At first glance, Windstar Cruises may seem like a perfect option for a relaxing vacation, but reading Windstar cruise ship ratings can help prospective passengers determine if this type of laid-back, hands-on voyage is right for them.
Why Read Ratings
Cruise reviews and ratings give passengers a more realistic perspective of a particular cruise line or vessel than just viewing a few pictures and meager descriptions in a brochure. Ratings can examine, in detail, different aspects of a vessel and its service, and by comparing ratings among different cruise lines and even ships within the same line, passengers can discern subtle differences that may encourage them to choose one line or vessel over another. At the same time, ratings help customers judge the overall quality of a cruise experience by providing a scale for relative comparisons. This can be especially important with less widespread cruise lines such as Windstar, whose unique approach to the cruising lifestyle may be unfamiliar to many seasoned travelers.
Ratings to Examine
Most ratings are designed on scales - a number of stars, a 1 to 10 scale, or other ways to determine high, medium, and low values. The best ratings scales will have many levels former passengers can choose from when rating their own voyages, and by looking at an average of those ratings from a certain period of time or over several voyages, interested passengers can see which aspects of the ship may appeal most to them and which may be warning signs. Different aspects of a cruise vacation that may be rated include:
- Overall value for the cruise price
- General customer service of all staff members
- Dining options in terms of variety and quality
- Cabin size, furnishings, and cleanliness
- Entertainment options and talent
- Spa programs, price, and selection
- Children's programs and features
- Itinerary length, punctuality, and diversity
Naturally, not all cruise lines or ships will be rated on the same features - Windstar cruises, for example, only offer very minor children's programs and passengers who have studied the cruise line prior to sailing aboard a Windstar ship would already be aware of this. Furthermore, Windstar's reputation as a more relaxed and openly friendly atmosphere would be rated accordingly - guests aboard Windstar vessels should expect courteous service, yes, but the lack of private concierge service and immaculate butlers should not be reflected in Windstar cruise ship ratings any more than a Carnival cruise ship would be rated lower because it does not have the wind-in-the-sails atmosphere of Windstar.
Before examining cruise ship ratings, then, passengers should have a general familiarity with the cruise line. It may be that by reading even basic descriptions of the line, prospective passengers may decide it is not the right sailing option for them, or they may become even more interested in trying out the unique features lines such as Windstar Cruises can offer.
Finding Windstar Cruise Ship Ratings
There are many places to locate cruise ship ratings. Official cruise line literature - brochures, for example - may have ratings, though passengers can expect those details to be biased in favor of the line. Impartial guide books are another ratings resource that may be more willing to examine even the unkind details of a cruise, while cruise travel forums, blogs, and websites have many different ratings passengers can review and even contribute to. Sites that feature Windstar ratings include:
Before reading ratings, interested travelers should read the background information on the ratings levels because websites vary slightly in how they score different cruise lines and ships. Also, it is important to read multiple ratings and reviews from different sources - one individual review may be a result of an especially good or bad cruise vacation, and its rating will naturally be less valuable because of that experience, whereas a larger number of ratings can create a more accurate picture. For even greater accuracy, the ratings and reviews should be less than two years old -- many ships undergo frequent renovations and crew rotations that can affect the vacation experience.
Add Your Own Rating
After enjoying a Windstar cruise, passengers can help out new travelers by adding their own ratings to popular websites. Be sure to use enough description to explain why each rating was chosen, and explain any extenuating circumstances so future travelers will understand that their experiences may be vastly different.
Windstar Cruises is a popular cruise line that blends adventure, luxury, and exotic destinations together for an outstanding vacation experience. Windstar cruise ship ratings can help eager passengers determine whether or not this is a good line for their next ocean-going getaway.