Dining on Windstar?

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#1
82 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Hi everyone,

Avid cruisers here, wife and I are in our late 20's. We are looking to switch it up and try the small ships!

What is dining like on Windstar? Any buffets or is it all cooked to order? Set dining times? Are private tables available?

Any and all information you have please provide! Thank you for your time
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#2
573 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
There's a lot of information buried in various threads here, so I'll just try to summarize briefly.

Meal times vary a bit depending on each days schedule, and are announced in the newsletter you get each afternoon.

Breakfast - combination of buffet and order, with specials each morning. Always fresh fruit and pastries, and all the usual breakfast stuff.

There's also a place in the Yacht club (that actually opens early) to get coffee, sweet rolls and other light fare.

Lunch - again a buffet with daily options. Always a burger and hotdog, specialty sandwiches, various prepared dishes and a carving station. The buffet will often have sort of casserole type things - lasagna, mousaka, etc. Desserts include ice cream and sorbet.

Dinner - usually begins at 7:00 but you can just show up any time after that and they'll seat you. You can ask for a private table or to be seated with someone. No assigned seating or time. There will be many options on the menu to choose from each night and always salads, soups meat and veg based main courses along with desserts, all served by waitstaff.

There will be a BBQ night which is buffet on the deck and usually great food.

During the day the Yacht Club has sandwiches and there's always room service.

You won't starve!
#3
121 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Although as I understand it the yacht club is only on the Windsurf. We have cruised twice on the smaller Windstar. Buffet plus specials cooked to order for breakfast and lunch. Very casual, which is fine in the Caribbean where it is usually hot.

Dinner is a more special affair. All silver service and nice food. They also have the option of Candles which is al fresco dining on deck available once per cruise for everyone. Food is very good.

I agree the deck barbeque was very good, food and entertainment.

There are also various special events put on such as the beach barbeque on Mayreau on the Jewels of the Cribbean cruise which was very good.

However it is not like your normal large cruise line where there is food available 24/7. We recently did an Alaska cruise on Holland America and could not understand how people could eat pizza or hotdogs at 4.00pm when they would be (presumably) eating again a few hours later.

Can't comment in the motor yachts as haven't sailed on them.
#4
California
380 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by Karen13
Although as I understand it the yacht club is only on the Windsurf. We have cruised twice on the smaller Windstar. Buffet plus specials cooked to order for breakfast and lunch. Very casual, which is fine in the Caribbean where it is usually hot.

Dinner is a more special affair. All silver service and nice food. They also have the option of Candles which is al fresco dining on deck available once per cruise for everyone. Food is very good.

I agree the deck barbeque was very good, food and entertainment.

There are also various special events put on such as the beach barbeque on Mayreau on the Jewels of the Cribbean cruise which was very good.

However it is not like your normal large cruise line where there is food available 24/7. We recently did an Alaska cruise on Holland America and could not understand how people could eat pizza or hotdogs at 4.00pm when they would be (presumably) eating again a few hours later.

Can't comment in the motor yachts as haven't sailed on them.
Just jumping in here to say that all the motorized yachts (Star Pride, Star Legend, Star Breeze) have the Yacht Club up on deck 8. We would go up there in the afternoon for a quick snack (sandwiches, bite size desserts) and an espresso. Or in the early morning for pastries. Not sure about the others, but on the Star Pride the Yacht Club also had a mini-library of travel books and board games to enjoy as well.
#5
Southlake, Texas
1,162 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
They put out some canapes and small bites with tea around four or so. On the Windsurf, its in the Compass Rose.

You can order anything on the restaurant menu that night for room service in addition to the regular menu . So, if you want to have an evening in, you can check the dinner menu in the Amphora and then order from that.

There is an early riser Continental breakfast put out before the regular service begins. (I have never actually even made it to the regular breakfast. ) Room service coffee and eggs for me!
#6
573 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by Karen13
Although as I understand it the yacht club is only on the Windsurf.
Nope. The Seaborn triplets have a smashing space called the Yacht Club, and I'm pretty sure the Star and Spirit do as well, although it's been awhile since we've been on them (sadly, they're our favorite.) Actually, they may not as the early breakfast is or was served on the aft pool area. The name is a mismomer as the space is open to all.
#7
121 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
I can confirm Windstar definitely don't have a Yacht Club (we have been on it as recently as last December) although they do put out some canapés and snacks on deck at about 4.00pm.
#8
California
380 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by Karen13
I can confirm Windstar definitely don't have a Yacht Club (we have been on it as recently as last December) although they do put out some canapés and snacks on deck at about 4.00pm.
Hi all - there is definitely a Yacht Club on the Star Pride as we just sailed on her last month, and we hung out there every afternoon. Besides the snacks and coffee bar, they also had a library of travel books, board games, and the ship's photographer's "office." It's up on deck 8 at the very front of the ship. If you go on the Windstar website and click on the descriptions/amenities for the Star Pride, Star Breeze, and Star Legend (Seabourn Triplets as milepig mentioned), they list "Yacht Club" and show a photo of the big room (identical on those 3 ships).

However, if you click on the descriptions/amenities for the Wind Spirit and Wind Star there is no listing for a Yacht Club; and the Wind Surf lists only a "Yacht Club Sandwich & Espresso Bar."

Not consistent with the ships, so it can be confusing.
#9
Orleans MA
657 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
The Yacht Club on the Wind Surf is large and lovely. Starting at 6:30 am there are all types if delicious coffees that run through the day. In the am breakfast pasteries, yogurts, fruit etc. during the day delicious, inventive sandwiches. There are tables, comfortable chairs, computers, books, a lovely space to relax, converse and read. It is very central, light, airy a very pleasant space. On the three motor there is also a seperate large very comfortable room with all the same amenities and timing. Off the room is a wrap atound deck on the outside, to observe the sea while enjoying your coffee. This is also a great space. Due to the size of the Wind Star and Wind Spirit there is no Yacht Club, in the morning by the pool bar they have coffee set up and morning padteries, yogurts and fruits, it starts at 6:30. Happy Sailing
#10
175 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Is the coffee on the WindSurf Yacht club self-serve or is it made up for you? I love being able to get a coffee first thing in the morning and watch the approach to the port.
#11
573 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by Naveron
Is the coffee on the WindSurf Yacht club self-serve or is it made up for you? I love being able to get a coffee first thing in the morning and watch the approach to the port.
They make it for you ala Starbucks, and by the 2nd day they'll know what you want. There may also be a self-serve pot, but I don't remember seeing one.

This is my pattern, I'm usually first up and grab some coffee and go out on deck for awhile.
#12
3,882 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Just off Windsurf. Dining is excellent. Yacht club has coffee and tea daytime with pastry in the morning and premade sandwiches in the afternoon. It closes at 6pm. You can get coffee anytime in any bar. Room service is available 24/7. It is wuick and good. Veranda is open for breakfast and lunch. Dinner starts at 7 in Aamphora. On each cruise, you can dine in the 2 specialty restaurants. Stella Bistro is sort of french. Candles is on deck grilled food. All venues are very good. There is no big buffet like the mass market ships. Also, local food often is added to the menu. Food is plentiful and very good. Non-alcoholic drinks are complimentary too. That includes all venues 24/7 including the cabin. I
When I get on the ship, I let the beverage dept. know my preferences. My cabin bar is restocked daily.
The deck bbq is spectacular. Food is outstanding. It is not to be missed.
If you have requests, let the staff know and they will make it happen.
Windstar is quite different from orher lines. After experiencing the Windstar cruise, you will wonder why other cruises are so popular. Windstar does cost more than most mass market lines , and it is worth it.
#13
Tucson, AZ
343 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by Redtravel
Just off Windsurf. Dining is excellent. Yacht club has coffee and tea daytime with pastry in the morning and premade sandwiches in the afternoon. It closes at 6pm. You can get coffee anytime in any bar. Room service is available 24/7. It is wuick and good. Veranda is open for breakfast and lunch. Dinner starts at 7 in Aamphora. On each cruise, you can dine in the 2 specialty restaurants. Stella Bistro is sort of french. Candles is on deck grilled food. All venues are very good. There is no big buffet like the mass market ships. Also, local food often is added to the menu. Food is plentiful and very good. Non-alcoholic drinks are complimentary too. That includes all venues 24/7 including the cabin. I
When I get on the ship, I let the beverage dept. know my preferences. My cabin bar is restocked daily.
The deck bbq is spectacular. Food is outstanding. It is not to be missed.
If you have requests, let the staff know and they will make it happen.
Windstar is quite different from orher lines. After experiencing the Windstar cruise, you will wonder why other cruises are so popular. Windstar does cost more than most mass market lines , and it is worth it.
I wish I could agree. We have been on four Windstar cruises, the last one a year ago. On the first three cruises we were pleased with the food. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style with some limited a la carte menu items available. Dinner in all three venues is ordered off of the menu. Breakfast has always been adequate, if not anything wonderful. The buffet is just OK, the eggs sometimes not as warm as we would have liked, the bacon at times under-cooked, like many similar buffets. The lunch buffet has always Been mediocre, at best. It consisted of various casserole type dishes, salads, and a pasta bar. The a la carte menu offered hamburgers that were inedible. They seemed to be steamed, not grilled. The daily lunch sandwich special always sounded fantastic and consistently disappointed. On our first three cruises, dinners were very good. You could eat in the Main Dining Room (Amphora) or the Stella Bistro at any time, and you were able to order off either restaurant's menu, regardless of where you were eating. Last year, all that changed. We asked if we could order from the Stella Bistro menu when we were in the MDR, and we were told that that was no longer permitted. The quality of the food was markedly inferior to what we had had on previous WS cruises, overcooked steaks and fish, meals not served warm, slow service, waiting for what seemed like hours to order or obtain wine, etc. The lunches on WS were always unimpressive, but last year the dinners were just unacceptable. That was our last WS cruise, ever.
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#14
Orleans MA
657 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
I think food is so subjective. I am not bragging but I know a lot about food, the science etc, I am an excellent cook and an adventurous eater. My husband is another great cook, an amazing hobbiest in gardening,but a fussy, nonadventureous eater. We love the WS food and after 19 trips never a disappointment. Last summer we were with friends and one is an extremely upscale eater, I warned her WS is not Michelin I, II or III but I felt the food was of good quality, varied, healthy, creative so I was a bit nervous. Well, she loved it and she loved WS. She had been on a Regent, River Cruise and Seabourne and really did not like crusing. WS changed her mind. I was naturally relieved and happy. My point: food is so subjective. Go with an open palette, I am sure you will find lots to enjoy. Happy Sailing.
( not being major meat consumers we have found the filet at Candles and the lamb are of excellent quality )
#15
185 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
We are just off the Breeze Spanish Serenade cruise - our 5th Windstar cruise. We thought the food was better than our carribbean cruise 18 mths ago where we thought the food had gone a bit downhill.

We had a Chef consultant on board who is there for a few months and chartered with upping their food game a bit. We really noticed the improvement. We attended a cooking demo, galley tour and market day with him and were impressed. They featured some local items and chef's specials on the menu that were always very good. The desserts definitely have improved!
#16
Conneticut River Valley
382 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Just viewed photos of the latest refit of the Star Pride. The MDR looks very different then it used to before her little mishap and subsequent refit. Has the MDR refit tricked down to her sisters yet? I've sailed aboard the Pride as a Seaborne ship several times and aboard her once as a Windstar flagged ship but that was before her last refit and was curious.
We'll be aboard the Legend at the end of this month in the Med.
I must say that the new configuration of the MDR [as seen in photos of the Pride during and after the refit] look outstanding! The MDR now looks far more open and airy. Well done Windstar!
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#18
573 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by Magnum60
Just viewed photos of the latest refit of the Star Pride. The MDR looks very different then it used to before her little mishap and subsequent refit. Has the MDR refit tricked down to her sisters yet? I've sailed aboard the Pride as a Seaborne ship several times and aboard her once as a Windstar flagged ship but that was before her last refit and was curious.
We'll be aboard the Legend at the end of this month in the Med.
I must say that the new configuration of the MDR [as seen in photos of the Pride during and after the refit] look outstanding! The MDR now looks far more open and airy. Well done Windstar!
Originally posted by ridethetide
The Breeze and the Legend underwent the same overhaul before their maiden voyages with Windstar. I have been on both. They are beautiful.
It has been my understanding that in General the Pride got what had been done to the Legend and Breeze. The initial work on the Pride wasn't nearly as comprehensive as on the other two ships, and the work done following the little boo-boo was previously scheduled and meant to bring the Pride up to the same level as the other two. Certainly the major work - expanding Veranda, switching out the pool, widening the deck space on the top level had all been previously carried out on the other two.
#19
Conneticut River Valley
382 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Thanks for the update. Really mattered little to me as I've always enjoyed the Pride. The new dinning room, widdened upper deck, lap pool and larger buffett area will only add to that enjoyment.
Bit of trivia on the Pride. When the Pride was put into service with Seaborne (Christened by Shirley Temple Booth) at the bottom of the rear staircase was a round glass bottom. The viewing area was about three feet in diameter and was pretty interesting when cruising the Caribbean. It's now been filled in and covered in marble where a large planter now sits. You'd think that Windstar would showcase updated interior pictures of these ships on their website rather than show photos mostly pulled from from the Seaborne days? Thanks folks.
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#20
Houston, TX
667 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Great info for my upcoming first sailing on WS Legend. Is the Skybar and Grill an actual grill? I've not seen any mention of food available from this location.
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