Nice relaxing cruise, very quiet and serene, casual.
5 out of 5
cab ride from airport to A.C. Wathey cruise port in Phillipsburg. Large tent near pier. We gave our names and deposited luggage, the walked to ship. Check in process is held in the lounge and is fast. They collect and hold passports. We went right up and had a nice lunch at the veranda. by then our luggage was in our room.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
tBreakfast and lunch are served on the veranda which has outdoor and indoor seating, main dinning room only open for dinner. Breakfast and lunch consist of buffet. There is an egg/omelette station for breakfast and a live cooking station/carving station for lunch with a daily rotating menu. There is also a small a la carte menu on the tables with items like pancakes, waffles etc. for breakfast and burgers dogs etc for lunch, order from waiter, all fresh made at an outdoor grill. Food in the Veranda is varied and very good, always tasty and well prepared. Standouts included the omelettes, waffles and pancakes. At lunch the live station chicken curry and vegetable biryani were excellent! Fish dishes at the buffet are always good. Dinner in main dinning room, AmphorA, is open seating. We usually arrived about 19:30 to 19:45 and never had a wait for a table for two. Staff is pleasant and efficient. Again a nicely varied menu, all dishes we had were delicious and well presented. Standouts Branzino and lamb shank. Specialty restaurants include Stella Bistro french, Candles a steakhouse, and the deck BBQ. No added charge for specialty restaurants one dinner for all at Stella Bistro and Candles per cruise, can go back if tables are open. Stella Bistro is located next to the veranda on an upper level. Service is impeccable food is wonderful with standouts Onion tart, Lobster bisque with added cognac, Rack of lamb, and Coquill St. Jacques. Candles is an outdoor steakhouse venue held at the veranda. A very romantic dinner spot with intimate tables and a view of town/ harbor depending on the evening. We enjoy St. Barts as there is a great view of town and harbor with yachts during dinner. I do feel that this is their weakest food venue. Steaks are good but not outstanding. We had the veal chop on several occasions hit or miss can be beautiful and luscious or fatty with lots of grizzle. They do a deck BBQ once during every cruise, with other restaurants closed that evening. Always a great event with a massive spread of food. Salads appetizers paella grilled lobster lamb steak and a whole roast pig. All served buffet style and all delicious. It is also an event with live music and dancing on deck. For us bar service centered on the Compass Rose a lounge in the aft portion of the ship. Nice place for pre and post dinner cocktails with pleasant outdoor seating. The bar servers are excellent and had our drink orders memorized by the second night. There is some entertainment at this venue which I'll discuss later. There is a larger indoor lounge which also has entertainment however we feel it is nicer to sit outdoors.
5 out of 5
There is a small pool and two small hot tubs in the back of the ship. Not much shade a few umbrellas. There is a pool bar with great service. lounge chairs are set up on all decks and forward of the bridge with plenty of places to relax. There is an open bridge, you can walk in and learn about sailing and navigation. Sails are raised whenever the ship leaves port an event choreographed to music. No casino if that is important to you. Small shop. Nice gym. Water sports deck open in some ports. Dive into the ocean from the back of the boat at water level. Float on a mat jump on a trampoline or get a kayak, open is some ports a really great experience. Really no other activities so to speak. There is a spa but we don't use.
4 out of 5
No shows not theater ok by us. There is a house band that plays nightly in the lounge. We only experienced them on deck when they played at deck BBQ and they were adequate. There is a duet or lounge singer in the bar, Compass Rose, pre dinner until late night. Several of the singers/duets on prior cruises were quite good and very entertaining. This cruise not so much. Duo of female singer and guitar player. Small repertoire played many songs over and over, nothing dance-able. For those who care no casino.
No kids with us, ship has no children's program
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Excellent service all around. Food and bar service personable and efficient. With the small size of the ship staff gets to know almost all pass angers if not by name definitely by sight, and they usually have a good handle on individual likes. Officers are available and talkative. We also interacted with the front desk and shop all very helpful.
4 out of 5
Great layout for a small ship. basically three floors of staterooms and three floors of public areas. Two elevators one at each end of the ship. All areas are comfortable and well maintained. Very clean. Giving four stars because there where some visible foci of rust on decks. This is a large sailing yacht, and this dictates the design. As noted above sails are raised during sailing and this makes for a nice appearance that is different and unique as compared to standard mainstream cruise ships. For those of you with mobility issues consider, decks are narrow and punctuated by bulkheads with narrow openings and raised steps through which wheeled devices cannot pass. All ports are moored and tendered. Passengers need to negotiate a narrow staircase on the outside of the ship into the tender.
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
Standard cabin two portholes just above water level. Relatively midship pretty stable. Lots of floor space, lots of drawers and storage space. There is a safe in the closet. Comfortable bed. Slightly weird bathroom configuration, toilette is located in a stall similar to the shower, likely prefab cabin configuration. Mini bar with small fridge.
actually two pieces of advice: When docking or mooring watertight bulkheads are closed on first and second decks and most rooms are not accessible by elevator. as there are several doors fore and aft there are several compartments each with several rooms accessible by only one specific staircase. Remember which one! Ship is not designed for those with mobility issues.
Small port with a few bars and restaurants. Beaches close by ie Pigeon Galleon do not have services. Other beaches such as Jolly beach and Dickenson's Bay are about a 40 min cab ride. Cabs at Falmouth Harbor are unregulated and dilapidated, never sure what your getting. Nelsons Dockyard not much to see, just a few old buildings and a small museum. About 45 minutes to walk around unless you stop to eat and or drink.
Soper's Hole, Tortola, B.V.I.
4 out of 5
Soper's Hole was decimated by hurricane Irma, and has not been completely recovered yet. Windstar has docked at Road Town the last two seasons though they continue to list Soper's Hole on their itinerary. Have not been to Road Town in years it has become an overbuilt cruise port with the usual panoply of jewelry shoppes, tourist shoppes etc. Cabs (we went to Cane Garden Bay beach) are now large jitneys carrying about 20 passengers. The problem is they only return once an hour on the hour island time. The beach has also been built up over the last few years and has lost much of its rustic charm. Hopefully Soper's Hole will reopen it is much smaller and more charming then Road Town.
Jost Van Dyke, B.V.I.
4 out of 5
Nice beach near soggy dollar bar. Several other beach bars on the strip. Get out early to grab a chair before they fill up.
Beach BBQ very good. Bar service, beach toys, and massages on the beach. Some umbrellas and chairs are set up again arrive early to get one. Water is nice, beach is not that pretty. We visited the Baths years ago, beautiful do it once.
pretty island nice beaches nice town. Very French. Only port where we did a ship excursion. Morning catamaran sail on a small boat about 12 passengers. Nice sail, stop for swimming. Shell beach is a must at least once. Good shopping in town, there is a great liquor store on the main drag with a great selection of old rum. Great service if you speak French.
5 out of 5
Fast and easy. Lined up outside lounge, passports returned and immigration on ship. plenty of time for a nice breakfast. Bags taken to Same tent where we arrived. Took a cab to Maho Beach Sunset bar. Right next to airport a nice place to spend a few hours before getting to airport especially if late flight.
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