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Sail Date: February 2011
Notes on the Cabin: • Plenty of room • Space under bed for all luggage • Lots of hangers, drawers, cubbies • Safe is pretty small. Holds iPad but not laptop. • There is always ice provided morning & night ... Read More
Notes on the Cabin: • Plenty of room • Space under bed for all luggage • Lots of hangers, drawers, cubbies • Safe is pretty small. Holds iPad but not laptop. • There is always ice provided morning & night • Mini bar & sodas in the room (for a fee) • Evian water in the room ($3.25 a bottle. We drank a lot!) • Laundry line in the shower • Regular shower & handheld • Table pulls out of the vanity, if you want to eat in the room I guess • DVDs plus 3 movies play continuously every day (Social Network, Eat Pray Love, The American, Ocean movies) • No towel animals! But good turndown service with mints, new ice, new towels, etc. • We did the laundry package, which was $99 for the week for the cabin. It was such a great thing to have. We sent laundry out every day (by 9am) and it was in our cabin by around 4 that afternoon. We cut down how much clothes we brought and went home with clean clothes! Plus they will iron things for you too. We thought it was well worth it. On-board: • Every evening there was a talk about the next day's port of call, plus excursions. Make sure you attend the Captain's Champagne Party. The Captain of the Wind Spirit (John Clark) is hysterical!! Plus, you get to meet the officers. There are also delicious hot appetizers passed around during this time. (every night) Nice time to relax between the day & the evening. Plus, you are right there by the dining room so that once the talk is over you can go right to dinner if you are hungry. A few nights we did that and a few nights we hung out for a while and went to dinner a bit later. Dinner is from 7:30-9:30, and there are tables for 2, 4 or more. • The casino is small but fun. The dealers explained a bit for those of us who didn't quite know what was going on. Plus everyone around the table explained too! They played Blackjack, Texas Hold'em, and a few other card games. There were about 15 slot machines. • The gift shop opened whenever the ship wasn't docked (the casino too) so the hours change every day. The shop is small but carries some necessities plus logo items & other souvenirs. • The library had tons of DVDs and some books & games. There is also a computer there & printer, but you do have to pay to access the internet. They sell cards for wireless internet, but we didn't buy one after being informed that it was about the speed of dial-up! • We didn't use the spa. • There will be a Flyer left in your cabin each day that tells times of events, meals, disembarkation, when the ship sails, emergency numbers, etc. • By the reception desk, there is information each day on the port of call including maps, beaches, etc. • We never had a problem finding a lounge chair. • There are beach towels that you can take as you get off the boat, and a laundry you can drop them in when you get back on board. Very convenient! • There are wet refreshing wash clothes by the door for when you return from your day on the island. • You scan your key card every time you go on & off the boat, so no one gets left behind. (or if someone does, they know who it is!) • The waiters will quickly get to know you by name, and you'll get to know them too. Everyone is super friendly. • The entertainment was a piano player. "Loungy" but good. • The crowd was probably from late 20's -late 60's with the majority in the 30's-40's I think. • There were lots of people who were first-timers, but lots who had been on a Wind Spirit before. We met one couple that was on their 23rd week! • You'll get a beach bag in your room the first or second day. First timers get a Windstar bag and returnees get Foremast Club bags. • Bring water to the islands! Especially if you are doing the Baths trip, because the little snack bar wasn't open when we got there. • The gym is small but well equipped. But I do think it helps if you aren't too tall! Wish I had brought: • Reusable water bottle • Capri pants (for some reason I only brought long pants and dresses for dinner,) • darker makeup (I couldn't use my regular makeup or blush after a few days because of my tan!) • adapter (we went to St. Martin a day early, and the power there is 220) • a paperback book (for those times I didn't want to risk getting my Kindle wet or lost) Really glad I brought: • Power strip (there were only 2 outlets in the room) • Battery powered tea lights (used for atmosphere in the room, and also as a nightlight in the bathroom) • Ziplocs (great for gathering seashells!) • Snorkeling gear (didn't have to worry about borrowing them or returning them) • Binoculars (they were great to look at the other ships/yachts!) • Sunscreen • Wet sack (kept stuff in it that I didn't want to chance getting wet) • A little purse for carrying around the boat (key card, camera, etc.) • Underwater camera (for snorkeling, and just to not have to worry about it getting wet!) Didn't need to bring: • Detergent (since we did the laundry package) • Jeans (too warm!) • Waterproof Jacket • Shawl (I had a light sweater that I used one evening, and a long sleeve shirt I wore on the deck sometimes)' • Umbrella (it rained, but very briefly when it did. Easy enough to wait it out or duck under something.) Meals: • Great BBQ on deck one night. Off the grill they served ribs, burgers, chicken, fish, beef, and lobster. There was also a roasted suckling pig that was delicious. The cold buffet had delicious giant shrimp, crab legs, cheeses, all kinds of salads, fruits and desserts, including a chocolate fountain. The restaurant is closed so you have to eat there but it is really fun! Plus, afterwards the crew does a bunch of line-dancing, guests join in, and it was a really fun night. • Fun BBQ on beach off Virgin Gorda. If you do Bath's tour (worth it!) then they will take you straight there after. • Always lots of daily specials, with Chef recommending a menu, but they always have grilled steak, chicken, salmon & vegetarian something. • Breakfast in restaurant, but continental breakfast by the pool until 11am. Then lunch (limited menu or you can do the buffet) • Afternoon tea by the pool. Sweets, fruits, little sandwiches. • Also around the pool when there are a lot of people, there are passing around of fruit skewers and/or sherbet. • "Candles" is okay. I guess if it is nice they do it outside, but it was always too windy. The one time we did it, it was in the Veranda and it was fine, and you can dress casually, but it's more fun & elegant in the dining room. Also apparently the menu there is the same each night. (at Candles.) • They did have the beverage packages, but we didn't do any of them. Most cocktails were about $6.50. Tortola: We did the Royal Dolphin Swim. It was FANTASTIC!! Expensive, but worth it. We spent 2 hours with the dolphins, petting them, having 2 of them pull us by the fins, having 2 of them come up behind us & push us into the air from under our feet! We got to kiss them & they kissed us, and more tricks. It was amazing & the dolphins & trainers are all very safe. They take photos and the price is $100 for ALL your photos on disc plus 2 big photos, or $25 each for photos. So it makes sense to do the $100 because you are probably going to want more than 4 photos! Went to Pusser's Bar. Delicious conch fritters, Painkillers, and a big gift shop. There is free wi-fi right when you walk into town. The people on the ship told us to look for a yellow building on the left called "The Bat Cave." It was closed but there was plenty of free wi-fi flying around, so we just sat on a staircase and used it. We docked in Tortola. (Only place we docked.) Only there until 2pm, but we had plenty of time to do our tour, walk around town, etc. Virgin Gorda: Went to Virgin Gorda. (Our itinerary was changed from the original, because people had requested to see the Super Bowl so we had to go somewhere that it was being shown.) Got to VG in time for people to take the tender to The Bitter End Yacht Club to watch the game. We didn't go, and had a nice dinner on board. NOTE: If you are celebrating a birthday on-board, they will bring you a cake. I didn't mention it was my husband's birthday (his request) but apparently they check the passenger roster each week to see if anyone has a birthday! It was actually great. Cake with candles, the waiters sang and someone played the guitar. The next day we took "The Baths" tour. I'm glad we didn't try to do this on our own. We docked on the north end of the island, and the Baths is on the south end. It is about a 45 minute drive up very steep hills & windy roads! Also, it leaves early so that you will be the first one at the Baths. By the time we left at 11am, it was really getting crowded but it was lovely for us. Definitely walk through "The Caves" part of The Baths. It's amazing. Also, bring snorkeling gear. We saw lots of fish & stingrays, and someone else saw a sea turtle. It's a hike up & down, plus you can walk on the boulders if you want so definitely wear appropriate shoes, not flip-flops. On the way back to the ship, we made about 4 stops for incredible photos and the tour guide told us all kinds of interesting things about the islands and also pointed out & named all the other islands around us. We got back to the dock, and the tender took us to Prickly Pear Beach, which is on a separately little island right by where the ship was anchored. The beach BBQ had started earlier that day, but there was plenty of food when we got there. There were loungers, and beach chairs, and tables/chairs in the shade. The sports toys (kayaks, water-skis, noodles, sailboats) were available to use from the beach. Heard some people spent the day at the Bitter End Yacht Club and really enjoyed that too. Apparently they had a nice beach, chairs, and very good margaritas. Jost Van Dyke: Set sail that afternoon, so it was fun to see the sails unfurl & sail in the light. We arrived in Jost Van Dyke around 7pm, so people could go ashore (usually to Foxy's) for the evening. We were planning to do so, but after the Captain's cocktail party (with free drinks, lots of appetizers, and meeting the crew) and a nice dinner, we didn't make it over there! The next morning we took the tender to Jost Van Dyke, which was my favorite port. It's so small (150 people) and absolutely gorgeous! We went down 'Main Street' which is an unpaved road with a police station, few shops and restaurants, a church and school. Then we walked to The Soggy Dollar bar. This is a very strenuous walk up a few big hills but it afforded amazing views. It took about 35 minutes and we felt like we deserved our drinks when we got to The Soggy Dollar! It's on a beautiful beach, and you are free to use the chairs/lounges/hammocks. Make sure you try a "Painkiller." They were invented here. We also really liked the 'nilla killa, which is made with Vanilla Rum. $6 each. The conch fritters were delicious! There is a little gift shop and I bought a few things. About 5-6 other beach bars & cafes. One World apparently belongs to Foxy's son. One place (Gertrude's?) makes your drink and then gives you the bottle of liquor to add as much as you want. Some places you have to pay to rent a chair, but it would be worth it if you wanted some quiet. No large boats dock at Jost Van Dyke, but there are tours from Tortola, which you can see right across the water. We took a taxi back to the dock ($5 a person) and went to Foxy's just to check it out. If we had been hungry or had room for another cocktail, we would have stayed but decided to go back to the boat. It seems like it would be really fun at night if there were lots of people there, and a band, but in the afternoon it was pretty low key. They do have a big gift shop there, but things weren't cheap. However, a big selection. St. Kitts: We didn't do any of the tours, but if I go back I will do the Brimstone Hill Tour. We spoke with some people who did it, and they really enjoyed it. They said it's really good for people who are into architecture, interior design and history. We went into town and caught a cab. Make sure you negotiate a rate before you go. It'll either be per-person or for the trip. And make sure you negotiate a pick-up! We went to White House Bay and snorkeled for about an hour. There is a sunken boat there, very close to shore, which is sort of interesting and attracts fish. Not the best snorkeling, but fun & very private. The beach was full of medium sized conch shells, which was awesome. We had our driver take us next to Reggae Beach (Cockleshell Beach) where we rented beach loungers for $5 each. Ate a delicious (but not cheap) lunch there. My husband's lobster was HUGE and delicious. Did a bit of snorkeling, but also saw an eel, a lobster and a ray right off the dock! We also saw Wilbur, the 900-pound island pig who hangs around. On the drive back to the dock, I asked the driver about the monkeys on the island. He told us there are 75k monkeys and 45k people on St. Kitts. And we saw a few just walking & sitting in trees while we were there, which was a thrill. Got back into town in time to do a little shopping. They had decent prices on sarongs, clothes, etc. A lot of people told me they did quite a bit of shopping there. Apparently there is a craft boutique/store in the main part of town, which would be great for some handmade local art. When we got back to the boat, it was BBQ on the deck party night! The entire pool deck was decorated, with tables all set up and an amazing buffet! They were BBQ'ing right there on the deck. At 9pm they cleaned up, and the sails were unfurled and we sailed away. Then the crew performed some line-dancing, and a hysterical version of "YMCA." Apparently there was a Line- Dancing class earlier in the evening. It was a very fun night! (The other restaurants were closed this evening, so it was all about the BBQ.) St. Barth: Since we were in St. Barth for 2 days, we spent the majority of the day on the boat, enjoying what the boat to offer. A nice leisurely breakfast and then we swam (well, got in) the small salt-water pool and hot tub. Very relaxing. We went into town for an hour or so in the afternoon. There is a cafe very near the dock that has free wi-fi, so we sat there and had a few drinks. The stores mostly close for a few hours at lunch, so if you want to shop (very expensive!) be sure to take that into account. There are supposed to be some fabulous restaurants on the island, so if you are into it you could go for a fancy dinner. The last tender ran at 11:30pm. We did go into St. Barth the next day. We had a lovely lunch at La Route Des Boucaners, sitting outside looking at all the HUGE yachts. Then we walked to Shell Beach, which was fantastic! Aptly named, there are so many beautiful perfect little shells all over the beach and the water was warm & glorious. Did some snorkeling there too. Saw a lot of the same fish as in the past, but more schools of them. Bring your towel and lay on the beach. Apparently there is quite a fee to rent the chairs. We did get a few drinks from the bar/restaurant, and used the restroom. One note, there is really NO shade at this beach so bring sunscreen! Went back to the ship for our last night. We turned in early because we had to have our luggage ready at 6am, in our cabins. Disembarking was easy as pie. Breakfast was open from 6-8am, and the first groups of people started getting off around 8:10. You'll be issued tags to put onto your luggage of a specific color, and that's how you know when it's your turn to get off. Just go pickup your passport, sign out one more time (guess they don't want stowaways) and go down the gangplank. The luggage is under a tent right there, and you just go pick it up. We caught a cab from there, and had it take us to Marigot (the main port area, the Wind Spirit docks at a smaller port) and we caught a ferry to Anguilla for a few days. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
We sailed out of St Maarten on the 10th of December 2011 for 14 nights through the Panama Canal and continued to Costa Rica in Central America. Windstar as a company recently has had new owners and they are refurbishing their ships, not ... Read More
We sailed out of St Maarten on the 10th of December 2011 for 14 nights through the Panama Canal and continued to Costa Rica in Central America. Windstar as a company recently has had new owners and they are refurbishing their ships, not that the Windstar ship really needs it. Able to get into areas the larger even mid-size can not do. Great food, even better service since we had only had 38 passengers instead of the 148 she holds. The cabins are identical on both decks, a little on the small size from the bed to the wall but still very luxurious. The bathrooms are a bit small but due to the round shower there is no elbow bumping with of lots of storage, counter and mirror area. Closets are Very roomy. You can walk around the deck which makes exercise very easy and even has a well equip GYM. Our naturalist Carlos Picardo certainly made the cruise for us with evening talks very lively, interesting and fun. Always most gracious at all times and so informative on every port and great on the Panama Canal even though is is my 7 trip through the canal. We never put the sails up though I asked several times. One of the sails needed replacing, though it was on board, but the rest were fine and the ship looks great in port for pictures and advertizing for the company with the sails up. Last Windstar cruise, 2003, for 4 weeks the sails were up all the time. The Captain, Mark, was stiff and in real life unfriendly. When we disembarked at Porto Caldera, there were about 8 guest waiting for transport to the main gate and he walked buy within 40ft and keep his head averted so as not having to speak to anyone. Your cruise is over. The rest of the officers were just fine. The chief engineer was a delight. In fact he actually off the ship to say good by. Excellent sports couple though there was not enough time to use the swim deck do to short hours they scheduled and if you wanted time on shore before it got too warm you were out of luck. Well this guys, happy sailing. Cindy Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
Just returned from 14 day reposition from St Maarten to San Jose, Costa Rica. Only 35 passengers with 90 crew, so we pretty much "owned" the yacht for 2 weeks. The good: The crew and officers are awesome. Several remembered ... Read More
Just returned from 14 day reposition from St Maarten to San Jose, Costa Rica. Only 35 passengers with 90 crew, so we pretty much "owned" the yacht for 2 weeks. The good: The crew and officers are awesome. Several remembered us from earlier WS cruises and after 3 days they all knew our names, interests, drinks, etc. The food was terrific, lots of variety and very well prepared, with lots of options. Dinner on deck was picture perfect. We visited amazing spots and had 2 wet landings where we are taken ashore in inflatable boats holding 6 passengers. Great lunch on the beach with the option to water ski, kayak, board paddle and snorkel. One couple did several scuba dives. Had 2 nice dinners with ship's officers which was very interesting. Now the bad: Tis is a 26 year old ship and it shows it's age. Rooms are small with portholes, and are being redone this Spring. Bathrooms are quite nice, good shower and lots of hot water. On deck you se lots of rust, broken fittings and things that just don't work anymore. The ship had 5 sails but only 2 worked. They had 3 small sailboats (2 Lasers and a Hobie) that they did not launch because "conditions weren't right". I have sailed my whole life and that was BS. Very disappointing! The important stuff always seemed to work, such as engine, generators, plumbing, AC, etc, but the ship needs a refit. Bottom Line...You like great food, very personal service, intimate ports, access to the bridge, and quiet evenings this is for you. If you want big staterooms with verandahs, shows, no sea motion, and lots of casino action look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
Embarked on the WindStar's Windsurf for their Yachtman' Caribbean from Dec 24, 2011 through Dec 31, 2011 out of St Maarteen. Overall, this was an outstanding cruise. The wife and I have never been on the Windstar line before, ... Read More
Embarked on the WindStar's Windsurf for their Yachtman' Caribbean from Dec 24, 2011 through Dec 31, 2011 out of St Maarteen. Overall, this was an outstanding cruise. The wife and I have never been on the Windstar line before, and after cruising many other large ships decided to try this out. We both agreed that as long as we can help it, we will never do another large cruise ship again. Since this was Christmas week, the demographics of the boat were somewhat different as there were some families, but the boat primarily was primarily filled with "older" couples in their late 40s to early 60s (we are in our early 30s). Even though the boat was "booked" at capacity, I think like 312 or so, the entire week we always felt that we had the boat to ourselves. The largest "gathering" of people typically occurred during the port talks in the evenings and had about 40 or so people in the lounge. We never found it difficult to find a lounger outside or get a table to ourselves at dinner, or find a spot to just sit alone when we wanted to. And on the flip side, if you wanted to be social and sit with others, that was not an issue either. To be honest, there were not that many "recent" reviews of Windsurf out there and I was a little nervous about booking. However, now I am a little nervous about writing this review because I don't want others to find out how great it was! FOOD: The food overall I would classify as one notch about a large cruise line. My wife is vegetarian and never had an issue finding dishes she could eat. They are all typically marked with a V on the menu and after Day 1, the crew knows and remembers your preferences. For such a small boat you have a couple different places to eat. "The Restaurant" -- Basically your main dining room, in which you could eat anytime between 7pm and 9pm. The menu changed each night. There was someplace called "Degrees" that you could eat at, but we never did. You could also eat outside at their 2 "special" restaurants which required a reservation. We ate at "Candles" one night, basically a steak house menu, and ate on the aft portion of the boat outside. It was nice to be outside, but did not think the food was any better then what was inside. They just brought out whatever the vegetarian option was from the inside menu for the wife, not a big issue. For breakfast we would always go to the Terrace which consisted of a good sized/optioned breakfast buffet along with a short menu to order from. For lunch, we would always stop by the "Yachtclub" and grab some sandwiches which we would bring ashore with us. CABIN: For a small boat, the cabin was of ok size. We thought we would miss having a balcony, but did not since you are really rarely in the cabin. So the bottom 3 decks are basically all cruise passenger cabins and seemed to be based on class of pay. Deck 3 was all the suites (basically 2 rooms joined together), Deck 2 was normal sized cabins, and Deck 1 was normal sized cabins. When I originally priced out the cruise, of course 3 were the most expensive, then 2, then 1. We ended up in a cabin on deck 1, don't see any reason why I would want to spend more money to get a cabin on deck 2 as they are all the same. Maybe you upgrade to deck 3 for a suite if you want more room, but since you spend so little time in the cabins and there are no balconies, deck 1 made the most since to us. Overall the cabins were always very clean (along with the rest of the ship). The ship actually had just completed a refit 2 weeks prior to us coming aboard, so there was lots of new carpet, etc. Ship looked great, not aged at all. DAY 1: Arrival to St Maarten / Ship Departure We arrived into St Maarten on Saturday Dec 24 on USAir from CLT. Not a bad flight arriving around 220pm. The boat left at 7pm and they asked you to be onboard by 6pm, so we just took a taxi from the airport to the port. Cost was $20 for the 2 of us. No issues, only took about 30 mins to get to the port. Would say this method was less expensive than the cruise ships prearranged transportation and not difficult. All you had to do was get your luggage and walk outside. Checking in seemed to be very informal compared to other cruise lines. You walked onboard, they checked your name, then at one station they provided you paperwork to fill out. Then you would go into the lounge, fill out the paperwork (they provided free fingerfood and drinks), and then you would go drop off the paperwork at another station, they would take your picture and then you went to another station to get your room key. Sounds complicated, but was pretty easy and stress free compared to waiting in large lines with other cruise lines. That night was pretty uneventful, we did the lifeboat drill, ate some dinner, watched the boat leave, and then went to bed. Day 2: Tortola / Jost Van Dyke Arrived at Tortola's Soper's Hole at 10am. Last tender back to the ship was 530pm, so plenty of time on shore. With it being Xmas day, there was not a lot of activity on the island and cabs were just not around much. We ended up going to "Nani Cay" which was probably not one of the better beaches, but its location near a main road and cab stand gave us a better option of getting back to the boat. Soper's Hole is also home to Pursers Rum (misspelled?) and we drank some painkillers at the bar. The boat left Tortola around 6pm and arrived at Jost Van Dyke at 7pm. Last tender back to the boat was at midnight, so plenty of time to hangout of Foxy's which was great. The boat tendered us in to the side that Foxys was on, so made it very easy to get to. And the good news is that the Captain decided to change up the itinerary (originally supposed to depart Jost Van Dyke at midnight and go to Virgin Gorda) and decided for us to stay overnight at Jost Van Dyke until the following afternoon so we could enjoy the beaches here as well. Day 3: Jost Van Dyke / Virgin Gorda Tenders ran from early morning to 3pm on Jost Van Dyke so plenty of time to experience the island and the beaches. We walked from the little town that Foxys is in over the mountain to the beach that Soggy Dollar Bar is out and spent the day. It was a very hilly walk over there and took about 35 mins, but worth the views (and we took a cab back, only $10). Beach was great, got some chairs and drinks and watched all the boats come and go into the area. That evening we went back to the boat and enjoyed the sail over to Virgin Gorda. We anchored near the Bitter End Yacht club and went ashore to the club that evening. A pretty cool place overall with some neat bars. Lots of private boats anchored in the harbor and their crews and passengers ashore having a good time. Day 4: Virgin Gorda Tenders started at 8am and went through 450pm. The tenders went in a triangle from the boat to Bitter End Yacht Club, then to Prickly Pear Island, then back to the boat. Prickly Pear is a small island that the Windsurf I guess rents and they through a beach BBQ on it that afternoon. The island and beach are pretty nice, the boat brings over all the water toys (kayaks, sailboats, etc) and you can use them on the beach. The one thing they do not do is bring you over to the main island (say if you wanted to go see the baths) but they do have an excursion for $49/person to do this which gets you about 1 to 1.5 hours there). So we decided to try to go ourselves and it ended up being pretty easy. You tender to the Bitter End, then go to the reception for the hotel, have them organize a cab on the main island to meet you where the Bitter End's free tender service drops you off. So you take the Bitter Ends free tender service to the main island and then a $25 cab each way to the baths. So it was really not that difficult, just had to ask some questions on how to do it, but you save half the price and you can spend as much time at the baths as you would like. Day 5: Basseterre, St Kitts Tenders started at 8am and last one was to the boat was 530pm. We had been to St Kitts before and were not that impressed. Granted you are forced to enter through the port at Basseterre which is very touristy and oriented to cruise ship passengers. Locals try very hard to get your business for cabs and to take pictures with Monkeys. We ended up taking a cab to the other side of the island (facing Nevis) and went to the beaches there. Not horrible, and St Kitts is a very beautiful island, but would rather go somewhere else. The entry into the island kind of spoils the experience. Day 6: Les Saintes, Guadelope Tenders started at 8am and last one from ashore was 345PM. This was really the "gem" of the trip. Very small French island and the local population do not care if you are there or not. We got off the tender and walked around the little town then hiked over to one of the beaches. The walk there and back took about 1 hour total, 30 mins each way. On the way back we spent some more time in the town and literally caught the last tender to the boat. While we walked, others rented scooters and saw more of the island. Looked like this would have been a pretty good option as well as there was not much traffic or people around. Day 7: St Barts Tenders started around 10am and last tender back to the boat was midnight. I had high expectations for the island but was a little disappointed. It was neat to anchor were we did among all the high private yachts (including the largest in the world) and just see all the money! But, the island was very crowded, probably in anticipation of New Years on the following day and there were literally no rental cars or scooters available to rent. In addition, the island is VERY expensive. A cab to a beach on the other side was like 25 euros one way. We ended up just walking to "Shell Beach" about a 10 min walk from the port. Nice beach and lots of shells. Certainly not the highlight would think St Barts is best when it is not super busy unless you enjoy that type of thing. Day 8: St Maarten / Departure Boat arrived at some point in the morning and everyone was required to be off by 845am. Since we had until ~300pm to be at the airport, we rented a car in the port that could be returned to the airport and just drove around the island. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
This was our third Windstar cruise, but we had not been on the Windsurf since 1998. I'm going to tag along with another review here by "c5Marine," because they did such a nice job of describing their cruise. First the ... Read More
This was our third Windstar cruise, but we had not been on the Windsurf since 1998. I'm going to tag along with another review here by "c5Marine," because they did such a nice job of describing their cruise. First the "BAD"... NONE Second the "GOOD"... Everything Even though we had been on the Windsurf in 1998 in the Mediterranean, my expectations were exceeded on this cruise. The ship had a recent refit, and the cabins and public rooms were beautiful. The food was off-the-charts, and even the coffee was great. We had done this same itinerary with Star Clipper a few years ago, and we just love the ports-of-call. The best part of this cruise, for us, was the crew. From Captain John to our cabin steward, Puji -- everyone was so pleasant and friendly. I never once felt like it was a front or a put-on, as I've seen on some of our other cruises. I feel the Windsurf was a very good value. We didn't get nickled-and-dimed for everything. Soft drinks, juice, sparking water, and fancy coffees were all included. Also there are very few ships that offer a galley and engine-room tour. Of course, the bridge is always open while at sea -- which is fantastic. In addition to the two music groups which were very good, the Windsurf also put on a great Superbowl party. After this Windstar cruise, I don't think we'll ever be on a large cruise ship again. Windstar has really upped their game and with the new ownership, I think they have a great future ahead. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2012
This is cruise #30 and cruise line #8 for us. We are in our mid-40s, professionals DINK. We've been sailing for 16 years but this was one of the best experiences ever. Here's why. Service: the word gracious is on the website. ... Read More
This is cruise #30 and cruise line #8 for us. We are in our mid-40s, professionals DINK. We've been sailing for 16 years but this was one of the best experiences ever. Here's why. Service: the word gracious is on the website. It is a true definition of how we were treated. We were called by name almost immediately and felt as though all staff were genuinely concerned that we were cared for and having a good time. Because of only having 270 pax there was ample time for them to get to know us and us to get to know them. It seems silly to say, but I felt like I was on my own yacht. Not once did I hear the words called out to no one in particular "Bar Service?" It was, "Miss Barbara, can I get you something to drink?" Crew: the open bridge policy is unique. Wander up there when you want (not during port times). Ask anything and prepared to be informed and entertained. Capt Clark has missed his calling as a comedian. He kept us entertained more than once during the welcome aboard and the farewell party. Funny, intelligent man. All other staff friendly and unobtrusive. Sails: this was the reason I wanted to go on Windstar. I got goose bumps on sail away from St Maarten when the music started and the first sail got unfurled. It never got old for the other 6 nights either. We were on sail power for 39% of our cruise. So beautiful. Too bad we only saw the sails up while we were on board - but otherwise we would have missed the boat! We did bust a sail on the first night, the forward sail caught too much wind and let go, but it wasn't noticeable. Venues: I was thinking I might be bored, since I'm pretty active, but I wasn't. I was so relaxed that it never occurred to me that I wasn't doing a lot. We went in to some ports, but truly I couldn't care less where we went so that's why there will be no reviews of the ports except maybe a small comment or two. The Compass Rose seemed to be the place to be. It was the only place where finding a spot to sit at times was difficult. Once they revamp the space they may address the seating arrangements. Afternoon tea, before and after drinks were all popular times. The Lounge became like a family room, a place to gather for the port talk before dinner, have a drink and fabulous hot/cold hors d'oeuvres. The band was just right, playing a good mix and not too loud. Plenty of space for all and very cozy. I loved that room. The Yacht Club is the rest of deck 4 (Main) and has reception (Ladies were so helpful and friendly), the sandwich bar and coffee station, library and DVD library (all free and readily available). Lots of comfy leather chairs for lounging. Dining: Well. I like food. The first night we found a great little table for two at The Restaurant which suited us just fine. Great choices on the menu, and very well presented. Staff seemed to know the menu very well and were completely able to adjust without "checking". Good for the fussy eater my DH is. The first night though, our waiter Steven seemed to disappear after the main course was served. My pork was not cooked and I wasn't at all happy, but he nor any other staff were anywhere to be found, and when they came close I couldn't get their attention. Finally, he did come back and I explained my problem. It was too late to fix it although he was genuinely sorry he'd disappointed me. Needless to say at that point I wasn't hopeful for the rest of the cruise if the first dinner was such a poor experience. Well, I needn't have worried. It was an absolute anomaly, and the service and food was outstanding, truly outstanding for the rest of the week. We also tried Degrees for one meal, and found it wonderful as well. We just liked the Restaurant and our table a bit better. Degrees is on Deck 5 and adjacent to the Veranda restaurant and used as overflow seating for lunch and breakfast. We had reservations one night at Candles, unfortunately one of the two nights it decided to rain during the evening. We missed out but heard good things. The last night we ate at Le Marche, on deck 6 right under the sails. It was the seafood restaurant, and they served a starter including shrimp and tuna something, a wonderful greek salad, and about 5 entrees. We had the seafood trio and it was wonderful. Dessert was okay too, but by then I was so full... Breakfast and Lunch were both buffet/A la Carte. Walk in, pick what you want from the buffet and the waiter will come along to see if you want pancakes, waffles, eggs benedict etc etc etc or at lunch a variety of grill items. There was never any lobster at lunch, despite rumours we'd heard. Oh well. BBQ - two of these, one on the beach at lunch, the other on deck in the evening. The beach one was at St Lucia. The amount of work that went into this preparation was amazing. Everything carried over by tender. Okay. China plates and real cutlery. The complete bar from the ship. Ice cream. Ribs, chicken, salads, dessert, tea, coffee. It was like eating on the ship except you were on the beach. The organization was incredible. Fantastic. The BBQ on the ship looked as amazing, although we chose to eat in the dining room just because it was a little too dark and windy for our tastes. Glad we did too, because my filet mignon was perhaps the best I have had IN MY LIFE. I also had creme brulee at some point during the week - not usually a favourite, but hey, I tried. Chef Ronald's creme brulee must be the reason that people eat creme brulee. Wow. Okay, enough about the food. You won't go hungry and you will love it. Did I mention the specialty coffee and the cheese plate and the plentiful choices of yummy things? German choc cake, also not a favourite, OMG So Good. LOL One complaint: regular coffee in the morning was horrible. Pool Area: one pool, despite evidence of a pool on Deck 6 at one point in the design. Salt water. Chilly. But for some reason lovely and warm on the last day. Two hot tubs. Here's something: 3 pm Friday. sitting in the hot tub. Why, who knows since it's hot outside. Along comes a server with a plate of frozen lemon sorbet, fancy lemon sorbet in real glass dishes, on a china plate with a silver spoon. I'm in heaven. I'm on a yacht, in the hot tub, looking over the beautiful Caribbean, and eating lemon sorbet off a china plate. Is that the reason we cruise, or what? LOL There are lots of loungers, especially since we were in port most days, and lots of places to sit with an iPad or kindle to read. Books too :) Shade was at a premium, but could be found with a little effort. Embarkation: we were late. 6 pm in fact. Among the last to board. We took a Windstar transfer (only the two of us with a company rep and driver in a very nice Jeep). Met at the port entrance and escorted to the ship, and eventually met by someone who took our luggage down to the ship for us. We quickly found our way to check in, filling out a few docs and then being escorted to our stateroom by the chief steward, and shown around the stateroom and its amenities. Nice touch. Debarkation. Everyone off within 40 minutes. Nice leisurely breakfast, then maybe 3 announcements saying come get your passports and off you go. All luggage was at the top of the pier near the tour buses and taxis. Couldn't be simpler. We took the island tour through the cruise line since our flight wasn't until 430. It was a good option rather than sitting in the airport, although too much time driving around the island and not enough time downtown shopping. We've been there many times so I knew which stores were where and made a beeline for what I wanted. And time for a .99 cent beer at the Barefoot Terrance on the beach before heading to the airport. Personalities: My favourite bar staff: Bobby. Always smiled, called me by name, knew what I wanted and made sure I kept hydrated in the sun. I called him Roberto he was that good. Gino: Best hair at sea. Great dancer. Smile to launch a thousand ships. Makes a great martini. My favourite wait staff: Steven. Gentle, funny and gracious. We were well looked after breakfast, lunch and dinner. Daddy: the maitre d'hotel. Funny guy. Great for crew morale, not afraid to pitch in and serve or clean up. Always patting the staff on the back and smiling. A true leader. Captain Clark: what a guy. Sail with him anywhere. Great Costa jokes :) Other things to note: Abilio is the port guy. The Port Guy has to be somebody's nephew. He was as one guest pointed out "not useful". Vicki is the guest services manager. Didn't have to deal with her, but her voice would make you want to jump overboard. The Ship. She's a little rough around the edges, but hey she's not a fancy new mega ship. There were lots of crew giving touch ups here and there as you would see on any sea-going vessel. We had a very rough cruise. If you were prone to sea sickness, you would not have been a happy person. I haven't been tossed around that much in a long time, and I never get sick, but there was one point when I wished it would just stop. Most people said that. However, the Doc wasn't too busy, because he was front and centre at the Crew Talent show (a highlight) giving his all in a Whitney Houston Tribute. Ports: Who remembers from ports? St Barts - busy and expensive. Good for yacht watching. The rest I heard people suggest that even though they weren't crawling with other ships, there wasn't much to see or do. Organized tours to snorkle or swim seemed to be the best bet. Like I said, I've been to most islands and they've blended a long time ago. Gym. Small and at times very busy. Although there were at least 10 cardio machines and several weight machines. Ample supply of free weights and stability balls. Two tvs to watch. Some space for stretching. It was nicely air conditioned. There were classes avail to do yoga on the deck, but for a fee. Fellow passengers: They say 40-60. Our cruise more like 60-75. No herd mentality, but there was no reason to rush for anything because there was enough of whatever you wanted for everyone who wanted it. Lots of couples travelling together and plenty of mixing with strangers if that's what you wanted to do too. DH and I are kind of shy, but Bobby, our bar guy, introduced us to another Canadian couple and took credit all week for it :) 4 kids, 3 teen girls and one 8 year old boy. They kept busy reading, swimming from the marina on deck 2 and were very well-behaved. I think the crew enjoyed having them there. Speaking of fees: pop, juice, coffee, tea and bottled water all included and no problem for the bar staff to bring it promptly. Alcohol has the standard %15 gratuity. To bring your own bottle onboard from any of the ports no problem, but a charge of $17.50 for uncorking in the dining room applied. Compared to Carnival or Princess the wine choices were a bit more high end, and about $10 more for the cheapest bottle. Expect to pay minimum $37 US for a bottle and up from there. Thankfully for me, DH won the equivalent of my bar bill in the casino and a bit more :). Overall: a total winner. I would recommend this hand over heart. I will return. If you're even thinking about it - do it. You won't regret the experience. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
This was our 2nd sailing on this refurbished ship which was an amazing return after 12 years. The ship is a beautiful as ever. From the captain who was very informative, entertaining and "good looking" to the incredible service ... Read More
This was our 2nd sailing on this refurbished ship which was an amazing return after 12 years. The ship is a beautiful as ever. From the captain who was very informative, entertaining and "good looking" to the incredible service from all the staff, it ranks as one of the best of over 15 sailings I've been on. I published various public videos on you tube which show the ship and some of the destinations. This is not a cruise for youngsters or the weak/infirm. *Cabins - renovated and enough space and enjoyed the free soda and water throughout. The steward, who were rarely saw, kept the place top notch. *Food dining - we ate at the Restaurant most of the time because they had the best variety but we loved dining under the stars in Candles and on the BBQ night. Breakfast was always delicious and the filet mignon was very good but some of the other beef dishes were tough. The pork and chicken were very good as were the fish dishes and the side dishes and app/dessert. The wait staff went overboard to please and make sure everything went well and you were a happy customer. *Nightlife - the family band playing in the lounge was perfect as was the duo who played on the Compass Rose. Unfortunately we were generally so wiped out that we went to be early many times. *Excursions - well run and complemented to ports. The staff were informative but did not seem to have the detailed kowledge with "inside tips" if you wanted to deviate from their excursions. ** Overall, we will definitely sail this ship, or maybe try another, in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
First off, let me say that this was as perfect as I remember WindSurf being since 2007 which was our last cruise on her. Embarkation was easier than pie. DH has trouble walking long distances, so the check in people found a golf cart to ... Read More
First off, let me say that this was as perfect as I remember WindSurf being since 2007 which was our last cruise on her. Embarkation was easier than pie. DH has trouble walking long distances, so the check in people found a golf cart to deliver him to the gangplank. We arrived around 1:30 and were on board within 10 minutes and in our cabin within another 20. The Captain, who is a comedian, met us at the gangplank with a welcome. We were due to sail at 7. Muster was at 5:30 and was different than the last time. You can muster inside the doors of your station in the ac. That was a lovely experience!! Sail Away was as fun and memorable as I still had in my dreams! The music, the sails...Perfect. It was a little different for us to arrive/depart St Maarten as last time we left from Barbados. We spent the night before at the Holland House Beach Resort, which allowed us to see the ship first thing that morning. Amazing the difference of sizes between WS and a Celebrity... We did try out all of the restaurants at dinner (these were all new since we were on in 07). Restaurant was nice and service was good. Degrees, to me, was just a smaller regular restaurant and the service was questionable. Le Marche was ok....we didn't think it was any better seafood than in the dining room. Candles was definitely great; however, the wind was blowing and the food was cold in short order. The ambiance, however, was wonderful! Breakfast and lunch in the Veranda were great and the servers all went out of their way to get you what you wanted, help find seats, etc. First day was at sea. Unfortunately, we had a gentleman who got sick on sea day and we made a medical stop at Guadaloupe which was no being deal for the passengers. Good news is he was ok and the captain reported almost daily on his progress. We did sail by Montserrat which was fascinating! We sailed very slowly past it so you could see the destruction from the volcano and still see the 'phosphorus cloud' around the top of the volcano. Then Martinique. We were scheduled to dock at Le Marin. That didn't happen. It would appear that they let another yacht dock there overnight and there was no room for us. The captain was less than pleased and expressed himself so. But, that was not at all the cruise lines fault. We docked at Fort De France instead. We were scheduled for a ship sponsored 4x4 jeep ride. We were given the opportunity to cancel or go. Having never been to Martinique we decided to continue on. Well, done with Martinique. We were supremely disappointed with the rain forest and really didn't see anything very redeeming. Then to St Lucia and Beach Barbecue. We did not go to this. Everyone said it was really nice, although, a little difficult to manage your plate and sit in a beach chair. There was limited shade which is what kept us from going. But, we love St Lucia so we didn't really feel like we missed anything as we have done this in the past. They had lots of water toys available for the people who did go. the crew really does a top notch job with this! Dominica next. My best opinion of this was 'been there, done that'. That is really an unfair comment for me to make since we didn't do any tours. After getting car sick in Martinique, I really wasn't up to another venture. We had friends who did the aerial tram and suspension bridge. They said the island was beautiful, so I think we were just disappointed with the port and didn't explore further. Antigua. We have been here before and were looking forward to docking at Nelson dockyard, but we docked at Falmouth. There really wasn't anything there, but we did find a Yacht club that had a great lunch while looking over the marina. St Barts. How can you not love this place. We had greasy burgers at Le Select and did some shopping. Most of our days were spent on board, just sitting outside of Compass Rose reading books, taking naps, etc. It was so nice for the servers to not ask you every 30 seconds if you wanted another drink like they do on the large lines. Sometime around 2-3 p.m. in the afternoon, they came around with coolers...orange sherbert in half orange peels, frozen watermelon shooters. etc. Our ship was not full. There were around 260 people on board. I still saw people getting off that I had never seen while we were on board. We were under sail probably more than I can ever remember...about 60-70% of the time. Some of that could have been the closeness of the islands, but whatever works!! There was never a problem finding a chaise wherever you wanted to perch... It was fun to see Rene who was on the Spirit our 1st (and 2nd) sailing, and Raul and Segung from our last trip on the Surf. It was relatively interesting to only see ladies at the front desk and in the gift shop. Otherwise, as far as I could tell, the rest were men. The new sandwich spot was very nice. It was lovely to be able to get a sandwich to to--with water--if you had an excursion or just wanted to get off the ship and go to a beach. The upgrade to the rooms were lovely and certainly gave the ship a fresh look. It does need more refurbish to the decks, but that didn't bother me at all!! The staff show was a riot and the Dr. on board is quite the entertainer. They also had a deck barbecue our last night at sea. Lots of salads, grilled lobster, a whole pig, desserts. I wasn't overly impressed, but that was just me. It was very festive, but the food was barely even warm. After dinner, some of the servers---and the Dr--put on a dance show with lots of line dances. The Dr was definitely cutting a rug!! And, he was a very nice man to boot!! Daddy was wonderful...as was Bambang. We had a short conversation with Daddy one night about service in Degrees and he looked so hurt. We explained we were not fussing...just making him aware. He definitely takes his job seriously!! Captains cocktail party was nice as usual. We cannot comment on the overview of the next day's events from the lounge since we sailed almost every night around that time and I opted to be on deck for sail-away. Tea time was not quite as festive as I remembered...they used to do banana's foster or cheeries jubilee one day. Again, didn't ruin my trip! They used to also, on some nights, sort of make it a real party on deck for sail away with special drinks. But, the flip side is we never felt pressured about anything. Disembarkation was just as easy as embarkation. We did stay over one extra night at the Hotel Beach Plaza in Marigot. I would suggest you find another stay over hotel...even though it was one of the ship's 'sail/stay' program. I wish I could find something negative to say. However, I really don't have anything. It was as near perfect a vacation as one could possibly have!! Everyone from the gentlemen who helped us on/off the tenders (and they really helped my DH) to the maintenance people working were friendly, helpful and made you feel like you were the only one on the ship. Here's hoping I can go again next year and not wait 5 more!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
This is as good as it gets. An amazing ship, amazing staff, fantastic itinerary, wonderful guests. Plus look out for our next, (complete contrast), review as we were on the ship for 2 weeks. It's hard to know where to start. A ... Read More
This is as good as it gets. An amazing ship, amazing staff, fantastic itinerary, wonderful guests. Plus look out for our next, (complete contrast), review as we were on the ship for 2 weeks. It's hard to know where to start. A truly stunning week. We arrived in St Maarten from the UK on Friday and boarded on Saturday. Our cabin was lovely. Boarding was fairly seamless. We started to feel our way around. Checked out the restaurants, gym etc. Had a beer by the pool bar looking forward to setting sail that evening. We ate at the fish restaurant the first night. It was good but not as good as the main restaurant which we loved. We thought the main restaurant was really special. Leaving St Maarten was dramatic. We soon learned that every night we set sail they play the tune used in Hunt For Red October, (Hymn to the red army), as the sails unwind. All about the experience. We loved the fact that as this was a smaller sailing ship we could get into the more quaint smaller ports. I've noted the ports of call below. We did a few trips, we explored some gorgeous places, we had lots of sun, enjoyed the beers and wines on board, enjoyed the food on board, and loved the sailing. As the days went by we gradually met more and more people, got to know the staff, (they get to know you), and had a stunning stunning time. 10 out of 10. As good as it gets. A huge huge huge thank you to Captain John and all the staff and guests on board for creating an amazing week. A fantastic bunch of staff with at least 30 that were worth naming plus all the sailors who work tirelessly in the background to make this all happen. So so many special people like Bobby, Kennedy, Raul, Harry, January, Captain John himself, Sam who drives the boat, and so so many more. The efforts of these people, a good crowd onboard, the gorgeous gorgeous boat and the very carefully planned schedule of beautiful places to stop made this exquisite. We were onboard the following week too. Wind Star booking rules allowed a group of 30 business people to book. I'm sorry but small boats are for small parties. It changed the feel of the week dramatically and I'm sorry to say we are unlikely to go back. Wind Star - you've gone for what looked like a good money booking and ignored the fact that you've lost as much money as many of the people on the boat the second week will never come back. Everyone was complaining about these rude rude ignorant people Schedule as follows:- 2012 March 17 Saturday Philipsburg, St. Maarten 2012 March 18 Sunday Soper'S Hole, Tortola, B.V.I. 2012 March 18 Sunday Jost Van Dyke Great Harbour, B.V.I 2012 March 19 Monday Jost Van Dyke Great Harbour, B.V.I 2012 March 19 Monday Virgin Gorda, Prickly Pear Beach, B.V.I. 2012 March 20 Tuesday Virgin Gorda, Prickly Pear Beach, B.V.I. 2012 March 21 Wednesday Basseterre, St. Kitts 2012 March 22 Thursday Les Saintes, F.W.I. 2012 March 23 Friday Gustavia, St. Barthelemy 2012 March 24 Saturday Philipsburg, St. Maarten Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
It's hard to find any faults with the cruise. From beginning to end we were treated like royalty. Check in was so easy. The ship is beautiful. Cabins were very nice. Enough room for two without feeling cramped. Food was ... Read More
It's hard to find any faults with the cruise. From beginning to end we were treated like royalty. Check in was so easy. The ship is beautiful. Cabins were very nice. Enough room for two without feeling cramped. Food was plentiful and, for the most part, outstanding, although my wife did not really like the sandwich bar. Most evenings we ate in The Restaurant and enjoyed it. The lunch barbecue on the beach and the dinner barbecue on-board were excellent. We enjoyed the excursions -- canopy adventure on St. Lucia, river tubing in Dominica, and 4x4 island safari an Antigua. The catamaran snorkeling adventure in St. Barths was disappointing. The location where we snorkeled was not good. Very little sea-life to look at. Nights on-board were rather quiet. Older crowd, us included, that is not really looking for a wild nightlife. The band and the duet were very pleasant to listen to. The staff from the captain on down did everything possible to make the cruise enjoyable. Only complaint was the mini-bar was not kept full with coke. Had to write a note to our steward (who was excellent) to get the min-bar filled. BTW, the new policy of free soft drinks and water was very welcome for us. We are already thinking about a 2013 cruise on Windstar on the Mediterranean. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2012
Having sailed on all of the Windstar ships many times since 1987, from places like Malaysia, the South Pacific, Tahiti, Europe, Caribbean, Belize and Costa Rica, I confess to being somewhat biased in my long love affair with these unique ... Read More
Having sailed on all of the Windstar ships many times since 1987, from places like Malaysia, the South Pacific, Tahiti, Europe, Caribbean, Belize and Costa Rica, I confess to being somewhat biased in my long love affair with these unique and special ships and the outstanding, personal service by their dedicated crew. We just returned home from another fantastic 14 day crossing on the Wind Surf from St Maartin to Lisbon. (March 2012) The cabins and suites have all been remodeled since last year and the new furnishings fabrics and colors are stunning. The new hallway carpeting, plus carpet pad and dramatic lighting (pictured) are beautiful. (Both smaller ships are currently undergoing similar refittings). In regard to the remodeled cabins, I particularly appreciated the plush new mattress and the new, soft, all cotton, bed linens. The individual directional reading lights over each bed are a nice addition, making it possible to read without disturbing anyone. Our suite (320). The new furniture (2012) is a big improvement, much nicer as well as more usable and comfortable. The only quirk we experienced with our cabin was that an engineer had to be make adjustments behind the HVAC grill to fit our particular room temperature preference after we were sailing. The new carpeting is luxurious, but with it's textured pile, is a curious choice. While the carpet remains perfectly clean, the textured pile shows all scuff marks from shoes on it's textured surfaces. For those with engineering backgrounds, the ship's vacuum septic system which services all the cabins has been upgraded as well. This Fall (November 2012) the remaining public areas, including the three dining facilities, are scheduled to be refitted. THE Officers and CREW continue to be the OUTSTANDING attribute. It is the high standards they maintain and the level of personal service makes sailing on Windstar so special. In addition to the usual daytime activities, for the first time ever, an introduction to TAP dance was offered for free. The passenger participation was so enthusiastic and everyone worked so diligently learning their steps, a TAP dance FINALE was performed at the end of the cruise in the Windstar Lounge and everyone in the show received a standing ovation. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2012
We just completed a second transatlantic cruise with the Windstar's ship Windsurf it was a wonderful cruise in so many ways. Of couse embarking is easy and quick with 107 fellow passengers, 89 who were repeat and 18 who were new to ... Read More
We just completed a second transatlantic cruise with the Windstar's ship Windsurf it was a wonderful cruise in so many ways. Of couse embarking is easy and quick with 107 fellow passengers, 89 who were repeat and 18 who were new to the cruise line. Many of the passengers have made multiple crossing and often meet each other either every or every other year. So, for many people it is a reunion. For a ship that can carry 312 people, having only 107 it was like having your own private yacht. For a crossing it takes a special passenger. You have to be happy making your own fun and activities and you have enjoy quiet and solitude. While there are few formal activities there is: reading, ocean and star gazing, a group of women did needle point and made jewelry, one lady painted, the ship does organize games such as trivia and ship golf, a group of people enjoyed putting together complicated puzzles, the ship publishes daily word and number games, there is musical entertainment in the evening and the ship had an evening movie and popcorn! This trip there was a popular tap dancing class initiated by a fellow passenger. As you can see much of activities are self driven and low key. The pool at the beginning of the trip was widely used and the hot tubs were always in use. One of my happy anticipations was the daily noon announcement by the Captain of our position, weather report, nautical miles to land, ocean depth and distance to the horizon. The bridge was happily open 24/7 for curious people like myself. While on this transatlantic we saw a whale, a shark, dolphins, 2 other ships and had a beautiful sail by the Azores. Despite the few number of passengers there was an outside eating restaurant In which the meat was extraordinary, the main restaurant and the bistro along with the Veranda restaurant for lunch and dinner. The food was consistently excellent and varied throughout the journey. The outside barbecue was truly under the stars. The Yacht Club, with the best sandwiches one could wish for, was always open. The cabins are spacious and comfortable, great in-cabin entertainment either a selection of 100s of DVDs or the 3 daily movie offerings.Windstar cruises are known for the superb service and this continued only the staff had more time to converse so we were able to spend more time in conversation with these wonderful people. A crossing is truly an amazing way to relax and Windstar has fined tuned it to the perfect vacation. I would rather take14 days sailing across the ocean than 7hours in a plane any day. Docking in Lisbon is a great experience because before you dock you go under a bridge that spans the harbor for that great optical illusion of the sails almost touching the bridge. The ship has to go under at low tide, this time it was 3:30 am and there were at least 40 people on deck watching this event. A fine way to say good by after 14 days of bliss. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Windstar cruise is a very nice ship with excellent staff,but not 5 star. We have traveled on Silversea, Reagent, and Tauck river cruises which do a better job pampering you and earn a 5 star. Windstar says they recently renovated but the ... Read More
Windstar cruise is a very nice ship with excellent staff,but not 5 star. We have traveled on Silversea, Reagent, and Tauck river cruises which do a better job pampering you and earn a 5 star. Windstar says they recently renovated but the carpets in the cabins has not been changed. The ships cruise director is not very informed nor does the font desk have much information on the ports .We never had internet connection which has been a chronic problem for this cruise line. The TV selection is bare minimum with no US news station.Also the ship wants to charge for everything even a wine tasting event which I thought they could use to promote some of their on board wines. One small problem especially for elderly guest is a lot of the doorways have a ledge and often you kick it with your foot or trip. It takes a little while to get use to the ledge.Though it sounds like a lot of negatives my family age 14, 16 18 and 20 all had a great time and I would recommend the cruise to my friends and would travel with them again if I found an enticing destination. The food was very good and seemed to get better as the week went on. We ate in all of the restaurants but felt the main dining room was excellent and enjoyed having the same waiter every night. The crew really does a great job. The wines are reasonable priced and a good selection of moderately priced wines. We did not pay for the drink packaged and came out ok. Just remember to budget a 12% fee for tip and 15% fee for drinks. Water and soda included. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
After traveling with Celebrity on our last six cruises, the wife and I decided to try something different. We picked the Windsurf (Dec. 8-15) because of the smaller size ship and the port destinations (Martinque and Les Saintes). This is ... Read More
After traveling with Celebrity on our last six cruises, the wife and I decided to try something different. We picked the Windsurf (Dec. 8-15) because of the smaller size ship and the port destinations (Martinque and Les Saintes). This is what we experienced: Embarkation: went smoothly and quick. After dropping off our bags and a quick ID check, it was a small walk to the ship. Paperwork took less than five minutes. It was nice that we had a room steward take us to our room and give us a rundown on where all the switches were. Room: Comfortable,bed was fine, bathroom had enough space and plenty of storage for your clothing. Cosmetically it looked old, too much white. But we only stayed in room for sleeping and changing. TV was small and satellite was not working, but never turned it on. Public Rooms: very nice. Lounge was big, never did watch a show. The Compass Rose is beautiful, spent most of our time there to talk to other couples and relax. The pool area was nice, pool is only good for wading, no swimming. The water platform was great, went and used it each day. Watch out though, the current is strong.Restaurants: both the Amphoria and the Stella Bistro looked great. The selection of meals were plentiful and the portions were large. The quality at the Amphoria was excellent. Unfortunately, the wife's meal at the Bistro was undercooked for three of four servings. Dinner at Candles was nice, we had little wind compared to some of the nights. The BBQ on board got rained on so people had to scramble. The beach BBQ also was cancelled because of rain. Did use the sandwich shoppe, was very tasty. Ports: La Marin: very little shopping around if you are looking for anything. We did the Jeep tour and had a great time stopping at the Rum distillery and Pottery. There was a shopping area at the pottery, but they only take euros. Pigeon Island: two very small beaches to use but was comfortable, had many lounge chairs. Les Saintes: beautiful little island, the shopping area was perfect, not big and it seemed every thing was local. St Kitts: what a change since our last time there. The port now reminds me of a little St. Maartan. Thirty areas of shopping with every jewelry store known to man. I liked it better when it was quiet.Debarkation: again was very quick and easy. Got off the ship at 8 am. Went on the Post tour of the island. Make sure when you sign up ask if they are going to Marigot first. We went to Phillipsburg first and all the shops were closed. did like the Marigot shopping area. Bus got us back to the airport by noon. I wanted to try to compare this with our experiences on our last cruises with Celebrity. Very hard to do. Pros: no rush, no lines, quiet, met some nice people from all around the States, free soda. Cons: less activities if you want them. Overall: would I cruise Windstar again. Yes, if the price is right. I paid the same as a balcany room on a large ship for this cruise. If that price were higher, I don't believe I would. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Windsurf has changed. This was our 7th Windstar cruise overall and 4th on the Windsurf. In 2012, the ship was given a face-lift; not the overall refurbishment the line's Facebook page implied. Windstar is almost there. Almost, but ... Read More
Windsurf has changed. This was our 7th Windstar cruise overall and 4th on the Windsurf. In 2012, the ship was given a face-lift; not the overall refurbishment the line's Facebook page implied. Windstar is almost there. Almost, but not quite at the true luxury level. Degree Restaurant was replaced by Stella Bistro (yet the guest comment card still lists Degrees). Stella was very good and the design is modern. The French-influenced food and service were quite good. The same holds for Candles, held over in the re-design. The dining venue is outside on deck under the moon and stars. Cannot be beat! The main restaurant is now called AmphorA (yes, two capital A's). This is perhaps the most prominent example of the ship's renovation. It even smells new. New carpeting, table and chairs and a daily changing menu. The food was quite good, and the service, as it is throughout the ship, was excellent. I'm not really a wine expert, but I do think the wine list contained some interesting and reasonably priced options. Rommel, the bar manager, has been with Windstar since 1998 and knows his wine. But unless you and your traveling partner are really big drinkers, the beverage package seems like a huge waste of money. Breakfast and lunch are served in an indoor/outdoor setting called the Veranda. There's always a buffet in addition to a menu of eggs cooked to order, pancakes, burgers, dogs and fries. The staff, who seem to work 24/7, are terrific. A couple of servers, Ziggy and One, even remembered us from a cruise we were on a year and a half ago. Upon check-in on the pier in St. Maarten, there was only one official processing people. Most of us had just gotten off long flights and were standing in the warm sun. In the past, check-in was quicker with more personnel helping out. However, the process moved along quickly and were on board within 20 minutes. Once on the ship, getting your picture taken and getting your room key is a smooth and quick affair. Luggage was delivered about 90 minutes later, during which time we had lunch. The cabins on the ship had undergone some updates. New bedding and curtains, but the same somewhat tired carpeting. The ship is pushing 20 (or more) and the carpeting shows it's age. Bathrooms on Windsurf are spacious and uniquely designed in a roundish pattern. The shower has round walls, as does the space for the toilet. Surprisingly, even someone 6'2" fits easily. Towels and toiletries are quite good and the cabin is serviced well by the hard-working stewards. The ports-of-call on this itinerary sounded good when we booked. Antigua, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, St Barth. But the excursions left much to be desired. Although she seemed to work hard, the excursion director, TJ, didn't seem too well informed about the trips. And the few slides she showed the evening before were not very informative. There are Information sheets available for each port, but a helpful touch would be a map on the reverse side showing where the shop docks in relation to restaurants, bansk, beaches, etc. People complained about long bus rides, not so nice beaches, and not enough time t enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling, etc. By an informal poll the trip to The Baths on Virgin Gorda was the best excursion. Wiggling through narrow openings between boulders was, for some, a bit strenuous, but worth it when we got to Devil's Bay. As usual, Windstar's picnic on the beach was great, as was the final night's bar-b-que on deck. A great assortment of options, even for vegetarians. Anyone who has ever sailed with Windstar knows the entertainment options. A competent house band, which has been playing for guests for quite some time, and a duo in the upstairs Compass Rose. That's it. For those of us who return to Windstar, this is fine and we don't want or expect more. If you want Las Vegas style pomp, this isn't the place for you. I said earlier that Windstar had changed. One negative is that things seemed much less organized. Events were listed in the daily program without times (wine-tasting, cooking class) or the wrong time. An early morning stretching class listed as starting at 8:00, actually began at 7:30, surprising the guests who arrived at 8:00. There are so few scheduled events on these small ships, you'd think keeping track of them would be easy. Even the ever-pleasant women at Reception were unsure of when things started and where they would take place. Back to the cabin...many guests' room locks didn't work. Batteries and to be replaced. The once modern and useful Bose sound docks also were prone to problems. All matters were addressed quickly, but there seemed to be a lot of such issues. Two other observations. The cabins could use another electric outlet. People today travel with a ton of electronics and all need to be charged. So a nice addition would be one or two more plugs. Also, who designed a toilet with the flushing device behind the seat? Talk about sanitary! One has to do one's business, close the lid and reach behind the toiled and pull up on a knob to flush. One great thing about Windstar is that there is no waiting for anything. On a recent cruise on a large ship (2,000) passengers, there was a 20 minute wait to get into the main dining room. Never happens on Windstar. You can eat whenever and with whomever you please and you are seated with a minute of coming to the door. The same holds for getting on and off the ship. Never a wait of more than a minute or two. The open bridge policy still is in effect and you can wander in and ask questions almost anytime. The captain made himself quite visible throughout the trip even though he wasn't feeling well. I would like those see Windstar do more to recognize return passengers. Because this cruise line caters to a very specific niche, I would think much of their business comes from word of mouth. Airlines and hotels reward frequent travelers (as does Seabourn) with perks. Maybe an upgraded room. Maybe shipboard credit. Maybe a free spa service or bottle of wine. Not on Wndstar. Regarding Windsurf spa, the women who seemed in charge was surly, rude and impatient. A very unusual trait for a cruise employee. When people had questions, or wanted to change or cancel an appointment, she look quite annoyed. One therapist even administered even administered a massage after admitting she had a cold. With so many precautions taken on cruise ships about disease prevention, how could this woman knowingly give a passenger a massage when she knew she had a cold? Overall, Windstar is a great choice for a cruise vacation. When the sails go up, when they play Vengelis' 1492 during sail away, nothing beats it. But the line still has a way to go to be considered a luxury-level fleet Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
We just returned from our 9th Windstar cruise in the last 12 years, and our 5th on the Windsurf. We traveled with 4 other couples, all of whom are Windstar alumni. Our last trip was the same itinerary, with one change this time. They ... Read More
We just returned from our 9th Windstar cruise in the last 12 years, and our 5th on the Windsurf. We traveled with 4 other couples, all of whom are Windstar alumni. Our last trip was the same itinerary, with one change this time. They replaced St Kitts with Antigua...a good idea, although we all felt we didn't need 2 days in Antigua. More time in Virgin Gorda would be great. Since our last trip, 11 months ago on the Windsurf, the company has refurbished all of the public rooms, and the cabins as well. The public rooms are stunning. We found the cabin to be lovely, except for the carpet....if it had been changed, it was dirty and tattered on the edges. Surprising! Like the other review, we felt that the room needed more electrical outlets...there was only one in the cabin, and with all of the chargers that we carry for phones, ipads, etc, we could use another. The main dining room, AmphorA is beautiful. A much more sophisticated look. We were accommodated with a round table for 10...a nice way to converse with a large group. The Stella Bistro is equally beautiful. The food in these restaurants, while good, was not the quality that we have had in the past. The fish was dry, and steaks just OK. The staff in the dining rooms were as wonderful as always, cheerful and friendly, although it appeared as though there were fewer of them, and they were working a lot harder. But they always smile, and remember your name! Remarkable! We did not get the beverage package. We found the drinks reasonably priced, as always. The Veranda was also refurbished, but we found it to be crowded, as they have a added a large salad station which was difficult to maneuver around. The breakfast and lunch are both served here buffet style, with seating inside and out. We have always loved sitting outside to dine, and there seemed to be less tables there, while the addition of tables inside added to the crowding. The lunch buffet salad selection was always a favorite....but the variety is no longer there, and was disappointing. You can still order from a menu for breakfast and lunch if you desire, and the food is very nice. The staff, again is wonderful. There were 2 exceptions to the change in food quality. The barbeque held outside on the deck is as fabulous as ever...with lobster, shrimp and salads in abundance. And of course, the beach barbeque, on Prickly Pear Beach in Virgin Gorda (a fabulous spot) This is a highlight of the trip. The Yacht Club has become the location for morning coffee and pastry, as well as sandwiches throughout the day, and afternoon tea. Nicely done. However, one of the features that we loved was changed. Early morning coffee outside at the Compass Rose. My husband would pick up a cup of coffee and walk about watching us come into port. A simple thing that we miss, and could easily be changed. We do like the new awning at the Compass Rose. I have to mention the group who entertained us, both on this trip and the last. They are called Top Society, a family of musicians and singers...and are talented and delightful. As far as the excursions are concerned, we took a high speed catamaran to Anegada, the northernmost virgin island. It was a beautiful trip, with time on the beach as well as a tour of the island, and the crew on that ship were terrific. We have gone to The Baths on past trips. A previous reviewer felt the excursions were not very interesting. We take this cruise for r and r...so the excursions are not that important. Each island has its own beauty, and we just enjoy being there. The open bridge is a highlight of Windstar cruises for us. We are boaters, and enjoy meandering up to the bridge during the day, and in the evening. The navigation officers were always very pleasant and knowledgeable, and enthusiastically explained the dynamics of navigation and the workings of this magnificent sailing vessel. They made us feel that we were part of a great experience. Regarding the embarkation process. We waited in line for ½ hour in the noon day sun, with only one check in agent, who while friendly, obviously needed assistance. They did provide a cold beverage. Our luggage was transported to the ship very quickly by vehicle, while the passengers walked about ½ mile to the ship. It would be nice if some form of transportation could have been provided to individuals who needed it Once we were aboard, we knew why we always return....year after year, after year. Thanks for the memories, Windstar!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
After searching for months my husband and I decided on a Windstar cruise for our first one. From the moment we boarded the ship until the time departed it was an amazing trip! The ship itself was beautiful and well maintained, a few places ... Read More
After searching for months my husband and I decided on a Windstar cruise for our first one. From the moment we boarded the ship until the time departed it was an amazing trip! The ship itself was beautiful and well maintained, a few places of rust on the ship here and there...but you are in salt water, bound to happen. The crew was constantly cleaning and maintaining the ship. My favorite part of the ship were the sails and Compass Rose. Most of our evenings were spent there listening to the duo that was playing. Great talent. The service and staff were very accommodating, and yes they do know your name after day one! Everything I ate on board rated from very good to awesome! My only complaint was the coffee, if you are a coffee drinker you might not enjoy the coffee. I heard the expresso and cappuccinos were great though. Next trip I will just take a small French press and make my own. My husband really enjoyed the water platform off of the back of the ship, he used that several times. Our favorite parts were the beach day with the BBQ and the BBQ on the ship, both were lots of fun and food amazing ( and we are used to fine dining). We were on the beverage plan and the drinks were not watered down at all, and always had excellent service. We also purchased the laundry package and used it several times. However, the prices per piece are very reasonable so if you only need a few things laundered then I wouldn't get the package. As far as excursions we did our on and didn't book through the ship. We loved Smugglers Cove, we borrowed snorkeling stuff from the ship and went on our own! Beautiful beaches at each port, just ask the locals were to go. And, you can negotiate cheaper cab prices. We can't wait to go on our next cruise, we have decided to do at least 2 on Windstar a year! This was our favorite vacation ever! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
After sailing on several other cruise lines, I finally tried Windsurf. I have enjoyed most of my previous cruises....large or small. What attracted me to the Windsurf was the sailing feature. It was also very convenient sailing out/into ... Read More
After sailing on several other cruise lines, I finally tried Windsurf. I have enjoyed most of my previous cruises....large or small. What attracted me to the Windsurf was the sailing feature. It was also very convenient sailing out/into St. Martin. We vacation in St. Martin often. This time we stayed in St. Martin and then cruised...best of both worlds. Boarding was so easy. As stated, boarding started at 1pm. Our bags were given cabin tags and quickly delivered to our cabin. Unlike other ships, the bags were placed inside the cabin on the bed. No need to lift. We unpacked and went to lunch at the Veranda. The Veranda was a combo of buffet/menu service for lunch and breakfast. There were tables inside and on on the deck. Service was outstanding. Food was excellent. For dinner, we could choose from 3 venues. Main room was AmphorA, french bistro Stella Bistro, and outdoor Candles. Also, room service was available 24/7. Compass Rose, a aft bar, served continental breakfast and afternoon tea. Yacht Club served light breakfast and sandwiches. Bars were located all around the ship. All non alcoholic drinks were free. Wine and other alcoholic drinks were fairly priced...and they poured heavy. For those huge drinkers, there was a beverage package. We did not buy that package. We also enjoyed the bbq dinner on deck with lobsters. Cabin was well organized. Bed was very comfortable. Linens were good. The soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc. were L occitane.....very nice. We opted for the unlimited laundry package at $109/week. Same day service. I loved it. Entertainment was simple. No big productions or loud games. Outdoor pool and hot tubs, water sports platform, and beautiful water views were excellent. We also enjoyed the time sailing with the sails hoisted....quiet and beautiful. In most ports we tendered. Tenders were frequent....no lines Unlike other cruises which seem to close down a few days before you depart, the Windsurf continued operating everything until midnight of the last day. Disembarkation was easy. We left at 8:45 am and easily found our luggage which was in a tent next to the taxi stand. Within minutes we were on our way to the airport. $10 per person including luggage. Windsurf was fantastic. Everything worked, service was superb, and I came home with a suitcase full of clean clothes. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2013
3.16.13 -- St. Marten Took a (very) early morning flight from JFK to St. Marten. DW and I arrived around 11:30am. Customs was painless -- one small note -- the FAs on Delta insisted that the Immigration cards for SXM were one per family ... Read More
3.16.13 -- St. Marten Took a (very) early morning flight from JFK to St. Marten. DW and I arrived around 11:30am. Customs was painless -- one small note -- the FAs on Delta insisted that the Immigration cards for SXM were one per family -- they are really one per passenger. Only place I know where the immigration officer says, "it's no problem -- just remember for the next time." Ahhh, already know we're on vacation. The reps for Windstar were waiting right outside Customs for us. The drive from SXM to the port took about 25 minutes. We got to the pier at about 12:20 -- about 40 minutes before boarding. Dropped our luggage off at the Windstar tent, then went to grab $5 margaritas at a pier bar. Turns out the Windstar was docked right next to the ill-fated Carnival Dream. Based on our conversations with Dream passengers at the pier, the Dream trip didn't seem too ill-fated. Yes, the toilets did back up for a bit. Carnival fixed that pretty quickly and the ship (outside of being able to move) is fully functioning. To boot, they've gotten to stay on the ship and everything is free! While I'm sure I wouldn't be pleased, all in all could be worse. Boarded the Windsurf right at 1pm. Sign-on was a breeze -- maybe took 10 minutes. You pick up paperwork, fill out forms in the lounge, have some rum punch, turn in paperwork, and then voila -- you're being escorted to your cabin. Walking through the yacht, it's clear it just went through a facelift. The modern-nautical theme really works -- that said, it's clear the upgrades were purely cosmetic. Some of the carpet is worn, porthole sealing is decaying, etc. To be fair, you'll have to look really hard to find this stuff. Our cabin on Deck 2 is surprisingly large -- the bathroom is definitely the best layout I've seen at sea. Shower is quite spacious. After dropping off our stuff, we headed upstairs for lunch at the Veranda and to make dinner reservations. Based on what we read on the CC boards, we were expecting something terrible -- it wasn't bad at all! The salad bar is quite delicious. Beyond lunch, I strongly suggest making specialty dinner reservations ASAP. It was quite obvious that the line for dinner reservations got much larger as the day went on. For us -- Candles on night 2, and Stella Bistro on night 6. After lunch our luggage had been delivered to our cabin (quite fast!), so we unpacked and then headed up to the pool deck to get some sun and read. This is when we noticed we were on a yacht and not a ship -- the staff actually recognizes you -- already. They would say things like "Hello, again," etc. I could get used to this. Hung out by the pool until about 5, then back to cabin to shower and get ready for the muster drill. Post muster drill, went to the Compass Rose for appetizers and drinks. Dinner at AmorphA was quite good -- DW had butternut squash soup and veggie napoleon for dinner. For myself, the snapper special appetizer and seafood risotto. Our mains were definitely better than the apps -- soup was too watery, snapper was a bit bland. AmorphA itself is incredible -- really feels like a high-end NYC restaurant. Highlight of tonight was definitely our sail-away from SXM. The minute we pulled out of the port, Captain Alan unleashed the sails. I'll admit -- I was VERY skeptical that we would ever sail under the full power of sails without the engines. I was wrong. Totally. Night 1 and we we're sailing under the power of seven sails. Another tip -- we highly recommend walking up to front of the bridge deck for sailaway. For one, you can watch the happenings of the bridge firsthand and two, the sight of the sails unraveling are incredible! Post watching the sails unravel, we hung out on the loungers by the Veranda. Spent 45 minutes on deck and saw not a soul. Really felt like our own ship. Night 1 and I've already sipped the Windstar cool-aid. This is very easy to get used to! 3.17.13 - Antigua Awoke early and went upstairs just in time to see the captain and his crew rolling in the last of the sails for our entry into Antigua. There is something magnificent about seeing the sun rise at sea -- it never gets old. Had breakfast this morning at the Veranda -- DW and I treated ourselves to the buffet of lox and fresh backed breads, all of which were quite good. Unbeknownst to us, there is also a breakfast menu you can order off of -- we'll save that for tomorrow. Breakfast on deck was capped off with a cappuccino -- delicious! After breakfast, we ventured out on the tender to the port of Falmouth. We passed many a yacht on the tender! The port itself was nothing special. The minute we got off the tender, we took a taxi to Pigeon Point -- the closest beach. While it looked nice, we knew it wasn't for us -- it's right on a road, no chairs to rent, etc. Realizing we weren't thrilled, the cab driver drove us to his favorite beach -- Valley Church Beach -- about 35 minutes from the port. It was amazing -- I have never seen such pristine water! We spent five hours at Valley Church and maybe saw 15 other people in total. You can rent beach chairs for $5 each at the beach as well as umbrellas and towels. Towels at the beach are $7, but the ship gives them to you for free -- so remember to grab them on your way out. We returned to the Wind Surf around 3pm and grabbed sandwiches from The Lounge and ate poolside (try the French -- brie and onion compote on a fresh baguette -- very good!). We lounged poolside until sunset, when the pool closed for Candles setup. One small annoyance at the pool -- the towels at the pool were completely out for most of the afternoon and the towel return was overflowing -- it wasn't addressed until I went till the guest services desk and mentioned it to them. I found this a bit surprising, but by no means was it terrible. Upon returning to the cabin to ready ourselves for dinner, there was a bottle of champagne and appetizers in our cabin for our anniversary -- a very nice treat! Dinner tonight was at Candles. On the recommendation of the crew, we chose to eat at Candles on a night when we were in port because there is less wind. Dinner again was very good. DW had caprese salad and lamb chops (very tender!) and I had a caesar salad and marinated sea bass. At the end of dinner the ship surprised us with a cake and sang to us -- definitely got the DW blushing. Ended the night by listening to the duo in the compass rose. Another great day! 3.18.13 -- Antigua/At Sea Although we were still docked in Antigua, DW and I spent most of the day on the aft of the Star Deck lounging in the sun. We had breakfast again at the Veranda -- DW had the California Benedict and myself a Breakfast Burrito -- both were just okay. Her poached eggs were overcooked and mine was just bland. I think we'll stick to the buffet in the morning. As I was lounging, I realized -- I think we're one of the few on board who enjoy "big ship" cruising too -- many people we talk to shun it and I certainly understand why. I am loving Windstar, but this isn't a cruise -- it's an "anti-cruise" cruise. Days are passed by relaxing in the sun -- no activity list to follow, no announcements about an art auction, just you, the sea, and (maybe) a good book. Lunch again was on the Veranda and it was very, very good. With all passengers back on board with our impending departure, it got very crowded. DW and I actually sat in Stella. I had a delicious chicken caesar salad and DW had a turkey sandwich that was out of the world. Our sail away from Antigua from phenomenal too -- once again, under the full power of sails. After an afternoon of sun, we attended the captain's welcome gala in the lounge at 6pm (side note -- I found it ironic that on the same night as the welcome gala we received our departure questionnaire at turn down. Really Windstar? Can't you just wait one more night...). Dinner followed in AmorphA. DW and I agree -- tonight's dinner was one of the best meals we've had at sea -- not just on this cruise. DW and I both started with the beef carpaccio. For dinner, DW had duck a l'orange and I had the lobster ravioli -- both were superb. One other tip -- at some point during the trip you must try the french fries with truffle oil and parmesan as a side dish. YUM. We shared a cheese plate for dessert. A great way to top off a wonderful meal. We visited the bridge post-dinner, then on to the casino and the compass rose. It was a very relaxing day/evening. All that said, the ship was very rocky tonight -- we overheard many people talking about their battles with sea sickness. Lucky for us, we weren't affected. If you are one to battle sea-sickness, remember to bring your remedies. According to the captain, the seas were calm tonight -- boy, were we rocking! 3.19.13 -- Torola/Jost Van Dyke The seas calmed early this morning. Finally! Stuck with some lox and bread for breakfast, then on to the first tender to Tortola. Soper's itself is a very small port -- a few stores -- you can walk the entire port in 10 minutes. After we walked the port, we jumped in a taxi with some others from the ship and headed towards Roadtown. For me, Tortola was a bit of let down -- I thought Roadtown would be a nice quaint town to walk around. While it's a perfectly fine and safe place to walk around, it's not very picturesque. After about an hour, we had enough and went back to the ship. After a quick lunch, DW and I ventured out to the watersports deck -- lots of fun! We probably made a fool of ourselves on the water trampoline, but luckily no one was around to see us. On our way back in from the watersports deck, we made appointments at the spa for foot massages later in the day -- there was a special in today's program, 30 minutes for $39. We pretty much had the ship to ourselves this afternoon. It was great! Unfortunately, the clouds rolled in and it rained a bit. Oh well, time for our massages anyway. The massages were wonderful. After our massages, the ship made the 5 nautical mile journey to Jost Van Dyke. Along the way, an incredible rainbow appeared. Very cool. Tonight was the big barbeque on board. The rain forced the ship to move the event inside to the lounge. It was still lots of fun though (and delicious!). Lobster tails, shrimp, roast pig, skirt steak, seafood jambalaya. One suggestion -- definitely try the grilled bananas for dessert. Yum. The Wind Surf is anchored in JVD tonight. It seems like many passengers on the ship are heading to Foxy's tonight for some libations and good times. DW and I are enjoying life on the ship and just don't feel like getting ourselves on another tender. We're quite content hanging out reading our books. 3.20.13 -- Jost Van Dyke/Virgin Gorda After a quick breakfast, we hopped the first tender to Jost Van Dyke and took a cab to White Bay/Soggy Dollar Beach. JVD is a VERY small island -- no banks, no ATMs, only five cab drivers -- truly unspoiled Caribbean. Once on the beach, I wrote to our family "I've never really been searching for Heaven, but I've found it." JVD is incredible -- the water, the sand, the view, the drinks from the bar -- everything about it was euphoric. The beach is small, but delivers a big punch. Just grab a towel on your way off the boat, buy a drink at the bar and you're all set. As long as you buy stuff from one of the bars, you can use the chairs on the beach. In terms of drinks, you have to try a Painkiller, but we liked the Nilla Killa better. We ate lunch at the Soggy Dollar, but we heard the restaurant One Love was very good too -- it's just down the beach from Soggy Dollar. As the afternoon goes on, the beach gets more crowded as the hotels from St. Thomas bring their guests for the day, but the whole experience is just fantastic. Once we left the soggy dollar, we took a quick cab ride back to our pier and quickly walked into Foxy's. To be honest, I didn't get the hype -- it's a bit of tourist trap. I know I'm in the minority hear, but Soggy Dollar was more my style. Back on the ship, we hung out the pool as the ship readied to sail to Virgin Gorda. I left JVD praying we'll return soon. The sail to Virgin Gorda takes about three hours. We stood on the bridge as the ship headed into the Bitter End Yacht Club (where it docks). Sailing in, we passed the Seabourn Legend. It was quite exciting to be on the bridge as this all happened. The captain took a ton of care to make sure all went well. The passage into Bitter End is very, very narrow and filled with yachts. I imagine it's one of the captain's more nerve-wracking moments of the itinerary. At dinner, we ended up being seated right next to the Captain's Table (lots of eavesdropping ensued) and learned lots. He said that on an average cruise 40-60% of guests are repeat cruisers -- on TAs that number jumps to 96%! Dinner itself was amazing tonight. DW had bruschetta caprese, lobster bisque, and the most succulent lamb chops ever. I had shrimp cocktail, the bisque, and an out-of-this-world stir-fried Thai shrimp. We split a piece of banana cream pie for dessert -- also very good. Today was truly a day in heaven. I'd happily repeat it again and again and again. 3.21.13 -- Virgin Gorda We had to get up early today because of our shore excursion to The Baths. I would guess about 45% of the ship went on the tour. Since there were a lot of shore excursions going out today, they started breakfast service early. The shore excursion meeting process was very seamless -- I guess it helps when you don't have to corral thousands of passengers at once. The Baths were stunning. There are parts of the climb that do get a little hairy (ie -- you need to use a rope at some points), but it's not like you are hiking Mount Everest. I thought climbing Dunn's River Falls was much harder (and a lot scarier) than this. We heard some people on our ship complain that they thought The Baths were too crowded (the Carnival Breeze was docked in Tortola and had a shore excursion going too), but we didn't experience this. One tip -- our ship gets you there earlier than the big ships -- don't dilly dally at the first beach -- go through The Baths right away. This will help you avoid the crowds and you'll get to enjoy Devil's Bay Beach at the end. The tender from the shore excursion took us right to Prickly Pear, where the beach barbeque was being held. The food was very good -- burgers, dogs, brats, salads, noodles, etc. The queue for the salads builds up for some reason -- if you don't want a salad just go straight to the bbq line. Many people didn't realize this (including us) -- we were starving having just gotten done with The Baths and spent 15 minutes waiting in line for something we didn't even want. As we ate Captain Alan unfurled the sails on the ship so passengers could take photos. The ship looked beautiful with its sails out. After sunning a bit, we headed back on to the ship to watch our sail out. This time the captain kept the bridge closed -- I certainly understand why. Dinner tonight was at Stella. The DW really liked it, I thought it was good, but certainly not the best meal I've had onboard. DW had duck pate, mushroom soup, and the steak frites. Her pate was extremely dry. I had the goat cheese souffle and the poached salmon with asparagus. My souffle was very good. Overall, I'm glad we only went once. While the service was impeccable, I preferred Candles. Tonight was the crew talent show. It was great to see the crew in a whole different environment. Tomorrow is St. Barth's and we are very excited! 3.22.13 -- St. Barth This morning breakfast was to the scenic view of our sail in to St. Barth. A lot of ships appear to be in port this morning -- Holland America, Star Clipper, and Paul Gauguin. We ordered off the menu again -- DW had poached eggs with salmon hash and I had southwest steak and eggs. We quite enjoyed both -- much better than our first attempt at the menu. Once again, we were the first tender off the ship. Town was crowded, but nonetheless we enjoyed our walk around the ship. Following our walk around the downtown, we took a cab to Nikki Beach in St. Jean where we had reserved an umbrella and a beach bed. Nikki Beach was tons of fun -- certainly something we wouldn't do on most our vacations. It's definitely a place to see and be seen. Our lunch at Nikki Beach was good -- steak tartar and a pesto chicken wrap. Their mojitos were very good -- they claim to have the best in the world, but I wouldn't go that far. We returned to the ship and packed up. We booked transfers through the ship and our disembarkation time is 8:30am. Post packing, we headed upstairs, grabbed a drink and listened to a few tunes from the guest singer. It was another solid night in the dining room -- DW had caprese salad and porcini mushrooms with fettuccini. I had escargot and the grilled snapper with a mango salsa. I would say my dinner was better on the whole, but both were very good. For dessert, we split the chocolate banana tarte and highly recommend it. It's hard to believe that our seven nights has come to a close. Luckily, our trip has felt much longer than seven nights. Both the DW and I agree that Windstar has exceeded our expectation in every way imaginable. We look forward to returning in the very near future. Some Final Thoughts The Ship: Quite honestly, it's hard to believe the ship is over 30 years old. They have kept very good care of it. Although we we've never been on it before, DW and I both agree the refurbishment did the ship well -- it's really stunning. As the days went on, it really did feel like more of yacht than a ship. As we got familiar with the layout it felt smaller and smaller -- something we both really enjoyed. We loved the amount of deck space the ship has -- never once do you have to fight for a lounger. To sum up, it's simplistic yet elegant. The Crew: Amazing. Every single crewmember works incredibly hard (as they do on all ships). However, something was different on Windstar -- the crew seems to genuinely enjoy their job and it's shows in their service. By the end of the cruise, most of the crew we interacted with on the ship knew our names. They always remembered my wife's drink order -- iced tea with sweet and low -- and would have one ready for her promptly. The officers of the ship are the friendliest bunch of ships' officers we've met. They do not carry a pompous air like most of the big ships. One small note -- we were surprised we never met our cabin steward -- not once. I wouldn't be able to recognize him if I walked right into him. He took excellent care of our cabin, so perhaps this is intentional. However, it would have been nice to meet him at least once. All that said, the crew is really what made the trip special. Special thanks to the bartender Ed, Ziggy the dining room steward, and Harry the dining room steward. These three gentlemen went out of their way to make our trip special. The Food: I won't go into great detail here as I feel the trip report pretty much sums it up. The cuisine ranged from good to excellent and I would say averaged out at very good. Needless to say, you won't be disappointed with the cuisine. Go with an empty stomach and enjoy. We enjoyed that the focus of this cruise was not food -- we did not walk out of any one meal overly stuffed. It's clear great attention is put on quality not quantity. If you are looking for the twenty-four hour lido buffet, pick another cruise. Tips for Future Cruisers: - Always grab towels when you disembark - Tenders are usually ready to go thirty minutes before the published time - Eat at candles on a night when the ship is docked -- it can get very windy otherwise - Make reservations for dining right when you embark - There is only one American outlet in the Windsurf cabins, if you need more bring an extender. - Be careful using powerful blow dryers -- they will blow the fuse in your cabin. - If the lights don't turn on in your cabin, try pressing the "general" button near your cabin door -- this controls the overall power - Make a point to visit the bridge at least once when entering/exiting a port -- it's a very neat experience Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2013
I hate to sound Californian, but the Windsurf energies were just great. The cabin was basic on deck 2 but great crisp sheets and a design that is not cramped. Windsurf was so small (300 passengers) meant that the tenders are frequent and ... Read More
I hate to sound Californian, but the Windsurf energies were just great. The cabin was basic on deck 2 but great crisp sheets and a design that is not cramped. Windsurf was so small (300 passengers) meant that the tenders are frequent and easy. The BVIs were non-traditional ports, and I don't like large crowds. The on-board BBQ was awesome and now 2 years later I can say the experience as a whole was super, although no individual island or cruise person was memorable. The crew was kind. I thought I wrote a review 2 years ago but seeing that none is in my CruiseCritic history I guess better late than never. More recently I took a Celebrity cruise with an upscale "Aqua" cabin with balcony, but the Windstar experience beat it hands down. Took a nonstop flight from DC and arrived the morning of the cruise - a short taxi ride to the port and easy boarding which I believe was $20 including tip. After the cruise we had a 1/2 day before the flight and rented a car which allowed us a tour of both the French and Dutch sides of St, Martin including a stop at some beach bar whose name I forget - fun and relaxing. And left the day of arrival. We made a full circle - and stopped in a local supermarket. SInce there are only 300 passengers disembarkation is quick. Another plus of this cruise was we spent about 8 hours under sail - which is aesthetically pleasing, We will be back on Windstar! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
We were enchanted with the ship and the crew from the moment we boarded. We knew that this was not in the true "luxury" class of ships but really wanted something small and intimate, and this was exactly the right trip for us. ... Read More
We were enchanted with the ship and the crew from the moment we boarded. We knew that this was not in the true "luxury" class of ships but really wanted something small and intimate, and this was exactly the right trip for us. The trip was advertised as the "Yachtman's Caribbean" and truly, it was. Basically, it's island hopping with swimming and snorkeling during the day, drinks and food at night. The entire week was relaxed. No shorts or t-shirts in the dining room at night but totally casual with men wearing golf shirts or Tommy Bahama type shirts at night, women capri's or little strappy dresses - depending on age. Daytime is bathing suits, shorts, capri's. Leave the dressy stuff at home! The passengers ranged from early 30's (honeymooners) to late 70's with everything inbetween plus a couple of teenagers who were world travelers. Mostly professonal people, teachers, small business owners, etc., from all around the world although it was mostly American's, Canadians, and several Dutch that made up the bulk. The ship is small so there is opportunity to meet everyone and friendships were made all the way around. The staff is unbelievably kind an competent. The service staff is mostly from the Phillipines and have worked onboard together for many years. They cook, they clean, they entertain, they do it all and always with a smile. The food was outstanding. Breakfast and lunch served either on deck in a cool breeze or in a restaurant on the top deck. The choices are vast and nobody was hungry - ever - but never had that "stuffed" feeling of the large ships. Dinner is served either in the newly decorated and very elegant dining room or on the back deck where there is a small pool and hot tub. This area at night turns into Candles, an outdoor restaurant that features grilled steak, chops, etc. The most amazing part of this ship is that every square foot is multi-purpose and transitions from one use to another in minutes. We never felt crowed or cramped in the public areas or in our cabin. The cabin itself is sailing ship small but very efficient. The bathroom is amazing in that there is more than adequate room for everything and, I mean everything! Same with the two closets. The TV is pretty boring if you are a night watcher in bed but there is a library full of DVD's. The beds are two twins pushed together (or apart if you want). They were wonderfully comfortable and the pillows were awesome. BTW, there is 110v power so if you need a CPAP not to worry, plug is right next to the bed. We brought a travel multi-power outlet with usb charger that fit right into the wall plug so we could charge two cell phones and use the hair dryer (they supply). It's a Belkin that we found at Bed Bath & Beyond and really will be in our travel bag from now on. Also, we stayed a couple of nights in St. Maarten at the Westin Dawn Beach. Great hotel and they are also 110v as they are on the Dutch side. The French side has 220 so beware if you need anything like a CPAP plugged in. Back to the Wind Spirit. The itinerary is typical Caribbean. We fell in love with The Bitter End Yacht Club at Virgin Gorda and would love to go back and stay there. Virgin Gorda and St. Barths had world class yachts anchored out near us and it was fun to watch how the "other half" (1%) lives! The boat provides lots of watersports and opportunities for shore excursions from certified dives to land tours for those that are not into diving. Great beach party, wonderful BBQ on board one night. Just lots of fun, privacy, no hassle cruising. All of the islands are relatively small with taxi driver's willing to take passengers in safety and comfort. No begging in the streets of these small ports. Lovely change from the big ships again! We bought the $109 laundry package and I LOVED not coming home suitcases of dirty clothes. If you buy this package it's for washable clothing only, not dry cleaning. If I had really factored it in we could have taken half the clothes and will next time. We DID NOT by the booze package. We went to islands and had a rum or two in local bars during the day. We each drank wine at night, a cocktail or beer here and there, no lack of drinks, and our bill for the week was about $350. The booze package would have been about $750 and we noticed that people who bought it were almost forcing themselves to drink more because it was "paid for". The wines by the glass or bottle are very reasonable, same for mixed drinks. No more than any of our local nice bars. There is an exercise person who leads yoga and stretching in the morning. Gym is small but very well equipped. Salon has some nice deals. Prices in the little ship's store are very reasonable. We NEVER felt like we were being taken advantage of because we were a captive audience! Nice little lounge at night with some "theme" evenings. A little hokey but again, people are so nice that we made it all fun. If you're looking for glitz and glamour, this is not it! The seas were a little rocky a couple of nights. If you want a reservation at Candles on deck, make it for a night when the ship is anchored rather than a night when it's moving. Each room can only eat at Candles one night during the trip because it's small - so plan your night and make a reservation when you first board. Just call the reception desk and they'll take care of it for you. The sails - they are beautiful when they go up and there is dramatic music that accompanies the hoisting of sails. The captain and officers are eager to tell everyone all that they can about the ship itself. The stairs - there are stairways leading up and down to the decks so if you are unable to climb stairs, this may be a stretch for you. Also, we tendered off in each place which is an outside stairway going from the 3rd deck to the waterline. If it's raining or blowing it can be a bit tricky, so again, make sure you're up for this. The crew is very attentive and will help anyone getting off or on. There are also towels available when you leave the ship in case you want to go to a beach or are doing one of the water "adventures". The crew is the best part of this cruise. They are a group of wonderful men and women who genuinely love what they do. There are no big name entertainers on board but their talent show the 4th night out was the most fun we've ever experienced on a vacation. We can't wait for the next one! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
We just returned from our first Windstar cruise and have mixed feelings about our experience. We have cruised on many lines and travel extensively. We prefer smaller resorts and appreciate all that a smaller ship can offer. We chose ... Read More
We just returned from our first Windstar cruise and have mixed feelings about our experience. We have cruised on many lines and travel extensively. We prefer smaller resorts and appreciate all that a smaller ship can offer. We chose Windstar bc of the itinerary and wanted to give Windstar a try. The highs were the great ports and the marina off the back of the ship. Even though our weather was not great at the beginning of the cruise, it improved and we enjoyed wonderful days in Virgin Gorda, St. Barts and Tortola. The sailing was VERY rocky, but we were not affected by it. The room was good and very well appointed- especially the bathroom which has a very useful lay-out. Our cabin steward could not have been nicer and more helpful. Breakfast and Lunch in the Veranda were perfect- many choices, attentive service and no problem finding a place to sit. The lows outnumbered the highs. There was a big corporate organized group onboard- inferred that it was basically a wine and dine and thank you for media advertising. We had read on previous reviews that if a large group is onboard, it can greatly affect the cruise for others. This is very true. They took over Candles one night, and also hosted a special dinner around the aft pool one evening which precluded anyone else from enjoying that area for the evening. They would congregate at the bars in large, loud groups making it awkward for others to be there. The group was at least 60 people, and on a cruise of 300 people, this constitutes a large group. Smoking was another issue. We are not vigilantly against smoking, but it was overwhelming at times around the pool. Smoking areas were on one side of the ship- we just think that with such a small pool area, maybe move it somewhere else? The crew was friendly and we definitely encountered many who were to be commended ( we always turn in commendation forms as we know that they are important to the crew). But, it seemed as if they were not well trained or were new to Windsurf. Our dinners lasted at least 2.5 hours due to either a slow kitchen or slow wait staff. We would have liked for the Veranda to be open as a buffet in the evenings- dinners became a drawn out affair that we did not look forward to. Room Service was always an option, but we did not come on Windsurf to eat in our room. Th final straw was the fact that crew members (mainly casino and "cadets"- crew members in training) basically took over the Marina and the water trampoline in port and especially at the beach picnic on Prickly Pear. We have never encountered this on any cruise before- we realize that the crew works hard, but shouldn't those amenities be reserved for guests first? Comparing Windstar to comparable lines with comparable prices, Windstar falls short in the area of service. With the exception of our cabin steward, we did not feel like we received the service that we expected. We do not expect to be waited on hand and foot, but with such a strong crew to guest ratio, thought it would be a better experience. To be honest, with the exception of turning in favorable commendations for crew members, we do not post reviews such as this. You have to take all reviews at face value, and everyone has their own opinion. But, there were just too many things about our experience on Windsurf that were not favorable. They truly have the potential to be amazing, and their itineraries are great. We would try them again, but would go into it with lowered expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
My husband and I enjoyed our Windstar cruise on the Wind Surf. We purposely choise a cabin on the lowest deck so we could watch the waves and passing scenery at eye level through our two cabin portholes. That was fun! Elevators made it ... Read More
My husband and I enjoyed our Windstar cruise on the Wind Surf. We purposely choise a cabin on the lowest deck so we could watch the waves and passing scenery at eye level through our two cabin portholes. That was fun! Elevators made it easy to get to the higher deck levels of the ship. I never experienced a time when I couldn't use an elevator. The ship is clean, tidy and well-maintained and our cabin was nice and with a well thought out design. Liked the overhead Hansgrohe shower head and handheld spray. It had different water pressure settings and patterns. The L'Occitane bath products provided were Lemon Verbana scented. The bed was comfortable, not too hard or too soft. Chairs in the cabin and on the above decks do not have good lower back support though. Our cabin steward was efficient and friendly. There was always a basket of fresh fruit in the cabin and two heart-shaped chocolate candies and also fresh ice in the ice bucket every night with the turndown service. The BBQ on the beach on St. Lucia and also the second BBQ on the ship were highlights of the trip. They did that well! Even had a live steel drum band on the beach. Occasionally the captain of the ship would make an announcement. He sounded just like the British actor Hugh Grant and had a nice sense of humor. We only booked one ship excursion and felt it was worthwhile money spent. Most of the islands we explored a bit on our own. The island itinerary on this trip was St. Maarten, Dominca, St. Lucia, Les Saintes (French West Indies), Nevis and St.Kitts. Nevis was the least interesting island. Taxi drivers there will hound you to use their services. We decided to just go back to the ship instead. Another couple that did take a taxi ride on the island were disappointed and told us it wasn't worth it. Most of the time we had to use a tender boat to get onto an island. It was easy and not scary and the crew is always ready to lend a helping hand to make getting on and off the tender boat simple. The Torment of Love pastries (filled with either coconut, banana or guava) and sold in baskets on the main street of Les Saintes, were delightful and also the French ice cream flavors ( guava, cassis, etc.) Most islands accepted US dollars but I had to pay with euros on Les Saintes. There is an Atm machine in town where you can obtain euro currency. There were several first-run movies available daily on your cabin tv and also a dvd and book library on the ship. I did purchase some wifi bandwidth to use with my ipad. The internet connection worked pretty well in the cabin and had an worked even better on a higher level of the ship. The food on the ship was good but not memorable. There wasn't a meal that made me wish I could eat it again. The dinner service every night was more elaborate and formal than breakfast or lunch. It would be nice if they would offer an optional informal dining venue for dinner other than room service. All in all, this was a nice trip!   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
First off let me just say that the last cruise we were on was Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Sea and I had a two story suite that was fantastic. That being said my wife told me she had a great time but the ship was too much of a circus ... Read More
First off let me just say that the last cruise we were on was Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Sea and I had a two story suite that was fantastic. That being said my wife told me she had a great time but the ship was too much of a circus (climbing walls, mini golf, basketball, etc) not to mention the 8000 people on the ship. I was pointed in the direction of the Windstar Windsurf. We took two boys ages 17 and 22. The cruise was over Christmas so we figured (and were right) that there would be other young adults on the ship. It was fantastic, from the room (not as big as the last ship) to the food to the crew. I don't have enough time to leave a complete review but we couldn't have been happier. The kids even had a great time. We went swimming and playing in the ocean off the back of the ship every day, something we haven't ever had the opportunity to do before. This was like being on our own private yacht. It's a small ship with only 300 passengers and if you wanted to find a corner and read or listen to music it wasn't a issue. You are going to want to take advantage of the 24 hour open bridge policy, it's fascinating. Everything we did was special and we would do it again and will. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Our first cruise was an absolute dream. The Wind Surf staff, from the Captain to the laundry workers, could not have been more friendly, professional, and caring. Three couples, "senior citizens" from the Pacific Northwest, ... Read More
Our first cruise was an absolute dream. The Wind Surf staff, from the Captain to the laundry workers, could not have been more friendly, professional, and caring. Three couples, "senior citizens" from the Pacific Northwest, travelling together were like a bunch of kids on and off the ship. Anchoring at locations away from the town-sized monster ships gave us a chance to visit local shops in smaller towns, yet get to the bigger "tourist centers" if we wanted to. The food was spectacular, the scenery was incredible, and listening to the music while the sails were unfurled on the 5 masts was thrilling. Seeing the ship at anchor when returning from shore excursions was a wonderful sight. With just under 300 passengers, we were able to get together when we wanted, and go our separate ways when we wanted. The six of us did get together for dinner each evening. All six of us went to a small local bar, the Mad Mongoose, in Falmouth Harbor, Antigua, to watch our Seahawks beat the 49ers. It was a raucous, fun evening with lots of local residents and a few travelers from around the world. We all did many activities together and separately. Some of us went swimming off the watersports platform at the stern of the ship, two went snorkeling at the Baths and another site on Virgin Gorda, four of us enjoyed the swimming and "people" watching at Shell Beach on St. Bart's, two of us went swimming and playing with dolphins on Tortola, and we all spent many hours sitting and reading at many locations all over the ship. Our rooms were luxurious, comfortable, and very well prepared by our Steward, Beny. I cannot possibly imagine a better trip for the price. We will take Windstar trips again !!!!!!!!!! Read Less
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