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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We have just spent 2 weeks sailing from Barbados and with out any debate this was the best cruise-boat /crew we have ever been part of, we both don't think we can ever go back to the mega ships we have been on before. Embarkation ... Read More
We have just spent 2 weeks sailing from Barbados and with out any debate this was the best cruise-boat /crew we have ever been part of, we both don't think we can ever go back to the mega ships we have been on before. Embarkation was right on time and we were shown to our cabin(503)after passing the SPA & drinks package guys (which is a no brainer if you intend to have a few) We did several land excursions and while some were not for us they were exactly as described and james did a great job- he doubles as the cruise director and i must say gives it 110%every day even meeting us at 5 am on the day we left- good job mate again. The fact we were in BS503 allowed us to dine where ever and when we wanted even when busy and the guys always made that happen- first class service again Merrick and ipund and all their band off cooks and wait staff (seem to all work 23 hours a day) The laundry worked well always back by 5 ish in the afternoon - The veranda (lunch and doubles as candles at night)guys just awesome nothing was ever a problem great food good variety. There are signs of wear and tear around the boat highlighting its not new but really nowhere in the safety aspect and we not worried by a few worn carpets. Most nights we sailed the music belted out the "1492 conquest of paradise" as they unfolded the sails great display and begins the nightly party! we found the band every night at the compass bar was great - many headaches created there. This boat uses its tenders quite a bit for the small ports/islands it visits and we had a almost a drama one day but the crew of lifeboat 6 acted instantly with out hesitation and boosted my wife back to the windsurf ! in very tough conditions-again great job done by all these crew guys.- the effort put in to take everything to the beach for a great BBQ is amazing-and then bring it all back! The only downer is the WIFI - slow and expensive -fix this and you truly have it all. all in all one of the best 2 weeks we have spent ever! Windsurf - we'll be back! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We recently took the the new concept cruise “back to back” (14 days) with Windstar Cruises on the Wind Surf. It appears that this will be successful for Windstar Cruises because over half the passengers stayed on for two weeks. After ... Read More
We recently took the the new concept cruise “back to back” (14 days) with Windstar Cruises on the Wind Surf. It appears that this will be successful for Windstar Cruises because over half the passengers stayed on for two weeks. After flying long distances it is great to be able to stay for an extended time. It felt like time was much slower. This cruise was perfect for us in every way. This was our 22 cruise with Windstar Cruises we are obviously fans. Having said that I have to state that she , Wind Surf, is a beautiful “old lady”, high maintenance yes but absolutely beautifully maintained. Her interiors are modern, bright and cheery,immaculate in every way. Because she is a motor sailing ship there is a tremendous amout of outside space to enjoy the ship. Both weeks she was neary full at at no time did we feel there were 300 people onboard. There was always space to find sun and shade, space for privacy, your very own nook, and space to meet friendly people and have a refreshing rum punch. She was fitted with new sails so the sail aways were great with bright white new sails being unfurled as we listened to the signature music. For this cruise I have to say that of all the cruises we have been on with Windstar the food and dining was the best. I know food, the science behind it, how it is prepared, adventurous eaters, etc. Every evening we were WOWed by the dinners in the Amphora, Candles and Stella Bistro. Stella was authentic French, Candles under stars, dreamy romantic, Amphora simply lovely, and in all restaurants all meats were perfectly prepared, the fish was never dry and my favorite the lobster bisque the real thing! The Veranda for lunch great salads and if you are late for lunch the sandwiches in the Yacht Club fantastic. Afternoon tea terrific little finger sandwiches and scones with real clotted crean. Breakfast, not my meal, good fresh fruit, eggs made to order, excellent granola and freshly squeezed orange juice. In all past cruises we really never ate the bread because that is where I am a complete food snob but whoever the baker was the breads were fantastic especially the Italian bread sticks, perfect. The breads were never soggy from the saltly, humid, sea air. I know that food is very subjective but this was our take. Service perfect as usual, always above and beyond. Captain Hogan ran a happy ship. James, the nightly host and excursions manager, from Scotland, was absolutely terrific. His nightly talks were informative but full of great humor. He was so enjoyable. Housekeeping perfect from our cabins, public rooms and bathrooms, restaurants etc. For having to really revamp and move the cruise due to the hurricane Windstar did a great job. A mixture of culturally interesting, great beaches and beautiful scenery. We could not get into Monserrat due to 7-10 foot sea swells so instead we went into Antiqua, not too shabby! Our sail by the Pitons of St. Lucia was extraordinary not only the landscapes but the many sailboats and a clipper ship in full sail all sailing in front of the Pitons showing the reflections of their shadows. It seemed every afternoon around 4 we had a rain shower followed by a rainbow and then followed by red sunsets. Magical Great cruise, looking forward to our next. For good reason we are happy customers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2017
After our experience with UNPROFESSIONAL and uncharming service in The House Hotel in Barbados we enjoyed the so well trained and friendly service of the windstar crew!!!!!- just perfect! The cabin was well kept and clean. Breakfast, ... Read More
After our experience with UNPROFESSIONAL and uncharming service in The House Hotel in Barbados we enjoyed the so well trained and friendly service of the windstar crew!!!!!- just perfect! The cabin was well kept and clean. Breakfast, lunch or dinner were always phantastic and it´s great to have breakfast or lunch or dinner sitting outside in the deckchairs on the veranda while You watch the sea. The captain - Melinda ist charming and knows her job as do the other members of the crew. We can´t say much about the entertainment or the off shore tours because we had been on a private cruise. It was a wonderful first experience even we had often rain and the sea was quite rocky for february, but I do hope that we will sail again with the Windstar and Melinda in the Mediterranean or Sweden and Norway or the baltic!!! Thank You all! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
So many positives on this cruise. The food was fantastic, the crew exceptional and the ship beautiful. I have cruised over 15 times and on this one I brought three other couples. We all agreed the cruise was top rate, The entertainment ... Read More
So many positives on this cruise. The food was fantastic, the crew exceptional and the ship beautiful. I have cruised over 15 times and on this one I brought three other couples. We all agreed the cruise was top rate, The entertainment on deck was perfect. Two issues. On our day we docked in Puerto Rico the boats pool and top deck were closed. The reason was unclear as some said normal maintanance and others said to prepare for an inspection. It was very hot so one day of our cruise was eliminated by these closures. We were forced into an itinerary. We went to the Bicardi Rum factory which was nice and the shop charged 95 dollars a person. When we arrived we saw the tour we took was 15 per person. A cab would have been a total of 20 This was disturbing. Otherwise an A plus cruise which I would strongly reccomend. One couple paid half what we paid as they booked late. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was our 3rd Windstar cruise - the other 2 being in Europe. We enjoy the small ship atmosphere and have been very pleased with the level of service and casual elegance of the Windstar experience. This ship was full with 144 passengers, ... Read More
This was our 3rd Windstar cruise - the other 2 being in Europe. We enjoy the small ship atmosphere and have been very pleased with the level of service and casual elegance of the Windstar experience. This ship was full with 144 passengers, I believe, and 99 crew. This cruise started in Barbados with a fast and easy embarkation and a sunset departure that brought most everyone up to the deck to enjoy the "signature sail away" music and raising of sails. Our cabin was 2nd deck mid-ship and was comfortable with a firm bed and lots of storage space. I must comment on the water pressure in the shower - wow - far better than I get at home! We had read that the first night going from Bridgetown to St. Lucia could be rocky and, indeed, you definitely knew you were on a boat that first night! Preparing ahead with Bonine, patch, or whatever, would probably always be a good preventative against the swells. The final night also featured some rocking and rolling, but we didn't hear any complaints, so perhaps everyone had their sea legs by then. Of particular note on this cruise was the incredibly friendly group of people aboard. Mostly American with a good number of Canadians, some Brits, French and others. While most of the passengers were couples, we found nearly everyone inviting others to join them for dinner and tables for 4 or 6 quite common. We were really pleased with this aspect of the cruise and don't know if it is always replicated on these Caribbean trips, but it worked for us! There were a few men traveling alone and one commented at the end of the trip about how welcoming and friendly everyone had been to him --- unlike many cruises he'd taken on other lines. I think the small size of the ship helps - you feel like you know everyone on the ship by the end of the week! Phillipe, the Voyage Leader, did a good job of introducing us to the various ports of call each evening prior and was exceedingly patient and good natured throughout the trip. His French accent was adorable and his dancing skills were put on display during the on-deck barbeque dance party - fun! Michael, the bar manager, Haley and Jesus, the entertainers, the ship's doctor, the reception staff - all were 100% upbeat and enthusiastic in their interactions with us. While we know that there is repetition to their jobs week after week with a new crowd of passengers, the staff really made you feel like they enjoyed their work and were having fun. Even the captain showed off his sense of humor and was a genial host on the bridge visits. Our cabin steward, "T" was a delight and was at the ready with a smile and greeting whenever we met and quickly responded whenever a request was made. A few towel animals found their way into our cabin, too. A real highlight on board was the on-deck barbeque. We were fortunate to have beautiful weather throughout the trip, so being on deck with an absolutely amazing spread of food, a steel drum band playing, and then line dancing after was just terrific. Haley did a good job of getting people up and dancing and the crew dances were fun to watch. It was a great evening! The diversity of the ports made this trip quite memorable. We did 3 excursions and were satisfied with each one. In St. Lucia, the Sights and Casteries tour took us through hill and dale and to the capital city - so we had a good look at the island. The guide was very good and while we could have done without the final stop at an arts and crafts shop, overall it was a good trip to get a look at the island. In Grenada, we did the glass bottom kayak tour. It was an interesting area to kayak and we were taken to the location of the underwater sculpture park. It was a bit difficult to see much through the bottom of the boat given the sea being a bit stirred up, but it was a worthwhile paddle if you like to kayak.The staff took photos of our group arriving and boarding the kayaks and sold a CD for $10 that also included underwater photos of the sculpture park.The snorkel excursion in Tobago Cay was aboard a large catamaran with about 30 people aboard. The boat had two stops - the first took us to a reef, and then we went to an area with sea turtles to see. Rough seas made the first stop a challenge for some of us (who were weaker swimmers), but the second stop was great and most everyone managed to see some turtles, which was awesome. And the rum punch served on the way back to the ship was fantastic! Remember to bring tip money for the guides - something easily forgotten when you're putting on bathing suits. Our favorite day was on the island of Mayreau at the "special event." The day was magnificent, there was nice snorkeling right off the beach, lunch was served under the shade of the palms, the water sports items were available to use from the beach, and there were shade cabanas set up with lounge chairs all the way down the beach. Paddle boarding is harder than it looks! There was a steep walk from the beach to the top of the island where the area behind the church offered amazing views of neighboring islands and reefs and that crystal clear blue and green water. If you're up for it, you can continue on that road to the other side of the island and Salt Whistle Bay, which has small beachfront restaurants and bars. Its a steep walk both ways, but Salt Whistle is lovely. That night we had our dinner at Candles on deck (deee-lish) and then went to the crew show, which was so much fun (don't miss it!). It was truly a perfect day. We did have 1 day at sea and the activities and demos during the day made the time fly. Some folks can sit and read all day and others cannot, so towel animals, fruit carving, trivia, galley tour and line dancing instruction were appreciated! Name that Tune in the evening was well attended and well managed by Hailey and Jesus. We almost won! The breakfast selections were varied and quite good in our experience. Plenty of fruit, hot items, and the best Muesli! We mostly had lunch on board and it was fine. Caesar salad was very good. Best part was discovered at the end of the trip - bread pudding - OMG - soooo good. Don't miss it. Dinner in the dining room offered a nice and varied selection. But the best dinners were enjoyed at the on-deck barbeque and at Candles. If you have the chance to take the galley tour, do it - it's amazing what they accomplish in such a small space. Overall, the food was well presented, tasted good, and the service was excellent. Disembarking was done reluctantly - we didn't want to leave. But, of course, it was efficiently handled in spite of 3 mega ships also in port. Our flight was 1pm, so we hired a taxi to take us up to Holetown and see a bit of the island that we didn't see on our one day ahead of the cruise. $80 got us a 1.5 hour tour plus trip to the airport, which seemed very fair.There are excursions available with airport transfer, but your flight had to be after 3:30pm. So, our thanks to the crew and fellow passengers for a wonderful week at sea and visits to new and interesting ports. This is an itinerary that the big ships cannot offer, take advantage of it! Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was our first small ship experience and we loved it. I was a little worried about not having a balcony but come to find out on a small ship it is just one flight of steps to sitting outside. The cabin had enough storage and space. ... Read More
This was our first small ship experience and we loved it. I was a little worried about not having a balcony but come to find out on a small ship it is just one flight of steps to sitting outside. The cabin had enough storage and space. The outdoor area is large with a bar and also set up in the morning for a continental breakfast. Very small pool and hot tub. The food and service was excellent and our Social Director (Felippe) was the best I have every seen. Everyone on the crew seemed genuinely happy and wanted us to have a great time. Other than Grenada we enjoyed all the ports or I should say harbors...we tendered into most of the small islands....one time we had to take the rubber boats into land...so if you have a mobility problem this could be difficult. Breakfast and lunch is buffet or order off the menu in a restaurant on the top level......dinner is down in the dinning room and is off a menu. You can also sign up to have dinner under the stars.........up on the deck - it was lovely. They also had a barbeque night up on the deck, most food I have ever seen and all of it was great, this was followed by line dancing with the crew. I think we will be hard press to go back to a big ship after such a great time on the smaller ship.......granted it was a little rocky on the first night due to a super moon but it calmed down after that. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was super fun! The ship is small, I think 190 or so passengers, and nearly a 1-1 ratio crew. It is wonderful, watching the anchor lift up, and then the music starting, as the beautiful sails slowly unfold, and we get underway. you ... Read More
This was super fun! The ship is small, I think 190 or so passengers, and nearly a 1-1 ratio crew. It is wonderful, watching the anchor lift up, and then the music starting, as the beautiful sails slowly unfold, and we get underway. you can’t really go wrong, with a friendly, helpful, cheerful crew, good food all day, and service, and the SEA! The magnificent, ever changing sea and sky! The fresh air, the sights, the tiny islands we visit… There are no elevators on this ship, but I was amazed at the fortitude with which some very elderly guests, went up and down the stairs several times a day, including one blind man. The guests were mixed, mostly couples, I’d say middle aged and a bit older perhaps, I’m sure it varies, with the sailing dates, as kids were back in school, when I went. I went solo, and had a great time - my only minor whine, was that after a large dinner, they had music and dancing in the lounge, and as a single, I found it awkward to dance. On a fabulous barbecue night, outside on the deck, the entertainment directors started us line dancing, so anyone could join in, and it was a blast. It’s great to have exercise, after a big meal. The pool is very small, and not heated, and it’s also, on the deck where the outside bar is, and which turns into the alternative dining spot “Candles”, in the evening, so no lovely night time swims in the moonlight are possible, which I usually adore, especially as I’m very pale, so I can swim without worrying about sunburn. The jacuzzi is there also. “Candles” has to be reserved, and each passenger is only allowed one night’s dining in Candles, unless they have room. They have a platform, which can be lowered, when we’re not sailing, or parked right in town, which is great fun. They provide you with snorkeling equipment, and all kinds of water sport goodies to enjoy. Luca was in charge of water sports, and very knowledgeable and helpful. The cabins are small, with no balcony, but charming, and old fashioned, and well designed. the beds are comfy, the rooms are clean, the showers hot, and there is a mini bar, plus TV with cable and DVD player. You’re allowed two bottle of wine per cabin I believe, to bring on board. Drinks are about $7.50 to $10.00 or more US. I didn’t buy any excursions, as I had already had to pay a single supplement, but they have tenders that take you to shore, and one can explore, or go to a beach and swim. This was only a 7 day cruise, so I just wanted to relax and have fun. Breakfast and lunch are at the “Verandah” Restaurant, with some, coveted seating outside. There is a small library, small spa, and the main dining room, which one does have to dress for a bit, and which is very nice. We did hit some swells, with the full moon, so the ship was gently (mostly gently), rocking us back and forth, but if you love the sea, you won’t care. Apparently the full moon often brings swells in the ocean. The islands we visited were beautiful, and the entertainment at night was pretty darn amusing. The singer was sweet, and had a beautiful voice, and Philipe, the head of Voyage something - was a hoot. Everyone had a great time, and everyone was sad and quiet the last night. It is just a great experience. I almost asked if they had any cabins available for the next sailing, so I could stay on another week! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My wife and I did this cruise on Dec. 16-23. It is our second with the Windstar line and 14th overall. We picked this trip because of the given itinerary ( three days in the Grenadines) was new for us. Here is our observations: ... Read More
My wife and I did this cruise on Dec. 16-23. It is our second with the Windstar line and 14th overall. We picked this trip because of the given itinerary ( three days in the Grenadines) was new for us. Here is our observations: Embarkation: was very smooth and quick. The reps met us at the terminal and collected our luggage. Ten minutes later a bus took us to the ship and the paperwork took us only five minutes to process. Once your issued your sea pass, your room steward will escort you to your room and will point out where everything is at. Room: very comfortable, spacious. Had plenty of storage. Wife liked the built-in table/dinette area. Bathroom was well lit and organized. Dining: all the meals were great. Breakfast and lunch in the Veranda was varied. Each meal had a buffet area with fruit, meat and cereals. The hot station had eight different items to choose from and a menu with five to six choices. What was nice was it never felt crowded or rushed at either meal. Dinner was nice, open seating to meet new people each night and a great four course menu with five different entrée choices. Ship: it was very comfortable. Enjoyed sitting up by the pool or in the lounge. There were 129 passengers (out of a max of 148) for this trip and I never felt crowded at any time. Ports: if you a lover of beach time, this is the trip for you. Grand Anse beach in Grenada, Dover beach in Barbados, Tobago Cays and Mayreau beaches were ideal. The taxi ride in Bequia was fun for us to research a couple of resorts for future trips. Service: what made us give this review a five star was the crew. Hands down was the best we ever had in our thirteen years of cruising. The wait staff in the dining areas and the bar staff remembered we were drinking diet coke and ginger ale and would have glasses ready as we were sitting down. That is just one example of the outstanding service we experienced from everyone on board this ship. There are four members of the crew we would like to extend special cudos to: Azhar (Cabin Steward): While showing us the room, Azhar had mentioned the laundry service and showed us how to fill out the form correctly. He would then follow up with us each day to see if we had anything to have cleaned. When he showed us the mini bar, he asked what we liked to drink and immediately brought extra of the diet coke. Each day he would ask if there was anything we needed to make our stay more comfortable. Gretchan (Receptionist): She knew our names before we had even met her. She greeted us personally the first day on the way to breakfast. She made us a personalized Christmas card, which was very sweet. My husband would saran aid her when we went through the lobby and got her some Skittles for just being her. Phillipe (Cruise Director): when our excursion did not meet the required number of people, he went to the vendor and made it happen. This was crucial because this catamaran trip to the location has been on my bucket list for ten years and he made it happen. His enthusiasm at the port talks and at trivia was welcomed. Jeffrey (Executive Chef): on the first day we met up with Jeff and asked him if he ever did an excursion with guests when he went shopping in port. He said he had not but had no problem joining us for a trip to the Farmers Market in Grenada. He met us at reception and over the next two hours spent his time this us helping us pick out different spices. Whenever we saw him on the ship he would come and talk to us at length. Overall this cruise was a great success, Those who would like to try the small cruise experience will have a delightful time taking this ship on any itinerary. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Was an excellent itinerary. 9 nights from Barbados to Aruba. Enjoyed this ship experience very much; staff was absolutely the best EVER. Can only think of 2 negatives and they would not deter us from going back. 1) The ships ... Read More
Was an excellent itinerary. 9 nights from Barbados to Aruba. Enjoyed this ship experience very much; staff was absolutely the best EVER. Can only think of 2 negatives and they would not deter us from going back. 1) The ships entertainment left a little to be desired. From a quality standpoint. Perhaps due to it being a Holiday cruise (over Thanksgiving). Their limited amount of songs tended to repeat. 2) I think the ship could do a better job with the shore excursions; there were several hiccups on a couple stops. And I think everyone rolled with it well. But at this level you would expect a little better. That being said. this was perhaps the best food we have had at sea in over 20 years. The staff was absolutely fabulous and amazing in every way. The itinerary was something that you couldn't get on just any ship. And the feel of a small ship was so appreciated. Can't wait to go again...just need to check out new itineraries and dates.! 5 Stars. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
My husband picked this cruise called the Best of the ABC Islands as his retirement (as of October 31) cruise; we liked the itinerary as it was to return to some of our favorite ports in the Grenadines and the ABC islands. Only two ports ... Read More
My husband picked this cruise called the Best of the ABC Islands as his retirement (as of October 31) cruise; we liked the itinerary as it was to return to some of our favorite ports in the Grenadines and the ABC islands. Only two ports would be new to us - Tobago and Bonaire. We are avid snorkelers and all the ports featured snorkeling excursions except St. Lucia; we did snorkeling excursions in all but two of them: St. Lucia and Mayreau which did offer an excursion to three locations, but we elected to snorkel at the end of the beach there (there was a day-long beach BBQ event included). Embarkation for us was very simple as we had arrived 2-1/2 hours after it began due to the scheduling of our flights. There were only 139 guests out of 212 full capacity, so we missed lunch and the Shore Excursions Mgr. Gonzalo was about to give his presentation shortly after checking in, followed by the safety drill. The ship was formerly owned by Seabourn and we had done research about all aspects (including Cruise Critic reviews and YouTube videos) of the Star Pride. We found public rooms were well maintained and included two lounges, two bars, a complete spa and gym, counter-current swimming pool, two hot tubs (one near pool & one at bow on deck 5), the Yacht Club (for views, books, early morning continental breakfast or lunch sandwiches), library next to casino, and Signature Shop. Specialty coffee is complimentary at any venue. See Cabin review below for details of our stateroom. The ship also has a Sports Marina aft with non-motorized equipment for use when anchored. Snorkeling equipment is available complimentary for the entire cruise as well. Two tenders are also stored in this area. The main dining room AmphorA restaurant was open seating from 7-9 p.m. daily for dinner only. You can ask for whatever size table you desired and change the option nightly. Verandah which was aft on pool deck was used for Breakfast (7-9:30 am) and Lunch buffet daily (usually 12:30-2). There was indoor seating, but most guests ate on deck. There were always 4-5 options for special orders or you could help yourself - I never found any type of food to be missing, though the hot lunch buffet variety was lacking. Many ate fresh fruits and salads, and there were always several desserts of the cake/pastry variety and two frozen options (ice cream and sorbet) with toppings of all kinds available. Verandah is transformed into Candles at night for an upscale (think Specialty dining) experience out on deck which all guests are complimented once during the sailing; however, reservations are required due to limited space (book at embarkation). Service was always excellent at all dining venues. Activities - There were several events that were part of the planned activities which included a deck BBQ dinner in Grenada with local entertainment by the Angel Harps Orchestra Steel Drum Band after line dancing with Staff and Crew for a half-hour prior to sailing. Another event was the Beach BBQ lunch on Mayreau, Grenadines (smallest inhabited Grenadine island). This was placed midway through the itinerary and made for a relaxing day after several busy port days. We, however, decided to explore the steep hillside to get views of the surrounding islands (definitely worthwhile). There was another town, Saltwhistle Bay which we had visited on a previous stop, on the other side which some of the guests explored as well. A surprise came at our last port when after a full day in Curacao on Thanksgiving following our "Turkey dinner", we found that Willemstad had decorated for the holidays all day, and during our 9 pm sail away, the town was lit beautifully for our enjoyment. On the sea day, there were several tours and demonstrations one could attend such as towel animal folding demonstration, cooking demonstration with Chef Stany, galley tour with chocolate covered strawberries, cocktail demonstration, photography seminar, engine room tour, and an innovative Putt Putt Golf Tournament. A movie and Card, Wii, & Board games were also available. There is a small casino with a few one-arm bandits, and a blackjack table. Five of the nights in port, we sailed after 6 p.m. (between 8 and midnight) and arrived no later than 8 a.m., allowing ample time in port. Entertainment - There were two duos, D'Harmony from South Africa and Mistura Fina from Argentina playing every night at the two venues of the Star Bar and Compass Rose. They also were featured during other events such as the Captain's party. There was also a Crew talent show at the end of the cruise, in addition to the local Steel Drum Band mentioned above. Staff/Crew/Service - With such a small ship with few guests, it was very easy to get to know everyone. The crew learns your name within 24 hours and there is great comraderie among everyone. Some of the guest services staff, the photographer and occasionally an officer participated on shore excursions. The Captain, Alan MacAry of Scotland, was very approachable and we had several conversations with him and he posed for us (not in the formal dress whites) as well, even while on the bridge when tendering at small ports. There is a deck area in front of the bridge and guests did participate in viewing and photographing arrivals and departures from ports while simultaneously seeing what the Capt. and officers were viewing. The exception sometimes occurred when the port required docking. He also frequented the Star Bar for the entertainment in the evening with his Chief Engineer. Ports Pigeon Island, St. Lucia (anchored) - We had visited this island several times, but this time, we anchored at Pigeon Island where local water sports is in full view including parasailing and snubing (half snorkeling/half diving); on the way to the Rainforest Hike and River Pool excursion, we passed through Castries, the capital. Our only disappointment with the entire cruise was this excursion as we had taken another rain forest excursion 15 years ago and could compare them. This one was rated moderate to difficult, but the accompanying photos did not indicate the steepness of the hills, both up and down, nor the occasional steps being steep and with rotten wood. This was the end of the rainy season, and there had been quite a bit of rainfall, adding muddy conditions to the mix. We literally spent 90%+ of our time looking at our feet and determining where to step and therefore did not enjoy the tour. The guide was exceptional in helping everyone, but no-one could enjoy looking around at much, as there was little level ground (even when stopping to look). Our excursions manager did secure a partial refund for us. Bequia (anchored) - Although we had visited less than two years ago along with Grenada and other Grenadine islands, we only had 4 hours then and really only walked through the town in 2015. We elected to snorkel and made two stops (our ship's photographer and a guest relations staff member was along as well). The tour also involved boating around the island a bit. We spent the afternoon exploring more of the town and some stayed ashore until late as sailing was at midnight. St. George's, Grenada (docked) - We opted for the Shadowfax Sail & Snorkel as we had done this on our last visit, but due to the wind then, were not able to snorkel where the excursion is scheduled to - at the Underwater Sculpture Garden. The tour is with a large 60 ft., well-maintained catamaran and stops at Hog Island (think Robinson Crusoe) past Point Salines along the Atlantic side of Grenada for our lobster full lunch prepared by locals which was as good as the first time we did this excursion. Charlotteville, Tobago (anchored) - Small quaint town. Our excursion Angel Reef/Glass Bottom Boat and snorkel, took us over the mountains to the northeastern town of Speyside to a private resort to board the boat. Angel Reef is very shallow, but I felt we moved too fast to be able to see what was passing below us. The snorkel was across the bay and was excellent. Saline Bay, Mayreau (anchored) - Island Event. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, we explored the hillside town of 300 and snorkeled at the end of the beach later. There were two optional tours, one with three snorkeling stops. Kralendijk, Bonaire (docked) - Our intention of snorkeling here (as it is ranked in the top ten of the Caribbean for diving and snorkeling) meant that we did two excursions, one private and one through the ship). We booked a morning, private tour online through Blue Bay Sailing. The owners are a couple transplanted from the Netherlands and they have a beautiful sailing boat with a lovely platform at aft to facilitate snorkeling. We sailed across the bay to "Little" Klein Bonaire - well-known in those parts for excellent snorkeling and diving. I then did a little shopping in town after lunch and we then took the mid-afternoon ship excursion Samur Sail, Beach, & Snorkel on a Siamese Sailing Junk. It also went to a different location around Klein Bonaire, where after anchoring, all guests transferred to a zodiac (which took two trips) to the beach. Then snorkelers walked the beach to Ebo's Reef, where we drifted with the current back to the zodiac at the beach. The scenery was quite different from the morning's snorkel but could see the wall for diving. Willemsted, Curacao (docked in the industrial port area) - I took a Unesco World City Heritage Walk as in the previous visits, I hadn't had the opportunity, conducted by a transplanted Dutch lady from the Netherlands -- included was walking across the Queen Emma pontoon bridge, the governmental buildings area, Punda, the Maritime Museum, and the floating market where Venezuelans sell their fruits and vegetables and fishermen sell today's catch. As noted above, we were treated to a most lovely holiday lights display as we sailed for Aruba. Later, I finally had the opportunity to visit the gymnasium as it is opened 24 hours. Disembarkation - Quick and easy - We had completed customs forms several days prior which enabled Windstar to complete customs for all guests, so we merely retrieved our luggage and went on our way. Many passengers had made arrangements to spend at least one night in Oranjestad, so there was a line of taxis available to transport everyone to their location. We stayed one night at the Divi Village Golf and Beach Resort, but also visited the Renaissance Resort's private Renaissance Island which has flamingos, iguanas and other wildlife at several different beaches, and snorkeling which I enjoyed. In the evening, I walked to the Divi beach to watch Star Pride sail on her next cruise, the same as ours in reverse. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I have been on a good many cruises. This was far and away the best. Service second to none. Smaller ship really a Yacht. Every room a Suite. Food magnificent. The excursions were so well thought out. Like went on a snorkeling excursion. 30 ... Read More
I have been on a good many cruises. This was far and away the best. Service second to none. Smaller ship really a Yacht. Every room a Suite. Food magnificent. The excursions were so well thought out. Like went on a snorkeling excursion. 30 foot new boat with 3 Yamaha 250's was so much fun getting there. Get in to smaller ports and they anchor and drop the back of the boat down and you are swimming, water skiing, sailing, snorkeling,. right off the end of the boat!!!! Room service was so fast. Just I could go on and on. Crazy fun and just 5 Star. Well I am a real foodie, and they had for instance a bar-b-q that was the most lavish and best I have ever ever seen. I ate so many fresh lobster tails I lost count. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our 3rd cruise with Windstar and had an amazing time! I've been reading the other reviews about the Star Legend and was very curious to see the "complaints" for myself. I read a lot of complaints about the ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise with Windstar and had an amazing time! I've been reading the other reviews about the Star Legend and was very curious to see the "complaints" for myself. I read a lot of complaints about the tenders. This would be the only aspect that I would agree with. We used the life boats on previous sailings, so using these tenders gave us more room and less fumes! The negative of these tenders is that the crew didn't seem to understand how to operate them. We were slammed into the dock many times before the tender was secured. This happened both times that we were anchored. The rest for the positive: We purchased transfers from Windstar from the Barbados airport and had a quick 15-minute drive to the port. Within 5 minutes we were walking up the stairs to the yacht. Check-in was quick as usual and we were escorted to our room by our room steward. Food was excellent everywhere - Amphora, Candles and the Yacht Club. We purchased the beverage package and had Shirley & Jocelyn making sure that our glasses were always replenished! On one day when our Windstar excursion was late getting back, the manager of Vernada/Candles (Yogi) made sure that lunch was extended until we got back to the yacht. We purchased Windstar's nutmeg & chocolate factory excursion. Excellent tour guide & driver, but the only thing that was confusing was that both factories were closed on a Sunday. We still toured the inside of both factories. The private event on Mayreau was excellent and the BBQ was amazing! The crew work so hard to get all of the food and water sports equipment tendered to the island. The deck party was postponed a day because of high winds in Curacao so it was re-scheduled for our last night. A perfect ending to an amazing cruise. Excellent food, excellent music by "Splash" and great entertainment from the staff. We're looking forward to booking the next cruise! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We were on the Wind Star, 4-masted sailing yacht . While this is a ship that only holds about 150 guests, it seems like they have about 1 for 1 on the crew. The ship is well taken care of in all regards. The food is at least equal to ... Read More
We were on the Wind Star, 4-masted sailing yacht . While this is a ship that only holds about 150 guests, it seems like they have about 1 for 1 on the crew. The ship is well taken care of in all regards. The food is at least equal to bigger ships. Our Captain was on her first cruise as Captain and was available, friendly and got us where we needed to go. We found the cabins in the middle of the ship had less movement than those in front or back. I have a walking problem and had my walker aboard. While they have no elevators, a crew member offered to carry my walker up any stairs that needed to be traversed. The rails are easy to hold onto and climb the stairs. Dining was available in about three areas. If you are interested in sitting outside, on top, you need to make reservations ASAP. The food was excellent and very accommodative on a needed diet. A lot of showmanship went into the meal. While entertainment on board was limited, there were a couple of times the total crew was involved in entertaining us. The big adventure was raising the sails every night and the music from "1492 conquest of paradise" and the total ship involvement. Most of the time, we were worn out by the evening from all of the daytime activity. Probably the service was as fine as any I have had on a ship (other than the Paul Gauguin, in Tahiti). There was always someone ready to help or fill a need every time I turned around. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
We had a delightful 7-day cruise aboard Windstar, departing Feb. 21. We left from and returned to Barbados, visiting Pigeon Island in St. Lucia, Grenada, and Tobago Cays, Mayreau and Bequia, in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. The ship ... Read More
We had a delightful 7-day cruise aboard Windstar, departing Feb. 21. We left from and returned to Barbados, visiting Pigeon Island in St. Lucia, Grenada, and Tobago Cays, Mayreau and Bequia, in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. The ship was nearly full with about 135 passengers. Boarding and departure went smoothly, in just minutes. No delays in getting to our stateroom, which was small but just fine. Very well organized, with more storage space than we used. Bathroom was small, but fine. A decent shower, no tub. Plenty of air conditioning and hot water. The ship is old, but has been nicely updated and looks wonderful. The public areas and rooms looked almost new, very well maintained and very pleasantly decorated. Service was friendly and good, but not overbearing. No pressure to buy shore excursions, drinks or souvenirs. Breakfast was by menu and buffet, lunch by buffet, and dinner by menu. Selection was excellent, food ranged from very good to excellent. Service was at times slow in the main dining room. We had room service once, and it was good. We were told virtually none of the food comes from local sources, which is unfortunate. Lamb from Barbados, for example, was something the ship should offer. Drinks were somewhat reasonably priced. The chef was available to talk. The captain was usually available to talk at least once a day. The bridge was frequently open. There was little to criticize on this cruise. The ship does allow smoking in part of the main rear deck, and a couple times that was annoying. Smoking needs to be eliminated. The whirlpool was nice but what passes for a swimming pool was in fact a whirlpool size tub. It could be eliminated and a second whirlpool added. We did one shore excursion, which went well. We heard no complaints about other excursions. We used tenders or zodiac boats to go ashore in most places, and there needs to be more emphasis on safety. Passengers in the zodiacs didn't know and weren't told something as basic as to hold onto the rope along the side. There was inadequate staff immediately available had someone fallen into the water. The ship isn't a true sailing ship, like a tall ship. But it has masts and the sails go up most days. When possible, the ship shuts down the engines and sails, which is fun. If you're looking for a cruise on a small ship that visits smaller places and gives you a good flavor of the Caribbean, I'd recommend Windstar.   Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
We are seasoned cruisers (Sea Goddess, Seabourn, Sea Dream, Silversea, Regent) but in the 20+ years of cruising we have never sailed on a "Wind" ship. We prefer small ships but we were concerned about the tightness of the ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers (Sea Goddess, Seabourn, Sea Dream, Silversea, Regent) but in the 20+ years of cruising we have never sailed on a "Wind" ship. We prefer small ships but we were concerned about the tightness of the staterooms and the publicity blurb which seemed to aim at younger passengers. What a pleasant surprise! We have just completed a Windstar Caribbean cruise and found it difficult to criticise: Suites tight but ok, with more storage space than we could fill. Bathrooms tight but brilliantly designed with the best shower we have experienced on a cruise. The whole ship has been beautifully and cleverly refurbished. Food very good standard. Crew very good, friendly and attentive - high ratio staff/passengers. Loved the informality (which we did not believe we would!) All officers very approachable and informative. Passengers - good mixture of all ages and the informality is contagious. Open dining. Very good destinations and tours and sensible pricing of tours. Enjoyed the "sailing" which they make a feature. Laundry very good and sensibly priced (take the $109 package). Minimal entertainment (which suited us!) Veranda for breakfast/lunch is beautifully designed and an attractive facility. Downsides: Hated having to sign for everything. Disliked only having portholes in suites - no fresh air. Because of the timing of the "next day talk", there tends to be a rush for Dinner at 7.30pm. I would have no hesitation in recommending Windstar and we will be repeating the exercise.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
What a spectacular cruise. We sailed out of Barbados on February 7th. We stayed 2 nights prior, and 1 night post cruise. Of all the cruise lines I’ve been on, Wind Star is by far my #1 choice. There are no Ping-Pong or shuffleboard ... Read More
What a spectacular cruise. We sailed out of Barbados on February 7th. We stayed 2 nights prior, and 1 night post cruise. Of all the cruise lines I’ve been on, Wind Star is by far my #1 choice. There are no Ping-Pong or shuffleboard tournaments, no drinking games, no pushy drink servers - but there is a whole lot of luxury, plenty of rest, beautiful small island stops, and outstanding views all the time. Maybe young adults, who are in their teens & 20’s would prefer some craziness over these small, classy, personable cruise ships but that would have to be about it. This was our 2nd Windstar cruise. Our last one was on the Wind Surf, only 10 months prior to this. That in itself says a whole lot about my impression of Windstar. The Windstar’s Wind Star, had about 130 passengers this trip, so it wasn’t sold out completely but it was full. Some days it was hard to get a lounge chair, however we always did find one. The casino is very small with only 2 tables and maybe 10 slot machines, the gym had 3 treadmills, 2 bikes, & 1 incumbent machine. There were also some weights. The deck plan layout was perfect: deck 4 had the pool & Veranda for breakfast & lunch. Deck 3 was the lounge, casino, restaurant, shop, and front desk. Decks 1 & 2 are the rooms. Deck 2 has the gym & sports platform. The meals were incredible, no complaints at all, only praise from me. They have everything at both breakfast & lunch with the buffet and/or the menu. The diner is open seating and always seemed to have a different menu. The bar staff and crew were again perfect. If you’ve been – Charlie, Noy, Phillip, Rene, and Tata are the only names I remember now that it’s been 2 weeks since I returned. My memory fades as quickly as my tan. Those guys were all wonderful. The island stops on this tour were superb. I can’t imagine a better itinerary. Barbados – go to the Boatyard. They have a good beach with music and lots to do. Fun! Their price also includes a ride back to the ship. Pigeon Island – we walked up to the fort, then down to the beach. This was our only rainy day. More like 4 hours of lite rain, mist, and clouds, then it was perfect. It’s not a tremendously hard walk up to the top, but it is steep & a little slippery when wet. I’d call it a challenging hike. Grenada – we took a cab to The Aquarium restaurant. Excellent beach, food & drinks. Mayreau – Beach party – it was great! Then we took a catamaran out for some snorkeling. This was worth it even though we were tired from the party & volleyball. They took us to a little sandbar island. I think it’s a Once-in-a-lifetime thing. Bequia – we just walked around. It’s best, after you get to the dock, to walk to your right. It quickly turns very nice and leads you to the beach where the ship’s little zodiac rafts pick-up & drop-off. Tobago Cays – we did the Tobago Cays Snorkel. $75 – absolutely worth it. My wife doesn’t snorkel, she stayed on the catamaran and spotted more turtles than I did while I was snorkeling. The fish, coral, and turtles where everywhere. I was asked “which ship did you prefer: Wind Surf or Wind Star”. I have to say the Wind Surf. The Wind Surf carries twice the number of passengers: 290, which is still small but there’s more of a chance to meet people of your type. And more important is the entertainment. The Wind Star had only 1 guy playing the piano – “John”. He was pretty good, but not near what the Wind Surf has: a duet up at the pool bar & occasionally in the lounge, AND there is also a 5 piece band at the lounge. But, you tell me that I’m sailing with Windstar again, and I won’t argue about which ship I want.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
Lets start with this nice ship with only 140 passengers. You will feel comfortable the first moment you step in. Quality of the food is perfect and you can enjoy apart from the nice islands the cuisine of the chef. People give you the ... Read More
Lets start with this nice ship with only 140 passengers. You will feel comfortable the first moment you step in. Quality of the food is perfect and you can enjoy apart from the nice islands the cuisine of the chef. People give you the impression that they are there to serve you. Allways with a smile and a nice comment. Let me especially name: Natasha - purser on board. Knowing you from the first day by name, helpfull and friendly and trying to solve every problem - in case there is. Cabins are a litte small but fits perfect the needs we had. We went to a cruise to enjoy sea, sand and sail. We did not want to loose time doing that in our cabin. Be sure: We will come back Thank you Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
We took the ‘Jewels of the Caribbean’ tour around the Windward Islands on MSY ‘Windstar’. The ship is well equipped. Cabins are on two decks and all are alike and of similar size, except the Owner's Suite. They offer generous ... Read More
We took the ‘Jewels of the Caribbean’ tour around the Windward Islands on MSY ‘Windstar’. The ship is well equipped. Cabins are on two decks and all are alike and of similar size, except the Owner's Suite. They offer generous space, with a large bed, a sitting area, and ample storage space. Passengers were all over 40, possibly over 50, mainly North American couples, with a handful of British and other European couples. Everyone was very sociable. The food is high quality and portions are generous. The wine list is extensive, and the 'house' wines are excellent. There was a very high staff to to passenger ration (about 1:1), and the staff were all very pleasant and helpful. Shore excursions are well organised and interesting. The only issue we had was with the so called 'Premium alcohol package' about which advance information is completely inadequate. Moreover, there appears little rationale for what is or is not included. A glass of wine from the range of house wines, costing up to $12, is included; a glass of Sherry charged at $8 is not. Whisky and Gin included; Brandy is not. Check details before you sign up. On the other hand, the unlimited laundry package is great value.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
This was our fourth Windstar cruise, second time for this itinerary. We have been on Wind Spirit three times and this was our first cruise on Wind Star. We were looking forward to this cruise, not only to escape the winter but also to ... Read More
This was our fourth Windstar cruise, second time for this itinerary. We have been on Wind Spirit three times and this was our first cruise on Wind Star. We were looking forward to this cruise, not only to escape the winter but also to experience the new cabin design that has been implemented on the Wind Star. We were extremely pleased with the new layout. Lots of storage spaces, six electrical outlets (three 110 and three 220), larger safe located in closet. Our ports were: St. Lucia, Grenada, Tobago Cays, Mayreau and Bequia. Since we are not shoppers and prefer small Caribbean islands, this was a perfect itinerary for us. On St. Lucia and Bequia, the water sports platform was out – on Tobago Cays and Mayreau, the water toys were available at the beach. Since this was Super Bowl weekend, it was great that Windstar set up a projection screen on Pigeon Island, St. Lucia, so that everyone could have the opportunity to see the game. They ran tenders until midnight. The also set up a burger/hot dog bar on the ship so that you could eat before going ashore for the game. Nice planning, Windstar. The food onboard was very good and we always appreciate the size of the portions at dinner, so you can enjoy multiple courses and not feel uncomfortable at the end of the meal. The wine selection was fine and fairly priced. Breakfast and lunch included made to order specials each day as well as buffet items. We always found something to tempt us. The entertainment in the evening was just so-so for this cruise. We have experienced better as well as worse. Of course, as always, the crew was outstanding. From Endro remembering us as we dropped off our luggage to Gusman recognizing us on the first night and saying, “Welcome home.” We will continue cruising with Windstar because we love their itineraries and the small ships. However, for us, their greatest asset is their crew who work so hard to make every cruise special for us.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We were looking for something different from a typical cruise... No formal nights... Relaxing, elegant, and fun...we found it! Being on a large yacht instead of a huge ship was intimate and you got to know as many or little people as you ... Read More
We were looking for something different from a typical cruise... No formal nights... Relaxing, elegant, and fun...we found it! Being on a large yacht instead of a huge ship was intimate and you got to know as many or little people as you wanted. Only about 125 guests and over 100 staff made it a great experience, staff had fun and were genuine and wanted to be sure you had an amazing time. The excursions were all picked to be spectacular and not the norm. We did a catamaran cruise with snorkeling and a lobster lunch on a beach. The ride was amazing, the boat beautiful, and the lunch the best ever...seriously great beach lunch. The ship was able to easily change it's course a bit if needed for rough waters and pulled in a cove one night so we wouldn't rock too much while sleeping. The captain was great and endured sails were up as much as possible... Think it was like 95% of time. The deck BBQ and steel band was amazing under the stars. The beach lunch BBQ was neat and the exclusive snorkeling beach. The little towns were great and different. Wifi is non existent on ship...it's the one thing they need is free great wifi. But we connected free at bars on almost every island and being disconnected other times was nice.... Just hard if u need it. Everyone was given free snorkel gear for week and that was nice. The deck chairs were comfy, the pool bar awesome, just a great trip. The food was great. Main dining, candles, the breakfast and lunch buffets , all better than on a normal cruise. And buffet still same with a menu to order from too...crazy great! Their alcohol package is too expensive and we drink enough ;-) still didn't come close to spending what we would have on package so skip till they make it more sensible. All staff were amazing... Montse was great, daddy, Bree, Andre, there were just too many to name but each made our cruise.... Even the mechanic guys fixing stuff were fun and friendly. You can tell the staff lives what they do and care. We met great people too. Lounge was kind of a waste ... Entertainment wasn't great and it was typically empty nightly. They should move music to deck nightly after dinner as many would participate and did one night they did it. The night they let some guests sing and okay guitar it was full until the entertainer started singing with them ... She was nice just not good so people left. ;-( We will cruise again on windstar... Looking forward to their new ships as well. If you go out of barbados....the island and people are the friendliest of any island so far. This small of an intimate ship allowed us to get in port at 530am and make an 8am flight home..,wish we would have stayed a few days like we came in early to do though. Highly recommended to anyone Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2013
Made it back to icy Toronto on Saturday. Excellent Cruise on Wind Star! We stayed in the Barbados for 2 days before the cruise at Courtyard by Marriott. The hotel and staff was excellent. Walk across the road to the Coconut Court which is ... Read More
Made it back to icy Toronto on Saturday. Excellent Cruise on Wind Star! We stayed in the Barbados for 2 days before the cruise at Courtyard by Marriott. The hotel and staff was excellent. Walk across the road to the Coconut Court which is on the beach. They did not seem to care if we walked down their steps to the beach. We ate breakfast there in the morning looking at the beach and water in 80 degrees! Excellent. If you walk out the Coconut Court and turn left on the beach, walk about 5 minutes, you come to a great boardwalk and it goes to Accra Beach (some call it Rockby Beach). The Accra Resort is on this beach and it is a fabulous beach. There is a bar at the end called the Tiki and a beer there included a chair on the beach. We went there on our day back until our plane left. Great place. Wind Star was a great cruise. Over night to St. Lucia was rough. Rolled around the bed most of the night but it wasn't too bad. Anchored near Pigeon Island. We went to the beach there. It was ok but rather small. You can walk through the gates of the park (Pigeon Island Park) and walk the beach at the Sandals. In the afternoon the Captain pulled anchor and sailed to the "Pitons". Great sailing with the wind. Sailed all night to Grenada. Was a bit rough but manageable. In Grenada, we took a taxi to the Grand Anse Beach. Long and beautiful. We were early so no one bothered us. We walked to the end of the beach and went to "The Owl" beach bar. As long as you buy something they let you use their chairs and washrooms. Beer was 2 for $5 US. I thought was good. A couple form England were staying at the resort there and told us there was a path to the next beach (Morne Rouge). It was a steep climb but we made it. It was a smaller beach but also had a bar with the same deal as before. Buy a beer and chairs are free. Both were beautiful walking beaches. We walked back to Grand Anse and caught a Water Taxi back to the Wind Star. Great little cruise. Next was Tobago Cays. The water was to rough for a tender so the captain set sail for Union Island. Really wanted to see the waters at Tobago but alas Mother Nature took over. The beach at Union Island was "rustic". I am thinking this beach (called Chatham Beach) was like the Caribbean used to be. Several little shacks that sold cold drinks and run on solar cells. We stayed there for most of the day. It was okay. Next up was Mayreau. Great little island with a beautiful beach. We anchored in Saline Bay by the town of 300 people. My wife and I walked across the island to Salt Whistle Bay. What a beach! Had a beer a the "Last Bar before the Jungle". It was the only bar. People were very friendly. We had a tour "dog" for the whole walk. The walk is demanding as the road is very steep. We stopped at the church at the top of the hill for a rest. It rained very hard while we were there but it was hot! Wind Star had a beach barbeque that was exceptional at Mayreau. The water here was crystal clear so bring your snorkel. Last day was at Bequia. There was a boardwalk along the water through the town. It was worth walking and ended at a small beach were a resort used to operate. In the pm we took the zodiac for the ship to Princess Margret Beach. Again it was a walkable gorgeous beach. A lady was selling cold drinks (2 for $5 US) but she charged for the chairs ($6.00 each). Great way to end our cruise. Wind Star had a excellent food and the service was great. Staff were friendly and seemed sincere. Worth every dollar we spent. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
We just returned from the Tobin James Wine Cruise aboard the Windsurf. I've travelled on many ships in the past but the service on this particular cruise far exceeded my expectations. The cabins for such a small ship are unusually ... Read More
We just returned from the Tobin James Wine Cruise aboard the Windsurf. I've travelled on many ships in the past but the service on this particular cruise far exceeded my expectations. The cabins for such a small ship are unusually large, and although there are no balcony cabins you don't miss it. We especially enjoyed the DVD player and slippers. And the closets are so roomy. You would think the larger cruise lines would get a clue. Our cabin steward was wonderful. I gave him the nickname stealthy because we never ever saw him yet no matter what time of day or night we left our room, when we returned it was spotless! And there were no bags of laundry cluttering the hallways. The service was exceptional, from the bar waiters who always remembered which wine you were drinking to the captain who has a wonderful sense of humor. I can't say enough wonderful things about the ship and its crew. And because this was a special sailing full of James Gang people, it was like a huge wine party at sea with 300 of our closest friends. Almost forgot about the food which was simply amazing. The wine pairing dinner our last night had so much food, I could only take one bite of the dessert. The onboard luau was wonderful and the specialty restaurant delicious. My only "complaint" is that they only let you sign up for one specialty restaurant per cruise, to give everyone a chance to experience them. If you've never cruised on a smaller ship because you thought it was cost prohibitive, I sincerly urge you to try Windstar. There is simply no comparison for the value you received compared to the larger mass market ships. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
This was our 6th Windstar cruise and out 3rd on the Surf. No surprises - which is a good thing. Check in and registration was easy and fast and we were greeted by the captain before boarding. Inside, there were two women checking people in ... Read More
This was our 6th Windstar cruise and out 3rd on the Surf. No surprises - which is a good thing. Check in and registration was easy and fast and we were greeted by the captain before boarding. Inside, there were two women checking people in along with the Hotel Manager, Henri Lemay, greeting people. It took less than 15 minutes from the time we walked onto the ship until we were in our cabin. Since we had just been on this ship last summmer, we didn't expect much in the way of change. The cabins were spotless, the beds comfortable and the staff friendly and welcoming. We recognized many of the waiters, and bar staff from previous trips and they knew us. I'd guess more than 40% of the passengers were alumni. We left Barbados on time and headed to our sea day. The itinerary had to be changed around a bit due to an unforeseen illness, but personally I don't think it took away from the trip. For the first time, there were two "lectures" during the sea day. I don't recall any of the Windstar ships offering this before. I think it's a great idea and I'd encourage them to keep doing it. The ship was about 95% filled, but you still have no trouble finding quiet places inside our outside to read or sleep. The Surf is a beautiful ship and the crew keeps it amazingly clean. The food was the same - good, but not great. The addition within the last few years to add La Marche and Candles was a good one and making reservations for either or both was simple. No lines. The ports of call were okay. Perhaps my wife and I have had enough of the Caribbean, but to me they all begin to look the same. One issue everyone had was the decision to dock at Portsmouth instead of Roseau on Dominica. Many people complained because the former is a depressed, dirty little town with no stores and no shops, and virtually no beach. So we quickly went back to the ship and spent the bulk of the day there. We also went to Granada (very nice), Bequia (good to visit, but not much to see our do), Mayreau, (not road, no stores). Unless one was very adventurous, there was little to see or do. The traditional picnic on the beach was nice, but the lounges were too close together and there was very little shade. We again opted to go back to the ship. (Seriously, we're not people who really want to just hang out on the ship!). I think the highlight of this cruise was New Year's Eve. Nearly everyone on board came into the lounge to hear two very good bands. They played continuously for several hours and a bit before midnight the entire crew joined in. People seemed to have a great time, but noboday got out of hand Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2010
I must say I disagree with some of the previous review - a cruise like this is what you make of it. As a first-timer, my expectations were slightly different. I was glad to see a mixture of ages aboard - more younger people than normal, I ... Read More
I must say I disagree with some of the previous review - a cruise like this is what you make of it. As a first-timer, my expectations were slightly different. I was glad to see a mixture of ages aboard - more younger people than normal, I was told, which added some energy. The ship is a beautiful vessel with a maximum of 300 or so passengers - a perfect size. Pre-cruise, we stayed at Little Arches, a wonderful boutique hotel on the south coast across the mesmerising Enterprise/Miami beach, one of the most impressive stretches of white sand in Barbados. In my opinion, this is a better choice than Windstar's preferred hotel (although rooms are limited). Our first impressions of Windsurf were good. When the sails were out it was very romantic. On the first port of call to St George's Grenada, we lined up next to a big Thomson ship with capacity for 1000 passengers. Everyone was glad to be on Windsurf - a much more elegant ship. One of the strengths of Windsurf is the ports of call and excursions - many bigger ships do not offer the same interesting itineraries. We started off with a sea day which was good to get accustomed to the ship. Someone had a heart-attack through the night and another had overdosed on pills - a dramatic start to the holiday, although somewhat unusual. I was impressed with how Windsurf dealt with these incidents and simply swapped over the sea day supposed to take place later on in the cruise. Very efficient and no fuss at all. St George's, Grenada, the first port of call was a beautiful harbour and the ship offered several excursions. We chose the essential sight seeing tour which gave a superb overview of the island with some great photograph opportunities over the lush green island. We visited a cocoa making house where a man showed how cocoa was made and explained differences between spices such as nutmeg. At Fort Frederick we enjoyed paronamic views to the sound of a steel drum. Later on, we visited the dream-like white sand Grand Anse beach. The next stop was Bequia, Grenadines - a stunning island with a walkway surrounded by yachts and turquoise water, where we enjoyed lobster pizza and took another excellent excursion. Princess Margaret beach and Lower Bay were charming rustic beaches. Mayreau, Grenadines, was another highlight. We visited the sublime Salt Whistle Bay, a perfect picture postcard beach - a Caribbean hideaway. After that we took a catamaran to Tobago Cays - we thought we had died and woken up in heaven! The waters were a mixture of cyan, turquoise and marine blue. Portsmouth, Dominica was a bit of a disappointment - it was raining and we didn't get to see much of the beautiful rainforest or the rare parrots inhabiting the island. This was the only occasion that the nature trail excursion we chose fell short. Pigeon Island, St Lucia though was fantastic - a windswept beach with the Atlantic ocean bashing against rocks and an excellent barbecue. The ship also visited the magnificent pitons near soufriere. On board the ship, we made reservations at Le Marche - the outdoor restaurant serving delicious sea-food and Candles, the romantic steak restaurant. We dined at The Restaurant, the main eaterie, which was more of what you would expect of a mass market cruise experience. Degrees, the mediterranean restaurant, was much better with a good standard of food, although not matching what you would probably find on the high end luxury cruises. In terms of entertainment, there was always something going on. A special treat was a member of Kool and the Gang performing for New Year's Eve! Otherwise, the house band was not bad. Most surprisingly an excellent classical pianist was also on board. The lecture by Sir Harold Evans on the sea day on American innovators was extremely interesting - we certainly did not expect to learn anything new on our cruise. Post-cruise, we opted for the Hilton Barbados - a beautifully located hotel, although lacking in basic customer service. In summary, Windsurf is an excellent choice for a first-time cruiser. We are already contemplating our next trip to the Caribbean aboard the capable hands of Windsurf. We met many interesting well travelled people on board. The majority of passengers were American with a sprinkling of British and other European couples. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
I will try to provide a VERY detailed review of our first ever Windstar cruise. A little background, this is only our 2nd cruise ever, our only other experience cruising was a massive Carnival ship, which was a great cruise at the time ... Read More
I will try to provide a VERY detailed review of our first ever Windstar cruise. A little background, this is only our 2nd cruise ever, our only other experience cruising was a massive Carnival ship, which was a great cruise at the time because we were entertaining my 13 year old daughter (Wife and I, early 50's, normal vacation is to pick one area and explore it very thoroughly). As a matter of fact this year's big trip was to be to Tuscany in the fall, but winter in Vermont was really dragging on, and when an email offering a tremendous discount on Windstar came across my desk, off we went. First stop was Barbados; we spent the night before at the Silver Point hotel. Big shout out, as this was a GREAT place to unwind and get ready for the cruise. A bit far from anything but great fun watching the kite surfers and the food at the on site restaurant was really good if a bit expensive. On Sunday we went on a tour of the island with a friend we met on the Cruisecritic boards and had great fun. Saw lots and lots of beaches then went back to the hotel to pick up our bags and lunch. Embarkation; truly could not of been easier. We boarded early as we were so excited to start exploring the ship. Walked into the terminal, handed off the luggage, and got a nice cold glass of water, picture taken and on board we went. On Board, for an older ship the public spaces are incredible clean and shiny. That said some areas are getting threadbare, carpets at the gangways, around the elevators and some parts of the cabins were dirty and dusty. Also I noticed some sheets had a few small stains but all in all a truly beautiful ship. Speaking of cabins we had quite a run around with ours, when we booked we were given cabin 122, mid ship, 1st floor, perfect spot. Then we were upgraded for free , Thank You, to the 2nd floor right where the elevators were, no thank you, so when I called back to say we rather have to room we booked, I was told no problem, but I never noticed that we had been moved to 111, same category but further back of the ship. This posed no problem with rocking but our cabin was right at the gangway level, so privacy was a problem when the tenders were loading. Cabins were small but very comfortable and served their purpose perfectly. Of course being such a small ship, it was no problem at all finding our way around. Food; I though the meals were incredible, something different every day. Food always fresh, well seasoned and some of the dishes truly 5 star quality. Over all I would say the food was well above average. Probably the most disappointing meal was the outside restaurant called La Marche, 5 course seafood menu that stayed the same all week and just didn't seem to be inspired. Degrees, on the other hand, with its Mediterranean inspired menu was excellent as was every meal we had in the main dining room. The main dining room had at least 5 choices for entrees every night including some unusual ones, my very first oxtail and it was GREAT. Breakfast and lunch were very good with made to order choices available every day along with a buffet.. The breakfast buffets were your standard fare but 4 to 5 made to order choices were available everyday (Tiramisu pancakes YUM). The lunch buffet changed every day, the Asian inspired buffet was really good. My one pet peeve was the absolute ridiculous pricing for sodas and bottled water, c'mon why rip off your customer that way?? Drinks and wine were expensive but not crazy bad and as a wine freak, I was very happy with the by the glass options we had for dinner. Staff was great. I have never seen a more polished, happy group of employees. Everyone really seemed to love their job and seemed to take great pleasure in serving you. Our room steward, while mainly invisible, kept our room spotless, (well if you ignored the dust and fingerprints near the ceiling, that is, but even we didn't notice that till the last day). Bar staff, front desk staff, were always smiling and helpful. I can not remember one single time when someone appeared to be in a bad mood. Activities, passengers and miscellaneous; For the most part, forget any activities on board, they had scheduled a couple of WII tournaments, a putting contest and nobody ever showed up, of course (and I may get lynched for this) if the "cruise director" had made a quick, simple announcement maybe we would of gotten a few people. Speaking of the cruise director, he must have the easiest job in the whole world as I never saw him do a thing except sing at the lounge one night and introduce staff. Passengers tended to be between the ages of 40-60 though we saw a few 30 something's and one incredible lady of 93 on her 15th Windstar cruise. Most everybody was really friendly, sorta felt like one big extended family. OK this appears to have gone on long enough, quickly just a few things, sign up for the laundry deal, $99 per cabin unlimited laundry well worth it, you have to be a serious drinker to get your monies worth from the pre paid deals, more modern music in the Compass Rose, great pre dinner music in the Lounge, talent show was fun, comedian is the absolute worse I have ever saw he must be the owners relative to keep a job. Any specific questions please feel free to write me; andyb1958 at comcast net I will post a link to our web album in the cruise critic Windstar board once I have the pictures all up. Bequia; Our least favorite stop, dirty, taxi driver tried to rip us off. Turtle sanctuary was OK, beach was nice but there is better later in the trip. Dominica; Port itself is only OK what made this an incredible stop was the Caribbean cooking class we took, Daria and staff are unbelievable as is her home. If you have a chance do this tour 5+ for the class. St Lucia; Another fun day, we went zip-lining which was alot of fun and then Windstar had a picnic for us on a private beach. We then explored the back side of Pigeon Island which is very cool. All in all one stop I wish we would of had more time to explore the island. Grenada; Would of liked to explore the town and market place more but we had booked a river tubing adventure, DO NOT do this unless you know exactly how much rain fall they have had . On our trip they had no rain for the last 3 months and the water level was WAY too low. This trip should have been canceled in my opinion and we felt ripped off. Our only disappointment in the whole trip, Windstar if you are reading this, pay attention to the trips you offer and warn your customers before they spend money. If we had been told the river level was low and we could choose another trip we would have. Mayreau; Incredible beach, killer hill, cool bars, great stop Tobago; Best stop of the whole trip, private guide who was unbelievable. saw almost the whole island and a huge amount of birds , Hiked the rain forest great time Read Less
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