2 Oslo Windstar Wind Surf Cruise Reviews

Along with 12 members of family and friends we took the Windsurf to the Tall Ship parade in Amsterdam. All of us were repeaters from 2nd Time cruisers to 18th with the exception of one couple. We boarded in Oslo which was efficient and ... Read More
Along with 12 members of family and friends we took the Windsurf to the Tall Ship parade in Amsterdam. All of us were repeaters from 2nd Time cruisers to 18th with the exception of one couple. We boarded in Oslo which was efficient and beautiful. Our first night we choose to eat outside at Candles which was glorious. We spend our dinner gazing out over the Oslo Fiord as we sailed along, clear, lovely night, it did not get dark until 9:45, delicious food what a way to begin a cruise. We had great weather, lovey sail into Kristiansand where we docked. I was able to buy at the famous fish market the Baltic Shrimps and bring them aboard to our friends to enjoy for lunch. Our day at sea was crossing the North Sea where it behaved, calm, a bit of rain, for those of us who wanted a bit of sea rock and roll not to be. The highlight was The Tall Ship Parade. We rose at 5 am to go through the lock. We anchored across from Java Island a beautiful spot right across the waterway which partially parallels Central Station in Amsterdam. The Tall Ships were a bit delayed and we certainly could see the sails as they came into the harbor to dock. Some people were disappointed that they were not closer or the we were actually not " in" the parade but the logistics for all ships especially our huge sail boat part must have been a nightmare. The tenders immediately began the easy five minute ride to Java Island. All day and all night thousands of small ships, barks and brigantines, schooners, pleasure craft circled us, it was memorizing. We were about 500 yards from the fireworks barge and for two nights we enjoyed 30 minutes of Grande Finale. Glorious! The Wind Surf had surprises for us as the day went by: hats with Sail Amsterdam on them, sips of special typical liquors, special food treats, a men's chorus singing sea shanteys, etc. Very surprising and generous. It was a great two days on the ship being the center of attention. The other ports were also interesting and in Vlissingen and Zeebruge Windstar provided buses to take us the the towns of Middleburg and to the rail station to get to Bruges. Very convenient and well appreciated. Service was impeccable as usual, food was delicious, creative and varied. It was a busy cruise with plenty to see and do and then come back to the ship to relax. Docking in Dover was efficient and easy. I hope in five years Windstar will repeat this cruise. It was different, totally enjoyable, a wonderful way to experience a great event. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our 2nd time on the WindSurf (Yachtsman of the Caribbean before) and our fourth cruise with the Windstar line (Tahiti and the Panama Canal before on the Windstar). We chose this cruise because the ship would participate in Sail ... Read More
This was our 2nd time on the WindSurf (Yachtsman of the Caribbean before) and our fourth cruise with the Windstar line (Tahiti and the Panama Canal before on the Windstar). We chose this cruise because the ship would participate in Sail Amsterdam, a once every five-year event that brings together sailing ships from all over the world. Since the Windsurf is the largest commercial sailing ship in the world, the Windstar line began three years ago working with Sail Amsterdam to allow the ship to participate. Their efforts paid off!! We began in Oslo,which is a beautiful city and worth a visit on its own merits. We did a Hop On Hop Off tour of the city after leaving our luggage at the ship in the morning. We departed Sunday evening and enjoyed Windstar's famous "Sail Away" event. Our first port was Kristiansand on the southeast coast of Norway, a vacation spot for most Norwegians due to its relatively warm temperature and beneficiary of a large amount of North Sea oil money due to the larger number of vacation homes in the area. We had a day at sea and the North Seas was what we expected - rain and a little rough despite the size of the ship. Still,the staff did an excellent job keeping everyone entertained and well fed. The trip really began when we pulled into Amsterdam. We anchored just off of Java Island in the morning. The ship parade was to begin a 10, but did not start until 2 due to delays in the lead ship arriving in port. When it did start, it was pretty amazing. Probably 20 tall sailing ships and navy vessels, plus literally hundreds of yachts, fishing boats, small pleasure craft participate in the parade. Due to our size and anchorage, it was difficult to see some of the larger ships come in, but the ship provided binoculars to help. The upside was that most of the boats actually circled around our ship for the remainder of the day and into the evening. Most of the boats anchored next to our ship to watch the fireworks show that evening. You could almost walk across the harbor the boats were tightly packed in! The next day, we toured the large ships that were anchored dockside along Java Island and the mainland. We had been to Amsterdam last year so we did not go into the city. This is a country of 17MM people, but 2MM people come into the country for Sail Amsterdam, so everything is crowded. The deck bbq was the 2nd night in port and capped off by a 2nd fireworks show that night. The remainder of the cruise had stops along the Netherlands and Belgium coast, where you learn about the extensive dike and reclamation system. We would recommend tours inland to get a real sense of the country. The cheeses and seafood are excellent. The ship and its staff were excellent as always. If you have never sailed with Windstar, give it a try. Almost 2/3rd's of our passengers were repeat Windstar cruisers, so it should tell you something. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Wind Surf Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.5 3.6
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 3.5 4.1
Family N/A 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment N/A 3.6
Service 3.5 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.1

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