17 Helpful Votes
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
While we enjoyed portions of our recent vacation/cruise, the Windstar Wind surf (Sicilian Splendours itinerary) failed to meet expectations and would be reluctant to book Windstar in the future. The most appealing aspect of this Line/ship ... Read More
While we enjoyed portions of our recent vacation/cruise, the Windstar Wind surf (Sicilian Splendours itinerary) failed to meet expectations and would be reluctant to book Windstar in the future. The most appealing aspect of this Line/ship was its size, the small number of passengers was the most welcome part of our experience. While seemingly marketed as a premium line it squarely delivers a mass market product more akin to the large ships albeit on a smaller vessel. This specific Itinerary offered and interesting set of ports however, it did seem a bit late in the season, even for the Med. • The stateroom While small, the room was efficient, with plenty of storage, more so than on larger ships in larger rooms. The bedding however was horrendous, frayed and threadbare, the bed was easily the most uncomfortable we've experienced on a ship. The carpeting in the room was stained, the shower curtain filthy, and the porthole disgusting. The wallpaper pealing at the seams. A premium room experience I think not. • Dining The food, while looking impressive on the menu was far from impressive on the plate. Mediocre at best. Everything was bland, apparently seasonings, herbs and spices were not part of the kitchen. • Dining service In the main dinning room— Amphora service was hit and miss mostly miss. One evening we were out in a half hour, we never expressed a need to be anywhere else—we were at sea. Another night we sat at a table nest to a senior officer and dinner companion and watched as they progressed through their meal, they were done before we even received our mains—which was close to an hour between salad and main course. The food in Stella bistro again was mediocre to poor we tried once at the beginning and never returned. • Service and Servers While the servers tried extremely hard they seemed disorganized, often being asked our orders by multiple servers, other times finding it impossible to get wine or water refilled. Sparkling water was often refilled with the wrong type of water and then replaced with bottled sparkling water which was not ordered. The wine steward was so entertaining and friendly and familiar, that I doubt I’d be able to take his wine suggestions seriously—too bad as he was worked very hard—familiarity is not a substitute for proper service. • Food facillities The Terrace buffet seemed the best effort on the ship, credible breakfasts the occasional local food table with market offerings at lunch. Friendly hard-working servers, but again seemingly disorganized. The coffee bar again was a hit the server took the time to learn my name—one of the few on board. However it never seemed to be open, hours were very limited. • Public Areas and facilities Despite an extensive makeover in the last few years there were a lot of spaces and finishes that looked long in the tooth. It appears this older ship needs considerably more attention than it got two years ago. When asked about its upcoming drydock, was informed there were some decor items being addressed but it was primarily a structural dry dock concerning things that keep the ship going, which I’m sure is considerable with a ship this age. • Spa Seriously this facility needs to be ripped out and started all over. It was old, dark and dingy—far from refreshing and serene. You looked around and could see how the space was originally configured as staterooms, now with partition walls simply removed. • Shore excurions Aside from a positive food experience in Gozo, most excursions seemed not to offer anything different than any other line—except the price which seemed steeper than many other lines. • Communications The daily newsletter seemed to miss almost everything going on, on the ship. Friday afternoon I wandered past what appears to be a meeting room, and realized there was a sabbath service in progress. I would never have known from the daily. There just seemed to be a lack of communication in general, no buzz on the ship. On the plus side the relentless sales and sales pitches and the like of other lines were thankfully missing. The captains apology for the daily update wore thin quickly, once a day is no inconvenience to be updated about the route its progress or deviations is not unwarranted. As an aside out of the control of this or any cruise line—when will cruise operators stop being held hostage to poorly managed ferry/port authorities in Capri and vote with tourist dollars (euros) and stop going there? This port was missed again on this voyage and we have now missed Capri, as a scheduled port or shore excursion 3 of the 4 times in the region on cruises. At a certain point its misleading marketing to suggest you can go to Capri on a cruise. This time we were told repeatedly that we could have tendered with the ship’s tenders, even though the seas were somewhat rough, but the local authorities wouldn’t permit it. Cruise lines just need to say no to Capri and perhaps the authorities will try harder if enough lines bypass it. In conclusion it seems size alone should not be relied upon to carry this ship (cruise line) forward forever, as it seems to now. We spoke to many passengers who were clear devotees of Windstar and the only thing that they could offer was their love of the size of the ship and nothing else of any substance. If this is the flagship of the line, Xanterra, the parent company needs to up its game considerably—there are far smarter options and competitors out there. The number of things that failed to meet expectations far outweighed the positives and am unable to recommend Windstar to friends or family let alone travel Windstar in the future. Too bad as it's a great concept and full of potential. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
This was our 4th cruise on the Windsurf and second leg of a back to back trip. We’ve had some very upsetting events happen during this trip, however we try to be fair in this review, particularly to the hard working staff onboard. ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise on the Windsurf and second leg of a back to back trip. We’ve had some very upsetting events happen during this trip, however we try to be fair in this review, particularly to the hard working staff onboard. Please read the full review and be warned: Scotland made for some challenging sailing, but the Captain and his crew managed beautifully. We enjoyed being able to reach the smaller ports, visiting some of Scotland’s remote towns and villages. We were reminded in Invergordon, what it is like to dock in a port accessible to large cruise ships. The Ruby Princess had docked there as well and its 3,000+ passengers ended up flooding all of the nearby tourist sites, including Loch Ness. We had to move cabins following the previous 8-day cruise we had taken. There did not appear to be a process organized by the ship that would ensure back-to-back passengers to get to their new cabins with top priority. A chat with the cabin stewards and a tip thankfully fixed that. (not a luxury experience!). The cabin we had on this leg of the journey was A category and located towards the forward part of the ship near the crew mess entrance. It was therefore quite noisy … we also had issues with smoke traveling up from Deck 0, the crew deck. An A deck cabin in this location should not be sold to passengers. It is clearly inferior to other cabins! We also had issues with key cards working on several occasions during our trip resulting in many trips across the ship to reception and back, until we finally requested that someone from reception or maintenance accompanies us and fix the problem for good. Once again, far from a luxury experience) The majority of the crew though were wonderful, as described in our previous review. They still ‘make’ the trip memorable – even with the various shortcomings mentioned here. The most astonishing events during this trip however were related to Windstar Corporate politics, which we got dragged into completely involuntarily. Windstar politics don’t seem to stop at crew level as one might expect, but utilize unsuspecting guests without any form of agreement or authorization by publishing entirely slanderous Windstar internal statements for what must be hidden corporate agendas. We have more class than Windstar, so won’t lay out all the details, but please be warned – what you think might be the vacation of a lifetime or a well deserved break (which is what we were thinking), may end up turning into a multi-month nightmare for any guest with integrity and a sense of justice. 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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