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Sail Date: January 2015
Wind Surf - Yachtsman- Jan 17 2015 First and foremost, I loved this cruise. One of the most relaxing vacations ever. I would have given this a 5 star rating except for some of their front office customer service practices and policies( ... Read More
Wind Surf - Yachtsman- Jan 17 2015 First and foremost, I loved this cruise. One of the most relaxing vacations ever. I would have given this a 5 star rating except for some of their front office customer service practices and policies( see below) PROS itinerary - spectacular - the smaller British Virgin Islands - loved, loved it overall friendly casual atmosphere of ship and ship mates overnight in ports - wonderful added to the relaxation of the vacation - no rush to get off the ship to see the island embarkation/disembarkation - effortless, no line ups - this alone is enough to convince me not to return to big ship cruising even with our preferred status on the big cruise lines not nearly as good as on Windstar the ship was beautiful, well appointed - lots of space , chairs available, never waited seating mind you there was only 220 passengers on a 300 capacity vessel. cabins - one of the loveliest I have had - well appointed, ample storage, well designed. I thought I would really miss my balcony but not so much Motion - you could feel it. You knew you were on a ship. I like the motion nothing that . The ship hardly made a noise. service on the ship - very friendly, so many of the staff knew our names after the first day very few upcharges - specialty restaurants, soft drinks, specialty coffees all free sports deck - free use of sports equipment, sailboats, water platform off the back of the ship - awesome captain- friendly, professional, engaging was present among the guests all week, was at the end of the gangplank to say goodbye at disembarkation. Best captain ever. bridge open Closeness to the water - bow of the ship dark at night - stars spectacular- again felt like you were on a ship and not a floating hotel laundry package - was a good deal and very handy to have your clothes washed or pressed. just a souvenir shop not a lot of shopping. Again feeling of being on a ship not in a shopping mall Deck BBQ -wonderful food, festive atmosphere. Island BBQ - great food, great beach….crew work really hard to make this happen slugging all this stuff off the ship and to the beach. It was great. Yacht club sandwich and coffee bar was great for a quick snack or drink after returning from shore Room steward was excellent BOSE sound system in room and DVD , free use of ipods, and DVD library still send paper based cruise tickets….. love it. CONS customer service front office - didn’t ever seem eager to get or keep my business . Refused to honour AARP discount “because the price was already low - yet price went down significantly again after my booking” price drop policy - I am well aware of the cruise lines not dropping prices after final payment and I am fine with that. However Royal Caribbean has always honoured any price drop post final payment with upgrading me to a cabin that my fare would buy at that price point, sometimes they will give onboard credit. Royal Caribbean does a good job of recognizing my early booking. They understand that if I feel disadvantaged by booking early then I will either chose another cruise line that is interested in ensuring that that I am treated fairly no matter when I book….or.. I will always book late. Windstar clearly has no interest in building customer loyalty from the front office perspective. Totally different philosophy once you are on the ship. They want to do everything to be sure you are satisfied and have a great experience. Kind of a Jekkyl Hyde thing going on. Many of the people that we met on the ship had booked last minute. pool - hot tubs not available at night. The outdoor evening restaurant which is a wonderful feature is situated around the pool and hot tubs. We always enjoy hot tub at sea under the stars. Just doesn’t make sense why they set up here. dining room - food was good, not great, not as good as dining room on Royal Caribbean wait staff dining room- very friendly, eager to please but not as good as Royal Caribbean - English seemed to be more of a barrier in the dining room than on larger cruise lines drinks were expensive even for a cruise ship. Once we get on the ship we refuse to think about costs but in the end I think the drinks were over priced yoga - impossible in a small gym with machines making noise around you. CONCLUSION Would I recommend. Yes in a heart beat. Would I sail with Windstar again? absolutely but will book last minute   Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose Wind Star because it is described as a small, intimate and luxury cruise experience. The ship The Wind Surf is old and shows her age with being built in 1989. I believe the ship was originally a Club Med ship. It really needs a ... Read More
We chose Wind Star because it is described as a small, intimate and luxury cruise experience. The ship The Wind Surf is old and shows her age with being built in 1989. I believe the ship was originally a Club Med ship. It really needs a total makeover. When we were to board, embarkation was not at its usual dock but more of an industrial dock so check in was chaotic and very long. We sat here until 11:00 pm, sailing was to be at 7:00 pm but divers were underneath the ship repairing a part. Not a good start! We were told by a Wind Star cruise reservations agent that we could snorkel off the sports platform from the Ship since the ship is smaller 310 passengers, so that was a big selling point for us. This was not true as the ship would anchor at a 100 feet or more and snorkeling off the sports platform was not allowed anyway. We were also told no shorts in the main dining room the Amphora and no flip flops of any kind in the lounge in the evenings. We were not informed of this when purchasing the cruise or is not stated in any of the brochures or on the Wind Star web site. I advised the onboard Customer Service Manager of this and she informed me it is stated on the website, but not so.When sailing to the different islands we always tendered in, which we knew we would some of the times but every single time aboard old hot tenders. More like tin sweat boxes. The first day we stood in the hall with a line of people and waited an hour as only one tender was running. On day 7 the captain made an announcement that we would not be going to St Barts our last port because they had scheduled a time to finish the repair that was started on embarkation day so now our 9 day cruise that we paid for was an 8 day. I believe that Wind Star knew about this when we departed on day 1. We asked for a refund for the one night but our request was denied. The passengers stayed aboard the ship sitting at the pier in St. Maartin not what we signed up or paid for. We disembarked and went to a hotel. Very disappointing and not at all what was expected for the money we paid which is quite a bit more than other cruise lines. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
I chose this cruise based on my previous experience with Windstar (The Windstar). I was hoping to have the same or similar experience but quite honestly was disappointed. Perhaps I am spoiled being from the Northeast of the US where ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on my previous experience with Windstar (The Windstar). I was hoping to have the same or similar experience but quite honestly was disappointed. Perhaps I am spoiled being from the Northeast of the US where great food is common place and easily obtained. The food on the Starbreeze never stood out in a positive way in my mind. This particular cruise was more a "Sailing" cruise which is not the typical Windstar style of stopping at a different harbor on a daily basis. This leaves the on board experience the number one thing that the cruise line should get right! Food is one of those things. The only small port we stopped at was totally botched, everyone waited over 2 hrs to get off the boat, and when we did the tenders were sub standard and broken. I still do not understand why Windstar did not simply lower more tenders to handle the back log, the Windsurf was in the same port and was using the tender/lifeboats. This left an unforgivable BIG cruise taste in my mouth and simply ruined the last day. Sorry Windstar, I hope that you address these shortcomings and take to heart what I say. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We choose the cruise because of the ports of call and our previous Wind Star experience (this was our eighth Wind Star cruise and third on the Wind Surf). The cruise is Yachtsman, Caribbean. We were scheduled for: Philipsburg, St. ... Read More
We choose the cruise because of the ports of call and our previous Wind Star experience (this was our eighth Wind Star cruise and third on the Wind Surf). The cruise is Yachtsman, Caribbean. We were scheduled for: Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Falmouth Harbour, Antigua Soper's Hole, Tortola, B.V.I. Jost van Dyke Great Harbour, B.V.I , Virgin Gorda, Prickly Pear Beach, B.V.I., Gustavia, St. Barthelemy Philipsburg, St. Maarten Because of weather we did not visit Virgin Gorda or St. Barts. We also learned that Wind Star no longer uses Prickly Pear Beach after the cruise started. Instead of Virgin Gorda we spent the day at Road Town, Tortola. A terrible alternative and instead of a special day at the beach, we had a one hour steel band and a rum drink. There had to be a better port of call. It seems the weather was a surprise to everyone at Wind Star. We were to arrive at ST. Bart's at 0800 and leave at 10:00 PM. We arrived at 0700 and the captain decided to leave for St. Maartan at 0800. Since St. Bart's was a highlight of the cruise we thought we should at least wait a few hours to see if we could use the tenders. Communication from the Captain and crew was limited so we never were told the whole story. Again, there should have been alternatives since the weather was forecast. Also, the Wind Surf looks tired and out dated. Worn carpet, inside bright work is dull. Internet and electronic entertainment has not changed in the 12 years we have used Wind Star and it was old then. We feel the ship was under staffed as the crew could not provide the personal service we were used to on Wind Star (70 guests in the bar and one waiter as an example). Slow service in the restaurants and the food is mediocre. Disappointing experience for us Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife & I sailed on 1/12/19, Our 6th Windstar cruise, 3rd on Wind Surf. Room 126. The ship – Wind Surf – was built in 1990, and is showing its age in too many areas. Rust, loose planks, paint peeling, bent railings, and I ... Read More
My wife & I sailed on 1/12/19, Our 6th Windstar cruise, 3rd on Wind Surf. Room 126. The ship – Wind Surf – was built in 1990, and is showing its age in too many areas. Rust, loose planks, paint peeling, bent railings, and I could go on. The most odd part is that I didn’t see any maintenance crew guys doing repairs. Which to me means that there is something else, a problem that goes deeper but I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the cruise Captain, or it’s the upper management cutting back on costs, I really have no idea. Also, FYI – Windstar Cruise line is pulling out all the casinos. Which means that in the evening, for entertainment outside of your cabin, your only choice will be the band, or duo. That’s it. Granted the casinos are rarely filled, and are never very lively – but that’s the casino staff’s responsibility and they fail here. And it gives you another form of entertainment. The other crew members – bar, serving, house-keeping staff all seemed to be a little less friendly this trip. What’s going on ? Some were good though – Maria, Ace, Mel, and Eugene were great bar people. Alex was a super room steward. But other than those 5, everyone seemed a bit agitated, or distracted. The people/fellow passengers seem to always consist of “my kind of people” unlike the larger ships. Almost everyone is friendly, classy, and talkative. Again, this was now our 6th cruise and we have never had a problem with our fellow passengers. This sailed of St Maarten, 7 nights, 1 sea day. I didn’t really care for the sea day but I certainly got a great tan. The ports were all good, as always. A bonus I thought was that the normal stop for the beach party was still in ruins, so they parked at a different side of the island. And this stop was a short cab ride to the Baths. No tour needed. All in all, we had a great time. But I expected a little more. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This is our third and likely last Windstar cruise. There are many reasons we feel this way. First, the Windsurf is need of serious updates. There is surface rust visible throughout the exterior decks. Several warped deckboards, metal ... Read More
This is our third and likely last Windstar cruise. There are many reasons we feel this way. First, the Windsurf is need of serious updates. There is surface rust visible throughout the exterior decks. Several warped deckboards, metal step treads almost rusted through near the pool area. Interior wise carpets and fabrics are in very worn condition. Beds are uncomfortable and left us with back aches. The food quality is sub-par for the price. The excursions offered were super limited and overpriced. We had to do our own research and planning and found much better island experiences independently. Overall, the bar staff were the friendliest folks on the boat. The cabin stewards and food service were a close second. Other than that, no one else really spoke to us, except Andrew the beverage manager who tracked us down 2 different nights around 8:30 - 9:30pm (once sat down at our dinner table) to inquire bar charges on our beverage plan, which we had disputed. His tone and demeanor were accusatory and offensive to us which let to me raising my voice at him. It was definitely the straw that broke the camels back and made us decide to try new cruise lines going forward. We three out of four family members on the unlimited beverage package. The two family members sharing another cabin and one was not on it because he hardly ever drinks alcohol. The root of the problem is there systems can’t seem to keep straight who is buying what and charged a lot of drinks to the person not on the plan that we had to dispute. The whole situation was handled poorly, and you should not interrupt a guest in the middle of dinner to discuss these matters. The beverage package is pretty expensive at around $418 pp per week. You have to sign for every drink and many days you are in port most of the day, so you may think twice before signing up for this. One would think on an unlimited beverage package that you should be able to get any wine on the menu. However with this plan, only wines by the glass under 11.50 a glass are included (no bottles). We are wine people and were not happy to be served from a bottle opened the previous night, every day. The bar staff was pretty much very friendly with a few minor exceptions. In retrospect, we should not have got the beverage package at all. The appearance of the yacht, as I said above, was worn and tired. It's time to dry dock and overhaul this vessel asap. There is no way I would get back onboard the Windsurf until many changes were made. The Windstar in contrast, is in overall better condition, although not perfect, seems about 5 years fresher in terms of wear, tear and rust. The food quality is typical cruise fare. The plates were always too hot to touch indicating they had been under a heat lamp for an extended period of time and that was reflected in the taste and texture of the food. Getting reservations at any of the specialty restaurants is a frustrating game. The first day we went to guest services to make dinner reservations. We waited in a line. The couple of front of us high-fived that they got three reservations for the week. We called immediately after they hung up and were told all the reservations for the week were taken. We walked by 2 hours later and heard another guest securing reservations on the same phone. After that we complained to several staff members who referred us a dining room manager, he put us on a waiting list. We had to wait all week to see and were notified on very short notice that they were able to fit us in due to a cancellation. Having been a prior suite guest being able to come and go as we please, I know that there are always several extra tables and that are never used. I was happy that we got to eventually dine at Candles, but not happy with the process and level of frustration involved in simply making a dinner reservation. I said to one of them, maybe this wouldn't be so hard if we had booked in time to get the suite, which is the way it felt we were being treated, again 2nd class. Additionally, none of the ship's officers recognized us at all and we sailed on the same ship less than 6 months ago. The was our 3rd and likely last Windstar cruise. The first cruise was in Greece on the Windstar in the Owner's suite and it was great. The second one was on the Windsurf in the Bridge suite to the BVI’s and it was also good, but we had the best category cabin on the boat. This time we booked at the last minute and took the last 2 rooms available on the boat, which were on lower levels. Wow, what a difference not having a suite makes! It was like we were 2nd class citizens compared to the way we were treated before. We were also surprised and disappointed that we were not invited to the private party for returning guests. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This was my third Windstar cruise - second one on the Windsurf. I chose the BVI Yachtman's Caribbean as I remembered those islands from long ago sailing. Unfortunately, we couldn't snorkel or catamaran very often (excursions were ... Read More
This was my third Windstar cruise - second one on the Windsurf. I chose the BVI Yachtman's Caribbean as I remembered those islands from long ago sailing. Unfortunately, we couldn't snorkel or catamaran very often (excursions were cancelled) due to rough seas, so not a lot to do. There were then limited excursions left to take advantage of. I did swim with the Stingrays - that was cool. The best day was St Bart's - catamaran cruise. Josh Van Dyke - the beach trip , Whites Bay, was good and they had shopping huts. Foxys was a dud - morning visit, nothing open. We couldn't do the evening visit , due to rough seas. Sopers hole, Tortola it rained. St. John's Antiqua was the dolphin swim. I did the final day Americas cup sailboat racing and that was FUN! The ship is getting tired - wallpaper is peeling in the rooms and the lounge has an old vibe to it. I didn't stay up late to hear the lounge singers. I found the staff distant and the captain not often visible. It was a different crowd this time - maybe sell off prices attracts different travellers? As a single traveller , I pay a lot and I expected a more upscale group of guests. The other sailings had that. I do think there are last minute sell - offs that change the vibe of the ship. The crew seemed tired - not as friendly as other cruises, less attentive. Again, maybe due to the weather being not great - rocking ship at night, not a lot of sleep, tenders difficult in high waves etc. My room 230 - was noisey with a motor type noise and a drain outside my room, gurgling all night. I asked to change rooms but they had only a lower grade stateroom, that I thought might be rougher. Overall, I was disappointed with this cruise. I will go with this line again - perhaps In Europe. I won't sail on the Windsurf again. I think I prefer a smaller vessel. The Star Legend ship was lovely last year - ABC islands. No sails but we didn't get to use the sails in the Windsurf except for one time. Even the beautiful sail away was a disappointment as the sails didn't open. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose Wind Surf because we wanted a more personalized experience and no children. The embarkation process was not a great experience.Possibly because we arrived on the late side (4:00pm)? The person who registered us was less than ... Read More
We chose Wind Surf because we wanted a more personalized experience and no children. The embarkation process was not a great experience.Possibly because we arrived on the late side (4:00pm)? The person who registered us was less than enthusiastic and actually a bit snarky leaving us feeling unwelcome and without answering some questions regarding options for our disembarkation. I know! Right?! The service was inconsistent and the food was, in all honesty, a disappointment. Nothing was prepared properly and oftentimes we had to order a few different items to find ONE somewhat acceptable. We do not consider ourselves food snobs but come on! Not what you would call "fine dining". Generally, the staff was pleasant but I have had better service on much larger ships. We had hoped for a somewhat more upscale feel but that might be do to the limitations that a ship of this size (with 300 plus passengers) has to deal with. Also, the pool size ( a big bathtub) and area simply were not conducive to just relaxing and chilling out. Again, that's another disadvantage inherent with a smaller vessel. But a beautiful ship (although somewhat dated), nonetheless. I mean the wallpaper was peeling off the stateroom wall! Seriously?!! Anyway, that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our third Wind Star cruise on their sailing vessels. My husband were hoping to get much needed rest and relaxation. We went on a back to back. I was surprised on our first week that there were a lot of children. It was the week of ... Read More
This was our third Wind Star cruise on their sailing vessels. My husband were hoping to get much needed rest and relaxation. We went on a back to back. I was surprised on our first week that there were a lot of children. It was the week of Christmas but I had never seen so many unsupervised children on such a small ship. The parents could have done these kids a favor and had them on one of the larger lines with water slides, video games and a large pool. Because the kids had nothing to do and were unsupervised they ran all over and planted themselves in the two whirl pool tubs on the back of the ship and in the very small pool. We had an at sea day for the first leg of the trip and it was beyond horrible as relaxation was no where to be found. The first week of the ship they did not open the back of the ship much. We went off the back one day and it was very rough. They have a blue floating mat and a trampoline that had jumping children on it. The second week was much better. There was not any at sea days, there were less children but the sailing was sold out as was the week before and the ship was crowded. I really regretted my choice for the holidays. I should have went on Oceania as I have done in past years. The chef had a decorated ginger bread house which Oceania does as well. But on Oceania they have lots of different Christmas cookies around the decorations on plates that are kept full of fresh cookies. Not the case on Wind Surf. For both weeks of this back to back on Windsurf dining was consistently frustrating. We arrived on board at a few minutes before three. Embarkation was great and simple. We then asked for the welcome on board buffet and it was closed down. Dinner would be at 7:00 but they have the yacht club that serves cold sandwiches and coffee. What a disappointed. We hadn't eaten because we had been traveling all day and the sandwich choices were fair. I like egg salad but it was served in a pita (Yuk) - the sandwiches are pre-made so there was no choice of bread. I got a tuna salad sandwich that was all bread and very little tuna salad. I would have been better off getting a subway at the airport. Dinner time mediocre at best. I really like fresh fruit and vegetables. The vegetable choices in the main dinning room were frozen broccolli, frozen carrots and peas. They always had a dark green salad with tomatoes that were never ripe and should not have been served. There was always plenty of meats but I am not a big meat eater. I did try the beef wellington but the crust was mush and the meat inside was under cooked. I like medium to medium rare and it was rare. One night I asked for a pasta with marinara sauce which is not on the main dining room menu but is on the room service menu and I was told no I could not get that. I did see other people ordering pasta on different nights but that evening the chef came out and told me it was not possible because it would put them off of their time line. In the evening I like to have a snack but after dinner there is no food service open on board. The Yacht club which has sandwiches and cookies closes at 6:00 pm. So I called room service and asked for a couple of oranges to eat before bed. I was told oranges are only available on the morning room service menu and was not available at that time of the night. Frustration!!! I spent a lot of money on this cruise and was very disappointed by this. Since we were on for two weeks we did have two beach bbq experiences and two evening deck experiences. The food at both of those experiences was very good and I have no complaints. It was disconcerting that at the first week of the beach bbq there were a lot of kids and very few people took advantage of the hand sanitizer. Also I saw people returning to the buffet line with dirty plates. This was also seen at the lunch buffet on board. The one thing I liked about Oceania is that they serve you on the buffet line so you don't have people who don't have sanitary hands touching the buffet. Being we were outside and kids would run up and grab a piece of fruit out of the fruit salad as did some adults I had concerns. I did not get sick and neither did my husband but I was concerned. The second week of the beach bbq someone must of said something because they did have workers serving the food rather than people taking what they wanted and they wore plastic gloves. The first week I suspect there were many cabins with three or more people because at that beach experience it was very difficult to get a chair. Many people put a towel on their chair with a book and then disappeared. At the beach experience they did bring out water toys and the sports team was very busy. My husband and I used to sail a lot in our 30's and he wanted to take one of the hobie cats but the line for that was too long. The second week there were less people and he talked to a woman who was handling the check out. He asked her a few questions and she was somewhat rude but I imagine she was hot and it had been a long day. She briskly told him that they did not teach people to sail. I guess since he asked her about the hobbie cats she assumed he could not sail which was not true. He just walked away and figured it was not going to be a pleasant experience. On the back of the ship there were two men one I believe was named BangBam and they were exceptionally nice and watched over the swimmers. I used to scuba dive when I was younger and I automatically hand signal when I enter the water. To my surprise he hand signaled back. The two men who worked the sports deck were terrific but the girl they had there was not friendly or helpful. The deck BBQ was good. The first night they did not follow the deck BBQ with line dancing but they did the second week. Entertainment for both weeks was lacking. They have a large screen TV by the games and books. Many of the men wanted to see the Rose Bowl game but all that was on the large TV were Wind Star advertisements. A couple of guys were trying to look at a tablet that had the game on it. I dont' think it would have cost much for them to have a movie or a game during the cruise on the large screen. The singers were fine nothing that I cared to sit and listen to for an extended period of time. They do have games but what we found when we went to play them is most are missing pieces. Scrabble was missing 11 tiles. We brought our own games from home and people were circling around us wanting to know about the games and where to get them. I don't mind that there isn't a lot on the ship in the evening because I enjoy relaxing but the movie library is very outdated and the games are old and missing pieces. This is not luxury and I was disappointed that the cruise was touted as a luxury experience. As I mentioned I have traveled on Windstar before when it was owned by Holland America and the management is very different. On the plus side our cabin steward Fauzie was the best we have ever had even better than what we had on Seabourn and Oceania. He did his best. The bed mattress was not good. We were sore every day. When I told Fauzie he put together some makeshift padding. It was no where near as good as beds we have had on Holland America, Oceania, Seabourn or Celebrity. The mattress was like one we had on Carnival. The actual sheets were very soft and of a high quality. I also told Fauzie how upset I was about not being able to get oranges and each night when I came back to the cabin he had a dish of oranges. He was very caring and kept the cabin spotless. Our shoes were lined up and although the carpet was worn he did his best to make the place look great. Waiter service around the ship was variable. We had an excellent server name Udd and then we had some other servers who were also kind but did not understand English very well so if I asked for ice tea with extra lemmon and extra ice I would get an ice tea with no lemon and an extra cup of ice. What I thought was really unforgivable was the higher ranking management on the ship. All the workers seemed to try very hard to please and I thought the were over worked. At dinner one night in the dining room on waitress Ollie was alone in a section with very large tables. That poor woman was running and doing the best she could. There was no one busing her section to pour water. My husband needed some water and she was so busy she could not get to it. There were officers in white uniforms who worked in the dining room who would not pick up a pitcher of water and help serve. The were walking around literally doing nothing while this poor waitress was struggling without assistance. Beside us not getting our drinks and being very thirsty through dinner I asked her for a piece of apple pie for dessert which was available on room service but not on the menu. Ollie said no. Later I grabbed the manager and asked him for the pie and he did get it for me. I did tell him that it appeared they were understaffed and he did admit that indeed this was a very full cruise. The second week the dining room was not as full as it was the week of Christmas. Reservations for the specialty restaurants did not go too well. When we arrived we made our reservations the first week. That whole week we did not receive our invitation so I called. I was told that they did not have them. I made another and when we went up we were not on the list. This happened to several people I spoke to on the cruise. The food in the speciality restarant was better than in the main dinning room but still there was not much in the way of fresh vegetables. They did have brocollini in Candles which was good. The breakfast and the lunch buffets daily were very good. I loved the salad bar each day at lunch. But lunch hours were short and if you left the ship in the morning there was a chance you would miss lunch which was from 12:30 - 2:00 most days. We tended to sleep in so we missed breakfast which ended at 9:00. I really loved it the one day on New Years Day when they did brunch. They had a very good quiche and I was so happy to be able to have fresh fruit and vegetables. I would say if there is a really good price on windstar then it is worth the trip. But don't pay luxury prices or even above average prices or you might be disappointed. We will sail on any major cruise lines and are not disappointed if the price point is ok. We go on Carnival because we love the comedy club and I know not to eat in the dining room and to expect lower quality food and a harder bed. So as long as I am paying an economy price I am ok with it. This was disappointing to me because I expected a higher level of quality than what I got for the money and I feel that I over paid. Even with it being Christmas I don't feel that the dining hours, food quality, the mattress quality and the crowds were what I expected for what is advertised as a luxury experience. We paid about $5400 with taxes and port charges for two people for 15 days and I feel that the trip was worth about $4,000 for two including port charges and taxes - if that. I could have went on Holland America or Celebrity and had a balcony with money left over and it would have been a better experience. At least if there were kids there would have been places to go. We had cabin 211 which is in a good location so if you do decide to take a cruise on Windsurf I would recommend this cabin. Everything in the cabin worked. The carpet was very spotted and looked like it should be cleaned. We did get the laundry service and it was awesome. If you go on Wind Surf I highly recommend paying for the laundry service. You put your dirty clothes in a bag and the next day they are washed and pressed. All of our clothes came out perfect better than at home. We came back to the ship one day and just missed lunch. We asked if we could have room service on the deck so we could eat outside. We were told no that room service was to be eaten in your room. So we ordered to the room and took our food out to a table ourselves. There dining hours are so short that you may have to eat off the room service menu. Room service was pretty fast about 30 minutes. The rooms aren't very comfortable for dining because they do not have a balcony. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
the cruise was very nice. the ship needs a lot of upgrading though. the ports of call visited were good and bad st. john antigua is a dump not worth going to shore. barbuda should be taken off the list. there is nothing there to speak ... Read More
the cruise was very nice. the ship needs a lot of upgrading though. the ports of call visited were good and bad st. john antigua is a dump not worth going to shore. barbuda should be taken off the list. there is nothing there to speak of but a bird sanctuary. st.lucias beach party was great. st. kitts was great beautiful, the best place on the cruise to do your souvenir shopplng. st. barts was beautiful but unless you are rich dont plan on doing your shopplhg there. hats were 40 dollars. in st. maarten and st. kitts the were 5 bucks. just an example of how high prices were. food on the windsurf was the best thing about the ship. room was also nice enough. I just prefer the bigger cruise ships overall. the deck bbq party on top deck was the best event of the whole cruise by far. the setup was really nice,and the food was great.they cooked a whole pig ,crablegs ,ribs ,steak,and more. 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We got a flight out of Philli the day before and had a nice hotel at the Simpson Bay , with a decent beach. So no rush or stress at sailing day. Taxi to the cruise terminal was no problem Embarkation easy and fast. Since ... Read More
We got a flight out of Philli the day before and had a nice hotel at the Simpson Bay , with a decent beach. So no rush or stress at sailing day. Taxi to the cruise terminal was no problem Embarkation easy and fast. Since there were only 150 passengers we had more crew than passengers. The cabins are standard size with enough storage space. Bathroom are small but good equipped. Restaurants were not full and the choice of food good. However some dishes were very salty and some dishes did not deserve their name. Crew and officers were polite and customer oriented. Entertainment was just so so Even the crew tried their best. Good was the visit on the bridge , where you always could ask the officer on duty about what’s going on and of course how the weather will be for the next days. The cost for local WiFi is outrageous expensive. For unlimited access they charged $ 650. The drinks are a little expensive , but do not take the beverage option. We did not do excursions at the Azores, but there are enough taxis in Ponta Before Lisbon enjoy the to the Tagus river even its past 11:00 pm When arriving in Lisbon take a cab to the airport and pay not more than € 20. locals pay € 10. For an excursion to Sintra you can take a train , which takes 40 min. Otherwise enjoy Lisbon by foot or by tram. The No 15 tram ( la quince) takes you to Belem and the sights Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I just saw one of their ads on a day I was thinking about a trip. I enjoyed the cruise so much I have signed up for another. The staff couldn’t have better. The food was good and the dining room staff in both restaurants were extremely ... Read More
I just saw one of their ads on a day I was thinking about a trip. I enjoyed the cruise so much I have signed up for another. The staff couldn’t have better. The food was good and the dining room staff in both restaurants were extremely attentive. Each evening you had the opportunity to dine as a couple or to sit with others. That was a great way to meet others. Each evening there were “Port Talks” which gave lots of info on the next port. There were many interesting shore excursions for multiple interests and physical abilities. We had a great beach bbq on St Lucia. I never felt that the cruise line was constantly trying to sell you something. The ship was good but the staff in every service is their strength. The airline connections for a group of passengers had changed while sailing and the Captain and crew made changes in docking time to accommodate them. We loved the small boat atmosphere and would highly recommend this cruise line. We were amazed at how many repeat customers they had! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
My first WindStar cruise December 16-23 from Barbados and I was a little apprehensive about sailing with them as I was solo and thought I might be out of place as I am a simple kind of guy and worried about being among high rollers. Turns ... Read More
My first WindStar cruise December 16-23 from Barbados and I was a little apprehensive about sailing with them as I was solo and thought I might be out of place as I am a simple kind of guy and worried about being among high rollers. Turns out any concerns were not warranted and I really enjoyed the Wind Star experience which is truly a huge change from the large cruise ships. The food was very good and service throughout the ship was superb, we got to experience the "real"caribbean and with Wind Star you spend so much more time in port you really can get a feel for each island and I like nothing more than walking around an island and finding that perfect beach bar or old fort to experience. Only two places we actually docked were Castries, St Lucia and St. George, Grenada and the other we used life boats to tender in and since you are there until late we only had 5-20 people in our tender each time. I especially loved Bequia and Mayreau part of St Vincent and if the Hurricanes in September had not moved our cruise from St Maarten I probably would not have experience these two gems. Cabin was fine and heard no complaints from others about their cabin, small casino but since we usually only sailed late in the day I never saw anyone use it, and liked that there were very very few announcements about sales etc that those who have been on large ships have experienced. Dinner was quick or you could linger as you desire and the dining room was broken up into smaller areas which gave an experience of being in a very nice restaurant and not a large dining hall. The sea scallops were my favorite entree ordered with lobster and shrimp bisque coming in second. Deck Bar B Q was so great with grilled lobster and whole pig with so many other items and a steel drum band which made the night for me. Our beach Bar B Q was nicely done and again with a steel drum band. Loved that they had printed sheets of paper with daily newspapers which gave a short list of hot items to keep up on events and I appreciated to read during breakfast. Cruise never ever felt crowded and did not have to plan to go here or there during a certain time to avoid crowds ever. I will plan on sailing with Wind Star again especially if I can find a trip where they forgo the single supplement. If you are hesitant to try Wind Star as I was my recommendation is to give them a try and I think you will enjoy as I have especially if you enjoy the sailing part of cruising and do not outside activities like shows, etc. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
TOns of smokers on this ship , they should be allowed places to smoke , but limited. impossible to get into the private dining rooms. Zero children on this trip - excellent - the cruise line does a very good job of explaining this is ... Read More
TOns of smokers on this ship , they should be allowed places to smoke , but limited. impossible to get into the private dining rooms. Zero children on this trip - excellent - the cruise line does a very good job of explaining this is probably a cruise where children will be disappointed and lack things to do. Entertainment was pretty much non-existent except for the crew - they were actually better than the paid musicians. Love that the small ship ca get into smaller ports and ZERO days at sea (yay!) new island every day. ship is getting a little long in the tooth. lots of return cruisers on this line , many obviously love it. Food was very uneven - some things great others mediocre or cold , surprising for so few passengers. Wine list is awful , i could put together a better list at half the price. C'mon this is not that hard , why the lack of effort ? The hard liquor list was very good. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We had a very enjoyable cruise with Windstar in February out of St Martin. As previous travellers with Star Clippers we were interested to see the differences between the two. In terms of cabin we had superior cabin on Windstar - ... Read More
We had a very enjoyable cruise with Windstar in February out of St Martin. As previous travellers with Star Clippers we were interested to see the differences between the two. In terms of cabin we had superior cabin on Windstar - which is actually two standard cabins knocked together, bringing the benefit of two bathrooms, and two separate wardrobe/dressing area which felt a real luxury! This cabin was very well appointed, with lots of useful storage, and was very quiet. Star clippers Deluxe cabin is very compact, but comes with the added plus of a bath, and balcony. In terms of dining, I would say the food was superior on the Windsurf, however the service in the restaurant was variable. If you ordered side dishes, they often did not arrive to coincide with the main dish - and often we had to chase them. One final major down point was that the main restaurant was very cold. We were in the caribbean and had packed accordingly. All the women were shivering under thick cardies (if they had thought to bring them!) or pashminas. Despite several complaints there was no improvement although they did try to sit us in a warmer section. This boat has recently been refurbished, it does not seem beyond the wit of man to achieve a more convivial temperature. The bar area was equally cold, which may explain why it was very quiet. Thankfully there was a smaller bar outside at the back, where we sought refuge most nights. There is an outside restaurant which was very good. On the Royal Clipper, the restaurant food is very good, as is the service which is consistently good and friendly. There is only restaurant which is indoor. The only bar is outside, lovely in warm weather. Overall the quality of the excursions etc is broadly comparable. In summary the star clippers are more suited to a more casual crowd, who like the sensation of sailing (vs cruising) and are prepared to forego any real evening entertainment. Having said that there was no real chance to dance on the Windstar, whereas on the clippers, the fact that you are all together ( not spread over 3 restaurants and two bars) makes for more of a party atmosphere so there is always some dancing. If you want a very smooth quiet cruise with good food, choose Windstar, but if you like the feel of the boat moving (and don't mind a bit of noise) go for the Clippers which really do sail as much as they can. The clientele on Windstar was 95% American, possibly due to the point of embarkation. Star clippers on the other hand, which usually goes from Barbados in the winter, is much more cosmopolitan with a good mix from Europe/AusNY/USA. Either of these cruise lines can provide you with an excellent holiday! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
When I received an email that Windstar was offering a sizable discount on certain cruises during the holidays, I investigated their sailings to Tahiti and the Caribbean. Since Tahiti gets a lot of rain in December and January, we opted for ... Read More
When I received an email that Windstar was offering a sizable discount on certain cruises during the holidays, I investigated their sailings to Tahiti and the Caribbean. Since Tahiti gets a lot of rain in December and January, we opted for a Caribbean cruise. The Wind Surf sailing worked well with our schedule. We boarded in St. Maarten and noticed four cruise ships in the cruise terminal - P & O, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and then the Wind Surf. It was the smallest of the ships, yet the only one with masts to set sail. What makes a Windstar ship special is that they visit some ports that the big ships don't, so when you are in port it is not packed with cruise passengers. The embarkation was easy. There were no lines. We walked right up and gave the staff our information. Golf carts were nearby to whisk us to the Wind Surf, however we elected to check out the shops in the terminal before boarding the ship. Once we did, again without a line to wait in, we showed the crew staff our documents and passports. Then we walked over to the waiter staff to make reservations to the more intimate dining at Stella Bistro and Candles. Candles is so cool, because it is steak and seafood al fresco dining. We received our room card to check out our staterooms 255 and 253. Both were identical except 253 had two twin beds and 255 was made into a king. What was different is that 255 was next to the water tight metal door. At arrival to every port and when we sailed away, three buzzing alarms sounded and the doors came down right next to our room. Early in the morning, it woke us up. Another bug-a-boo about 255 was a constant rolling sound and boom when we were at sea. I had to sleep with earplugs and a pillow over my head, yet still would wake up to this sound. I called the reception desk three times. Our room steward Etti did everything she could to help soften the noise. She put pillows near the porthole covers and talked to the room steward who worked above our room. An evening steward checked out the sound and said it was the wake hitting the hull as we sailed. He said it was the sound he heard on the first level. The pound sound could be the waves, but not the rolling sound before the boom. Other than not sleeping well at night, I loved the cruise. Here is what I enjoyed - 1. BBQ lunch in St. Lucia's Pigeon Island. It's quite a spread. Sail, paddle board, snorkel, waterski and hike to the top of the fortress. 2. The yoga class with Jonathan at St. Lucia at the park while listening to the waves crash was memorable. His 6 pm Pilates class was also a good work out. 3. Pink Beach in Barbuda. Others enjoyed Coco Beach. 4. Free motion sickness pills at the reception desk. My daughter needed a pill at least once a day. 5. On Sunday The Veranda offers Brunch from 9 to 1 p.m. There is such a variety. 6. The crew are extremely friendly from Indonesia and the Philippines. Andi, Nova, Uud and Russ in the dining areas were terrific. Etti our room steward was wonderful. There was a blind couple on the ship and the staff were so helpful and accommodating. 7. Two juccuzi tubs on the back of the boat next to the pool. The tubs are small, ideal for two or family of four. At sunset when the ship is ready to set sail is the best time to be out on deck. 8. Taking the River Tubing Adventure in Roseau, Dominica. A bus picks up passengers and takes guests on a 20 minute drive to the forest. Each guest receives a yellow inner tube. There are seven guides that help guide guests down class one and two rapids. The guides sing and tell jokes at various stops. It's a sumner camp feel and fun floating down among bamboo trees, papaya, coconut. At the end of the journey, guests receive a cup of rum punch, water or Soda. They also have a plate of fresh fruit from the area - coconut, grapefruit, papaya and sugarcane. 9. Dining at Stella Bistro for a French dinner. Reservations are required and can be made on the first day of the cruise. The lobster Thermidore, escargot and Creme brûlée are delicious. 10. Popcorn and a movie. Guests can select a DVD from the media library and go back to their room to order room service. There is 24 hour room service. Popcorn comes warm, slightly buttered and salted in two separate bowls. They make crudités and dip and quesadillas too. 11. Be sure to see the crew talent show. It's very entertaining to see your cabin steward sing a Maroon 5 song, your favorite bartender juggle and pour colorful drinks, and the cruise director and four other crew members perform a synchronized swimming skit. 12. Dinner at Candles is quite an elegant al fresco affair. The grilled steak and seafood restaurant. 13. Al fresco BBQ dinner on deck. All the guests sit outdoors on the wood deck under the masts. There is a roasted suckling pig, lobster tails, king crab legs, chicken, salads, and a large dessert table. Sitting under the stars, while listening to a live band, we visited the buffet a few times. After the dinner, the crew encourages the guests to line dance out on the deck. Visiting St. Bart's and anchoring near the millionaire and billionaire yachts. 14. Playing board games after dinner or seeing the musicians perform in the evening. 15. Walking to Shell Beach in St. Barts and snorkeling near million dollar yachts. Read Less
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 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We were tired of the same ports visited by the big cruise ships and wanted to explore other islands, particularly Montserrat. We were not disappointed. While we did visit Antigua and Barbados, which ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We were tired of the same ports visited by the big cruise ships and wanted to explore other islands, particularly Montserrat. We were not disappointed. While we did visit Antigua and Barbados, which are visited by the large ships, we also explored other islands and different ports. Anguilla, Montserrat, Dominica, St Lucia and Grenada were also stops. Neither of us are "foodies" but the food was incredible. All meals were very well done. The crew was so friendly and helpful and the officers were very accessible. Each night at 6:30 the Destination officer gave a presentation on the next port that was very insightful. All of the wait staff were versatile and did a great job of learning your name and room number. Anything you needed they could assist with. The ship is smaller obviously and rough seas had an effect but we experienced no big problems. There is some age on the boat but it was very clean and well maintained. There is not much entertainment but we were not seeking full shows. We met so many nice people on the boat too. We will definitely sail on Wind Star again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
First, we are a French Canadian couple in our early 50’s from Montreal. We sailed 5 times with Celebrity prior to sailing on Wind Surf for the first time in 2013. We have since sailed 7 times with them, all in the Caribbean with cruises ... Read More
First, we are a French Canadian couple in our early 50’s from Montreal. We sailed 5 times with Celebrity prior to sailing on Wind Surf for the first time in 2013. We have since sailed 7 times with them, all in the Caribbean with cruises on the Wind Star (1) Star Pride (2), Star Legend (1) and Wind Surf (3). What we love about Windstar is the small ships, the fact you can do things independently easily, the relaxed dress code, the food, which keeps getting better, and last but not least the great service staff which goes out of its way to make your cruise memorable. This was our first cruise back on a sail ship after 3 cruises on the motor yachts. We did Classic Caribbean itinerary from Feb 2nd to 9th as we had done the Yachtsman’s Caribbean itinerary twice already and did not like the fact they had changed some of the stops in the BVI. In the end we really enjoyed this itinerary with Barbuda and Dominica being new stops for us. The weather was just about perfect and seas were the calmest of all our cruises. We noticed the demographics of this cruise were probably a little older than our previous Windstar cruises with a good majority of guests over 70-75 but this did not hinder in any way our enjoyment as fellow Windstar passengers are all fairly active and well travelled. Finally, we travelled with another couple for which this was a first cruise on Windstar and likely not their last. Another great cruise with Windstar Booking: We booked just over 2 months ahead by pure accident as we typically wait for annual Christmas Sale as we feel prices get better closer to sailings (we always go for lowest priced cabin as location is not necessarily important to us). We called the company directly (we do not use a travel agent) to inquire about availability and they said that there was a promotion for Canadian residents with a $500 discount on the cruise price. I could not find this special on their website and the timing of my call was perfect as this special did not last very long. The 4 of us each got the $100 referral OBC which in our case was applied against our drink package purchased when we got onboard. We were assigned room 153 at front of ship and we were “upgraded” to 141 more in the center a few weeks later. Our friends were also upgraded from 103 to 122. Windstar also offered a 20% discount on the price of internet, drink package and laundry if all taken together prior to cruise which we did not take as we did not care for the ship’s slow and expensive internet (we had access to a good roaming package which we used most of time as we were always close to islands). Embarkation Although we typically fly in the day before, our schedule did not allow for such luxury this time around. Our plane landed in SXM at 16h30 on departure day (ship’s departure scheduled at 19h00) and we got out of the terminal around 17h15. Cabs were plentiful and we ended up sharing one with another Canadian couple on same flight that was also boarding the ship. Cab ride was $30 for the 4 of us and took 30 minutes. We boarded the ship at 17h45 and check-in was swift at front desk given our tardiness . Sail away was on schedule at 19h00. Not the ideal situation for travel but things worked out nicely. We were told our cruise was fully booked, so around 310 passengers on board. This was not an issue throughout the cruise as the Wind Surf remains very spacious with nooks and crannies for everyone. Cabin: We were in 141 and our friends in 122 (both added to Wind Surf stateroom sticky forum). Cabins are well designed with plenty of storage if required. 141 was quiet and had no issues although on 3 occasions, we had to call maintenance to fix our toilet as vacuum system had problems and toilet risked overflowing. In all 3 cases (one time at 3 am) the problem was fixed quickly by maintenance staff. Our room attendant was attentive although we did not have any special requirements. Reusable water bottles we refilled every day (one with flat water, the other sparkling) and our ice bucket was kept full with ice every day. Our friends in 122 complained about regular banging noise which we suspect was due to some gangway or tender equipment hanging above their room. We were also wondering how we would find going back to the smaller sail ship staterooms after experiencing the larger suites on the Star ships on our last 3 cruises. Well it wasn’t an issue as the rooms are very well designed and we were really only in our room to sleep or change over for dinner. We did not use room service nor laundry service this time. Bathroom was compact and well designed but starting to show its age. Occitane toiletries are provided in all rooms. Bars and Entertainment: Drinks were mostly taken outside at Compass Rose or Pool Bar. Did not go to Lounge except for Talent Show but band seemed competent. Bar service was always good. Duo at Compass Rose was OK and had guests dancing and when finished around 11pm, guests would come in to plug IPad playlists in system to keep party going a little longer. This happened a few evenings with people dancing a little past midnight. A lot of fun. Food: Again food was a highlight. We ate at Amphora 4 times, one time each Candles and Stella Bistro and Deck BBQ on the late night in St-Kitts. Menu was varied although gluten free items remain limited (our friend suffers from gluten intolerance and we were just more sensitized to his diet challenges throughout the cruise). Breakfast was good with buffet or a la carte items available. Couple of things we noticed were the poor quality of orange juice which in the past was freshly squeezed and now is a watered down Tropicana version and the fact there were no fresh peeled orange slices on the buffet whereas these were always on buffet in the past. We had good lunches at Veranda when we made it back in time from the island as the venue is only open from 12h00 to 14h00. We were late a few times and had to settle for food at Yacht Club. Lunch should be extended to 14h30 to accommodate those with dietary restrictions as the menu at the Yacht Club, while good, remains limited for them. Service in the dining rooms at dinner was fast and efficient (sometimes too fast) with meals lasting 1.5 to 2 hours. We mostly had dinner around 8pm and never had to wait more than a few minutes for a table and by the time we were finished, most of the time we were the last table in dining room. Menus were varied with several fish, meat and vegetarian dishes and all 4 of us were impressed by the quality and presentation of food. Deck BBQ food was great although lobster was a little chewy. We did not do the Dining Under The Stars (offered twice on our cruise) as it was not offered to us. This was a bit disappointing. Beach BBQ was held on Pigeon Island, which is our least favourite Windstar Beach BBQ location (the others being Mayreau and Virgin Gorda). While food was good, beach is too small and not necessarily the nicest. A couple of evenings, we were treated to canapés at Compass Rose before dinner. Usually had 2 different types of them but just one tray so these would disappear very fast with literally no chances for seconds. I suspect these were also served in the Lounge but we never went to the Lounge for pre dinner drinks so cannot confirm. We are a bit picky about our coffee and the caffe lattes at Veranda in the morning were good (regular coffee not so much) but even better at Yacht Club. We did try a few of the the latter’s sandwiches and sweets offered in the afternoon on one occasion and all were good. 3 of us were on the recently introduced TopMast Discoveries drink package at $49 while the 4th party was on the CaptainsExclusive package at $59. This created confusion with servers with several drinks (liquor) being charged to our room although drunk by our friend on the full drink package. All charges were reversed but this was a hassle as we needed to check bill daily to ensure charges were being reversed overnight and that no new ones were being added. Drink package probably makes sense if you have 5 or more drinks per day and even though we were drinking our quota, we generally felt that the value proposition of the drink packages had come down markedly from the previous iterations with price of package going up $7 and the wines offered having a price point no higher than $9.50/$10 vs a max of $11.50 under previous package. We will likely need to re-think this aspect on our next cruise. Marina We did not use the marina this time around but it was open in Barbuda, Les Saintes and St Barth. We saw several people using it when available. The water toys were also brought to the beach on Pigeon Island for the Beach BBQ Spa: Our friends each got a $50 spa voucher (good on port days) offered by Windstar to all first time cruisers which they used for a very relaxing hot stone massage. Gym: we did not use gym but it looked clean and well equipped and did not seem overcrowded Tenders: Tenders were used in all ports except Dominica where we were docked at the industrial dock, not the more central cruise ship dock (occupied by Silverseas on that day). While tender service was good, the tenders themselves are in need of a total overhaul. During our cruise we got to see the Seabourn, Club Med 2 and Star Clipper tenders and all of them were in substantially better condition than the Surf’s. They will be changing the tenders on the Motor Yachts, they probably should do the same with the sailing ships. Bridge Did not visit the bridge this time around and whereas in the past there was a photo opportunity at the bow of the ship, we did not see this on this cruise. Stops and excursions: We generally are not the type to book ship excursions as we feel they are overpriced and like to do things on our own. I typically like to do my own research and do not like to plan too long ahead. Barbuda: Nothing planned. Only tour offered was to view frigate bird sanctuary which did not interest us. We instead took a cab to Princess Diana beach ($30 each way). Very nice pink sand beach with nobody other than a few fellow cruisers on it. No facilities so bring water and some food if you are going to spend a long time. We were there for about 3 hours and got on the ship around 2pm just in time to catch lunch at Veranda. The ship leaves early at 3 pm on this day. Dominica: Again we stepped out of ship and hired a cab to go to Ti-Tou Gorge and Trafalgar Falls. Cost was $160 for the 4 of us and lasted 2.5 hours. Ti-Tou Gorge is not to be missed as you swim in a crystal clear river canyon up to a small waterfall. Very nice. The drive to both these spots is also spectacular as the road sits at the top of a high mountain ridge. We were back on the ship by 1h30 and had lunch at Veranda. Found a chair on deck for the remainder of day and used pool and hot tubs. Although the Island suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Maria in Sept 2017, the island infrastructure and vegetation is recovering nicely. Pigeon Island: This was our 4th time to Pigeon Island and it is our least favourite spot for the Beach BBQ. The beach is small and crowded although the area in the back where they actually serve the BBQ is nice. The water toys were brought to the beach, as well as paddle boards and kayaks. They also offered waterski and wakeboardings runs for those who wanted. Club Med 2 (Wind Surf’s twin) was also in port that day which made for interesting pictures. Les Saintes: This was our third time to Les Saintes and we continue to enjoy this stop. There is a quaint village with some interesting shops and a Fort (Fort Napoleon) from which the views of the bay and our sail ship are simply breathtaking. Note the Fort is only open until 12h30 and bring €5 cash if you want to get in. We rented a 4 seat electric golf cart (cost €75) from Green Car Rental to tour Island but you need to reserve it in advance as these get taken up very quickly (we had learned this the hard way the previous time we were there). Wanted to go to Pain de Sucre Beach but path is somewhat steep and rocky which required shoes we did not have. Instead went to Pompierre beach (no facilities). Nice beach but the palm trees have taken a beating as a result of hurricane Maria last year. Had a good lunch in town at Cafe de la Marina with a nice view of the port while the ladies shopped linen at Mahogany next door. Basseterre St-Kitts: Our initial plan was to get off ship, take the 9h30 ferry to Nevis ($16 each way/pers), hire a cab for a few hours to do tour of island, visit plantation and get dropped off at Pinney’s Beach. However we were a bit tired that morning and thus proceeded to a less intense plan B which was to take a cab ($30 each way) to go to Cockshell Beach at the far South end of the Island. We rented chairs ($5 each) and umbrellas ($10) at the Spice Mill and also had good lunch there. Beach is nice and was somewhat crowded, something rare on a Windstar cruise but there were another 2 ships in port, so this was to be expected. Ship left late at 10pm and this was night of deck BBQ. St-Barth: We had reserved a convertible Mini Cooper to tour Island ahead of time with Sixt Car Rental. Called them up 30 minutes prior to going to shore so they were there to pick us up and take us to airport to fill out docs. Cost was a bit steep at €105 but we had fun touring. Went to Saline and Gouverneurs beaches, did some shopping and had lunch at Nikki Beach in St-Jean. Lunch was good although this is St-Barth and everything is pricey. Returned the car at airport, got shuttled back to port and did some more shopping in Gustavia. Took tender around 6pm back to ship. Debarkation. Debarkation was trouble free. Had breakfast around 8am after picking up our passport and having face to face meeting with Immigration on board ship around 7h30 (this is new as we usually just picked up passport on ship and passed Immigration once on shore). Our flight was late (5pm) so we took a cab to Holland House, took up their day pass offer which for $25 includes 2 chairs, 4 drinks,use of shower, Wifi and facilities. Had good lunch at their restaurant and left at 2h30 for airport. Ride was $30 for the 4 of us and took just under 30 minutes and this concluded another wonderful Windstar cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
As a sailor, I always wanted to go on Windstar; it far exceeded my expectations. Kudos to Gede, assistant Maitre D, his boss Santos and Chef Oman for delicious meals that met our dietary restrictions. Kudos to Lufi, Cabin Steward, for a ... Read More
As a sailor, I always wanted to go on Windstar; it far exceeded my expectations. Kudos to Gede, assistant Maitre D, his boss Santos and Chef Oman for delicious meals that met our dietary restrictions. Kudos to Lufi, Cabin Steward, for a fragrance free chemical free cabin. Loved the marina, thanks to Jose for taking us each out for a sail on the Hobie cat. Enjoyed having the snorkel mask and fins provided by the marina; excellent fit. The itinerary is excellent, with long days on shore at each port. Very friendly people, engaging and well traveled, plenty of deck chairs, great crew show, Excellent gym with a recumbent bike and many classes.would definitely go on Windstar again. The cabin is small but very compact. Be sure you sign up for dinner at candles and Stella and for the barbecue and dining under the stars the last three nights. Pigeon Island, St Lucia is a luncheon barbecue on the beach. Sorry we did not sign up for the Wi-Fi package as it was a hassle to find Wi-Fi in the ports, and when we did it was usually spotty. Ports: St Maarten: We stayed at the DIvi the night before; just terrific. Barbuda: call walk on the beach. Dominica: very mountainous tropical one lane roads so be prepared to spend a lot of time driving around. We booked privately with Antours to see the indigenous Carib, Annison himself was very interesting. Also did hot springs. Need to walk out of the port area, follow the yellow lines, if you want to do an excursion not part of the ship. Pigeon Island St Lucia: The ship does a beach barbecue at this port, probably due to the miserable traffic. We took a private tour with James Touring Service in his 4 wheel Jeep, necessary if you want to go snorkeling at Ti Kaye resort as the driveway is extremely steep.Excellent snorkeling, lots of beautiful fish, clear water, pleasant lunch. James is very sweet, knowledgeable and excellent driver. He will get you back on time, no worries. Terre du Haut, Les Saintes, FWI: Reportedly the best snorkeling here. great crepes at Crepes Galette immediacy next to the tourist office. Sorry we did not get off early and snag a golf cart; if you do, bring a credit card for the deposit. Nice lunch on the water at Cafe de la Marine, has WiFi. Basseterre St Kitts: When we got off the tender we noticed Bluewater safaris and so went on a catamaran snorkeling trip, lots of fun. Snorkeling ok. St Bart’s: Very charming, very French great shopping, St Maarten; Must be off the ship by 8:45 am. Many people go to Holland House, pay $25 for 2 lounge chairs on the beach, we went back to the DIvi. Read Less
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