13 Barbados Windstar Wind Surf Cruise Reviews

We have just spent 2 weeks sailing from Barbados and with out any debate this was the best cruise-boat /crew we have ever been part of, we both don't think we can ever go back to the mega ships we have been on before. Embarkation ... Read More
We have just spent 2 weeks sailing from Barbados and with out any debate this was the best cruise-boat /crew we have ever been part of, we both don't think we can ever go back to the mega ships we have been on before. Embarkation was right on time and we were shown to our cabin(503)after passing the SPA & drinks package guys (which is a no brainer if you intend to have a few) We did several land excursions and while some were not for us they were exactly as described and james did a great job- he doubles as the cruise director and i must say gives it 110%every day even meeting us at 5 am on the day we left- good job mate again. The fact we were in BS503 allowed us to dine where ever and when we wanted even when busy and the guys always made that happen- first class service again Merrick and ipund and all their band off cooks and wait staff (seem to all work 23 hours a day) The laundry worked well always back by 5 ish in the afternoon - The veranda (lunch and doubles as candles at night)guys just awesome nothing was ever a problem great food good variety. There are signs of wear and tear around the boat highlighting its not new but really nowhere in the safety aspect and we not worried by a few worn carpets. Most nights we sailed the music belted out the "1492 conquest of paradise" as they unfolded the sails great display and begins the nightly party! we found the band every night at the compass bar was great - many headaches created there. This boat uses its tenders quite a bit for the small ports/islands it visits and we had a almost a drama one day but the crew of lifeboat 6 acted instantly with out hesitation and boosted my wife back to the windsurf ! in very tough conditions-again great job done by all these crew guys.- the effort put in to take everything to the beach for a great BBQ is amazing-and then bring it all back! The only downer is the WIFI - slow and expensive -fix this and you truly have it all. all in all one of the best 2 weeks we have spent ever! Windsurf - we'll be back! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We recently took the the new concept cruise “back to back” (14 days) with Windstar Cruises on the Wind Surf. It appears that this will be successful for Windstar Cruises because over half the passengers stayed on for two weeks. After ... Read More
We recently took the the new concept cruise “back to back” (14 days) with Windstar Cruises on the Wind Surf. It appears that this will be successful for Windstar Cruises because over half the passengers stayed on for two weeks. After flying long distances it is great to be able to stay for an extended time. It felt like time was much slower. This cruise was perfect for us in every way. This was our 22 cruise with Windstar Cruises we are obviously fans. Having said that I have to state that she , Wind Surf, is a beautiful “old lady”, high maintenance yes but absolutely beautifully maintained. Her interiors are modern, bright and cheery,immaculate in every way. Because she is a motor sailing ship there is a tremendous amout of outside space to enjoy the ship. Both weeks she was neary full at at no time did we feel there were 300 people onboard. There was always space to find sun and shade, space for privacy, your very own nook, and space to meet friendly people and have a refreshing rum punch. She was fitted with new sails so the sail aways were great with bright white new sails being unfurled as we listened to the signature music. For this cruise I have to say that of all the cruises we have been on with Windstar the food and dining was the best. I know food, the science behind it, how it is prepared, adventurous eaters, etc. Every evening we were WOWed by the dinners in the Amphora, Candles and Stella Bistro. Stella was authentic French, Candles under stars, dreamy romantic, Amphora simply lovely, and in all restaurants all meats were perfectly prepared, the fish was never dry and my favorite the lobster bisque the real thing! The Veranda for lunch great salads and if you are late for lunch the sandwiches in the Yacht Club fantastic. Afternoon tea terrific little finger sandwiches and scones with real clotted crean. Breakfast, not my meal, good fresh fruit, eggs made to order, excellent granola and freshly squeezed orange juice. In all past cruises we really never ate the bread because that is where I am a complete food snob but whoever the baker was the breads were fantastic especially the Italian bread sticks, perfect. The breads were never soggy from the saltly, humid, sea air. I know that food is very subjective but this was our take. Service perfect as usual, always above and beyond. Captain Hogan ran a happy ship. James, the nightly host and excursions manager, from Scotland, was absolutely terrific. His nightly talks were informative but full of great humor. He was so enjoyable. Housekeeping perfect from our cabins, public rooms and bathrooms, restaurants etc. For having to really revamp and move the cruise due to the hurricane Windstar did a great job. A mixture of culturally interesting, great beaches and beautiful scenery. We could not get into Monserrat due to 7-10 foot sea swells so instead we went into Antiqua, not too shabby! Our sail by the Pitons of St. Lucia was extraordinary not only the landscapes but the many sailboats and a clipper ship in full sail all sailing in front of the Pitons showing the reflections of their shadows. It seemed every afternoon around 4 we had a rain shower followed by a rainbow and then followed by red sunsets. Magical Great cruise, looking forward to our next. For good reason we are happy customers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I must say I disagree with some of the previous review - a cruise like this is what you make of it. As a first-timer, my expectations were slightly different. I was glad to see a mixture of ages aboard - more younger people than normal, I ... Read More
I must say I disagree with some of the previous review - a cruise like this is what you make of it. As a first-timer, my expectations were slightly different. I was glad to see a mixture of ages aboard - more younger people than normal, I was told, which added some energy. The ship is a beautiful vessel with a maximum of 300 or so passengers - a perfect size. Pre-cruise, we stayed at Little Arches, a wonderful boutique hotel on the south coast across the mesmerising Enterprise/Miami beach, one of the most impressive stretches of white sand in Barbados. In my opinion, this is a better choice than Windstar's preferred hotel (although rooms are limited). Our first impressions of Windsurf were good. When the sails were out it was very romantic. On the first port of call to St George's Grenada, we lined up next to a big Thomson ship with capacity for 1000 passengers. Everyone was glad to be on Windsurf - a much more elegant ship. One of the strengths of Windsurf is the ports of call and excursions - many bigger ships do not offer the same interesting itineraries. We started off with a sea day which was good to get accustomed to the ship. Someone had a heart-attack through the night and another had overdosed on pills - a dramatic start to the holiday, although somewhat unusual. I was impressed with how Windsurf dealt with these incidents and simply swapped over the sea day supposed to take place later on in the cruise. Very efficient and no fuss at all. St George's, Grenada, the first port of call was a beautiful harbour and the ship offered several excursions. We chose the essential sight seeing tour which gave a superb overview of the island with some great photograph opportunities over the lush green island. We visited a cocoa making house where a man showed how cocoa was made and explained differences between spices such as nutmeg. At Fort Frederick we enjoyed paronamic views to the sound of a steel drum. Later on, we visited the dream-like white sand Grand Anse beach. The next stop was Bequia, Grenadines - a stunning island with a walkway surrounded by yachts and turquoise water, where we enjoyed lobster pizza and took another excellent excursion. Princess Margaret beach and Lower Bay were charming rustic beaches. Mayreau, Grenadines, was another highlight. We visited the sublime Salt Whistle Bay, a perfect picture postcard beach - a Caribbean hideaway. After that we took a catamaran to Tobago Cays - we thought we had died and woken up in heaven! The waters were a mixture of cyan, turquoise and marine blue. Portsmouth, Dominica was a bit of a disappointment - it was raining and we didn't get to see much of the beautiful rainforest or the rare parrots inhabiting the island. This was the only occasion that the nature trail excursion we chose fell short. Pigeon Island, St Lucia though was fantastic - a windswept beach with the Atlantic ocean bashing against rocks and an excellent barbecue. The ship also visited the magnificent pitons near soufriere. On board the ship, we made reservations at Le Marche - the outdoor restaurant serving delicious sea-food and Candles, the romantic steak restaurant. We dined at The Restaurant, the main eaterie, which was more of what you would expect of a mass market cruise experience. Degrees, the mediterranean restaurant, was much better with a good standard of food, although not matching what you would probably find on the high end luxury cruises. In terms of entertainment, there was always something going on. A special treat was a member of Kool and the Gang performing for New Year's Eve! Otherwise, the house band was not bad. Most surprisingly an excellent classical pianist was also on board. The lecture by Sir Harold Evans on the sea day on American innovators was extremely interesting - we certainly did not expect to learn anything new on our cruise. Post-cruise, we opted for the Hilton Barbados - a beautifully located hotel, although lacking in basic customer service. In summary, Windsurf is an excellent choice for a first-time cruiser. We are already contemplating our next trip to the Caribbean aboard the capable hands of Windsurf. We met many interesting well travelled people on board. The majority of passengers were American with a sprinkling of British and other European couples. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
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 ... Read More
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 Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
I will try to provide a VERY detailed review of our first ever Windstar cruise. A little background, this is only our 2nd cruise ever, our only other experience cruising was a massive Carnival ship, which was a great cruise at the time ... Read More
I will try to provide a VERY detailed review of our first ever Windstar cruise. A little background, this is only our 2nd cruise ever, our only other experience cruising was a massive Carnival ship, which was a great cruise at the time because we were entertaining my 13 year old daughter (Wife and I, early 50's, normal vacation is to pick one area and explore it very thoroughly). As a matter of fact this year's big trip was to be to Tuscany in the fall, but winter in Vermont was really dragging on, and when an email offering a tremendous discount on Windstar came across my desk, off we went. First stop was Barbados; we spent the night before at the Silver Point hotel. Big shout out, as this was a GREAT place to unwind and get ready for the cruise. A bit far from anything but great fun watching the kite surfers and the food at the on site restaurant was really good if a bit expensive. On Sunday we went on a tour of the island with a friend we met on the Cruisecritic boards and had great fun. Saw lots and lots of beaches then went back to the hotel to pick up our bags and lunch. Embarkation; truly could not of been easier. We boarded early as we were so excited to start exploring the ship. Walked into the terminal, handed off the luggage, and got a nice cold glass of water, picture taken and on board we went. On Board, for an older ship the public spaces are incredible clean and shiny. That said some areas are getting threadbare, carpets at the gangways, around the elevators and some parts of the cabins were dirty and dusty. Also I noticed some sheets had a few small stains but all in all a truly beautiful ship. Speaking of cabins we had quite a run around with ours, when we booked we were given cabin 122, mid ship, 1st floor, perfect spot. Then we were upgraded for free , Thank You, to the 2nd floor right where the elevators were, no thank you, so when I called back to say we rather have to room we booked, I was told no problem, but I never noticed that we had been moved to 111, same category but further back of the ship. This posed no problem with rocking but our cabin was right at the gangway level, so privacy was a problem when the tenders were loading. Cabins were small but very comfortable and served their purpose perfectly. Of course being such a small ship, it was no problem at all finding our way around. Food; I though the meals were incredible, something different every day. Food always fresh, well seasoned and some of the dishes truly 5 star quality. Over all I would say the food was well above average. Probably the most disappointing meal was the outside restaurant called La Marche, 5 course seafood menu that stayed the same all week and just didn't seem to be inspired. Degrees, on the other hand, with its Mediterranean inspired menu was excellent as was every meal we had in the main dining room. The main dining room had at least 5 choices for entrees every night including some unusual ones, my very first oxtail and it was GREAT. Breakfast and lunch were very good with made to order choices available every day along with a buffet.. The breakfast buffets were your standard fare but 4 to 5 made to order choices were available everyday (Tiramisu pancakes YUM). The lunch buffet changed every day, the Asian inspired buffet was really good. My one pet peeve was the absolute ridiculous pricing for sodas and bottled water, c'mon why rip off your customer that way?? Drinks and wine were expensive but not crazy bad and as a wine freak, I was very happy with the by the glass options we had for dinner. Staff was great. I have never seen a more polished, happy group of employees. Everyone really seemed to love their job and seemed to take great pleasure in serving you. Our room steward, while mainly invisible, kept our room spotless, (well if you ignored the dust and fingerprints near the ceiling, that is, but even we didn't notice that till the last day). Bar staff, front desk staff, were always smiling and helpful. I can not remember one single time when someone appeared to be in a bad mood. Activities, passengers and miscellaneous; For the most part, forget any activities on board, they had scheduled a couple of WII tournaments, a putting contest and nobody ever showed up, of course (and I may get lynched for this) if the "cruise director" had made a quick, simple announcement maybe we would of gotten a few people. Speaking of the cruise director, he must have the easiest job in the whole world as I never saw him do a thing except sing at the lounge one night and introduce staff. Passengers tended to be between the ages of 40-60 though we saw a few 30 something's and one incredible lady of 93 on her 15th Windstar cruise. Most everybody was really friendly, sorta felt like one big extended family. OK this appears to have gone on long enough, quickly just a few things, sign up for the laundry deal, $99 per cabin unlimited laundry well worth it, you have to be a serious drinker to get your monies worth from the pre paid deals, more modern music in the Compass Rose, great pre dinner music in the Lounge, talent show was fun, comedian is the absolute worse I have ever saw he must be the owners relative to keep a job. Any specific questions please feel free to write me; andyb1958 at comcast net I will post a link to our web album in the cruise critic Windstar board once I have the pictures all up. Bequia; Our least favorite stop, dirty, taxi driver tried to rip us off. Turtle sanctuary was OK, beach was nice but there is better later in the trip. Dominica; Port itself is only OK what made this an incredible stop was the Caribbean cooking class we took, Daria and staff are unbelievable as is her home. If you have a chance do this tour 5+ for the class. St Lucia; Another fun day, we went zip-lining which was alot of fun and then Windstar had a picnic for us on a private beach. We then explored the back side of Pigeon Island which is very cool. All in all one stop I wish we would of had more time to explore the island. Grenada; Would of liked to explore the town and market place more but we had booked a river tubing adventure, DO NOT do this unless you know exactly how much rain fall they have had . On our trip they had no rain for the last 3 months and the water level was WAY too low. This trip should have been canceled in my opinion and we felt ripped off. Our only disappointment in the whole trip, Windstar if you are reading this, pay attention to the trips you offer and warn your customers before they spend money. If we had been told the river level was low and we could choose another trip we would have. Mayreau; Incredible beach, killer hill, cool bars, great stop Tobago; Best stop of the whole trip, private guide who was unbelievable. saw almost the whole island and a huge amount of birds , Hiked the rain forest great time Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
We recently just finished our fourth Windstar cruise on the Windsurf sailing from Barbados for a week. The cruise was absolutely wonderful and an experience every cruiser should take advantage. We are avid cruisers and have sailed on all ... Read More
We recently just finished our fourth Windstar cruise on the Windsurf sailing from Barbados for a week. The cruise was absolutely wonderful and an experience every cruiser should take advantage. We are avid cruisers and have sailed on all of the main stream cruise lines. They all have something for passengers however Windstar takes it to another level. Checking in was the easiest thing. If you have ever sailed on the larger ships you know what that experience is like it can take forever unless you are a preferred guest or are travelling in a suite. This was so easy, no line up just a quick check on a couple of things, register you credit card and then you are handed your keys and you board. The whole process took approx. 2 mins. They did change it this time as when we previously sailed you check in on board in the lounge, this time was on shore however both ways are very simple. This sailing we were in a mini suite and we really enjoyed the extra space and the fact that we had two bathrooms so when we were getting ready to go out we didn't have to wait on one another. A real bonus. The cabins are generous and because it is a sail ship every ounce of space is used so that you could put everything away and didn't have to have things lying around. They knew what they were doing when they planned these cabins. We have stayed in a regular cabin before and they are just as wonderful so if you opt for that you will not be disappointed. The food was wonderful, with lots of variations and the dining options would rival any of the big ships. For dinner you had a choice of 5 options. The Restaurant, Degrees, Candles, Le Marche or room service. On this cruise we took advantage of every option and ate twice at the Restaurant and Le Marche. Le Marche is a great experience and the meals were creative and tasty. You couldn't want for anything as they had it. Breakfast and lunch were also good although we did end up eating on shore mostly for lunch and just getting back in time for some of the bread pudding. Windstar has the best bread pudding and there was always a line up for it. I recall one day when there was none in the pan and the waiter jokingly told us that it was all gone you should have seen the faces. Of course it was not all gone he just had to refill however you would have thought he had just told everyone to get off the ship! It was interesting in some of the ports when the larger ships were there and I can honestly say we were glad not to be on them. Small ships are the way to go. The crowd on this sailing were wonderful. We were travelling with friends however we also met and travelled around with other guests on shore and at dinner. We only did one shore excursion and that was in Dominica. It was a cooking class and if you have an opportunity to do this excursion we would highly recommend it. At the other ports we just got off the ship and made our own way around. It is pretty simple to do since we went to very small islands. I would highly recommend that you take the laundry package. For $99 dollars it was money well spent. We went home with clean cloths that were nicely pressed. It was a real treat. Windstar is not for kids as there are no daily activities. There is a cruise director however other than singing in the lounge at night we really didn't see him do much. Nice gig if you can get it. Overall Windstar's motto is "180 Degrees from Ordinary" and it is. Simply put it is one of the best cruise lines we have sailed and we plan on sailing on it again. Next time we are going to do the Greek Islands. If you are looking for a unique experience then try Windstar you won't be disappointed. Happy sailing!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
I'll say right up front that this was our tenth cruise but the first with Windstar. With a very few small items. we enjoyed the trip from beginning to end and would definitely sail with Windstar again. Embarkation was a snap and was ... Read More
I'll say right up front that this was our tenth cruise but the first with Windstar. With a very few small items. we enjoyed the trip from beginning to end and would definitely sail with Windstar again. Embarkation was a snap and was concluded on-board as opposed to a line of counters like larger cruise lines. This less is more approach was a theme that would be repeated throughout the trip. The only thing that was unusual was that we had to surrender our passports for the duration of the cruise. Getting them back, however, was extremely easy at the end so it was not a big deal. We understand the ship sailed about 2/3 full and they were selling suite upgrades at reception. We did not inquire since our cabin was very comfortable. Getting use to a ship as small as the Wind Surf too a while, but we took to it pretty easily. Getting off again to shop in Barbados before dinner was easy. The cabin was well designed (especially the bathroom) with plenty of storage. Since it was so easy to get on deck quickly, we surprisingly did not really miss a balcony. The bed was very comfortable, the climate control worked very well (we slept under the comforter, and the DVD was very welcome since there was no TV except for 2-3 in-room that played all day. We did not sail to watch TV, but a news channel would have been nice. Food was the best we have had on any cruise - including on-board Celebrity. Certainly the smaller number of passengers allowed for a more individualized approach, but every dish was properly (and deliciously) prepared and served promptly. For a ship this size, the number of options was outstanding. The Restaurant was consistently excellent. The Tuscan-inspired Degrees was superb and the outdoor venues (Candles -Steakhouse and Le Marche-Shelfish) were both tremendous. Lunch buffets in the Veranda were always great. All-in-all I would hev to say we ate very well! In keeping with the mood of the cruise, Service was relaxed but always professional. It would have been nice to actually meet our cabin Steward, Victor, but we have absolutely no complaints with the job he did. Entertainment was where we would suggest a few tweaks. Just one or two semi-organized activity options between when we returned from an excursion or lunch and when we went for before dinner drinks would have been welcome. No pool games, no bingo, perhaps something like an enrichment lecture, bridge, or some other low stress option. I know this is not Windstar's approach (or probably what most of their clients want), but the option would be nice. There are just so many DVDs you can watch. The entertainment in the Lounge was a band named Saga and they were excellent. It made having a drink with new friends a pleasure. The Sports Platform was a real plus. Even though we did not use the facilities, we did get snorkel equipment (no charge) for use during the week. That was great! The itinerary was outstanding and we really liked visiting a lot of the smaller Caribbean ports. We enjoyed them all, but our favorites were Mayreau, Dominica, and Pigeon Island/St. Lucia. Debarkation at the end cruise was another painless process. Bags did not have to be out until 1:00 AM (that was great!) and Immigration was handled on-board in record time. The combination Barbados tour/lunch/airport transfer was a wonderful way to make our travel home more enjoyable. We definitely recommend Windstar. Add to all the pluses that there are no formal nights (or even coats to be seen!) and it is hard to beat! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
First sailing on a Windstar adventure and was not sure what to expect. What was experienced was lots of relaxation with just the right amount of activity if desired. The lack of "stimulation" (which I loved) from big ships was a ... Read More
First sailing on a Windstar adventure and was not sure what to expect. What was experienced was lots of relaxation with just the right amount of activity if desired. The lack of "stimulation" (which I loved) from big ships was a definite plus for me. If you want clubbing and nightly entertainment this is not the cruise for you. My sailing had only 224 passengers and it was quite nice to actually get to know most of the folks on the cruise and share both onshore experiences and learn what a small world in which we live. Sports platform was a major plus as to jump or dive into the middle of the crystal clear Caribbean was magnificent. There were also sailboats, kayaks, waterski boats and snorkel trips for guests when sports platform was open. I found the spa facilities to be nice with some services definitely better than others depending upon the technician providing the services. Fitness area was adequate but not necessary for me with all the swimming and other activities in which to participate. Food and bar service were good although I did not feel exceptional. There is 24 hour room service however the meals are served at set times. If you want a snack in between meals, room service would have to be used as there is no buffet at "all times" as I have experienced on other cruises. It should be noted room service was very fast. The casino is small and not many folks frequent it, however, the few which did were "regulars" and we all got to know each other and looked forward to seeing each other each evening to talk about our days and enjoy each others company. The dealers were very friendly and it was hard to get upset even when the money was going to the wrong side of the table. Crew members were very helpful and went out of their way to get to know the guests names and particular needs. One day of ordering a particular drink and it was remembered and offered at the appropriate meal. While they were attentive, they were not overbearing. It was quite refreshing. The captain of the ship allowed folks to enter the bridge and in St.Lucia sailed over to the base of the Pitons for a view of the beach and to take photos. It was also nice to not have loud announcements every 30 minutes or so from the Captain. We usually only heard from the bridge when we were under full sail or if a landmark was being identified. One negative is the amount of guests they put on the tender boats as it was uncomfortable being so crowded aboard and with only one window and the boarding area open it was also quite hot. I think more tender boats or even more trips with less people would be desirable. I also received this feedback from most of my fellow passengers. All in all, I would recommend the experience to anyone wanting to relax, see a few ports of interest and bask in the sunlight and swim in the Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
My husband and I cruised between Barbados and St Martin and back on the Windsurf the last week of November. I agonized over our choice before we went, not being able to find that many reviews for this particular cruise line. I have to say ... Read More
My husband and I cruised between Barbados and St Martin and back on the Windsurf the last week of November. I agonized over our choice before we went, not being able to find that many reviews for this particular cruise line. I have to say that I was not disappointed, the cruise was one of the best and most memorable vacation that my husband and I have taken. The ship is in good shape, the state rooms are very nice, beds are comfortable and the common rooms are well laid out. When we first entered the ship I was a little wary as the carpets in the lounge appeared to be quite stained. Well they could use an upgrade there, that was about the only place that the ships appearance wasn't great. The embarkation process was quick and easy and we were in our stateroom in no time. It took my husband's luggage a while to make it to our room, but the ladies at the guest services were attentive and tried to keep my husband calm. We spent our first night dining on the deck as we left port - it was beautiful. We spent some days anchored at different ports in the Western Antilles. The water sports platform was a very nice break from poolside if you wanted to take a dive in the ocean. The pool on deck was nice for cooling off, but not really meant for swimming. The only port we docked in was Guadeloupe, other than that you had to take tenders to the ports. Not really that bad as they ran regularly and there was very little wait. What I liked the best was that they also left from the port to the ship on a regular basis, meaning that you never got the huge cruise ship line ups that you find when trying to get back to the larger ships on tenders. Perhaps it was because we were before the real big cruise season, but I didn't find alot of excursions available at the ports. If you wanted to see something on the islands you could hail a taxi and go it on your own or use the excursions through the ship. Our cruise hosts did a great job of giving you good information about each of the ports and if you are more adventuresome you can probably find some real neat spots. My husband and I are a bit more tentative so in the end we booked some excursions through the ship and were pleased with how they were managed. We haven't done a lot of cruising but on the last Carnival cruise we took it was always a chore to get a spot around the pool. Not so here, there are plenty of loungers available for the passengers and it was easy to move around if you wanted a spot in the shade for a while. There was always spots available either in the sun by the pool or on the deck in the shade. Every afternoon they would bring you frozen sorbet and a cold towel to wipe your hands and face - never had that kind of attention before. As with all ships the extras add up so you have to be careful. My husband and I enjoy wine with our meals and cocktails by the pool. After a week on the ship and with 2 excursions our bill was $1,500 US. A bit expensive, but not unexpected. Overall it was a great experience, we will definitely be back on board with the Windstar Cruise Line in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Sadly it is no longer the same cruiseline. We sailed back to back to be on board for Christmas and New Years. The shock of the changes by the new owners were unexpected. The chef had left before this cruise and the food was the biggest ... Read More
Sadly it is no longer the same cruiseline. We sailed back to back to be on board for Christmas and New Years. The shock of the changes by the new owners were unexpected. The chef had left before this cruise and the food was the biggest disappointment. Mystery meat available at every meal. The amount of small children on board was a complete surprise. There is nothing for them to do and they were allowed in both restaurants until after 9pm. Nothing says dinner like screaming kids. We expected none as in the past. Smoking rules are not enforced anywhere. However, tee shirts were for sale outside the restaurant for purchase to remind you that this is no longer a 5 star experience. The special touches that were Windstar have disappeared and it is not longer worth the price. Embarkation used to be a joyful return to a wonderful ship, friendly faces from the past, both passengers and crew members. Not so any more the new management has put many untrained people into the staff and it shows. We feel sorry for the few staff that have stayed, they try so hard to maintain the level of service from the past. Disembarking was fast. With the feeling they really wanted you to leave as quickly as possible! And we were glad to leave. We met some wonderful people and enjoyed seeing the crew from our previous time on board. The ship is still wonderful to sail on, but you have many choices for the price range. Our advice is try another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2007
Cruise: 12/2-9/2007 - Barbados to Barbados Overview This was our third cruise on the Wind Surf, after back to back cruises in the Mediterranean in November, 2004. We sailed to small ports, all the while feeling that we were privileged ... Read More
Cruise: 12/2-9/2007 - Barbados to Barbados Overview This was our third cruise on the Wind Surf, after back to back cruises in the Mediterranean in November, 2004. We sailed to small ports, all the while feeling that we were privileged and pampered. Nothing beats the feeling of being on a ship under sail, and we spent quite a bit of time under sail, with the engine disengaged. It's a pleasure to sail with a few hundred other passengers, rather than a few thousand. Why is the title for our review "the tender trap"? Because four of the six ports were ports where we anchored and then took tenders to shore. That got to be something of a drag, and limited our ability to come and go off the ship. Description of the ship The MSY Windstar is a "motorized sailing yacht". It is about half the length of a mega ship, but much narrower, and with far fewer decks (6, plus a partial sun deck). There are a maximum of 312 passengers and 190 crew. Most staterooms are 188 square feet, with portholes (no balconies), with everything built in. The rooms, despite their relatively small size, are so well designed that they feel roomy. Best of all, they feel nautical, as if they are staterooms on a yacht. In contrast, cruise ship rooms, even elegant ones such as our suites on the Noordam and Regent Seven Seas Navigator, feel like hotel rooms that happen to be on a ship. There is one main public room, the lounge, and several bars. There is a fairly large (for 300 people) gym, and a sports platform that is lowered when the ship is anchored and not docked. Dress code is elegant casual: suits and fancy dresses are not seen at all on this itinerary or in the Med., and they supposedly have a rule that anyone caught wearing a tie will be banned from the dining room. This is not really a family ship. On our three cruises, two had no kids at all, while the third had two or three. While perhaps 60 percent of the PAX were over 50, there was a pretty good mix of younger people as well. Shore excursions tended to be active: perhaps a bit too much so for the age mix. If you are not fairly mobile, this probably is not the ship for you. Best part of the trip The crew was friendly and helpful, the passengers were interesting, the ports were relaxing, and the ship itself was fun. It was great having a feeling of elegance, yet not having to dress up - Windstar really does have "casual elegance". Worst part of the trip Transfers, embarkation, disembarkation, and the tenders. The tenders were needed for almost every port - hard to enter and leave, with strong gas fumes, they meant we never made a second trip back to the ports after we boarded the ship. The visit to the emergency room (see below). Embarkation My husband underwent an emergency appendectomy Monday night before the cruise. He couldn't lift our suitcases, stand for long periods, and was certainly mobility impaired. American Airlines' wheelchair techniques at JFK were honed to perfection (true as well at the end of the trip), and we settled in our coach seats philosophically, if not comfortably. We had opted for Windstar's own hotel and their transfers - a waste of time and money, if not worse. We staggered off the plane, and tried to find our luggage. In Barbados, we had to walk down 12 steps to get to the tarmac. No wheelchairs. We were herded onto a bus, jammed in at the airline's convenience. No wheelchair. No Windstar representative. It took an hour for our luggage to come out of the luggage carousel, and the porter we found took another party out in the time it took our luggage to come out. Where was our Windstar transfer? All through the airport, people were standing holding signs. Windstar's representative was a block from the exit, and when we found her she had just sent the bus away. We waited, and waited, and waited...When we got to the Accra Beach hotel, they had NO RESERVATION for us. The Windstar representative at the desk found us a hotel room long after my comfort level plummeted to "wish I'd stayed home". Their upgraded room, meant as a generous gesture, turned out to be a menace when Joe had a bad fall coming out of the hot tub, and injured his back. We spent Saturday night in a Barbados emergency room. . Two Windstar ships were loading from the same hotel the next day. They loaded within a few minutes of each other, a BIG MISTAKE. Why did the company combine three different busloads? One busload went on a tour, one went to the Wind Star and one was supposed to go to the Wind Surf. All three groups jammed the lobby, milling around and causing confusion. We stood in three lines...an ordeal for my husband. Once we got on board, Joe went for a walk off the ship, and found our luggage in a shed on the pier. It was nearly loaded onto the wrong ship! Joe had to do a lot of negotiating to get our luggage onto the proper ship. Accommodations The Accra Beach hotel might have been charming if we'd arrived promptly, had a shower, and a nap. Instead, we were overtired by the time we entered our room. Joe fell on the Jacuzzi, and the resulting trip to the emergency room on Saturday night further depleted our health. Fortunately, Debbie the manager trainee and her male counterpart were compassionate and helpful. The got us into a taxi, both ways, found us a clinic with an x-ray service, and even managed to make the process seem dignified. They got us to a clinic, where Joe had an X-Ray and the M.D. on duty urged to get back on the cruise ship the next day. I'm still grateful to Debbie and the male night manager for the happy outcome. They were the difference between a lawsuit and a commendation. Still, I wouldn't pay for Windstar's own transfers and hotel again. It was poor quality for the money. As indicated in our 2004 review of the ship, these were the smallest rooms we'd had on our ten ocean cruises (188 square feet), but we knew that the room had not been a problem in 2004. Though compact, our stateroom was very comfortable, and we had no cabin fever. There seemed to be room for all our belongings. We did miss having a bath tub; but we knew that in advance. The steward was unobtrusive. Our room was kept clean, and when we asked for something (ice, more shampoo, etc.) it arrived promptly. The towels and bathrobes were good, and the fruit bowl was kept filled. Dining The food in the dining rooms was so good, and so convenient, we never felt a need to eat elsewhere. . Breakfast and lunch were served in the Veranda room; however, we quickly found that we could avoid crowds, and get waiter service for several items, if we sat in the adjacent room, Degrees (formerly known as the Bistro). The breakfast choices always included pancakes, French toast, waffles, and at least one light cuisine choice. Eggs were made to order, smoked salmon was available every day, and the fruit was fresh and abundant. There was lots of fruit, meusli, great breads and pastries, and stuff we never even tried, such as British breakfast, cold cereal, breakfast meats (hot and cold), etc. We ate every lunch on the ship, except for the beach barbecue. Most lunches had themes (Italian, Spanish, Asian), and the choices were generally interesting. Grilled food, such as fish and burgers, was always available. The salads were especially varied and interesting. There were always lots of desserts, including low fat and the famous HAL bread pudding. The review of "sfg" of a 2002 cruise mentioned the need for a sandwich bar, and said that buffet choices were not too good. We felt that buffet choices were excellent. While there still is no area where the ship crew makes cold sandwiches, there are plenty of sandwich ingredients available, including great bread, for making your own sandwiches. I have a habit of making sandwiches from the breakfast buffet to ease the munchies, and we found this helpful when our American Airlines flight failed to serve edible food. Yes, a Windstar raisin bread and cheese sandwich smelled better after 8 hours than the airline's $5.00 sandwiches. The barbecue on the beach at Mayreau was one of the highlights of the trip. The succulent ribs, lamb chops, and corn were culinary standouts. The steel band was a hoot, the vendors were laid back and had colorful things to sell. They had some of the best prices for shells here. We had the entire island to ourselves...and it was lovely. I went into the ocean three times, lined up for food and dessert twice, and even shooed away the crows. Unlike Pigeon Island, we COULD find our way to the appropriate area, and enjoy the time on shore. The alternate restaurant outdid itself on Indonesian night, but we like that type of food more than most people. The alternate restaurant was otherwise OK, but the regular dining room was superb. EXCEPT for a 40-minute wait for our entrees on the last night, while people who came after us were served before us, the service was fine. We were hungry by 7:30 PM, the hour the restaurant opened, so often sat at a table for two for prompter service. Ports, Itinerary, and Excursions All ports except two (Dominica and Grenada) were tender ports. In Dominica, a larger cruise ship took the convenient port near the center of town, and we were docked more than a mile from town. It might as well have been a fifth tender port. Joan missed lunch to shop at her favorite "native" store, J. Nassief, and it was a stretch. The crew did their best with the tenders, but they remained a source of seasickness and fumes. I believe Joe's lack of mobility made us more sensitive to this drawback, but we found it a negative. The ports varied: in Pigeon Island, thanks to the useless port talks, we never found the correct beach and regretted getting off the ship; in Mayreau we could see the tenders going back and forth with food and drink and almost smell the succulent barbecue. In most of the other ports, we shared private tours with Rochelle and Elliot ("Smokey"), whom we met through the CC boards. The sports platform was open on all four tender days, with sailing, kayaking, swimming and snorkeling (off a boat launched from the platform, not the platform itself), and other activities. We didn't try it, but it looked like fun. In Bequia, we engaged Noel, the driver of a safari taxi. The three hour tour, for four people, was under $30 per person, maybe close to $20. The ship's tour, which includes one thing (moon holes) that we didn't see, is in the $85 range. In Grenada, I took a river tubing tour from the ship, and it was a hoot - flying past huge rocks in a tube, getting wet and muddy, and laughing our heads off . The driver in the River Tubing graciously drove us to world-famous Annandale Falls before taking us back to the ship. loved it. Joe, Rochelle, and Elliot took a tour with a & e Tours. A rather standard tour, but quite nice. Later, Joe and I walked through the market, and bought spices. Tobago taught us something about ship's tours. The ship has a snorkeling and glass bottom boat tour, for $59 per person. They use all three glass bottom boat providers at a place called Speyside. We booked a $20 glass bottom boat ride, plus $10 per person for transportation, from Top Ranking glass bottom boats, and were surprised, when we arrived, to learn that our tour would be delayed by 30 minutes. Why? So the tour for the Wind Surf, on the same boat, could be completed. Our tour was actually better, because we had 10 people (8 from the Wind Surf), while there were about 25 people from the Wind Surf on the boat before we got on. Also, we had a choice of snorkeling or a nature walk on Little Tobago, while they had no choice--just snorkeling. Our tour cost half the amount of the "official" tour, on the same boat. What the heck is Windstar's profit margin? In Dominica we used Fredos taxi again, as we did last year. We went up to Carib Indian territory, and saw parts of the island that we didn't go to last year, such as the emerald pool. Mr. Nice Fruits is a touristy place, but it's still fun sampling many of the local fruits. All in all, a great tour. In Barbados we relied on the wonderful Glory Tours, as described below under disembarkation. Entertainment There wasn't much of it, and we didn't miss it. There was a small casino, and there were usually bands in the two lounges. They were not well populated most of the time: people were simply too tired after exciting days on shore. Most people rented DVDs, and watched them in their rooms. Had we been night owls instead of early birds, we could easily have made our own entertainment. Nonetheless, if you want big, glitzy shows, this may not be the ship for you. The only "show" was the weekly crew show, which was quite interesting. Level of service Generally excellent, except for the port talks. The crew made us feel pampered and special. The trip helped Joe recover from his surgery and trauma. Once we got on board the ship, Windstar couldn't do enough for us. Tipping A standard $11.00/day is added to your room bill. I didn't think it was enough, considering how hard the crew worked. Iced Tea and water were free at the bar, no tip. They cheerfully brought us many glasses of iced tea, just as if it was the best champagne, which carried a 15% tip. Disembarkation Always a downer. Windsurf had a tie-in with some flights, so some people left before 5 a.m. We left at 8:30 and were met by Sarah Taylor, the owner of Glory Tours, who took us on a personalized tour for much less than the ship charge. When we found we still had time to kill before our late afternoon flight, she even added an extra hour to the tour (we went to the northern tip of the island) for no charge. Fantastic, and (including the cost of a fish lunch at a local restaurant) we saved about $30 per person compared with the ship's tour. Final impressions As was the case in 2004, a fantastic trip, despite some glitches! Once again, Bravo, Wind Surf! Read Less
Sail Date December 2007
Did Barbados South 12/4 and Barbados North 12/11. To keep it simple: the wait staff is great (food service, bartenders, steward). A/C broke the first week. Offered onboard credit, and a chance to cancel the next week's cruise (good ... Read More
Did Barbados South 12/4 and Barbados North 12/11. To keep it simple: the wait staff is great (food service, bartenders, steward). A/C broke the first week. Offered onboard credit, and a chance to cancel the next week's cruise (good pr, and a much deserved plus). For scuba divers, they advertise as a 'liveaboard' in mags such as Rodale's Scuba...NOT!!!. PLUS: Food (breakfast, lunch, dinner) was great. Open bridge while sailing. Sails unfurled in the evening and mid morning. Room service seemed better than actual set meals. Minus: After midnite, you can't get a glass of water, let alone a simple snack (ie a simple sandwich), unless you request room service. A cup of coffee can't be found until 6am. In between lunch and dinner (keep in mind you may have missed breakfast or lunch for an excursion you booked with the ship), you get cookies!. Communication between departments was non-existent. If you booked an excursion, and it ran past lunch, you didn't get lunch. To their credit, the second week they did try to reconcile this problem. Excursions are hit and miss. They may be cancelled, they may not. They may be on time, they may be 2 hours late. Finally, and if anyone from the company actually reads this stuff: Never, and I say NEVER give your product away. We booked at a reasonable (at the time) rate to my wife and I. Then took advantage of their advertised policy of a steep discount for a back to back. Only to find out that if you went to a discount website, we could have gotten the first week for almost half off. Overall: Taking into account the weather the first week and it being the first time this company did this specific itinerary, they did a commendable job. However, by their own admission, by offering such a steep discount on those 'last minute' sites, I felt we well overpaid, and probably won't sail again with them. If you work for the company and read this, consider the following: NEWER give up your front gate!! Offer free drinks, discounts on shipboard stuff, etc., but NEVER give up your front gate!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
Overview: I guess the most important question is, What is it like to sail on the Wind Surf? Nancy and I have very different answers to that question. Mine is that it was very nice, but it wasnt at all what they said it was, and that a ... Read More
Overview: I guess the most important question is, What is it like to sail on the Wind Surf? Nancy and I have very different answers to that question. Mine is that it was very nice, but it wasnt at all what they said it was, and that a 7 day trip was quite enough. I didnt have any wishes for a longer voyage. Going to smaller ports on a smaller ship left me feeling like the out of the way, back woods ports were pretty much the same. If you have seen 4, you have seen them all. Yes, they have differences, but the differences dont matter so much in the grand scheme of things. Windstar, the company that owns the 3 sail cruise ships, is owned by Holland America, which is owned by Carnival. All of the descriptions of the cruise experience from the Windstar web site describe each of the ships as small, luxury sail/motor ships: Sailing under the banner of its appropriate tag line "180º From Ordinary," Windstar was created in the mid-1980's with the vision to offer an alternative to the typical cruise or resort vacation. The Windstar passenger sees the world from a romantic sailing ship with luxurious accommodations, a casual yet elegant atmosphere, and exquisite service and cuisine. The Wind Surf, at 308 passengers, is twice the size of the other two ships. I havent been on the smaller ships, but from what I have heard, they are different in feel (i.e. better) than the Wind Surf. The bottom line for me is that the Wind Surfs dEcor was utilitarian: nice, but utilitarian. The food ranged from good to very good, the service from the staff was very good, while the service from management was poor. What the Wind Surf has to offer is small, out of the way ports that the big ships cant get into. Can you imagine 3,200 passengers storming the beach at Mayreau (population 212)? Instead, our 308 passengers fit in just fine. Moreover, with so few passengers, we saw the same people day after day, and that was a delightful experience. I dont think I would take Wind Surf again unless it were going to a destination that was absolutely compelling, that no one else was going to, and (a big and) the price was more in line with what I was actually receiving. So, lets start at the beginning: The Wind Surf is a 5 masted sailing cruise ship. Like all sailboats, the design of everything is subordinated to making room for the masts, lines, supports etc. It is hard to take a picture without running afoul of sailing apparatus. In the Wind Surfs case, that makes for a long skinny ship; so rather than your typical cruise ship configuration of two outside corridors with lounges in the middle, you often have only one corridor and an L shaped room, like the 1960s combination living/dining rooms of a suburban ranch house. None of that is bad, and in fact, it is downright pleasant. Or, it would be if the ship actually functioned as a sailboat. There were two lengthy periods when the motor was disconnected (not, shut off), and the ship proceeded under sail power. The idea was that it was a sailing experience, but the reality was that the motor was needed for electrical power, and I could still hear it vibrating away. The ship never heeled over into the wind. In short, the Wind Surf struck me as a motorized cruise ship with a gimmick. True enough, a nice gimmick, but my body wasnt fooled even for a moment. As for luxury, forget it: thats my opinion, anyway. The cabin and elsewhere was nicely utilitarian, but both Celebrity (nouveau upscale) and Holland American (pretend old money, i.e. quieter upscale) were far, far, far more luxurious. Wind Surf claims to be a 5 star ship like Celebrity and Holland American, but the reality is closer to a very pleasant 3 or 4 stars but for the much smaller number of passengers. This year, Holland American costs about $120 per person per day in the Caribbean, and Celebrity checks in at $142, while Wind Surf averages $264. What you have to do is decide if the smaller number of passengers and the unusual ports are worth paying the extra money. It probably is worth it once or twice, but dont spend the money thinking you are getting luxury in your surroundings. You arent. Dining: Breakfast and lunch on the Wind Surf are in the Veranda Cafe, which is an indoor-outdoor buffet experience. I found both to be great, but Nancy fought with the menu. Breakfast included real granola, fruit, European cold cuts, smoked salmon, a rotating exhibit of eggs on English muffins, i.e. Benedict, Florentine, etc., an omelet / scrambled egg station  no powdered eggs, which most other cruise lines try to palm off on passengers too old to remember being at camp, and a pancake / waffle station. Lunch consisted of more buffets than you could ever imagine: Mexican day, Indonesian day etc. Also there was a carving station, sandwich creation ingredients etc. Nancy kept wanting some of the breakfast ingredients like mozzarella cheese to put on her lunch salad. She was happiest the day she ordered room service and got a Caesar salad and a piece of plain grilled salmon. Of course, she would have been even happier if our room had had a table that she could have eaten it from. There were two locations for dinner: the main dining room called The Restaurant and the Bistro cafe. The Bistro did not seem to be thought of (by the passengers, anyway) as a gourmet location as compared to The Restaurant. Rather, it was simply an alternative venue. Consequently, reservations were fairly easy to come by. Both the Restaurant and the Bistro featured open seating from 7:30 to 9:30. We always told the headwaiter that we wanted company and were seated at tables for 4 or 6. It was a nice way to meet folks. Before dinner, a live band played in the lounge, appetizers were served, and at 7:15, the cruise director would give a short talk about the next days port. All in all, it was quite civilized. I must compliment Wind Surf on providing more port information than any other cruise line I have been on to help the non-excursion passengers plan their day. This was the first cruise I have ever been on where I actually gained weight (a pound and a half, thank you), and I attribute that to the fact that the desserts were tasty rather than consisting of imitation 3-Musketeer-fluff sandwiched in between allegedly choco-like substances. If you are a dark chocolate fan like me, the flourless chocolate cake with hazelnut puree accompanied by pistachio brittle was worth holding back on the green beans in order to save room. On the other hand, on French night in the Bistro, I doubt that a real French person would have recognized the meal: the strawberry tart, for example, had chocolate pudding underneath the strawberries. French night wasnt very French, but Indonesian night had the best lobster Ive ever been served. Since there were no assigned tables, the dining staff (all male) had to work harder to keep everybody serviced. They were the same folks who ran the tables in the breakfast & lunch buffets, and with 308 passengers, it wasnt too hard to keep track of the passengers foibles. Nevertheless, it was still surprising to have a waiter come all the way across the room to bring me an ice tea because he knew I liked iced tea, and my waiter for that night hadnt learned my preferences yet. Susan, one of the wine stewards, once bought (not, brought, but bought as in paid for) me a coke because she had noticed that I didnt drink alcohol. I never had that happen before. One day, I asked for blueberries the next day at breakfast. Requests like that are usually routine on the larger cruise ships. On the Wind Surf, the response was, We will have to see what is on the menu. Public Rooms: There are really only three public rooms of any consequence: the library, the lounge, and the Compass Rose bar. The library has some reference and travel books plus several bookcases of left-behind books that, fortunately, had reading material worth reading. It also had tables and chairs plus two non-internet computers. Every afternoon, I would discover a plate of cookies and a couple of pitchers of juice had been set out for bookworms like me. It rained 5 out of 7 days on our cruise, and we discovered that one of the shortcomings of the Wind Surf is that there are few, if any, comfortable indoor reading locations. The best seats are the couches in the hallway near the library. Other than those, you are pretty much on your own. We didnt use the lounge nearly as much as we thought we would. It is the main assembly room, the entertainment room, and it contained one of the bars that was used for the two cocktail parties that the ship hosted to make us feel better about the broken air conditioning. They never did figure out a way to make us feel better about the fact that our cabin had no cold water in our shower for 2 and a half days. It was so hot in our cabin that the sweat was just pouring off us, and we couldnt even shower due to the scalding water. Grrrr. Anyway, here is a picture of the lounge: We came here most nights about 7:00 to hear the lecture before dinner about the next days port. In addition, we could sample the appetizers that were served to tide us over until dinner at 7:30 and listen to the music played by a 4 person group that we had heard on a previous cruise with another cruise line in one of their small, out of the way, secondary lounges. In other words, the live music was okay, but barely that. We never came back after dinner for a night of dancing, but we did come for the crews talent night which was very enjoyable. The Compass Rose Bar is the main bar, if you happen to need a stool to hang out on. If you dont need a stool, then the extended Compass Rose is still the place to be since the tables spill out onto the deck. If you wake up too early to eat breakfast, there is always a continental bite to eat in the Compass before moving on to pancakes, waffles etc. In addition to the main public rooms, there is also the Terrace Bar on the next deck up that was touted as the cigar spot. There was quite a bit of sympathy expressed by the cruise director for the cigar smokers who never had a spot for themselves. Windstars solution was to use the Terrace Bar to create that spot. Unfortunately, they never enforced their own rules about smoking elsewhere. The net result was that the three rear decks were overrun by smokers. Basically, the smoking rules were unworkable in the first place. The idea was that half of each of the three decks was for smoking. Even if that had been followed, it never would have worked because the decks were so small that the wind blew the smoke everywhere. In short, it was like the bad old days where there was a smoking section in each restaurant (or airplane) that never isolated the smoke in the first place. That was the theory. The reality was worse. There was no enforcement, and the smokers smoked everywhere, although I must admit that there wasnt much smoking inside. I put on my California hat and tried to complain. They just couldnt get it. It never was their responsibility any more than it would have been in a restaurant in 1954. Fitness and Recreation: The Wind Surf positively excelled in the fitness department. The gym is on the top deck with views all around and more than enough machines for the number of passengers. It never felt crowded. Some of the fitness classes were free, including the one that I went to where I was the only one there. It was like having a fitness trainer for free rather than paying $75 per hour. In addition to the gym and the aerobics room, the Wind Surf also had a water sports platform that dropped down from the rear of the ship. We picked the largest of the three ships for our cruise because it had a larger sports platform with more toys. The sports platform can only be used in ports where the ship tenders rather than docks and when the waters are calm enough. On the Wind Surf (as opposed to the 2 smaller ships), you cannot swim off of the platform since the platform floats on the water rather than being above the surface. The net result is that the water sports platform is best for kayaking, sailing and not much else. They did hand out (free) snorkeling gear at the start of the cruise that we used for our excursions. There were about 35 divers out of the 308 passengers plus numerous snorkelers and water people. If you go, you are in the midst of an active crowd. There is one swimming pool on the top deck that I never saw occupied, even once. The one on the rear deck did get some use, although the hot tubs were vastly more popular. There is also a spa for those who like to spend double the price of a land massage. We tried it with the on-board credit that went along with our tickets. My favorite part was the questionnaire that they wanted us to fill out in the beginning. The whole purpose of the questionnaire was to set them up to offer us products to buy at the end of the massage. One part of the questionnaire asked: What home cleansing routine do you follow? I answered that I vacuumed weekly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
Wind Surf Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.5 3.6
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 3.5 4.1
Family N/A 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment N/A 3.6
Service 3.5 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.1

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