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 More
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!! Less