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We are so anxious to get back  to the Caribbean, and knowing that SD has no 2021 plans yet, we started looking for alternatives and up popped Windstar.  Currently they are scheduled to start in May 2021 to return to the Caribbean (mostly BVI's).  I am wondering if any SeaDreamers have any experiences, thoughts, recommendations regarding Wind Star?  We are currently booked on their May voyage on the Star Breeze (not a sailing ship).  Any info would be appreciated as we are long time SeaDreamers but, needs must. 

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I have sailed on Windstar twice ( on the Windstar).  It’s a great experience especially if you love sailing.  Like SD, no balconies but the cabins are very comfortable.  Also like SD, you can visit small harbours and islands which is great in the Caribbean. The atmosphere is relaxed and resort casual. But it does not offer the same level of personal service as SD or Seabourn. Alcoholic drinks are not included in price.  The service is not as polished as   Seabourn but overall fine.  The biggest disadvantage to me is the greater passenger capacity.  

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We sailed on the Seabourn Spirit, now the Star Breeze, and loved it.  Subsequently the ship was enlarged with more passenger load and the staff was reduced.  I can't imagine that has been a good thing as far as public spaces and service.   I would not say that even back in the Seabourn days it was an alternative to SeaDream.  Just another option.  But then, all cruises have had something to like about them. 🍸

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Thanks all for the info.  Supposedly Star Breeze just got a refurbishing so we'll see. We're getting a balcony (Juliette though) and bought the booze package so I think all bases are covered.  Hate to be missing all the SD crew though, but we have got a SD booked for February of 2022.

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We have not been on SD yet.  However, we were on the second to last sailing of Star Pride early 2020.  I believe all of the motor yachts are going through a stretch and refurbishment.

 

I likened it to a big yacht.  I think we had 200 passengers.  We had a nice sized window room.  I believe very few have balconies.  There is one main restaurant and then the buffet changes to a "specialty" restaurant at night.  I believe the refurbishment is adding another 100 passengers and another restaurant.  But don't quote me. 😉

 

I am in my mid 40s and we were definitely in the lower age bracket.  There were a couple of families onboard with teenagers. The marina thing was pretty cool, but due to rough waters it was pretty limited.  In fact, we couldn't even tender to one of our islands due to the waves.

 

We had the captain's package which included alcohol, gratuities, wifi, and laundry.  Alcohol quality was mixed, but I find most package alcohol selections across the various lines are on the lower end.  I think Celebrity's Premium package offers the best selection of any inclusion I have had (RCCL, Celebrity, Azamara, Windstar). We certainly took advantage of the laundry.

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18 hours ago, cabosal1 said:

Yes, SD has Caribbean trips scheduled for late 2021.  Sorry for the confusion.  We are fighting cabin fever and in need of a "pain killer"asap.

Whew, I'm counting the days until November. I think we've sailed with you a few times in the past, it sure is hard getting through winter without a cruise to break it up! Keep us posted on how you like Windstar and have a Painkiller for me!

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We have yet to be able to travel with SeaDream, so I can't compare the two lines.  But we did have an 8 day trip on the Windstream Star Pride a year or so ago.    We enjoyed it very much, as it was our first smaller ship trip.   In fact, it was seeing the SeaDream ship anchored across the bay from us in San Juan PR that initially interested us in looking at SeaDream.  We had a juliette balcony and a drink package, and those were nice.  The pool onboard looked to be a good bit smaller than SeaDream's pools, more like a hot tub than pool.

 

They had an open bridge policy where you could come in and talk to the crew most anytime you wanted, and that was nice.  They designated one stop as the Luau-type beach day, and they unloaded massive tents, tables and chairs on a private beach only for the passengers.  Another night they had a massive deck buffet that was outstanding, along with local steel drum talent.  They had a fun ship crew talent show on the last evening and a liar's club type event with members of the crew on another evening.  I think normally they would have a duo to play in the inside bars in the evening and another duo to perform for the open deck bar.  But for our trip the deck duo got drunk in San Juan and delayed the ship departure.  They were subsequently fired and left at the first stop.

 

We thought the food was always very good, but to be honest, it did not seem that memorable.  Like SeaDream, there is no set dining times or tables.

 

They used two enclosed motor launches to tender passengers to shore when they were not directly docked in port (which was the case most of the time).  There could be a bit of a wait to get off if you wanted to go ashore  as soon as possible, but it was a usually a nice ride once onboard.  We did have a couple of rougher days where timing your first step from the ship to the tender was an adventure.

 

I would second Jim's caution on the added rooms from the ship stretch rehab.  I am not sure how the tendering will be impacted, and the breakfast buffet was often pretty full without the stretch.  They seemed pretty savvy, and may have taken care of these types of issues, but you might want to keep an eye open.

 

 

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We sailed on Sea Dream back in March 2018. Many islands still were recovering from Irma and Maria.

 

We sailed from Barbados to St. Thomas. There were only about 60 passengers onboard, so there were actually more crew than passengers. We had some large swells so we needed to adjust our itinerary, and had only ad hoc excursions because of that, but we loved it. St. Bart's was still  recovering, but our cruise director took us on a nice walk the first afternoon, and we rented a car the next day to visit places we had been to on our honeymoon years ago. Most were closed, but rebuilding. We still found a great restaurant for lunch. While we were anchored out, we saw a Windstar cruise ship (not sail). The tender looked much nicer than ours, so we looked into it, but decided it's not for us.

 

The largest ship we've ever cruised on was the Prinsendam, and we totally disliked it. We stayed in a Neptune Suite, which was very nice, and isolated on 2 decks, away from the rest of the cabins. We had our own 24 hour concierge lounge which was also nice. We could have private breakfast in the upscale restaurant each morning, which is what we did. But the excursions , the elevators, the bars, and the restaurants (with assigned seating at dinner) were way too crowded for our us.

 

When we looked into Windstar, and found that they were enlarging their ships, we decided not to bother. We have enjoyed Silver Sea, and the expanded Windstar ships are approaching that size, and didn't seem like the luxury cruise that Silver Sea provides.

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