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Wind Surf Review

2019 Best Overall
2019 Best for Dining
2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation
View More

Find a Wind Surf Cruise from $1,299

Wind Surf
4.0 / 5.0
241 reviews
Call 866-501-2343 to book
Call 866-501-2339 to book
Call 866-501-2339 to book

Pros
Laid-back yacht feel; unique watersports platform; fantastic deck barbecue; friendly crew
Cons
No balcony cabins; food and service hit and miss; stairwells and passageways feel tired
Bottom Line
Intimate seven-sail ship with low-key entertainment; needs improvements to dining options

About

Passengers
310

Crew
212

Passenger to Crew
1.46:1

Launched
1990

Shore Excursions
864
Sails To
Mediterranean, Caribbean, Greece, Mexican Riviera
Windstar Cruise Deals
Kerry Spencer
Cruise Critic Contributor

Wind Surf Overview

The stunning five-mast, seven-sail Wind Surf takes the prize of largest vessel in the Windstar fleet. Built in 1990 as Club Med I, the ship joined Wind Star in 1998 and most recently received an update -- including light cosmetic work -- in November 2016.

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There's a well-to-do, country-club feel onboard. From the gorgeous Yacht Club -- with its plush deep-blue armchairs and stacks of luxury coffee table books -- to the outside bar at the aft of the ship, where passengers can be found socializing over sundowners, the ambiance is upscale, but relaxed.

There's no pressure to dress formally for dinner (most passengers keep it on the elegantly smart side), nor is there a jam-packed entertainment program. Instead, Wind Surf's atmosphere is low-key, with passengers free to do as they please -- spending leisurely time onshore and on deck -- without fear of missing out or being overscheduled.

Wind Surf is a small ship with many intimate spaces and a dearth of crowds, yet it still offers ample dining options and spacious public areas. On our full-to-capacity-sailing, the only time the ship felt crowded was at breakfast, when you would occasionally find yourself dining with fellow passengers due to a lack of free tables. There's an excellent choice of evening mealtime options -- four if you count room service -- and not once did we wait for a table or run into overcrowding. 

A highlight of any Wind Surf sailing is seeing the ship's beautiful sails in action. They're stunning, and there's a genuine sense of excitement when you see them go up for the first time. Controlled directly from the bridge using hydraulics, they're capable of generating speeds of up to 12 knots, without any supporting engine power. The fact that the sails are computer operated doesn't detract from the romance of their presence. Don't miss the chance to sit out on deck and watch them in action -- particularly if you can snare the perfect Caribbean or Mediterranean sunset at the same time -- as the ship sails away from port.

On the downside, service on our cruise was inconsistent. Servers seemed hurried over breakfast; we didn't always find it easy to catch the attention of a crew member to place an order, and sometimes had to wait a long time for an order to arrive. On the flip side, we were greeted by name and breezily served by the extra-friendly crew just as soon as we were seated in AmphorA and the Yacht Club. Given the ship's high crew-to-passenger ratio (there's roughly one crew member to every two passengers), we anticipated a more seamless and efficient level of service overall.

Despite Wind Surf's recent refresh and overall upmarket feel, the ship's corridors and stairwells -- areas that first greet embarking passengers -- and the spa could benefit from a cosmetic update. The older ship is also not an ideal choice for anyone with mobility issues, as there are numerous yacht-like raised doorways. In fact, the line does not promote any accessible cabins on Wind Surf. There is an elevator, though we found it busy at certain times of the day.

A final point to note: A ship this small rocks and rolls in stormy weather, more so than a mega-ship. Don't forget to pack your seasickness meds and, if you have a sensitive stomach, pick an itinerary that is less likely to encounter choppy seas.


Top Wind Surf Itineraries

Wind Surf
ocean crossing + ponta delgada, azores 14d ph1-lis (apr 10 2021)

St. Maarten, Ponta Delgada, Lisbon

View All Windstar Wind Surf Itineraries (111)

Fellow Passengers

The majority of the ship's passengers are from North America, as were the majority of fellow passengers on our sailing. Expect small numbers of European and Australian passengers, too. Depending on the ship's itinerary, you might find a higher percentage of passengers from certain countries. On our sailing in Southern Spain, we noticed a handful of Spanish passengers onboard, for example. All announcements are in English.

The age range skews toward 60-plus, though you'll find families and couples of all ages onboard. (Windstar makes it clear that its fleet is not geared toward children.) Expect to meet repeat passengers who are loyal to Windstar.


Windstar Wind Surf Dress Code

Wind Surf is known for its casual dress code. Don't be surprised to see passengers wearing gym gear and casual cargo-style pants and shorts throughout the day and into early evening. Sturdy walking or running shoes are recommended for shore excursions.

At night, the relaxed theme continues, with the ship enforcing just a few stipulations in the restaurants during dinner. At AmphorA and Stella Bistro, the dress code is always casual elegant. Think stylish two-pieces for women and a shirt paired with smart pants for men. Jackets and ties are optional. If your preference is to wear them, you won't look out of place. No blue jeans, sneakers, shorts or flip-flops are permitted. At Candles alfresco restaurant, a smart-casual dress code applies. Some shorts -- but the tailored kind -- are permitted. No flip-flops, blue jeans or tank tops. In the evening, don't be afraid to embrace the yacht-club feel of Wind Surf and invest in boat shoes, collared shirts and linen-wear.

Wind Surf Inclusions

All dining venues and soft drinks are included in the cost of a Windstar cruise. Windstar also includes a handy bus shuttle service into the center of port, where necessary. Alcoholic drinks, Wi-Fi, excursions and gratuities are extra. A daily gratuity of $13.50 per person per day is added to passengers' onboard accounts. In the spa and hair salon, a 15 percent gratuity is added to the bill.

The onboard currency is U.S. dollars. There's no currency exchange facility onboard, though the ship accepts all major credit cards and cash.


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Wind Surf Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins4.04.3
Dining4.04.4
Entertainment3.53.6
Public Rooms4.54.3
Fitness Recreation3.54
Family1.8
Enrichment3.5
Service3.54.6
Value For Money4.04.1

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More about Windstar Wind Surf

Where does Windstar Wind Surf sail from?

How much does it cost to go on Windstar Wind Surf?

Cruises on Windstar Wind Surf start from $1,299 per person.

Is Windstar Wind Surf a good ship to cruise on?

Windstar Wind Surf won 40 awards over the years, including Best Overall, Best for Dining, and Best for Fitness & Recreation in 2019.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2019 Best Overall
  • 2019 Best for Dining
  • 2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2019 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2019 Best for Value
  • 2018 Best Overall
  • 2018 Best for Dining
  • 2018 Best for Embarkation
  • 2018 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2017 Best Overall
  • 2017 Best for Cabins
  • 2017 Best for Dining
  • 2017 Best for Entertainment
  • 2017 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2017 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2017 Best for Service
  • 2017 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2017 Best for Value
  • 2016 Best Overall
  • 2016 Best for Cabins
  • 2016 Best for Dining
  • 2016 Best for Embarkation
  • 2016 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2016 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2016 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2016 Best for Value
  • 2015 Best Overall
  • 2015 Best for Cabins
  • 2015 Best for Dining
  • 2015 Best for Embarkation
  • 2015 Best for Entertainment
  • 2015 Best for Service
  • 2015 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2015 Best for Value
  • 2013 Best Overall
  • 2013 Best for Cabins
  • 2013 Best for Dining
  • 2013 Best for Embarkation
  • 2013 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2013 Best for Service
Show More

Windstar Wind Surf Member Reviews

Misty Morning
Sail Date: Mar 2020
We heard onboard that the Wind Surf would get a total overhaul in 2023 Food: Again food was a highlight.... Read More
Snookycat
Sail Date: Aug 2019
The Wind Surf is a unique sailing ship. Although entertainment is somewhat limited to a house band and two others in the Compass Rose lounge.... Read More
Den II
Sail Date: Aug 2019
We were collectively thrilled with our choice of Wind Surf. We had read many reviews on this forum and others and we prepared to be underwhelmed -- no chance!... Read More
Yampaman
Sail Date: Jul 2019
This was our second time on the Wind Surf having gone 15 days from Venice to Barcelona in October 2018. With one exception the entire officer crew had changed from the previous cruise.... Read More

Windstar Cruises Fleet

Wind Spirit
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

103 reviews

The 148-passenger Wind Spirit sails French Polynesia year-round; its small size, stellar service and water sports marina make you feel like you're on a private yacht.

Windstar Wind Spirit Cruises to the South Pacific View All Windstar Wind Spirit Cruises
Wind Star
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Four-masted ship carries 148 passengers; it offers a casually elegant vibe, fine dining, excellent service, water sports and a focus on off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Wind Surf
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Windstar's biggest ship carries just 310 passengers; the five-masted vessel is truly romantic with alfresco dining options, cozy cabins and water sports from the ship.

Star Pride
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Ship highlights include suites with expansive bathrooms and large walk-in closets, great ocean views throughout, an impressive spa menu and an expanded top deck.

Star Legend
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Windstar's Star Legend offers an "almost luxury" experience and a laid-back vibe; you'll find larger cabins and elevators not found on its sister ships with sails.

Star Breeze
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Windstar's 212-passenger Star Breeze is a yacht-style small cruise ship with a casual ambiance, spacious cabins and multiple lounges -- but no full-size pool.

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