5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
THE GOOD The crew is extraordinarily gracious. This is a ship with a small passenger load (312). We particularly enjoyed Hotel Manager, Nick Berger. He is studying for U.S. citizenship, and the U.S. could do a lot worse than Nick. A ... Read More
THE GOOD The crew is extraordinarily gracious. This is a ship with a small passenger load (312). We particularly enjoyed Hotel Manager, Nick Berger. He is studying for U.S. citizenship, and the U.S. could do a lot worse than Nick. A wonderful gentleman. THE BAD Windstar is the only ship that we have sailed to date that did not offer complimentary wine with dinner. Even Windjammer served wine with dinner--not the greatest wine, but wine. We were ever so surprised when we were asked to sign a charge for our wine with dinner. Check for more on this below. Even though we got a very good rate on the cabin (Military Discount), I cannot say much for the cabin, itself. We were on the lowest level and one should not pay much attention to the picture of the standard cabin in the brochure. Our "panoramic view of the ocean consisted of two (count them, two) portholes. We learned from other passengers, that the two porthole "vista" was not limited to Deck One. You want a vista, reserve a suite. The cabin was the smallest we have had in quite a number of cruises. Windstar considers itself to be a luxury cruise line--NOT. The food is ordinary, the cabins small, and you have already heard my take on the wine charges with dinner. THE UGLY More on drinks. Besides charging for wine with dinner, Windstar also charges you at the time of service for the service, itself. They tack a 15% service charge onto every drink served. Amazing! Although we received a low rate on our cabin, we calculated what a comparable cruise would cost on Regent (a true luxury cruise line). After we shelled out for our round-trip air fare, shore excursions, and drinks, we could have taken a Regent cruise for the same price, and thereby had a true luxury cruise. Frankly, we felt nicked and dimed at nearly every turn. It goes without saying that we will not make the mistake of cruising with Windstar again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
No children are allowed. Service and food were quite good. Ports were interesting and easy to walk around without an escort. There was a free two night stay in Lisbon which was a lovely way to end the cruise. Low key entertainment after ... Read More
No children are allowed. Service and food were quite good. Ports were interesting and easy to walk around without an escort. There was a free two night stay in Lisbon which was a lovely way to end the cruise. Low key entertainment after dinner consisting of flamenco dancers one night. Every night we enjoyed going to cocktail lounge with friends, chatting and listiening or dancing to a wonderful combo. No glitzy show with 2 thoushand people in attendance. Ambiance just what we like, low key. We booked this same cruise again for June 29th a only this time we are taking our adult children with us to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. When we arrive at Malaga, we booked Spain Day Tours to take us to Granada to see the famous Alhambra. We hope other from our ship will join us on this tour to make it even more memorable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
We booked two back to back cruises. The first cruise included the French Riviera, Monaco for the Formula 1 Race, Elba, and two delightful small Italian ports. The second cruise included Sicily, Malta, Sorrento, and Capri. The ship is ... Read More
We booked two back to back cruises. The first cruise included the French Riviera, Monaco for the Formula 1 Race, Elba, and two delightful small Italian ports. The second cruise included Sicily, Malta, Sorrento, and Capri. The ship is able to get into smaller ports and always has interesting itineraries. The ship is unique with sails which it uses frequently, although it has engines which assure that it arrives on time. The food is varied and excellent. The cabins are comfortable with adequate space. The dining room has open seating which assures one of meeting other guests and making interesting new friends. The dress is informal. The service on the ship is friendly and excellent. The shore excursions are varied and well planned. Water sports are available when the rear sports platform is opened and lowered into the water. This was our 4th cruise on the Wind Surf and 12th on the Windstar Line. The Wind Surf has only 250-300 passengers and avoids the crowds associated with larger ships. One can actually get to know the fellow passengers. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
My wife and I have now sailed on Windstar 4 times, the last being the Classic Italy/Dalmatian Coast cruise on Wind Surf that May 3 -11. Sadly, because we really have loved the small ship, casual and comfortable style of Windstar in the ... Read More
My wife and I have now sailed on Windstar 4 times, the last being the Classic Italy/Dalmatian Coast cruise on Wind Surf that May 3 -11. Sadly, because we really have loved the small ship, casual and comfortable style of Windstar in the past, I think this is likely our last Windstar sail. I have some specific comments but I must say that the Windstar feeling seems to have changed. The marketing is slicker but the service actually seems a little more rote and less personal. I was surprised that the meals in the dining room were not better - I had heard they had improved but I did not find that. Not that they were bad, they certainly were acceptable - but one comes to expect more of Windstar. As a point of comparison, the food in Amphora and breakfasts at the Verandah were consistently excellent - so the company can do it. The excursion and tour selections were extremely disappointing - you could get 1/2 day or full day private cars or vans or book ordinary walking or bus tours for twice the price that you have to pay if you book directly. And, there was, at least to me, a significant overemphasis on food and wine experiences. The Sicily private event was a waste of a day. But the most unpleasant experience was disembarkation in Venice. The actual point where we leave the ship was a long walk from the terminal - a long long walk. We were staying at an apartment in Venice so did not need Windstar transfers. But we did need directions, etc. to get started. The Windstar staffer at the terminal had little time for us - after all we were past customers and not paying for a transfer so she just pointed out the door and said get a taxi over there. We walked - there was no taxi stand - we ended up walking 30 minutes from the terminal to Piazza Roma for vaparetto connections (and it turned out if she had helped there was a vaparetto stop not 5 minutes from the terminal in the other direction). This was not just a lack of service; it was specifically disservice. Summary - ship is still fun, food good but not great, cabin comfortable, ports good, shore excursions mediocre. All in all, not the world's best small ship line. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
7 day Western Mediterranean Cruise from Barcelona to Rome. Ports included: Collioure, Marseille, Monte Carlo, Cannes, Portovenere and Portoferraio. We stayed two nights at the Wilson Boutique hotel in Barcelona prior to the cruise. ... Read More
7 day Western Mediterranean Cruise from Barcelona to Rome. Ports included: Collioure, Marseille, Monte Carlo, Cannes, Portovenere and Portoferraio. We stayed two nights at the Wilson Boutique hotel in Barcelona prior to the cruise. This was the hotel that Windstar is affiliated with in Barcelona. Hotel was just ok, from speaking to others it seems like there was a big difference in the rooms in the hotel, some were large and comfortable, others were very small and cramped. Ours was somewhere in between. Really enjoyed the smaller ports, Collioure and Portovenere. This was one big advantage to cruising on a smaller ship, I don't think bigger ships would go into smaller ports like these. Overall we liked the Wind surf, beautiful ship, we were happy with our cabin and the service. We liked the small ship experience and getting to know many other passengers. The food was hit and miss and overall disappointing though. Breakfast and lunch were fine. Dinner was generally disappointing though and didn't compare well to a previous cruise we had done on Holland America. Most ports we anchored offshore and tendered in. This didn't really bother us, but it generally took a little longer to get on and off the ship. We had some rough weather at times which made some of the tender rides a bit of an adventure, but we ended up kind of enjoying it. The ship itself rocked back and forth quite a bit but we had no problems with seasickness and we didn't hear of anyone else who had problems. Because of rough seas we were unable to anchor at Portofino which was the original plan and instead anchored at Portovenere which was a more sheltered harbour. Was disappointing to miss Portofino, but Portovenere was lovely. We did a couple of excursions and enjoyed them all, particularly the Provence Wine Tasting from Cannes. Would consider doing another Windstar cruise, but will probably try a different cruise line next. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We recently completed our fourth Windstar cruise, an eight day cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona. Our previous cruises over the past four years included the French Riviera, northern Europe, and the Caribbean. The Windsurf, while aging, is in ... Read More
We recently completed our fourth Windstar cruise, an eight day cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona. Our previous cruises over the past four years included the French Riviera, northern Europe, and the Caribbean. The Windsurf, while aging, is in excellent condition. We were impressed by how well maintained this almost thirty year old ship is. As in the past, service was excellent. Crew members knew our names even before we were introduced. Beverage prices were not unreasonable and seemed to not have changed over the past years. Our issue was with the food. Breakfasts, as previously, were very good. I liked them, although my wife was less enthused. We have always felt that the lunches were poor to mediocre. We ate most of our lunches ashore this time, and the few lunches we did have on the ship were no better than in the past. Hamburgers were dry and overcooked. Sandwiches on the special order menu were poor with lots of bread and little meat. Items on the buffet were bland, The major issue was with dinners. The menu always sounded great, but the food was consistently underwhelming. A "filet mignon" appeared to be a sirloin steak. Oysters Rockefeller were served cold. Items usually made with veal (veal Oscar, e.g.) were made with pork. Soups were served lukewarm even when we specifically asked for them to be hot. On several occasions, including the final evening, we could not find any appealing entree to order. On previous cruises, we were permitted to order from either restaurant menu (AmphorA or Stella Bistro) regardless of where we were eating. This time, we were told that that was "against policy." Service was very slow on several occasions. We had the impression that Windstar was just doing too much cost cutting. Nothing was terrible, but it seemed like things were not up to previous Windstar standards. We do not plan to sail with Windstar again in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
First off all we really liked the cruise and will sail again if cruise itinerary will match our plans. We liked itinerary, customer service, newly offered cabin, food, how yacht was maintained, officers and specially captain. He was just ... Read More
First off all we really liked the cruise and will sail again if cruise itinerary will match our plans. We liked itinerary, customer service, newly offered cabin, food, how yacht was maintained, officers and specially captain. He was just fantastic. We all loved him. A few small things that can be easily corrected: when we arrived and got in our cabin, in a few hours we realized that air conditioning was broken, cold wind was blowing without stop and temperatures were at 62 F. Stuart tried to place the towels on the register; however, that did not solve the problem. We also contacted reception a many times, they kept sending people, however, they appeared and disappeared without explanation if they can fix the problem. Only at 2 am we were visited by one of officers Margozhata and she offered us to move to different cabin. Actually she saved our cruise (thank you!). Why it was done by customer service at the beginning? Margozhata also helped us to load our stuff on the cart and at 3 am we were moving to different cabin losing almost entire day of cruising. In addition we did not receive keys for a new cabin, contacted reception, were promised to send a stuart; however, we had to call again next day in order to get them. Second - communication problems with travel agent. Very seldom we received answers to our questions on time. We understand, that agent is traveling; however, they have to have a replacement. I believe that in the future we will try to book directly with a cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
My wife and I experienced our first cruise with Wind Star (Wind Surf was the ship). We have done all the big ships...RCL, NCL, Princess, Celebrity, Oceania etc. We wanted a different experience and we really got it. The whole ... Read More
My wife and I experienced our first cruise with Wind Star (Wind Surf was the ship). We have done all the big ships...RCL, NCL, Princess, Celebrity, Oceania etc. We wanted a different experience and we really got it. The whole experience from embarkation, sailing, ports and disembarkation was by far one of the best experiences we have ever had. The ship while older was in very good shape. I loved each evenings "sail away" experience. Watching the sails unfurled was part of each days highlights. The stateroom was very roomy and laid out very efficiently. The decks areas where roomy and I never felt claustrophobic. The public rooms were very comfortable and inviting and the dining areas were very nicely done. They had two "specialty" dining areas (Stella's and Candles). My favorite was Candles because you were able to eat dinner on deck. Food was excellent. Much better than RCL, NCL and Celebrity and almost on par with Oceania. Breakfast and Lunch was always buffet style but I never felt crowded. we were always able to find a table on deck and the selection was varied each day. they also had an ala carte menu for both meals if you wanted. Can't say enough about all the staff. The captain and the hotel manager were our greeting party on the dock and all the staff took time to learn our names and recognized us through out the cruise. They really made you feel special during your time on the ship. The beach party and the ship BBQ were highlights and was the sports deck. We will definitely sail again on this line Not recommended for small children but there were several teenagers on the cruise and they told us it was the best they have been on. I would not recommend for handicapped or folks who need wheelchairs or scooters to get around. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
My wife and I are in our early 50s and have taken over 50 cruises over the last 25+ years. Frankly, we are tiring of the mass market lines that crowd ever larger numbers of people on their ships and have cut the quality of food, service, ... Read More
My wife and I are in our early 50s and have taken over 50 cruises over the last 25+ years. Frankly, we are tiring of the mass market lines that crowd ever larger numbers of people on their ships and have cut the quality of food, service, and amenities dramatically. For this cruise, we decided to try Windstar…..what a huge improvement! We were on the Wind Surf for the Classic Caribbean itinerary in March. We flew to St. Maarten the day prior and stayed at Mary’s Boon Beach Resort for one night. This property is right next to the airport runway on a very nice stretch of beach. It was a small property with a Caribbean feel. There was a nice restaurant directly on the beach. The hotel offers transportation to the pier ($30) and we arrived shortly after noon on Saturday. Windstar had a tent to take luggage near the taxi stand the then it was through security and onto the ship. Check in was completed along with dining reservations in the lounge. We found that our fellow passengers were close to our age from professional occupations. There were a few children that were very well behaved….the lack of children’s activities pretty much requires that they stay with their parents. Wind Surf is a sailing ship but uses motors for maneuvering and for less than favorable wind conditions. After leaving port, the sails are mechanically raised one at a time, from front to back. It’s an impressive sight. The ship doesn’t move very quickly but this keeps the winds on deck to a tolerable level. Cabin/Ship The cabins were available after checking in. They are standard size and we found plenty of storage in the cabin and bathroom. The bed was very comfortable. We were on deck 2 mid ship. It was quiet and there was only slight motion while we were at sea. We did miss having a balcony but we were in our cabin far less time than on larger ships. Cabin service was excellent. The Wind Surf is not a large ship. It has one main lounge and a couple of other smaller bar areas. There was also a large library with a coffee shop adjacent to the lounge. The main dining room, purser’s desk, and shop were on the same deck. The casual restaurant/buffet was on a higher deck. Entertainment is limited…..there were two small bands with vocalists who performed nightly. They were very good. There are plenty of outer decks with comfortable lounge chairs spread throughout. There is a small pool and two hot tubs on the aft deck. Windstar has an open bridge policy so you can walk right in when the ship is at sea. Although we never had much trouble finding a chair in the shade, it looks like there would be some opportunities to add some. We never sit in the sun so this is important to us. The Wind Surf has a marina that lowers from the back of the ship when it is at anchor. There are kayaks, small sailboats, and water skiing (no charge for any of this) as well as floats and a trampoline in the water. There is always staff available in this area. We found this very enjoyable and took the opportunity to swim directly from the ship on several occasions……much better than a pool. Dining We found the food to be excellent. The ingredients were fresh and high quality, far better than what we’ve had recently on larger ships. We ate in both specialty restaurants (no extra charge) and found them to be very good as well. “Candles” is an outdoor restaurant, which has recently been moved from the pool area to a higher deck. This provides cover if needed and allows for the pool/hot tubs to be available later in the evening. On one evening, a deck barbeque was provided. These make me nervous because they are usually crowded with marginal food. That was not the case on Wind Surf. There were a variety of excellent choices including grilled lobster, lamb chops, ribs, and roast pork. We arrived late and a crew member ensured that we had a table. Breakfast and lunch were served in the casual restaurant. There were a variety of buffet items along with a small made to order menu. Breakfast items included fresh squeezed OJ, quality fruit items, and waffles/pancakes made to order. Lunch always included a hot buffet, salad, and grill items made to order. The only thing we didn’t care for was the pizza. Service in all of the dining areas was very good. Non-alcoholic beverages are included….including soda in the mini-bar. This is very convenient. Ports Because Wind Surf is smaller than most ships, she can call on unique places. We only saw one big ship the entire week (in St. Kitts). We started in Barbuda, which only offered one tour (to a bird sanctuary) otherwise there was nothing but a stretch of beach with no facilities. We also stopped at Pigeon Island (St. Lucia), St. Kitts, Nevis, Isle Des Saintes, Dominica, and St. Barts. The beach party was on Pigeon Island. It’s a nice spot and the barbeque on the beach was very good. It was, however, crowded when everyone got to the beach. Even for a small group, a bigger beach is needed. We took the ship’s excursions (which we rarely do) in several places. The groups were much smaller and the tours were well done. There was generally a crew member with us. We particularly liked the cooking demonstration in St. Kitts. There were only five of us, which was a shame because the grounds of the great house were very pretty and the demonstration/food was excellent. We had great weather all week. We have never had a smoother disembarkation than from Wind Surf. There were no lines, crowds, people sitting all over, or endless announcements. You simply retrieved passports from the staff and walked off the ship. We hired a guide to give us a tour of St. Maarten before our afternoon flight. This worked out well. The airport is crowded but not too bad for the Caribbean. The security line was long but moved fairly well. There was a variety of duty free shops but not much by way of food. Why We Will be Back • No crowds or lines….anywhere! • We did not see an single intoxicated person all week • No crowds of kids running all over the ship • No annoying cruise director and constant sales pitches • NO BINGO • No “stupid passenger trick” shows • No pool games or beer chugging • No constant pressure for up sells or gimmicks • No singing in the dining room • NO FORMAL NIGHTS……virtually all passengers complied with “smart casual” • Excellent service • The most friendly crew we have every experienced • Excellent food (quality ingredients make a difference) • A very relaxing cruise This was our first trip on Wind Star….it won’t be our last! This is what cruising used to be. It is more expensive but you get value for the money spent. I will have a very hard time returning to a mass market line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
This was the Classic Caribbean, St. Maarten, Barbuda, Pigeon Island, St. Kitts-Nevis, Isle de Saintes, St. Barts It took a couple of years to convince her to go on a sailing ship. I started with the Windjammer and worked my way up. It ... Read More
This was the Classic Caribbean, St. Maarten, Barbuda, Pigeon Island, St. Kitts-Nevis, Isle de Saintes, St. Barts It took a couple of years to convince her to go on a sailing ship. I started with the Windjammer and worked my way up. It was over dinner and a bottle of wine and some reviews and pictures of the Wind Surf that we would give it a try. This was our 15th cruise, the others have been on all the major lines, with Celebrity being our favorite. I like small and she likes big ships. We were able to get a direct flight from O'Hare to St. Maarten, which took the stress out of getting connecting flights or going a day early. We arrive at the dock and they proceeded to check us in very quickly as it looked like we were the last to board. The stateroom was a normal size for a cruise ship, not that you should spend much time in the room anyway. Let's get the only problem we had out of the way. We were in a stateroom mid ship. As we settled in for the night and the yacht had been underway for a few hours. Somewhere below us, in which I assume were the engineering spaces, all night long it sounded like a bowling ball in a metal tube rolling back and forth. Suffice to say I did not get any rest. In the morning I went to reception and asked them to check on what we heard. Of course had to wait till we were underway about lunch time to hear the noise reoccur. They sent an Engineering Officer down to check on the noise. She said she would check on it so we went up on deck to relax and have lunch. When we returned there was A NOTE saying that the noise was normal, but they would move us up one deck to another cabin. We took them up on the offer. Problem solved. Everything for the rest of the cruise was 1st rate, everything from dining, room attendants, etc. was excellent. The excursions we took were 2 snorkeling trips and a kayak trip. The vendors they lined up were great in all aspects of the tours. They paid attention to us when we were in the water, safety was always at the fore front of the trips. The day on the beach at Pigeon Island( actually a peninsula ) at St. Lucia was very well done. Everything was available to us, beach cabanas, chairs, towels, lunch was provided which was very good. From the crowd that was on the beach it looked like most of the passengers took advantage of the day. Being on a ship we did not expect much on the entertainment side. They had two bands, one in the main lounge and one in the bar aft. They split the time so if you went to dinner you could always see one before or after. They were fine, nothing great, be sufficient. The best night was the CREW entertainment night and they packed the lounge with the passengers, they were quite good and entertaining. Dining was above normal. Breakfast and lunch was served on deck either al fresco or you could sit inside. The menus usually consisted of 5/6 thing you could order or go to the buffet. More than enough choices. The fruit and cheeses were always plentiful. You could get omelets to order or roast turkey or beef at the carving station. The main dining room was fine, as were the two specialty restaurants, Stella Bistro and Candles (reservations required). Food and service was excellent. Service was not overwhelming just attentive enough. We wanted to order a bottle of merlot, but the wine steward suggested another brand, it was either a couple of dollars more or less I don't remember. It was an excellent choice, and later during the cruise we stopped at one of the bars and asked the bartender for recommendation and it was the same brand. We also had some port and took the recommendation of the server, which was also fine. We were able to find here at home and the reviews rated it highly. Disembarkation went smoothly as we took a tour before returning to the airport, which helped because we had 6 hours to kill before our flight. The tour was excellent given by an Expat from New York by way of Canada. She was very knowledgeable about St. Maarten. We would plan another cruise on Windstar either Read Less
Wind Surf Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 0.0
Family N/A 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment N/A 0.0
Service 3.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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