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Our cruise was the "Yachtsman's Caribbean", a 7-night round trip voyage to/from St Maarten, with stops in Antigua, Tortola, Virgina Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and St Barths. This was my 10th voyage on the Wind Surf, including 3 voyages when the ship was owned by Club Med. I guess I am just a repeat offender? As usual, we flew into St Maarten a few days early (always a wise choice) and spent 2 nights at the Sonesta Beach Resort and Casino at Great Bay, from where we could look across the water at the cruise ship dock. See my review on Trip Advisor for our great stay there. We boarded the ship right after 1 PM, and the check-in was completely seamless. We settled into Cabin 151, located very near the front of the ship, just a few steps from the steps/elevator up to the Veranda and the AmphorA restaurant. Prime location! Only nit was that a few of the pillow shams were slightly frayed. I was also pleased to see that the L'Occitane "Verbena" soap was back, although I missed the shampoo and body wash. Soon we were sailing away to the strains of "Conquest of Paradise", and marveling at the fantastic sunset. First step was to get to know the crew, as they are the heart and soul of Windstar. Several of the crew remembered me from past voyages, and greeted me by name. Even one of the deck hands recognized me! First stop was at the Customer Service desk, where I picked up a Windstar windbreaker that I had bought on a previous voyage, but inadvertently left on the ship. The Wind Surf crew found the windbreaker for me, shipped it to Seattle, then transported it by courier to the Wind Surf so that I could pick it up. I later bought several other articles of Windstar apparel in the ship's boutique. We were invited to have dinner with Savvas, the Restaurant Manager, and also spent some time chatting with Captain Steffen, quite the rakish looking sailor indeed, and very gregarious. He often would take his meals with guests, and was very visible around the ship. Food and service in the restaurants was impeccable, as was the bar service. Kudos to Savvas and his entire team. Later I spent some time working with the Bar Manager Dave, and the General Services Manager Marie. They empowered me to play some of my music (I am a former DJ) during Happy Hours in the Compass Rose lounge. This was fortunate, because the iPod dock on their sound board was out of service, and they only had 2 CD's to play, both of which were wildly inappropriate. I got many favorable comments about the music, and Dave noticed that guests were spending more time in the lounge, and that beverage sales were much improved. This was my second consecutive voyage where I was able to play music, and I greatly enjoyed it. There were some great activities in store for us, including a guest appearance by Olympic champion Mark Spitz, who delivered a charming and informative talk about his athletic career and personal experiences, and then taught a Master swimming class at the beach barbecue at Prickly Pear Beach. I won two bottles of champagne during the cruise, one for joining the team that won the weekly Trivia Contest, and another for my single-handed victory at the "Name That Tune" contest. We also got to see a spectacular rainbow, with the "pot of gold" right in front of the ship, and an exciting off-shore yacht race (REALLY big yachts) that crossed the finish line just ahead of the ship. The entertainment on board was mostly excellent, especially the fabulous and talented "Rain "Duo" (Craig and Nicola) that performed before and after dinner in the Compass Rose. I have gotten to know both of them quite well, and always try to plan my cruises for when they are on board. They packed the lounge every night. and wowed the crowds with their talent, showmanship and musical skills. On the other hand, the "Summer Wind" combo (piano, bass, drums, and vocalist) in the main lounge was very ordinary, to say the least. The lead singer was young, attractive, vivacious, and had a very nice voice. But the band was pretty ragged, and they could have used a guitarist. Their playlist was rather odd, with songs such as the Connie Francis nugget "Stupid Cupid", They also often played many of the same songs that "Rain" played, sometimes in the exact same order! Although some of the guests seemed to like them OK, I heard lots of negative comments. As a result, the main lounge was often completely deserted shortly after dinner. We only took one shore excursion, which was after we disembarked from the ship early Saturday morning, and our return flight home did not depart until 3 PM. The St Maarten Island Tour was the perfect answer, as it included transfer to the airport, and filled the day. Our next Windstar cruise will be in September on the Wind Surf for the "Splendors of Southern Spain". Can't wait. Maybe you can join us!  

Cruising on the Windstar is like coming home for the holidays!

Wind Surf Cruise Review by GARYTHEHITMAN

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2015
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview Stateroom
Our cruise was the "Yachtsman's Caribbean", a 7-night round trip voyage to/from St Maarten, with stops in Antigua, Tortola, Virgina Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and St Barths. This was my 10th voyage on the Wind Surf, including 3 voyages when the ship was owned by Club Med. I guess I am just a repeat offender?
As usual, we flew into St Maarten a few days early (always a wise choice) and spent 2 nights at the Sonesta Beach Resort and Casino at Great Bay, from where we could look across the water at the cruise ship dock. See my review on Trip Advisor for our great stay there. We boarded the ship right after 1 PM, and the check-in was completely seamless. We settled into Cabin 151, located very near the front of the ship, just a few steps from the steps/elevator up to the Veranda and the AmphorA restaurant. Prime location! Only nit was that a few of the pillow shams were slightly frayed. I was also pleased to see that the L'Occitane "Verbena" soap was back, although I missed the shampoo and body wash. Soon we were sailing away to the strains of "Conquest of Paradise", and marveling at the fantastic sunset.
First step was to get to know the crew, as they are the heart and soul of Windstar. Several of the crew remembered me from past voyages, and greeted me by name. Even one of the deck hands recognized me! First stop was at the Customer Service desk, where I picked up a Windstar windbreaker that I had bought on a previous voyage, but inadvertently left on the ship. The Wind Surf crew found the windbreaker for me, shipped it to Seattle, then transported it by courier to the Wind Surf so that I could pick it up. I later bought several other articles of Windstar apparel in the ship's boutique.
We were invited to have dinner with Savvas, the Restaurant Manager, and also spent some time chatting with Captain Steffen, quite the rakish looking sailor indeed, and very gregarious. He often would take his meals with guests, and was very visible around the ship. Food and service in the restaurants was impeccable, as was the bar service. Kudos to Savvas and his entire team.
Later I spent some time working with the Bar Manager Dave, and the General Services Manager Marie. They empowered me to play some of my music (I am a former DJ) during Happy Hours in the Compass Rose lounge. This was fortunate, because the iPod dock on their sound board was out of service, and they only had 2 CD's to play, both of which were wildly inappropriate. I got many favorable comments about the music, and Dave noticed that guests were spending more time in the lounge, and that beverage sales were much improved. This was my second consecutive voyage where I was able to play music, and I greatly enjoyed it.
There were some great activities in store for us, including a guest appearance by Olympic champion Mark Spitz, who delivered a charming and informative talk about his athletic career and personal experiences, and then taught a Master swimming class at the beach barbecue at Prickly Pear Beach. I won two bottles of champagne during the cruise, one for joining the team that won the weekly Trivia Contest, and another for my single-handed victory at the "Name That Tune" contest. We also got to see a spectacular rainbow, with the "pot of gold" right in front of the ship, and an exciting off-shore yacht race (REALLY big yachts) that crossed the finish line just ahead of the ship.
The entertainment on board was mostly excellent, especially the fabulous and talented "Rain "Duo" (Craig and Nicola) that performed before and after dinner in the Compass Rose. I have gotten to know both of them quite well, and always try to plan my cruises for when they are on board. They packed the lounge every night. and wowed the crowds with their talent, showmanship and musical skills.
On the other hand, the "Summer Wind" combo (piano, bass, drums, and vocalist) in the main lounge was very ordinary, to say the least. The lead singer was young, attractive, vivacious, and had a very nice voice. But the band was pretty ragged, and they could have used a guitarist. Their playlist was rather odd, with songs such as the Connie Francis nugget "Stupid Cupid", They also often played many of the same songs that "Rain" played, sometimes in the exact same order! Although some of the guests seemed to like them OK, I heard lots of negative comments. As a result, the main lounge was often completely deserted shortly after dinner.
We only took one shore excursion, which was after we disembarked from the ship early Saturday morning, and our return flight home did not depart until 3 PM. The St Maarten Island Tour was the perfect answer, as it included transfer to the airport, and filled the day.
Our next Windstar cruise will be in September on the Wind Surf for the "Splendors of Southern Spain". Can't wait. Maybe you can join us!
 
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Cabin Review

Oceanview Stateroom
Cabin B 151
Cabin 151 is located on the starboard side, almost all the way forward, near the elevator that leads up to the Veranda and AmphorA restaurants.
Deck 1 Outside Cabins