Star Breeze Reviews

4.2 out of 5

18 reviews

Write A Review

Filter Reviews

Filter Reviews

Rating

  • (11)
  • (4)
  • (1)
  • (0)
  • (2)

Traveler Type

Cabin Type

Cabin Number

Destination

Sorted by
4.8 out of 5

Enjoyed this trip and the ship very much. by mlc1

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Wonderful cruise!!!! Highly recommend Windstar. The service and organization is top of the line and the small size ship is something we particularly enjoy.

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 5
5 out of 5

Panama/Costa rica by triciagrace

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Great crew and food.  Great atmosphere.  We felt really spoiled.  Loved the on deck chair massages.  Wished the water sports platform had been open in the last two ports.

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 10
2 Comments
5 out of 5

Order of the Ditch by jgrags

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The Order of the Ditch is the award you receive when you transit the Panama Canal.  We did so on 1/29/17.  We boarded the Sea Breeze in Colon and did the full transit in daylight.  It was a fantastic journey.  The experience was memorable, but our fellow passengers, the staff and crew made the journey even more special. Traveling on a small ship is exciting, but there was nothing small about the services, food, activities and energy throughout the 7 day journey from Panama to Costa Rica.  Every detail - the barbecue on the beach, the tours, the cultural shows on board, the "sail away" each evening - all made this journey very special. If this trip is on your "bucket list" - do it with Windstar - they really excel!

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 13
5 out of 5

Panama Canal on Star Breeze by rep612

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

The entire cruise from the time I got on the ship till  departure was an example of exceptional service.  This was a Christmas cruise so there were more children than the ship usually gets.  The staff was always coming up with activities.  The dining was outstanding.  This has spoiled me for sailing on bigger ships.  I never felt rushed, crowded or lacked for things to do.  The best part is that the ship doesn't stop at large ports so still got to see places as they are.  Had to get used to wet landings in Zodiac but once you master that all is good.  The only issue is that both the embarkation and disembarkation occur at shipping ports.  The port in Colon is not it the best part of town and Panama has some strange rules on how they run their ports.

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 10
1 Comment
5 out of 5

Overall and outstanding cruise by bkb

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Favorites included the Bonaire Snorkeling on uninhabited island, the Panama Canal Expansion tour, and the trip into the Embria Indian Village.

 

Windstar cruises are one of the best; great food, service and crew,  However, on this itinerary could have done without Santa Marta with more time in Cartagena Columbia...many aboard felt the same.   The Cruise Director on this ship was a bit "stiff" on his presentations of the ports, sharing only history and maps;   should have highlighted some interesting things to do and places to go in each port, other than the published excursions.

The Bristol Panama Hotel was a great post cruise stayover and located perfectly to all city sites.    I had prepaid my transportation to the airport on Dec 11 thru Windstar and had a notice that my pickup time would be 3PM;  However, and for whatever "hicup" occured they did not show and the hotel kindly got me a cab and paid the transfer cost.....probably need to follow up on this one

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 7
5 out of 5

The best Cruise Crew ever!! by Jojocita

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Star Breeze has been one of the best cruise ships I have been on.

Nice staff, they will always greet you with a genuine smile, and they know how to plan a great picnic and party

In this itinerary, they have Eddie, a naturalist that would enchant the audience with presentations about animals, tree and monkeys. Everything was amazingly planned, there was not a dull moment in this cruise

I recommend it.

 

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 8
5 out of 5

Rest and Relax by ronmanzoni

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

From beginning to end this was a restful and relaxing experience with interesting excursions and wonderful food.  Our first Windstar cruise will likely be one of many.  It was enjoyable and exceeded our expectations.  The suite was better than expected, the staff were friendly, and the ship well maintained.  When something was needed, it was provided.  More than once staff anticipated our needs.  We used room service for breakfast and that was terrific.  

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 6
1 Comment
4 out of 5

Relaxing but missing activity by EduardoFierro

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

We think the service and food were great, however the ship is small and there is not much going on during days at sea.

For a small ship, touching more ports would be nice.

Average guest age around 50's +

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 9
5 out of 5

Excellent Service, Outstanding Epicurean Delight!!! by bkguido

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The Officers, Wait Staff, Cabin Stewart and the entire crew were excellent!!!  The food was beyond great!!!  The ports were near perfect...St Martin, Aruba, Cartegena and Panama...gems of the Caribbean!!!  The suite was very spacious and opulent.  Activities were a bit light in terms of quantity, but the entertainment was excellent...very talented duos and the crew was quite entertaining.

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 7
1 Comment
4 out of 5

Amazing rooms and staff! Some ports of call quite questionable by aimeemalinowski

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

First off let me say that the Star Breeze cruise ship and staff are beyond words. The suites were large, extremely comfortable and well designed. The staff always had a smile on their face and you never waited or wanted for anything. When it would get chilly out on deck, there were staff handing off blankets, before you even thought of asking for one. Some of the ports of call were questionable. Why go to Portoferrairo when everything is closed on a Sunday? Why dock at on the side with all of the machines, oil rigs?, train parts, etc. on La Spezia when there is a gorgeous dock we could have been at? Everyone on the boat was not happy about this. It looked like we docked at a wasteland....literally. That all being said, everything was executed flawlessly. Before cruising on Windstar I cruised on Disney, Princess and Carnival. I hated each of them. I finally found my cruiseline in Windstar! Everything is top notch (food is to die for) and no lines ever. Heck we never even waited for the elevator when we opted to take it. The spa was incredible and they never tried to upsell....that in itself is rare, but I appreciate that. The private event in Monte Carlo could (and should) have been much better, but I had high hopes for that and was let down. I am already looking to book another Windstar cruise and have my eye on the one Caribbean ones the Star Breeze goes to as well as Tahiti (sad only the sailboats go there). Windstar just made a lifetime fan out of me, I wholeheartedly recommend and will cruise with them until I die. 

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 15
5 out of 5

Star Breeze Oct 2015 by abalasquide8

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Great vacation aboard the Star Breeze.

The ship and the crew members were outstanding!

Would like to mention: Allen, Chris, Jocelyn, Rojid. Claire, Eugene, Sergio and Laura who entertained us every night.

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 7
1.3 out of 5

HORRIBLE!!! CHOOSE ANOTHER CRUISE COMPANY by DOfir

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

The Windstar Star Breeze misrepresents itself as a luxury cruise experience!! Let me begin by saying this was to be my dream vacation. My last vacation was 5 years ago. I work incredibly hard and when I finally chose to take the time I sought out Windstar. I explained my needs and my concerns. I was a solo traveler and wanted a luxury experience. I explained that bedding and the sleeping arrangements were very important to me. I sleep with a CPAP and require a minimum of a double size bed as I sleep in the center. With proper electrical hookup bedside. I needed a fully equipped gym with cardio equipment so I can run the morning otherwise I get anxious. A well appointed spa. I was assured that the motor boat class of Windstar had all of this and more. A luxury cruise in every sense of the word filled with pampering amenities. The Windstar Star Breeze boasted of beautifully appointed accommodations, exceptional public areas, 2 luxury dining rooms, full spa and gym facilities. Upon boarding I quickly surveyed the situation and my heart sank. My stateroom 226 on the #starbreeze From Edinburgh to Dublin The bedside plug was damaged. I was unable to get power to the CPAP machine. The adapters would not work it took 3 trips by maintenance until they found a workable solution which was an extension cord across the room. The bed is 2 singles pressed against each other. Something I was specifically was assured was not the case! The bathroom mirror vanity was cracked and held together with silver tape. The white Marble was stained completely yellow around the toilet from years of urine on porous stone. The DVD player did not work. I went to the spa to book services. I was delighted to see acupuncture. Was told that was not a service provided on this ship. Why was it on the menu of services then? I took a tour of the spa. I recoiled upon opening the steam room door due to the smell of mold that was overwhelming, it was small and musty. I went to the gym and was shocked to discover outdated equipment. An old rower, a basic exercise bike and 2 treadmills. The ceiling is maybe 6’5 the treadmill is a step up making it impossible to be used without hitting my head. I am 6’. At this point I spoke with both the guest services manager and the General Manager. I asked what were my options of disembarking. They informed me that it was my choice but no refund would be offered. I went to the buffet. Again dismayed, the food was basic and below anything I was accustomed to. I inquired about the buffet because that was another issue I had and was assured by the booking agent that there were full service restaurants available all day. We left the port and set sail. I asked about internet and that it was imperative that I was able to get basic work done with my home office and was assured that it would work throughout he ship. Upon signing up the reception informed me that it was unlikely to work in my stateroom and it was an additional $275.00. Not only did it not work in my stateroom it never worked at all as well as the computers in the library! One computer was out of service. Every passenger I spoke with complained about it. The library filled with books left behind by other passengers. A selection of DVD’s from the 90’s There was no real bon voyage celebration - some flag thing with no fanfare or pomp. No champagne toast, no little waving flags nothing. The lounge singers provided bad renditions of popular songs. If it weren’t all so sad it would have been funny. It was all like a late night basic cable skit. I went to dinner in the below deck restaurant. It was all mediocre. The ambiance, the service and food. I went to bed distraught. The seam in the middle of the bed, the hard pillows, the scratchy sheets. I tried to hold back tears. I was a grown man. Day 1 at sea. More bad lounge singing, a lecture about a detox treatment for sale. I went for my massage in an intensely claustrophobic treatment room. I asked about the overhead florescent tube lights. He informed me that there is no way to shut them off. Florescent lighting trigger my migraines. His solution was to put this eye mask on. I don’t want anything on my face especially something like a beanbag that isnt clean and used by others. The massage was amateur at best. I went to dinner at Candella - the converted buffet. That stayed exactly the same other then then it being night. Not a candle electric or otherwise, not a flower, not twinkling light. A blank room. The steel buffet set up remained. A night cafeteria with a new name. A lipstick on a pig. This was supposed to be the special steak house? I ran into the GM - I expressed all my disappointment, pointed out all the ways that this ship could be elevated and he admitted that is would be decommissioned at the end of season and completely redone. This would be the reason that this ship was so completely and totally outdated a floating holiday inn and no where near a four season as I had been led to believe. I went to sleep with stomach pain, sad and frustrated. I prayed that in the morning the excursion would be a bright spot. I woke up early with mild pain and cramping, nauseous and a little weak. I went to the ships doctor seeking pepto bismol. I wanted to make sure that i wouldn’t be queasy on the off board excursion. He immediately started to question my systems, I explained to the best of my ability the situation. He said in order to continue I would need to pay I think $150. He chose to ignore my request for Pepto and let me know if he were to examine me and he suspected that I might have a bacterial or viral digestive illness that he would immediately quarantine me. Not upon clinical diagnosis but suspicion. That lab results would be sent out and until their return minimum 3 days and an all clear I could be locked in my room. At one point as I attempted to leave his office he stepped in front of me blocking my exit. An aggressive move and perceived threat. I told him to move or call security. He moved out of my way. This threat of possibly being locked in the cabin with no open window induced such a state of panic that went into a state of fight or flight. I reiterated all this to the guest services director as I was attempting to get my passport back, I was visibly distraught. He commented that it was for the best I leave, that if I was ill it’s was best for the other passengers as well. To be clear, my stomach issue resolved itself the same day. That aspect of the ships protocol is highly disturbing. I left the ship immediately. I took a 4 hour cab back to Edinburgh. I am utterly and totally disgusted. Anyone of the above reasons are a justifiable cause to leave the ship. I sent all this to Windstar Customer service. Their response was simply that they ever claim to be a luxury cruise line and that my expectations were too high. No credit, no refund and the blocked me form all social media. Feel free to contact me for proof and pictures. DO NOT CHOOSE THIS CRUISE LINE! #windstarcruises #windstarcruise

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 6
21 Comments
4 out of 5

Star Breeze dream cruise by TheMillers

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

I had read a lot of mixed reviews about Windstar and the Star Breeze before taking this cruise, so I was pleasantly surprised to join the group of Star Breeze fans.  The ship is lovely and never seemed crowded even though it was completely booked.  We never had to wait in line and embarking and disembarking was fast and easy.

 

The very best thing about the ship is it's crew and the service.  The staff really tries hard to make this cruise a wonderful experience for the guests.  The dining room staff and our cabin steward always greeted us by name and made us feel pampered and appreciated.  

 

We did enjoy the food in the dining room and the breakfast and lunch buffets, it was very good.  But we really enjoyed the food served at the beach BBQ, dinner at the Candles restaurant, and the dinner BBQ on deck.  Those events are not to be missed!

 

The rooms are lovely - large and spacious but the bed could have used a topper and some down pillows.  The bathroom is also large and had great lighting.  

 

We went on several shore excursions all booked through Windstar.  We were not crazy about the Arial Tram in Balboa, a lot of driving for just an OK gondola ride in the forest.  Kayaking in the ocean and Mangroves was a bit better but you do have to paddle quite a bit in the ocean to and from the Mangroves.  Horseback riding at Drake's Bay was interesting - small Costa Rican horses take you across beaches, streams, and up and down steep forest trails.  The beach pickup and landing was extremely wet and somewhat dangerous.  We also did the river rafting trip in Quepos which was our favorite activity.  On the post cruise excursion to the Arenal Volcano area we did the Arial Tram with the most terrifying zip lines - 600 feet above the forest floor and the longest was 1/2 mile long and super fast!

 

We are a fairly active couple (60 and 68) but found that the Windstar excursion literature usually underestimates the potential severity of the activities.  It was fine for us, but anyone unsure about their abilities or mobility should really talk to the excursion staff for advice.  Also, be aware that the ship is anchored and not docked at almost all of the ports.  So, Zodiacs are used for transportation and getting in and out of the boats can be a challenge.  You will get wet getting out of the boat sometimes knee deep so be prepared.  Also, these are small ports with really not much to do unless you take a shore excursion.

 

The reason that we rated the cruise 4 stars instead of 5 stars was mainly because we felt that the bed should have been more comfortable and we didn't really get to experience the Panama Canal during the day.  Our ship entered the first lock about 5 pm and then it got dark and you couldn't see a thing except the lights marking the way through the lake.  

 

All in all though we did enjoy the Winstar experience and would not hesitate to recommend the cruise.  

 

 

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 4
1 out of 5

Don't be fooled by Windstar's feigned "customer service" by rlr

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

By way of background, my wife and I have taken two previous Windstar cruises.  The first we enjoyed immensely on the Wind Surf, and we took other family members along with us.  The second was one of the early voyages of the Star Breeze which was not nearly as well executed due to Windstar having recently taken over the ship and crew, as well as subsequently learning that the ship was being taken out of service to complete the advertised full refurbishment.  Nevertheless, it was an acceptable cruise.

 

This year, we booked the Panama-Costa Rica trip, and again were bringing two additional family members with us on the trip.  As the date drew near, we became increasingly concerned about the reports about the spread of the Zika virus.  My wife's brother had suffered from the auto-immune disease, Gillian Barre which has been linked to Zika, and we have a daughter-in-law who is pregnant, and did not want to risk any type of exposure by her. 

 

We contacted our travel agent o see if they would issue a credit for future travel.  He inquired and the request was denied.  Each of the three airline carriers we were using for this trip quickly issued credits to us for future travel. 

 

I wrote an email to Windstar's "Customer Service" department directly and did not receive a response.  After waiting a couple of weeks, I wrote a similar email to Windstar's VP of Sales detailing the situation, our prior cruise history, etc.  Once again... no response.  Finally, I wrote to their CEO, and received a call from "Customer Service" about a week later.  I was told that they could not issue a travel credit to me because I had not taken out their insurance with a "cancel for any reason" provision, and that it would "not be fair to other travelers" if they allowed me to receive a credit.  Instead, they offered a $100 on-board credit for a future cruise!! 

 

We had third party insurance to cover illness or death, but the issues around Zika don't fall within the areas of coverage.  We lost our cruise fares, and Windstar lost formerly happy customers.  Their short-sighted attitude and non-enlightened view of "customer service" is really an embarrassment to their brand.  We will never travel with their cruise line again.

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 36
3 Comments
5 out of 5

The most amazing vacation! by leesyetsy

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The most amazing cruise we have ever taken! We were supposed to share the beautiful ship/yacht with 200 people, and instead only shared with 130 other passengers. The crew were so amazing I never wanted to go home. Absolutely the best vacation hands down!

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 5
1 Comment
4 out of 5

ship redirected by rcloyer

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Our ship was redirected to help the sister ship, Star Pride, which ran aground. Nearly all of our shore excursions were cancelled and we did not have the opportunity to leave the ship after day 2 (of 7).  By the end of the cruise, Windstar offered the passengers a 75% refund of cruise fare and this same amount to be discounted on a future cruise.

Though it was a bit of a bust, I must say that the crew (who were working nearly around the clock) were awesome the entire time. Food and service were great!

Pillows and mattress were not very good (I'll bring pillows next time), limited energy outlets in the cabin, and the presence of an imperious officer's wife were the only negatives. She demanded to know our suite numbers on the only shore excursion that we took because we asked the tour guide to stop and translate for us at a pharmacy (15 minutes in the store). I'm still wondering why she was there, and why she was so unpleasant.

 

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 19
5 out of 5

Glimmer & Glam by bkd03

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The cruise exceeded our expectations.  The staff was wonderful, the food was awesome, the ports were beautiful. I would recommend Windstar and this cruise in particular without reservation.

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 7
3 out of 5

Good Cruise but Sea Breeze was not at luxury level by WorldTravel

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

We have been on seven (7) Windstar cruises total with six (6) in the last nine (9) years. Until now, we were Windstar loyalists and had started taking Windstar cruises every year. We had such a great time on the Tahiti Windstar cruise last year that we booked two back-to-back cruises this year: one was from Istanbul to Athens and the other was from Athens to Venice.

First the good news. The itinerary and ports on both cruises were fantastic. There was not a single port we did not enjoy. There was only one sea day in the 16 nights we were onboard so the cruise was definitely action-packed. We saw 15 ports in 16 days. 

The staterooms were huge and very comfortable. There was a full bathtub and a walk in closet as well as a separate living room. With the balcony stateroom, you can see the ocean from the bed. The balcony has floor to ceiling windows that open up. It's not a real balcony you can sit on but you can stick your head out as well as open the windows and feel the sea breeze. On the sailing ships, the rooms are about 2/3 the size and just have a port hole. So the rooms on the Sea Breeze were certainly an upgrade to the Windstar experience.

When we heard Windstar was purchasing the three ex-Seabourn ships, we were very excited and assumed the ships, after Windstar's renovations, would be a step above the sailing ships in quality. We were wrong. While we really enjoyed the balcony stateroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and the cabins were huge by cruise ship standards, the Star Breeze itself was a disappointing. Windstar is not maintaining the ship to luxury standards. There were dirty windows in the public rooms and staterooms  as well as rust on the ship. Some of the carpets were worn out. The water platform was worn out and it had a couple inches of stale water in it. The spa is very small. It's hard to believe this was recently a Seabourn ship. Now I understand why they sold their three smaller cruise ships. They certainly are in need of more repair than Windstar has invested.

Overall, we had excellent service. However, service was slow at times, especially at breakfast time on the Veranda.  While our stateroom attendant tried his best, he seemed to be overburdened so our room was not cleaned as promptly as I was accustomed to. However, we still gave him an excellent rating because he did do everything we asked for and we know he is paid poorly and a bad mark will hurt him. When we had problems, the managers tried to sound concerned but they didn't take action on problems in a timely manner.

The special event at Ephesus was the highlight of the first cruise. It was spectacular to see the Celsus Library lit up at night. Overall, the food was good but not fantastic. The onboard barbecue has always been the highlight of the cruise. I wasn't as impressed with the quality of the barbecue on either cruise this time.

The Yacht Club public room was the nicest room on the ship. It had spectacular views and they seemed to clean the windows in that room. However, the sandwiches in the Yacht Club tasted stale. You had to go out to the bat to order drinks. In addition, on other Windstar cruises they offer a 4 pm tea time with snacks. They didn't offer it on this cruise.

Windstar no longer offers high quality, unique chocolates for turn down. Each night, we got chocolate mints, which we did not eat. I used to look forward to the nightly chocolates.

The pool deck was disappointing because the view is blocked by the life boats. The jacuzzi on the pool deck was not maintained at a hot enough temperature. The jacuzzi in the front of the ship was hot but there are no umbrellas out there to shield you from the sun so we didn't use it.

Surprisingly, the ships were not full. In the past, all the cruises we've been on with Windstar have been sold out. They have lowered the prices considerably at the last minute to try to fill the ships, which might explain the downgrade in quality. The ship seemed to be 70-80% full. First cruise had about 150 guests out of 212 and the second had about 170 guests out of 212. This was good for us in that Windstar was able to upgrade our cabin at no charge but we overpaid for the cruises because we booked early and prices went down after the 60 days window had closed.

I noticed there were many first time Windstar cruisers. I think we were probably the most experienced Windstar cruisers on both itineraries. In the past, Windstar cruises tended to have many Windstar repeaters. I suspect the repeaters were loyal because they like the sailing ships. I am not sure traditional cruise ships will be as successful for Windstar. The sailing ships felt luxurious because the quality is well above what one would expect for a sailing ship. However, the standard for traditional cruise ships are much higher and Windstar will need to invest a lot more in its new ships to compete with other luxury cruise lines. By the way, the only sailing ship Windstar owns that I like is the 300 passenger Wind Surf. The two smaller ships don't have enough guest space by the pool and they also are in need to more maintenance.

I do not recommend taking Windstar shore excursions. Many excursions were cancelled either due to weather or low bookings. The shore excursions manager had a defensive attitude when I made suggestions. The shore excursions are double or triple the price of what you can find by booking on Viator. We had fantastic tours through Viator for very reasonable prices.

Also, be careful at the Windstar-approved stores on shore excursions especially the Turkish rug and jewelry stores. Windstar will leave you there at the end of their shore excursion and they get a commission on whatever you buy. Don't accept the first or even fourth offer. Be willing to walk away and they will truly offer you their best price then. For example, one guest said the rug store lowered a $9000+ rug to $4000 when they weren't interested. They didn't end up purchasing it anyway but it just shows the Turkish rug stores are willing to slash prices by 50% or more.

I think Xanterra is lowering Windstar's quality and they don't know how to run luxury cruise ships. Xanterra's expertise is in national parks and land-based vacations. They do not seem to have experience in high end properties. It's a shame because Windstar was so fantastic in the past. I heard Xanterra plans to purchase and renovate 4 more ships. I think they are growing too fast and need to get it right with what they have right now. In fact, I hope someone else buys Windstar and restores it to its former glory. 

In the future, we will consider "real" luxury cruise lines because Windstar is now overpriced for what they offer (although they are offering amazingly low priced deals at the last minute - I just saw a last minute promo for a Windstar cruise on Star Breeze for as low as $899 - what does that say about Windstar?). While the other luxury cruise lines may seem more expensive, they include more items in the price than Windstar does and they offer a true luxury experience on well-maintained ships.

 

 

 

 

 

Read full review

Was this review helpful? 17
8 Comments
1 - 18 of 18 Reviews