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811 Windstar Cruise Reviews

I am writing this as I go through my mandatory quarantine following another great cruise on the Wind Surf (the last one before operations were halted). This was our second Windstar cruise in less than 4 months after having done a 14-day ... Read More
I am writing this as I go through my mandatory quarantine following another great cruise on the Wind Surf (the last one before operations were halted). This was our second Windstar cruise in less than 4 months after having done a 14-day BTB Caribbean cruise with some friends on Star Legend in November. This time we were travelling as a couple and met 2 other couples from our hometown of Montreal on the ship during the trip. We flew in same day from Montreal as there was a direct flight to Sint-Maarten that arrived around 12h30 giving us plenty of time for our scheduled 7pm departure. We are in our mid 50's and this was our 9th Windstar cruise (all in the Caribbean) and 4th on the Windsurf. We also sailed 5 times with Celebrity prior to switching to Windstar in 2013. This was again a great cruise although there were a few hiccups along the way (especially with the tender operations). We continue to enjoy Windstar's small ships despite the fact capacity was increased by 32 pax on the Wind Surf's recent dry dock (more on this later but we did not feel the increase was noticeable). What we enjoy is the fact you can do things independently easily (we only took one snorkeling excursion from the ship), there is a relaxed dress code at dinner, the food is excellent and last but not least the great service staff who go out of their way to make your cruise memorable. This was the 3rd time we did Yachtsman’s Caribbean itinerary as we love all the stops along the way (BVI's, St Barth, Antigua) although the reason we chose this particular one is the fact it had a twist with no sea day and an extra stop on our favorite island, Anguilla. The weather was a bit challenging during our first 2 stops (Tortola and Jost Van Dyke) with gray skies, strong winds and regular showers. Although weather had begun to clear when in JVD, Captain decided to cancel Virgin Gorda and Beach BBQ in Fischer's Cove and instead go back to Road Town and spend the night docked and remain there the following day. This was disappointing for people that wanted to see the Baths. The crossing from Road Town to Anguilla was very rocky with several guest not able to sleep (incl. myself). The rest of the week was calmer and much sunnier. Another great but not perfect cruise with Windstar Booking: We booked 45 days in advance (we always go for lowest priced cabin as location is not necessarily important to us). We called the company directly (we did not use a travel agent) under the Canadian resident promotion with a $300 discount on the cruise price. This special is not on their website. We booked a guarantee cabin and got upgraded 3 categories to an AX room 255. Windstar also offered a 20% discount on the price of internet, drink package and laundry if all taken together prior to cruise which we did not take as we did not care for the ship’s slow and expensive internet (we had access to a good roaming package which we used most of time as we were always close to islands). Embarkation We flew in same day with an early direct flight out of Montreal which arrived in SXM at 12h20 and we arrived quickly at the ship at 13h30 vs our 19h00 departure as we were, for the first time, travelling with only carry-on luggage which made for speedier exit of busy temporary SXM temporary airport terminal. Cabs were plentiful. Cab ride was $25 for the 2 of us and took 40 minutes (we stopped at Carrefour to pick up a couple bottles of wine which we took onboard). Check-in was swift at front desk given most of the initial rush had passed. Sail away was on schedule at 19h00. We were told our cruise was almost fully booked, so around 325 passengers on board. This was not an issue throughout the cruise as the Wind Surf remains very spacious with nooks and crannies for everyone. Stateroom: We were in stateroom #255 (added to Wind Surf stateroom sticky forum). Staterooms are well designed with plenty of storage if required. The cabin was quiet and had no issues although we understand that at least on 2 occasions during the trip, staterooms located towards the back of the ship (not us) had vacuum issues with toilets not functional for several hours. Our room steward was attentive although we did not have any special requirements. Reusable water bottles we refilled every day with flat water and our ice bucket was kept full with ice every day. Despite being much smaller than on the ones on motor yachts, the rooms are very well designed and we were really only in our room to sleep or change over for dinner. We did not use room service but did use laundry service with no issues. Bathroom is compact and well-designed but starting to show its age. No issues with hot water or water pressure throughout the trip. L’Occitane toiletries are provided in all rooms. Bars and Entertainment: Drinks were mostly taken outside at Compass Rose or Pool Bar. Did not have drinks in the Lounge as we like to be outside although it looked fairly busy in the evening. Bar service was always good. Duo at Compass Rose (D’Harmony) was OK and sometimes had guests dancing but generally it was pretty quiet compared to other Windstar cruises we have taken. We did not attend the crew show Sail Aways were nice and the sails were up more often than in past cruises with our short hop from Anguilla to St Barth done on sail power only (3.5knots) Dry Dock Improvements: Although Wind Surf went into dry dock last November, changes to the ship remain minimal but include a totally renovated (incl. all furniture) and expanded Lounge (no more casino) which is much brighter than previously, the relocation of the Spa from deck 2 to deck 5 (in former Nautilus Room) and which is much larger and nicer than in the past when it was located at the back of deck 2, new chairs in Stella Bistro, a small waiting area near Amphora and new mattresses (firm) in all staterooms plus the addition of 16 new staterooms on deck 3 by reducing the number of suites. We heard onboard that the Wind Surf would get a total overhaul in 2023 Food: Again food was a highlight. We ate at Amphora 4 times, one time each Candles and Stella Bistro and Deck BBQ on the late night in St-Barth. Dinner restaurant hours have been modified from 19h00-21h00 to 18h30-20h30. Given we are late eaters, it seemed we were always racing to meet this deadline. We preferred when restaurants closed at 21h00. Menu at Amphora changes daily and was varied with vegetarian and gluten free options available. Breakfast was good with buffet or a la carte items (waffles, eggs, pancakes, eggs benedict) available. Fresh squeezed OJ, lots of fruits, pastries, smoked salmon, cereal, oatmeal as well as several hot items (love their bacon) were available on the buffet. We had good lunches at Veranda when we made it back in time from the island as the venue is only open from 12h00 to 14h00. Like breakfast, lunch consists of a buffet with hot/cold items, a carving station, pasta bar, burgers and other à la carte items that change every day. We were late a few times and had to “settle” for food at Yacht Club (very good sandwiches and energy bars). Lunch should be extended to 14h30 to accommodate those with dietary restrictions as the menu at the Yacht Club, while good, remains limited for them. Service in the dining rooms at dinner was fast and efficient with meals lasting 1.5 to 2 hours. We mostly had dinner around 8pm and never had to wait more than a few minutes for a table and by the time we were finished, most of the time we were the last table in dining room. Menus were varied with several fish, meat and vegetarian dishes and again were impressed by the quality and presentation of the food. Deck BBQ food was great although they ran out of lobster tails for those who came late which we thought was unacceptable. The Dining Under The Stars option which was offered twice on our Feb 2019 Wind Surf cruise not offered this time around. They had a burger bar lunch from 14h00-15h00 one afternoon but did not get to it as we were still on the island. Beach BBQ was supposed to be held in Fischer’s Cove Virgin Gorda but was cancelled due to strong winds preventing the ship form having a sheltered anchorage so we spent the previous night and following day docked in Road Town for the day. 2 or 3 times during the week (maybe these were every night but I can’t confirm), we were treated to canapés at Compass Rose before dinner. Usually had 2 different types of canapés and staff did a few rounds so plenty to go around. We also saw these served in the Lounge. Had dinner one night at Candles and everything was fine with tender filet mignon cooked to order. Don’t miss the prosciutto/parmesan potatoes. Note they no longer have Red Velvet cake on dessert menu. It had been a staple for several years. We like the Stella Bistro and the French inspired food was excellent when we went We are a bit picky about our coffee and the caffe lattes at Veranda in the morning were good (regular coffee not so much) but even better at Yacht Club (The barista on the Wind Surf however was not as good as Yogi on our November Star Legend cruise). We also did try a few of the sandwiches and sweets offered in the afternoon and all were excellent (try the Tuna and Greek sandwiches and the energy bars). Also new was a tea station set up in Compass Rose in the afternoon which includes cucumber sandwiches and scones… and various teas. A good initiative that seemed to be popular with some guests Although we do like our wine and drinks, for the second time in a row, we did not take any of the beverage packages available including a new one which allows you to purchases 5 bottles of wines in 2 price point categories at a 10-15% discount (several of the wines we liked were not on these lists). In the end it was cheaper, we drank better wines by the bottle and brought a couple of bottles we had bought on shore in St Barth (which they did not confiscate), to Candles and Deck BBQ and both times they did not charge the regular $17 corkage fee (they probably forgot, just too busy). Unfinished bottles were kept for next day and one time they could not find our bottle which had about a third left so they poured us 2 huge glasses of the same wine instead. Being a bit of wine buff, I find the wine list has a varied selection and decent prices. I posted wine and drink lists on Windstar forum last November and another cruiser recently posted them also. Marina We picked up our snorkel gear on Saturday night for our Sunday morning snorkel tour to the Indians although the tour provides its own gear if you forget. Due to the strong winds we did not see the marina open although a couple of times we saw them preparing it, just don’t know if they ever got to opening it formally as we were away on the islands and always came back too late Spa: We visited the new spa but did not use it. Much better location and the spa itself looks very nice. Gym: We did not use gym but it looked clean and well equipped and did not seem overcrowded. Tenders: Tender service was the only issue we had on this cruise. In St Barth, several people had to wait over an hour to 75 minutes for tenders going to and coming back from St Barth (was the case for the 2 couples we met on the ship). On our last day in Antigua, last tender was scheduled at 16h30. 12 of us were there at 16h15 when tender showed up but there were 12 other guests still on the island and instead of taking the 12 back to the ship as scheduled at 16h30 and come back for the remaining ones, we waited until 17h15 for all the late guests. They had plenty of time to have another tender run but for reasons unknown, the Bridge did not let the tender go. Guests were furious because we were kept in the dark and the Bridge’s decision did not seem to make sense from a customer service perspective. I have added more details on this on the Windstar Board under “Wind Surf Poor Tender Service” Tenders were also used in Jost Van Dyke and Anguilla and we did not hear of any issues at those ports. The tenders themselves are also in need of a total overhaul. When compared to Seabourn, Club Med 2 and Star Clipper tenders, the Windstar tenders really look shabby. They will be changing the tenders on the Motor Yachts, they probably should do the same with the sailing ships. Bridge We visited Bridge a few times and the on duty officer was nice and answered our questions. Stops and excursions: We generally are not the type to book ship excursions as we feel they are overpriced and like to do things on our own. I typically like to do my own research and do not like to plan too long ahead. On this trip, we had already been several times to all of the stops and were familiar with all of them so we knew exactly what we wanted to do. Tortola (Road Town, docked): Cloudy/rainy morning, overcast afternoon, light wind. Did ship sponsored snorkeling excursion to Norman Island. Good tour, not too expensive at $69. Snorkeling was ok at the Indians, better than the Norman Island Caves. Got back to shore around noon, had lunch onboard and went back to town and went shopping to Pussers. Town was quiet as it was Sunday and there was no other ship in town. Came back early and spent rest of afternoon on deck. This was our first time in Road Town and we liked it better when the Tortola stop was in Soper's Hole which I understand is being re-instated next year. Nice partial sunset cruise to Jost Van Dyke. They also ran tenders to JVD that evening until 12h30AM for guests that wanted to go to Foxy’s Jost Van Dyke (Great Bay, tender) Strong winds from the Northeast picked up during the night with heavy rains in the morning. Left ship around 10h30 under drizzle and headed to White Bay via taxi ($5/pers. each way 7 minute drive). Weather cleared up a bit by midday but was not great with some rain and some sun. Came back and had a few drinks at Foxy’s which has been rebuilt. Given the strong winds, Captain advised we would not be going to Virgin Gorda the following day (Beach BBQ cancelled) and instead would sail back to Road Town and dock for the night and next day. Tortola Take 2 (Road Town, docked): Finally a nice sunny day. We intended to go to Long Bay (West End) but were told by locals that the 20 ft seas offshore made for precarious swimming on all North Shore beaches so we opted to go Long Bay near Trellis Bay and airport which was sheltered. Taxi was $12/pers. each way (30 minute drive). Given there was also a Disney ship in town and that Long Bay seemed to be the only sheltered beach, it was a bit busy. It is a nice beach with chairs and all services. We went to quieter far end of beach and had lovely day. Came back to ship around 16h00. Overnight sail to Anguilla was very rocky with 12-15 ft waves. Several people including myself had a lousy night sleeping, the only one on this cruise. Anguilla (Road Bay/Sandy Ground, tender): Beautiful sunny day. We chose this cruise because it had this stop which Windstar only started doing this year and only appeared on 2 of the Yachtsman’s itineraries in 2019-2020 (normally replaced by a sea day). We have been to Anguilla several times and it remains one of the least developed islands in the Caribbean which is why we love it so much. It is renowned for its amazing soft white sand beaches which are considered by many (including myself) as some of the finest in the Caribbean if not the world. Given we had been to all of the most popular ones (Shoal Bay East, Rendez-Vous Bay, Meads Bay, Cove Bay or Crocus Bay), we decided to try lesser known Shoal Bay West (taxi $30 for the 2 of us each way 20 minute ride) which has nice beach restaurant called Trattoria Tramonto (free chairs if you have lunch). Very quiet (20 people max on a very nice and long sandy beach facing St. Martin). Came back to ship around 16h00 and had dinner at Candles that evening. Captain advised that because our sail from Anguilla to St Barth was so short (40nm) we would be under sail only most of the time with engines cut off. St Barth (Gustavia, tender): Beautiful sunny day spent at Pearl Beach Hotel on St Jean beach (Taxi 10 minutes, 20 Euros each way for 2). Rented chairs (30 Euros). Had lunch at small sandwich place later in St Jean Village (Kikiémoi). Did some shopping in St Jean. Took cab back to Gustavia where we did a bit of shopping (including wine at Cellier des Gouverneurs which we brought back on ship with no issues) and tender back to ship around 17h15. Our friends who took the tender a little later had to wait over an hour to get back and were late getting to deck BBQ which was held that night. Left St Barth at 22h00. Smooth sailing to Antigua that evening. Antigua (Falmouth Harbour, tender) Nice sunny day. Left ship around 9h30. 6 of us took a cab to Half Moon Bay, one of the nicest and least crowded (due to its remoteness) beaches in Antigua. Cab was $25 return/pers. 40 minute drive). A small restaurant/bar is now on the beach and they also rent chairs which is something new. Great sheltered beach (far end is nicer, less surf). On the way back, taxi took us up to Shirley Heights (part of Nelson Dockyards Park $5 entry fee) to take in the beautiful vista of Falmouth Harbour and English Harbour. Well worth the detour. Taxi dropped us off at the Dockyards where we spent an hour walking around and watching the racing sailboats coming in after their regatta. Got back to the ship only around 17h30 due to aforementioned tender issue. Debarkation. Debarkation was trouble free. Had breakfast around 8am after picking up our passport and having face to face meeting with Immigration on board ship in the morning. Our flight was at 13h45 so we left ship around 9AM and went directly to airport (taxi was $10/pers. as there were 10 of us in the van. Despite all the complaints on the temporary terminal’s cramped spaces, we were through security and immigration in 40 minutes as we had no bags to check. Terminal was cramped but not as bad as last year. Flight back was uneventful and we made it back to Canada just as travelling restrictions were getting tighter due COVID 19. This concluded another wonderful Windstar cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We chose the Windstar Windsurf itinerary to celebrate my husband’s 55th Birthday and we are so glad we did!! It was a very nice change to sail on such a small ship as we enjoyed the beautiful views of the gorgeous islands and ... Read More
We chose the Windstar Windsurf itinerary to celebrate my husband’s 55th Birthday and we are so glad we did!! It was a very nice change to sail on such a small ship as we enjoyed the beautiful views of the gorgeous islands and beautiful yachts surrounding us. The cruise staff were truly amazing people that went out of their way to make our cruise a memorable experience. From the food to the service and their constant attention to our safety makes me only hope that we can enjoy a future cruise with Windstar!! We started our cruise a week before the pandemic required strict travel bans and for good reason but we ended our journey with an overwhelming sense that this company truly cared for the safety of their passengers and crew far more than the loss of future fares. We are very lucky to have enjoyed this cruise experience and we will forever be grateful for our week of fun and sun on such a beautiful cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Sis is allergic to mold, fragrance and chemicals and our diet requires No salt: Windstar met and exceeded our highest hopes! The snorkel gear was great so in most ports we walked, took a water taxi or regular taxi to a beach, all ... Read More
Sis is allergic to mold, fragrance and chemicals and our diet requires No salt: Windstar met and exceeded our highest hopes! The snorkel gear was great so in most ports we walked, took a water taxi or regular taxi to a beach, all beautiful! We booked an excursion with Joy’s tours Saint Lucia, an amazing boat ride to snorkel at the Pitons. Also stopped at Anse Chastenet, famous beach. Can’t wait to return! The Chef’s market tour in Grenada and cooking demonstration the sea day were fun. Yoga/pilates in the morning, the Talent Show and Barbeque all great. Very friendly crew and guests. Terre-de-Haut (Iles des Saintes) was great; book a golf cart in advance to see all the beaches. Great French restaurants, fun shopping. All the islands are fun. Saint Martin the stores are closed on Sunday; Bimini Beach was neat. We loved BBC beach on Grenada. Old San Juan terrific; eat at Caillo Caribe. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This cruise was thrust upon us. We had booked a mid-Feb cruise on the stretched Star Breeze from BCN to MIA but construction delays cancelled that a few days before Christmas. Since we were within 60 days of sailing, and Windstar had all ... Read More
This cruise was thrust upon us. We had booked a mid-Feb cruise on the stretched Star Breeze from BCN to MIA but construction delays cancelled that a few days before Christmas. Since we were within 60 days of sailing, and Windstar had all my vacation money, switching to another line was not possible. So I scrambled and came up with this cruise. With a 20% cruise credit plus the price guarantee, this eastbound (I swore I'd never do another EB T-Atl!) from SJU to LIS was an excellent value. The Star Legend was heading into dry-dock for its stretching so this was its last sailing with passengers in this configuration. There were ~107 of us, so the ship was half empty. The Deluxe Suite I had booked on the Breeze wasn't available on the old layout ships, but we were approved for the mid-ship deck six cabin. It turned out to be the best cabin on the ship (and I'm sad I will never have an opportunity to book it again, after the stretching it will be way too big and expensive for me.) The WS agent had warned me about the obstructed views and she was right. But they didn't matter at all to me. I choose to cruise on small ships because I want to be on a ship, not a floating resort. The constant view of equipment out my window reminded me I was on a ship and actually made me happy. And the lifeboat hanging over top of us when we were on the balcony sheltered us from the view of people on the pool deck above us. The suite was gold. Large, comfortable, luxurious. I will never again book a suite this large again but boy was it fun to have it for one cruise! The cruise itself was delightfully perfect. We had 15 days of glorious, sunny and warm weather accompanied by 13 days of calm seas. This wasn't just luck, the Captain worked hard to keep us away from the bad weather all around us and that meant an extra day in Madeira! The service was what we expected. The food was much better than we expected. The lack of entertainment was not an issue (that is a personal issue for people, but I've discovered that not only do I love sea days, I love sea days without lectures and formal activities even more.) We could hook our laptop up to the TV and watch downloaded movies from Netflix as well as movies from the library (and our collection from home of things we'd 'never got around to.') And there was reading. And simply doing nothing. The only thing I participated in was trivia. I had a wonderful time. As I said before, being on the ship and ship stuff is what is important to me. Windstar ticked every box in that regard especially with the open bridge policy. The majority of my days at sea have been on Silversea and Crystal but we settled into the more casual social life on Windstar just fine. There were a few things we missed but those things come with at a cost, both financial, but also time spent dressing for dinner, or spending an hour at afternoon tea each day. Afternoon tea was the only thing I really missed on this cruise from the other lines. I booked my next cruise while on board. And have 2 more (before then) that I've added to my calendar although I won't book since I feel the cruise industry is a bit unsettled and I'd rather wait until I'm sure the additional cruises won't be changed. ***Wait! There's more*** I can't believe I almost forgot to write about this part of my cruise. We always judge how companies handle things when things go wrong. I did mention that I was pleased with how Windstar treated me when they cancelled my original cruise. But something else went wrong.... Day 3 of the cruise the main water supply to our bathroom broke, flooding the bedroom. When I say flooding, I mean the water spread through the bathroom wall, under the carpet, pooling ~12' away under the window. Help was slightly delayed but to be honest given the speed at which the water was coming in (this wasn't just a leaky toilet), the extra 5 minutes were just more panic time for me, rather than adding significantly to the damage. I got the drapes up so saved them which my cabin steward appreciated since she didn't have an extra set of those. The bolsters (under the bed because it was morning) were soaked so disappeared for the remainder of the cruise (good riddance) and the bed skirt was replaced. I got my own items off the floor so nothing of mine was damaged. In the series of panicked phone calls ("send plumber", "send more towels", "flooding is now across the room", "send wet vac", "send another wet vac, the one here can't keep up") I also asked for the head of housekeeping to come. He and the guest services manager showed up. The ship was only half full so they were prepared to move me to the other suite in our category but that was in the bow and I didn't want it. What I wanted was to get dressed, eat breakfast, and then figure out what would happen. So a key to a suite down the hall was handed to me. We stayed in that suite for 4 nights but had the use of our balcony and (after the blowers were removed) living room, each day. We were compensated for the inconvenience. All staff worked very hard to get us settled again. It was so well handled that on the last day when my husband was telling the hotel director about how much we had enjoyed the cruise, and the hotel manager said, "despite the flood", my husband had to admit he'd forgotten about the flood! The blessing of the flood was it give us a chance to experience what a regular cabin is like. On Silversea and Crystal we had always picked ocean view, lower, mid-ship, cabins. So suddenly we were comparing apples to apples, rather than lowest category to the best suite. Crystal still wins for best designed cabin but the standard cabin on the Star motor yachts is very comparable. My only complaint was the proximity of the bathroom door to the bed and that is solved with the new Star Suites on the stretched ships (the bed will be by the window.) So, in future, we will not be in a suite on Windstar's motor yachts but in an SS1 category suite. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We were looking for a small ship and Wind Star seemed the best choice. We don't care for the mega ships. Star Pride cabins are suites nearly 400 as ft with living area, walk in closet, bathtub mini bar. Lovely lounges are spacious. ... Read More
We were looking for a small ship and Wind Star seemed the best choice. We don't care for the mega ships. Star Pride cabins are suites nearly 400 as ft with living area, walk in closet, bathtub mini bar. Lovely lounges are spacious. Entertainment is live music and port talks, a few receptions. Crowd is mellow. No kids. Long days in port with easy on and off as there are only 200 passengers. Wonderful staff and gourmet meals complete a memorable vacation. There is a full gym open 24 hours and yoga or Pilates every morning. Breakfast and lunch are served in the Veranda. Complete buffet breakfast including smoked salmon every day and cold and hot items or order eggs Benedict or eggs any way. Servers are at your beckon call. Luncheon always includes special item like roast beef or grilled fish and always 3 or 4 hot dishes and many salads, grilled veggies. Dinner served in the lively dining room. Moderate dress code applies. Gourmet dinner always. 4 or 5 choices of appetizer, main course and dessert. Beautiful presentation and impeccable service. Meals are served at specific hours and unlike mega ships, you only eat 3 times a day. Quality not quantity but I still managed to put on 8 pounds in 2 weeks! All in all, highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have been on many Windstar Cruises and I have written many reviews. This trip we were on the refitted Wind Surf. The Surf is an old lady and she has aged well. We always admire her being maintained so well. The new lounge beautiful, ... Read More
We have been on many Windstar Cruises and I have written many reviews. This trip we were on the refitted Wind Surf. The Surf is an old lady and she has aged well. We always admire her being maintained so well. The new lounge beautiful, new furniture in the Yacht Club lovely, new hall rugs in keeping with sailing and pretty, lovely waiting area for the Amphora, new comfortable furniture at Compass Rose. We did not see the new rooms but I assume they were great. What we love about Windstar Cruises: easy embarkation, spacious rooms with plenty of storage space, great hot water pressure, plenty of shaded seating outside, great selection of healthy, varied food choices prepared well, no waiting ever, generous drinks, exemplary cleanliness, a fabulous, friendly, efficient crew, attention to safety. We also love small ports: Bequia, a favorite, Mayreau, fabulous beach, the Soufrière was a new port for us loved it being so close to the Pitons, Bonaire and Curaçao two of our favorite ports. Mix that in with a beautiful day at sea. It was a great cruise, since life is not perfect were there some glitches yes, but who cares and who wants to blame, not us because being on the Caribbean Sea on a beautiful small ship is what sailing with WS is all about for us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Ditto other reviews: delicious food, few onboard activities, personalized service, beautiful sail-away events, phenomenal cabin storage, nice L'Occitan toiletries, great shower with 2 heads, great spa with massages, & best of ... Read More
Ditto other reviews: delicious food, few onboard activities, personalized service, beautiful sail-away events, phenomenal cabin storage, nice L'Occitan toiletries, great shower with 2 heads, great spa with massages, & best of all--fantastic talks by naturalist. But the ship seems tired--1 of 2 generators that power propeller went out, so kitchen was an hour late in preparing dinner the first night, ship rocked massively from side to side on several days, & ship missed a port call in Balboa. There were stains all over cabin carpet & chipped molding in our room. Transfer from Costa Rica airport to Marriott Hotel near San Juan took 10 minutes, & then 2 buses took guests on an hour drive to port--wished we'd taken a lunch with us, as we didn't eat lunch until 3:45pm that day on board ship. Not only were there big buffets for breakfast & lunch, but there was also a menu guests could choose from to include delicious apple pancakes one morning to bratwurst at lunch. There were plenty of non-meat dishes, & waiters could request substitutions for more meals including the delicious James Beard meals. If transiting the Panama Canal, pick your spot on deck 30 minutes before expected start of transit. The wet & dry tenders were fine, & crew even had a towel station to clean your feet after wet tenders. Many times the bridge was open, & guests could look at the all the navigation machines & talk with staff. The talks by the naturalist were fantastic!! While it was a nice cruise & staff went out of their way to be accommodating, I realized that I would have preferred a bigger ship with more activities, less rocking, formal afternoon teas, etc, Also, when the ship got near a port, safety doors were closed on Deck 1, & guests on that floor had to go through the crew stairways at end of halls. But the transit thru Panama Canal was wonderful, & a special speaker was on board just to talk about the transit. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Two years ago Windstar announced the plan to stretch the Star ships increasing the guest capacity from 210 guests to 310 guests. We love the small size and hope that the increase in size doesn’t change the friendly atmosphere on the ... Read More
Two years ago Windstar announced the plan to stretch the Star ships increasing the guest capacity from 210 guests to 310 guests. We love the small size and hope that the increase in size doesn’t change the friendly atmosphere on the ship. We looked forward to another small ship experience before the scheduled stretch. Ship is still beautiful. The gorgeous woodwork, marble bathrooms, and spacious suites are exquisite. There are some signs of wear. Most annoying was the missing sun umbrellas on decks 7 and 8. On previous cruises, there were lots of umbrellas to provide shade. This cruise had only one. We were told that the umbrellas blew away or broke. They are to be replaced. Certainly hope that there will be more shade areas on the stretched ship. Service was superb. Food was delicious. We chose to sit at same table each night for dinner. Our waiter, Melkih, remembered us from previous cruises on the Breeze. He was excellent. We enjoyed the BBQs, beach parties, music by the duos, excursions, etc. we enjoyed the yacht club. Still wish that the yacht club would serve coffee/tea after dinner. The ports were mostly small islands where the big ships don’t go. There wasn’t any big shows. The crew show was fun. Cruise was relaxing. We had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We love Windstar's other ships and wanted to try their large sailing ship for the itinerary Yachtsman Caribbean. Sadly this ship strongly disappointed. Ironically the ship had just come out of dry dock three weeks earlier but two of ... Read More
We love Windstar's other ships and wanted to try their large sailing ship for the itinerary Yachtsman Caribbean. Sadly this ship strongly disappointed. Ironically the ship had just come out of dry dock three weeks earlier but two of the sails were broken and couldn't unfurl each night. Also they refurbished the lounge and half of the cabins and left all the garbage piled up on the ship in plane view. Disgusting. Unlike previous cruises with Windstar where you felt like the crew was quite attentive to you and seemed to know you already by name, the crew on this itinerary (a Christmas sailing) was more involved with their families then with catering to the clientele-not one yacht club member even got a special invite dinner with a senior crew. The ship as a whole was old looking and just dirty. We often saw glasses strewn all over the place, dishes left out, towels left, etc. Never ever saw that on other ships by Windstar in fact normally there would be a staff swooping in to clean it up. The floors on the ship were dirty all the time. It just seemed like this cruise itinerary did not have enough crew-nothing was painted, cleaned, or polished daily unlike other Windstar cruises where we always see crew bustling around doing that. The excursions were poor and we had to wait a lot to get on tinders or our excursions were over booked and we were dropped. The ship also had never been in certain ports before so we had to wait 2 hrs to get off the ship due to customs hang ups and it delayed our Windstar excursions and then the excursions were shortened by them and we still paid the same price. To us it seemed that whoever set up our ship itinerary didn't allot for that customs processing time and then the crew didn't try to adjust their timings to come into port earlier so that clientele was able to do what they had paid for. Communication was very poor among ship staff we noticed unlike other Windstar cruises we have taken with them. The front desk staff seemed understaffed and clueless. When we called room service or to make a reservation for a restaurant 4 out of the 7 times we got an answering service and half the time they never called back. So one time our room service food came to us half wrong. We HATED the way the tinder location was set up. On all other ships you went out the back and got to sit in the lounge prior. Not this ship. You were crammed into the stairwell/elevator area and then when that over flowed we stood in the cabin hallways and blocked and clogged up everyone. It would have been a disaster if there was a fire. There were zero enrichment activities on this cruise itinerary which was unusual. We met none of the locals, heard none of their songs, learned nothing really of their culture that I couldn't google on my own. Way different than other trips. We love Windstar so we really hope this is just a fluke as our previous 5 cruises with them had none of these issues (we did Tahiti, Iceland, and 3 Caribbean before this). However with them making the Star yacht ships bigger and we saw their new layouts we are concerned. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Everything about this cruise was perfect except for the weather. December is apparently the rainy season, something I didn't realize when I booked. So be warned. It didn't ruin the experience, but more sun and less clouds and ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was perfect except for the weather. December is apparently the rainy season, something I didn't realize when I booked. So be warned. It didn't ruin the experience, but more sun and less clouds and rain would have been nice. The best weather we had was the 3 days we spent at the Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort for 3 days before the cruise. Embarkation was fast and efficient.The ship is a little tired, but I understand it's about to go into dry dock soon for some much needed sprucing up. Still, everything was clean and the wonderful crew more than made up for this. We loved that the ship had around 120 passengers and enjoyed getting to know many of our ship mates. The food was outstanding. Breakfast and lunch are mainly buffet style but there are things you can order off the menu. Enormous variety of food and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. It is possible to maintain healthy eating and also to totally be a glutton if you so desire. Dinner in Amphora restaurant is excellent. It is open seating and you can choose to be seated with others if you want. We met some really nice people. The service is excellent. Our only disappointment was the 'special' dinner in the Candles restaurant where the food was sub par. I would skip it next time although maybe they were just having an off night. If you are looking for ritzy entertainment and casino type things you won't like this cruise. There is a duo in the lounge at night and they were very good, but it may be too low key for some. There was line dancing on deck one night and a Polynesian show on an Island one night both of which were fun. The itinerary is perfect, you get to see a lot of different islands. If you like shopping, you won't find too much to buy except black pearl things. We did a snorkeling or water based excursion every day. They were all good but expensive. We should have done less. The snorkeling was good but the reefs they take you to have been damaged by too many tourists. I'm sure there are many unspoiled reefs, but don't expect to see them on these tours. I can understand why they would take tourists only to certain spots given that you see people doing stupid things like standing on the coral. Also I really objected to the fact that on some of the tours they fed the rays and then just tossed the excess fish parts in the water which attracts black tipped reef sharks. I read that this is illegal inside the reef but they do it anyway. The guides assured us the sharks are benign, but they are sharks and it seems irresponsible to feed them or attract them. Also some of them were about 5 feet so if they decide to bite you it would be bad news. Our best tour was the jet ski around Bora Bora. It was AMAZING and 2 hours went by in a flash. Worth every penny! I would go on this cruise or a similar one again but in the non-rainy season. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This is the first trip review that I have ever posted. I felt that it was necessary because of the extremely negative customer experience. First of all, I booked this cruise in February 2019. The cruises line claims that you get the ... Read More
This is the first trip review that I have ever posted. I felt that it was necessary because of the extremely negative customer experience. First of all, I booked this cruise in February 2019. The cruises line claims that you get the best pricing when you book early. Not true. They discounted this cruise right after the final payment date by USD$1000 per couple. When we asked for a refund we were told that the price guarantee does not apply after the last payment date. In my opinion this is false advertising. So I had hoped that the cruise would offer a better customer experience. Wrong again. The Pros: Very large cabins Food was generally good with a few misses. On deck BBQ is a disaster. Cold food and certainly not 5 star. Lamb at Candles was not good either. Buffets at breakfast and lunch are not 5 star. Staff was courteous and friendly however this does not differentiate this line from other lines we have cruised on such as Celebrity and Carnival. The Cons: One 110V electrical outlet in the cabin. Ship is very dated, some cabins had leakage when it rained. Bathrooms were very dated with insufficient shower facilities. Buffets at breakfast and lunch – not a 5 star experience. Pool is about 1.5 times the size of my hot tub at home. I worked in the salon and spa business and I would never entertain having a treatment in their salon. Certainly not a 5 star experience. This ship needs a huge overhaul, which I understand it is due for in Nov 2020. In the interim the cruise line should be discounting fares, not increasing them as this is at best a 3 star experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Quick back round. This was our 37 cruise, the 6th to Tahiti, once on Princess, 2 on Oceania, 1 on Wind Star and 1 on Holland America. This 17 days on Wind Spirit were far and away the best for the following reasons. Wind Spirit at ... Read More
Quick back round. This was our 37 cruise, the 6th to Tahiti, once on Princess, 2 on Oceania, 1 on Wind Star and 1 on Holland America. This 17 days on Wind Spirit were far and away the best for the following reasons. Wind Spirit at most has only has 140 passengers. This cruise was really a 10 day followed by a 7 day cruise. Neither cruise was sold out and only 25 of us opted for the 17 day trip. --Overview of the Wind Spirit-- The ship is small which makes it easy explore and the passengers range in age from mid 30's to around 70. No children, no scooters, no O2 tanks and no elevators, just lots of stairs to climb getting around the ship. All the cabins but the owners suite are exactly the same with two large port holes, no balconies or inside cabins. Lots of storage, nice sized bathroom. The only minor complaint is that the bed takes up most of the room on the port hole side, making getting into bed on that side a little tricky while at sea. Speaking of the port holes you get quite a show if you're on deck 1 when the seas are a little rough. Looking out as the waves crash against the glass port holes is something we have never experienced before!! --Wind Spirit Staff and Crew-- Ok, every member from your cabin steward to the Captain are friendly, outgoing and somehow are able to remember your name after just one day onboard. Our waiter of choice was Achmed. The dinners are open seating and you can sit with other passengers or just as a couple. We always sat requesting Achmed's station. As for bar tenders John and Gerber were top notched. You only had to make eye contact with either of them and your favorite adult beverage soon appeared. We had 2 Matre'd, Rafi who left after the 10 days segment and Prasi who replaced him 7 days. Both gentlemen could not do enough and every request was met with a smile and a "No problem." Cabin stewart was great,reception desk with Nicola and Jenn were great at fixing the few minor problems we had. Reyni in the shop was very helpful and pleasant every time we stop in. Exploring the open bridge was fun, questioning the Chief Officer Paul about how the ship navigated and other workings that you don't normally have access to was interesting. --Dining-- Didn't use room service, didn't need too as breakfast, lunch and dinner were fabulous. Breakfast and lunch were in the Veranda. It's a hike from deck 1, up four flights of stairs. Dinner in the Amphora restaurant. Breakfast and lunch had a hot and cold buffet and every day there was a hot dish made fresh for you. Limited menu at both breakfast and lunch. Now dinner was wonderful. With the casual dress code there was no need to have fancy clothes, just a collared shirt and long pants for men and women to dress smartly. The food was excellent from start to finish. The dining room is a little loud but never crowded. Never had to wait more than a minute or two to get a table. On two nights, one for each cruise, they have a full scale buffet dinner outside on the top deck. Food there was great too. --Entertainment-- This is easy, they only have a duo in the lounge for a few hours every night. No Broadway production, comedian, magician or animal tricks. Really didn't miss it. The one thing that was not mentioned about this cruise was that the casino had been removed and replaced with a coffee shop. Didn't bother me but my honey always likes to play the slots while cruising. That being said, I had lots and lots of extra cash on hand, a big chuck of it spent on black pearls!! --Shore Excursions-- Didn't take many from the ship as we had seen just about every thing on our prior 5 cruises around Tahiti. Did do the stingray and shark snorkeling on Bora-Bora which was fun and do not miss the Faaroa River and Motu beach break if the guide is Tihoti. Tihoti is pure Tahitian, covered with tattoos and a wonderful story teller. His insight in the Tahitian life style that is now changing due to the internet and outside influence is both enlightening and sad. He is not to be missed!! --Odds and Ends-- Didn't use the fitness center, it's very small. Used the swim platform at the rear of the ship several times and it's a great way to take a dip, go waterskiing, use the kayaks or the small sail boat. --Beverage Package-- Did not originally want it but since the casino wasn't there I took it for myself. It included all the top shelf hard liquor, Grey Goose, Chivas, Makers Make, all beers both imported and domestic, wine and also the mini-bar in the room!! They also discounted whole bottles of wine by 30% which you could share with the wife in the dining room. Pricing on the bottles of wine was crazy cheap considering it was on a cruise ship, a nice bottle of Napa Valley merlot was $26.00!! I know, if you buy the package you are going to drink a lot more than if you are paying for each drink but remember, you're on vacation, don't have to drive the boat and your cabin is just minutes away. --Summary-- Getting to Tahiti from the east coast is a bear. We flew out two days before from NC, stayed overnight in LA. Flew Air Tahiti leaving at 4:15 pm and arrived in Tahiti at 10:00 pm. Stayed there in a BnB and met the ship the following afternoon. This isn't an inexpensive vacation. The air fare is steep, around $4800 for r/t from NC. When you visit Tahiti and see just how beautiful it is, now friendly and honest the Tahitians I think you'll believe it was money all spent. So, suck it up and make plans to go to Tahiti. You will not regret it. We did shed a tear or two while leaving the ship as mostly likely this will be our last trip to the wonderful place. You should really make a point to get out and mingle with the Tahitians away from the crowds. They are honest, friendly and even thru we don't speak French or Tahitian they do like to spend time with you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This ship is falling apart at the seams and the owners don’t care about what passengers have to endure on board. Departure was delayed by 5 hours waiting for staff. My room had not been cleaned or set up. The deck was unfinished ... Read More
This ship is falling apart at the seams and the owners don’t care about what passengers have to endure on board. Departure was delayed by 5 hours waiting for staff. My room had not been cleaned or set up. The deck was unfinished and unpainted. The front desk staff was ill equipped to handle all the passengers issues as they embarked. As a solo traveler my problems were not directly addressed. I had to smell paint for a week. The toilet didn’t work properly. Neither the pool nor the hot tub were ready for use. There was mold in the bathroom, ceiling tiles were falling off. The motor broke down early into the transatlantic passage. The tenders were not safe and also broke down in the Caribbean. There was a foul fish smell around the helm. The gym equipment were broken and unavailable. The “new spa” has no bathroom, poor drainage and poor temperature control. Finally everyone coughs without covering their mouths as they have regard for others. There is no information provided for safeguarding health. Don’t bother with this ship until it is refurbished. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Windstar has only 6 ships so and they are small ships focused on going to areas the bigger ships cannot get to. While the ship itself is a little dated, it is slated for a big makeover this summer which is explained here: ... Read More
Windstar has only 6 ships so and they are small ships focused on going to areas the bigger ships cannot get to. While the ship itself is a little dated, it is slated for a big makeover this summer which is explained here: https://www.windstarcruises.com/starplus/. The cabins are suites with a sofa, chairs, a desk, a full bathtub and a walk-in closet – plenty of room for the 2 of us. There is a spa which we did not use and a decent fitness room, which I admit, I intended to use, but did not. I had too much fun doing the excursions. The best part about Windstar is the service. All the staff are friendly and really try to make the passengers have a good experience. There was a challenge with the first port so as we were boarding we learned we would not be going to an island off Puerto Rico but to St. Thomas instead. We were given new excursions to pick from. The last two days we were feeling the effects of a storm, so we couldn’t tender to Virgin Gorda. I was extremely bummed as I wanted to go back to The Baths, but the captain and team rallied and took us to Tortola where they quickly assembled 2 excursions for us. The food is decent. You have 3 choices for dinner – either the big dining room, the area where you have breakfast & lunch that they convert to a ‘romantic dining experience’ or room service. We did all 3 options. Yes, we got a little bored with the food selections but at least we didn’t overeat too much. We also bought the Package which included a full liquor selection, WiFi and Laundry Service. If you are looking for nightlife, this is NOT the ship for you. On our ship, they had 2 different 2-person bands playing during sunset and after dinner and I saw they had a small casino set up at night but we never went to see it. There was a show put on by the crew Thursday evening but we skipped it. Also, the only child we saw was the captain’s daughter. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This is basically a wonderful ship, with a few glitches. It was recently bought by Windstar and is due to a major renovation/refit in 2020, so these comments might not apply to later sailings. This is a small ship with huge cabins. The ... Read More
This is basically a wonderful ship, with a few glitches. It was recently bought by Windstar and is due to a major renovation/refit in 2020, so these comments might not apply to later sailings. This is a small ship with huge cabins. The staff and officers are very competent and caring. Food was somewhat variable, ranging from OK to very good. Prices were affordable considering the size and staffing ratio. (We got a last-minute cruise for $999 each in the lowest cabin category, which was just fine for us.) The ship was surprisingly stable and quiet, given how small it is. Embarcation and debarcation were flawless and fast. Passengers were almost all English-speaker, mostly from the US and Canada. Their ages ran from 30's to 70's. None of them seemed like serious party animals. There were a few glitches: 1. There was very little ability to sit on deck in the shade. We understand that some umbrellas had been washed overboard during a previous storm. However, the crew should have explained to passengers that they should not put a book on one of the few available chaise lounges and then walk away--this is unfair to other passengers. A related issue is that this ship would be at a disadvantage in bad weather, such as what one might encounter in their Alaska cruises. 2. Water was an issue: no hot water for a few hours, and then a couple of days later, no water at all. None of these were major issues. 3. Linens were a bit tired. 4. Bar prices were high, though not ridiculously so. We recommend buying wine at the CVS across from the San Juan dock and paying the $15/bottle corkage fee. They don't allow you to carry on hard liquor, although I doubt a few miniatures would cause problems. 5. The all-inclusive bar-WiFi-laundry package is ridiculously overpriced. Anybody other than a really serious drinker would have a very hard time making it worthwhile. 6. This ship is not handicapped accessible. Nobody who needs anything more than a cane should be on this ship. It is not suitable for children as there's nothing for them to do (the only child on board was the Captain's daughter, who was a delight.) 7. The base price ($999 in our case) is a bit misleading, as you must add port taxes, basically-mandatory service charge, and bar bills. Our total came to a bit over $3,000 after all these items, plus air fare to San Juan. 8. WiFi is slow and not totally reliable. I appreciate that they warn up-front not to expect too much. We got the unlimited plan ($240) which, however, doesn't allow more than one device per cabin to be logged on. Consider one of the individual plans. 9. Shore excursions were very mixed. Because of their cost and the lack of interest in most of the ports, we only took two of them: 9a. Historic Tastes and Treasures of Fort Napoleon (Les Saintes): well worth the money. We learned a lot about the history of the French Caribbean, and saw a really good little museum at the fort. The tour ended with a tasting of various Caribbean finger-foods and 5 types of rum, which was a good way to end the tour. Our leader, Jean (I believe) was very well informed and fluent in English. 9b: Clear Bottom Kayaking (St Georges,Grenada): eminently forgettable. After paddling a mile to where we should have seen lots of fishes, there were absolutely none to be found ... until one minnow literally landed in our kayak. (I threw it back.) Basically, clear bottom kayaks are no substitute for snorkeling or scuba diving--the view was very poor. The rum punch at the end was pretty awful. 9c: The company wanted entirely too much money for pre- and post-cruise accommodations and transportation. My suggestion is to take a cab (regular cab or Uber) to the Sheraton hotel across the street from the cruise terminal, for a fraction of the cost of what Windstar wanted. The Sheraton was a rather nice, modern, business-class hotel, and not terribly overpriced. 10. Some people have complained about being pressured to spend additional money. This complaint is basically correct. The evening "shows" were mostly commercials for shore excursions and repeat cruises. I could have done with less of that stuff. 11. No real "shows" in such a small ship, through the crew put on an evening program that was a lot of fun. 12. The "swimming pool" was basically a large hot tub with underwater jets to supposedly allow one to swim up-current. Too small to be useful. 13. The sports platform was open a lot less than promised because the slightest wave action caused it to be closed. 14. The food was never less than good and sometimes excellent. One common complaint was that red meats tended to be over salted. A couple of their pork roasts were mostly fat. Finally: YES, we look forward to another Windstar cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Just as a bit of background, we are a Canadian couple in our mid 50’s from Montreal. This was our 13th cruise having sailed 5 times with Celebrity and now 8 times with Windstar on both the Sailing Ships and Motor Yachts, all in the ... Read More
Just as a bit of background, we are a Canadian couple in our mid 50’s from Montreal. This was our 13th cruise having sailed 5 times with Celebrity and now 8 times with Windstar on both the Sailing Ships and Motor Yachts, all in the Caribbean. What keeps us coming back to Windstar is the small size of the ships (and contrary to what some people may say, they will still be small by all standards even after the extensions), the great and friendly service, the amazing food, the camaraderie between the guests and staff, the relaxed dress code, the small & interesting ports, the minimal entertainment and a general feeling of freedom aboard these ships as they are geared to both independent (which we are) as well as less independent travelers who can book (expensive) tours through ship. Another notable advantage of visiting the Caribbean by way of a cruise vs a land-based vacation is there are no mosquitoes on deck at night and no need for repellent (we had brought some but never used it). On this cruise, we travelled with 2 other couples, one of whom was new to Windstar (both got $200 referral OBC) and had never cruised while the other couple had sailed once with us on Star Pride in 2016. We did BTB 14 day Lovely Leeward Cruise out of San Juan on Star Legend Nov 2-16, the first time we had taken a cruise of more than 7 days. The overall feeling from all in our group was this was the perfect vacation we needed and that 2 weeks was definitely not too long and we would have stayed a 3rd week if we’d could. Yes the ship is older (vintage as our Italian friends like to call it), and aside from a few more obvious areas (such as near the Star Bar bathrooms on Deck 8), it is well maintained and certainly a pleasant ship to cruise on (the drydock will certainly help on that front). The food onboard was excellent and just keeps getting better. The company’s partnership with the James Beard Foundation is showing with creative plate presentations, improved seafood offering with fish now sourced locally almost every day and meats that were always cooked perfectly to order (from rare to medium well). Our Italian friends, who are fish aficionados, were very impressed by the quality and cooking of the fish dishes and not one person complained about any plate for the whole 2 weeks. We took the interesting Galley Tour with chef Nilesh and now understand how they can be so consistent in their cooking (everything is done from scratch à la minute) and also accommodate almost any kind of request (there is a list of 10-12 special requests at every meal based on a list I saw). So if you are a picky eater, they should be able to accommodate. We did not notice any slip in service or food compared to our Feb 2019 cruise and if there is one thing food has improved at all venues. The weather was just about perfect (very little rain which is unusual at this time of year) and seas were fairly calm. We were able to get off at all the stops save for Vieques for obvious reasons (see below for details). Demographics of this cruise were typical of Windstar with most passengers in the 50 to 80 range. They say Windstar is not for kids but during the first week of the cruise, there were 5 young well behaved kids (6-10) onboard (incl. the Captain’s daughter) and judging by their smiling faces, they had a blast onboard and were treated like royalty by the crew…and this did not bother the remaining guests onboard. On a minor negative note, we did notice on a regular basis, foul sewer smells from one side of the ship (and also near the Star Bar washrooms) but this was usually temporary. There was also a lack of loungers and umbrellas on the Pool and Star decks (and also at the bow hot tub area) which made it difficult to find a spot to lounge in the sun or shade. We spoke to staff who said new chairs and umbrellas were on their way in the coming weeks. Overall another fantastic cruise with Windstar. Now for the details Booking: We booked approx. 2 months ahead and found the price of this 14-day cruise to be very attractive at $1,799 (Canadian Special) (the price went as low as $1,599 a little later). We see no need to book far in advances as prices generally come down once within 90-day price guarantee period and usually get upgraded anyway. We and another couple went for lowest priced cabin S1 (112-116) and got upgraded to Balcony Suites BS1 (304-306) which was nice while the third couple had booked the highest non balcony category S3 (325) and got upgraded to a 530 sq ft Classic Suite (suite 06) mid ship deck 6, wow!. Again, Windstar offered the All-In Package (a 20% discount on the price of internet, drink package and laundry if all taken together prior to cruise) which we did not take as we did not care for the ship’s slow and expensive internet (we had access to a good roaming package which we used most of time as we were always close to islands). Given we had booked a 2 week cruise, we enjoyed complimentary laundry for the full 2 weeks which we used every other day. Embarkation: Although we typically fly in the day before, given departure was only at 10PM we flew in on same day. Took cab from SJU airport ($25 approx 20 minutes) and arrived on ship at around 3h15pm. Check-in was swift as 1PM check-in rush was over and we booked the Candles dinner for our group of 6 right away with no issues. Sail away was on schedule at 10h00pm. There were approx. 200 passengers on board with 25% booked for the same 2 week cruise. Our friends had some luggage issues so they went and bought a few items right across from cruise pier at the Polo Ralph Lauren outlet prior to our 10PM departure (very convenient). Cabin: We were in 304 and our friends in 306 and Suite 6 (all added to Star Legend stateroom sticky forum). Cabins are large and comfortable with 304 having a walk-in shower (no tub) while 306 and 06 have bath tubs. Note that the bed in 304 does not split to make 2 singles and as a result the bedframe does not allow you to put large suitcases underneath the bed as is the case normally (we put ours behind the 2 arm chairs in living room). Ship had a hot water issue on one day with no hot water from 10am to 6pm. This was fixed by end of day and was not a problem for us. All cabins were quiet with no maintenance issues. Our room attendants Luis and Ben were attentive and always had smiles on their faces although we did not have any special requirements. Reusable water bottles and ice bucket were refilled every day. Asked for mini bar to include more soda water and this was done for rest of cruise. We used complimentary laundry (offered on all BTB cruises) and had no issues (you can write instructions to do cold wash, no dryer etc on the order form). Occitane toiletries were replenished every 4 days. We did not use room service Bars and Entertainment: Drinks were mostly taken outside at Star Bar. Did not go to Lounge or Compass Rose as we like to be outside on a Caribbean cruise. Bar service was always good. Entertainment is limited but this is fine with us. There were 2 music duos alternating at each venues. Latino duo was better and had some guests dancing at Star Bar. Sometimes during breaks, guests would plug IPad playlists in system to keep party going a little longer. This happened a few evenings with people dancing until midnight. A lot of fun. Windstar should consider having a DJ instead of second duo onboard. Unlike the last time we sailed, none of us were on any drink package. We all mostly drank beer (Red Stripe, Stella, Heineken) and wine (we tried at least 20-25 different wines with prices varying from $40 to $65) with the occasional cocktail or nightcap and in the end our bill was almost the same as basic bev. package but ended up drinking better quality wines by the bottle. The wines on the beverage package are OK with 12 whites (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Riesling), 15 reds (Cab, Merlot, Zin, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese), 4 sparklers and 2 rosés but the bottle selection is much better and priced decently (bottles that go unfinished are held until the following day) Approximately 25% of guests were on a drink package. I have posted the wine and cocktail list on the Windstar forum. We did not attend the Captains Welcome/Departure Cocktails nor the Yacht Club Members Cocktail as these were typically held too early for us. There were always seats at the Star Bar and one evening before dinner, our Italian friends could not believe we were the only ones on the Star deck and had the bar to ourselves as if we were on our own yacht…for 15 minutes. It was a great Windstar moment. Sail Aways under the music of Vangelis and sometimes Andrea Bocelli were nice and moving but not as spectacular as on the sailing ships. This being said they remain a very popular and well attended event with plenty of smiles on everybody’s faces. Food: What to say. The food was fantastic. We had dinner at Amphora every evening save for 2 times at Candles and 2 times at Deck BBQ on the late nights in Sint-Maarten and Bequia. Did not use room service. Although we were told the dinner menu at Amphora is on a one week rotation, there were several new dishes on the menu the second week so plenty of variety with no one eating the same thing twice throughout the 2 week cruise. Note there are vegetarian and gluten free options (more limited but possible if requested ahead). Breakfast was excellent with buffet or a la carte items available (French toast eggs benedict, waffles, pancakes, omelets or eggs any style always a hit especially with great crispy bacon and real maple syrup, after all, we are Canadian). After seeing the freshly squeezed OJ go away on our last Windsurf cruise in Feb 2019, I am glad to report that orange/grapefruit slices and freshly squeezed OJ were back on the buffet. Also a great improvement with the pastries in the AM as well desserts at night. We had good lunches at Veranda when we made it back in time from the island as the venue is only open from 12h00 to 14h00. Good selection of a la carte items and buffet. We were late a few times and had to “settle” for sandwiches and cookies from Yacht Club which were excellent. Lunch should be extended to 14h30 to accommodate those with dietary restrictions as the menu at the Yacht Club, while good, remains limited for them. Service in the dining rooms at dinner was well paced with meals usually lasting 2 hours (or sometimes more, our choice) but I am sure someone could probably have a 3 course meal in less than an hour if that’s what they wanted, just not our style as we like to linger with the cheese plate and wine before having drinks at Star Bar while listening to one of the music duos. We mostly had dinner around 8pm and never had to wait more than a few minutes for a table and by the time we were finished around 10-10h30PM, we were often the last table in the room. Deck BBQ food was great with lobster and suckling pig a highlight. A couple of times they arranged a small buffet lunch next to Star Bar at lunch time (once was a curry bar and the other one was Mumbai meets Caribbean), both proved to be popular with guests. Dinner at Amphora was always excellent (don’t miss the Beef Wellington or Chocolate Soufflé). Kudos to chef Nilesh Kanvinde and his crew for all the fabulous meals and to Maitre D’ Mr Santos and his waiters for the good service. Candles was very good both times with good quality meats and fish done to everyone’s order. The veal chop and red wine sauce is always a winner and make sure not to miss the side of prosciutto/parmesan potatoes. Beach BBQ was held in Fischer’s Cove Virgin Gorda in week 1 and Pigeon Island in week 2 (both just OK locations as we prefer Prickly Pear and Mayreau). While food was good both times (mac&cheese is great), the small size of the beach in St Lucia coupled with 200 people going in and out of water constantly means that the water turns cloudy pretty quickly and was not really appealing by 2PM (BBQ ended at 4). Not an issue in Fischer’s Cove as beach is wider. A couple of evenings, we were treated to very good canapés at Star Bar before dinner. Contrary to previous cruises, there seemed to be more selections and greater quantities of canapés so that people did get seconds. I suspect these were also served in the Compass Rose but we never attended this venue so cannot confirm. Some in our group are a bit picky about their coffee and their verdict was that caffe lattes at the Veranda in the morning were good (regular coffee not so much) but the best were the ones from the Yacht Club (Yogi was our favorite barista for the 2 weeks). Croissants/muffins and fresh squeezed OJ are also offered at the venue for early risers (6AM) while sandwiches and sweet treats are offered in the afternoon until 6PM. Note the sandwiches are very much improved (try the Greek sandwich) from our last cruise with greater selections (at least 8-10 types of sandwiches) and quantities available. Reception Natasha at Reception was excellent and helpful as much as she could as one in our party did not get their luggage. She accommodated us with internet access and satellite phone access to talk to the airline and her team went to airport to see if luggage had arrived. Marina: We used the marina a few times and it was open probably 4 or 5 times during the 2 week cruise. Several people were using it when available. The water toys were also brought to the beach on Pigeon Island and Fischer’s Cove for the Beach BBQ but the large trampoline was out of action for the full 2 weeks as staff said it was a different model that was too long to set up and were waiting for a smaller one. Spa: One person in our party enjoyed a 75minute massage at the spa and was satisfied with the treatment but beware of the product push at the end. Gym: Some people in our group used the gym and were satisfied with the equipment and personnel. Note the gym is small and may be busy during certain peak morning times depending on itinerary Tenders: Tenders were used in all ports except St. Martin and Grenada. While tender service was good and timely, the tenders themselves are in need of a total overhaul which I understand is happening with the extension of the ship. Bridge: Visited the bridge a couple of times (it was closed more often than expected) and officers were accommodating and helpful. Stops and excursions: We generally are not the type to book ship excursions as we feel they are overpriced and like to do things on our own. I typically like to do my own research and do not like to plan too long ahead. Vieques: We had planned to go to Sun Beach and were getting ready to tender to shore when Captain came on to advise that there had been a shooting incident in the tender landing area in the morning (no passengers were present in the area at the time) in which a targeted local resident was killed and a Windstar employee shot in the leg by a stray bullet. As a result, the Captain cancelled the stop and pulled the anchor early around 3PM (vs 9PM scheduled) meaning we would arrive in St Barth’s around 6AM, earlier than the 11AM expected. Given most passengers were onboard, they quickly set up a Curry Bar buffet for lunch which was appreciated by guests. The injured employee was flown to San Juan where he received treatment and is now OK. This could have been far worse and was handled properly by the Captain. We understand this stop has now been replaced by St-Thomas. St-Barth: Left ship around 10AM. Took a 10 minute cab ride (30 EUR each way for the 6 of us) from the pier to Pearl Beach Hotel (formerly Tom Beach) in St-Jean. The hotel has changed hands, been expanded and totally renovated following Irma with very nice results. Rented nice and comfortable loungers and umbrellas EUR20 p.p. (Eden Roc next door at EUR50, beach chair vendor next door (EUR10) or bring your towel ($0) but the last 2 options have no bathroom access). We all had lunch & rosé wine at their La Plage beach restaurant. Food and service were good but be prepared to spend upwards of US$100/$150 p.p. for lunch and chairs as this is St Barth. Did some shopping in St Jean and Gustavia. Boarded the tender back to the ship around 7PM. Had dinner at around 8h30 at Amphora Montserrat: 2 couples took the ship excursion to Buried City and we stayed onboard as we had done the same excursion 2 years prior. While they found the excursion interesting, they also thought it was a bit drawn out (4hrs) with the luncheon at the end of the tour. Note that the tour no longer goes inside an abandoned hotel for security reasons (this was an interesting stop in the tour because it was as if time had stopped everywhere around the property). The ship was quiet while most guests were out and had the staff just to ourselves. St. Martin: Beach day. Took a cab ($25 each way) to Karakter Bar & Restaurant on Simpsons Bay (Dutch side) on far side of the airport (not easy to find). Chairs free if you have lunch there but get there early, which we did. Food & service good with quite a large menu offering. Nice Beach with some wave action. Back on the ship by 6PM. Deck BBQ was held this evening. Great food (lobster, suckling pig, striploin, paella, lamb, lots of salads, flambéed bananas and a much improved dessert selection) and great time with some dancing interrupted by a short drizzle. No problem Jost Van Dyke: Took safari cab ($5p.p.) to White Bay and went to quieter One Love beach bar at far end of beach. Nice cold drinks but food certainly basic. Soggy Dollar looked busy and loud so we were perfectly happy where we were. Took taxi and tender back to ship around 4PM. Given our late departure, we had the intent of coming back onshore to Foxy’s. However after having a great dinner at Candles, we were all pretty tired and went to bed around 11pm. Virgin Gorda: We first took the Exploring VG and Baths Tour organized by ship. Simon of Speedy’s was our tour guide and was very entertaining and knowledgeable. The ride provides great views of the North Sound (the northern route however remains closed since Irma). Baths were great, not too crowded. This was our friends’ first time at The Baths and they were all impressed. Walked through the boulders and back up to restaurant. The tour comes back to Fischer’s Cove near Spanishtown at around 12h30, in time for lunch at the Beach BBQ. This was our first beach BBQ at this location (normally it’s held at Prickly Pear in Virgin Gorda’s North Sound but the park infrastructure has not been rebuilt since Irma) and while it is not bad, the scenery and surroundings are just not as nice. Food was good as usual. San Juan: After a great week, one couple in our party went back home today (as were another 150 passengers) while 4 of us are staying for a second week (there were 43 passengers staying for 2 weeks). This is when it all hit: Thank God we were staying for another week, just felt sad for our friends who could not stay on. Wandered in Old San Juan in the morning and did a bit of shopping. Came back on uncrowded ship before 1PM check-in of second week guests, had lunch on Veranda, secured priority reservations for Candles before new guests boarded and then spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening at the bow of the ship taking advantage of hot tub and watched sunset while drinking the complimentary Collet Brut Champagne provided in our friends’ suite. A great relaxing afternoon Windstar style. Note, there were only 2 lounge chairs in this area when there used to be a dozen in the past. They also used to have a cooler with all sorts of soft drinks and water for client use but we did not see any this time around (it is a long walk to the bar). St.Martin Take 2: Given this was a short stop (12h00-17h00), the 4 of us decided we wanted to do a bit of surveying on how St Martin (especially the French side which has been struggling) was recovering from Irma 2 years on. Good news, the Captain made up some time during the night and we arrived an hour early at the dock. Left ship around 11h30, 4 of us hired a van for $100 to do 3hr tour of island (with stops in Orient Bay and Grand Case). Orient Bay is slowly coming back with a few new restaurants (Kontiki, Kakao, Bikini) and some of the shops in the back having reopened. That being said, the nudist resort part of the beach at far end still looks abandoned with only the restaurant having reopened. Grand Case and Marigot are a different story as they still have a lot of placated buildings and empty lots and just a few restaurants opened. Taxi dropped us off on Front St. in Philipsburg where we did some shopping at the Longchamps store in Philipsburg (good prices) and had a few drinks at the nearby Holland House before heading back to cruise pier by using the water taxi ($5p.p.) Les Saintes: This was our 4th time to Les Saintes and we continue to enjoy this stop. The tender drops passengers off at the quaint village of Terre de Haut which has some interesting shops and courtyard restaurants as well as a well preserved fort & museum (Fort Napoleon) from which the views of the bay and our ship are simply breathtaking. Note the Fort is only open until 12h30 and bring €5 cash if you want to get in. We again rented a 4 seat electric golf cart (cost €70) from Green Car Rental to tour Island but you need to reserve it in advance and come early as these get taken up very quickly (we had learned this the hard way the first times we were there). Alternatively, the company also rents electric bicycles which we saw all around this hilly island. Went to Pompierre Beach (no entry fees but no services with a few restaurants just outside the beach area) and Fort Napoléon. Also visited newly renovated and expanded Hotel Bois-Joli near Pain de Sucre beach. Very nice & quiet. Did some shopping in the village (Mahogany Linen) and had a drink at Café de la Marine overlooking the harbor. This was our friends’ first time in Les Saintes and they enjoyed this charming stop so much that they are going back for the Christmas holidays Bequia: This was our 4th time in Bequia, an island we love for its tranquility and nice beaches. Given there was a bit of rain early on, we left the ship late. Once onshore we took a water taxi ($5 each) to far end of Princess Margaret Beach to a small beach chair vendor. Rented chairs ($6 p.p. no need for umbrella, palm trees everywhere), very nice quiet beach. Vendor also had snacks and cold drinks. Walked back to town by using the very nice & scenic Belmont walkway passing by Jack’s Bar which was busy as usual when a ship is in town. Deck BBQ was held this evening with ship leaving around 9h45pm. Another great evening under the stars and a full moon. Magical Grenada: Our ship was docked in old harbor which is more attractive than the large cruise ship dock on other side of town. As we have already done tours on this island, we decided this was a beach day. Most taxis will want to take you to Grande Anse Beach but we go to the less crowded Morne Rouge or Magazine Beaches. Cab ride to Magazine Beach was $35 for the 4 of us. This was our second time there and we continue to enjoy this beach. It is very picturesque, not too crowded compared to Grande Anse with very few people trying to sell you stuff on the beach. It also has some nice wave action. Our friends had never been and really enjoyed the spot. We rented beach chairs ($5 each) no umbrellas, plenty of trees and shade. Had lunch on the beach at the Aquarium Restaurant nearby. Food good but service was slow. Back on the ship around 4h30 and watched the sunset while enjoying our friends’ second complimentary Collet Brut Champagne bottle at Star Bar (no corkage fee) during happy hour and sail away. Pigeon Island: This was our 5th time to Pigeon Island and it is not necessarily our favorite beach as the beach area is small and crowded with the water getting cloudy by early afternoon. The back area of the park, where they actually serve the BBQ is very nice with lots of shade. The water toys were brought to the beach (excluding the trampoline), as well as paddle boards and kayaks. They did not offer waterski and wakeboardings runs for those who wanted as on previous trips. BBQ food again was excellent Day at Sea: Our final day was a sea day. Beautiful weather and gentle breeze. Spent the day on deck in and out of pool. Good idea to be up on deck early (around 8AM) if you want to secure loungers as there were a much smaller number of them than usual (probably only 35 chairs vs 70 normally). San Juan Debarkation.: All good things have to come to an end. Debarkation was trouble free. Picked up passports the previous night, left luggage outside around 6h30 in the morning and had breakfast around 8am. Our flight was late (4h30pm) so we left the ship and our friends (who had an earlier flight) at around 8h45 after going through immigration and took a cab ($17 for the 2 of us, 10 minutes) to Marriott Stellaris Resort and took up their day pass offer which for $60 p.p. includes the holding of your luggage in a secure area, access to facilities, beach chairs & umbrellas, towels, Wifi, access to shower and changing room and a $20 p.p. F&B voucher which we used for lunch (food OK). The hotel has been completely renovated and property looks great. Service was excellent from bell hop to beach attendants. Got access to changing rooms and shower. We left at 1h45 for the airport. Ride was $20 for the 2 of us and took just under 15 minutes. Given we were flying to Canada and not connecting through a US airport, we did not have to go through the additional USDA bag screening that’s required at San Juan airport. And this concluded another amazing Windstar cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were very impressed with this smaller ship. Although full there were no lines, no queues, no crowds, easy tendering and embarkation and so on. Easy to get around. Lots of outside space. with various bars with decks. Always a seat or ... Read More
We were very impressed with this smaller ship. Although full there were no lines, no queues, no crowds, easy tendering and embarkation and so on. Easy to get around. Lots of outside space. with various bars with decks. Always a seat or lounger when wanted. Coffee Bar and snacks service was free. All restaurants had noticeably great and varied food without being 'poncy' ( yes we are English). The weekly BBQ is an experience not to be missed. Even lunches were well thought out. The buffet lunch also had waiter service if wanted with nice dishes. No formal nights which was great. The Breakfast and lunch outside seating was the best I have experienced -lots of seating and lots of shade or sun as you prefer. Guests all dressed well but smart casual. All seating is open so no crowds and mainly we ate from 7- 9.30 ish while talking to the various interesting fellow cruisers on our tables. Service throughout was first class, attentive and professional but not stuffy. Crew were well motivated and friendly in a noticeably genuine manner. Our names were remembered quickly. We were invited to dine with an Officer on one night. The ship is a good size with some 6 decks to wander about. Our Cabin on deck 2 was well furnished and had excellent storage. A very good and attentive cleaner. All suitcases went under the bed. This was a 7 night destination cruise with ship only moving at night. I prefer some sea days but my wife doesn't! All ports were fine for us. I liked the new smaller ones. Mainly Americans and Canadians on this particular cruise which was great, interesting people and no problem at all for us well travelled British folks but it might be for some who wanted to talk about Brexit, Boris and football! Many people had sailed with Windstar before. We will also book other Windstar cruises. This is not a ship with lavish entertainment -we knew this and it was fine with the long Dinners and chatting. The Music performers were terrific and suited us with the informality of the Ship. The small bar came into its own in the evening with music. Both music groups were very good. The music and dancing on the BBQ night and the Crew show were worth the trip in itself. ( I might have wanted the occasional 'Enrichment talk' but no big deal on a one week cruise). Perhaps the library could be bigger. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This is our fourth, and now last, Windstar cruise. The ship, the Windstar, is run down and tacky. The food was awful. The equipment in the “gym” creeky and poorly maintained. Lastly the shore excursions were often boardering on ... Read More
This is our fourth, and now last, Windstar cruise. The ship, the Windstar, is run down and tacky. The food was awful. The equipment in the “gym” creeky and poorly maintained. Lastly the shore excursions were often boardering on worthless. Internet? $245 a week for minimal and often nonexistent service. And all this for a premium price. Windstar needs to up its game considerably if it want to play in the premium market. Right now it a mid level experience with a too high price tag. Maybe it’s that the smaller ships aren’t as profitable but they have ignored the Windstar. When I complained, it took many tries to get an answer. The food was not fresh because we never docked in a port only anchored. Really? The poor satellite reception for the TV and internet was due to ground and sea interferences. Isn’t this 2019? All in all, it’s time to move on from Windstar. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
A travel agent booked our group. Itinerary was interesting but the rest of the experience was below expectations, especially at the price point of $4599 for 8 nights! The ship has definitely seen better days. Far from a Superior or Luxury ... Read More
A travel agent booked our group. Itinerary was interesting but the rest of the experience was below expectations, especially at the price point of $4599 for 8 nights! The ship has definitely seen better days. Far from a Superior or Luxury trip. Few amenities. Underwhelming entertainment. Port lectures short on history and mainly a sales tool. Dinners even in the specialty restaurants were mediocre and there never seemed to be enough staff. Rarely did everyone at the table get the correct order or the meat done as ordered, often sent back. And good luck flagging a waiter down if you needed anything. Our cabin had lots of storage but electronics/tv quite out of date. Few channels and you had to rent a dvd to watch a movie. Music consisted of a dock for your phone or I pod but our newer I phones were not compatible. We had a superior ocean views with 2 portholes. Not a lot of light. Shore excursions appeared good, if expensive. WiFi charged for a spotty. All in all not impressed and would not take again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We just returned from our cruise. Fantastic in all ways. Our airplane was cancelled 2 days in a row by Air Tahiti Nui (a whole other matter) and we would not be arriving to Tahiti until 1 hour after the sailing time. We called Windstar ... Read More
We just returned from our cruise. Fantastic in all ways. Our airplane was cancelled 2 days in a row by Air Tahiti Nui (a whole other matter) and we would not be arriving to Tahiti until 1 hour after the sailing time. We called Windstar to see how to meet the ship in Moorea. They got involved with the air company even though we did not book our air through them. Customer service was amazing and they held the ship in port until we arrived. I would not hesitate to book them again. The whole cruise experience, Room, Food, Service is top notch. I even lost my souveniors while tendering and did not realize until I returned I did not have them. They had it in lost and found and are sending them back to me at home. AMAZING! The ship itself is a little worn but very well kept. If you are a snorkeler, the water is so clear and beautiful anywhere we went. The private islands were just what you would think paradise should be. Nothing was too much to ask of anyone. I can't imagine visiting all the places we did with room and food for less money that we paid for the cruise- as long as you can pay a discounted rate. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My husband has always wanted to go to Bora Bora and our travel agent told us of this spectacular way to see Bora Bora and French Polynesia. We weren’t disappointed. The Wind Spirit ship and crew are equally as amazing. We enjoyed all ... Read More
My husband has always wanted to go to Bora Bora and our travel agent told us of this spectacular way to see Bora Bora and French Polynesia. We weren’t disappointed. The Wind Spirit ship and crew are equally as amazing. We enjoyed all aspects of this cruise and bar none it was the best of the four cruises (Disney, Royal Carribean, Celebrity) we done so far. Everything from the crew, the ship, the food and the accommodations were five star all the way. You will not be disappointed. They have everything very well organized and nothing is too much trouble for them to do for the guests. We even got Canadian news delivered to our stateroom everyday. That was a nice touch. I liked that the dinner dress code was ‘dress casual’ in the dining room. One night they do a bbq on the deck and shorts are acceptable. Also, they take you to a private motu in Bora Bora for a buffet dinner and show and you can also wear shorts that night. Can’t think of anything that could be improved. We were very satisfied. Enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my second Wind Star cruise and like most always wanted to experience Tahiti since I was a boy and Mutiny on the Bounty. Luckily I have a friend who lives in San Diego (Carolyn) and she also wanted to go so no worry about the ... Read More
This was my second Wind Star cruise and like most always wanted to experience Tahiti since I was a boy and Mutiny on the Bounty. Luckily I have a friend who lives in San Diego (Carolyn) and she also wanted to go so no worry about the single supplement and as we fly from LAX this was perfect. We did the air, hotel, cruise from Wind Star and was very pleased with all aspects of the package except dealing with any information for the air portion was difficult at best. I did better with the 8 hour flight than I thought as they fed us twice and we had good selection of movies on the seat back. Landed and customs was easy and bus was waiting to take us to the Intercontinental Hotel and this was 6 am and I was worried that our room would not be ready but our keys were ready and they delivered our luggage promptly. Room was nicer than I expected and we had a view of the water from our balcony and Moorea across the way. Had the buffet breakfast which was included as well as next mornings and were amazed at the beautiful water and reef so close and waves breaking over it. Rested that day and early afternoon next day bus took us to the ship. Easy check in as there were 142 passengers and no problem getting to our room 231 which was upgraded from 1st floor as I had sailed with Wind Star before. Room was forward but was convenient to areas we always ended up. Everything about crew that other reviewers have posted is true and especially Achmed who always took care of us at breakfast and lunch and at dinner on the Motu. Edison and John were two bartenders who always offered a cold Hinano when they saw me on deck or on the Island, the captain was most friendly and gave report each morning which was very informative and we enjoyed talking with him at the past guest party. I am experienced with the Caribbean so was not able to find much info about our ports as Tahiti is different and ports do not really have that many tourists so the beaches are on the Motu's and luckily we spent the day on two. We took a tour around Bora Bora and made usual stop at Bloody Mary's for a cold beer and flush handle in Men's room is "different". Finally we had to leave ship and I wondered what time we would be able to get in our day room at hotel. Once again room was ready and what a relief to not have to sit and wait for later in the day. Flight back was fine and our trip was over. If I was to go again I would schedule more excursions from the ship to see more of the islands we were at and more snorkel chances. Pearl shops everywhere and Carolyn bought a necklace which is a good item to bring back from Tahiti. For the guys wondering the beer in Tahiti (Hinano) is very good. Was a trip of a lifetime and was higher cost than any other trip I have taken but was worth it to experience this beautiful part of the world. The Tahitian people are very friendly and what a great experience, and thanks to Carolyn for coming along as otherwise I would never have the chance to experienced this beautiful part of the world, Wind Spirit was the perfect to experience Tahiti and fully recommend it to those who are debating this trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have wanted to go to Tahiti and the surrounding islands since I read "Mutiny on the Bounty" and saw the movie over 50 years ago. This has been number 1 on my bucket list and after seeing advertisements for Windstar over the ... Read More
I have wanted to go to Tahiti and the surrounding islands since I read "Mutiny on the Bounty" and saw the movie over 50 years ago. This has been number 1 on my bucket list and after seeing advertisements for Windstar over the years it just seemed the perfect way to see these spectacular islands and it REALLY was. I won't do a lengthy review as more than enough people on this site have already done so and I concur with all the superlatives. Great food, great destinations, and an EXCELLENT crew that are so very helpful and generally just really very nice. Customer service to the max! A special shout out to Nicola and Kristy that handle most of the day to day customer service items and excursions. And another shout out to Shane for taking people to the Motos for the wonderful island lunches and dinners as well as other excursions. Also the food service/wait staff are incredible and we enjoyed every meal we had on board. The only concern (and it is minor) is that if someone has mobility issues with walking, the stairs may present a problem. Unlike the big ships Wind Spirit does not have an elevator so that may be an issue for some people. I would advise someone to stay no lower than deck 2 if you have an problems with stairs. A fantastic cruise that lived up to every one of our expectations and then some. Highly recommend!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this ship because of the reputation of Windstar and the itinerary offered. We were starting out trip with a few days in Lisbon and wanted to experience the southern coast of Spain. The Wind Surf is a small ship and the all ... Read More
We chose this ship because of the reputation of Windstar and the itinerary offered. We were starting out trip with a few days in Lisbon and wanted to experience the southern coast of Spain. The Wind Surf is a small ship and the all aboard was called for 4:00. We arrived at 2:45 and were able to walk right on. Disembarkation was equally easy. What was so disappointing was the condition of our cabin (142). The rug was old and worn. Overall, tired cabin. The third night the air conditioning stopped working. I have a picture of my travel clock showing the temperature was 80 degrees. Sleep was disturbed and fitful. The staff’s reaction when we complained was that they were clearly aware of the situation and had chosen not to address it with the passengers unless we brought it to their attention. Their remedy was a flat $200 credit. The next day, the captain announced we would miss Cartagena because one of the engines had stopped working and since the ship was running slow and the port call was only 5 hours, we would not be stopped. Windstar’s remedy for this was to refund our port fees and free alcohol for the day. The staff was, for the most part, wonderful. They work very hard. There is clearly a preference for return passengers and one night at Candles we waited 20 minutes for a cocktail order but otherwise, no complaints. Similarly, the food, though not exciting, was very good in all the venues. With so many choices, we will not choose Windstar again and we will pay much closer attention to passengers’ reviews. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My husband and I love smaller ships with a little luxury thrown in. We have enjoyed plenty of cruises on larger ships when the children were growing up but discovered the joys of 5-6 star cruises recently. We chose WindSurf as it fitted in ... Read More
My husband and I love smaller ships with a little luxury thrown in. We have enjoyed plenty of cruises on larger ships when the children were growing up but discovered the joys of 5-6 star cruises recently. We chose WindSurf as it fitted in with our dates and embarkation was in our home city of Lisbon. From the moment we arrived at the port we realised this was going to be something special. The embarkation process was seamless. The welcome we received was genuine and warm. Whilst the food was excellent, what really made the cruise were the staff. They were exceptional, even having been spoilt in the past with excellent service on other deluxe cruises, they were the best. This is not the cruise for you if you like the big shows and the constant entertainment...I am very happy with something a little more relaxed. After dinner there was a choice of cabaret band in the main lounge who were excellent and got us up dancing. At the other end of the ship were the excellent Renate and Gilberto, a young married couple who entertained us beautifully. He played and she sang and it was lovely! They gave us so much fun and pleasure during the cruise! We cannot thank all the staff enough. Tuti our cabin lady couldn’t do enough for us. Wine waiters Maricel, Eric, Erika, Raphael and Jocelyn were all knowledgeable and recommended some wonderful wines for us. Waiters Tri, Rudi, Latin, Ade, Suno and Hari were wonderful. Forgive me if I have forgotten anyone. The highlight of the cruise was the staff talent show. There was so much genuine talent there...the crew were obviously enjoying themselves immensely and were such a close knit team it was lovely to see. Despite the cruise being full, there was never any queueing or fighting for a table or sunbed. Everything was relaxed and chilled. Perfect! I cannot wait to book another Windstar cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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