Having sailed three times on the Windsurf we were slightly apprehensive about how it would be on a smaller ship.Windsurf had always felt 'just right' in terms of size and passengers.Well,we were in for a surprise.There were just 118 passengers on board this sailing and it felt almost like being on a private yacht.
The boarding process was the easiest ever.We arrived at the port of Pireaus via the bus 040 from Athens as we like a bit of a challenge rather than the easy option of ship transfer or taxi.Yes,we had to walk for 5 mins or so along the front and round to the terminal but it was not a problem with wheely luggage.As we entered the terminal at around 1pm (the earliest boarding time) we were approached by a Windstar rep asking if we were cruising with Windstar.We were told that we were good to board and went straight through security and out the door to the waiting ship.I was actually the first passenger to board.Boarding early like this gives you a whole afternoon on board to unpack and relax a little before life boat drill.There was a limited buffet lunch available for early boarders.
The cabin was a little different to what I recall on the Windsurf but not much.There were new linens on the bed.
The public areas had all been re-fitted and the lounge and dining room looked very nice.
The food was good but not always excellent.There was not as much choice for breakfast or lunch as on the Windsurf (as far as I recall) but it was always nicely presented.Dinner,was usually very good. My husband declared his steak in Candles to be excellent and my grilled fish was very tasty.I think there is room for improvement with the afternoon tea selection.It was mostly the same selection every day and the little open rolls left on the tray soon became very dry.There were always loads left over.The cookies were the same each day and the cake selection was not very appetising.I think they should just have a cookie selection and one very nice type of cake plus some closed sandwiches.People are not usually very hungry at this time of day but it is nice to be tempted by something special.
On this cruise we needed tenders every day.One day there was a bit of a swell and they had to take the tender to the other side of the ship to try there.Whilst we were waiting for this,trays of orange juice appeared to refresh us.Another day,because of the swell,we had to use the Capri port tenders.
I had my birthday on board and had a card from the captain and crew and a birthday cake in the dining room.
The barbecue evening was really fun.A good selection of grilled meats and plenty of salads.There was a 'mini' crew's show and line dancing.We all had a great time.
The water sports platform was down just about every day we were in port and we well used as it was extremely hot.
We really loved the little exra things which made this cruise so special.Like the Windsurf,there is an open bridge policy so it was interesting to be able to call in there to get your bearings.The stars were wonderful.One day there was an opportunity to have your photo taken with your own camera on the bow spit.This was really special,not something you would get on a larger ship.By the second day we knew so many people by name and the crew knew ours,along with our breakfast and drink preferences.One day when a large number of passengers were still on shore on a tour there were only a couple of dozen of us on board.On the open deck by the bar we were just eight.Suddenly,cocktails appeared,courtesy of the captain.These are little things you remember.
The crew was outstanding.We had so much fun with Yen and Uus who served us at breakfast and lunch.Gusman and Wahid too,Anthony,the 3rd officer,Montse and Gonzalo, and Jenny on reception.I miss you all and wish I were back on board with you.Our captain,Aristeidis Mertzanis was such fun and mingled freely with the guests and kept us abreast of anything happening with the ship.
This cruise has converted us.Our next one will be on one of the smaller ships for the friendliness and personal service.