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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We had seen most of the Med on previous cruises but had missed the North Italian coast and the French Riviera. This cruise fit the bill with 3 Italian ports ,Monaco and 3 French Riviera port stops. Unfortunately a week before the cruise my ... Read More
We had seen most of the Med on previous cruises but had missed the North Italian coast and the French Riviera. This cruise fit the bill with 3 Italian ports ,Monaco and 3 French Riviera port stops. Unfortunately a week before the cruise my wife became ill and needed a wheelchair temporarily to get around. I considered cancelling all of our excursions but the Destination Manager assured me they would get us on our excursion and get the most out of the cruise as we could. And they did exactly that going way out of their way to insure we saw everything we came for. Only had to cancel one excursion in Monaco that just couldn't be done in a wheelchair. Everywhere we went on the ship they went out of their way to accommodate us and make things easier. I can't say enough good things about the crew. The food on the ship was absolutely delicious and with 3 dining area on a small ship we never had to wait. The wait staff was efficient and quick with a recommendation. With just over 300 passengers the crew and passengers soon became very familiar with each other. I have never seen ship's officers so visible and everywhere on the ship. The Captain and all other senior officers seemed to be greeting passengers all over the ship including when we arrived and disembarked the ship. Staff interacted with guests at a crew talent show, line dancing and other events. The cabin, while not significantly larger than most cruise cabins, had a generous amount of storage. We usually are fighting over hangers and drawers but not this time. The bed was fine and the bathroom adequate. The ship is definitely showing it's age. At almost 30 years old you can tell it has undergone many paint jobs and renovations. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it but you could still see many things that would be designed differently today. Still, to be on a sailing ship with all the sails up through the Med was quite an experience. A great feature was the back swimming deck. With all the toys you could want you could swim, snorkel, kayak paddleboard or have the crew tube you around the ship. While the ports were very important and interesting, the ship and crew were the highlights of this cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
we have sailed on many of the standard cruise lines (but will never on those huge 6k passenger ones). we sailed last January on the Windstar windsurf in the Caribbean and thought we'd try one of Windstar's motor- only ships, ... Read More
we have sailed on many of the standard cruise lines (but will never on those huge 6k passenger ones). we sailed last January on the Windstar windsurf in the Caribbean and thought we'd try one of Windstar's motor- only ships, from Barcelona to Lisbon. what a nice trip. the food was great. the ship was very stable even in some rough seas(we missed our last port because of rough weather). we did not hear our neighbors at all (we had deck 4, cabin 132). one deck down to dinner. 3 flights up to bfast. good location. Deadora keeping our room was super. ALL other passengers were very friendly. crew was always friendly, with a good, real smile. the rooms are really large, beds very comfy. bathrooms plenty of room. good bath/shower. on this cruise we always docked. in Seville we actually went up the river to the city til could not get under bridge. always good locations. we took bus tour in most ports, to towns off coast. always clean and neat. very walkable. went to compass rose lounge with duo 'sophistication' often. good music. fun time. not many up for dancing tho. show put on by crew was really good. very talented. note that even tho this ship has a sports platform aft, it was never open as an option. we never minded, but at least one fellow passenger was very disappointed. this cruise was more costly than many. but was a great splurge! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Cruise review Tauck - Small Ship Cruising Treasures of Spain & Portugal (Eastbound - Lisbon to Barcelona) April 19 - May 1, 2017 By Ken Montgomery- Irvine, CA Summary - This was the initial cruise for Tauck with this ... Read More
Cruise review Tauck - Small Ship Cruising Treasures of Spain & Portugal (Eastbound - Lisbon to Barcelona) April 19 - May 1, 2017 By Ken Montgomery- Irvine, CA Summary - This was the initial cruise for Tauck with this itinerary and this Windstar ship. Thus, this trip was a bit of a shake down cruise, but Tauck did their usual up-scale fantastic job. The ship for the cruise portion of the trip was the Windstar Star Pride, a first class smaller cruise ship. Portugal & Spain have great ports for the cruising industry and there is a lot to see within range of their port cities. The itinerary required a moderate amount of walking and a fair amount of stair climbing and bus boardings. The weather was generally cooler and windier than normal for the area, but we didn't have much more than a few sprinkles. Early May might be warmer and more conducive to cruising. Pre-Trip. Landed at Lisbon airport Tuesday morning around 8:00 am, breezed thru Passport Control in under 5 minutes. Tauck met us and 4 other couples at the airport and drove us to Intercontinental Hotel and the rooms were ready! I think Tauck had something to do with that, but no guarantees on the early check-in. The high season in Lisbon hadn’t quite started yet, so the hotel could get us in early. After a nap, we rode the “Hop on- Hop off” bus for a few hours, which was a great introduction to the City. The hotel was very nice and has a great breakfast included. We even had a nice view of the City and river Tagus from our 14th floor room. Wednesday (on our own)- Before we left home, we set up a Viator trip to Fatima and the Atlantic Coast (north). We lucked out, this was a great trip. We walked to the pick up point, the Hard Rock Cafe corner, about a 25 minute downhill walk from the hotel. Our tour was in a nice Mercedes van. There were a total of 7 passengers and a great guide, Pedro Dos Santos. He gave commentary in Spanish and English and drove professionally at the same time. We got back at 7:00pm, so we missed the cocktail party portion of the Welcome Party. The announcements were made after dinner, so we caught that. Viator booked the tour (on-line, very easy) and "Inside Lisbon Tours" operated the tours. There were about 8 tours leaving from the Hard Rock Cafe corner at 9am, so there was a lot of confused customer milling around until a driver showed up and announced the 7 or so names he or she was taking. This was a little bit of a chaotic way to start the tours, but everyone was off on their way within 10 minutes or so. Tauck Tour Day 1 of Tour - Wednesday evening- Intercontinental Hotel - Lisbon - Welcome Cocktail Party & Dinner 6:00 pm at Intercontinental Hotel. Nice dinner and a good way to meet fellow “Tauckies”. Day 2 - Thursday- Lisbon Highlights bus tour - 9:00am to 1:30 - lunch and rest of afternoon & dinner were on your own. The Tauck bus will leave you near in the City Center or take you back to the hotel. Most people left the bus in the City Center and continued on foot. Our tour guide showed us a few restaurants and then left us on our own. We walked down to the Tagus River front and found some nice restaurants with a view of the river Tagus. We then rode a few more routes on the Hop on Hop off bus. There are 3 companies doing this, and they all seam to stop at the same stops. You can buy a ticket on board with Euros. Each company has 2 or 3 routes with each route taking about 90 - 100 minutes. This is a great way to see the City. Bring your own ear phones, the ones they give you are low quality. Day 3 - Friday - Lisbon - Bags out at 6:45m, bus tour to Sintra and other stops west of Lisbon. We got back to Lisbon to board the Windstar Star Pride around 2:30pm. There were 40 Tauck passengers on the 212 passenger boat. On this cruise there were a total of 170 passengers. The check in process was quick and efficient. They kept the restaurant open until 4:00 so the 40 Tauck passengers could eat a late lunch. The bags were in the room when we arrived unless your bag had a bottle in it as shown in an X-Ray. We had a bottle of wine in one of our bags and we received a call to come down to security, they wanted us to open that bag. You can bring 2 bottles of wine with you, but no bottles of liquor. If your bottle turned out to be liquor, they kept the bottle and promised to return it at the end of the cruise. The mandatory safety drill was at 4:15. The Tauck passengers then had their nightly cocktail hour at 6:00 pm in the Compass Rose (deck 6) where you could get free wine or cocktails & peanuts. This was a very nice nightly private party. Announcements were made during the party about the next day's activities. You also received a copy of the Tauck itinerary in your room. You also received the Windstar daily itinerary. Reception distributed a small English language world news summary. Dinner was at 7:00 pm nightly in the main dining room. Windstar has open seating and one upgraded restaurant where the menu is a little nicer. Tauck customers received free house wine at dinner. The wine was excellent. Friday night had rough seas, hard to sleep. Due to the rough seas, we arrived in the next port 2.5 hours late. Day 4 - Saturday: Portimao, Portugal- the Tauck bus tour left the ship at 11:30. We returned to boat for lunch and then boarded the bus again for an afternoon wine tasting trip. Back to boat at 5:20, the boat sailed at 6:00 pm. My wife & I had dinner in the special restaurant, and the food was a notch above the main dining room. Had a table outside in the setting sun, and it was not windy. Saturday night was smooth, no big seas, good sleeping. Day 5 - Sunday - Seville, Spain - we boarded buses in Cadiz and drove to Seville. Due to weather and sea state caused delays, we didn't have time to take the ship up the river up to Seville, which would have been nice, beats a long bus ride. Spent a full day seeing Seville, then back to the Ship by 6:30. The Tauck cocktail hour lasted till 7:30 and then onto dinner. The bus rides were about 2 hours each way including a restroom stop at the halfway point. Weather was cool in the morning and low 80s in the afternoon. Seville is a great City for tourists and the Tauck guides got us to the front of the line - always. Day 6 - Monday -Gibraltar- we docked at noon. We did a 2 hour tour, then back to the boat at 4 pm, or you could stay in the town and walk back. Boat departed at 10 pm. Weather was in the mid 60's. No Cathedrals today! The "Rock Apes", (monkeys) were very cute and photogenic. Windy day! Day 7 - Tuesday - Malaga, Spain. 9:00 am depart for Andalusian Manor Hacienda La Esperanza. Our group of 40 was treated to a private visit, horse show and tapas tasting, back to ship by 1 pm. At 2:30 pm we left on a Malaga sightseeing tour and a walking tour thru the Old Town where you could visit the Picasso art gallery. Temps in the 70's, not much walking. Day 8 - Wednesday. - Almeria, Spain. - Departed at 8:00am for 2.5 hour bus ride, including a bathroom stop, to Granada. We had a tour of the amazing Alhambra Palace and lunch at the Alhambra Palace Hotel. Back by 5:30pm. The Windstar ship crew put on their big BBQ that night on deck 7 despite the wind, with dancing on deck afterwards. Temps in the mid 60's. there were a fair amount of walking and stairs in this visit. Day 9 - Thursday - at sea- cold, windy, rocky, not a lot to do. We were glad we brought some “Great Courses” DVD's with us. Our Tauck tour director gave us a lecture on the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), which was very interesting. There is a lot less to do on days at sea on a small cruise ship compared to large cruise ships. Windstar should work on this. Give us a few lectures or even video presentations about upcoming ports. It was too cold to sit outside for long. If the weather was warm, I’m sure everyone would have been on deck getting sun. Day 10 - Friday - Palma de Majorca - a beautiful city, we had a tour of the city in the morning, lunch on the ship, or stay in the city, then a visit to a private palace with a folk dancing performance with wine & cheese in the afternoon. Great weather, high 60's and sunny. Day 11 - Saturday- Barcelona - disembarkation- bags out before 5 am, which means the night before. We left the ship at 8:45 am and then toured the major sights of Barcelona, an amazing city. I love how Tauck gets the group to the front of the line, we never waited in line. We checked into the El Palace Hotel around 4pm, very nice hotel. Most people walked the Las Ramblas and found a place for dinner. There were lots of choices. Weather was cool and windy. Day 12 - Sunday - Barcelona - met the bus at 8:15 for another day touring Barcelona. We had a private organ recital in the "Music Palace" (Palau de la Musica), another Barcelona architectural masterpiece. We had a walking tour of the old city, then lunch on our own, then bused back to the hotel. Tauck had the farewell cocktail party and dinner at the "Silk Palace", leaving the hotel at 6 pm, back around 9:15. Day 13 - Monday - Barcelona - going home - we had a 10:50am flight to Newark, so Tauck arranged the airport transfer at 7:15 am. The United check-in counters didn't open until after we were standing the airport looking for the United check-in counters. Around 8:00 am, 5 United check-in counters opened. Checking in was easy. A security officer did a short interview with each passenger before they proceeded to check-in. They wanted to know where you had been, so it helps to rattle off a few of your ports and Cities visited. Several passengers stayed a few extra days in Barcelona and Tauck took care of their transfers on their day of departure. Comments on the Windstar Star Pride Beautiful ship, smooth sailing and docking. No tendering on this cruise, the ship tied up at the dock at all the ports on this cruise Security getting back on the ship varied from port to port, some places had airport style inspection, other places a quick visual inspection. Efficient, responsive & friendly crew Some cabins experienced plugged toilets which were repaired by crew Food is very good Entertainment is limited to piano bar type entertainers Each cabin has a DVD player Ship has a library of books and DVD's for lending Ship has a small pool and 2 jacuzzis Wifi is spotty and slow, but you will get your emails and some websites, but don't try to download a Netflix movie or even a U-tube clip Cabin 316 was spacious with a walk in closet, lots of drawers, a safe and small balcony Cabins have one - 110 volt and one - 220 volt outlet. Ships store has a good selection of Windstar logo clothes. They also have sundries at reasonable prices. The store is only open when the ship is moving. Reception also sells toiletries. There is a small casino with 1 poker table and 1 blackjack table and some machines. Gymnasium - outstanding - 5 treadmills, 3 stationary bikes, 1 rowing machine, 1 arm cycling machine, many single purpose weight stack machines, free weights, bar bells, yoga mats. There was also a Personal Trainer available. Spa - full service Comments on Tauck Bus tours were very comfortable, great buses and informative commentary by our guides. Rest stops every 60 to 90 minutes. They have a rotating seat assignment system, which works great. Everyone gets to sit in front once during the trip. Seat assignments are posted outside the bus, so you know where to sit. Water is always provided. The tour directors are amazing people, they handle all the issues and unplanned challenges on the fly without a problem. Thank god for cell phones and the Tauck support staff back at headquarters to help with challenges. Tauck provided unique touring experiences and set up private entertainment performances. There was a private wine tasting & wine education in Portugal, a couple of dance performances, and an organ concert, just for our group. Tauck seems to be sensitive about not taking their guests to too many cathedrals, as many companies seem to do. There was usually free time for people to visit more cathedrals if they wanted to. Wifi was free but slow on the ship. The wifi was good in the hotels. The hotels did not have DVD players. Dress code - about half the men wore sport coats for the welcome & farewell dinners, although this is not required. Most of the time, the dress code on the ship is "Resort Casual” (pants with a colored shirt) We have heard that the Tauck “Treasures of Spain & Portugal” Cruise has been booked up for many months out and I can see why. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We were on the Star Pride sailing on October 7, 2016 from Civitavecchia to Portoferraio, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Nice (nice surprise port), Portofino, and Portovenere. I have sailed on Norwegian, Celebrity, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and ... Read More
We were on the Star Pride sailing on October 7, 2016 from Civitavecchia to Portoferraio, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Nice (nice surprise port), Portofino, and Portovenere. I have sailed on Norwegian, Celebrity, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Costa. This was my first Windstar experience and it did not disappoint. The staff is truly unbelievable with their friendliness, attention to detail, and they clearly try to go out of their way to make your trip enjoyable. It was an amazing cruise, A+ job by the staff. We took a 1 hour regional train from Rome (~7 Euros each) and arrived at the port of Civitavecchia around 12:00pm and they began to board at exactly 1:00pm. With under 200 guests on board it took about 30-45 minutes to board, fill out the necessary paperwork and receive your room cards. After reading the tips on here I carried on 2 bottles of wine to consume in our stateroom and that was not an issue. I should note that this limitation is very relaxed and throughout several other ports I was able to carry on an extra bottle of the local wine with no questions asked. As for the condition of the ship, the public spaces were recently updated and the ship is in as good of condition as you would anticipate at this age. There were some areas of rust and the bathrooms were starting to show their age but that’s about all. Although we had the cheapest stateroom it was very nice. The food was exceptional, probably the best of any cruise I have ever been on. The first thing we did when we got on board was to book a reservation at Candles, the rest of our dinners took place in the dining room and service was quick and attentive. The only option for lunch and breakfast is at the rear of the ship again it was very good with menu items, buffet items, and a made to order bar. We spent quite a bit of time at the “Yacht Club” at the top/front of the ship where you could enjoy cappuccinos, expresso, and tea along with snacks until 5:00pm each day. We were also very impressed by the DVD collection within the library. Due to the itinerary we were always up early and the first ones off the ship so we didn’t spend any time in the evenings listening to the entertainment so I can’t comment on the quality of that. We were docked in Portoferraio, Monte Carlo, and Nice. Cannes, Portofino, and Portovenere had 2 ship tenders running all day long, it was never more than a 10-15 minute wait for a tender and many times we were the only ones on board. We were supposed to spend 2 days in Monte Carlo but after docking the first day we were going to be tendering the 2nd day but the seas were scheduled to be rough and a spot opened up in Nice so the captain moved us down the coast to dock and spend a day in Nice which was a nice surprise. The sports platform was open while we were anchored and we took the opportunity to go swimming in the Mediterranean in October! The water was actually quite pleasant. They had foam swim cushions, individual kayaks, and 2 person kayaks along with a skiing/wakeboard boat. This was our first time on a small ship and we don’t know if we will ever go back to a big ship. The only time we ever waited in a line was when we boarded, that’s it. Definitely worth the slightly higher cost! Please keep in mind that our experience was based on a very affordable room that in October is the same price if not cheaper than many Caribbean cruises so we were not expecting a “luxury” experience, just a fun trip on a small ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
What an incredible experience! This was a special celebration trip for our 25th Anniversary and my birthday. We researched and planned for months and as it got closer I got nervous that perhaps after going on Seaborne and obsessively ... Read More
What an incredible experience! This was a special celebration trip for our 25th Anniversary and my birthday. We researched and planned for months and as it got closer I got nervous that perhaps after going on Seaborne and obsessively planning, it would not meet my expectations. But it exceeded them. The Sicilian Splendors is such a unique itinerary that each port was a new adventure and lovely and enchanting in its own right. I really fell in love with Malta! The food on the ship was good to great at every meal. The staff over all was friendly and attentive and professional and enthusiastic. The cabins (as this is an old Seabourn ship) are big and comfortable. We had a Juliet balcony and I loved being able to open the windows and enjoy the air and the sea. The spa staff were adorable and I had great services. The BEST part of this trip were the people that we met. We usually do not make friends on vacations because we are mostly happy to be away from work and together as a couple. But thanks to the Cruise Critic roll call we met people who I am happy to call my friends now. We were able to share this glorious adventure with our new friends (of all ages) and it was wonderful. The ship is small but it didnt feel too small. So if you want to just be alone, you can do that also. This is not an experience for people who crave the excitement and distraction of the big ships. There is no dancing or real night life...which was fine by us. It is a port intensive itinerary that will allow you to see places that you might not get to on your own. We booked a combination of ship tours and independent tours. Highlights were Valletta and Capri (independent) Pros: People, ports, staff, food, laundry service (this is literally a game changer! I traveled for 2 weeks with just a carry on and still didnt wear everything) Cons: 2 rocky nights because the ship is small, there are 4 pots where you tender. In Gozo we were 2 of only about 40 who made it to shore for the excursion, we loved our cabin but some on other floors had issues with water, I wish the bar was closer to the dining room (I knwo thats kind of silly), the gym is small but we did go everyday Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
My family and I chose this cruise because we wanted to go on a less crowded cruise, a relaxing and well facilitated one. This was perfect, hardly any flaws, impeccable service. Lots of things to do for entertainment- my favourite was ... Read More
My family and I chose this cruise because we wanted to go on a less crowded cruise, a relaxing and well facilitated one. This was perfect, hardly any flaws, impeccable service. Lots of things to do for entertainment- my favourite was working out in the gym. I'd like to give a special thanks to all the staff, especially the waiters and waitresses who worked so hard for so long and the lovely personal trainer onboard, Louis. His workouts kept me in shape even when I thought it was impossible after eating all the amazing food on the cruise! Food was impeccable, absolutely outstanding. Would definitely recommend Candles and The Amphora restaurants, both of high quality. I would say that Amphora is more family-friendly and has a "cosier" setting, one could say; Candles is perfect for couples who want to dine whilst watching the sun set. I went to both with my family as both were suitable, however if you choose not to eat at either and you want something so chilled you can eat in your pajamas, room service is just a phone call away! There were many excursions that were available and swimming in the sea will be a big hit with many people (no, not just the kids) as the sea is absolutely beautiful and the sun is shining and the view is jaw-droppingly amazing, definitely one of the best parts. BBQ night was most likely my favourite nigh onboard- aside from the crew's talent show...that was quite something ;)- there was so much dancing and incredible Mediterranean food, it was bliss. Everything was just lovely. So relaxing and by the end if the week you really felt as if everyone was family, so it broke my heart to have to say goodbye, both to the crew and fellow passengers. I would just like to say thank you so much to all of the Windstar crew who really made my summer memorable and I hope to travel with you all again very soon! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We just disembarked from our Windstar cruise from Barcelona to Rome and were very happy and satisfied with our experience. The number one difference at Windstar is the Personal experience and how it is enhanced by the extraordinary crew! ... Read More
We just disembarked from our Windstar cruise from Barcelona to Rome and were very happy and satisfied with our experience. The number one difference at Windstar is the Personal experience and how it is enhanced by the extraordinary crew! In just 6 days, we knew all of our servers and staff by name and they greeted us by name. It is so much more personal to travel this way and never feel like a cattle call. The cabins were very nice and quite large and again they were clean and refreshed all day long. The food was wonderful and plentiful and the 24 hr room service was a great hit with our constantly eating sons who were traveling with us. The special events and barbecue night were fantastic and though we had to change itinerary due to Italian port alerts, the staff quickly changed excursions to make everyone happy. We will really miss One, Barus, Caroleena and Dody who made our cruise so special and made us sad to say goodbye. 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Concerns about Turkey and Istanbul in particular before leaving the US. These concerns were quickly overcome by this 7-day cruise from Istanbul to Athens. Stayed at the Pera Palace for a couple of days prior to departure and toured the ... Read More
Concerns about Turkey and Istanbul in particular before leaving the US. These concerns were quickly overcome by this 7-day cruise from Istanbul to Athens. Stayed at the Pera Palace for a couple of days prior to departure and toured the city. Istanbul is a great mix of history and modern, the hotel spectacular! Embarkation was a breeze and the ship was in great shape following its recent dry dock. The itinerary started off with a day at sea and gave the 80 guests a chance to get to know one another, very easy on Wind Star as it is a small vessel. Enjoyed the time on the open bridge and even got some star identification training from the Watch Officer. The various ports of call were a great recap of history. The top was Ephesis and the private event at the Celsus Library. Windstar does this event right! From the minute you arrive you are taken back in time, no other visitors to be seen or heard, music playing in the library upon arrival, photographer at the ready and they don't charge you for the pictures. Dinner was served, dusk settled in, and then the lights illuminated the library, pathways, and colusium, very SPECIAL! The other stops were also well done though too many other cruise ships were with us in Santorini, you lost some of the intimacy that we experienced elsewhere. Athens was a huge let down, the Parthanon and museum were as expected. However, Athens as a city is a dump, don't bother spending any extra nights here. We got the news of the Istanbul bombing just as we got home and felt fortunate with our timing. Turkey was the unexpected highlight of our trip and would love to return when it settles down again. The Wind Star crew is top notch and looking forward to another Windstar trip soon. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We have sailed Windstar 5 or 6 times in the past and always had a great experience. So when it came to going on a special trip with my Mom the cruise line was an easy choice. I left the cruise itinerary up to Mom to pick. She selected ... Read More
We have sailed Windstar 5 or 6 times in the past and always had a great experience. So when it came to going on a special trip with my Mom the cruise line was an easy choice. I left the cruise itinerary up to Mom to pick. She selected Glitter and Glam of the Riviera. We left from Rome and disembarked in Barcelona, both was very smooth. Great trip! Staff is excellent as is the food. The ports were great; best was Monte Carlo! The ship was Wind Surf their biggest at 310 pax but it wasn't full (sorry Windstar) that week so quite comfortable. It is also the one with elevators which came in very handy since Mom was in a wheelchair. All of the staff is just great but we had exceptional service from Allen and Larry dining room mgrs, Eric, Ruel, Ade, Lilik, Yusef and Nino! Just love Windstar and will cruise with them again... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
It was a smaller ship and the destinations in the French and Italian Rivieras. The service was great and the staff made a point of remembering your name. At the end of the cruise, the entire senior staff was on the pier and thanked ... Read More
It was a smaller ship and the destinations in the French and Italian Rivieras. The service was great and the staff made a point of remembering your name. At the end of the cruise, the entire senior staff was on the pier and thanked everyone for coming. The side trips on shore were very good too. Some of the destinations were better seen by boat: Portofina, Monte Carlo, Cinque Terre, for example. In Monte Carlo, we were able to dock in the inner harbor, which worked out better for the special event at the Casino in the evening. It was a dessert/champagne reception which was on an open rooftop. As the evening progressed the sun set and the town was illuminated with lights. We enjoyed the food but what really made the cruise memorable was the kind and dedicated staff in all parts of the ship. There was no formal dinner on the last night but they did a BBQ dinner on the deck by the pool--lobsters, beef, lamb, suckling pig, ribs, salads, dessert bar--plus music and staff line dancing. Very fun! Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I had a wonderful experience on the Wind Spirit in 2014 going through the Panama Canal. When Windstar advertised a trip to the Italian and French Riviera, stopping for the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, I was all in. Expensive, but I expected ... Read More
I had a wonderful experience on the Wind Spirit in 2014 going through the Panama Canal. When Windstar advertised a trip to the Italian and French Riviera, stopping for the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, I was all in. Expensive, but I expected it would be worth it. It wasn't. We were on the Star Breeze, one of the three ships they purchased from another cruise company. The room was nice, but the ship is poorly managed, poorly maintained and just not a place you want to be. The officers don't care and make excuses for their failings. Food service is a disaster, tender service is worse. We paid a lot of money ($15,000 for a couple before shore excursions) for a luxury cruise that we did not get. Food was mediocre, availability limited and service very disorganized (other than the lady in the "Yacht Club" where you could get sandwiches and snacks - she was phenomenal!). Tender service was a joke. Poor operation, long waits, rocky rides, crash landings. Rarely anyone on the dock to assist you. We had a pre-arranged, all passengers invited dinner part at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. When we returned on the bus (arranged 100% by Windstar), there were no tenders to take us to our ship. More than enough to take passengers to the Wind Surf (a sister ship of the original sailing type), but 100 or more of us were stranded in fancy clothes, cold weather, at 11:30 pm. Finally a 24 person tender arrived. I was on the first tender, but I understand that it took more than an hour to get everyone back to the ship. No one from our ship came to help, by the way. We were assisted by the Wind Surf's Hotel Manager. There were many maintenance issues, the staff was nice by untrained, and the officers were unhelpful and largely disinterested. When things did not go well, it was someone else's fault. When we disembarked in Nice (and we were SO READY to disembark) it seemed orderly until we got out and realized everyone that had preceded us to the dock to get their luggage was still there - no ground transportation was available. It took about 90 minutes to get 100 or so people into cabs or vans. We were simply going to a hotel, so it was not such a big deal. But many people were concerned about missing flights or were just unhappy with this final coup de grace. Importantly, the Hotel Manager and other officers were rather disinterested. They passed out water bottles but, par for the course with this ship, took no effort to solve the problems. Fortunately, a couple of energetic young women made continuous phone calls and finally got everyone off of the dock. But it was just a fitting end to an otherwise poorly managed, chaotic, amateurish cruise experience. Avoid this cruise ship. Growing pains is one thing. This is a cultural faux pas. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was our 2nd Windstar cruise. We are now serious fans of this line. We have been on both the "yachts" and the sail ships now and both, although different were excellent. Service was superb. We were thrilled to have ... Read More
This was our 2nd Windstar cruise. We are now serious fans of this line. We have been on both the "yachts" and the sail ships now and both, although different were excellent. Service was superb. We were thrilled to have the dining room server, Esther, that we had met on our first cruise. She was consistently helpful, accommodating and pleasant. We hope we meet her on our future cruises (and we have booked several others already). Our room Stewart, Iman, also went above and beyond. What ever we needed we got! And strangely, the ship's doctor was the most valuable crew member, as she aggressively treated the bronchitis I came on with and saved the vacation. Only two days lost--and can't say they were lost as I lounged on deck and was treated like a princess. We were fortunate to be on a James Beard cruise and the wine tasting, the special dinner and the learning experience was beyond compare. What fun we had! We had a suite and were very comfortable. The suites are two cabins combined so there is a living room and two bathrooms. Very comfortable. The tours included and those purchased were very good, the wine and food theme was carried on many hours of them. The highlight for me was Granada and the Alhambra. It was a perfect tour capped with an excellent lunch. A must do. And on the ship, we were truly well fed and entertained at the Barbeque. We were very fortunate that the weather was ideal. The sunset magnificent and the whole experience was amazing. And the crew line dances were so much fun. Highly recommend this ship. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise based upon the itinerary which started in Lisbon, ended in Barcelona, and included ports we were very interested in. It was our first time on Windstar and we had not chosen the line before they purchased the Seabourne ... Read More
We chose this cruise based upon the itinerary which started in Lisbon, ended in Barcelona, and included ports we were very interested in. It was our first time on Windstar and we had not chosen the line before they purchased the Seabourne ships because we believed the staterooms on the sailing ships would be quite small. We've stayed in larger rooms than those on Star Legend but none that were more well laid out. We had plenty of drawers, walk-in closet very efficiently arranged, nice-sized sitting area, and spacious enough bathroom. The beds were not particularly comfortable but okay. What made us very happy with this cruise was the staff. They are absolutely top notch. Every single person on that ship provided excellent service with a smile. I even had a medical issue and Dr. Rommel was amazing in doing everything he possibly could. Such excellence starts at the top. When we disembarked, the captain was standing onshore thanking us for sailing with him. I've NEVER seen that before! Other than the beds, there was one other con -- the plumbing. Nothing major wrong with the plumbing but not optimum. It is the reason, however, that I didn't rate the cruise 5-star. Food ranged from average to quite good but that's true on most of the ships we've sailed on which includes Silversea and Regent (before it sold to NCL). However, the staff simply makes up for any relatively minor deficiencies. Windstar also provided two special events that were excellent. They brought flamenco singers/dancers on board for a special show. They also arranged an afternoon private tour with entertainment, tapas, and wine at a palace in Palma de Mallorca. Very impressive. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
My wife and I picked this cruise first for the itinerary. When we started to research some more, we got hooked on what we heard was the Windstar experience. After our booking last July we started seeing the reviews about the Star Legend ... Read More
My wife and I picked this cruise first for the itinerary. When we started to research some more, we got hooked on what we heard was the Windstar experience. After our booking last July we started seeing the reviews about the Star Legend and started panicking. Even thought about canceling and are we glad we didn't. Windstar and the Star Legend were magnificent. First, my wife and I are frequent cruisers, living in South Florida and all. We have been on all of the major lines, Princess, NCL, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity. We know what to expect and what we want. We were looking forward to the "small ship" experience and Windstar came through with flying colors. We can honestly say that we will never go back to the mega ships with 3K to 5K passengers. Everything that we had heard about Windstar is right on. They make you feel like you on on your own private yacht. From the moment you step on and are greeted by a room steward, handed a glass of champagne and shown to your cabin, you know that this will be a different experience. You never wait in a line for anything. The friendliness that is shown to you by the staff is an awesome feeling. And yes, they do know your name in a very short time and are greeted by it every time a staff member sees you. The officers are out, visible and just as friendly as the the rest of the staff. The cabins on the Legend are amazing. Large, bright and easy to spend time in. We took an S1 class cabin with a large picture window that made us forget about the need for a balcony. The bathroom, ours was shower only, was so large, my wife and I could dress, shower whatever at the same time with room to spare. There is plenty of storage and the room steward was so accommodating with every and any request we made. Then there was the food. The menus were wide and varied, offering something for everyone. The food was very tasty, well presented and the service in both the dining room and the Veranda buffet was outstanding. It was fantastic to come back to the yacht after a day in port and go up to the Yacht Club for a drink, a sandwich, a cappuccino or whatever you liked and just relax, speak to fellow passengers about your day or , whatever. It is just truly the feeling that you are on your own private boat. Yes, there is not much in the way of entertainment, 2 young duos playing at various venues around the yacht, but that is not why you sail on Windstar in my opinion. If you need to be entertained constantly, then this may not be for you but if you are looking for a relaxing, comfortable and amazing experience, Windstar hits a home run. Really, the only negative I can think of is the internet . Windstar uses a "data" oriented package for internet service while on board. First it is always difficult to understand how much data you use, it is not cheap and it was very unreliable. We needed to log on to WiFi when in port to get most things done. This turned out to be longer than I expected so won't go on any longer. The bottom line is, my wife and I, experienced cruisers will be booking Windstar again and will no longer be sailing with the big boys. Once you have sailed Windstar, you can't go back. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Our first cruise and the most expensive per day we have had. Traveled extensively to South America, UK, Europe, Australia, the Pacific Islands and Madagascar. The "balcony" cabin we had was clean and well serviced with the ... Read More
Our first cruise and the most expensive per day we have had. Traveled extensively to South America, UK, Europe, Australia, the Pacific Islands and Madagascar. The "balcony" cabin we had was clean and well serviced with the exception of toiletries which we had to from time to time ask for. The en-suite was a bit tired and could use a face-lift. My gripe with the cabin is that is a joke to call it a balcony cabin. There are two sliding door that open to a foot wide board and a hand rail to lean on - no table and two chairs that you would expect with a balcony cabin. Service throughout the ship was on the whole reasonable which is more than I can say about the food. I rate the food as being only average as there was virtually nothing that I, or most reasonable cooks, couldn't have prepared themselves. The food the first three nights was dreadful - way overcooked steak and salmon and vegetables that were hot and raw (not cooked at all). This did improve afterwards but not to the level one would expect from a 5 star operation. The food at Club Med Mauritius or Princess Bora Resort and Spa in Madagascar I would rate at a good 8.5 Star Legend's at 3 out of 10 - very disappointed. As far as the wines were concerned (and I have had years of being a wine-broker); I had expected and hoped that there would be a good selection of Italian wines considering the cruise was from this area and considering that Italy produces great wines as well as great value-for-money wines but alas mostly cheap American supermarket wines at high prices and a very poor selection of local wines again at high prices for what they were. All in all beverage rating 2 out of 10. Excursions; Grossly over priced, sometimes with guides with poor English and sometimes with guides that don't have a stop button (They talk non-stop often repeating themselves). If you do book with Windstar and you don't want to use their excursions don't expect any help from them other than a very basic map of the city your visiting - do your homework first. I have held off on writing this review because out travel consultant said the Windstar agent wanted to talk to me regarding my concerns. As expected that hasn't happened so all in all I strongly suggest before paying good money to Windstar do your homework first. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
My wife and I took the Star Legend cruise from Barcelona to Rome in late September, 2015. It was my first cruise trip and I enjoyed the ship, the crew, the food, the ports, and our excursions (with one blip). The ship is on its inaugural ... Read More
My wife and I took the Star Legend cruise from Barcelona to Rome in late September, 2015. It was my first cruise trip and I enjoyed the ship, the crew, the food, the ports, and our excursions (with one blip). The ship is on its inaugural trips this summer after a refurbishment. Our room (277 sq. ft.) on Deck 6 was ample sized and well laid out. Virtually all the rooms are the same size with the exception of a couple of suites. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style with a normal food selection. Most dinners are in a more formal dining room called Amphora which is very attractive. The menu changes every day and features very well prepared seafood, poultry and meat dishes along with many choices for appetizers and salads. The quality matched high end level restaurants in our home town of Seattle. One night is a special barbeque which was well done and fun. There is also a smaller intimate restaurant called Candles for excellent outside dining. All restaurants had well priced and well selected wine options -- and a good wine steward. There is a fitness room and a spa. Our maid staff was excellent and our room was always spotless. Most activities are those you select during the port calls -- sight-seeing, biking, hiking, shopping, etc. Our ports were different and interesting -- Port Vendres, Marsailles, Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Portofino (tops!) and Elba. While we booked a couple of guided shore excursions, most ports can be managed without a formal tour. One glitch occurred on a evening event in Monte Carlo where the weather worsened and our tender was unable to return the ship and we bussed to Nice to catch up with it in the early morning -- an adventure anyway. In summary, I would take another Windstar cruise to visit other ports in Europe. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
My wife and I sailed on the Star Legend leaving Dover and going to Lisbon. We stayed on the next cruise which was Lisbon to Barcelona. The first leg was a food and wine cruise which featured wine tastings every night and free wine with ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the Star Legend leaving Dover and going to Lisbon. We stayed on the next cruise which was Lisbon to Barcelona. The first leg was a food and wine cruise which featured wine tastings every night and free wine with dinner. In addition there were free special events such as a fancy dinner at a top winery. The second leg also had special events as well. My wife and I have had over 30 cruises on many ships including Windstar and several luxury lines. We chose the Star Legend because of its itinerary, its small size, and we wanted to see how Windstar handled the Star Legend. There was a hiccup or two but in the end we felt it one of the best cruises we have ever taken. Guests on each leg of our trip were extremely friendly and the cruise staff were excellent. In particular, the Voyage Leader (Windstar's name for cruise director) Alina Moroz was excellent. She had an abundance of energy and made every guest feel special. If you sign up for a Star Legend Cruise make sure she is your Voyage Leader. Ram, our room steward was superb, as were the two ladies at the Reception Desk (who could handle any problem). Every one serving food and drinks were also great. A special shout out for Daddy, one of the senior food serving staff, who could always find your special foods. We enjoyed each port and the history that went with it. The deck BBQ's and dancing with the Officers were real treats. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
This was a terrible, terrible experience. It was Star Breeze's first full itinerary cruise after it's quick push from Rome to Barcelona. Spanish coast up to Lisbon. To say this ship was not ready for prime-time is an ... Read More
This was a terrible, terrible experience. It was Star Breeze's first full itinerary cruise after it's quick push from Rome to Barcelona. Spanish coast up to Lisbon. To say this ship was not ready for prime-time is an understatement. The guest-relations crew was totally lost--no one, and I mean no one, has prevailed the short excursions, and the ship was jammed with a 70-member party that shared absolutely no space with anyone. Had five shore excursions, but cancelled three because the first was just awful. Sunday morning on Majorca Spain with a complete idiot. History apparently started on the Island in 1700. No Moors, nothing. Luckily, as he told us, there's no tide in the Mediterranean Sea, so no worries about anything. Smart guy. The other shore excursions were pretty bad, too, but I did one more to go horseback riding. I'm pretty good at it--grew up training horses, Brochure said the tour accommodated any level of expertise, but it was nose-to-butt all the way. Received half of the cost back. Boat was just okay. Service terrific as expected. Captain surly. Entirely newly renovated; toilet ventilation very poor. This cruise has been completely redesigned for this summer--no more Majorca on Sunday (not exactly hopping--nothing open), but guide was quite happy to tell off-color jokes about bull testicles. He's off the schedule now. Gibraltar was dropped in favor of Morocco--not bad idea, but caters to ancient passengers who just couldn't deal with crowds and long walk from berth in incredible heat. Also dropped Seville. A real disappointment there--engine failed, or so the ship steward said, so we couldn't make it into the city. 90 minute bus ride from Cadiz, but Cadiz itself was interesting. All in all, a real disappointment at the prize point, and so radically different from Wind Star ships. A real sense of social class differences on this bigger boat that just isn't on the sailing ships. This is a mini-Carnival cruise ship. Very indifferent to passengers and a deer-in-the-headlights attitude. Maybe it will get better. But why not save the money and go on the real Carnival. You won't be able to tell any difference. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
No children are allowed. Service and food were quite good. Ports were interesting and easy to walk around without an escort. There was a free two night stay in Lisbon which was a lovely way to end the cruise. Low key entertainment after ... Read More
No children are allowed. Service and food were quite good. Ports were interesting and easy to walk around without an escort. There was a free two night stay in Lisbon which was a lovely way to end the cruise. Low key entertainment after dinner consisting of flamenco dancers one night. Every night we enjoyed going to cocktail lounge with friends, chatting and listiening or dancing to a wonderful combo. No glitzy show with 2 thoushand people in attendance. Ambiance just what we like, low key. We booked this same cruise again for June 29th a only this time we are taking our adult children with us to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. When we arrive at Malaga, we booked Spain Day Tours to take us to Granada to see the famous Alhambra. We hope other from our ship will join us on this tour to make it even more memorable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We had just come off a 10 day amazing trip to Morocco so climbing aboard the Star Legend was quite the contrast. They have done a great job renovating the ship (although we did not see it before). Our rooms were fabulous. Lots of ... Read More
We had just come off a 10 day amazing trip to Morocco so climbing aboard the Star Legend was quite the contrast. They have done a great job renovating the ship (although we did not see it before). Our rooms were fabulous. Lots of seating space, closet space and bathroom space. We did get a room with sliding glass doors which we left open numerous nights to enjoy the fresh air. We travelled with another couple and all four of us said at the end of the trip that the trip was more about the yacht than it was about the ports. We had such a wonderful experience with all of the crew and passengers that we were quite happy to spend as much time on board as we were off. This was our third windstar experience and it exceeded our other two. Captain Richard was truly an open door captain and by the end of the trip most passengers were at the bow of the boat around the bridge whenever we were docking or leaving port. We felt very much a part of the experience (felt like we were captaining the ship so to speak). He was very visible and took such pride in his yacht. Clare who headed up the beverage area was also always hands on deck. She was a pure delight and while she was very friendly and particpated with us she also never hesitated to lend a helping hand to the staff if she felt there was a need. All staff on board could not have been more attentive. We were always relaxed and well taken care of and actually tried to stay a few more days into the next cruise (flight schedules worked against us) as we wanted to stay on!!! One comment I would make though, is perhaps instead of two live entertainers you have one live and one DJ so those that like to dance can do so. We cannot wait to return. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We recently completed our first cruise with Windstar and we will definitely be back. We were on the newly acquired/renovated Star Breeze Yacht. The Yacht is beautiful and all suite (277sf) rooms were spacious and comfortable. We booked a ... Read More
We recently completed our first cruise with Windstar and we will definitely be back. We were on the newly acquired/renovated Star Breeze Yacht. The Yacht is beautiful and all suite (277sf) rooms were spacious and comfortable. We booked a regular room on deck-4 mid ship and did not feel much motion. Embarkation and Disembarkation were easy! Both dinner restaurants were great. Food was equally good at both but candles was slightly better IMO because it is at the back of the ship and we enjoyed the sunset. Amphora also had a nice atmosphere but it is inside. StarBar was nice during the day and after dinner. Amazing views from here. After dinner a band played but most nights we were in our room by 10:30 or so. They also have a casino and another entertainment room where the band played each evening. We never took advantage of these 2 areas as we preferred to be outside on deck or relaxing in our room. Breakfast and lunch were at candles each day with great views off of the back of the boat. Food was great and plenty of selection. They also have Yacht club which has sandwich and snacks available throughout the day. Great place to grab a quick bite to eat. We also took advantage of room service each morning for cappuccinos, snacks and dinner one evening. As mentioned in previous reviews the staff was wonderful. They were all so friendly and all smiles. Truly a GREAT group of people! We tendered in a few of the ports. This to me was no big deal and never took longer than 10-15 minutes. The nice things about the days we were in ports we tendered too was the water sports platform was down. We enjoyed Kayaking one afternoon off of the water platform. Very cool being in the large ocean just the 2 of us. Really wish we had another open day so we could have paddle boarded. We enjoyed each of the ports for different reasons but it was always refreshing to walk back onto our peaceful yacht. The pool area was nice. With the recently expanded deck upstairs their was plenty of seating. The ship has one pool very small but enough to dip into and cool off. They have 2 hot tubs. One next to the pool in the middle of the ship and one at the front of the ship. We enjoyed the one at the front of the ship at night. Very quiet here! Work out facility was nice with 2 bikes, a few treadmills, some weight machines and free weights. We absolutely loved our cruise and cannot wait to book another with WindStar! Highly recommend!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We were sold the cruise on the understanding that Windstar had set aside a considerable amount of $ to refurbish the recently purchased Seabourn Ship and that the destinations were amongst the more elite, small ports where larger liners ... Read More
We were sold the cruise on the understanding that Windstar had set aside a considerable amount of $ to refurbish the recently purchased Seabourn Ship and that the destinations were amongst the more elite, small ports where larger liners were unable to dock. The boarding process seemed straightforward, we were very soon in our stateroom, which, to our pleasure seemed, large, well decorated, nice fabrics and a great bed. All seemed very positive, on closer inspection, there were some noticeable shoddy edges, the silicone surrounding the window was badly damaged and we had several "flappy bits" distracting from the view, the bathroom whilst large, was a little dated and may have benefitted from some of the $ set aside for refurbishment. The reception desk, is literally a hole in the wall, whilst the reception staff were absolutely lovely, professional, positive, helpful and strong advocates for customer service, they sadly have to work in a small hole with a very basic table and no filing systems or furniture. not a great impression of a luxury ship. The Food is another highlight, the Restaurant is excellent, very high class, not cramped, table for two no problem, great wine list, well paced service. the new decor is gorgeous and gives the illusion of a top restaurant. We were very impressed every time we ate in there. I wouldn't bother with the Candles restaurant option, too cramped and not particularly romantic.. Oh and the BBQ evening was a bit of a mess too, sadly it was a cold, windy evening, so we didn't bother hanging around too long. We queued patiently with everyone else ate our food which was adequate then went back to our cabin.. The timings of the bars, yacht club and Compass Rose restaurant were all out of sinc, you had to have a pre dinner cocktail on deck, outside, compass Rose didn't open till 9pm, it's a beautifully decorated bar, including a small casino area but was very under used, such a shame that such a focus has been the refurbishment of this part of the ship and its not open till 9pm... The yacht club was also lovely, very quiet, great attentive service and the best coffee on the ship. but closes at 5pm.....I suppose I'll have to go and sit outside in the wind again.... The itinerary was great, Portofino,and St Tropez were favourites, but, the most disappointing part of our week was that every port except Monoco were tendered. We could have forgiven that had the tenders been of a satisfactory standard, however they were both (when they used 2) very old, unsafe and frankly horrible, the experience prevented us from leaving the ship in the evening to explore our ports at night, never mind back to the ship, perhaps we'll go to the bar for a drink.... Oh no hang on it doesn't open till 9pm....aaaaaah. All in all our cruise was relaxing, we enjoyed the ports, we didn't do any excursions as they were all very very expensive but we found our way around very well. Fellow passengers were pleasant, friendly, sociable, sadly we witnessed some arrogance towards the crew who were without exception all amazing, on a smaller ship you do see the same people all the time one or two of them could have done with some manners and a volume control button or even an off switch but sadly you can't chose your fellow passengers, but on the whole everyone seemed to enjoy their trip, even the couple who didn't mind expressing their strong admiration towards each other each morning at breakfast...... Enough to put you off your waffles...... Will being trying celebrity next time... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
7 day Western Mediterranean Cruise from Barcelona to Rome. Ports included: Collioure, Marseille, Monte Carlo, Cannes, Portovenere and Portoferraio. We stayed two nights at the Wilson Boutique hotel in Barcelona prior to the cruise. ... Read More
7 day Western Mediterranean Cruise from Barcelona to Rome. Ports included: Collioure, Marseille, Monte Carlo, Cannes, Portovenere and Portoferraio. We stayed two nights at the Wilson Boutique hotel in Barcelona prior to the cruise. This was the hotel that Windstar is affiliated with in Barcelona. Hotel was just ok, from speaking to others it seems like there was a big difference in the rooms in the hotel, some were large and comfortable, others were very small and cramped. Ours was somewhere in between. Really enjoyed the smaller ports, Collioure and Portovenere. This was one big advantage to cruising on a smaller ship, I don't think bigger ships would go into smaller ports like these. Overall we liked the Wind surf, beautiful ship, we were happy with our cabin and the service. We liked the small ship experience and getting to know many other passengers. The food was hit and miss and overall disappointing though. Breakfast and lunch were fine. Dinner was generally disappointing though and didn't compare well to a previous cruise we had done on Holland America. Most ports we anchored offshore and tendered in. This didn't really bother us, but it generally took a little longer to get on and off the ship. We had some rough weather at times which made some of the tender rides a bit of an adventure, but we ended up kind of enjoying it. The ship itself rocked back and forth quite a bit but we had no problems with seasickness and we didn't hear of anyone else who had problems. Because of rough seas we were unable to anchor at Portofino which was the original plan and instead anchored at Portovenere which was a more sheltered harbour. Was disappointing to miss Portofino, but Portovenere was lovely. We did a couple of excursions and enjoyed them all, particularly the Provence Wine Tasting from Cannes. Would consider doing another Windstar cruise, but will probably try a different cruise line next. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Cruised to Palma, Sardinia, Corsica, and Elba. OUTSTANDING Windstar-hosted complimentary shore excursion in Palma - wines, tapas, tour of museum - just great - highlight of the cruise! Not to be missed. Walked around on our own at the ... Read More
Cruised to Palma, Sardinia, Corsica, and Elba. OUTSTANDING Windstar-hosted complimentary shore excursion in Palma - wines, tapas, tour of museum - just great - highlight of the cruise! Not to be missed. Walked around on our own at the other ports and they were nice with good shuttles, dining, and shopping options. Didn't hear of any other outstanding tours and many were l-o-n-g. Great crew highlighted by hotel mgr Jeffrey Jack who is always all smiles. Nice fellow passengers though the number of smokers was high and trashed the starboard rear deck. Big business incentive group from Australia (half the ship) made it a younger crowd than usual for Windstar. Only serious beef was our cabin midships on Deck 1 was the noisiest cabin we have every had in 14 cruises on 7 lines. We have been on both the Windstar Wind Surf and Wind Spirit and never experience the VERY LOUD whining whenever the ship was underway. It would stop as soon as we docked so it was a generator or turbine. Very difficult to get more than 4 hrs sleep even with earplugs and the bottle of wine they comp'ed us. Many fellow passengers in the same area of the ship experienced same thing (including the free bottle of wine). But wine does not equal sleep. Would not cruise on this ship again until they get it fixed. Add to this the incessant banging and scraping of the crew working on the hull at mid-afternoon after excursions return when everyone is tired. Sounds like constant banging of a ball peen hammer outside your porthole. They can't do it when we're off the ship - has to be at naptime? Food was standard and after over 30 days cruising with Windstar we FINALLY convinced the chef to make some whole wheat, high fiber, multigrain bread to augment the bunny bread and white rolls they serve. Good for him and the baker - bread was great and fellow passengers loved it as well. Outstanding food and new expanded menu at Candles so eat there as often as you can and weather allows. We squeezed in 2 nights. Dining room food very good. The renovated cabins actually allow for a nice in-room dining experience if you are into that or need it because you are not feeling well. Buffet food always seems overdone at lunch - too many strange ethnic dishes and heavy stuff, salty soups, and sweet fruit soups (maybe crew likes these leftovers?). Salad bar could benefit from some riper tomatoes and lighter dressings - very heavy/mayonnaisey dressings. Lunch buffet needs more cold sandwich meats. We had mortadella and mortadella (Italian bologna) so you can make a sandwich. A neat light lunch trick is to order a sandwich or salad from room service and have it delivered to the pool bar/deck. The mid-afternoon/teatime offerings were pretty bleak. Breakfast buffet is good and plentiful though the bacon was consistently overcooked and corned beef hash undercooked (just warmed from can). You have to watch the omelet cook like a hawk to make sure he doesn't burn your omelet. They use way too much oil (like 3 TBSPs) to keep the omelet floating while it cooks without stirring until he flips it in the air. Poor, showy technique that results in an overdone omelet. Fried eggs or excellent scrambled eggs from buffet better and we added our own toppings from omelet station. We brought on 2 bottles of wine to enjoy in the cabin and ordered another. Wines and beer are fairly priced as you would pay in a fairly-priced restaurant or hotel ashore. The liquor packages are crazy expensive and I think you need to be a full-blown alcoholic drinking 10+ drinks a day to make the unlimited alcohol package any kind of value. The unlimited laundry package, on the onther hand, is a super deal and after a multi-day visit in Spain we came on with everything dirty and left with everything clean in Rome for the next 10 days in Italy. Used laundry package in transatlantic before as well and it saves an entire suitcase of packing and schlepping. Watersports platform was down for a couple of hours i Alghero but 59 degree water meant there were few takers. Still, nice they did it. Overall, we will try again if we can get a cabin we can get some sleep in. Read Less
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