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Mudhen

Star Breeze around Iceland

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It's been a very long time since I've been on Windstar. It was way back when there were only the sailing yachts, which we loved.

I'm now thinking about the "round" Iceland trip as something different for a mother/daughter trip. Elizabeth is 35, very athletic and I'm 72, 

somewhat less sproty, but I would give it a good try...haha!

My husband and I have done all of the lux lines with the exception of Seabourn and have been happy. E is also a Crystal/Regent vet.

I guess what concerns me is that the ship is due for a dry dock very soon. Is the ship "beat"? 

Is it single seating in the dining room?

How is the cocktail culture? Interesting choices? Wine list?

I realize that alcohol isn't included although there is a beverage package....a little pricey, I think....

Would love to hear someones thoughts on a similar itinerary/ship.

Thanks very much!

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Another option to consider for this itinerary is Ponant.  Their yachts are quite new.  The main language is French but they promise that English is also included – and many of their cruises [esp. Iceland] have groups from Backroads or Tauck with lots of English-speakers.  We are doing this cruise on Ponant with Backroads in August.  Backroads charges more but includes all excursions [with several choices each day with different levels of physical demand]. 

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Posted (edited)

My DH and I did this itinerary on the Star Pride in August 2018.  We loved it!  We found Iceland amazing and were very happy with the excursions; there seemed to be a good range.  At that time, we thought the ship was fine. (I realize you'll be on another ship.) Windstar is much more basic and less luxurious than Regent.  However, the cabins are a good size.  Dinner is single seating; you can arrive when you like and choose to dine alone or with others.  We thought the food was excellent. Can't speak to cocktail culture. 

Edited by LovesToRead
Clarify one point

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Thank you so much for the quick replies. This sounds like a good opportunity!

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Mudhen, my husband and I have the 8/6 Star Breeze Iceland cruise on hold right now; we sailed the Star Breeze a couple times and also on the Star Pride; most recent one was last year.  One thing we love is the size of the cabins. As far as alcohol, the beverage packages are pricey, so for us, we just buy individual drinks; I'm mainly a wine drinker and was pleased with the choices.

 

LovesToRead, a question for you.  With the Iceland weather cool and perhaps rainy, I expect that people will need to be inside more than on the decks for viewing.  How crowded was it inside?  Was there enough seating in the Yacht Club for example?

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2 hours ago, jmbklj said:

Mudhen, my husband and I have the 8/6 Star Breeze Iceland cruise on hold right now; we sailed the Star Breeze a couple times and also on the Star Pride; most recent one was last year.  One thing we love is the size of the cabins. As far as alcohol, the beverage packages are pricey, so for us, we just buy individual drinks; I'm mainly a wine drinker and was pleased with the choices.

 

LovesToRead, a question for you.  With the Iceland weather cool and perhaps rainy, I expect that people will need to be inside more than on the decks for viewing.  How crowded was it inside?  Was there enough seating in the Yacht Club for example?

We found that when the weather was cold and rainy in Alaska last July, it was sometimes difficult to get a seat in the Yacht Club on the Star Legend.  I worry about this getting even more difficult with the additional 100 passengers coming with the renovation.

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Fortunately, we had excellent weather in Iceland.  (The crew noted that we were the first cruise all season to have such good weather.) Between that and the port-a-day itinerary, crowding in the Yacht Club wasn't an issue. This past March we were on the Star Legend in China and yes, the Yacht club could get crowded on the few days that we had bad weather.  I don't recall it as being terrible, though, and we did sit in Compass Rose several times.  In terms of dining, on bad days Amphora was open for breakfast and lunch to make up for the lack of outdoor seating in the Veranda.

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This itin was our favorite ever. Every second was amazing. 

 

To dinner. Just to clear up what may be a terminology clash, the OP asked about single seating, which can mean you are assigned a fixed time and table and all dine at a single time. The answer that “WS is single seating” means that you show up whenever you want during dining hours and they  seat you at an open table, you can be alone, or ask to join others, there are no assigned tables. So you cab do something different each night. We tend to spot a server we like from previous trips and just ask to be in their area each night, a request that is honored if possible and after the second night they just automatically steer us there. 

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We are also interested in this cruise.  Has anyone done independent tours or wandered around on your own, or is it logistically necessary to stick with the ship tours?

 

Thanks.

 

 

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Many of the ports are very small without much much to do. We had a hard time finding tours on own (some, I suspect were booked by WS) so we did mostly ship touRs but found them all very good. The guides were local and we learned much about Iceland life. A couple were very small and our guide just went with the flow. A skippable tour could be Heimaey. Many things are quit close and we wound up walking back from the volcano covered houses when we were done. The puffins were a no show. 

 

If you stay before or after a Golden circle tour is worth it - we had good luck booking via I ❤️ Reykjavik they were great. 

 

GO. 

 

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We booked it - the 8/6 departure!  LovesToRead & milepig, thanks so much for the info on your past cruises in Iceland.  

 

I'm a bit of a puffin fan.....did you see puffins anywhere on the cruise?  Other than Heimaey Island, are there any other ports where things are walkable and close to the ship?

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40 minutes ago, jmbklj said:

We booked it - the 8/6 departure!  LovesToRead & milepig, thanks so much for the info on your past cruises in Iceland.  

 

I'm a bit of a puffin fan.....did you see puffins anywhere on the cruise?  Other than Heimaey Island, are there any other ports where things are walkable and close to the ship?

Now we've got some cruise buds! We're also on the 8/6 around Iceland. Will be following along for any other useful tidbits!

Good catch on Heimaey. We'll more than likely do that on our own.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, jmbklj said:

We booked it - the 8/6 departure!  LovesToRead & milepig, thanks so much for the info on your past cruises in Iceland.  

 

I'm a bit of a puffin fan.....did you see puffins anywhere on the cruise?  Other than Heimaey Island, are there any other ports where things are walkable and close to the ship?

 

The only puffins we saw were toy ones in the gift shops. Others we’ve spoken have said the same. The puffins are under severe stress. 

 

Our itin went counter clockwise (anti clockwise for you brits) we hit a few very nice days on the north side toward the end.  Some said this is often the case. I need to go back to my pics. I just remember a bunch of ports with Icelandic names. 

 

I don’t know if they still do it, but one night we did a really nice event with singers in an amazing tiny church and then a missable walk to a local museum of mostly donated junk. 

 

Iceland is 100% about natural beauty and for us it never got old. To see it you need to get outside the ports one way or another. I was glad we spent the money on tours. They were very well done. 

Edited by milepig

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