My brother chose this cruise and invited us to join him. While it wasn't an itinerary we had ever considered, we soon became excited about seeing such a different part of the world. From start to finish, we loved our time on the Wind Surf. Both embarkation and disembarkation were quick and nearly effortless. The personable and attentive staff made us feel special, and the size of the ship (312 passengers) made it a much more intimate cruising experience than we'd previously experienced. The food was excellent and varied, so we looked forward to every meal. My husband is a vegetarian, and the kitchen staff were very attentive to be sure he was happy with his meals (they even gave him a preview of the next night's menu in case he wanted to request that they make him a special entree, which turned out not to be needed). We did not partake in evening entertainment (as we generally had to get up early for tours), but attended a couple of interesting lectures about upcoming ports of call or cultures. We chose some of the excursions offered by the ship, and booked others on our own. We were very pleased with the ports we visited (St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Tallinn, Klaipeda, and Gdansk), and felt we learned a lot. (The sea was too rough to tender in Bornholm, so we had an unexpected sea day, but it was the loveliest weather and we were under full sail for over three hours.) We spent four nights in Stockholm prior to boarding the ship (at the Grand Central Hotel by Scandic), and another three nights in Copenhagen at the end (at the Hotel Admiral), and very much hope to return to both cities. We very much look forward to traveling with Windstar again.
We found our cabin to be very comfortable. We were on the lowest level of cabins, so very close to the water, but we never experienced any motion issues, and loved looking right out on the water through our porthole. There was plenty of room to put our suitcases under the bed, and ample cupboards, drawers, and hangers so that we could keep everything ship-shape. Victor, our cabin steward, was very helpful and attentive to all requests. Ice and drinking water were regularly replenished, and the towels were wonderfully large and fluffy. There was plenty of shelf space in the small bathroom for all our toiletries, and there was a great dual shower head arrangement and lots of good pressure and hot water. We never even turned on the television, as there were too many other things to enjoy!
We took a fabulous 2-day tour with TJ Travel, which I will review separately. Among other things, we saw the Amber Room, the Peter & Paul Fortress, Yusupov Palace, Catherine Palace, Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, Hermitage Museum, Peterhof Palace, St. Isaac's Cathedral, the subway, and a Neva River Cruise. It was a wonderful two days that we will never forget!View All 204 Private Tour Reviews
We simply rode the hop on - hop off bus. It was a rainy day, so we didn't hop off except at the Church of the Rock (which was very interesting). But later the sun came out, so we walked around down near where we were docked.
We were in a small group of 8 people for the first part of the tour (driving around the newer parts of the city) and 10 people on the walking tour of the Old Town. Our guide Daniel was very knowledgeable, and we really enjoyed his information and all the places we went. This is a charming town, with a grand history of music, and we stayed and ate lunch in the square after the tour was over.View All undefined undefined Reviews
We took the ship's arranged tour called Legends of the Hill of Witches -- we had the most marvelous storyteller for a guide, and we loved every minute. Such an interesting history, and we were fascinated by his description of their lack of identity because of being under so many different rules (and their town having been virtually destroyed in World War II).
Our guide Anna started us out with a magnificent short organ concert on a 7000 pipe organ, and we put ourselves completely in her hands (because we could have asked to go anywhere) and had a wonderful and varied experience in seeing different parts of town (we went to a beach, even though it was raining, just to see it). The weather improved by the time we got to the Old Town, so we got plenty of exercise seeing many wonderful parts of the city.View All undefined undefined Reviews
We spent four wonderful days in Copenhagen, doing a lot of walking and bus riding. We did take one short tour, an under the bridges boat tour, and we visited the wonderful Vasa Museum, but mostly just wandered all over and ate good meals and enjoyed ourselves!