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Sail Date: June 2019
Wanted a smaller ship for the Greek Isles. The crew was great. The bar service was slow. They needed more bar staff. Meals were adequate. Went to the Crystal Restaurant our last night and my husband and I enjoyed a delicious meal on ... Read More
Wanted a smaller ship for the Greek Isles. The crew was great. The bar service was slow. They needed more bar staff. Meals were adequate. Went to the Crystal Restaurant our last night and my husband and I enjoyed a delicious meal on the deck. Also, the dinner seafood bar b que on deck was excellent. All excursions and guides were good, well organized and informative. Our room 211 was noisy from engine. More then a hum. The room was well organized and suitcases were stored under bed. I would not choose this ship again because the engine noise at night was too loud. See cabin review below for more details. Motor Coaches were comfortable. Enjoyed the Acropolis and Museum Tour when we disembarked. Athens was fun and Hotel Grand Bretagne was excellent. Enjoyed walking from hotel, view from our balcony of Parliament, the Square, the Acropolis. Weather was perfect. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Booked this island cruise long in advance. The highlight is a candle light dinner in the ancient library of Ephasis. Violin quartet, lovely meal under the stars. This was exceptional and only Windstar had the relationship with the ... Read More
Booked this island cruise long in advance. The highlight is a candle light dinner in the ancient library of Ephasis. Violin quartet, lovely meal under the stars. This was exceptional and only Windstar had the relationship with the Turkish ministry of culture to do this event. All the locations were wonderful. Excursions well managed and ship processes very smooth with a well led crew. The evening meals were fabulous with variety and a great selection. Breakfasts and lunches were well done; a good selection of buffet items in each. Embarkation and debarkation procedures were efficient. Easy to do with only 136 pax. They will push for you to buy the alcoholic drink package. With the average cost of drinks about 9$, you'll need to personally drink about 6 beers/wines per day. With the bigger mixed drink package as well, you'll need to have about 8-9 drinks a day. They will add on a 15% service charge on top of the cited package prices. We found it not worthwhile to buy a package for how much we drink. The top line wifi package is $350. The wifi reception in the cabin is poor and even on deck you shouldn't expect good bandwidth for much more than email or a basic news read. We cancelled after a day and they accommodated our request with a refund. This is still a solid value cruise. You get to meet a lot of folks but it's never crowded. Don't expect big shows or entertainment. There was one capable piano/singer duo on the cruise each night and a Cretan Greek dance group one night in Agios Nikolaous that was excellent. The service was personal and attentive from the bar to the dining room to the cabin. The Captain and senior officer in charge of "Hotel services", essentially all the guest interactions, were involved and interacted well with both pax and crew. We've been to Greece a lot; even lived there for a while and this cruise was a very fine way to visit Athens and the islands. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Bucket list item was the Greek isles and since we prefer the smaller ships, opted for a Windstar cruise. Only 135 or so guests so no crowds or lines. Ship is a little old but well maintained and except for the air conditioning and the ... Read More
Bucket list item was the Greek isles and since we prefer the smaller ships, opted for a Windstar cruise. Only 135 or so guests so no crowds or lines. Ship is a little old but well maintained and except for the air conditioning and the internet, very comfortable and enjoyable. Except for Monemvassia, there were no big buses for the tours which was nice but that may be dependent on the number of folks that signed up. All vehicles were comfortable.Crew was hospitable except for one wine steward and when brought to the attention of management, things changed promptly. Ports were all very enjoyable though I was pretty tired of ruins once everything was over. Stayed in the Electra Hotel for a few nights in Athens and it was nice with a rooftop dining area with views of the Acropolis. Just avoid room 211 which had a toilet so close to the wall and shower one had to be a contortionist to use. Last night we moved to the Grand Bretagne and it was a beautiful old hotel but probably not worth the extra money. Tried to get reservations for our group of 8 several weeks before for dinner on the rooftop but they were full. Could not even find space to have a cocktail that evening as most of the space was closed off for some reason. Went next door to King George hotel and had a wonderful meal on the top floor with even better views of the Acropolis. Highly recommend this! Crew was polite and accommodating but not as nice as Crystal Esprit. Food in the dining room was good but not exceptional. Candles was better and especially the on-deck barbecue...that was amazing. Dinner at the Celsus Library was also amazing. Went to the opera afterwards in the old theatre and sitting on stone, even for an hour, was awful. Delos and Turkey were wonderful stops but all were excellent. Chartered a private catamaran in Santorini instead of the ships cat tour and it was fantastic. Breakfasts were nice with a wide selection of food on the buffet with the opportunity to order off the menu if desired. Bridge tour was nice and informative. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Booked this cruise due to itinerary and being a small ship. The whole cruise was terrible starting with the ship not arriving into New York at 1 pm instead we boarded at 11.30 pm. Our first port of call was cancelled with a $55 refund ! ... Read More
Booked this cruise due to itinerary and being a small ship. The whole cruise was terrible starting with the ship not arriving into New York at 1 pm instead we boarded at 11.30 pm. Our first port of call was cancelled with a $55 refund ! Very little to do on board on the sea days. Food very average and sometimes cold. Shore excursions over priced and poorly run with guides that did not speak very clear English. The ship always docked way out of the towns, whilst other cruise ships docked in the towns. The information on the daily news sheet was never correct. There was no evening entertainment apart from two singers who were not very good and required an ipad to sing the words. Our cabin, whilst spacious, was old with the door not closing (requiring a total lock replacement) the shower over the bath did not drain and one of the vanity basins did not work. The cruise was a total nightmare with the detailed credit on our final statement never refunded. In 40 years of cruising this was just the worst ever. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Overall, this was an excellent cruise. The food is fabulous and despite the small size of the ship, the cabins are relatively spacious. The crew were extremely friendly and made a point of knowing everyone by name. Unlike larger ships, ... Read More
Overall, this was an excellent cruise. The food is fabulous and despite the small size of the ship, the cabins are relatively spacious. The crew were extremely friendly and made a point of knowing everyone by name. Unlike larger ships, there is no fighting for deck chairs, etc. A very relaxed experience. There were, however a couple of issues that need to be addressed. The WIFI on the ship is extraordinarily expensive (even when purchasing an internet package prior to sailing), which would be acceptable if it worked - it doesn't. Coverage was spotty at best and extremely slow. Windstar should really upgrade their equipment - I have been on other cruises where the Internet was fantastic even out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean a thousand miles from land. Shore excursions - Most were quite good, but we had a horrible experience in Nafplion. We were on an excursion that visited Mycenae and the guide was very longwinded, and did not allow us enough time to tour the entire site. To make matters worse, she made a stop at what can only be described as a tourist souvenir shop along the highway - we were forced to stay there for a bout 20 minutes while the proprietors gave us a hard sell on their "genuine, fake" reproductions of Greek trinkets. Really, this is not something one would expect from a luxury cruise line like Windstar. As mentioned in a previous review, the water sports platform is only open when the ship is at anchor (4 of the 7 ports of call). However they cannot open the water sports platform in Santorini because they are required to run the engine at all times. In the other three ports the sports platform was not open do to winds - so on a 7 day cruise, we were never able to swim in the Aegean! Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I'm a Veteran, so I know the general weather of Europe in the fall. The first decision, timing of our cruise, was driven by weather. The second decision was location. We wanted a cruise which called at Patmos and Ephesus (port of ... Read More
I'm a Veteran, so I know the general weather of Europe in the fall. The first decision, timing of our cruise, was driven by weather. The second decision was location. We wanted a cruise which called at Patmos and Ephesus (port of Kusadasi, Turkey) in particular. The third decision was ship size. Frankly, we didn't want to live in a suburb, which is what the BIG cruise ships seem to be. Instead, we chose a small, intimate ship where we got to know people. Our decisions drove our selection, and we came to a Windstar small ship cruise. MSY WindStar has space for 148 guests, period. Our voyage was glorious. That's all I need to say. PLANNING FACTORS: We were first time cruisers, so we had a learning curve: - Laundry: Windstar's current rate is $112 per cabin for the voyage. VERY MUCH WORTH IT. My wife's bag was under 35 lbs at the airport, mine was under 30lbs. That was for 12 days of travel! - Liquor. You have a choice of three plans: $32, $52, or $72 per person per day. You have to drink a LOT for the plans to pay for themselves. THAT SAID, CAUTION: Windstar enforces a max 2 bottle per stateroom policy for liquor you bring to the ship yourself. - Internet access: GET THIS BEFORE YOU LEAVE FOR YOUR TRIP. The rate is $250 for two devices if you pre-book. It's $250 PER DEVICE if you buy on embarkation day. - Tours: If I was cruising the Rhein/Main/Danube, I'd pass on tours. I know something of where I'm going. In Greece, I took the tours, but I think I can do better. On this voyage, be wary of the full day Kusadasi-Ephesus tour. The last stop is an Oriental/Turkish carpet shop, and the sales pressure is beyond tremendous. Sorry, I just didn't have $24K budgeted. - Dining: You cannot go wrong. Period. - Ships' decor: No issues. There were a very, very few places where the ship showed she wasn't brand new, but you could see the ships' company working every day maintaining something or other! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Overall a great trip! Some highlights: - The front desk staff performed an amazing feat of memorization, and knew everyone's name by the first evening - The food was *fantastic* throughout. - The 'signature event' ... Read More
Overall a great trip! Some highlights: - The front desk staff performed an amazing feat of memorization, and knew everyone's name by the first evening - The food was *fantastic* throughout. - The 'signature event' was amazing - private access to a major historical site, onsite dinner, and string quartet (this was at the Library of Celsus) - The crew in general were cheerful and friendly - For the ship enthusiast, the open bridge and engine room tours are pretty cool - The dramatic music and sails unfurling at every departure sounded like it would be cheesy, but it's actually kind of awesome. General notes: - It's easy to get a table for 2 at the restaurant (Amphora), or to eat in your room (all the rooms have a small table and chairs), if you aren't feeling like socializing at any given meal. - The dress code is surprisingly casual for such a fancy cruise; my husband and I are more jeans-and-tshirt type people, and we fit right in. - The pool is pretty tiny (10x7); it's fine for hanging out or playing around, but not great if you want to swim laps. It's also a saltwater pool, which makes for more buoyant swimming. Advice for future cruisers: - The watersports platform was only open in Monemvasia due to rough seas at the other ports. I suspect that it's common for it to only be open one or two days on a given cruise, so if it's important to you, check with the front desk the night before about the weather report/likelihood of the platform being open. - Forward cabins have less engine noise. Ours was cabin 133, and while we could hear the engines (you can hear them anywhere on the ship), it wasn't very loud; neither my husband or I had any trouble sleeping through them. - The website for Windstar is kind of a disaster; be aware that all information on the cruise will disappear from the site 5 days before the cruise (this wasn't a glitch, the site just said that you have to pick a cruise at least 5 days in the future to see itinerary information), so make sure to print/save everything well ahead of time. And heaven help you if they decide to revamp the site again - it was down for a solid 4 months after we'd booked our cruise over the phone. - Candles reservations go quickly, so if you have a tightly-packed itinerary, put in your reservation as soon as you board the ship. - Make friends with the band, and they will be happy to play your requests =) Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My husband and I were so pleasantly surprised by the crew (excellent), the food (excellent) and the demographics of those on the cruise. The Captain was approachable, and entertaining! However, the ship is in need of upgrading. The ... Read More
My husband and I were so pleasantly surprised by the crew (excellent), the food (excellent) and the demographics of those on the cruise. The Captain was approachable, and entertaining! However, the ship is in need of upgrading. The rooms could have been more modern, the beds uncomfortable, and there are very few facilities onboard...and to claim to have a swimming pool is a misnomer. It is not much bigger than a bathtub. Terrible droning noise in the cabins and although the crew was aware, they couldn't do anything about it. (Better insulation could fix the problem) No need to purchase beverage packages unless you plan on just drinking all day. The itinerary was jam packed and the ship organized excursions we went on were mediocre. The tours were dedicated to those with the least amount of mobility and didn't adjust for those who wanted and could do more. Additionally, we experienced unusually warm weather and the buses did not have adequate air conditioning, nor did the tour guides adjust for the strong sun, heat and humidity. However, one can do much better by hiring local tour guides. On those days that we booked independent tours, we saw so much more and had a far greater experience for about the same price as what the ship's excursions cost. We would consider Windstar again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
We went on the Greek island cruise on the Wind Star in June 2017. It was an amazing experience. The food was wonderful as was the staff. They were all very friendly and took the time to get to know you. We loved the ship. Our cabin had ... Read More
We went on the Greek island cruise on the Wind Star in June 2017. It was an amazing experience. The food was wonderful as was the staff. They were all very friendly and took the time to get to know you. We loved the ship. Our cabin had plenty of storage room and was bigger than expected. The excursion selections were well thought out with an excellent variety. Being a smaller cruise ship, there were no assigned dining times and you could stay in the restaurant as long as you wanted. Swimming off the back of the ship was a nice, fun bonus. The absolute highlight of the trip was the dinner at Ephesus, Turkey. Windstar took all the guest to the ancient library there for 4-5 course amazing meal. It was an experience of a lifetime. I know we’ll be taking many more Windstar cruises. I highly recommend them. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We took a cruise with Windstar on the Wind Star to visit the Greek Isles. It was our first time with this cruise line. Every single aspect of the cruise exceeded my expectations! From start to finish, (nearly) everything was perfect. The ... Read More
We took a cruise with Windstar on the Wind Star to visit the Greek Isles. It was our first time with this cruise line. Every single aspect of the cruise exceeded my expectations! From start to finish, (nearly) everything was perfect. The yacht, the food, drinks, the crew members (especially the crew members!) all made for a wonderful vacation. We could not be happier! The food was some of the best I've had while traveling, including at luxury all inclusive resorts. It's amazing how they can create such delicious and creative meals, at sea nonetheless! The menu varied each night, and included a nice variety of dishes from different cuisines and with meat, fish, seafood, vegetarian, etc. The dining service was also exceptional. We ate on the deck on night, and that was also an excellent experience! The crew in particular is amazing. They come from all over the world, with a large majority from Indonesia and the Philippines. We made friends with so many of the crew members, who went above and beyond to make us feel special. To mention just a few who really stood out: Joel, Rene, Noel, Marco, Philip, Endro, Asep and Saka (our cabin steward). They are always approachable, friendly and willing to please, all with a smile on their faces (even when having to deal with rude guests). We decided to double our gratuities, and also tipped cash to those we got to know best by the end of our 7 night cruise. They work extremely hard to make your cruise vacation spectacular, and deserve special recognition. I also have to mention the musical team, Duality (Marni and Chooi) who were outstanding and entertained us each afternoon and night! The only problem (if I'm being picky) was that our cabin was too hot. We asked about it twice, but it stayed hot for the duration of the cruise. I suspect this has more to do with the architecture of the ship (the cold air comes from front of the ship, and warms up before it gets to aft cabins). But apart from that, perfection! We took a few excursions with Windstar, and they were all very well planned and a good value. One excursion, however, seemed a little crowded. I looked at the excursions head of time and booked private tours guides through tours by locals at some ports. It ended up costing the same or just slightly more than the cost of an excursion booked through the ship for 2 people. One day, we decided to take a break and stayed aboard, enjoying the lounge chairs on the deck by the pool. I am definitely planning on taking many, many more cruises with Windstar. One of the major advantage is the small ship size. I would never want to travel on a "megaship" with thousands of people. A smaller "yacht" makes it a more personal experience, and there are no lines anywhere. We are looking at Tahiti next year, on the Wind Spirit, which features the same layout as the Wind Star. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
My wife and I did the Treasures of the Greek Isles cruise that leaves from Athens and stops in Nafplio, Mykonos, Kusadasi (Turkey), Patmos, Santorini, and Monemvasia, returning to Athens. We enjoyed the small ship experience and the no ... Read More
My wife and I did the Treasures of the Greek Isles cruise that leaves from Athens and stops in Nafplio, Mykonos, Kusadasi (Turkey), Patmos, Santorini, and Monemvasia, returning to Athens. We enjoyed the small ship experience and the no dress up requirement. Very relaxing on board, hectic on the daily tours. Windstar picked us up from the airport on time...it was basically a taxi cab. We used them for the pick up based on past cruise experiences where the taxi driver couldn't find the ship because it had no address. Terrific crew on board that works very hard to make everyone happy. It is a beautiful ship. Unfortunately, they never seemed to put up more than a couple of sails. We used the Windstar tours every day except for Santorini and Athens. They were very well organized and everything went smoothly. However, most of the islands were very hot, even for June. We had read about mosquito problems in Santorini, but we didn't run across one. Unfortunately, the Kusadasi evening event was rained out for the first time in years, so we had dinner at the hotel that caters the event. Can't blame them for an act of god, but still disappointed we didn't get to do the dinner at the Ephesus library. For Santorini and Athens, our party of four used "Tours by Locals". They were quite excellent also, and provided a small group experience for less than half the cost of the equivalent tour from Windstar. For all the tours, the guides seemed to provide for periodic toilet stops, and the toilets for the most part were clean and modern. Watch out for the toilet in the ruins of Mycenae in Nafplio, my wife got locked in a dark stall for a while. Also the pay public toilet at the north end of the Oia walkway in Santorini was filthy. Food at breakfast and lunch on the ship was excellent. At dinner, the food was good, but not as good as some other cruise lines. Some observations not usually included in reviews: - Internet (an option that you can purchase) speed was measured at 1.5 Mbps download and upload speed if you sat in the lobby near the front desk. The wifi in the room was weak (-89 dBm) and limited the bandwidth further. Web pages loaded at low cost DSL speeds...about 10-20 seconds to open a page. - The toilet in the room was light brown in the bottom instead of white. It looked like the staff had scrubbed it a bit too hard and took the finish off, so now it couldn't be effectively cleaned any longer. - A few weeks before the cruise, we got an email from Windstar to make sure we got a Turkish visa for the Kusudasi visit. We didn't need it. Even the Turkey website says that you don't need one for such a short visit. All we needed was the ship ID (no passport). - Daily evening announcements can't be heard in the room. No option to turn it on or off like other ships. So you had to stick your head out the door to hear what they were saying. And the announcements sometimes modified the meeting times previously announced in the daily bulletin. - The Windstar documentation mentions "wet landings", where you jump out of the tender boat into shallow water. There were no wet landings on this cruise. The tender always dropped us off at a dock. At a couple of stops, the ship could actually tie up to a dock, eliminating the need for the tender. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Absolutely first class service from all the crew. Fabulous food. Great ammenities onboard. They give you the personal touch and make you feel special. They provided a night out for a dinner in Kusadasi at a venue that was out of this ... Read More
Absolutely first class service from all the crew. Fabulous food. Great ammenities onboard. They give you the personal touch and make you feel special. They provided a night out for a dinner in Kusadasi at a venue that was out of this world. It was priceless. A true touch of magic, which we came to expect from Wind Star. If you want to cruise the Greek Islands in style, you can't go past Wind Star and the Staff and Crew of the Star Pride.The destinations and the duration of the Ships stay in the ports was perfect. not too short, like some other Cruise Lines.With only about 250 passengers, we got to meet and interact with some wonderful people and struck up some interesting friendships, with people from all walks of life. The friendly and intimate atmosphere created by the crew, helped facilitate the overall feeling of commeradery. I would definitely recommend them to my friends. Well done on making the last leg of our European Holiday so very, very memorable. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
My wife and I, retired airline people ,have been on many cruises(30plus). We were looking for something different and REALLY found it. Without question the cruise on the MSY Windstar was far and away the best cruise experience of all! ... Read More
My wife and I, retired airline people ,have been on many cruises(30plus). We were looking for something different and REALLY found it. Without question the cruise on the MSY Windstar was far and away the best cruise experience of all! The ship is beautiful. 30 years old but kept in tip top condition . Maximum capacity is 148 , but there were 135 on this cruise. As soon as you board which takes 10 minutes you feel like a special guest. The Captain and many crew meet you and welcome all passengers as you board. Within hours you are being called by name, even by the Captain. Baggage was at our door as soon as we boarded. There are 4 decks but no elevators. The 2 lower decks are cabins only, deck 3 is open space and the MDR and the Lounge and small Casino. 4 deck is the outdoor pool area , Veranda Restaurant and Bridge(open to visitors). Within an hour you will know your way around. There is a small gym on 2 deck which is open 24 .Stairways are easy to use as they are narrow and handrails can be used with both hands at once. The service provided by all staff was perfect. Food in all venues was superb. Deck BBQ on night 5 with unlimited lobster. Great. Food in the MDR was the best we have had on any ship. No reservations required. Dine at any time during dinner hours. Sit as a couple or a table with others will be set up. Breakfast in the Veranda (or sit outside) was wonderful. A small buffet or an extensive breakfast menu to choose from. Lunch on the ship was equally as good with a great Caeser salad station. The sandwich of the day was always good. Our cabin ,126, was one deck 1, right at the waterline and midships. No engine noise there. I liked the sound and the look of the ocean going by our portholes. The cabin itself was all brand new as the ship has just been refitted. Lots of space. An extendable table and sitting area is nice and the bathroom, with a great shower is good. Plenty of storage space. I must mention the shore dinner and show on the island of Rhodes. We were bussed a short way to the best hotel and had a great Greek dinner outside in an amphitheatre .Wonderful food and good show. All included in the cruise price. Open bar too ! Anything you wanted ! There is a watersport deck aft that has all outdoor ocean activities . It is used when the ship is anchored. Unfortunately the day we were to use it at Kalmynos, it was too windy and too much current. We plan to sail on the Windstar out of Barbados in December and hopefully can use it on most days then. If you want something different, sail on Windstar. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was our 30 year anniversary trip, and after going on a cheesy Carnival cruise years ago, I knew my husband would never go for that. So after tons of research online, we chose Windstar. The Greek Islands have been on my bucket list ... Read More
This was our 30 year anniversary trip, and after going on a cheesy Carnival cruise years ago, I knew my husband would never go for that. So after tons of research online, we chose Windstar. The Greek Islands have been on my bucket list since I was a child so this seemed like a dream come true, and it was. From the moment we walked onboard, we felt special and well cared for. The crew, except for one inappropriate steward who was replaced immediately, was professional, fun and well informed. The food was absolutely delicious, every meal!!! There were special offerings every night as well as a main menu. The drink package worked well for us, although I'm not sure it was a deal financially. It certainly was worth the ease and no worry. Due to high winds and bumpy seas, we could not take part in water activities off of the ship, but had plenty of fun on the excursions in port. We weren't sure whether or not to take part in the excursions at first, (not crowd people) but due to the small size of the ship, the groups we went with every day were so small we were all able to become good friends by weeks end. The guides were very friendly and knowledgable. We even went fishing which was a selling point for my husband. Our cabin was spacious enough, modern, clean and had NO smell. Musty moldy mildew smell was a concern of mine after being on a Carnival cruise. I did need earplugs as the ships engine, (propellors?) were a constant humming in every cabin. But after a full day in the sun, a cocktail and great friends, we were pretty worn out anyway. I think a highlight for me was the setting sail ceremony every night as we left port. "Conquest of Paradise" by Vangelis (1492) was the perfect song providing just the right drama and crescendos as the sails unfolded. Very dramatic! I loved it!! It also is worth noting that the Captain of the Windstar is the FIRST woman Captain as well as the FIRST black Captain of the Windstar line. Captain Belinda is a total badass and led us through some windy seas with safety! This girl is really on fire!!! (her introductory theme) All in all, I have nothing but praises for this cruise line and this ship. Can't wait to do it again. Maybe for our 35th???? honey???? Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
My husband and I have wanted to take a Windstar cruise for years and finally decided to go for an anniversary trip. We took the Athens to Istanbul trip. Our first impression was very good! We were greeted and introduced to the outstanding ... Read More
My husband and I have wanted to take a Windstar cruise for years and finally decided to go for an anniversary trip. We took the Athens to Istanbul trip. Our first impression was very good! We were greeted and introduced to the outstanding staff upon arrival. The staff were exceptional at every step of the journey... Definitely the best part ( other than itinerary ) of the cruise. The small cruise size was all that it was said to be! Loved getting to know so many people from all over! The down sides.... The food reminded us of " wedding reception" caliber and with the exception of the steak options which my husband loved. Mass produced, sometimes having a freezer burn taste and usually luke warm. Just not top of the line by any stretch. Our room was lovely and very clean. However, the ship's decor could use a facelift. Carpet was worn, chips in the wood and other signs that a spruce up would be in order. All in all, it was a great time. For the money, I think some improvements are needed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I just returned from my 4th Windstar cruise, 1st on the motor yacht. It was a wonderful cruise in so many ways and I have to say I enjoyed just about every minute of it. As usual staff was wonderful and guests were friendly and we ended ... Read More
I just returned from my 4th Windstar cruise, 1st on the motor yacht. It was a wonderful cruise in so many ways and I have to say I enjoyed just about every minute of it. As usual staff was wonderful and guests were friendly and we ended up meeting some wonderful people. Our trip had only 160 out of 210 guests which was nice, adding to the intimacy of the trip. The girls at the reception, Anna and Charlene, were excellent and so very helpful. I loved being greeted by them by name each time we returned to the ship. The excursion staff was excellent as were the excursions we took. Food was very good though I got a little tired of the same offing for breakfast and lunch. It may be a bit my fault as I never ordered from the menu and yes, it seems a bit of a first world problem. Dinner entrees were excellent and very well prepared. We ordered room service one evening and it was delicious, specially presented in our cabin. I appreciate the attention to details. Laundry package was great, as usual. I have to say I missed the sails. The outdoor space did seem a bit lacking but really I can't say why. Perhaps the larger cabins encouraged more time in our room rather than in public spaces? We spent the BBQ in the main dining room which was disappointing, not the food but the ambiance of the outdoor BBQ. Amphora was lovely and we really enjoyed sharing a table with other guests. The dining room never felt ful or crowded. The tenders seemed a bit neglected. Kind of older style boats, could be cleaned up and add to the luxury feel of tendering to those lovely small ports. We changed our first port of call, Hvar to Split, because of weather and the need to dock rather than tender. Windstar handled that perfect and we enjoyed Split and its offerings. Also we had to dock outside of Dubrovnik rather than tender because of weather and Windstar provided transportation free of charge from port to the old town gate. I wouldn't hesitate booking a trip on one of the motor yachts if the itinerary was one I wanted, but given a choice all things equal I'd probably book one of the sail ships. It's part of what hooked my on Windstar in the first place. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
We are frequent cruisers on Silversea, Seabourn & have also cruised on Seadream & Azamara but no others. We were curious to try the newly refurbished Star Breeze on account that we had travelled on the same ship when it was owned ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers on Silversea, Seabourn & have also cruised on Seadream & Azamara but no others. We were curious to try the newly refurbished Star Breeze on account that we had travelled on the same ship when it was owned by Seabourn. We were slightly nervous as we have always stayed away from non all inclusive cruise lines and were slightly nervous given some of the reviews on here. Windstar in the end far exceeded our expectations. Boarding in Piraeus was swift and easy as always. On boarding the ship the crew were immediately friendly and we were shown straight to our cabin despite it only being 1pm. The ship itself has clearly had money spent on it but could probably have done with a bit more being spent in the corridors and central stairwell. The public areas are a vast improvement but are incredibly underused. With the exception of the ondeck Yacht Bar, the other bar and other public areas were largely empty. The best part of the entire cruise was the service which is miles ahead of the competition and reminds me of Silversea back in the day when they were in top form. Our names were quickly memorised by the crew and were always used. Drinks preferences were remembered and the crew really made an effort to engage. It really was very impressive. Officers were very engaging too. It is clear that the ship has a highly visible management team who are on a mission to delight. Sadly as is the usual with high end cruise lines, we saw some appalling behaviour towards crew by our fellow travellers who for some reason do not see the crew as human beings. We opted for the drinks package which was quite expensive however they had a fantastic selection of wines by the glass with a large selection of them being from California. The Sommelier staff were excellent also. The food was reasonable though the second restaurant Candles could do with changing their menu. We did like the fact that local produce was frequently featured. We did not opt for any of the excursions and also declined the Windstar Signature event which is similar to that being offered by Azamara. The pool area has been remodelled and the pool has been replaced by a lap pool. The whole area still doesn't quite work and few people used it. The cabin was great (reviewed below) and although there is no self service laundry they have a reasonably priced all inclusive laundry package which was reasonable providing you used it extensively as we did. The entertainment was a let down. It was two duo's who only did covers. It was really lacking and in my opinion prevented people from going to the main bar after dinner as the male singer in the main bar didn't know how to turn his volume down though his female assistant was very good. By the yacht bar the entertainment was again mediocre with the female vocalist looking bored every night. The gym was poor. For some reason they have installed treadmills that prevent people over 6ft from using them as you hit your head on the ceiling. The staff said this was a frequent complaint but there were no plans to rectify this which is disappointing. The spa pricing was expensive however they did great deals in port which we took advantage off. Disembarkation was the usual relentless "get off the ship" announcements with no room service breakfast available. All in all it was the best cruise we have done for a long time and I would now look to them ahead of Silversea. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We sailed from Venice thru two ports in Croatia (Hvar and Dbrovnik); Kotor, Montnegro; Butrint, Albania; Katakolon, Greece; Itea, Greece; Nafplion, Greece; then finished in Athens. As a side note, Katakolon, Greece is absolutely the worst ... Read More
We sailed from Venice thru two ports in Croatia (Hvar and Dbrovnik); Kotor, Montnegro; Butrint, Albania; Katakolon, Greece; Itea, Greece; Nafplion, Greece; then finished in Athens. As a side note, Katakolon, Greece is absolutely the worst destination I have ever experienced. The ship was in need of many, many repairs. The toilets on the Port side of the ship were inoperative everytime the ship was in port. The head of housekeeping said it was from a guest flushing something like a t-shirt down the toilet; however, the plumbing crew said it was a vacuum leak that they couldn't find, but not to worry because they experience this every cruise. We were forced to move rooms to the starboard side towards the front of the ship (luckily we had smooth waters to sail), causing us to repack then unpack our bags in the middle of the journey. Although the ship was a disaster maintenance-wise, the crew was outstanding. From the waiters to the porters, everbody was outstanding in the rank and file level of staff; however, there was a huge communication problem between management and the guests regarding the problems on this ship, and excuses were being made and they weren't owning up to the problem. I would not sail with Windstar again after this voyage, and especially would not sail on the Star Pride--she is long in the tooth and in need of many, many repairs. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
To celebrate our 25th anniversary my wife and I decided a trip to Europe would be a special gift to ourselves. We chose the Star Prides Venetian Passages for its interesting ports of call and the intimate small cruise boat experience. This ... Read More
To celebrate our 25th anniversary my wife and I decided a trip to Europe would be a special gift to ourselves. We chose the Star Prides Venetian Passages for its interesting ports of call and the intimate small cruise boat experience. This was to be our first cruise experience. Windstar and Star Pride did not disappoint. The rooms, service and staff were all exceptional and made us feel special the entire time. The food was amazing, and we looked forward to every meal. For our first meal, we notified the our server of a gluten intolerance...the chef immediately made note of our dietary request and made certain that at every meal from then on Gluten free options were available. They went out of their way to please. The cabin steward was very friendly always kept our room in top shape. We especially enjoyed the towel origami left on our bed at every evenings turn down service! Every night was a new creation. Embarkation and Disembarkation was efficient and pleasant. We especially enjoyed the ability to easily come and go to the ship when in port. There were never any lines or restrictions when in port. I used the fitness facility several times, and thought it was very well set-up. I noted it was also very well used and appreciated by the guests on the ship as well. Some of the previous critics of the Star Pride made me somewhat nervous of the actual state of the ship and how this would affect our experience. I can confidently state that they were overly critical, and the ship is beautiful and the staff work diligently conducting routine maintenance to keep her looking her best. We were very pleased with our entire experience on board. We even used the pool regularly to cool down from the heat. The entertainment in the evening was excellent! They had us dancing on deck under the stars and happily accommodated any requests. It doesn't get any better than that!! My wife and I had the trip of a life time!! I have to thank everyone on the Star Pride for making our 25th anniversary so memorable. A special thanks to Merrick, Lilik, Ifan, Fauzi and Houzni for your personalized service. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
My wife and I are ardent cruisers having sailed twenty plus times with the major providers. We have just returned from the 'Greek Islands & Turkish Delights' cruise. This was without doubt the finest cruise we have ever been ... Read More
My wife and I are ardent cruisers having sailed twenty plus times with the major providers. We have just returned from the 'Greek Islands & Turkish Delights' cruise. This was without doubt the finest cruise we have ever been on. I had read some of the reviews on this and other sites about the ships condition and decoration but have to say that most of the problems we observed were trivial and minor cosmetic flaws. What set this cruise far above other lines was the enthusiasm and friendliness of both the staff and crew. These were people who were happy and achieving a great deal of job satisfaction from from ensuring their customers were happy. Every detail of the cruise was exceptional. Variation of restaurant and cafeteria opening times sympathetically adjusted to daily activities, The open bridge policy and the variety of food on offer. The embarkation and disembarkation were again seamless operations with minimal waiting or fuss. As we had only one sea day entertainment was not high on the wanted list. There were no sea day activities but on this occasion it was accepted. Our Signature event was a Silver Service meal on the forecourt area of the Grand Library at Ephasus. This was well organised with adequate food and wine but again exceptional planning and service. The meal in the floodlight court after visitors had left for the day provided a rare experience. The evening deck Bar-B-Q was outside the harbour at Santorini. The roast Suckling Pig and Lobster were excellent and yet again the slick management and service provided for a seamless evening. We ate once in Candles and the remainder of the voyage in the Amphora restaurant. Both had high quality levels of dishes and service. The quality of the crew, the managerial organisation and the friendliness of the crew are something Windstar should be proud of. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
My wife and I just returned from the Windstar "Gems of the Aegean" voyage on the Star Pride and had a really excellent time. We stayed in Cabin 118 that is a S1 class cabin on the 4th deck (one floor above the main dining room). ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from the Windstar "Gems of the Aegean" voyage on the Star Pride and had a really excellent time. We stayed in Cabin 118 that is a S1 class cabin on the 4th deck (one floor above the main dining room). We had read the reviews on this board and were concerned based on the mixed nature and a recent very negative review. I am happy to report the Star Pride looks great, our room was wonderful and even the pool looks better. The S1 cabin's are just fine and have enough room that you do not feel cramped. The bathrooms are a good size and the walk in closet is perfect since my wife packed this trip to ensure she had a different outfit each day for pictures. We were told, but did not verify, that the balcony suites are actually smaller then the S1 suites so that they could make room for the balcony. This kind of makes sense and if true very happy we didn't spend the additional money as we spent little time in the room. At every shore stop we noticed that Windstar was performing cosmetic maintenance. On one day they painted the entire side of the ship which is no small accomplishment. The ship is definitely older but I will say, like in Master and Commander, she is bluff and has lovely lines and is still in the prime of her service. The crew are wonderful. They could not do enough to be helpful. Always polite and really worked at finding ways to help. Eddie and Michael, the Deck 8 Bartenders, ensured I had an unending stream of Vodka Sodas that I will now spend the next month working off. We used a 3rd party firm for shore excursions instead of Windstar and found the price / value to be better. Nothing wrong with the Windstar excursions, but they move at the pace of the slowest common denominator. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
We booked this cruise in May 2014 when we were on the Windsurf through a program that is no longer available. I believe that the program was called destinations; it provided an additional 5% off of the 5% already given to pervious guests. ... Read More
We booked this cruise in May 2014 when we were on the Windsurf through a program that is no longer available. I believe that the program was called destinations; it provided an additional 5% off of the 5% already given to pervious guests. However, throughout the year, the price was reduced and a call to Windstar enabled us to get the lower price. They have a a new program called Welcome Home that essential does the same thing for 60 days upon return. We flew into Athens a few days before the cruise so that we could acclimate to the time difference and also visit the sites within Athens. We arrived at the port after taking the Metro from Athens. I would not recommend doing this since the Metro stop is a significant walk to the passenger terminal. If you still decide to do this, get a taxi from the Metro stop to the passenger terminal. When we arrived, we were greeted by staff wearing Windstar tee-shirts, our luggage was tagged and taken to the ship. We went through a security check and boarded the Star Pride. Unlike previous sailings, where we waited a max of about 15 minutes, we waited for about 40 minutes before getting to the table to turn over our passports and credit card info. However, the bar staff kept us well hydrated with mimosas, water, etc. We received room keys, met up with our cabin stewart, and made our way to Cabin 123 on Deck 4. I'll write up our thoughts on the cabin in that specific section. The dining on this cruise was the best that we have experienced on Windstar. I like the flavors that our Indian Chef (Tapan I think is his name) introduced to the menu. Stand outs for me were the fresh seafood dishes later in the cruise, but I didn't have anything that I didn't like. The chef went out in Kusadasi and got some fresh fish which was excellent. We experienced Candles at 8PM, right after we had left Santorini. Excellent Filet Mignon, great side dishes, and wonderful service. We only went to the AmphorA once for breakfast since we had breakfast delivered to the room most mornings. It was standard buffet fare, with eggs made to order, and few items from a menu. We choose the omelettes and the buffet. Our waitstaff at all meals were exceptional. Ayu served our table for most meals unless we came as a large group and did not get her section. She was very sweet. Most nights Noel was our bar/wine stewart. He was very knowledgeable about the wines that they carried and assisted us with our choices. The dining room managers watched over the entire process making their presence known and checked on us. The bar staff, as always, was awesome. Since we hung out at the Star Bar we had Ron, Diana, and Ed as the bartenders/servers. Ron has been on all of our Windstar cruises and remembered us and our drinks! Its amazing how quickly they remember everyone's name. We have purchased the beverage package for each of the three cruises that we've been on. However, this time around, I think the value was diminished compared to past cruises. The 'premium' is no longer there. In the past, there were at least two single malts that were available. They have changed the program where single malts are not available even with an 'up' charge. Many higher end liquors require an upcharge. I don't know what it was since I didn't want to pay above the amount that I had already paid. Liquors that required up charges were Patron, Belvedere, a few Bourbons (I'm not a bourbon drinker so I didn't pay that much attention). I made note of the changes in the written critique since I was annoyed that they didn't disclose the changes. I think I would have removed the beverage package if I had been. They have improved the quality and quantity of wines that are available from the beverage package, so I guess there is at least one thing better about the new program. As with previous cruises, I thought that the shore excursions were very good particularly in Turkey. The contracted company, Wind Song (I believe), had excellent guides, good buses, and nice itineraries. They were also the company that coordinated the 5 course meal at the Library of Celsus within Ephesus. That was the highlight, of the cruise. It was an awesome experience to have dinner in the court yard right in front of the library that dates back to 200 AD. I had read in previous reviews that there were several areas of the ship that were run down, etc. Well, on this particular cruise we really did not experience that. Yes, the ship is older and it does have some things that are little worn. I had read that the pool was 'unswimable'. I didn't go in, but my wife did. She said that it was fine; just a little small. It was clean. She said that you could tell that the painting was recent. I believe that Windstar has taken steps to improve the material condition of the ship. The teak was in good shape, all the deck chairs appeared to be new, carpeting throughout the ship appeared to be new as well. The things that I think we thought that were just okay: the general flow of areas of the ship seemed disjointed. The Compass Rose is in-door; because of that, we never were there. We hung out in the Star Bar since it was outside and had a good vistas of the outside. The elevators seemed 'tired' and needed some revamping since they were all mirrored and brass. We did not like either band on the ship. The duo that was in the Compass Rose was just bad. The band that played in the area where the hot tubs were was okay, but their set list was very limited. We were spoiled by the duo Rain that was on windsurf when we sailed in 2014. They were excellent. We continue to like Windstar, and the essence of the company that attracted us to them in the first place is still present on the Star Pride, but I would lean toward the Windsurf or their other sailing vessels instead of the power yachts. I would go on it again, however, if the same itinerary was available on the Windsurf, Windstar, or Windspirt, I would go with one of them. We haven't cruised on any other line so I can't compare them to others. I like the casual atmosphere, that there are NOT shows on=board, the requirement to dress up (I wear a coat and tie for work everyday and really don't want to do that on my vacation! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
We had never cruised before, and I thought that the "brand new" Star Pride would be a good option to take to see if we liked cruising. First let me say that the staff is top notch and five star in every way possible, and in no ... Read More
We had never cruised before, and I thought that the "brand new" Star Pride would be a good option to take to see if we liked cruising. First let me say that the staff is top notch and five star in every way possible, and in no way does this review reflect on them. Rather, it is corporate management, Hans Birkholz et al, that is receiving this one star rating (and I am being generous). Shame, shame, shame on him for not properly refurbishing this ship when he took ownership of it. While Windstar certainly marketed the Star Pride as being "new", it is anything but. Although a couple of the common areas got an update, the cabins, hallways, and many other common areas were just plain gross. In a nutshell, I paid Four Seasons prices and got Holiday Inn quality. This ship is old, tired, musty and in dire need of a top to bottom renovation. Some refurbishing of the exterior common areas was being done DURING OUR CRUISE, including copious use of smelly varnish and repainting the one pool on the ship, it was no where near enough. Our cabin had worn, stained, frayed carpet, musty draperies and thin, threadbare linens. The mattress was old, worn and lumpy, and the pillow were old, flat and smelly. Yuck, yuck, yuck. The bathroom "marble" was stained and fixtures were old and worn. The carpet in the hallways and on the stairs is stained and frayed, and the overwhelming musty (mildew?) smell that permeated the interior really set my allergies off. On the upside, the food was outstanding. Kudos to the chef, his staff, and the dining staff - all top notch. Honestly, this cruise was such a turnoff that it has probably soured us on any future cruises - and certainly any future cruises with Windstar. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
Our trip started with independent flights from JFk-Istanbul via Rome on Alitalia. Unfortunately, our flight from JFK was late and we were going to miss our connection. Alitalia placed us on a Turkish Air non-stop to Istanbul but it left 8 ... Read More
Our trip started with independent flights from JFk-Istanbul via Rome on Alitalia. Unfortunately, our flight from JFK was late and we were going to miss our connection. Alitalia placed us on a Turkish Air non-stop to Istanbul but it left 8 hours after our originally scheduled departure. The flight was pleasant enough in Business class. We spent one night at the Inter-Continental which was quite nice with a view of the Bosphorus. Access to the tram and metro were excellent and the surrounding streets offered adequate restaurants and shops. Breakfast at the inter-Continental was a lavish affair offering cooked to order eggs and omelets as well as other standard items. We took a taxi to the pier at 2PM. There was some confusion as it seems the usual pier used for check-in was under renovation. There was a Windstar employee waiting there, however, who directed our cab driver to the proper location just a few minutes away. It would have been nice if we had received notification beforehand, however, it really had no bearing on our embarkation. The luggage drop off was a bit confusing. After a security check-point, we brought our luggage to a building about 75 yards from the ship and then walked back to a second pier opposite the ship. There doesn’t seem to have been a reason for us to travel from one building to the next and then return. After the usual security check point, we embarked the Star Pride and were directed to check in one deck above, in the lounge. Check in took just minutes and afterwards, Larry, the Verandah/Candles Maître-De was stationed at a table taking reservations for the cruise as well as placing people on a wait list for additional seatings. Apparently, we were entitled to at least one Candles seating during the cruise. Larry, however, made it clear, that it was worth getting on the waiting list for other nights. He was not wrong. On our 9 night cruise, we ended up eating there 3 times and were never disappointed. We found the meals equal, if not superior, to most US steakhouses, and the service, as in other areas of the ship, was excellent. Larry learned our names by the first day and always ensured we were always tended to every time we ate at the Verandah. One afternoon, we arrived from Santorini after closing time but he kept the restaurant open until we leisurely completed our lunch. A much appreciated touch. After checking in, we made our way to suite 207, located on deck #5. The numbering system is curious since it doesn’t correspond to deck number but on this yacht, it really doesn’t matter. It certainly does not take long to learn your way around. Our suite was a “balcony suite”. It was extremely spacious and well laid out and despite what some previous reviews have indicated, looked entirely fresh. The wood built-ins, which have not been replaced, did appear to be freshly sanded and cleaned. Perhaps the only area of the suite which looked tired was the tub/shower. The marble in many areas was stained and old looking. This never, however, impacted out trip in any way. The suite contained an LCD TV which played various satellite new channels and some In-house TV stations. Certainly the ship could benefit from more channels. It would have been nice to have ESPN. We did borrow nightly from the extensive DVD library. A word about the “balcony”. It was certainly nice to be able to open the “door” and check the weather in the morning. I would say that at the premium Windstar charges, it is probably not worth it for most. Where the Star Pride excelled was in overall service by the wonderful crew, and the quality of the food. We were fortunate to have a wonderful cabin steward named Wayan. He quickly learned our routines and always had out suite ready for us. In addition, he tended to our daily laundry. For one price, the ship performed unlimited laundry/suite. This allows traveling very light and after the first day, laundry given to Wayan by 9AM was back in time for dinner. Truly worth the price. Although all seating was “open”, all dining stewards quickly learned our names and routines and as a veteran of over 50 cruises, I cannot recall having service of a higher caliber than on the Star Pride. Even the beverage stewards were always producing our Diet Cokes, before we even asked for them. Breakfast in AmphoreA or the Verandah was buffet style with egg stations always available. Lunch in the Verandah was never crowded, despite it being too cold most afternoons to be seated outside. As previously stated, we ate dinner in Candles three times with our beef fillet being cooked to perfection. Out dinners in AmphoreA were also excellent, with great service despite having different dining stewards each time. This was a port intensive itinerary. Due to rough seas, one port was substituted after a schedule change. This was handled well with new excursions being made available. Considering the situation, I believe the result was as good as possible. We did tender in two ports. This was performed efficiently and we never waited more than a few minutes for a tender. Disembarkation in Athens was as easy as could be expected for a ship of this size. Basically, we left after breakfast, grabbed a taxi, and went to the airport. In conclusion, I would not hesitate to cruise on this ship again. I agree with many that the pool area needs work. As the weather on our trip was colder than hoped, we never did get the opportunity to even try to use it. It was constantly being painted and in fact, did not look inviting. We did, however, use the hot tubs without difficulty. The remainder of the Star Pride experience, from food /hotel services, to shore excursions was deluxe all the way. We truly felt we were on a yacht which was clearly the effect Windstar was looking to provide. Those looking for entertainment, however, would be best served on a larger ship.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
Both ship and it's several facilities were so not ready for this trip. We were told at booking that this ship which has recently been purchased from Seabourn Cruises had had a complete refit....just not so. The swimming pool had rust ... Read More
Both ship and it's several facilities were so not ready for this trip. We were told at booking that this ship which has recently been purchased from Seabourn Cruises had had a complete refit....just not so. The swimming pool had rust surrounding all four walls and during the entire trip not one passenger was seen using it. The three jacuzzi pools were problematic as well. One never got hot enough while a second was in working order every other day. The rooms too lacked a finished appeal. Many of the ports were cloudy or justy and not redone. The food was fair but fairly boring. All of this was negatively effected by the unrelenting push to get more "Chump Change" from every possible venue. From the never ending request to take drink orders at NYC prices plus a manidtory added on tip. Finally in a day and age where travelers demand WiFi connections the only Wifi connection available was at the cost of $100.00 US for a mere 150 megabytes......Passengers were told that the best thing to do was to wait until they were in port and go to the FREE internet cafes nearby! All of this added up to a nickle and dime approach to a First Class Deluxe Cruise..   Read Less
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