Shore excursions are not included in your cruise fare. There tend to be several excursion options in each port, from private half- and full-day car or van tours with your own guide to walking tours of the port. In addition, expect to find excursions to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, vineyards and foodie-themed tours, plus more active excursions, such as kayaking or hiking.
We found cruise line-operated shore excursions to be extremely popular on our sailing -- with some passengers taking part in shore excursions most days. Other passengers opted to explore ports independently of the cruise line, with a handy shuttle bus service available from the ship's docking area to the center of the port.
Passengers are briefed on the next port the evening before the call, with talks taking place in the Lounge, covering useful information such as where to catch the shuttle bus and how frequently it operates.
A highlight of our cruise was the complimentary excursion to visit a local market with the ship's head chef. Where suitable, this excursion is offered once per sailing, and sees the chef lead passengers to the local food market to sample produce, with passengers witnessing the chef negotiate with traders to secure the best prices for fish, fruit, meats, cheese and local delicacies. This tour usually takes two hours and involves a walk to and from the local market. Our tip is to sign up as soon as you get onboard. We sampled some of the sweetest, juiciest strawberries we've ever tasted and watched as the chef examined local mussels, shrimp and tuna to find the best quality.
Passengers can either book excursions pre-cruise or while onboard.
Daytime and Evening Entertainment
Wind Surf focuses on the port rather than onboard activities during the day, with the ship arriving early and often staying late. Other than the daily excursion talks, which focus on the following day's port, the ship offers no other form of daily fun or activities on its program. This relaxed program suits passengers who, when not exploring port or taking part in an excursion, can be found reading and socializing in the ship's Yacht Club or out on deck.
This laid-back atmosphere continues throughout the evening. You won't find karaoke, dance-offs or drinking competitions on this classy vessel. What it does offer is informal lounge music in the shape of a band or a singing duo that alternate between the Lounge and Compass Rose bar, becoming a familiar presence onboard. Performance times will vary depending on the ship's schedule.
While the overall entertainment program on Wind Surf is low-key, the ship's once-per-sailing crew show features a high-energy, not-to-be-missed performance. Presented with humor and panache, the show features a handful of the ship's crew performing a variety of acts. A highlight on our sailing was the male synchronized swimming act -- a comedy performance that saw a five-piece team leap and dive around in true slapstick style. The crew show tends to start at 10 p.m., though be prepared for a slight delay, allowing for those acts that are serving in the ship's restaurants to finish up and take part. The ship's Lounge fills up for the one-off performances -- with passengers keen to see if their favorite crew members are taking part. The atmosphere is wonderful, with the audience clapping and cheering each performer.
Wind Surf also has a casino, which features four gambling tables and an array of slot machines. The casino's opening times vary, depending on when the ship leaves port. For passengers who like to relax in their cabin, an extensive DVD library is available, though we didn't spot any new releases in the collection.
Look out for the local entertainment, which takes place onshore, once per voyage, as the ship sails away from port. On our sailing we witnessed a local Catalonian festivity known as Correfocs, which involves dancing with devil's pitchforks that are lit up with firecrackers. It was beyond wonderful and offered an exciting end to the evening.
There's no enrichment program available on Wind Surf.
Wind Surf Bars and Lounges
The bars on Wind Surf each serve their purpose well -- one small bar, Terrace, acts as the ship's discreet cigar bar; the Compass Rose is ideal for daytime drinks and relaxing over sundowners; while the spacious Lounge is designed to focus on the ship's evening entertainment. There's one bar menu available throughout the ship, which features wines and Champagne by the glass and bottle, ranging from house Champagne through to Dom Perignon; there's a cocktail and spirit selection, beers, juices and other soft drinks. While the drinks menu doesn't feature any nonalcoholic cocktails, if you ask the bar staff, they'll happily create one for you. There's also a highlighted drink of the day; these were Spanish-themed cocktails on our sailing to match our sailing region. A standout Baileys Martini also makes an appearance on the Martini Menu.
Lounge: (Deck 4, midship): The Lounge is surprisingly spacious and has a fresh feel. The layout is focused on the central stage (which is the same level as the floor space), with a long bar to one side. Furniture includes tables, chairs and long and comfy lounge sofas, positioned to face the stage. This is the space where almost all of the ship's entertainment takes place, including the not-to-be-missed crew show.
Compass Rose: (Deck 5, aft): The ship's main outdoor bar features a large indoor section, which opens up and flows into the outside seating area overlooking the pool. There's a corner area reserved for daily live music. The bar features classic teak furnishings and has a laid-back vibe. We found Compass Rose especially popular from late afternoon through to evening time, when passengers are enjoying pre- and post-dinner drinks.
Terrace Bar: (Deck 6, aft): The ship's terrace bar, kitted out with teak furnishings, includes a small inside section with a few tables outside. It is the ship's only smoking section and features a small bar and cigar menu. On our sailing, while smokers used the area, we found the bar to be unmanned whenever we passed by.
Wind Surf Outside Recreation
There's one small square-shaped pool located on Deck 3, which features two hot tubs on either side. There are plenty of sun loungers, tables and chairs available around the pool.
There are plenty of sturdy rattan-style sun loungers available on the ship, each one equipped with comfortable blue cushioning. Passengers can find sun loungers available on Star Deck (Deck 6), located between the Veranda restaurant and Fitness Center, and along Bridge Deck (Deck 5) and Main Deck's (Deck 4) side passageways.
It's unlikely you will encounter overcrowding issues -- plenty of available loungers could be found on our sailing.
One of Wind Surf's standout features is its watersports platform, located on Deck 2, which offers passengers complimentary use of a range of watersports gear -- including kayaks, windsurfers, Zodiacs, snorkeling equipment and water skis.
The ship's watersport's platform is only in use when the ship is in ports where it tenders, so if this is one of the features that draws you in, be sure to check the nature of a ship's ports before committing to an itinerary.
Other factors that can render the watersports platform out of action include weather, sea conditions and local regulations.
Wind Surf Services
Wind Surf's onboard services include a well-stocked library, which also features computers with access to a printer, and a large DVD collection. While there isn't a dedicated game room, there's an elegant wooden chess set and backgammon board available in the Yacht Club, which perfectly suit the ship's sophisticated feel.
The shore excursions deck, onboard Signature Shop and the photo gallery are all located by the guest services desk on Deck 3.
Wi-Fi is available onboard with a selection of packages available. Wi-Fi is available in cabins but some areas of the ship the connection is very poor. Surf Packages range from $60 for 200mb to $120 for 500mb.
There's no self-service laundry facility onboard, though there is a for-fee laundry and pressing service available.