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18 Windstar Italy Cruise Reviews

9 days "Sicily Splendors" was purchased in June 2016. We cruised on Windstar (Windsurf) before and knew about the warm crew approach, amazing food, long staying in the ports and all the other things smaller ships can offer. We ... Read More
9 days "Sicily Splendors" was purchased in June 2016. We cruised on Windstar (Windsurf) before and knew about the warm crew approach, amazing food, long staying in the ports and all the other things smaller ships can offer. We were in the different parts of Italy many times but not in Sicily. So the decision was easy. Embarkation was smooth and easy. We were upgraded to a higher deck - which was a nice surprise. Cabin was clean and kept clean all the voyage. The dining on Windstar ships is the one of the best you can get on a cruise ship. All the time 5* - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, BBQ event - everything! The ports were interesting for us as I've mentioned. All around Sicily plus Malta and Gozo (small island next to Malta). Unfortunately due to the weather conditions in Gozo captain decided to stay one more night in Valletta so we couldn't see Gozo. But safety first and we spent a wonderful one more day in Malta - which was nice :) Special event was very well organized. Additional point to the Team. Miss the ship already and dream to come again! :) Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our fifth Windstar Cruise, but the first on the Sea Breeze. Overall it was very good value for the money. Some observations : 1. The logistics at the Port of Civitavecchia (Rome) necessitated two(2) coach transfers - no easy ... Read More
This was our fifth Windstar Cruise, but the first on the Sea Breeze. Overall it was very good value for the money. Some observations : 1. The logistics at the Port of Civitavecchia (Rome) necessitated two(2) coach transfers - no easy task when you are 80 years old, the temperature is in the low 30C's, and you have handle your own luggage....................However, both embarkation and disembarkation went extremely smoothly. 2. Customer service was excellent, and left a big impression that the satisfaction of the client was a number one priority. Some examples: - on two (2) separate occasions my Wife had issues with her meal. On both occasions the Head Chef was at our table within 5 minutes. - By the third evening it was becoming very obvious that the initial high standard of service in the Main Dining Room was starting to deteriorate (getting sloppy- I am still waiting for my dessert.............). Having informed the Dining Room Manager that it was not acceptable, the service the next evening, and for the balance of the cruise, was back to it's initial high standard. - The shore excursion to Gozo was abandoned due to a heavy swell - a full refund was given without asking. - The boat excursion to Positano had to be changed to a visit to Positano by Coach - again due to a heavy swell. A partial refund was given - again without asking. - My Birthday was celebrated twice - once at breakfast with a croissant adorned by two (2) candles, and again in the evening with a more formal birthday cake. 3. The Laundry Package/Service was excellent and good value for the money. 4. The Wine and Beverage Package was, in my opinion, overpriced. You would have to be a confirmed alcoholic to get full value............. 5. A nice touch was the offering of local wine and locally sourced food - especially the Branzino (European Sea Bass) which was cooked to perfection. 6. Candles Restaurant was superb, as was the on-deck BBQ. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Rarely does a second experience live up to a perfect first one but in the case of recent Windstar cruise, this is the case. Three years ago, we had the cruise of a lifetime on The Wind Star, highlighted by our marriage on board with ... Read More
Rarely does a second experience live up to a perfect first one but in the case of recent Windstar cruise, this is the case. Three years ago, we had the cruise of a lifetime on The Wind Star, highlighted by our marriage on board with Santorini as the backdrop. The Windstar experience was beyond our expectations and created such indelible memory for all of us that my wife and I decided that we must celebrate our 3rd anniversary with another Windstar cruise. Once again, we were fortunate to have all 3 of our adult children join us, although it was obviously not too hard to convince them! This time, we decided on the Star Breeze’ Italy and Dalmatian Coast itinerary. While the sails of the Wind Star create a majestic and awe-inspiring visual experience, the spaciousness of the cabins, all suites, and increased deck space of the Windstar motor yachts, such as Star Breeze, compensate for it in a different but equal way. What is not different is the warmth and feeling of being amongst friends from the minute you step aboard. For those of you who remember the TV show Cheers and the line from their theme song, “where everybody knows your name”, you would be able to easily apply that to the Star Breeze crew. From the minute you step aboard, somehow magically, the crew know you by name and immediately start to pick up on your desires and likes. You really feel as though you are on a private yacht and that you have known these people for much longer than a day or two. On big ships, other guests pass you anonymously and you are part of a large “pack” that moves around from activity to activity or reservation to reservation. On the Star Breeze, you almost immediately start to develop conversation an in many cases, friendships, with your very select 200 or so shipmates. You find yourself interacting and smiling much more than you though possible. You also do not have to worry whether you made a diner reservation or if you are running late, the Amphora dining room staff works on your timetable and when you show up for dinner, your table and very smiling, attentive staff are there waiting. Once again, Windstar did those little “extras” that mean so much and make you feel very special. We were welcomed onboard with a bottle of champagne and a beautiful flower arrangement waiting for us in our suite. We were then given a special Honeymoon gift of a professional family photo shoot, champagne at dinner and breakfast in bed. While most hotels or cruise lines would give a guest a mediocre bottle of champagne, ours was our favorite, Veuve Clicquot. This is just one more example of how Windstar shows how much they value their guests. Windstar’s itineraries have allowed us to experience more of each port of call as well as visit ones that we would never have even contemplated. Rovinj, our first port after departing Venice, was absolutely idyllic. The cobblestone streets and small shops that dotted the mountainside were only equaled by the incredible truffles sold in the local market. This is a port that no large cruise ship could visit nor would it be welcomed. Our ship at 214 passengers did not overrun the small town and allowed us to get the feel of a local Croate village. This is what true travel should be! In Dubrovnik, we sailed at 11:00 PM which allowed us to experience the Old City by gas lantern-light, truly a trip back to the Middle Ages and a page out of Game of Thrones. Overall, Windstar has once again given my family and I a truly memorable experience of not only fantastic ports but also of new friendships made and eager anticipation of our next Windstar cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Even though everything didn't go perfectly on this cruise, the staff on Wind Surf did everything in their power to make it memorable and special. There's just a feeling on Windstar cruises--the crew seem genuinely happy to be ... Read More
Even though everything didn't go perfectly on this cruise, the staff on Wind Surf did everything in their power to make it memorable and special. There's just a feeling on Windstar cruises--the crew seem genuinely happy to be there, the views are so gorgeous, the other passengers so pleasant. There's no fighting over deck chairs, no scrambling to get the best seats, no worry you'll get reservations to the restaurant of your choice. There's a feeling like, "Relax. Chill. There's enough of everything and they have it all planned out." From the time I arrived at the airport at Venice and a Windstar agent was waiting to take us to our hotel, I just feel relaxed and taken care of. The food on t his cruise was even better than the food on Windstar, the last ship on this line I cruised, and that's really saying something! There was more variety, I think, more food from local markets featured in all three meals. I honestly couldn't have imagined fresher, more appealing meals than all of those that were offered--I can't think of one that wasn't really delicious. In the city where I live, I can't get food anywhere this good! Yes, the entertainment isn't great (although I liked the duo Splash). But really, the entertainment is in the vistas all around you and the conversations with other passengers. We didn't get to have our signature event, which was supposed to be a cocktail party with folk dancing in Dubrovnik. The lead dancer died that day, so you couldn't fault Windstar for that. And they brought in some folk singers on to the ship instead (not the same, though; I didn't care for them much). Our deck barbeque had to be moved indoors because of weather, but it was delicious and brilliant all the same--they work so hard on this! And we missed one of our ports, Capri, one of the ones I was most looking forward to, because it wasn't safe to tender (seas were too rough). The usual captain of Wind Surf was on vacation, and the substitute captain had an emergency, so the first officer became captain for his first time ever. Even with all of this, though, there was such sincere desire to please the passengers and make their vacations memorable that I think the crew cared more about the things we missed than we did. The ports of call were great, the available tours were outstanding, our cabin was comfortable and so well taken care of during our voyage (thanks, Azhar!) that it was just overall a really great vacation. Windstar, you've spoiled me! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Sixth Windstar Cruise, 3rd on Windsurf. Older ship (they will never build another like this) but it has been well maintained and the mostly Indonesian crew works hard to keep the guests happy. Food is above the average cruise line food ... Read More
Sixth Windstar Cruise, 3rd on Windsurf. Older ship (they will never build another like this) but it has been well maintained and the mostly Indonesian crew works hard to keep the guests happy. Food is above the average cruise line food but nothing like the food available in Italy before or after the cruise. They don't push their shore excursions too hard and we have found that we can arrange for excellent private guides in many ports for the same or less cost. The problem as Windstar has gotten bigger appears to be the Seattle corporate office. Our recent cruise had a change of itinerary before departure and only a few passengers were notified of it. This affected our shore plans and nobody in the home office wants to take ownership of the problem. In addition, we booked a post cruise transfer hotel stay in Rome through Windstar and it appeared that the hotel was totally unprepared for our arrival. The local agent for Windstar was useless. We are seasoned travelers and generally go with the flow so we probably will cruise with Windstar again. Would never book a pre or post cruise stay through them again. A high % of guests are repeat customers who know that they will meet other older affluent people. This is not a ship for solo travelers or anyone under 50. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
During the end of September 2015 and the first week of October we were part of this fantasy. What a beautiful ship!! Everyone one the ship went out of their way to make our stay one to remember. We met so many new friends. We would party ... Read More
During the end of September 2015 and the first week of October we were part of this fantasy. What a beautiful ship!! Everyone one the ship went out of their way to make our stay one to remember. We met so many new friends. We would party until late at night. We would listen to music, and may I add...the duo Casey and Erick were stunning. Man...what a lovely voice. Cannot believe SA Idols let her slip through their hands. If ever you come across them, ask them to do Purple Rain and Bed of Roses. They absolutely made our tour. Well done Windstar!! Let me also not forget Harry our waiter at the restaurants. What a guy. The whole ship was talking about him. He should be the communications leader. He was witty, quick to assist, quick to let you feel welcome and even special. The rooms were excellent. Enough space and what a big bathroom. I am a big, very big guy and did not have any problem at all in the shower. The food at all the restaurants were superb. We will be going again and again and again...this I promised myself. I stayed in Room 243. When that door was closed during day or night it was peaceful and quiet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My husband and I just returned from the taking the Star Breeze, Sicilian Splendors cruise (Sept.17-27) and I wanted to provide you with first-hand feedback and many thanks to the crew. We had a great time and Windstar is to be ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from the taking the Star Breeze, Sicilian Splendors cruise (Sept.17-27) and I wanted to provide you with first-hand feedback and many thanks to the crew. We had a great time and Windstar is to be congratulated for providing us an excellent experience. The food was top quality and Chef Rohit showed his skill and innovation in procuring and preparing local products meeting and exceeding our every request. The dining room service was great and Dining Manager Allen made sure that all of our needs were promptly met making every dining experience memorable. Lastly, Hotel Manager Stephane’s skilled staff ensured that the rooms were clean and ready. What a treat to have a new towel animal to greet us as we returned from our tours which were very organized and fun filled. The special luncheon and stops for a snack/drinks were welcoming and elegantly executed. It is hard not to complement every member of crew for their excellent customer service, wonderful attitudes and providing every guest with personalized care. Last year, we cruised on the Wind Surf from Dublin to Lisbon and while that cruise was fantastic, this most recent cruise on the Star Breeze was even better, hard to imagine but it was! We also enjoyed the staff's dance night and talent night, and it's clear they enjoy their jobs and working with each other, therefore providing great customer service. We look forward to taking another Windstar cruise in 2016. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We had extremely high expectations for this cruise, and rightfully so given our previous excellent experience on the Wind Surf along the Croatian Coast. Let's begin with the ship. The Star Breeze is a different type of vessel from ... Read More
We had extremely high expectations for this cruise, and rightfully so given our previous excellent experience on the Wind Surf along the Croatian Coast. Let's begin with the ship. The Star Breeze is a different type of vessel from those who are accustomed to the Windstar sailing ships, but we knew that going in. Having acquired the ship from Seabourn, and recently completed a much touted multi-million dollar renovation, our expectations for the ship were higher than what was delivered. The staterooms are more spacious than on the sailing ships -- a big positive. The public areas are ok, but a bit underwhelming. The main dining room is the nicest area on the ship, as far as the public areas go, and they certainly did much to make it elegant. The "Candles" restaurant really is not a step up in food quality from the main dining area, and other than the fact that you are seated outdoors, there is nothing special about the ambiance. It is the same area used for serving breakfast every morning. With that said, we certainly did enjoy the outside seating and the wait staff did an excellent job with their service. Larry is the ship's officer responsible for the dining room staff, and he is truly committed to service excellence and to making sure that the client experience is very positive. We found him to be very personable and engaging. One of the most frustrating aspects of the ship was the horrible internet infrastructure onboard. I have an extensive background in technology and am well aware that satellite-based internet service is inherently slow. That's not the issue. The issue was the ongoing outages and continual dropped connections to the ship's router that occurred throughout the duration of our cruise. There were times that I got dropped 10-12 times over an attempted 1 hour session -- finally giving up in frustration. One morning, I got up almost 2 hours early to take care of some time-sensitive business matters back home, only to find that the internet connection was down completely. I politely complained about all of the above to the nice young woman at the reception desk, only to be told, "I'm sorry sir... our officers have been made aware of the problems..." I'm now in Day 9 of our trip and I feel like there should be some adjustment made to the outrageous $250 fee I paid for "unlimited" internet use. It has not been offered yet, although I intend to ask for one at the end of the cruise. Today, our port of call was Capri. Knowing it was a "short" day with the last tender returning to the ship at 3:45pm, we were up waiting for the first tender at approximately 8am. Nothing happened. The number of people started to build in the waiting area, and clearly there was frustration. No communications. Finally, the Captain made an announcement over the ship's PA system at around 9:30am, explaining that they had been negotiating with the Port for a place to anchor and regarding the use of the ship's tenders, versus the port's. This made no sense to me since it is well known that Capri requires the use of their own tenders. We watched the "comedy" as the Italian tenders from Capri were sent out to the ship, as they bobbed and rolled in the fairly mild seas, yet posing great difficulty for people to safely board from the ship. Ultimately, only one of their tenders was useable, and it needed to be shared with the larger ship anchored next to us. We ended up waiting until about 11 am to finally board and head to shore. We also observed the crew staff tell one of the other passengers that he and his family needed to wait because first priority boarding was being given to passengers who booked shore excursions through the ship. He politely told the crew staff that he had his own excursion and was going to board the tender with the same priority as those who purchased theirs through the ship. Unexpected things happen in every business, and how you handle matters with your customers differentiates the best businesses from the others. This matter was very poorly handled by the Windstar crew, and ultimately the responsibility resides with the Captain who was nowhere to be seen. Frankly, he should have left his ivory tower and explained the situation to the multitude of very upset passengers... personally, and not via the PA system. People should have been offered refreshments to keep them comfortable, and there should have been ongoing communications about the problem, what was being done to resolve it, and when people should expect to make it onshore. Instead, there was very little communication, and the ship's staff appeared to be confused and ill-prepared to handle the problem. The finger of responsibility was pointed at the Italian's at Capri's port, but this issue was totally foreseeable. Instead, many of us felt that there was a lot more to the "story" than was being communicated to the passengers. Even though the shore time was extended by almost 2 hours to "make up" for the delay, many passengers lost confidence in the system that would supposedly get us back to the ship, and ended up cutting the afternoon short in order to return early and avoid the chaos we had witnessed in the morning. After missing one of our earlier ports of call due to heavy seas, our final port of call in Capri was substantially compromised. It was not a positive way to conclude our cruise experience on the Star Breeze. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We went on the 7-night Star Breeze cruise, Rome to Nice, based upon the belief that this would be a 6-star experience, docked in each port because this was a"yacht," and could go to ports where the big ships could not go. THE ... Read More
We went on the 7-night Star Breeze cruise, Rome to Nice, based upon the belief that this would be a 6-star experience, docked in each port because this was a"yacht," and could go to ports where the big ships could not go. THE GOOD: The ride was really smooth. We were concerned that the yacht, being small, might not be comfortable in not-so-calm waters. The ride was a pleasure. The cabin was large and beautiful. It was about the length of a Princess mini-suite, bet about 1-1/3 wider. The decor was tasteful, and the bathroom large and beautiful (double sinks!) The food was excellent and plentiful, particularly the baked goods. The croissants were about the best I've had. A small thing, but do not miss the orange juice. I appreciated it as I enjoyed it on board, but, now at home, I miss it. The service was super, except for a few hiccups. The ports were beautiful. Portofino, in particular, lived up to its hype. Cinque Terra should not be missed. THE BAD: Do not go if you want entertainment. They had 2 duos, who were good, but offered only sporadically. The free "Glitterazzi" excursion to the Monte Carlo Casino was a bust. We only took 1 of their offered tours, the boat trip to Cinque Terra. It ww q bit pricy, but we were glad we did it. Otherwise don't bother. They offered a walking tour of Monaco for $115 each. 30 yards away was a hop-on-hop-off bus for 19 Euros. These are good values for an overview, and then use it to return to those sites which interest you. THE UGLY The promised ability to dock in the smaller ports was not true. We had to tender in half of the ports. And the tender was awful. Most cruise ships use their life boats, relatively stable catamarans. Windstar, however, used a couple of old 1930-era speed boats, which bounced terribly. When at the ship (er, "yacht"), they only used one rope, and you had to jump on and off the tender. Several people were bruised, and one lady had a rather nasty injury to her arm. All in all, I give this cruise a C+. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My wife and I have now sailed on Windstar 4 times, the last being the Classic Italy/Dalmatian Coast cruise on Wind Surf that May 3 -11. Sadly, because we really have loved the small ship, casual and comfortable style of Windstar in the ... Read More
My wife and I have now sailed on Windstar 4 times, the last being the Classic Italy/Dalmatian Coast cruise on Wind Surf that May 3 -11. Sadly, because we really have loved the small ship, casual and comfortable style of Windstar in the past, I think this is likely our last Windstar sail. I have some specific comments but I must say that the Windstar feeling seems to have changed. The marketing is slicker but the service actually seems a little more rote and less personal. I was surprised that the meals in the dining room were not better - I had heard they had improved but I did not find that. Not that they were bad, they certainly were acceptable - but one comes to expect more of Windstar. As a point of comparison, the food in Amphora and breakfasts at the Verandah were consistently excellent - so the company can do it. The excursion and tour selections were extremely disappointing - you could get 1/2 day or full day private cars or vans or book ordinary walking or bus tours for twice the price that you have to pay if you book directly. And, there was, at least to me, a significant overemphasis on food and wine experiences. The Sicily private event was a waste of a day. But the most unpleasant experience was disembarkation in Venice. The actual point where we leave the ship was a long walk from the terminal - a long long walk. We were staying at an apartment in Venice so did not need Windstar transfers. But we did need directions, etc. to get started. The Windstar staffer at the terminal had little time for us - after all we were past customers and not paying for a transfer so she just pointed out the door and said get a taxi over there. We walked - there was no taxi stand - we ended up walking 30 minutes from the terminal to Piazza Roma for vaparetto connections (and it turned out if she had helped there was a vaparetto stop not 5 minutes from the terminal in the other direction). This was not just a lack of service; it was specifically disservice. Summary - ship is still fun, food good but not great, cabin comfortable, ports good, shore excursions mediocre. All in all, not the world's best small ship line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My husband and I were very excited to take our first cruise. We were told the Windstar Star Pride was a new ship and that idea was only furthered by Windstar’s promotions. We did not expect to walk onto the Star Pride and ... Read More
My husband and I were very excited to take our first cruise. We were told the Windstar Star Pride was a new ship and that idea was only furthered by Windstar’s promotions. We did not expect to walk onto the Star Pride and immediately notice from the furnishings and smell that it was NOT new in any way. I remember saying to my husband, “ I think this is a huge mistake.” Apparently the ship was new in 1988 and in dry dock for about 18 days where carpets were replaced and common areas were "refreshed". Our Classic Suite, which we paid an additional 4,000.00 to upgrade to, was in extremely poor shape and run down. We had been told there were floor to ceiling windows yet there were regular sized portholes looking out onto a public deck. Our bathroom consisted of yellow rust stains, tape peeling off from the mirror as well as large ugly patches of caulking. I didn’t ever dare to look at the state of our mattress. Our satellite phone, which was always on the charger, wouldn’t hold a charge and would beep whenever we attempted to use it. When we called for a late night snack we were told that after 10pm only cold food was available. The bath towels were something you would find at a car wash. Above our bed the ceiling panels were not put together correctly and had dark handprints on them from maintenance workers. The furnishings were old and outdated. I put our valuables into the safe and when I went to retrieve them the safe would not open because the batteries had died. We had to call maintenance and wait for them to unlock the safe. Flat screen televisions are advertised and the TV we had in our bedroom was from the 90s. The deck of the ship was extremely weathered and grey. The pool was closed for the first 2 days – and only days- we were on the ship. I had emailed with someone from Windstar before we boarding letting them know I had a gluten intolerance and although she said Windstar caters to all dietary needs and that she put a note in with my name to the ship, I was never offered any gluten free options. We missed lunch one day and what was available for us was a selection of airport lounge style cold dry premade sandwiches. At dinner we were told there were not enough tables to accommodate the guests yet we could be seated at an empty table set for 4 and would likely have another random couple seated with us at some point during our meal or we could wait. We waited only to have them try to seat people at our table and we outright refused. Having to be confrontational when trying to be on a romantic cruise was the last thing we wanted to deal with every night. After speaking with Kristy on the Star Pride we packed our bags and disembarked at our first stop in Sicily. Kristy sincerely apologized for all the issues and gave me contact information for Dustin at Windstar whom she said would be able to come to a solution that would make us happy. We were not allowed to disembark however before paying another $84.00 in bar bills yet our package included all premium drinks. Frustrated, we simply paid the bill so we could get off the ship and try to begin to enjoy our vacation. At this point we had to find last minute - meaning extreme rates - hotels for the remainder of our trip and transportation to each location. All in all, this was a absolute disaster! We will never find ourselves on a cruise again. For over 17,000.00 dollars I had envisioned a floating Four Seasons and this was not the case. I have stayed in rooms at a Holiday Inn that were cleaner and nicer. I expected the food to be better than average and to have a suite that felt clean. The only positive comment I have is for the staff who were very kind and apologetic, letting us know how understaffed the ship was. After speaking with Dustin at Windstar I let him know which suite we were in and was told the CEO of Windstar had stayed in the same suite the week before and had no complaints – shame on him! Dustin honestly felt that Windstar did not promote their ship as being new and said the best he could do was to refund me the amount we paid for the upgrade as well as the bar bill. Feeling that I was not getting any further with Windstar I told them to send me the refund. This is NOT a luxury cruise in any way. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We have always loved cruising with Windstar, and so we were excited to go on the new Star Pride yacht which was purchased from Seabourne. The ship was supposed to be refurbished and was advertised as "new" when we booked it. ... Read More
We have always loved cruising with Windstar, and so we were excited to go on the new Star Pride yacht which was purchased from Seabourne. The ship was supposed to be refurbished and was advertised as "new" when we booked it. This cruise, from Rome to Rome, included wonderful ports and the excitement of visiting Cannes during the Cannes Film Festival as well as Monaco for the Grand Prix. However, the trip was anything but wonderful: * Although the crew was sweet and friendly, key people were completely untrained and ignorant as to their jobs. There was no concierge on board, only a "receptionist." She had the same answer to whatever question was posed to her - "mmm. That's a good question. I have no idea." * The ship itself was very worn, and not refurbished. There was rust and peeling paint outside of our window, the pool covers looked as if 1,000 pigeons recently flew on top, the towels were hard and worn, etc. * The cruise guides leading us from the boat to the Grand Prix walked us there, but no one was there to get us back. It was completely disorganized. * The tender service in Monaco was atrocious and we sat on one for an hour instead of 15 minutes. * The captain never prepared us for very turbulent water. Had he done so (he knew in advance) we all could have taken something. Instead, most people on board, including crew, spend hours vomiting. * There was a ship photographer who was lovely. She did a good job taking the photos, but viewing and ordering them was undoable. There was only one laptop for 212 passengers to view the photos. It was so poorly organized that you had to view everyones pictures in order to see yours. I don't know of anyone who bothered. In all, it was not an experience I wish to repeat and we will never sail on Windstar again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This was a voyage we were so looking forward to. The only reason we sailed with Windstar was to enjoy the Grand Prix Formula 1. Well, what a disappointment. Since most of the ports were tender ports, one would expect Star Pride to provide ... Read More
This was a voyage we were so looking forward to. The only reason we sailed with Windstar was to enjoy the Grand Prix Formula 1. Well, what a disappointment. Since most of the ports were tender ports, one would expect Star Pride to provide a better tender service. They are small, unstable and definitely unsafe. The sea , most of the time, was very rough Disembarking and embarking the tenders was a nightmare. Bless the staff who helped us on and off. The last night was a nightmare. As Retiredharley quite rightly wrote in his critic, why didn't the Captain notify us? No announcements were made. Luckily we had brought our own sea sick medication, but this time nothing helped. It sure felt like the end of our lives had arrived. One just lay in bed waiting for the next bang! Everything in the room was flying around and one could not even stand on the floor. We know the Captain cannot control the sea but for goodness sake, talk to your passengers. He should have reduced speed much earlier on and provided us with more information. On a positive note, the food was first class. Kudos to the Chef and his staff. The night of the Grand Prix Gala evening at the Hotel Paris in Monte Carlo, where we had dinner, we sorely missed his food. That evening was a disaster. Upon our arrival there, we had to wait more than half an hour outside since the hotel staff were not ready for us. For a cocktail party,which lasted over an hour, no seating was provided and there were many of us who were unable to stand that long. The hotel is beautiful and it was exciting to see and visit the Monte Carlo Casino. That's where it begins and ends. But thank you Chef, for the wonderful brunch you prepared the following morning. Entertainment on board was minimal . A movie once in the afternoon! A four person band, poor. We never saw the photographs taken . Why were they not posted on the boards on the Deck 5? This was not a cheap cruise. We certainly did not believe that we would return home so disappointed. Never again with Windstar.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Second cruise on Windstar. The positives are the sleek semi-sailing yachts, the small number of passengers and the attention from the service staff. The not-so-positives on this cruise were the "weak" ports we visited and the ... Read More
Second cruise on Windstar. The positives are the sleek semi-sailing yachts, the small number of passengers and the attention from the service staff. The not-so-positives on this cruise were the "weak" ports we visited and the shore excursions. Monamvasia is ok, Gythian was nondescript , Taormina was very touristy, as well as Capri, Lipari should have been skipped. Our first cruise with Windstar included the Greek Islands and Turkey and had much better port stops and shore excursions. Calling this cruise an Amalfi Coast cruise is a stretch. Cabin was comfortable and had adequate room considering size of boat. Minimal noise. Food is slightly above average and that commentary would probably be related to what your dining experience is. I would certainly not call it extravagant . With a small passenger group and considering the expense of this type of cruise, you expect an assortment of attitudes. I found it interesting that a "peck" order developed on this cruise that was orchestrated by a Texas "big shot." Also found no one really went out of their way to be friendly with us. I would recommend you look for other Windstar itineraries before considering this one. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
A year ago, 4 couples decided to cruise the Ionian and Adriatic Seas from Athens to Venice on the Star Pride. The purpose of the trip was to celebrate the 60th birthday of one of ladies. The Birthday Girl was familiar with the Wind Star ... Read More
A year ago, 4 couples decided to cruise the Ionian and Adriatic Seas from Athens to Venice on the Star Pride. The purpose of the trip was to celebrate the 60th birthday of one of ladies. The Birthday Girl was familiar with the Wind Star Line, so the rest of us joined in. We arrived in Athens on July 3rd, checking into the St. George Lycabettus Hotel (recommended by Wind Star) at around 3pm. The hotel was in a beautiful neighborhood on the side of Lycabettus Hill. The hotel staff was very accommodating, and without much difficulty we made our way to our rooms. Our room was a little dated, but comfortable. The shower was absolutely horrible, but we managed. Our friends had good showers, so it appeared that we were just unlucky. Any disappointment vanished when we looked out of our window. There is all its glory was the city of Athens including a front row seat of the Acropolis. Wow! The same goes for the restaurant at the top of the hotel. Wind Star was fully represented at the hotel. We registered with one of their representatives, and we simply had to have our luggage ready to go by 9 am on July 6th. Two buses arrived at around noon, picked us up and along with our bags, we headed to the ship. We arrived at the port after a short drive through Athens. When we arrived, we went through a security check and boarded the Star Pride. We turned over our passports, credit card info, received room keys and made our way to Cabin 219 on Deck 5. Our friends were close by. We had a Balcony Suite. It was absolutely wonderful with King bed, large bathroom with double sinks and full shower/bath, and a very comfortable sitting area with TV. DVD, Boise sound system, and minibar. The cabin had a walk-in closet with plenty of space for clothes. Our suitcases fit under the bed. We toured the ship on our own after a mandatory life boat muster in order to check things out. Before we knew it, we were at sea! The Good (Great included): 1. Without a doubt, our Cabin 219 was wonderful in every way imaginable. Our Steward, Rusi, exceeded our expectations. We selected the laundry package ($140 for the cabin) and it was exceptional. Everyday we had things either pressed or laundered, without a single problem. I needed cold gel packs each day for an ankle injury, and Rusi asked me to dial 0 and request them. Once again, expectations were exceeded. The Cabin was organized and spotless the entire cruise. 2. We dined in the Veranda for breakfast each day. The selections were over the top. I had some fun with it to see how far I could go without a problem. I never had one, as they came up with everything! 3. We dined either in The Amphora Room or Candles for dinner each evening. The drinks, wine, menu selections were fabulous. 4. Our waitstaff at all meals were exceptional. Harry served our table as the primary waiter. He became family on the cruise. Marcus and Raphael were our bar stewards. They met every request from cocktails (Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, Martinis) to wine and after dinner liquors. The dining room Officers watched over the entire process making their presence known. 5. The onshore excursions were all great. We toured Delphi, Butrint, and Dubrovnik including a wine tasting. Other days, we simply enjoyed the cities we visited. 6. The Gift Shop was very nice. 7. The nightly entertainment was also fine. We sang, danced, and one of our party, joined the band as a drummer. 8. The Deck BBQ was over the top! 9. The Executive Chef and Soux Chef were both very visible. I joined the EC on a visit to the market to purchase fish, vegetables, olives and cheeses. The SC held a cooking class. 10. We passed on the drink package and were glad we did. We spent less money and had a better selection. The Bad: 1. The internet was just plain bad. I spent $150 for three separate packages and was very disappointed. We had to rely on shore visits in order to have reliable wifi. 2. The swimming pool looked pretty bad. I never saw anyone in it. The Ugly: 1. By far, the most disappointing experience involved the tender returning from the Butrint National Park in Albania. The shore staff lost control, as there were people breaking in line, it was hot, and we just sat around the dock waiting for the tenders which came about every half hour or so. Some of our group waited 2 hours to get back to the ship. The Captain made a personal apology to the entire ship and refunded each participant 20% of the fee for the excursion. In summary, we were very pleased with our cruise. It was expensive, but to a person, we would return to the Star Pride and Wind Star cruises for the crew, the food, the drinks, and the Cabin.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
I am a little late writing this review but we sailed summer on Windsurf's Classic Itlay and the Dalmation Coast cruise. It was fantastic from start to finish. This was my second time sailing Windstar and I loved it again. The surf is ... Read More
I am a little late writing this review but we sailed summer on Windsurf's Classic Itlay and the Dalmation Coast cruise. It was fantastic from start to finish. This was my second time sailing Windstar and I loved it again. The surf is bigger than the Windstar and for me the largest ship I'd sailed on. This was my third cruise - al on small ships - which I love. I'm not a big entertainment fan - just a few drinks some nice copmany and conversation after a long day of touring is just fine by me. The best things about this cruise: - Small ship like this means you know almost everyone by the end ofthe week. The staff around the ship all know you by name. - Great food, laid back resort casual atmosphere - Swimming off the back of the ship and also other water sports - No lines for anything ever Honestly the only thing I think could be done better on Windstar Cruises - I wish they would incorportae more local food specialties and local wines each day to reflect the areas where we're stopping. I can't wait for my next Windstar Cruise... the question is when :) Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
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