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60 Windstar Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Ok, first off this was a 10 day Greek Island cruise not an 18 day one that the default this review site shows. Our first trip to Greece. Took the Windstar transfer from the airport. Navigating the Athens airport was easy. Transfer was ... Read More
Ok, first off this was a 10 day Greek Island cruise not an 18 day one that the default this review site shows. Our first trip to Greece. Took the Windstar transfer from the airport. Navigating the Athens airport was easy. Transfer was a taxi driver with a sign. It was fine. Stayed at the Windstar hotel, the St. George. Lovely hotel. Rooms are fine. Location is great and the views from the rooftop restaurant and pool are spectacular. Took the transfer to the port. Bit of nonsense about having to have your luggage out 4 hours early. Don’t worry about that. You can bring it at the last minute. The port at Athens is a bit of a hassle. Pretty large and not well organized. Windstar did their best to get us on the ship as quickly as possible. But once on board it wasn’t very well done. Long line to register (which we had never experienced before). Then you had to stand in another line to book dinner in the specialty restaurants, another line for drink packages and yet another line to get the wifi package. Went to our room and signed up for the laundry package. We find this great value for the money. Never met our cabin steward until 2 days in which seemed a bit odd. Went to the main dining room, Amphora, the first night. Not our favorite. So we set out to try and get into Candles and Stella specialty restaurants the rest of the nights. Other than one night back at Amphora for a dinner hosted by the Destination Manager we managed to accomplish that. Candles is the outdoor eating experience and is our favorite spot. The French themed restaurant Stella is also very good with the best service on the ship. There is also a few nights where they offer a Sunset Dinner at the back of the ship. Not well advertised but you should take advantage of it. Our worst dining experience was actually the BBQ. We were really looking forward to it. A favorite night on our other cruises. The BBQ started at 7. It was overcrowded. We couldn’t get a seat outside. Had to sit in a corner of the bar eating almost off our laps. Food lines were long and frustrating. This one was a bust and a major disappointment. Our first stop was Napoli. We didn’t book a shore excursion there. Nice little town. Not crowded. Easy to manage on your own. Went back to the ship in the afternoon and swam off the sports deck (you had the option to do this at 3 stops). Take advantage of this. Much better than the pool. ( Before I forget, there was a very large group onboard from Purdue University. Nice enough crowd but a group booking this large kind of pushes everyone else to the side lines as the ship tends to cater first to them. ). The next stop was Mykonos. Definite hotspot for the party crowd and quite busy. We opted for a private tour here to a farm and dinner through Get Your Guide ( you can check out our review there). Great experience away from the din of the town. Then on to Syros. Place you likely haven’t heard of. Overall we liked these unexpected, unknown stops. Where the big ships dont go are the best stops. Took a ship tour of the town and monetary which we enjoyed very much. From there to the lone stop in Turkey. We really enjoyed Turkey. Took a long tour of Ephesus and a village. Ephesus was wonderful to experience. Draw back here, and it was a theme on our ship tours, you go with a bus load. The tour is long and difficult. That is spelled out in the description. But we still ended up with a contingent of folks who couldn’t handle the terrain and the pace. It caused some tension in our group. In the future we will stay away from the ship tours and book our own where we are in smaller groups. It is law in Turkey that at the end of a tour that you have to go for a Turkish rug explanation. We did this gritting our teeth knowing we had to get through it. Big surprise. We had a great time and ended up buying two carpets! Who knew. Then to top it off, of the last night of the cruise we won another carpet drawn from everyone who had bought one. That night was a big highlight. Windstar arranged for a dinner back at the ruins of Ephesus on the Harbor road where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra walked with the backdrop of the amphitheater where Paul preached to the Ephesians. It was a spectacular night that would be near difficult to beat. It was after hours and only the people from our ship. Not something that happens often. Rhodes was next. Good stop. Then on to Crete. Great time there because we booked our own tour. Went on the Landrover off road adventure through the mountains. Picked us up at the ship and took us right back 8 hours later. Toured the highest points over goat trails and had a ball with the English expat driver nick named Gary the Goat Killer (review on Get Your Guide). Lovely lunch, including our first taste of goat. Try it. It is quite good. On to Santorini. Probably our biggest disappointment. It is so overcrowded. Other than that picture card view you know, there isn’t much there. One person in our group was the victim of a pickpocketed so if you go beware in the crowded streets. We skipped the overpriced shopping and picked a lovely restaurant in Oia overlooking the sea. Excellent meal and they werent rushing us. Last stop was in Monemvasia. Only ship in port. Did the tour of the walled city and the Olive Oil farm. That would have been a real highlight if the guide wasn’t so bad. Was looking forward to the olive oil tasting at the end but she rushed us and we didn’t get the experience we wanted. There was no reason to screw it up. Our next stop was back to the ship and we had hours before it was leaving. Then overnight and our exit in Athens. Handled fairly well but it is a bit of a circus at the port. You pretty much have to trust that in the hectic place your luggage will make it to the airport. Instructions are not real clear and you have to listen to the local tour people what to do with your luggage along the curious route to the bus. Overall we enjoyed our first taste of Greece. Windstar was pretty much as expected. We did not enjoy the experience as much on Wind Surf as we have on the smaller Wind Star but not enough to keep us away. The ship is getting an upgrade in November so lets hope it looks a bit more ship shape next time we see her. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our fourth Windstar trip. The 3rd on a sailboat. We love the informality of Windstar. If you are looking for a Seaborne experience with butlers and dressy evenings this is probably not for you. We loved the sail as we wanted to ... Read More
This was our fourth Windstar trip. The 3rd on a sailboat. We love the informality of Windstar. If you are looking for a Seaborne experience with butlers and dressy evenings this is probably not for you. We loved the sail as we wanted to get an overview of the islands. Patmos was lovely and not filled with hordes of tourists. I’d love to go back! Santorini has breathtaking views from the island and from the boat at night where we were having a barbecue on the deck. We did a non Windstar winery tour with Safowi and it was outstanding! Mykonos was a beautiful busy island where we did our only Windstar tour which was to spend the day at gorgeous new luxury beach resort where we swam in the sea and infinity pool. The Windstar event of dining at the ancient Celsius Library at Ephesus in Turkey was beyond amazing and reason alone to do the cruise! We had some wonderful fish dinners as the chef bought fresh fish at local ports. Eating local food is important to us so we ate every lunch at a local taverna. We had some heavy seas and some people were seasick one evening. My husband managed ok with medication. Lastly, don’t expect good entertainment! We retired after dinner except for my husband stopping at the small casino a few nights. We swam off the boat the last day and it was heaven! We spent 4 nights on Milos prior to the cruise and loved it! Spectacular beaches! Windstar has it on its itinerary next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
WindStar WindSurf, booked 5/18, Dalmatian Coast and Italy. Terrific itinerary and lousy cruise. Staff was earnest at best and let's call it unresponsive at worst. Lack of planning at embarcations usually led to chaos. By all means, ... Read More
WindStar WindSurf, booked 5/18, Dalmatian Coast and Italy. Terrific itinerary and lousy cruise. Staff was earnest at best and let's call it unresponsive at worst. Lack of planning at embarcations usually led to chaos. By all means, do not purchase any of the excursions; as on so many cruises, these are considerably overpriced. On our trip, they were, well, rip-offs. Incompetent or disinterested tour guides (vendors) consistnetly failed to provide even the minimum offered in excursion descriptions. Worst of all on our cruise, and most surprisingly, service in main diningroom was more than once the worst we have experienced in almost 20 years of cruising up and down the price range: vanishing waiters, failures to deliver, missing follow-ups. Finally, we just left. Try another luxury line instead - even if, you guessed it, it costs a bit more. Based on our experience on this one trip, I'm disappointed to say: avoid WindStar. Service was so bad that I am motivated to post this review - my first anywhere, any place, about anything. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Hi Adventurers! We recently completed a beautiful trip on board the Windstar Wind Surf across Italy, Montenegro, and Croatia and we fell in love with the boat, its crew and the beautiful port of calls. During our journey, we had the ... Read More
Hi Adventurers! We recently completed a beautiful trip on board the Windstar Wind Surf across Italy, Montenegro, and Croatia and we fell in love with the boat, its crew and the beautiful port of calls. During our journey, we had the opportunity to visit Rome, the famous Amalfi coast, Sicily, Kotor, Montenegro and three port cities in Croatia. Our trip ended in Venice where we continued our vacation. It's evident that Windsurf spends significant resources in training their associates. The Wind Surf crew was able to provide a consistently high level of customer service in all aspects of the trip; onboarding, the restaurants and the cafeteria, boutique, and the cabins, etc. We truly enjoyed the company of the entire staff; however, we fell in love with Nadine, Aditthas, one of the restaurant supervisors and the big smile and sincere disposition of our cabin butler. These three individuals exceeded our expectations consistently during our 8-day trip. The Wind Surf is a fine old dame; a five-mast schooner that brings up memories of a romantic past and pirate encounters. As you look at the Wind Surf from the distance, its beautiful display of white sails become an attractive landmark in any of the ports of call that you visit. This is not the type of cruise experience, where you are expected to be entertained by a troupe of dancers, singers and all sorts of juggling acts. Instead, passengers get intimate dining experiences, the company of other passengers, romantic cocktail hours and impressive views from any spot on the boat. The available options of shore excursions are very interesting and affordable. We thought that crew and their excursions vendors did a great job in adapting the excursions to the American market. The restaurant options are limited; however, they compensate this by providing an exceptional array of breakfast, lunch and dining options for the American palate. Our first experience with Windstar was unforgettable and we know we'll be back next year to enjoy another exciting destination. Perhaps Japan, China or the Brittish Isles. We just want to thank the Wind Surf's crew for their attention to detail and exceptional customer focus. and to Windstar for sticking to their promise of delivering "180-degree-from-the-ordinary" experiences. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We enjoyed all aspects of the cruise. The food was excellent. The service from the entire crew was amazing. Best of all the places that we visited were fabulous. I would have to try very hard to find anything to criticize. The ship is ... Read More
We enjoyed all aspects of the cruise. The food was excellent. The service from the entire crew was amazing. Best of all the places that we visited were fabulous. I would have to try very hard to find anything to criticize. The ship is obviously older but is kept in great condition. Our room was fairly large and very comfortable. We were out of the room for most of the day and evening but it was certainly more than adequate in both size and amenities. It had a large seating area with a couch and 2 chairs and was very comfortable for the 2 of us. We even had room service breakfast several mornings when we didn't get around as early as we should have. The meals were there both times in 15 minutes and were always hot and very delicious and there was plenty of space to enjoy the meal in the living area. We enjoyed the the other guests on the cruise. Everyone was very friendly and outgoing. All the people that we spoke with had cruised with Windstar previously and had great things to say about their experiences. We did excursions almost everyday and really enjoyed all of them. I felt that they were a good value and were well organized. As I mentioned the ports that we visited were excellent. We enjoyed all of them with our favorites being Dubrovnik, Kotor and the Amalfi coast. We seemed to enjoy the coast ports more than the others and this trip had some of the most beautiful ports of any I could imagine. If there was one thing that I could say that stood out above others it might be the service.The crew did their absolute best to make sure that guests had as good a time as absolutely possible. It was genuine service too and not the fake kind that we have sometimes gotten in order to get a larger tip. Whoever trained and selected the staff should be commended. These people made everyone feel special and did their absolute best at all times. As mentioned on here in other reviews, the staff knew your name fairly early in the cruise and really offered personalized service. My wife and I both commented on how hard everyone worked. We will definitely be cruising with Windstar again and hopefully very soon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This Windstar cruise was marvelous and well organized with exceptional service onboard. The room was exactly as advertised, very comfortable and nicely laid out. The food was consistently delicious (I especially liked that we had many ... Read More
This Windstar cruise was marvelous and well organized with exceptional service onboard. The room was exactly as advertised, very comfortable and nicely laid out. The food was consistently delicious (I especially liked that we had many options to choose from at each meal--healthy, decadent and in-between). Information on tour times, length of time in each port and the next day’s itinerary was presented each evening, and someone was always available to answer any questions we had. Loved the small ship experience with the limited number of passengers--it was easier to meet people and make friends. And the ship was well designed, we never felt cramped or like there wasn’t enough room. Amenities were good on a smaller scale, including a spa, gym, library/DVDs and free room service, although some amenities, like laundry service, were pricey. Several types of excursion options were offered at each port, but in some ports 30 people in a tour group was too overwhelming for the smaller shops and narrow streets. We enjoyed exploring on our own and felt like we had plenty of time in each port. Lots and lots of amazing, colorful photo ops everywhere we went! The Evening in Ephesus dinner at Kusadasi was magnificent and definitely one of the highlights of the trip. Other than the initial check-in, we experienced no long lines at meals, transferring from ship to ports, etc. Awesome!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Booked this cruise because of the ports in Croatia, Montanegro and Italy. The ship and service turned out to be the best surprise. Prior CC complaints by cruisers were nonexistent on this trip. The ship was well maintained. Our cabin with ... Read More
Booked this cruise because of the ports in Croatia, Montanegro and Italy. The ship and service turned out to be the best surprise. Prior CC complaints by cruisers were nonexistent on this trip. The ship was well maintained. Our cabin with an ocean view was very large compared to many of our prior cruises. A balcony was not needed The staff were very approachable from the Captain to the deck force. Food was great including the post Kotor sail away deck barbecue. The morning and lunch were informal but dinner was five star food and service. Basically the staff could not do enough for us and our two teenagers on high school break. The two entertainment couples were very good and could play everything requested. This is not a ship which entertains 24 hours a day or takes a hour to get to shore. On and off the ship were a snap. The historical ports were every positive experience we expected. Wind star gets an "A". Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We had sailed twice before with Windstar in the Caribbean on the sailing ships and their laidback, intimate style suited us. We chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was excellent in every respect. An example: there was a problem with ... Read More
We had sailed twice before with Windstar in the Caribbean on the sailing ships and their laidback, intimate style suited us. We chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was excellent in every respect. An example: there was a problem with the IT on embarkation, and after about ten minutes we were just told to not worry, go and have lunch and we will be told when it's sorted. We were given access to our cabins to drop bags, which were locked being us. Just a small example of how quickly problems are sorted on a small ship. The service, food and crew were outstanding. Very personal service. Bar staff quickly know your name and your favourite drink. Cabins were spacious and very comfortable. The officers were very visible and friendly. The captain was around the ship every evening chatting to guests. The complimentary private event was good, and the deck barbecue outstanding. Most of the ports were interesting, and we met some lovely people. Sail always were special, particularly from Venice. On disembarkation the captain and hotel manager stood at the foot of the gangplank and personally thanked every guest for sailing with them. That's personal service. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Hi Guys. So here's the deal... (I always like to use that, and it works well in this case) My wife and I started out dreaming about a perfect anniversary cruise many years ago. I got the first twinkle in my eye in January 2012. ... Read More
Hi Guys. So here's the deal... (I always like to use that, and it works well in this case) My wife and I started out dreaming about a perfect anniversary cruise many years ago. I got the first twinkle in my eye in January 2012. I remember it well -- we got a mailer from Oceania, and I started to think, "...yeah, we need to do a real blow out vacation for our 30th." The more I thought about it, the more I liked the notion. Maybe a land-cruise thing. Something original and unique. Not a tightly wound-up pre-cruise deal with some operator showing their tried-and-true tourist sites, all on board the comfort (?) of a bus with a strict timetable and pre-book hotels. On no. We like doing our own thing. I wanted a land tour on our own terms -- fly in somewhere exotic, rent a car, and see the remote areas a lot of folks have yet to discover. And I really liked it to be a lead-in for a fabulous cruise to follow. I wanted to try a cruise line we'd never experienced before. After watching a lot of Travel Channel shows, reading various websites, and pouring over countless mailers from the usual suspects, it started to gel. My wife became amused at the travel planner mode I'd slipped into. "Do you want to chip in?" I asked. "No," she said; she was very happy with me figuring it all out. "Just fill me in before we buy any plane tickets or cruise packages." I obsessed about this (in a good way) for the longest time. I had spreadsheets, itinerary options, brochures, you name it. I had budget plans and calendars. Before long, the boys were also amused at all my busy-work, which was a really neat hobby. I put up with a lot of gentle ribbing. "This isn't work, this is fun", I'd say to myself. Some people really like the razzle-dazzle of a big boats, and we'd done that before (Costa, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Carnival). Not this time. I wanted a SMALL ship. The entertainment on board could be minimal, for all I cared. I wanted a port-intensive cruise in the Eastern or Western Mediterranean. It had to feature Venice, Dubrovnik, and Kotor; those were places I knew would be fabulous. Anything else was gravy. Hopefully, we'd have an overnight stay in Venice, but if not we could book a pre-cruise night in a local hotel. I liked the comfort of something plush, but knew we didn't need or even appreciate the strictures of formality. Service was a big deal. I liked the idea of upscale cuisine. We weren't planning on doing any onshore excursions, and so we wanted ports that would be fun just to wander around on our own. As for the pre-cruise deal, I found out about Slovenia. I specifically discovered that Lake Bled was only a short drive to Venice, and it had unbelievably beautiful scenery, Germanic cuisine and architecture. PERFECT, right up my alley -- an alpine wonderland nestled in the Julian Alps, and we could get to our cruise easily when that was done. And then I finally settled on Windstar. And I am so glad we did. So here's the deal guys.... 1. There were two perfect itineraries that suited our needs, an 8-night Venice-Rome trip aboard the sailing yacht Wind Surf (departing October 1st), and a 9-night Venice-Athens trip aboard the motorized yacht Star Breeze (departing September 30th). I really wanted the romance of the sails, and the fleet's flagship would deliver. And Wind Surf's Italian itinerary at the tail end looked more appealing than Star Breeze's planned stops in Albania and Greece. But Star Breeze had all-suite accommodations, an extra night, and everything we needed for hundreds of dollars less. Go figure. TIP: Look for the best deals as the sailing date approaches. Best prices almost always hit about 60-90 days out. For now the motorized yachts (Star Breeze, Star Legend, and Star Pride) don't have quite the same prestige/wow factor, and tend to have better final pricing than Wind Surf, Wind Star, and Wind Spirit. 2. By all means, DO schedule a one- or a two-night land component (at a minimum) as a lead-in for an overseas cruise. You'll need that to avoid suffering from jet lag. TIP: Try a longer "land tour" if you can swing it. Try setting your own plans, because you can usually save money and proceed at your own pace. 3. If you want small and intimate, even romantic, try Windstar. There are others in the same smaller boat market niche (such as Seabourn and Silversea -- expensive!), or Azamara and Oceania (less all-inclusive, but nice). But Windstar is really unique, having a loose, but upscale vibe that was perfect for us. TIP: Try the three sailing hybrid ships for the ultimate in romance. 4. Stay away from Athens, in my humble opinion. A very dirty port, a rather run-down and unattractive city, and it remains prone to economic unrest. On the next to last day of the cruise, we found out the air traffic controllers in Athens were threatening a strike. It would have stranded us for days. Thankfully, the threat blew over, but it left us shaken. TIP: Of the two itineraries we considered, I think the Venice-Rome one would have been superior for that reason. So if airline scheduling and general safety are important to you, I think the Western Mediterranean is a more stable bet for now. 5. You'll LOVE Windstar's cabins, dining, service, and value for money. The service is especially noteworthy. Everyone we encountered made a point of learning our names and the smiles were infectious. Every time I passed through security when disembarking for a port activity, the guy there would say, "Good morning, Sir Danny!" It made me feel like a knight sallying forth to slay the dragon. TIP: Remember to give praise in writing for those that impress you, because Windstar takes note of that on their exit surveys. High performers are handsomely rewarded, tend to be promoted quickly, and stay with the company. 6. Here's my praise for the MVP of the cruise -- Marius, the cruise director (not sure of his actual title) was a hero for us. His daily presentations about each upcoming port were entertaining and accurate. He was frequently funny, and a standout star in the hilarious "Liar's Club" event one night in the lounge. And when we thought we were going to have to find an alternative way to leave Greece (because of the planned strike) he went out of the way to help us make arrangements. I taught him the Americanism "warm fuzzy" after that -- "Marius, everything you did for us was so accurate, so reliable, so completely credible that it was the first time all day someone gave me a warm fuzzy". (He was glad to find out that I was talking about a feeling inside rather than something unseemly.) 7. It was a real pleasure to link up with a fellow Cruise Critic contributor, who introduced herself in the main dining room, Amphora. TIP: It was fortunate that my avatar has my photo, and that helped the other person pick me out in the crowd. As you all know, fellow Cruise critic contributors can offer great advice! 8. One final thing, a minor quibble. If you arrive in Venice for a planned sailing from San Basilo Terminal, be forewarned that it is a long trek from the gate at the port entrance (near San Maritima Terminal) to the dock. Guards will force you to get out of your shuttle/taxi and make you hoof it. So plan on taking a water taxi from the gate if the weather is rainy or hot. TIP: This is where Windstar has a chance to improve. They need to put good information online explaining how to get to the San Basilo Terminal. Very clear, concise, from A to B to C. Very lacking there -- many of us have spent a lot of time online (to no avail) trying to figure this stuff out. Until then, I imagine Venice would be a better disembarkation port since Windstar can help with transfers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We wanted a Eastern Mediterranean cruise and after researching all the options for Sept-Oct, the Star Breeze itinerary and timing fit us best. We have previously sailed with RC on larger ships and now i can't imagine going back to the ... Read More
We wanted a Eastern Mediterranean cruise and after researching all the options for Sept-Oct, the Star Breeze itinerary and timing fit us best. We have previously sailed with RC on larger ships and now i can't imagine going back to the big ships. The intimacy of the ship, the crew, the food and the people we met on board exceeded our expectations of a cruise. The ship seemed to be in great shape to us. Someone was constantly cleaning something at all hours of the day. The cabin (all suites!) was large with a big picture window, a walk-in closet and 2 sinks in the marble bathroom. The food was wonderful. The dishes in the main dining room change daily and I had a hard time decided what to order. There was a buffet as well and food ala carte for lunch and dinner. The chef is from India and for lunch one day he offered an Indian buffet. The on-deck BBQ is not to be missed...you'll be asking yourself, "how many lobster tails can i possibly eat". Skip dessert would be my advice...the apps and mains were much better. The staff in the dining room were friendly and remembered your name after the first day. So nice and accommodating. Dining outdoors at Candles was a great experience and not to be missed. The entertainment is the people you'll meet on board. You don't go on this type of ship for the entertainment. What we did enjoy was the nightly port talks, previewing the next day's port, the crew show and trivia in the Yacht Club. We also enjoyed when singers from Croatia were on board. We made use of the small gym...classes are free and the instructor is friendly and helpful. If you're over 6', you won't be able to use the treadmill because of the low ceilings. We enjoyed the jacuzzi on deck 5 in the front of the ship. It was never crowded (neither one was crowded) and it was a great place to enjoy the sunset. The Sailaway "ceremony" every night was great as well. I thought that the crew went above and beyond many times on this ship. We were informed of an emending air traffic control strike in Athens and the captain open the phone lines and provided free internet for the remaining 2 days on the ship. They also provided free transportation to the Athens airport for those wanting to depart the ship early. The ports were great...we enjoyed our daily hike to the fortress of the day. One day we signed up for the (free) trip to the market with the chef. The chef goes to the local markets in most ports to get fresh food and hitting the market with him was a great experience. The journey through the Corinth Canal was very cool to experience, as was entering Kotor. We did only one of the ship's shore excursion. It was a bit pricey but informative. The complimentary event at Magna Grecia was not that good. The food wasn't as good as we were getting on the ship and it seemed very touristy. The ship tendered in Dubrovnik which allowed the captain to open the watersports platform off the back of the ship. That was a real highlight...paddleboarding with Dubrovnik in the background. We swam and enjoyed the watersports for about 2 hours. It was great. We are looking forward to our next Windstar cruise but we will be sad that we're not traveling with the same great group of people and crew. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
First time with Winstar. Great experience. Nothing to complain about. Embarcation and disembarkation went smooth. The ship is small and very elegant. Cabin are specious and confortable. Love the marble bathroom and the walking ... Read More
First time with Winstar. Great experience. Nothing to complain about. Embarcation and disembarkation went smooth. The ship is small and very elegant. Cabin are specious and confortable. Love the marble bathroom and the walking closet. Food is top quality and service is first class. Lobster, filet mignon, veal and lamb chop, amazing pasta, very hard to complain. Maybe the desserts could have been a bit more sophisticated to fit with the rest. No lineup. Great wine list with good selection at all prices. ALL the staff were useful and friendly. The ship is very nice but I think I prefer Azamara because there is a bit more things to do. All ports of call were interesting. Athens and Venice are, like usual, always nice to visited. Especially the one in Albania, an unusual stop. So overall, I highly recommend it and for sure I will book with them again. 5 Stars. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My husband and I sailed previously on two Windstar cruises over 20 years ago, first to Costa Rica and then Turkey/Greek Islands. We had such a memorable experience that we wanted to re-enact it again! The last cruise I had been on was a ... Read More
My husband and I sailed previously on two Windstar cruises over 20 years ago, first to Costa Rica and then Turkey/Greek Islands. We had such a memorable experience that we wanted to re-enact it again! The last cruise I had been on was a large cruise ship of 2000 passengers; a sea of people in a gigantic floating hotel. I told my husband I vowed never to go on a cruise that felt like I was being “cattle herded" We choose the Star Legend for its intimacy of being on a small ship (less than 200 passengers and almost a 1 to 1 ratio of passenger to crew members) and its yacht like experience. By "YACHT LIKE" I am referring to many advantages of traveling on a small cruise ship. The cabins were spacious with walk in closets & marbled bathroom stocked with comfy bathrobes and slippers. We rarely called housekeeping because our room was always promptly cleaned & well maintained during our breakfast and before getting ready for dinner. Overall the ship had impeccable service. Just as we had experience on previous Windstar cruises the crew makes the Cruise! It's a very personal and luxurious experience when everyone working on the ship remember your name and seemingly anticipate your requests. I was most pleased by the culinary experience i had on the ship. I have a passion of collecting and blogging about cruise ship vintage menus on the internet. One of my favorite excursions was having the Executive chef Jeffery Miller take the passengers on a tour to the local farmer and fish market. We helped him select the fresh ingredients for the entrees being served that day and in addition to teaching us about the Dalmatia & Italian cuisine he included everyone in a tasting of the local cheeses, olives, breads from the region. Each meal felt like a farm and ocean to table experience. And when it comes to special dietary request, they also surpassed in meaning the needs of the passengers with certain food allergies. Being gluten intolerant, I was happy that I could order anything I wanted off the dinner or breakfast menu and it was specially prepared for me. One evening when couldn’t make up my mind between two entree’s whose descriptions were equally mouth watering, my server happily brought me both dishes! Most importantly we choose the Italy & Dalmatian coast destination because for the calmness of the Adriatic Sea & quaintness seaside villages. We were really lucky to have superb sunny and warm day in September that allowed us maximize the tours offered by the ship. Voyage leader have to biggest responsibility of making sure everyone on the ship has a good time on the tours and our charming leader Alina did not disappoint us….She could spot that I was a foodie a mile away and she recommended all the best epicurean and wine tours. My favorite was the The Truffle Experience in the Rovinj port in Croatia. Our tour guide was funny and well informed about the history culture of Croatia. Who knew that the necktie was invented by the Croatians!! After meandering the cobbled streets of the walled in city of Motovun perched high up in the mountains with truffle forest and olive groves, we had an sumptuous truffle lunch complete with Croatian wines! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our cruise was called Venetian Passageways. Overall iit was excellent. All the ports of call with the exception of Albania were very interesting. Everyone loved swimming in the sea and water sports from the Marina deck while the ship was ... Read More
Our cruise was called Venetian Passageways. Overall iit was excellent. All the ports of call with the exception of Albania were very interesting. Everyone loved swimming in the sea and water sports from the Marina deck while the ship was anchored off Dubrovnik. The open deck barbecue night followed by line dancing was sensational. Other highlights included Windstsr's complimentary private event which was a visit to an Olive farm in Greece. This included wonderful entertainment with Greek dancing and a delicious complimentary lunch, including wine. The journey through the Corinth canal was amazing and we were so lucky that the weather for this was perfect. The food quality on the cruise was excellent. The only problem on the cruise was that the air conditioning broke down about 3 nights towards the end of the cruise. This also affected the crew of course. However this was fixed after about 36 hours and Windstsr have offered passengers a very generous comoensatory discount off future bookings. Would highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Windstar's addition of the three "motor yachts", recently acquired from Seabourn has been a pleasant surprise. AND it means, along with getting an outstanding level of service, the shipboard and cabin environment is more ... Read More
Windstar's addition of the three "motor yachts", recently acquired from Seabourn has been a pleasant surprise. AND it means, along with getting an outstanding level of service, the shipboard and cabin environment is more luxurious than what we have experienced in the past of the sailing vessels. We spent 3 nights in Rome before embarkation. Taking the train from central Rome to Civitavecchia was easy and helped us feel more at home in Italy. We love the chance to view countryside from a train whenever we can. Our cabin steward "Vina" was charming, attentive, and proactive in all the right ways. We are "diet coke" drinkers, with a slice of lime or lemon...all the time. By day two we had a bottomless supply in our cabin cold each day. By day three, the supply of lime never ran out either. (Our cabin review is in that separate review section.) One of the best parts of a ship with only 200 guests is how well staff can get to know you. And the Star Pride staff really seems to enjoy that as much as we did. Sunu, a dining room staff member did an exceptional job of becoming our favorite wait staff person, without making us feel over served. We did not see him every night at dinner, but his connection everyday at breakfast was an excellent start to our day. When we put together a dinner party for 10 on the last evening at sea, we asked to be seated at one of his tables. Before that point, Sunu may have not served any of our other fellow dinner guests, but he made us all feel like he had been a member of our "household" staff for years. Dining was also exceptional. The diversity of selections was fluid everyday and one never felt like the choices were created to impress rather than be enjoyed. Breakfast was offered by buffet or menu order on the Veranda, and one could get items both ways, as the wait staff always seemed to just know when we needed something. The various types of french toast were outstanding. The lox offered everyday at the buffet was the best I can ever recall having. One never waited for the custom omelette ordered from the buffet station. After ordering, we were given a number and a staff member brought it to our table. Dinner selections included remarkable starters and some old favorites with special touches. The shrimp ceviche was exceptional. The New York steak was perfect and made memorable by the apple sauce, chili bbq sauce. (I have the recipe!) Paella cooked outside on bbq night was excellent and the largest single pan of it, we have ever seen. Richard, our "Voyage Leader", did an excellent job of providing the next day's port information and shore excursion choices. We never felt pushed to take the Windstar excursions rather than explore on our own. Richard's style of sharing insights always made us feel like broad, usable information was just as important as offering shore excursions. The Windstar exclusive special event on Sicily at the Gambino Winery (full flight wine tasting, with lunch, for all 200 Star Pride guests) was excellent, felt very special, and logistically well curated. There were a surprising number of young people on board (about 20). They ranged from pre-teen to college age. They all knew they were in an adult environment and never made this feel like a party boat. But we will credit them for giving all of us older folks a very positive higher energy experience. And great credit goes to the parents for creating a wonderful family feel for everyone on board. We only heard one complaint about "the kids" and that complainer was more trouble than any of the kids. One of the families on board were our rafting partners, on our Cetina River rafting shore excursion in Split, Croatia. They made the day. About entertainment: Windstar does not try to be a "Las Vegas" cruise experience. We have never cruised with any focus on that. And both of the semi-acoustic duos on the ship were outstanding. We enjoyed them very much. If you cruise for the entertainment, Windstar may not fit for you. It fit for us. But we must say the "staff talent night" was great fun and well received by everyone. It seemed to be very mutually rewarding. And uproariously funny, tell the very end. I must add a key point: A good measure of whether or not a given cruise line is the right fit for you, is how you feel about the other guests you share the experience with. The Windstar cruise left us not only happy with the staff who served us and treated us well, but exceptionally happy with our fellow travelers. Most of them are folks we would look forward to sailing with again. Some will become life-long friends. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was a 30th anniversary / 60th birthday trip for my wife and I, and up to departure it seemed everything was going wrong. The original departure was Istanbul, then there was an airport bombing and a coup in Turkey! Windstar immediately ... Read More
This was a 30th anniversary / 60th birthday trip for my wife and I, and up to departure it seemed everything was going wrong. The original departure was Istanbul, then there was an airport bombing and a coup in Turkey! Windstar immediately moved the departure to Athens and issued us a flight credit. We missed out on Turkey, but that was certainly for the best given the circumstances. Hope to go back if that country ever stabilizes. Finally in Athens for hotel pickup and boarding the cruise and from then on everything was superb! The ship had 121 passengers and 91 crew and we were treated like royalty. Everyone knew our names, everyone knew our events, the crew from top to bottom (and I talked to the captain and our steward) were personal and friendly, and everyone wanted the experience to be the best possible. Even though the cruise had to adjust its ports of call on the fly, every stop was lovely and there were wonderful shore excursions available, as well as wind surfing, water skiing & sailing off of the boat in certain ports. Don't miss the crew improv night, I laughed for hours! Thank you Philippe & Wesley, and crew! I could not find it on the internet, so a big shoutout for the Kaiki Cruise with Salas & Azarino. It was a family boat and they were wonderful and I wish them the best as thanks for how well we were treated. We snorkeled, we ate well, we cruised and we worked in a few nice Greek beers - fun day. Everyone we met in Greece were nice and helpful if we had questions. If you have ever done a large cruise, you will notice the difference immediately. It is just more intimate. Not a cruise for kids, though there were a few. This was a trip for mature adults healthy enough to get out and enjoy all the beauty the Greek Isles have to offer. There are not enough good adjectives to describe this trip and how much we enjoyed it. You just have to experience it yourself! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
DO NOT BOOK this directly with Wind Star. Once they reeled you in, they never treated you like the customer. We found out other guests paid way less when they booked last minute. We paid top dollar only five months before the cruise ... Read More
DO NOT BOOK this directly with Wind Star. Once they reeled you in, they never treated you like the customer. We found out other guests paid way less when they booked last minute. We paid top dollar only five months before the cruise and offered us nothing except a small credit to be used only on the ship. Nothing compared to the 66% less than other passengers paid. Moreover, when Wind Star offered to give rebates because they changed their itinerary - they strung us out months and months on reimbursing us. The office staff is patronizing and nasty and simply refused to honor their representations that they would reimburse airline changes. The actual trip was fine but with all the head aches dealing with them - go else where. Food was good. Ship is so small that there are no perks whatsoever. I didn't mind that however, the excursion arranged by them were not worth the charges. Simply arrange your own for a huge amount less than what they offered. Also, last minute changes to the islands visited were met with nothing except: its too windy! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Despite rather spotty reviews regarding Star Pride and the fact that it had a grounding episode last fall, we decided to give it a try. That was based on several factors. First, it fit with the rest of our travel plans and was the right ... Read More
Despite rather spotty reviews regarding Star Pride and the fact that it had a grounding episode last fall, we decided to give it a try. That was based on several factors. First, it fit with the rest of our travel plans and was the right length cruise. Second, we had sailed twice with Windstar on two of their sailing vessels many years ago and had really loved it. Third, the ship had just gone through a major refurbishment. Fourth, an offered package including liquor, tips and unlimited wi-fi was attractively priced. Lastly, the itinerary looked appealing, combining some ports we had previously experienced like Dubrovnik and Kotor with new stops in such places as Rovinj, Split and Giardini Naxos. It appeared that the ship's refurbishment was still a work in progress. The crew was constantly working on finishing up things such as painting. As a result there was often a smell of fresh paint on certain parts of the deck, a little off-putting if you were trying to nap and relax. There were recurrent problems with the plumbing leading to repeated reminders not to put certain objects down the toilets. There was also often a sewage smell in the mid-ship elevator and one of the aft elevators was frequently out of service. The wi-fi service was at best inconsistent. HOWEVER, all that being said we found most of the ship, including all the public spaces, to be very pleasant and enjoyable. At 277 square feet the cabin was very spacious with plenty of closet space, a nice sitting area and a bath with twin sinks. However, continuing with the theme of incomplete refurbishment, the carpet was old, stained and not stretched tightly. That needs to be remedied. As a "French balcony" it was really usable only as a sliding glass window. Don't plan to eat breakfast on the balcony. Absolutely one of the strong points of this cruise was the food service. We ate in both the Amphora dining room as well as the special, reservations required, Candles. Both were excellent, with Candles edging out Amphora for great food and ambiance. Breakfast and lunch were in the same area as Candles, though it was now called the Veranda. We actually enjoyed getting a cup of espresso and a roll in the Yacht Club each morning where we could watch the sail in to the next port. Beer, liquor and wine choices were all excellent, though we did wonder why they didn't have any wines representing the countries in which we were stopping. The Executive Chef, Darin, was super and very responsive to passengers' requests. Entertainment was by two duos, all very good musicians. One of the signature activities on Windstar has always been the "Sail Away" as they pull out of port each afternoon while playing the theme from the movie, "1492". It comes across a little contrived on the motor yachts compared to the sailing vessels, but still something that everyone enjoyed as they had an afternoon cocktail. Service: what can I say. Service was beyond excellent. From the bar to the dining room to our lovely cabin steward, Luis. My wife was on crutches with a leg injury. Luis had an ice bag waiting every evening when we got back to the cabin. That's just an example of the superb, personal, caring service from this mainly Indonesian and Filipino crew. The boat personnel helping my wife into and out of the tender was another example of the great service. This was an excellent itinerary, from Venice to Croatia, Montenegro, Sicily, Capri and back to Rome. We did a couple of the offered shore excursions and they were generally very good with excellent guides. The "private event" in Dubrovnik was special with local singers and dancers, though the hors d'oeuvres were nothing to rave about. It did give us time to get a seafood pizza in Dubrovnik before boarding the last tender back to the ship. As always, you might be able to do better shore excursions if you arrange your own. Still, I would not have wanted to miss Trogir, Taormina or Our Lady of the Rocks in Kotor Bay. Overall, this cruise on a yacht that held only about 200 passengers was very, very enjoyable. There are a few rough edges Windstar still needs to work out on these converted Seabourne yachts, but I think they will do that. We are already considering where we would like to do our next Windstar cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Having sailed with Windstar on the Windsurf in 2012 we were keen to sail on the small cruise ships. We booked on the Star Pride's cruise to Istanbul, however due to the repairs and refurbishment the itinerary was changed. We were ... Read More
Having sailed with Windstar on the Windsurf in 2012 we were keen to sail on the small cruise ships. We booked on the Star Pride's cruise to Istanbul, however due to the repairs and refurbishment the itinerary was changed. We were offered to change our booking at no loss of deposit but decided to go ahead with a very interesting itinerary.. How lucky were we to sail on a newly refurbished ship. All the public rooms are tastefully decorated and our Owners Suite featured a very spacious balcony and a fully renovated bathroom with a large walk in shower. The highlights were many. The sail through the Corinth Canal was magical. Itea (Delphi) and Katakolon (Ancient Olympia) were extremely interesting. The sail in to Kotor should not be missed as well as the Deck BBQ and the sail away from Kotor with the mountain lit up is another "not to be missed" moment. As we experienced on the Windsurf, the crew were very attentive, earning our names and beverage of choice extremely quickly. The restaurant menus were varied and all very delicious. We were the only Australians on board and the Reception staff printed us an Australian newspaper every day. We were not expecting that. We cannot wait to sail again on the Star Pride Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Having sailed with Windstar on the Windsurf in 2012 we were keen to sail on the small cruise ships. We booked on the Star Pride's cruise to Istanbul, however due to the repairs and refurbishment the itinerary was changed. We were ... Read More
Having sailed with Windstar on the Windsurf in 2012 we were keen to sail on the small cruise ships. We booked on the Star Pride's cruise to Istanbul, however due to the repairs and refurbishment the itinerary was changed. We were offered to change our booking at no loss of deposit but decided to go ahead with a very interesting itinerary.. How lucky were we to sail on a newly refurbished ship. All the public rooms are tastefully decorated and our Owners Suite featured a very spacious balcony and a fully renovated bathroom with a large walk in shower. The highlights were many. The sail through the Corinth Canal was magical. Itea (Delphi) and Katakolon (Ancient Olympia) were extremely interesting. The sail in to Kotor should not be missed as well as the Deck BBQ and the sail away from Kotor with the mountain lit up is another "not to be missed" moment. As we experienced on the Windsurf, the crew were very attentive, earning our names and beverage of choice extremely quickly. The restaurant menus were varied and all very delicious. We were the only Australians on board and the Reception staff printed us an Australian newspaper every day. We were not expecting that. We cannot wait to sail again on the Star Pride Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We arrived early and enjoyed a very quiet Istanbul. People were friendly and we so enjoyed our second visit there. Embarkation was extremely smooth! They had plenty of employees to do each step of the embarkation process and there was ... Read More
We arrived early and enjoyed a very quiet Istanbul. People were friendly and we so enjoyed our second visit there. Embarkation was extremely smooth! They had plenty of employees to do each step of the embarkation process and there was no line when we arrived. This was our first cruise with them and will not be our last! Just loved it. All the cabins on the Wind Star are the same so decks really do not matter. No elevator so if stars are an issue then get the upper deck; we were on the first deck (bottom deck) and I loved hearing our ship ply through the waters. The ship has everything the big ships have (casino, gift shop, library, etc.) just in a smaller scale. Dining is open seating at all meals unless you make reservations for Candles. We enjoyed a nice meal in Candles but remember that it is outside. It was cool that evening and several guests had a blanket wrapped around them due to the coolness (it was cold to me). All other meals were good (I especially liked the breakfast choices; either buffet or ordered off the menu) and it was fun to meet others during the meals. There were 84 passengers and 99 crew on our adventure. Entertainment was limited but enjoyable. Local dancers from Turkey and Greece (belly dancer) and there was an employee show one night; it was a highlight! There is nothing like a guy from the Philippines singing Elvis! It was such fun. The employees at the front desk, in the gift shop and at some of the bars had our name memorized as soon as we came aboard. With this being our first visit with them it was really special. We did take a couple of shore excursions and they were wonderful, informative and fun. We did a cooking class which I've always wanted to do which was such fun. Tours did not feel rushed and the guides were all excellent. We did not get to experience the water sports area as the water was just too chilly for us but did watch others enjoy the area. We hope to return to Windstar in the future and would love to visit Tahiti with them. With the outdoor water sport area it would be a delightful addition to our next adventure with them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My friend and I went on Star Breeze recently because I was a super-fan of the ship when it was with Seabourn and I have read that the ships were refurbished and have heard overall good things about Windstar. Boarding was smooth and ... Read More
My friend and I went on Star Breeze recently because I was a super-fan of the ship when it was with Seabourn and I have read that the ships were refurbished and have heard overall good things about Windstar. Boarding was smooth and efficient and we were in our room in minutes. The rooms are great, all large and comfortable. They have mini-bars and walk-in closets. The ship is 25 years old and you can see that in a few places, but overall the rooms and public areas are fresh and up to my standard for a luxury ship. We didn't purchase any of the tours, but the tour that Windstar included was fun and reasonably well-run considering the entire ship was going on it. I have found in Europe that you are generally better off hiring a car after you go off the ship to take you around. It is usually the same price or cheaper than taking an organized tour, but you are in a private car and not on a tour bus. The marina day didn't happen on this cruise because the weather wasn't cooperative and I will say that after about 6 cruises on these ships the marina day only happened about twice. Please don't raise your expectations about that. The best thing that Windstar added in the refurbishment is a coffee lounge on the top deck in the front. It is very well done with a wrap around terrace and coffee service with sandwiches and paninis available through the bulk of the day. The bar service is excellent if you choose to purchase their unlimited package. Most top shelf liquors were included such as Grand Marnier, Absolute and Tanqueray. The wines by the glass were decent, some examples would be Davis Bynum Chardonnay, Artessa Chardonnay, Erbele Zin and Rodney Strong Merlot. Nothing to get too excited about, but all the basics were represented with the exception of a decent Cremant or California sparkling wine. The bar manager CLARE was incredible as was the lead bartender SHIRLEY. They remembered our names, what we drank and made pleasant conversation. All of the bar staff were truly outstanding, even up to Seabourn's standard. My friend and I enjoy socializing on cruises and that is something that seems to have disappeared to some extent on these vessels as compared to my previous experiences. I will guess that it is because drinks aren't included people tend to not linger in the lounges. This line seems to draw an older crowd and almost exclusively Americans, seemingly mostly from the East Coast. Why? I haven't a clue. Average age onboard: 65. The food was really good, particularly in the dining room for dinner. The menu is somewhat more casual than I am used to on a luxury line, but tasty well-prepared food was in front of us daily. A surprising standout were the soups. I never like soup! My biggest disappointment with the cruise was the entertainment. Basically, it is limited to two duos. The duo Vice Versa was incredible and entertained us daily before and after dinner, but that was pretty much it. The crew did two or three shows which were very fun, but that constitutes the entertainment. It might be unfair to compare to Seabourn's entertainment on the same ship, but it was significantly more. I honestly can't recall how much the fares differed because Windstar isn't so inclusive so there were lots of add-ons such as tips and the liquor package and laundry. I would like to reiterate the staff on this ship was top notch, my only disappointment comes from the entertainment and the fact that as a matter of personal preference I prefer a more formal environment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We took the 2 day pre-cruise option in Barcelona which really helped us adjust to the time zone. The Hotel Wilson was nice enough, had a little balcony and a small room and, on the fifth floor, we were not bothered by any street noise. ... Read More
We took the 2 day pre-cruise option in Barcelona which really helped us adjust to the time zone. The Hotel Wilson was nice enough, had a little balcony and a small room and, on the fifth floor, we were not bothered by any street noise. Did a hop-on/off bus tour, a great way to get an overview of Barcelona in a small time frame. The Hotel Wilson is in a nice area though a woman staying at the hotel had her purse stolen somewhere in Barcelona so pay attention. It’s easy to walk to nice cafes, tapas restaurants, etc. from here. Not in the heart of downtown but we enjoyed the neighborhood and what it offered. Picked up two bottles of wine to have on the ship which I recommend. The “miss” here was the transfer process to the ship. There was a mass of passengers who had just disembarked trying to check in as we were checking out. We were hurried out of the room and asked to have luggage ready for them to pick up. We were to meet in the lobby and unfortunately it was pouring out (obviously no one’s fault) but a staff that was quite young and perhaps inexperienced handled the whole process poorly. We were put in the tiny lobby with all our luggage and then asked to take our own bags to the bus which was down at the street corner. When the bus left, the driver had neglected to close the luggage compartment. Luckily some passengers saw this and yelled at him before any luggage fell out. Then the bus driver drove us around and around, going to the wrong pier though we could clearly see the way to our ship. Next time we will make our own transfer arrangements. The Wind Surf staff welcomed us with open arms. The ship itself is in great condition, always revarnishing railings and polishing things while in port, the crew is always working it seems. The embarkation process was smooth. There is no question that this is top notch service, a definite "hit". The food was hit or miss for us. We tend to be foodies, have eaten in the best of restaurants so we have a high standard. However, we knew this was not a foodie cruise and did not expect extra special fare. We ate in Candles and Stella Bistro and found the food in Amphora to actually be better. My husband is a meat guy (I’m the opposite) and he ordered steak most nights; found that ordering mid rare really came to him blue rare so once he decided to order medium, he got mid rare. Not sure why that is, maybe European/Asian mid rare is different? We enjoyed the wine selection albeit pricey and also were glad to have wine in our cabin. Breakfast and lunches were a “hit,” lots of choices. We had eggs made to order most mornings and enough sides to fill us up enough to often skip lunch. The eggs on the buffet were often cold so we avoided those. There were things like waffles, pancakes I think and other grill items you could order. One improvement would be to give you a small carafe of coffee at your table to avoid waiting for service here which sometimes took a while. Poolside/deck service was also top notch. The servers have a mysterious way of learning your names and, for example, what anniversary we were celebrating (33rd). They will put you first in every way. The barbecue on deck was festive and much appreciated. My husband loved the selection of meats though for me, the salads and other offerings were terribly under-seasoned though visually appealing. Our ports of calls and excursions: Port Vendres, France: We had planned to visit the Vinaigrerie la Guinelle as seen on tripadvisor, however, we could not get a taxi as they were all booked for most of the day. Instead we took Le Petit Train which was such a great thing to do. Inexpensive, a bit on the cheesy side, but definitely entertaining and visually amazing. Really beautiful countryside and olive and grape groves with a quick stop at the top for photos. Heartily recommend this. Marseilles, France: Marseilles is an old industrial city and looks it. The architecture is amazing but it is filthy dirty and other cruisers told us they had walked around and hated it. We opted for Le Castellet tour which brought us through Marseilles by bus so we got a feel for it, then to a 12th century village which was great. After that a wine/olive oil tasting in the vineyard that I highly recommend. The woman who did it was knowledgeable and passionate about her profession and it showed in her presentation. Our tour guide gave us lots of information en route which was good as well. Our next port was supposed to be Monte Carlo/Monaco, the highlight of this cruise. A free event was planned around it and this was to provide the Glitter and Glam part of this cruise. Unfortunately, at some point, our propeller became ensnared in a mooring rope, possibly because of some inexperience on the crew’s part. We were unable to dock in Monte Carlo and the events were all shifted because of that. We docked in Nice instead as it is halfway between Monte Carlo & Cannes. Our excursion took us to Monaco, a beautiful city, and the Formula One racetrack in Monte Carlo as well as the casino. The staff did a good job of altering this excursion to fit our new location by providing a bus with a tour guide who gave us a lovely tour of Nice en route to Monaco. We seemed a bit rushed in Monaco, possibly because of the new schedule as it would have been nice to have more free time there. There was a lot of confusing information initially regarding why we had to change our plans: first it was weather related because it was raining but then it became quite clear to all that it was because of the propeller situation. They had the area of the propeller blocked off on the dock and wouldn’t allow any guests near it but we could see from the deck what was happening. That was disappointing but I did enjoy the ability to see Nice, a place I would not have traveled to otherwise. In the end we were all compensated for the change in venue, a nice surprise on our last evening. The event the yacht put on in Monte Carlo was supposed to take place at the Grimaldi Forum but they changed it to the ship’s lounge and brought in some dancers and singers as well as some magicians, artists that were undeniably French. The meal was not great though. Portofino: our favorite port of call. We took the tender in during a very choppy period and it was difficult for all to climb in though the staff did a good job of guiding you. In the end the weather gradually improved that day. We took the excursion to Hotel Splendido/olive oil tasting. It was fantastic! If you don’t want to pay for this excursion, you can probably make a reservation at the restaurant for lunch and take a taxi up, and walk the path to town down (you’ll feel old world Italian). Amazing vista, food was incredibly delicious and a very relaxing time with lots of wine flowing as well. Highly recommend visiting this hotel. Portoferraio: Portoferraio does not have much to offer, I think. We did have pizza there across from the ship and the captain was eating there as well so that was a good indication. It was good! We took the excursion to the vineyard with a stop in PortoAzurro which is a pretty little village. The vineyard was lovely though the presentation was not as well done as our previous tour so it fell flat. Our disembarkation process was smooth. We self carried our luggage and strolled right through customs in Rome. Onboard entertainment consists of a duo in the bar and a full band in the lounge. No Broadwayesque singers but pleasant enough of a selection if you like to listen or dance. The crew puts on a show that was fun to watch. For clothing, I brought two dresses but needed only one and wore nice slacks and tops for evenings, nice sandals and sneakers/walking shoes for day tours. Bring a wrap because the common areas are often quite cool. People loved having the laundry service and we would do this next time; everything freshly cleaned and pressed as often as you like. It’s very relaxed so don’t worry about bringing fancy clothes or repeating your outfits. You can always find a chaise somewhere on deck, either at the pool or tucked away on the side. Visit the bridge and see the operations of the ship, meet the Captain and other officers. Despite the “misses” we encountered, there were enough “hits” that we will cruise on Windstar again and have already started looking at our options! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We are frequent international travelers who grew tired of getting lost driving on trips . However we do like to take as much time as possible exploring sites on our own. The Windstar cruise ship Seabreeze turned out to be a great solution. ... Read More
We are frequent international travelers who grew tired of getting lost driving on trips . However we do like to take as much time as possible exploring sites on our own. The Windstar cruise ship Seabreeze turned out to be a great solution. We had plenty of time each day in port to explore and frequently were docked right at the town we were visiting. The small size of the ship ensured that we met almost all the guests and got well acquainted with the crew. We were also able to go thru the Corinth Canal which was amazing . Highlights of the cruise were: recent refurbishment of the ship (not perfect but really nice) : food that was prepared fresh each day from the local market where we were in port. Amazing staff that would anticipate your needs . Being prone to seasickness I signed us up for a middle- middle cabin (middle of the ship middle deck) which was great I never even put on the patch I brought. The cabin was spacious with a living room and queen size bedroom. We never signed up for the paid excursions which seemed pricey and had no trouble exploring on our own or enlisting a last minute local guide. My husband had taken a bad fall prior to the cruise and even the ships doctor was outstanding and thorough. Fellow passengers were friendly and most of us were in the 50-65 ish range. My favorite spot was the "yacht club" in the late afternoon where we could have a snack or ice tea. There was a small casino and some entertainment each night but we were too tired from our walks to participate. Will definitely do Windstar again Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
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