Sail Date: May 2019
We cruised on Windsurf about 10 years ago and enjoyed it. This time was also good. Food was generally very good and occasionally excellent - we had some vegetables which were not hot but usually OK. Drinks are free if soft, ... Read More
We cruised on Windsurf about 10 years ago and enjoyed it. This time was also good. Food was generally very good and occasionally excellent - we had some vegetables which were not hot but usually OK. Drinks are free if soft, including coffees, and quite expensive if they have alcohol. Activities and entertainments are poor, though there was a band in the lounge and a duo upstairs. However when we could not go ashore owing to the wind, there was no Plan B to look after the customers. There could be silly games, lectures, quizzes etc but nothing until we beat up a manager. Captain avoided the issue. We had a cabin which looked out onto the tender boats when in port which some people would not like - noisy and too public. They need to put a nightlight in the bathrooms. Not cheap but fairly upmarket. Remember this is a small ship, 300 pax, with portholes only. They often had the sails up which was a pleasure. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We got a flight out of Philli the day before and had a nice hotel at the Simpson Bay , with a decent beach. So no rush or stress at sailing day. Taxi to the cruise terminal was no problem Embarkation easy and fast. Since ... Read More
We got a flight out of Philli the day before and had a nice hotel at the Simpson Bay , with a decent beach. So no rush or stress at sailing day. Taxi to the cruise terminal was no problem Embarkation easy and fast. Since there were only 150 passengers we had more crew than passengers. The cabins are standard size with enough storage space. Bathroom are small but good equipped. Restaurants were not full and the choice of food good. However some dishes were very salty and some dishes did not deserve their name. Crew and officers were polite and customer oriented. Entertainment was just so so Even the crew tried their best. Good was the visit on the bridge , where you always could ask the officer on duty about what’s going on and of course how the weather will be for the next days. The cost for local WiFi is outrageous expensive. For unlimited access they charged $ 650. The drinks are a little expensive , but do not take the beverage option. We did not do excursions at the Azores, but there are enough taxis in Ponta Before Lisbon enjoy the to the Tagus river even its past 11:00 pm When arriving in Lisbon take a cab to the airport and pay not more than € 20. locals pay € 10. For an excursion to Sintra you can take a train , which takes 40 min. Otherwise enjoy Lisbon by foot or by tram. The No 15 tram ( la quince) takes you to Belem and the sights Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Booked the Rome to Venice cruise on the recommendation of some friends and enjoyed it. Pre-cruise Windstar reps were readily available to answer questions with details and options. We utilized the well appointed gym most days and thought ... Read More
Booked the Rome to Venice cruise on the recommendation of some friends and enjoyed it. Pre-cruise Windstar reps were readily available to answer questions with details and options. We utilized the well appointed gym most days and thought the staterooms were as described with plenty of storage and a comfortable bed. Service and food was excellent throughout the ship. We elected to sign up for two excursions through Windstar and did others on our own, which was the right combination for us. There was a glitch with an engine communication issue that added a day at sea, but they made some adjustments to try to alleviate the impact—we were glad the issue was resolved. The onboard internet did not work as advertised. To Windstar’s credit, we were refunded charges we had paid in advance, but would have made other arrangements had we known onboard connectivity would be fairly nonexistent. We travelled as a couple, and it was nice to have options to either share a table at dinner or dine as a couple and enjoyed meeting fellow guests. We like a variety of modes of travel, but Windstar is a very good option for a small luxury cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Sicilian Splendors was our final leg of our back2back2back cruise celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and my husband's 65th birthday. Our first leg of our journey was Treasures of Southern Spain & Morocco (Lisbon to ... Read More
Sicilian Splendors was our final leg of our back2back2back cruise celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and my husband's 65th birthday. Our first leg of our journey was Treasures of Southern Spain & Morocco (Lisbon to Barcelona); the second Yachtsman's Harbors of the Rivieras (Barcelona to Rome/Civitavecchia) and now Sicilian Splendors, our third and final leg of our 25 day cruise. Because this was our third leg of our journey, we already had our keys and used the embarkation day as a regular port day. And since we were staying on board we had been able to book our Candles and Stella Bistro reservations the night before. We wandered around Civitavecchia on our own and took in the local market and stopped for pastries and coffee at a local place. It's definitely a working man's port but we saw lots of families out and about too. It wasn't as scenic as some of our other stops but it is a big city. We walked the waterway and stopped for a beer and free WiFi before heading back to the ship. The next day was our one day at sea on this itinerary. Unfortunately the seas were rough and I was pretty happy I hadn't booked a massage for the day! We relaxed and just hung out. Catania, Sicily On our roll call, I had met another couple that wanted to tour on their own out of Catania so the four of us booked Sicily Life tour's "Taormina and Winery on the slopes of Etna" and off we went. We enjoyed our tour and it was fun meeting new friends. Gozo/Xlendi, Malta We were suppose to anchor here the following day but because of more rough seas, the captain felt it was best to skip this port and head directly to Valletta, Malta. Sadly, due to the extreme rough seas we were unable to dock in Valletta that evening (as our itinerary had said) and we spent it at sea waiting until morning to continue on. Valletta, Malta We docked in the morning and we headed off on our own. What a lovely port this is and so doable on your own! We wandered all over and stumbled upon a bar called The Pub which was made famous by the fact that during the filming of Gladiator, Oliver Reed had drank his last drink there and died shortly afterwards. We had to stop and have a pint with all the English tourists who had stopped there as well. Afterwards we found a fantastic Italian restaurant where we shared lunch and a lovely bottle of wine. The architecture is beautiful and there is a large British influence. We saw the firing of the cannons but too quickly our time was over. (How I wish the weather had cooperated so we had had our overnight here!) We stopped for a drink and to use the restaurants WiFi close to the dock and ran into a lot of the crew. Once back on board, we realized over the loud speaker they kept calling two names. Turns out, there was a couple that didn't get back to the ship on time and they were attempting to find them. It must have been almost an hour before this couple reappeared. They had been at a close by store buying jewelry and hadn't noticed the time nor heard the loudspeaker. We think they got lucky the ship didn't leave them since there was another ship ahead of us. It is a very small opening you have to sail through with bumpy seas. Because we were late leaving we had the most spectacular sunset over Valletta we won't soon forget. Porto Empedocle, Sicily We joined the WS excursion "Temples Valley" and ended up with blue skies, a lovely guide and some fascinating ruins. It was a short bus ride to the valley and then lots of ruins to see. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour. And because it was only 3 hours, we had time to walk around the port on our own. We weren't sure how far it was to find the shops and restaurants so we waited for the shore bus to take us. The joke was on us since we rode less than 5 minutes! We did found a quiet restaurant where we had lunch and then we walked back to the ship. There weren't very many shops in the area close to the ship and it wasn't the prettiest port either but we felt safe and enjoyed our time there. Trapani, Sicily Another fabulous day on our own! We wanted to head to Erice and as we wandered off the ship, another couple was looking for a taxi so we finally found one (not the easiest thing) and headed to the cable car station. Now, our taxi driver wanted to give us a tour and drive us to Erice but we insisted he just take us to the cable car station. It took a bit of convincing but after telling him we would call when we were ready to come back to the ship, he dropped us at the cable car station. We purchased a round trip ticket and up we went. It was a Sunday and we weren't sure how much would be opened but just about all the restaurants and shops were. We walked all around and saw the sights. We stopped for some delicious pizza and wine. We visited several bakeries and ate some yummy Sicilian cookies and pastries. We shopped and purchased a ceramic pasta bowl for our son. Finally, we found a bar with WiFi and had a beer. After church the families wandered around and it was just a lovely feeling, being a part of this unique town. When we arrived back to the cable car station at the top, I spoke to a taxi driver and he called a taxi to meet us at the bottom. We hopped on the cable car and the taxi was waiting for us at the bottom. It was a good thing we had called because another group was trying to get in our taxi! Back to the ship and another wonderful day in the books. That evening, we ate at Stella Bistro and brought along some of the pastries we had purchased that day. Lipari, Italy Lipari was another day we spent on our own. We anchored at this port and was immediately in the thick of the shops and restaurants. I found several cute shops where I bought some trinkets to bring home. We wandered up a hill to one of the basilicas with the most beautiful ceiling. We stopped for pizza (not as good as in Erice) and some beer and WiFi. We found some streets that had more locals than tourists and enjoyed our wanderings. We also got some great photos of Wind Surf in the harbor. We set sail and cruised past Mt Stromboli which was magnificent and we even got a show from the volcano! Sorrento, Italy/Salerno, Italy We had big plans in Sorrento. I had booked a private tour and we were so looking forward to it when the weather and rough seas interfered with our quest. We were suppose to anchor in Sorrento, but due to rough seas, we were unable to make it to Sorrento. Naples was all booked up so the captain made the decision to take us to Salerno, Italy. We were told of the change the night before so we had some time to attempt to get a hold of our tour company and see if they would be able to pick us up in Salerno instead of Sorrento. They were so lovely and really wanted to accommodate us but due to the fires above Positano, they couldn't do it. So, what to do? We got together with some new friends and wandered from the dock and found a nice man who called his friend the taxi driver who agreed to take the 6 of us to Ravello for the day. The drive was crazy with lots of twists and turns. When we arrived in Ravello it started to rain but we found a restaurant and had lunch and afterwards, the sun came out. Ravello is known for ceramics and we found a place that made us some special pieces and shipped them home to us. They arrived in about 6 weeks and we couldn't be happier! Our taxi took us back to Salerno and because we had until midnight to be back on board, we decided to venture out on our own. We found some streets filled with locals enjoying the evening; we had dinner, shopped and finished with some gelato before heading back to the ship. I'm so happy we headed out in the evening and could experience Salerno by night. That evening was the deck BBQ and we made it back just in time for the dancing. All our favorite crew entertained us and I had fun joining in too. Amalfi, Italy Today was a short day so we headed right off the ship and purchased tickets for the local ferry to take us to Positano. We arrived in Positano before any other tourists and enjoyed the quiet. The beach is pretty and we started wandering up the hill. Just as we got close to the top, the tourists from the daily buses started making their way down. It got too crazy after that so we headed back to the ferryboat and back to Amalfi. We had just enough time in Amalfi to find a limoncello shop where the owners let us taste the limoncello (we had to purchase some too!) and told us their story. This is what it's all about for us. Finding the hidden gems and chatting with the locals. All too soon it was time to board and we had to say goodbye to Amalfi. I really wish we had had more time to explore this cute town. As we sailed out of Amalfi, we passed Positano, the island of Capri and Mt Etna. The sun set on what would be our final night of our back2back2back cruise. We had an amazing time and when asked, we couldn't pick our favorite cruise out of the three; they were all memorable and fantastic in their own way. Upon docking in Civitavecchia, we shared a taxi to the airport with the new friends off our roll call. It was easy and fast and too soon we were traveling back to the US. A few notes about our total Wind Surf experience on our back2back2back... We enjoy the wonderful folks who work so hard to make Wind Surf a special place. Captain Pedro, Hotel Operations Officers Calvin and Julian, Maitre d' hotel Merrick were out and about and available and willing to chat. Our favorite staff, Aladdin made our time onboard so very special as did Farid our cabin steward and Hari, Russ and Ada our servers. Anna at the tour desk and Anne at reception always had a smile and greeting for us as we walked by. Within a few days everyone knows your name and after 25 days on board, they really know all about you! Our opinion on the food is that it is very good. That being said, having been on board for 25 days, we learned that the rotation of the menus is about 5 days. With more and more Star Collector choices being offered, WS must rethink this policy. I enjoyed most everything on board during cruise 1 but by the time cruise 3 came along, I'd had enough of a few of the choices. The deck BBQ was wonderful and they have re-done the layout of where the food stations are since we last sailed with Wind Surf which made it seem roomier. I had originally booked a room on Deck 1 but the upgrade fairy came to visit several months later and we were upgraded to Suite 306. The location is towards the back of the ship and can be very noisy when the tenders are being used. But, it is so close to the Yacht Club and the Pool Deck, plus getting off the ship, we didn't let the noise ruin it for us. Plus, having 2 bathrooms in the suite saved my marriage after 25 days at sea! We were lucky to have the laundry service during our cruise and it was amazing! I did specify for cold wash and hang dry and just about everything came back perfect. One black sweater wasn't so black anymore but other than that, we were very pleased. We love Windstar and the port intensive itineraries. We love the smallness of the ships and the fact that you actually get to know other travelers and the crew on board. And after all the time we spent on board Wind Surf, she really became our home away from home. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise because it worked with my schedule and I got a great price on it. I have cruised multiple times on both oceans and rivers, but this was the smallest ocean ship I have ever sailed on. I was a bit nervous about the ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it worked with my schedule and I got a great price on it. I have cruised multiple times on both oceans and rivers, but this was the smallest ocean ship I have ever sailed on. I was a bit nervous about the size and the possibility of waves, but it was smooth sailing the whole time. From the time we embarked until the time we disembarked, the staff did everything in their power to make our cruise great. They learned our names, drink preferences, etc. They were receptive to checking inventory for beer I asked for that was not immediately available. They room steward answered promptly when called. Cannot say enough about the great service and the bright, smiling faces of the crew. The ports of call were very interesting. I had been to Lisbon and Barcelona before, so we did not do any exploring there. Tangier, Malaga, Cartagena, Tarragona, Almeria, and Ibiza were very interesting. I did not expect the weather to be as hot as it was and consequently we could have packed extra clothes this time and would have used them. I had to wash in my sink a couple of times. The shore excursions we took from Wind Star were pretty good for the most part, but I do believe that they are rather pricey. I was able to book some private ones of my own for much less money. The food was very good. The menu could have had some other non-beef or fish options but I managed to find things to eat. The nightlife was okay - we were tired from all the walking and the heat so we didn't need anything too strenuous. The highlight was the Crew Talent show. What an amazing and talented bunch of employees the Wind Surf has. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We had been on three Wind Star cruises before but all were on the smaller Wind Song and Wind Spirit ships so we weren't exactly sure on what to expect with the larger Wind Surf. We loved it. Our cruise had 296 guests on board but you ... Read More
We had been on three Wind Star cruises before but all were on the smaller Wind Song and Wind Spirit ships so we weren't exactly sure on what to expect with the larger Wind Surf. We loved it. Our cruise had 296 guests on board but you never seemed to see any crowds at all except perhaps during dinner in the main dining room. As like all Wind Star cruises the crew were so friendly and helpful. Cruises typically make or break themselves on the food, our food was exceptional, both in quality and variety and having 2 other dining options besides the main dining room was great. Our stateroom was not overly large but was very well laid out and had all the amenities we had come to expect from Wind Star. It was great having 2 options to dance and listen to live music after dinner in both the lounge and the Compass Rose bar. We left ports quite late each night so rarely saw the casino open or very busy, they could use a craps table to give us dice players an option. The ports of call were amazing, each one different and offering great options to do and see. If I was to get picky my 2 negatives were the cost of the shore excursions and the beverage packages. Shore excursions seem to have become a major profit center for the cruise line. On past cruises our nightly introduction to the next day's port was more a general discussion of the history/culture while now it's more of a run through of all the shore excursions that can be bought. We booked 2 shore excursions on our own prior to travelling that were identical to the ship's version and paid less than half the price. The shore excursions we did do through the ship were very well run, professional and insightful. The beverage package is pricey and sort of mickey mouse for an upscale cruise line. Why not just add $300 to the price of the cruise and make it all drinks included, minus the high end stuff. Bartenders always needing to determine what package you have or if you even have one, it was annoying and unnecessary. Overall, a great cruise with great people, love the Casual Elegance atmosphere. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our third Windstar cruise, our second on Wind Surf. We chose the cruise for the itinerary, Italy, Montenegro, Croatia, and Slovenia. The ports did not disappoint! We enjoyed a wonderful variety of experiences, from discovering ... Read More
This was our third Windstar cruise, our second on Wind Surf. We chose the cruise for the itinerary, Italy, Montenegro, Croatia, and Slovenia. The ports did not disappoint! We enjoyed a wonderful variety of experiences, from discovering ancient history to sailing and exploring caves. The primary draw of Windstar’s small ships is the sense of community and friendship that develops over the cruise. The groups seems to come together after 3-4 days and, for this reason, we loved the longer duration of this trip - 11 days. We had a real sense of making friends and enjoying each other’s company. The ship is scheduled for a makeover in a few months and it will benefit from this. However nothing about the state of ship detracted from the cruise. The cabins and public rooms were all clean and welcoming. We booked the basic cabin for this trip, but were pleasantly surprised with the amount of storage available. We didn’t feel crowded at all. The staff on Windstar excels. Everyone onboard was friendly, knowledgeable, and easy to approach. All crew members, from cabin stewards to the captain himself, were out and available for any questions or requests. We really enjoyed seeing some people from past cruises who remembered us and treated us as long lost friends. Well done! Food was great! We appreciated the offerings and the portion sizes. Entertainment was great in one venue (Compass Rose) but OK in the other. Still fine for what we wanted. Only criticism - the Windstar has been acquired recently by a new company and many of us noticed a decline in some of the things that made the brand special. The new ownership seems quite focused on the bottom line and thus has cut back on lots of little things, like the welcome aboard gift for returning passengers, and the refreshing of bathroom amenities. But more frustrating to us was the lack of response to customer concerns from the home office. We had booked early and were assured a “best rate” but, when the inevitable price drops occurred, the customer service team were indifferent to our disappointment and didn’t offer any compensation. (In the past we’d been offered wi-fi or laundry services to offset the price drop) Other passengers we spoke to had similar experiences. Luggage tags, hors d’oeuvres etc. are small things, but with all the cruise offerings available, it is the Windstar experience that keeps people coming back. Let’s hope they return to their roots. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Hi Adventurers! We recently completed a beautiful trip on board the Windstar Wind Surf across Italy, Montenegro, and Croatia and we fell in love with the boat, its crew and the beautiful port of calls. During our journey, we had the ... Read More
Hi Adventurers! We recently completed a beautiful trip on board the Windstar Wind Surf across Italy, Montenegro, and Croatia and we fell in love with the boat, its crew and the beautiful port of calls. During our journey, we had the opportunity to visit Rome, the famous Amalfi coast, Sicily, Kotor, Montenegro and three port cities in Croatia. Our trip ended in Venice where we continued our vacation. It's evident that Windsurf spends significant resources in training their associates. The Wind Surf crew was able to provide a consistently high level of customer service in all aspects of the trip; onboarding, the restaurants and the cafeteria, boutique, and the cabins, etc. We truly enjoyed the company of the entire staff; however, we fell in love with Nadine, Aditthas, one of the restaurant supervisors and the big smile and sincere disposition of our cabin butler. These three individuals exceeded our expectations consistently during our 8-day trip. The Wind Surf is a fine old dame; a five-mast schooner that brings up memories of a romantic past and pirate encounters. As you look at the Wind Surf from the distance, its beautiful display of white sails become an attractive landmark in any of the ports of call that you visit. This is not the type of cruise experience, where you are expected to be entertained by a troupe of dancers, singers and all sorts of juggling acts. Instead, passengers get intimate dining experiences, the company of other passengers, romantic cocktail hours and impressive views from any spot on the boat. The available options of shore excursions are very interesting and affordable. We thought that crew and their excursions vendors did a great job in adapting the excursions to the American market. The restaurant options are limited; however, they compensate this by providing an exceptional array of breakfast, lunch and dining options for the American palate. Our first experience with Windstar was unforgettable and we know we'll be back next year to enjoy another exciting destination. Perhaps Japan, China or the Brittish Isles. We just want to thank the Wind Surf's crew for their attention to detail and exceptional customer focus. and to Windstar for sticking to their promise of delivering "180-degree-from-the-ordinary" experiences. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
My first WindStar cruise December 16-23 from Barbados and I was a little apprehensive about sailing with them as I was solo and thought I might be out of place as I am a simple kind of guy and worried about being among high rollers. Turns ... Read More
My first WindStar cruise December 16-23 from Barbados and I was a little apprehensive about sailing with them as I was solo and thought I might be out of place as I am a simple kind of guy and worried about being among high rollers. Turns out any concerns were not warranted and I really enjoyed the Wind Star experience which is truly a huge change from the large cruise ships. The food was very good and service throughout the ship was superb, we got to experience the "real"caribbean and with Wind Star you spend so much more time in port you really can get a feel for each island and I like nothing more than walking around an island and finding that perfect beach bar or old fort to experience. Only two places we actually docked were Castries, St Lucia and St. George, Grenada and the other we used life boats to tender in and since you are there until late we only had 5-20 people in our tender each time. I especially loved Bequia and Mayreau part of St Vincent and if the Hurricanes in September had not moved our cruise from St Maarten I probably would not have experience these two gems. Cabin was fine and heard no complaints from others about their cabin, small casino but since we usually only sailed late in the day I never saw anyone use it, and liked that there were very very few announcements about sales etc that those who have been on large ships have experienced. Dinner was quick or you could linger as you desire and the dining room was broken up into smaller areas which gave an experience of being in a very nice restaurant and not a large dining hall. The sea scallops were my favorite entree ordered with lobster and shrimp bisque coming in second. Deck Bar B Q was so great with grilled lobster and whole pig with so many other items and a steel drum band which made the night for me. Our beach Bar B Q was nicely done and again with a steel drum band. Loved that they had printed sheets of paper with daily newspapers which gave a short list of hot items to keep up on events and I appreciated to read during breakfast. Cruise never ever felt crowded and did not have to plan to go here or there during a certain time to avoid crowds ever. I will plan on sailing with Wind Star again especially if I can find a trip where they forgo the single supplement. If you are hesitant to try Wind Star as I was my recommendation is to give them a try and I think you will enjoy as I have especially if you enjoy the sailing part of cruising and do not outside activities like shows, etc. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We enjoyed our first cruises with Windstar many years ago. Not much has changed in the past 10 years, I'm happy to say. Still all the advantages Windstar has to offer - access to smaller ports, good to excellent service, and a ... Read More
We enjoyed our first cruises with Windstar many years ago. Not much has changed in the past 10 years, I'm happy to say. Still all the advantages Windstar has to offer - access to smaller ports, good to excellent service, and a low-key atmosphere. And a really hard-working crew, who always aimed to give great service. The standard cabins are small but efficiently laid out. The dining rooms are pleasant and strike the right balance between elegant and relaxed. We had good weather nearly every day, so we could spend as much time on deck as we wished; a plus in a small ship like this. The crew was admirable - really hard-working yet always positive and professional. We did wonder if the bars and main dining room were short-staffed when we found ourselves waiting for service on several occasions. But it that's true, we have even more respect for the hard-working crew. The food was often very good. The chef shopped locally when possible and we were treated to delicious arrays of Scandinavian delicacies when we departed from the major cities. The chef's specials in the dining room were memorable and the barbecue was really, really good. But the quality of the food at dinner was inconsistent; and some dishes were merely okay. The few lunches we ate on board were very good. Tea snacks were mediocre (doughy scones, sandwiches made with Kraft singles). The food in the dining rooms tended to be rich, and we would have preferred more vegetables. The food in the alternative restaurants was fine, not as fresh as in the main dining room but hitting the right notes for meat lovers. The wine list had several decent choices available by the glass at acceptable prices for the quality. The itinerary was terrific and a great introduction to Scandinavia. Overnights in Stockholm and Copenhagen allowed more time for sightseeing in those cities. We also stopped at several small towns that were picturesque, historic, and great for aimless walking. The private event was very nice - a canal cruise and after-hours museum visit in Copenhagen. We didn't take any of the ship's excursions. Enrichment activities (aside from the private event) consisted of useful port talks before arrival and some unmemorable lectures about Vikings and the first Windstar ship on sea days. The inconsistency of the food somewhat diminished an otherwise very nice cruise experience. But we enjoy smaller ships and the easy access to ports they provide. We'll keep Windstar in mind in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Wanted to see Sicily, great experience but though the ship could do with some updating, carpets need replacing. Bathrooms a very good design. Plenty of storage space in the cabin. Food very good. Restaurant management and staff with a few ... Read More
Wanted to see Sicily, great experience but though the ship could do with some updating, carpets need replacing. Bathrooms a very good design. Plenty of storage space in the cabin. Food very good. Restaurant management and staff with a few exceptions could do with additional training. The BBQ dinner was exceptional heaps of lobster tails and prawns. We booked early and no consideration was given when the fares were dramatically reduced, trying to contact the shipping company for any kind of advice was like pulling teeth for us and our travel agent. Not a very easy company to deal with. I would not sail again on this ship as I believe the standard and service is better on other ships although the food was first class. Most ships these days provide wine with meals they did not. They wanted $54 US per day per person in a wine package, cheaper to buy wine by the glass US$10 approximately. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this yacht because of the small size and the ports looked interesting to us. What we hadn't expected was a completely terrible shore excursion experience at our first port, Tangier. No quality assurance was evident so this ... Read More
We chose this yacht because of the small size and the ports looked interesting to us. What we hadn't expected was a completely terrible shore excursion experience at our first port, Tangier. No quality assurance was evident so this was not a good start and we were quite worried that this would be the standard throughout the cruise. Fortunately visits to subsequent ports were very good. We also didn't understand why it was so difficult to obtain a reservation at "Candles" and "Stella" restaurants, particularly as they often looked to be only half full. Accommodation, food and quality of service was to a very high standard. We also enjoyed the open bridge policy and meeting some of the crew. Other "pluses" were the sailing experience and lovely public spaces; embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient and the high quality of our cabin. Overall an enjoyable experience which was matched with perfect weather Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
TOns of smokers on this ship , they should be allowed places to smoke , but limited. impossible to get into the private dining rooms. Zero children on this trip - excellent - the cruise line does a very good job of explaining this is ... Read More
TOns of smokers on this ship , they should be allowed places to smoke , but limited. impossible to get into the private dining rooms. Zero children on this trip - excellent - the cruise line does a very good job of explaining this is probably a cruise where children will be disappointed and lack things to do. Entertainment was pretty much non-existent except for the crew - they were actually better than the paid musicians. Love that the small ship ca get into smaller ports and ZERO days at sea (yay!) new island every day. ship is getting a little long in the tooth. lots of return cruisers on this line , many obviously love it. Food was very uneven - some things great others mediocre or cold , surprising for so few passengers. Wine list is awful , i could put together a better list at half the price. C'mon this is not that hard , why the lack of effort ? The hard liquor list was very good. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We had a very enjoyable cruise with Windstar in February out of St Martin. As previous travellers with Star Clippers we were interested to see the differences between the two. In terms of cabin we had superior cabin on Windstar - ... Read More
We had a very enjoyable cruise with Windstar in February out of St Martin. As previous travellers with Star Clippers we were interested to see the differences between the two. In terms of cabin we had superior cabin on Windstar - which is actually two standard cabins knocked together, bringing the benefit of two bathrooms, and two separate wardrobe/dressing area which felt a real luxury! This cabin was very well appointed, with lots of useful storage, and was very quiet. Star clippers Deluxe cabin is very compact, but comes with the added plus of a bath, and balcony. In terms of dining, I would say the food was superior on the Windsurf, however the service in the restaurant was variable. If you ordered side dishes, they often did not arrive to coincide with the main dish - and often we had to chase them. One final major down point was that the main restaurant was very cold. We were in the caribbean and had packed accordingly. All the women were shivering under thick cardies (if they had thought to bring them!) or pashminas. Despite several complaints there was no improvement although they did try to sit us in a warmer section. This boat has recently been refurbished, it does not seem beyond the wit of man to achieve a more convivial temperature. The bar area was equally cold, which may explain why it was very quiet. Thankfully there was a smaller bar outside at the back, where we sought refuge most nights. There is an outside restaurant which was very good. On the Royal Clipper, the restaurant food is very good, as is the service which is consistently good and friendly. There is only restaurant which is indoor. The only bar is outside, lovely in warm weather. Overall the quality of the excursions etc is broadly comparable. In summary the star clippers are more suited to a more casual crowd, who like the sensation of sailing (vs cruising) and are prepared to forego any real evening entertainment. Having said that there was no real chance to dance on the Windstar, whereas on the clippers, the fact that you are all together ( not spread over 3 restaurants and two bars) makes for more of a party atmosphere so there is always some dancing. If you want a very smooth quiet cruise with good food, choose Windstar, but if you like the feel of the boat moving (and don't mind a bit of noise) go for the Clippers which really do sail as much as they can. The clientele on Windstar was 95% American, possibly due to the point of embarkation. Star clippers on the other hand, which usually goes from Barbados in the winter, is much more cosmopolitan with a good mix from Europe/AusNY/USA. Either of these cruise lines can provide you with an excellent holiday! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
When I received an email that Windstar was offering a sizable discount on certain cruises during the holidays, I investigated their sailings to Tahiti and the Caribbean. Since Tahiti gets a lot of rain in December and January, we opted for ... Read More
When I received an email that Windstar was offering a sizable discount on certain cruises during the holidays, I investigated their sailings to Tahiti and the Caribbean. Since Tahiti gets a lot of rain in December and January, we opted for a Caribbean cruise. The Wind Surf sailing worked well with our schedule. We boarded in St. Maarten and noticed four cruise ships in the cruise terminal - P & O, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and then the Wind Surf. It was the smallest of the ships, yet the only one with masts to set sail. What makes a Windstar ship special is that they visit some ports that the big ships don't, so when you are in port it is not packed with cruise passengers. The embarkation was easy. There were no lines. We walked right up and gave the staff our information. Golf carts were nearby to whisk us to the Wind Surf, however we elected to check out the shops in the terminal before boarding the ship. Once we did, again without a line to wait in, we showed the crew staff our documents and passports. Then we walked over to the waiter staff to make reservations to the more intimate dining at Stella Bistro and Candles. Candles is so cool, because it is steak and seafood al fresco dining. We received our room card to check out our staterooms 255 and 253. Both were identical except 253 had two twin beds and 255 was made into a king. What was different is that 255 was next to the water tight metal door. At arrival to every port and when we sailed away, three buzzing alarms sounded and the doors came down right next to our room. Early in the morning, it woke us up. Another bug-a-boo about 255 was a constant rolling sound and boom when we were at sea. I had to sleep with earplugs and a pillow over my head, yet still would wake up to this sound. I called the reception desk three times. Our room steward Etti did everything she could to help soften the noise. She put pillows near the porthole covers and talked to the room steward who worked above our room. An evening steward checked out the sound and said it was the wake hitting the hull as we sailed. He said it was the sound he heard on the first level. The pound sound could be the waves, but not the rolling sound before the boom. Other than not sleeping well at night, I loved the cruise. Here is what I enjoyed - 1. BBQ lunch in St. Lucia's Pigeon Island. It's quite a spread. Sail, paddle board, snorkel, waterski and hike to the top of the fortress. 2. The yoga class with Jonathan at St. Lucia at the park while listening to the waves crash was memorable. His 6 pm Pilates class was also a good work out. 3. Pink Beach in Barbuda. Others enjoyed Coco Beach. 4. Free motion sickness pills at the reception desk. My daughter needed a pill at least once a day. 5. On Sunday The Veranda offers Brunch from 9 to 1 p.m. There is such a variety. 6. The crew are extremely friendly from Indonesia and the Philippines. Andi, Nova, Uud and Russ in the dining areas were terrific. Etti our room steward was wonderful. There was a blind couple on the ship and the staff were so helpful and accommodating. 7. Two juccuzi tubs on the back of the boat next to the pool. The tubs are small, ideal for two or family of four. At sunset when the ship is ready to set sail is the best time to be out on deck. 8. Taking the River Tubing Adventure in Roseau, Dominica. A bus picks up passengers and takes guests on a 20 minute drive to the forest. Each guest receives a yellow inner tube. There are seven guides that help guide guests down class one and two rapids. The guides sing and tell jokes at various stops. It's a sumner camp feel and fun floating down among bamboo trees, papaya, coconut. At the end of the journey, guests receive a cup of rum punch, water or Soda. They also have a plate of fresh fruit from the area - coconut, grapefruit, papaya and sugarcane. 9. Dining at Stella Bistro for a French dinner. Reservations are required and can be made on the first day of the cruise. The lobster Thermidore, escargot and Creme brûlée are delicious. 10. Popcorn and a movie. Guests can select a DVD from the media library and go back to their room to order room service. There is 24 hour room service. Popcorn comes warm, slightly buttered and salted in two separate bowls. They make crudités and dip and quesadillas too. 11. Be sure to see the crew talent show. It's very entertaining to see your cabin steward sing a Maroon 5 song, your favorite bartender juggle and pour colorful drinks, and the cruise director and four other crew members perform a synchronized swimming skit. 12. Dinner at Candles is quite an elegant al fresco affair. The grilled steak and seafood restaurant. 13. Al fresco BBQ dinner on deck. All the guests sit outdoors on the wood deck under the masts. There is a roasted suckling pig, lobster tails, king crab legs, chicken, salads, and a large dessert table. Sitting under the stars, while listening to a live band, we visited the buffet a few times. After the dinner, the crew encourages the guests to line dance out on the deck. Visiting St. Bart's and anchoring near the millionaire and billionaire yachts. 14. Playing board games after dinner or seeing the musicians perform in the evening. 15. Walking to Shell Beach in St. Barts and snorkeling near million dollar yachts. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose the Edinburgh to Dublin itinerary because of the positive experience we had a few years ago on a Windstar cruise that disembarked in Edinburgh, and our desire to visit other interesting stops in Scotland and Ireland. We were not ... Read More
We chose the Edinburgh to Dublin itinerary because of the positive experience we had a few years ago on a Windstar cruise that disembarked in Edinburgh, and our desire to visit other interesting stops in Scotland and Ireland. We were not disappointed. Edinburgh is a lovely city, offering fantastic history, architecture, and pub food & drink. Upon arrival, we were pleased to learn that the city was celebrating their annual "Festival Fringe", billed as the world's largest arts festival, spanning 25 days of nonstop music, dance, comedy, and poetry in over 300 venues. The Royal Mile leading up to the Castle was thronged with people, many in costume. Every block had one or more stages, with performances every 30 minutes. What a great time! The cruise got off to a bad start at embarkation, when we arrived at dockside in Edinburgh, only to be informed that the Wind Surf was actually in Dundee, over 60 miles away! After a frantic taxi ride (an extra 160 Euros) we arrived in Dundee, then drove around in circles for a while searching for the "King George V Wharf", which even the local taxi drivers had never heard of. As we got near the water we could see the masts of the ship, but it took quite a while to find the completely unmarked dock entrance. As we go onboard we saw many other taxis pulling up with frustrated looking customers. As we got to the top of the gangway, I was greeted warmly by Nick Bulger, the Wind Surf's Hotel Manager, a good friend from several previous cruises. Soon we were comfortably situated in Cabin 327, our first time in a suite, and certainly not the last. By the time we got to dinner we had already touched base with several of our favorite crew members such as Nova, Casey, Jun, Phillip, Merrick, and Chef Eddy. A few other crew members heard that I was on board, and tracked me down in the Compass Rose just to say hello. It's this kind of warm personal service that sets Windstar 180 degrees from ordinary, indeed. Unfortunately, our favorite entertainers, Craig and Nikki from the "Rain" duo, were not on board (Nikki just had a baby!) Their replacements were a British duo, the "Upbeats" who were very good vocalists. The main band was "High Society", which seems to change lead singers every cruise. They are a family act, and don't offer much energy or showmanship. They play before and after dinner, and seldom can entice anyone onto the dance floor. The only time I saw any dancing at all was after the weekly BBQ, when the crew got everyone up for line dancing. However, the amateur show put on by the crew was greatly improved, including a hysterically funny synchronized swimming act. Contrary to some recent CC reviews, I thought the ship was in great shape, and our cabin was immaculate. The food was excellent, with some local dishes mixed in with the normal Asian-influenced menu. Service, as always, was very attentive and personal. Our cruise itinerary was very interesting, entirely in small ports such as Invergordon, the Orkney Islands, and the Isle of Man. In several ports the ship was anchored out, rather than moored at a pier. On a few occasions when the sea was a bit choppy the tender ride to and from the ship got a little rocky, and on one occasion the Captain had to cut off the tender service entirely. The weather was cool, usually around 60F degrees, and often foggy in the morning. However, there was sunshine almost every day. The last stop was in Dublin, where we visited the fascinating Guinness Museum, and learned how to do the "perfect pour" of Guinness Stout. I am not a big fan of Guinness, but I do like dark beers, and was able to buy several Guinness variants that are not widely available in the U.S., such as Indian Porter, Double Stout and XX. Another great cruise! This was also our first ever back/back cruise, as we continued on to France, Spain and Portugal --- the topic of a second review. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Just returned from a week on the Wind Surf--my first WINDSTAR cruise. Overall, a really great experience. My cabin--128--was comfortable and well appointed. The bathroom was a surprise--plenty of counter space and outstanding water ... Read More
Just returned from a week on the Wind Surf--my first WINDSTAR cruise. Overall, a really great experience. My cabin--128--was comfortable and well appointed. The bathroom was a surprise--plenty of counter space and outstanding water pressure in the shower. The cabin was clean--my room steward Eri kept it well serviced. Boarding was pretty efficient--no long lines anywhere. I was traveling with friends and we were all checked in in about 10 minutes. Our itinerary was the Yachtsman's Caribbean. It was perfect--a different island every day! We only did one ship excursion--the Baths at Virgin Gorda. In every other port we found cab drivers to take us to a local beach. Less expensive than excursions and since we were really looking for R&R it was the best way to go. Spent a lot of time sunning and swimming. Re: the Baths excursion--we were really glad that we did it--truly amazing site--but very disappointed in the lack of a guide to take us through the boulders. It is not an easy trek--and we (and lots of others) got lost. Heard that someone in another group had a panic attack. So, to classify this as a "moderate" activity was very misleading. The common areas on the ship were great--always found a place to sit and relax--even o the sea day. We enjoyed cocktail hour at Compass Rose--though a few more tables there would be a good addition. Entertainment was weak. The duo in Compass Rose had the most depressing play list--it became a running joke--what memorial service song will they play next? The band in the lounge did their best, but they were just a tad too corny to really engage the passengers. That said, a highlight of the week was the crew show--that gets a "10" for sure! The crew was very pleasant and I have no complaints there. They work hard--all of them. Food--this is why this isn't a 5 star review. The food was fine, but not great. We ate at Candles our first night and that was just OK--disappointing. The main dining room was better. But the menu seemed stagnant and boring. My last cruise was Oceania so perhaps my expectations were too high. This wouldn't keep me from sailing WINDSTAR again--I definitely would--but with different expectations. Spa--worth every penny I spent there! The acupuncturist was amazing! Fixed a shoulder pain I'd had for months! My massage was excellent too. Water platform--we had access on two days only due to weather. It was really fun to swim off the back of the boat, but those currents are no joke. When they have it closed, it's for a reason. Other passengers--wonderful people! Everyone was friendly and pleasant and easy to be around. We made some great friends (and met several groups who had met on prior WINDSTAR cruises). Would I sail them again--absolutely! When you consider the itineraries, price and service, they offer a great value. Final note--do not book their airport transfer--much cheaper to take a cab Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We booked the trip based on the itinerary and the cruise line. After reviewing the online reviews of the ship we did not have very high expectations but figured that more people complain than praise plus, what the heck! We traveled with ... Read More
We booked the trip based on the itinerary and the cruise line. After reviewing the online reviews of the ship we did not have very high expectations but figured that more people complain than praise plus, what the heck! We traveled with our 24 year old son and our 78 and 82 year old moms. Our son was the youngest person on the ship including the staff. He did like the gym, the food and the water toys. The rooms were much larger than we are accustomed to from other cruises and very well laid out with a good sized bathroom. We were in the dungeon yet it was still very nice and easy to find our way around. The bed was very comfortable and the toiletries were of good quality. We did not avail ourselves of any of the excursions from the ship as they were all very expensive and we did not want to ride around with 50 of our closest friends en masse. We got our own rooms before and after the trip and hired our own transfers. The boat wanted $120 per person for the transfer from Rome to the port and I hired a very nice van for $180 EU. Same situation when we arrived in Venice. I hired a private water taxi which was virtually waiting for us upon arrival and the people going to the hotel through the boat waited 1 hour and 20 minutes. The ports were all fantastic and we had plenty of time in each port. They allowed us to bring as much wine as we wanted on the ship each time we arrived. The only restriction was liquor. The only negative for us was the activities on the ship- there were NONE! There was a nice little band each night but come on, EVERY night the same thing? We have been on mega ships, small ships and river cruises and every one of those had something at night to do. We went to our rooms after dinner (8:30) every night because there was no one out and nothing to do. One night they had the crew come out and put on skits and talents but while I applaud their enthusiasm it was awful. By the time it was over half the room had left. Even on the one day at sea they had essentially NOTHING to do. Towel folding, line dancing, tour of the kitchen... Could you not throw in some bingo, magician, hide and go seek, something ?? The food was very good. Usually by the end on a cruise you can see reconstituted food from previous nights and we did not find that to be the case. One night they had a 'bar-b- que'. I use the term lightly because it was AMAZING, nothing bar-b-que about it. They had lobster tail that they cooked on the grill, paella, stone crab claws, flank steak, desserts galore. It was the best food we have ever had on any boat. They had line dancing that evening from the practice during the day. It was the most festive thing we saw all week. The tv was great and had lots of channels. Lots of movies to borrow. The internet was surprisingly good. We paid the $250 for unlimited service. They gave us a code that we could use on one device at a time but found that we could put it on several devices. Boarding and disembarking was painless with no lines. All in all, we would definitely go again with Wind Star. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
Sixth Windstar Cruise, 3rd on Windsurf. Older ship (they will never build another like this) but it has been well maintained and the mostly Indonesian crew works hard to keep the guests happy. Food is above the average cruise line food ... Read More
Sixth Windstar Cruise, 3rd on Windsurf. Older ship (they will never build another like this) but it has been well maintained and the mostly Indonesian crew works hard to keep the guests happy. Food is above the average cruise line food but nothing like the food available in Italy before or after the cruise. They don't push their shore excursions too hard and we have found that we can arrange for excellent private guides in many ports for the same or less cost. The problem as Windstar has gotten bigger appears to be the Seattle corporate office. Our recent cruise had a change of itinerary before departure and only a few passengers were notified of it. This affected our shore plans and nobody in the home office wants to take ownership of the problem. In addition, we booked a post cruise transfer hotel stay in Rome through Windstar and it appeared that the hotel was totally unprepared for our arrival. The local agent for Windstar was useless. We are seasoned travelers and generally go with the flow so we probably will cruise with Windstar again. Would never book a pre or post cruise stay through them again. A high % of guests are repeat customers who know that they will meet other older affluent people. This is not a ship for solo travelers or anyone under 50. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
Really, my only complaint is that this ship does not cater for solo travellers. Until I met someone to eat with, I was eating by myself and reading a book! they were shocked when I ask if I could not join with other people. There is a ... Read More
Really, my only complaint is that this ship does not cater for solo travellers. Until I met someone to eat with, I was eating by myself and reading a book! they were shocked when I ask if I could not join with other people. There is a very well equipped gym in a small room so no place to lay on a mat especially as each time I was there, the fitness instructor was giving either a class or personal training. One exercises looking out to the port or the sea. Lovely! Embarkation was at 13:00 hrs. and I got there at 13:30. Hardly a queue. Very easy. Someone showed me to my cabin. I went to the buffet where they were serving lunch. There are three restaurants and managed to get bookings in the two smaller ones. The best was Candles Restaurant...grilled meat and the veal chop was excellent, as were the vegetables. Actually, all of the restaurants were good, though Candles was my favourite. I had the buffet for lunch every day. A tasty selection. I think I and two Australians were the only non-Americans on the ship. Every evening there was a briefing about the following day's tours and the city. Very helpful. I enjoyed the cruise but for the first two days felt very isolated, especially at dinner. And for that reason probably will not cruise on this line again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
No children are allowed. Service and food were quite good. Ports were interesting and easy to walk around without an escort. There was a free two night stay in Lisbon which was a lovely way to end the cruise. Low key entertainment after ... Read More
No children are allowed. Service and food were quite good. Ports were interesting and easy to walk around without an escort. There was a free two night stay in Lisbon which was a lovely way to end the cruise. Low key entertainment after dinner consisting of flamenco dancers one night. Every night we enjoyed going to cocktail lounge with friends, chatting and listiening or dancing to a wonderful combo. No glitzy show with 2 thoushand people in attendance. Ambiance just what we like, low key. We booked this same cruise again for June 29th a only this time we are taking our adult children with us to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. When we arrive at Malaga, we booked Spain Day Tours to take us to Granada to see the famous Alhambra. We hope other from our ship will join us on this tour to make it even more memorable. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
7 day Western Mediterranean Cruise from Barcelona to Rome. Ports included: Collioure, Marseille, Monte Carlo, Cannes, Portovenere and Portoferraio. We stayed two nights at the Wilson Boutique hotel in Barcelona prior to the cruise. ... Read More
7 day Western Mediterranean Cruise from Barcelona to Rome. Ports included: Collioure, Marseille, Monte Carlo, Cannes, Portovenere and Portoferraio. We stayed two nights at the Wilson Boutique hotel in Barcelona prior to the cruise. This was the hotel that Windstar is affiliated with in Barcelona. Hotel was just ok, from speaking to others it seems like there was a big difference in the rooms in the hotel, some were large and comfortable, others were very small and cramped. Ours was somewhere in between. Really enjoyed the smaller ports, Collioure and Portovenere. This was one big advantage to cruising on a smaller ship, I don't think bigger ships would go into smaller ports like these. Overall we liked the Wind surf, beautiful ship, we were happy with our cabin and the service. We liked the small ship experience and getting to know many other passengers. The food was hit and miss and overall disappointing though. Breakfast and lunch were fine. Dinner was generally disappointing though and didn't compare well to a previous cruise we had done on Holland America. Most ports we anchored offshore and tendered in. This didn't really bother us, but it generally took a little longer to get on and off the ship. We had some rough weather at times which made some of the tender rides a bit of an adventure, but we ended up kind of enjoying it. The ship itself rocked back and forth quite a bit but we had no problems with seasickness and we didn't hear of anyone else who had problems. Because of rough seas we were unable to anchor at Portofino which was the original plan and instead anchored at Portovenere which was a more sheltered harbour. Was disappointing to miss Portofino, but Portovenere was lovely. We did a couple of excursions and enjoyed them all, particularly the Provence Wine Tasting from Cannes. Would consider doing another Windstar cruise, but will probably try a different cruise line next. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
First off all we really liked the cruise and will sail again if cruise itinerary will match our plans. We liked itinerary, customer service, newly offered cabin, food, how yacht was maintained, officers and specially captain. He was just ... Read More
First off all we really liked the cruise and will sail again if cruise itinerary will match our plans. We liked itinerary, customer service, newly offered cabin, food, how yacht was maintained, officers and specially captain. He was just fantastic. We all loved him. A few small things that can be easily corrected: when we arrived and got in our cabin, in a few hours we realized that air conditioning was broken, cold wind was blowing without stop and temperatures were at 62 F. Stuart tried to place the towels on the register; however, that did not solve the problem. We also contacted reception a many times, they kept sending people, however, they appeared and disappeared without explanation if they can fix the problem. Only at 2 am we were visited by one of officers Margozhata and she offered us to move to different cabin. Actually she saved our cruise (thank you!). Why it was done by customer service at the beginning? Margozhata also helped us to load our stuff on the cart and at 3 am we were moving to different cabin losing almost entire day of cruising. In addition we did not receive keys for a new cabin, contacted reception, were promised to send a stuart; however, we had to call again next day in order to get them. Second - communication problems with travel agent. Very seldom we received answers to our questions on time. We understand, that agent is traveling; however, they have to have a replacement. I believe that in the future we will try to book directly with a cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We cruised Dec. 14 - 21, 2014 from St. Martin to Dominique, St. Lucia, des Santes, St. Kitts/Nevis, BasseTerre. I have to begin this by saying that I give Windstar high marks for its interest in providing a good cruise. Everything you ... Read More
We cruised Dec. 14 - 21, 2014 from St. Martin to Dominique, St. Lucia, des Santes, St. Kitts/Nevis, BasseTerre. I have to begin this by saying that I give Windstar high marks for its interest in providing a good cruise. Everything you read here I put in a letter to Mr. Birkholz, president of Windstar. He called me to follow up and thank me for the letter, apologize for the shortcomings, take action to fix them, and offer an incentive to cruise again with Windstar. You can't do better than that. The staff is great. They were always smiling, cheerful, and helpful. Our cabin steward, Suki, was a gem. It has to be a challenge to keep everyone that way cruise after cruise and my hat is off to the management staff who makes that happen. Among the staff, the captain is a standout for his comedic wit and could probably have his own show. The band we had (High Society) did a fine job of playing songs we could enjoy and dance to (we are over 65). We appreciated the security arrangements for leaving and returning to the ship and the card scan made it easy. The tender service to shore ran often and smoothly. The quietness of our cabin was remarkable. Rarely did we hear anything from outside or next door or even the ocean for that matter (we were mid ships on deck 1). The TV/DVD/Boise system worked smoothly and enjoyably (but we did miss CNN or a major US network). Our cabin was a decent size and nicely furnished with a comfortable bed. However, the mini-fridge would not chill very much at all and the cabin was 80 degree when we arrived the first day and it took half a day to cool down. The overall maintenance and cleanliness of the ship was excellent. The BBQ on the beach was very nice and the swimming area pleasant. The food service and food were very good with a few exceptions. The small number of passengers also makes for a more enjoyable cruise experience. It can be hard to find a shady spot on deck during the day if you are not a sun worshipper. There were small issues that clouded our enjoyment. First among those was our confusion over the application of a $200 credit we got through the travel agent. We assumed it would go against anything on our bill including the $12/day per person gratuity charge. Nope. Maybe it would pay for an island tour we had prebooked prior to the cruise. Nope. We did not discover the limits of the credit until I inquired about 4 days into the cruise. The money went toward drinks and items in the gift shop - neither would have been expenses we would have incurred otherwise. The staff tried to resolve our request but bureaucracy got the best of us. The water provided in the rooms had a baking soda taste to it. Not so bad you couldn't drink it, but you would never look forward to having a glass of water. No bottled water in the minifridge either. We eventually discovered we could get it at the bar and sandwich shop after we bought some onshore. The ports of call were nice, but sadly these little islands do not have much to offer with their tiny economies. The good news is the big ships don't stop at them (at least not when we were there) so you don't have crowds. We had a nice tour on Dominique to the waterfall and gorge, but not much fun snorkeling. As far as we could tell, the reefs you may find along the trip are not thriving and hardly scenic. Don't expect much. This is not the fault of Windstar, just something you should know. BasseTerre is nothing but a tacky tourist trap. des Santes is a quaint little town worth a stroll. You can find cheap WiFi in one of the cafes there. Shipboard WiFi is expensive and slow. Your biggest headache won't be on the cruise. It will be what to do after you depart in the morning when it is over and before you catch your plane if it leaves later in the day. There is NO service to check your luggage so you can leave it and wander the town. Windstar offers a "tour" that lasts until about noon before it drops you at the airport. That costs about $70/person. A taxi to the airport costs $20/person. We solved the problem by taking a taxi to "Mary's Boon" hotel/restaurant near the airport and hanging out for four hours including getting lunch. I recommend it highly for that purpose. The airport itself is nice and clean, but it is still an airport terminal. (Note: US Airways requires 3 hr. arrival before departure - don't believe it. We were there on a very busy day and 2 hours was way more than enough. I wouldn't arrive less than 90 minutes before because things are not handled efficiently.) You can get food to eat in the terminal gate waiting area.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
This was our fifth cruise with WS lines. While we still enjoy the ambiance, crew, small ship cruising, some of the changes are not for the better. There is now a "harder sell" mentality for the spa, shop and excursions. The port ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with WS lines. While we still enjoy the ambiance, crew, small ship cruising, some of the changes are not for the better. There is now a "harder sell" mentality for the spa, shop and excursions. The port excursion prices are exceptionally high for what they provide, which is most unfortunate. We have been able to book independent excursions that offer more time and sights for the same or even less cost than what WS charges. The new owners of the WS line do not offer the same amenities and discounts for prior travelers, known as ForeMast Club members, as had Holland America and prior owners. This is definitely not good PR and does not encourage loyalty in those of us who have traveled before. That said, the Wind Surf was in good condition, although the refurbished decor looked way too utilitarian for the "casual elegance" of the advertising. The colors were beyond bland, the prints in the carpet and upholstered chairs looked anything but elegant, more in keeping with a 2* hotel. The public areas and cabins were very clean. The cabin and wait staff were as friendly and attentive as in all our other trips. Boon remembered us from a prior trip! The staff learns our names within the first day, an incredible feat. The food was fresh, mostly unimaginative but nicely prepared. Loved the breakfast selections, dinners had good choices, but typically on the bland side and became repetitive. I would suggest that the menu include local specialties of the countries being visited. Local talent was brought on board, one a lovely 16 year old vocalist, Lucy Kelly from Wales, sounding much like Charlotte Church. The other was a harpist. This is a WS feature, to bring aboard local talent, and much appreciated by the passengers. The other talent sailing as part of the crew provided good entertainment in the lounges. The ports of Dublin, Holyhead, Waterford, Fishguard, Scilly Isles/St. Mary's, Falmouth, Dartmouth, and Portsmouth were interesting. The villagers in the smaller ports were wonderfully welcoming, much like those in New Zealand when we sailed "down under". And quite unlike the larger and more touristy ports of France, Italy, Greece and Spain. We will give WS one more try before jumping ship to try another line..... Read Less
Wind Surf Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 0.0
Family N/A 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment N/A 0.0
Service 3.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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