Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruises is one of the older luxury cruise lines, having started in 1984. The company specializes in small luxury yacht trips that carry between 148 – 310 guests at a time. This compares to the majority of luxury cruise lines in our reviews which carry upwards of 600 passengers, which some ships carrying well over 1,000 guests at a time.

Since its inception, Windstar has received multiple accolades for their intimate experiences to unique parts of the world. To date, Windstar travels to 59 nations, calling at 173 ports stretching throughout Europe, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, and Central America.

While there are larger ships that have been deemed the top luxury cruises lines overall, critics have repeatedly praised and honored Windstar as being the leader in luxury yacht cruises.

The Good

Wind Surf The Wind Surf is one of the largest sailing cruise ships in the world, and one of the most luxurious. The vessel contains 31 ocean-view rooms and 122 deluxe ocean view staterooms, carrying up to 310 guests on each voyage. Details:
  • Capacity: 310 Guests
  • Staterooms: 122 deluxe ocean view staterooms
  • Suites: 31 deluxe ocean view suites
  • Bridge Deck Suites: 2 deluxe ocean view bridge suites
  • Decks: 6
  • Crew: 201 international staff
  • Registry: Bahamas
  • Length: 535 feet (162 meters) at waterline; 617 feet (187 meters) including bowsprit
  • Draft: 16.5 feet (5 meters)
  • Tonnage: 14,745 gross registered tons (grt)
  • Beam: 66 feet (20 meters)
  • Sails: 7 triangular, self-furling, computer-operated sails with 26,881 square feet (2,600 square meters) of Dacron surface area
  • Masts: 5 at 221 feet (67.5 meters)
  • Engines: 4 diesel electric generating sets, 2 electrical propulsion motors
  • Speed: 10 to 12 knots with engines only; up to 15 knots with win and engine assisted
Wind Spirit While the Wind Spirit is the “smallest” of the Windstar Cruises fleet, it offers unparalleled privacy to the 148 pampered guests, split between 73 deluxe ocean-view staterooms and a single deluxe Owner’s Suite. Like other Windstar vessels, the Wind Spirit acts as a modern day cruise ship, but carries a state of the art system of computer-controlled sails on its four masts. With the feeling of a private yacht, each guest will enjoy spacious staterooms featuring a flat-screen TV with DVD player and Bose SoundDock speakers compatible with Apple iPods. Details:
  • Capacity: 148 guests
  • Staterooms: 73 deluxe ocean view staterooms
  • Owner’s Suite: 1 ocean view owner’s suite
  • Decks: 4 decks
  • Crew: 101 international staff
  • Registry: Bahamas
  • Length: 360 feet (110 meters) at waterline; 440 feet (134 meters) including bowsprit
  • Draft:  14 feet (4.1 meters)
  • Tonnage: 5,736 gross registered tons (grt)
  • Beam: 1 feet (15.8 meters)
  • Sails: 6 triangular, self-furling, computer-operated sails with 21,500 square feet (or 2,200 square meters) of Dacron surface area
  • Masts: 4 at 204 feet (62 meters)
  • Engines: 3 diesel electric generating sets, 1 electrical propulsion motor
  • Speed: 10 knots with engines only; up to 15.8 knots with prevailings wind
 

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11 Reviews

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Score

10

markh111

Aug 31, 2017

Up until this cruise, I would have said that the best cruise I ever took was in French Polynesia on the Paul Gauguin, back when that ship was part of the Regents Seven Seas line. This cruise, however (from Venice to Rome, with stops in Croatia, Montenegro, Sicily and the Amalfi coast), may well have topped that one. This cruise was not inexpensive, but you definitely get what you pay for. EMBARKATION was smooth and painless. Since we were not using Windstar’s transfer offer, we did have a little bit of difficulty getting information about where and how to board. You do so at the San Basilio port, easily reached by the vaporetto, or water bus (riding this from the Rialto stop, as we did, is itself a pleasant and scenic experience). Once on board we had to spend about 45 minutes filling out forms, but then we were free to explore; an excellent lunch (carved prime rib) was already being served. THE SHIP is relatively small (a bit more than 300 passengers) and very nicely laid out. Cabins do not have balconies, but all have portholes, are spacious (by cruise ship standards) and are beautifully arranged for maximum flexibility. Every cabin has a TV with DVD player; DVDs are available for free checkout in the ship’s library. The TV has a variety of satellite news channels, both for liberals (MSNBC) and conservatives (Fox News); several movies also play repeatedly throughout the day. We never actually saw our cabin steward, but he was very accommodating when we left him notes. On our first day, he replaced, at our request, all the beer and other alcoholic beverages in our refrigerator and replaced them with complimentary cans of coke and diet coke. Our cabin was always kept spotlessly clean and of course there were the inevitable towel animals waiting us for when we came back from dinner. The ship has sails (a huge plus for my wife, who loves sailing) and although they are mostly for show, they are occasionally used. When they are unfurled, stirring music plays. Another huge plus: There is a marina at the rear of the ship from which you can check out kayaks and even a small Hobie sailboat (all for free). The marina is open (weather permitting) whenever you are in a port that requires tendering to shore, but my wife absolutely loved sailing on the Adriatic. There is also a huge float that makes for fun swimming. This is a high-end cruise and therefore attracts an older crowd; I’d say the vast majority of passengers were at least 50 and there were plenty of people over 70, though we did see a few honeymooners and other folks in their 30s and 40s. There are no youth or childcare facilities; the ship makes very clear that young children and teenagers are not preferred passengers. This was fine with us. DINING is superb. The principal breakfast and lunch venue is the Veranda, where you can eat either indoors or outdoors. The arrangement is “buffet plus”: a good buffet (in the indoors part), with a smallish menu from which you can order extra items if necessary. (One thing I appreciated at every breakfast was freshly squeezed orange juice, which was excellent.) Dinner is served primarily in the main dining room, the AmphorA, though one evening during the cruise there is an on-deck barbeque, including not only things like paella, ribs and steak but also lobster (and of course a ton of salads, appetizers, breads and desserts). All non-alcoholic beverages are always free at every venue (including the bars); a charge is made for alcoholic beverages. Food at dinner was usually first-rate, with a choice of five or six entrees. My favorites were the prime rib and beef Wellington. Dinner is open seating (just come when you feel like it; there may be a line), but on the second night we sat at a table with a great view and excellent waiters, so my wife and I made a point of requesting that table (#7) every night from then on, and always got it. In addition to AmphorA, there are a couple of specialty restaurants, for which a reservation is required (but there is no extra charge). We ate at only one, Candles. During the check-in, we were asked if we wanted to make reservations there that night, and after looking at the AmphorA menu and seeing nothing that we had to have, we said yes. This was a great decision, since Candles is outdoor seating and the views as we sailed away from Venice were wonderful. There is also complimentary room service, but as we never took advantage of this option, I can’t comment on its quality. THE PORTS ranged from satisfactory to memorable. Our three top ports were Dubrovnik, Kotor (in Montenegro) and Amalfi, all of which had great scenery. Gettting to Kotor requires sailing down a beautiful passage ringed by mountains; unfortunately we were a little late departing so we didn’t get the spectacular mountain views a second time, as the sun had already set. The captain did a good job of pointing out points of interest as we sailed, and one evening (I think it was after departing Sicily) he mentioned we would be passing Stromboli, which I had never heard of, but found out was an active volcano. We were lucky enough at one point to see lava not just glowing from the top of the volcano but actually shooting out in a spectacular eruption; sadly, neither my wife nor I got a photo of this. We were a little annoyed that the ship’s photographer did not have the foresight to set up her camera for the possibility of something like this happening; we would have been more than willing to pay for a photo of this event. If we were to do it all over again, we would book, in Messina, Sicily, the shore excursion to Mt. Etna. It’s expensive and time-consuming but Messina didn’t offer a lot of stuff to do; we spent about three hours walking around and then found a gelato place where we could get free wifi as well as gelato. (For some reason, gelato was not served on board, but regular ice cream was. I think it should be a law that a ship in or even near Italy must serve gelato.) ENTERTAINMENT on board is pretty minimal. That suited us fine; we are early-to-bed, early-to-rise types and wouldn’t have been able to partake of it in any event. Don’t count, though, on the typical comedian/impressionist/audience participation games that you find on the larger ships. DISEMBARKATION was mildly problematic, but that’s not the ship’s fault. Getting from the port where we docked to Rome takes some doing; we decided to kill two birds with one stone and booked a shore excursion to Rome, which left us off a short taxi-ride away from the Spanish steps, where our hotel (booked by us independently of the cruise) was. There was also a miscommunication between us and the shore excursion lady about what stops were made; both my wife and I were sure that at least one additional stop was promised, but the tour leader said no. As it is we stopped only at St. Paul’s Basilica Outside the Walls, and getting there on the tour bus took forever (traffic jams here are murder); there was no bathroom on the tour bus and I was in considerable distress when we finally arrived. I don’t know of any other reasonable and inexpensive way to get from the port to Rome, though. SUMMARY One or two minor glitches to the contrary, this was a great cruise. Both my wife and I will look forward to traveling with Windstar Cruises in the future.


Score

4

plight0

Aug 31, 2017

Very nice cruise--great destinations, most notably smaller islands where big ships couldn't go. Kusadasi was wonderful--dinner at Ephesus was spectactular; food utterly unedible, but setting and light chamber music was extraordinary. Three big problems. Fumes filled the second and first decks on Monday--might have been paint, but more likely adhesives or sealant. Terrible, but no one on the ship would acknowledge or explain. Ship's hotel director went down after complaints and ship's doctor was notified, but nothing done. Fumes stayed for two days. Food was mediocre--butter is not a substitute for fresh. We're in Greece and no greek salads, fresh fish. The only fresh food was "sea bass," which is not a term for fresh or supple. It's whatever happens to be around. Finally the constant ship conditioning with electric grinders is not okay. Do it before the season, do it in-between cruises but not when passengers are on deck trying to read. A great cruise marred by perfectly preventing sloth. Sorry Windstar. Not okay. Oh, don't get me started on the sermons whenever we took excursions to monasteries and religious sites.


Score

10

cruisebear1

Aug 31, 2017

Nafplio, Mykonos, Kusadasi (Turkey), Patmos, Santorini, and Monemvasia, returning to Athens. We enjoyed the small ship experience and the no dress up requirement. Very relaxing on board, hectic on the daily tours. Windstar picked us up from the airport on time...it was basically a taxi cab. We used them for the pick up based on past cruise experiences where the taxi driver couldn't find the ship because it had no address. Terrific crew on board that works very hard to make everyone happy. It is a beautiful ship. Unfortunately, they never seemed to put up more than a couple of sails. We used the Windstar tours every day except for Santorini and Athens. They were very well organized and everything went smoothly. However, most of the islands were very hot, even for June. We had read about mosquito problems in Santorini, but we didn't run across one. Unfortunately, the Kusadasi evening event was rained out for the first time in years, so we had dinner at the hotel that caters the event. Can't blame them for an act of god, but still disappointed we didn't get to do the dinner at the Ephesus library. For Santorini and Athens, our party of four used "Tours by Locals". They were quite excellent also, and provided a small group experience for less than half the cost of the equivalent tour from Windstar. For all the tours, the guides seemed to provide for periodic toilet stops, and the toilets for the most part were clean and modern. Watch out for the toilet in the ruins of Mycenae in Nafplio, my wife got locked in a dark stall for a while. Also the pay public toilet at the north end of the Oia walkway in Santorini was filthy. Food at breakfast and lunch on the ship was excellent. At dinner, the food was good, but not as good as some other cruise lines. Some observations not usually included in reviews: - Internet (an option that you can purchase) speed was measured at 1.5 Mbps download and upload speed if you sat in the lobby near the front desk. The wifi in the room was weak (-89 dBm) and limited the bandwidth further. Web pages loaded at low cost DSL speeds...about 10-20 seconds to open a page. - The toilet in the room was light brown in the bottom instead of white. It looked like the staff had scrubbed it a bit too hard and took the finish off, so now it couldn't be effectively cleaned any longer. - A few weeks before the cruise, we got an email from Windstar to make sure we got a Turkish visa for the Kusudasi visit. We didn't need it. Even the Turkey website says that you don't need one for such a short visit. All we needed was the ship ID (no passport). - Daily evening announcements can't be heard in the room. No option to turn it on or off like other ships. So you had to stick your head out the door to hear what they were saying. And the announcements sometimes modified the meeting times previously announced in the daily bulletin. - The Windstar documentation mentions "wet landings", where you jump out of the tender boat into shallow water. There were no wet landings on this cruise. The tender always dropped us off at a dock. At a couple of stops, the ship could actually tie up to a dock, eliminating the need for the tender.


Score

10

lextrvlr

Aug 31, 2017

Before reviewing a wonderful five-star cruise, let me dispense with my booking frustrations with the Windstar office. Without burdening you, may I simply say that the powers-that-be in Seattle need to properly train their representatives, empower them to answer concerns and questions, and then abide by their answers. Should anyone want details, please contact me. Now for the Star Legend cruise from Lisbon to Dublin with port calls in Porto, El Ferrol, Bordeaux, La Rochelle, and St Malo. First, my wife and I have been enjoying cruises for 25 years on both larger and smaller ships. As in the Goldilocks story, we found the Star Legend to be just right. Boarding was seamless and pleasant at about 1:00 in the afternoon. After having a glass of Champagne, providing our passports and receiving our boarding cards, we were escorted to our “suite” which was in order and immaculate. We were then invited to enjoy lunch on the Veranda. From that point on, for the next 10 days, service from every member of the staff was always with a sincere smile and immediate. From laundry service to in-room meals, from tour escorts to bartenders, from the personable Captain to the fellow polishing brass, everyone was willing and able to be of service. Yes this ship has some age, but I have learned to appreciate the workmanship in older vessels. The walls of our spacious cabin were solid, constructed of wood, mirrors and padded fabric. We did not hear our neighbors and I doubt they heard us. All meals were outstanding in all of the venues, with a great variety of menu selections. The wine list was more than adequate. Here I must give special kudos to the wonderful young lady who served us three meal per day, almost without exception, (not that she was assigned to us, but because we sought her, or she looked for us). Trisna, from Bali, was the most caring, attentive, friendly individual imaginable, and able to do all that she did with the graciousness of a prima ballerina. Thank you so very much Trisna! Our ports of call were unique, and great launching points for some very interesting tours. It was so nice to dock at every port. No tendering. Before wrapping this up, I must mention two tiny aspects which did not please us. One, the music provided by the entertainers included amplified computer accompaniment. In some places this was bearable, but in the Compass Rose room it was not. We entered this room on two different occasions after dinner and the volume was so loud we turned around and left. My only other gripe would be that I bristled at having time taken from my 50 min. massage to pitch my need for additional massages and a $55.00 “cooling gel.” Yes, we would do it again, and recommend it highly.


Score

10

andrewsjl

Aug 31, 2017

We took a cruise with Windstar on the Wind Star to visit the Greek Isles. It was our first time with this cruise line. Every single aspect of the cruise exceeded my expectations! From start to finish, (nearly) everything was perfect. The yacht, the food, drinks, the crew members (especially the crew members!) all made for a wonderful vacation. We could not be happier! The food was some of the best I've had while traveling, including at luxury all inclusive resorts. It's amazing how they can create such delicious and creative meals, at sea nonetheless! The menu varied each night, and included a nice variety of dishes from different cuisines and with meat, fish, seafood, vegetarian, etc. The dining service was also exceptional. We ate on the deck on night, and that was also an excellent experience! The crew in particular is amazing. They come from all over the world, with a large majority from Indonesia and the Philippines. We made friends with so many of the crew members, who went above and beyond to make us feel special. To mention just a few who really stood out: Joel, Rene, Noel, Marco, Philip, Endro, Asep and Saka (our cabin steward). They are always approachable, friendly and willing to please, all with a smile on their faces (even when having to deal with rude guests). We decided to double our gratuities, and also tipped cash to those we got to know best by the end of our 7 night cruise. They work extremely hard to make your cruise vacation spectacular, and deserve special recognition. I also have to mention the musical team, Duality (Marni and Chooi) who were outstanding and entertained us each afternoon and night! The only problem (if I'm being picky) was that our cabin was too hot. We asked about it twice, but it stayed hot for the duration of the cruise. I suspect this has more to do with the architecture of the ship (the cold air comes from front of the ship, and warms up before it gets to aft cabins). But apart from that, perfection! We took a few excursions with Windstar, and they were all very well planned and a good value. One excursion, however, seemed a little crowded. I looked at the excursions head of time and booked private tours guides through tours by locals at some ports. It ended up costing the same or just slightly more than the cost of an excursion booked through the ship for 2 people. One day, we decided to take a break and stayed aboard, enjoying the lounge chairs on the deck by the pool. I am definitely planning on taking many, many more cruises with Windstar. One of the major advantage is the small ship size. I would never want to travel on a "megaship" with thousands of people. A smaller "yacht" makes it a more personal experience, and there are no lines anywhere. We are looking at Tahiti next year, on the Wind Spirit, which features the same layout as the Wind Star.


Score

10

hines

Aug 31, 2017

Great experience last year on Windstar Pride, wanted to try the sailing ship. Took two back to back cruises, starting in Lisbon, joining another in Dublin, ending in Edinburgh. Just fabulous cabins, bathrooms, great dining, good music in lounge, interesting historical lectures by a very informed historian. Wonderful service and extremely friendly and kind crew. Captain always actively engaged with passengers. Ability of all to remember passenger names was astounding and never experienced on any other line. Mixed age groupings, kids with grandparents and so forth, and younger crowd than Vantage or Viking get made it nice too. Ship is gorgeous under sail. We had foggy conditions and missed one port of call but no one seemed to mind and felt securely cared for by the senior staff and crew. Great land excursions, though somewhat expensive. Wonderful cruise director, who was very caring with anyone who was unsteady or needed extra time.


Score

10

sb44

Aug 31, 2017

Being welcomed back to the Wind Surf by our Captain Gerry Hogan and his spectacular crew made us feel as if we were being welcomed home. This particular cruise from Dublin to Edinburgh was a dream for us and almost unattainable after a sudden serious health issue earlier in the year. Seeing "the Surf" tied up at the dock brought tears to our eyes. Being greeted by staff who remembered us from other sailings not only made us feel instantly at home, it is also a testament to a company that must be great to work for as the crew members have choices in employers and they keep coming back. There is so much to say about this cruise starting with the ports which were all interesting with each one very different in landscape and culture. Going to Isle of Man and learning the history of this country and its part in WWII was enlightening. Kirkwall and all of the Orkney Islands, going to Scapa Flow feel like a step back into history, both modern and ancient. Portree, Isle of Skye, is one of the most beautiful places on earth; Tobermory charming and Portrush all of these rolled into one. Disembarking in Edinburgh was easy and it's understandable why people fall in love with this charming city and continue to return. The Wind Surf is in wonderful shape with excellent services, continuous smiles and a true effort to make every guest feel special. The reception staff and dining room staff are eager to do whatever it takes to satisfy each request. We eat anything an everything but met lots of people with specific food needs and all were exceedingly happy with the abundance of choices. The cabin stewards are the best in the business, keeping the cabins immaculate and will appear at a moments notice to take care of any personal need. We are always amazed that our names are remembered from day one. This particular itinerary is one that should not be missed. There were lots of fellow passengers who were interested in these countries as part of their ancestry. And if one isn't into ancestry and/or the history of Ireland and Scotland, there are always the breweries and distilleries! Great trip!


Score

10

Lestaz

Aug 31, 2017

This was our fourth Windstar cruise. This journey took us from Barcelona to Lisbon. Even the before and after cruise days at Windstar selected host hotels are great! Our previous three cruises have been on the Windstar ships with sails. This cruise was on Star Breeze which is an all suite ship without the sails. We miss the sails but greatly enjoyed the extra space in our cabin suite with a balcony. The service, food, excursion experiences and the genuinely friendly support provided by all members of the officers, staff and crew of Windstar makes every cruise an exceptional vacation experience. The small size of the ships allows you to experience your own private sailing yacht at sea! The only trips we have made without Windstar have been due to scheduling or destination choices. If Windstar provided cruises to every place on our "bucket list" we would always choose to travel with Windstar! We are RAVING fans! Everyone knows you by name and quickly learns what you possess for goals and desires that will make your vacation experience an exceptional highlight of your life experiences. The Windstar staff seek to exceed your own expectations and continue to achieve that high level of performance. We continue to be amazed that they keep finding ways to dazzle, amaze, surprise and just treat us in an exceptionally positive manner. We have already booked our next Windstar cruise to Alaska. And we have at least three more cruises planned for 2018 and 2019 including a repositioning cruise that will be a trans-Atlantic crossing. Obviously we love the sea and we love the total Windstar experience! We know that some travelers prefer the additional amenities of very large cruise ships. For us we prefer the smaller sailing ships because of the intimate service and support. We also have experienced the great and special opportunities to visit unique ports, sights, people and cultures that are not available to large ships and their excursion groups. Windstar may not be for everyone but everyone should try the experience! I can't imagine anyone being disappointed in their choice. We live in an amazing time with wonderful opportunities to explore the land and sea of our world. We have unique opportunities to interact with a great variety of people and to learn about their history and their cultures and customs. By doing so in the form of a travel adventure we add value to our lives and the lives of the people who host our visits. Windstar helps us realize that it truly is a SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL! Finally, Windstar guests are generally well educated and well traveled. They have accomplished much in their lives but are mostly humble people. The informal and relaxed atmosphere and culture of a Windstar cruise proves that excellence in service and experiences and a more relaxed style of dress and routines can add up to an exceptional vacation experience that is very special to enjoy, experience and most of all to desire to repeat in the future!


Score

10

jeremylawrance

Aug 31, 2017

This was our fourth cruise on the Wind Spirit in Tahiti. We chose the Wind Spirit as the itinerary allows full days on four islands and two full days in Bora Bora. There are interesting shore excursions for those who want to be guided however we just choose to hang out at the ports and swim on the local beaches. There are three major events in the seven day cruise. The first special event is a dinner deck BBQ with the most amazing array of seafood and steaks to roasts and ribs. The evening ends with a crew line dance that is fun to join. The second event is a day on a private island where the crew set up a lunchtime buffet and a bar that fitted in with a day of swimming and snorkeling.The Captain and Hotel Manager participated in the greeting to the island and the food preparation. Amazing! The third and major event is on another private island in Bora Bora. Here the crew set up an evening buffet with local dishes such as the local Poisson Cru, a raw Tuna dish marinated in Lime and Coconut. The Tuna is purchased from local fishermen who deliver the fish directly to the ship.That night the festivities continued back on the ship for our sail away from Bora Bora headed for Huahine. While Windstar Cruises advertise one special event on this trip, I think that all three events are special and go far and beyond what one expects in this modern world of cruising.


Score

10

dottiecat

Aug 31, 2017

My brother chose this cruise and invited us to join him. While it wasn't an itinerary we had ever considered, we soon became excited about seeing such a different part of the world. From start to finish, we loved our time on the Wind Surf. Both embarkation and disembarkation were quick and nearly effortless. The personable and attentive staff made us feel special, and the size of the ship (312 passengers) made it a much more intimate cruising experience than we'd previously experienced. The food was excellent and varied, so we looked forward to every meal. My husband is a vegetarian, and the kitchen staff were very attentive to be sure he was happy with his meals (they even gave him a preview of the next night's menu in case he wanted to request that they make him a special entree, which turned out not to be needed). We did not partake in evening entertainment (as we generally had to get up early for tours), but attended a couple of interesting lectures about upcoming ports of call or cultures. We chose some of the excursions offered by the ship, and booked others on our own. We were very pleased with the ports we visited (St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Tallinn, Klaipeda, and Gdansk), and felt we learned a lot. (The sea was too rough to tender in Bornholm, so we had an unexpected sea day, but it was the loveliest weather and we were under full sail for over three hours.) We spent four nights in Stockholm prior to boarding the ship (at the Grand Central Hotel by Scandic), and another three nights in Copenhagen at the end (at the Hotel Admiral), and very much hope to return to both cities. We very much look forward to traveling with Windstar again.


Score

6

mtiger102

Aug 31, 2017

Cruised with Windstar several times in the past. Did the 2017 Baltic cruise on the WindSurf. Began the cruise in Stockholm and ended it in Copenhagen. The WindSurf is in good shape. The staterooms are adequate and the common areas are fine. This cruise went as planned with the exception of the cancellation of the Bornholm day. I found the WindSurf staff to be business like and well versed in the company line and Windstar "speak." Don't remember the captain's name. He said the right things, promoted Windstar and showcased his staff. Compared to other Windstar cruises, I felt the staff on this cruise was unenthused and did nothing out of the ordinary as service goes. Of course, there were a few that did, but by and large, they did what they were supposed to do and nothing more. After 10 days, the food became monotonous. Food quality is adequate, but certainly not to be confused with fine cuisine. Towards the end of the cruise, several "bugs" made their way throughout the passenger ranks, as many people had colds or GI issues. Hopefully this did not continue on the next cruise. Shore excursions were so-so, with some being well done and others not so. The stop in Lithuania was not good and the concentration camp trip in Poland was awefull. Some of these excursion should be re-evaluated. I would suggest doing your homework and looking into booking your own shore excursions. For example, I would split an 8 hour private car and guide in Russia. You can see all of the sights this way and tailor your own agenda. I would like to try this itinerary on Silver Seas or another luxury line.


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