The upgrades that took place on Wind Surf early in 2006 focused mainly on staterooms. New beds and bedding were installed, bath amenities were upgraded, flat-screen TV's, DVD players and Bose iPod speaker docks were added (you can borrow loaded iPods from the front desk at no charge -- though you can't load your own, they've got some 1,000 musical selections on them).
Additional upgrades have focused on the bathrooms: granite counters, new shower and toilet enclosures, updated lighting.
There are two cabin types. Most are standard cabins at 188 square ft. -- on the small side of industry average. All are identical, with portholes, a queen bed that converts to twins, an entertainment area and small desk/vanity. There's no sitting area, but each room does come with two Shaker-style chairs with arms and cushions; one is at the desk and the second one is largely useless unless you need an easy place to toss your sweater when you come in for the evening. There are flat-screen televisions -- a great addition -- but they don't swivel, so you can only watch from the bed, not from the desk area.
The new beds, with their fluffy down comforters and array of pillows, are dreamworthy and luxe. What used to be flat, unappealing sleeping surfaces covered in striped or flowered nylon spreads, has given way to luscious pillow-topped mattresses with upscale sheets, white duvets, a gold and wine-colored bed throw, and navy and wine colored decorative pillows.
Suites are essentially two standard cabins turned into one bigger one; on one side there's a living area, with couch and small dining table. On the other is the bedroom. There are two bathrooms -- and these are the same as those found in standard accommodations.
Slightly angled, the space features a roomy rounded shower enclosure and a rounded toilet enclosure, with a sink and vanity between the two. Nicely-sized (and fitting within new airline guidelines for carrying them onboard!), the 2.5 ounce-sized L'Occitane en Provence soaps, shampoo and lotion are wonderful. The original wood floor and wooden trim at the vanity and around the mirrors will remain after the refit, we've been assured, which is a good thing since the wood adds to the yacht-like feel of the space.
Two new luxury suites on the Wind Surf's bridge deck are approximately 500 square feet each and include a living and dining area, separate bedroom with walk-in closet, and a marble bathroom with whirlpool tub and separate shower. Guests in the Bridge Suites will enjoy extra service amenities such as unpacking service, an invitation to dine with the Captain, laundry and pressing, evening appetizers, afternoon tea service upon request, complimentary bottled water in the suite, chilled champagne upon arrival and additional L'Occitane bath amenities.
Outlets in both 110v (one) and 220v (two) are located under the desk, hard to find unless you know they're there. The 110v didn't work in our cabin, but we had brought our converter kit and both of the 220's worked perfectly.
Each cabin also features a telephone and stocked mini-bar, and each is set up with Wi-Fi. The in-room Internet service works well, but during our cruise, a glitch caused us to be continually signed in, even after rebooting our laptop. Trying to get the excess charges resolved was challenging, to say the least, and here the service from the cafe manager -- who also was a dive instructor -- was the poorest I encountered on the ship.
Our suggestion: unless it's critical, leave the laptop and/or BlackBerry at home and use the ship's computers to peruse your e-mail.
There are no cabins configured for wheelchair-bound guests; although the staff and crew will happily assist guests with physical challenges. One important note on this subject: If you do have mobility difficulties and can't negotiate stairways, be careful not to book a mid-ship room on either Deck 1 or Deck 2. There are watertight doors on those floors that are closed when the ship gets underway or when it's entering a port, and guests in mid-ship cabins cannot get to either elevator bank until the watertight doors are reopened.
Although only 188 sq feet, it was well organized and had a lot of storage places. The bathroom was small but not cramped. We had 2 portholes - as did all of the cabins on this ship. No one had a balcony. No one had an inside cabin. The...continue