Sail Date: August 2019
Our first Windstar cruise (my second cruise (Regent Seven Seas), my wife's first). My wife and I were traveling with six other couples to celebrate multiple 50th birthdays. We were collectively thrilled with our choice of Wind Surf. ... Read More
Our first Windstar cruise (my second cruise (Regent Seven Seas), my wife's first). My wife and I were traveling with six other couples to celebrate multiple 50th birthdays. We were collectively thrilled with our choice of Wind Surf. We had read many reviews on this forum and others and we prepared to be underwhelmed -- no chance! The Wind Surf is getting a bit long in the tooth (scheduled for a three-week dry dock in the next month) but it did not deter from our enjoyment. Food: Amazing! Having read reviews, the food gets mixed ratings. I don't get it -- we are somewhat picky and it exceeded expectations (common theme). Our only gripe is that we needed reservations in the two higher-end dinner spots and many tables were open. Great variety and top-notch quality. I had steak multiple nights and on EVERY occasion it was prepared perfectly! Service: Over-the-top! Andreas and his team were wonderful. They got to know us early in the cruise and went out of their way to make us feel like it was our private yacht. Andreas -- wow, he gave us such personal attention. We all said we will try to base our next cruise on his schedule. Cabin: Again, prepared to be under-whelmed but was pleasantly surprised. Were were forward in cabin 151. Good sized, great storage, no issues. Would we rather of had a private balcony, of course. But no worries! Entertainment: Understated but perfect! We had great evenings with the bands (some of us participated more than others (BK). The crew show was hilarious. Water platform: SO MUCH FUN!! A great touch. Size: Loved the size of the ship -- more than enough variety and the personal touches. Atmosphere: Casual but not too casual. Perfect blend. Gym: I used the gym most mornings. Great location -- all windows on the top deck. Enjoyed watching us come into port each morning. Tips: buy the laundry package -- do NOT hesitate. We also purchased the full drink and wifi package. As reported, wifi is weak but that was more than offset by the drinks! Very good scotch selection. They purchased local beers at most ports. The wine selection is just adequate. Aside from requiring dinner reservations, we LOVED IT! Highly recommended! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Ok, first off this was a 10 day Greek Island cruise not an 18 day one that the default this review site shows. Our first trip to Greece. Took the Windstar transfer from the airport. Navigating the Athens airport was easy. Transfer was ... Read More
Ok, first off this was a 10 day Greek Island cruise not an 18 day one that the default this review site shows. Our first trip to Greece. Took the Windstar transfer from the airport. Navigating the Athens airport was easy. Transfer was a taxi driver with a sign. It was fine. Stayed at the Windstar hotel, the St. George. Lovely hotel. Rooms are fine. Location is great and the views from the rooftop restaurant and pool are spectacular. Took the transfer to the port. Bit of nonsense about having to have your luggage out 4 hours early. Don’t worry about that. You can bring it at the last minute. The port at Athens is a bit of a hassle. Pretty large and not well organized. Windstar did their best to get us on the ship as quickly as possible. But once on board it wasn’t very well done. Long line to register (which we had never experienced before). Then you had to stand in another line to book dinner in the specialty restaurants, another line for drink packages and yet another line to get the wifi package. Went to our room and signed up for the laundry package. We find this great value for the money. Never met our cabin steward until 2 days in which seemed a bit odd. Went to the main dining room, Amphora, the first night. Not our favorite. So we set out to try and get into Candles and Stella specialty restaurants the rest of the nights. Other than one night back at Amphora for a dinner hosted by the Destination Manager we managed to accomplish that. Candles is the outdoor eating experience and is our favorite spot. The French themed restaurant Stella is also very good with the best service on the ship. There is also a few nights where they offer a Sunset Dinner at the back of the ship. Not well advertised but you should take advantage of it. Our worst dining experience was actually the BBQ. We were really looking forward to it. A favorite night on our other cruises. The BBQ started at 7. It was overcrowded. We couldn’t get a seat outside. Had to sit in a corner of the bar eating almost off our laps. Food lines were long and frustrating. This one was a bust and a major disappointment. Our first stop was Napoli. We didn’t book a shore excursion there. Nice little town. Not crowded. Easy to manage on your own. Went back to the ship in the afternoon and swam off the sports deck (you had the option to do this at 3 stops). Take advantage of this. Much better than the pool. ( Before I forget, there was a very large group onboard from Purdue University. Nice enough crowd but a group booking this large kind of pushes everyone else to the side lines as the ship tends to cater first to them. ). The next stop was Mykonos. Definite hotspot for the party crowd and quite busy. We opted for a private tour here to a farm and dinner through Get Your Guide ( you can check out our review there). Great experience away from the din of the town. Then on to Syros. Place you likely haven’t heard of. Overall we liked these unexpected, unknown stops. Where the big ships dont go are the best stops. Took a ship tour of the town and monetary which we enjoyed very much. From there to the lone stop in Turkey. We really enjoyed Turkey. Took a long tour of Ephesus and a village. Ephesus was wonderful to experience. Draw back here, and it was a theme on our ship tours, you go with a bus load. The tour is long and difficult. That is spelled out in the description. But we still ended up with a contingent of folks who couldn’t handle the terrain and the pace. It caused some tension in our group. In the future we will stay away from the ship tours and book our own where we are in smaller groups. It is law in Turkey that at the end of a tour that you have to go for a Turkish rug explanation. We did this gritting our teeth knowing we had to get through it. Big surprise. We had a great time and ended up buying two carpets! Who knew. Then to top it off, of the last night of the cruise we won another carpet drawn from everyone who had bought one. That night was a big highlight. Windstar arranged for a dinner back at the ruins of Ephesus on the Harbor road where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra walked with the backdrop of the amphitheater where Paul preached to the Ephesians. It was a spectacular night that would be near difficult to beat. It was after hours and only the people from our ship. Not something that happens often. Rhodes was next. Good stop. Then on to Crete. Great time there because we booked our own tour. Went on the Landrover off road adventure through the mountains. Picked us up at the ship and took us right back 8 hours later. Toured the highest points over goat trails and had a ball with the English expat driver nick named Gary the Goat Killer (review on Get Your Guide). Lovely lunch, including our first taste of goat. Try it. It is quite good. On to Santorini. Probably our biggest disappointment. It is so overcrowded. Other than that picture card view you know, there isn’t much there. One person in our group was the victim of a pickpocketed so if you go beware in the crowded streets. We skipped the overpriced shopping and picked a lovely restaurant in Oia overlooking the sea. Excellent meal and they werent rushing us. Last stop was in Monemvasia. Only ship in port. Did the tour of the walled city and the Olive Oil farm. That would have been a real highlight if the guide wasn’t so bad. Was looking forward to the olive oil tasting at the end but she rushed us and we didn’t get the experience we wanted. There was no reason to screw it up. Our next stop was back to the ship and we had hours before it was leaving. Then overnight and our exit in Athens. Handled fairly well but it is a bit of a circus at the port. You pretty much have to trust that in the hectic place your luggage will make it to the airport. Instructions are not real clear and you have to listen to the local tour people what to do with your luggage along the curious route to the bus. Overall we enjoyed our first taste of Greece. Windstar was pretty much as expected. We did not enjoy the experience as much on Wind Surf as we have on the smaller Wind Star but not enough to keep us away. The ship is getting an upgrade in November so lets hope it looks a bit more ship shape next time we see her. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
A lovely cruise on a fantastic ship. It’s so impressive to see the sails unfurl. The ship was at capacity but never felt crowded. The pool and sports deck/marina were delightful. Service was friendly and efficient. The staff greets you ... Read More
A lovely cruise on a fantastic ship. It’s so impressive to see the sails unfurl. The ship was at capacity but never felt crowded. The pool and sports deck/marina were delightful. Service was friendly and efficient. The staff greets you by name and knows your preferred morning beverage. The excursions were well planned and executed. Onboard dining was great! A very satisfying experience. Lovely ship, lovely service, fantastic ports of call, and great weather! Cruised from Barcelona to Athens, stopping in Mallorca, Menorca, Sardinia, Amalfi, Sicily, Malta, and Greece. Local delicacies were available at meal services. Attentive and enthusiastic crew. Beautiful views of ports, sunsets and dawns. Local entertainment/dancers brought on in Malta and Greece. Very smooth embarkation and disembarkation. Water pressure in the shower was the best I’ve ever had at sea. L’Occitane amenities. Bright and airy cabin with great climate control. I would definitely sail with Wind Star again! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We waited for months for our amazing cruise adventure, and spent quite a bit more than the "average" cruise to experience Windstar. The ship was great, and the itinerary was as expected. The service, however, really suffered. ... Read More
We waited for months for our amazing cruise adventure, and spent quite a bit more than the "average" cruise to experience Windstar. The ship was great, and the itinerary was as expected. The service, however, really suffered. I don't know who wrote the other review for our ship (July, 2019), but for the $ spent, the crew's attention to guests in the dining/bar area was inexperienced. Didn't know how to un-foil a bottle of wine, or make drinks. Used a powered mix for margaritas... come on! We expected more with regard to drinks and service. Food was as expected, but again, it seemed that this ship was in transition with their crew, and struggling to have a cohesive team. We appreciated being told this by many new management level staff there. Not sure we would sail on this ship again. I do need to add that the management there was super good, and also was aware there were problems. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We cruised on Windsurf about 10 years ago and enjoyed it. This time was also good. Food was generally very good and occasionally excellent - we had some vegetables which were not hot but usually OK. Drinks are free if soft, ... Read More
We cruised on Windsurf about 10 years ago and enjoyed it. This time was also good. Food was generally very good and occasionally excellent - we had some vegetables which were not hot but usually OK. Drinks are free if soft, including coffees, and quite expensive if they have alcohol. Activities and entertainments are poor, though there was a band in the lounge and a duo upstairs. However when we could not go ashore owing to the wind, there was no Plan B to look after the customers. There could be silly games, lectures, quizzes etc but nothing until we beat up a manager. Captain avoided the issue. We had a cabin which looked out onto the tender boats when in port which some people would not like - noisy and too public. They need to put a nightlight in the bathrooms. Not cheap but fairly upmarket. Remember this is a small ship, 300 pax, with portholes only. They often had the sails up which was a pleasure. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We got a flight out of Philli the day before and had a nice hotel at the Simpson Bay , with a decent beach. So no rush or stress at sailing day. Taxi to the cruise terminal was no problem Embarkation easy and fast. Since ... Read More
We got a flight out of Philli the day before and had a nice hotel at the Simpson Bay , with a decent beach. So no rush or stress at sailing day. Taxi to the cruise terminal was no problem Embarkation easy and fast. Since there were only 150 passengers we had more crew than passengers. The cabins are standard size with enough storage space. Bathroom are small but good equipped. Restaurants were not full and the choice of food good. However some dishes were very salty and some dishes did not deserve their name. Crew and officers were polite and customer oriented. Entertainment was just so so Even the crew tried their best. Good was the visit on the bridge , where you always could ask the officer on duty about what’s going on and of course how the weather will be for the next days. The cost for local WiFi is outrageous expensive. For unlimited access they charged $ 650. The drinks are a little expensive , but do not take the beverage option. We did not do excursions at the Azores, but there are enough taxis in Ponta Before Lisbon enjoy the to the Tagus river even its past 11:00 pm When arriving in Lisbon take a cab to the airport and pay not more than € 20. locals pay € 10. For an excursion to Sintra you can take a train , which takes 40 min. Otherwise enjoy Lisbon by foot or by tram. The No 15 tram ( la quince) takes you to Belem and the sights Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
As a sailor, I always wanted to go on Windstar; it far exceeded my expectations. Kudos to Gede, assistant Maitre D, his boss Santos and Chef Oman for delicious meals that met our dietary restrictions. Kudos to Lufi, Cabin Steward, for a ... Read More
As a sailor, I always wanted to go on Windstar; it far exceeded my expectations. Kudos to Gede, assistant Maitre D, his boss Santos and Chef Oman for delicious meals that met our dietary restrictions. Kudos to Lufi, Cabin Steward, for a fragrance free chemical free cabin. Loved the marina, thanks to Jose for taking us each out for a sail on the Hobie cat. Enjoyed having the snorkel mask and fins provided by the marina; excellent fit. The itinerary is excellent, with long days on shore at each port. Very friendly people, engaging and well traveled, plenty of deck chairs, great crew show, Excellent gym with a recumbent bike and many classes.would definitely go on Windstar again. The cabin is small but very compact. Be sure you sign up for dinner at candles and Stella and for the barbecue and dining under the stars the last three nights. Pigeon Island, St Lucia is a luncheon barbecue on the beach. Sorry we did not sign up for the Wi-Fi package as it was a hassle to find Wi-Fi in the ports, and when we did it was usually spotty. Ports: St Maarten: We stayed at the DIvi the night before; just terrific. Barbuda: call walk on the beach. Dominica: very mountainous tropical one lane roads so be prepared to spend a lot of time driving around. We booked privately with Antours to see the indigenous Carib, Annison himself was very interesting. Also did hot springs. Need to walk out of the port area, follow the yellow lines, if you want to do an excursion not part of the ship. Pigeon Island St Lucia: The ship does a beach barbecue at this port, probably due to the miserable traffic. We took a private tour with James Touring Service in his 4 wheel Jeep, necessary if you want to go snorkeling at Ti Kaye resort as the driveway is extremely steep.Excellent snorkeling, lots of beautiful fish, clear water, pleasant lunch. James is very sweet, knowledgeable and excellent driver. He will get you back on time, no worries. Terre du Haut, Les Saintes, FWI: Reportedly the best snorkeling here. great crepes at Crepes Galette immediacy next to the tourist office. Sorry we did not get off early and snag a golf cart; if you do, bring a credit card for the deposit. Nice lunch on the water at Cafe de la Marine, has WiFi. Basseterre St Kitts: When we got off the tender we noticed Bluewater safaris and so went on a catamaran snorkeling trip, lots of fun. Snorkeling ok. St Bart’s: Very charming, very French great shopping, St Maarten; Must be off the ship by 8:45 am. Many people go to Holland House, pay $25 for 2 lounge chairs on the beach, we went back to the DIvi. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
First, we are a French Canadian couple in our early 50’s from Montreal. We sailed 5 times with Celebrity prior to sailing on Wind Surf for the first time in 2013. We have since sailed 7 times with them, all in the Caribbean with cruises ... Read More
First, we are a French Canadian couple in our early 50’s from Montreal. We sailed 5 times with Celebrity prior to sailing on Wind Surf for the first time in 2013. We have since sailed 7 times with them, all in the Caribbean with cruises on the Wind Star (1) Star Pride (2), Star Legend (1) and Wind Surf (3). What we love about Windstar is the small ships, the fact you can do things independently easily, the relaxed dress code, the food, which keeps getting better, and last but not least the great service staff which goes out of its way to make your cruise memorable. This was our first cruise back on a sail ship after 3 cruises on the motor yachts. We did Classic Caribbean itinerary from Feb 2nd to 9th as we had done the Yachtsman’s Caribbean itinerary twice already and did not like the fact they had changed some of the stops in the BVI. In the end we really enjoyed this itinerary with Barbuda and Dominica being new stops for us. The weather was just about perfect and seas were the calmest of all our cruises. We noticed the demographics of this cruise were probably a little older than our previous Windstar cruises with a good majority of guests over 70-75 but this did not hinder in any way our enjoyment as fellow Windstar passengers are all fairly active and well travelled. Finally, we travelled with another couple for which this was a first cruise on Windstar and likely not their last. Another great cruise with Windstar Booking: We booked just over 2 months ahead by pure accident as we typically wait for annual Christmas Sale as we feel prices get better closer to sailings (we always go for lowest priced cabin as location is not necessarily important to us). We called the company directly (we do not use a travel agent) to inquire about availability and they said that there was a promotion for Canadian residents with a $500 discount on the cruise price. I could not find this special on their website and the timing of my call was perfect as this special did not last very long. The 4 of us each got the $100 referral OBC which in our case was applied against our drink package purchased when we got onboard. We were assigned room 153 at front of ship and we were “upgraded” to 141 more in the center a few weeks later. Our friends were also upgraded from 103 to 122. Windstar also offered a 20% discount on the price of internet, drink package and laundry if all taken together prior to cruise which we did not take as we did not care for the ship’s slow and expensive internet (we had access to a good roaming package which we used most of time as we were always close to islands). Embarkation Although we typically fly in the day before, our schedule did not allow for such luxury this time around. Our plane landed in SXM at 16h30 on departure day (ship’s departure scheduled at 19h00) and we got out of the terminal around 17h15. Cabs were plentiful and we ended up sharing one with another Canadian couple on same flight that was also boarding the ship. Cab ride was $30 for the 4 of us and took 30 minutes. We boarded the ship at 17h45 and check-in was swift at front desk given our tardiness . Sail away was on schedule at 19h00. Not the ideal situation for travel but things worked out nicely. We were told our cruise was fully booked, so around 310 passengers on board. This was not an issue throughout the cruise as the Wind Surf remains very spacious with nooks and crannies for everyone. Cabin: We were in 141 and our friends in 122 (both added to Wind Surf stateroom sticky forum). Cabins are well designed with plenty of storage if required. 141 was quiet and had no issues although on 3 occasions, we had to call maintenance to fix our toilet as vacuum system had problems and toilet risked overflowing. In all 3 cases (one time at 3 am) the problem was fixed quickly by maintenance staff. Our room attendant was attentive although we did not have any special requirements. Reusable water bottles we refilled every day (one with flat water, the other sparkling) and our ice bucket was kept full with ice every day. Our friends in 122 complained about regular banging noise which we suspect was due to some gangway or tender equipment hanging above their room. We were also wondering how we would find going back to the smaller sail ship staterooms after experiencing the larger suites on the Star ships on our last 3 cruises. Well it wasn’t an issue as the rooms are very well designed and we were really only in our room to sleep or change over for dinner. We did not use room service nor laundry service this time. Bathroom was compact and well designed but starting to show its age. Occitane toiletries are provided in all rooms. Bars and Entertainment: Drinks were mostly taken outside at Compass Rose or Pool Bar. Did not go to Lounge except for Talent Show but band seemed competent. Bar service was always good. Duo at Compass Rose was OK and had guests dancing and when finished around 11pm, guests would come in to plug IPad playlists in system to keep party going a little longer. This happened a few evenings with people dancing a little past midnight. A lot of fun. Food: Again food was a highlight. We ate at Amphora 4 times, one time each Candles and Stella Bistro and Deck BBQ on the late night in St-Kitts. Menu was varied although gluten free items remain limited (our friend suffers from gluten intolerance and we were just more sensitized to his diet challenges throughout the cruise). Breakfast was good with buffet or a la carte items available. Couple of things we noticed were the poor quality of orange juice which in the past was freshly squeezed and now is a watered down Tropicana version and the fact there were no fresh peeled orange slices on the buffet whereas these were always on buffet in the past. We had good lunches at Veranda when we made it back in time from the island as the venue is only open from 12h00 to 14h00. We were late a few times and had to settle for food at Yacht Club. Lunch should be extended to 14h30 to accommodate those with dietary restrictions as the menu at the Yacht Club, while good, remains limited for them. Service in the dining rooms at dinner was fast and efficient (sometimes too fast) with meals lasting 1.5 to 2 hours. We mostly had dinner around 8pm and never had to wait more than a few minutes for a table and by the time we were finished, most of the time we were the last table in dining room. Menus were varied with several fish, meat and vegetarian dishes and all 4 of us were impressed by the quality and presentation of food. Deck BBQ food was great although lobster was a little chewy. We did not do the Dining Under The Stars (offered twice on our cruise) as it was not offered to us. This was a bit disappointing. Beach BBQ was held on Pigeon Island, which is our least favourite Windstar Beach BBQ location (the others being Mayreau and Virgin Gorda). While food was good, beach is too small and not necessarily the nicest. A couple of evenings, we were treated to canapés at Compass Rose before dinner. Usually had 2 different types of them but just one tray so these would disappear very fast with literally no chances for seconds. I suspect these were also served in the Lounge but we never went to the Lounge for pre dinner drinks so cannot confirm. We are a bit picky about our coffee and the caffe lattes at Veranda in the morning were good (regular coffee not so much) but even better at Yacht Club. We did try a few of the the latter’s sandwiches and sweets offered in the afternoon on one occasion and all were good. 3 of us were on the recently introduced TopMast Discoveries drink package at $49 while the 4th party was on the CaptainsExclusive package at $59. This created confusion with servers with several drinks (liquor) being charged to our room although drunk by our friend on the full drink package. All charges were reversed but this was a hassle as we needed to check bill daily to ensure charges were being reversed overnight and that no new ones were being added. Drink package probably makes sense if you have 5 or more drinks per day and even though we were drinking our quota, we generally felt that the value proposition of the drink packages had come down markedly from the previous iterations with price of package going up $7 and the wines offered having a price point no higher than $9.50/$10 vs a max of $11.50 under previous package. We will likely need to re-think this aspect on our next cruise. Marina We did not use the marina this time around but it was open in Barbuda, Les Saintes and St Barth. We saw several people using it when available. The water toys were also brought to the beach on Pigeon Island for the Beach BBQ Spa: Our friends each got a $50 spa voucher (good on port days) offered by Windstar to all first time cruisers which they used for a very relaxing hot stone massage. Gym: we did not use gym but it looked clean and well equipped and did not seem overcrowded Tenders: Tenders were used in all ports except Dominica where we were docked at the industrial dock, not the more central cruise ship dock (occupied by Silverseas on that day). While tender service was good, the tenders themselves are in need of a total overhaul. During our cruise we got to see the Seabourn, Club Med 2 and Star Clipper tenders and all of them were in substantially better condition than the Surf’s. They will be changing the tenders on the Motor Yachts, they probably should do the same with the sailing ships. Bridge Did not visit the bridge this time around and whereas in the past there was a photo opportunity at the bow of the ship, we did not see this on this cruise. Stops and excursions: We generally are not the type to book ship excursions as we feel they are overpriced and like to do things on our own. I typically like to do my own research and do not like to plan too long ahead. Barbuda: Nothing planned. Only tour offered was to view frigate bird sanctuary which did not interest us. We instead took a cab to Princess Diana beach ($30 each way). Very nice pink sand beach with nobody other than a few fellow cruisers on it. No facilities so bring water and some food if you are going to spend a long time. We were there for about 3 hours and got on the ship around 2pm just in time to catch lunch at Veranda. The ship leaves early at 3 pm on this day. Dominica: Again we stepped out of ship and hired a cab to go to Ti-Tou Gorge and Trafalgar Falls. Cost was $160 for the 4 of us and lasted 2.5 hours. Ti-Tou Gorge is not to be missed as you swim in a crystal clear river canyon up to a small waterfall. Very nice. The drive to both these spots is also spectacular as the road sits at the top of a high mountain ridge. We were back on the ship by 1h30 and had lunch at Veranda. Found a chair on deck for the remainder of day and used pool and hot tubs. Although the Island suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Maria in Sept 2017, the island infrastructure and vegetation is recovering nicely. Pigeon Island: This was our 4th time to Pigeon Island and it is our least favourite spot for the Beach BBQ. The beach is small and crowded although the area in the back where they actually serve the BBQ is nice. The water toys were brought to the beach, as well as paddle boards and kayaks. They also offered waterski and wakeboardings runs for those who wanted. Club Med 2 (Wind Surf’s twin) was also in port that day which made for interesting pictures. Les Saintes: This was our third time to Les Saintes and we continue to enjoy this stop. There is a quaint village with some interesting shops and a Fort (Fort Napoleon) from which the views of the bay and our sail ship are simply breathtaking. Note the Fort is only open until 12h30 and bring €5 cash if you want to get in. We rented a 4 seat electric golf cart (cost €75) from Green Car Rental to tour Island but you need to reserve it in advance as these get taken up very quickly (we had learned this the hard way the previous time we were there). Wanted to go to Pain de Sucre Beach but path is somewhat steep and rocky which required shoes we did not have. Instead went to Pompierre beach (no facilities). Nice beach but the palm trees have taken a beating as a result of hurricane Maria last year. Had a good lunch in town at Cafe de la Marina with a nice view of the port while the ladies shopped linen at Mahogany next door. Basseterre St-Kitts: Our initial plan was to get off ship, take the 9h30 ferry to Nevis ($16 each way/pers), hire a cab for a few hours to do tour of island, visit plantation and get dropped off at Pinney’s Beach. However we were a bit tired that morning and thus proceeded to a less intense plan B which was to take a cab ($30 each way) to go to Cockshell Beach at the far South end of the Island. We rented chairs ($5 each) and umbrellas ($10) at the Spice Mill and also had good lunch there. Beach is nice and was somewhat crowded, something rare on a Windstar cruise but there were another 2 ships in port, so this was to be expected. Ship left late at 10pm and this was night of deck BBQ. St-Barth: We had reserved a convertible Mini Cooper to tour Island ahead of time with Sixt Car Rental. Called them up 30 minutes prior to going to shore so they were there to pick us up and take us to airport to fill out docs. Cost was a bit steep at €105 but we had fun touring. Went to Saline and Gouverneurs beaches, did some shopping and had lunch at Nikki Beach in St-Jean. Lunch was good although this is St-Barth and everything is pricey. Returned the car at airport, got shuttled back to port and did some more shopping in Gustavia. Took tender around 6pm back to ship. Debarkation. Debarkation was trouble free. Had breakfast around 8am after picking up our passport and having face to face meeting with Immigration on board ship around 7h30 (this is new as we usually just picked up passport on ship and passed Immigration once on shore). Our flight was late (5pm) so we took a cab to Holland House, took up their day pass offer which for $25 includes 2 chairs, 4 drinks,use of shower, Wifi and facilities. Had good lunch at their restaurant and left at 2h30 for airport. Ride was $30 for the 4 of us and took just under 30 minutes and this concluded another wonderful Windstar cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We took the 14 day cruise on the Wind Surf Caribbean Exploration Cruise. We left from St. Martin and were very thrilled to see that the island is coming back so nicely. We have only sailed on Wind Star in the Caribbean for we love the ... Read More
We took the 14 day cruise on the Wind Surf Caribbean Exploration Cruise. We left from St. Martin and were very thrilled to see that the island is coming back so nicely. We have only sailed on Wind Star in the Caribbean for we love the sails and the experience that Windstar Cruises offers their guests. The embarkation this time was the easiest and quickest. Drop you bags at the Wind Star tent at the cruise port, they give you luggage tags, walk to the ship or take a little golf cart van, go through security with your hand luggage, get on the ship , go directly to get your picture taken, give them your credit card, voila done. Drop your hand luggage in your room, have a delightful and delicious lunch, after lunch your luggage should be in your room. You are on and ready to go. I think that the hot water and water pressure can not be beaten and of any hotel I have been in the showers on the Surf are the best. We are neatniks so the storage in the cabins is perfect for us. We love the water splashing against the portholes. We feel thisnship is our home in the Caribbean. We have been cruising on Wind Star Cruises since 1999 and we think that the food continues to improve. We think the James Beard experience has really enhanced the food and the selection. We are not big meat eaters but we do love the steaks especially the filet mignon at Candles the outside dining grille venue. The Stella Bistro is authentic French, which we also love. The Yacht Club serves delicious Italian coffee, authentic. That is good for us because we do not drink regular coffee. We appreciate that it is open early for we are eary risers and we love our coffee with the sunrise. The Wind Surf visited many islands that were destroyed during the hurricane. We were so happy to see Dominica coming back, Barbuda coming back and happy to say Jost Van Dyke is back. We are not group tour people but took our own tours in Dominican and Barbuda. We love to swim and beach. Weather is always great in January in the Caribbean, this year it was especially great: Dramatic sunrises, more dramatic sunsets, rainbows after a few 10 minute showers, the breeze was great not to windy but perfect to keep one cooler. We can not imagine going to the Caribbean and not being on the Wind Surf. The service is the best, the deck space is emormous and you never feel crowded,you can always find your own nook, the Sail Aways never get old to the music of 1492 as the sails unfurl leaving the harbors, healthy and delicios food, generous drinks and wine at a fair price, the laundry service superb. It is a perfect way to discover the beauty of the Caribbean for the first time or to revisit the beauty time and again which is what we do. The Wind Surf is a gracious, beautiful old lady, high maintenance but very well kept. She is generous and graceful. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife & I sailed on 1/12/19, Our 6th Windstar cruise, 3rd on Wind Surf. Room 126. The ship – Wind Surf – was built in 1990, and is showing its age in too many areas. Rust, loose planks, paint peeling, bent railings, and I ... Read More
My wife & I sailed on 1/12/19, Our 6th Windstar cruise, 3rd on Wind Surf. Room 126. The ship – Wind Surf – was built in 1990, and is showing its age in too many areas. Rust, loose planks, paint peeling, bent railings, and I could go on. The most odd part is that I didn’t see any maintenance crew guys doing repairs. Which to me means that there is something else, a problem that goes deeper but I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the cruise Captain, or it’s the upper management cutting back on costs, I really have no idea. Also, FYI – Windstar Cruise line is pulling out all the casinos. Which means that in the evening, for entertainment outside of your cabin, your only choice will be the band, or duo. That’s it. Granted the casinos are rarely filled, and are never very lively – but that’s the casino staff’s responsibility and they fail here. And it gives you another form of entertainment. The other crew members – bar, serving, house-keeping staff all seemed to be a little less friendly this trip. What’s going on ? Some were good though – Maria, Ace, Mel, and Eugene were great bar people. Alex was a super room steward. But other than those 5, everyone seemed a bit agitated, or distracted. The people/fellow passengers seem to always consist of “my kind of people” unlike the larger ships. Almost everyone is friendly, classy, and talkative. Again, this was now our 6th cruise and we have never had a problem with our fellow passengers. This sailed of St Maarten, 7 nights, 1 sea day. I didn’t really care for the sea day but I certainly got a great tan. The ports were all good, as always. A bonus I thought was that the normal stop for the beach party was still in ruins, so they parked at a different side of the island. And this stop was a short cab ride to the Baths. No tour needed. All in all, we had a great time. But I expected a little more. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We had never taken a motorized yacht before and wanted to try the smaller cruise experience. Yes the food was very good, always fresh and served timely. And the crew was very pleasant and focused on customer service. But, the ship is ... Read More
We had never taken a motorized yacht before and wanted to try the smaller cruise experience. Yes the food was very good, always fresh and served timely. And the crew was very pleasant and focused on customer service. But, the ship is in disrepair. There are layers of peeling paint and rust everywhere. The entertainment is pretty lame and the specialty restaurants are nothing more than the main diningroom serves. We experienced two deck side barbecues and the second had few shrimp and no lobster. The bridge was supposed to be open to passengers when not in port and was closed half the time. So what did we like? The great waiters like Hari, Puji an amazing room steward and the Yacht Club where specialty coffees and snacks were served all day. The excursions were excellent although it took four frustrating visits to the excursion desk to get a refund. The guys working the tenders were great as were the crew in the marina. The port visits were on time and the tv offerings were nice. We found the room service to be excellent and very convenient during the 13 day mostly rough crossing. The embarkation was a disaster after sitting in a cold, dirty port in Lisbon six hours because a Windstar rep told us we could leave our luggage secured and there wasn’t anyone there from The ship to assist us. Disembarkay was leisurely and well organized. Despite the many pluses, we won’t be sailing Windstar again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I really wanted to love this cruise. My husband and I are at a point in our lives where we are often willing to pay extra for a little luxury and ease. Windstar promised that, but only partially delivered. The value was just not there. ... Read More
I really wanted to love this cruise. My husband and I are at a point in our lives where we are often willing to pay extra for a little luxury and ease. Windstar promised that, but only partially delivered. The value was just not there. Pros: --Small ship with sails: we don’t enjoy large ships anymore and the sails were beautiful --Excellent service: from the Captain on down, everyone was charming with just a very few exceptions (see cons) —Good food: Mostly excellent. No fails! --Nice fitness room Cons: —Aging ship that needs total re-furbishing: Formica EVERYWHERE, stained carpets, lots of thick, painted-over rust. Small porthole windows and no balconies. —We felt nickeled and dimed: expensive beer and wine prices made us buy the package. Then they tried to up-sell us to the fine wines and mixed drinks. WIFI package was $60 and data ran out in just one day of checking email. So slow! Shore excursions are very pricey—none are included. —Itinerary should have been tweaked for this late-in-the-season cruise. Ibiza was a ghost town—should have been replaced. We did not get Windstar’s usual on-shore special event. Why not? —Docking: the line advertises its ability to dock in small towns and ports, however, we were always docked in a large, industrial port. —Staffing: the front desk staff was cold and dismissive. Everyone else was warm and tried very hard. However, the lounge is terribly understaffed at cocktail hour. Table service was almost non-exisistent! You had to fight your way to the bar and wait. I guess we were hoping for more of a river cruise experience, but perhaps that was unreasonable. I doubt that we will try Windstar again. We will try other small, high-end lines and hope for a better value. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Booked the Rome to Venice cruise on the recommendation of some friends and enjoyed it. Pre-cruise Windstar reps were readily available to answer questions with details and options. We utilized the well appointed gym most days and thought ... Read More
Booked the Rome to Venice cruise on the recommendation of some friends and enjoyed it. Pre-cruise Windstar reps were readily available to answer questions with details and options. We utilized the well appointed gym most days and thought the staterooms were as described with plenty of storage and a comfortable bed. Service and food was excellent throughout the ship. We elected to sign up for two excursions through Windstar and did others on our own, which was the right combination for us. There was a glitch with an engine communication issue that added a day at sea, but they made some adjustments to try to alleviate the impact—we were glad the issue was resolved. The onboard internet did not work as advertised. To Windstar’s credit, we were refunded charges we had paid in advance, but would have made other arrangements had we known onboard connectivity would be fairly nonexistent. We travelled as a couple, and it was nice to have options to either share a table at dinner or dine as a couple and enjoyed meeting fellow guests. We like a variety of modes of travel, but Windstar is a very good option for a small luxury cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Sicilian Splendors was our final leg of our back2back2back cruise celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and my husband's 65th birthday. Our first leg of our journey was Treasures of Southern Spain & Morocco (Lisbon to ... Read More
Sicilian Splendors was our final leg of our back2back2back cruise celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and my husband's 65th birthday. Our first leg of our journey was Treasures of Southern Spain & Morocco (Lisbon to Barcelona); the second Yachtsman's Harbors of the Rivieras (Barcelona to Rome/Civitavecchia) and now Sicilian Splendors, our third and final leg of our 25 day cruise. Because this was our third leg of our journey, we already had our keys and used the embarkation day as a regular port day. And since we were staying on board we had been able to book our Candles and Stella Bistro reservations the night before. We wandered around Civitavecchia on our own and took in the local market and stopped for pastries and coffee at a local place. It's definitely a working man's port but we saw lots of families out and about too. It wasn't as scenic as some of our other stops but it is a big city. We walked the waterway and stopped for a beer and free WiFi before heading back to the ship. The next day was our one day at sea on this itinerary. Unfortunately the seas were rough and I was pretty happy I hadn't booked a massage for the day! We relaxed and just hung out. Catania, Sicily On our roll call, I had met another couple that wanted to tour on their own out of Catania so the four of us booked Sicily Life tour's "Taormina and Winery on the slopes of Etna" and off we went. We enjoyed our tour and it was fun meeting new friends. Gozo/Xlendi, Malta We were suppose to anchor here the following day but because of more rough seas, the captain felt it was best to skip this port and head directly to Valletta, Malta. Sadly, due to the extreme rough seas we were unable to dock in Valletta that evening (as our itinerary had said) and we spent it at sea waiting until morning to continue on. Valletta, Malta We docked in the morning and we headed off on our own. What a lovely port this is and so doable on your own! We wandered all over and stumbled upon a bar called The Pub which was made famous by the fact that during the filming of Gladiator, Oliver Reed had drank his last drink there and died shortly afterwards. We had to stop and have a pint with all the English tourists who had stopped there as well. Afterwards we found a fantastic Italian restaurant where we shared lunch and a lovely bottle of wine. The architecture is beautiful and there is a large British influence. We saw the firing of the cannons but too quickly our time was over. (How I wish the weather had cooperated so we had had our overnight here!) We stopped for a drink and to use the restaurants WiFi close to the dock and ran into a lot of the crew. Once back on board, we realized over the loud speaker they kept calling two names. Turns out, there was a couple that didn't get back to the ship on time and they were attempting to find them. It must have been almost an hour before this couple reappeared. They had been at a close by store buying jewelry and hadn't noticed the time nor heard the loudspeaker. We think they got lucky the ship didn't leave them since there was another ship ahead of us. It is a very small opening you have to sail through with bumpy seas. Because we were late leaving we had the most spectacular sunset over Valletta we won't soon forget. Porto Empedocle, Sicily We joined the WS excursion "Temples Valley" and ended up with blue skies, a lovely guide and some fascinating ruins. It was a short bus ride to the valley and then lots of ruins to see. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour. And because it was only 3 hours, we had time to walk around the port on our own. We weren't sure how far it was to find the shops and restaurants so we waited for the shore bus to take us. The joke was on us since we rode less than 5 minutes! We did found a quiet restaurant where we had lunch and then we walked back to the ship. There weren't very many shops in the area close to the ship and it wasn't the prettiest port either but we felt safe and enjoyed our time there. Trapani, Sicily Another fabulous day on our own! We wanted to head to Erice and as we wandered off the ship, another couple was looking for a taxi so we finally found one (not the easiest thing) and headed to the cable car station. Now, our taxi driver wanted to give us a tour and drive us to Erice but we insisted he just take us to the cable car station. It took a bit of convincing but after telling him we would call when we were ready to come back to the ship, he dropped us at the cable car station. We purchased a round trip ticket and up we went. It was a Sunday and we weren't sure how much would be opened but just about all the restaurants and shops were. We walked all around and saw the sights. We stopped for some delicious pizza and wine. We visited several bakeries and ate some yummy Sicilian cookies and pastries. We shopped and purchased a ceramic pasta bowl for our son. Finally, we found a bar with WiFi and had a beer. After church the families wandered around and it was just a lovely feeling, being a part of this unique town. When we arrived back to the cable car station at the top, I spoke to a taxi driver and he called a taxi to meet us at the bottom. We hopped on the cable car and the taxi was waiting for us at the bottom. It was a good thing we had called because another group was trying to get in our taxi! Back to the ship and another wonderful day in the books. That evening, we ate at Stella Bistro and brought along some of the pastries we had purchased that day. Lipari, Italy Lipari was another day we spent on our own. We anchored at this port and was immediately in the thick of the shops and restaurants. I found several cute shops where I bought some trinkets to bring home. We wandered up a hill to one of the basilicas with the most beautiful ceiling. We stopped for pizza (not as good as in Erice) and some beer and WiFi. We found some streets that had more locals than tourists and enjoyed our wanderings. We also got some great photos of Wind Surf in the harbor. We set sail and cruised past Mt Stromboli which was magnificent and we even got a show from the volcano! Sorrento, Italy/Salerno, Italy We had big plans in Sorrento. I had booked a private tour and we were so looking forward to it when the weather and rough seas interfered with our quest. We were suppose to anchor in Sorrento, but due to rough seas, we were unable to make it to Sorrento. Naples was all booked up so the captain made the decision to take us to Salerno, Italy. We were told of the change the night before so we had some time to attempt to get a hold of our tour company and see if they would be able to pick us up in Salerno instead of Sorrento. They were so lovely and really wanted to accommodate us but due to the fires above Positano, they couldn't do it. So, what to do? We got together with some new friends and wandered from the dock and found a nice man who called his friend the taxi driver who agreed to take the 6 of us to Ravello for the day. The drive was crazy with lots of twists and turns. When we arrived in Ravello it started to rain but we found a restaurant and had lunch and afterwards, the sun came out. Ravello is known for ceramics and we found a place that made us some special pieces and shipped them home to us. They arrived in about 6 weeks and we couldn't be happier! Our taxi took us back to Salerno and because we had until midnight to be back on board, we decided to venture out on our own. We found some streets filled with locals enjoying the evening; we had dinner, shopped and finished with some gelato before heading back to the ship. I'm so happy we headed out in the evening and could experience Salerno by night. That evening was the deck BBQ and we made it back just in time for the dancing. All our favorite crew entertained us and I had fun joining in too. Amalfi, Italy Today was a short day so we headed right off the ship and purchased tickets for the local ferry to take us to Positano. We arrived in Positano before any other tourists and enjoyed the quiet. The beach is pretty and we started wandering up the hill. Just as we got close to the top, the tourists from the daily buses started making their way down. It got too crazy after that so we headed back to the ferryboat and back to Amalfi. We had just enough time in Amalfi to find a limoncello shop where the owners let us taste the limoncello (we had to purchase some too!) and told us their story. This is what it's all about for us. Finding the hidden gems and chatting with the locals. All too soon it was time to board and we had to say goodbye to Amalfi. I really wish we had had more time to explore this cute town. As we sailed out of Amalfi, we passed Positano, the island of Capri and Mt Etna. The sun set on what would be our final night of our back2back2back cruise. We had an amazing time and when asked, we couldn't pick our favorite cruise out of the three; they were all memorable and fantastic in their own way. Upon docking in Civitavecchia, we shared a taxi to the airport with the new friends off our roll call. It was easy and fast and too soon we were traveling back to the US. A few notes about our total Wind Surf experience on our back2back2back... We enjoy the wonderful folks who work so hard to make Wind Surf a special place. Captain Pedro, Hotel Operations Officers Calvin and Julian, Maitre d' hotel Merrick were out and about and available and willing to chat. Our favorite staff, Aladdin made our time onboard so very special as did Farid our cabin steward and Hari, Russ and Ada our servers. Anna at the tour desk and Anne at reception always had a smile and greeting for us as we walked by. Within a few days everyone knows your name and after 25 days on board, they really know all about you! Our opinion on the food is that it is very good. That being said, having been on board for 25 days, we learned that the rotation of the menus is about 5 days. With more and more Star Collector choices being offered, WS must rethink this policy. I enjoyed most everything on board during cruise 1 but by the time cruise 3 came along, I'd had enough of a few of the choices. The deck BBQ was wonderful and they have re-done the layout of where the food stations are since we last sailed with Wind Surf which made it seem roomier. I had originally booked a room on Deck 1 but the upgrade fairy came to visit several months later and we were upgraded to Suite 306. The location is towards the back of the ship and can be very noisy when the tenders are being used. But, it is so close to the Yacht Club and the Pool Deck, plus getting off the ship, we didn't let the noise ruin it for us. Plus, having 2 bathrooms in the suite saved my marriage after 25 days at sea! We were lucky to have the laundry service during our cruise and it was amazing! I did specify for cold wash and hang dry and just about everything came back perfect. One black sweater wasn't so black anymore but other than that, we were very pleased. We love Windstar and the port intensive itineraries. We love the smallness of the ships and the fact that you actually get to know other travelers and the crew on board. And after all the time we spent on board Wind Surf, she really became our home away from home. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was the middle portion of our back2back2back cruise aboard Wind Surf celebrating my husband's 65th birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary. Originally we were going to do the first cruise (Treasures of Southern Spain & ... Read More
This was the middle portion of our back2back2back cruise aboard Wind Surf celebrating my husband's 65th birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary. Originally we were going to do the first cruise (Treasures of Southern Spain & Morocco) and then rent a car and travel through the south of France but when we realized this was the next cruise, we booked it! We love Windstar cruises and the port intensive itineraries. We also love the small ship experience and the amazing crew on board. This was our 4th cruise on Windstar and it just gets better and better. Yachtsman's Harbors of the Rivieras was a lovely itinerary and all the stops could easily be done DIY. Since we were already on board, Barcelona was really a stop on our itinerary rather than a boarding day. And since we were staying on board, the day before we had made reservations for Candles and Stella Bistro and found out our key cards would still be valid. Barcelona: We booked tickets ahead of time at Sagrada Familia and Park Guell and walked off the yacht and took a taxi to Sagrada Familia. We had the 9 am tour and were one of the first folks in that morning. We opted for the audio tour which allowed us to go at our own pace. At the end of our visit, we hopped a taxi and headed to Park Guell for our 12 noon group tour. I'm glad we had a tour guide and the views were spectacular but the park was so crowded. One more taxi ride to the market at Las Rambles, a few tapas and a walk back to the yacht put us back on board just prior to our 4 pm all aboard. It was a quick day but we were able to see the sights we had wanted to see. Would more time had been nicer? Of course but it was time for sail away and rest of the Riviera! Port Vendres, France - We had no idea what to do at this port but some friends that were on the first cruise with us suggested we hike to Collioure along the path by the water so we did. It took us awhile but the views were beautiful and Collioure was an adorable town. We wandered throughout and found a wonderful restaurant for lunch run by a mother and daughter team. Shopping afterwards and then we hopped on the small tourist train to take us through the vineyards and back to Port Vendres. Sanary-sur-Mer, France - The market in Sanary-sur-Mer is very large and on Wednesday's it has even more to offer. This was also the day of the Chef's Market Tour so we signed up the night before and away we went. The market was filled with vendors and so many shoppers! We were told people come from all around for this market and I believe it! We stopped at several meat and cheese places and tasted several different kinds of cheese and meats. But quickly the tour was over and we hadn't even seen the chef purchase anything! He told we would see the new items in the next day or so but to be honest, we never could figure out what he might have purchased. We walked around for a bit more and then went and found a meat, cheese and wine shop in town and proceeded to have a lovely, impromptu wine tasting with the owner! We left with several new bottles of wine and a new friend. Monte Carlo, Monaco - Prior to booking this cruise our plan was to rent a car and tour the south of France and stay in Nice for a few days. Hence, the decision to take the train to Nice from Monte Carlo. It was easy to find the train station but trying to purchase a train ticket from the automated machine not so easy. We ended up finding the live person selling tickets to make sure we understood which train to take to Nice and more importantly, how to get back to Monte Carlo. We had just missed a train so it was lunch time by the time we got on. We arrived in Nice in time for a quick walk through the Flower Market which was filled with the most beautiful flowers! We walked to the beach (lots of pebbles) and then found a place for lunch. After a leisurely lunch, we had enough time to wander through some shops and buy some wine at a grocery store (inexpensive and delicious!) before catching the train back to Monte Carlo. We did a bit more shopping in Monte Carlo and then headed back to our yacht. I have to say we were SO thankful to be on Wind Surf that day in Monte Carlo. There was one of those monster ships with hoards of people trying to get back on board. We got caught up in their madness for a brief moment before the port staff realized we were on Wind Surf and got us right through security. It looked like a nightmare on the other side! Cannes, France - Our next stop was in Cannes and we had booked the WS tour Provence Wine Tasting with Chateau Saint Roseline. I had tried to book a private wine tasting tour through several companies prior to boarding but they were so expensive (over 500 euros for the 2 of us) that when we saw this one for $129 each, we went ahead and joined the tour. It turned out to be a wonderful day with 2 different wineries, 7 bottles of wine purchased, and good friends to share the experience. The history of both wineries was interesting and the tour guides well versed. Overall a delightful day tasting wine in Provence! Portofino, Italy - We couldn't make up our minds what to do here so my DH decided we should take the WS tour Cinque Terra by Boat Tour for $189 per person. I would hesitate to recommend this tour to anyone that loves to explore on their own. Here's our experience... The swells were pretty high as we pulled into Portofino which meant a hairy experience boarding the tenders. Because of the weather, it took over an hour to get all the folks on this tour over on the tenders. We then boarded a ferry boat (filled only with the WS tour) to take us to Cinque Terra. Well, you can imagine if the swells were bad on the tenders, they were just as bad on the ferry boat. What was suppose to take about an hour turned into almost double that amount of time. It was a rough morning but the best part was that we were able to see by sea, the 5 villages of the Cinque Terra. (My DH jokes those 5 photographs were the most expensive photographs I ever took!) By the time we finally landed at Monterooso (no other landings available that day due to the waves) we were so far behind we were told we had only 2 hours before we had to board again to go back to Portofino and the yacht! Well, I wasn't the least bit happy about that and I told my DH and the Aussies we were traveling with that day that I was taking the train to Riomaggiore for lunch and I'd figure out how to get back to Portofino later. They all agreed and we told the tour guide we were heading out on our own, found the train station and hopped the next train to Riomaggiore. It was one of the best decisions we made the entire trip! After walking up the one main street in Riomaggiore, we stopped for the most fabulous lunch at the most delightful restaurant! After several courses, many bottles of wine and some limoncello, we ad to say good-bye to our new friends/owners of the place, and litearlly had to run back to catch the train to Santa Margherita. There was an art festival along the water we checked out and then grabbed a taxi back to Portofino in time for pizza, beer and wine. The sunset was glorious over Portofino and we were the last ones on the last tender at 8:30 back to the yacht. It was a most memorable day! We missed the Deck BBQ because we stayed in Portofino so late but we didn't really care since we had such a great day with our Aussie friends. Portoferraio, Italy - Another day without a real plan so we did what we had been doing for 15 days and wandered around Elba on our own. We hiked up to the fort and checked out the views; we found a sidewalk cafe and joined all the locals having Sunday dinner out; we sat back and just relaxed. Easy and delicious! And that brought us to Civitavecchia. A turnaround day for us but a sad day too since we had to now say good-bye to our friends we had met while boarding in Lisbon on cruise #1. Originally I had thought to take a cooking class on our own here but we wandered around instead and took in the local market and stopped for pastries and coffee at a local place. It's definitely a working man's port but we saw lots of families out and about too. It wasn't as scenic as some of our other stops but it is a big city compared to the last few ports of call. We walked the waterway and stopped for a beer and free WiFi before boarding to continue on to our next Wind Surf adventure...Sicilian Splendors! A few notes about our total Wind Surf experience on our back2back2back... We enjoy the wonderful folks who work so hard to make Wind Surf a special place. Captain Pedro, Hotel Operations Officers Calvin and Julian, Maitre d' hotel Merrick were out and about and available and willing to chat. Our favorite staff, Aladdin made our time onboard so very special as did Farid our cabin steward and Hari, Russ and Ada our servers. Anna at the tour desk and Anne at reception always had a smile and greeting for us as we walked by. Within a few days everyone knows your name and after 25 days on board, they really know all about you! Our opinion on the food is that it is very good. That being said, having been on board for 25 days, we learned that the rotation of the menus is about 5 days. With more and more Star Collector choices being offered, WS must rethink this policy. I enjoyed most everything on board during cruise 1 but by the time cruise 3 came along, I'd had enough of a few of the choices. The deck BBQ was wonderful and they have re-done the layout of where the food stations are since we last sailed with Wind Surf which made it seem roomier. I had originally booked a room on Deck 1 but the upgrade fairy came to visit several months later and we were upgraded to Suite 306. The location is towards the back of the ship and can be very noisy when the tenders are being used. But, it is so close to the Yacht Club and the Pool Deck, plus getting off the ship, we didn't let the noise ruin it for us. Plus, having 2 bathrooms in the suite saved my marriage after 25 days at sea! We were lucky to have the laundry service during our cruise and it was amazing! I did specify for cold wash and hang dry and just about everything came back perfect. One black sweater wasn't so black anymore but other than that, we were very pleased. Overall, we love Windstar cruises because it suits us. We love port intensive cruises. We love the smallness of the ships and that it affords you the opportunity to get to know your fellow cruisers as well as the officers and staff and they get to know you. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise because it worked with my schedule and I got a great price on it. I have cruised multiple times on both oceans and rivers, but this was the smallest ocean ship I have ever sailed on. I was a bit nervous about the ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it worked with my schedule and I got a great price on it. I have cruised multiple times on both oceans and rivers, but this was the smallest ocean ship I have ever sailed on. I was a bit nervous about the size and the possibility of waves, but it was smooth sailing the whole time. From the time we embarked until the time we disembarked, the staff did everything in their power to make our cruise great. They learned our names, drink preferences, etc. They were receptive to checking inventory for beer I asked for that was not immediately available. They room steward answered promptly when called. Cannot say enough about the great service and the bright, smiling faces of the crew. The ports of call were very interesting. I had been to Lisbon and Barcelona before, so we did not do any exploring there. Tangier, Malaga, Cartagena, Tarragona, Almeria, and Ibiza were very interesting. I did not expect the weather to be as hot as it was and consequently we could have packed extra clothes this time and would have used them. I had to wash in my sink a couple of times. The shore excursions we took from Wind Star were pretty good for the most part, but I do believe that they are rather pricey. I was able to book some private ones of my own for much less money. The food was very good. The menu could have had some other non-beef or fish options but I managed to find things to eat. The nightlife was okay - we were tired from all the walking and the heat so we didn't need anything too strenuous. The highlight was the Crew Talent show. What an amazing and talented bunch of employees the Wind Surf has. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and my DH 65th birthday. We have cruised 2x prior with WS (once on Wind Star, once on Wind Surf) and decided to do a back2back2back which meant 25 glorious days aboard Wind Surf! Our ... Read More
We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and my DH 65th birthday. We have cruised 2x prior with WS (once on Wind Star, once on Wind Surf) and decided to do a back2back2back which meant 25 glorious days aboard Wind Surf! Our favorite thing about WS is the port intensive cruises with little or no sea days. We love waking up in a new port every day and exploring as long as possible. Come back to the ship, change clothes, grab a drink, meet friends for dinner, and maybe have a night cap or maybe just close down the dining room (that happened almost every night). Go to sleep and repeat. Treasures of Southern Spain & Morocco was a great itinerary. We arrived into Lisbon 4 days early to see that sights. So happy we had time to do this and enjoy this beautiful city. Boarding was so easy and we got so so lucky while standing in line we met 2 other couples that will now be life long friends! And on board we met several other couples to make our cruise one of the best we have been on! Our first day was actually a sea day (which we try to avoid whenever possible). We hung out with new friends and got our sea legs. The sun was out and it was a lovely day. Tangiers: We hired a private guide prior to our cruise to take us around the Casbah and the Mdina. We have friends in the Peace Corps living in Morocco who came and joined us on our tour. We loved Tangiers and the people were so kind. I will say the Wind Surf destination manager at the time (didn't get his name) spoke about the horrors of Tangiers and scared several people from wanting to go ashore. I think he did a major disservice to people of Tangiers. While you should always be vigilant when in a foreign country, he went way overboard in his warnings. While many areas (not just Tangiers) have beggars and pickpockets, we felt very safe and would recommend this port to all of our friends. Malaga Spain: We decided to do Malaga on our own and walked off the ship and started walking. We found many pedestrian streets filled with beautiful architecture. We looked for the Picasso Museum but by the time we arrived, the line was too long and we didn't want to waste the time in line so we continued on our way. Our friends did the Hop on Hop off bus and enjoyed it. Granada: We booked the WS tour to the Alhambra and it was amazing! Definitely book this tour but do so months prior to your cruise. It does (and did) sell out prior to our sail date. We had a delightful guide at the Alhambra who just made the tour. A lunch following was fun and we got back in plenty of time. While you could do this on your own, I wouldn't risk it. Cartagena Spain: Once again, we DIY the day and walked the old city. Lots of interesting buildings and architecture and shopping too. Our friends did WS Tapas Tour and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Ibiza Spain: We had signed up for the Jeep Tour a few days before and were looking forward to fun. We loaded up into the jeeps (we got together a group we had met on board) and off we went. Unfortunately, the rain started and there was lightening and they turned the tour around. We did get a refund but we were so disappointed it rained! But 2 hours later, the sun came out and we ventured out on our own and walked through the town. Ibiza is such a night town that even at noon, there weren't a lot of folks up and about. We had a delightful lunch and did some major shopping. Tarragona Spain: It was a Sunday and we were unsure what there might be to do but we boarded the free port bus that took us about 20 minutes to the old city. What a glorious day we had! There was some kind of music festival with groups of kids marching down the streets playing all sorts of musical instruments. There was also the Human Pyramid festival happening where groups of people build a pyramid, sometimes up to 9 people high! And of course, what comes up, must come down! We wandered the cute streets and found beautiful shops and restaurants all opened. In fact, I'm pretty sure we were one of the only tourists and were surrounded by the locals enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Lunch of tapas and sangria and then dipping our toes in the Mediterranean rounded out our day. And that bought us to Barcelona and the end of our first of our back2back2back cruises. We had booked tickets to Sagrada Familia and Park Guell so we got off early and took a taxi and enjoyed our time at those fabulous places. We also walked down Las Rambles and then back to the ship in time for our next sail away. We were sad to see some of our new friends leave but we were so happy we had more cruising to do! We enjoy the wonderful folks who work so hard to make Wind Surf a special place. Captain Pedro, Hotel Operations Officers Calvin and Julian, Maitre d' hotel Merrick were out and about and available and willing to chat. Our favorite staff, Aladdin made our time onboard so very special as did Farid our cabin steward and Hari, Russ and Ada our servers. Anna at the tour desk and Anne at reception always had a smile and greeting for us as we walked by. Within a few days everyone knows your name and after 25 days on board, they really know all about you! Our opinion on the food is that it is very good. That being said, having been on board for 25 days, we learned that the rotation of the menus is about 5 days. With more and more Star Collector choices being offered, WS must rethink this policy. I enjoyed most everything on board during cruise 1 but by the time cruise 3 came along, I'd had enough of a few of the choices. The deck BBQ was wonderful and they have re-done the layout of where the food stations are since we last sailed with Wind Surf which made it seem roomier. I had originally booked a room on Deck 1 but the upgrade fairy came to visit several months later and we were upgraded to Suite 306. The location is towards the back of the ship and can be very noisy when the tenders are being used. But, it is so close to the Yacht Club and the Pool Deck, plus getting off the ship, we didn't let the noise ruin it for us. Plus, having 2 bathrooms in the suite saved my marriage after 25 days at sea! We were lucky to have the laundry service during our cruise and it was amazing! I did specify for cold wash and hang dry and just about everything came back perfect. One black sweater wasn't so black anymore but other than that, we were very pleased. Overall, we love Windstar cruises because it suits us. We love port intensive cruises. We love the smallness of the ships and that it affords you the opportunity to get to know your fellow cruisers as well as the officers and staff and they get to know you. Treasures of Southern Spain & Morocco was filled with sunshine and towns you could easily do on your own. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this itinerary to those of you who like that type of cruise! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We had been on three Wind Star cruises before but all were on the smaller Wind Song and Wind Spirit ships so we weren't exactly sure on what to expect with the larger Wind Surf. We loved it. Our cruise had 296 guests on board but you ... Read More
We had been on three Wind Star cruises before but all were on the smaller Wind Song and Wind Spirit ships so we weren't exactly sure on what to expect with the larger Wind Surf. We loved it. Our cruise had 296 guests on board but you never seemed to see any crowds at all except perhaps during dinner in the main dining room. As like all Wind Star cruises the crew were so friendly and helpful. Cruises typically make or break themselves on the food, our food was exceptional, both in quality and variety and having 2 other dining options besides the main dining room was great. Our stateroom was not overly large but was very well laid out and had all the amenities we had come to expect from Wind Star. It was great having 2 options to dance and listen to live music after dinner in both the lounge and the Compass Rose bar. We left ports quite late each night so rarely saw the casino open or very busy, they could use a craps table to give us dice players an option. The ports of call were amazing, each one different and offering great options to do and see. If I was to get picky my 2 negatives were the cost of the shore excursions and the beverage packages. Shore excursions seem to have become a major profit center for the cruise line. On past cruises our nightly introduction to the next day's port was more a general discussion of the history/culture while now it's more of a run through of all the shore excursions that can be bought. We booked 2 shore excursions on our own prior to travelling that were identical to the ship's version and paid less than half the price. The shore excursions we did do through the ship were very well run, professional and insightful. The beverage package is pricey and sort of mickey mouse for an upscale cruise line. Why not just add $300 to the price of the cruise and make it all drinks included, minus the high end stuff. Bartenders always needing to determine what package you have or if you even have one, it was annoying and unnecessary. Overall, a great cruise with great people, love the Casual Elegance atmosphere. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have sailed on all of the Windstar ships at least once and some more than once and this was one of the worst sailing experiences we encountered on any cruise line including Princess, NCL, Carnival, or Royal Caribbean. The deck crew was ... Read More
We have sailed on all of the Windstar ships at least once and some more than once and this was one of the worst sailing experiences we encountered on any cruise line including Princess, NCL, Carnival, or Royal Caribbean. The deck crew was there but almost non-existent. When able to get their attention, they were curt/rude. Tables at breakfast most days were left un-cleaned while guest stood waiting for a place to sit. Getting a refill on coffee...non-existent...had to fend for yourself. The food was average at best. The rear deck & bar were closed about 5 - 6 each evening. This should have been the "hot spot" on the ship! Great venue went unused. Tours were "fair" at best. A couple of them a waste of time and money. Our experience on past Windstar cruise was that within two days most of the principle staff knew us by our names. On this cruise, only our room steward could address us by out names. We'll look for other small ships for future cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise as we were more interested in the destinations it sailed to than the onboard amenities. This was our first cruise and it exceeded all of our expectations. The staff was wonderful, they couldn’t do ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise as we were more interested in the destinations it sailed to than the onboard amenities. This was our first cruise and it exceeded all of our expectations. The staff was wonderful, they couldn’t do enough for us. The ship was beautiful, especially during the times the sails were up. The food was out of this world. It was the best we had during our entire European vacation. I really can’t think of anything that Windstar could have improved on as far as the onboard experience was concerned. The only downfall was that some of the ports weren’t as picturesque as we’d imagined. If we would have done our research beforehand, we would have booked excursions at those stops. Windstar lives up to its reputation and I met many passengers who were experienced travellers with the cruise lineIt wasn’t an inexpensive vacation but it was worth every penny. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose to sail with Windstar to celebrate my 50th Birthday accompanied by both my parents and sister. Below is an honest and unbiased review of what was a very positive experience. It is obvious on boarding the Wind Surf that she is ... Read More
I chose to sail with Windstar to celebrate my 50th Birthday accompanied by both my parents and sister. Below is an honest and unbiased review of what was a very positive experience. It is obvious on boarding the Wind Surf that she is not just any cruise ship and that Captain Gerry Hogan is very proud her. Quite rightly so. Wind Surf is the flagship of the Windstar fleet and she is a beautiful sailing motor yacht. Captain Hogan is there to welcome his guests onboard and he is there at the end the journey to bid you farewell. It’s a personal touch that sets the tone for a cruise that is truly different. As she sails from destination to destination you’ll feel immersed in the experience, rather than just a passenger travelling upon a ship. The Staterooms might be more functional than they are luxurious, but they are nicely appointed with comfy beds, quality bathroom products and lots of storage space. The Staterooms give you the feel that you are actually on a sailing yacht rather than some grandiose floating hotel. The quality of the food throughout the ship is excellent and there are some lovely dinning options, with two speciality restaurants located on deck and a ship’s BBQ night which none of us will forget! AmphorA is the main dining room. It is sophisticated and elegant with service to match, without being over stuffy. However it is customer service where Wind Surf really excels and without doubt it has to be said, it is second to none! The ship’s crew are beyond outstanding and work tirelessly to ensure your cruise will be an unforgettable one. They have a sense of camaraderie that will make you feel you’re amongst friends and not just there as a paying guest. Windstar deserve every accolade they win. Congratulations! Our thanks go to all the Wind Surf crew for making our trip so memorable. They say Windstar is “180 degrees from ordinary” … “that she will feel like your own sailing yacht.” They are bold claims, but when her sails go up on your last sail away, you’ll know what they mean. Wind Surf … She is is special ship that none of us will forget. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We had seen most of the Med on previous cruises but had missed the North Italian coast and the French Riviera. This cruise fit the bill with 3 Italian ports ,Monaco and 3 French Riviera port stops. Unfortunately a week before the cruise my ... Read More
We had seen most of the Med on previous cruises but had missed the North Italian coast and the French Riviera. This cruise fit the bill with 3 Italian ports ,Monaco and 3 French Riviera port stops. Unfortunately a week before the cruise my wife became ill and needed a wheelchair temporarily to get around. I considered cancelling all of our excursions but the Destination Manager assured me they would get us on our excursion and get the most out of the cruise as we could. And they did exactly that going way out of their way to insure we saw everything we came for. Only had to cancel one excursion in Monaco that just couldn't be done in a wheelchair. Everywhere we went on the ship they went out of their way to accommodate us and make things easier. I can't say enough good things about the crew. The food on the ship was absolutely delicious and with 3 dining area on a small ship we never had to wait. The wait staff was efficient and quick with a recommendation. With just over 300 passengers the crew and passengers soon became very familiar with each other. I have never seen ship's officers so visible and everywhere on the ship. The Captain and all other senior officers seemed to be greeting passengers all over the ship including when we arrived and disembarked the ship. Staff interacted with guests at a crew talent show, line dancing and other events. The cabin, while not significantly larger than most cruise cabins, had a generous amount of storage. We usually are fighting over hangers and drawers but not this time. The bed was fine and the bathroom adequate. The ship is definitely showing it's age. At almost 30 years old you can tell it has undergone many paint jobs and renovations. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it but you could still see many things that would be designed differently today. Still, to be on a sailing ship with all the sails up through the Med was quite an experience. A great feature was the back swimming deck. With all the toys you could want you could swim, snorkel, kayak paddleboard or have the crew tube you around the ship. While the ports were very important and interesting, the ship and crew were the highlights of this cruise. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We had a wonderful time on the wind surf. We didn’t expect to.... We’re not “cruise people” - The idea of a cruise ship is just gross to us. We tried the Windstar cruise because a sailboat charter wasn’t able to get us to all ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on the wind surf. We didn’t expect to.... We’re not “cruise people” - The idea of a cruise ship is just gross to us. We tried the Windstar cruise because a sailboat charter wasn’t able to get us to all the places we wanted to go. What we found was the WindSurf was a lot more enjoyable than a sailboat charter. Much less work, great food, great staff. In terms of value, it was a really affordable way to go to some of our favorite places. What really set this ship apart was the staff. They were just amazing. It was delightful to have a room steward - thank you Bayu – who would clean up our cabin and even do our laundry every day. We got really spoiled. The bartenders were also great especially Maria. And the service staff for the onboard meals were just delightful especially Charlie. The itinerary for this cruise was great. It started in Rome, then went to Ellba, then Portovenere in the Cinque Terra, then Portofino, then Monaco, St Tropez, La Lavandou and ending up in Nice. These are great yachting destinations. The key thing about the WindSurf was the value proposition. We could’ve chartered our own yacht and spent 20 times more for the same itinerary, but this let us pretend we were Billioaires for a few days on a budget. Our fellow passengers were nearly all American and generally retired but we also met some people that were closer to our age (30s) and more active. The ship itself was very beautiful and interesting. It clearly is in need of an update, but don’t let that scare you away as it’s really something special to experience. The food was much better than we could’ve imagined. But we were a little disappointed with the wine selection. It would’ve been nice if they would have had more local Italian and French wines versus the California-centric wine list. (Especially because we couldn’t really bring any wine into the ship). But now I’m just sounding snobby. We must send a big aloha and thank you to the team members who made this trip so fun. Captain Gerry was great and we enjoyed our chats in the bridge with him. The bar and dining team was great with Naria and Charlie deserving special recognition and of course Bayu our room steward who completely spoiled us. Thank you WindSurf team for a great week in the Med. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Taking a Windstar cruse has always been a “bucket list” adventure for me. My husband has never been to Italy and I always wanted a reason to return, so the itinerary sold us and we could cross many travels off our list. So this is a ... Read More
Taking a Windstar cruse has always been a “bucket list” adventure for me. My husband has never been to Italy and I always wanted a reason to return, so the itinerary sold us and we could cross many travels off our list. So this is a first-time Wind Star cruiser review. I loved the idea of sailing on a smaller ship. I’m 49 and my husband is 59, so we weren’t looking for a large ship, nor all the hoopla of the large ship offerings. We knew going in the entertainment at night was limited, and the general age population was going to be a bit older and were okay with this. Upon getting to the port, the embarkation process was quick. We signed waivers for the water sports deck, a health questionnaire and shook hands with the captain and onboard we went! They collected our passports (they hold onto them for the duration of the cruise and provided us with our key cards. We were able to sign up for dining options (a couple of restaurants require reservations) at that time and then headed off to our room to drop off our hand luggage. The veranda was already opened for lunch, which was welcoming and had a good variety. The ship: The Windsurf holds 300 passengers and almost 200 crew. Good ratios for personalized service. The ship is beautiful, but you can see it’s going to need to be dry docked soon. Little things like seeing deep scratches in the wood floor, frayed carpet in areas, and rust and barnacles on the keel indicated this ship needs a bit of TLC. That being said, all these issues also leant itself to the charm of there’s no overdone grand staircase, neon lighting, grandiose or brass railings that you would see with the uber-larger ships, and we were perfectly okay with that. The deck chairs are in good condition, the bars are orderly (although I noticed the mirrors are in desperate need of cleaning) and the dining rooms are gorgeous. One of the best parts is the open door policy the bridge has for passengers to come in and see the controls and talk with the crew. They’ll close the bridge when going into port or leaving, for safety, but we went in at midnight one night and talked with the crew. They were just as inviting then as in the middle of the day. The room: We got a deck 1 room (room 129) mid ship. It was comfortable and tastefully decorated. There’s plenty of storage space, taking advantage of every nook and cranny. The bathroom is larger than most cruise ship bathrooms for a standard sized cabin. There was a double closet with plenty of hangers, a safe, a mini bar and fridge stocked with sodas and beer and a tray of fresh fruit. There were bathrobes and slippers for us, as well as L’Occitane bath products and soaps. Our room attendant was sweet and turndown and make up service was always quick. One day, I had to leave a note for additional soap and shower caps, which in my opinion should be automatic, but otherwise, she was pretty attentive. The dining experience: We didn’t eat in the French restaurant, the Stella Rose, so it wouldn’t be fair to comment, except to say the dining room is classily decorated. The AmphorA is the main dining room. The food was always outstanding and well proportioned. It’s open seating, so you have the ability to show up and either dine by yourself or join others at a larger table. My husband and I are pretty social, so we opted to join others on most nights and found ourselves meeting new people and making some great friends. They serve specialized courses each night, but also have some standards every night, in the event you didn’t like any of the specials. If you want a specific wait staff, you can ask the matre’d and they’ll seat you in that server’s section. If you have allergies, all you have to do is let them know and they’ll provide you with a menu for the following night’s meal and you choose your options. They’ll prepare that meal selection with respect to your allergies. The Veranda is the restaurant for breakfast and lunch. We only had a couple of lunches on the boat, so I won’t give a large review on this, but the breakfasts were amazing! There’s a full buffet, a omelet bar and an a la carte order menu where you can get eat waffles, pancakes, eggs Benedict and more. At night, the Veranda is converted to the reservation-based restaurant for dinner. Candles is Serves lots of specialized choices. We had filet mignonette or chicken and seafood skewers. Everything was delicious and prepared to perfection! Entertainment: By day, The Windsurf has a platform water deck and on certain days, the staff will open it up, for water sports like kayaking, water skiing and just swimming in the open water. By night, the entertainment is limited, but you make it your own. There is a small casino with tables and slots. The main lounge had a 4-person band, but their song choice was “sappy” so we headed over to a deck bar, the Compass Rose, where a duo, “Marci Gras” rocked the place until they closed every night. There’s a crew talent show one night, which is silly fun. We didn’t do any shore excursions. We researched the ports and did our own thing. Some ports we just walked around and explored, in other ports, I hired private guides (for much less than the private tours offered by WindStar) so we could get a customized taste of the ports. Many people we met did take the shore excursions and the reviews were mixed based on the expectations versus the reality, but overall, they seemed to have a good time. If you would like to know about our excursions, feel free to contact me directly. We had such a great time that we were saddened to disembark in Venice. There was nothing we would change about this cruise, and I haven’t been able to say that on most cruises. My husband and I agree that after this experience, we don’t ever see ourselves on a large cruise ship again. The experience of getting to know most of the passengers, the crew and the intimacy of it all really appealed to us. We would definitely consider another Windstar cruise and now that we’ve done the largest of the fleet, I’d be interested in trying the yacht/liner fleet as well....of course, it’s all dependent upon the itinerary. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our third Windstar cruise, our second on Wind Surf. We chose the cruise for the itinerary, Italy, Montenegro, Croatia, and Slovenia. The ports did not disappoint! We enjoyed a wonderful variety of experiences, from discovering ... Read More
This was our third Windstar cruise, our second on Wind Surf. We chose the cruise for the itinerary, Italy, Montenegro, Croatia, and Slovenia. The ports did not disappoint! We enjoyed a wonderful variety of experiences, from discovering ancient history to sailing and exploring caves. The primary draw of Windstar’s small ships is the sense of community and friendship that develops over the cruise. The groups seems to come together after 3-4 days and, for this reason, we loved the longer duration of this trip - 11 days. We had a real sense of making friends and enjoying each other’s company. The ship is scheduled for a makeover in a few months and it will benefit from this. However nothing about the state of ship detracted from the cruise. The cabins and public rooms were all clean and welcoming. We booked the basic cabin for this trip, but were pleasantly surprised with the amount of storage available. We didn’t feel crowded at all. The staff on Windstar excels. Everyone onboard was friendly, knowledgeable, and easy to approach. All crew members, from cabin stewards to the captain himself, were out and available for any questions or requests. We really enjoyed seeing some people from past cruises who remembered us and treated us as long lost friends. Well done! Food was great! We appreciated the offerings and the portion sizes. Entertainment was great in one venue (Compass Rose) but OK in the other. Still fine for what we wanted. Only criticism - the Windstar has been acquired recently by a new company and many of us noticed a decline in some of the things that made the brand special. The new ownership seems quite focused on the bottom line and thus has cut back on lots of little things, like the welcome aboard gift for returning passengers, and the refreshing of bathroom amenities. But more frustrating to us was the lack of response to customer concerns from the home office. We had booked early and were assured a “best rate” but, when the inevitable price drops occurred, the customer service team were indifferent to our disappointment and didn’t offer any compensation. (In the past we’d been offered wi-fi or laundry services to offset the price drop) Other passengers we spoke to had similar experiences. Luggage tags, hors d’oeuvres etc. are small things, but with all the cruise offerings available, it is the Windstar experience that keeps people coming back. Let’s hope they return to their roots. Read Less
Wind Surf Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.5 3.7
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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