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6 Windstar Gay & Lesbian Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise on such a small ship. We have previously sailed on large megaships with Holland America, Princess and Celebrity and found Windstar to be far superior for experienced travelers who enjoy adventure and more unique ... Read More
This was our first cruise on such a small ship. We have previously sailed on large megaships with Holland America, Princess and Celebrity and found Windstar to be far superior for experienced travelers who enjoy adventure and more unique ports. The Tahiti ports are the south seas paradises we dreamed of and more than lived up to our expectations when we booked. They are still relatively unspoiled by hordes of tourists and far more relaxing than Hawaii. The food on Windstar was outstanding and there were no upcharges for specialty restaurants. The staff were uniformly professional and friendly and the food was far better than that we experienced on mass market cruiselines. My only caveats are that Windstar is not well suited for families sailing with children, elderly people with mobility issues and party people. Independent adults and couples looking for a very relaxing vacation will find Windstar to be an ideal and adventurous escape. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was such a magical cruise! Totally amazing look at the island nation of Tahiti.It truly enriched our lives. The food was top notch and we have cruised and traveled the entire world. It's a nice small ship where you get to know ... Read More
This was such a magical cruise! Totally amazing look at the island nation of Tahiti.It truly enriched our lives. The food was top notch and we have cruised and traveled the entire world. It's a nice small ship where you get to know everyone, crew and fellow passengers. We saw 6 or 7 islands Bora Bora and Huahine being my favorite.The crew couldn't have been better. Rina and Natasha at the front desk were SO NICE and helpful they knew everyone's names. They deserve a raise! Captain Ned and first mate were the most personable officers I have ever meet on a cruise, loved them. The excursions were to die for. Loved the floating mats off the back of the boat when we stopped. Dody my room steward (room 104) kept or room immaculate at all times. The crew on this ship made this cruise they were the best of any cruise I have ever taken. Just loved this cruise. They do need new mattresses in the cabins. I hope that is part of the refurb they are about to do. If you want to do Tahiti this is the way to go, even better then staying a week in Bora Bora. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We did not expect such a great experience. Our room was spacious, the service was above and beyond, the food was excellent, and the side trips were exciting. I loved that we didn't have to get dressed up to have dinner. I ... Read More
We did not expect such a great experience. Our room was spacious, the service was above and beyond, the food was excellent, and the side trips were exciting. I loved that we didn't have to get dressed up to have dinner. I appreciated morning room service. My husband enjoyed visiting the Bridge and the entire Panama Canal passing. Being on a cruise with only 147 other people was great. We are truly spoiled. The Dining was open and we could choose to sit alone or with others. No assigned seating. There was a wonderful BBQ on deck and another picnic BBQ on a private Island. No little kids on the cruise. Just one special family. This is a great cruise for active people who enjoy paddle boards and swimming. Getting ashore is on a Zodiac and is not easy. The crew is very attentive and helpful about getting people on and off the boat safely. But it would not be a good cruise for someone who has mobility problems. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Some background before I write this review - we have taken numerous cruises on all levels of ships around the world (small, medium, large, riverboats, etc.) so we have a lot of reference points on what we like and expect as a function of ... Read More
Some background before I write this review - we have taken numerous cruises on all levels of ships around the world (small, medium, large, riverboats, etc.) so we have a lot of reference points on what we like and expect as a function of the price point and the specifics of what the cruise line advertises and offers as compared to their competitors. Having recently traveled on Viking (river cruise in China which we absolutely loved!), we wanted to try another ship with a small number of passengers. After a thorough search, we decided to give Windstar (and the Star Legend) our business - per their advertisement - "fully refurbished boat, approximately 200 passengers, gourmet food and wine, world class gym, elegant staterooms and unique and memorable shore excursions'. So let's discuss what was accurate and what was off the mark - the pro's - very spacious stateroom, cabin attendant was excellent, on-board entertainment was very enjoyable, Candles dinning was great, majority of crew worked very hard to make the trip memorable, and select staff management (Elena and Bianca) worked very hard to listen to our concerns and to the extent practical within their control make our travels and pleasant as possible, and the people were so much fun to meet. The cons - (1) for a refurbished ship, the interior was in dire need of a fresh paint and varnish (age of the ship was not well hidden), the bathroom was not updated - pealing paint and wall tiles in shower were old and separating), (2) wine - not paired with dinner or the countries visited, wine tastings were poorly planned and executed (rushed so the room could be turned over for dinner, no wait staff to serve additional portions to the customers, and wine selections ran out during dinner, "wine expert" was not organized and could not keep the attention of the customers) - we stopped going after day four, quality of wines served were average to below average at best and had low Wine Spectator ratings, (3) on-board dinning service - very dis-jointed for the first three days - meals were late (i.e. not everyone was served at the same time), side dished were missing or wrong, and if you ordered fish it was guaranteed to arrive overcooked and dry, (4) food quality - got better as the days went by but serving three shrimps on top of rice is not gourmet, (5) bar service - with the exception of a few bar staff, very inconsistent service for mixed drinks - long wait (10 minutes), wrong order, glass half-filled - deferred to wine and beer to avoid the the hassle which was not our preference, (6) broken water system during seal day - no showers or running water - things happen at sea so my issue is not that this happened but how the ship handled the situation - the captain made an announcement at approximately 9 am and mentioned that the water system broke and we would make a stop at Brest for repairs - not apologetic in any form and tried to make a joke about it - not funny for the guests who were stuck on board without a bathroom or shower - in terms of compensation - NONE...we asked them to open the bar and provide free drinks and were denied....the system was repaired and then broke again around 10 pm (no notice from the captain) - I called the front desk and the staffer did not understand why I was mad as he did not get a chance to shower (paying customer versus employee....where is the training...), (7) off-board dinner in Bordeaux - very elegant, classical music, wine in the courtyard and then dinner - only one selection - a meat dish that was served raw to myself and three others at our table - after 15 minutes and sending it back twice I decided not to eat the dried out mass in front of me. Two wines were served of which one was a beautiful 2001 Margaux - we each had one glass and asked for another bottle - they "ran out" even then we observed other tables actively getting additional bottles, (8) world class gym - broken equipment and missing weights - need I say more, (9) excursions - unlike Viking or other high end cruise lines, Windstar only includes two free shore excursions and the guests have to pay for any other trips so desired - the selections were marginal at best with the most notable being a wine tour of a local vineyard in the Medoc region of Bordeaux - expected elegant wines and encountered less than marginal samples - would have expected a higher quality vineyard to be made available. We did email Hans (CEO) a note summarizing our experiences and have not received any reply as of this review - not terribly surprised since he already has our money and from the experiences listed above, apparently does not have a keen focus on customer service. Some final thoughts and impressions - we probably wont use this cruise line again unless Han's contacts us and don't recommend anyone else using them unless you do a full due-diligence on all high end cruise and read the review, the ship management fell flat on attention to details and building/maintaining a strong and consistent team to perform and execute their respective duties flawlessly every time, and if you are going to offer a marginal experience then charge a marginal price so expectations can be tempered with reality. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
It was with some trepidation that I booked for this, the first cruise that we have ever taken. Having heard numerous stories of the decks on board in chaos from Zimmer frame traffic jams and drunken oafs staggering around trying to get ... Read More
It was with some trepidation that I booked for this, the first cruise that we have ever taken. Having heard numerous stories of the decks on board in chaos from Zimmer frame traffic jams and drunken oafs staggering around trying to get their money's worth of free booze, I was concerned. On op of it all, I was also apprehensive how we,a gay couple from the dark continent, would fare amongst the "Bush generation" of Americans who dominated the numbers of guests aboard. All of our fears and apprehensions soon dissolved virtually from the moment we set eyes on the yacht from the Piraeus port in Athens. From the greeting at the port, the embarkation process, meeting the crew, to entering the wonderfully air conditioned reception of the ship for the first time, we felt special and welcome aboard. Although the ship carries about 140 people, we never felt as if we were jostling for space or a preferred spot, there is more than enough room for everyone to feel very much as if this were their own private yacht. The food was simply exceptional - every meal was a master class, the chefs obviously taking great pride in their culinary creations. The service was outstanding - by the end of day 1 all the crew knew our names and I couldn't help but feel that they actually enjoyed being at our service. What I particularly enjoyed was the drama every evening at "sail away" time....when we left our port in the evenings, everyone on deck with a cocktail of sorts, music from "the mission" washing over us and the sails unfurling in an attempt at sailing (wind dependent). It was spectacular! Once the sun had finally set each evening its off to dinner, relaxing, unassuming and delicious. And best of all......wake up the next morning in a new port or at a new island, ready to explore for the day. So I guess you can gather that the cruise was terrific for us, all misgivings gone, beautiful memories remain and the next cruise in the planning phase. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We spent the night in the Marriott Panama City but booked ourselves instead of through Windstar and saved over $100 each doing it independently. Very nice hotel in a great location with pool and helpful staff. First impressions of the ... Read More
We spent the night in the Marriott Panama City but booked ourselves instead of through Windstar and saved over $100 each doing it independently. Very nice hotel in a great location with pool and helpful staff. First impressions of the Windspirit was ‘great’ which was unfortunately rather muted after the 1.5 hour coach ride to Colon from Panama City having to listen to the tour guide drone on for most of the journey. Disembarking the coach and finding our way to the Windspirit was also very shambolic with no direction, signage nor Windstar representative but we all found our way in the end to the refreshing air conditioning of the ships main reception. Registration in the lounge was a little amateur but we got through it and were then directed to our cabin. Warmth and hospitality of the ship staff are one of the biggest plus points of the voyage with staff soon learning your name. Our cabin on deck one amidships was very comfortable but showing a little wear despite the recent refurbishment that took place. Our cabin steward was very helpful, friendly and made our stay very enjoyable. Depending on what muster point you are allocated for your lifeboat there is a clear difference in the quality of staff and the amount of information you receive from them. One hopes there will never be an incident. Without going into too much detail the other passengers on the ship were very friendly and nice people and we made friends with several. The entertainment was everything you would expect, and we wanted, from a small ship i.e. just a piano player which was very good. We didn’t take up the drink package as not value for money! We do like two or three cocktails/wine in the evening but it just did not work out financially as a good deal. We did, however, take up the laundry package which was great and well worth it. The food was lovely! We really enjoyed Candles on the pool deck although you do need to pre-book. The main restaurant AmphorA was very nice too with great service. My partner and I both need to go on a diet after all the great food which was always available. Windstar promote their ships as ‘private yachts’ and that is how it really felt. You wouldn’t have noticed 148 passengers on board. We went through the Panama Canal which was scenic but once you’ve done one lock that’s about it, but it depends on your individual interests. Christmas day was spent on Isla de Coiba in the Pacific. What a paradise and fantastic day on the beach, bbq and first real day on a beach in the sun. I would recommend you do detailed research on the ports prior to the trip and plan your own outings. Most companies will pick you up at the dock as part of the package if you wanted to do some zip line for example and they most definitely will be cheaper than booking through the ship. There may have been faults with either the ship, trips out, staff etc but we would most heartily recommend Windstar and are already looking at sailing with them again. This is the next best thing to having your own yacht so enjoy!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
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