11 Dublin Windstar Wind Surf Cruise Reviews

We had sailed on the Windsurf in the Caribbean. We decided to choose a really different itinerary.......Dublin to Lisbon. And different it was. Originally 1st stop was Waterford, Ireland but the Irish Seas were in turmoil so the ship ... Read More
We had sailed on the Windsurf in the Caribbean. We decided to choose a really different itinerary.......Dublin to Lisbon. And different it was. Originally 1st stop was Waterford, Ireland but the Irish Seas were in turmoil so the ship couldn't visit. So we stayed in Dublin overnight. No loss, as we had been to Ireland many times. The northern stops were a bit cool, southern stops hot and sunny. The Windsurf is a beautiful sailing vessel, just the right size. With approx. three hundred passengers and two hundred crew the service is outstanding. Friendly and personal, the crew goes above and beyond to make your journey a memorable one. Highlight of the trip was the deck BBQ in Vigo, Spain. Hard to call it a BBQ with the high end food offered.. Vigo is a gorgeous harbor and sailing out of there at sunset with the sails all lit up was something dreams are made of. The captain and officers were around constantly interacting with the guests and being able to go on the bridge anytime at sea was an interesting experience. Hats off to Windstar Cruises for offering a more intimate setting than the large ships. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
First off, all the people that work there try real hard. the Captain and his crew tried very hard to make the cruise comfortable despite tropical storm Alieen with 85 miles winds.However this is not a luxary cruise. Princess is must better ... Read More
First off, all the people that work there try real hard. the Captain and his crew tried very hard to make the cruise comfortable despite tropical storm Alieen with 85 miles winds.However this is not a luxary cruise. Princess is must better and it is not in the class of Oceanic. This is about getting room service 1/2 hour late. taking over 30 minutes to get a workable hairdryer, losing dining reservation for 18 at their special restaurant, despite confiming it the day before. Knowing what is jasmine tea vis green tea. Not getting a wheel chair, when requesting it. Little stuffs that relates to communication and the failure to delivery. The cabin was great and have lots of places for storages. The shower was huge with plenty of hot water. Cabin size was excellent. Love the one price cleaning and delivery within 24 hours. Love the idea of free soda and coffee. The $12 per day crew service charge was very reasonable and we got good service. Entertaiment was enjoyable. Port excursions by the cruise company was first class and having lunch at great places helps. Recommend it highly. Dining was so-so at best. Desserts was not good, not even ice creams. Worst roast beef i ever have. The specialize restaurant is much better, but you only get to it only once. The best was when they did a barbecue dinner with all the choices. Since the ship is smaller, it limited dining options. It can use a buffet.. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Windstar Cruises maintains that they are 180 Degrees from Ordinary. After sailing with them four times, I cannot refute that statement. In fact, they are extraordinary. Recently my husband and I set off from Dublin, bound for Lisbon, on ... Read More
Windstar Cruises maintains that they are 180 Degrees from Ordinary. After sailing with them four times, I cannot refute that statement. In fact, they are extraordinary. Recently my husband and I set off from Dublin, bound for Lisbon, on their flagship vessel the Wind Surf. Cruising with Windstar is more akin to sailing on a large luxury yacht. As soon as the 1492: Conquest of Paradise Theme song begins to play, while the seven massive sails unfurl during sail away, you will know why. With room for only 310 passengers, the ship never feels crowded. Throughout your voyage, you can expect 5-star service with a personal touch from the crew. They are attentive and friendly and by the second day on board expect them to address you by name. Although Windstar Cruises have options for all-day dining, you won’t find any mega cruise ship style buffets on board. Rather, 24/7 dining comes only in the form of room service. We took advantage of this by having fresh coffee and croissants delivered to our room daily. It is the best kind of alarm clock I can think of using while on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Dublin to Lisbon cruise started with ship not being in port where it was supposed to be, high winds, first night staying in port, first port of call cancelled, grey skies. Sounds bad? No it wasn´t bad at all. Ship incoming had to ... Read More
Dublin to Lisbon cruise started with ship not being in port where it was supposed to be, high winds, first night staying in port, first port of call cancelled, grey skies. Sounds bad? No it wasn´t bad at all. Ship incoming had to divert to Dublin City ( from originally Dún Laoghaire, small village south of Dublin) which we did not know about. Check in and Transfer to ship and it´s new location was painless and seamless though in Dan Laoghaire with bus transfer to ship. Arrival at ship was met by an all smiling and super friendly, mostly Indonesian crew, which set the tone for the duration of the cruise. The Crew were just outstanding and turned the whole voyage into a lovely experience, much better than even anticipated. This was my first Windstar cruise, surely not my last. Ship is in very good condition, I found the staterooms lovely and cosy in great modern condition, absolutely big enough (normally never say No to a Suite when price is right), super comfortable beds with super comfy pillows. Deck 2 selection midship turned out to be the best selection we could have made. High enough to overlook the water and as stable as possible. The size of the cabin turned out to be a big plus in high seas, which we had indeed. First port of call then was Isles of Scilly. Never thought we would be able to stop and tneder, but we did, as winds came down a bit. We had our scheduled half day in a lovely corner of South of England. Then we crossed over to Brest. Quite a ride as the winds had picked up again which also resulted in higher waves. Not a good night for everyone on board, even for quite a few Crew members. Still they were smiling and joking and assisting and serving drinks and Food. Restaurant was never really empty, so a lot of people coped quite well with the ship dancing on the waves. Weather in Brest unfortunately did not cooperate at all. It rained all day, just untill exactly when we left the port in the evening for our 2 night/1 full day crossing of the Bay of Biscayne. You guessed it, the waves got worse. It was quite a ride and quite a few passeners had a very difficult time. Sill many had no problem and enjoyed the ride, like we did. Wether only improved once we reached Spain in El Ferrol, followed by Vigo, both very nice ports with a beautiful back countryside. Next and final stop short stop in Porto was all sunny and just piccture perfect. The whole voyage was perfect, despite th weather. Ports great, excursion good, food good, ship just perfect. I really had no complaints at all. Passenger were mostly Americans, I guess 95 %, lovely as we all know them, as well as occasionally noisy, but always fun to be around. Crew as mentioned is truly exceptional !Looking forward to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Being welcomed back to the Wind Surf by our Captain Gerry Hogan and his spectacular crew made us feel as if we were being welcomed home. This particular cruise from Dublin to Edinburgh was a dream for us and almost unattainable after a ... Read More
Being welcomed back to the Wind Surf by our Captain Gerry Hogan and his spectacular crew made us feel as if we were being welcomed home. This particular cruise from Dublin to Edinburgh was a dream for us and almost unattainable after a sudden serious health issue earlier in the year. Seeing "the Surf" tied up at the dock brought tears to our eyes. Being greeted by staff who remembered us from other sailings not only made us feel instantly at home, it is also a testament to a company that must be great to work for as the crew members have choices in employers and they keep coming back. There is so much to say about this cruise starting with the ports which were all interesting with each one very different in landscape and culture. Going to Isle of Man and learning the history of this country and its part in WWII was enlightening. Kirkwall and all of the Orkney Islands, going to Scapa Flow feel like a step back into history, both modern and ancient. Portree, Isle of Skye, is one of the most beautiful places on earth; Tobermory charming and Portrush all of these rolled into one. Disembarking in Edinburgh was easy and it's understandable why people fall in love with this charming city and continue to return. The Wind Surf is in wonderful shape with excellent services, continuous smiles and a true effort to make every guest feel special. The reception staff and dining room staff are eager to do whatever it takes to satisfy each request. We eat anything an everything but met lots of people with specific food needs and all were exceedingly happy with the abundance of choices. The cabin stewards are the best in the business, keeping the cabins immaculate and will appear at a moments notice to take care of any personal need. We are always amazed that our names are remembered from day one. This particular itinerary is one that should not be missed. There were lots of fellow passengers who were interested in these countries as part of their ancestry. And if one isn't into ancestry and/or the history of Ireland and Scotland, there are always the breweries and distilleries! Great trip! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
After more than a dozen previous cruises on the Wind Surf, this was our first ever back to back cruise. The first leg was Edinburgh to Dubln, visiting many smaller ports in the British Isles, followed by Dublin to Lisbon, visiting the ... Read More
After more than a dozen previous cruises on the Wind Surf, this was our first ever back to back cruise. The first leg was Edinburgh to Dubln, visiting many smaller ports in the British Isles, followed by Dublin to Lisbon, visiting the Scylli Isles, France, Spain, and Portugal. It was also our first booking in a suite, a definite upgrade from the regular cabin. Having access to two separate baths and two separate closets, was much appreciated. The spacious sitting area was also nice, as we were traveling with friends. Windstar was also gracious enough to comp us for the laundry package for our second voyage, which was a real treat. No more rinsing out underwear in the sink! I learned later that Windstar often does this for back to back cruisers. Thank you, Windstar! During our stay in Dublin, we booked the excursion to the Guinness Museum, which was a real treat. The museum is housed in a huge converted warehouse, which is worth a visit unto itself. There are 5 stories of exhibits, showing the brand's celebrated history, the unique brewing process, the equipment and technology, advertising campaigns, and finally, a pint of Guinness in the Sky Bar, with a panoramic view of Dublin. After dropping off all the other passengers at their hotels, the bus took us back to the ship, and we got back in time for a late lunch. Our first stop was in Waterford, followed by the Scylli Isles, where we had a real treat. Prince William spent many vacations there as a child, and he and Kate happened to be there for a Royal tour. So they came out to the Wind Surf in their Royal launch, and gave us a wave as they motored by! All the Wind Surf passengers were lining the rails, cheering, waving and snapping photos. During those first few days of the cruise we also had some other VIP's on board, new Windstar President John Delaney and Vice President Doug Santoni. I took the opportunity to introduce myself, and found them both to be highly engaging, and interested in my opinions and experiences, especially about my 3 cruises on the Wind Surf's sister ship, the Club Med 1. After our first conversation, Mr. Delaney set aside another hour in his busy schedule for a more in-depth meeting. He has big plans for Windstar, mostly focusing on ways to improve the cruising experience. Bravo! On our cruise, very much like many others I have been on, almost 50% of the passengers were Yacht Club members, including one passenger with almost 40 previous cruises, going back to the late, great Wind Song. Windstar must be doing some things REALLY well to earn that kind of loyalty. Lately I have seen some less than glowing Cruise Critic reviews, almost always from first-timers who apparently expect white glove table service, and caviar in the hot tubs. I prefer the warm personal service from crew and staff who not only welcome me back, but remember my name. The true stars of the ship are the officers, especially Hotel Manager Nick Bulger, and the fantastic team of Steve and Amanda Millar. We have already booked our next cruise in February to Costa RIca and the Panama Canal, where we join President John Delaney for the "Presidents" cruise. Then next October, we will be back on the Wind Surf to visit the Canary Islands. Join us! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The old ship with an outdated decor and a very few amenities. The entertainment was limited to an OK band and a duo (husband and wife) singers. The food was OK, but not great. The cabin was small with a peeling wallpaper and some ... Read More
The old ship with an outdated decor and a very few amenities. The entertainment was limited to an OK band and a duo (husband and wife) singers. The food was OK, but not great. The cabin was small with a peeling wallpaper and some rusted spots in the shower. It was also dark with pothole windows which were advertised as the ocean view cabins. A poor quality TV reception, limited to 4-5 channels. Internet is slow and expensive. Wi-Fi was available only close to the reception desk not in our room. The "Fitness Center" was so small that 2 people felt as a crowd. The 24 hours food court (pizza, sandwiches, tea, coffee), typical for all the cruises I've been to, is not available. There is a room service alternative that I've never used. The only positive detail of the cruise was friendly, service-oriented staff. Not a luxury cruise that I've hoped for! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
THE GOOD The crew is extraordinarily gracious. This is a ship with a small passenger load (312). We particularly enjoyed Hotel Manager, Nick Berger. He is studying for U.S. citizenship, and the U.S. could do a lot worse than Nick. A ... Read More
THE GOOD The crew is extraordinarily gracious. This is a ship with a small passenger load (312). We particularly enjoyed Hotel Manager, Nick Berger. He is studying for U.S. citizenship, and the U.S. could do a lot worse than Nick. A wonderful gentleman. THE BAD Windstar is the only ship that we have sailed to date that did not offer complimentary wine with dinner. Even Windjammer served wine with dinner--not the greatest wine, but wine. We were ever so surprised when we were asked to sign a charge for our wine with dinner. Check for more on this below. Even though we got a very good rate on the cabin (Military Discount), I cannot say much for the cabin, itself. We were on the lowest level and one should not pay much attention to the picture of the standard cabin in the brochure. Our "panoramic view of the ocean consisted of two (count them, two) portholes. We learned from other passengers, that the two porthole "vista" was not limited to Deck One. You want a vista, reserve a suite. The cabin was the smallest we have had in quite a number of cruises. Windstar considers itself to be a luxury cruise line--NOT. The food is ordinary, the cabins small, and you have already heard my take on the wine charges with dinner. THE UGLY More on drinks. Besides charging for wine with dinner, Windstar also charges you at the time of service for the service, itself. They tack a 15% service charge onto every drink served. Amazing! Although we received a low rate on our cabin, we calculated what a comparable cruise would cost on Regent (a true luxury cruise line). After we shelled out for our round-trip air fare, shore excursions, and drinks, we could have taken a Regent cruise for the same price, and thereby had a true luxury cruise. Frankly, we felt nicked and dimed at nearly every turn. It goes without saying that we will not make the mistake of cruising with Windstar again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our 4th cruise on the Windsurf and second leg of a back to back trip. We’ve had some very upsetting events happen during this trip, however we try to be fair in this review, particularly to the hard working staff onboard. ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise on the Windsurf and second leg of a back to back trip. We’ve had some very upsetting events happen during this trip, however we try to be fair in this review, particularly to the hard working staff onboard. Please read the full review and be warned: Scotland made for some challenging sailing, but the Captain and his crew managed beautifully. We enjoyed being able to reach the smaller ports, visiting some of Scotland’s remote towns and villages. We were reminded in Invergordon, what it is like to dock in a port accessible to large cruise ships. The Ruby Princess had docked there as well and its 3,000+ passengers ended up flooding all of the nearby tourist sites, including Loch Ness. We had to move cabins following the previous 8-day cruise we had taken. There did not appear to be a process organized by the ship that would ensure back-to-back passengers to get to their new cabins with top priority. A chat with the cabin stewards and a tip thankfully fixed that. (not a luxury experience!). The cabin we had on this leg of the journey was A category and located towards the forward part of the ship near the crew mess entrance. It was therefore quite noisy … we also had issues with smoke traveling up from Deck 0, the crew deck. An A deck cabin in this location should not be sold to passengers. It is clearly inferior to other cabins! We also had issues with key cards working on several occasions during our trip resulting in many trips across the ship to reception and back, until we finally requested that someone from reception or maintenance accompanies us and fix the problem for good. Once again, far from a luxury experience) The majority of the crew though were wonderful, as described in our previous review. They still ‘make’ the trip memorable – even with the various shortcomings mentioned here. The most astonishing events during this trip however were related to Windstar Corporate politics, which we got dragged into completely involuntarily. Windstar politics don’t seem to stop at crew level as one might expect, but utilize unsuspecting guests without any form of agreement or authorization by publishing entirely slanderous Windstar internal statements for what must be hidden corporate agendas. We have more class than Windstar, so won’t lay out all the details, but please be warned – what you think might be the vacation of a lifetime or a well deserved break (which is what we were thinking), may end up turning into a multi-month nightmare for any guest with integrity and a sense of justice. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
"Gaelic Explorer" Itinerary - Dublin to Edinburgh - July 12-20, 2014 We'd cruised on Wind Surf three times, but always on warm weather itineraries in the Caribbean or Bahamas, and it'd been ten years since our last ... Read More
"Gaelic Explorer" Itinerary - Dublin to Edinburgh - July 12-20, 2014 We'd cruised on Wind Surf three times, but always on warm weather itineraries in the Caribbean or Bahamas, and it'd been ten years since our last sailing. We were curious how she had held up after going through three owners since the last time we were aboard. We were not disappointed. We chose to purchase Windstar's 2-night pre-cruise Dublin hotel package. We took a cab (27 Euros) from the airport to the O'Callaghan Davenport Hotel, which was centrally located within walking distance of Trinity College, shops and eateries on Grafton Street, Book of Kells, Temple Bar, museums, parks, and a hop-on-hop-off bus stop. Although rated four-stars, the Davenport was a bit frayed around the edges. Our 5th floor room was nice, although the air conditioning was so weak we had to open the window. That turned out to be problematic at bedtime because of the very popular outdoor pub just below the window. The hotel staff was friendly, and the included morning breakfast buffet was tasty. Windstar's coach transfer to the ship together with all of the other Windstar passengers staying at the Davenport was disorganized, with a lot of standing around with luggage waiting for the coaches. The Windstar on-site rep seemed to be doing the best she could. It was an easy coach ride to the ship at Dún Laoghaire. There was a several blocks hike with carryons from the cruise terminal checked-baggage drop-off to the ship. No problems the day we were there because it was a beautiful day, but it could've been problematic if it had been raining or the ferry was there. Wind Surf looked terrific, not showing her age at all. We were a bit distracted walking aboard in Dún Laoghaire because Captain Harris happened to be one of the staff greeting passengers at the bottom of the boarding ramp, and he actually carried one of our carryons inside. The major total ship refit not too long ago was quite evident on first impression. The decks, passageways, stairways, lounge, bars, dining areas, and our suite midship on deck three all looked brand-new. Smiling staff was everywhere. Check-in was easily accomplished in the lounge. Food, (always a subjective topic because everyone has individual expectations), was very good in our opinion. Better than we remember from our prior cruises, and certainly much higher quality and taste (and service) than what we usually experience on Royal Caribbean. Always fresh and tasty buffet options on the Star Deck Veranda for breakfast and lunch, plus you could order from a brief menu if you chose. When the Veranda was crowded, the adjacent Bistro was open as overflow. The reservations-required supper in the Stella Bistro was very good, although we thought the food quality and service was just as good in the Amphora main dining room. We didn't get a chance to eat at the alternative reservations-required served-outdoors Candles at supper, but because of the weather on this cruise, all Candles meals were moved into the Veranda. The Deck BBQ was also moved indoors, and the main lounge was converted into a dining room. The Yacht Club midships on Main deck had tasty sandwiches, snacks, and coffees from 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM. We were somewhat disappointed the Purell hand sanitizer dispensers installed around the ship and on the gang plank were almost always empty, and there was never any mention anywhere asking passengers to use them to help prevent the spread of norovirus. The weather. We always overpack. This time, though, what we brought home un-worn were all of our short-sleeve, warm-weather clothes. There’s a reason why the photos we all see of Ireland and Scotland show amazing greenery. It rains. Whether the weather was sunny and bright, or chilly and rainy, the temps never got much above the low 60s F. We had some very beautiful, clear blue skies days, some days when there was rain interspersed with brief periods of beautiful blue skies, and a few days when it rained most of the day. When it rained, it was mostly that horizontal rain, making umbrellas powerless. Just pack thinking when you’re out and about off the ship you’ll layer, bring a light water-resistant windbreaker, and bring an umbrella that pops back into shape when the winds turn it inside-out. Evening wear aboard was “casually elegant”. Some men wore sport coats in the Bistro and the dining room, but most wore nice slacks with collared shirts. The women looked great, as usual, but they weren’t overly dressy or wearing anything formal. The main lounge band, “Cool Breeze”, was good and the singer excellent, and the duo in the Compass Rose bar, “Rain Duo” was good, too. Don’t miss the crew talent show in the main lounge. The ports of call. We have always liked Wind Surf’s niche, being able to drop anchor in the small ports and marinas where the mega ships can’t go. For all of our stops, except our last day in Invergordon, Scotland, (where we shared our day tied up near the 3100-passenger Ruby Princess and two oil platforms), we were the largest vessel to be seen. We tendered in/out each day except at Invergordon. The trade-off being able to visit smaller ports of call is not being able to do a whole lot of online research for planning exploration on our own or pre-arrange private excursions. Although several cruisecritic.com contributors on our cruise had made their own plans, we opted to purchase Windstar’s (excessively-priced) excursions. Even with the poor Euro and British Pound Sterling exchange rates with the US dollar, the ship’s excursion prices seemed way out of line based upon the individual entry fees we saw posted at the places we visited. We did enjoy all of our daily excursions with the exception of the day at Invergordon, where our group found itself at Urquhart Castle with six or more coaches from the Ruby Princess plus many land-based tourist groups. All of our local guides were very good, and easy to understand. The excursions we chose were: Isle of Man – “Vintage Steam Train & Magnificent Castle Rushen” (excellent! - sunny) Portrush – “The Giant’s Causeway and Old Bushmills Distillery” (stormy, but beautiful) Tobermory – “Mull’s Duart Castle with Tea” (excellent! - sunny) Portree – “Dunvegan Castle & The Cullins” (stormy, crowded, but sunny late) Kirkwall – “Ancient Treasures” (rainy/cold/blowing, some sun late) Invergordon – “Loch Ness & Historic Urquhart Castle” (sunny, crowded, interesting, although didn’t stop at Loch Ness visitor’s center as described) At the end of the cruise in Leith/Edinburgh, disembarkation was easy. Our bags were waiting for us in the terminal, and there were cabs lined up outside once we'd claimed our luggage. The easy (Sunday morning) ride to the airport in a very clean local cab with a nice driver was only 26 British Pounds Sterling (compared to Windstar's $95/person airport transfer fee). In summary, we had a terrific fourth cruise aboard Wind Surf, and we agreed we’ll sail on her again in the not too distant future.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was our fifth cruise with WS lines. While we still enjoy the ambiance, crew, small ship cruising, some of the changes are not for the better. There is now a "harder sell" mentality for the spa, shop and excursions. The port ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with WS lines. While we still enjoy the ambiance, crew, small ship cruising, some of the changes are not for the better. There is now a "harder sell" mentality for the spa, shop and excursions. The port excursion prices are exceptionally high for what they provide, which is most unfortunate. We have been able to book independent excursions that offer more time and sights for the same or even less cost than what WS charges. The new owners of the WS line do not offer the same amenities and discounts for prior travelers, known as ForeMast Club members, as had Holland America and prior owners. This is definitely not good PR and does not encourage loyalty in those of us who have traveled before. That said, the Wind Surf was in good condition, although the refurbished decor looked way too utilitarian for the "casual elegance" of the advertising. The colors were beyond bland, the prints in the carpet and upholstered chairs looked anything but elegant, more in keeping with a 2* hotel. The public areas and cabins were very clean. The cabin and wait staff were as friendly and attentive as in all our other trips. Boon remembered us from a prior trip! The staff learns our names within the first day, an incredible feat. The food was fresh, mostly unimaginative but nicely prepared. Loved the breakfast selections, dinners had good choices, but typically on the bland side and became repetitive. I would suggest that the menu include local specialties of the countries being visited. Local talent was brought on board, one a lovely 16 year old vocalist, Lucy Kelly from Wales, sounding much like Charlotte Church. The other was a harpist. This is a WS feature, to bring aboard local talent, and much appreciated by the passengers. The other talent sailing as part of the crew provided good entertainment in the lounges. The ports of Dublin, Holyhead, Waterford, Fishguard, Scilly Isles/St. Mary's, Falmouth, Dartmouth, and Portsmouth were interesting. The villagers in the smaller ports were wonderfully welcoming, much like those in New Zealand when we sailed "down under". And quite unlike the larger and more touristy ports of France, Italy, Greece and Spain. We will give WS one more try before jumping ship to try another line..... Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
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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