239 Windstar Wind Surf Cruise Reviews

We had sailed on the Windsurf in the Caribbean. We decided to choose a really different itinerary.......Dublin to Lisbon. And different it was. Originally 1st stop was Waterford, Ireland but the Irish Seas were in turmoil so the ship ... Read More
We had sailed on the Windsurf in the Caribbean. We decided to choose a really different itinerary.......Dublin to Lisbon. And different it was. Originally 1st stop was Waterford, Ireland but the Irish Seas were in turmoil so the ship couldn't visit. So we stayed in Dublin overnight. No loss, as we had been to Ireland many times. The northern stops were a bit cool, southern stops hot and sunny. The Windsurf is a beautiful sailing vessel, just the right size. With approx. three hundred passengers and two hundred crew the service is outstanding. Friendly and personal, the crew goes above and beyond to make your journey a memorable one. Highlight of the trip was the deck BBQ in Vigo, Spain. Hard to call it a BBQ with the high end food offered.. Vigo is a gorgeous harbor and sailing out of there at sunset with the sails all lit up was something dreams are made of. The captain and officers were around constantly interacting with the guests and being able to go on the bridge anytime at sea was an interesting experience. Hats off to Windstar Cruises for offering a more intimate setting than the large ships. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
First off, all the people that work there try real hard. the Captain and his crew tried very hard to make the cruise comfortable despite tropical storm Alieen with 85 miles winds.However this is not a luxary cruise. Princess is must better ... Read More
First off, all the people that work there try real hard. the Captain and his crew tried very hard to make the cruise comfortable despite tropical storm Alieen with 85 miles winds.However this is not a luxary cruise. Princess is must better and it is not in the class of Oceanic. This is about getting room service 1/2 hour late. taking over 30 minutes to get a workable hairdryer, losing dining reservation for 18 at their special restaurant, despite confiming it the day before. Knowing what is jasmine tea vis green tea. Not getting a wheel chair, when requesting it. Little stuffs that relates to communication and the failure to delivery. The cabin was great and have lots of places for storages. The shower was huge with plenty of hot water. Cabin size was excellent. Love the one price cleaning and delivery within 24 hours. Love the idea of free soda and coffee. The $12 per day crew service charge was very reasonable and we got good service. Entertaiment was enjoyable. Port excursions by the cruise company was first class and having lunch at great places helps. Recommend it highly. Dining was so-so at best. Desserts was not good, not even ice creams. Worst roast beef i ever have. The specialize restaurant is much better, but you only get to it only once. The best was when they did a barbecue dinner with all the choices. Since the ship is smaller, it limited dining options. It can use a buffet.. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Windstar Cruises maintains that they are 180 Degrees from Ordinary. After sailing with them four times, I cannot refute that statement. In fact, they are extraordinary. Recently my husband and I set off from Dublin, bound for Lisbon, on ... Read More
Windstar Cruises maintains that they are 180 Degrees from Ordinary. After sailing with them four times, I cannot refute that statement. In fact, they are extraordinary. Recently my husband and I set off from Dublin, bound for Lisbon, on their flagship vessel the Wind Surf. Cruising with Windstar is more akin to sailing on a large luxury yacht. As soon as the 1492: Conquest of Paradise Theme song begins to play, while the seven massive sails unfurl during sail away, you will know why. With room for only 310 passengers, the ship never feels crowded. Throughout your voyage, you can expect 5-star service with a personal touch from the crew. They are attentive and friendly and by the second day on board expect them to address you by name. Although Windstar Cruises have options for all-day dining, you won’t find any mega cruise ship style buffets on board. Rather, 24/7 dining comes only in the form of room service. We took advantage of this by having fresh coffee and croissants delivered to our room daily. It is the best kind of alarm clock I can think of using while on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Dublin to Lisbon cruise started with ship not being in port where it was supposed to be, high winds, first night staying in port, first port of call cancelled, grey skies. Sounds bad? No it wasn´t bad at all. Ship incoming had to ... Read More
Dublin to Lisbon cruise started with ship not being in port where it was supposed to be, high winds, first night staying in port, first port of call cancelled, grey skies. Sounds bad? No it wasn´t bad at all. Ship incoming had to divert to Dublin City ( from originally Dún Laoghaire, small village south of Dublin) which we did not know about. Check in and Transfer to ship and it´s new location was painless and seamless though in Dan Laoghaire with bus transfer to ship. Arrival at ship was met by an all smiling and super friendly, mostly Indonesian crew, which set the tone for the duration of the cruise. The Crew were just outstanding and turned the whole voyage into a lovely experience, much better than even anticipated. This was my first Windstar cruise, surely not my last. Ship is in very good condition, I found the staterooms lovely and cosy in great modern condition, absolutely big enough (normally never say No to a Suite when price is right), super comfortable beds with super comfy pillows. Deck 2 selection midship turned out to be the best selection we could have made. High enough to overlook the water and as stable as possible. The size of the cabin turned out to be a big plus in high seas, which we had indeed. First port of call then was Isles of Scilly. Never thought we would be able to stop and tneder, but we did, as winds came down a bit. We had our scheduled half day in a lovely corner of South of England. Then we crossed over to Brest. Quite a ride as the winds had picked up again which also resulted in higher waves. Not a good night for everyone on board, even for quite a few Crew members. Still they were smiling and joking and assisting and serving drinks and Food. Restaurant was never really empty, so a lot of people coped quite well with the ship dancing on the waves. Weather in Brest unfortunately did not cooperate at all. It rained all day, just untill exactly when we left the port in the evening for our 2 night/1 full day crossing of the Bay of Biscayne. You guessed it, the waves got worse. It was quite a ride and quite a few passeners had a very difficult time. Sill many had no problem and enjoyed the ride, like we did. Wether only improved once we reached Spain in El Ferrol, followed by Vigo, both very nice ports with a beautiful back countryside. Next and final stop short stop in Porto was all sunny and just piccture perfect. The whole voyage was perfect, despite th weather. Ports great, excursion good, food good, ship just perfect. I really had no complaints at all. Passenger were mostly Americans, I guess 95 %, lovely as we all know them, as well as occasionally noisy, but always fun to be around. Crew as mentioned is truly exceptional !Looking forward to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We enjoyed our first cruises with Windstar many years ago. Not much has changed in the past 10 years, I'm happy to say. Still all the advantages Windstar has to offer - access to smaller ports, good to excellent service, and a ... Read More
We enjoyed our first cruises with Windstar many years ago. Not much has changed in the past 10 years, I'm happy to say. Still all the advantages Windstar has to offer - access to smaller ports, good to excellent service, and a low-key atmosphere. And a really hard-working crew, who always aimed to give great service. The standard cabins are small but efficiently laid out. The dining rooms are pleasant and strike the right balance between elegant and relaxed. We had good weather nearly every day, so we could spend as much time on deck as we wished; a plus in a small ship like this. The crew was admirable - really hard-working yet always positive and professional. We did wonder if the bars and main dining room were short-staffed when we found ourselves waiting for service on several occasions. But it that's true, we have even more respect for the hard-working crew. The food was often very good. The chef shopped locally when possible and we were treated to delicious arrays of Scandinavian delicacies when we departed from the major cities. The chef's specials in the dining room were memorable and the barbecue was really, really good. But the quality of the food at dinner was inconsistent; and some dishes were merely okay. The few lunches we ate on board were very good. Tea snacks were mediocre (doughy scones, sandwiches made with Kraft singles). The food in the dining rooms tended to be rich, and we would have preferred more vegetables. The food in the alternative restaurants was fine, not as fresh as in the main dining room but hitting the right notes for meat lovers. The wine list had several decent choices available by the glass at acceptable prices for the quality. The itinerary was terrific and a great introduction to Scandinavia. Overnights in Stockholm and Copenhagen allowed more time for sightseeing in those cities. We also stopped at several small towns that were picturesque, historic, and great for aimless walking. The private event was very nice - a canal cruise and after-hours museum visit in Copenhagen. We didn't take any of the ship's excursions. Enrichment activities (aside from the private event) consisted of useful port talks before arrival and some unmemorable lectures about Vikings and the first Windstar ship on sea days. The inconsistency of the food somewhat diminished an otherwise very nice cruise experience. But we enjoy smaller ships and the easy access to ports they provide. We'll keep Windstar in mind in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We have cruised Windstar several times before. We love it! We rate it higher than Regent Seven Seas. The cabins are small, but everything else is great. Crew is very friendly and gets to know you and call you by name quickly. Food is ... Read More
We have cruised Windstar several times before. We love it! We rate it higher than Regent Seven Seas. The cabins are small, but everything else is great. Crew is very friendly and gets to know you and call you by name quickly. Food is fabulous, and like many cruises very plentiful! We liked Candles restaurant the best, great steaks and fresh fish every night. Deck BBQ was wonderful. Ports were interesting and excursions good, except Oslo was too short a time at ski jump and guide was hung up on value of homes. Little evening entertainment which is fine with us. Band is too loud to talk comfortably so we don't stay. Used hot tub several times and weather was good enough to lounge on deck. Our cabin staff was new, but she learned quickly and was friendly and smart. We got special chocolates at turndown service. We have already booked our next Windstar cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was the 10 day Baltic Delight Cruise from Stockholm to Copenhagen In August 2017. The first port of call was in St. Petersburg where we spent two rainy days absorbing all the beauty of the Czar's magnificent palaces, the ... Read More
This was the 10 day Baltic Delight Cruise from Stockholm to Copenhagen In August 2017. The first port of call was in St. Petersburg where we spent two rainy days absorbing all the beauty of the Czar's magnificent palaces, the city's spiraled cathedrals and the fabulous Hermitage Museum. Windstar provided a special treat one night to the ballet. We were schedule to visit Helsinki, Finland but the gods of the seas had different ideas so we arrived early in Tallinn, Estonia. We had a very knowledgeable and funny tour guide who provided the history of the Estonian people before turning us lose in the medieval old town for shopping, lunch, etc. I highly recommend the pastries/coffee and the Olde Hansa Rest. Our next port of call was Klaipeda, Lithuania and a must see "Hill of the Witches". Our next port was Gdynia, Poland for a short ride to Gdansk old town and then to the Oliwa Cathedral for an unscheduled 7000 plus pipe organ concert. The next stop was Bornholm, Denmark for a tour of the island, its wheat fields and historic sights. All good things must come to an end in Stockholm where we said good bye to a wonderful crew that made our trip so enjoyable with a deck barbecue, great service and a crew talent show. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My brother chose this cruise and invited us to join him. While it wasn't an itinerary we had ever considered, we soon became excited about seeing such a different part of the world. From start to finish, we loved our time on the Wind ... Read More
My brother chose this cruise and invited us to join him. While it wasn't an itinerary we had ever considered, we soon became excited about seeing such a different part of the world. From start to finish, we loved our time on the Wind Surf. Both embarkation and disembarkation were quick and nearly effortless. The personable and attentive staff made us feel special, and the size of the ship (312 passengers) made it a much more intimate cruising experience than we'd previously experienced. The food was excellent and varied, so we looked forward to every meal. My husband is a vegetarian, and the kitchen staff were very attentive to be sure he was happy with his meals (they even gave him a preview of the next night's menu in case he wanted to request that they make him a special entree, which turned out not to be needed). We did not partake in evening entertainment (as we generally had to get up early for tours), but attended a couple of interesting lectures about upcoming ports of call or cultures. We chose some of the excursions offered by the ship, and booked others on our own. We were very pleased with the ports we visited (St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Tallinn, Klaipeda, and Gdansk), and felt we learned a lot. (The sea was too rough to tender in Bornholm, so we had an unexpected sea day, but it was the loveliest weather and we were under full sail for over three hours.) We spent four nights in Stockholm prior to boarding the ship (at the Grand Central Hotel by Scandic), and another three nights in Copenhagen at the end (at the Hotel Admiral), and very much hope to return to both cities. We very much look forward to traveling with Windstar again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Cruised with Windstar several times in the past. Did the 2017 Baltic cruise on the WindSurf. Began the cruise in Stockholm and ended it in Copenhagen. The WindSurf is in good shape. The staterooms are adequate and the common areas are ... Read More
Cruised with Windstar several times in the past. Did the 2017 Baltic cruise on the WindSurf. Began the cruise in Stockholm and ended it in Copenhagen. The WindSurf is in good shape. The staterooms are adequate and the common areas are fine. This cruise went as planned with the exception of the cancellation of the Bornholm day. I found the WindSurf staff to be business like and well versed in the company line and Windstar "speak." Don't remember the captain's name. He said the right things, promoted Windstar and showcased his staff. Compared to other Windstar cruises, I felt the staff on this cruise was unenthused and did nothing out of the ordinary as service goes. Of course, there were a few that did, but by and large, they did what they were supposed to do and nothing more. After 10 days, the food became monotonous. Food quality is adequate, but certainly not to be confused with fine cuisine. Towards the end of the cruise, several "bugs" made their way throughout the passenger ranks, as many people had colds or GI issues. Hopefully this did not continue on the next cruise. Shore excursions were so-so, with some being well done and others not so. The stop in Lithuania was not good and the concentration camp trip in Poland was awefull. Some of these excursion should be re-evaluated. I would suggest doing your homework and looking into booking your own shore excursions. For example, I would split an 8 hour private car and guide in Russia. You can see all of the sights this way and tailor your own agenda. I would like to try this itinerary on Silver Seas or another luxury line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Being welcomed back to the Wind Surf by our Captain Gerry Hogan and his spectacular crew made us feel as if we were being welcomed home. This particular cruise from Dublin to Edinburgh was a dream for us and almost unattainable after a ... Read More
Being welcomed back to the Wind Surf by our Captain Gerry Hogan and his spectacular crew made us feel as if we were being welcomed home. This particular cruise from Dublin to Edinburgh was a dream for us and almost unattainable after a sudden serious health issue earlier in the year. Seeing "the Surf" tied up at the dock brought tears to our eyes. Being greeted by staff who remembered us from other sailings not only made us feel instantly at home, it is also a testament to a company that must be great to work for as the crew members have choices in employers and they keep coming back. There is so much to say about this cruise starting with the ports which were all interesting with each one very different in landscape and culture. Going to Isle of Man and learning the history of this country and its part in WWII was enlightening. Kirkwall and all of the Orkney Islands, going to Scapa Flow feel like a step back into history, both modern and ancient. Portree, Isle of Skye, is one of the most beautiful places on earth; Tobermory charming and Portrush all of these rolled into one. Disembarking in Edinburgh was easy and it's understandable why people fall in love with this charming city and continue to return. The Wind Surf is in wonderful shape with excellent services, continuous smiles and a true effort to make every guest feel special. The reception staff and dining room staff are eager to do whatever it takes to satisfy each request. We eat anything an everything but met lots of people with specific food needs and all were exceedingly happy with the abundance of choices. The cabin stewards are the best in the business, keeping the cabins immaculate and will appear at a moments notice to take care of any personal need. We are always amazed that our names are remembered from day one. This particular itinerary is one that should not be missed. There were lots of fellow passengers who were interested in these countries as part of their ancestry. And if one isn't into ancestry and/or the history of Ireland and Scotland, there are always the breweries and distilleries! Great trip! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Great experience last year on Windstar Pride, wanted to try the sailing ship. Took two back to back cruises, starting in Lisbon, joining another in Dublin, ending in Edinburgh. Just fabulous cabins, bathrooms, great dining, good music in ... Read More
Great experience last year on Windstar Pride, wanted to try the sailing ship. Took two back to back cruises, starting in Lisbon, joining another in Dublin, ending in Edinburgh. Just fabulous cabins, bathrooms, great dining, good music in lounge, interesting historical lectures by a very informed historian. Wonderful service and extremely friendly and kind crew. Captain always actively engaged with passengers. Ability of all to remember passenger names was astounding and never experienced on any other line. Mixed age groupings, kids with grandparents and so forth, and younger crowd than Vantage or Viking get made it nice too. Ship is gorgeous under sail. We had foggy conditions and missed one port of call but no one seemed to mind and felt securely cared for by the senior staff and crew. Great land excursions, though somewhat expensive. Wonderful cruise director, who was very caring with anyone who was unsteady or needed extra time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I have always loved Venice and my dream was to leave Venice by a sailing ship. We chose the May 17 th date because we wanted to sail out in the early evening when the light of Venice is what you see in the magical paintings. . We were so ... Read More
I have always loved Venice and my dream was to leave Venice by a sailing ship. We chose the May 17 th date because we wanted to sail out in the early evening when the light of Venice is what you see in the magical paintings. . We were so fortunate because we had the perfect evening, clear, warm with a red sunset. Needless to say it could not have been more perfect. The reflections in the water especially when we saw the La Salute Church, across from St. Marks was, it remarkable. The Wind Surf docked at the Sam Bascilio terminal and could not be easier to get to, take the # 2 vaparotto from almost any stop, from the stop at San Bascillio go over a tiny bridge and you are at the terminal. Easy and does not break the bank by using a wAter taxi. As described above not only was the the sail away beautiful the entire cruise was full of sensual delights. Our first stop being Rovinj a beautiful seaside village with incredible Italian influence, lovely harbor, friendly people. Split was stop #2 with the palace and on the outside a beautiful market. I love markets because I do believe they are the heart and soul of a culture. We choose not to go to the unusual beach because it was 70 and sunny but not warm enough to swim. Dubrovnik was our least favorite stop because it was loaded with touists, imagine when it is quieter it must be lovely. The Destination Event was there and it was lovely. We were bussed to a hilltop outside the city, offered a lovely selection of wine and appetizers and then went to an ancient outside arena to see a song and dance cultural show which was very entertaining. The view from the hilltop was beautiful with spectuacular views of the Adriatic with the Windsurf floating below. Great evening well planned and managed by Windstar. Kotor was our favorite stop the sail in and out was spectacular with the hills and mountains. Lovely, historic town. We went to the market with the chef which was really fun, the venders were very generous. The chef bought many items for the ship including the best honey we have ever eaten and fantastic cheeses and olives.Again, our sail out we had the beautiful red sunset. Day at sea calm and warm what could be better. Sicily is where the port was changed due to security and the G7. We had a private guide and went to the historic market in Catania. Great authebtic day. That night was a highlight of the cruise for us. We chose Candles that night and to our delight we again had a red sunset that sat over the Aeolian Islands that was beyond georgeous as well as a thrilling sail near Stromboli watching the smoke come out of the volcano. That evening was something we will never forget. Since we only had 5 hours in Almafi at the last stop we chose the ship's excursion, a boat trip to Positano, beautiful ride along the coast and we spent a lovely time in Positano. Very well organized excursion. The sail away beautiful following the coast. The food on this trip exemplary, healthy, varied, interesting, delicious and beautifully presented. The crew and service always the best. The ship looked great, she is really beautiful especially from those hill towns along the Dalmation Coast, looking down on her. We were very fortunate to have had nearly perfect weather and calm seas for relaxing and touring. Since were were in Italy 10 days before the cruise I really appreciated the laundry service so I could be comfortable with just using a small carry on. I hate checking and lugging. Dream come true again with Windstar. They made it easy, beautiful and exciting for us. Perhaps I should say " red sunset at night a sailor's delight" . That was this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Up until this cruise, I would have said that the best cruise I ever took was in French Polynesia on the Paul Gauguin, back when that ship was part of the Regents Seven Seas line. This cruise, however (from Venice to Rome, with stops in ... Read More
Up until this cruise, I would have said that the best cruise I ever took was in French Polynesia on the Paul Gauguin, back when that ship was part of the Regents Seven Seas line. This cruise, however (from Venice to Rome, with stops in Croatia, Montenegro, Sicily and the Amalfi coast), may well have topped that one. This cruise was not inexpensive, but you definitely get what you pay for. EMBARKATION was smooth and painless. Since we were not using Windstar’s transfer offer, we did have a little bit of difficulty getting information about where and how to board. You do so at the San Basilio port, easily reached by the vaporetto, or water bus (riding this from the Rialto stop, as we did, is itself a pleasant and scenic experience). Once on board we had to spend about 45 minutes filling out forms, but then we were free to explore; an excellent lunch (carved prime rib) was already being served. THE SHIP is relatively small (a bit more than 300 passengers) and very nicely laid out. Cabins do not have balconies, but all have portholes, are spacious (by cruise ship standards) and are beautifully arranged for maximum flexibility. Every cabin has a TV with DVD player; DVDs are available for free checkout in the ship’s library. The TV has a variety of satellite news channels, both for liberals (MSNBC) and conservatives (Fox News); several movies also play repeatedly throughout the day. We never actually saw our cabin steward, but he was very accommodating when we left him notes. On our first day, he replaced, at our request, all the beer and other alcoholic beverages in our refrigerator and replaced them with complimentary cans of coke and diet coke. Our cabin was always kept spotlessly clean and of course there were the inevitable towel animals waiting us for when we came back from dinner. The ship has sails (a huge plus for my wife, who loves sailing) and although they are mostly for show, they are occasionally used. When they are unfurled, stirring music plays. Another huge plus: There is a marina at the rear of the ship from which you can check out kayaks and even a small Hobie sailboat (all for free). The marina is open (weather permitting) whenever you are in a port that requires tendering to shore, but my wife absolutely loved sailing on the Adriatic. There is also a huge float that makes for fun swimming. This is a high-end cruise and therefore attracts an older crowd; I’d say the vast majority of passengers were at least 50 and there were plenty of people over 70, though we did see a few honeymooners and other folks in their 30s and 40s. There are no youth or childcare facilities; the ship makes very clear that young children and teenagers are not preferred passengers. This was fine with us. DINING is superb. The principal breakfast and lunch venue is the Veranda, where you can eat either indoors or outdoors. The arrangement is “buffet plus”: a good buffet (in the indoors part), with a smallish menu from which you can order extra items if necessary. (One thing I appreciated at every breakfast was freshly squeezed orange juice, which was excellent.) Dinner is served primarily in the main dining room, the AmphorA, though one evening during the cruise there is an on-deck barbeque, including not only things like paella, ribs and steak but also lobster (and of course a ton of salads, appetizers, breads and desserts). All non-alcoholic beverages are always free at every venue (including the bars); a charge is made for alcoholic beverages. Food at dinner was usually first-rate, with a choice of five or six entrees. My favorites were the prime rib and beef Wellington. Dinner is open seating (just come when you feel like it; there may be a line), but on the second night we sat at a table with a great view and excellent waiters, so my wife and I made a point of requesting that table (#7) every night from then on, and always got it. In addition to AmphorA, there are a couple of specialty restaurants, for which a reservation is required (but there is no extra charge). We ate at only one, Candles. During the check-in, we were asked if we wanted to make reservations there that night, and after looking at the AmphorA menu and seeing nothing that we had to have, we said yes. This was a great decision, since Candles is outdoor seating and the views as we sailed away from Venice were wonderful. There is also complimentary room service, but as we never took advantage of this option, I can’t comment on its quality. THE PORTS ranged from satisfactory to memorable. Our three top ports were Dubrovnik, Kotor (in Montenegro) and Amalfi, all of which had great scenery. Gettting to Kotor requires sailing down a beautiful passage ringed by mountains; unfortunately we were a little late departing so we didn’t get the spectacular mountain views a second time, as the sun had already set. The captain did a good job of pointing out points of interest as we sailed, and one evening (I think it was after departing Sicily) he mentioned we would be passing Stromboli, which I had never heard of, but found out was an active volcano. We were lucky enough at one point to see lava not just glowing from the top of the volcano but actually shooting out in a spectacular eruption; sadly, neither my wife nor I got a photo of this. We were a little annoyed that the ship’s photographer did not have the foresight to set up her camera for the possibility of something like this happening; we would have been more than willing to pay for a photo of this event. If we were to do it all over again, we would book, in Messina, Sicily, the shore excursion to Mt. Etna. It’s expensive and time-consuming but Messina didn’t offer a lot of stuff to do; we spent about three hours walking around and then found a gelato place where we could get free wifi as well as gelato. (For some reason, gelato was not served on board, but regular ice cream was. I think it should be a law that a ship in or even near Italy must serve gelato.) ENTERTAINMENT on board is pretty minimal. That suited us fine; we are early-to-bed, early-to-rise types and wouldn’t have been able to partake of it in any event. Don’t count, though, on the typical comedian/impressionist/audience participation games that you find on the larger ships. DISEMBARKATION was mildly problematic, but that’s not the ship’s fault. Getting from the port where we docked to Rome takes some doing; we decided to kill two birds with one stone and booked a shore excursion to Rome, which left us off a short taxi-ride away from the Spanish steps, where our hotel (booked by us independently of the cruise) was. There was also a miscommunication between us and the shore excursion lady about what stops were made; both my wife and I were sure that at least one additional stop was promised, but the tour leader said no. As it is we stopped only at St. Paul’s Basilica Outside the Walls, and getting there on the tour bus took forever (traffic jams here are murder); there was no bathroom on the tour bus and I was in considerable distress when we finally arrived. I don’t know of any other reasonable and inexpensive way to get from the port to Rome, though. SUMMARY One or two minor glitches to the contrary, this was a great cruise. Both my wife and I will look forward to traveling with Windstar Cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Let me start off by saying this was our 5th Windstar Cruise and was one of " the best". I did a lot of due diligence before our trip on Viator, TripAdvisor, NY Times Travel etc.regarding our cities we were visiting. You should ... Read More
Let me start off by saying this was our 5th Windstar Cruise and was one of " the best". I did a lot of due diligence before our trip on Viator, TripAdvisor, NY Times Travel etc.regarding our cities we were visiting. You should probably do this but the Yacht provides a write up on each stop ( places of interest, history etc.) which was fabulous information. You can pick these up as soon as you board near excursion desk. OK let's get started. I hope the information I provide you will make your trip easier and you take advantage of all my tips. We flew into FCO ( ROME) and I had contracted thru Viator a car ( 69 EUROS plus tip) to take us to Port of Civitavecchia. It was a pleasant hour ride and our driver gave us a history lesson on all the little towns we passed . We arrived before 1 pm check in so your options are to wait in lobby, walk around Port or take a free bus 10 minute bus ride to city. Once you can go onboard you fill out a few forms, have your picture taken, and give credit card for incidentals. My recommendation is to make your "special night" dinner reservations at Stella and Candles immediately after checking in. We love Stella and were able to go back 2 nights. Our "favorite restaurant" . Gede is the maitre' de and excellent in running the restaurant. For Candles ,I recommend at the end of the trip when your in a Port late and you sit outside for beautiful views and romantic dinner. The main restaurant is Amphora. It was very very good. Our maitre'ed was Hayruttin and a really nice guy. Our outstanding waiter was Andi ( hardest working guy on Yacht). Always smiling and so friendly. He was also our waiter for breakfast and lunch along with Aqil ( great smile and very hard worker). Eric was our Wine Steward. Extremely knowledgeable and a great guy. We've had Eric and Andi on 3 of our cruises and they are AWESOME. Look and ask for them. They really are the best at what they do. I have to tell you that ALL THE STAFF ( 192 people) are just terrific. So friendly and always looking to help out. It speaks volumes to Windstar for having such a great staff. There is a very full menu for all 3 meals but if you desire something else they will bend over backwards to accommodate you. One night there is the ' most incredible" BBQ on deck at night. You name they have it. Lobster, shrimp, fish, roast beef etc. Bring your camera . You won't regret it. Our cabin #320 : If you like 2 bathrooms, 2 TV'S, 2 large closets, plenty of great amenities with a sitting room then I highly recommend the Windsurf. Our room was awesome. Perfect location. Middle of yacht and completely accessible to main bridge and everywhere else. Our previous cruise we had Cabin #331 which was really good also. The bed, sheets and pillows are all first class. The rooms are cleaned in the morning and at night. On this Classic Italy trip being on the even side gave us great views of the coastline and Ports the whole trip. The Information desk is manned by 4 outstanding workers. I remember Mary and Kareem and apologize can't remember other 2 but all were extremely helpful answering any questions, wake-up or if there was a problem they were extremely attentive to passengers needs. In the morning there are 2-3 pages of current news everyday from Times Digest, USA Today and British News along with NY Times crossword puzzle, Suduko and Jumble. These are a lot of fun to do if you have time. Near the information desk is the Yachtsman Club where you can get coffee ( also specialty coffees), fruit, desserts , sandwiches and outstanding peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. Don't expect to lose any weight . After the 5th day it was getting embarrassing. I needed to wear all my shirts out I was eating so much. Again the food was really good . So if you have time there is a full "state of the art" workout facility. I walked around the ship 11 times ( 2.2 miles) and when your sailing on the Adriatic Sea it's like a bath tub. There a plenty of lounge chairs on 2 decks for just reading and relaxing and taking in the views. There is also the Compass Bar where you can lounge or get served awesome drinks by Eric. There are 2 hot tubs ( did not use) and small pool. When ship is docked in a Port you can use any of the water sports activities at back of Yacht which is run by BJ. He is a really cool guy, very athletic and runs a really good operation in water activities. These are not available if weather is inclement. Entertainment- There is entertainment starting at 9:15 pm in the main lounge. Wonderful singer and back up band( the guys are pretty good singers also ). they have Beatles Night and 50/60/70"s Night. There is a duo singing in the Compass Bar each night. One of the highlights of the trip is Crew entertainment night. You have no idea how talented some of the crew are. Wonderful singers but my favorite group was Men's Synchronized Swim group led by BJ. I couldn't stop laughing at the incredible performance these 8 guys did. There is also a Casino on board . Ports and Excursions- I did a lot of research thru Viator and TripAdvisor re: excursions. I will be honest with you. Don't waste your time. Every evening, Gonsalvo would give us a brief scenario of our next Port. He was extremely thorough and he and his assistant Joha were very helpful. First, the excursions the Yacht offers are fabulous. Prices vary but you should be able to find a price point for your needs. Second, the guides the Yacht provided at each Port were outstanding. Third, but most important the Yacht will provide you with the BEST DRIVERS anywhere. If you've been to Italy ( especially Sicily- the road to Mt. Etna is unbelievable) and all their drivers were the consummate professional and just outstanding. When you see them make impossible turns hairpin turns with these big buses you'll thank me. Plus if you should incur any trip problems it's mush easier dealing with Windstar than these other small travel companies. One word of advice: foreign buses do not have bathrooms . We took 5 excursions: (1) Boat to Positano ( view are magnificent and bring 2-3 credit cards you'll need it- great shopping)- (2) trip to Mt. Etna- the cruise line provides you with a free activity and after Mt. Etna we went to the Gambino Winery where we had a wonderful meal, sampled 4 good wines and serenaded with nice music. Also a wine cellar tour. All your morning excursions will end up at Gambino Winery so you don't have to worry about missing anything. (3) Historic Kotor on foot- wonderful excursion and town (4) Dubrovnik City Sights and Cable Car- awesome (5) Krka National Park Highlights- it's not Niagara Falls but pleasant trip. The last day was Rovinj and we did our own tour and it worked out well. This was a perfect city to just walk and walk. We stayed in Venice for 2 extra nights and there's nothing I can tell you about Venice that you don't know . I contracted thru Viator for pick up from Port in Venice to our Hotel ( Baglioni Hotel Luna- place is like a palace- highly recommend- it's magnificent ) and it ran 80 Euros. From hotel to airport it ran 120 Euros. I think I pretty much covered everything you'll need for this trip. Please reach out to me if you have any questions. Enjoy your next cruise . Ciao !!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We have been on the Windstar Line's smaller wind yachts and wanted to experience the larger Wind Surf. With about 190 crew and 350 passengers the facilities and service were above and beyond what we expected. The slightly larger ... Read More
We have been on the Windstar Line's smaller wind yachts and wanted to experience the larger Wind Surf. With about 190 crew and 350 passengers the facilities and service were above and beyond what we expected. The slightly larger format allowed a little more space and enabled the provision of three distinctly different dining experiences. The small size of the ship allowed it to anchor close to all the ports visited. The tender service was adequate with short trips due to the proximity to the docks. The cabins are typical Windstar pattern designed by the French in 1986 and seemed to have been recently refurbished. They have plenty of storage and a small desk. The unique bathrooms had all new plumbing fittings with a thermostat that actually worked on the shower. Entertainment was limited but adequate with two groups, one in the lounge and one on the back deck. The crew show was very good! Special functions such as a lunch at a winery in Taormina and the deck BBQ went well. Especially the BBQ which offered such a large variety of food from Lobster through Paella to Skirt Steak that it was impossible to try everything. Held as the sun set in the valley like space of Kotor it was a very special evening. As the port cities on the itinerary were interesting enough we declined the excursions. However we got good reports from those who took them. The meals in all restaurants were superb. Head Chef Eddie took about 10 of us to the markets in Kotor where he purchased some wonderful cured meats, olives and fruit which he served at the BBQ. He also arranged a tasting of meats and cheeses together with a sample of the local red wine Vranac. (not so good before lunch!) Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this trip as it went to ports that we had never been to before. Yes the Windsurf is old but the inside is really nice in every detail. The cabin is small compared to other cruises we have taken but there is adequate storage space ... Read More
We chose this trip as it went to ports that we had never been to before. Yes the Windsurf is old but the inside is really nice in every detail. The cabin is small compared to other cruises we have taken but there is adequate storage space for everything. The crew is truly wonderful. They know you name from the first day and what you liked and didn't like. Just loved everything. The trip skipped Gozo but we were still able to do the planned excursion. It also missed another port but we were able to make the best of it. There was also a free excursion to the Valley of the Temples which was great and included a free lunch at a hotel near by. Also had a free open bar. Not too shabby. Only one suggestion and I probably know it is not possible. Windstar should cut out the portholes and replace with a large window. Probably the cost ios too great Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Wanted to see Sicily, great experience but though the ship could do with some updating, carpets need replacing. Bathrooms a very good design. Plenty of storage space in the cabin. Food very good. Restaurant management and staff with a few ... Read More
Wanted to see Sicily, great experience but though the ship could do with some updating, carpets need replacing. Bathrooms a very good design. Plenty of storage space in the cabin. Food very good. Restaurant management and staff with a few exceptions could do with additional training. The BBQ dinner was exceptional heaps of lobster tails and prawns. We booked early and no consideration was given when the fares were dramatically reduced, trying to contact the shipping company for any kind of advice was like pulling teeth for us and our travel agent. Not a very easy company to deal with. I would not sail again on this ship as I believe the standard and service is better on other ships although the food was first class. Most ships these days provide wine with meals they did not. They wanted $54 US per day per person in a wine package, cheaper to buy wine by the glass US$10 approximately. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We choose this cruise because : 1. We sailed on this ship in 1996 , originally she was called Club med 1 , we always wanted to cruise again on this sister ship of the Club med 2 on which we are 35 cruises repeaters . Both ships were ... Read More
We choose this cruise because : 1. We sailed on this ship in 1996 , originally she was called Club med 1 , we always wanted to cruise again on this sister ship of the Club med 2 on which we are 35 cruises repeaters . Both ships were built by the same company. 2. we like ship with a lot of space on the deck where it is possible to have all meals on the deck if the weather permit 3. as a wild life photographer , I like to be able to take pictures from the bow of the boat we actually met sea mammals and sea birds different from the sea gulls 4. we new the comfortable size of the cabin on deck 1 and the différent decks 5. we didn know how the cooking was ? We were pleasantly surprised by the refinement of the meals presentation. 6. Each stop was interesting and the access to each city historic center was well managed for an easy acces by shuttles at each stop. We really enjoy this cruise , the two negative points are the cost of the wine and the wifi. A personal wish of my wife would be to have french translation of the daily information sheet 7. we were also attracted by very promotional last minute prices on this cruise Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this yacht because of the small size and the ports looked interesting to us. What we hadn't expected was a completely terrible shore excursion experience at our first port, Tangier. No quality assurance was evident so this ... Read More
We chose this yacht because of the small size and the ports looked interesting to us. What we hadn't expected was a completely terrible shore excursion experience at our first port, Tangier. No quality assurance was evident so this was not a good start and we were quite worried that this would be the standard throughout the cruise. Fortunately visits to subsequent ports were very good. We also didn't understand why it was so difficult to obtain a reservation at "Candles" and "Stella" restaurants, particularly as they often looked to be only half full. Accommodation, food and quality of service was to a very high standard. We also enjoyed the open bridge policy and meeting some of the crew. Other "pluses" were the sailing experience and lovely public spaces; embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient and the high quality of our cabin. Overall an enjoyable experience which was matched with perfect weather Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Chose this cruise because DH wanted to cruise on the ship with sails, and there were islands we had not yet experienced in the Caribbean-Barbuda, Isles de Saintes, and St Barths. Our cabin was 222 which was convenient to the stairs, ... Read More
Chose this cruise because DH wanted to cruise on the ship with sails, and there were islands we had not yet experienced in the Caribbean-Barbuda, Isles de Saintes, and St Barths. Our cabin was 222 which was convenient to the stairs, embarking / disembarking. For a small ship, our cabin was very comfortable and our steward was excellent - always had fresh ice and fresh linens. We were greeted with fresh flowers, fruit, and chocolates in our cabin - which were replenished during the cruise. There is no extra charge for the specialty restaurants which we enjoyed. For breakfast in addition to a buffet of great choices and an egg/omelette station, you also had menu items to choose from: tacos, waffles, french toast, a variety every day. Lunch was the same with a buffet, cooking station with a daily offering (roast pork, leg of lamb, salmon, etc) and the freshest ice cream - always an ice cream and a sherbert plus other desserts. The island beach BBQ was my least favorite although the food was plentiful and there was a band playing - nice atmosphere, just crowded feeling. We had lobster two nights; once in the Main Dining Room and once the night the staff grilled on deck. Best part of the cruise: there were no walkers or wheelchairs pushing their way around on deck and shore excursion numbers were small. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
TOns of smokers on this ship , they should be allowed places to smoke , but limited. impossible to get into the private dining rooms. Zero children on this trip - excellent - the cruise line does a very good job of explaining this is ... Read More
TOns of smokers on this ship , they should be allowed places to smoke , but limited. impossible to get into the private dining rooms. Zero children on this trip - excellent - the cruise line does a very good job of explaining this is probably a cruise where children will be disappointed and lack things to do. Entertainment was pretty much non-existent except for the crew - they were actually better than the paid musicians. Love that the small ship ca get into smaller ports and ZERO days at sea (yay!) new island every day. ship is getting a little long in the tooth. lots of return cruisers on this line , many obviously love it. Food was very uneven - some things great others mediocre or cold , surprising for so few passengers. Wine list is awful , i could put together a better list at half the price. C'mon this is not that hard , why the lack of effort ? The hard liquor list was very good. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was my third Windstar cruise - second one on the Windsurf. I chose the BVI Yachtman's Caribbean as I remembered those islands from long ago sailing. Unfortunately, we couldn't snorkel or catamaran very often (excursions were ... Read More
This was my third Windstar cruise - second one on the Windsurf. I chose the BVI Yachtman's Caribbean as I remembered those islands from long ago sailing. Unfortunately, we couldn't snorkel or catamaran very often (excursions were cancelled) due to rough seas, so not a lot to do. There were then limited excursions left to take advantage of. I did swim with the Stingrays - that was cool. The best day was St Bart's - catamaran cruise. Josh Van Dyke - the beach trip , Whites Bay, was good and they had shopping huts. Foxys was a dud - morning visit, nothing open. We couldn't do the evening visit , due to rough seas. Sopers hole, Tortola it rained. St. John's Antiqua was the dolphin swim. I did the final day Americas cup sailboat racing and that was FUN! The ship is getting tired - wallpaper is peeling in the rooms and the lounge has an old vibe to it. I didn't stay up late to hear the lounge singers. I found the staff distant and the captain not often visible. It was a different crowd this time - maybe sell off prices attracts different travellers? As a single traveller , I pay a lot and I expected a more upscale group of guests. The other sailings had that. I do think there are last minute sell - offs that change the vibe of the ship. The crew seemed tired - not as friendly as other cruises, less attentive. Again, maybe due to the weather being not great - rocking ship at night, not a lot of sleep, tenders difficult in high waves etc. My room 230 - was noisey with a motor type noise and a drain outside my room, gurgling all night. I asked to change rooms but they had only a lower grade stateroom, that I thought might be rougher. Overall, I was disappointed with this cruise. I will go with this line again - perhaps In Europe. I won't sail on the Windsurf again. I think I prefer a smaller vessel. The Star Legend ship was lovely last year - ABC islands. No sails but we didn't get to use the sails in the Windsurf except for one time. Even the beautiful sail away was a disappointment as the sails didn't open. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We had a very enjoyable cruise with Windstar in February out of St Martin. As previous travellers with Star Clippers we were interested to see the differences between the two. In terms of cabin we had superior cabin on Windstar - ... Read More
We had a very enjoyable cruise with Windstar in February out of St Martin. As previous travellers with Star Clippers we were interested to see the differences between the two. In terms of cabin we had superior cabin on Windstar - which is actually two standard cabins knocked together, bringing the benefit of two bathrooms, and two separate wardrobe/dressing area which felt a real luxury! This cabin was very well appointed, with lots of useful storage, and was very quiet. Star clippers Deluxe cabin is very compact, but comes with the added plus of a bath, and balcony. In terms of dining, I would say the food was superior on the Windsurf, however the service in the restaurant was variable. If you ordered side dishes, they often did not arrive to coincide with the main dish - and often we had to chase them. One final major down point was that the main restaurant was very cold. We were in the caribbean and had packed accordingly. All the women were shivering under thick cardies (if they had thought to bring them!) or pashminas. Despite several complaints there was no improvement although they did try to sit us in a warmer section. This boat has recently been refurbished, it does not seem beyond the wit of man to achieve a more convivial temperature. The bar area was equally cold, which may explain why it was very quiet. Thankfully there was a smaller bar outside at the back, where we sought refuge most nights. There is an outside restaurant which was very good. On the Royal Clipper, the restaurant food is very good, as is the service which is consistently good and friendly. There is only restaurant which is indoor. The only bar is outside, lovely in warm weather. Overall the quality of the excursions etc is broadly comparable. In summary the star clippers are more suited to a more casual crowd, who like the sensation of sailing (vs cruising) and are prepared to forego any real evening entertainment. Having said that there was no real chance to dance on the Windstar, whereas on the clippers, the fact that you are all together ( not spread over 3 restaurants and two bars) makes for more of a party atmosphere so there is always some dancing. If you want a very smooth quiet cruise with good food, choose Windstar, but if you like the feel of the boat moving (and don't mind a bit of noise) go for the Clippers which really do sail as much as they can. The clientele on Windstar was 95% American, possibly due to the point of embarkation. Star clippers on the other hand, which usually goes from Barbados in the winter, is much more cosmopolitan with a good mix from Europe/AusNY/USA. Either of these cruise lines can provide you with an excellent holiday! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Wind Surf Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.5 3.6
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 3.5 4.1
Family N/A 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment N/A 3.6
Service 3.5 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.1

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