Wind Surf - Yachtsman- Jan 17 2015
First and foremost, I loved this cruise. One of the most relaxing vacations ever. I would have given this a 5 star rating except for some of their front office customer service practices and policies( ... Read More
Wind Surf - Yachtsman- Jan 17 2015
First and foremost, I loved this cruise. One of the most relaxing vacations ever. I would have given this a 5 star rating except for some of their front office customer service practices and policies( see below)
itinerary - spectacular - the smaller British Virgin Islands - loved, loved it
overall friendly casual atmosphere of ship and ship mates
overnight in ports - wonderful added to the relaxation of the vacation - no rush to get off the ship to see the island
embarkation/disembarkation - effortless, no line ups - this alone is enough to convince me not to return to big ship cruising even with our preferred status on the big cruise lines not nearly as good as on Windstar
the ship was beautiful, well appointed - lots of space , chairs available, never waited seating mind you there was only 220 passengers on a 300 capacity vessel.
cabins - one of the loveliest I have had - well appointed, ample storage, well designed. I thought I would really miss my balcony but not so much
Motion - you could feel it. You knew you were on a ship. I like the motion nothing that . The ship hardly made a noise.
service on the ship - very friendly, so many of the staff knew our names after the first day
very few upcharges - specialty restaurants, soft drinks, specialty coffees all free
sports deck - free use of sports equipment, sailboats, water platform off the back of the ship - awesome
captain- friendly, professional, engaging was present among the guests all week, was at the end of the gangplank to say goodbye at disembarkation. Best captain ever.
Closeness to the water - bow of the ship dark at night - stars spectacular- again felt like you were on a ship and not a floating hotel
laundry package - was a good deal and very handy to have your clothes washed or pressed.
just a souvenir shop not a lot of shopping. Again feeling of being on a ship not in a shopping mall
Deck BBQ -wonderful food, festive atmosphere.
Island BBQ - great food, great beach….crew work really hard to make this happen slugging all this stuff off the ship and to the beach. It was great.
Yacht club sandwich and coffee bar was great for a quick snack or drink after returning from shore
Room steward was excellent
BOSE sound system in room and DVD , free use of ipods, and DVD library
still send paper based cruise tickets….. love it.
customer service front office - didn’t ever seem eager to get or keep my business . Refused to honour AARP discount “because the price was already low - yet price went down significantly again after my booking”
price drop policy - I am well aware of the cruise lines not dropping prices after final payment and I am fine with that. However Royal Caribbean has always honoured any price drop post final payment with upgrading me to a cabin that my fare would buy at that price point, sometimes they will give onboard credit. Royal Caribbean does a good job of recognizing my early booking. They understand that if I feel disadvantaged by booking early then I will either chose another cruise line that is interested in ensuring that that I am treated fairly no matter when I book….or.. I will always book late. Windstar clearly has no interest in building customer loyalty from the front office perspective. Totally different philosophy once you are on the ship. They want to do everything to be sure you are satisfied and have a great experience. Kind of a Jekkyl Hyde thing going on. Many of the people that we met on the ship had booked last minute.
pool - hot tubs not available at night. The outdoor evening restaurant which is a wonderful feature is situated around the pool and hot tubs. We always enjoy hot tub at sea under the stars. Just doesn’t make sense why they set up here.
dining room - food was good, not great, not as good as dining room on Royal Caribbean
wait staff dining room- very friendly, eager to please but not as good as Royal Caribbean - English seemed to be more of a barrier in the dining room than on larger cruise lines
drinks were expensive even for a cruise ship. Once we get on the ship we refuse to think about costs but in the end I think the drinks were over priced
yoga - impossible in a small gym with machines making noise around you.
Would I recommend. Yes in a heart beat.
Would I sail with Windstar again? absolutely but will book last minute
This was our 8th Wind Star cruise (six on the Wind Surf, two on the Wind Spirit). As Wind Star cruises emerges from bankruptcy for the second time in 5 years, we had some concerns as we boarded the Wind Surf on Easter Sunday in Barcelona. ... Read More
This was our 8th Wind Star cruise (six on the Wind Surf, two on the Wind Spirit). As Wind Star cruises emerges from bankruptcy for the second time in 5 years, we had some concerns as we boarded the Wind Surf on Easter Sunday in Barcelona. Fortunately the cabin stewards, restaurant and bar staff all delivered excellent service throughout our cruise. No complaints. We remain amazed at the staff's level of professionalism, their positive attitude,their enthusiasm and competence.The ship carried 200 passengers(2/3rd occupancy) on our cruise from Barcelona to Civitavecchia with stops in Majorca, St Tropez, Monte Carlo and Portofino. We were traveling with 2 other couples who had never sailed on a cruise ship before. We enjoyed pleasant weather for most of the cruise.My wife and I sailed on the Wind Surf in the Med previously in September 2010 (Venice to Civitavecchia). On both cruises we noticed a deterioration in the quality of evening meals served. Breakfasts and lunches were excellent, but suppers were hit and miss. Our other criticism revolve around the excursion staff. At our first port of call, Palma (Majorca), the ship arranged for hourly complimentary bus transfers between the ship and town-center. We were given a schedule when we left the ship. On our return many passengers were waiting at the designated pickup location for over an hour because the bus driver was following a less frequent schedule. We showed the driver our schedule but she told us that she would only follow the schedule that her employer gave her. Three of us took an excursion to Le Lavandou, a coastal town in Province, about a 45 drive west of St Tropez. It was a bad $79 per person investment. The trip lacked any significant points of interest. We drove through several interesting villages (such as Bormes-les-Momosas) but we were not allowed to explore them. Lastly the excursion directors on both cruises were of little value to independent travelers. The information provided at the nightly 10 minute lectures was disappointing. Requests for train schedule information and travel info received little attention.Our friends who just completed their 4th Wind Star cruise on the Wind Spirit (Civitavecchia to Anthens), reported to us that evening meals on their cruise were disappointing. Read Less
WORST PART OF THE TRIP Getting there and getting back, Barbados and Nevis. The Miami airport is awful. There appeared to be no organization to clearing customs. Barbados and Nevis are 3rd world countries. Personally, if I want to see ... Read More
WORST PART OF THE TRIP Getting there and getting back, Barbados and Nevis. The Miami airport is awful. There appeared to be no organization to clearing customs. Barbados and Nevis are 3rd world countries. Personally, if I want to see unemployed vagrants, I can go to any inner city for a lot less $$$. The immigration people in Barbados when we entered were scowling, humorless, and irritated that we were there to spend money in their poor run-down island.
BEST PART OF THE TRIP The other passengers and the ship itself, which is in great condition. We met so many really nice and interesting people - who also had good manners. If you like to drink too much and boogy till ya puke, this isn't the cruise for you. Most passengers are experienced, interesting people with lots of good conversation to share. Their company was truly a highlight. There were several children on this trip, except for 1 boy in a stroller who was loud, all were well-mannered and cute fun kids.
ACCOMMODATIONS Very nice cabins - even standard size. The suites are very spacious, but not necessary. Cabin stewards are excellent. There's fresh fruit and a small vase of fresh flowers as well as a very nice assortment of soaps, shampoos, and body lotions. Towels were large enough to easily wrap around and the bathrobes were nice and eliminated the need to take on along. The hair dryer is kind of lame, but did ultimately do the job. TV and VCR were great with some movies to watch that I had not seen.
DINING Both the Restaurant and the Bistro were very attractive. The breads and deserts were all simply wonderful. Appetizers, soups, and salads at dinner were great - better on some nights, but over all, really good. I only have a couple of "areas for improvement" to note. The fish entrees were ALWAYS overcooked (except the lobster which was always perfect). The sirloin was tough - well gee, why wouldn't it be - it's tough on land as well. The filets were just fine when delivered as ordered. Filet serving sizes were small, but after all the preliminary courses, they were more than adequate. Lunch and breakfast choices were good. Breakfast was particularly good - eggs a zillion ways, smoked salmon everyday, great pastries, cereals hot and cold, fresh melons, pineapple, grapes as large as plums - all were very good. Lunch was the least exciting. The buffet items were not too good and I didn't care for all the marinated/vinegar type salads. One day there was a meat in a gravy dish, but no pasta or rice to put it over which seemed a little odd to me. A good sandwich bar would have been a welcome choice.
BAR The bar staff is really good. The white wine selection is fine - if the only wine you like is a chardonnay. The second day out, they were out of the pinot grigio with no replenishment. The liquor selection isn't extensive, but is adequate in terms of quality range and choice - after all this isn't a giant ship with storage for 5 different port selections. Beer selection is adequate for mainstream consumption - Bud, Bud Light, Hiney, and one or two others.
COFFEE All of it good - not wimpy. Espresso, cappacino, laite available w/meals.
ROOM SERVICE Zippy - fast - efficient and a good selection.
This was a good vacation. I appreciated the lack of announcements all day long. On Christmas Day, we sailed around under sail power. It was a great day, although it was the first time I ever ate French fries and played a slot machine on Christmas day. The ports of St. Barts and Isle de Sainte were really nice. I suspect the French islands are a lot nicer than some of the others. Ship management gets FOUR HAPPY FACES for the way everything is handled. When seas were too choppy to go to Anguilla and St. Martin (French side), we sailed around until we could dock on the Dutch side. When the sister ship, Club Med, was in the vicinity, they arranged for us to sale next to them for a while to get some really good pictures. This is one area where the differences were apparent - Wind Surf sails are clean - Club Med sails dirty w/soot. The ship is very clean everywhere.
It was a good vacation. Read Less
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