What a fantastic experience and what an amazing boat! I've read the negative reviews about this boat, but I invite you to picture the person who wrote it. I've ... Read More
It's hard to say enough great things about this cruise! What a fantastic experience and what an amazing boat! I've read the negative reviews about this boat, but I invite you to picture the person who wrote it. I've seen them on cruises and there is no pleasing them. My wife and I and another couple, all in our early 50's, recently completed the cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon. It was superb! We had a basic cabin on a lower level and it was very spacious, clean and well appointed. Our cabin steward was great and friendly. The air conditioning was cold and easy to control. The bed/mattress was very comfortable. Pillows were soft foam and perfect! I heard someone on our cruise literally complain that they had to pick up their own glass of champaign upon boarding the boat, that it wasn't "handed" to them. If that's your biggest issue, you have a great life! We were extremely pleased to find out that the main dinner restaurant was a la carte, and wow, was it ever awesome! The chef visited every table, every day to discuss how their meal was (awesome!). The food progressively got better and better! The oso bucco was stellar as was the prime rib! Each day their were new special salads and soups to start the meal, as well as different entrees and deserts. Was it perfect? No. One day I ordered medium rare beef Wellington and it came out medium well. When the waitress noticed she asked if I'd like something different and I said yes. She brought me another meal within three minutes. Seriously, it was AMAZING service! I don't know what the other people were complaining about regarding excessive vibration and the smell of oil, there was absolutely none of that. It was clean, fancy and delicious. We did dinner one night at the reservations required steak place, Candles. Filet minion, New York strip, Mahi Mahi, all amazing! But I have to say, the main dining room was equally good, but it just didn't serve the same amount of steak. Dinner was from 7-9. With only 200 passengers, and a la carte serving (vs a crappy carnival cruise line buffet) it made complete sense. We never had to wait to get our drinks refilled (with lots of ice) or wine poured for us. The service was truly exceptional, and we found the serving staff really tried to get to know us by name and remember our drink preferences. My wife would go to the Yacht Club in the late afternoon to read and the waitress would bring her a red wine and club soda without her having to ask. Needless to say, she got a great tip! The night of the BBQ was spectacular! The lobster, flank steak, suckling pig, fish, paella and all the amazing accompaniments were outstanding! The biggest issue was finding a shady place to sit. When a server saw us sitting in the sun, she offered us an alternative in the shade just around the corner that we hadn't seen. Breakfast was great too! They had a buffet set up if you wanted to grab something quickly and get on your way, as well as an omelet bar and a la carte menu. It was a great assortment of always great food. We only ate lunch on the boat twice, once on sea day and once when we stopped in Gibraltar for the morning. It was awesome both times as well. You're not going to go hungry on this boat. If you wanted a meal outside of the normal seating times, the boat has 24 hour room service (which includes popcorn if you want to stay in your room one evening and watch a movie) as well as light meals in the Yacht Club until 5:00pm. At 6:00pm they started serving awesome appetizers in the Star Bar. Speaking of the Star Bar, it became our favourite evening hangout. Jesus and Haleigh played great music that was a combo of easy listening during the early hours, to dance music later on in the evening. We closed it down a few time! That's not to take away from the Compass Rose bar. The band there was great as well, but it's inside and we only went there on one particularly cool breezy evening. My wife and I are retired and consider ourselves rather adventurous. Our friends who were with us were equally adventurous. We saw many many couples who were much older than us on the cruise having a great time! It's clearly that this is the cruise line for cool adventurous people! We want to be like them when we get older. We also saw some people who my wife described as "cranky pants". People who needed to be treated like kings and queens or their noses would get out of joint. Fortunately these people were few and far between and we did a good job of avoiding them. I suspect the writers of the negative reviews fell into the category. I'm not going to comment in detail about each port that we stopped at. They were all awesome and unique and we had a great time at each one. If you're interested in reviews on the ports, go to tripadvisor. I will say that we did two tours arranged by Windstar, one that we organized on our own, and the rest we just walked and wondered around (which was awesome). All of them were great, but the nice thing about doing you own thing is that there are fewer people and you get a more personal experience. We will definitely be back on a Windstar boat, and hopefully on Star Breeze! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We choose this cruise because of the ports and we had never been on Windstar. We assumed it was a sailing ship because of the masts we saw in ports. Shortly after boarding we were told that one of our excursion was canceled due to ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the ports and we had never been on Windstar. We assumed it was a sailing ship because of the masts we saw in ports. Shortly after boarding we were told that one of our excursion was canceled due to Ramadan in Tangier. Did the cruise line not know, because it was advertised on their website for months, and one of the reasons we booked the cruise. The city of Tangier was like a ghost town. So moving on, my husband and I were enjoying the jacuzzi on a beautiful full moon night when we were told that we had to get out, because it was closed. It wasn't even 9 pm. On another night we were sleeping and at 2 in the morning an upholstered tile from the headboard fell on my husbands head. No damage, but surprising . We assumed the the room steward would have it fixed. But no, we called and someone came and fixed it. The next day our room steward said "I thought it was yours", really I brought a headboard tile with me. The food was good, but not regional. There was a BBQ one night with all the food from the region, but I expected to have at least one option a night from the region on the ships menu. Don't get me started about the news letter. Wrong dates, wrong times, wrong cities. Two hour wrong wakeup times, on and on. We've been cruising since 2002 on many different lines and travel many times every year on land and sea. We have never been more disappointed in a cruise line. The staff was wonderful the ports beautiful, but the attention to detail was miserable. The photo we bought is not printable on our email. So disappointed. We also think it really isn't a sailing ship, just a gimmick, because we never sailed and the sports deck was never available. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
The Barcelona to Lisbon cruise was excellent. The captain and crew were magnificent. The cabin accommodations were comfortable, ship very clean and maintained, excellent dining in the main dining room. The "Veranda" for breakfast ... Read More
The Barcelona to Lisbon cruise was excellent. The captain and crew were magnificent. The cabin accommodations were comfortable, ship very clean and maintained, excellent dining in the main dining room. The "Veranda" for breakfast and lunch was nice and "American" style buffets and order from menu with "specialty foods" supposedly picked up at our various ports by the chef. Didn't really take advantage of the limited entertainment options although the duos in the two lounge areas were reasonably talented. I found the service to be excellent. I would certainly recommend taking shore excursions bought through Windstar, although I am sure a bit more "priced up" than if you arranged on your own, however, there were advantages to the Windstar coordinated ones including the fact that they were "smaller" groups, compared to an entire "busload" of tourists following on guide around as well as the "sites" that we went to being a smaller group. Also, the buses/tours were geared for the whatever time the ship docked, and accommodated to the yacht's schedule rather than to a tour company predetermined time table. The Windstar tours were totally private tours vs what I would call the standard "commercial tour." Also, the "yacht" being about a 200 passenger ship (it was an older ship reconditioned but nicely done) it could go to places other larger passenger ships could not get into such as going up the river to Seville. Our docking locations were always "front row seat docking," and very convenient to off loading. If any critique, it would be that on several days when our tour had to leave early (they would open lunch earlier at 11:30 and close down breakfast earlier) we were not able to get lunch before needing to be on the bus. Upon return some 4+ hours later, the "Veranda" was closed for lunch and you had to order a lunch or snack through room service. With about 50% of the passengers returning and deluging room service at the same time, the wait for my order was close to an hour when I was told 15-20 minutes. Plus they must have been receiving so many calls at the same time, that it took me several attempts before I got an answer just to place order. I searched out an officer later (spoke to the hotel manager and told him I am sure this is not new situation and my suggestion is to have a snack area set up knowing they'd have a large number of passengers returning who had not had anything to eat since whatever their breakfast time was. He acknowledged but I got the impression that, "I'm hearing this again. Get over it." The availability of small "nosh" snacks in the "Yatch Club" was not nearly adequate to handle the "crush" of hungry returning passengers. As to the shore excursions themselves, all were rated "excellent" except for one which was good, mainly because the guide was not up to par as to her language skill and knowledge as comparative guides on other shore excursions. I got the impression that Windstar was able to get "top notch" better than average tour guides and they enjoyed being with our much smaller group. Our guide in Malaga was even a docent at the Picasso Museum so when we went there we really got a much better museum guided tour than I think our companion group did who was on the other bus. The Sail Away was always fun, dramatic, and ceremonial. The Monday night BBQ had excellent food, dancing, and music that kept most passengers engaged for a long time and then those of us who stayed on until close down time of about 11am had a great time. Excellent crew and passenger interaction time. The bridge was open to passenger visitations when the ship was sailing. Whoever was there at the time, including the captain, were welcoming and enjoyed talking about their job on the bridge, what they did, showing you the maps (so if you are a map person like I am, this was particularly interesting), etc. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly and no complaints. All persons I spoke with indicated a high degree of satisfaction with the itinerary, the crew, the logistics and dining services, etc. All crew, including captain, were very approachable. After reading some poor reviews about several of the other ships, particularly the Star Breeze, this ship's operations seemed to be the opposite. I would give it another "go" and appreciated the small size of the vessel. Read Less
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