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
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
First- We were informed a couple days before our vacation was to start that our cruise was cancelled. I asked to be switched to another ship at 9:00 am and by 5 pm I needed to call and be very demanding to make sure we had a cabin on a ... Read More
First- We were informed a couple days before our vacation was to start that our cruise was cancelled. I asked to be switched to another ship at 9:00 am and by 5 pm I needed to call and be very demanding to make sure we had a cabin on a boat going somewhere. Our excursions were of coarse cancelled as well as the loss of our pre and post cruise hotels and air fair. I had to scramble to make something of our Christmas Vacation the night before we were scheduled to leave. Overall the actual ship was okay. 1) The cabin was clean and a good size 2) The onboard staff was very accommodating and eager to please. 3) Entertainment on board is poor at best. 4) Food quality and choices are also poor. 5) Excursions are very un-organized. Transportation un-organized and excursions cancelled or times changed. Reception desk never seemed to know that was going on. At the end of the cruise I was overcharged and so far have not been credited and been given one excuse after another by the guest relations department at Windstar. I would not recommend a line that treats is passengers with such a carless attitude. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
THE GOOD The crew is extraordinarily gracious. This is a ship with a small passenger load (312). We particularly enjoyed Hotel Manager, Nick Berger. He is studying for U.S. citizenship, and the U.S. could do a lot worse than Nick. A ... Read More
THE GOOD The crew is extraordinarily gracious. This is a ship with a small passenger load (312). We particularly enjoyed Hotel Manager, Nick Berger. He is studying for U.S. citizenship, and the U.S. could do a lot worse than Nick. A wonderful gentleman. THE BAD Windstar is the only ship that we have sailed to date that did not offer complimentary wine with dinner. Even Windjammer served wine with dinner--not the greatest wine, but wine. We were ever so surprised when we were asked to sign a charge for our wine with dinner. Check for more on this below. Even though we got a very good rate on the cabin (Military Discount), I cannot say much for the cabin, itself. We were on the lowest level and one should not pay much attention to the picture of the standard cabin in the brochure. Our "panoramic view of the ocean consisted of two (count them, two) portholes. We learned from other passengers, that the two porthole "vista" was not limited to Deck One. You want a vista, reserve a suite. The cabin was the smallest we have had in quite a number of cruises. Windstar considers itself to be a luxury cruise line--NOT. The food is ordinary, the cabins small, and you have already heard my take on the wine charges with dinner. THE UGLY More on drinks. Besides charging for wine with dinner, Windstar also charges you at the time of service for the service, itself. They tack a 15% service charge onto every drink served. Amazing! Although we received a low rate on our cabin, we calculated what a comparable cruise would cost on Regent (a true luxury cruise line). After we shelled out for our round-trip air fare, shore excursions, and drinks, we could have taken a Regent cruise for the same price, and thereby had a true luxury cruise. Frankly, we felt nicked and dimed at nearly every turn. It goes without saying that we will not make the mistake of cruising with Windstar again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
This was our second Windstar cruise. We took Windstar's Western Med trip from Rome to Barcelona in 2013 and felt that Windstar experience was excellent. We have also taken several excellent European river cruises. This cruise ... Read More
This was our second Windstar cruise. We took Windstar's Western Med trip from Rome to Barcelona in 2013 and felt that Windstar experience was excellent. We have also taken several excellent European river cruises. This cruise featured excellent food, good entertainment, a great crew and fantastic weather. Over all would rate this experience as below expectations for several reasons. Internet - We were appalled by the ridiculous cost of the Internet services. In this age of the Internet, a connection should cost the same as meals, shipboard water and electricity We are immersed in a new "Connected" culture that Windstar needs to recognize and enable. This such a big issue that I will not be booking with Windstar until a more reasonable (free or reasonable ( ~$100) fee for unlimited use for the duration of the cruise) internet service is offered. This would require a technical investment just as the investment to supply, meals, fresh water and electricity. Excursions - We participated in most of the non-diving excursions. Other that a couple of excursions, we were disappointed. If Viking's excursions are rated a 10, then I would rate Winstar excursions for this cruise as low as 2 and averaging a 4 or 5 rating. Since Windstar charges for each excursion I suggest that they develop some standards for the tour companies and guides and work to insure that the excursions are consistent with the cost of the excursions and the cruise. The only crew member that I remember joining any of the excursions on our trip was the ship acupuncturist. Ship Condition - We also felt many of the public areas of the ship were deteriorated and in dire need of an upgrade. One particular problem was the dark carpet on the stairs which, combined with the low lighting level, resulted in a very dangerous situation.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
Although this was our first experience with Windstar (and last), we have sailed many times. When a cruise line advertises a "luxury cruise experience" and charges accordingly, my wife and I have a certain level of expectation ... Read More
Although this was our first experience with Windstar (and last), we have sailed many times. When a cruise line advertises a "luxury cruise experience" and charges accordingly, my wife and I have a certain level of expectation that comes from traveling with the likes of Regent Seven Seas. Windstar is NOT Regent! (Not even close) While we had a nice time/interesting itinerary and the crew and officers were great, we simply paid way too much for what was billed as a "luxury cruise". The ship (Windsurf) and the pre-cruise/on board communications also left a lot to be desired. The ship is clearly "long in the tooth" and poorly maintained........the ceilings in the lounge were water stained and the windows were so dirty that they were difficult to see through.........the carpet in the cabin and the common area was stained and worn......the standard cabin was small and Formica was everywhere. Windstar is NOT a luxury line and should not advertise as such, nor should they command the prices they charge. In addition, the the transfers purchased from the cruise line were 4 times the going rate and the hotels were twice the going rate, as were their port excursions. The internet service was the worst I have ever experienced. Their drink package was $108/day/cabin! By the time we were finished, we had spent more for the total package than we would have with the "all inclusive" Regent Seven Seas AND our cabin would have been twice as big, along with a balcony, dressing room and marble bathroom, instead of 2 port holes that were so corroded that photos I took through them would be embarrassing to share. Our advise would be to select another "luxury cruise line", because when it is all said an done, Windstar's exorbitant and ubiquitous a la-carte charges would put their cost in the range of "real" luxury cruise. Having said that, IF they charged less and charged reasonable for their "extras", their crew would be a joy for anyone to experience...... Read Less
Wind Surf Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 3.5 4.1
Family N/A 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment N/A 3.6
Service 3.5 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.1

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