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9 Windstar Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

I have sailed on 7 different cruise lines on multiple cruises to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Russia, Alaska, and Europe. Wind Surf was launched for Club Med in 1989 (30 years old). Dry dock and total renovation and redesign cannot ... Read More
I have sailed on 7 different cruise lines on multiple cruises to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Russia, Alaska, and Europe. Wind Surf was launched for Club Med in 1989 (30 years old). Dry dock and total renovation and redesign cannot come soon enough! This is an old boat and feeling rundown and shabby (not chic). And the sails may wow folks in port, but there is a lot of hoopla over the "unfurling" of sails and playing the same Vangelis music every evening. First time was interesting, but come on folks, what's the big deal. The passenger demographic of this cruise line is well-healed seniors in their 70's who have more money than travel experience and are easily impressed. Overall, the value simply wasn't here. Some may feel they are part of an exclusive guest list of 300 passengers, but the ship is small, staterooms are very small, food service is adequate but average and entertainment is virtually nonexistent. Staff is under pressure to do their jobs and wanted little to do with passenger's requests or comfort. Overall the promise of Windstar's promotional website and literature does not match the promise of a personal and unique experience, an engaging staff, or amazing luxury cruise yachting experience. Boarding the ship in Rome (Civitavecchia), I was astounded that only one of the two elevator was functional at embarkation and the crew had that elevator tied up for hours delivering luggage to state rooms. No staff elevators on board this ship. I spoke with the Reception Desk and they promised each day that the second elevator would be fixed anytime. It took 3 days and constant reminding the desk that there are a lot of very senior passengers who have mobility issues and need the elevator. After repair and elevator started functioning again, they shut down the elevators several times during the cruise and placed an "out of order" sign on the doors. This old ship should never have left port without both elevators functioning. Our cabin was the smallest stateroom ever, with minimal closet and storage space. Bed linens were nice, but the beds were broken down and should have been replaced a year ago. But the bathroom was downright difficult and out dated. I'm 5'11", 185 lbs and it was close for me. Cannot imagine how some on board managed to shower or use the toilets as the space was so tight. Luxury Yacht? Not in my book. Each evening as passengers returned to the ship after a day of excursions, we would congregate on the pool deck expecting to watch the exit from ports during sunsets, relax, swim, chat and enjoy some bar beverages. At 6:00 pm, staff beginning removing all umbrellas, closing pool and jacuzzis, collecting all towels and bar glasses and shutting down the Pool Bar and Deck. Fresh towel bins were empty. Many passengers voiced their objections at this untimely closing of the large pool deck of the ship but staff had their orders and ignored the passengers requests. While reclining in swim wear, we were told to go upstairs and order our drinks at that bar. Then they collected and stacked the chaises to clear the deck. Stupid Ship and Bar Policy. After while, passengers gave up requesting to leave the Pool Bar and Deck open while we sail out of ports. The cruise itinerary was a major draw for us; visiting ports of east and west coasts of Italy, and the Dalmatian coast. Visiting the cruise ports was great fun, but certainly there were the other "mega ships" in port, also. So the idea that the ship is so "small" (700 ft isn't really small), we could sail into ports restricted to larger ships was false. And unfortunately for some, the rear ship "marina" was only lowered twice on the cruise. Many were disappointed that equipment was not in good condition and the kayaks were not available as they posed competition to the local businesses. Shore excursions? Unless you have money to burn, take time to research the cruise ports and figure out what interest you, rather than pay outrageous fees for Windstar excursions (yes, were talking several thousands extra for excursions). It seemed every time you turned around, there were extra charges, overpriced drinks, extra gratuity for staff (I'm glad to tip for extraordinary service), staff saying "no", not possible, cannot do that, sir. Certainly not the promise of the Windstar Cruises. One bright spot in the ships staff was the Gym Facilitor, Nathan from South Africa. Very knowledgeable in fitness and exercise and very aware of the age of his passengers. Well done! I will definitely sail more cruises in the future, but definitely not on Windstar ships. As a matter of fact, we've already booked a Viking River Cruise for 2019. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We had been on a windstar cruise nine years ago and had always wanted to go on another, but before there were no elevators and we have mobility problems on stairs and walking long distances. We had booked a regular suite, but after my ... Read More
We had been on a windstar cruise nine years ago and had always wanted to go on another, but before there were no elevators and we have mobility problems on stairs and walking long distances. We had booked a regular suite, but after my husbands trip to the emergency room from a fall incapacitated him further, we asked for and were upgraded to a handicap accessible room. These are not equipped for wheelchairs, but have accessible showers rather than a tub/shower combination, and this cabin upgrade saved our trip. One note, however, you do have to go up and down stairs to board the ship and to board the tenders, which was difficult for us and discourage from getting off of the ship for many of the ports. The employees and the passengers were so nice and helpful, that it made our trip enjoyable even though we did have some mobility issues. The adults only policy was a plus for us. The small ship size made it easy for us to get around to all areas on the ship. The cabin was very spacious with draw curtains that divided the sitting area from the bed area. Although we did not have a balcony room, we had a large picture window for viewing the scenery. I thought the food was excellent and better overall compared to other ships we have been on. I personally liked the entertainment of two different singing duos, but others may find the limited on board entertainment to be lacking. We had booked two independent shore excursions, but due to the rough seas and bad weather, the Montserrat stop was cancelled, so we only went ashore on Martinique, but we enjoyed that island very much.The beach bar-b-q was also moved onto the ship due to rainy weather. We were compensated with on board credit for these, which was totally unexpected and more than you would receive on most other cruise lines. This will probably be our last cruise due to mobility issues and age, but I consider this to have been one of the most enjoyable cruises we have ever taken. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
First off, all the people that work there try real hard. the Captain and his crew tried very hard to make the cruise comfortable despite tropical storm Alieen with 85 miles winds.However this is not a luxary cruise. Princess is must better ... Read More
First off, all the people that work there try real hard. the Captain and his crew tried very hard to make the cruise comfortable despite tropical storm Alieen with 85 miles winds.However this is not a luxary cruise. Princess is must better and it is not in the class of Oceanic. This is about getting room service 1/2 hour late. taking over 30 minutes to get a workable hairdryer, losing dining reservation for 18 at their special restaurant, despite confiming it the day before. Knowing what is jasmine tea vis green tea. Not getting a wheel chair, when requesting it. Little stuffs that relates to communication and the failure to delivery. The cabin was great and have lots of places for storages. The shower was huge with plenty of hot water. Cabin size was excellent. Love the one price cleaning and delivery within 24 hours. Love the idea of free soda and coffee. The $12 per day crew service charge was very reasonable and we got good service. Entertaiment was enjoyable. Port excursions by the cruise company was first class and having lunch at great places helps. Recommend it highly. Dining was so-so at best. Desserts was not good, not even ice creams. Worst roast beef i ever have. The specialize restaurant is much better, but you only get to it only once. The best was when they did a barbecue dinner with all the choices. Since the ship is smaller, it limited dining options. It can use a buffet.. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Windstar cruise line offered an interesting opportunity to see more than Tahiti and Moorea by taking a week long cruise on the Wind Spirit. The itinerary included the additional Society Islands of Bora Bora, Taha'a, Raiatea, and ... Read More
Windstar cruise line offered an interesting opportunity to see more than Tahiti and Moorea by taking a week long cruise on the Wind Spirit. The itinerary included the additional Society Islands of Bora Bora, Taha'a, Raiatea, and Huahine. Each stop afforded us the opportunity to learn more about the Polynesian culture, the local history, and the current economy. The two tours we arranged before the cruise with Francyfranc Tours in Moorea and L'Excursion Bleue in Raiatea, were offered at half the price of similar ship-sponsored tours and were excellent - better than the two ship tours we booked for other ports, which were also good. We were invited to visit the ship's bridge when at sea, although most inter-island travel was at night. It was a rare opportunity to chat with the captain and each of the officers on duty throughout the cruise and we very much enjoyed our brief conversations and the explanation of the instruments used to control the ship. The food was delicious and the table service was generally very friendly and efficient. We enjoyed the two events ashore: the evening luau on Motu Tabu off Bora Bora, which included very entertaining Polynesian dancers, and the picnic lunch on a motu off Taha'a. However, the evening buffet on the open pool deck with a rain storm was not as successful. Of particular note was the Captain of the Hotel Staff and one of his Lieutenants assisting on the serving line during the picnic. This leadership approach results in the friendly, cheerful and efficient service provided by the entire crew directly serving the passengers. Do not miss the crew's talent show which is presented at the end of the voyage. The other onboard entertainment is limited to a husband and wife team singing popular songs. Be cognizant that the weather in the southern hemisphere summer (our winter) is sunny, hot and humid with frequent showers. Being from Houston, we know hot and humid, but we found this weather to be well beyond our summer experiences. If you like water sports (snorkeling, kayaking, etc.) you will love this cruise. Snorkel gear and other water sport equipment is provided without charge. Just a heads up: when snorkeling, be careful of currents carrying you into coral, which can cause significant injuries. You will probably not find any cheap cruises or airfare to Tahiti due to lack of competition. Be sure to allow plenty of time (3 hours minimum) if you're making connections in L.A. and be clear on whether your bags will be checked through. We almost missed our flight to Tahiti due to a misunderstanding in this regard. Also recognize that you must produce a return or continuing airline reservation or you will not be issued a boarding pass to fly to Tahiti. In summary, we very much enjoyed this unique cruise on Windstar and would definitely recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
When I received an email that Windstar was offering a sizable discount on certain cruises during the holidays, I investigated their sailings to Tahiti and the Caribbean. Since Tahiti gets a lot of rain in December and January, we opted for ... Read More
When I received an email that Windstar was offering a sizable discount on certain cruises during the holidays, I investigated their sailings to Tahiti and the Caribbean. Since Tahiti gets a lot of rain in December and January, we opted for a Caribbean cruise. The Wind Surf sailing worked well with our schedule. We boarded in St. Maarten and noticed four cruise ships in the cruise terminal - P & O, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and then the Wind Surf. It was the smallest of the ships, yet the only one with masts to set sail. What makes a Windstar ship special is that they visit some ports that the big ships don't, so when you are in port it is not packed with cruise passengers. The embarkation was easy. There were no lines. We walked right up and gave the staff our information. Golf carts were nearby to whisk us to the Wind Surf, however we elected to check out the shops in the terminal before boarding the ship. Once we did, again without a line to wait in, we showed the crew staff our documents and passports. Then we walked over to the waiter staff to make reservations to the more intimate dining at Stella Bistro and Candles. Candles is so cool, because it is steak and seafood al fresco dining. We received our room card to check out our staterooms 255 and 253. Both were identical except 253 had two twin beds and 255 was made into a king. What was different is that 255 was next to the water tight metal door. At arrival to every port and when we sailed away, three buzzing alarms sounded and the doors came down right next to our room. Early in the morning, it woke us up. Another bug-a-boo about 255 was a constant rolling sound and boom when we were at sea. I had to sleep with earplugs and a pillow over my head, yet still would wake up to this sound. I called the reception desk three times. Our room steward Etti did everything she could to help soften the noise. She put pillows near the porthole covers and talked to the room steward who worked above our room. An evening steward checked out the sound and said it was the wake hitting the hull as we sailed. He said it was the sound he heard on the first level. The pound sound could be the waves, but not the rolling sound before the boom. Other than not sleeping well at night, I loved the cruise. Here is what I enjoyed - 1. BBQ lunch in St. Lucia's Pigeon Island. It's quite a spread. Sail, paddle board, snorkel, waterski and hike to the top of the fortress. 2. The yoga class with Jonathan at St. Lucia at the park while listening to the waves crash was memorable. His 6 pm Pilates class was also a good work out. 3. Pink Beach in Barbuda. Others enjoyed Coco Beach. 4. Free motion sickness pills at the reception desk. My daughter needed a pill at least once a day. 5. On Sunday The Veranda offers Brunch from 9 to 1 p.m. There is such a variety. 6. The crew are extremely friendly from Indonesia and the Philippines. Andi, Nova, Uud and Russ in the dining areas were terrific. Etti our room steward was wonderful. There was a blind couple on the ship and the staff were so helpful and accommodating. 7. Two juccuzi tubs on the back of the boat next to the pool. The tubs are small, ideal for two or family of four. At sunset when the ship is ready to set sail is the best time to be out on deck. 8. Taking the River Tubing Adventure in Roseau, Dominica. A bus picks up passengers and takes guests on a 20 minute drive to the forest. Each guest receives a yellow inner tube. There are seven guides that help guide guests down class one and two rapids. The guides sing and tell jokes at various stops. It's a sumner camp feel and fun floating down among bamboo trees, papaya, coconut. At the end of the journey, guests receive a cup of rum punch, water or Soda. They also have a plate of fresh fruit from the area - coconut, grapefruit, papaya and sugarcane. 9. Dining at Stella Bistro for a French dinner. Reservations are required and can be made on the first day of the cruise. The lobster Thermidore, escargot and Creme brûlée are delicious. 10. Popcorn and a movie. Guests can select a DVD from the media library and go back to their room to order room service. There is 24 hour room service. Popcorn comes warm, slightly buttered and salted in two separate bowls. They make crudités and dip and quesadillas too. 11. Be sure to see the crew talent show. It's very entertaining to see your cabin steward sing a Maroon 5 song, your favorite bartender juggle and pour colorful drinks, and the cruise director and four other crew members perform a synchronized swimming skit. 12. Dinner at Candles is quite an elegant al fresco affair. The grilled steak and seafood restaurant. 13. Al fresco BBQ dinner on deck. All the guests sit outdoors on the wood deck under the masts. There is a roasted suckling pig, lobster tails, king crab legs, chicken, salads, and a large dessert table. Sitting under the stars, while listening to a live band, we visited the buffet a few times. After the dinner, the crew encourages the guests to line dance out on the deck. Visiting St. Bart's and anchoring near the millionaire and billionaire yachts. 14. Playing board games after dinner or seeing the musicians perform in the evening. 15. Walking to Shell Beach in St. Barts and snorkeling near million dollar yachts. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Wonderfull! Al thé Time. The departure city was fantastic and we stained 2 days at a beatyfull hotel that was indicated by "windstar cruises". It was very easy to get on board.the ship was above all speciation! The cabin was ... Read More
Wonderfull! Al thé Time. The departure city was fantastic and we stained 2 days at a beatyfull hotel that was indicated by "windstar cruises". It was very easy to get on board.the ship was above all speciation! The cabin was excellent, The restaurants were perfect. The crew was absolutely friendly. There are some intertainments and activist on board but all the ports were so interesting that we stayed ashore the most part of the time. The travel's highlights were fantastic! Greece is marvelous! All the ports we stopped are one better than the others. The excursions were excellent.The passengers were all Americans, I and my niece were the only Brazilians passengers. If we had a wish, it would be real in one minute.Now my only dream is to do another cruise .I intend to go another time next year. I have already travel with my husband in many bigger boats but Star Breeze is the best one I have known. Sorry for the bad English, I speak Portuguese and French. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have sailed Windstar 5 or 6 times in the past and always had a great experience. So when it came to going on a special trip with my Mom the cruise line was an easy choice. I left the cruise itinerary up to Mom to pick. She selected ... Read More
We have sailed Windstar 5 or 6 times in the past and always had a great experience. So when it came to going on a special trip with my Mom the cruise line was an easy choice. I left the cruise itinerary up to Mom to pick. She selected Glitter and Glam of the Riviera. We left from Rome and disembarked in Barcelona, both was very smooth. Great trip! Staff is excellent as is the food. The ports were great; best was Monte Carlo! The ship was Wind Surf their biggest at 310 pax but it wasn't full (sorry Windstar) that week so quite comfortable. It is also the one with elevators which came in very handy since Mom was in a wheelchair. All of the staff is just great but we had exceptional service from Allen and Larry dining room mgrs, Eric, Ruel, Ade, Lilik, Yusef and Nino! Just love Windstar and will cruise with them again... Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
What can corporate Windstar be thinking? Just got off the Star Legend, the most dangerous and old ship I have ever sailed on in 30 cruises. No safety signs (even for wet paint and varnish), tenders don't work, people are expected to ... Read More
What can corporate Windstar be thinking? Just got off the Star Legend, the most dangerous and old ship I have ever sailed on in 30 cruises. No safety signs (even for wet paint and varnish), tenders don't work, people are expected to climb dozens of stairs to tenders and hop onto poorly parked and operated tenders - both of which are now broken - and rubber dingies. A nice but in some cases inexperienced crew can do nothing with awful, unsafe, old equipment. And it was a rocky and sea sickening ride more than 1 night. Also, ship does not port where anyone else does and doesn't tell you before hand. No board games onboard or daily activities. What a nightmare. RUN AWAY from this "luxury" cruise. Most annoying things: Used balcomy stateroom next to mine to store and fold sheets. Left door open at night to bang open and close; also went in and out at all hours. WHAT? People were so bored, absolutely nothing was going on on this ship. Even movies and tv reception were lacking. Embarkation is a nightmare. Prepare to wait in the hot sun and wait a lot more before climbing 30 stairs to get onboard and get in another line to get your keys, etc. Tenders broken, waffle machine broken, ice cream machine broken, cannot make pancakes, cannot make a soft egg to save their lives (be it over easy or poached.) Huge markup if you take pre cruise hotel, excursions, or transfer to or from airport (transfer was 3 times more expensive than a cab.) One bbq and one shore party (where people got stranded for almost 2 hours) for lack of transportation does not make a good time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We‘re just back from the Windstar Panama Canal to Costa Roca cruise on the Wind Spirit. This was our third and probably last cruise with Windstar. First the good news. The on board staff is wonderful; friendly, hardworking and ... Read More
We‘re just back from the Windstar Panama Canal to Costa Roca cruise on the Wind Spirit. This was our third and probably last cruise with Windstar. First the good news. The on board staff is wonderful; friendly, hardworking and professional. They do a great job given the deep cuts put in place by the new owners. The kitchen staff works wonders with the poor quality supplies they are provided. But even they can’t make up for the lack of quality food or the minimal quantity of pricier ingredients. Compared to our previous Windstar cruises, the lunch buffet was bare bones. No seafood salads or other interesting items. Instead we had lots of pasta’s and stewed/braised meats, the better to tenderize lower quality cuts. The afternoon teas were simply embarrassing. Dinners were usually better but the seafood was dreadful. One does not expect frozen fish as an entrée when visiting ports filled with local fisherman delivering wonderful fish daily. It is clear that Xanterra is cutting corners which has impacting bookings. Our cruise was only 78% occupied (125 passengers). At the Yacht Club (frequent cruiser) reception I discretely chatted with several other Windstar regulars who noticed the decline and wanted to share notes on other lines for future cruises. The staff at the corporate booking office worked to minimums and couldn’t care less about our past loyalty. Xanterra specializes in extracting maximum revenue from a captive audience. As operators of facilities within US National Parks, they serve visitors who rarely come back for repeat visits. So their modus operandi is maximum prices with minimal value. We sailed on the Seabourn Odyssey last year and the difference between the Odyssey and Wind Spirit is dramatic even though the Windstar line costs about the same. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
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