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CostaRicaMike

Windstar Refurbishment

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Hi,

 

We cruised Europe on the Windstar ship back in 2002 and it looked quite weathered. We are now planning to take the Windstar ship on the March 19th Costa Rica cruise. Has anyone been on the ship recently and can tell me what kind of shape the ship is in these days?

 

Thanks for the feedback,

Mike

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While it was a little over a year ago and things may have changed, here were my comments on our return from our Dec. 26 2003-Jan 2, 3004 cruise on the Wind Star:

 

This was Wind Star's second sailing after refurbishment. Having never sailed her before I can only go by the brochure pictures to note what changes had been made. There was new furniture in the library and lounge. Looks like new carpeting everywhere. New bedspreads and decorative pillows in the cabins. They have replaced corner mounted televisions with flat screen tvs, attached to the wall across from the bed. The flat screens could not be tilted, so it was difficult to view if reclined on the bed. VCRs were replaced with DVDs. The remote control could start a DVD, but you had to get up and use the buttons on the DVD player itself to fast forward or pause or stop.

 

The airconditioning in our cabin worked fine. It stayed cool enough the entire week. But we spoke to one couple who's air conditioning quit on day two. A couple of engineers took two days to get air moving in their cabin and another day or two for cool air to come back. They tried to get their cabin changed, but there were none available. Windstar gave them a bottle of wine, but they didn't feel that was enough compensation for their discomfort. One night they slept with their cabin door open to get a little air movement.

 

We were told that they removed the spa from the gym to add more equipment. The gym now has one elliptical trainer, one stairstepper, one recumbent bicycle, and two treadmills. However, one treadmill was out of order the entire week. They also had free weights and a weight machine. One deck up, on the aft deck, were two exercycles.

 

I've posted some pictures at: <http://www.snapfish.com/share/p=15971073530737973/l=22331025>

 

Jackie

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Thanks for the replies, sure glad it was refurbished since I was on it last. I would also appreciate any feed back from anyone that has taken the Costa Rica trip, in particular what shore excursions are worth taking to see wildlife.

 

Regards,

Mike

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We were on Windstar at the end of November, in Tahiti. And in 2001 we cruised on her twin, the late lamented Windsong, from Istanbul to Athens, so we know what the "old" setup was.

 

The changes were largely cosmetic, as jseigel said -- but we thought everything was great. Only had one small problem with the shower (handheld shower holder was a bit adrift). We decided it wasn't worth calling them about. Interestingly, the maintenance folks stopped by one afternoon early in the week to ask if we had any problems -- told him about the shower, and they arranged for it to be fixed the same afternoon. Job done as promised, no other issues. :)

 

We were told by Capt. Walsh that the Windstar would be in drydock between Tahiti and the start of the Costa Rica trips.

 

Had a great trip, and we'll be on a Windstar ship again, we hope. You can't beat the friendly crew, open bridge, quiet spots on deck, great food, and (our favorite on B deck) those huge Pacific waves rolling right under (and occasionally over) our portholes. So hypnotic to watch, especially in the moonlight! Probably won't see that in Costa Rica... ;)

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why would we most likely not see waves in Costa Rica?

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Buil,

 

Thank you very much for the Windstar photos- they're the most detailed of the ship I've seen.

 

The deck looks much larger than I imagined. I guess there's plenty of room for all of the passengers.

 

Did you take a photo of your cabin's bathroom?

 

Beth

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Buil,

 

Thank you very much for the Windstar photos- they're the most detailed of the ship I've seen.

 

The deck looks much larger than I imagined. I guess there's plenty of room for all of the passengers.

 

Did you take a photo of your cabin's bathroom?

 

Beth

 

Beth, those were my photos that Buil graciously provided the link to. And of course, I have a photo of the bathroom, I just didn't upload it to Snapfish. I can try to get it loaded to Snapfish when I get home, or I can email you the photo.

 

Jackie

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Great pictures!

 

We were in Costa Rica in December-99, right after the rainy season. Seas were VERY calm and the run-off made diving not all that wonderful.

 

I can't help you on the wildlife excusions (I was diving, mostly). We did a 2-day pre-cruise (Intercontinental) and went to Arenal. Believe them when they say "Get there early". We got there (2-hr? drive) just as the cloud cover came rolling-in and saw abosolutely nothing but clouds. Did hear a rumble or two, though.

 

In Quapos we visited the Cafe Milagro. It's from them I now buy ALL my whole bean coffee, on-line. (shamless plug, I know)

 

We just got off the Windsurf (Mayan Riviera) and it seemed the same 188-sq-ft cabins are laidout a bit differently. Although it may have just been a senior moment I was having all week. There "seemed" to be more storage and open space on the Surf.

 

Plenty of room on all decks for everybody on the Star. We loved the deck space up by the bridge (not available on the Surf). After dinner we'd bring some drinks up there and lay out under the stars for hours. It's very romantic, peaceful and quiet.

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Did you take a photo of your cabin's bathroom?

 

Beth

 

Beth, I've finally uploaded the bathroom photo to join the rest of my online Windstar photos. Click here for Wind Star ship pictures

 

Now, for a tour of the bathroom. To the left of the sink area is a rounded compartment for the shower. There is a retractible clothes line in the shower. If I remember rightly, there wasn't really enough room for two to be in the shower at once. To the right of the sink area is a rounded compartment for the toilet. The right and left sides of the three part mirror hold medicine cabinets. In front of the middle section of the mirror is a small ledge to hold other stuff. Below the sink is a shelf. Extra towels are stored there but there is room to put more stuff. We found there was plenty of space to put our toiletries and assorted medications and lotions and stuff. I'm low maintenance so didn't bring makeup. Neil is more the bathroom hog, but there was still plenty of room so no squabbles over storage.

 

Jackie

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We like the smaller (now two) Windstar ships but have not been on them since refurbishment. (Note: the following does not necessarily apply to the larger Windsurf).

 

Some comments. The cabins are definitely smaller than comparable ships and that probably can never be changed. But they are extremely well laid out. Lots of good storage and hanging space. The rail around the cabin is great for hanging wet clothes, etc. We unpacked completely and 1/3 of the space was still empty!

 

The drop swimming deck at the stern is great. Clean; accessible; easy to use; and the ship makes every effort to have it available whenever possible. And the diving program is for real.

 

If you like to "eat and run", dinner service was a bit slow. However, there is really no place to run to, and the food is excellent so this is a matter of personal preference. We did think that the wines were priced a bit agressively.

 

The best part of the Windstar is being on the cigarette smoke-free deck, and having a drink, especially in the evening, when the sails are out. Like having your own private yacht.

 

We like the "casual - elegant" no dressup format. It isn't a matter of not owning formal clothes or not being able to afford them; it is more a matter that this is a cruise vacation where you can leave all of that stuff at home. Just a matter of preference.

 

Service is friendly but impeccable. The ship also has a level of sparkle and shine that few others have. If there are three launches in port waiting to bring back passengers, the cleanest, most freshly painted, best maintained one with the sharpest looking crew will usually belong to the Windstar.

 

Many times, I've seen passengers on shore point to the anchored Windstar with pride when telling others that they were on that ship.

 

So, if you are looking for an "all-inclusive", large cabin, balcony, formal dress, smoking allowed experience (and many do), Windstar may not be the ship for you. But if you are looking for a great luxury "crusing" experience on a really beautiful ship, we think it is well worth investing a week on these ships to get the feel for them. You may well turn into a repeat customer as we did.

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