This was our 6th Windstar cruise and out 3rd on the Surf. No surprises - which is a good thing. Check in and registration was easy and fast and we were greeted by the captain before boarding. Inside, there were two women checking people in along with the Hotel Manager, Henri Lemay, greeting people. It took less than 15 minutes from the time we walked onto the ship until we were in our cabin.
Since we had just been on this ship last summmer, we didn't expect much in the way of change. The cabins were spotless, the beds comfortable and the staff friendly and welcoming. We recognized many of the waiters, and bar staff from previous trips and they knew us. I'd guess more than 40% of the passengers were alumni.
We left Barbados on time and headed to our sea day. The itinerary had to be changed around a bit due to an unforeseen illness, but personally I don't think it took away from the trip.
For the first time, there were two "lectures" during the sea day. I don't recall any of the Windstar ships offering this before. I think it's a great idea and I'd encourage them to keep doing it.
The ship was about 95% filled, but you still have no trouble finding quiet places inside our outside to read or sleep. The Surf is a beautiful ship and the crew keeps it amazingly clean.
The food was the same - good, but not great. The addition within the last few years to add La Marche and Candles was a good one and making reservations for either or both was simple. No lines.
The ports of call were okay. Perhaps my wife and I have had enough of the Caribbean, but to me they all begin to look the same. One issue everyone had was the decision to dock at Portsmouth instead of Roseau on Dominica. Many people complained because the former is a depressed, dirty little town with no stores and no shops, and virtually no beach. So we quickly went back to the ship and spent the bulk of the day there.
We also went to Granada (very nice), Bequia (good to visit, but not much to see our do), Mayreau, (not road, no stores). Unless one was very adventurous, there was little to see or do.
The traditional picnic on the beach was nice, but the lounges were too close together and there was very little shade. We again opted to go back to the ship. (Seriously, we're not people who really want to just hang out on the ship!).
I think the highlight of this cruise was New Year's Eve. Nearly everyone on board came into the lounge to hear two very good bands. They played continuously for several hours and a bit before midnight the entire crew joined in. People seemed to have a great time, but noboday got out of hand