Sail Date: December 2017
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 ... Read More
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. The food quality is typical cruise fare. The plates were always too hot to touch indicating they had been under a heat lamp for an extended period of time and that was reflected in the taste and texture of the food. Getting reservations at any of the specialty restaurants is a frustrating game. The first day we went to guest services to make dinner reservations. We waited in a line. The couple of front of us high-fived that they got three reservations for the week. We called immediately after they hung up and were told all the reservations for the week were taken. We walked by 2 hours later and heard another guest securing reservations on the same phone. After that we complained to several staff members who referred us a dining room manager, he put us on a waiting list. We had to wait all week to see and were notified on very short notice that they were able to fit us in due to a cancellation. Having been a prior suite guest being able to come and go as we please, I know that there are always several extra tables and that are never used. I was happy that we got to eventually dine at Candles, but not happy with the process and level of frustration involved in simply making a dinner reservation. I said to one of them, maybe this wouldn't be so hard if we had booked in time to get the suite, which is the way it felt we were being treated, again 2nd class. Additionally, none of the ship's officers recognized us at all and we sailed on the same ship less than 6 months ago. The was our 3rd and likely last Windstar cruise. The first cruise was in Greece on the Windstar in the Owner's suite and it was great. The second one was on the Windsurf in the Bridge suite to the BVI’s and it was also good, but we had the best category cabin on the boat. This time we booked at the last minute and took the last 2 rooms available on the boat, which were on lower levels. Wow, what a difference not having a suite makes! It was like we were 2nd class citizens compared to the way we were treated before. We were also surprised and disappointed that we were not invited to the private party for returning guests. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
My first WindStar cruise December 16-23 from Barbados and I was a little apprehensive about sailing with them as I was solo and thought I might be out of place as I am a simple kind of guy and worried about being among high rollers. Turns ... Read More
My first WindStar cruise December 16-23 from Barbados and I was a little apprehensive about sailing with them as I was solo and thought I might be out of place as I am a simple kind of guy and worried about being among high rollers. Turns out any concerns were not warranted and I really enjoyed the Wind Star experience which is truly a huge change from the large cruise ships. The food was very good and service throughout the ship was superb, we got to experience the "real"caribbean and with Wind Star you spend so much more time in port you really can get a feel for each island and I like nothing more than walking around an island and finding that perfect beach bar or old fort to experience. Only two places we actually docked were Castries, St Lucia and St. George, Grenada and the other we used life boats to tender in and since you are there until late we only had 5-20 people in our tender each time. I especially loved Bequia and Mayreau part of St Vincent and if the Hurricanes in September had not moved our cruise from St Maarten I probably would not have experience these two gems. Cabin was fine and heard no complaints from others about their cabin, small casino but since we usually only sailed late in the day I never saw anyone use it, and liked that there were very very few announcements about sales etc that those who have been on large ships have experienced. Dinner was quick or you could linger as you desire and the dining room was broken up into smaller areas which gave an experience of being in a very nice restaurant and not a large dining hall. The sea scallops were my favorite entree ordered with lobster and shrimp bisque coming in second. Deck Bar B Q was so great with grilled lobster and whole pig with so many other items and a steel drum band which made the night for me. Our beach Bar B Q was nicely done and again with a steel drum band. Loved that they had printed sheets of paper with daily newspapers which gave a short list of hot items to keep up on events and I appreciated to read during breakfast. Cruise never ever felt crowded and did not have to plan to go here or there during a certain time to avoid crowds ever. I will plan on sailing with Wind Star again especially if I can find a trip where they forgo the single supplement. If you are hesitant to try Wind Star as I was my recommendation is to give them a try and I think you will enjoy as I have especially if you enjoy the sailing part of cruising and do not outside activities like shows, etc. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We picked the 7 night Eastern Caribbean sail out of St. Maarten before the two devastasting hurricanes. Although they had to change the itinerary 2 times, we ended up going out of Barbados and spent one day at sea and still visited 6 ... Read More
We picked the 7 night Eastern Caribbean sail out of St. Maarten before the two devastasting hurricanes. Although they had to change the itinerary 2 times, we ended up going out of Barbados and spent one day at sea and still visited 6 islands. The staff is amazing -- friendliest and hardest working crew I have ever seen - the island picnic exceeded expectations -- too much work for the crew !!. The food is amazing --choice of 4 restaurants plus Yacht Club open until 6 pm for sandwiches and desserts. Quality is just fabulous! Facilities are amazing --always clean and always being maintained before your very eyes. The Windstar credited us somewhat for cost of extra travel to Barbados. We also received on shipboard credits and cabin upgrade. Windstar did its best to make everything right and for that reason, we would choose them again!! We would definitely consider Windstar again and would maybe look at their Amalfi coast, Greek Island or Polynesian cruises. Windstar is a class cruise and the staff makes it phenomenal ! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Chose this cruise because DH wanted to cruise on the ship with sails, and there were islands we had not yet experienced in the Caribbean-Barbuda, Isles de Saintes, and St Barths. Our cabin was 222 which was convenient to the stairs, ... Read More
Chose this cruise because DH wanted to cruise on the ship with sails, and there were islands we had not yet experienced in the Caribbean-Barbuda, Isles de Saintes, and St Barths. Our cabin was 222 which was convenient to the stairs, embarking / disembarking. For a small ship, our cabin was very comfortable and our steward was excellent - always had fresh ice and fresh linens. We were greeted with fresh flowers, fruit, and chocolates in our cabin - which were replenished during the cruise. There is no extra charge for the specialty restaurants which we enjoyed. For breakfast in addition to a buffet of great choices and an egg/omelette station, you also had menu items to choose from: tacos, waffles, french toast, a variety every day. Lunch was the same with a buffet, cooking station with a daily offering (roast pork, leg of lamb, salmon, etc) and the freshest ice cream - always an ice cream and a sherbert plus other desserts. The island beach BBQ was my least favorite although the food was plentiful and there was a band playing - nice atmosphere, just crowded feeling. We had lobster two nights; once in the Main Dining Room and once the night the staff grilled on deck. Best part of the cruise: there were no walkers or wheelchairs pushing their way around on deck and shore excursion numbers were small. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Since this forum helped me decide to travel with Star Clippers, I feel obligated to report on the marvelous experience I have just completed, March 25-April 1 on the Star Flyer, Treasure Islands itinerary, and to counter the mutterings and ... Read More
Since this forum helped me decide to travel with Star Clippers, I feel obligated to report on the marvelous experience I have just completed, March 25-April 1 on the Star Flyer, Treasure Islands itinerary, and to counter the mutterings and nitpicking of some disgruntled previous posters. Most importantly, this is a far different experience than traveling on a behemoth cruise ship with thousands of passengers. Harking to the bygone days of clipper ships, it replicates a much quieter, more intimate, more collegial journey. You get to know your fellow passengers (there were 155 of us, and 70 crew, total) far better, since you see each other frequently. Most are veteran travelers, with stories and advice to generously share, both with previous Star Clippers trips, and with other cruise lines. On my trip they were a pleasant mix of Americans and Europeans (British, German, Swiss, and French), although most nationalities tended to keep to themselves. All shipboard announcements were made in English, German, and French. I traveled solo, and found several other passengers who were as well. This presents no problem at all, as seating at meals and participation in on-ship and on-shore events allow constant mingling; I never felt like a fifth wheel, and was always welcomed to a table or to a social group. I was able to form some delightful friendships. The ship’s entire staff and crew, top to bottom, deserve the highest praise for their unremitting professionalism, courtesy, and efficiency. It must take a special kind of crew to work amidst a bunch of always-in-your-way passengers, asking you questions, but every one of them handled their duties with aplomb and patience, every, every minute. Meriting special commendation is the cruise director, Steffi, who was worth her weight in gold! She was always on top of everything, giving clear information, and exhibiting a wonderful combination of enthusiasm, patience, and efficiency. Captain Yuriy, too, was a welcome, knowledgeable, reassuring presence (and many of us appreciated his early request that we eschew any talk of politics or religion!) Was the rocking a problem? Not really. A few people wore patches or took tablets, but I found that you very easily, very quickly adapt to instinctively shifting your weight to accommodate. Even with a cabin in the aft area, clipper deck (#343), it was not particularly noticeable (although, admittedly, we had calm seas the entire trip). The appearance of the ship was absolutely top-flight at all times, in every single area. The stress on safety was appreciated, and clearly more necessary than on large cruise ships, since we were much closer to the ship’s operation. Safety instructions were reiterated and explicit, as they needed to be. The food was far, far better than we had any right to expect. Absolutely superb. Day after day, night after night we marveled at how the chef and his staff (in that little galley) could continue to produce such wonderful meals. Everything was absolutely delicious and in many ways superior to that of the large cruise ships. The bars, too, were well-stocked and well-tended. The service of everyone was excellent in all respects, from stewards to waiters, to tender operators, to engineers and sail crew, to officers, consistently exhibiting a high standard of quality and exemplary work ethic. My room steward was every bit as attentive and responsive as those on large ships. The tender operators diligently toiled in the hot sun hour after hour to ferry passengers to and from shore, always providing extremely helpful, safe, and efficient service. I was originally apprehensive about using tender service to and from the shore, as all but the initial embarking in St. Maarten and final debarking there was accomplished by tender. But at every moment I felt safe and under careful supervision and attention. Not to worry! I am not a lie-on-the-beach person, and traveled mainly for the experience of enjoying the working of the ship itself and the destinations, so I found these latter, especially in Anguilla and the BVI, to be a little too remote for my taste. In Tortola, we had no chance to visit Road Town, the capital of the BVI, as we were there only one evening, anchored far from the town, in which everything was closed, anyway (which was regrettable). There are very few excursions provided (one or two per port), along with a few sports activities on shore and on the ship. I made my own arrangements for tours on St. Martin and St. Kitts, so I can’t effectively evaluate those provided by the ship. The highlight of each day was the departure, with sails going up and music playing—really stirring, and unlike anything I had experienced before—a time we all looked forward to each day. I found no problem whatsoever with anyone hogging deck lounge chairs as some have mentioned on this board; everyone courteously vacated them, taking their towels, when no longer needed. The aft area under the awning was a refreshing hangout location, but it never became contentious. I found extremely helpful, and would highly recommend viewing, the 360-degree virtual tour of the Star Flyer provided by Star Clippers: http://www.starclippers.com/us-dom/explore-star-clippers/virtual-tours/star-flyer-virtual-tour.html A few quibbles: • The embarkation process in the terminal was too slow, with only the cruise director valiantly trying to handle everything in the embarkation area, and long lines resulting. More help is needed on this. • Even restricted to two areas, it was hard to avoid the smokers. Might Star Clippers give any thought to a smoke-free cruise? Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
TOns of smokers on this ship , they should be allowed places to smoke , but limited. impossible to get into the private dining rooms. Zero children on this trip - excellent - the cruise line does a very good job of explaining this is ... Read More
TOns of smokers on this ship , they should be allowed places to smoke , but limited. impossible to get into the private dining rooms. Zero children on this trip - excellent - the cruise line does a very good job of explaining this is probably a cruise where children will be disappointed and lack things to do. Entertainment was pretty much non-existent except for the crew - they were actually better than the paid musicians. Love that the small ship ca get into smaller ports and ZERO days at sea (yay!) new island every day. ship is getting a little long in the tooth. lots of return cruisers on this line , many obviously love it. Food was very uneven - some things great others mediocre or cold , surprising for so few passengers. Wine list is awful , i could put together a better list at half the price. C'mon this is not that hard , why the lack of effort ? The hard liquor list was very good. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This was my third Windstar cruise - second one on the Windsurf. I chose the BVI Yachtman's Caribbean as I remembered those islands from long ago sailing. Unfortunately, we couldn't snorkel or catamaran very often (excursions were ... Read More
This was my third Windstar cruise - second one on the Windsurf. I chose the BVI Yachtman's Caribbean as I remembered those islands from long ago sailing. Unfortunately, we couldn't snorkel or catamaran very often (excursions were cancelled) due to rough seas, so not a lot to do. There were then limited excursions left to take advantage of. I did swim with the Stingrays - that was cool. The best day was St Bart's - catamaran cruise. Josh Van Dyke - the beach trip , Whites Bay, was good and they had shopping huts. Foxys was a dud - morning visit, nothing open. We couldn't do the evening visit , due to rough seas. Sopers hole, Tortola it rained. St. John's Antiqua was the dolphin swim. I did the final day Americas cup sailboat racing and that was FUN! The ship is getting tired - wallpaper is peeling in the rooms and the lounge has an old vibe to it. I didn't stay up late to hear the lounge singers. I found the staff distant and the captain not often visible. It was a different crowd this time - maybe sell off prices attracts different travellers? As a single traveller , I pay a lot and I expected a more upscale group of guests. The other sailings had that. I do think there are last minute sell - offs that change the vibe of the ship. The crew seemed tired - not as friendly as other cruises, less attentive. Again, maybe due to the weather being not great - rocking ship at night, not a lot of sleep, tenders difficult in high waves etc. My room 230 - was noisey with a motor type noise and a drain outside my room, gurgling all night. I asked to change rooms but they had only a lower grade stateroom, that I thought might be rougher. Overall, I was disappointed with this cruise. I will go with this line again - perhaps In Europe. I won't sail on the Windsurf again. I think I prefer a smaller vessel. The Star Legend ship was lovely last year - ABC islands. No sails but we didn't get to use the sails in the Windsurf except for one time. Even the beautiful sail away was a disappointment as the sails didn't open. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We had a very enjoyable cruise with Windstar in February out of St Martin. As previous travellers with Star Clippers we were interested to see the differences between the two. In terms of cabin we had superior cabin on Windstar - ... Read More
We had a very enjoyable cruise with Windstar in February out of St Martin. As previous travellers with Star Clippers we were interested to see the differences between the two. In terms of cabin we had superior cabin on Windstar - which is actually two standard cabins knocked together, bringing the benefit of two bathrooms, and two separate wardrobe/dressing area which felt a real luxury! This cabin was very well appointed, with lots of useful storage, and was very quiet. Star clippers Deluxe cabin is very compact, but comes with the added plus of a bath, and balcony. In terms of dining, I would say the food was superior on the Windsurf, however the service in the restaurant was variable. If you ordered side dishes, they often did not arrive to coincide with the main dish - and often we had to chase them. One final major down point was that the main restaurant was very cold. We were in the caribbean and had packed accordingly. All the women were shivering under thick cardies (if they had thought to bring them!) or pashminas. Despite several complaints there was no improvement although they did try to sit us in a warmer section. This boat has recently been refurbished, it does not seem beyond the wit of man to achieve a more convivial temperature. The bar area was equally cold, which may explain why it was very quiet. Thankfully there was a smaller bar outside at the back, where we sought refuge most nights. There is an outside restaurant which was very good. On the Royal Clipper, the restaurant food is very good, as is the service which is consistently good and friendly. There is only restaurant which is indoor. The only bar is outside, lovely in warm weather. Overall the quality of the excursions etc is broadly comparable. In summary the star clippers are more suited to a more casual crowd, who like the sensation of sailing (vs cruising) and are prepared to forego any real evening entertainment. Having said that there was no real chance to dance on the Windstar, whereas on the clippers, the fact that you are all together ( not spread over 3 restaurants and two bars) makes for more of a party atmosphere so there is always some dancing. If you want a very smooth quiet cruise with good food, choose Windstar, but if you like the feel of the boat moving (and don't mind a bit of noise) go for the Clippers which really do sail as much as they can. The clientele on Windstar was 95% American, possibly due to the point of embarkation. Star clippers on the other hand, which usually goes from Barbados in the winter, is much more cosmopolitan with a good mix from Europe/AusNY/USA. Either of these cruise lines can provide you with an excellent holiday! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose Wind Surf because we wanted a more personalized experience and no children. The embarkation process was not a great experience.Possibly because we arrived on the late side (4:00pm)? The person who registered us was less than ... Read More
We chose Wind Surf because we wanted a more personalized experience and no children. The embarkation process was not a great experience.Possibly because we arrived on the late side (4:00pm)? The person who registered us was less than enthusiastic and actually a bit snarky leaving us feeling unwelcome and without answering some questions regarding options for our disembarkation. I know! Right?! The service was inconsistent and the food was, in all honesty, a disappointment. Nothing was prepared properly and oftentimes we had to order a few different items to find ONE somewhat acceptable. We do not consider ourselves food snobs but come on! Not what you would call "fine dining". Generally, the staff was pleasant but I have had better service on much larger ships. We had hoped for a somewhat more upscale feel but that might be do to the limitations that a ship of this size (with 300 plus passengers) has to deal with. Also, the pool size ( a big bathtub) and area simply were not conducive to just relaxing and chilling out. Again, that's another disadvantage inherent with a smaller vessel. But a beautiful ship (although somewhat dated), nonetheless. I mean the wallpaper was peeling off the stateroom wall! Seriously?!! Anyway, that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
FYI: Windstar does cruises geared towards adults only. Embarkation was a breeze. We were on just after official check-in time began. It was quick and easy. Captain was there to great us as we boarded the sleek beautiful Wind Surf. ... Read More
FYI: Windstar does cruises geared towards adults only. Embarkation was a breeze. We were on just after official check-in time began. It was quick and easy. Captain was there to great us as we boarded the sleek beautiful Wind Surf. Staff is exceptional. They really can make or break a vacation and in this case they made it! Can't say enough about any of them. Bar staff, food staff, hotel staff, bridge crew, everyone was great. Hi to Maria, Casey, Eric, Jervie and all the other bar stall who had our names, room numbers, and drink orders figured out in the first day. They were a lot of fun on our trip and really made our journey even better. Hasan our cabin steward helped us with some minor issues in our stateroom, and made sure he kept us up to date on what was being done to improve our cabin. The cabins are of standard cruise ship size. No balcony, but decent enough room. Lots of little storage places everywhere. We keep luggage under the bed so they are out of the way. The food was gourmet dining every lunch and dinner. Breakfast was also good. Lunch and dinner you can do buffet or order off the menu to get served. Ala Carte restaurants were booked after check-in and did take about 3/4 of an hour to do. You got to book each one once. All the dinner food was exceptional. Entertainment was a bit slow for my taste, but with limited space and time, they do a good job with what they have. Sailaway music and raising of the sails was fun, and we watched it every time we left port. The crew talent show is a must see as is liar/liar. Line dancing with the crew was also fun, but geared more towards the crew than the passengers. The included excursion at St. Lucia was incredible. The crew work so hard to get everything set up for the guests. It was a great beach day and bbq. The shore excursions were pricey and limited on some islands. We did excursions through the ship on five out of six islands. All of them were great, but mostly could have been done on our own for less. Disembarkation was well organized and quite easy as well. Passport pickup, luggage retrieval, getting cabs to the airport, all done with ease. There also was no going through customs in St. Maarten so that was a nice surprise. We did our own transportation to the airport and it was way cheaper than through the ship. Not a big deal if you have a later flight. We had an issue with our final bill (it ended up being our mistake) but the staff bent over backwards to make sure we were happy with how it was resolved. This included access to the internet or a phone call to our travel agent if necessary. We did not take them up on this offer, but the gesture was greatly appreciated on our end. If you have an issue with motion sickness, you will need something as these ships are smaller and rock more than a large ship. I didn't let that bother me though...just took some dramamine and was good to go for the week. One suggestion to Windstar would be to include current weather forecast announcements before people go out for the day. They list it in the bulletin the night before, but they weren't always accurate. Overall, we had a great time and the staff really made the difference. We would not only recommend this cruise ship, but the cruise line itself. We plan to do another cruise with Windstar in the future. Incredible experience! Thanks Windstar and Wind Surf! Read Less

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