4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I have sailed on 7 different cruise lines on multiple cruises to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Russia, Alaska, and Europe. Wind Surf was launched for Club Med in 1989 (30 years old). Dry dock and total renovation and redesign cannot ... Read More
I have sailed on 7 different cruise lines on multiple cruises to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Russia, Alaska, and Europe. Wind Surf was launched for Club Med in 1989 (30 years old). Dry dock and total renovation and redesign cannot come soon enough! This is an old boat and feeling rundown and shabby (not chic). And the sails may wow folks in port, but there is a lot of hoopla over the "unfurling" of sails and playing the same Vangelis music every evening. First time was interesting, but come on folks, what's the big deal. The passenger demographic of this cruise line is well-healed seniors in their 70's who have more money than travel experience and are easily impressed. Overall, the value simply wasn't here. Some may feel they are part of an exclusive guest list of 300 passengers, but the ship is small, staterooms are very small, food service is adequate but average and entertainment is virtually nonexistent. Staff is under pressure to do their jobs and wanted little to do with passenger's requests or comfort. Overall the promise of Windstar's promotional website and literature does not match the promise of a personal and unique experience, an engaging staff, or amazing luxury cruise yachting experience. Boarding the ship in Rome (Civitavecchia), I was astounded that only one of the two elevator was functional at embarkation and the crew had that elevator tied up for hours delivering luggage to state rooms. No staff elevators on board this ship. I spoke with the Reception Desk and they promised each day that the second elevator would be fixed anytime. It took 3 days and constant reminding the desk that there are a lot of very senior passengers who have mobility issues and need the elevator. After repair and elevator started functioning again, they shut down the elevators several times during the cruise and placed an "out of order" sign on the doors. This old ship should never have left port without both elevators functioning. Our cabin was the smallest stateroom ever, with minimal closet and storage space. Bed linens were nice, but the beds were broken down and should have been replaced a year ago. But the bathroom was downright difficult and out dated. I'm 5'11", 185 lbs and it was close for me. Cannot imagine how some on board managed to shower or use the toilets as the space was so tight. Luxury Yacht? Not in my book. Each evening as passengers returned to the ship after a day of excursions, we would congregate on the pool deck expecting to watch the exit from ports during sunsets, relax, swim, chat and enjoy some bar beverages. At 6:00 pm, staff beginning removing all umbrellas, closing pool and jacuzzis, collecting all towels and bar glasses and shutting down the Pool Bar and Deck. Fresh towel bins were empty. Many passengers voiced their objections at this untimely closing of the large pool deck of the ship but staff had their orders and ignored the passengers requests. While reclining in swim wear, we were told to go upstairs and order our drinks at that bar. Then they collected and stacked the chaises to clear the deck. Stupid Ship and Bar Policy. After while, passengers gave up requesting to leave the Pool Bar and Deck open while we sail out of ports. The cruise itinerary was a major draw for us; visiting ports of east and west coasts of Italy, and the Dalmatian coast. Visiting the cruise ports was great fun, but certainly there were the other "mega ships" in port, also. So the idea that the ship is so "small" (700 ft isn't really small), we could sail into ports restricted to larger ships was false. And unfortunately for some, the rear ship "marina" was only lowered twice on the cruise. Many were disappointed that equipment was not in good condition and the kayaks were not available as they posed competition to the local businesses. Shore excursions? Unless you have money to burn, take time to research the cruise ports and figure out what interest you, rather than pay outrageous fees for Windstar excursions (yes, were talking several thousands extra for excursions). It seemed every time you turned around, there were extra charges, overpriced drinks, extra gratuity for staff (I'm glad to tip for extraordinary service), staff saying "no", not possible, cannot do that, sir. Certainly not the promise of the Windstar Cruises. One bright spot in the ships staff was the Gym Facilitor, Nathan from South Africa. Very knowledgeable in fitness and exercise and very aware of the age of his passengers. Well done! I will definitely sail more cruises in the future, but definitely not on Windstar ships. As a matter of fact, we've already booked a Viking River Cruise for 2019. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
My wife and i sailed on the Wind Surf for 10 days from Civitavecchia to Civitavecchia. The itinerary was good, our cabin was good, the service was good and the food quality was good. We did three cruise shore tours which were very good ... Read More
My wife and i sailed on the Wind Surf for 10 days from Civitavecchia to Civitavecchia. The itinerary was good, our cabin was good, the service was good and the food quality was good. We did three cruise shore tours which were very good and within the price range that cruise companies charge. The whole cruise was to ports in Italy (apart from one day in French Corsica) which, as everyone appreciates, is one of the foundation of many western cultures and languages, has created countless artistic masterpieces, produced wonderful classical and modern music and musicians, and is renowned for its wine and food - we saw and felt evidence of that every time we set foot on shore. BUT once we boarded the ship we found only one officer was Italian; the general crew were primarily Indonesian and Phiiippino/a (which would be great if we were doing a cruse in Asia); the Captain, when addressing the passengers en masse, made no effort to pronounce Italian place names in other than an english accent; there was only one Italian red table wine and one Italian white (neither of which were better than average); there was close to zero Italian food dishes; no Italian live or background music (not even Dean Martin singing Amore); and zero cultural lectures which have been a feature of the other four small ship cruises that we have done over the last decade. For the record, there was an Italian cheese tasting one evening in which blocks of unnamed cheese were placed on cheese boards while the sommelier (who was European but not Italian) encouraged you buy the ship's red wine (one from Italy and the others from California, South Africa and South America). So would we sail Wind Surf and or Windstar Cruises again? Our answer is "NO". We would seek a better experience. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
WindStar WindSurf, booked 5/18, Dalmatian Coast and Italy. Terrific itinerary and lousy cruise. Staff was earnest at best and let's call it unresponsive at worst. Lack of planning at embarcations usually led to chaos. By all means, ... Read More
WindStar WindSurf, booked 5/18, Dalmatian Coast and Italy. Terrific itinerary and lousy cruise. Staff was earnest at best and let's call it unresponsive at worst. Lack of planning at embarcations usually led to chaos. By all means, do not purchase any of the excursions; as on so many cruises, these are considerably overpriced. On our trip, they were, well, rip-offs. Incompetent or disinterested tour guides (vendors) consistnetly failed to provide even the minimum offered in excursion descriptions. Worst of all on our cruise, and most surprisingly, service in main diningroom was more than once the worst we have experienced in almost 20 years of cruising up and down the price range: vanishing waiters, failures to deliver, missing follow-ups. Finally, we just left. Try another luxury line instead - even if, you guessed it, it costs a bit more. Based on our experience on this one trip, I'm disappointed to say: avoid WindStar. Service was so bad that I am motivated to post this review - my first anywhere, any place, about anything. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My friend and I chose this cruise because we really liked the itinerary and had read the reviews prior to booking. It was expensive, but had been on many cruises with other cruise lines and were happy to pay the cost for a luxury cruise. ... Read More
My friend and I chose this cruise because we really liked the itinerary and had read the reviews prior to booking. It was expensive, but had been on many cruises with other cruise lines and were happy to pay the cost for a luxury cruise. Ship - It didn't start well as, unlike other cruise lines the embarkation process was awful. At the terminal we had to initially wait off the ship on the quay in the sun for half an hour, then when we got onto the ship we had to wait another half hour in line to be checked in, this was about 2pm. We weren't allowed to register two credit cards (which was to prove to be a major problem later) as we wanted to each pay our own bills. The ship is 'tired' and really needs a refit, stained carpets, worn out chairs in the lounge etc. It just doesn't compare with other companies. Cabin - Our travel agent had booked twin beds and checked the day before that this would happen and was assured that this would be no problem. Nevertheless we didn't have twin beds, we went to reception and they assured us it would be dealt with, eventually at 6.30pm the beds were sorted. The cabin was fine, plenty of storage and clean, but basic. Dining - there are three restaurants, but you can only book to eat out in the French restaurant and the Candles restaurant (that is the only restaurant where you can eat on the deck). The food in all three was good, but not exceptional. The waiting staff were attentive and helpful. Entertainment and activities - The resident band and singer were talented and played a good variety of music, however if you wanted to dance they didn't start playing until 9.30pm which seemed late. We attended the fitness exercise classes at 7am and 5pm with Nathan, who was a lively instructor. We also went to a line-dancing class, that was rather a disaster because of no music and a temporary instructor. Service - though the staff were friendly, it felt that the whole trip was about 'selling' extras, unlike other cruises that we have been on everything was an extra. Drinks were very expensive unless you bought a drinks package! For example - if you wanted to drink wine it was $32 a day per person and with all drinks it was over $50 per day. There is no way that we would we drink that amount each day! The Spa treatments were also very costly and throughout treatments rather than being calm it was all about selling extras, cosmetics etc. Also we weren't aware that a service charge of 15% gets put on automatically everything - your fare, drinks, spa etc. We considered this was completely wrong, other cruise lines suggest what you should 'tip', gives you envelopes for cabin staff and all house keeping and then you can put it in a 'postbox' so that all staff can be included in any disbursements. In the small print when you get your bill they say that staff rely on the service charge money as part of their salary - this is wrong. I have a service business and there is no way would I put a compulsory service charge on my client's invoices. You can if you 'pressure' sign a form to have the service charges removed, which we did. Not having two credit cards registered proved enormously problematic and it took 5 long discussions with reception to try and obtain 2 separate correct bills despite us giving them all the information clearly laid out. It was extremely frustrating. Ports and shore excursions - All the ports were great and it was fun even when we had to use the tender. We did do some of the excursions, again expensive and certainly you could do the same things by going ashore and saving a lot of money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Hi Adventurers! We recently completed a beautiful trip on board the Windstar Wind Surf across Italy, Montenegro, and Croatia and we fell in love with the boat, its crew and the beautiful port of calls. During our journey, we had the ... Read More
Hi Adventurers! We recently completed a beautiful trip on board the Windstar Wind Surf across Italy, Montenegro, and Croatia and we fell in love with the boat, its crew and the beautiful port of calls. During our journey, we had the opportunity to visit Rome, the famous Amalfi coast, Sicily, Kotor, Montenegro and three port cities in Croatia. Our trip ended in Venice where we continued our vacation. It's evident that Windsurf spends significant resources in training their associates. The Wind Surf crew was able to provide a consistently high level of customer service in all aspects of the trip; onboarding, the restaurants and the cafeteria, boutique, and the cabins, etc. We truly enjoyed the company of the entire staff; however, we fell in love with Nadine, Aditthas, one of the restaurant supervisors and the big smile and sincere disposition of our cabin butler. These three individuals exceeded our expectations consistently during our 8-day trip. The Wind Surf is a fine old dame; a five-mast schooner that brings up memories of a romantic past and pirate encounters. As you look at the Wind Surf from the distance, its beautiful display of white sails become an attractive landmark in any of the ports of call that you visit. This is not the type of cruise experience, where you are expected to be entertained by a troupe of dancers, singers and all sorts of juggling acts. Instead, passengers get intimate dining experiences, the company of other passengers, romantic cocktail hours and impressive views from any spot on the boat. The available options of shore excursions are very interesting and affordable. We thought that crew and their excursions vendors did a great job in adapting the excursions to the American market. The restaurant options are limited; however, they compensate this by providing an exceptional array of breakfast, lunch and dining options for the American palate. Our first experience with Windstar was unforgettable and we know we'll be back next year to enjoy another exciting destination. Perhaps Japan, China or the Brittish Isles. We just want to thank the Wind Surf's crew for their attention to detail and exceptional customer focus. and to Windstar for sticking to their promise of delivering "180-degree-from-the-ordinary" experiences. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
I had waited a long time to experience this special yacht and I put off writing this review because I do not enjoy writing negative comments ...but here we go..... Like many people now, we have been on dozens of cruises and around 9 or so ... Read More
I had waited a long time to experience this special yacht and I put off writing this review because I do not enjoy writing negative comments ...but here we go..... Like many people now, we have been on dozens of cruises and around 9 or so different cruise lines so I was looking forward so much to the quality and service on this large yacht. The cabin we had was very spacious and well designed. Our cabin steward was very polite and professional. I was looking forward so much to 5 or maybe 4 star dining like they have in most cruise ships "speciality restaurants ".The FOOD.....Example.…They had burgers on the written daily lunch menu....The lunch choice was limited, so I ordered a burger without chips.....The waitress brought a burger WITH CHIPS ….why did you bring me chips I asked politely......IT COMES THAT WAY !!! the waitress replied staring at me with a rather puzzled look. She offered no options. Is this professionally trained waitressing ? There were several more instances which I will leave out because it will annoy me to recall them. This was the general level of service and food quality we experienced on this luxury cruise. The officers were very friendly as were the majority of the crew with plenty of passenger space and good quality live music. In my experience and on this particular cruise we were on, If you enjoy "Thomson" (Marella) cruise levels of professionalism, service and food choice and quality, then the Windsurf will not disappoint you To end on a very positive note.....The guests, who were mainly American speaking and almost all of them thought that almost everything was " AWESOME " including the "CHICKEN STOO " in the pot ,in the self-service buffet..... .Hopefully we were one of only a few couples who were disappointed with this particular cruise. This is only OUR opinion Please ,someone tell me that we got this review all wrong because I really like this very special sailing ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We booked this trip at very much the last minute, deciding to go someplace warm for my wife's spring break about a week before departing. Clearly, we were fortunate to find a vacancy on board this ship. This was our first time on a ... Read More
We booked this trip at very much the last minute, deciding to go someplace warm for my wife's spring break about a week before departing. Clearly, we were fortunate to find a vacancy on board this ship. This was our first time on a Windstar cruise. Suffice to say, it will not be our last. We love the opportunities and ambiance of a small ship. This itinerary was magical and in a part of the Caribbean where we had not traveled. If you can't find relaxation in places like Martinique, St. Lucia, Grenada and the Grenadines, then you have bigger problems. The entire ship was well-outfitted without being overdone. Excellent taste. Our cabin was very comfortable. Clearly, one of the few downsides of such small ships is that there are no balconies, just good-sized portholes. But as someone who occasionally wrestles with claustrophobia, the cabin was plenty spacious and open, and I had no problem. The service was impeccable in every department. A special shout-out to Aimee. one of the staff at the main desk, who was exceedingly friendly and able to quickly solve any issue, no matter how small. Food was superb in all restaurants. We wish we could have dined at Candles (the outdoor steakhouse) more than once, but understand that is the norm. Each stop was in a superb location. We didn't partake of a lot of the ship-based excursions. Except for a nutmeg and chocolate-making tour that my wife enjoyed in Grenada. In St. Lucia, we independently booked a full-day tour with John Nestor of Paradise Excursions. Highly recommended. The beach day in Mayreau was well-organized and so perfect. Our suggestions for improvement are limited and rather minor. Three, in particular. 1) It would be nice to have some offerings of local Caribbean food on the menu. Perhaps one such local item on each dinner menu. 2) Really minor, but there was often a shortage of towels available late in the day by the pool and hot tubs. 3) The Windstar website could use some increased functionality and more user-friendliness. And a couple of calls in the days before the trip to the company offices in Seattle did not always yield the best information. We heard comments from other passengers as well that the service on board the ship was very far superior to some of the home office issues. But I don't want to focus on criticisms or suggestions as they are truly rather minor. All in all, this was a superlative experience which we were so lucky to find at the last minute. We will be back on board a Windstar ship, and hopefully before too long. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
To celebrate my 60th birthday with my family, we booked the Wind Surf cruise and set sail on March 3rd. I had done a lot of research for the trip, and tried to find information of anyone who found that they were sea sick, as I do suffer ... Read More
To celebrate my 60th birthday with my family, we booked the Wind Surf cruise and set sail on March 3rd. I had done a lot of research for the trip, and tried to find information of anyone who found that they were sea sick, as I do suffer from motion sickness from time to time. I wore the patch behind my ear, and was prepared with the bands on my wrists, but by the second day I was pretty sick. The rest of my family had a blast - the food was amazing, the crew so accommodating and friendly, but I was suffering quite badly. So much so that the ship doctor had to give me a needle to settle my stomach. In the end, I was unable to partake in any of the planned excursions, and was mostly in the cabin in bed. I would highly recommend this cruise, however if you suffer at all from any kind of motion sickness or vertigo give it a pass. I tried to find information before booking the trip but everything I read was positive for smooth sailing. Suffice to say, if I had read about any sort of sway or rocking of the boat, I would not have booked this holiday! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We had been looking forward to something really special on this "Bucket List" cruise, and for the most part, we were not disappointed. Quality of food, service, ship, cabin and excursions was generally excellent. We ... Read More
We had been looking forward to something really special on this "Bucket List" cruise, and for the most part, we were not disappointed. Quality of food, service, ship, cabin and excursions was generally excellent. We especially loved the beach party and the deck BBQ (I love lobster!). Was it the definitive, earth shattering, "OMG, I'm never cruising mainstream again" experience? Probably not. In fact, I doubt we would go to the extra trouble and expense of sailing with Windstar again. For example: We live on the West coast of the US - Oregon to be specific. It was a long day flying to Miami (where we stayed for two nights for fun), then another 6 hour flight to Barbados. The return trip was very hard on us - long flight to Miami, then overnight, then early flight from MIA, transfer in DFW, then a three hour drive home from PDX. As far as I can tell, all of Windstar cruises involve a similar amount of air travel. If the Windward Islands had been an amazing paradise, it might have been worth the trouble, but they were just...more lovely Caribbean Islands. Very much uphill and downhill, with long bus rides to get to the places of interest. Snorkeling trips were just OK (maybe even less than that), and although the gardens were fabulous, we could have experienced a similar amount of beauty without going nearly so far. The small ship size SHOULD have resulted in happy social contacts, and to some extent it did (tip of the hat to the many lovely people whose company we really enjoyed - I hope you know who you are). Less positive is that the people we didn't enjoy (and there were a surprisingly high number of those) were pretty hard to stay away from. The least enjoyable part of our cruise was actually our stateroom. We had a lovely double room-suite that was spacious, comfortable and well appointed. Trouble is, we couldn't spend any real time reading and relaxing because there was a loud blower that ran constantly. We asked maintenance, and they said it couldn't be turned off, and other passengers mentioned similar situations in their staterooms and in staterooms on other Windstar ships. There were two thermostats in the room, but adjusting them made no impact on the actual climate in the room. There seemed to be a daytime temperature of too cold, and a night time temperature of too hot. One afternoon, we actually had to go on deck when we began shivering after an hour of reading in our lovely, but very much refrigerated, cabin. And on deck we found...the pervasive howling buzz of whatever equipment resides in that big stack on deck. You can't get away from it. So much for peaceful relaxation. So I gave five stars, but maybe don't really mean it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We are frequent Windstar cruisers especially in the Caribbean although our connection with Windstar began in the Med about 9 years ago. We have also cruised on Sea Dream Seabourn, and Silversea so we have experience with quality small ... Read More
We are frequent Windstar cruisers especially in the Caribbean although our connection with Windstar began in the Med about 9 years ago. We have also cruised on Sea Dream Seabourn, and Silversea so we have experience with quality small ship cruise lines.. Noted improvements on this cruise were the quality and variety of the food, the level and friendliness of the service, and the big improvement in the quality of the entertainment both in the main lounge and the bar. The on deck barbeque was fantastic. The food was terrific and amongst the best that we have ever experienced on any cruise line. The staff and the band provided great entertainment during the meal with the cooks dancing and adding to the festiveness of the occasion. We cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed this cruise. Added to all of this the captain and crew did their best to make sure that we could tender safely into the various ports notwithstanding the sometimes choppy water. 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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