This is our third and likely last Windstar cruise. There are many reasons we feel this way. First, the Windsurf is need of serious updates. There is surface rust visible throughout the exterior decks. Several warped deckboards, metal step treads almost rusted through near the pool area. Interior wise carpets and fabrics are in very worn condition. Beds are uncomfortable and left us with back aches. The food quality is sub-par for the price. The excursions offered were super limited and overpriced. We had to do our own research and planning and found much better island experiences independently.
Overall, the bar staff were the friendliest folks on the boat. The cabin stewards and food service were a close second. Other than that, no one else really spoke to us, except Andrew the beverage manager who tracked us down 2 different nights around 8:30 - 9:30pm (once sat down at our dinner table) to inquire bar charges on our beverage plan, which we had disputed. His tone and demeanor were accusatory and offensive to us which let to me raising my voice at him. It was definitely the straw that broke the camels back and made us decide to try new cruise lines going forward. We three out of four family members on the unlimited beverage package. The two family members sharing another cabin and one was not on it because he hardly ever drinks alcohol. The root of the problem is there systems can’t seem to keep straight who is buying what and charged a lot of drinks to the person not on the plan that we had to dispute. The whole situation was handled poorly, and you should not interrupt a guest in the middle of dinner to discuss these matters. The beverage package is pretty expensive at around $418 pp per week. You have to sign for every drink and many days you are in port most of the day, so you may think twice before signing up for this. One would think on an unlimited beverage package that you should be able to get any wine on the menu. However with this plan, only wines by the glass under 11.50 a glass are included (no bottles). We are wine people and were not happy to be served from a bottle opened the previous night, every day. The bar staff was pretty much very friendly with a few minor exceptions. In retrospect, we should not have got the beverage package at all.
The appearance of the yacht, as I said above, was worn and tired. It's time to dry dock and overhaul this vessel asap. There is no way I would get back onboard the Windsurf until many changes were made. The Windstar in contrast, is in overall better condition, although not perfect, seems about 5 years fresher in terms of wear, tear and rust.
Housekeeping was absolutely wonderful. The room was always spotless and the steward was personable and super friendly. He spoke to us everyday and asked how our day was. The room was very small (245 SF?) with two port hole windows. This ship does not have any balconies. We were on the second floor and it was pretty quite and no issues with the ship moving too much for us. The stand up shower is tiny and would be hard to navigate for overweight people. No tub. Small TV with limited cable. Tired linens and carpet. Also room service was very responsive and we enjoyed having breakfast in the room most days.
A wonderful day on the beach! Water sports, steel drums, beach BBQ, everything was great. The only advice would be to get there early as they eventually ran out of chairs and umbrellas. Snorkling was very good, but watch out for the many sea urchins. Fish were amazing.
No need for an excursion, just get off the boat and follow the Belmont boardwalk to Princess Margaret Beach. Lots of great bars and restaurants along the way. Does involve a going up some steps, but not too bad..