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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Beware. Do not book this cruise over Spring Break- Caribbean. Beware of other voyages as well since Windstar apparently caters to these types of events and is oblivious to the impact on their repeat customers. Check if there are any large ... Read More
Beware. Do not book this cruise over Spring Break- Caribbean. Beware of other voyages as well since Windstar apparently caters to these types of events and is oblivious to the impact on their repeat customers. Check if there are any large groups booked on your ship. The cruise we were on during Spring Break 2017 was terrible. The cruise was taken over by an outside party band and it was NOT family friendly. The staff did nothing and there is no recourse once you are on the ship. Lots of drinking and vulgar activity. No class at all. We couldn't even use the pool or hot tub most of the time. The groupies took over the hot tub and pool almost every day yelling woo-hoo and drinking out of king size 7-11 cups. It was unbelievably rude and obnoxious. The entertainment from the cruise was often substituted with the "band" which was mediocre at best. Like seriously, how did this happen? This is a top of the line Cruiseline and they took it down at least 1000 levels. We had sailed on a previous Windstar cruise and it was top notch. Windstar catered to this group band and deteriated their entire reputation. We will never book a Windstar cruise again. This was a self-proclaimed "booze cruise" and Windstar should be ashamed. What a disgrace to allow families to be part of this. At the bare minimum, Windstar should have disclosed that this group was the majority of the cruise and any other passengers would be outnumbered. If you want a low-class, booze cruise, look no further. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
What can corporate Windstar be thinking? Just got off the Star Legend, the most dangerous and old ship I have ever sailed on in 30 cruises. No safety signs (even for wet paint and varnish), tenders don't work, people are expected to ... Read More
What can corporate Windstar be thinking? Just got off the Star Legend, the most dangerous and old ship I have ever sailed on in 30 cruises. No safety signs (even for wet paint and varnish), tenders don't work, people are expected to climb dozens of stairs to tenders and hop onto poorly parked and operated tenders - both of which are now broken - and rubber dingies. A nice but in some cases inexperienced crew can do nothing with awful, unsafe, old equipment. And it was a rocky and sea sickening ride more than 1 night. Also, ship does not port where anyone else does and doesn't tell you before hand. No board games onboard or daily activities. What a nightmare. RUN AWAY from this "luxury" cruise. Most annoying things: Used balcomy stateroom next to mine to store and fold sheets. Left door open at night to bang open and close; also went in and out at all hours. WHAT? People were so bored, absolutely nothing was going on on this ship. Even movies and tv reception were lacking. Embarkation is a nightmare. Prepare to wait in the hot sun and wait a lot more before climbing 30 stairs to get onboard and get in another line to get your keys, etc. Tenders broken, waffle machine broken, ice cream machine broken, cannot make pancakes, cannot make a soft egg to save their lives (be it over easy or poached.) Huge markup if you take pre cruise hotel, excursions, or transfer to or from airport (transfer was 3 times more expensive than a cab.) One bbq and one shore party (where people got stranded for almost 2 hours) for lack of transportation does not make a good time. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I’ve been on one of windstars Mediterranean sailing cruises and it was wonderful, but the star pride Caribbean cruse has been a horrible waist of money. Not a nice experience at all. Unlike the sailing ships the star pride is run down. ... Read More
I’ve been on one of windstars Mediterranean sailing cruises and it was wonderful, but the star pride Caribbean cruse has been a horrible waist of money. Not a nice experience at all. Unlike the sailing ships the star pride is run down. They run the engine so hard at night we can’t sleep because our bed shakes so bad. Not rocking of the boat or poor weather but engine rattling that makes your teeth chatter. Our shower has a back flow issue and we come back to find it filled with mearky water even when we haven’t been using it. The worst part is that the cruise is full of drunk rude and rowdy teenagers. They will keep serving the 16 year olds alcohol as long as the parents say it’s ok. But the parents don’t watch them and let them have the run of the ship. I didn’t pay $2000pp for the spring break in Tijuana experience. If I wanted that I’d go on a cheaper large cruse. This makes it a terrible cruse for couples dealing a quite nice experience. Communication with the crew is poor. Many of them don’t speak much English. I also get the feeling many of them are unhappy and probably live in terrible conditions from our interactions. The excursions are really disappointing for the money. We landed in Monserrat and they didn’t tell us until the night before there is no was of getting around the island and nothing to do unless you had booked one of the booked out excursions. We paid $100 per person to book the last remaining activity and it was just a drive to a place where you can see a few posters explaining the volcano and watch a 30 minute video. You couldn’t even see anything else. Then you get driven to a very small garden and told it’s another $10 to go in. The other “snokeling” excursion at St. Thomas was just a booze cruse. The boat is crowded and eating onboard for breakfast and lunch is fine because it’s a buffet but dinner is very slow. We wait on average an hour for our entrees. My husband has a special diet due to a very serious health condition but the crew we interact with don’t have strong enough English to understand what he needs. They run out of things constantly. Imagine being on a cruise where you can’t get any olive oil, only dressings with sugar on your salad. We tried ordering inadvance but it does no good. He still gets the wrong things when it comes time for dinner. Also it’s very hard to eat healthy on board we’ve found a lot of things have corn starch in them. The food it’s self is still pretty good for someone with no dietary needs. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
First - Windstar engages in flat out False Advertising (in our case -$200 in ship board credits per passenger). They were given ample opportunity to make this right and simply could not find a way to make it right. First - and last - ... Read More
First - Windstar engages in flat out False Advertising (in our case -$200 in ship board credits per passenger). They were given ample opportunity to make this right and simply could not find a way to make it right. First - and last - time Windstar customer and they couldn’t care less. Business must be great when you can alienate new customers so easily Second - communications are horrendous. In the above issue it was raised with an officer - the top guy in charge of the hotel side of things - he said he would fix it. He didn’t and we never talked to him again. This on a ship that was maybe 75% full ( 150 people). Issues were raised post cruise with HQ and the email response was that we would hear back in 1 week - that was two weeks ago. crickets - chirp, chirp, chirp. We’ve heard zip Third - ship issues -our room was never adequately supplied with AC. Issue was raised on day 1 - never really fixed but I think it was an underlying operational issue. The front 1/3 of the ship was noticeably warmer than elsewhere. Most of the trip it was tolerable to barely intolerable. The last two nights it was flat out intolerable. On other sites, I’ve seen posts questioning the financial viablity of Windstar and I am beginning to think that may be the issue. It is a big world and there are a lot of small ship cruise operators. In the future, I am going to try Windstars competitors. I will not travel with Windstar again and I will share my experience with all my friends looking for small ship cruises. Oh - the shipboard crew -absolutely fantastic! To bad they lack the management and leadership they deserve. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Wanted to visit numerous islands and picked this one due to the inclusion of St. Bart's. Unfortunately, the captain decided to skip St. Bart's and go to another island instead. The lower on the staff totem poll, the better the ... Read More
Wanted to visit numerous islands and picked this one due to the inclusion of St. Bart's. Unfortunately, the captain decided to skip St. Bart's and go to another island instead. The lower on the staff totem poll, the better the attitude. Everyone wearing an officer costume seemed to have a poor attitude or just did not really care. Never seen anything like that before. The small ship was expected to be a plus, with only 200 guests, but the captain chose to run slowly on only one engine and the ship pitched all night. Many guests got seasick and Dramamine was the number one discussion on deck. Food was sometimes good and sometimes not so great. Windstar has two charges which are not known before boarding. First, no wine or alcohol is included - it is $650 per cabin - usually we expect to upgrade to premiums for a fee. No problem with that, but should be known. 2nd, there is an $84 per person additional charge for "tips". That is just additional ticket charge and does not change the pay of servicers. We tipped maids, waiters and other help - unfortunately most guests think the tip charge is really tipping. To me that is just Windstar being dishonest. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Cruise was supposed to depart from San Juan on 12/9 but the cruise line didn't file proper paperwork with port authority so ship went to St Marteen. Passengers were told to meet at Sheraton hotel in San Juan and wait for shuttle to ... Read More
Cruise was supposed to depart from San Juan on 12/9 but the cruise line didn't file proper paperwork with port authority so ship went to St Marteen. Passengers were told to meet at Sheraton hotel in San Juan and wait for shuttle to airport where two planes were chartered to take us to St. Marteen. A cruise that was supposed to embark at 6pm was clearly not going to start for many hours. The cruise line gave us all a $150 credit for the inconvenience - which was completely inadequate for the late start, extra flight and confusion. Charter on Miami Air wasn't prepared for us when we arrived. long lines in airport - which seemed ridiculous since Windstar knew in advance who was on the plane THEY chartered. Plane left for St. Marteen late and the two people from Windstar did nothing. We arrived in St. Marteen and amateur hour continued. We arrived at cruise terminal and NO ONE from Windstar met the the bus - so the bus driver kept us on board. By now it was after 10pm and we were sitting on a bus in a closed cruise terminal. We finally boarded and filled out paperwork. Why didn't they give us paperwork in San Juan? We were captive for 8 hours already (boarding was supposed to open at 1pm) - but now we were doing routine paperwork. We got to our cabin around 11pm. We went to bar and learned that drinks were free - but there was no announcement at check in. Give free drinks - tell no one to reduce expense. Great strategy! They extended free drinks into 2nd day of cruise with limited communication. On second day we attend Captain's briefing. He announced that this was his last cruise before vacation.......clearly his mind was elsewhere and his "I'm going home" attitude spilled onto crew. There was a persistent and often shocking lack of attention to detail in every aspect of service. I blame the Captain and his senior staff. Around 2am we wondered why the ship was still in port and learned that they were waiting for emergency batteries. Why didn't Windstar communicate anything to the passengers? Was there a mechanical issue with ship all along - and the paperwork story was just a smoke screen? the change in embarkation port shifted the first two days of the itinerary. They made little effort to tell people "excursions planned for Sunday are now on Saturday and excursions for Saturday are now on Sunday".....no announcements. No changes to the tickets. Nothing. So Saturday was a scramble since we didn't sail until well after 3am after having got on board very later. On Sunday, we went to Antigua a day later than planned and learned that basically 90% of everything on port was closed on Sunday. So this stop was a complete waste of time. We went to the watersports dock one day and floated behind ship on water mat. A Zodiac from the ship was hauling in a broken sail boat and apparently didn't see us in the water. The Zodiac ran over the mat and spilled my wife and I off the mat - which was very dangerous to say the least. Room service was comical. After 3 wrong orders we gave up ordering things in the room. Casino had exactly one blackjack table and one poker table.....and exactly one dealer. So basically one game at a time. There was also supposed to be a Roulette wheel but there wasn't one. Slots and one table game at a time......the ship again failed to plan. The spa booked up very quickly - again, very few workers. To their credit, the spa didn't spend the entire treatment trying to sell lotions and potions like on most cruise lines. The ship directory in room was obsolete. None of the phone numbers were correct - so we had to call operator. Leaving ship was just as bad. We were told to be at gangway at 7:30am. They let us off at 7:50am with no explanation of delay. They didn't have enough shuttles to airport (mind you, we all had to declare where we were going on Wednesday so they had an accurate count of the people going to airport) So we stood outside an hour. Then, when the shuttle arrived it couldn't fit everyone's luggage in back - so they filled the aisle with bags. Good thing there wasn't an accident because no one could get to door through the stack of bags. I am sure that I am leaving off lots of details. For a supposedly "high end" private yacht we got impression that they never sailed before. There was limited planning and poor execution in every aspect of service. We won't sail Windstar again Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was the same cruise that dsyoung422 was on, so many comments are similar. The cruise was supposed to start in San Juan and we flew down the night before as independent travelers. I guess that was the first mistake as the first we ... Read More
This was the same cruise that dsyoung422 was on, so many comments are similar. The cruise was supposed to start in San Juan and we flew down the night before as independent travelers. I guess that was the first mistake as the first we knew that the itinerary had changed was when we arrived at Muelle1 (Pier #1) in San Juan at 1:10pm (boarding was at 1:00pm) and there was NO SHIP! I called the main office in Seattle who told me there was a paperwork problem and to go to the Sheraton in Old San Juan to meet some Windstar reps. The kind taxi driver took us about 50 yards to that Sheraton, where the bellmen told him the Windstar people had left and were probably at Muelle 4. He then drove us over to Muelle 4 where two local Windstar people handed us a sheet of paper explaining the change and claiming that the "Vacation Planner team in Seattle contacted all guests and their travel agents to advise of this change"...well, we found out on returning home that they had sent out an email the previous day when we were already in transit. They should know that communication has not occurred until confirmation has been received and when traveling not everyone has access to email. Anyway, the two reps at Muelle 4 told us to go to the Sheraton Convention Center (not the one Seattle had just directed us to) to arrange to get on one of the two charter planes to Sint Maarten. The long suffering taxi driver did just that and we found the Windstar reps in a little office. They advised that we were assigned to the 7:30pm charter and the bus for that would leave at 4:30pm. I expressed my concern at the lack of communication, to which the response was to say that "Mister Ulf" would be along shortly and to take it up with him. Mister Ulf (apparently the customer service manager for the cruise, Ulf Rademaker) duly arrived and when one of the other prospective passengers expressed concern that we would not be on board until very late and whether there were any plans for providing dinner told them "Don't worry, we won't let you go to bed hungry" and proceeded to bury his nose in a laptop. Windstar had provided a "hospitality room", but this had obviously been set up for lunch for the first charter plane and by 2:15pm consisted of unrefrigerated cold cuts and stale bread...really sanitary. When 4:30 rolled around, a scrum formed to get on the one overloaded minibus, leaving some to be abandoned waiting for a replacement minibus. Checkin was not bad to the Miami Air charter, but proceeded very slowly. Then there was a 2-hour wait for the departure time during which most of the passengers found something to eat at their own expense at the airport. Meanwhile Mister Ulf arrived in the departure area and spent his time in conversation with other crew members, avoiding the passengers seemingly at all costs. Arrival and Immigration in Sint Maarten were surprisingly rapid and we were then loaded on another bus to get to the ship. After a long scenic trip across the island, we arrived at the cruise terminal to find that there was nobody to meet us and escort us in and down the pier. Someone finally turned up and escorted us to the ship where we had to go through the usual check-in, which was overloaded as everyone was arriving at once. The customary safety drill was then held, and by the time that was over it was 11:00pm. I asked reception if there was any food available, and they told us that the dining room would be open for another 15 minutes. It was in the dining room that we found out that drinks were being comped for the rest of the day...more good communication, they could have told everyone that at check-in! Now we were finally on board. The itinerary was supposed to be San Juan - Culebra - St Barths - Montserrat - St Maarten - Jost Van Dyke - Virgin Gorda - San Juan. What we got was St Maarten - St Barths - Antigua - Montserrat - St Maarten (again) - Jost Van Dyke - Virgin Gorda - San Juan. Missing Culebra was a disappointment but understandable in the circumstances and moving St Barths from Sunday to Saturday was probably a plus as most of it is closed on a Sunday. Ports in order visited: St Barths - we have always like this island and Saturday was better than Sunday would have been. You are tendered ashore here and we noticed that the tender crews seemed poorly skilled at handling the twin-engined tenders compared to other small ships we have been on. They appeared to be being trained by one of the officers, but did not seem to be paying much attention. The drinks were still being comped on this day...not that any notice was given other than one brief announcement. Antigua - added because of the changed itinerary. This was a docked location, so no tender issues. On a previous visit, we had been anchored off Falmouth near Nelson's Dockyard in the south of the island and that would have been much nicer and less exposed to the incessant "marketing" at the cruise pier in St Johns. Montserrat - If you don't take a tour here (we didn't) this was pretty boring. Sint Maarten - (again) - tied up to the pier, so access is good. The toilets on the ship went out of action for about an hour, but they appeared to be pumping out the black water tanks at the time, so we assumed that was the reason (more on this later). Sint Maarten seems to be all about shopping. Jost Van Dyke - not much to do here as a tender access port. Unfortunately, the toilets went out of action again for the whole ship at about 10:00am. After lunch, they were still out of action and when my wife asked if there was any progress or projected fix was told about 2 more hours. She remarked that it might be a good idea to have an announcement, the reception staff commented that that was a decision "for the stripes"...amazingly within a few minutes the captain made an announcement that it would be about 2 more hours (it was a bit less in the end)...but why was it not announced right up front instead of just locking all the public access toilets? More non-communication. Virgin Gorda - This is the beach party location that is also used by the older Windstar ships and by Sea Dream. The food at the beach was good, but the 200+ passengers seemed to overload the facilities and the sand fleas and mosquitoes were voracious. Unfortunately, the tender service did not extend to the Bitter End Yacht Club. San Juan - Disembarkation was delayed, presumably by customs/immigration..again no announcements as to what was going on. We were on a late flight, but would have been pretty anxious if we had been on the first batch of passengers with an early flight. Food on the whole was OK, but appeared to "benefit' from the Indian chef's native foods - almost all the menus had a curry flavor choice included. Breakfasts were OK, but the setup of the buffet is not conducive to good flow of people. Lunch is quite limited and the one time I ordered a hamburger, I found out after 25 minutes that the grill was broken and it would take another 10 minutes to arrive...again communicate. The main dining room was pleasant and we had no troubles with being assigned a 2-spot if we wanted it. Wine service was slow (understaffed) and not that helpful. The one night of the deck BBQ was rained out and set up in the dining room instead...the best food of the cruise! We eat in the alternative restaurant (Candles) one night; this is set up as a steakhouse and tries to serve that way. The food was good, but the service was amateurish, with long waits between the main plate arriving and sauces and sides appearing...and one of the sides appeared wrong and cold. Entertainment was two different singing acts, both quite pleasant and one very accomplished (Vice Versa) and to our taste. Service was in general mediocre - not for want of trying by the staff who really wanted to please, but they just seemed to be lacking in supervision, and the supervisors appeared to be taking more time to preen around in their uniforms than pay attention to the actions of their staffs. We had booked on this Windstar (we had been on Wind Spirit many years before) to see how it compares to SeaDream, acknowledging the lower price and fewer inclusions. Unfortunately, the lower price point does not in our minds compensate for the poor performance of the company in communication and supervision, so, absent a compelling itinerary we are unlikely to be back. It's a shame as the ship is a nice size, the cabin comfortable and the low-key entertainment was a pleasant addition. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
If not for the crew, food and beverage servers, and our room steward, our first Windstar "Luxury Cruising" experience would have been a complete disappointment. With that said, my wife and I decided on the Windstar Legend. We ... Read More
If not for the crew, food and beverage servers, and our room steward, our first Windstar "Luxury Cruising" experience would have been a complete disappointment. With that said, my wife and I decided on the Windstar Legend. We were more than excited to board such a "luxury" style yacht for this very special vacation. As we boarded, we were greeted by Captain Richard and Hotel Manager Calvin, which was a very nice personal touch. Our cabin was pleasant and comfortable. We began to walk around the exterior of the ship, and found it not welcoming at all. It seemed like the ship was closed down. There was no water in the pool, lounge chairs were stacked up, and no music was playing. We walked further and began to get a common theme that the Windstar Legend was far from Luxury but was a very weathered yacht. My wife and I looked at each other and I actually asked her if we just made a big mistake and if she wanted to get off before it sailed. We are optimistic people so we went with it... We met amazing people, and the staff could not have done more for us. They were great. Windstar marketing and advertising manager should receive a raise because what is portrayed on the videos and the website is a far cry from reality. The broken ice cream machine/freezer, the aged tenders, the lack of watersports, which was a very big attraction for us, and inflatable zodiacs were completely unacceptable and embarrassing. Tenders were constantly broken, and the drivers were incapable of controlling a tender frequently slamming them into the platforms the days they were in operation. There was actually a day when we had no functioning tenders at all, and elderly passengers with canes were taking the zodiacs back to the ship. This was not safe, and as a result, I was helping to get them on and off the boat. It was ridiculous. Most passengers on the ship felt the same. I heard the couple staying in the owners suite did not have Air conditioning in their room for 3 days and asked to get off the ship. The reality of the situation is that the Windstar Company should be embarrassed to provide their employees with such old broken down equipment. The next consideration for the Legend might be providing the employees with the proper resources to do their jobs. As I stated previously, we had a great time on our Honeymoon, but it was only because of the staff and the wonderful people we met. In fairness to Windstar, I must mention we did voice our concerns with them after returning home and were compensated for our dissapointment. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Having done this exact cruise last year, albeit a little later in the Spring, and enjoyed it so much we booked it again when offered. In full disclosure we got an AMAZING deal that we couldn't pass up. The crossing was originally ... Read More
Having done this exact cruise last year, albeit a little later in the Spring, and enjoyed it so much we booked it again when offered. In full disclosure we got an AMAZING deal that we couldn't pass up. The crossing was originally scheduled for the end of March but was moved up two weeks. We found out at the end of the crossing that it was to complete a 10-day dry dock before SP began her Med season. Only 62 people were onboard compared to 168 last year. Did it make a difference? Yes, in that there wasn't enough for the crew to do, and it seemed they got a little bored. Can't blame them. With the exception of the trivia games and "name that tune" the guests didn't seem to want to participate a lot - maybe they were a little bored too. The Spa was rarely used as was the gym. Several times on leaving the gym in the late afternoon the hair salon area was dark and there was no one at the front desk. Rarely saw anyone in the casino (which we heard is being eliminated during the "stretching"). Cruiselines use the days at sea to get done repairs, both cosmetic and mechanical, that couldn't be completed during the ship's Caribbean season. This resulted in some noise, loud at times, that really bugged some people - us not so much. After receiving complaints the ship did the best they could to complete the repairs when guests weren't on deck. As another reviewer wrote Star Pride is showing her age and isn't due to go into full dry dock for "stretching" until 2020, so it's no wonder WS schedule a mini-dry dock now. Hopefully these repairs will be enough to see the ship through. The crew was fantastic! Learned your name quickly and your preferences for things like coffee, wine, etc. They were always smiling and always greeted you by name. With only one exception, we felt they worked hard and enjoyed what they did. We couldn't say the same for our stateroom attendant. Nice guy but seemed not to have been well trained. The food was outstanding and, we both agreed, actually better this year than last. Really it was the highlight of the trip. Our stop in Horta was pretty worthless, although it was nice to get onto dry land for a few hours. We ventured forth and found the grocery store to buy some liquor to take back on with us for the remaining 3 days. We had taken liquor on in our bags when we boarded so we thought this wouldn't be a problem. I understand the liquor confiscation reasoning and policy, especially for Caribbean cruises, but with only 3 days left it would have been nice if someone had told security to waive it. Instead we didn't get to enjoy drinks in our room and went to the Compass Rose instead. In fairness the port that we had also brought and was confiscated with the liquor, was returned to us that same afternoon. Still, we kind of resented what we felt was petty on WS's part. SP is an older ship and I'll be interested to see what she looks like after her "stretching" in 2020. We won't do another crossing though. Even at a great price it just lacked anything that would compel us to return. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The Star Pride, food service and crew met all of our expectations and are the reason we continually pick Windstar. On board services were first class. Now for the cons: Since space is not available for a large swimming pool, the Swim ... Read More
The Star Pride, food service and crew met all of our expectations and are the reason we continually pick Windstar. On board services were first class. Now for the cons: Since space is not available for a large swimming pool, the Swim Tub is a good idea; however, most passengers use it as a second jacuzzi and just sit there. This means that those of us wanting to swim, have no facility. Windstar needs to figure his out. We would like to see more reasonable priced ship sponsored tours that are comparable to local tours obtained through services like trip advisor. Our biggest grip and disappointment on this cruise was most port stops the first week did not met what I would call Windstar standards. We suggested to Windstar the following:(like they would listen to me.) No visits to St Thomas on Sunday , or better yet, none at all. Town completely closed down and a waste of time to visit. Folks in town that I spoke to said,” there is no way they will open on a Sunday to a 200 passenger ship”. Poor port choice. No stops in Montserrat, Little bay. Nothing, absolutely nothing to do but see the volcano.and exclusion zone. Waste of time. Roads are poorly maintained and dangerous to drive on. Taxis in poor condition. Why not cruise off shore from volcano, explain eruption and exclusion zone on speaker system and continue on to next destination. Very poor port choice Josh Van Dyke. worst port of all. Too devastated, a shanty town. White beach okay but figure out how to get tender there instead of docking on out skirts of town and then forced to take a taxi to beach. Virgin Gorda another do nothing stop. The chosen beach BBQ area was picturesque and fully functional but immediate surroundings were devastated by the hurricane. Due to rough seas we had an fabulous BBQ on the ship. Poor port choice. It feels Like no one from Windstar has really assessed the Montserrat, Jost Van Dyke or the Virgin Gorda environment. Very, very poor port choices Conclusion is Windstar must do a better job in selecting ports of call on the first week of the San Juan and Virgin Islands itinerary,especially for islands affected by Hurricane Irma. We were very displeased and disappointed. Our stops on the second week, Windward Island surf and Sunset cruise were far better than first week.In fact, if I would have known how badly devastated some areas were the first week, We would have only booked the Windward Islands segment.Shame on me, should of done my home work, I hate learning the hard way. I also feel more reasonable beverage prices would be appreciated . $7.99 for a mini bar beer is outrageous and gouging. I stopped drinking the second week. Beverage packages are not designed for those of us that have partners who do not drink or for those who have a couple drinks a day. Dress codes are hard to enforce but at times there are violations that should to be addressed. For instance every night at dinner either at Candles or Amphora, their are guests wearing shorts, or blue jeans, tee shirts and sandals. Windstar is a cut above the rest and dress code violations should not be permitted or Windstar should change the code. Overall we have graded this cruise experience as a 3 out of 5 due to the first week’s choice of ports. We have done four Windstar cruises this is our the first “3”, all the rest graded “5+”. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We have cruised with sea dream 3x and Seabourn twice, so our comparison is to those, not larger ships. We were actually on this ship (star legend) when it was Seabourn legend. A few quick points: - the food is good. Not outstanding ... Read More
We have cruised with sea dream 3x and Seabourn twice, so our comparison is to those, not larger ships. We were actually on this ship (star legend) when it was Seabourn legend. A few quick points: - the food is good. Not outstanding but good overall. Breakfast was great, lunch was ok, dinner was generally good. Drining room was too bright however. - buying the alcohol package is ok but perhaps not worth it. It did not include champagne at all or many of the things we would have preferred. We are not heavy drinkers but like nice wine with dinner and a good cordial. - they are understaffed for beverage service at dinner. We often had to wait through the first course to get a glass of wine. The wine steward was always frenzied trying to catch up. - they are not doing a great job of cleaning. There was a film of scum in their tiny pool (and they took out the old pool that Seabourn had and replaced it with a sitting area no one ever used. We miss the original pool. The cabins are decently clean but yet we found hair that was not ours (dark) in the shower when we arrived. - the average passenger age was older than expected (maybe mid 70's) and I think that factored into their decision to skip two ports based on waves. However sea dream was smaller and on similar itinerary at the same time and made both ports we skipped. We missed the best two - st Bart's and st Martin. - entertainment is two duos. Splash was good but the other one (double malt) belongs in a lounge somewhere. Too dreary for the ship. - there were no snacks when you got back from an excursion. There was no welcome feeling at all. -staff seemed young and not as well trained as the other two lines mentioned. -overall, it gets an average from us and we are not likely to try windstar again. It failed a little in every area when compared to sea dream and Seabourn. And the price is not differ when you add the alcohol package and yet it offered much less. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
This was our 13th Windstar cruise and the 2nd on the Legend. Many of the comments I will make here I've posted before - after our last cruise in June 2015. Also, I read some recent reviews by others on Cruise Critic and my comments ... Read More
This was our 13th Windstar cruise and the 2nd on the Legend. Many of the comments I will make here I've posted before - after our last cruise in June 2015. Also, I read some recent reviews by others on Cruise Critic and my comments will be somewhat repetitive. I thinks that's fine - maybe someone at Windstar will actually read this and do something. At the outset, I want to be clear that none of my negative comments pertain to the on board staff. They try. Hard. They work long hours and do what they can. However, I am quite disappointed with Windstar at the corporate level. First, there is no loyalty program. Because we've cruises with Windstar some many times, you'd think we'd be welcomed back as repeat customers. Nothing! Not even flowers or fruit in the room. And no one at check in said anything. I had this discussion on previous cruises and still nothing changed. I talked to Calvin, the hotel manager. He listened, but nothing happened. The only one that actually did anything was Bianca, the guest relations manager. Airlines and hotels pride themselves on their loyalty programs. Norwegian has one, so does Seaborn. Not Windstar. Next, the ship is in bad shape. Tenders were both broken on one day. No matter how good the tender operators are, they can't manage with bad equipment. On one occasion, Windstar had to hire a tender operator and it was so bad, that vessel crashed int our ship and the tender cracked. There is rust in a lot of places. The brackets in the bathtub holding the hand-held shower were loose. There really is no attempt to provide activities in the case of rain - which we had daily. Clearly, the weather isn't anyone's fault, but there ought to be some on board contingency plans. On the plus side, the crew, as usual, was great: Yogi - always a pleasure. Yaya, Lyn, Bobby, all work hard and always smile. The staterooms (suites) really need sprucing up. I do like the Yacht Cub and AmphorA. Food is better since Chef Michael took over. Overall, I think we will be taking a break from Windstar. I need to see if management really wants this to be considered a luxury cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
This was my second Windstar cruise and it did not live up to the first. Two of us sailed on the Windsurf in March and I was very excited to bring my whole family (11 of us) on the Star Legend for Christmas week. It was disappointing. ... Read More
This was my second Windstar cruise and it did not live up to the first. Two of us sailed on the Windsurf in March and I was very excited to bring my whole family (11 of us) on the Star Legend for Christmas week. It was disappointing. The ship should not have been put into service after being purchased until all of the systems were upgraded. One tender broke down and it took us almost 2 hours to get to shore. The sports deck was inoperative much of the time. The staff was embarrassed and apologetic, but little from the Captain. The least the company could have done was buy us a drink. We received inconsistent information regularly. As an example, at one bar we were told that the ship was out of limes and then in the dining room there was no problem getting a lime for our drink. We took a shore excursion and upon checking was told that we did not need our tickets. Upon reaching shore, the tour company needed our tickets. Small things - but consistent. I rarely saw any of the officers, especially the captain. I would have hoped that they would have been more accessible, given some of the problems. Some of the Windstar basics were in place - excellent service from the cabin, bar and dining room staff; roomy staterooms; and well maintained public spaces. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We set sail on the Star Legend Dec.19 with great expectations of a high end cruise experience. Unfortunately it was just average, and in some perspective outright disappointing. On a positive side the room was beautiful and very spacious. ... Read More
We set sail on the Star Legend Dec.19 with great expectations of a high end cruise experience. Unfortunately it was just average, and in some perspective outright disappointing. On a positive side the room was beautiful and very spacious. The cabin service was also exemplary. The food was good, not great, but the chef was more than happy to accommodate special requests, a very nice touch. Despite Windstar having invested $18M in a makeover after acquiring the Star Legend from Seaborn, the ship still showed its age in several critical areas. The tenders were past their useful life and failed several times during our journey. The first time we were on the tender when one of the engines quit. High seas prevented us from docking and we sat stranded for 30 minutes while they struggled to get it working. The next day we waited two hours and almost missed our excursion due to the fact that the same tender was not working, leaving one working boat. To exaserbate an already bad situation the crew had forgotten to fuel the one working tender before the start of the day and had to stop for an additional 20 minutes to refuel. Perhaps the worse part in the two hours of waiting was the fact that the staff failed to make a single announcement to advise the passengers of what was going on. One of the amenities that attracted us to Windstar was the availability of water sports off the back platform. In seven days of sailing the platform was NEVER OPENED. We were told by the staff that it was due to the fact that the seas were to rough. Ironically on two different days we passed other cruise ships that had their platform open to guests. Talking to other members of the staff we came to learn that there were frequent mechanical issue with the platform the was complicating its use, let alone equipment challenges. Again, the communication from the staff was notably absent and left passengers guessing. Over our past five cruises we always appreciated the memories captured by the ship photographers. Unfortunately this was not the case on this cruise. We even asked the photographer to take a formal family photo on Christmas Eve. When we went to review the pictures the next day we learned that she had only taken one photo (???) of the immediate family which she said did not turn out, and only one of the extended family was oddly centered. So much for memories. The true test of a business is not what happens when everything goes as planned, but how they handle the situation when things run aground (pun intended). In this case the crew failed miserably. When an office could be found, and engaged, they seemed indifferent to the plight of the passengers and unwilling of take any steps toward addressing the issues at hand. How hard is it to take a passenger name and cabin and send a note of apology. Staff members we befriended told us that Windstar corporate is well aware of the tender and mechanical problems and has yet to provide a response as to when they would be addressed. The cruise line could be amazing, but it needs to pick up its game, improve communication, take responsibility, and deliver on the promise it communicates in its marketing materials. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
There were a lot of small irritations that would not keep me from sailing with windstar again. Like the broken ice cream machine. But,there is no excuse for the tenders. By the time the cruise was over neither one was working. They tried ... Read More
There were a lot of small irritations that would not keep me from sailing with windstar again. Like the broken ice cream machine. But,there is no excuse for the tenders. By the time the cruise was over neither one was working. They tried using the zodiacs at one point, 4 passengers at a time,but one of them got punctured. Ended up hiring a local to transport us. The tenders were frequently breaking down, slow, broken seats, broken floor cover and inexperienced drivers. I wasted way too much of my vacation waiting for tenders!!! The excursions were poorly organized and poorly vetted. There was poor local knowledge of the ports by the staff. Having said that, there were many bright spots. great support staff! Housekeeping, wait staff, front desk, bar staff, all great. Very good food and drink. Fabulous day at prickly pear beach, the private beach event. Stay away from the beach excursion in antiqua. It's too long a drive,not a nice drive,and the beach was too rough for most. Many less fit swimmers had to be helped out of the surf. Also very shelly bottom. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We wanted to try a transAtlantic cruise and the 13-day trip from San Juan to Lisbon seemed perfect. We had delightful weather the first 10 days, interesting weather the last three. Our bad that we didn't realize that the trip was as ... Read More
We wanted to try a transAtlantic cruise and the 13-day trip from San Juan to Lisbon seemed perfect. We had delightful weather the first 10 days, interesting weather the last three. Our bad that we didn't realize that the trip was as much for maintenance as for our pleasure, so we can't complain that deck crews were occasionally in the way of outside activities. The cuisine was perfect. The wine list was very interesting. Crew were positive and professional. We didn't expect to be entertained, so the daily astronomy lectures, French conversation and trivia competition were a nice surprise. We will go again. If there was one small quibble, it is the antiquated wiring in our cabin. A lot has changed in the 30 years the Pride has been sailing. Most of us carry a variety of electronics, all of which need plugging in at some point. Our suite had three outlets, two in the living area and one in the bathroom. The 220 in the bathroom didn't work and the 120 in the main cabin couldn't seem to get a steady grip on the plug. It seems like rewiring the ship would be a daunting project, but something akin to the Bose docking station that sits in front of the old sound controls might make ours lives easie - a nicely installed power strip if the electrical system is up to it.. One other quibble: Embarkation was slow, hot and frustrating. The ship began boarding an hour after hotel check-out, so passengers were left to their own devices to find shade until the gates opened, which a hundred meters of shade beckoned just beyond the gate. Wait! One more tiny quibble: TV selection was pretty good with reasonably current movies, but one can watch the same documentary about the Panama Canal so many times. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We got an offer from WS for the Eastbound TA as a prior cruiser and it truly was an offer we couldn't refuse. We had always wanted to try the power yachts (or as someone I know calls them "baby Seaborns" since the boats ... Read More
We got an offer from WS for the Eastbound TA as a prior cruiser and it truly was an offer we couldn't refuse. We had always wanted to try the power yachts (or as someone I know calls them "baby Seaborns" since the boats used to be owned by SB). We opted for a BS1 on Deck 5. Up front let me state that we have already booked the same crossing for next year in the same cabin - we loved it that much! We flew down to San Juan and stayed at the El Convento right in the heart of Old San Juan - highly recommended. San Juan looks good, but in reality there was a lot of damage. We went to the pier at 11:00 and were told we could drop off our stuff but that they wouldn't be ready for boarding until 1:30. So we walked around, did a little shopping (including buying some booze to enjoy in our cabin) and arrived back around 2. After a little wait we were on board and another little wait while people checked in. No problem for us. There were 163 (?) passengers on the ship. In a nutshell this was the perfect escape. Great crew, very good food, nice entertainment and enough things to do if you wanted or nothing to do if that's what you needed. Bar and restaurant crew were all outstanding. Spa/gym was fine for what I needed (although an elliptical would be great!); men's shave done by the Spa Manager was one of the best treatments I've had on a ship. So why only 4 stars? There were some things operationally that WS didn't think through: it became evident, based on the Captain's daily report, that we were going to be running into some not so great weather as the days went on. Knowing that WS should have rescheduled some things, especially the Deck BBQ that EVERYONE was looking forward to. They should have moved it up when the weather/temps were favorable, but instead kept to the routine which meant it was on dreary, rainy and windy day so that they had to improvise and move it indoors. I understand the weather is out of WS's control, but they knew what was coming (since we were told every day to expect worsening conditions). The result was less than stellar food - Budhi, the head chef, and his crew did his best but - of no fault of his own - the event was just disappointing. This was the head office's call and they blew it. If they weren't aware of the situation then there was a breakdown in communication. This criticism may be nitpicking but on a crossing - when very few "special events" are expected - the special events that they did have should have been well executed. It wasn't. Again - we loved the crossing, met some nice people and just reveled in the sheer monotony of the day to day repetitiveness: wake up, eat, lay on deck, eat, read/nap, shower, drink, eat and go to bed. Get up and do it all over again. Not for everyone - totally for us! Hopefully next year these decisions will be made with a little more foresight. Regardless, I am hoping to see many of the crew that we met when we are onboard again - they really made the experience phenomenal. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our first small ship cruise, and we enjoyed it. The onboard experience was excellent. However, I’m not sure I would book another cruise on Windstar, due to the multiple frustrations of dealing with their business unit. The ... Read More
This was our first small ship cruise, and we enjoyed it. The onboard experience was excellent. However, I’m not sure I would book another cruise on Windstar, due to the multiple frustrations of dealing with their business unit. The cruise itself was great. We loved the spacious cabin, with the biggest bathroom we’ve ever had on a cruise ship — double sinks even! The walk-in closet was great for keeping things organized. We didn’t miss having a balcony as much as I’d expected. The toiletries were lovely L’Occitane products. We did learn to shower at less popular times if we wanted hot water. I especially appreciated the unlimited laundry package. For a very reasonable $10 per day per cabin, we were able to reuse clothes as often as we wanted, and to arrive home with a suitcase full of clean clothes, not nasty smelly ones. The only thing we didn’t like about the Star Pride were the low ceilings. My 6’3” hubby banged his head on several doorways and stairwells. He couldn’t use the treadmill in the gym because he hit his head on the ceiling with every stride. Advice to Windstar newbies: have seasickness meds available, and use them proactively! We have taken numerous ocean cruises with never a bit of discomfort, but we failed to anticipate how different a small ship would feel. The first day, a sea day, was very rough. As soon as I woke up, I felt ill. I could not even sit up in bed without vomiting. Hubby was also affected, but luckily not so badly. He was able to make it to Reception and get meds. We both had to lie in bed until afternoon, missing breakfast and lunch, but were able to enjoy dinner. After that, we took meds in advance of every sailing. The last day was still a little nauseating, but otherwise we had no further trouble. The staff were excellent. They knew everybody’s name by day 2! Also your cabin number, your favorite drinks and sides, your hometown, and so much more. We have never had better food on a cruise ship. The deck BBQ was one of the highest quality buffets we’ve ever enjoyed. We appreciated the small, unusual ports. Our favorite was the rustic and charming Les Saintes, Guadeloupe. We also especially enjoyed Anse Mitan (with the help of a private guide), and Falmouth, Antigua. One of the most impressive service incidents was when we were delayed from docking back in San Juan at the end of the cruise. We were supposed to dock at 7:00 AM, but even though the Coast Guard cleared us to dock, the harbor pilot refused to work in rough seas. We sailed back and forth outside the harbor for hours, until Windstar finally found another pilot who got us to the dock at 1:30 PM. Amazingly, the crew managed to serve a last-minute, unscheduled lunch. We’re not talking a tray of sandwiches! It was a full, normal hot lunch with cooking stations, and including complimentary beverage service. Kudos to the chef, kitchen staff, and serving staff for pulling off that feat! So the cruise was great. However, virtually every interaction we had with Windstar the company was a hassle. Here are just a few of the worst issues: 1. They overcharged us at final payment. The invoice they sent us showed a payment due of NEGATIVE $845. Even though their own invoice showed the error, it took two weeks to get a refund. 2. We were supposed to have an onboard credit of $500. It never showed up. Our travel agent contacted Windstar, and reported that they saw where it dropped off and were “seeing what they could do”. Every time we asked for an update, we got the same answer. I tried to contact Windstar, but they said they could not discuss it with me, only my agent. Five weeks later: still no answer, no $500. 3. The price of our cruise dropped $600 per person at the last minute. Since we booked under the old Price Assurance policy, we were eligible for an adjustment. Windstar denied us the adjustment. I asked our agent to remind them that we booked under the old policy, but she never followed up. Another couple on our cruise, who also booked under the old policy, received this adjustment. Our agent was negligent in following up, but that wouldn’t have mattered if Windstar had done the right thing, as they did for other passengers. I could give numerous other examples of Windstar HQ messing up our booking and excursions. Virtually every interaction we had with them was frustrating. So, even though we enjoyed the actual cruise, I would be very hesitant to book another Windstar cruise. I cannot recommend the company due to the hassle factor, even though we enjoyed the actual cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Prior to this cruise I had taken maybe a dozen Caribbean cruises. I chose this cruise primarily because I had never visited its five ports of calls and secondarily because I thought that it would be a step up from the norm in terms of ... Read More
Prior to this cruise I had taken maybe a dozen Caribbean cruises. I chose this cruise primarily because I had never visited its five ports of calls and secondarily because I thought that it would be a step up from the norm in terms of luxury. Following Hurricane Maria, Windstar changed the first two ports of call. In exchange, however, they agreed to upgrade my room one category from S1 to S2 and give me a $200 on board credit. The room was really nice. The food was excellent. We always ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet restaurant. The choice and quality were very good. In addition to the buffet items, you could order a select number of items from a menu e.g., pancakes, eggs, hamburger and fries. The dinners at the Amphora restaurant were outstanding. I sometimes ordered two entrees or two desserts. One memorable dinner was the best that I have ever had on a cruise ship. Overall the staff was outstanding -- everybody from the waiters, cooks, and steward to the men who helped us to board and alight the tenders. Other plusses: morning stretch with the Fitness Center trainer; exercise walks around the top deck; good internet connection in the computer room; Deck 5 hot tub; scones and tea in the Yacht Club bar. Minuses: There was not much to do in the evening. The two musical duos were OK, but we mostly retired to our room shortly after dinner. I would have enjoyed lectures, dance lessons, wine tastings, etc. Suggested beaches: Pointe du Bout on Martinique; Pain-de-Sucre and Pompierre on Terre de Haut; Shell Beach and Nikki Beach on St Barth. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We were apprehensive after hearing reports regarding the tenders and the bottled water and the condition of the Star Legend. But we were happily and pleasantly surprised to enjoy a wonderful sailing last week on this very special boat. ... Read More
We were apprehensive after hearing reports regarding the tenders and the bottled water and the condition of the Star Legend. But we were happily and pleasantly surprised to enjoy a wonderful sailing last week on this very special boat. The captain, James Griffiths, was very present, very funny and most importantly, very smart when it came to the safety and comfort of the passengers. We did have our Marigot destination changed to Phillipsburg due to the rough seas that made tendering unsafe. That was a good thing. The cabins on this ship are spacious and comfortable. We booked a "balcony" cabin and were happy that we did. It was wonderful to open the doors and step out to see the water or port. Tenders worked fine, and an outside chartered tender was added at one of the stops. The ports were great. Recommend picking up some bug spray especially for Jost Van Dyke. Montserrat was one of the best--yet, being new to tourism again, there isn't much regulation with cab fares and such, so negotiate pricing beforehand and don't expect a bargain. Fuel is very expensive here and it is not a cheap island to live on. Be friendly, be kind. Back to the ship: the L'Occitane amenities are full size and lovely. You may bring 2 bottles of wine or champagne on board for consumption in your cabin. Coffee in the front Star Lounge each morning is very nice. Food is very good, very fresh. Housekeeping is thorough and unobtrusive. the fitness center is small but well equipped with treadmills, weights and one rower. No elliptical machines. Did not use the spa, but looked great with Elemis products. Don't miss the Deck Barbecue! And if you are looking for a small table of two or four, get there early--these fill up quickly. Embarkation and debarkation are a delight--so quick and easy! You have to love these smaller ships--the experience is intimate and very calm. The crew is so friendly and kind. Wonderful experience! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Hello – DH and I recently sailed the December 19 – 26 itinerary of the Star Legend. This was our first cruise on Windstar, having sailed previously with Celebrity, Azamara, Paul Gauguin, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. We have sailed ... Read More
Hello – DH and I recently sailed the December 19 – 26 itinerary of the Star Legend. This was our first cruise on Windstar, having sailed previously with Celebrity, Azamara, Paul Gauguin, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. We have sailed the most with Celebrity (maybe 10 times in various cabins up to and including Aqua Class) and twice on the PG in French Polynesia. We are in our 40s/50s and enjoy active pursuits including scuba diving, windsurfing, snorkeling, sailing and other water sports. We also enjoy the food and beverage aspect of cruising. The main reason Celebrity became our favorite line 15 or so years ago is its reputation for excellent food. Sadly, the food quality on all of the lines has apparently diminished (in our experience and based on the many comments on Cruise Critic). Since observations about food are very objective, this review will not go into that in any depth. We found the food on the Legend good but with room for improvement. Many of my other comments have already been discussed in recent reviews, so I will try to cover new territory or answer questions that I have seen discussed on the boards recently. We flew directly to San Juan the day of the cruise, arriving about 12:30 pm, and went straight to the ship docked at the Old San Juan pier (not the Pan American pier where the big ships dock). Some information said that we couldn’t board before 5:00 pm but other info said 1:00 pm, so we gave it a try and were one of the first couples to board the ship when it opened shortly after 1:00. The taxi was about $25 with 4 pieces of luggage. Our stateroom 106 was on the fourth floor and it was beautiful – and although it was in the cheapest price category, it was the largest cabin we have ever had on a ship. Other people have discussed whether or not Windstar is a “luxury” line, so without taking a position on that, I can say that our cabin was truly luxurious to us. The appointments in the cabin exceeded the appointments in the rest of the ship IMO. Others have mentioned the firm mattresses and pillows. I did request and receive a softer pillow, and I was comfortable on the mattress. There were plenty of nice, wooden hangers – with normal hooks that can be lifted off and moved around – in the walk-in closet. There was a full-sized bathtub with a Grohe hand shower and brackets to attach it at two different heights. I didn’t have any problem with the shower and thought the water pressure and consistency of water temperature were perfect. We brought on two bottles of Champagne in our checked luggage and we bought a third at a wine store in Old San Juan later that afternoon. The policy is vague – whether it is 2 bottles per stateroom or 2 bottles per person – but in San Juan they are pretty flexible and didn’t even look at the one bottle that we were obviously carrying on. The cabins include a refrigerator and a selection of wine and bar glassware, including Champagne glasses, so we often enjoyed a glass of Champagne in our luxurious stateroom before dinner. Our attempts at room service (one breakfast and one snack after we missed lunch) were not satisfactory but we did not go hungry. The muster drill was at 4:15 pm. (I don’t know what happened to the passengers who obeyed the instructions to board after 5:00.) That was followed by the typical spa raffle at 5:00. DH and I were both happy with the spa treatments we booked. I will give a shout out to Genevieve who gave the best pedicure I have ever had and in addition was lovely and interesting. We walked around the ship to familiarize ourselves, and I can report that the library was well stocked for a ship of this size. We didn’t borrow any books but our visit resulted in meeting a nice couple that we socialized with at various times during the week. Entertainment consisted of two musical duos – an acoustic duo who played mostly indoors and the livelier “Splash” who played mostly at the outdoor bar. Both were good, but Tori, the female singer of “Splash,” fulfilled the dynamic role on the ship that is normally filled by a cruise director (talking between songs about their experiences in port, narrating the sailaways, engaging with the crew and passengers nearby, etc.). There was an organized presentation each evening about the next day’s port. We had purchased the laundry package at $109 per cabin for a 7-night itinerary, and we used it daily. It does not include dry cleaning but everything (including a linen shirt that was labeled dry clean only) came back fine. If you put the bag out by 9:00 am the clothes will be back by 5:00 pm the same day. We considered that a nice luxury and even sent bathing suits. Unfortunately, we had a blustery, rainy week but we didn’t let it spoil our otherwise nice vacation. The first stop being a good example. It was probably my favorite port even though we were subject to two downpours. I overheard both crew and passengers (just one of each) complaining that this was not a good port, so it depends what you are looking for. Culebra This was maybe the third sailing of this itinerary for the Star Legend which started sailing for Windstar in May. We had read unfortunate reports about the tenders before we left home. For those to whom this may be news, the Star Legend only docks in San Juan. All of the other ports are accessed by tenders that ferry the passengers from the ship to a dock on the island. The Legend is equipped with two tenders that are stored inside the rear of the ship. They were apparently designed to fit tightly inside that space and it appears they are the same age as the ship, or approximately 25 years old. They do not appear to have been maintained as well as the Legend herself. There were numerous problems with the tenders in the two sailings prior to ours and some problems on our sailing too. We were able to reach all of the advertised ports, unlike some of the prior sailings, however we consider ourselves lucky, and it is the tender situation alone that will prevent us from booking another Windstar cruise in the near future. We suspect and hope that management is squeezing the last drops of utility from those tenders and will purchase replacements in the near future. We were really looking forward to Culebra, which had been cancelled the previous week due to the tender problems, so we were happy upon boarding to see that Culebra was on the agenda for the first stop the next day. Culebra is the home of Flamenco Beach which is on most lists of best beaches so we were planning a self-guided beach day. I still recommend this. There is no need to rent a car or book an excursion. It is a small island with numerous taxi buses that cruise around looking for passengers. We paid $3 pp each way to Flamenco Beach and back. The taxis hold about 15 people so if they are not full the drivers call out to people on the road to and from the beach and in the little town (and this was the Sunday before Christmas). The beach is advertised as walking distance but it would be a pretty long and boring walk. The beach itself has restrooms and concessions, as well as life guards and picnic tables. We didn’t buy any food but my pina colada was about $7 and I think DH’s beer was $4. Two different downpours found us huddling with strangers under covered picnic tables but we enjoyed that. We did not enjoy the sand flies or similar biting creatures that left our legs covered in itchy red dots for 3 or 4 days. I highly recommend bug repellent for this location. The itching was so bad that both DH and I were awakened by it during the night and had to slather on more hydrocortisone. On about the third day I paid a visit to the ship’s doctor for alcohol swabs. He was nice and helpful, and there was no charge for a little thing like that. That evening was the welcome reception by the captain, so this may be a good time to let you know that our captain was James Griffiths. I believe he just came on for this cruise and had not captained the previous versions of this itinerary. Some other reviewers mentioned that they didn’t see enough of the officers, but I saw Captain Griffiths out and about plenty. We don’t seek out the officers or try to sit at the Captain’s table so maybe it is a matter of perception. It was a small ship, and I certainly saw officers. There is an open bridge policy (we did not visit) so anyone wanting to see the officers could certainly do so. There was also a galley tour but we did not take that either. Captain Griffiths was very personable during the welcome reception and I saw (and overheard) him eating meals with and chatting with passengers in a pleasant way. If he had joined us for a meal I would have welcomed him, but we were normally seated at a table for two. St Barth’s The first night we “sailed” to St. Barth’s which was probably the longest sailing of the week so that brings me to the motion. There was some. We don’t usually get seasick and we didn’t this time either. For those who needed it, there was a supply of meclizine out on the Reception desk for the taking. Since we were at anchor every day, the only motoring was at night and the motion was enough to wake us a number of times. We were in the lowest category and in the forward category so there were probably just a few less rocky cabins closer to the center of the ship. I don’t think I would pay extra to be in that low, center category if we had it to do over again, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be any higher either. I took extra sleeping aides (more than my usual) after the first night and they helped. Although when a crew member said they don’t take sleeping pills so they can respond in the event of an emergency, and then we had the news of the grounding of the Star Pride in Panama, I began to think that I should reassess my coping strategy of ear plugs, eye mask and two different OTC sleeping aides. We were happy to see St. Barth’s but it is now off the checklist. We rented a car and drove the whole island. We thought we might windsurf at a place known for windsurfing but it didn’t look interesting so we kept going. The tender made it back to the ship but just barely. The engine cut off 5 or 6 times during the pretty short trip. It was interesting to see all of the super yachts in the harbor. Montserrat We were advised the previous evening that our excursion was cancelled. This was the only Windstar excursion that we booked, and apparently we were the only two who booked it, so they cancelled due to lack of participation. It was a “Coastal Boat Tour” down the coast to see the volcano and the volcano damage from the water. After the full day in the rental car on St. Barth’s we did not have any interest in a bus tour so we took advantage of this morning to have our spa treatments. After lunch we took the tender to the island and walked around a little. There is not much to see where the ship tenders on the north side of the island but we wanted to support the tourism efforts by purchasing some souvenirs and drinks. Then we returned to the ship and were happy that the captain did a sail-by along the coast to see as much as we could through the clouds and fog. It is a desolate place. St. Martin The ship anchors in the harbor at Marigot, on the French side of the island. We have been to both the Dutch and French sides so for this day we had reserved a rental car to go to a windsurfing beach. On a previous cruise we did the America’s Cup excursion and we do recommend that as great fun. Unfortunately, our plans this day were disrupted by the tender problems. I think they were only running one tender this morning due to problems with the second tender. That led to back-ups of people trying to get off the ship. That was compounded by them using the one working tender to ferry groceries onto the ship. Then the tender ran out of fuel and had to be refueled – a “Keystone Cops” exercise of trying one side and then another to see how far the hose would reach - before we were finally able to make it to the island, at which time the rental car agency was closed and there were no cars available at the other agencies. We had waited for our tender in the Lounge for 1.5 hours – from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. When we finally got to the island and had no car we had a drink in the port area and went back to the ship for lunch and for our first (and only) use of the watersports platform. You can probably piece this together from other reviews if you are really interested but this day may have been the only day on this cruise that the watersports platform was open. Even on this day they only allowed swimming as the wind and current were too great for sailing, kayaking, and waterskiing. We heard various explanations for the closures on other days including wind, current and mechanical issues. The mechanical issue was not new as they supposedly encountered it in Europe also. Something about the hinge where the platform raises to the back of the boat to close it before they get underway. We were told that at some point in Europe it didn’t close and posed enough of a safety hazard that an itinerary was impacted. But we had a nice time frolicking in the warm water and lingering on the large foam floats that they fasten to the back, and we would not have had that opportunity if the tenders had been running properly! So all in all a nice day. (I am even shopping for a foam float like that to keep on our boat.) That evening (Wednesday) was the outdoor BBQ, which I understand is a Windstar highlight. It did not disappoint. The rain held off until almost the very end. In addition to the elaborate spread, including grilled lobster tails by the truck full, the evening featured music by both duos as well as music by various crew members, and then more music and dancing – specifically line dancing to many popular songs (think YMCA). It reminded me a little of the “crazy signs” that are a unique element of Club Med vacations. Both officers and crew led the dancing. Another shoutout to Tori of the duo “Splash” for acting as emcee. Jost Van Dyke We were here Christmas Eve and it was different than I had imagined. White Bay was very busy, very crowded with people and boats. I knew it was a favorite of cruisers but based on webcams that I had watched a few years ago it was nothing like this. Oh well, checked this off the checklist too. We were lucky to find a nice, quiet place that I will mention since we probably won’t be going back any time soon. The ship anchors in Great Harbor, and from the tender pier you can walk to the right to Foxy’s Beach Bar (closest) or walk up a hill (8 minutes) to the left and see White Bay spreading out below you. White Bay is the home of the famous Soggy Dollar Bar, but we stopped at the first beach bar we came to while walking, Ivan’s No Stress Bar, and had a lovely, clean beach with chairs for the price of a drink. We could have stayed there all day but wanted to see what all the fuss was about farther up the beach so after a couple of drinks at Ivan’s we walked over to Gertrude’s (beyond Soggy Dollar) for lunch. We took a taxi back over the hill to Foxy’s ($5 pp) for a souvenir and then went back to the ship. Foxy’s was dead by then because it was Christmas Eve. The ship was running Zodiac rides to Foxy’s that evening until 11:30 pm (not the tenders but a rubber Zodiac from the ship), but we didn’t feel the need to go back out. We had dinner in the main restaurant where we ate every night. We ate in Veranda for breakfast and lunch and were happy to have an alternative for dinner. Since this was Christmas Eve they had a traditional turkey meal, and although this probably won’t benefit anyone else at this point, I can report that the Christmas turkey was the best of any Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey that I have had on a ship (maybe off a ship too). Virgin Gorda (Windstar “Private Event”) This was not a stop at Virgin Gorda, but a stop at an island across from the Bitter End Yacht Club on the far end of Virgin Gorda, where Windstar presumably leased space for a private event. We have been to Virgin Gorda before so we didn’t mind, but I don’t think there was a way to get there if you wanted to go (other than taking the excursion offered to the Baths on the opposite end of Virgin Gorda that left at 7:30 am). This was a nice day, punctuated by two blustery downpours that had us hunkering under and holding onto the large beach umbrellas that Windstar brings onshore for the guests. We came over on one of the first tenders and did not have a hard time getting a shady spot for the day. We took advantage of snorkeling and kayaking, and also lounging on those floating foam pads. The lunch was adequate but not as elaborate as the Wednesday BBQ. Windstar offered a welcome rum punch but further libations had to be signed for. I understand the beach volleyball was exciting because we had a lot of young people onboard with their parents for Christmas. For anyone familiar with the private island experience of Paul Gauguin on Taha’a, this was not as elaborate but still a nice day. Disembarkation in San Juan There was no problem with our invoice so we needed only to pick-up our passports at reception and exit the ship about 8:30 am, last call for disembarkation. Veranda was open for breakfast until 8:30. There were no lines or crowds. We caught a taxi to the airport just outside the ship ($25 total vs $35 pp for a transfer). The only problem was the long wait at the airport and a flight that was delayed. We took advantage of the Global Lounge through Priority Pass, but the food was horrible so I bought snacks in the airport. Drinks were free and they were make-them-yourself. An alternative strategy, which we did on a prior cruise, is to check your bags at a restaurant in Old San Juan for the day and explore the city. There are a couple places that do this for a few dollars per bag. In hindsight this would have been better than the airport lounge, but arriving early meant we were through check-in in a flash. Hope this helps others considering the same itinerary! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
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