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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have sailed on all of the Windstar ships at least once and some more than once and this was one of the worst sailing experiences we encountered on any cruise line including Princess, NCL, Carnival, or Royal Caribbean. The deck crew was ... Read More
We have sailed on all of the Windstar ships at least once and some more than once and this was one of the worst sailing experiences we encountered on any cruise line including Princess, NCL, Carnival, or Royal Caribbean. The deck crew was there but almost non-existent. When able to get their attention, they were curt/rude. Tables at breakfast most days were left un-cleaned while guest stood waiting for a place to sit. Getting a refill on coffee...non-existent...had to fend for yourself. The food was average at best. The rear deck & bar were closed about 5 - 6 each evening. This should have been the "hot spot" on the ship! Great venue went unused. Tours were "fair" at best. A couple of them a waste of time and money. Our experience on past Windstar cruise was that within two days most of the principle staff knew us by our names. On this cruise, only our room steward could address us by out names. We'll look for other small ships for future cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise as we were more interested in the destinations it sailed to than the onboard amenities. This was our first cruise and it exceeded all of our expectations. The staff was wonderful, they couldn’t do ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise as we were more interested in the destinations it sailed to than the onboard amenities. This was our first cruise and it exceeded all of our expectations. The staff was wonderful, they couldn’t do enough for us. The ship was beautiful, especially during the times the sails were up. The food was out of this world. It was the best we had during our entire European vacation. I really can’t think of anything that Windstar could have improved on as far as the onboard experience was concerned. The only downfall was that some of the ports weren’t as picturesque as we’d imagined. If we would have done our research beforehand, we would have booked excursions at those stops. Windstar lives up to its reputation and I met many passengers who were experienced travellers with the cruise lineIt wasn’t an inexpensive vacation but it was worth every penny. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
WindStar WindSurf, booked 5/18, Dalmatian Coast and Italy. Terrific itinerary and lousy cruise. Staff was earnest at best and let's call it unresponsive at worst. Lack of planning at embarcations usually led to chaos. By all means, ... Read More
WindStar WindSurf, booked 5/18, Dalmatian Coast and Italy. Terrific itinerary and lousy cruise. Staff was earnest at best and let's call it unresponsive at worst. Lack of planning at embarcations usually led to chaos. By all means, do not purchase any of the excursions; as on so many cruises, these are considerably overpriced. On our trip, they were, well, rip-offs. Incompetent or disinterested tour guides (vendors) consistnetly failed to provide even the minimum offered in excursion descriptions. Worst of all on our cruise, and most surprisingly, service in main diningroom was more than once the worst we have experienced in almost 20 years of cruising up and down the price range: vanishing waiters, failures to deliver, missing follow-ups. Finally, we just left. Try another luxury line instead - even if, you guessed it, it costs a bit more. Based on our experience on this one trip, I'm disappointed to say: avoid WindStar. Service was so bad that I am motivated to post this review - my first anywhere, any place, about anything. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We traveled from Venice to Croatia to Montenegro to Sicily to the Amalfi Coast to Rome. This was our second cruise with Windstar and we were aboard the Star Breeze. The weather was gorgeous. The ship is immaculate. You can see the ... Read More
We traveled from Venice to Croatia to Montenegro to Sicily to the Amalfi Coast to Rome. This was our second cruise with Windstar and we were aboard the Star Breeze. The weather was gorgeous. The ship is immaculate. You can see the staff cleaning and polishing each day. The staff was excellent. They provide a very personalized service. By the second day, they knew our names and the kind of coffee that we liked for breakfast. The cabins are suites and are roomy. There is a walk-in closet, a bathroom with a double vanity, a king size bed and a living area with a TV. The food was very good. From the buffets to the a la carte menu to the BBQ on deck to the Discovery Event, the food was very good. We took a shore excursion each day to learn about the cities and culture. It is an easy way to travel without having to do the planning. Let Windstar do it! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Europe is incredibly hot and crowded in the summer, although still crowded for this trip. Did notice a drop in service level compared to prior Windstar cruises. Looks like they are pinching pennies in certain areas. Definitely less ... Read More
Europe is incredibly hot and crowded in the summer, although still crowded for this trip. Did notice a drop in service level compared to prior Windstar cruises. Looks like they are pinching pennies in certain areas. Definitely less focus on customer service from corporate side. Nice to travel with smaller groups, but don't fall for "travel in private yacht style". Excursions are very pricey and still bus group travel (with all the inefficiencies that entails. If you are the person who is always late, yeah, they will wait for you as you waste everyone else's time, so I guess it's your private yacht and not mine). Don't really see the value for the money when nothing is organized for my convenience. I understand compromise, but why market "private yacht style" when guests have little to no input on scheduling. And, be prepared for some nickel and dimeing on top of the already peak pricing. Won't bother with them again. Exclusive private event was a substantial step down from prior cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We enjoyed all aspects of the cruise. The food was excellent. The service from the entire crew was amazing. Best of all the places that we visited were fabulous. I would have to try very hard to find anything to criticize. The ship is ... Read More
We enjoyed all aspects of the cruise. The food was excellent. The service from the entire crew was amazing. Best of all the places that we visited were fabulous. I would have to try very hard to find anything to criticize. The ship is obviously older but is kept in great condition. Our room was fairly large and very comfortable. We were out of the room for most of the day and evening but it was certainly more than adequate in both size and amenities. It had a large seating area with a couch and 2 chairs and was very comfortable for the 2 of us. We even had room service breakfast several mornings when we didn't get around as early as we should have. The meals were there both times in 15 minutes and were always hot and very delicious and there was plenty of space to enjoy the meal in the living area. We enjoyed the the other guests on the cruise. Everyone was very friendly and outgoing. All the people that we spoke with had cruised with Windstar previously and had great things to say about their experiences. We did excursions almost everyday and really enjoyed all of them. I felt that they were a good value and were well organized. As I mentioned the ports that we visited were excellent. We enjoyed all of them with our favorites being Dubrovnik, Kotor and the Amalfi coast. We seemed to enjoy the coast ports more than the others and this trip had some of the most beautiful ports of any I could imagine. If there was one thing that I could say that stood out above others it might be the service.The crew did their absolute best to make sure that guests had as good a time as absolutely possible. It was genuine service too and not the fake kind that we have sometimes gotten in order to get a larger tip. Whoever trained and selected the staff should be commended. These people made everyone feel special and did their absolute best at all times. As mentioned on here in other reviews, the staff knew your name fairly early in the cruise and really offered personalized service. My wife and I both commented on how hard everyone worked. We will definitely be cruising with Windstar again and hopefully very soon. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I had cruised twice on Windstar's sailing yachts and enjoyed the cruises. When we decided to cruise in the Adriatic we choose the Star Legend based on it's reviews, the cruise itinerary and our previous experience ... Read More
My wife and I had cruised twice on Windstar's sailing yachts and enjoyed the cruises. When we decided to cruise in the Adriatic we choose the Star Legend based on it's reviews, the cruise itinerary and our previous experience with Windstar. It was an excellent decision. The ship was in excellent shape and the staff was outstanding. They were totally customer focused, friendly, talked to you by name and were helpful with information. We didn't take any Windstar excursions opting for private guides we arranged for ourselves. I was very pleased that the ship treated us the same as those who were taking Windstar shore excursions. We could disembark with no problem and were never held up waiting for the people on the excursions to disembark. Lastly when we anchored in Amafi my wife and I went ashore but it was a Sunday and the town was very crowded. Since we had previously visited Amalfi we returned to the ship and took advantage of their sports deck kayaking along the coast, swimming in the Med and for the first time trying out the paddle boards. The whole cruise was delightful and we will return to Windstar. . Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Having sailed on the Wind Surf three years ago, I must say that I was slightly disappointed with the STAR BREEZE experience. First of all the PROS - . very nice stateroom on deck 4 (130), large, confortable bed, wonderful shower and ... Read More
Having sailed on the Wind Surf three years ago, I must say that I was slightly disappointed with the STAR BREEZE experience. First of all the PROS - . very nice stateroom on deck 4 (130), large, confortable bed, wonderful shower and a very ample walk-in closet with plenty of room to store everything. . wonderful Itinerary, leaving from Venice, cruising Croatia, Montenegro and southern Italy, ending in Civitavecchia, Rome. . wonderful personnel at the Amphora Dining Room with a very special mention to AYU, CHARLIE and Raul who all provided excellent service to us (we were a group of 6 friends). - NEGATIVES . Absolutely NO ENTERTAINMENT whatsover. We were aware that the Star Breeze was not a cruise focused on entertainment, but aving cruised on the Wind Surf where there was a gentleman/crooner and an orchestra that allowed for dancing,we were disappointed with the two duos on the Star Breeze and did not especially like them. . there are no conferences, no classical music, no games, nothing at all. There is absolutely nothing to do after dinner except go to a bar (one of the bars, the Compass Rose, was freezing cold and they even had blankets there for the passengers). . "swimming pool" is a joke. it is nothing but a larger than normal bathtub, always absolutely hot and as soon as 4 people go in, it is overcrowded. Not refreshing at all. . there are not enough deck chairs on the two open decks. there is no service either. I had to look for a free chair and drag it to where I wanted to sit with absolutely no help at all from the crew. . food at the Veranda is always the same, both at breakfast and at lunch. Packaged vegetables coming from the freezer and on a cruise that stops daily at a different port, I cannot imagine why the chef does not got to the market for fresh ingredients. No quiches, no soufflés, no fresh salads with finely grated carrots, for example, or prosciutto and melone since we stopped at two Italian ports before arrival. We did not experience this lower quality of food on our previous Windstar Cruise - in fact, it was far superior to other cruises we had taken (this is our 12th. cruise). I would say this is not the case on the Star Breeze - the food is absolutely standard. . Tender service pretty bad. They always priorize the shore excursions from the ship and so we missed our chance of going to Capri from Amalfi, as we had intended. Very disorganized. Instead of handing out numbers in order of appearance at the lounge, no, they call out when the tender arrives and there are arguments. . Wifi terribly expensive and quite poor. Outrageous, this being the 21st. century! . Drinks on deck are hard to get - one has to go up to the bar, sometimes on the upper deck, to get one. . it amazes me that people cannot let go of their drinks when going into the "pool". Very annoying and very bad manners indeed. . shampoo, conditioner, etc., were not always replenished. . small chocolate left at turndown, again, always the same and NOT FRESH (chocolate had different colors a sure sign it changed temperatures). . NO CHOCOLATES left on the last night of the cruise. Our soft drinks were not replenished either from day 6 of the cruise. Cheap indeed! Big difference with our previous Windstar Cruise which was a 5*. On the whole, I would rate the Star Breeze as a 3*+ cruise. Do not know if we shall cruise with Windstar in the future. Another nuisance were the horribly loud passengers, but Windstar has no fault in this!! We asked to be moved twice at the Amphora restaurant. Not the same kind of people on our previous cruise. What a pity! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Used Windstar several times over 20 years ago. Recently tried Seabourn and Viking (river). Windstar charges for wine at dinner when others don't. Then they charge outlandish prices for wifi. Food great but also charged very high ... Read More
Used Windstar several times over 20 years ago. Recently tried Seabourn and Viking (river). Windstar charges for wine at dinner when others don't. Then they charge outlandish prices for wifi. Food great but also charged very high prices for shore excursions! The ship size of 100 to 200 cabins is what I am looking for. However, as an earlier respondent said, It was a very"Ala carte" cruise. Nothing included except good food and service. Reminds me of paying 250.00 for a room in a large city and then paying 1.00for phone calls....just leaves a bad taste in your mouth! The crew did a great job but the ship owners tried too hard to make as money as possible. As a last note, first ship I have been nowhere the Captain did not dine with some of the guests-ever. I won't be using them again. . Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I chose the cruise for two specific reasons - sailing ship and voyage highlights. Third time on Wind Star, third time did not actually use the sails for sailing power. Per corporate, should not expect the masted ships to actually engage ... Read More
I chose the cruise for two specific reasons - sailing ship and voyage highlights. Third time on Wind Star, third time did not actually use the sails for sailing power. Per corporate, should not expect the masted ships to actually engage in sailing. Will be a very rare occurrence. Won't bother to book again. Secondly, voyage highlight was to visit Plitvice National Park in Croatia, but then somehow, no such excursion offered. Corporate response: sorry if I felt their marketing was misleading. Final straw - Guest services manager answered my phone and cancelled the delivery of my lost luggage to the ship. I didn't ask her to answer the phone, only charge it since my charging cord was in the lost bag. Corporate says she acted appropriately in answering my phone, and they accept no responsibility for the $150 cab fare I incurred in order to get my bags from the airport. I realize it was a miscommunication on her part with the Croatian caller, but having taken it upon herself to answer my phone, AND inadvertently cancel my luggage being delivered to the ship, I felt Windstar should feel accountable - NOPE. Just hope nothing goes wrong if you book with them. Also, be aware that the excursions are VERY pricey and bus group travel (with all that that entails). I think describing it as "your own private yacht" is a real stretch. I could go on regarding that subject, but my suggestion is just to temper your expectations. It is wonderful to travel on a small ship, but don't expect "private yacht experience" when virtually every schedule is completely out of your control and not necessarily very efficient for the guests. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I have always loved Venice and my dream was to leave Venice by a sailing ship. We chose the May 17 th date because we wanted to sail out in the early evening when the light of Venice is what you see in the magical paintings. . We were so ... Read More
I have always loved Venice and my dream was to leave Venice by a sailing ship. We chose the May 17 th date because we wanted to sail out in the early evening when the light of Venice is what you see in the magical paintings. . We were so fortunate because we had the perfect evening, clear, warm with a red sunset. Needless to say it could not have been more perfect. The reflections in the water especially when we saw the La Salute Church, across from St. Marks was, it remarkable. The Wind Surf docked at the Sam Bascilio terminal and could not be easier to get to, take the # 2 vaparotto from almost any stop, from the stop at San Bascillio go over a tiny bridge and you are at the terminal. Easy and does not break the bank by using a wAter taxi. As described above not only was the the sail away beautiful the entire cruise was full of sensual delights. Our first stop being Rovinj a beautiful seaside village with incredible Italian influence, lovely harbor, friendly people. Split was stop #2 with the palace and on the outside a beautiful market. I love markets because I do believe they are the heart and soul of a culture. We choose not to go to the unusual beach because it was 70 and sunny but not warm enough to swim. Dubrovnik was our least favorite stop because it was loaded with touists, imagine when it is quieter it must be lovely. The Destination Event was there and it was lovely. We were bussed to a hilltop outside the city, offered a lovely selection of wine and appetizers and then went to an ancient outside arena to see a song and dance cultural show which was very entertaining. The view from the hilltop was beautiful with spectuacular views of the Adriatic with the Windsurf floating below. Great evening well planned and managed by Windstar. Kotor was our favorite stop the sail in and out was spectacular with the hills and mountains. Lovely, historic town. We went to the market with the chef which was really fun, the venders were very generous. The chef bought many items for the ship including the best honey we have ever eaten and fantastic cheeses and olives.Again, our sail out we had the beautiful red sunset. Day at sea calm and warm what could be better. Sicily is where the port was changed due to security and the G7. We had a private guide and went to the historic market in Catania. Great authebtic day. That night was a highlight of the cruise for us. We chose Candles that night and to our delight we again had a red sunset that sat over the Aeolian Islands that was beyond georgeous as well as a thrilling sail near Stromboli watching the smoke come out of the volcano. That evening was something we will never forget. Since we only had 5 hours in Almafi at the last stop we chose the ship's excursion, a boat trip to Positano, beautiful ride along the coast and we spent a lovely time in Positano. Very well organized excursion. The sail away beautiful following the coast. The food on this trip exemplary, healthy, varied, interesting, delicious and beautifully presented. The crew and service always the best. The ship looked great, she is really beautiful especially from those hill towns along the Dalmation Coast, looking down on her. We were very fortunate to have had nearly perfect weather and calm seas for relaxing and touring. Since were were in Italy 10 days before the cruise I really appreciated the laundry service so I could be comfortable with just using a small carry on. I hate checking and lugging. Dream come true again with Windstar. They made it easy, beautiful and exciting for us. Perhaps I should say " red sunset at night a sailor's delight" . That was this cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Up until this cruise, I would have said that the best cruise I ever took was in French Polynesia on the Paul Gauguin, back when that ship was part of the Regents Seven Seas line. This cruise, however (from Venice to Rome, with stops in ... Read More
Up until this cruise, I would have said that the best cruise I ever took was in French Polynesia on the Paul Gauguin, back when that ship was part of the Regents Seven Seas line. This cruise, however (from Venice to Rome, with stops in Croatia, Montenegro, Sicily and the Amalfi coast), may well have topped that one. This cruise was not inexpensive, but you definitely get what you pay for. EMBARKATION was smooth and painless. Since we were not using Windstar’s transfer offer, we did have a little bit of difficulty getting information about where and how to board. You do so at the San Basilio port, easily reached by the vaporetto, or water bus (riding this from the Rialto stop, as we did, is itself a pleasant and scenic experience). Once on board we had to spend about 45 minutes filling out forms, but then we were free to explore; an excellent lunch (carved prime rib) was already being served. THE SHIP is relatively small (a bit more than 300 passengers) and very nicely laid out. Cabins do not have balconies, but all have portholes, are spacious (by cruise ship standards) and are beautifully arranged for maximum flexibility. Every cabin has a TV with DVD player; DVDs are available for free checkout in the ship’s library. The TV has a variety of satellite news channels, both for liberals (MSNBC) and conservatives (Fox News); several movies also play repeatedly throughout the day. We never actually saw our cabin steward, but he was very accommodating when we left him notes. On our first day, he replaced, at our request, all the beer and other alcoholic beverages in our refrigerator and replaced them with complimentary cans of coke and diet coke. Our cabin was always kept spotlessly clean and of course there were the inevitable towel animals waiting us for when we came back from dinner. The ship has sails (a huge plus for my wife, who loves sailing) and although they are mostly for show, they are occasionally used. When they are unfurled, stirring music plays. Another huge plus: There is a marina at the rear of the ship from which you can check out kayaks and even a small Hobie sailboat (all for free). The marina is open (weather permitting) whenever you are in a port that requires tendering to shore, but my wife absolutely loved sailing on the Adriatic. There is also a huge float that makes for fun swimming. This is a high-end cruise and therefore attracts an older crowd; I’d say the vast majority of passengers were at least 50 and there were plenty of people over 70, though we did see a few honeymooners and other folks in their 30s and 40s. There are no youth or childcare facilities; the ship makes very clear that young children and teenagers are not preferred passengers. This was fine with us. DINING is superb. The principal breakfast and lunch venue is the Veranda, where you can eat either indoors or outdoors. The arrangement is “buffet plus”: a good buffet (in the indoors part), with a smallish menu from which you can order extra items if necessary. (One thing I appreciated at every breakfast was freshly squeezed orange juice, which was excellent.) Dinner is served primarily in the main dining room, the AmphorA, though one evening during the cruise there is an on-deck barbeque, including not only things like paella, ribs and steak but also lobster (and of course a ton of salads, appetizers, breads and desserts). All non-alcoholic beverages are always free at every venue (including the bars); a charge is made for alcoholic beverages. Food at dinner was usually first-rate, with a choice of five or six entrees. My favorites were the prime rib and beef Wellington. Dinner is open seating (just come when you feel like it; there may be a line), but on the second night we sat at a table with a great view and excellent waiters, so my wife and I made a point of requesting that table (#7) every night from then on, and always got it. In addition to AmphorA, there are a couple of specialty restaurants, for which a reservation is required (but there is no extra charge). We ate at only one, Candles. During the check-in, we were asked if we wanted to make reservations there that night, and after looking at the AmphorA menu and seeing nothing that we had to have, we said yes. This was a great decision, since Candles is outdoor seating and the views as we sailed away from Venice were wonderful. There is also complimentary room service, but as we never took advantage of this option, I can’t comment on its quality. THE PORTS ranged from satisfactory to memorable. Our three top ports were Dubrovnik, Kotor (in Montenegro) and Amalfi, all of which had great scenery. Gettting to Kotor requires sailing down a beautiful passage ringed by mountains; unfortunately we were a little late departing so we didn’t get the spectacular mountain views a second time, as the sun had already set. The captain did a good job of pointing out points of interest as we sailed, and one evening (I think it was after departing Sicily) he mentioned we would be passing Stromboli, which I had never heard of, but found out was an active volcano. We were lucky enough at one point to see lava not just glowing from the top of the volcano but actually shooting out in a spectacular eruption; sadly, neither my wife nor I got a photo of this. We were a little annoyed that the ship’s photographer did not have the foresight to set up her camera for the possibility of something like this happening; we would have been more than willing to pay for a photo of this event. If we were to do it all over again, we would book, in Messina, Sicily, the shore excursion to Mt. Etna. It’s expensive and time-consuming but Messina didn’t offer a lot of stuff to do; we spent about three hours walking around and then found a gelato place where we could get free wifi as well as gelato. (For some reason, gelato was not served on board, but regular ice cream was. I think it should be a law that a ship in or even near Italy must serve gelato.) ENTERTAINMENT on board is pretty minimal. That suited us fine; we are early-to-bed, early-to-rise types and wouldn’t have been able to partake of it in any event. Don’t count, though, on the typical comedian/impressionist/audience participation games that you find on the larger ships. DISEMBARKATION was mildly problematic, but that’s not the ship’s fault. Getting from the port where we docked to Rome takes some doing; we decided to kill two birds with one stone and booked a shore excursion to Rome, which left us off a short taxi-ride away from the Spanish steps, where our hotel (booked by us independently of the cruise) was. There was also a miscommunication between us and the shore excursion lady about what stops were made; both my wife and I were sure that at least one additional stop was promised, but the tour leader said no. As it is we stopped only at St. Paul’s Basilica Outside the Walls, and getting there on the tour bus took forever (traffic jams here are murder); there was no bathroom on the tour bus and I was in considerable distress when we finally arrived. I don’t know of any other reasonable and inexpensive way to get from the port to Rome, though. SUMMARY One or two minor glitches to the contrary, this was a great cruise. Both my wife and I will look forward to traveling with Windstar Cruises in the future. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Booked this cruise because of the ports in Croatia, Montanegro and Italy. The ship and service turned out to be the best surprise. Prior CC complaints by cruisers were nonexistent on this trip. The ship was well maintained. Our cabin with ... Read More
Booked this cruise because of the ports in Croatia, Montanegro and Italy. The ship and service turned out to be the best surprise. Prior CC complaints by cruisers were nonexistent on this trip. The ship was well maintained. Our cabin with an ocean view was very large compared to many of our prior cruises. A balcony was not needed The staff were very approachable from the Captain to the deck force. Food was great including the post Kotor sail away deck barbecue. The morning and lunch were informal but dinner was five star food and service. Basically the staff could not do enough for us and our two teenagers on high school break. The two entertainment couples were very good and could play everything requested. This is not a ship which entertains 24 hours a day or takes a hour to get to shore. On and off the ship were a snap. The historical ports were every positive experience we expected. Wind star gets an "A". Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We had sailed twice before with Windstar in the Caribbean on the sailing ships and their laidback, intimate style suited us. We chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was excellent in every respect. An example: there was a problem with ... Read More
We had sailed twice before with Windstar in the Caribbean on the sailing ships and their laidback, intimate style suited us. We chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was excellent in every respect. An example: there was a problem with the IT on embarkation, and after about ten minutes we were just told to not worry, go and have lunch and we will be told when it's sorted. We were given access to our cabins to drop bags, which were locked being us. Just a small example of how quickly problems are sorted on a small ship. The service, food and crew were outstanding. Very personal service. Bar staff quickly know your name and your favourite drink. Cabins were spacious and very comfortable. The officers were very visible and friendly. The captain was around the ship every evening chatting to guests. The complimentary private event was good, and the deck barbecue outstanding. Most of the ports were interesting, and we met some lovely people. Sail always were special, particularly from Venice. On disembarkation the captain and hotel manager stood at the foot of the gangplank and personally thanked every guest for sailing with them. That's personal service. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Hi Guys. So here's the deal... (I always like to use that, and it works well in this case) My wife and I started out dreaming about a perfect anniversary cruise many years ago. I got the first twinkle in my eye in January 2012. ... Read More
Hi Guys. So here's the deal... (I always like to use that, and it works well in this case) My wife and I started out dreaming about a perfect anniversary cruise many years ago. I got the first twinkle in my eye in January 2012. I remember it well -- we got a mailer from Oceania, and I started to think, "...yeah, we need to do a real blow out vacation for our 30th." The more I thought about it, the more I liked the notion. Maybe a land-cruise thing. Something original and unique. Not a tightly wound-up pre-cruise deal with some operator showing their tried-and-true tourist sites, all on board the comfort (?) of a bus with a strict timetable and pre-book hotels. On no. We like doing our own thing. I wanted a land tour on our own terms -- fly in somewhere exotic, rent a car, and see the remote areas a lot of folks have yet to discover. And I really liked it to be a lead-in for a fabulous cruise to follow. I wanted to try a cruise line we'd never experienced before. After watching a lot of Travel Channel shows, reading various websites, and pouring over countless mailers from the usual suspects, it started to gel. My wife became amused at the travel planner mode I'd slipped into. "Do you want to chip in?" I asked. "No," she said; she was very happy with me figuring it all out. "Just fill me in before we buy any plane tickets or cruise packages." I obsessed about this (in a good way) for the longest time. I had spreadsheets, itinerary options, brochures, you name it. I had budget plans and calendars. Before long, the boys were also amused at all my busy-work, which was a really neat hobby. I put up with a lot of gentle ribbing. "This isn't work, this is fun", I'd say to myself. Some people really like the razzle-dazzle of a big boats, and we'd done that before (Costa, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Carnival). Not this time. I wanted a SMALL ship. The entertainment on board could be minimal, for all I cared. I wanted a port-intensive cruise in the Eastern or Western Mediterranean. It had to feature Venice, Dubrovnik, and Kotor; those were places I knew would be fabulous. Anything else was gravy. Hopefully, we'd have an overnight stay in Venice, but if not we could book a pre-cruise night in a local hotel. I liked the comfort of something plush, but knew we didn't need or even appreciate the strictures of formality. Service was a big deal. I liked the idea of upscale cuisine. We weren't planning on doing any onshore excursions, and so we wanted ports that would be fun just to wander around on our own. As for the pre-cruise deal, I found out about Slovenia. I specifically discovered that Lake Bled was only a short drive to Venice, and it had unbelievably beautiful scenery, Germanic cuisine and architecture. PERFECT, right up my alley -- an alpine wonderland nestled in the Julian Alps, and we could get to our cruise easily when that was done. And then I finally settled on Windstar. And I am so glad we did. So here's the deal guys.... 1. There were two perfect itineraries that suited our needs, an 8-night Venice-Rome trip aboard the sailing yacht Wind Surf (departing October 1st), and a 9-night Venice-Athens trip aboard the motorized yacht Star Breeze (departing September 30th). I really wanted the romance of the sails, and the fleet's flagship would deliver. And Wind Surf's Italian itinerary at the tail end looked more appealing than Star Breeze's planned stops in Albania and Greece. But Star Breeze had all-suite accommodations, an extra night, and everything we needed for hundreds of dollars less. Go figure. TIP: Look for the best deals as the sailing date approaches. Best prices almost always hit about 60-90 days out. For now the motorized yachts (Star Breeze, Star Legend, and Star Pride) don't have quite the same prestige/wow factor, and tend to have better final pricing than Wind Surf, Wind Star, and Wind Spirit. 2. By all means, DO schedule a one- or a two-night land component (at a minimum) as a lead-in for an overseas cruise. You'll need that to avoid suffering from jet lag. TIP: Try a longer "land tour" if you can swing it. Try setting your own plans, because you can usually save money and proceed at your own pace. 3. If you want small and intimate, even romantic, try Windstar. There are others in the same smaller boat market niche (such as Seabourn and Silversea -- expensive!), or Azamara and Oceania (less all-inclusive, but nice). But Windstar is really unique, having a loose, but upscale vibe that was perfect for us. TIP: Try the three sailing hybrid ships for the ultimate in romance. 4. Stay away from Athens, in my humble opinion. A very dirty port, a rather run-down and unattractive city, and it remains prone to economic unrest. On the next to last day of the cruise, we found out the air traffic controllers in Athens were threatening a strike. It would have stranded us for days. Thankfully, the threat blew over, but it left us shaken. TIP: Of the two itineraries we considered, I think the Venice-Rome one would have been superior for that reason. So if airline scheduling and general safety are important to you, I think the Western Mediterranean is a more stable bet for now. 5. You'll LOVE Windstar's cabins, dining, service, and value for money. The service is especially noteworthy. Everyone we encountered made a point of learning our names and the smiles were infectious. Every time I passed through security when disembarking for a port activity, the guy there would say, "Good morning, Sir Danny!" It made me feel like a knight sallying forth to slay the dragon. TIP: Remember to give praise in writing for those that impress you, because Windstar takes note of that on their exit surveys. High performers are handsomely rewarded, tend to be promoted quickly, and stay with the company. 6. Here's my praise for the MVP of the cruise -- Marius, the cruise director (not sure of his actual title) was a hero for us. His daily presentations about each upcoming port were entertaining and accurate. He was frequently funny, and a standout star in the hilarious "Liar's Club" event one night in the lounge. And when we thought we were going to have to find an alternative way to leave Greece (because of the planned strike) he went out of the way to help us make arrangements. I taught him the Americanism "warm fuzzy" after that -- "Marius, everything you did for us was so accurate, so reliable, so completely credible that it was the first time all day someone gave me a warm fuzzy". (He was glad to find out that I was talking about a feeling inside rather than something unseemly.) 7. It was a real pleasure to link up with a fellow Cruise Critic contributor, who introduced herself in the main dining room, Amphora. TIP: It was fortunate that my avatar has my photo, and that helped the other person pick me out in the crowd. As you all know, fellow Cruise critic contributors can offer great advice! 8. One final thing, a minor quibble. If you arrive in Venice for a planned sailing from San Basilo Terminal, be forewarned that it is a long trek from the gate at the port entrance (near San Maritima Terminal) to the dock. Guards will force you to get out of your shuttle/taxi and make you hoof it. So plan on taking a water taxi from the gate if the weather is rainy or hot. TIP: This is where Windstar has a chance to improve. They need to put good information online explaining how to get to the San Basilo Terminal. Very clear, concise, from A to B to C. Very lacking there -- many of us have spent a lot of time online (to no avail) trying to figure this stuff out. Until then, I imagine Venice would be a better disembarkation port since Windstar can help with transfers. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We wanted a Eastern Mediterranean cruise and after researching all the options for Sept-Oct, the Star Breeze itinerary and timing fit us best. We have previously sailed with RC on larger ships and now i can't imagine going back to the ... Read More
We wanted a Eastern Mediterranean cruise and after researching all the options for Sept-Oct, the Star Breeze itinerary and timing fit us best. We have previously sailed with RC on larger ships and now i can't imagine going back to the big ships. The intimacy of the ship, the crew, the food and the people we met on board exceeded our expectations of a cruise. The ship seemed to be in great shape to us. Someone was constantly cleaning something at all hours of the day. The cabin (all suites!) was large with a big picture window, a walk-in closet and 2 sinks in the marble bathroom. The food was wonderful. The dishes in the main dining room change daily and I had a hard time decided what to order. There was a buffet as well and food ala carte for lunch and dinner. The chef is from India and for lunch one day he offered an Indian buffet. The on-deck BBQ is not to be missed...you'll be asking yourself, "how many lobster tails can i possibly eat". Skip dessert would be my advice...the apps and mains were much better. The staff in the dining room were friendly and remembered your name after the first day. So nice and accommodating. Dining outdoors at Candles was a great experience and not to be missed. The entertainment is the people you'll meet on board. You don't go on this type of ship for the entertainment. What we did enjoy was the nightly port talks, previewing the next day's port, the crew show and trivia in the Yacht Club. We also enjoyed when singers from Croatia were on board. We made use of the small gym...classes are free and the instructor is friendly and helpful. If you're over 6', you won't be able to use the treadmill because of the low ceilings. We enjoyed the jacuzzi on deck 5 in the front of the ship. It was never crowded (neither one was crowded) and it was a great place to enjoy the sunset. The Sailaway "ceremony" every night was great as well. I thought that the crew went above and beyond many times on this ship. We were informed of an emending air traffic control strike in Athens and the captain open the phone lines and provided free internet for the remaining 2 days on the ship. They also provided free transportation to the Athens airport for those wanting to depart the ship early. The ports were great...we enjoyed our daily hike to the fortress of the day. One day we signed up for the (free) trip to the market with the chef. The chef goes to the local markets in most ports to get fresh food and hitting the market with him was a great experience. The journey through the Corinth Canal was very cool to experience, as was entering Kotor. We did only one of the ship's shore excursion. It was a bit pricey but informative. The complimentary event at Magna Grecia was not that good. The food wasn't as good as we were getting on the ship and it seemed very touristy. The ship tendered in Dubrovnik which allowed the captain to open the watersports platform off the back of the ship. That was a real highlight...paddleboarding with Dubrovnik in the background. We swam and enjoyed the watersports for about 2 hours. It was great. We are looking forward to our next Windstar cruise but we will be sad that we're not traveling with the same great group of people and crew. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our 4th Windstar cruise and first time one of the motor yachts. While we love the sailing ships, the motor yachts are perfect for port intensive European trips. Cabins were large and comfortable. Loved the big TV and window. There ... Read More
This was our 4th Windstar cruise and first time one of the motor yachts. While we love the sailing ships, the motor yachts are perfect for port intensive European trips. Cabins were large and comfortable. Loved the big TV and window. There was even a walk in closet! Food and service were spectacular.The chef on board is very talented. We had so many amazing meals. Many were made with fresh ingredients bought that day in local markets. There was basically no entertainment onboard other than a few duo's singing and trivia. Rather than sitting at shows after dinner, passengers spent time talking to each other. A nice break from the 24/7 news cycle! There was an atmosphere on board which is hard to but into words. The staff worked very hard to make sure everyone was happy. Even an unexpected strike threat in Athens was handled extremely well. This was one of the best cruises we have ever been on! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
My husband and I sailed previously on two Windstar cruises over 20 years ago, first to Costa Rica and then Turkey/Greek Islands. We had such a memorable experience that we wanted to re-enact it again! The last cruise I had been on was a ... Read More
My husband and I sailed previously on two Windstar cruises over 20 years ago, first to Costa Rica and then Turkey/Greek Islands. We had such a memorable experience that we wanted to re-enact it again! The last cruise I had been on was a large cruise ship of 2000 passengers; a sea of people in a gigantic floating hotel. I told my husband I vowed never to go on a cruise that felt like I was being “cattle herded" We choose the Star Legend for its intimacy of being on a small ship (less than 200 passengers and almost a 1 to 1 ratio of passenger to crew members) and its yacht like experience. By "YACHT LIKE" I am referring to many advantages of traveling on a small cruise ship. The cabins were spacious with walk in closets & marbled bathroom stocked with comfy bathrobes and slippers. We rarely called housekeeping because our room was always promptly cleaned & well maintained during our breakfast and before getting ready for dinner. Overall the ship had impeccable service. Just as we had experience on previous Windstar cruises the crew makes the Cruise! It's a very personal and luxurious experience when everyone working on the ship remember your name and seemingly anticipate your requests. I was most pleased by the culinary experience i had on the ship. I have a passion of collecting and blogging about cruise ship vintage menus on the internet. One of my favorite excursions was having the Executive chef Jeffery Miller take the passengers on a tour to the local farmer and fish market. We helped him select the fresh ingredients for the entrees being served that day and in addition to teaching us about the Dalmatia & Italian cuisine he included everyone in a tasting of the local cheeses, olives, breads from the region. Each meal felt like a farm and ocean to table experience. And when it comes to special dietary request, they also surpassed in meaning the needs of the passengers with certain food allergies. Being gluten intolerant, I was happy that I could order anything I wanted off the dinner or breakfast menu and it was specially prepared for me. One evening when couldn’t make up my mind between two entree’s whose descriptions were equally mouth watering, my server happily brought me both dishes! Most importantly we choose the Italy & Dalmatian coast destination because for the calmness of the Adriatic Sea & quaintness seaside villages. We were really lucky to have superb sunny and warm day in September that allowed us maximize the tours offered by the ship. Voyage leader have to biggest responsibility of making sure everyone on the ship has a good time on the tours and our charming leader Alina did not disappoint us….She could spot that I was a foodie a mile away and she recommended all the best epicurean and wine tours. My favorite was the The Truffle Experience in the Rovinj port in Croatia. Our tour guide was funny and well informed about the history culture of Croatia. Who knew that the necktie was invented by the Croatians!! After meandering the cobbled streets of the walled in city of Motovun perched high up in the mountains with truffle forest and olive groves, we had an sumptuous truffle lunch complete with Croatian wines! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Our cruise was called Venetian Passageways. Overall iit was excellent. All the ports of call with the exception of Albania were very interesting. Everyone loved swimming in the sea and water sports from the Marina deck while the ship was ... Read More
Our cruise was called Venetian Passageways. Overall iit was excellent. All the ports of call with the exception of Albania were very interesting. Everyone loved swimming in the sea and water sports from the Marina deck while the ship was anchored off Dubrovnik. The open deck barbecue night followed by line dancing was sensational. Other highlights included Windstsr's complimentary private event which was a visit to an Olive farm in Greece. This included wonderful entertainment with Greek dancing and a delicious complimentary lunch, including wine. The journey through the Corinth canal was amazing and we were so lucky that the weather for this was perfect. The food quality on the cruise was excellent. The only problem on the cruise was that the air conditioning broke down about 3 nights towards the end of the cruise. This also affected the crew of course. However this was fixed after about 36 hours and Windstsr have offered passengers a very generous comoensatory discount off future bookings. Would highly recommend. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Despite rather spotty reviews regarding Star Pride and the fact that it had a grounding episode last fall, we decided to give it a try. That was based on several factors. First, it fit with the rest of our travel plans and was the right ... Read More
Despite rather spotty reviews regarding Star Pride and the fact that it had a grounding episode last fall, we decided to give it a try. That was based on several factors. First, it fit with the rest of our travel plans and was the right length cruise. Second, we had sailed twice with Windstar on two of their sailing vessels many years ago and had really loved it. Third, the ship had just gone through a major refurbishment. Fourth, an offered package including liquor, tips and unlimited wi-fi was attractively priced. Lastly, the itinerary looked appealing, combining some ports we had previously experienced like Dubrovnik and Kotor with new stops in such places as Rovinj, Split and Giardini Naxos. It appeared that the ship's refurbishment was still a work in progress. The crew was constantly working on finishing up things such as painting. As a result there was often a smell of fresh paint on certain parts of the deck, a little off-putting if you were trying to nap and relax. There were recurrent problems with the plumbing leading to repeated reminders not to put certain objects down the toilets. There was also often a sewage smell in the mid-ship elevator and one of the aft elevators was frequently out of service. The wi-fi service was at best inconsistent. HOWEVER, all that being said we found most of the ship, including all the public spaces, to be very pleasant and enjoyable. At 277 square feet the cabin was very spacious with plenty of closet space, a nice sitting area and a bath with twin sinks. However, continuing with the theme of incomplete refurbishment, the carpet was old, stained and not stretched tightly. That needs to be remedied. As a "French balcony" it was really usable only as a sliding glass window. Don't plan to eat breakfast on the balcony. Absolutely one of the strong points of this cruise was the food service. We ate in both the Amphora dining room as well as the special, reservations required, Candles. Both were excellent, with Candles edging out Amphora for great food and ambiance. Breakfast and lunch were in the same area as Candles, though it was now called the Veranda. We actually enjoyed getting a cup of espresso and a roll in the Yacht Club each morning where we could watch the sail in to the next port. Beer, liquor and wine choices were all excellent, though we did wonder why they didn't have any wines representing the countries in which we were stopping. The Executive Chef, Darin, was super and very responsive to passengers' requests. Entertainment was by two duos, all very good musicians. One of the signature activities on Windstar has always been the "Sail Away" as they pull out of port each afternoon while playing the theme from the movie, "1492". It comes across a little contrived on the motor yachts compared to the sailing vessels, but still something that everyone enjoyed as they had an afternoon cocktail. Service: what can I say. Service was beyond excellent. From the bar to the dining room to our lovely cabin steward, Luis. My wife was on crutches with a leg injury. Luis had an ice bag waiting every evening when we got back to the cabin. That's just an example of the superb, personal, caring service from this mainly Indonesian and Filipino crew. The boat personnel helping my wife into and out of the tender was another example of the great service. This was an excellent itinerary, from Venice to Croatia, Montenegro, Sicily, Capri and back to Rome. We did a couple of the offered shore excursions and they were generally very good with excellent guides. The "private event" in Dubrovnik was special with local singers and dancers, though the hors d'oeuvres were nothing to rave about. It did give us time to get a seafood pizza in Dubrovnik before boarding the last tender back to the ship. As always, you might be able to do better shore excursions if you arrange your own. Still, I would not have wanted to miss Trogir, Taormina or Our Lady of the Rocks in Kotor Bay. Overall, this cruise on a yacht that held only about 200 passengers was very, very enjoyable. There are a few rough edges Windstar still needs to work out on these converted Seabourne yachts, but I think they will do that. We are already considering where we would like to do our next Windstar cruise. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
On one of Star Pride's first cruises coming off of a very long dry-dock to the tune of $4+ million, I must say we found the ship looking great, and it was hard to believe she was first launched in 1988. Lots redone to the public ... Read More
On one of Star Pride's first cruises coming off of a very long dry-dock to the tune of $4+ million, I must say we found the ship looking great, and it was hard to believe she was first launched in 1988. Lots redone to the public areas - besides the new flooring, the designs of the two restaurants were tweaked and improved. Library updated, screening room replaces the old card room, main lounge redone. New pool added, deck above the pool was actually widened to allow for loungers. I didn't see them, but heard that the Classic Suites were totally redone. Service was exemplary, with a high staff-to-guest ratio. Loved our very friendly and engaging crew who made our experience even more personalized. Many remembered our favorite beverages and menu choices. We very much appreciated the ship keeping us hydrated (our ports were very warm and humid), offering bottled water as we went ashore, and setting a large bottle of water and glasses on our nightstand at night. I had heard that many of the crew came from other Windstar ships, along with the new Captain. One day in port, the Executive Chef invited any and all to accompany him to the local markets to shop. Great fun and lots of samples. While the dining choices in the restaurants were delicious enough, he was very open to suggestions. I think Windstar is all about the itinerary and ports, so onboard activities were kept to a minimum. Port talks almost every day, and a small handful of organized amusing activities (games) and two musical duos performing after dinner. But this was an active itinerary (only one sea day) and most of the ship seemed to disappear into their cabins by 10:30 PM. We loved the open dining option, no formal dressy nights, and plenty of two-top tables if you wanted a romantic dinner for two. Otherwise, it was easy to strike up conversations and share tables, as most of our fellow passengers were amiable and well traveled. Shore excursions were low-key, and it seemed that many passengers were well-versed DIY-ers who planned their own independent excursions. We did a mixture of independent and ship tours; big kudos to the Mt. Etna/Taormina excursion that took us part-way up the volcano (unexpected) for a fun lunch and exploration of the craters. Our only criticism - and it is a very small one - is the limited menu offerings between the time lunch service ends (2 PM) and dinner service begins (7 PM). While we generally had a small lunch or snack onshore, if we came back to the ship after 2 PM the only option was a few sandwiches and desserts up in the Yacht Club lounge. Would love to see this expanded to include a few salads (green, veggie, pasta) and maybe some chips with those little sandwiches. Cheese, crackers, fruit would be another idea. This was our first Windstar Cruise and it definitely will not be our last. If you want a solid easy-going, sophisticated cruise, unstuffy, unpretentious, IMHO this is the way to go. And because it's not all-inclusive, you don't feel like you are over-paying for what you don't use (e.g. alcohol). Most of the ship reviews are from 2015 and older; with the new Windstar president/leadership and policy changes, there's a bright light at the end of the tunnel for future Windstar cruisers! Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Rarely does a second experience live up to a perfect first one but in the case of recent Windstar cruise, this is the case. Three years ago, we had the cruise of a lifetime on The Wind Star, highlighted by our marriage on board with ... Read More
Rarely does a second experience live up to a perfect first one but in the case of recent Windstar cruise, this is the case. Three years ago, we had the cruise of a lifetime on The Wind Star, highlighted by our marriage on board with Santorini as the backdrop. The Windstar experience was beyond our expectations and created such indelible memory for all of us that my wife and I decided that we must celebrate our 3rd anniversary with another Windstar cruise. Once again, we were fortunate to have all 3 of our adult children join us, although it was obviously not too hard to convince them! This time, we decided on the Star Breeze’ Italy and Dalmatian Coast itinerary. While the sails of the Wind Star create a majestic and awe-inspiring visual experience, the spaciousness of the cabins, all suites, and increased deck space of the Windstar motor yachts, such as Star Breeze, compensate for it in a different but equal way. What is not different is the warmth and feeling of being amongst friends from the minute you step aboard. For those of you who remember the TV show Cheers and the line from their theme song, “where everybody knows your name”, you would be able to easily apply that to the Star Breeze crew. From the minute you step aboard, somehow magically, the crew know you by name and immediately start to pick up on your desires and likes. You really feel as though you are on a private yacht and that you have known these people for much longer than a day or two. On big ships, other guests pass you anonymously and you are part of a large “pack” that moves around from activity to activity or reservation to reservation. On the Star Breeze, you almost immediately start to develop conversation an in many cases, friendships, with your very select 200 or so shipmates. You find yourself interacting and smiling much more than you though possible. You also do not have to worry whether you made a diner reservation or if you are running late, the Amphora dining room staff works on your timetable and when you show up for dinner, your table and very smiling, attentive staff are there waiting. Once again, Windstar did those little “extras” that mean so much and make you feel very special. We were welcomed onboard with a bottle of champagne and a beautiful flower arrangement waiting for us in our suite. We were then given a special Honeymoon gift of a professional family photo shoot, champagne at dinner and breakfast in bed. While most hotels or cruise lines would give a guest a mediocre bottle of champagne, ours was our favorite, Veuve Clicquot. This is just one more example of how Windstar shows how much they value their guests. Windstar’s itineraries have allowed us to experience more of each port of call as well as visit ones that we would never have even contemplated. Rovinj, our first port after departing Venice, was absolutely idyllic. The cobblestone streets and small shops that dotted the mountainside were only equaled by the incredible truffles sold in the local market. This is a port that no large cruise ship could visit nor would it be welcomed. Our ship at 214 passengers did not overrun the small town and allowed us to get the feel of a local Croate village. This is what true travel should be! In Dubrovnik, we sailed at 11:00 PM which allowed us to experience the Old City by gas lantern-light, truly a trip back to the Middle Ages and a page out of Game of Thrones. Overall, Windstar has once again given my family and I a truly memorable experience of not only fantastic ports but also of new friendships made and eager anticipation of our next Windstar cruise! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Even though everything didn't go perfectly on this cruise, the staff on Wind Surf did everything in their power to make it memorable and special. There's just a feeling on Windstar cruises--the crew seem genuinely happy to be ... Read More
Even though everything didn't go perfectly on this cruise, the staff on Wind Surf did everything in their power to make it memorable and special. There's just a feeling on Windstar cruises--the crew seem genuinely happy to be there, the views are so gorgeous, the other passengers so pleasant. There's no fighting over deck chairs, no scrambling to get the best seats, no worry you'll get reservations to the restaurant of your choice. There's a feeling like, "Relax. Chill. There's enough of everything and they have it all planned out." From the time I arrived at the airport at Venice and a Windstar agent was waiting to take us to our hotel, I just feel relaxed and taken care of. The food on t his cruise was even better than the food on Windstar, the last ship on this line I cruised, and that's really saying something! There was more variety, I think, more food from local markets featured in all three meals. I honestly couldn't have imagined fresher, more appealing meals than all of those that were offered--I can't think of one that wasn't really delicious. In the city where I live, I can't get food anywhere this good! Yes, the entertainment isn't great (although I liked the duo Splash). But really, the entertainment is in the vistas all around you and the conversations with other passengers. We didn't get to have our signature event, which was supposed to be a cocktail party with folk dancing in Dubrovnik. The lead dancer died that day, so you couldn't fault Windstar for that. And they brought in some folk singers on to the ship instead (not the same, though; I didn't care for them much). Our deck barbeque had to be moved indoors because of weather, but it was delicious and brilliant all the same--they work so hard on this! And we missed one of our ports, Capri, one of the ones I was most looking forward to, because it wasn't safe to tender (seas were too rough). The usual captain of Wind Surf was on vacation, and the substitute captain had an emergency, so the first officer became captain for his first time ever. Even with all of this, though, there was such sincere desire to please the passengers and make their vacations memorable that I think the crew cared more about the things we missed than we did. The ports of call were great, the available tours were outstanding, our cabin was comfortable and so well taken care of during our voyage (thanks, Azhar!) that it was just overall a really great vacation. Windstar, you've spoiled me! Read Less
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