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28 Windstar San Juan Cruise Reviews

Our first Windstar cruise, based on a recommendation from a friend who knows that we like smart and engaging people, don't like rowdy drunk crowds, and want a genuine experience. We learned a lot and immediately signed back up for ... Read More
Our first Windstar cruise, based on a recommendation from a friend who knows that we like smart and engaging people, don't like rowdy drunk crowds, and want a genuine experience. We learned a lot and immediately signed back up for more Windstar! What can I say other than "amazing!". While the large ship experiences bring their own attributes, this ship size, itinerary, and staff have us sold on Windstar, since they brought so many terrific benefits. I could go on forever, but I'll limit it to a few key topics, and a story of special coverage by the crew that was exceptional. SHIP: small, as cruise ships go, but never felt crowded, never waited in lines (except for the topside cookout in which everyone rushed the line but ten minutes later was cleared). There are plenty of places to get alone by yourself, do morning stretches, have a quiet moment with a loved one, etc. BARS: the outdoor topside bar was by far the most popular given weather, ability to spread out, but also to meet nice and interesting folks. FOOD: Terrific all around! Main dining Amphora was stellar every night. Candles night was intimate, delicious, and fantastic! Breakfast and lunch buffets are great, fresh, and the staff is totally focused on making your meal ideal, so just ask for anything special. All-day breakfast and sandwich counter made a great fill-in when we got back from sightseeing. OFFICERS, CREW, & STAFF: This is where I have to focus most. Incredibly nice, friendly, accommodating, and professional from top to bottom. Every individual we met was terrific. But the real story was about a bad situation that they made infinitely better. Just prior to the cruise, a family friend passed away, who was not only my godfather but also as much a father to me as my own, and in recent decades more so, and a dear friend. Our families consider each other extended family. The funeral had to occur during our cruise, on Day 8 of 10, so we worked with Windstar to allow us to disembark in Grenada, fly home to make the funeral, of which i was to officiate and sing. Needless to say, a very emotional situation. We had shared the fact that we were leaving early with staff that would be affected or those that simply asked and expressed condolences. We disembarked, went to the airport, and long story short, found that our flight was cancelled, and at 5pm found out that we would NOT be able to leave the island until the following afternoon, thereby missing the funeral we worked so hard to coordinate to make. With literally NO time to spare, we called the ship, asked if we could reboard, sailed through customs with the help of American Airlines staff, had a cab fly through town, and we made it to the pier with just minutes before Sail Away. Although devastated by the events so far, the next 24 hours were incredible. The Chief Pursor, front desk staff, Hotel Manager all met us and assured a smooth process, even to the extent of them asking if there was anything at all they could do to help. They were amazingly empathetic, and genuinely worked that day and the next to give us every assistance we could want, including calls, Internet, etc. The Dining staff gave us special attention, delivered us a wonderful in-room meal, and the bar staff brought us wine as we "licked our wounds". The next day, every staff member we came into contact expressed genuine concern, and went out of their way to help us enjoy this day at sea with tons of kindnesses and support. We were incredibly moved at the empathy and wonderfulness of the entire crew including officers, the bar team, the dining team, the breakfast cooks, and so on. While they may have forgotten us as they move forward to accommodate every guest every day, we will never forget them. Thank you Windstar! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We picked this cruise for the ports, price and small ship experience. With 210 passengers it was a clear change from the 23 previous cruises we have had on nearly all the major brands, sans Carnival. The week after Thanksgiving is a ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the ports, price and small ship experience. With 210 passengers it was a clear change from the 23 previous cruises we have had on nearly all the major brands, sans Carnival. The week after Thanksgiving is a more affordable time to cruise the Caribbean. You WILL pay more to sail on Windstar. The price we paid is what made this particular cruise appealing, plus the fact there were no sea days. Be warned - sea days on the Star Pride would prove quite boring. Our entertainment at night was limited to four musicians performing in two separate groups. Nothing more. Most folks are in bed after dinner. Our cabin was quite spacious and of course clean as a whistle. We did miss having a balcony, but we would not have used it much anyway since we were busy in port during the day and the sun sets early in November.. The food and service were the best we've had a cruise - bar none. It is a major focus for Windstar. Can't say enough about how great it is. Fellow guests were for the most part quite sociable. You see the same folks at different venues and that results in pleasant shared experiences. Bottom line: If you find a cruise you like on a Windstar ship at the price you are willing to pay - go for it. But beware of sea days! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My husband and I had an excellent time on our 14 day southern Caribbean cruise. We spent one night pre-cruise in San Juan. Embarkation and disembarkation were flawless. The ports of call were fun and new places to explore. We especially ... Read More
My husband and I had an excellent time on our 14 day southern Caribbean cruise. We spent one night pre-cruise in San Juan. Embarkation and disembarkation were flawless. The ports of call were fun and new places to explore. We especially enjoyed our time at Maho beach in Saint Martin, Princess Margaret beach in Bequia and Grand Anse Beach in Grenada. The weather was great but the highlight of the ship was the service and the food. The staff are so well-trained to provide very personalized service without being in your space. The food was by far the best food I’ve had in 80 cruises. We loved the sailaway ceremony in each port. Swimming off the back water sport deck is a fun way to end the day’s activities. WindStar has become our new top cruise line after having sailed many mainline larger cruise ships. The decor and the flexibility of being on a smaller ship fit our cruising lifestyle perfectly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Embarkation is a walk right on, and too long of a wait. They have different stations to visit, port excursions, spa, drink package, etc. They take your credit card and give you your key and you are free to go to your room and wait for your ... Read More
Embarkation is a walk right on, and too long of a wait. They have different stations to visit, port excursions, spa, drink package, etc. They take your credit card and give you your key and you are free to go to your room and wait for your luggage or go to lunch. Our bags came just as we were about to go to lunch, so we unpacked and barely made lunch. We chose this cruise for the islands. It left and returned to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and stopped in St. Maarten, Guadaloupe, Bequia, Grenada, and St. Lucia. The food was amazing, and the service is impeccable. They really do anything they can to make you feel like family. So genuine. The entertainment is not that of a larger ship, but there was usually one or two places you could go hang out with live music, dancing, or a hilarious game. The staff puts on a dance/singing show one night, also. It's a bit quieter than a large ship because there are not as many people on board. We enjoy being able to get on and off the ship without ever waiting in a long line. Even on days where they tender you off. We really enjoyed St. Maarten, Bequa, and Grenada the most for the beaches. In Guadaloupe we rented a scooter. Very small island! Just know that they close for siesta between 12 and 2:30, so don't expect to turn your golf cart or scooter in during those times. We were hunting for a rental place during that time and found one still open. Good way to go to the top of the fort, but they were closed too! We found a beach for the day. We got chairs on Bequia at Fay's and had rum punch all afternoon. We walked over to Jack's and had a delicious lunch. Walked back to the ship after a lazy day in the water and on the beach. Some friends took a cab back. The day we were supposed to have a shore excursion on Grenada through Windstar, it got cancelled the night before due to not enough people. You would think they would've said something earlier so we could recruit, but we enjoyed our beach day. We took a cab to the beach and a guy was delivering rum punch to us on the beach. Grand Anse is beautiful! St. Lucia (Pigeon Island) was lovely. It rained off and on, but there was a wonderful beach party bbq lunch. The property is next door to one of The Sandals Resorts. We had a fun day in the water, and floating lilly pads and trampoline. You can walk up to a fort but we didn't because we thought it would be too slippery with the heavy rain. It was beautiful! There are locals with jewelry set up as you are walking to the private beach. Windstar also was selling bug spray, sunscreen, sweatshirts. They had steel drum music being played, too. At Disembarkation, we signed up for a Windstar Old San Juan Walking Tour. Could have done that on our own for way less and seen more because our tour got cut short due to someone not able to walk any further and the van picked us all up and took us to our hotel or airport depending where you were going. Oh well! This was our 2nd Windstar Cruise, as we did Tahiti last year and loved it! Yes we are hooked. I don't love waiting in lines or crowds. I enjoy finding a lounger at the pool when I feel like going out on the deck. Nobody hogging them with their towels all day long and nowhere to be seen. We had a fun time! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Great trip! Thirteen days at sea and away from chaos of USA. The crew were phenomenal and really care about customer service. Beautiful suite with Juliet balcony. It was really nice to sleep with door open and the sound of the waves. We ... Read More
Great trip! Thirteen days at sea and away from chaos of USA. The crew were phenomenal and really care about customer service. Beautiful suite with Juliet balcony. It was really nice to sleep with door open and the sound of the waves. We had smooth sailing virtually the entire trip. Being in the middle of the Atlantic and waited on so well was such a wonderful experience. The meals, particularly dinner, were outstanding. Everything is made on demand and plated with style. Single seating wherever and whenever you want in the dining room. My wife is a vegetarian and commented on quality and variety. Perhaps the most wonderful thing on this ship is that there are virtually no lines from boarding to departure. Our voyage had 163 passengers and 150+ crew on board. I enjoyed the entertainment, especially Greg Redfern who spoke almost every morning about space and the stars. His night time star gazing session with deck lights off was amazing. I would love to do another crossing on Star Pride. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
For those of you who want 'the scoop' and are waffling whether to cruise on this type of ship - here's a summary: 1. Don't book if you're disabled, seriously. There's elevators, but they don't go ... Read More
For those of you who want 'the scoop' and are waffling whether to cruise on this type of ship - here's a summary: 1. Don't book if you're disabled, seriously. There's elevators, but they don't go everywhere, and ALL PORTS were TENDERED. The tender at times is a challenge to get into/out of. And a lot of the ports require walking, have hills, or focus on water sports. Also, the captain did an incredible job in keeping that vessel stable in the swells that we had, but it's not a 130k ship, so of course there's more movement. 2. Don't book if you're looking to nag at everything that's less than perfect and 5-star - they do an awesome job but it's not Regent or whoever they are. Also no formal gowns here. The destination talks will not be done by highflying scientists. 3. Don't book if you need constant entertainment, shopping, exotic stuff to do and if you must spend your time using wifi.. They make many stops so the shop is often closed (-by law-), many people are active and go to bed early, and there's no flowrider, climbing wall or ice rink :] Wifi is expensive and slow, TV very limited. Perfect if you love reading or watching DVD's or lie out on deck and relax. 4. While not formal, they WILL send you to your room to change if you wear shorts to dinner. They let the flip-flops slide... 5. Smoking is very limited (thank God!) - so if you are a smoking-in-casino type, probably not the ship for you. We booked this Windstar cruise just a few months prior to departure since our planned St. Maarten vacation had to be changed due to the hurricane damage. Due to the date, the price was right and we wanted to try a small ship. Went from the airport directly to the pier since we had seen San Juan before. We had not booked a transfer with Windstar which was probably a good idea since we would have waited at the airport for everyone to arrive, and instead we could embark and enjoy our cabin. Of course embarkation in San Juan is a breeze (it even was on the 960-passenger Viking Star), more so on a ship with only 212 passengers. It took all of 10 minutes to walk to the check-in area, get our ship's card and our photo taken at the gangway. Our room (lowest category) was incredible - the largest we've had, a true suite with comfortable sofa, a window sill you can sit in/on, 2 more chairs and accent tables.. the bathroom...! double sinks, marble, deep tub/shower... wow. TV turns to sofa or the bed. We don't do much drinking or entertainment, so can't comment on bars etc, but the library was great, you can take books or DVDs to watch in your cabin. Service is unsurpassed - everybody knew our name by day 2 or 3, and nothing was too much of a bother. Even though breakfast/lunch are buffet, they will bring you anything you ask for that could be available. Very mixed bunch of passengers, age, backgrounds and otherwise, from kids, to boozing rednecks , to gay couples, families, groups, elderly, people from US, Canada, Australia, Fiji, India, Cuba... even an autistic girl who was just a joy to be around. Everyone was lovely with her. We didn't do their shore excursions since (except for the unplanned St.Kitt's stop) they were quite expensive - perhaps due to the small group sizes. Ports, see below. Several of us became "Windstar converts" others will probably not return. That depends whether it's a good fit for you or not. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise based on both the timeframe and the destination. Our departure port was Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, and arrived a day early to have a photo session with a photographer in Old San Juan, explore the city and also stay at ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on both the timeframe and the destination. Our departure port was Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, and arrived a day early to have a photo session with a photographer in Old San Juan, explore the city and also stay at our first Airbnb (on a rooftop - so amazing!!). Getting on the ship went smoothly and we felt welcomed and appreciated as soon as we arrived. The ship is mostly made of couples who don't have children, and it offers a small pool and a hot tub on deck. I love the fact that it is a small ship with only a few hundred people on board. It gives a special and more intimate feel to the whole trip. Everything felt clean and well prepared to accept guests, and it stayed that way our entire cruise. The dining was exceptional, and we always felt as though we were at a 5 star restaurant. The waitstaff and maitre d also took the time to get to know our names and welcome us. We only chose room service once, but that also was exceptional. I love that they utilize James Beard Foundation recipes, and our chef really cared about the ingredients! While on board we were able to see (and sample) a culinary presentation by the chef, tour the galley, see an emotional and hilarious show put on be the crew and view the secrets of folding the adorable towels by the housekeeping staff. Oh! And how could I forget the mixology presentation by the bar staff (with samples!)? We explored many of the islands on our own, but I truly enjoyed the fact that there was a port talk the night before we arrived on any island. It really helped us wrap our head around sights we wanted to see. One excursion we tested out was zip lining in St. Lucia. Everything was very well organized, and we truly enjoyed ourselves. The staff and service was beyond excellent. We also enjoyed visiting the bridge on several occasions, which was truly a treat and a learning experience. It's just another perk about a smaller cruise ship. The ports were well chosen, and Windstar doesn't always dock at major ports, which is so nice! Most of our ports were smaller in size, and at times we also set anchor and took a tender boat to and from the island for an exceptional experience. I would DEFINITELY choose Windstar again. This was our second time with them - the first was over a decade ago. I guarantee it won't be that much time in between cruises again. I am already planning our next trip! And speaking of that, it really amazed me how many guest on the boat were repeat cruisers. That says a lot about Windstar itself! :) Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We had been on a windstar cruise nine years ago and had always wanted to go on another, but before there were no elevators and we have mobility problems on stairs and walking long distances. We had booked a regular suite, but after my ... Read More
We had been on a windstar cruise nine years ago and had always wanted to go on another, but before there were no elevators and we have mobility problems on stairs and walking long distances. We had booked a regular suite, but after my husbands trip to the emergency room from a fall incapacitated him further, we asked for and were upgraded to a handicap accessible room. These are not equipped for wheelchairs, but have accessible showers rather than a tub/shower combination, and this cabin upgrade saved our trip. One note, however, you do have to go up and down stairs to board the ship and to board the tenders, which was difficult for us and discourage from getting off of the ship for many of the ports. The employees and the passengers were so nice and helpful, that it made our trip enjoyable even though we did have some mobility issues. The adults only policy was a plus for us. The small ship size made it easy for us to get around to all areas on the ship. The cabin was very spacious with draw curtains that divided the sitting area from the bed area. Although we did not have a balcony room, we had a large picture window for viewing the scenery. I thought the food was excellent and better overall compared to other ships we have been on. I personally liked the entertainment of two different singing duos, but others may find the limited on board entertainment to be lacking. We had booked two independent shore excursions, but due to the rough seas and bad weather, the Montserrat stop was cancelled, so we only went ashore on Martinique, but we enjoyed that island very much.The beach bar-b-q was also moved onto the ship due to rainy weather. We were compensated with on board credit for these, which was totally unexpected and more than you would receive on most other cruise lines. This will probably be our last cruise due to mobility issues and age, but I consider this to have been one of the most enjoyable cruises we have ever taken. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We sailed round- trip from San Juan Puerto Rico on the Star Pride from 12/2/2017 to 12/9/2017. Embarkation: The port appeared to be in good shape, we arrived by cab around 1:30 PM. After clearing port security and a quick baggage ... Read More
We sailed round- trip from San Juan Puerto Rico on the Star Pride from 12/2/2017 to 12/9/2017. Embarkation: The port appeared to be in good shape, we arrived by cab around 1:30 PM. After clearing port security and a quick baggage search, our bags were tagged and taken by Windstar staff. Aboard the ship, we were greeted with a rum punch and the check in in the lounge was quick. We were able to make reservations for our preferred night at the specialty restaurant- Candles and information about amenities like beverage packages and the spa was available. Dining: Veranda- We ate the buffet breakfast and lunch each day and enjoyed the food selection and made to order eggs/omelets. The service staff was great and the chef even accommodated our request to make an impromptu olive tapenade to pair with the delicious French baguette and charcuterie that we bought in Les Saintes- what a treat! Amphora- We enjoyed the varied and delicious selections, the attentive staff and the accommodating maître D. We dined alone for our wedding anniversary and we met new shipboard friends when we asked to be seated with other passengers. We thought that all the meals were very good and the selection was great, it was nice to have the “classics” menu available…sometimes you just want to have a steak or a piece of fish that is not fussy. Candles: We ate at Candles once during the cruise. The ambiance was very nice and the meat/ side dishes were excellent, our only issue was that the portion sizes were very large for us and we felt bad about wasting some of that wonderful meal. Yacht Club- We enjoyed coffee and snacks here several times. Great services and coffee with a view and air conditioning. What could be bad about that? Beach and Deck Bar-B-Q: Unfortunately, the beach party was rained out on our sailing, but shipboard we enjoyed the usual beach party foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled fish and all the trimmings. We had perfect weather for the entire cruise except for that day…sometimes mother nature just does not cooperate with our plans. It is no wonder that St. Lucia is so green and lush! The Deck bar-b que was a highlight of the cruise. It had great selection with lots of seafood, meats and a whole roast pig. It was nicely done and festivities were enjoyed by all. It was fun to see our cabin steward and our favorite crew members line dancing. Entertainment: There were two duos on our sailing one that performed on the deck in the afternoons (Northern Lights) and one that performed in the Compass Rose at night (Alzucar Duo). We went to the Compass Rose every night, but felt that it was under- attended. Most nights it was just a few passengers and one night were the only passengers there. Alzucar Duo were very accommodating, taking our request when they knew them and they even played some upbeat music that had a few of us dancing one night. We did attend the Liars club and crew talent show and enjoyed them both. It was fun to see our cabin steward and our favorite crew members dancing at the deck bar- b- que. Extras: We were given the beverage package as a “perk” when we booked our cruise nearly a year out and we purchased the laundry package. We enjoy our cocktails on vacation and the bar service was excellent with a good selection of liquors and wines by the glass. We felt that the package would have been a good value even if we had purchased it and it was nice not have to review a long list of room charges at the conclusion of the cruise. The laundry package was wonderful, all our laundry that was out by 9:00AM was back to us the same day clean and pressed. It was so nice to pack lighter and go home with a suitcase full of clean clothes. Itinerary notes: We only took one organized excursion, in Martinique, the Diamond Rock catamaran cruise. This excursion had a lot of variety: after a scenic sail, we stopped in a small village to explore, enjoy the beach or snorkel. Then, there was more sailing with potent rum punch and variety of snacks cooked for us by the on- board chef. There was another stop to snorkel or swim with turtles and a third stop to take a look at a bat cave, then more sailing and back to the ship. Captain Vincent and the crew were great. Our favorite port was Les Saintes, it was what I imagined that the “old” Caribbean would be like. The French influence was wonderful, quiet lanes, quaint buildings and churches, unique boutiques, bakeries with fresh baguettes, wandering chickens and waterfront bars and restaurants. Unfortunately, sea conditions did not allow our sailing to tender in to Monserrat, so we sailed on to St Barths and were able to spend both an afternoon/evening and the following morning there before sailing back to San Juan. Windstar gets an A+ for their handling of the missed port, they kept everyone informed, the Captain bought drinks at happy hour and they even gave us an onboard credit. In conclusion, we had a great time thanks to the wonderful crew. I don’t know how they can remember all of the passenger’s names and preferences… they are truly amazing! Gretchen, who works at the reception, even remembered me from the prior cruise that I took on the MS Windstar one year before. We were already discussing which Windstar Cruise to take next year, before we even arrived home! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I chose this cruise because a) I am hooked on Windstar cruises and b) I wanted to see what an ocean crossing is like. Wow, wow and wow! I loved this adventure....14 days on the open sea, whale and dolphin sightings, fun and games and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because a) I am hooked on Windstar cruises and b) I wanted to see what an ocean crossing is like. Wow, wow and wow! I loved this adventure....14 days on the open sea, whale and dolphin sightings, fun and games and the BEST customer service you can imagine. I traveled on the Windsurf last fall and was sold on Windstar cruises already. An ocean crossing is different from a cruise with ports-of-call. The Star Legend is a beauty of a ship with a crew to love. 139 pax. (22 solo) and 150 crew left San Juan on April 9 and arrived in Lisbon on April 23. The cruise exceeded my expectations in almost every way. ( weather could have been just a little better). I was a solo traveler, but quickly found dining partners by asking to be seated at a large table. Merrick, dining Officer, was extremely accomodating and genuinely cared about guests' happiness. There were so many activities to keep me busy that I often had a hard time deciding between that or a few relaxing hours on deck or in my luxurious cabin. This cruise is not for the following: late-night partiers, kids, those who need shows at night or those who like to dress to the nines. Captain Reville was very gregarious and accessible. In fact, by the end of the crew I felt like I knew most of the officers. I loved the captain's high noon time check, followed by our voyage data (i.e. Miles traveled) and his marine "trivia"....interesting facts about the cruise, the ocean, marine life, etc. And visiting the bridge, chatting with the officers and cadets, and learning about the ship was a special treat......Windstar has an open bridge policy when at sea. The dining servers and bar, wine stewards are THE BEST!!! They always adress you by name with a warm smile and after 14 days, friendships are formed. Our newly formed group of diners always chose the same table and were thrilled to have Cayah as our server and Sammy as our wine steward, who both knew what we liked and took very, very good care of us! EVERY ONE of the dining and bar staff were incredible. But I most fondly remember, of course, Cayah and Sammy, but also Gusti, Kristi, Gino, Deva and Dyan. Too many to list here. The food (cooked to order) is top-notch, gourmet. In-room dining is also excellent. Every officer and crew member on this ship made me feel appreciated. I miss everyone's smiles and laughter. Happiness!! That's the overwhelming feeling from them and what they made feel. The ship is a beauty with a large Yacht Club at the bow....beautiful view with a coffee and sandwich bar and a place to relax and read or play cards. The Compass Rose is a beautiful lounge where a lot of daytime activities took place and at night became a lounge with bar and entertaining duo. The Star Bar is an outdoor bar that is enjoyable when weather is good....also with a great duo to entertain. As I said, this type of cruise is not for everyone. But if you are looking for some down time and want to arrive in Europe with no jet-lag, this is awesome. I would definitely do an ocean crossing again, but only with Windstar!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We sailed on March 25th, from San Juan. Our 4th Windstar cruise but 1st time on the Legend. We’ve been on the “Star” once and the “Surf” twice. As always, every day was perfect except 1 – a day with light rain. It’s ... Read More
We sailed on March 25th, from San Juan. Our 4th Windstar cruise but 1st time on the Legend. We’ve been on the “Star” once and the “Surf” twice. As always, every day was perfect except 1 – a day with light rain. It’s funny how that happens to us every time. And as always each port was perfect – they all had at least 1 beach & a few bar destinations. On this trip we landed on 2 new islands for us : Montserrat & Culebra. I truly love the typical sailing ships of Windstar but really wanted to try their 1 of the new ships – one without wind-power. I will say, now, that I prefer these new ships a little more. The only time that I missed the sails was during the “sail away” at each port. The music that is played while the sails un-furl makes me a little misty, and I don’t know why. But on the Legend, it just doesn’t provide that same romantic, emotional feeling. Other than that…. The Legend was very easy to manage, short walks to everything (we were on floor 5, rm 210), and the layout seemed to make sense to me – every bar, dining area, reception, the gym & the casino were where they should be. The areas for entertainment where setup perfectly and again made total sense as to their locations. The rooms had more space, the bathroom was much larger with a tub(who would use a tub?), and we had a little balcony. The balcony isn’t much more than a step but you can slide open the doors and stand on the platform or pull up a chair. The balcony is worth the extra cost in my opinion. The staff were all SUPER nice, helpful, and always pleasant – all of them. My guess is that the age of the guests were mostly in their 50’s & 60’s. We happened to be on a cruise with a large group of “parrot-heads” – they were an enjoyable group. The Windstar ships are always at a port each morning which I find awesome. This trip, for the 1st time, we stayed on the ship until about 1pm (while in Philipsburg (we’ve been here at least 6 times)). We had the entire top deck to ourselves! It was like our own private ship – really a special feeling. There is no pressure to get on or off the ship. With only 200 passengers, it’s never a battle for a tender or the stairs. The casino is small but it was fun. 2 tables and maybe 20 slot machines. The gym was adequate - has 3 treadmills and 2 bikes, but not any weight lifting equipment to speak of but enough to keep you lifting a little during a week of vacation. The Star deck has snacks from 6 to 6 and some of the sandwiches were very good. The main dining room was great with plenty of variety. Room service was very fast to deliver but very slow to answer the phone. Breakfast on the Veranda was typical Windstar – which I love. Lunch – we only did once but had almost everything, and was very good. The deck Barbeque & the Island party were both very nice. The crew put on a show, as always, however it’s the 1st time we’ve gone to watch, which is our loss – it was so good! It’s not to be missed. Windstar continues to be my favorite Cruise Line. The quality of the staff, food, guests(yes, the fellow passengers), and ports of call continue to be top notch. If you can, on this ship, get a balcony. Other than that, don’t hesitate to book any room. It was a very enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We booked this cruise for the "small port" experience and the Windstar style of cruising. Also we had not been to the B.V.I. before. We had sailed once to Costa Rica with the ship Wind Star. After a long trip from the west ... Read More
We booked this cruise for the "small port" experience and the Windstar style of cruising. Also we had not been to the B.V.I. before. We had sailed once to Costa Rica with the ship Wind Star. After a long trip from the west coast, we checked in to the Sheraton Puerto Rico hotel and got some much needed rest. The next morning the Wind Star bus picked us up and we took the short trip to the ship for a very nice orderly embarkation (one of the many reasons we chose Windstar) and short meeting with our cabin steward - his name was Dulyani and he made our trip so special and personal. We then took a local cab to the nearby fort for a quick tour then walked back to the ship after a lunch break in San Juan old town! So glad we did! Okay, now the real the trip begins! We ate dinner in the main dinning room the first night and the Windstar brand of service began immediately! These people are really amazing from the dining room mgr. to all the servers -- they are top notch. Shout out to Richard and Arnell for great service - most do double duty in other bar areas during the day. We also looked forward to seeing Gino in the Star Bar at the end of every day. He was just great. We made some great new friends at that bar. The food overall is very good but not excellent 5 star fare. If you require that level, book a much more expensive trip. We also dined two different nights at the Candles Veranda for a special treat. Entertainment was good but not a strong suit - possibly needed one more music group that could do double duty for a small later- night show for those of us that stayed up. Please do visit the open bridge and meet with the officer in charge. This is a nice Windstar touch and they were so friendly and informative. I actually had a chance to visit with Captain Griffiths a couple of times and he couldn't have been nicer. He also thanked us personally on debarkation - a very nice touch indeed. The shore excursions had plenty to offer -- all types at every port. The one I would definitely recommend was the Americas Cup racing in St. Martin - too much fun. To sum this up - great staff who were always helpful, friendly and professional. They offer great ports to explore every day with very good food options. Overall this cruise is an excellent value! Thanks Windstar for an awesome anniversary trip. I would definitely recommend this trip!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I’m a bit late with my reviews, time got away from me… My wife and I were on the Star Legend , Windstar Cruse from January 28 - February 4, 2017. I have been on numerous cruises, Norwegian, Carnival, Disney, Celebrity, etc. I ... Read More
I’m a bit late with my reviews, time got away from me… My wife and I were on the Star Legend , Windstar Cruse from January 28 - February 4, 2017. I have been on numerous cruises, Norwegian, Carnival, Disney, Celebrity, etc. I wanted to do a cruise for my birthday and had originally planned to go on Celebrity. I very much like Celebrity, their food, wine ships etc. but there weren’t any itineraries that I had not been on many times before. Looking at 7-10 days, I eliminated the all-inclusive ships because they had longer trips. I was very interested in a smaller ship experience, did a bunch of research and settled on the Start Legend, 7-day cruise out of San Juan. I have always liked days at sea which was not an option but I was willing to trade that for atypical cruise ports, only one of which I had been to before (St. Maarten) I was one of the first to book this cruise 6-months in advance and got the (French) Veranda room C223 which I selected because I have been prone to seasickness and it was in the middle of the ship… more on that later but it wasn’t a problem for me. We arrived in San Juan the day before and stayed in a hotel in the Old Town. We like San Juan and knew we would like visiting again and more importantly it lowers the travel stress for me tremendously knowing we have time to spare if there are travel problems… which there were. I’m going to take a little detour to mention how great Southwest was on this trip, skip this paragraph if you’re not interested. Before I go into detail, all during the flight ordeal, I never complained or yelled. We were on vacation and had time to spare so I simply remained polite and when we were accommodated I thanked the Southwest people many times. As a result they returned the friendliness and everyone went out of their way to help us. We flew Southwest from New Orleans and as we drove there, I started receiving emails that our flight was delayed over an hour, which meant we would miss our connection in Orlando to San Juan. We tried to change flights out of Orlando to in the morning over the phone, but while the Southwest agents were extremely helpful, it was too close to departure and we could only make changes at the airport. Not that big a deal, plenty rooms at the Orlando Airport Hilton and plenty of seats on first flight out the next day. Since we know we would be late we had a long NOLA lunch with cocktails and eased to the airport where we were able to get a reservation on the morning flight to San Juan. Once in the air it looked like we just might make it so I went up to talk to the flight crew and as it turned out the San Juan flight wasn’t going anywhere until we got there… that flight also had our crew! Once we landed, we went to the gate to try and get our seats back on the evening flight, they were almost fully booked and it was all messed up because we had switched just hours before, but with a few nice words from our flight crew, we we had seats just not together. Off we went, next thing I know I’m getting free drinks from our new friends on the crew AND our bags were the first off in San Juan, much to our surprise. Huge appreciation to everyone we worked with at Southwest (and the folks at Decanter Hotel in San Juan), they made what could have been a very stressful trip come back together terrifically. We had a very nice day walking around San Juan, buying Panama hats at Ole, drinking Mojitos and getting souvenirs for the family. We have learned to do the gift buying right away, you might find a better deal later on but you don't have to worry about it the rest of the trip and the recipients don’t know the difference anyway. One of the nice things about this cruise is you could board as late as 5 pm which meant we had a relaxed day of shopping and sightseeing. We took a taxi to the pier and dropped off right at the curb were met by an port agent with a checklist with our names and cabin on it. After a short walk down the pier to the terminal, were greeted by a ships agent with the same list and were warmly welcomed. Dropping our luggage at the scanner, we were directed to the gangway… talk about easy. Knowing I could bring two bottles of wine I ran into the duty free store in the terminal and bought two bottles of Prosecco, (which we didn't even finish on the cruise). The wine was a decent price but if you want to bring wine on board I would recommend the duty free store at the airport where they have remarkably low prices. We headed up the gangway and were guided to the small room to do our paperwork while sipping the complimentary champagne. One staff member and the two of us, wow so easy and relaxed. One new thing, they did keep our passports which was a little bit of a surprise but I keep copies so NBD. Heading to our cabin you appreciate how small the ship really is… it’s right down the hall. SHIP & SHIPS STAFF: The ship is very nice but older and it is quite small compared to large cruise ships. It was so easy to go up or down a few stairs and be at the bar, restaurant or whatever. It’s also fun to watch the ship go chugging right into small channels and harbors. Given the few passengers and comparatively large staff they quickly learn your name (Mr. Robert in the southern tradition) and your drink, food and other preferences. I spent a lot of time at the Star Bar and like they do on all cruise ships, the bartenders encourage you to get the drink package which you can do through the first whole day on the ship and any drinks already purchased will be included in the plan. Usually I don't buy a drink package but this trip I decided to and was glad, some things are not on the package but there are premium liquors on the list so I didn't miss anything. They have very good wines by the glass so we also didn't miss getting bottles of wine at dinner. We actually tried more wines and drinks and I enjoyed not waiting for or worrying about the tab when ordering. There are only a few bartenders so they quickly get to know you, I also think since we were on a package, the bartenders tended to do big pours and the bar service was just so simple after a day or two you don't even have to show your card anymore. We were also able to get the mini bar steward (who was also a Bartender) to load it with only the drinks we wanted, that were also on our drink package, and she kept it stocked and ready to go. I did additionally tip these especially attentive crewmbers. At the same time it’s a bit puzzling, there is not a lot of guidance given on the ship you have to figure out a good bit by yourself and most of the time the staff does very well, anything you ask, you are quickly taken to, or gotten whatever you need. First time cruisers might find the lack of information disconcerting. I also strongly agree with other reviewers, it is not a good ship for mobility impaired folks, especially getting down to the ships tender dock, onto the tender, to shore and off at the pier, which we did everywhere except St Maarten. We experienced this directly since my wife’s back “went out” the morning we arrived at Prickly Pear. She took some medication and rested a few hours and felt like she wanted to try to go to the Beach BBQ. We headed to the ladder to get a tender to the beach and were told there were no tenders because both were being used to take people on excursions, but we could ride in on the 14 foot RIB alongside. It’s 1:00 the time for the start of the BBQ and no tenders for 30-45 minutes. The tenders can be a bit difficult to get on but with a bad back no way was my wife getting on a RIB and neither was the older couple who came up soon after we did. I get they had to take people on excursions, but no tender at the start of the BBQ? such poor organization. We eventually got to the beach and the BBQ was in full swing but there was not a covered lounge chair available anywhere for my wife so we had to sit at a table. DINING: The personal service extends to the dining room, you can choose to dine just together (as long as you don’t during a sudden wave of diners) or with a random group. Most nights, we wanted a table for two and we quickly learned to ask for the same waiter every time, otherwise he would be heartbroken. So much so that he even got us moved when there didn't appear to be a table in his section. He was a bit hard to understand sometimes but was so helpful and responsive we managed very well. The same goes for the drink staff in the dining room, who were also bartenders, so most nights the guy pouring my wine made my drink earlier in the day. We also had a few nights we dined with a group which was very enjoyable. We are not the most outgoing people so we used it as the opportunity to meet some interesting people and since there are so few people on the ship you see them several times a day. The food was excellent and we made a point to try the dishes with an Indian flair which was a pleasant and unconventional alternative to typical cruise dining options. Several days we ordered room service for breakfast, The typical arrangement of filling out a card the night before with your desired time and we even added a juice or condiment not on the menu which we were given. If we chose 7:30-8:00 it would arrive promptly at 7:30, but it took a day or two to figure out the door bell and if it was ours or our neighbor. When we ate breakfast at the Compass Rose, we usually ran into “our” waiter where he served us “the best coffee in the world” (a Windstar joke I think) which really was very good. We almost always got a table by the rail and usually we had the buffet which was very good and fresh but small and a little disorganized, including how to hold your plate, hold up the lid on the chafing dish and spoon your eggs. When we ordered Eggs Benedict or an Omelette off the menu it tended to take a little while if we arrived at a busy time, and it was one of the few times there was a bit of a “crowd” such as it is on a ship with only 220 passengers. We didn’t eat lunch on the ship much, usually sandwiches from the Yacht Club and we did order Burgers & Fries from the Room Service menu and they were perfectly cooked and delicious. ACTIVITIES, EXCURSIONS & PORTS: We don’t gamble or participate in “Night Life” activities so I can’t add anything there. I didn't plan any tours from the cruise, instead booked my own since I am comfortable booking with companies that are aware of cruise ship schedules and the cruise ones are pricey and restrictive. The ports and schedule were one of the best things about the cruise Because of the unusual ports and schedules, organizing your own excursions is very easy to do. Early arrivals and late departures are sooo nice and most places are much less crowded you can be much more relaxed walking and getting transportation. Unlike big ships where if you are late back to the ship you might get left in port (we’ve all cheered & jeered those folks racing up the pier), I think the Windstar crew actually would start calling your cell phone and track you down instead of departing without you. We did go on excursions in Culebra and Montserrat which I reviewed on Trip Advisor. We also liked the sport deck on the back of the ship including taking out the small Hobie sailboat. It was comical because I’m a good sailor and once away, I promptly headed upwind which was toward the bow of the ship to give myself some room while I figured out the sailboats’ quirks. I got several hundred yards away and was thinking about circling the ship when I see the crew member on the deck waving at me, and seeing an officer about to get in the rib. Puzzled I sailed back toward the sport deck, the officer went back inside and the crew scolded me that I was too far in front of the ship and needed to sail closer, back and forth abeam of the ship, which I dutifully did. After a while they seemed to be aware I knew what I was doing, and was able to sail around and amongst the boats in the harbor but still where the crew could easily see us. CABIN: Our cabin was BIG compared to large ship regular balcony cabins… so much more room, about as big as a Carnival Ocean Suite. I need fresh air and we usually spend allot of time sitting on the balcony so I was a little nervous about the French Balcony. While it was different of course, we could sit in a chair or on the couch with the door slid open, which was over half the width of the cabin, and didn’t miss the balcony at all and I could lean out and look around when I wanted a better view. We even slept with the door open several nights and it felt like we were almost on deck. We did experience heavy seas one night and the ship does move around allot more than a big ship. Being a small boat sailor I actually enjoyed the motion, probably because we were mostly pitching and the cabin was in the center of the ship. Talking to other folks they did have some anxious moments but I believe motion sickness medication did the job for all of them. Our Cabin steward was sweet and for my birthday she made a birthday cake out of towels and made a nice card she also made the usual towel animals regularly. However, this is an area I’ll echo other reviewers, she was very nice but not so good at her job, obviously from a lack of training and supervision. It didn’t ruin our trip because it was mostly a bunch of little stuff, not paying attention to where we put things, not replacing dirty glasses or removing dirty plates, not enough of certain towels and we noticed part way through the cruise she turned our bottom sheet around such that our heads were where our feet had been. Compared to Celebrity where you see supervisors among the staff checking things that kind of attention was not apparent at all. SOME NEGATIVES: As good as the trip was there are times you can get quite frustrated on the Star Legend… Like with the tender situation at the BBQ, or our Cabin Steward, when they do fail, they fail spectacularly. Other things were kinda like this. The daily “bulletin" has little new info every day and is poorly organized you really don't look at it after the first day. But, when they do put some very important information in it, like when to pick up your passport so having ignored it all week on Friday you realize you should have paid more attention to that last one. After the first day it also doesn't include any information about the island you are visiting. For 3 days I went to the shore excursion desk to look for a map or whatever to find nothing…. until I happened to be at the Service desk and there they were. We wanted a bite to eat and it was after lunch one day, we thought about doing room service and were wandering around so my wife asked and she was quickly led to the Yacht Club snack bar in the back corner of the room which we had no idea was there. Along these lines being a sailor, I was charting and navigating along with the Captain so I went to the bridge to visit with the officer and see what the wind was blowing, he would hardly talk to me and was a bit surly. I made another attempt and met a nice officer who was very engaging and showed me the charts, radar etc. Then a third time it was surly guy again so I didn't stay. Candles was also a similar experience, Windstar seems to be trying to emulate the grill on the top deck of Celebrity ships, which is very nice, we eat there 2 or 3 times on a Celebrity Cruise. Instead as other people said you get iffy service, just ok food and a very noisy smoke stack right above your head. Our waiter in Amphora tried to tell us not to go on the last night but that was the only time that was available, so as a result we missed the Prime Rib. Also, a personal thing, smoking. I understood when I booked that smoking was allowed in a specific area on deck, port side near the Star Bar (though not in cabins, important because we leave our door open most of the cruise). It’s a small ship so there’s not much space for smokers to get far away, but smokers are expected to be considerate and non-smokers tolerant. However, one of the smoking tables is under the deck overhang next to the Star Bar, right beside the door to the restrooms and Yacht Club in the bow. Departing Montserrat, the ship goes around the island so you can see the devastation caused by the volcano. During the several hours while we were cruising past the island, a gentlemen was smoking a cigar right next to that door while the side of the ship was lined with folks looking and taking pictures until it got too dark. The strong cigar smoke was wafting over everyone watching the island go by. If you wanted a drink or to go to the bathroom you had to go through the plume of smoke and every time the door was opened the smoke was drawn into the Yacht Club and the bathrooms. I even mentioned to the Captain when I ran into him on a stairwell that he should consider not allowing smoking at that specific table, but the ash tray was on the table the remainder of the cruise. Another situation where attention to detail is lacking. ON THE OTHER HAND… We had a great time and most everyone was terrific, including the Casino staff. I didn't realize I needed $200 cash for an excursion and even though I wasn’t gambling they gave me a cash advance, something they would normally only do for a player. In another instance we were climbing in a pool when it appears the Hot Tub was closed but not the pool. We got some confused stares from the maintenance crew (I think there was a language barrier there) and were lounging away when an officer came up and explained they needed to cover the pool for the deck party and could he please help us move to the pool/hot tub at the bow while making sure a bar waiter would be available to serve us drinks.. which of course we did. I mention this because the maintenance crew handled the situation beautifully, they didn't get worked up and try to kick us out, they let us stay a few minutes and then got some help… and retrieved my hat from the edge of the ship before it blew overboard. IN CONCLUSION… Because of the small number of passengers, there is a comfortable easiness among everyone. It feels so ordinary, starting up conversations with perfect strangers, sharing your birthday cake with another passenger also on a birthday cruise and then smiling as you regularly see people on deck or at breakfast. I would certainly go on Windstar again and recommend it for anyone wanting a easy relaxed cruise and does not have serious mobility issues. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We took this cruise to get a chance to travel with friends and not have to deal with the crowds on the giant ships. And we did have a GREAT time with our friends! With so few passengers and so many crew, you get a chance to get to know ... Read More
We took this cruise to get a chance to travel with friends and not have to deal with the crowds on the giant ships. And we did have a GREAT time with our friends! With so few passengers and so many crew, you get a chance to get to know other travelers and you also receive EXCELLENT service! Never again will we choose the big ships. No lines at all from start to finish. There were weather issues during this week. The crew did an excellent job adapting our itinerary to make the best of conditions as they were. There was a big rain storm at the time of the Deck BBQ, and the food and tables were moved under cover but still on the deck. The Deck BBQ food was amazing, and the service was excellent. With perfect weather, it would no doubt have been more fun, but the crew did make it the best that was possible. We were unable to go to Virgin Gorda, Prickly Pear Beach due to bad storms. We diverted to Tortuga instead, and had a great time. The islands and water were beautiful, the ship is great, the food is delicious and plentiful, and the service was excellent. Who could ask for more? We have no complaints about this cruise at all, and look forward to traveling with this Windstar line again to different locations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
The Star Legend sails in a galaxy far far away from her sister ship, the Star Pride. Windstar has done a superb job of updating the Star Legend, giving new life to an old beauty that was lacking in the Star Pride. The suites are ... Read More
The Star Legend sails in a galaxy far far away from her sister ship, the Star Pride. Windstar has done a superb job of updating the Star Legend, giving new life to an old beauty that was lacking in the Star Pride. The suites are spacious and elegant, full of well-designed features for a pleasant cruise. A curtain divides the suite into a sitting area with sofa and desk, and a sleeping area with the bed and vanity. The TV is mounted in the middle of the suite, and swivels so that it can be viewed in either area. The bath has a marble tub/shower, sink set in a long counter, and lots of storage space. The walk-in closet is the best surprise - lots of hanging space and handy hooks, and a large safe set on top of a chest of drawers. Our suite was adjacent to the elevator, and we were concerned that it might be noisy - but we never once heard the elevator, and it turned out to be a really convenient location! Many other areas of the ship have been thoughtfully redesigned. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style on the veranda at the stern of the ship. The indoor buffet area has been expanded to include a number of tables, while the open air tables at the rear have been covered with white sun shades resembling sails, creating an airy feeling. A new area with additional tables has been created at the entry to the veranda, open air and covered with the same attractive sun screens. It wasn’t used much during our cruise, but would be very welcome in wet weather. There is a new raised jacuzzi and small plunge pool in the center of the ship, overlooked by an expanded Star Bar and sun deck. The many lounges and tables were often used during our Caribbean cruise. The forward Jacuzzi was also a favored spot for unwinding after a day of touring. AmphorA - the main dining room - has been beautifully redecorated in a very light, open style. Dinner in AmphorA usually featured several appetizers, soup and salad, and a good selection of entrees and desserts. The food on Star Legend was very good and attractively presented, and servers were prompt and knowledgeable. At night, the Veranda transforms into the alternative Candles Restaurant, with reservations required and a steakhouse/fish menu. We especially appreciated the fresh vegetables available at both dining venues, and the great salad bar available for lunch. Windstar offers excellent food and makes healthy dining easy and painless. Our main complaint on this cruise (and also on our previous Star Pride voyage) was the drinking water. There are large glass bottles of water provided in the suites, along with glass barware. During rough seas, we were worried the bottles would break when they rolled onto the floor at night. We always like to have plastic bottles of water at our bedside, and to take a bottle with us when leaving the ship. Plastic bottles of water were not provided. When I requested bottled water at the reception desk, I was told that bottled water was available only to guests on Windstar-sponsored shore excursions. There were plenty of soft drinks in our suite’s mini-bar - but water was hard to obtain, even by request. This issue is so easily corrected - why does it still exist? It would also be nice to have self-serve coffee and tea available in the Yacht Club. Room service provided water for my tea when requested, but it would be nice to get my own tea water in the evening, or a quick cup of coffee in the morning! On the positive side, the crew and service are still wonderful. On our first WindStar cruise, we used to joke that by the end of the first day, the servers knew your name. On the second day, they knew what you wanted to drink and where and when you wanted to drink it. By the third day, they knew what you wanted to drink before you did! And this super service is still there on Star Legend. Windstar crews are still the friendliest at sea. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Our main reason for selecting the Windstar Star Legend was the itinerary of generally smaller out of the way ports. We wanted to visit some small islands that we have not had the chance to explore during previous trips and cruises. ... Read More
Our main reason for selecting the Windstar Star Legend was the itinerary of generally smaller out of the way ports. We wanted to visit some small islands that we have not had the chance to explore during previous trips and cruises. Admittedly we were the folks who had previously loved voyages on larger cruise ships and enjoyed looking down from our lofty perch at the dock at the poor souls who were forced to be on that smaller boat. We will probably try to avoid the larger ships with their hoards of people, long lines, and impersonal service in the future. We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Star Legend and wouldn't hesitate to return. We liked that there was no "sea day" and that in some cases the ship stayed in port until late in the evening giving us plenty of opportunity to enjoy our land time. Embarkation: smooth as butter with no queues or hassles. Within moments we were dropping off our things in the cabins and heading out to explore San Juan. Cabins: We booked 2 rooms (227/225) for our family of four. They were adjoined by a common hallway with a door directly off the main central passage. The suites were roomy with nice beds & bedding, large windows, marble baths with quality towels, and a walk in closet. Our steward Yukti did a great job. Everything on the ship is within close proximity and easy to find. The cabins lack the electrical outlets for charging devices. Tip: bring a multi outlet surge protector or USB hub. Also: the unlimited laundry package is amazing. We travelled light and enjoyed fresh clothes during the entire cruise. This is one of the best perks I have ever seen offered on any cruise. Food in the main dining room was excellent. We enjoyed professional and friendly service during every meal. Hayrettin, the restaurant manager, went out of his way on multiple occasions to do anything he could to make our dining experience as fantastic as possible. We enjoyed an excellent breakfast al fresco everyday on the back of the boat. They had an excellent buffet, omelet station, order off the menu choices. We mostly had dinner in main dining room with no awkward set dining time. One evening we did dine at Candles and another at the on deck BBQ party which was excellent. All soft drinks were included which was very nice as our kids often can rack up a bill with juices and sodas. As foodies we appreciated Chef Nilesh who turned out a variety of dishes that was a cut above what we had experienced on other larger boats. We particularly enjoyed the Indian cuisine options that was appeared on a regular basis. On one evening the Chef produced a special favorite indian dish for our son--this never would have happened on a larger boat. While room service is available around the clock there are periods of time when food is not available in venues throughout the boat. Typical cruise ship buffets where around the clock food is served are not found on the Legend. Entertainment on the boat is limited. This is fine for us but if you are looking for a show, comedian or magician every night do not book this cruise. There are 2 duos that frequently appear at various events throughout the ship. Nothing spectacular. We did enjoy the crew talent show. Evening entertainment may be the weakest point of the cruise. Having an open bridge that you can visit was great. The club and deck above the bridge are nice places to hang out and watch as the boat pulls in or out of port. Ports: We loved all of the ports, but particularly Culebra, Jost Van Dyke, and St. Barts. We weren't able to tender at Montserrat due to high seas. On our previous Carnival cruise this lead to an extra day being trapped on the sea. The captain made arrangements to head over to St. Kitts (which happened to be having carnival that day). We appreciated this quick reaction and had a great day at the beach there. Excursions we loved: 12 Metre Sailing in St. Maarten, and the Cruise to Anegada in Virgin Gorda. 2 of our excursions (ATV on Montserrat and Zodiac on JVD were cancelled). The cancelled excursions were a pain. I wish that Windstar was a bit more helpful with concierge type services arranging other activities when their excursions were abruptly cancelled. Fitness/Spa: The spa is small and we enjoyed massages, facials and hair services. The gym is small and limited. My wife loved the daily pilates/yoga classes. One thing I normally enjoy on a cruise is running on deck in the morning. There really isn't a place to do that on the Legend. Note: Internet service is absolutely horrible. It is expensive and far worse than the horrible connectivity than I have experienced on other cruises. This may have been a function of the location of our rooms. If you need to be connected during the trip don't even think about coming on this cruise. I might consider bringing a Sat phone with data service if I really had to be connected. It might be cheaper and much more reliable. We did have US cell phone service in San Juan, Culebra, and for parts of Jost Van Dyke. Also the does move a bit more than the larger boats. Christmas winds in the caribbean often lead to bumpy cruising during the late months of December and early January. While the boat did move around none in our party became motion sick. It you are hyper prone to motion sickness then stick to one of the behemoths. Overall I recommend this cruise for its itinerary and excellent service. We are hooked on the small boat experience and may look to taking their cruises near Tahiti or Iceland. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Fantastic cruise! We are a recent empty nest couple in their late forties who love to travel. We have cruised over nine times but always on the bigger ships. Decided to try the smaller ship and see some new port sites. Really liked ... Read More
Fantastic cruise! We are a recent empty nest couple in their late forties who love to travel. We have cruised over nine times but always on the bigger ships. Decided to try the smaller ship and see some new port sites. Really liked that we didn't depart three of the islands until after 10 pm. Overall, we loved the cruise, especially the personalized service and the wonderful fresh, delicious food. It was true that the staff learns your name and we bonded with several and enjoyed talking and seeing them everyday. Our fellow 183 passengers were a mix of mostly well-traveled, friendly age 40 thru 60s. There were a couple of family groups with older teens and twenties and some older folks but most were 50 to late 60s. Embarkation: So easy! Boarded at 1 pm. Walked to the room and then had a delicious lunch. Toured the ship. Won a treatment in the spa raffle and enjoyed the sail away out of San Juan Pier 4. We had a small snafu as the captain changed our port in Saint Maarten to Phillipsburg from Marigot as the previous two weeks the seas were too rough to tender in. I was glad he let us know at the start so we could rearrange our independent booking. Stateroom: We were in 129, an ocean view category S1 on Deck 4. The bathroom was great with a nice size tub and shower. The suite had lots of storage and space with a nice couch and sitting area. The only negative about the stateroom was the bed/mattress was too hard but after the first night we asked to have something put on it to soften the mattress and our steward took care of it right away and we were much happier. It was also the first time we didn't have a balcony but thought the large window kept the room bright. Missed having a balcony when we were coming and going into islands but really was not that important as we anchored out in the bays and tendered in so it wasn’t the same as being docked. For sail-away we always just went out on the decks. I would definitely do the ocean view again for the price. The room itself was large and our attendant kept the mini bar stocked with free soda and water. We did not buy the alcohol package as we wouldn't drink that much but my husband bought three bottles of wine which each cost 45 dollars and we had some mixed drinks that cost about 12 dollars a piece. I also brought my own bottle of wine on board which you are allowed up to two. I poured a glass before dinner and on the BBQ night I easily went back to my room for a second glass. All nonalcoholic beverages were free. Amenities: beach towels and water supplied port side and rooms stocked with good vanity necessities Dining: breakfast and lunch were served on deck 7 aft. Breakfast was great and you could have eggs and omelet’s cooked anyway you liked and they also had made to order items such as French toast, pancakes and waffles. The buffet was also very good with fruit, pastries, yogurt, and various meat items. We had dinner in Amphora on deck 3 and thought the variety and freshness of the food was very good. Candles, located where breakfast was served, was the specialty restaurant we ate at one night. Made reservations the first day for one of the days we were in port late. Loved the filet mignon, other food and service but the area was much noisier than Amphora so we didn’t enjoy the atmosphere as well as the dining room. We did get coffee and snacks in the Yacht club, which is very beautiful and loved sitting in there talking with others at the end of the day. Water sports: this is where my husband was a little disappointed with the lack of equipment. No waterskiing. Passengers were not able to take dinghies by themselves etc. But we spent most of our days on the islands so it wasn’t a priority for us. On Prickly Pear we were too late in the day to be able to use the bigger equipment: the one Hobby cat always had a line and we were too late i.e. another wait list to go tubing. We did kayak and many others took better advantage of the floats, paddle board etc. I did see the younger family groups spending a lot of time at the platform deck Spa: Did a massage, which was good but expensive. No real extras/sitting areas. They did have a very small steam room and sauna. Tenders: All worked well on this trip without problems. Minimal wait in the morning. We were either on the first or second tender as they gave priority to the passengers that bought their shore excursions but we never waited long coming or going. Disembarkation: Easy off the boat at 830am after a full breakfast. Walked our luggage for about 10 minutes up into old San Juan and left them at Barrachina. No charge but they asked for donation. We gave them five dollars a bag. That allowed us to walk the old city and outside the wall on the trail around to el Moro. Did some shopping, ate lunch and then took a 25-dollar cab ride to the airport. Security line was long at the airport but we bypassed as we have TSA pre-check Ended a wonderful, relaxed cruise that exceeded our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our first Windstar non-sailing experience and I came back impressed with the week in the Caribbean. With snow making travel more than a little inconvenient for many passengers, it was hard not to be excited at arriving in San ... Read More
This was our first Windstar non-sailing experience and I came back impressed with the week in the Caribbean. With snow making travel more than a little inconvenient for many passengers, it was hard not to be excited at arriving in San Juan and being on the Star Legend an hour after deplaning. We were in our cabin about 15 minutes after arriving at the port terminal with a painless embarkation process. Reviews are accurate that the cabins are much larger than on the WindSurf and it was nice having the extra bathroom, closet and relaxation space. We were happy to see several crew members from previous trips and experienced wonderful service from the eager bar and wait staff. It doesn't take long for the crew to acknowledge you by name and engage you on a daily basis. It's probably one of the things we have found to enjoy most about the line; service and recognition are important and it makes for a very satisfying experience. A quick note about the liquor package. I was wondering if I should order it and a previous guest made a great point about it on a previous cruise, His comment was something like this: " Do you like a Mimosa/screwdriver/bloody sometimes during breakfast? Maybe a beer or glass of wine at lunch? How about a Pina Colada or Mojito in the afternoon by the pool (and if you fall asleep reading, ordering another one because the ice melted and your beverage is watery)? How about Chardonnay with your salad or fish and Cabarnet or Pinot if it pairs well with the rest of your dinner? An after dinner cordial listening to the band at the Star Bar? You broke even around dinner time. The ability to change your mind if you didn't like the "drink of the day" on deck and reverted to your old stand by, the opportunity to try a number of different wines both red and white and not worry about it was great. I know there were a few nights I tried several different wines with dinner having a little of each before settling on the one that I wanted. No problem...there was always a new glass and a new opportunity to find something I liked that I didn't know about. The drink package allowed me to do that. Oh, and the mini bar is included, too. The key was not about getting obliterated on the cruise but about having the opportunity to try a number of different things that I normally wouldn't. The food was very good and we had another beautiful evening at Candles on an evening off of Jost Van Dike. Got to see Montserrat, an island not on many itineraries. The volcanic devastation is remarkable and was an experience for those who took one the tours available from the ship or, as we did, just hiring a taxi at the pier and arranging it yourself. One other island was new to us this year, Culebra, off of Puerto Rico. We didn't do too much but the turtle tour was a big hit, except for some who likely weren't really physically up to it. With some wave action, it was difficult for some moving around. All in all, another great Windstar experience. The crew and quality make the difference. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We just returned home form our 4th Windstar cruise. This was our first on the newly fitted power yacht, Star Legend. I must admit, we were a bit scared by the early reviews of the ship from the summer of 2015 as the ship was newly launched ... Read More
We just returned home form our 4th Windstar cruise. This was our first on the newly fitted power yacht, Star Legend. I must admit, we were a bit scared by the early reviews of the ship from the summer of 2015 as the ship was newly launched into the Windsatr fleet. We went with an open mind and the hope after several "shakedown" cruises, the ship would have it down pat.......That they did! We had the best time on the spacious ship. My wife and I could not decide which ship we liked more...the new power Star Legend or the sail Wind Surf. It was refreshing to be on a newly fitted boat. Yes, the ship is 25 years old, yet it did not feel that way. All the public rooms were fresh and full of nice amenities. The cabins were all much larger than on the Wind Surf . Food was good. My wife just started a restricted gluten free regimen and they were happy to prepare whatever she wanted! The service was fantastic! As repeaters, we remembered several staff members , who remembered us ( or made us feel that way) Indeed, the 170 passengers were well taken care of by the 150 crew. The swim deck is great and the staff there was fun and so helpful. We took a few excursions...you must go to the buried city Plymouth on Monserratt. It was so eerie and interesting. The America's Cup yacht sailing experience was one of the best excursions we've ever taken. My only minor complaint was there was no great "band" in the Compass Rose lounge. It is such a great space with great service (Rod) and was pretty quiet at night. In closing, Windstar has done a nice job getting this ship to deliver a great experience! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The cruise began in the routine Windstar fashion with efficient and friendly service. The first person we encountered, who was handing us refreshments, was Gino ... a friend from several past Windstar voyages. A few minutes later we were ... Read More
The cruise began in the routine Windstar fashion with efficient and friendly service. The first person we encountered, who was handing us refreshments, was Gino ... a friend from several past Windstar voyages. A few minutes later we were greeted by Bobby, another old friend. There were at least half a dozen crew who recognized us from past trips and welcomed us to the Star Legend. We were checked in and in our room in less than fifteen minutes. First, let me admit that we love Windstar, and the flagship Wind Surf is our favorite. That being said, I will attempt an honest review, and I will attempt to address a few of the issues mentioned by a few people who have written rather critical reviews, who I henceforth will refer to as the complainers. First, some have said that the ship is old and covered with rust. I'm reminded of Captain 'Lucky' Jack Aubry in "Master and Commander" when Maturin referred to the "Surprise" as being an old ship, and Jack responded that she was not old but "in her prime". I am a retired Naval Commander, and a retired airline Captain ... so I am the 'Captain and Commander'. All Naval vessels will show a bit of rust even brand new ones. That is why chipping and painting is a continuous process ... as is sanding and varnishing. The Star Legend from all outward appearances could pass for a new ship. She is beautiful. She is 'in her prime'. The suites (all the rooms are suites) are beautiful, the carpeting throughout the ship is perfect, the marble baths with tubs are marvelous, the public areas are amazing and they are constantly cleaned and polished. The smallest of the suites on Star Legend is nearly twice the size of the standard rooms on the Surf. Some have said the service has suffered from the acquisition of the three 'Stars'. We have cruised with Windstar three times in twelve months, twice on the Surf and once on Star Legend. We have nine total cruises with Windstar. Our Star Legend cruise completed yesterday was simply superb. Bear in mind that we do not expect perfection, which in my view is why some become excessively critical. And we do not expect the Captain to control mother nature. Things did not go perfectly. We missed two ports because of heavy swells in the anchorage areas that made tendering impossible. St. Barth's had predicted heavy swells so we went to St. Thomas and enjoyed a catamaran snorkel trip to St. John, and we actually anchored at St. Martin, but the tender boarding platforms were going under water in ten degree rolls (I was sliding out of bed) so we went to Tortola. We also really wanted to visit St. Barth's and St. Martin, but the Captain did his best to adjust to the unfortunate circumstances ... and most of us had a great time anyway ... except for a few complainers. The tenders: No ... the Stars do not use the life boats as tenders. The tenders are carried in the sports deck. They are two twenty-five passenger single deck cabin cruisers that are far more comfortable than a life boat tender ... they are not 'new', but I liked them. They can accommodate the entire passenger load in approximately four trips each. We never waited more than five minutes for a tender, and depending on the traffic they ran one or both continuously. The sports deck was open and available in every port that allowed it, and where conditions permitted. I know this area is rarely, if ever, used in Europe. The food: If you are expecting gourmet food, your expectations may be a little high. If you are expecting food that is better than most, if not all major cruise lines including their upscale offspring, you are in the ballpark. We have cruised with Silversea, and with Tauck, and they are very good. Windstar, including the Star Legend, is as good, or better. Forget about getting caviar, but the food is very good. The Star Bar/The Compass Rose: On the Wind Surf, the Compass Rose is where the 'dance' duo resides. On the Star Legend they live at the Star Bar ... both are on the top of the ship. "Flash", Victoria and Dave were the dance duo stars, and they were great! In Europe it was explained that the Compass Rose becomes the dance venue. The on deck BBQ: This is a really fun event on all the Windstar ships. But the logistics on the sailing vessels is a bit of a challenge. On the Star Legend they have a large pool deck, with an elevated area for the pool and the hot tub, which is an ideal location for the entertainers to perform, above the area where people eat and later dance. The food and the presentation were spectacular, the entertainment was great. We did feel a bit guilty that the staff worked so hard two days in a row, deck BBQ then beach BBQ the following day, to show us such a great time. But, we loved it in spite of our guilt. Disembarkation: Just exactly what we expected from Windstar. You get up, have breakfast, pick up your passports, and walk off the ship. Two minutes to find our bags, porter picks them up and takes them to a taxi, and we are off to the airport. Ten minutes. When you only have two or three hundred people, this stuff is easy. Do we miss the sails? Yes! But ... surprise ... they have continued the tradition. At sail away two officers in their dress white uniforms symbolically raise a large ship's ensign (flag) slowly to the masthead while they play Vangelis 1492, Conquest of Paradise ... and everyone is on deck watching and listening. On the Wind Surf this is done while they raise on five, two hundred foot masts, twenty-six thousand feet of sail. Awesome! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Several recent reviews of the Star Legend are noted below and I won’t repeat their excellent and comprehensive critiques, but I do feel the need to cast my vote since there have been both positive and negative reports. In the way of ... Read More
Several recent reviews of the Star Legend are noted below and I won’t repeat their excellent and comprehensive critiques, but I do feel the need to cast my vote since there have been both positive and negative reports. In the way of background, I have lost count of the number of Windstar cruises I have taken, starting in Tahiti on the Windsong in 1988 as a college student and ending in 2013 on the Windstar traveling through the Panama Canal, which was less than stellar in my opinion. My husband and I have also cruised on SeaDream, Celebrity, Oceania, Viking and Uniworld. On January 16, 2016 we finished our first "power" cruise with Windstar on the Star Legend leaving San Juan and travelling to various ports in the Caribbean. Due to somewhat mixed reviews on CruiseCritic, and the fact that our 2013 experience was way below the usual Windstar standards, we had no expectations and were ready for whatever we found. However, from the moment of embarkation to our departure one week later we were consistently delighted by that old Windstar ambiance of the ship, service and itinerary. Despite it's age, the ship was elegant, the cabins unexpectedly spacious by the sailing vessel standards and the common spaces comfortable and spit shined. Although everything about our cruise was wonderful, it is always the staff that shines above all. From our cabin steward Jajat to the wait staff and sommeliers, especially Endro and Bobby, we were spoiled rotten by their kind attentions. Particularly memorable were the dinners created by Chef Nilesh and his talented staff. I was not thrilled by the cuisine on my last Windstar cruise but this experience could not have been more different. Interesting, varied choices and outstanding preparation and presentation. It is amazing what Chef Nilesh can accomplish in that small galley, especially when serving nearly 200 diners at once. At our table if one asked for rare filet minion it was rare, not medium or well done. We also enjoyed Captain Griffiths, for his sense of humor, warm personality and sound judgment in putting our safety above the unreasonable demands of passengers who do not have a healthy respect for the dangers of wind and the sea. When forced by high seas to change our itinerary, he weathered quite a few angry tirades and, in my presence, did it with patience and respect, although, at least in one case, I'm not sure how he managed it. When we were in Montserrat, a port we did make despite the unusually strong winds blowing from an unusual direction, a large swell hit the tender while we were disembarking and I was the person with one foot on the tender and one on the dock when the boat surged forward and broke the lines securing it to the dock. Although I would have liked to visit St. Bart’s and St. Martin as well, I have no doubt that Captain Griffiths made the right and proper choice in seeking harbors safer than those initially planned. Two more points. Although I have always enjoyed the beach barbecue event that Windstar does on most Caribbean itineraries, it is usually cut short for me by the heat and lack of shade. The Prickly Pear Beach event, however, was done perfectly. Not only were tent umbrellas set up at the water’s edge for everyone on board, there were many comfortable shaded tables to eat lunch without having to balance it on your lap. I can’t even imagine the ton of work it took to set up and disassemble this party and I for one am grateful for their efforts. Secondly, in Culebra, think about renting a golf cart. A representative from Carlos Jeep Rental met us at the dock and although they really wanted us to take a jeep, the last thing we wanted to do was be “inside” in a car. The representative ran us the short distance to the shop where we rented the cart for $70 - with the six of us it averaged out to $12pp. Since taxis charge $10 round trip pp to Flamenco Beach we were able to see most of the rest of the island “for free” and, more importantly, on our own schedule. I could go on and on but will conclude by saying I cannot wait for my next Windstar Cruise. They exceeded my expectations by far, and I would venture to say there is no better bargain right now in the small ship category. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Windstar Cruise on Star Legend - Jan 2-9, 2016 - Embarkation San Juan Puerto Rico Quick Review Great Cruise! I did not hear any complaints. Food was wonderful. There were 178 passengers and 150 crew and the service was great, very ... Read More
Windstar Cruise on Star Legend - Jan 2-9, 2016 - Embarkation San Juan Puerto Rico Quick Review Great Cruise! I did not hear any complaints. Food was wonderful. There were 178 passengers and 150 crew and the service was great, very friendly staff. Ports were all accessed by tender and the tender service was fine, minimal waiting times. We were the only cruise ship in the ports we stopped at. Snorkeling was not great but the beaches were beautiful and the water was warm. The yacht had a large water sports platform where you could swim or kayak when the ship was at anchor. The gym was well equipped. The entertainment consisted of 2 musical duos which were very good. Dress: "resort casual", no jackets needed for men; pants and a collared shirt for dinner for men. Arranging your own excursions was difficult but not impossible. Weather was typical for the Caribbean in January, high in the low 80's, partly cloudy, nice breezes, occasional showers. We found no bike riding on any of the islands. The yacht is older but was in great shape after its refurbishment in 2015. Detailed Review This was our first cruise on a Windstar yacht. We are veterans of about 15 cruises, ocean and river, large ships and small vessels. Embarkation Pier 4 (sometimes they are at Pier 1) in Old San Juan We boarded the yacht at 1pm. Lunch was served till 4. The yacht left San Juan at 10pm. Windstar’s sail-away song is “Conquest of Paradise” by Vangelis, an amazing instrumental you hear every time the yacht leaves port. Staterooms We were in 228, an Ocean View Category 2, no balcony. The room was 275 square feet and felt quite large. It included a nice sitting area with a couch, coffee table and 2 chairs. We had a refrigerator with free bottled water and sodas and beer & wine for purchase. The bar in the room had wine, beer & soda glasses, a wine opener, a bottle opener, and an ice bucket. You can bring 2 bottles of wine on board with you per room per cruise. We opened a bottle of wine in the room and brought glasses of wine with us to dinner, no problem. Other people brought wine to the table and the staff opened them with no corkage fee. Our room had a walk-in closet and plenty of storage space. The room only had only one 110 volt plug. You'll likely need a power strip to charge all your electronics. There also was a 220 plug, so you could bring a converter to double your power supply. The yacht seems set up for Europe more than America. The TV channels had mostly European coverage, lots of soccer, no American sports coverage. You got BBC, Fox News and MSNCB, but no CNN. A Blu-Ray DVD player was included with the flat screen TV and the library had a hundred or so DVDs to check out at no charge. A Bose blue tooth speaker is in the room to play music from your phone or tablet. Internet Coverage The ship sells a $250 per week package per internet device. Windstar tells you the coverage is spotty. I got limited cell data service with T-Mobil in some of the islands but it was also weak. I could get emails and sports scores in some ports, but no downloading a newspaper or ESPN 3 to your device. No service for my wife’s Verizon phone once we left San Juan. Verizon customers may want to buy Verizon’s International Package, which is a good idea if you want to stay connected, especially if you are setting up independent tours. GPS Coverage I like to know where I am when I am touring another country, so I downloaded an App called Google Offline Maps (free) and the maps of the countries we would be visiting when I was on WiFi. Then, when you have no cell service, you open that Country’s map and your GPS feature on your phone will locate you on the map and track you all day, which is great if you are hiking or on a tour. Note The ship supplies you with beach towels, ponchos and snorkeling gear for your excursions. Robes and slippers are in your room. Water bottles are in the room. The bathrooms have good shampoo & conditioners. You Should Bring Good water shoes with a decent sole, not the $6 water slippers, that you can use to walk on hard & soft surfaces and in the water as some days you'll be walking & swimming in the same shoes. A day bag or backpack to tote your stuff to the beach, which are some distance from the tender pier Water proof camera would be very useful, other wise put your camera or phone in a zip lock bag or two. 3 bathing suits, they take a while to dry in your room Drinks to purchase You could purchase an unlimited drink & wine package for $108 per cabin per day. The price was the same even if only one person in the room was drinking. Single beers were $6 or $7, wines were $8.50 to $11. Cocktails were $8 to $11. Bottles of wine were in the $30 to $40 range. Windstar adds 15% gratuity to all of the above prices. The wine selection was good. Dining Dinner was served in Amphora on deck 3 from 7-9pm, open seating. The food was very good and the service was very good. Breakfast and lunch were served on Deck 7 aft, with inside and outside seating. You could order off the menu or choose from the buffet or do both. This restaurant was converted in a specialty restaurant for dinner, no extra charge, you need to book in the morning to eat there. They had a different menu and you could sit outside. The Yacht Club on Deck 8 forward had coffee, sandwiches and treats throughout the day which came in handy when you came in late from an excursion. Water Sports Deck Weather permitting, the crews lowers a huge stern platform where you can kayak, swim, paddle board, go on a short ride in an inflatable motor boat around the harbor. They put some floating devices in the water for you to hang onto when swimming as the current is sometimes strong. It's a good place to cool off quickly, just jump in! Spa/Gym - Deck 7 forward All the usual spa services were offered. Great gym for a small boat - open 24 hours. There are 6 cardio machines and quite a few individual weight machines, not one of those combo weight machines that you see in many small gyms. There were free weights, matts and space for yoga or stretching. Ports 1. Culebra - Sunday. 8-5pm We thought we could rent bikes by the ferry landing - wrong! No bike shop, and if there was the streets were not wide enough to ride a bike with all the traffic. We just walked around, not much to see. We should have done the snorkeling tour. Shipmates reported it as a good excursion. There were no independent tours being sold on land that we could find. Most people took the $5 p/p each way shuttle to the Flamingo Beach which was beautiful, but there were no restrooms or chairs. So bring 2 towels each. Good day to kayak off the boat's swim deck. 2. St. Bart's - Monday 8am to 10pm We did the sailing catamaran snorkeling excursion. The sailing was great, the water was clear and warm, the snorkeling was fair. Back to the boat for lunch, then back to St Bart's to explore the town of Gustavia. Lots of mega-yachts in harbor. No independent tour operators that we could find. The harbor side walkway is pleasant to walk around. The rest of the streets were very steep and full of traffic. The shops were "high end" and French. 3. Little Bay Montserrat - Tuesday 8 to 5pm We found a private tour for $40/person for 4 people. It lasted 5 hours, great trip. Our guide was David Lee who also runs the Hilltop Restaurant with his wife. David doesn't do many tours, but his son does. I don't have his contact info. Very interesting tour of the volcano devastated island. The ship was selling a similar tour for $139 p/p. There were taxi drivers at the pier available to take you on tours. For the really good hikers, there was a hilly up and down trail with Rendevous Beach waiting on the other end where there was snorkeling - bring your own gear from the boat. Good shoes are a must. The hike was moderate to strenuous and took about 1 hour each way. 4. Marigot-St Martin Wednesday 8 to 10pm Very busy island, way too much traffic for the available roadway network, very few places to safely ride a bicycle although there was a German bicycle group trying to do so. Beautiful bays and beaches. The north half is run by the French, the south half is run by the Dutch. There is no border crossing, just a sign along the road. The small cruise ships like the Star Legend come into Marigot on the French side, while the big cruise ships use the pier in Philipsburg on the Dutch side, about an hour away in the heavy traffic. We did the America's Cup Sailboat racing event down in Philipsburg. There were 3 Americas Cup boats with about 18 people on each boat and we raced an America's Cup windward/leeward course after proper training. It was one of the highlights of the trip. Theses boats are really fast! About half the passengers helped with the sailing, the other half just hung on and enjoyed the ride. We did not get wet although you could if the seas were higher. They stored your bags to keep them dry during the sail. 5. Jost Van Dyke BVI Thursday 8 to Midnight We did the helicopter flight which was quite a thrill. We saw the whole island from the helicopter. The snorkeling on this island was not good due to choppy seas and the lack of coral. Not a lot to do on this island. Foxy' was a good place to buy logo gear including rash guards for snorkeling or taking the high speed boat ride the next day. 6. Virgin Gorda - BVI - Friday 8 to 5pm Great Final Day We took the power boat ride excursion offered by Windstar, it was great. It was a 5 hour tour in a high speed inflatable type host. We stopped at a flock of pink Flamingos in a shallow area along with a swim in an area of stacked conch shells. The water was 3' deep. We stopped at islands of the rich & famous. The trip lasted 5 hours. The ship arranged a "private beach" day on Prickly Pear Island, which was an amazing day from 10-4. Beach bbq, games, all the boats and water toys, beach chairs with huge umbrellas. We got there about 1:30 after our boat ride, still in time for the BBQ. Disembarkation Very smooth, we off the boat by 8:30 and at the airport by 9:00am. You have to go thru customs at the pier, which was very quick. Cab fare was $25. Do not buy the ship transfers which cost triple that and not as convenient. The Rainforest tour from the yacht with drop off at the airport might be worthwhile, although you could probably find a cab driver to do that at the pier in San Juan. There were plenty of drivers who spoke English, although they do drive fast. The TSA line at the airport was very long, causing people to be late for flights, so get there early. We had TSA pre-check, so we breezed thru in 5 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our 3rd Windstar cruise, the other two on the Wind Surf. I was hooked on Windstar after the 1st cruise. Love the casual, familiar atmosphere of these ships and especially the low passenger count. On this trip, we had 175 ... Read More
This was our 3rd Windstar cruise, the other two on the Wind Surf. I was hooked on Windstar after the 1st cruise. Love the casual, familiar atmosphere of these ships and especially the low passenger count. On this trip, we had 175 passengers(not quite full) and 150 crew. We read some of the bad reviews on the Dec 27th trip and were concerned a little before we left about what to expect. What we got was exactly as expected - plus a little more. Here are specific points to address those negative reviews I read: 1. Some complained about the beds. My understanding is all the mattresses were new in May when they completely remodeled the interior of the ship. I slept like a baby every night and even pulled the sheets back to look at the mattress. Did not look old to me. I am okay with foam pillows. The sheets I had were were not pilled and very silky. 2. Someone complained about not going to the Bitter End in Virgin Gorda. I spoke with them about this and was told the Bitter End was not allowing Windstar to tender there during their peak season. The Bitter End wanted to cater to their regular crowd. Not the ships fault and tenders could resume in February sometime. 3. Someone complained about having to take the Windstar excursion to visit the Baths. Again, I was told that Virgin Gorda was not actually a stop on this trip, rather Prickly Pear was the official stop. Therefore, they did not have privileges to tender to Virgin Gorda other than for a local controlled tour. 4. Food was great overall. Some things better than others, of course, but as good as expected. 5. Don't come on a Windstar cruise if you are not prepared for stairs on the ship. The ship is small and stairs are the easiest way to get around. 6. Someone complained about not embarking in Phillipsburg as said it was because Windstar didn't want to pay to dock in the big ports. I am not sure, but the specific reason we like Windstar is that you tender in to lesser know places and uncrowded ports. You know the stops before you book, so that should not be a surprise and none of these islands are so big that a 30 minute cab ride cannot get you around and the port stops are usually all day long, so there should be time. 7. Tender problems - that did happen on the very last day at Prickly Pear. One tender did go out of service. I realize that is a serious problem and I Windstar knows that as well and is doing whatever they must to get it remedied. The all-suite rooms are spacious, with walk-in closets. Ours had a bathtub, which is typical. They do have some rooms where the bathtub has been replaced with a big shower and if you need that, make sure you ask about that when you pick your room. I don't think there are very many. The service was exceptional throughout the ship. Repeat customers were given a cocktail party and greeted warmly upon arrival, but special treatment. Used the spa for massage and facial and very happy with that. Workout room had weights, bikes, and treadmills- a couple of each - but not huge. Like the extra deck space you get without the sails. Overall, no reason for us not to want to go on another Windstar cruise again - probably on one the Star Legend or one of its sister ships preferred just because of the stateroom. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I have been on a few cruises (large and small) and by far this was my favorite. I had some concerns that it would be an older stuffy crowd but we went between Christmas and New Year's so there were lots of families with older ... Read More
I have been on a few cruises (large and small) and by far this was my favorite. I had some concerns that it would be an older stuffy crowd but we went between Christmas and New Year's so there were lots of families with older teenagers and children in their early twenties. My wife and I enjoyed watching the families all blend together as the week went on. The suites were great and the food was very good. The ships layout was comfortable and we never felt like any one area was over crowded. We spent most of our leisure time when we were not exploring the islands on the ships upper deck bar making friends with both the staff and guests and being thoroughly entertained by one of the ship's duos "Splash". The staff all knew our names very quickly and were amazing. Most memorable were Bobby, John, Rod, Gino, Lyn, Marco, Andy, Jenelle, Kyle and Maria. Irene did a fantastic job keeping our suite looking great. We signed up with three of the excursions (kayaking/Snorkeling in Culebra, Catamaran in St Barth's and Radical Rides in Jost Van Dyke). All were organized and very enjoyable. We had concerns right before we left reading the negative reviews on this site as did other people we talked to on the ship. We all agreed they didn't present Windstar in the way we all experienced it. The last cruise line I was on was Sea Dream Yacht Club (which was also nice) so I'm not comparing this experience to a discount line. My wife and I can't wait to start planning our next Wind Star. Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I'm an avid, frequent, and very guilty cruiser. I'm guilty in that I often read reviews, but seldom write or contribute. I'm in my mid 40's and recently travelled on the New Year's sailing of the Star Legend with ... Read More
I'm an avid, frequent, and very guilty cruiser. I'm guilty in that I often read reviews, but seldom write or contribute. I'm in my mid 40's and recently travelled on the New Year's sailing of the Star Legend with my wife, 18 year old son, 16 year old daughter and my parents. By way of background, we are very experienced cruises. I'm fortunate to be approaching 80 cruises under my belt and spend about 8 weeks a year at sea. Over the years my taste in cruising has changed for a variety of reasons including maturity and unfortunately the commercialization of the cruise industry. Years ago (i.e. 1982) I loved the food, service and traditional service on lines like Princess and Sitmar. In fact, those early life cruise experiences are what ultimately conditioned my brain to subconsciously always be on the hunt for a vintage cruising experience of days gone by. The introduction of mega ships which are built with every square inch and second on board designed to be profit centers has cheapened and ruined the cruise experience in my opinion. Upcharges for eating, peeing, standing in the grand atrium etc. while fighting large crowds and eating poor quality food seems to have become the norm for many of the large mass market lines. Over the years as my taste in cruising has changed so has my consideration of what lines I will and won't spend my hard earned dollars and vacation time on cruising. In recent years, I have really enjoyed Oceania, Regent, and Azamara as to me these lines have recreated the magic of cruising and done it so well. The two mass market lines I still think do a "good" job compared to the others are Celebrity & Holland America - especially in their suite class (I see that's a topic of many other threads). So...for the New Year I booked my family on the Summit 7 night Caribbean cruise out of San Juan. After securing non-refundable airline tickets from Los Angeles to San Juan I learned that he Summit was due for a major refurbishment in early 2016 and was not keen on sailing on a ship about to go into dry dock. Enter the Star Legend of Windstar Cruises. It turned out the Star Legend was sailing the exact same day from San Juan as the Celebrity Summit on a 7 night itinerary so I decided to take a risk - cruising on a ship and line that non of my family had sailed on before and more worrisome had really bad reviews. I was determined to go have a great time no matter what. A new experience awaited. We flew in a few days early and stayed at the Ritz Carlton San Juan which was a great opportunity to unwind after a long day of travel and enjoy a few days of rest and relaxation before the cruise. On the day of embarkation we hired a van to take us to the Old San Juan Pier ($32 fixed rate for 6 people and 10 bags - they charge $1/bag). While driving to the pier we passed the mega ships. My daughter asked "daddy is that our ship?". While driving along the piers at the Old San Juan water front our driver missed our pier because he could not see the Star Legend behind the pier building. Yes - that's how small the Star Legend is - 10,000 tons. 200 passengers. Half the size as the original Love Boat (Pacific Princess 20,000 tons) with 1/3 the number of passengers. We quickly unloaded our luggage at the pier and within 5 minutes were the only passengers (3pm) climbing the gangway to be checked in on board. Upon embarkation we were taken to the ships lounge to be checked in and were offered complimentary welcome aboard drinks. This process took just a few minutes. By far this was the best embarkation process ever. The friendly crew who checked us in also had other jobs on the ship and we saw them often. So...off to our cabins we went to unload our carry-ons and start exploring the Star Legend. The Star Legend is the former Seabourn Legend and underwent a $8.5 million refurbishment in early 2015. For a 23 year old ship (and please remember it is a 23 year old ship!) this yachts looks fabulous! We opted for the lowest category suite (all cabins are suites) on deck 4 as I didn't see the value in upgrading to a higher deck for the same size suite and rocking is always less the lower you are. The suites were very well appointed and immaculately kept. We were all impressed by the size. The bathrooms are clearly older, but also very clean and marble clad (Carrera white). Bath amenities included L'Occitane products and large towels. There is a combined bathtub/shower combination with a handheld shower sprayer (mounted in awkward way) that always had great pressure. Next we were off to explore this tiny yacht. Interior spaces are very well kept and the renovation was well done - in my opinion. A very warm and welcoming feeling throughout the yacht. We were disappointed by the outside decks and the restaurant/buffet on the back of the ship which had a very bad feng shui (to be kind). In my opinion, Windstar really screwed up badly by getting rid of the aft pool and replacing it with a dining platform forward of the rear buffet. My daughter referred to the pool as a bathtub. Frankly, some people probably have bathtubs at home which are larger. Our favorite outdoor spot was he forward hot tub on the bow. After that scathing review of the pool area why would I give a 5 star review to this ship? A cruise experience is not just about being on the biggest, newest and fanciest vessel. There is so much more that goes into making memories. Let me make clear, that despite the less than ideal pool area and some really old and dilapidated other outdoor spaces (sports marina and aft crew area which you walk through to board tenders) this ship shines in every other way like a 5 star hotel. Service was consistently excellent throughout. Food was good to very good. Being a small ship dinner options were limited and was 7-9pm in the Amphora Dining Room and 1 night during the cruise guests can enjoy Candles (verandah café turned into steak house at night). Food was consistently solid for dinner. One night the dining room is closed and dinner is a deck BBQ which was terrific and very well done. Breakfast and lunch were served in the aft buffet and offered typical fare (nothing to get excited about). Room service was outstanding, fast, and the menu extensive. By the second day on board the crew knew most passengers by their first names and the amazing bar tenders even knew drink preferences. What a game changer. No entertainment offered other than 2 duos (both very good). The ambiance was incredibly friendly with most guest quickly mingling and getting to know one another. Interestingly, many of my friends thought we were crazy to bring our teenagers on Windstar as they said "there's nothing to do". As it turns out about 1/3 of the passengers were in the 15-25 age range traveling with their families. The kids/young adults LOVED this cruise! Not everybody needs to be entertained 24/7 and it was refreshing to make socializing our own entertainment. My kids even commented that they enjoyed the Star Legend more than the Oasis and Allure of the Seas. Much to be said about this and a whole commentary can be written about back to the basics. One of the best features of Windstar is having only 200 passengers. Never a line! The ability to call on smaller ports that large ships can't was also an amazing bonus. I won't go into detail about the ports as this review is already quite long. However, I will say the ports were AMAZING! The beach BBQ on Prickly Pear Beach was the BEST we have ever experienced and Trumps (pardon the expression) Seabourn and other "luxury" lines. Yes - it's true. Tender service is not optimal and the tenders are just that - tenders. The ship to shore boats Windstar uses on the Star Legend are NOT dual use life boats and tenders like those used on most other ships. These tenders are actually deployed from the sports marina by hydraulic devices. These boats are slow, but comfortable. Hopefully, Windstar will replace these tenders with new ones. Apparently, the Star Breeze or Star Pride has new tenders. The sports marina was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. It was deployed daily and staffed with 2 amazing crew. We enjoyed the trampoline, water mats, kayaking and swimming. There is also a sailboat for use. My kids loved being towed around by the Zodiac on a banana boat type thing. The captain could not have been more kind and accessible. Great sense of humor. We took advantage of the open bridge policy to watch sail away one night and were amazed at how welcome we were made to feel. Of note, the captain also had a terrific sense of humor despite previous posts. In summary, I gave this terrific and very enjoyable cruise on the Star Legend 5 stars because of the amazing overall experience - much of which can be attributed to the most amazing, wonderful, kind and attentive staff we have ever experienced. There are a few areas where Windstar is rough around the edges, but this is not a traditional cruise and cannot be viewed as such. You really feel as if you are on a very large private yacht. My family is hooked on Windstar and cannot wait to return. Keep up the amazing work Windstar! Windstar truly is 180 degrees from ordinary. Sure, there are other ships/lines which are much more polished and luxurious, but in all fairness I don't think reviewers should be comparing the Star Legend to the likes of these other ships/lines. The only conclusion I can take away from the negative reviews are that some people are just miserable and choose to be that way or their expectations were so off that the Windstar Star Legend experienced shocked them like jumping into cold water. I'm a luxury travel connoisseur and certainly could write a critical review of an experience that disappoints or does not meet advertised expectations. However, Windstar delivers exactly what it promises. Thanks again Windstar! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
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