Sail Date: January 2015
Wind Surf - Yachtsman- Jan 17 2015 First and foremost, I loved this cruise. One of the most relaxing vacations ever. I would have given this a 5 star rating except for some of their front office customer service practices and policies( ... Read More
Wind Surf - Yachtsman- Jan 17 2015 First and foremost, I loved this cruise. One of the most relaxing vacations ever. I would have given this a 5 star rating except for some of their front office customer service practices and policies( see below) PROS itinerary - spectacular - the smaller British Virgin Islands - loved, loved it overall friendly casual atmosphere of ship and ship mates overnight in ports - wonderful added to the relaxation of the vacation - no rush to get off the ship to see the island embarkation/disembarkation - effortless, no line ups - this alone is enough to convince me not to return to big ship cruising even with our preferred status on the big cruise lines not nearly as good as on Windstar the ship was beautiful, well appointed - lots of space , chairs available, never waited seating mind you there was only 220 passengers on a 300 capacity vessel. cabins - one of the loveliest I have had - well appointed, ample storage, well designed. I thought I would really miss my balcony but not so much Motion - you could feel it. You knew you were on a ship. I like the motion nothing that . The ship hardly made a noise. service on the ship - very friendly, so many of the staff knew our names after the first day very few upcharges - specialty restaurants, soft drinks, specialty coffees all free sports deck - free use of sports equipment, sailboats, water platform off the back of the ship - awesome captain- friendly, professional, engaging was present among the guests all week, was at the end of the gangplank to say goodbye at disembarkation. Best captain ever. bridge open Closeness to the water - bow of the ship dark at night - stars spectacular- again felt like you were on a ship and not a floating hotel laundry package - was a good deal and very handy to have your clothes washed or pressed. just a souvenir shop not a lot of shopping. Again feeling of being on a ship not in a shopping mall Deck BBQ -wonderful food, festive atmosphere. Island BBQ - great food, great beach….crew work really hard to make this happen slugging all this stuff off the ship and to the beach. It was great. Yacht club sandwich and coffee bar was great for a quick snack or drink after returning from shore Room steward was excellent BOSE sound system in room and DVD , free use of ipods, and DVD library still send paper based cruise tickets….. love it. CONS customer service front office - didn’t ever seem eager to get or keep my business . Refused to honour AARP discount “because the price was already low - yet price went down significantly again after my booking” price drop policy - I am well aware of the cruise lines not dropping prices after final payment and I am fine with that. However Royal Caribbean has always honoured any price drop post final payment with upgrading me to a cabin that my fare would buy at that price point, sometimes they will give onboard credit. Royal Caribbean does a good job of recognizing my early booking. They understand that if I feel disadvantaged by booking early then I will either chose another cruise line that is interested in ensuring that that I am treated fairly no matter when I book….or.. I will always book late. Windstar clearly has no interest in building customer loyalty from the front office perspective. Totally different philosophy once you are on the ship. They want to do everything to be sure you are satisfied and have a great experience. Kind of a Jekkyl Hyde thing going on. Many of the people that we met on the ship had booked last minute. pool - hot tubs not available at night. The outdoor evening restaurant which is a wonderful feature is situated around the pool and hot tubs. We always enjoy hot tub at sea under the stars. Just doesn’t make sense why they set up here. dining room - food was good, not great, not as good as dining room on Royal Caribbean wait staff dining room- very friendly, eager to please but not as good as Royal Caribbean - English seemed to be more of a barrier in the dining room than on larger cruise lines drinks were expensive even for a cruise ship. Once we get on the ship we refuse to think about costs but in the end I think the drinks were over priced yoga - impossible in a small gym with machines making noise around you. CONCLUSION Would I recommend. Yes in a heart beat. Would I sail with Windstar again? absolutely but will book last minute   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
This was our 8th Wind Star cruise (six on the Wind Surf, two on the Wind Spirit). As Wind Star cruises emerges from bankruptcy for the second time in 5 years, we had some concerns as we boarded the Wind Surf on Easter Sunday in Barcelona. ... Read More
This was our 8th Wind Star cruise (six on the Wind Surf, two on the Wind Spirit). As Wind Star cruises emerges from bankruptcy for the second time in 5 years, we had some concerns as we boarded the Wind Surf on Easter Sunday in Barcelona. Fortunately the cabin stewards, restaurant and bar staff all delivered excellent service throughout our cruise. No complaints. We remain amazed at the staff's level of professionalism, their positive attitude,their enthusiasm and competence.The ship carried 200 passengers(2/3rd occupancy) on our cruise from Barcelona to Civitavecchia with stops in Majorca, St Tropez, Monte Carlo and Portofino. We were traveling with 2 other couples who had never sailed on a cruise ship before. We enjoyed pleasant weather for most of the cruise.My wife and I sailed on the Wind Surf in the Med previously in September 2010 (Venice to Civitavecchia). On both cruises we noticed a deterioration in the quality of evening meals served. Breakfasts and lunches were excellent, but suppers were hit and miss. Our other criticism revolve around the excursion staff. At our first port of call, Palma (Majorca), the ship arranged for hourly complimentary bus transfers between the ship and town-center. We were given a schedule when we left the ship. On our return many passengers were waiting at the designated pickup location for over an hour because the bus driver was following a less frequent schedule. We showed the driver our schedule but she told us that she would only follow the schedule that her employer gave her. Three of us took an excursion to Le Lavandou, a coastal town in Province, about a 45 drive west of St Tropez. It was a bad $79 per person investment. The trip lacked any significant points of interest. We drove through several interesting villages (such as Bormes-les-Momosas) but we were not allowed to explore them. Lastly the excursion directors on both cruises were of little value to independent travelers. The information provided at the nightly 10 minute lectures was disappointing. Requests for train schedule information and travel info received little attention.Our friends who just completed their 4th Wind Star cruise on the Wind Spirit (Civitavecchia to Anthens), reported to us that evening meals on their cruise were disappointing. Read Less
WORST PART OF THE TRIP Getting there and getting back, Barbados and Nevis. The Miami airport is awful. There appeared to be no organization to clearing customs. Barbados and Nevis are 3rd world countries. Personally, if I want to see ... Read More
WORST PART OF THE TRIP Getting there and getting back, Barbados and Nevis. The Miami airport is awful. There appeared to be no organization to clearing customs. Barbados and Nevis are 3rd world countries. Personally, if I want to see unemployed vagrants, I can go to any inner city for a lot less $$$. The immigration people in Barbados when we entered were scowling, humorless, and irritated that we were there to spend money in their poor run-down island. BEST PART OF THE TRIP The other passengers and the ship itself, which is in great condition. We met so many really nice and interesting people - who also had good manners. If you like to drink too much and boogy till ya puke, this isn't the cruise for you. Most passengers are experienced, interesting people with lots of good conversation to share. Their company was truly a highlight. There were several children on this trip, except for 1 boy in a stroller who was loud, all were well-mannered and cute fun kids. ACCOMMODATIONS Very nice cabins - even standard size. The suites are very spacious, but not necessary. Cabin stewards are excellent. There's fresh fruit and a small vase of fresh flowers as well as a very nice assortment of soaps, shampoos, and body lotions. Towels were large enough to easily wrap around and the bathrobes were nice and eliminated the need to take on along. The hair dryer is kind of lame, but did ultimately do the job. TV and VCR were great with some movies to watch that I had not seen. DINING Both the Restaurant and the Bistro were very attractive. The breads and deserts were all simply wonderful. Appetizers, soups, and salads at dinner were great - better on some nights, but over all, really good. I only have a couple of "areas for improvement" to note. The fish entrees were ALWAYS overcooked (except the lobster which was always perfect). The sirloin was tough - well gee, why wouldn't it be - it's tough on land as well. The filets were just fine when delivered as ordered. Filet serving sizes were small, but after all the preliminary courses, they were more than adequate. Lunch and breakfast choices were good. Breakfast was particularly good - eggs a zillion ways, smoked salmon everyday, great pastries, cereals hot and cold, fresh melons, pineapple, grapes as large as plums - all were very good. Lunch was the least exciting. The buffet items were not too good and I didn't care for all the marinated/vinegar type salads. One day there was a meat in a gravy dish, but no pasta or rice to put it over which seemed a little odd to me. A good sandwich bar would have been a welcome choice. BAR The bar staff is really good. The white wine selection is fine - if the only wine you like is a chardonnay. The second day out, they were out of the pinot grigio with no replenishment. The liquor selection isn't extensive, but is adequate in terms of quality range and choice - after all this isn't a giant ship with storage for 5 different port selections. Beer selection is adequate for mainstream consumption - Bud, Bud Light, Hiney, and one or two others. COFFEE All of it good - not wimpy. Espresso, cappacino, laite available w/meals. ROOM SERVICE Zippy - fast - efficient and a good selection. This was a good vacation. I appreciated the lack of announcements all day long. On Christmas Day, we sailed around under sail power. It was a great day, although it was the first time I ever ate French fries and played a slot machine on Christmas day. The ports of St. Barts and Isle de Sainte were really nice. I suspect the French islands are a lot nicer than some of the others. Ship management gets FOUR HAPPY FACES for the way everything is handled. When seas were too choppy to go to Anguilla and St. Martin (French side), we sailed around until we could dock on the Dutch side. When the sister ship, Club Med, was in the vicinity, they arranged for us to sale next to them for a while to get some really good pictures. This is one area where the differences were apparent - Wind Surf sails are clean - Club Med sails dirty w/soot. The ship is very clean everywhere. It was a good vacation. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose Wind Star because it is described as a small, intimate and luxury cruise experience. The ship The Wind Surf is old and shows her age with being built in 1989. I believe the ship was originally a Club Med ship. It really needs a ... Read More
We chose Wind Star because it is described as a small, intimate and luxury cruise experience. The ship The Wind Surf is old and shows her age with being built in 1989. I believe the ship was originally a Club Med ship. It really needs a total makeover. When we were to board, embarkation was not at its usual dock but more of an industrial dock so check in was chaotic and very long. We sat here until 11:00 pm, sailing was to be at 7:00 pm but divers were underneath the ship repairing a part. Not a good start! We were told by a Wind Star cruise reservations agent that we could snorkel off the sports platform from the Ship since the ship is smaller 310 passengers, so that was a big selling point for us. This was not true as the ship would anchor at a 100 feet or more and snorkeling off the sports platform was not allowed anyway. We were also told no shorts in the main dining room the Amphora and no flip flops of any kind in the lounge in the evenings. We were not informed of this when purchasing the cruise or is not stated in any of the brochures or on the Wind Star web site. I advised the onboard Customer Service Manager of this and she informed me it is stated on the website, but not so.When sailing to the different islands we always tendered in, which we knew we would some of the times but every single time aboard old hot tenders. More like tin sweat boxes. The first day we stood in the hall with a line of people and waited an hour as only one tender was running. On day 7 the captain made an announcement that we would not be going to St Barts our last port because they had scheduled a time to finish the repair that was started on embarkation day so now our 9 day cruise that we paid for was an 8 day. I believe that Wind Star knew about this when we departed on day 1. We asked for a refund for the one night but our request was denied. The passengers stayed aboard the ship sitting at the pier in St. Maartin not what we signed up or paid for. We disembarked and went to a hotel. Very disappointing and not at all what was expected for the money we paid which is quite a bit more than other cruise lines. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
While we enjoyed portions of our recent vacation/cruise, the Windstar Wind surf (Sicilian Splendours itinerary) failed to meet expectations and would be reluctant to book Windstar in the future. The most appealing aspect of this Line/ship ... Read More
While we enjoyed portions of our recent vacation/cruise, the Windstar Wind surf (Sicilian Splendours itinerary) failed to meet expectations and would be reluctant to book Windstar in the future. The most appealing aspect of this Line/ship was its size, the small number of passengers was the most welcome part of our experience. While seemingly marketed as a premium line it squarely delivers a mass market product more akin to the large ships albeit on a smaller vessel. This specific Itinerary offered and interesting set of ports however, it did seem a bit late in the season, even for the Med. • The stateroom While small, the room was efficient, with plenty of storage, more so than on larger ships in larger rooms. The bedding however was horrendous, frayed and threadbare, the bed was easily the most uncomfortable we've experienced on a ship. The carpeting in the room was stained, the shower curtain filthy, and the porthole disgusting. The wallpaper pealing at the seams. A premium room experience I think not. • Dining The food, while looking impressive on the menu was far from impressive on the plate. Mediocre at best. Everything was bland, apparently seasonings, herbs and spices were not part of the kitchen. • Dining service In the main dinning room— Amphora service was hit and miss mostly miss. One evening we were out in a half hour, we never expressed a need to be anywhere else—we were at sea. Another night we sat at a table nest to a senior officer and dinner companion and watched as they progressed through their meal, they were done before we even received our mains—which was close to an hour between salad and main course. The food in Stella bistro again was mediocre to poor we tried once at the beginning and never returned. • Service and Servers While the servers tried extremely hard they seemed disorganized, often being asked our orders by multiple servers, other times finding it impossible to get wine or water refilled. Sparkling water was often refilled with the wrong type of water and then replaced with bottled sparkling water which was not ordered. The wine steward was so entertaining and friendly and familiar, that I doubt I’d be able to take his wine suggestions seriously—too bad as he was worked very hard—familiarity is not a substitute for proper service. • Food facillities The Terrace buffet seemed the best effort on the ship, credible breakfasts the occasional local food table with market offerings at lunch. Friendly hard-working servers, but again seemingly disorganized. The coffee bar again was a hit the server took the time to learn my name—one of the few on board. However it never seemed to be open, hours were very limited. • Public Areas and facilities Despite an extensive makeover in the last few years there were a lot of spaces and finishes that looked long in the tooth. It appears this older ship needs considerably more attention than it got two years ago. When asked about its upcoming drydock, was informed there were some decor items being addressed but it was primarily a structural dry dock concerning things that keep the ship going, which I’m sure is considerable with a ship this age. • Spa Seriously this facility needs to be ripped out and started all over. It was old, dark and dingy—far from refreshing and serene. You looked around and could see how the space was originally configured as staterooms, now with partition walls simply removed. • Shore excurions Aside from a positive food experience in Gozo, most excursions seemed not to offer anything different than any other line—except the price which seemed steeper than many other lines. • Communications The daily newsletter seemed to miss almost everything going on, on the ship. Friday afternoon I wandered past what appears to be a meeting room, and realized there was a sabbath service in progress. I would never have known from the daily. There just seemed to be a lack of communication in general, no buzz on the ship. On the plus side the relentless sales and sales pitches and the like of other lines were thankfully missing. The captains apology for the daily update wore thin quickly, once a day is no inconvenience to be updated about the route its progress or deviations is not unwarranted. As an aside out of the control of this or any cruise line—when will cruise operators stop being held hostage to poorly managed ferry/port authorities in Capri and vote with tourist dollars (euros) and stop going there? This port was missed again on this voyage and we have now missed Capri, as a scheduled port or shore excursion 3 of the 4 times in the region on cruises. At a certain point its misleading marketing to suggest you can go to Capri on a cruise. This time we were told repeatedly that we could have tendered with the ship’s tenders, even though the seas were somewhat rough, but the local authorities wouldn’t permit it. Cruise lines just need to say no to Capri and perhaps the authorities will try harder if enough lines bypass it. In conclusion it seems size alone should not be relied upon to carry this ship (cruise line) forward forever, as it seems to now. We spoke to many passengers who were clear devotees of Windstar and the only thing that they could offer was their love of the size of the ship and nothing else of any substance. If this is the flagship of the line, Xanterra, the parent company needs to up its game considerably—there are far smarter options and competitors out there. The number of things that failed to meet expectations far outweighed the positives and am unable to recommend Windstar to friends or family let alone travel Windstar in the future. Too bad as it's a great concept and full of potential. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
This was our 4th cruise on the Windsurf and second leg of a back to back trip. We’ve had some very upsetting events happen during this trip, however we try to be fair in this review, particularly to the hard working staff onboard. ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise on the Windsurf and second leg of a back to back trip. We’ve had some very upsetting events happen during this trip, however we try to be fair in this review, particularly to the hard working staff onboard. Please read the full review and be warned: Scotland made for some challenging sailing, but the Captain and his crew managed beautifully. We enjoyed being able to reach the smaller ports, visiting some of Scotland’s remote towns and villages. We were reminded in Invergordon, what it is like to dock in a port accessible to large cruise ships. The Ruby Princess had docked there as well and its 3,000+ passengers ended up flooding all of the nearby tourist sites, including Loch Ness. We had to move cabins following the previous 8-day cruise we had taken. There did not appear to be a process organized by the ship that would ensure back-to-back passengers to get to their new cabins with top priority. A chat with the cabin stewards and a tip thankfully fixed that. (not a luxury experience!). The cabin we had on this leg of the journey was A category and located towards the forward part of the ship near the crew mess entrance. It was therefore quite noisy … we also had issues with smoke traveling up from Deck 0, the crew deck. An A deck cabin in this location should not be sold to passengers. It is clearly inferior to other cabins! We also had issues with key cards working on several occasions during our trip resulting in many trips across the ship to reception and back, until we finally requested that someone from reception or maintenance accompanies us and fix the problem for good. Once again, far from a luxury experience) The majority of the crew though were wonderful, as described in our previous review. They still ‘make’ the trip memorable – even with the various shortcomings mentioned here. The most astonishing events during this trip however were related to Windstar Corporate politics, which we got dragged into completely involuntarily. Windstar politics don’t seem to stop at crew level as one might expect, but utilize unsuspecting guests without any form of agreement or authorization by publishing entirely slanderous Windstar internal statements for what must be hidden corporate agendas. We have more class than Windstar, so won’t lay out all the details, but please be warned – what you think might be the vacation of a lifetime or a well deserved break (which is what we were thinking), may end up turning into a multi-month nightmare for any guest with integrity and a sense of justice. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I have sailed on 7 different cruise lines on multiple cruises to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Russia, Alaska, and Europe. Wind Surf was launched for Club Med in 1989 (30 years old). Dry dock and total renovation and redesign cannot ... Read More
I have sailed on 7 different cruise lines on multiple cruises to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Russia, Alaska, and Europe. Wind Surf was launched for Club Med in 1989 (30 years old). Dry dock and total renovation and redesign cannot come soon enough! This is an old boat and feeling rundown and shabby (not chic). And the sails may wow folks in port, but there is a lot of hoopla over the "unfurling" of sails and playing the same Vangelis music every evening. First time was interesting, but come on folks, what's the big deal. The passenger demographic of this cruise line is well-healed seniors in their 70's who have more money than travel experience and are easily impressed. Overall, the value simply wasn't here. Some may feel they are part of an exclusive guest list of 300 passengers, but the ship is small, staterooms are very small, food service is adequate but average and entertainment is virtually nonexistent. Staff is under pressure to do their jobs and wanted little to do with passenger's requests or comfort. Overall the promise of Windstar's promotional website and literature does not match the promise of a personal and unique experience, an engaging staff, or amazing luxury cruise yachting experience. Boarding the ship in Rome (Civitavecchia), I was astounded that only one of the two elevator was functional at embarkation and the crew had that elevator tied up for hours delivering luggage to state rooms. No staff elevators on board this ship. I spoke with the Reception Desk and they promised each day that the second elevator would be fixed anytime. It took 3 days and constant reminding the desk that there are a lot of very senior passengers who have mobility issues and need the elevator. After repair and elevator started functioning again, they shut down the elevators several times during the cruise and placed an "out of order" sign on the doors. This old ship should never have left port without both elevators functioning. Our cabin was the smallest stateroom ever, with minimal closet and storage space. Bed linens were nice, but the beds were broken down and should have been replaced a year ago. But the bathroom was downright difficult and out dated. I'm 5'11", 185 lbs and it was close for me. Cannot imagine how some on board managed to shower or use the toilets as the space was so tight. Luxury Yacht? Not in my book. Each evening as passengers returned to the ship after a day of excursions, we would congregate on the pool deck expecting to watch the exit from ports during sunsets, relax, swim, chat and enjoy some bar beverages. At 6:00 pm, staff beginning removing all umbrellas, closing pool and jacuzzis, collecting all towels and bar glasses and shutting down the Pool Bar and Deck. Fresh towel bins were empty. Many passengers voiced their objections at this untimely closing of the large pool deck of the ship but staff had their orders and ignored the passengers requests. While reclining in swim wear, we were told to go upstairs and order our drinks at that bar. Then they collected and stacked the chaises to clear the deck. Stupid Ship and Bar Policy. After while, passengers gave up requesting to leave the Pool Bar and Deck open while we sail out of ports. The cruise itinerary was a major draw for us; visiting ports of east and west coasts of Italy, and the Dalmatian coast. Visiting the cruise ports was great fun, but certainly there were the other "mega ships" in port, also. So the idea that the ship is so "small" (700 ft isn't really small), we could sail into ports restricted to larger ships was false. And unfortunately for some, the rear ship "marina" was only lowered twice on the cruise. Many were disappointed that equipment was not in good condition and the kayaks were not available as they posed competition to the local businesses. Shore excursions? Unless you have money to burn, take time to research the cruise ports and figure out what interest you, rather than pay outrageous fees for Windstar excursions (yes, were talking several thousands extra for excursions). It seemed every time you turned around, there were extra charges, overpriced drinks, extra gratuity for staff (I'm glad to tip for extraordinary service), staff saying "no", not possible, cannot do that, sir. Certainly not the promise of the Windstar Cruises. One bright spot in the ships staff was the Gym Facilitor, Nathan from South Africa. Very knowledgeable in fitness and exercise and very aware of the age of his passengers. Well done! I will definitely sail more cruises in the future, but definitely not on Windstar ships. As a matter of fact, we've already booked a Viking River Cruise for 2019. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
WindStar WindSurf, booked 5/18, Dalmatian Coast and Italy. Terrific itinerary and lousy cruise. Staff was earnest at best and let's call it unresponsive at worst. Lack of planning at embarcations usually led to chaos. By all means, ... Read More
WindStar WindSurf, booked 5/18, Dalmatian Coast and Italy. Terrific itinerary and lousy cruise. Staff was earnest at best and let's call it unresponsive at worst. Lack of planning at embarcations usually led to chaos. By all means, do not purchase any of the excursions; as on so many cruises, these are considerably overpriced. On our trip, they were, well, rip-offs. Incompetent or disinterested tour guides (vendors) consistnetly failed to provide even the minimum offered in excursion descriptions. Worst of all on our cruise, and most surprisingly, service in main diningroom was more than once the worst we have experienced in almost 20 years of cruising up and down the price range: vanishing waiters, failures to deliver, missing follow-ups. Finally, we just left. Try another luxury line instead - even if, you guessed it, it costs a bit more. Based on our experience on this one trip, I'm disappointed to say: avoid WindStar. Service was so bad that I am motivated to post this review - my first anywhere, any place, about anything. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My friend and I chose this cruise because we really liked the itinerary and had read the reviews prior to booking. It was expensive, but had been on many cruises with other cruise lines and were happy to pay the cost for a luxury cruise. ... Read More
My friend and I chose this cruise because we really liked the itinerary and had read the reviews prior to booking. It was expensive, but had been on many cruises with other cruise lines and were happy to pay the cost for a luxury cruise. Ship - It didn't start well as, unlike other cruise lines the embarkation process was awful. At the terminal we had to initially wait off the ship on the quay in the sun for half an hour, then when we got onto the ship we had to wait another half hour in line to be checked in, this was about 2pm. We weren't allowed to register two credit cards (which was to prove to be a major problem later) as we wanted to each pay our own bills. The ship is 'tired' and really needs a refit, stained carpets, worn out chairs in the lounge etc. It just doesn't compare with other companies. Cabin - Our travel agent had booked twin beds and checked the day before that this would happen and was assured that this would be no problem. Nevertheless we didn't have twin beds, we went to reception and they assured us it would be dealt with, eventually at 6.30pm the beds were sorted. The cabin was fine, plenty of storage and clean, but basic. Dining - there are three restaurants, but you can only book to eat out in the French restaurant and the Candles restaurant (that is the only restaurant where you can eat on the deck). The food in all three was good, but not exceptional. The waiting staff were attentive and helpful. Entertainment and activities - The resident band and singer were talented and played a good variety of music, however if you wanted to dance they didn't start playing until 9.30pm which seemed late. We attended the fitness exercise classes at 7am and 5pm with Nathan, who was a lively instructor. We also went to a line-dancing class, that was rather a disaster because of no music and a temporary instructor. Service - though the staff were friendly, it felt that the whole trip was about 'selling' extras, unlike other cruises that we have been on everything was an extra. Drinks were very expensive unless you bought a drinks package! For example - if you wanted to drink wine it was $32 a day per person and with all drinks it was over $50 per day. There is no way that we would we drink that amount each day! The Spa treatments were also very costly and throughout treatments rather than being calm it was all about selling extras, cosmetics etc. Also we weren't aware that a service charge of 15% gets put on automatically everything - your fare, drinks, spa etc. We considered this was completely wrong, other cruise lines suggest what you should 'tip', gives you envelopes for cabin staff and all house keeping and then you can put it in a 'postbox' so that all staff can be included in any disbursements. In the small print when you get your bill they say that staff rely on the service charge money as part of their salary - this is wrong. I have a service business and there is no way would I put a compulsory service charge on my client's invoices. You can if you 'pressure' sign a form to have the service charges removed, which we did. Not having two credit cards registered proved enormously problematic and it took 5 long discussions with reception to try and obtain 2 separate correct bills despite us giving them all the information clearly laid out. It was extremely frustrating. Ports and shore excursions - All the ports were great and it was fun even when we had to use the tender. We did do some of the excursions, again expensive and certainly you could do the same things by going ashore and saving a lot of money. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We choose the cruise because of the ports of call and our previous Wind Star experience (this was our eighth Wind Star cruise and third on the Wind Surf). The cruise is Yachtsman, Caribbean. We were scheduled for: Philipsburg, St. ... Read More
We choose the cruise because of the ports of call and our previous Wind Star experience (this was our eighth Wind Star cruise and third on the Wind Surf). The cruise is Yachtsman, Caribbean. We were scheduled for: Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Falmouth Harbour, Antigua Soper's Hole, Tortola, B.V.I. Jost van Dyke Great Harbour, B.V.I , Virgin Gorda, Prickly Pear Beach, B.V.I., Gustavia, St. Barthelemy Philipsburg, St. Maarten Because of weather we did not visit Virgin Gorda or St. Barts. We also learned that Wind Star no longer uses Prickly Pear Beach after the cruise started. Instead of Virgin Gorda we spent the day at Road Town, Tortola. A terrible alternative and instead of a special day at the beach, we had a one hour steel band and a rum drink. There had to be a better port of call. It seems the weather was a surprise to everyone at Wind Star. We were to arrive at ST. Bart's at 0800 and leave at 10:00 PM. We arrived at 0700 and the captain decided to leave for St. Maartan at 0800. Since St. Bart's was a highlight of the cruise we thought we should at least wait a few hours to see if we could use the tenders. Communication from the Captain and crew was limited so we never were told the whole story. Again, there should have been alternatives since the weather was forecast. Also, the Wind Surf looks tired and out dated. Worn carpet, inside bright work is dull. Internet and electronic entertainment has not changed in the 12 years we have used Wind Star and it was old then. We feel the ship was under staffed as the crew could not provide the personal service we were used to on Wind Star (70 guests in the bar and one waiter as an example). Slow service in the restaurants and the food is mediocre. Disappointing experience for us Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
The old ship with an outdated decor and a very few amenities. The entertainment was limited to an OK band and a duo (husband and wife) singers. The food was OK, but not great. The cabin was small with a peeling wallpaper and some ... Read More
The old ship with an outdated decor and a very few amenities. The entertainment was limited to an OK band and a duo (husband and wife) singers. The food was OK, but not great. The cabin was small with a peeling wallpaper and some rusted spots in the shower. It was also dark with pothole windows which were advertised as the ocean view cabins. A poor quality TV reception, limited to 4-5 channels. Internet is slow and expensive. Wi-Fi was available only close to the reception desk not in our room. The "Fitness Center" was so small that 2 people felt as a crowd. The 24 hours food court (pizza, sandwiches, tea, coffee), typical for all the cruises I've been to, is not available. There is a room service alternative that I've never used. The only positive detail of the cruise was friendly, service-oriented staff. Not a luxury cruise that I've hoped for! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We choose the cruise because we had never seen the Baltic States and we prefer small boats of giant ships. It got good reviews and we had done many riverboat cruises before. We thought this would be like an big river cruise... wrong. We ... Read More
We choose the cruise because we had never seen the Baltic States and we prefer small boats of giant ships. It got good reviews and we had done many riverboat cruises before. We thought this would be like an big river cruise... wrong. We started the cruise by spending three days in Stockholm to get our bodies in the right time zone. We loved Stockholm, found it easy to navigate and the people very pleasant. Our hotel there was on the water and very nice. We did not use the computer that we had with us in Stockholm because we were just exploring the neighborhood and the "hop on hop off" highlights. For that reason, we did not check our email. When we got to the port to leave there was not ship. Panic. Fortunately our cab driver called his home desk and found another set of docks. We went there and found the boat. So we had a scary start. We got all checked in and went to our cabin. The cabin was nice but not Spectacular. It was just a boat cabin. All of the riverboats that we had been on were far superior to this cabin and the carpet clearly needed replacing. The two porthole were sort of grimy looking and filled with big glumps of some kind of glue. The food on this boat, in the dining room, was spectacular but the "Snack" food was sort of dry and uninteresting. The problem that I have with this whole approach to cruising is that, unlike river cruises, they tend to "nickle and dime" you to death. That is a significant charge each day to go on a tour when we were in port. (cheapest being $69.99 most expensive being $700.). There were spa ads and tongue evaluation ads and other ad through out the shop. I found that sort of tacky. The alcohol package was very expensive. The appeal of a small boat cruise is that it becomes like summer camp. You pay up front and put your credit card away until you leave. Not so here. The tours that we took were "okay" at best. None were spectacular. The Russian tours were under planned and did not make rooms for the crowds. Often we were on a bus that just zoomed by places that we would have like to stay longer. The onboard service were great, the crew were very accommodating but the just the plan of the trip left much to be desired. We were very disappointed. The internet on the boat was outrageously expensive. And, even in port, when it was free the boat seemed to block the free internet. This is 2016. Internet should just be there, at least in port. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
First- We were informed a couple days before our vacation was to start that our cruise was cancelled. I asked to be switched to another ship at 9:00 am and by 5 pm I needed to call and be very demanding to make sure we had a cabin on a ... Read More
First- We were informed a couple days before our vacation was to start that our cruise was cancelled. I asked to be switched to another ship at 9:00 am and by 5 pm I needed to call and be very demanding to make sure we had a cabin on a boat going somewhere. Our excursions were of coarse cancelled as well as the loss of our pre and post cruise hotels and air fair. I had to scramble to make something of our Christmas Vacation the night before we were scheduled to leave. Overall the actual ship was okay. 1) The cabin was clean and a good size 2) The onboard staff was very accommodating and eager to please. 3) Entertainment on board is poor at best. 4) Food quality and choices are also poor. 5) Excursions are very un-organized. Transportation un-organized and excursions cancelled or times changed. Reception desk never seemed to know that was going on. At the end of the cruise I was overcharged and so far have not been credited and been given one excuse after another by the guest relations department at Windstar. I would not recommend a line that treats is passengers with such a carless attitude. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
THE GOOD The crew is extraordinarily gracious. This is a ship with a small passenger load (312). We particularly enjoyed Hotel Manager, Nick Berger. He is studying for U.S. citizenship, and the U.S. could do a lot worse than Nick. A ... Read More
THE GOOD The crew is extraordinarily gracious. This is a ship with a small passenger load (312). We particularly enjoyed Hotel Manager, Nick Berger. He is studying for U.S. citizenship, and the U.S. could do a lot worse than Nick. A wonderful gentleman. THE BAD Windstar is the only ship that we have sailed to date that did not offer complimentary wine with dinner. Even Windjammer served wine with dinner--not the greatest wine, but wine. We were ever so surprised when we were asked to sign a charge for our wine with dinner. Check for more on this below. Even though we got a very good rate on the cabin (Military Discount), I cannot say much for the cabin, itself. We were on the lowest level and one should not pay much attention to the picture of the standard cabin in the brochure. Our "panoramic view of the ocean consisted of two (count them, two) portholes. We learned from other passengers, that the two porthole "vista" was not limited to Deck One. You want a vista, reserve a suite. The cabin was the smallest we have had in quite a number of cruises. Windstar considers itself to be a luxury cruise line--NOT. The food is ordinary, the cabins small, and you have already heard my take on the wine charges with dinner. THE UGLY More on drinks. Besides charging for wine with dinner, Windstar also charges you at the time of service for the service, itself. They tack a 15% service charge onto every drink served. Amazing! Although we received a low rate on our cabin, we calculated what a comparable cruise would cost on Regent (a true luxury cruise line). After we shelled out for our round-trip air fare, shore excursions, and drinks, we could have taken a Regent cruise for the same price, and thereby had a true luxury cruise. Frankly, we felt nicked and dimed at nearly every turn. It goes without saying that we will not make the mistake of cruising with Windstar again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
This was our second Windstar cruise. We took Windstar's Western Med trip from Rome to Barcelona in 2013 and felt that Windstar experience was excellent. We have also taken several excellent European river cruises. This cruise ... Read More
This was our second Windstar cruise. We took Windstar's Western Med trip from Rome to Barcelona in 2013 and felt that Windstar experience was excellent. We have also taken several excellent European river cruises. This cruise featured excellent food, good entertainment, a great crew and fantastic weather. Over all would rate this experience as below expectations for several reasons. Internet - We were appalled by the ridiculous cost of the Internet services. In this age of the Internet, a connection should cost the same as meals, shipboard water and electricity We are immersed in a new "Connected" culture that Windstar needs to recognize and enable. This such a big issue that I will not be booking with Windstar until a more reasonable (free or reasonable ( ~$100) fee for unlimited use for the duration of the cruise) internet service is offered. This would require a technical investment just as the investment to supply, meals, fresh water and electricity. Excursions - We participated in most of the non-diving excursions. Other that a couple of excursions, we were disappointed. If Viking's excursions are rated a 10, then I would rate Winstar excursions for this cruise as low as 2 and averaging a 4 or 5 rating. Since Windstar charges for each excursion I suggest that they develop some standards for the tour companies and guides and work to insure that the excursions are consistent with the cost of the excursions and the cruise. The only crew member that I remember joining any of the excursions on our trip was the ship acupuncturist. Ship Condition - We also felt many of the public areas of the ship were deteriorated and in dire need of an upgrade. One particular problem was the dark carpet on the stairs which, combined with the low lighting level, resulted in a very dangerous situation.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
Although this was our first experience with Windstar (and last), we have sailed many times. When a cruise line advertises a "luxury cruise experience" and charges accordingly, my wife and I have a certain level of expectation ... Read More
Although this was our first experience with Windstar (and last), we have sailed many times. When a cruise line advertises a "luxury cruise experience" and charges accordingly, my wife and I have a certain level of expectation that comes from traveling with the likes of Regent Seven Seas. Windstar is NOT Regent! (Not even close) While we had a nice time/interesting itinerary and the crew and officers were great, we simply paid way too much for what was billed as a "luxury cruise". The ship (Windsurf) and the pre-cruise/on board communications also left a lot to be desired. The ship is clearly "long in the tooth" and poorly maintained........the ceilings in the lounge were water stained and the windows were so dirty that they were difficult to see through.........the carpet in the cabin and the common area was stained and worn......the standard cabin was small and Formica was everywhere. Windstar is NOT a luxury line and should not advertise as such, nor should they command the prices they charge. In addition, the the transfers purchased from the cruise line were 4 times the going rate and the hotels were twice the going rate, as were their port excursions. The internet service was the worst I have ever experienced. Their drink package was $108/day/cabin! By the time we were finished, we had spent more for the total package than we would have with the "all inclusive" Regent Seven Seas AND our cabin would have been twice as big, along with a balcony, dressing room and marble bathroom, instead of 2 port holes that were so corroded that photos I took through them would be embarrassing to share. Our advise would be to select another "luxury cruise line", because when it is all said an done, Windstar's exorbitant and ubiquitous a la-carte charges would put their cost in the range of "real" luxury cruise. Having said that, IF they charged less and charged reasonable for their "extras", their crew would be a joy for anyone to experience...... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
I was particularly excited about the evaluations mentioning the uniqueness of the Wind Star ships. Wind Surf is indeed a pretty sailing ship, small yet very comfortable and with 300 guests and 200 crew. Very promising! Stateroom / ... Read More
I was particularly excited about the evaluations mentioning the uniqueness of the Wind Star ships. Wind Surf is indeed a pretty sailing ship, small yet very comfortable and with 300 guests and 200 crew. Very promising! Stateroom / bathroom were very good, comfortable, well designed and with enough cabinets and small storage places to organize your goods. However, the safe is too small. It was generally well kept, but occasionally we found empty water carafes (they do not keep water bottles in the minibar) and used glasses at bed time. Wifi never worked, but at least we were properly refunded. What really bothered me was the lack a lounge to stay protected against the sun and wind in the upper deck with expanded forward and side views. The internal lounges were not comfortable and had no view. The pool area – aft – is too small, with limited view and always packed. In my previous cruises I always enjoyed such a lounge for reading or enjoying a drink with a nice view, specifically when departing, approaching the port or sundown. Outside in the top deck there is a very limited space – or not at all – to enjoy an open shaded area with some protection against the wind. We always had pretty sunny days, but I wonder where to stay in a day at sea in a rainy day. Breakfast and lunch at the Veranda were very nice, a lot of buffet and a la carte options and great service. Dinner had a lot of high and lows: the Amphora - the standard, daily restaurant – was reasonable, but occasionally we found some food – such as the Alfredo pasta – totally tasteless. Candles – the small outside restaurant that must be booked – was the best option, with good main courses and great service (they even provided blankets when it was too chilly). Seafood spear and steak were superb, but the “shrimp and salmon carpaccio” was simply a thin, round smear of paté. The biggest disappointment is the supposedly top French bistro, Stella’s: portions were ridiculously small: the escargot appetizer was small and we got just a few in a big pastry; the scallops were only 4 small ones, smaller and less than any regular seafood restaurant; rack of lamb was small (the rack and the lamb itself). I know one can order more, but it was never offered. I know what a French restaurant is and how small their portions may be (not in a bistro, usually more generous), but Stella was simply ridiculous! The menu also did not reflect what the food was, fancy names and poor food. The espresso and sandwiches bar was nice and a good option for a drink or snack. Entertainment was poor: a small band with a singer also with high and lows, but she really improved during the cruise. No other decent options, on top of 1 evening with a crew show: entertaining and funny, even when they performed poorly! Shore excursions were limited and expensive for what they delivered. Many were cancelled due to lack of attendees. They made daily presentations of the next port of calls in the evening. It would be nice, but they presented the port of the day after, and it was confusing: even the presenter said “tomorrow” when she meant “the day after tomorrow”. Probably they wanted to give some more time for guests to think about and buy packages, but at the end of the day a presentation and a vrief recap of the last one was simply confusing. Services, generically speaking, were great: the waiters and supervisors, reception, tender, and so on. To my great disappointment, the last dinner – survey had been delivered and tips settled – was simply awful: no one paid attention to us, the smiling faces were gone, the beverage steward never showed up and I had to order cocktails to the waiter. After a long, long time they arrived: wrong order and exactly when they served dinner and the bottle of wine I had in storage. Even the waiter we had dearly recommended in the survey could not manage to keep our water glasses filled. Even with the “Ups” we experienced more “Downs”, and it was certainly the worst cruise we experienced. WindStar, never again!   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2013
My husband and I embarked on our Venice to Rome cruise last fall with high expectations. As third time guests of Windstar, we felt we knew what to expect and were prepared for an enjoyable cruise. The ship itself was well appointed and we ... Read More
My husband and I embarked on our Venice to Rome cruise last fall with high expectations. As third time guests of Windstar, we felt we knew what to expect and were prepared for an enjoyable cruise. The ship itself was well appointed and we were very pleased with the beautiful accommodations. But what Windstar failed to disclose when we booked our cruise (almost a year out) was that our sailing was essentially a charter cruise. More than half the guests on board were media advertising groups cruising on a corporate junket. I knew from previous reviews that if a large group is onboard, it can negatively impact the cruise for other guests. Sadly, this was very true in our case. These large groups took over the Terrace Bar and deck each evening for a private reception, which precluded anyone else from enjoying that area. They congregated at the bars in large, loud groups making it impossible for others to be in the same space. But the worst behavior was reserved for the dining room each evening, when large groups, dressed down in jeans, would drink their way through dinner, often shouting to friends at nearby tables and in one unbelievable incident, eating with their hands from platters of food they had ordered for the table. The noise level made it impossible to have conversation and twice we left the restaurant early without finishing our dinner. The party-like atmosphere that dominated the cruise really devalued the Windstar experience for us. We will not cruise with Windstar again.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2006
I am a married 55 year old professional who cruised with Windstar line on three or four prior occasions. I love this line. Well, I loved this line until this recent cruise. Maybe it was because the ship was a bit larger than their others, ... Read More
I am a married 55 year old professional who cruised with Windstar line on three or four prior occasions. I love this line. Well, I loved this line until this recent cruise. Maybe it was because the ship was a bit larger than their others, or maybe it was due to cost considerations by the cruise line. However, the quality and approach slipped considerably. It became ordinary. PORTS: There was no need to have two sea days. We had wonderful ports, and by using two sea days, especially when the portage in Abiza was changed to an inconvenient location with an arrival at siesta, or when a lovely local like Majorca is shorted in time, the quality of the experience is lost. Indeed timing changes caused us to miss the ability to see the Rock of Gibraltar as well! Now the food. Windstar food is top notch and 5 star - at least it was. This cruise featured the best one would expect from Dennys or COCO, NOT from a Splichel (Pinot restaurants) designed menu. Shore excursions sold out. The line made no effort to line up backup guides - leaving clients to fend for themselves in places like Tangier! While the dining room and bar staff were, as always, terrific, room service was not accommodating, food was average, ports were shortened, coke was $2.50 and beer $7.50 and one wonders: Why bother with Windstar? I doubt that I will sail them again and I was a committed Windstar booster. 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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