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22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was my first cruise, but my boyfriend's 5th. While I haven't cruised before, I've traveled extensively. My boyfriend has typically taken large ships on Royal Caribbean and Carnival. In his words, "This isn't ... Read More
This was my first cruise, but my boyfriend's 5th. While I haven't cruised before, I've traveled extensively. My boyfriend has typically taken large ships on Royal Caribbean and Carnival. In his words, "This isn't cruising, this is yachting. You can't even compare it to a large cruise ship." We took Windstar's Classic Caribbean itinerary, which visits Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, St. Kitt's, St. Barthelemy and St. Martin. We had a large suite on Deck 3 which was beautifully appointed and comfortable with a King-sized bed. From the moment we approached the ship we were treated like royalty. The check in procedure was seamless and we were quickly taken to our cabin by our stewart, who was wonderful the entire trip. Our cabin was spotless and stayed that way the entire trip, with fresh fruit every day. One of the nicest things about this cruise is you are not charged for soft drinks and if you don't purchase the alcohol package, the drinks are very reasonable with a great selection of wines by the glass for dinner. Little tip: Try the drink of the day! There were numerous dining options and the food was first rate at all of them. You can dine al fresco on the top deck, and there are three dining experiences: Candles (steaks), Stella (Upscale) and Amphora (dining room). We never had a problem with reservations for the first two, and we never had trouble with seating. Service was superior! The dining manager Allen went out of his way to make sure we enjoyed the food and service. In fact, when we suffered a bad sunburn, he send yogurt to our room and advised us to rub it on the sunburn to help with the pain (it worked great). "Daddy" supervised the wait staff and he was also fabulous. You got the sense that these folks really cared about your experience and they went above and beyond to make us happy. The fitness room on the ship was well appointed and not too crowded in the morning or afternoon. Each evening, we got a list of activities on board for the following day and the ones we did were really terrific (trivia/line dancing). One of the best things about this ship is the fact that they don't allow people to reserve lounge chairs (the same folks who then disappear and don't use them). So, we were always able to find a place to relax somewhere on the ship/any time of day. A couple of things not to miss are the beach party and deck BBQ...both were great fun and the food was fantastic. Also, the crew show was WONDERFUL. We really enjoyed it...there's some great talent on board. In the evenings there is a choice of a duet in the Compass Lounge and a band in the main lounge. Both were very talented and we really enjoyed them. We also give high marks to the Casino staff. The dealers and manager were so sweet and took time to educate passengers who didn't know how to play the games well. They were a lot of fun! The excursions were really great. Very well organized and on time. We did one each day and didn't have a single complaint. A couple of things to note...this is not a cruise for children. It's really very adult-oriented. Also, if you have physical limitations, you might find it hard to get on and off the tender to go ashore if it's rough. The ship moors in several locations, so there's not always docking for easy access to shore. There was one day when getting on and off the tender was a real challenge. Overall, I would recommend this cruise line HIGHLY. The service was excellent on every level...the staff was amazing. It will truly spoil you for any other cruise experience. In fact, we plan to try the Yachtsman's tour next spring. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
My travel partner is a large cruise ship enthusiast, and I don't enjoy it. I prefer the 37 foot boat I sailed in the Caribbean years ago. All this is to say that the Wind Surf was a perfect compromise - small enough to get into quiet ... Read More
My travel partner is a large cruise ship enthusiast, and I don't enjoy it. I prefer the 37 foot boat I sailed in the Caribbean years ago. All this is to say that the Wind Surf was a perfect compromise - small enough to get into quiet harbors and feel like you're sailing, but large enough to offer 3 great restaurants and plenty to do. Our cabin #217 was perfect in both location and size - didn't miss a balcony or a picture window. The service was excellent; very friendly, and efficient too. Then there was the food - can't say enough about how delicious it was! One night they had what they called a "barbecue" on the outside decks, but that was definitely an understatement. They served lobster tails, steak, shrimp, lamb chops and delicious side dishes on candlelit tables covered with white tablecloths. The tenders we took to ride into ports (which again, were small and uncrowded) were always available. There was a water sports deck which offered swimming, snorkeling, etc. which was also fun. One other notable activity was the outstanding kitchen tour and cooking demonstration. Seeing the cooks and sous chefs at work was a treat. The ambiance on the ship was amazing. The convivial atmosphere, from the crew to passengers, made our days even more special. Can't wait for another cruise on this ship! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
The entire experience was very good. From hotel to yacht to cabin was smooth. The cabin BX 124 was a very comfortable size, much bigger than standard cabin on celebrity or princess. We had room service several times and the service ... Read More
The entire experience was very good. From hotel to yacht to cabin was smooth. The cabin BX 124 was a very comfortable size, much bigger than standard cabin on celebrity or princess. We had room service several times and the service was excellent and choices very good. The entertainment in two areas were very good. We used the pool and hot tub. The casino was small. The staff were extremely attentive. Very clean ship. The food was good to great. The prices for drinks were reasonable. There was a cafe open till 5 daily which served small plates and specialty coffees - thus was very nice. Before choosing Windstar I searched many reviews and found not enough to really convince me either way but I am glad we took a chance. There were daily activities and the onboard gym were nice to have if you were interested. The port and shore excursions were well planned...you could be as active or lay backed as you wished. Cost were appropriate for each region. The tour directors were available for advise and suggestions if you wanted to do something on your own. Which we did following their tips. We did 3 excursions and we're happy with our choices. My only suggestion is you can transfer much cheaper yourself Windstar charged 60.00 per couple from airport to hotel and again 60.00 to transfer from hotel to yacht and again 60.00 to transfer to airport. So 180.00 was way to expensive can be done for half the price or less! 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
Sail Date: April 2015
This cruise was arranged by a friend, that said to let you know I had never heard of this company or these types of cruises before, so I had no idea what to expect. The week was beyond anything I could have imagined. The crew from the ... Read More
This cruise was arranged by a friend, that said to let you know I had never heard of this company or these types of cruises before, so I had no idea what to expect. The week was beyond anything I could have imagined. The crew from the time of arrive to the time of departure were attentive, fun, helpful and informative. When we arrived at the dock, the captain was there to greet us, he instructed us to leave our bags on the dock and they would be brought on board later, then he helped us aboard. Once on board, the crew provided drinks as they introduced themselves. As other passengers arrived the relaxed atmosphere on deck provided time for conversation among the various groups to begin what would turn into a week long continuous, on again off again conversation. We started in St. Maarten and sailed that evening to Nevis, Leah the activity director on board had information in the social/bar area to be read so we could decide what we wanted to do once we arrived at the first island. She also gave a presentation just before dinner, for those who had already clicked into vacation mode and wanted someone else to do the information gathering. Leah made this happen every evening with information on the next days possible activities, and was always available for questions or other information about the days port of call. Our Chef George, provided the best meals and snacks everyday, he was aware of food allergies or concerns and did his best to make sure those concerns where addressed at every meal. He provide not only 3 meals a day but a snack in the early evening that was equal to a fourth meal. George was always out and about on the ship with the ability to engage everyone in pleasant conversation on an array of subjects. The Captain was always busy but took time to talk to all the passengers and helped to make everyone feel relaxed and safe. Safety first was his rule on the ship but he was so excited and sure about it, that you wanted to do what he suggested because it seemed like the right thing to do. All the crew members where helpful when you needed them and at the same time had the ability to understand when you wanted to be alone to enjoy the peace and quite of sailing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
My wife and I experienced our first cruise with Wind Star (Wind Surf was the ship). We have done all the big ships...RCL, NCL, Princess, Celebrity, Oceania etc. We wanted a different experience and we really got it. The whole ... Read More
My wife and I experienced our first cruise with Wind Star (Wind Surf was the ship). We have done all the big ships...RCL, NCL, Princess, Celebrity, Oceania etc. We wanted a different experience and we really got it. The whole experience from embarkation, sailing, ports and disembarkation was by far one of the best experiences we have ever had. The ship while older was in very good shape. I loved each evenings "sail away" experience. Watching the sails unfurled was part of each days highlights. The stateroom was very roomy and laid out very efficiently. The decks areas where roomy and I never felt claustrophobic. The public rooms were very comfortable and inviting and the dining areas were very nicely done. They had two "specialty" dining areas (Stella's and Candles). My favorite was Candles because you were able to eat dinner on deck. Food was excellent. Much better than RCL, NCL and Celebrity and almost on par with Oceania. Breakfast and Lunch was always buffet style but I never felt crowded. we were always able to find a table on deck and the selection was varied each day. they also had an ala carte menu for both meals if you wanted. Can't say enough about all the staff. The captain and the hotel manager were our greeting party on the dock and all the staff took time to learn our names and recognized us through out the cruise. They really made you feel special during your time on the ship. The beach party and the ship BBQ were highlights and was the sports deck. We will definitely sail again on this line Not recommended for small children but there were several teenagers on the cruise and they told us it was the best they have been on. I would not recommend for handicapped or folks who need wheelchairs or scooters to get around. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
We stayed in the lowest-price cabin on board, and that was over $20,000 with airfare. This review is written with that in mind; this was not a $4,000 Princess cruise and my expectations, and this review, are calibrated accordingly. I ... Read More
We stayed in the lowest-price cabin on board, and that was over $20,000 with airfare. This review is written with that in mind; this was not a $4,000 Princess cruise and my expectations, and this review, are calibrated accordingly. I should point out that even though the fare and port fees were over $18,000, this was the cheapest cabin on board. First, let's get out in the open the main reason for the poor overall rating. For years we had wanted to visit Saba. As an aside, we had once missed the opportunity to dine at The Beach House at the southern tip of St. Kitts (we drove all the way there only to find they had closed unexpectedly) and we once attempted to climb to the top of Mount Nevis only to be stymied by No Trespassing signs, learning later that having a guide is a must to complete that climb. So we were thrilled to find a luxury cruise--ahem, I mean "yacht"--that was going to stop at all three of those places, plus visits to Montserrat and St. Barts, both our to-visit list. Expensive? You bet--but worth it to us to visit so many places on our bucket list all in one shot. Or so we thought. Shortly after we boarded the Seadream II, we were handed a new itinerary announcing we'd be skipping Saba entirely. Seems that the seas had been too rough over the past several weeks, so they rearranged the ports of call. St. Kitts was out, too. We were devastated. But hold on, surely I'm not expressing sour grapes over a decision made for the safety of the ship? Ah, but here's the thing: to be absolutely certain that nothing kept us from keeping a $20,000 appointment, we flew into our departure port (St. Martin) four days early. We had plenty of time to visit Saba for a day or two, there are air and ship ferries daily from St. Martin and St. Marteen to Saba, and we could have easily taken one: all it needed was an email, and we were of course checking messages several times a day. Seadream management simply did not bother. I should add that at least we still got on the boat; our traveling companions almost weren't so lucky. They had missed a connection and did not know if they were going to make it to St. Martin in time, and almost changed their flight to meet the Seadream the next day in St. Barts. Good thing they didn't, because St. Barts was moved--without announcement--from the first day (Sunday) to the fifth day. They were told that was in order to visit while the shops were open, but that explanation does not stand up to close examination: the shops were closed on Sunday back when the itinerary was first announced. They almost lost five-sevenths of their entire trip, and that they did not was due to sheer luck and not to any foresight or effort on Seadream's part. The courtesy of a simple email would have prevented this near-catastrophe. Nor was this the only failing on the part of the captain and company management to communicate important issues to the guests. We left Anguilla (added at the last moment) Sunday and ran into fairly heavy seas, with the result that a number of passengers (myself included) got seasick. I later discovered that the Concierge stocks Dramamine, but that's not mentioned in the cabin literature and wasn't part of the departure briefing (which consists almost entirely of sales pitches for shore excursions--more about those later in the Port descriptions--and future sailings). The ship made a high-speed run for Montserrat, which made the heaving unbearable. Seeing as how the Seadream lacks stabilizers, there were a lot of toilets flushing that night. Around 2AM, the ship suddenly became quiet and steady, and we arrived at Montserrat later that morning without further incident. But here's the thing: in the stairway is a computer screen showing the ship's progress and the times at which Seadream arrived and departed. Upon checking the display, I noticed that we HAD in fact stopped at St. Kitts (which had been scratched from the itinerary, along with our hopes of visiting The Beach House) after all, no doubt to shelter from the punishing waves. The real irony of this came on the last day at Nevis, when we were docked within sight--almost within swimming distance, in fact--of The Beach House on neighboring St. Kitts. Two nights later, the captain came on the public address to announce that we would be running into heavy seas again. "If you are sensitive," he said, "you will be feeling it." Thanks for the warning, captain; but why did you wait until we were actually pulling up anchor to tell the passengers, instead of giving them some advance notice so they could take medicine to combat the symptoms (it takes an hour or two for Dramamine to take effect). Hint: get your physician to prescribe a Scopolamine patch, several passengers had them and swore by them. Speaking of physicians, the ship's doctor was worse than useless--on boarding, my companion informed him that she had a sinus infection and had lost her Amoxicillin; he promised to provide some tablets, and then was never seen nor heard from again for the remainder of the trip. The medical office is open a total of two hours a day, one before lunch and one after. What exactly does the doctor get paid for? We were very interested in the "massage on the beach" offered on the final day as part of the beach splash party. But nowhere could we find where they were set up, and we left somewhat saddened-and tenser--without a massage. Back on board, we were told that they had decided to move it from the beach to the back of the hotel located there. But once again, they did not bother to communicate this to the passengers. Finally, because of the way in which the itinerary was rearranged, we spent two full days traveling back and forth between the northern and central Antilles instead of hitting them in order. The consequence of this was while we gained a stop at Anguilla, we actually lost three ports. None of this was explained. So in short, communications to the passengers from the bridge, and from Seadream management, were terrible. Just a few words would have made the voyage so much more enjoyable. This, then, is the major beef we had: poor and thoughtless communications from ship management largely negating the otherwise excellent service from the line staff. For most cruises most of this would never have come up, but the true measure of any service organization is not how it handles things when they go right but how they communicate when things go wrong; and Seadream falls far short of the mark here. For a $2,000 cruise this lack of communications would be annoying; for $20,000 it is unforgivable.And with that...on to the rest of the review. From this point on, I will provide some comparisons with Seven Seas, a roughly equivalent top-drawer luxury cruise line; specifically, the Navigator, with around 450 passengers compared to Seadream's 110. Seven Seas provides at least SOME free Internet, one hour if I recall correctly; l enough for you to get some emails and in particular to arrange, confirm, and if necessary rearrange travel. Seadream charges you for every second; not what I'd expect if I was a guest on someone's private yacht, and I certainly would not have expected to be nickled-and-dimed on a $20,000 to $60,000 cruise. That was just insulting. Exercise room was well equipped and appointed, at least as large and as modern as the considerably larger Seven Seas Navigator. It is combined with the spa area, which my companion found excellent. The best food on Seven Seas outshines the best food on the Seadream. Having said that, there's a very big caveat: the best on Seven Seas, or any other line I have been on, means their premier select restaurant; and you'll be lucky to eat there once during your cruise. Seadream does not have any exclusive eatery; instead, their "ordinary" is extraordinary. Chef Thomasz was brilliant and amazing, even making small batches of exquisite cultural specialties for the various nationalities (my companion and several other passengers were Polish, so some nights we had perogies or galumpki--not on the menu, simply upon request...and sometimes, without even requesting. The wait staff was flawless, but the food runners consistently made mistakes - bacon not Canadian bacon, mixing up who got what dish. Not a problem but surprising for such a high-end presentation. Special commendations to Sommelier Pablo, with whom I often disagreed with his choices of wine and was patient, flexible, and eager to please. I learned a lot about wine form him, and I daresay he learned a few things from me as well. He would catch me at lunch to go over his dinner choices, never said no, and in a few times convinced me that his choice was the better one--and he was usually (but not always) right. I don't want an expert to say yes to everything I say, I want to get the benefit of their knowledge--I am very grateful for the experience with Pablo. I read several reviewers who claimed that everyone (and in one review, re-stressed: but EVERYBODY) knows your name. That's a bit of hyperbole. However, most of the customer-facing staff that you see every day does: concierge, maitre-d'hotel, stewardess (Rayn was fantastic, by the way), wait staff, bartenders, activities director all had it by the third day. Oddly, most of them never did learn my companion's name and would just defer to me. Anyway, this intimate knowledge of passengers, while perhaps not as uiversal as advertised, is unheard of on the other cruises I've taken, and even on Seven Seas most of the staff, even bar staff, had at best a rudimentary command of English. Speaking of odd, the reason why they ask you what name you go by as part of registration isn't because that's the name they will call you; it's rather the name that will be printed on your complementary pajamas. A nice touch, to be sure, but only available in medium, large, and extra-large so if you are big like me or particularly petite, somewhat embarrassing. We did not get to sleep outdoors on the Balinese beds--too windy, and the night we had one scheduled (the big one in the bow!) was the night I got seasick. But they sure looked comfy. The water toys platform is a great gimmick, I do wish they'd have them available more hours (since we were always ashore doing things) but it was a great differentiation from Seven Seas. See the Deck Plans section for my comments on the cabin. My final comparison to Seven Seas: on all other cruises I've been on, whether luxury boats or giant mass-market megaships, most excursions are free. As I'll explain further in my port descriptions, none of the excursions on Seadream--at least, not on my particular voyage--were included, and they were nothing you could not have made better arrangements on your own, or frankly in both of our cases, being on our own for free. In St. Barts, we boarded a snorkeling catamaran that took us right back out to the Seadream (we could have kayaked for three minutes and done the same excursion on our own); at Nevis, not only did our hiking tour cover the exact same ground as we had done on our own five years ago (i.e. there was no need to have a "guide" along at all), and not only did the guide's contribution consist of showing us pictures in a book, but the trail was washed out and we turned around well before reaching the top--a fact that was withheld from us until we reached the turnaround. In short, don't book Seadream for the excursions! 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
Sail Date: January 2015
First and foremost I would like to say that the Regal Princess is absolutely gorgeous. I liked so many things about this ship from the Piazza, Princess Live, Swimming Pools, Spa, and other public spaces. I especially liked the way the main ... Read More
First and foremost I would like to say that the Regal Princess is absolutely gorgeous. I liked so many things about this ship from the Piazza, Princess Live, Swimming Pools, Spa, and other public spaces. I especially liked the way the main pool was designed. It allowed for lots of room for wadding. Itinerary. Eastern Caribbean. Please, Please bring back 4 ports. Princess Cays was cancelled due to high wind and 5 sea days on a boat (especially this one) is way too long. If you are not going to bring back 4 ports then please, please have more activities!!!! So boring. DINING - Dining Room. It was pretty hit or miss. The beef in the main dining rooms was so incredibly grainy. If you like the outback special sirloin, then you probably wont have any problem with the beef. However if you do have a problem then I suggest that you choose anything but steak. Buffet. I think the food was much better in this location. And by far the best variety I have seen on any cruise. This is saying a lot since I usually despise any kind of buffet. Fish and Chips. Do make sure to try the fish and chips in the Crown Grill during some sea days. The head Chef is British and they are fantastic!!! Kids Club. There were only about 50 kids from the age of 3-16 aboard the ship, out of 3,550 passengers. 25 kids were 3-8. It didn't bother my son one bit. He had a great time in the kids club. He kept asking to go back...it actually shocked us that he wanted to go there so much since there were only about 1 or 2 other kids in the room at any given time. Family. While the kids club was fun...there was very little for younger families to do together. The putting green only had adult clubs. The golf simulator also only had adult clubs. The basketball court was very popular with adults and it was difficult to have time out there with our son. The water fountain was available for the kids to run through 9-11 am on certain days. And nothing planned for families to do things together. We ended up playing a lot of Bingo... MORE ON FAMILY. We had anytime dining. On the morning (9am) of the "formal evening" day, I tried to call to make a reservation in the dining room since I knew they would be extremely busy since it was the first formal evening. I was told they were already full for reservations because they were only allowed to take reservations for 30% of the dining room and the earliest was 7:45pm. I told them that accommodating my 530 pm request was a win/win situation since early dining meant my 5 year old wouldn't be fussy and screaming through the restaurant. My words fell on deaf ears. I asked to speak to the Maitre'd, I was told that he wasn't available until 5pm. So then I went to the pursers desk. They looked at me like I was crazy. So then I hunted down the assistant cruise director and told him our situation. He said this is easy and made it happen. In the long run we ended up with a standing 545 reservation but I couldn't believe that it took me going to that level to accommodate something that should have been a priority. Oh and by the way when we showed up for our reservation at 545 the people who hadn't made a reservation were told they would have to wait an hour. Set reservations on the first date probably is the best way to go if you prefer to dine before 8pm. STAFF I will say the staff was extremely friendly to our son and did go out of their way to say hi or stop and talk to him. I have read some reviews about the staff being unfriendly towards their kid and I can honestly say that did not happen even once in the seven days. It was the complete opposite. SHOWS and entertainment The shows were top notch. Kuddos. Some of the entertainment was great. One thing that bothered me was that in the Piazza the music was always old and waltzy. I like all types of music but some variety would be great. I know, I know, some people only go on cruises to show others that they learned a few steps in dance school but a couple nights of fun maybe even somewhat current music would have been a nice variety. There might have been more fun current music aboard the ship but if it started after 10pm, I wouldn't have known. I would have liked to have seen more entertainment in the piazza during sea days. The culinary show hosted by the head Chef and Maitr'D was pretty entertaining. THE ENCLAVE in the Spa Beautiful peaceful space. With that said...I have been to better hydro-therapy pools. There were some inconsistencies. For instance some days the tiled chairs were heated more than on other days.. Sometimes there were aromas in the steam room, sometimes not. I have never been to a Sauna that was heated to about 82 degrees. Nit picking, I know. Over all I enjoyed it. SUMMATION This was my 3rd cruise with Princess and my sons 2nd. In the past we have enjoyed sailing with Princess. We are in the minority of the younger generation and we do enjoy dressing up (both smart casual and formal) for dinner. We find that the shows are tasteful and appeals to a classy clientele. However with said, I would not choose this cruise ship or itinerary again. I found myself bored. I mean BORED! I have never wanted to get off a ship before it was time to leave (even with 10 day cruises)...but I was ready to leave on the 6th day.I also want to have more activities to do together as a family. If Princess wants any hope of getting families back on board this ship they are going to have to do a bit more to cater to families.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
My wife and I just completed an 8 day 7 night cruise on Windstar's Wind Surf. What an incredible performance by the entire crew. This is the easiest boarding experience of the many cruises we have taken. We were actually greeted by ... Read More
My wife and I just completed an 8 day 7 night cruise on Windstar's Wind Surf. What an incredible performance by the entire crew. This is the easiest boarding experience of the many cruises we have taken. We were actually greeted by Captain Harris as we embarked. The Wind Surf is essentially a large yacht, which is engine powered but that also raises it gorgeous sails. When it departs a port, it plays "1492", which is very cool when your sitting on the aft deck of the yacht watching the departure, sipping a drink. The yacht is classy and understated. You can tell that everything is finely made, but not overstated or gaudy in its decoration. The crew from top to bottom is Windstar's greatest asset. They are the nicest, most decent people around who will do anything to help you relax and have a good time. Captain Harris is frequently available to chat with, as well as Jeffrey, the yacht manager. Props to Panos, Kristi, the Spa Manager who recently finished her contract; the girls at the reception desk, Lai Rachelle and Nieva, Clara, the ship store manager, Iman, our cabin steward and the myriad of servers who treated us so well: Daddy, Sunu, Anjur, Sony, Hans and many, many more. Since passenger capacity is only 300, many of the crew remember your names. Breakfast is either buffet or sit down, on the Veranda, which has an inside and an outside.There are three restaurants for dinner: Amphora, Stella's, a French Restaurant and Candles, the Steakhouse. They all have changing, creative and tasty cuisine. And, if it's not on the menu, they will go find it for you. If something tastes particularly good, you can have another. The wine stewards are helpful and liquor is very reasonably priced. They have some great wines that won't dent your budget. There is a nice fitness center too, along with a small casino with blackjack, roulette and machines. There is a pop/rock band every night called Top Society, a family band from the Phillipines that covers many songs from the 50's to the present. After they perform, the come out to the audience to greet you and introduce themselves. A special musical guest was Niki Evans from the UK. She is starring in Blood Brothers in the West End and was a semi-finalist in the UK on American Idol. She is a powerhouse vocalist that is amazingly talented and very friendly. She is a "human jukebox. We give Windstar our highest recommendation and we look forward to returning soon.   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

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