239 Windstar Wind Surf Cruise Reviews

We chose Wind Surf because we wanted a more personalized experience and no children. The embarkation process was not a great experience.Possibly because we arrived on the late side (4:00pm)? The person who registered us was less than ... Read More
We chose Wind Surf because we wanted a more personalized experience and no children. The embarkation process was not a great experience.Possibly because we arrived on the late side (4:00pm)? The person who registered us was less than enthusiastic and actually a bit snarky leaving us feeling unwelcome and without answering some questions regarding options for our disembarkation. I know! Right?! The service was inconsistent and the food was, in all honesty, a disappointment. Nothing was prepared properly and oftentimes we had to order a few different items to find ONE somewhat acceptable. We do not consider ourselves food snobs but come on! Not what you would call "fine dining". Generally, the staff was pleasant but I have had better service on much larger ships. We had hoped for a somewhat more upscale feel but that might be do to the limitations that a ship of this size (with 300 plus passengers) has to deal with. Also, the pool size ( a big bathtub) and area simply were not conducive to just relaxing and chilling out. Again, that's another disadvantage inherent with a smaller vessel. But a beautiful ship (although somewhat dated), nonetheless. I mean the wallpaper was peeling off the stateroom wall! Seriously?!! Anyway, that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
FYI: Windstar does cruises geared towards adults only. Embarkation was a breeze. We were on just after official check-in time began. It was quick and easy. Captain was there to great us as we boarded the sleek beautiful Wind Surf. ... Read More
FYI: Windstar does cruises geared towards adults only. Embarkation was a breeze. We were on just after official check-in time began. It was quick and easy. Captain was there to great us as we boarded the sleek beautiful Wind Surf. Staff is exceptional. They really can make or break a vacation and in this case they made it! Can't say enough about any of them. Bar staff, food staff, hotel staff, bridge crew, everyone was great. Hi to Maria, Casey, Eric, Jervie and all the other bar stall who had our names, room numbers, and drink orders figured out in the first day. They were a lot of fun on our trip and really made our journey even better. Hasan our cabin steward helped us with some minor issues in our stateroom, and made sure he kept us up to date on what was being done to improve our cabin. The cabins are of standard cruise ship size. No balcony, but decent enough room. Lots of little storage places everywhere. We keep luggage under the bed so they are out of the way. The food was gourmet dining every lunch and dinner. Breakfast was also good. Lunch and dinner you can do buffet or order off the menu to get served. Ala Carte restaurants were booked after check-in and did take about 3/4 of an hour to do. You got to book each one once. All the dinner food was exceptional. Entertainment was a bit slow for my taste, but with limited space and time, they do a good job with what they have. Sailaway music and raising of the sails was fun, and we watched it every time we left port. The crew talent show is a must see as is liar/liar. Line dancing with the crew was also fun, but geared more towards the crew than the passengers. The included excursion at St. Lucia was incredible. The crew work so hard to get everything set up for the guests. It was a great beach day and bbq. The shore excursions were pricey and limited on some islands. We did excursions through the ship on five out of six islands. All of them were great, but mostly could have been done on our own for less. Disembarkation was well organized and quite easy as well. Passport pickup, luggage retrieval, getting cabs to the airport, all done with ease. There also was no going through customs in St. Maarten so that was a nice surprise. We did our own transportation to the airport and it was way cheaper than through the ship. Not a big deal if you have a later flight. We had an issue with our final bill (it ended up being our mistake) but the staff bent over backwards to make sure we were happy with how it was resolved. This included access to the internet or a phone call to our travel agent if necessary. We did not take them up on this offer, but the gesture was greatly appreciated on our end. If you have an issue with motion sickness, you will need something as these ships are smaller and rock more than a large ship. I didn't let that bother me though...just took some dramamine and was good to go for the week. One suggestion to Windstar would be to include current weather forecast announcements before people go out for the day. They list it in the bulletin the night before, but they weren't always accurate. Overall, we had a great time and the staff really made the difference. We would not only recommend this cruise ship, but the cruise line itself. We plan to do another cruise with Windstar in the future. Incredible experience! Thanks Windstar and Wind Surf! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We were one of three couples in our sixties who often travel together. This trip was a 7 day cruise from St Maarten and back, stopping at 6 other islands- one each day. A good time was had by all. The accommodations were very comfortable. ... Read More
We were one of three couples in our sixties who often travel together. This trip was a 7 day cruise from St Maarten and back, stopping at 6 other islands- one each day. A good time was had by all. The accommodations were very comfortable. The staff awere amazingly accommodating and attentive. The food was wonderful. The shore excursions were all felt to be worthwhile and fun. Compared to previous cruises on much larger ships (Wind Surf carries about 300 passengers), we found this trip to be a more personal experience. There was no feeling of being part of a herd. The staff got to know us and vice versa. There was little sense of being crowded and one rarely encountered a queue. The food was much better than we'd encountered previously. The staff went to great efforts to accommodate our dietary preferences. The range of choices available at each meal was impressive. There was also more awareness of wave action. This was subtle and did not bother us much at all, but it was more noticeable than on the larger cruise ships we'd been on. It is notable that the average age of the passengers on this cruise was significantly higher than what we've noted on the larger cruise ships. This was a cruise of mostly 50, 60 and 70+ year olds. This was perfectly fine with us, but worth noting. All in all, our cruise was felt to be very enjoyable by all in our party. We will likely plan another Windstar cruise in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
My wife and I just completed the Windsurf Yachtsman Cruise and it was awesome. First, dress was casual and don't overpack . These are my recommendations and thoughts for anyone taking or thinking about this Cruise. All the stops were ... Read More
My wife and I just completed the Windsurf Yachtsman Cruise and it was awesome. First, dress was casual and don't overpack . These are my recommendations and thoughts for anyone taking or thinking about this Cruise. All the stops were terrific. Antigua, Tortola, Virgin Garda, British Virgin Isles , St. Bart's. Each offered an opportunity to explore on your own or to take excursions. More on that later. My first recommendation when you board is to make a Reservation at Stella's and Candles- for Candle's try to make it last night as you are docked in St. Bart's and view while eating outside is awesome . Next walk around the ship and get familiar with it. The main deck, Amphora restaurant ( excellent ) , the pool, fitness center, reception desk ( Marianne and her co- workers are amazing ). Extremely helpful in everything and always smiling and great disposition. You can pick up daily newspaper, NY Times crossword puzzle, sudoku . Fun stuff. There are plenty of excursions and everyone seemed to enjoy the one's they took. We took only one the 8:30 ( 4 hours) - Jost Van Dyke Catamarran Snorkel and Hiking trip. 5 stars - the owner was our Captain and the whole experience was great ! For $79. Per person it was a real bargain - good snorting, great picture taking and overall perfect experience. Meals- breakfast was buffet or menu ( eggs Benedict , banana pancakes , French toast - all fabulous ---- Lunch - same buffet or off menu - hamburgers, hot dog and grilled chicken were awesome but you had many other choices. Dinner - too many choices to name - all excellent ! Wine list was excellent ! We had a Mossback Pinot Noir and Rutherford Hill Chardonnay all reasonably priced and saved for next meal if you like. Eric was excellent in the Compass Bar and as wine steward in Amphora- very knowledgeable and always had a great smile and it was great having him help us. The sports activities on the back of ship when tendered are great ! Try to take advantage of them if time avails. For exercise there is a fitness center but I walked around deck 11 times ( roughly 2.20 miles) so says Fitbit ! You can order food 24/7 . The beach barbecue was excellent. Fischer Cove had excellent facilities ( wi-fi yeah! ) and food , activities and plenty of chairs to relax. The ship barbecue was excellent. Tremendous preparation done so well. Bring camera to take pictures! You will not believe some of the carvings! Lobster, shrimp and filet were great ! Entertainment on board was fine . There was 2 sets of singers that will keep you occupied if you stay up late. Bed at 9:30 for me . Exhausting fun days ! I really enjoyed the Crew Talent show one night. One of the crew put on the best juggling act with liquor bottles you'll ever see. Also the crew during the barbecue did a fabulous YMCA version which I should post on YouTube. A classic ! The crew was absolutely awesome. So helpful and always smiling and greeting you by name if they recognized you. At 6:45 pm each night Steve ( head of guest services) gives an outstanding presentation of your next day port and excursions. He was excellent along with Jona. I have to give a special shout out to Cecep who took care of our room to perfection and his little towel animals each night. Really nice guy. So if your thinking of this Cruise or taking it enjoy - it really was special and Windstar did there best for us ! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our 2nd windsurf cruise out of st martin (2 yrs ago we did the class cruise). both were great; this one was the better. we enjoyed the choice of itinerary. always anchored at stops (except st martin) and tendered. seemed ... Read More
This was our 2nd windsurf cruise out of st martin (2 yrs ago we did the class cruise). both were great; this one was the better. we enjoyed the choice of itinerary. always anchored at stops (except st martin) and tendered. seemed like often we could actually see our next and last destinations in view. all except once did we have no problem boarding tenders (rough once, but made it). really like that was always not formal. cabin on 2nd deck fine. shower very good, big towels. bathrobe and slippers to use nice. steward fauzi very good; learned our habits so only met a few times. gala deck bbq on Wednesday and beach bbq on thurs both super (the latter, only less so because of the long line). cant say enough about how friendly all the staff were; always greeted with a smile, sometimes by name. especially bfast waiter faezal always energetic, and fun to kid with. food was always very good, and varied. bfast was a combo of buffet and ala carte; made to order omelets, etc. desserts of cookies and ice cream addictive for 7 days (have withdrawn ok since). didn't do laundry pkg, but individual; worked out to be enough compass rose duo 'mellow yellow' very good to listen to before and after dinner. wed night crew/staff and thurs night beatles talent very entertaining. definitely recommend... Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We choose the cruise because of the ports of call and our previous Wind Star experience (this was our eighth Wind Star cruise and third on the Wind Surf). The cruise is Yachtsman, Caribbean. We were scheduled for: Philipsburg, St. ... Read More
We choose the cruise because of the ports of call and our previous Wind Star experience (this was our eighth Wind Star cruise and third on the Wind Surf). The cruise is Yachtsman, Caribbean. We were scheduled for: Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Falmouth Harbour, Antigua Soper's Hole, Tortola, B.V.I. Jost van Dyke Great Harbour, B.V.I , Virgin Gorda, Prickly Pear Beach, B.V.I., Gustavia, St. Barthelemy Philipsburg, St. Maarten Because of weather we did not visit Virgin Gorda or St. Barts. We also learned that Wind Star no longer uses Prickly Pear Beach after the cruise started. Instead of Virgin Gorda we spent the day at Road Town, Tortola. A terrible alternative and instead of a special day at the beach, we had a one hour steel band and a rum drink. There had to be a better port of call. It seems the weather was a surprise to everyone at Wind Star. We were to arrive at ST. Bart's at 0800 and leave at 10:00 PM. We arrived at 0700 and the captain decided to leave for St. Maartan at 0800. Since St. Bart's was a highlight of the cruise we thought we should at least wait a few hours to see if we could use the tenders. Communication from the Captain and crew was limited so we never were told the whole story. Again, there should have been alternatives since the weather was forecast. Also, the Wind Surf looks tired and out dated. Worn carpet, inside bright work is dull. Internet and electronic entertainment has not changed in the 12 years we have used Wind Star and it was old then. We feel the ship was under staffed as the crew could not provide the personal service we were used to on Wind Star (70 guests in the bar and one waiter as an example). Slow service in the restaurants and the food is mediocre. Disappointing experience for us Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
When I received an email that Windstar was offering a sizable discount on certain cruises during the holidays, I investigated their sailings to Tahiti and the Caribbean. Since Tahiti gets a lot of rain in December and January, we opted for ... Read More
When I received an email that Windstar was offering a sizable discount on certain cruises during the holidays, I investigated their sailings to Tahiti and the Caribbean. Since Tahiti gets a lot of rain in December and January, we opted for a Caribbean cruise. The Wind Surf sailing worked well with our schedule. We boarded in St. Maarten and noticed four cruise ships in the cruise terminal - P & O, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and then the Wind Surf. It was the smallest of the ships, yet the only one with masts to set sail. What makes a Windstar ship special is that they visit some ports that the big ships don't, so when you are in port it is not packed with cruise passengers. The embarkation was easy. There were no lines. We walked right up and gave the staff our information. Golf carts were nearby to whisk us to the Wind Surf, however we elected to check out the shops in the terminal before boarding the ship. Once we did, again without a line to wait in, we showed the crew staff our documents and passports. Then we walked over to the waiter staff to make reservations to the more intimate dining at Stella Bistro and Candles. Candles is so cool, because it is steak and seafood al fresco dining. We received our room card to check out our staterooms 255 and 253. Both were identical except 253 had two twin beds and 255 was made into a king. What was different is that 255 was next to the water tight metal door. At arrival to every port and when we sailed away, three buzzing alarms sounded and the doors came down right next to our room. Early in the morning, it woke us up. Another bug-a-boo about 255 was a constant rolling sound and boom when we were at sea. I had to sleep with earplugs and a pillow over my head, yet still would wake up to this sound. I called the reception desk three times. Our room steward Etti did everything she could to help soften the noise. She put pillows near the porthole covers and talked to the room steward who worked above our room. An evening steward checked out the sound and said it was the wake hitting the hull as we sailed. He said it was the sound he heard on the first level. The pound sound could be the waves, but not the rolling sound before the boom. Other than not sleeping well at night, I loved the cruise. Here is what I enjoyed - 1. BBQ lunch in St. Lucia's Pigeon Island. It's quite a spread. Sail, paddle board, snorkel, waterski and hike to the top of the fortress. 2. The yoga class with Jonathan at St. Lucia at the park while listening to the waves crash was memorable. His 6 pm Pilates class was also a good work out. 3. Pink Beach in Barbuda. Others enjoyed Coco Beach. 4. Free motion sickness pills at the reception desk. My daughter needed a pill at least once a day. 5. On Sunday The Veranda offers Brunch from 9 to 1 p.m. There is such a variety. 6. The crew are extremely friendly from Indonesia and the Philippines. Andi, Nova, Uud and Russ in the dining areas were terrific. Etti our room steward was wonderful. There was a blind couple on the ship and the staff were so helpful and accommodating. 7. Two juccuzi tubs on the back of the boat next to the pool. The tubs are small, ideal for two or family of four. At sunset when the ship is ready to set sail is the best time to be out on deck. 8. Taking the River Tubing Adventure in Roseau, Dominica. A bus picks up passengers and takes guests on a 20 minute drive to the forest. Each guest receives a yellow inner tube. There are seven guides that help guide guests down class one and two rapids. The guides sing and tell jokes at various stops. It's a sumner camp feel and fun floating down among bamboo trees, papaya, coconut. At the end of the journey, guests receive a cup of rum punch, water or Soda. They also have a plate of fresh fruit from the area - coconut, grapefruit, papaya and sugarcane. 9. Dining at Stella Bistro for a French dinner. Reservations are required and can be made on the first day of the cruise. The lobster Thermidore, escargot and Creme brûlée are delicious. 10. Popcorn and a movie. Guests can select a DVD from the media library and go back to their room to order room service. There is 24 hour room service. Popcorn comes warm, slightly buttered and salted in two separate bowls. They make crudités and dip and quesadillas too. 11. Be sure to see the crew talent show. It's very entertaining to see your cabin steward sing a Maroon 5 song, your favorite bartender juggle and pour colorful drinks, and the cruise director and four other crew members perform a synchronized swimming skit. 12. Dinner at Candles is quite an elegant al fresco affair. The grilled steak and seafood restaurant. 13. Al fresco BBQ dinner on deck. All the guests sit outdoors on the wood deck under the masts. There is a roasted suckling pig, lobster tails, king crab legs, chicken, salads, and a large dessert table. Sitting under the stars, while listening to a live band, we visited the buffet a few times. After the dinner, the crew encourages the guests to line dance out on the deck. Visiting St. Bart's and anchoring near the millionaire and billionaire yachts. 14. Playing board games after dinner or seeing the musicians perform in the evening. 15. Walking to Shell Beach in St. Barts and snorkeling near million dollar yachts. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was my 3rd Windstar cruise. Excellent staff, food, ship etc. I have seen some negative reviews and just don't understand why. Our room was great and always super clean as the whole ship was. They had one restaurant with open ... Read More
This was my 3rd Windstar cruise. Excellent staff, food, ship etc. I have seen some negative reviews and just don't understand why. Our room was great and always super clean as the whole ship was. They had one restaurant with open seating and you had to make reservations at the other two. The other two were a little better, but wish they would change that policy somehow. I'm not a hospitality manager, so I'm sure there's a reason it's done that way. Some people complained that they were "balcony people" and wouldn't sail again on windstar because of no balconies. Well I don't know why they would have booked this ship in the first place. This is an older crowd and things wind down relatively early. The entertainment somewhat caters to the older crowd (we are in our mid and late 40's and found the entertainment great). This is NOT a cruise for kids or probably even teens. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our third Wind Star cruise on their sailing vessels. My husband were hoping to get much needed rest and relaxation. We went on a back to back. I was surprised on our first week that there were a lot of children. It was the week of ... Read More
This was our third Wind Star cruise on their sailing vessels. My husband were hoping to get much needed rest and relaxation. We went on a back to back. I was surprised on our first week that there were a lot of children. It was the week of Christmas but I had never seen so many unsupervised children on such a small ship. The parents could have done these kids a favor and had them on one of the larger lines with water slides, video games and a large pool. Because the kids had nothing to do and were unsupervised they ran all over and planted themselves in the two whirl pool tubs on the back of the ship and in the very small pool. We had an at sea day for the first leg of the trip and it was beyond horrible as relaxation was no where to be found. The first week of the ship they did not open the back of the ship much. We went off the back one day and it was very rough. They have a blue floating mat and a trampoline that had jumping children on it. The second week was much better. There was not any at sea days, there were less children but the sailing was sold out as was the week before and the ship was crowded. I really regretted my choice for the holidays. I should have went on Oceania as I have done in past years. The chef had a decorated ginger bread house which Oceania does as well. But on Oceania they have lots of different Christmas cookies around the decorations on plates that are kept full of fresh cookies. Not the case on Wind Surf. For both weeks of this back to back on Windsurf dining was consistently frustrating. We arrived on board at a few minutes before three. Embarkation was great and simple. We then asked for the welcome on board buffet and it was closed down. Dinner would be at 7:00 but they have the yacht club that serves cold sandwiches and coffee. What a disappointed. We hadn't eaten because we had been traveling all day and the sandwich choices were fair. I like egg salad but it was served in a pita (Yuk) - the sandwiches are pre-made so there was no choice of bread. I got a tuna salad sandwich that was all bread and very little tuna salad. I would have been better off getting a subway at the airport. Dinner time mediocre at best. I really like fresh fruit and vegetables. The vegetable choices in the main dinning room were frozen broccolli, frozen carrots and peas. They always had a dark green salad with tomatoes that were never ripe and should not have been served. There was always plenty of meats but I am not a big meat eater. I did try the beef wellington but the crust was mush and the meat inside was under cooked. I like medium to medium rare and it was rare. One night I asked for a pasta with marinara sauce which is not on the main dining room menu but is on the room service menu and I was told no I could not get that. I did see other people ordering pasta on different nights but that evening the chef came out and told me it was not possible because it would put them off of their time line. In the evening I like to have a snack but after dinner there is no food service open on board. The Yacht club which has sandwiches and cookies closes at 6:00 pm. So I called room service and asked for a couple of oranges to eat before bed. I was told oranges are only available on the morning room service menu and was not available at that time of the night. Frustration!!! I spent a lot of money on this cruise and was very disappointed by this. Since we were on for two weeks we did have two beach bbq experiences and two evening deck experiences. The food at both of those experiences was very good and I have no complaints. It was disconcerting that at the first week of the beach bbq there were a lot of kids and very few people took advantage of the hand sanitizer. Also I saw people returning to the buffet line with dirty plates. This was also seen at the lunch buffet on board. The one thing I liked about Oceania is that they serve you on the buffet line so you don't have people who don't have sanitary hands touching the buffet. Being we were outside and kids would run up and grab a piece of fruit out of the fruit salad as did some adults I had concerns. I did not get sick and neither did my husband but I was concerned. The second week of the beach bbq someone must of said something because they did have workers serving the food rather than people taking what they wanted and they wore plastic gloves. The first week I suspect there were many cabins with three or more people because at that beach experience it was very difficult to get a chair. Many people put a towel on their chair with a book and then disappeared. At the beach experience they did bring out water toys and the sports team was very busy. My husband and I used to sail a lot in our 30's and he wanted to take one of the hobie cats but the line for that was too long. The second week there were less people and he talked to a woman who was handling the check out. He asked her a few questions and she was somewhat rude but I imagine she was hot and it had been a long day. She briskly told him that they did not teach people to sail. I guess since he asked her about the hobbie cats she assumed he could not sail which was not true. He just walked away and figured it was not going to be a pleasant experience. On the back of the ship there were two men one I believe was named BangBam and they were exceptionally nice and watched over the swimmers. I used to scuba dive when I was younger and I automatically hand signal when I enter the water. To my surprise he hand signaled back. The two men who worked the sports deck were terrific but the girl they had there was not friendly or helpful. The deck BBQ was good. The first night they did not follow the deck BBQ with line dancing but they did the second week. Entertainment for both weeks was lacking. They have a large screen TV by the games and books. Many of the men wanted to see the Rose Bowl game but all that was on the large TV were Wind Star advertisements. A couple of guys were trying to look at a tablet that had the game on it. I dont' think it would have cost much for them to have a movie or a game during the cruise on the large screen. The singers were fine nothing that I cared to sit and listen to for an extended period of time. They do have games but what we found when we went to play them is most are missing pieces. Scrabble was missing 11 tiles. We brought our own games from home and people were circling around us wanting to know about the games and where to get them. I don't mind that there isn't a lot on the ship in the evening because I enjoy relaxing but the movie library is very outdated and the games are old and missing pieces. This is not luxury and I was disappointed that the cruise was touted as a luxury experience. As I mentioned I have traveled on Windstar before when it was owned by Holland America and the management is very different. On the plus side our cabin steward Fauzie was the best we have ever had even better than what we had on Seabourn and Oceania. He did his best. The bed mattress was not good. We were sore every day. When I told Fauzie he put together some makeshift padding. It was no where near as good as beds we have had on Holland America, Oceania, Seabourn or Celebrity. The mattress was like one we had on Carnival. The actual sheets were very soft and of a high quality. I also told Fauzie how upset I was about not being able to get oranges and each night when I came back to the cabin he had a dish of oranges. He was very caring and kept the cabin spotless. Our shoes were lined up and although the carpet was worn he did his best to make the place look great. Waiter service around the ship was variable. We had an excellent server name Udd and then we had some other servers who were also kind but did not understand English very well so if I asked for ice tea with extra lemmon and extra ice I would get an ice tea with no lemon and an extra cup of ice. What I thought was really unforgivable was the higher ranking management on the ship. All the workers seemed to try very hard to please and I thought the were over worked. At dinner one night in the dining room on waitress Ollie was alone in a section with very large tables. That poor woman was running and doing the best she could. There was no one busing her section to pour water. My husband needed some water and she was so busy she could not get to it. There were officers in white uniforms who worked in the dining room who would not pick up a pitcher of water and help serve. The were walking around literally doing nothing while this poor waitress was struggling without assistance. Beside us not getting our drinks and being very thirsty through dinner I asked her for a piece of apple pie for dessert which was available on room service but not on the menu. Ollie said no. Later I grabbed the manager and asked him for the pie and he did get it for me. I did tell him that it appeared they were understaffed and he did admit that indeed this was a very full cruise. The second week the dining room was not as full as it was the week of Christmas. Reservations for the specialty restaurants did not go too well. When we arrived we made our reservations the first week. That whole week we did not receive our invitation so I called. I was told that they did not have them. I made another and when we went up we were not on the list. This happened to several people I spoke to on the cruise. The food in the speciality restarant was better than in the main dinning room but still there was not much in the way of fresh vegetables. They did have brocollini in Candles which was good. The breakfast and the lunch buffets daily were very good. I loved the salad bar each day at lunch. But lunch hours were short and if you left the ship in the morning there was a chance you would miss lunch which was from 12:30 - 2:00 most days. We tended to sleep in so we missed breakfast which ended at 9:00. I really loved it the one day on New Years Day when they did brunch. They had a very good quiche and I was so happy to be able to have fresh fruit and vegetables. I would say if there is a really good price on windstar then it is worth the trip. But don't pay luxury prices or even above average prices or you might be disappointed. We will sail on any major cruise lines and are not disappointed if the price point is ok. We go on Carnival because we love the comedy club and I know not to eat in the dining room and to expect lower quality food and a harder bed. So as long as I am paying an economy price I am ok with it. This was disappointing to me because I expected a higher level of quality than what I got for the money and I feel that I over paid. Even with it being Christmas I don't feel that the dining hours, food quality, the mattress quality and the crowds were what I expected for what is advertised as a luxury experience. We paid about $5400 with taxes and port charges for two people for 15 days and I feel that the trip was worth about $4,000 for two including port charges and taxes - if that. I could have went on Holland America or Celebrity and had a balcony with money left over and it would have been a better experience. At least if there were kids there would have been places to go. We had cabin 211 which is in a good location so if you do decide to take a cruise on Windsurf I would recommend this cabin. Everything in the cabin worked. The carpet was very spotted and looked like it should be cleaned. We did get the laundry service and it was awesome. If you go on Wind Surf I highly recommend paying for the laundry service. You put your dirty clothes in a bag and the next day they are washed and pressed. All of our clothes came out perfect better than at home. We came back to the ship one day and just missed lunch. We asked if we could have room service on the deck so we could eat outside. We were told no that room service was to be eaten in your room. So we ordered to the room and took our food out to a table ourselves. There dining hours are so short that you may have to eat off the room service menu. Room service was pretty fast about 30 minutes. The rooms aren't very comfortable for dining because they do not have a balcony. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
the cruise was very nice. the ship needs a lot of upgrading though. the ports of call visited were good and bad st. john antigua is a dump not worth going to shore. barbuda should be taken off the list. there is nothing there to speak ... Read More
the cruise was very nice. the ship needs a lot of upgrading though. the ports of call visited were good and bad st. john antigua is a dump not worth going to shore. barbuda should be taken off the list. there is nothing there to speak of but a bird sanctuary. st.lucias beach party was great. st. kitts was great beautiful, the best place on the cruise to do your souvenir shopplng. st. barts was beautiful but unless you are rich dont plan on doing your shopplhg there. hats were 40 dollars. in st. maarten and st. kitts the were 5 bucks. just an example of how high prices were. food on the windsurf was the best thing about the ship. room was also nice enough. I just prefer the bigger cruise ships overall. the deck bbq party on top deck was the best event of the whole cruise by far. the setup was really nice,and the food was great.they cooked a whole pig ,crablegs ,ribs ,steak,and more. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We booked the Windsurf to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The food was amazing and the service extraordinary, better than anything we’ve experienced on our other cruises. There were some snags along the way with the ports, but Windstar ... Read More
We booked the Windsurf to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The food was amazing and the service extraordinary, better than anything we’ve experienced on our other cruises. There were some snags along the way with the ports, but Windstar went out of their way to try to please us because of these. Would definitely book a Windstar cruise again, but due to the lack of balconies on the Windsurf ship, would choose a yacht with balcony next time. Although there were always seats and privacy available on deck, we really missed being able to sit out on a private balcony in the wee hours of the morning, early afternoons after visiting ports and watching the stars in the late evening. We did notice a sewer and occasional smoke odor by our cabin (Deck 1, #155, front). Think it would have been better to have chosen a front cabin on a higher deck. We met wonderful people on this cruise and due to the small amount of people onboard (about 220 passengers; 196 employees), we ran across each other frequently. We decided to fly in from Tampa to Miami to do our Global Entry interview (more about that later) and then connect to St. Martin. Grabbed a taxi ($25 due to late arrival time). The driver asked if we’d mind if he stopped in a local grocery store enroute. He was in there for about 10 minutes with some “quirky” people hanging outside the store which made me a bit uneasy. All turned out well and the driver gave us a brief “tour” as we headed to the hotel. Arrived at the Royal Pasanggahran Guest House on Front Street in Phillipsburg around 10:40pm. We were dismayed at the outside of the hotel from the Front St. entrance, but were pleasantly surprised at the inside of the hotel, entrance from beach and our fabulous room in the new section that was more like a suite. There was a 4 poster bed with nice mosquito net over it, a separate room for toilet, huge tub, shower, bathroom, outside huge balcony facing beach and ships. Next time we’d ask for a room higher up for more expansive beach view. Nice, hard mattress; very low quality sheets, pillows and beach towels. Only saw one mosquito in the room, but lots of small ones outside at dawn and dusk. Had our Deet on so no bites thankfully. Great Bay beach was nice enough although not as amazing as other BVI beaches. Free beach chairs and umbrellas outside of our hotel. Saw 4 ships come into St. Martin port from balcony as well as our Windsurf ship entering port and docked. I was a little uneasy about having to sign a blank credit card sheet at check-in (the type they slide through machine). When one checks out they put the expenditure amounts in. Went to breakfast at hotel restaurant overlooking beach…Amazing food and good service. Visited the Blue Bitch Bar/Caribbean restaurant on beach for lunch. Good wings, portabella mushroom wrap. Slow service. Caribbean band outside the restaurant was wonderful, interacting with passersby, etc. Great deals on Front St. for drinks, buckets of beers, chairs, etc. Usually about $20 - $25 for 2 chairs with various drink deals included. Timeshare salespeople annoying, trying to get us to do an hour presentation for freebees, etc. Had dinner at The Greenhouse on the beach across from a marina, easily walkable from our hotel. Food was great and they offered 2 for 1 drinks during a time period. This offer included huge, delicious drinks, any type liquor, frozen drinks, etc. Watched someone climbing up trees, cutting coconuts down right on Front St. to sell at his stand the next day. Returned to our hotel with nice music playing outside, but we were tired so went right to sleep. Day 1 of cruise After another great breakfast at hotel, we headed to Sang’s grocery for wine (2 bottles permitted per cabin on ship) and suntan lotion (couldn’t put in our carry-ons due to liquids rule/amounts). Had to cross busy road to get there, but prices reasonable and decent selection. Tip requested by person who didn’t pack our items at register, but offered to carry our groceries outside. We told him, “thanks, but we’re walking…He says “I work for tips sort of angrily. Maybe that’s how they do things there? We gave him a buck and left. We did carry-ons only this cruise due to connecting flights, coming back to Charlotte through customs and having a great laundry package onboard ship. $109 total for week. Laundry put out before 9am was back on hangers by 4 the next day. Sometimes even the same day. Can specify hand wash, don’t put in dryer, etc. That being said, when on direct flights or connecting flights in US only, we prefer checking a bag for return souvenirs and not having to lug carry-ons around with us. Arrived at ship at 12:30PM. Boarding commenced at 1pm…not a minute before! Waited outside (hot in sun!). Went through security in tent and boarded. Complimentary cocktail, greetings by ship’s staff. Found our cabin and were pleasantly surprised at the size and storage space. We knew that we’d only have portholes due to no balconies on ship. Fun seeing waves splash over them occasionally. Really missed balcony though. Linens and pillows were very good quality and comfortable. Cabin had l’occutaine (sp?) toiletries – wonderful. Bose unit nice. Unpacked and headed to buffet. Lots of choices and wonderful sitting outside on deck. By the end of the first day most personnel know your first names and greet you by them. Nice touch. A special thanks to Sherwin, Maria, Tissi, our cabin stewardess, and the cook for breakfast and lunch on veranda. One could order from menu or enjoy buffet. The food on this ship was the best ever. Our cabin was kept immaculate by Tissi although we hardly saw her. One night we returned to find a huge 2 kissing swan towel display with a bow and arrow made out of gold foiled chocolate candies on our bed. (25th anniversary) Didn’t feel like we were nickeled and dimed on this cruise at all and felt that the employees and officers really wanted us to have a great time. Their smiles were genuine. Announcement made that due to mechanical problems the ship was not leaving port at 7pm as originally scheduled to arrive in St. Barts in the morning. We were disappointed that we’d miss the first night’s sailing to St. Barts as well as the second night of our cruise, overnighting in St. Barts. So we stayed at the St. Martin Dock for the first 2 nights of our cruise. Windstar did provide free ferry passes the next day from St. Martin to St. Barts. We originally signed up for these. However, in the morning we thought about having to wait for groups to gather, wait for ferries and stick strictly to the ferry times we had chosen. Decided to go to Orient Bay Beach instead which turned out to be a great decision. Fabulous beach which we’ve always enjoyed. Spoke to people who had done the ferry to St. Barts and they really were upset at late ferries, etc. Windstar offered free water taxi rides to Front St. the next day. We took advantage of this offer and visited the shops. We were also told that the Beach BBQ with toys would not be a Prickly Pear Beach in Virgin Gorda, but had been rescheduled to Fischer’s Cove. Another disappointment, but it turned out well. More info on this below. On another note, we weren’t able to use the water toys off the back of the ship for the duration of our cruise. We were told the current was too strong. To make up for lost ports, in addition to the above-mentioned ferry and water taxi trips, Windstar extended a $300 per cabin on-board credit which could be used for everything except tips. Also gave us free drinks the first 2 days of the cruise. Since we already had a $300 OBC, that gave us $600 to use onboard. We were first told that we couldn’t use this for a future Windstar cruise, but when I expressed disappointment about that, I received a letter on my door staying we could use the $300 to do so. Unpacked and headed to pool deck. Comfortable deck chairs, lounges tables, umbrellas. Never had to look for empty lounges during trip. Had our usual cocktails around 6pm and attended an informative port talk around 6pm. My very fussy husband, who has his nightly martinis at home, a little dry and just a little dirty, claimed he didn’t get a good martini for the duration of the trip. Great OJ so my screwdrivers were wonderful. (Fresh squeezed OJ daily at breakfast also.) Delicious appetizers passed at the bar during cocktail hour. We were surprised that the bars never seemed to have much camaraderie barside before dinner. Dinner was fabulous. Seafood Risotto and fish dish, panna cotta and butter pecan ice cream for dessert. The food portions on this trip weren’t large, but more than enough to enjoy. Restaurant service excellent in all 3 restaurants. Still managed to put on some pounds during trip! Drink/wine prices about $8.50 each/$38.50 average bottle (and up, of course). The food displays on plates were impressive. Enjoyed the Compass Rose lounge in evenings. Nice atmosphere, opening up to outside seating area. Listed to music by Duo, Mellow Yellow. Girl singer very good; guy not a great singer, but good on keyboards. Danced quite a bit. There was also a band nightly in the lounge. Girl singer pretty good, but we really didn’t enjoy the band at all. Comfortable seating. We liked the nightly port talks, captain’s cocktail party, introductions to Officers etc. Library and DVD selection decent. Girls at reception desk pleasant and went out of their way to help. I had difficulty checking into AA at their computer for my return flight. She helped me do so and print my boarding tickets. Dinner second night – short ribs w/pasta, great; beef wellington just okay; shrimp cocktail soggy, escargot delicious. Impressed by offering us black napkins instead of white since we were wearing dark clothes. Never had to wait to be seated for dinner. Choice of seating for 2 or larger table. Although we weren’t looking for the hairy chest contest, etc., we were surprised that there were absolutely no activities during the day inbetween excursions and seeing ports. Seem to remember just one day of trivia. Perhaps it’s because most people are off the ship visiting ports. Hubby visited the fitness center a few times. Satisfactory based on size of ship. They also listed free yoga and stretch classes daily besides spa treatments, etc. Sailed to Sopers Hole, Tortola, the next day at 1pm. Finally got to see sails unfurl to music. Terrific. Took lots of photos. Fabulous lunch buffet, napped on deck. Dinner at Stella Bistro (need to make reservation upon boarding). Lamb shank, mussels, raspberry crème brulee…delicious. Watched a DVD movie – went to bed early. Tortola – Took ship’s snorkel excursion. Was supposed to go to Caves and Norman Island, but weather didn’t cooperate so visited 2 snorkel stops in Norman Island vicinity. Good equipment, fun crew, nice boat, rum punch after snorkeling. Not as many fish as I remember seeing there years ago. Lots more in Chankanaab, Cozumel. Coral better at Norman Island though. Stopped at Pirate’s Blight resort/beach on way back for about 45 minutes. Nice beach, excellent painkillers! Back at 12:30 or so. Went to Yacht Club for delicious sandwiches. They have various, delicious coffees, little cakes and sandwiches from 6am – 6pm. Windsurf’s coffee best we’ve ever had on cruises. Specialty coffees included in cruise cost unlike most other cruiselines. BBQ moved from deck to lounge area for dinner due to possibility of showers. Words cannot describe it. HUGE selection with everything from salads to wonderful king crab legs, big shrimp, paella (best I’ve ever eaten), lobster tails, whole pig, lamb, etc. Linedancing with crew in lounge afterward. Jost Van Dyke – Arrived in evening. We intended to go to Foxy’s, but just too tired to do so. Awoke to showers. Bored in cabin. Headed to Jost late AM. Thankfully the weather cleared around 1pm so we had a great day. Jost is much more commercialized than last time we visited, many years ago. Still lots of fun. Hendo’s Hideaway next door also looked nice. Had our share of painkillers and the best fish and chips at Jost beach. Dinner at Candles Outside restaurant. (make reso when boarding). Full moon over water, fabulous veal chop and perch dish, crème brulee. Received a nice cake acknowledging our 25th anniversary. Amazing night. The Crew Show took place in the lounge that night. Appreciated their enthusiasm, but not our thing. Virgin Gorda – Took 9:30 tender to another boat to a very pretty Fischer’s Cove beach (substitute for Prickly Pear). Great day using Windsurf’s SUP, kayaks, trampoline, raft, etc. Volleyball with staff, excellent Caribbean band amazing BBQ on beach etc. Others told us that Prickly Pear was nicer. Reasons for skipping that beach were varied. Not sure if Windsurf will ever visit there again. We were told that this was the ship’s first visit to Fischer’s Cove. Things seemed to go well except for having few beach chairs and lounges. They seemed to have worked this out though, bringing more chairs as needed. Antigua – Were going to do what I read was a short walk to Pigeon Point Beach. Guess we and other fellow cruisers missed the trail to do so. Grabbed a cab - $5pp….Short ride, but a lot easier. Very hot out. Decided to skip historic Dockyard and Shirley Heights. The beach wasn’t great, but a nice cove and atmosphere. Not many fish seen while snorkeling.Hubby went to Gertrudes for a pina colada and gave them a $20 bill. Wanted to give him change in their currency. He told them he didn’t want that. They gave in and he got $8 USD back. Have to say they made a great drink. There is a BBQ shack bar/restaurant, Bumpkins, down the other end. Very rustic, but nice people who called us a taxi back to ship later in the day. Someone told me that their beers were ridiculously expensive. We hadn’t done beer that day so not sure. Last night onboard – Captain and entire crew paraded into the lounge. The Stewards carried in towel animals, some very different and impressive. All departments recognized and everyone sang “That’s what friends are for”…Very nice. Since our return flight wasn’t til 3:25 and we had carry-on luggage with us, we decided to take a ship’s excursion the morning of debarkation. We met around 7:45am and were delayed til around 8:15 due to one couple’s not showing up. Tour guide asked if we wanted to skip stopping back at Phillipsburg due to delay. We all agreed to do so. Took a nice tour to Oyster Pond and Orient Bay areas for photos; shopped and had a wonderful peach tart and cappuchino at Seraphina’s bakery in Marigot (loved the French atmosphere!); had a terrific pizza and drinks at Sunset Grill area restaurant. Unfortunately, just 2 small planes passed overhead, but we had been there before so just sitting in the restaurant was fine for us. Got to airport on the tour bus about noon. Enjoyed the reasonably priced shopping and the Souliga lounge at airport though our Priority Pass. Complimentary drinks, light snacks, coffee, wifi, newspapers. Boarded our flight to Charlotte airport. Had burger and beers at Tequiliera restaurant there. Not good at all and expensive. Plane out of Charlotte to Tampa had to be de-iced so delayed. 32 degrees in Charlotte. Freezing to us Floridians. We hadn’t thought about it being cold so only had light clothing and sweaters with us. Economy parking/shuttle at Tampa airport was great. No waiting at all. We didn’t get home til 1:30am. Thanks to Windsurf for a wonderful cruise. Hope to sail another Windstar ship with balcony in the future! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Background: My wife and I have extensive experience on cruise ships of different companies and sizes in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and even ocean crossings. It is a matter of personal taste but we agree that the smaller the ship the ... Read More
Background: My wife and I have extensive experience on cruise ships of different companies and sizes in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and even ocean crossings. It is a matter of personal taste but we agree that the smaller the ship the better the experience and that puts Windstar at the top of our list. We have been on the 5,000 passenger giants where you are an anonymous part of a city at sea. With 280 passengers and 100 crew, the Windsurf almost feels like you are on a private yacht. Every single crew member treated us like we were the most important people on board and it was wonderful. We are sailors and our favourite curses in the Caribbean are chartering our own yachts. Second to that is the Island Windjammer cruises with real sailing yacht. Our last voyage was 12 passengers and 6 crew on a 90 foot sloop, but that requires a real love of sailing and it is expensive. Windstar cruises are the happy compromise. There is no real sailing sensation on a Windstar other than stirring music when sails are hoisted but the small size of the ship allows anchoring in remote locations that emulates the real sailboat experience. You also trade excitement and danger for luxury and pampering if you go Windstar. Previous Reviews We have never submitted a review before but we disagree so much with a negative review from our cruise that we felt we owed it to the crew of Windsurf to set the record straight. Some specific rebuttals of that review: 1)The dress code for dinner is appropriate and dress code is well documented on the website. 2)The Captain handled the mechanical problems at St Barths admirably. Windstar chartered us a high speed ferry for us so we still got to do St Barts and the company gave us a generous cruise credit to compensate. 3) Our dock in St Maarten was fine and only 100 yards from the regular dock and no one cares what dock you are on. 4) Criticisms of the band were unwarranted. I am a musician and to my professionally tuned ear this was clearly in the top 1% of bands I have ever heard. 5) Criticisms of the tenders were unwarranted. These are the universal lifeboats used on every ship in the world as tenders 6) When other reviews are so overwhelmingly positive this tells you something. OUR REVIEW The Ship Well designed and meticulously cared for, it motors well and sails well. Despite its large size there are so few passengers that there are always lots of places to sit either inside or on deck. We have been on real windjammers and this was ultra luxury in comparison. The water ballast system means the ship sails level even in heavy weather. Bad news for real sailors but a delight for landlubbers. Fake sailing at its best. The Staterooms Small but who cares. We never had time to do anything but sleep in them. The lack of balconies is not an issue because there are so many private sitting areas on the various outside decks. Cleverly designed and visually appealing, the highlight is the full size shower which is far superior to the tubes in the large cruise ships. The Crew Many nationalities but as on all ships mostly Philippine. Every single crew member gave us a full smile and the red carpet treatment and many gave us extra service. The treatment of crew by the officers is exemplary and it was clear this ship was a happy environment. Food Without doubt the best we have ever eaten, and came close to gourmet quality. Despite hours of exercise every day I came home ten pounds heavier. The freedom to sit anywhere is great. We constantly sat with different people and got to know many of the passengers. The Ambience We cannot stress how different the ambiance is from a large ship. The windsurf is like the theme song to Cheers where everyone knows your name. It didn't matter who was beside you passenger or crew, friendly conversation and courteous behaviour was everywhere. We felt part of a community. Ports of Call The Classic itinerary is one of the best in the Caribbean visiting St Marten, the Virgin Islands, Barbuda, Antigua, St Lucia, Guadaloupe, St Kitts and St Parts. In vacation lingo these are upscale islands with unique features. Most importantly, you are not going ashore at the main dock with thousands of other ants all fighting for position. The Windstar boats mostly anchor offshore and you are tendered in in small groups. We never felt like we were standing in line for anything. Tours We have done these islands and seen the highlights before so we either stayed on board and enjoyed the water sports or just did hunted for a beach. Caribbean tours are largely a waste of money. Most of the things you can do yourself or are overpriced, but if you have a herd mentality and a fat wallet they are okay. Our only tour was zip lining. It was overpriced and the zip lines too short but we got to cross zip lining off our bucket list. On the other hand every free, mostly deserted beach we frequented was a 5 star day. Nothing compares with being plucked onto a private beach. Entertainment We completely lucked out. A new band started the week of our cruise as noted above. They were most impressive and we ended up spending 4 hours a night listening to them. Name of the band is Stage Direction. They are Philippine and have been together for 18 years and spent the last 8 years on Norwegian Cruise Lines on the big ships. Except for requests they never repeated a song the whole voyage. The lead singer should by rights be on America's got talent. She did Whitney Houston, Adele, Pat Benetar and Shania Twain hits as good as the originals and got frequent standing ovations. The lead guitarist could hold his own with Jimmi Hendrix doing riffs and even gave us the Chuck Berry walk. Last night was Beatles tribute and they did credible renditions. I believe if they had work permits in the USA they would be opening acts for the stars. The music on this trip was a true delight. They are only booked until May. Hope you get to hear them. Value for Money and Overall Comment Windstar vacations are pricier than the run of the mill cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian etc,, but you get so much more enjoyment. If you want pampering go to Regent. If you want a great vacation that maximizes sun, wind, water and sand and goes off the beaten path then Windstar is your dream vacation. We will probably alternate Windstar with real sailboats on future Caribbean vacations. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose Wind Star because it is described as a small, intimate and luxury cruise experience. The ship The Wind Surf is old and shows her age with being built in 1989. I believe the ship was originally a Club Med ship. It really needs a ... Read More
We chose Wind Star because it is described as a small, intimate and luxury cruise experience. The ship The Wind Surf is old and shows her age with being built in 1989. I believe the ship was originally a Club Med ship. It really needs a total makeover. When we were to board, embarkation was not at its usual dock but more of an industrial dock so check in was chaotic and very long. We sat here until 11:00 pm, sailing was to be at 7:00 pm but divers were underneath the ship repairing a part. Not a good start! We were told by a Wind Star cruise reservations agent that we could snorkel off the sports platform from the Ship since the ship is smaller 310 passengers, so that was a big selling point for us. This was not true as the ship would anchor at a 100 feet or more and snorkeling off the sports platform was not allowed anyway. We were also told no shorts in the main dining room the Amphora and no flip flops of any kind in the lounge in the evenings. We were not informed of this when purchasing the cruise or is not stated in any of the brochures or on the Wind Star web site. I advised the onboard Customer Service Manager of this and she informed me it is stated on the website, but not so.When sailing to the different islands we always tendered in, which we knew we would some of the times but every single time aboard old hot tenders. More like tin sweat boxes. The first day we stood in the hall with a line of people and waited an hour as only one tender was running. On day 7 the captain made an announcement that we would not be going to St Barts our last port because they had scheduled a time to finish the repair that was started on embarkation day so now our 9 day cruise that we paid for was an 8 day. I believe that Wind Star knew about this when we departed on day 1. We asked for a refund for the one night but our request was denied. The passengers stayed aboard the ship sitting at the pier in St. Maartin not what we signed up or paid for. We disembarked and went to a hotel. Very disappointing and not at all what was expected for the money we paid which is quite a bit more than other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
9 days "Sicily Splendors" was purchased in June 2016. We cruised on Windstar (Windsurf) before and knew about the warm crew approach, amazing food, long staying in the ports and all the other things smaller ships can offer. We ... Read More
9 days "Sicily Splendors" was purchased in June 2016. We cruised on Windstar (Windsurf) before and knew about the warm crew approach, amazing food, long staying in the ports and all the other things smaller ships can offer. We were in the different parts of Italy many times but not in Sicily. So the decision was easy. Embarkation was smooth and easy. We were upgraded to a higher deck - which was a nice surprise. Cabin was clean and kept clean all the voyage. The dining on Windstar ships is the one of the best you can get on a cruise ship. All the time 5* - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, BBQ event - everything! The ports were interesting for us as I've mentioned. All around Sicily plus Malta and Gozo (small island next to Malta). Unfortunately due to the weather conditions in Gozo captain decided to stay one more night in Valletta so we couldn't see Gozo. But safety first and we spent a wonderful one more day in Malta - which was nice :) Special event was very well organized. Additional point to the Team. Miss the ship already and dream to come again! :) Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because of the small ship experience. We did not want to be on a big "floating city". We found Windstar to be a wonderful experience. the only thing I would change is for Windstar to allow complimentary ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the small ship experience. We did not want to be on a big "floating city". We found Windstar to be a wonderful experience. the only thing I would change is for Windstar to allow complimentary internet and to be more reasonable about the exorbitant alcohol package. That said, we loved the experience! The staff is very welcoming. We highly recommend the laundry service...outstanding. We do think that the shore excursions are overrated and very expensive. We found that we could do better just going on line and booking an excursion by ourselves. For example, the Blue Grotto tour was well over $100 and we booked a tour for $33. The planned, free excursion to the Gambino Winery was amazing! Totally enjoyable. We did not think Split was a particularly good stopover; the Diocletian Palace was filled with souvenir ships...not very interesting to us. Kotor and Roving were the highlights for us....well worth the stopover. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our experience on Windstar Cruises was excellent. We had originally chosen an itinerary from Istanbul to Athens. However, Windstar pulled out of Istanbul after the attempted coup, and gave us the opportunity to stay with the ship's ... Read More
Our experience on Windstar Cruises was excellent. We had originally chosen an itinerary from Istanbul to Athens. However, Windstar pulled out of Istanbul after the attempted coup, and gave us the opportunity to stay with the ship's new itinerary or change. We chose to change to an earlier sail date from Rome to Venice, with stops in Montenegro, Croatia and Italy. Windstar was very responsive to our requests and questions as we made these changes. We stayed in Rome for one night prior to the cruise, and took the train from Rome to Civitavecchia on our embarkation day. This ended up being slightly stressful (we missed the express train and ended up on a local -- cutting it very, very close to missing the all-aboard time). We made these arrangements independently, and might have been better off using Windstar to make the arrangements for us. That said, they welcomed us to the port and helped us get aboard. The registration process once on the ship was quick and easy, and we relished the opportunity to relax. The Wind Surf is a gorgeous ship. Upon leaving each port, she unfurled her sails and the ceremony was invigorating. The decks are very pleasant, with plenty of seating. The deck bars are responsive to your needs, but not pushy, which has not been our experience with other cruise lines. We had booked the least expensive type of cabin, but with Windstar's price guarantee, when the price lowered and it was too late to refund us, they granted us both a cabin upgrade and an onboard credit! Our cabin was well-furbished, comfortable and had more storage than we actually needed. Our steward was pleasant and unobtrusive, and we experienced no disturbing noises or even ship movement from our cabin. The dining onboard is excellent. Breakfast, with its choice of menu service or buffet, more than met our needs. The lunch buffet changed daily to reflect our different port stops, with some delightful cheeses, olives and interesting main dish choices, as well as a standard menu reflecting the more Americanized choices of burgers, hotdogs and pizza. Many guests chose to stay in port for lunch at each stop, but we travelled on a tight budget and were grateful that we could make it back to the ship and eat each day. Dinner was delicious, regardless of whether we ate in the main dining room or in one of the two specialty restaurants, although I must say that my experience in the Stella Bistro was truly remarkable. I need to find their recipe for lobster bisque -- I've never had one that good! If you are looking for a cruise ship with lots and lots of onboard entertainment, Windstar is not for you. There was a small casino (we don't gamble, so I can't speak to its quality), a few lounges, a library with books and games, but very little in the way of organized entertainment. Most of the guests chose to spend our day at sea reading by the pool, hanging out on the decks, or relaxing in one of the indoor areas. It was exactly what we like! Twice in port, we were able to use the sports deck on the back of the ship to swim in the Adriatic, and it was great fun! They have paddle boards and other water sports equipment, but we really enjoyed the opportunity just to get wet and take a dip in the sea. There is also a very nice workout room, and they offer daily exercise activities, but with the extensive walking we were doing in each port, I didn't see the point of taking advantage of these offerings. Speaking of in-port -- wow, our excursions were phenomenal! Our guides were terrific, transportation was clean and efficient, and the places we visited were...breathtaking, historical, panoramic, awe-inspiring, full of art and full of story. Our favorite stop was Istria (Rovinj) on the northern Croatian coastline. We took a full-day "Istria in-Depth" excursion and it was unmatched in the scenery we took in, the food we were provided, and the chance to truly explore some less-visited places in this gorgeous country. We had originally decided not to book excursions in two cities, but after wandering aimlessly in Capri, we decided this was not good planning and chose to use the Windstar excursion desk and book excursions for each of the other stops. Windstar prides itself on its personalized small-ship service. It was very good. Additionally, the small-ship is such a great place to make new friends. We truly enjoyed the chance to talk, dine, and explore with new friends from all over the world (although the majority of passengers are American). We will travel with Windstar again, and I hope it is sooner rather than later! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
After more than a dozen previous cruises on the Wind Surf, this was our first ever back to back cruise. The first leg was Edinburgh to Dubln, visiting many smaller ports in the British Isles, followed by Dublin to Lisbon, visiting the ... Read More
After more than a dozen previous cruises on the Wind Surf, this was our first ever back to back cruise. The first leg was Edinburgh to Dubln, visiting many smaller ports in the British Isles, followed by Dublin to Lisbon, visiting the Scylli Isles, France, Spain, and Portugal. It was also our first booking in a suite, a definite upgrade from the regular cabin. Having access to two separate baths and two separate closets, was much appreciated. The spacious sitting area was also nice, as we were traveling with friends. Windstar was also gracious enough to comp us for the laundry package for our second voyage, which was a real treat. No more rinsing out underwear in the sink! I learned later that Windstar often does this for back to back cruisers. Thank you, Windstar! During our stay in Dublin, we booked the excursion to the Guinness Museum, which was a real treat. The museum is housed in a huge converted warehouse, which is worth a visit unto itself. There are 5 stories of exhibits, showing the brand's celebrated history, the unique brewing process, the equipment and technology, advertising campaigns, and finally, a pint of Guinness in the Sky Bar, with a panoramic view of Dublin. After dropping off all the other passengers at their hotels, the bus took us back to the ship, and we got back in time for a late lunch. Our first stop was in Waterford, followed by the Scylli Isles, where we had a real treat. Prince William spent many vacations there as a child, and he and Kate happened to be there for a Royal tour. So they came out to the Wind Surf in their Royal launch, and gave us a wave as they motored by! All the Wind Surf passengers were lining the rails, cheering, waving and snapping photos. During those first few days of the cruise we also had some other VIP's on board, new Windstar President John Delaney and Vice President Doug Santoni. I took the opportunity to introduce myself, and found them both to be highly engaging, and interested in my opinions and experiences, especially about my 3 cruises on the Wind Surf's sister ship, the Club Med 1. After our first conversation, Mr. Delaney set aside another hour in his busy schedule for a more in-depth meeting. He has big plans for Windstar, mostly focusing on ways to improve the cruising experience. Bravo! On our cruise, very much like many others I have been on, almost 50% of the passengers were Yacht Club members, including one passenger with almost 40 previous cruises, going back to the late, great Wind Song. Windstar must be doing some things REALLY well to earn that kind of loyalty. Lately I have seen some less than glowing Cruise Critic reviews, almost always from first-timers who apparently expect white glove table service, and caviar in the hot tubs. I prefer the warm personal service from crew and staff who not only welcome me back, but remember my name. The true stars of the ship are the officers, especially Hotel Manager Nick Bulger, and the fantastic team of Steve and Amanda Millar. We have already booked our next cruise in February to Costa RIca and the Panama Canal, where we join President John Delaney for the "Presidents" cruise. Then next October, we will be back on the Wind Surf to visit the Canary Islands. Join us! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The old ship with an outdated decor and a very few amenities. The entertainment was limited to an OK band and a duo (husband and wife) singers. The food was OK, but not great. The cabin was small with a peeling wallpaper and some ... Read More
The old ship with an outdated decor and a very few amenities. The entertainment was limited to an OK band and a duo (husband and wife) singers. The food was OK, but not great. The cabin was small with a peeling wallpaper and some rusted spots in the shower. It was also dark with pothole windows which were advertised as the ocean view cabins. A poor quality TV reception, limited to 4-5 channels. Internet is slow and expensive. Wi-Fi was available only close to the reception desk not in our room. The "Fitness Center" was so small that 2 people felt as a crowd. The 24 hours food court (pizza, sandwiches, tea, coffee), typical for all the cruises I've been to, is not available. There is a room service alternative that I've never used. The only positive detail of the cruise was friendly, service-oriented staff. Not a luxury cruise that I've hoped for! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose the Edinburgh to Dublin itinerary because of the positive experience we had a few years ago on a Windstar cruise that disembarked in Edinburgh, and our desire to visit other interesting stops in Scotland and Ireland. We were not ... Read More
We chose the Edinburgh to Dublin itinerary because of the positive experience we had a few years ago on a Windstar cruise that disembarked in Edinburgh, and our desire to visit other interesting stops in Scotland and Ireland. We were not disappointed. Edinburgh is a lovely city, offering fantastic history, architecture, and pub food & drink. Upon arrival, we were pleased to learn that the city was celebrating their annual "Festival Fringe", billed as the world's largest arts festival, spanning 25 days of nonstop music, dance, comedy, and poetry in over 300 venues. The Royal Mile leading up to the Castle was thronged with people, many in costume. Every block had one or more stages, with performances every 30 minutes. What a great time! The cruise got off to a bad start at embarkation, when we arrived at dockside in Edinburgh, only to be informed that the Wind Surf was actually in Dundee, over 60 miles away! After a frantic taxi ride (an extra 160 Euros) we arrived in Dundee, then drove around in circles for a while searching for the "King George V Wharf", which even the local taxi drivers had never heard of. As we got near the water we could see the masts of the ship, but it took quite a while to find the completely unmarked dock entrance. As we go onboard we saw many other taxis pulling up with frustrated looking customers. As we got to the top of the gangway, I was greeted warmly by Nick Bulger, the Wind Surf's Hotel Manager, a good friend from several previous cruises. Soon we were comfortably situated in Cabin 327, our first time in a suite, and certainly not the last. By the time we got to dinner we had already touched base with several of our favorite crew members such as Nova, Casey, Jun, Phillip, Merrick, and Chef Eddy. A few other crew members heard that I was on board, and tracked me down in the Compass Rose just to say hello. It's this kind of warm personal service that sets Windstar 180 degrees from ordinary, indeed. Unfortunately, our favorite entertainers, Craig and Nikki from the "Rain" duo, were not on board (Nikki just had a baby!) Their replacements were a British duo, the "Upbeats" who were very good vocalists. The main band was "High Society", which seems to change lead singers every cruise. They are a family act, and don't offer much energy or showmanship. They play before and after dinner, and seldom can entice anyone onto the dance floor. The only time I saw any dancing at all was after the weekly BBQ, when the crew got everyone up for line dancing. However, the amateur show put on by the crew was greatly improved, including a hysterically funny synchronized swimming act. Contrary to some recent CC reviews, I thought the ship was in great shape, and our cabin was immaculate. The food was excellent, with some local dishes mixed in with the normal Asian-influenced menu. Service, as always, was very attentive and personal. Our cruise itinerary was very interesting, entirely in small ports such as Invergordon, the Orkney Islands, and the Isle of Man. In several ports the ship was anchored out, rather than moored at a pier. On a few occasions when the sea was a bit choppy the tender ride to and from the ship got a little rocky, and on one occasion the Captain had to cut off the tender service entirely. The weather was cool, usually around 60F degrees, and often foggy in the morning. However, there was sunshine almost every day. The last stop was in Dublin, where we visited the fascinating Guinness Museum, and learned how to do the "perfect pour" of Guinness Stout. I am not a big fan of Guinness, but I do like dark beers, and was able to buy several Guinness variants that are not widely available in the U.S., such as Indian Porter, Double Stout and XX. Another great cruise! This was also our first ever back/back cruise, as we continued on to France, Spain and Portugal --- the topic of a second review. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We just returned from a Baltic cruise on the Windsurf. My husband and I are a well traveled couple in our early 60s. We have only taken one "big" cruise boat tour which was to Alaska on another line. I just don't care for ... Read More
We just returned from a Baltic cruise on the Windsurf. My husband and I are a well traveled couple in our early 60s. We have only taken one "big" cruise boat tour which was to Alaska on another line. I just don't care for ships with 3,000 passengers and all that those crowds entail. The Windstar cruise line fits our needs perfectly. This was our 2nd cruise with Windstar, the first on the Surf. We aren't looking for a lot of onboard entertainment options and appreciate good food and the casual atmosphere. We always choose to have dinner with other passengers and have met some very interesting, well traveled people. On this trip, Windstar had invited a guest lecturer who spoke to the passengers on , "The Romanov Dynasty" and "Deception in WII". (all pertinent in Norther Europe and Russia) These lectures were extremely interesting and very well attended. The 3 excursions we took were enjoyable with knowledgable guides. We did hire a private guide in St. Petersburg (not through Windstar) and were very happy that we did. I heard positives regarding Windstar's St. Pete's tours however they did not go into a few of the sites that the private tour did. Our special event evening was a Russian ballet, "Swan Lake". What a memorable opportunity! Our cabin had been upgraded to a suite (321) which was spacious and we definitely appreciated. Our previous experience was on the Star Pride which was an all suite vessel. (Pride is smaller than the Surf and we actually like the smaller size better) All in all, a very good experience and we plan to travel this line in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We choose the cruise because we had never seen the Baltic States and we prefer small boats of giant ships. It got good reviews and we had done many riverboat cruises before. We thought this would be like an big river cruise... wrong. We ... Read More
We choose the cruise because we had never seen the Baltic States and we prefer small boats of giant ships. It got good reviews and we had done many riverboat cruises before. We thought this would be like an big river cruise... wrong. We started the cruise by spending three days in Stockholm to get our bodies in the right time zone. We loved Stockholm, found it easy to navigate and the people very pleasant. Our hotel there was on the water and very nice. We did not use the computer that we had with us in Stockholm because we were just exploring the neighborhood and the "hop on hop off" highlights. For that reason, we did not check our email. When we got to the port to leave there was not ship. Panic. Fortunately our cab driver called his home desk and found another set of docks. We went there and found the boat. So we had a scary start. We got all checked in and went to our cabin. The cabin was nice but not Spectacular. It was just a boat cabin. All of the riverboats that we had been on were far superior to this cabin and the carpet clearly needed replacing. The two porthole were sort of grimy looking and filled with big glumps of some kind of glue. The food on this boat, in the dining room, was spectacular but the "Snack" food was sort of dry and uninteresting. The problem that I have with this whole approach to cruising is that, unlike river cruises, they tend to "nickle and dime" you to death. That is a significant charge each day to go on a tour when we were in port. (cheapest being $69.99 most expensive being $700.). There were spa ads and tongue evaluation ads and other ad through out the shop. I found that sort of tacky. The alcohol package was very expensive. The appeal of a small boat cruise is that it becomes like summer camp. You pay up front and put your credit card away until you leave. Not so here. The tours that we took were "okay" at best. None were spectacular. The Russian tours were under planned and did not make rooms for the crowds. Often we were on a bus that just zoomed by places that we would have like to stay longer. The onboard service were great, the crew were very accommodating but the just the plan of the trip left much to be desired. We were very disappointed. The internet on the boat was outrageously expensive. And, even in port, when it was free the boat seemed to block the free internet. This is 2016. Internet should just be there, at least in port. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was the 6th cruise for my wife and me; our first was on Silversea (which was very good), and our next 4 were all on Seabourn which were all superb. We chose this WindStar cruise because of its itinerary -- starting in Scotland, with ... Read More
This was the 6th cruise for my wife and me; our first was on Silversea (which was very good), and our next 4 were all on Seabourn which were all superb. We chose this WindStar cruise because of its itinerary -- starting in Scotland, with stops in Norway, Denmark, Germany, and ending in Sweden. We'd been to Scandinavia before and looked forward to returning. Based on ratings and reviews of Windstar, we expected the ship and its meals and services to be close to what we experienced on Seabourn. The itinerary did not disappoint; the ship, service and meals did. I suppose that if we had never sailed on Seabourn (or even Silversea), we might not have noticed as much; we expected Windstar to be comparable in quality to those two cruise lines, and it was not. No ONE thing on Windstar was terrible; but it was a collection of countless "little things" (our list reached 40 items) that added up to a significantly lower level of service than the likes of Seabourn offered. Although a few of the meals on Windstar were very good, most were average and a more than a couple were far below average. There were issues with cleanliness, lack of communications (such as the captain failing to announce when we were able to disembark), and poor service. If you've never sailed with top lines such as Seabourn or Silversea, you might not notice or mind some of the Windstar issues that stood out to us. But if you have sailed on these other top-tier lines, our advice would be to prepare yourself for a significantly lower level of quality and of service when sailing with Windstar -- or, just make the decision to NOT run the risk of disappointment and stick with Seabourn. That's what we're going to do from now on. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our 2nd time on a Baltic cruise. It was also our 2nd cruise on the Windsurf. Our 1st Baltic cruise was on a very large ship. We like smaller ships. We chose the Scandanavian Tapestry voyage because it visited several ports in ... Read More
This was our 2nd time on a Baltic cruise. It was also our 2nd cruise on the Windsurf. Our 1st Baltic cruise was on a very large ship. We like smaller ships. We chose the Scandanavian Tapestry voyage because it visited several ports in Northern Europe without a stop in St. Petersburg. Most Baltic cruises go to Russia. Since I do not agree with Putin's politics, I didn't want to go to Russia. Starting in Edinburgh was also an attraction. We stayed in Edinburgh for 2 nights before the cruise. The cruise left from the port of Lieth which is very close to Old town Edinburgh. We arrived at the dock at 1 pm to check in. We were met by the cruise director that told us that boarding was delayed until 3 pm because the ship was being deep cleaned as the last cruise had noro virus. We were able to check our bags at the dock. We were also told that we would recieve $25pp OBC for the inconvience. Instead of just waiting at the dock, we visited the Queen's yacht, The Britania. It was berthed next to the Windsurf. The self guided audio tour was excellent. It was about 4pm when we returned to the dock. At that time, we boarded the ship, checked in, and booked times at Candles and Stella Bistro. Checking in was quick. We were told not to unpack since as Yacht Club members we were on the upgrade list. Since we liked pur cabin location and all cabins are the same, we declined an upgrade. We were on deck one slightly forward. It was a great location. When the sea doors are shut when the ship is arriving or departing, being forward allowed us access to the elevator. Our previous time on the Windstar we were midship and were closed off from access to the elevators. We enjoyed the casual atmosphere. No lines, dine whenever you want, unlimited non-alcohlic drinks, fabulous food, outstanding service, etc. being on the Windsurf was wonderful. We enjoyed breakfasts and most lunches in the Veranda. We enjoyed dinners in Aamphora. We also liked our 2 dinners in the specialty venues. Candles used to be aft on the pool deck. It is now on the star deck near the veranda. It has wind/rain shields allowing you to eat outside most of the time. The fliet at Candles is fantastic. The menus in the veranda and Aamphora change daily. Often, the chef adds local items. We enjoyed the Norwegian salmon, smoked items, fresh fruits, and local cheeses and sausages. The deck bbq was outstanding.. We enjoyed quick snacks at the Yacht Club and tea in the Compass Rose. Room service was excellent. Call, order, and it arrived quickly. Want something that wasn't on a menu, usually no problem. If the ingredients are on the ship, they will make it for you. We especially enjoyed the special event which included a canal boat tour in Copenhagen, an after hours tour at a museum with a private reception of delicious local cuisine and drinks. In most ports we did our own thing. We did buy 2 excursions from the ship. In Copenhagen, we went on the Dragor fishing village tour. It was mostly a bus tour of Copenhagen with a short stop at Dragor. Description misrepresented the tour. Having been in Copenhagen twice before, we were expecting a tour completely outside the city. In Visby, we took the West Coast drive and city tour. It was excellent. We also enjoyed having the unlimited same day laundry service. It was a pleasure to arrive home. Instead of spending time doing laundry, I unpacked my clean clothes. Entertainment was very limited. The band in the main lounge was excellent. The duo in Compass Rose was poor. The guest lecturer was ok. In one port, there was a men's chior singing local songs. The crew put on a show one night. Not much else doing on the ship. I spent a lot of time reading or talking with guests. Each night before we arrived at a port, cruise director gave a short presentation about the port. I was happy that I had researched the port before the cruise. The info on the ship was very basic. They kept trying to persuade guests to buy expensive excursions. The ship excursions were overpriced. Aside from pushing the excursions, there was no real hard sell like you get on the large mass market cruises. weather was good. It was warm enough on most days to enjoy being on the outside deck areas. Went into the pool. The sport platform did not open. We enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
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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