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July 10th Star Breeze from St. Maarten. Loving it.


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5 hours ago, marinaro44 said:

Sorry, but I think the song business is pretentious.  Just put up the sails.  Or do it the first time the sails go up on a cruise, and leave it at that.  No reason for it on the motor yachts.

I remember the first time we heard it in 2003 sailing from Athens.  Our first impression was how serious and dreary it sounded in contrast to the excitement we were feeling.  I agree with your comment, but I know some may not.

Edited by MindyJohn
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26 cruises with WS since 1999, they have taken us to wonderful places and we have had wonderful vacations. All cruises on the sailing ships one on the motor. We love the sail aways and the original 1492, makes us acknowledge to ourselves how fortunate we are, we think the music goes with the sails opening. For our terrific cruise on the motor yacht we do not think the music is necessary. Each to our own. Happy Sailing

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9 hours ago, marinaro44 said:

Sorry, but I think the song business is pretentious.  Just put up the sails.  Or do it the first time the sails go up on a cruise, and leave it at that.  No reason for it on the motor yachts.

I agree with almost all of that. The first time on the sailing ships is inspiring, particularly on a transatlantic. The rest of the time, and the motor yachts, fine if not.

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Thanks to the Cruise Critic community for getting me through the weeks leading up to this cruise. The updated ship is beautiful and the staff is accommodating as ever. I was a bit shocked hearing about the new itinerary as we waited for the results of the ship’s antigen test, especially since we did half this itinerary already on Windsurf a few years ago. And after carefully selecting the excursion but better safe than sorry!

 

Not all restaurants are open all the time due to the number of passengers. When you board the ship and have lunch at the Veranda, you will be greeted by Ipong (sp?) and have the chance to make your reservations. He will tell you which restaurants are open when. Foe example 2 nights ago we didn’t have reservations anywhere and the Amphora wasn’t open so we at at the Star Grill, the outdoor area on deck 8 in front of the Star Bar (and the Yacht Club where you can get your specialty coffees). Last night we ate at Cuadro 44 and it was great! If there’s 2 of you, sift in front of the chefs! 
 

Which reminded me we have a tour of that kitchen at 5 and then then the BBQ! Gotta run!

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Star Breeze – July 10th Sailing, Days 5 and 6

 

For those on the next cruise and going forward.  First and foremost be flexible.  This week, the Amphora Restaurant was open 2 nights.  Based on feedback from the passengers it will now be open 3 nights.  The Executive Chef for WindStar, Graeme Cockburn, is on board for this and I believe the next 2 cruises and he said they were moving to opening 3 nights.  When you get on, make your reservations for Candles and Cuadro 44.  We only made one night at each, and I wish I had done Candles more times.  Mid-week, it was too late to add another night.

 

When you arrive at the port, we were processed outside in tents and portable buildings, this coming week they are moving part of the processing to on the ship in the Amphora.  They are working hard to make the process as smooth as possible for the passengers.  We had 127 of us this week.  I heard they had expected 134.  Next week the passenger count is supposed to be in the 170’s.  Someone said they are slowly working towards sailing with around a 70% passenger load.

 

Covid Test – I had pre ordered and paid for the covid test to fly back to the US.  Turns out, WindStar will be refunding our money as St. Maarten is requiring a Covid test to come back in.  Therefore, everyone was tested this morning (Friday) for the 4th time this cruise.  Everyone will receive paperwork in their cabin later today that will be the negative test for the US and St. Maarten.  We fly out on Sunday, so the timing works for us.

 

Wednesday afternoon the Star Breeze had a Celebration Party for everyone on the outside decks.  Drinks, canapes, and Celebration Cake (a really tasty cake).  It was to celebrate everything, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries… Let’s have a party!  Weather was perfect.  Sailing away from St. Lucia was beautiful. 

 

Had dinner at the Star Grill.  Hubby had the Duck, I just sampled a little bit of everything.

 

They announced an itinerary change yesterday.  The ship did not receive permission to enter into St. Barts on Friday.  So, Thursday is still Antigua, St. John’s, Friday is now Antigua Falmouth Harbor.  The excursions for Falmouth are Swim with the Stingrays, Beach Escape, Open Course Canopy Challenge.

 

Sailing into Antigua St. John’s, the city did the water cannon welcome.  They had a small craft on either side of us shooting their water cannons and blowing their horns in a very warm welcome back.  I have pictures, but not enough internet speed to be able to post them.  The Mayor??  Governor?? Not sure his title, was on the dock to welcome us.  First cruise ship in over a year and a half.  Had TV camera’s a band, big big welcome back.

 

Someone asked my thoughts on the ship.  One word.  WOW!!!!  It is a like a brand-new ship.  We have sailed Windstar before, but on the Wind Surf.  It is a quite different style of ship.  I have to say while the Star Breeze is fabulous, love the cabin, love the food, it is the crew that is so outstanding.  It is the crew that will stand out in my memories of this cruise. Every single one of them is so friendly, helpful, caring, engaging.  They greet by name and continually show us that they are glad to be here and are happy to have us on-board.

 

Thursday evening was the deck BBQ.  Wow the food spread.  Just Wow.  They then moved the tables and we had line dancing.  I made a fool of myself…. But who cares. 

 

All for now.  I will try to post Saturday afternoon from the hotel on our final day and disembarkation. 

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On 7/15/2021 at 8:00 AM, Rotterdam said:

I totally agree...when one is on a beautiful ship sailing the ocean what else do you need...there are some on another cruise line here that everyone they sail Louis Armstrong is played singing "what a wonderful world"...after the first time its like they drank too much or have alzheimers. Kitch sells i guess or there's no accounting for bad taste.

For some of us the return to a Windstar ship is special as it was for me after serious brain surgery five years ago. I wept when I saw the Wind Surf again thinking I might never board her again. When we left port and heard Conquest of Paradise I realized that I had survived and my heart soared. So give those of us with great memories of our sailaways some slack. It's five minutes of your life but so much more to some.

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Thanks so much for your extremely helpful posts @caymancouple  And @sb44  you make a great point about the raising of the sails accompanied by Conquest of Paradise providing a great moment to reflect on our blessings, especially after surviving huge challenges.  This will be my third time on the yachts and I find them fabulous, but sail away doesn't offer the magic sound of the sails flapping in the wind.  

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Hi this is Denise and Brian from California.  Thank you so much for taking the time to update us on your experience.  Sounds Wonderful!!!

We leave on the 14 night on the 31st from St. Maarten to Barbados.  It will be interesting to see how many people are on that sailing.  Its difficult to get an accurate number.

I like the fact that Windstar is testing everyone frequently.  I was thinking it was just the test prior to boarding and then again before leaving.

 

Enjoy your last day on board!!

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2 hours ago, MindyJohn said:

Thanks so much for your extremely helpful posts @caymancouple  And @sb44  you make a great point about the raising of the sails accompanied by Conquest of Paradise providing a great moment to reflect on our blessings, especially after surviving huge challenges.  This will be my third time on the yachts and I find them fabulous, but sail away doesn't offer the magic sound of the sails flapping in the wind.  

Conquest of Paradise never made sense to me on the motor ships. Would vote for some Jimmy Buffet! But the sailing ships, it's always been part of the experience and hope it will remain so.

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Can you tell me what day is the "beach" day  (if there was one).  I was thinking it might be on Pigeons Island as it has been there before.

Thankss

Eileen

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1 minute ago, themutis said:

Can you tell me what day is the "beach" day  (if there was one).  I was thinking it might be on Pigeons Island as it has been there before.

Thankss

Eileen

We did not have a beach day, but it was mentioned they are trying to arrange.

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1 minute ago, MindyJohn said:

 Do you know ahead of time which nights Amphora will be open so as to coordinate with specialty reservations?

Yes, they told us as we were making reservations.

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8 hours ago, caymancouple said:

Star Breeze – July 10th Sailing, Days 5 and 6

Awesome detailed review @caymancouple - Thanks on behalf of all Windstar cruisers.  BTW, I have it on very good authority that the CEO will be on the July 17th sailing.

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15 hours ago, HuliHuli said:

I have it on very good authority that the CEO will be on the July 17th sailing.

Correction - the July 24th sailing.  Sorry, I slipped a week.

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5 hours ago, themutis said:

Question:  When you were in Pigeon Island, St Lucia,  were you allowed off the ship to go to the beach there?

That's what I want to know also. When we went in 2019 that is where we had our beach bbq. We hiked from the tender up to a fantastic view point. We also had a private beach to swim at.

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