1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We had never taken a motorized yacht before and wanted to try the smaller cruise experience. Yes the food was very good, always fresh and served timely. And the crew was very pleasant and focused on customer service. But, the ship is ... Read More
We had never taken a motorized yacht before and wanted to try the smaller cruise experience. Yes the food was very good, always fresh and served timely. And the crew was very pleasant and focused on customer service. But, the ship is in disrepair. There are layers of peeling paint and rust everywhere. The entertainment is pretty lame and the specialty restaurants are nothing more than the main diningroom serves. We experienced two deck side barbecues and the second had few shrimp and no lobster. The bridge was supposed to be open to passengers when not in port and was closed half the time. So what did we like? The great waiters like Hari, Puji an amazing room steward and the Yacht Club where specialty coffees and snacks were served all day. The excursions were excellent although it took four frustrating visits to the excursion desk to get a refund. The guys working the tenders were great as were the crew in the marina. The port visits were on time and the tv offerings were nice. We found the room service to be excellent and very convenient during the 13 day mostly rough crossing. The embarkation was a disaster after sitting in a cold, dirty port in Lisbon six hours because a Windstar rep told us we could leave our luggage secured and there wasn’t anyone there from The ship to assist us. Disembarkay was leisurely and well organized. Despite the many pluses, we won’t be sailing Windstar again. Read Less
5 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Hi Adventurers! We recently completed a beautiful trip on board the Windstar Wind Surf across Italy, Montenegro, and Croatia and we fell in love with the boat, its crew and the beautiful port of calls. During our journey, we had the ... Read More
Hi Adventurers! We recently completed a beautiful trip on board the Windstar Wind Surf across Italy, Montenegro, and Croatia and we fell in love with the boat, its crew and the beautiful port of calls. During our journey, we had the opportunity to visit Rome, the famous Amalfi coast, Sicily, Kotor, Montenegro and three port cities in Croatia. Our trip ended in Venice where we continued our vacation. It's evident that Windsurf spends significant resources in training their associates. The Wind Surf crew was able to provide a consistently high level of customer service in all aspects of the trip; onboarding, the restaurants and the cafeteria, boutique, and the cabins, etc. We truly enjoyed the company of the entire staff; however, we fell in love with Nadine, Aditthas, one of the restaurant supervisors and the big smile and sincere disposition of our cabin butler. These three individuals exceeded our expectations consistently during our 8-day trip. The Wind Surf is a fine old dame; a five-mast schooner that brings up memories of a romantic past and pirate encounters. As you look at the Wind Surf from the distance, its beautiful display of white sails become an attractive landmark in any of the ports of call that you visit. This is not the type of cruise experience, where you are expected to be entertained by a troupe of dancers, singers and all sorts of juggling acts. Instead, passengers get intimate dining experiences, the company of other passengers, romantic cocktail hours and impressive views from any spot on the boat. The available options of shore excursions are very interesting and affordable. We thought that crew and their excursions vendors did a great job in adapting the excursions to the American market. The restaurant options are limited; however, they compensate this by providing an exceptional array of breakfast, lunch and dining options for the American palate. Our first experience with Windstar was unforgettable and we know we'll be back next year to enjoy another exciting destination. Perhaps Japan, China or the Brittish Isles. We just want to thank the Wind Surf's crew for their attention to detail and exceptional customer focus. and to Windstar for sticking to their promise of delivering "180-degree-from-the-ordinary" experiences. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our 3rd time on the Windsurf. The cruise had been scheduled to embark and disembark in St. Martin. However, after Hurricane Irma destroyed St. Martin, the cruise was rescheduled to go RT Barbados. The ports changed again after ... Read More
This was our 3rd time on the Windsurf. The cruise had been scheduled to embark and disembark in St. Martin. However, after Hurricane Irma destroyed St. Martin, the cruise was rescheduled to go RT Barbados. The ports changed again after Hurricane Maria. Windstar cruises was very quick to change their itinerary to ports unaffected by the recent storms. As a result, we visited some new ports. Mayreaux, Bequia, Anse Matin, and Monserrat were all new to us. The excursions were well organized. Guides were excellent. We had a great time exploring small ports that are seldom visited by the big ships. We also enjoyed the included "unexpected OBC". The ship was beautiful. As an older ship, the care to details is amazing. Crew was constantly cleaning, polishing, painting, and fixing everything. The cabins are well arranged. Lots of storage space....drawers, shelves, and double closets were ideal. Cabin had good lighting, beautiful linens, and comfortable chairs. Bathroom had lovely L'Occitane toiletries. There are no cabins with verandas. As a small ship, it is easy and quick to get outside. Lots of public spaces indoor and out. Never had to go hunting for a deck chair. The small pool deck aft was a great place to relax. Non alcoholic drinks were included everywhere on the ship. The fridge in the cabin is restocked daily with your choice of beverages. Room service 24/7 was prompt and free. Dining was superb. Breakfast and lunch were served in the Veranda. Seating at linen covered tables indoor and out. You could select from the buffet or order from the menu. Choices were interesting with daily specials. The Yacht Club was open daily until 6pm serving drinks and small sandwiches and pastry. Yacht Club was my go to place for coffee. Diner was served in 4 places. No surcharge anywhere. The main restaurant Aamphora had different menu each night. The food choices were very good. If you wanted something off the menu, ask and usually it happens. No request was denied. The Stella Bistro had a set menu with a French flair. Candles and Dining Under the Stars were outside. Their menus were mostly grilled items. The fillet at Candles was delicious. The buffet salad bar at Dining Under the Stars was outstanding. Once each week, there is a beach party ashore with food and local entertainment. Once a week the regular restaurants are closed because there is a deck BBQ with fabulous food and entertainment. The highlight is grilled lobsters. We took 3 excursions which were excellent. The best was on the disembarkation day. We put our luggage out at 6:30 the day of disembarkation and enjoyed a full breakfast before leaving the ship. The captain and some staff members were at the gangway to help with hand luggage. Hugs all around. While our luggage was taken to the airport, we took a 4+ hour tour around Barbados in an air conditioned van. Great guide. After enjoying an included lunch at a beautiful plantation, we were driven to the airport. We were met by Windstar reps who assisted us with our luggage and checkin. We had a fabulous time and will return. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This is our third and likely last Windstar cruise. There are many reasons we feel this way. First, the Windsurf is need of serious updates. There is surface rust visible throughout the exterior decks. Several warped deckboards, metal ... Read More
This is our third and likely last Windstar cruise. There are many reasons we feel this way. First, the Windsurf is need of serious updates. There is surface rust visible throughout the exterior decks. Several warped deckboards, metal step treads almost rusted through near the pool area. Interior wise carpets and fabrics are in very worn condition. Beds are uncomfortable and left us with back aches. The food quality is sub-par for the price. The excursions offered were super limited and overpriced. We had to do our own research and planning and found much better island experiences independently. Overall, the bar staff were the friendliest folks on the boat. The cabin stewards and food service were a close second. Other than that, no one else really spoke to us, except Andrew the beverage manager who tracked us down 2 different nights around 8:30 - 9:30pm (once sat down at our dinner table) to inquire bar charges on our beverage plan, which we had disputed. His tone and demeanor were accusatory and offensive to us which let to me raising my voice at him. It was definitely the straw that broke the camels back and made us decide to try new cruise lines going forward. We three out of four family members on the unlimited beverage package. The two family members sharing another cabin and one was not on it because he hardly ever drinks alcohol. The root of the problem is there systems can’t seem to keep straight who is buying what and charged a lot of drinks to the person not on the plan that we had to dispute. The whole situation was handled poorly, and you should not interrupt a guest in the middle of dinner to discuss these matters. The beverage package is pretty expensive at around $418 pp per week. You have to sign for every drink and many days you are in port most of the day, so you may think twice before signing up for this. One would think on an unlimited beverage package that you should be able to get any wine on the menu. However with this plan, only wines by the glass under 11.50 a glass are included (no bottles). We are wine people and were not happy to be served from a bottle opened the previous night, every day. The bar staff was pretty much very friendly with a few minor exceptions. In retrospect, we should not have got the beverage package at all. The appearance of the yacht, as I said above, was worn and tired. It's time to dry dock and overhaul this vessel asap. There is no way I would get back onboard the Windsurf until many changes were made. The Windstar in contrast, is in overall better condition, although not perfect, seems about 5 years fresher in terms of wear, tear and rust. The food quality is typical cruise fare. The plates were always too hot to touch indicating they had been under a heat lamp for an extended period of time and that was reflected in the taste and texture of the food. Getting reservations at any of the specialty restaurants is a frustrating game. The first day we went to guest services to make dinner reservations. We waited in a line. The couple of front of us high-fived that they got three reservations for the week. We called immediately after they hung up and were told all the reservations for the week were taken. We walked by 2 hours later and heard another guest securing reservations on the same phone. After that we complained to several staff members who referred us a dining room manager, he put us on a waiting list. We had to wait all week to see and were notified on very short notice that they were able to fit us in due to a cancellation. Having been a prior suite guest being able to come and go as we please, I know that there are always several extra tables and that are never used. I was happy that we got to eventually dine at Candles, but not happy with the process and level of frustration involved in simply making a dinner reservation. I said to one of them, maybe this wouldn't be so hard if we had booked in time to get the suite, which is the way it felt we were being treated, again 2nd class. Additionally, none of the ship's officers recognized us at all and we sailed on the same ship less than 6 months ago. The was our 3rd and likely last Windstar cruise. The first cruise was in Greece on the Windstar in the Owner's suite and it was great. The second one was on the Windsurf in the Bridge suite to the BVI’s and it was also good, but we had the best category cabin on the boat. This time we booked at the last minute and took the last 2 rooms available on the boat, which were on lower levels. Wow, what a difference not having a suite makes! It was like we were 2nd class citizens compared to the way we were treated before. We were also surprised and disappointed that we were not invited to the private party for returning guests. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We have been on the wind surf twice before on their 2 cruises out of st maarten. But this ‘jewels’ cruise was out of barbados and to mostly different islands, and over new years. We did excursions (by windstar) on all but one ... Read More
We have been on the wind surf twice before on their 2 cruises out of st maarten. But this ‘jewels’ cruise was out of barbados and to mostly different islands, and over new years. We did excursions (by windstar) on all but one island: all good. Tendered most of the time and did alot of walking in the stops. Played golf on st lucia which was neat. Nice rented clubs. Not crowded and only 3 others from the ship besides we 2. Cabin on lower deck very good, as remembered. Helda kept it nice. Ate in main dining every dinner. Tried to often sit in same area to have same good waiters(Wayme and Diana). Food always good to my taste. Met many new travellers/friends. Good weather; only one partly rainy day. Really like the no coat and tie casual dress on windstar. We wish that wind surf went a 4th route in the caribbean! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
First off, all the people that work there try real hard. the Captain and his crew tried very hard to make the cruise comfortable despite tropical storm Alieen with 85 miles winds.However this is not a luxary cruise. Princess is must better ... Read More
First off, all the people that work there try real hard. the Captain and his crew tried very hard to make the cruise comfortable despite tropical storm Alieen with 85 miles winds.However this is not a luxary cruise. Princess is must better and it is not in the class of Oceanic. This is about getting room service 1/2 hour late. taking over 30 minutes to get a workable hairdryer, losing dining reservation for 18 at their special restaurant, despite confiming it the day before. Knowing what is jasmine tea vis green tea. Not getting a wheel chair, when requesting it. Little stuffs that relates to communication and the failure to delivery. The cabin was great and have lots of places for storages. The shower was huge with plenty of hot water. Cabin size was excellent. Love the one price cleaning and delivery within 24 hours. Love the idea of free soda and coffee. The $12 per day crew service charge was very reasonable and we got good service. Entertaiment was enjoyable. Port excursions by the cruise company was first class and having lunch at great places helps. Recommend it highly. Dining was so-so at best. Desserts was not good, not even ice creams. Worst roast beef i ever have. The specialize restaurant is much better, but you only get to it only once. The best was when they did a barbecue dinner with all the choices. Since the ship is smaller, it limited dining options. It can use a buffet.. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this trip as it went to ports that we had never been to before. Yes the Windsurf is old but the inside is really nice in every detail. The cabin is small compared to other cruises we have taken but there is adequate storage space ... Read More
We chose this trip as it went to ports that we had never been to before. Yes the Windsurf is old but the inside is really nice in every detail. The cabin is small compared to other cruises we have taken but there is adequate storage space for everything. The crew is truly wonderful. They know you name from the first day and what you liked and didn't like. Just loved everything. The trip skipped Gozo but we were still able to do the planned excursion. It also missed another port but we were able to make the best of it. There was also a free excursion to the Valley of the Temples which was great and included a free lunch at a hotel near by. Also had a free open bar. Not too shabby. Only one suggestion and I probably know it is not possible. Windstar should cut out the portholes and replace with a large window. Probably the cost ios too great Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was our 2nd windsurf cruise out of st martin (2 yrs ago we did the class cruise). both were great; this one was the better. we enjoyed the choice of itinerary. always anchored at stops (except st martin) and tendered. seemed ... Read More
This was our 2nd windsurf cruise out of st martin (2 yrs ago we did the class cruise). both were great; this one was the better. we enjoyed the choice of itinerary. always anchored at stops (except st martin) and tendered. seemed like often we could actually see our next and last destinations in view. all except once did we have no problem boarding tenders (rough once, but made it). really like that was always not formal. cabin on 2nd deck fine. shower very good, big towels. bathrobe and slippers to use nice. steward fauzi very good; learned our habits so only met a few times. gala deck bbq on Wednesday and beach bbq on thurs both super (the latter, only less so because of the long line). cant say enough about how friendly all the staff were; always greeted with a smile, sometimes by name. especially bfast waiter faezal always energetic, and fun to kid with. food was always very good, and varied. bfast was a combo of buffet and ala carte; made to order omelets, etc. desserts of cookies and ice cream addictive for 7 days (have withdrawn ok since). didn't do laundry pkg, but individual; worked out to be enough compass rose duo 'mellow yellow' very good to listen to before and after dinner. wed night crew/staff and thurs night beatles talent very entertaining. definitely recommend... Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
When I received an email that Windstar was offering a sizable discount on certain cruises during the holidays, I investigated their sailings to Tahiti and the Caribbean. Since Tahiti gets a lot of rain in December and January, we opted for ... Read More
When I received an email that Windstar was offering a sizable discount on certain cruises during the holidays, I investigated their sailings to Tahiti and the Caribbean. Since Tahiti gets a lot of rain in December and January, we opted for a Caribbean cruise. The Wind Surf sailing worked well with our schedule. We boarded in St. Maarten and noticed four cruise ships in the cruise terminal - P & O, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and then the Wind Surf. It was the smallest of the ships, yet the only one with masts to set sail. What makes a Windstar ship special is that they visit some ports that the big ships don't, so when you are in port it is not packed with cruise passengers. The embarkation was easy. There were no lines. We walked right up and gave the staff our information. Golf carts were nearby to whisk us to the Wind Surf, however we elected to check out the shops in the terminal before boarding the ship. Once we did, again without a line to wait in, we showed the crew staff our documents and passports. Then we walked over to the waiter staff to make reservations to the more intimate dining at Stella Bistro and Candles. Candles is so cool, because it is steak and seafood al fresco dining. We received our room card to check out our staterooms 255 and 253. Both were identical except 253 had two twin beds and 255 was made into a king. What was different is that 255 was next to the water tight metal door. At arrival to every port and when we sailed away, three buzzing alarms sounded and the doors came down right next to our room. Early in the morning, it woke us up. Another bug-a-boo about 255 was a constant rolling sound and boom when we were at sea. I had to sleep with earplugs and a pillow over my head, yet still would wake up to this sound. I called the reception desk three times. Our room steward Etti did everything she could to help soften the noise. She put pillows near the porthole covers and talked to the room steward who worked above our room. An evening steward checked out the sound and said it was the wake hitting the hull as we sailed. He said it was the sound he heard on the first level. The pound sound could be the waves, but not the rolling sound before the boom. Other than not sleeping well at night, I loved the cruise. Here is what I enjoyed - 1. BBQ lunch in St. Lucia's Pigeon Island. It's quite a spread. Sail, paddle board, snorkel, waterski and hike to the top of the fortress. 2. The yoga class with Jonathan at St. Lucia at the park while listening to the waves crash was memorable. His 6 pm Pilates class was also a good work out. 3. Pink Beach in Barbuda. Others enjoyed Coco Beach. 4. Free motion sickness pills at the reception desk. My daughter needed a pill at least once a day. 5. On Sunday The Veranda offers Brunch from 9 to 1 p.m. There is such a variety. 6. The crew are extremely friendly from Indonesia and the Philippines. Andi, Nova, Uud and Russ in the dining areas were terrific. Etti our room steward was wonderful. There was a blind couple on the ship and the staff were so helpful and accommodating. 7. Two juccuzi tubs on the back of the boat next to the pool. The tubs are small, ideal for two or family of four. At sunset when the ship is ready to set sail is the best time to be out on deck. 8. Taking the River Tubing Adventure in Roseau, Dominica. A bus picks up passengers and takes guests on a 20 minute drive to the forest. Each guest receives a yellow inner tube. There are seven guides that help guide guests down class one and two rapids. The guides sing and tell jokes at various stops. It's a sumner camp feel and fun floating down among bamboo trees, papaya, coconut. At the end of the journey, guests receive a cup of rum punch, water or Soda. They also have a plate of fresh fruit from the area - coconut, grapefruit, papaya and sugarcane. 9. Dining at Stella Bistro for a French dinner. Reservations are required and can be made on the first day of the cruise. The lobster Thermidore, escargot and Creme brûlée are delicious. 10. Popcorn and a movie. Guests can select a DVD from the media library and go back to their room to order room service. There is 24 hour room service. Popcorn comes warm, slightly buttered and salted in two separate bowls. They make crudités and dip and quesadillas too. 11. Be sure to see the crew talent show. It's very entertaining to see your cabin steward sing a Maroon 5 song, your favorite bartender juggle and pour colorful drinks, and the cruise director and four other crew members perform a synchronized swimming skit. 12. Dinner at Candles is quite an elegant al fresco affair. The grilled steak and seafood restaurant. 13. Al fresco BBQ dinner on deck. All the guests sit outdoors on the wood deck under the masts. There is a roasted suckling pig, lobster tails, king crab legs, chicken, salads, and a large dessert table. Sitting under the stars, while listening to a live band, we visited the buffet a few times. After the dinner, the crew encourages the guests to line dance out on the deck. Visiting St. Bart's and anchoring near the millionaire and billionaire yachts. 14. Playing board games after dinner or seeing the musicians perform in the evening. 15. Walking to Shell Beach in St. Barts and snorkeling near million dollar yachts. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We booked the Windsurf to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The food was amazing and the service extraordinary, better than anything we’ve experienced on our other cruises. There were some snags along the way with the ports, but Windstar ... Read More
We booked the Windsurf to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The food was amazing and the service extraordinary, better than anything we’ve experienced on our other cruises. There were some snags along the way with the ports, but Windstar went out of their way to try to please us because of these. Would definitely book a Windstar cruise again, but due to the lack of balconies on the Windsurf ship, would choose a yacht with balcony next time. Although there were always seats and privacy available on deck, we really missed being able to sit out on a private balcony in the wee hours of the morning, early afternoons after visiting ports and watching the stars in the late evening. We did notice a sewer and occasional smoke odor by our cabin (Deck 1, #155, front). Think it would have been better to have chosen a front cabin on a higher deck. We met wonderful people on this cruise and due to the small amount of people onboard (about 220 passengers; 196 employees), we ran across each other frequently. We decided to fly in from Tampa to Miami to do our Global Entry interview (more about that later) and then connect to St. Martin. Grabbed a taxi ($25 due to late arrival time). The driver asked if we’d mind if he stopped in a local grocery store enroute. He was in there for about 10 minutes with some “quirky” people hanging outside the store which made me a bit uneasy. All turned out well and the driver gave us a brief “tour” as we headed to the hotel. Arrived at the Royal Pasanggahran Guest House on Front Street in Phillipsburg around 10:40pm. We were dismayed at the outside of the hotel from the Front St. entrance, but were pleasantly surprised at the inside of the hotel, entrance from beach and our fabulous room in the new section that was more like a suite. There was a 4 poster bed with nice mosquito net over it, a separate room for toilet, huge tub, shower, bathroom, outside huge balcony facing beach and ships. Next time we’d ask for a room higher up for more expansive beach view. Nice, hard mattress; very low quality sheets, pillows and beach towels. Only saw one mosquito in the room, but lots of small ones outside at dawn and dusk. Had our Deet on so no bites thankfully. Great Bay beach was nice enough although not as amazing as other BVI beaches. Free beach chairs and umbrellas outside of our hotel. Saw 4 ships come into St. Martin port from balcony as well as our Windsurf ship entering port and docked. I was a little uneasy about having to sign a blank credit card sheet at check-in (the type they slide through machine). When one checks out they put the expenditure amounts in. Went to breakfast at hotel restaurant overlooking beach…Amazing food and good service. Visited the Blue Bitch Bar/Caribbean restaurant on beach for lunch. Good wings, portabella mushroom wrap. Slow service. Caribbean band outside the restaurant was wonderful, interacting with passersby, etc. Great deals on Front St. for drinks, buckets of beers, chairs, etc. Usually about $20 - $25 for 2 chairs with various drink deals included. Timeshare salespeople annoying, trying to get us to do an hour presentation for freebees, etc. Had dinner at The Greenhouse on the beach across from a marina, easily walkable from our hotel. Food was great and they offered 2 for 1 drinks during a time period. This offer included huge, delicious drinks, any type liquor, frozen drinks, etc. Watched someone climbing up trees, cutting coconuts down right on Front St. to sell at his stand the next day. Returned to our hotel with nice music playing outside, but we were tired so went right to sleep. Day 1 of cruise After another great breakfast at hotel, we headed to Sang’s grocery for wine (2 bottles permitted per cabin on ship) and suntan lotion (couldn’t put in our carry-ons due to liquids rule/amounts). Had to cross busy road to get there, but prices reasonable and decent selection. Tip requested by person who didn’t pack our items at register, but offered to carry our groceries outside. We told him, “thanks, but we’re walking…He says “I work for tips sort of angrily. Maybe that’s how they do things there? We gave him a buck and left. We did carry-ons only this cruise due to connecting flights, coming back to Charlotte through customs and having a great laundry package onboard ship. $109 total for week. Laundry put out before 9am was back on hangers by 4 the next day. Sometimes even the same day. Can specify hand wash, don’t put in dryer, etc. That being said, when on direct flights or connecting flights in US only, we prefer checking a bag for return souvenirs and not having to lug carry-ons around with us. Arrived at ship at 12:30PM. Boarding commenced at 1pm…not a minute before! Waited outside (hot in sun!). Went through security in tent and boarded. Complimentary cocktail, greetings by ship’s staff. Found our cabin and were pleasantly surprised at the size and storage space. We knew that we’d only have portholes due to no balconies on ship. Fun seeing waves splash over them occasionally. Really missed balcony though. Linens and pillows were very good quality and comfortable. Cabin had l’occutaine (sp?) toiletries – wonderful. Bose unit nice. Unpacked and headed to buffet. Lots of choices and wonderful sitting outside on deck. By the end of the first day most personnel know your first names and greet you by them. Nice touch. A special thanks to Sherwin, Maria, Tissi, our cabin stewardess, and the cook for breakfast and lunch on veranda. One could order from menu or enjoy buffet. The food on this ship was the best ever. Our cabin was kept immaculate by Tissi although we hardly saw her. One night we returned to find a huge 2 kissing swan towel display with a bow and arrow made out of gold foiled chocolate candies on our bed. (25th anniversary) Didn’t feel like we were nickeled and dimed on this cruise at all and felt that the employees and officers really wanted us to have a great time. Their smiles were genuine. Announcement made that due to mechanical problems the ship was not leaving port at 7pm as originally scheduled to arrive in St. Barts in the morning. We were disappointed that we’d miss the first night’s sailing to St. Barts as well as the second night of our cruise, overnighting in St. Barts. So we stayed at the St. Martin Dock for the first 2 nights of our cruise. Windstar did provide free ferry passes the next day from St. Martin to St. Barts. We originally signed up for these. However, in the morning we thought about having to wait for groups to gather, wait for ferries and stick strictly to the ferry times we had chosen. Decided to go to Orient Bay Beach instead which turned out to be a great decision. Fabulous beach which we’ve always enjoyed. Spoke to people who had done the ferry to St. Barts and they really were upset at late ferries, etc. Windstar offered free water taxi rides to Front St. the next day. We took advantage of this offer and visited the shops. We were also told that the Beach BBQ with toys would not be a Prickly Pear Beach in Virgin Gorda, but had been rescheduled to Fischer’s Cove. Another disappointment, but it turned out well. More info on this below. On another note, we weren’t able to use the water toys off the back of the ship for the duration of our cruise. We were told the current was too strong. To make up for lost ports, in addition to the above-mentioned ferry and water taxi trips, Windstar extended a $300 per cabin on-board credit which could be used for everything except tips. Also gave us free drinks the first 2 days of the cruise. Since we already had a $300 OBC, that gave us $600 to use onboard. We were first told that we couldn’t use this for a future Windstar cruise, but when I expressed disappointment about that, I received a letter on my door staying we could use the $300 to do so. Unpacked and headed to pool deck. Comfortable deck chairs, lounges tables, umbrellas. Never had to look for empty lounges during trip. Had our usual cocktails around 6pm and attended an informative port talk around 6pm. My very fussy husband, who has his nightly martinis at home, a little dry and just a little dirty, claimed he didn’t get a good martini for the duration of the trip. Great OJ so my screwdrivers were wonderful. (Fresh squeezed OJ daily at breakfast also.) Delicious appetizers passed at the bar during cocktail hour. We were surprised that the bars never seemed to have much camaraderie barside before dinner. Dinner was fabulous. Seafood Risotto and fish dish, panna cotta and butter pecan ice cream for dessert. The food portions on this trip weren’t large, but more than enough to enjoy. Restaurant service excellent in all 3 restaurants. Still managed to put on some pounds during trip! Drink/wine prices about $8.50 each/$38.50 average bottle (and up, of course). The food displays on plates were impressive. Enjoyed the Compass Rose lounge in evenings. Nice atmosphere, opening up to outside seating area. Listed to music by Duo, Mellow Yellow. Girl singer very good; guy not a great singer, but good on keyboards. Danced quite a bit. There was also a band nightly in the lounge. Girl singer pretty good, but we really didn’t enjoy the band at all. Comfortable seating. We liked the nightly port talks, captain’s cocktail party, introductions to Officers etc. Library and DVD selection decent. Girls at reception desk pleasant and went out of their way to help. I had difficulty checking into AA at their computer for my return flight. She helped me do so and print my boarding tickets. Dinner second night – short ribs w/pasta, great; beef wellington just okay; shrimp cocktail soggy, escargot delicious. Impressed by offering us black napkins instead of white since we were wearing dark clothes. Never had to wait to be seated for dinner. Choice of seating for 2 or larger table. Although we weren’t looking for the hairy chest contest, etc., we were surprised that there were absolutely no activities during the day inbetween excursions and seeing ports. Seem to remember just one day of trivia. Perhaps it’s because most people are off the ship visiting ports. Hubby visited the fitness center a few times. Satisfactory based on size of ship. They also listed free yoga and stretch classes daily besides spa treatments, etc. Sailed to Sopers Hole, Tortola, the next day at 1pm. Finally got to see sails unfurl to music. Terrific. Took lots of photos. Fabulous lunch buffet, napped on deck. Dinner at Stella Bistro (need to make reservation upon boarding). Lamb shank, mussels, raspberry crème brulee…delicious. Watched a DVD movie – went to bed early. Tortola – Took ship’s snorkel excursion. Was supposed to go to Caves and Norman Island, but weather didn’t cooperate so visited 2 snorkel stops in Norman Island vicinity. Good equipment, fun crew, nice boat, rum punch after snorkeling. Not as many fish as I remember seeing there years ago. Lots more in Chankanaab, Cozumel. Coral better at Norman Island though. Stopped at Pirate’s Blight resort/beach on way back for about 45 minutes. Nice beach, excellent painkillers! Back at 12:30 or so. Went to Yacht Club for delicious sandwiches. They have various, delicious coffees, little cakes and sandwiches from 6am – 6pm. Windsurf’s coffee best we’ve ever had on cruises. Specialty coffees included in cruise cost unlike most other cruiselines. BBQ moved from deck to lounge area for dinner due to possibility of showers. Words cannot describe it. HUGE selection with everything from salads to wonderful king crab legs, big shrimp, paella (best I’ve ever eaten), lobster tails, whole pig, lamb, etc. Linedancing with crew in lounge afterward. Jost Van Dyke – Arrived in evening. We intended to go to Foxy’s, but just too tired to do so. Awoke to showers. Bored in cabin. Headed to Jost late AM. Thankfully the weather cleared around 1pm so we had a great day. Jost is much more commercialized than last time we visited, many years ago. Still lots of fun. Hendo’s Hideaway next door also looked nice. Had our share of painkillers and the best fish and chips at Jost beach. Dinner at Candles Outside restaurant. (make reso when boarding). Full moon over water, fabulous veal chop and perch dish, crème brulee. Received a nice cake acknowledging our 25th anniversary. Amazing night. The Crew Show took place in the lounge that night. Appreciated their enthusiasm, but not our thing. Virgin Gorda – Took 9:30 tender to another boat to a very pretty Fischer’s Cove beach (substitute for Prickly Pear). Great day using Windsurf’s SUP, kayaks, trampoline, raft, etc. Volleyball with staff, excellent Caribbean band amazing BBQ on beach etc. Others told us that Prickly Pear was nicer. Reasons for skipping that beach were varied. Not sure if Windsurf will ever visit there again. We were told that this was the ship’s first visit to Fischer’s Cove. Things seemed to go well except for having few beach chairs and lounges. They seemed to have worked this out though, bringing more chairs as needed. Antigua – Were going to do what I read was a short walk to Pigeon Point Beach. Guess we and other fellow cruisers missed the trail to do so. Grabbed a cab - $5pp….Short ride, but a lot easier. Very hot out. Decided to skip historic Dockyard and Shirley Heights. The beach wasn’t great, but a nice cove and atmosphere. Not many fish seen while snorkeling.Hubby went to Gertrudes for a pina colada and gave them a $20 bill. Wanted to give him change in their currency. He told them he didn’t want that. They gave in and he got $8 USD back. Have to say they made a great drink. There is a BBQ shack bar/restaurant, Bumpkins, down the other end. Very rustic, but nice people who called us a taxi back to ship later in the day. Someone told me that their beers were ridiculously expensive. We hadn’t done beer that day so not sure. Last night onboard – Captain and entire crew paraded into the lounge. The Stewards carried in towel animals, some very different and impressive. All departments recognized and everyone sang “That’s what friends are for”…Very nice. Since our return flight wasn’t til 3:25 and we had carry-on luggage with us, we decided to take a ship’s excursion the morning of debarkation. We met around 7:45am and were delayed til around 8:15 due to one couple’s not showing up. Tour guide asked if we wanted to skip stopping back at Phillipsburg due to delay. We all agreed to do so. Took a nice tour to Oyster Pond and Orient Bay areas for photos; shopped and had a wonderful peach tart and cappuchino at Seraphina’s bakery in Marigot (loved the French atmosphere!); had a terrific pizza and drinks at Sunset Grill area restaurant. Unfortunately, just 2 small planes passed overhead, but we had been there before so just sitting in the restaurant was fine for us. Got to airport on the tour bus about noon. Enjoyed the reasonably priced shopping and the Souliga lounge at airport though our Priority Pass. Complimentary drinks, light snacks, coffee, wifi, newspapers. Boarded our flight to Charlotte airport. Had burger and beers at Tequiliera restaurant there. Not good at all and expensive. Plane out of Charlotte to Tampa had to be de-iced so delayed. 32 degrees in Charlotte. Freezing to us Floridians. We hadn’t thought about it being cold so only had light clothing and sweaters with us. Economy parking/shuttle at Tampa airport was great. No waiting at all. We didn’t get home til 1:30am. Thanks to Windsurf for a wonderful cruise. Hope to sail another Windstar ship with balcony in the future! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
9 days "Sicily Splendors" was purchased in June 2016. We cruised on Windstar (Windsurf) before and knew about the warm crew approach, amazing food, long staying in the ports and all the other things smaller ships can offer. We ... Read More
9 days "Sicily Splendors" was purchased in June 2016. We cruised on Windstar (Windsurf) before and knew about the warm crew approach, amazing food, long staying in the ports and all the other things smaller ships can offer. We were in the different parts of Italy many times but not in Sicily. So the decision was easy. Embarkation was smooth and easy. We were upgraded to a higher deck - which was a nice surprise. Cabin was clean and kept clean all the voyage. The dining on Windstar ships is the one of the best you can get on a cruise ship. All the time 5* - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, BBQ event - everything! The ports were interesting for us as I've mentioned. All around Sicily plus Malta and Gozo (small island next to Malta). Unfortunately due to the weather conditions in Gozo captain decided to stay one more night in Valletta so we couldn't see Gozo. But safety first and we spent a wonderful one more day in Malta - which was nice :) Special event was very well organized. Additional point to the Team. Miss the ship already and dream to come again! :) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise because of the small ship experience. We did not want to be on a big "floating city". We found Windstar to be a wonderful experience. the only thing I would change is for Windstar to allow complimentary ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the small ship experience. We did not want to be on a big "floating city". We found Windstar to be a wonderful experience. the only thing I would change is for Windstar to allow complimentary internet and to be more reasonable about the exorbitant alcohol package. That said, we loved the experience! The staff is very welcoming. We highly recommend the laundry service...outstanding. We do think that the shore excursions are overrated and very expensive. We found that we could do better just going on line and booking an excursion by ourselves. For example, the Blue Grotto tour was well over $100 and we booked a tour for $33. The planned, free excursion to the Gambino Winery was amazing! Totally enjoyable. We did not think Split was a particularly good stopover; the Diocletian Palace was filled with souvenir ships...not very interesting to us. Kotor and Roving were the highlights for us....well worth the stopover. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My husband and I chose this cruise because we wanted to go to the French Riviera, Monaco, Portofino, and Cinqueterre and this cruise covered all these locations plus additional ports. The cruise was also round trip from Rome ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because we wanted to go to the French Riviera, Monaco, Portofino, and Cinqueterre and this cruise covered all these locations plus additional ports. The cruise was also round trip from Rome (Civitavecchia) back to Rome. Most Riviera cruises left from a port in one country (ie, Italy) and ended in another country (ie, Spain). We wanted to fly in and out of Italy, so that after the cruise we could continue touring Italy on our own. Many passengers had chosen this cruise because it included 2 days in Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix and these folks bought tickets to see the race and made arrangements for special dinners, etc. We did not, although we saw the track and enjoyed the general festivities of Monte Carlo during that time. We have cruised on very large ships before and wanted to try a small ship, like the Windsurf. We were very glad we did. The ship only had 200 passengers (although it holds over 300) and the crew was almost 200. We were given excellent service by the crew. The food was generally outstanding. The dining rooms were lovely. There was food available throughout the day in different venues and there was free room service until late at night. Our room was compact, was exceptionally well designed and gave us sufficient space for clothes, suitcases, etc. The rooms all had portholes rather than picture windows and there were no balconies. However, this was not a drawback on this cruise. Although the Windsurf did not have the kinds of activities available on large ships (the in-water activities of the Windsurf were not part of this cruise), there was live music, a lounge, deck chairs, hot tubs, movie and book libraries, a gym and some fitness classes. There was a small casino, but I never saw anyone there. Dress was casual and nice casual for dinners. The cruise offered many side trips at ports and one free excursion. My husband and I went off on our own to see Grasse (from Cannes) and Nice (from Monaco). The Windstar line offered some extras with the booking and we chose 2 nights at a hotel in Rome plus free transport to the Rome port. We had poor weather, which resulted in changes to the itinerary (although all places listed were visited), and which created problems with the use of the tenders to and from ports. We did have some problems related to maintenance work that were eventually sorted out. The reception desk could have done a better job regarding information for port visits. We highly recommend the Windsurf for cruising. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our 7th Windstar cruise, but first time on the Surf. Travelling with us was my mother (88 years old) and two of her friends (both in their 80's). For that reason, we decided the Surf was the best option since it had ... Read More
This was our 7th Windstar cruise, but first time on the Surf. Travelling with us was my mother (88 years old) and two of her friends (both in their 80's). For that reason, we decided the Surf was the best option since it had elevators. We chose the Yachtsman's itinerary because it was the least likely to experience any roughness. I can report that we only had one evening with slight rolling for a few hours. My mother, who can be prone to sea sickness did just fine! Pre-cruise we stay at Alicia's Inn in Philipsburg for one night. Based on price and only a one night stay, it was fine. Friday evening we ate at Toloula Mangos and Saturday's breakfast was at Barefoot Restaurant. Both had lovely views of the harbor. The breakfast at Barefoot was especially good and reasonably priced. Tip for any future cruisers. Just a short walk will take you to Caribbean Liquors & Tobacco, located at 8 W.G. Buncamper Road, Philipsburg, St.Maarten. Not an extensive selection, but what they did have was nice and very reasonably priced. We purchased five bottles to take on board with us. Boarding Time!!! The port area is just a short taxi ride. Checked in our luggage, wandered the shops, then caught a cart to carry us to the ship. Embarkation was as efficient and easy as expected and before we knew it we were shown to our cabin. Luggage hadn't arrived yet so we took a quick walk around the ship and made our way up to the Veranda for lunch. By the time we made our way back to our cabin the luggage had arrived. Our cabin was clean and comfortable. While I prefer the cabin design of the Wind Star/Spirit, it was very functional with more than sufficient storage space. Bedding was luxurious and the bed very comfortable. Always love the l'Occitane bath products. Our cabin attendant, Dian, was attentive and the best we have ever had on any cruise. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed the dining and selections offered. The dishes that didn't totally please were few and far between. In addition to the usual selections, one night there was an Indonesian entree and on another an Indian entree (Biryani). The Biryani was especially good and spicy!! We also dined in Stella Bistro and Candles. Again, both venues were great. While the beach BBQ was fine, the deck BBQ was especially good on this cruise. The daily selections for both breakfast and lunch in the Veranda were varied and fresh. If we had any complaint about the food, for some reason the deserts did not seem as good as we've previously experienced. Not bad - just not as good. The service, overall, was exemplary. The Veranda staff took my mother under their wing and treated her like royalty. This made the trip very special for her. I'd like to give a shout to Nova and Esther for their remarkable attention to my mom. Our cabin attendant Dian was also the best. The only Windstar excursion we participated in was the St. Bart's snorkel. The snorkeling was not very good, but the catamaran ride was great! So no complaint. Disembarkation was too quick and easy - we stayed aboard as long as we could. From there we took a taxi and spent the day at Mary's Boon Resort which is just a short taxi drive from the airport. Had a lovely lunch on the beach while trying to figure out if and when we would be able to get home - we were dealing with the East Coast snowstorm. In summary, we had a fantastic cruise! We were a little worried after our less-than-stellar cruise aboard the Legend last June - but Windstar came through with flying colors!!!!! This cruise showcased the Windstar experience we have come to know and love. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
Sixth Windstar Cruise, 3rd on Windsurf. Older ship (they will never build another like this) but it has been well maintained and the mostly Indonesian crew works hard to keep the guests happy. Food is above the average cruise line food ... Read More
Sixth Windstar Cruise, 3rd on Windsurf. Older ship (they will never build another like this) but it has been well maintained and the mostly Indonesian crew works hard to keep the guests happy. Food is above the average cruise line food but nothing like the food available in Italy before or after the cruise. They don't push their shore excursions too hard and we have found that we can arrange for excellent private guides in many ports for the same or less cost. The problem as Windstar has gotten bigger appears to be the Seattle corporate office. Our recent cruise had a change of itinerary before departure and only a few passengers were notified of it. This affected our shore plans and nobody in the home office wants to take ownership of the problem. In addition, we booked a post cruise transfer hotel stay in Rome through Windstar and it appeared that the hotel was totally unprepared for our arrival. The local agent for Windstar was useless. We are seasoned travelers and generally go with the flow so we probably will cruise with Windstar again. Would never book a pre or post cruise stay through them again. A high % of guests are repeat customers who know that they will meet other older affluent people. This is not a ship for solo travelers or anyone under 50. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
During the end of September 2015 and the first week of October we were part of this fantasy. What a beautiful ship!! Everyone one the ship went out of their way to make our stay one to remember. We met so many new friends. We would party ... Read More
During the end of September 2015 and the first week of October we were part of this fantasy. What a beautiful ship!! Everyone one the ship went out of their way to make our stay one to remember. We met so many new friends. We would party until late at night. We would listen to music, and may I add...the duo Casey and Erick were stunning. Man...what a lovely voice. Cannot believe SA Idols let her slip through their hands. If ever you come across them, ask them to do Purple Rain and Bed of Roses. They absolutely made our tour. Well done Windstar!! Let me also not forget Harry our waiter at the restaurants. What a guy. The whole ship was talking about him. He should be the communications leader. He was witty, quick to assist, quick to let you feel welcome and even special. The rooms were excellent. Enough space and what a big bathroom. I am a big, very big guy and did not have any problem at all in the shower. The food at all the restaurants were superb. We will be going again and again and again...this I promised myself. I stayed in Room 243. When that door was closed during day or night it was peaceful and quiet. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
No children are allowed. Service and food were quite good. Ports were interesting and easy to walk around without an escort. There was a free two night stay in Lisbon which was a lovely way to end the cruise. Low key entertainment after ... Read More
No children are allowed. Service and food were quite good. Ports were interesting and easy to walk around without an escort. There was a free two night stay in Lisbon which was a lovely way to end the cruise. Low key entertainment after dinner consisting of flamenco dancers one night. Every night we enjoyed going to cocktail lounge with friends, chatting and listiening or dancing to a wonderful combo. No glitzy show with 2 thoushand people in attendance. Ambiance just what we like, low key. We booked this same cruise again for June 29th a only this time we are taking our adult children with us to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. When we arrive at Malaga, we booked Spain Day Tours to take us to Granada to see the famous Alhambra. We hope other from our ship will join us on this tour to make it even more memorable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
First off all we really liked the cruise and will sail again if cruise itinerary will match our plans. We liked itinerary, customer service, newly offered cabin, food, how yacht was maintained, officers and specially captain. He was just ... Read More
First off all we really liked the cruise and will sail again if cruise itinerary will match our plans. We liked itinerary, customer service, newly offered cabin, food, how yacht was maintained, officers and specially captain. He was just fantastic. We all loved him. A few small things that can be easily corrected: when we arrived and got in our cabin, in a few hours we realized that air conditioning was broken, cold wind was blowing without stop and temperatures were at 62 F. Stuart tried to place the towels on the register; however, that did not solve the problem. We also contacted reception a many times, they kept sending people, however, they appeared and disappeared without explanation if they can fix the problem. Only at 2 am we were visited by one of officers Margozhata and she offered us to move to different cabin. Actually she saved our cruise (thank you!). Why it was done by customer service at the beginning? Margozhata also helped us to load our stuff on the cart and at 3 am we were moving to different cabin losing almost entire day of cruising. In addition we did not receive keys for a new cabin, contacted reception, were promised to send a stuart; however, we had to call again next day in order to get them. Second - communication problems with travel agent. Very seldom we received answers to our questions on time. We understand, that agent is traveling; however, they have to have a replacement. I believe that in the future we will try to book directly with a cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
This was the Classic Caribbean, St. Maarten, Barbuda, Pigeon Island, St. Kitts-Nevis, Isle de Saintes, St. Barts It took a couple of years to convince her to go on a sailing ship. I started with the Windjammer and worked my way up. It ... Read More
This was the Classic Caribbean, St. Maarten, Barbuda, Pigeon Island, St. Kitts-Nevis, Isle de Saintes, St. Barts It took a couple of years to convince her to go on a sailing ship. I started with the Windjammer and worked my way up. It was over dinner and a bottle of wine and some reviews and pictures of the Wind Surf that we would give it a try. This was our 15th cruise, the others have been on all the major lines, with Celebrity being our favorite. I like small and she likes big ships. We were able to get a direct flight from O'Hare to St. Maarten, which took the stress out of getting connecting flights or going a day early. We arrive at the dock and they proceeded to check us in very quickly as it looked like we were the last to board. The stateroom was a normal size for a cruise ship, not that you should spend much time in the room anyway. Let's get the only problem we had out of the way. We were in a stateroom mid ship. As we settled in for the night and the yacht had been underway for a few hours. Somewhere below us, in which I assume were the engineering spaces, all night long it sounded like a bowling ball in a metal tube rolling back and forth. Suffice to say I did not get any rest. In the morning I went to reception and asked them to check on what we heard. Of course had to wait till we were underway about lunch time to hear the noise reoccur. They sent an Engineering Officer down to check on the noise. She said she would check on it so we went up on deck to relax and have lunch. When we returned there was A NOTE saying that the noise was normal, but they would move us up one deck to another cabin. We took them up on the offer. Problem solved. Everything for the rest of the cruise was 1st rate, everything from dining, room attendants, etc. was excellent. The excursions we took were 2 snorkeling trips and a kayak trip. The vendors they lined up were great in all aspects of the tours. They paid attention to us when we were in the water, safety was always at the fore front of the trips. The day on the beach at Pigeon Island( actually a peninsula ) at St. Lucia was very well done. Everything was available to us, beach cabanas, chairs, towels, lunch was provided which was very good. From the crowd that was on the beach it looked like most of the passengers took advantage of the day. Being on a ship we did not expect much on the entertainment side. They had two bands, one in the main lounge and one in the bar aft. They split the time so if you went to dinner you could always see one before or after. They were fine, nothing great, be sufficient. The best night was the CREW entertainment night and they packed the lounge with the passengers, they were quite good and entertaining. Dining was above normal. Breakfast and lunch was served on deck either al fresco or you could sit inside. The menus usually consisted of 5/6 thing you could order or go to the buffet. More than enough choices. The fruit and cheeses were always plentiful. You could get omelets to order or roast turkey or beef at the carving station. The main dining room was fine, as were the two specialty restaurants, Stella Bistro and Candles (reservations required). Food and service was excellent. Service was not overwhelming just attentive enough. We wanted to order a bottle of merlot, but the wine steward suggested another brand, it was either a couple of dollars more or less I don't remember. It was an excellent choice, and later during the cruise we stopped at one of the bars and asked the bartender for recommendation and it was the same brand. We also had some port and took the recommendation of the server, which was also fine. We were able to find here at home and the reviews rated it highly. Disembarkation went smoothly as we took a tour before returning to the airport, which helped because we had 6 hours to kill before our flight. The tour was excellent given by an Expat from New York by way of Canada. She was very knowledgeable about St. Maarten. We would plan another cruise on Windstar either Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2009
Background: This was my 8th Atlantic crossing, after one on a freighter, 4 on Cunard, and 2 on Crystal. Wind Surf was a very different experience, but the one it most resembled was the freighter. Arrival and embarkation: As is ... Read More
Background: This was my 8th Atlantic crossing, after one on a freighter, 4 on Cunard, and 2 on Crystal. Wind Surf was a very different experience, but the one it most resembled was the freighter. Arrival and embarkation: As is strongly recommended, I flew into Lisbon a day early. Having been there previously, I opted to stay in Sintra (Tivoli Sintra), a charming town about 40 minutes away by train. There are 2 terminals in Lisbon. The primary one is right at the Alacantra Mer train station and is used primarily by the megaships. We were docked at the Cais da Rocha Conde do Obidios, about towards town from the station. The police there told me it was 3 km and gave me misleading directions, so I took a cab for the final leg to the ship. The cruise documents said "Boarding 10:00am, All aboard 1:00" for a 2:30 departure. When I arrived about 12 the only thing they were doing was accepting baggage; a number of people were hanging around the terminal, mostly standing, and we were told check-in would not begin until 1. I went back out of the terminal and found that we were only an easy 10-minute walk from where I had boarded the cab. Check-in did not begin until 1:00 and it was after 1:30 when I stepped on board the ship. Ship info: The Wind Surf is a "Motor Sailing Yacht". It has sails, but they appear to be more for show than functional, as the ship is really not designed to maximize their benefit. We did sail about 70 miles without the engines at about 5 knots, but it appeared we were getting at least as much push from the current as we did from the sails. My observation was that when we were under sail power, the motion of the ship was quite evident as there was little water flowing past the stabilizers. The ship is small at 312 passengers and 6 decks, and has some really odd quirks. The cabin numbering starts from the stern of the ship, while the stairways are numbered from the bow, and start with stairway 2. Unlike Windstar's 2 smaller ship, the Wind Surf has 2 elevators. A final oddity is that the bottom 2 decks have a series of waterproof doors that must be closed when the ship enters of leaves a port. There was no warning of this before we started our muster drill making it a real "Chinese Fire Drill" finding the right stairway down to my cabin to retrieve my life jacket for the drill. Windstar was formerly affiliated with Holland America and has changed ownership in the recent past. The opinions I heard from veteran passengers was that the line has either changed little or gotten somewhat better after the change in ownership. Staterooms: The rooms are fairly large (188 square feet minimum), comfortable, and generally well laid out. The exceptions are having the life jackets in a ceiling compartment, not obvious to find, and not easily reached, and having all the electrical outlets in an awkward spot under the desk. I also found the 110 volt outlet not working when I arrived; I reported the matter to my room steward and it was corrected within 4 hours. With the exception of these minor issues, the room (the lowest category on the ship) was superb. The Wind Surf has no cabins with balconies. Dining: The Restaurant (Deck 4, forward) is the primary location for dinner, and has an open seating policy. I generally prefer early seating, and the 7:00pm opening was a bit late for my tastes, but was a pleasant surprise from the 7:30 opening published in Windstar literature. It was generally 7:30 by the time my table filled up and an order was taken. It was open seating but I generally dined with the same people since there was a fairly small number of early diners willing to share a table. The menu was varied and the service was excellent. There were 3 alternate dinner venues. Degrees (Deck 6, forward) served a 6-course fixed menu (with a vegetarian option) with 4 menus rotating by day of the week. The other 2 venues were actually parts of the deck with tables set up for dinner. Le Marche was a seafood restaurant on deck 6 aft is set up with service provided from the Terrace Bar. I do not eat seafood and thus did not try Le Marche. Candles is set up around the pool on deck 4 aft and offered a limited menu, mostly charcoal grilled meats baked potatoes, and corn on the cob, supplemented by an excellent Tiramisu. Le Marche and Candles used the same staff as Degrees, so when they were open Degrees was closed. The alternative venues required reservations but did not impose a supplemental fee. The Verandah (Deck 6, midship) was the primary venue for breakfast and lunch. It is set up as a buffet, but is well staffed with waiters eager to make the trip through the buffet line and bring passengers whatever they want. The seating is about half inside and half on deck. The outside portion has a grill booth where eggs are prepared for breakfast and burgers for lunch. Other items such as pancakes and waffles are also prepared to order from the galley. The Compass Rose bar (deck 5, aft) serves a continental breakfast 6-11am and is the site for afternoon tea. Activities and entertainment: Not much to speak of. There is no cruise director in the traditional sense. A "hostess" (actually a couple in this case) organizes a few activities, including a daily trivia contest and a cruise-long shipbuilding contest. They appeared to be volunteers cruising for free in exchange for their services and the results were pretty amateur, but they took a genuine interest in the passengers. The sports team had some activities and classes and wii tournaments were a big draw as were near-daily cooking demonstrations. Mostly, though activities consisted of reading, knitting, and relaxing. In the evening, there were small bands in two of the lounges, and one night there was a combined crew-passenger talent show. On one evening each of the passengers received an invitation to dinner from one of the staff. Some came from departments like the casino and gift shop, others from ships officers. One issue with this event was it was poorly publicized and many passengers declined the invitation thinking it was a sales pitch or other come-on. The groups were re-shuffled and combined to form full tables. I ended up with a Cadet (officer in training near the end of maritime school) and a Junior Officer who were very gracious hosts and enjoyed a wonderful evening. As on most repositioning cruises there was an emphasis on crew training and one day they did an abandon ship exercise where they set up a life raft in the swimming pool. At the conclusion of the drill there was an opportunity for the passengers to board the raft. It was a very interesting experience and gave me a real desire not to ever have to go through for real. There were walking decks around the ship on both decks 5 and 6, although deck 5 was closed for most of the voyage for maintenance of the teak. The deck 6 track was labeled 5.5 laps per mile, although most walkers thought it was mislabeled and actually about 6.5 laps per mile. There were DVD players in the rooms and a good selection of movies in the library but entertainment was distinctively do it yourself. Service: The service was excellent, friendly and attentive without hovering. Like many of the small, premium lines the staff at reception knew everybody's name by about day 2. Captain Mark Boylin was out around the ship and very approachable. He knew many of the repeat passengers and was always willing to stop and chat even with the newcomers. Children: There were no specific childrens' facilities on the ship. While port intensive Windstar cruises may be ok for children, the transatlantic voyage would certainly not. Ports: Disembarkation: Disembarkation was smooth and finished by about 9am. The taxis in Barbados were all about 12-passenger vans, and waited for a nearly full van before leaving. My taxi took a group to another hotel on the way to my hotel. Summary: Ratings are a very subjective matter. What is good really depends on the individual's point of view. I would have preferred a few more activities, especially the enrichment programs offered by the likes of Cunard and Crystal on their transatlantic voyages, but still immensely enjoyed my crossing. The biggest disadvantage of Windstar for me is really that they do not return to the US, so extensive air travel is required at both ends of the cruise. I have booked a Mediterranean Voyage for fall 2010 and will then get a feel for Windstar on a port intensive itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
We finally convinced 3 other couples to sample samller ship and compre it with their Mega ship experience and I truely think their choice in the future cruising will be on smaller ship. They were relaxed and enjoyed not having to deal with ... Read More
We finally convinced 3 other couples to sample samller ship and compre it with their Mega ship experience and I truely think their choice in the future cruising will be on smaller ship. They were relaxed and enjoyed not having to deal with masses throughout the cruise.We arrived in Rome 3 days in advance of embarkation and had enough time to enjoy the historical city and on the day of embarkation, we decided to hire a van to take us direct to the port, rasther than taking the train from Terimini. Spliting the cost 4 ways certainly made a difference in keepint the cost down and the fact that we would be taken direct to the dock. My wife and I have taken the train which is very inexpensive, but made a mistake of walking to the dock from the station, because it looked so close. Not worth it, Take a taxi!Embarkation was quick as usual, but we did wait in a holding tent for a while, since we arrived early, embarkation started right on time at 1pm. Our suite 331 was very comfortable, approximately 356 sqf, it is about the size of mid range suite with balcony on Mega ships. What WindStar had put their 2 standard cabins together which resulted in two of everything in the suite. Loved the double bathrooms and closets. I have cruised on Regent Mariner and their smallest cabin with balcony equaled our suite.We sailed on Surf to Western Med in 2007 and also on Star from Athens to Istanble 5 years ago which was our intro to cruising and we have not stopped. We definitely prefer small ships which includes SeaDream with 100.We sailed on time from Chivitavecchia for Capri which was our first ports of call, but when we returned to our cabin, after our dinner, there was a note fron the Captain that Capri was changed to Sorrento. Weather palyed a part in this change, because it was too windy for safe anchorage at Capri. It certainly was a disappointment, but we under stand how dangerous tender operation can be in bad weather. We arrived in Sorrento and some of us decided on Positano visit by  traveling through beautiful Amalfi coast. It was a wonderful day to remember.Our next port was Taorimina, Sicily and it was truely a hidden jewel not often mentioned among travelers I know. It was our favorite and would like to return one day to stay longer in this lovely city. It was a subject of conversation at the dinner table by many.Surf has 4 different dinning options, two of which were open air dinning. But because of windy weather with few sprinkles, it was only opened 1 or 2 nights I believe. Needless to say were not able to obtain reservation for neither.We had our dinners in the main dinning room which was fine, although we had one dinner in set menu dinning room and it was fine. But main dinning room menu selection was much more in variety and changed daily.Service was excellent.I puchased some bottles of wine in Rome and had no problem taking them onboard and $15 corkage was charged, when I took them into dinning room.We had one day at sea, on our way to Corfu, I must say it is not my favorite pass time, since i don't read much. But I managed to keepyself occupied. One word about all inclusive cruise compared to non. I have done both and really prefer non, now that I have done both. It is true, you're not nickled and dimed to death on inclusive ships, once you've paid the set amount. But can you justify the fare difference which on all inclusive can be up to $600-800 pp per day? Just how much alchoholic beverage can you drink? The dinning options are more elegant and of higher quality, even at that the difference is excessive. I don't mind signing for every drink or bottle water and soda, because I am not a heavt drinker or demand gurmet meals 3 times a day. Back to Surf. The windy condition resulted in some ideal anchorage spots not available for use and required shuttle transportation at couple of ports, but it was fine. One thing I did notice is that some passengers were complaining that cruiseship personnel were not organized with shuttle service. There should have been staff members present at both ends, rather than just the departure point. We were left to fend for ourselves, dealiing with contracted vendor who provided the transportation.After Corfu, we headed for Duvrovnik, Croatia, again we had to give up the best anchorage due to weather and shuttled in and had to find our tour guide who was waiting at the old port docking area. But we enjoyed our visit to this historical or once war torn city with very little signs of damages we witnessed on the news. Life goes on!Our final ports of call was Havar, Croatia, charming little island which easily can be mistaken for one of the Greek islands. Very short stay and it started to sprinkle as we left.I failed to mention earlier that the group of musicians who were onboard back in 2007 had just renewed their contract and were performing onboard. They remebered us and our favorite song and played it for us almost every night, very small thing, but to be recognized and renew friendship means a great deal for customer relationship and for repeat clients. On our final morning, we entered main channel for port of Venice, San Marcos Square was in full view and everybody was on deck for an amazing viewsDisembarkation was delayed a bit due to luggage handling delay, but other than it went smoothly. Our ship docked at the main channel dockage, rather than one of those slips at the main terminal. So we were further away from everything.We had to walk few blocks to the termianl and had very few options for hotel transfer. Main terminal had a free shuttle to Piazza Rome which was sort of centeral point for various transportation options, but non where we were, only very expensive water taxi. In hind sight, it turned out to be the best option, especially with bags. Venice is not baggage friendly city with bridges and uneven roads. So, if you decide to take care of ground transfer yourself, spen a few extra euros and save yourself a major headach. Take a water taxi and have them deliver you to your hotel, right to their front step. 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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