39 Rome (Civitavecchia) Windstar Wind Surf Cruise Reviews

We cruised on Windsurf about 10 years ago and enjoyed it. This time was also good. Food was generally very good and occasionally excellent - we had some vegetables which were not hot but usually OK. Drinks are free if soft, ... Read More
We cruised on Windsurf about 10 years ago and enjoyed it. This time was also good. Food was generally very good and occasionally excellent - we had some vegetables which were not hot but usually OK. Drinks are free if soft, including coffees, and quite expensive if they have alcohol. Activities and entertainments are poor, though there was a band in the lounge and a duo upstairs. However when we could not go ashore owing to the wind, there was no Plan B to look after the customers. There could be silly games, lectures, quizzes etc but nothing until we beat up a manager. Captain avoided the issue. We had a cabin which looked out onto the tender boats when in port which some people would not like - noisy and too public. They need to put a nightlight in the bathrooms. Not cheap but fairly upmarket. Remember this is a small ship, 300 pax, with portholes only. They often had the sails up which was a pleasure. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Booked the Rome to Venice cruise on the recommendation of some friends and enjoyed it. Pre-cruise Windstar reps were readily available to answer questions with details and options. We utilized the well appointed gym most days and thought ... Read More
Booked the Rome to Venice cruise on the recommendation of some friends and enjoyed it. Pre-cruise Windstar reps were readily available to answer questions with details and options. We utilized the well appointed gym most days and thought the staterooms were as described with plenty of storage and a comfortable bed. Service and food was excellent throughout the ship. We elected to sign up for two excursions through Windstar and did others on our own, which was the right combination for us. There was a glitch with an engine communication issue that added a day at sea, but they made some adjustments to try to alleviate the impact—we were glad the issue was resolved. The onboard internet did not work as advertised. To Windstar’s credit, we were refunded charges we had paid in advance, but would have made other arrangements had we known onboard connectivity would be fairly nonexistent. We travelled as a couple, and it was nice to have options to either share a table at dinner or dine as a couple and enjoyed meeting fellow guests. We like a variety of modes of travel, but Windstar is a very good option for a small luxury cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Sicilian Splendors was our final leg of our back2back2back cruise celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and my husband's 65th birthday. Our first leg of our journey was Treasures of Southern Spain & Morocco (Lisbon to ... Read More
Sicilian Splendors was our final leg of our back2back2back cruise celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and my husband's 65th birthday. Our first leg of our journey was Treasures of Southern Spain & Morocco (Lisbon to Barcelona); the second Yachtsman's Harbors of the Rivieras (Barcelona to Rome/Civitavecchia) and now Sicilian Splendors, our third and final leg of our 25 day cruise. Because this was our third leg of our journey, we already had our keys and used the embarkation day as a regular port day. And since we were staying on board we had been able to book our Candles and Stella Bistro reservations the night before. We wandered around Civitavecchia on our own and took in the local market and stopped for pastries and coffee at a local place. It's definitely a working man's port but we saw lots of families out and about too. It wasn't as scenic as some of our other stops but it is a big city. We walked the waterway and stopped for a beer and free WiFi before heading back to the ship. The next day was our one day at sea on this itinerary. Unfortunately the seas were rough and I was pretty happy I hadn't booked a massage for the day! We relaxed and just hung out. Catania, Sicily On our roll call, I had met another couple that wanted to tour on their own out of Catania so the four of us booked Sicily Life tour's "Taormina and Winery on the slopes of Etna" and off we went. We enjoyed our tour and it was fun meeting new friends. Gozo/Xlendi, Malta We were suppose to anchor here the following day but because of more rough seas, the captain felt it was best to skip this port and head directly to Valletta, Malta. Sadly, due to the extreme rough seas we were unable to dock in Valletta that evening (as our itinerary had said) and we spent it at sea waiting until morning to continue on. Valletta, Malta We docked in the morning and we headed off on our own. What a lovely port this is and so doable on your own! We wandered all over and stumbled upon a bar called The Pub which was made famous by the fact that during the filming of Gladiator, Oliver Reed had drank his last drink there and died shortly afterwards. We had to stop and have a pint with all the English tourists who had stopped there as well. Afterwards we found a fantastic Italian restaurant where we shared lunch and a lovely bottle of wine. The architecture is beautiful and there is a large British influence. We saw the firing of the cannons but too quickly our time was over. (How I wish the weather had cooperated so we had had our overnight here!) We stopped for a drink and to use the restaurants WiFi close to the dock and ran into a lot of the crew. Once back on board, we realized over the loud speaker they kept calling two names. Turns out, there was a couple that didn't get back to the ship on time and they were attempting to find them. It must have been almost an hour before this couple reappeared. They had been at a close by store buying jewelry and hadn't noticed the time nor heard the loudspeaker. We think they got lucky the ship didn't leave them since there was another ship ahead of us. It is a very small opening you have to sail through with bumpy seas. Because we were late leaving we had the most spectacular sunset over Valletta we won't soon forget. Porto Empedocle, Sicily We joined the WS excursion "Temples Valley" and ended up with blue skies, a lovely guide and some fascinating ruins. It was a short bus ride to the valley and then lots of ruins to see. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour. And because it was only 3 hours, we had time to walk around the port on our own. We weren't sure how far it was to find the shops and restaurants so we waited for the shore bus to take us. The joke was on us since we rode less than 5 minutes! We did found a quiet restaurant where we had lunch and then we walked back to the ship. There weren't very many shops in the area close to the ship and it wasn't the prettiest port either but we felt safe and enjoyed our time there. Trapani, Sicily Another fabulous day on our own! We wanted to head to Erice and as we wandered off the ship, another couple was looking for a taxi so we finally found one (not the easiest thing) and headed to the cable car station. Now, our taxi driver wanted to give us a tour and drive us to Erice but we insisted he just take us to the cable car station. It took a bit of convincing but after telling him we would call when we were ready to come back to the ship, he dropped us at the cable car station. We purchased a round trip ticket and up we went. It was a Sunday and we weren't sure how much would be opened but just about all the restaurants and shops were. We walked all around and saw the sights. We stopped for some delicious pizza and wine. We visited several bakeries and ate some yummy Sicilian cookies and pastries. We shopped and purchased a ceramic pasta bowl for our son. Finally, we found a bar with WiFi and had a beer. After church the families wandered around and it was just a lovely feeling, being a part of this unique town. When we arrived back to the cable car station at the top, I spoke to a taxi driver and he called a taxi to meet us at the bottom. We hopped on the cable car and the taxi was waiting for us at the bottom. It was a good thing we had called because another group was trying to get in our taxi! Back to the ship and another wonderful day in the books. That evening, we ate at Stella Bistro and brought along some of the pastries we had purchased that day. Lipari, Italy Lipari was another day we spent on our own. We anchored at this port and was immediately in the thick of the shops and restaurants. I found several cute shops where I bought some trinkets to bring home. We wandered up a hill to one of the basilicas with the most beautiful ceiling. We stopped for pizza (not as good as in Erice) and some beer and WiFi. We found some streets that had more locals than tourists and enjoyed our wanderings. We also got some great photos of Wind Surf in the harbor. We set sail and cruised past Mt Stromboli which was magnificent and we even got a show from the volcano! Sorrento, Italy/Salerno, Italy We had big plans in Sorrento. I had booked a private tour and we were so looking forward to it when the weather and rough seas interfered with our quest. We were suppose to anchor in Sorrento, but due to rough seas, we were unable to make it to Sorrento. Naples was all booked up so the captain made the decision to take us to Salerno, Italy. We were told of the change the night before so we had some time to attempt to get a hold of our tour company and see if they would be able to pick us up in Salerno instead of Sorrento. They were so lovely and really wanted to accommodate us but due to the fires above Positano, they couldn't do it. So, what to do? We got together with some new friends and wandered from the dock and found a nice man who called his friend the taxi driver who agreed to take the 6 of us to Ravello for the day. The drive was crazy with lots of twists and turns. When we arrived in Ravello it started to rain but we found a restaurant and had lunch and afterwards, the sun came out. Ravello is known for ceramics and we found a place that made us some special pieces and shipped them home to us. They arrived in about 6 weeks and we couldn't be happier! Our taxi took us back to Salerno and because we had until midnight to be back on board, we decided to venture out on our own. We found some streets filled with locals enjoying the evening; we had dinner, shopped and finished with some gelato before heading back to the ship. I'm so happy we headed out in the evening and could experience Salerno by night. That evening was the deck BBQ and we made it back just in time for the dancing. All our favorite crew entertained us and I had fun joining in too. Amalfi, Italy Today was a short day so we headed right off the ship and purchased tickets for the local ferry to take us to Positano. We arrived in Positano before any other tourists and enjoyed the quiet. The beach is pretty and we started wandering up the hill. Just as we got close to the top, the tourists from the daily buses started making their way down. It got too crazy after that so we headed back to the ferryboat and back to Amalfi. We had just enough time in Amalfi to find a limoncello shop where the owners let us taste the limoncello (we had to purchase some too!) and told us their story. This is what it's all about for us. Finding the hidden gems and chatting with the locals. All too soon it was time to board and we had to say goodbye to Amalfi. I really wish we had had more time to explore this cute town. As we sailed out of Amalfi, we passed Positano, the island of Capri and Mt Etna. The sun set on what would be our final night of our back2back2back cruise. We had an amazing time and when asked, we couldn't pick our favorite cruise out of the three; they were all memorable and fantastic in their own way. Upon docking in Civitavecchia, we shared a taxi to the airport with the new friends off our roll call. It was easy and fast and too soon we were traveling back to the US. A few notes about our total Wind Surf experience on our back2back2back... We enjoy the wonderful folks who work so hard to make Wind Surf a special place. Captain Pedro, Hotel Operations Officers Calvin and Julian, Maitre d' hotel Merrick were out and about and available and willing to chat. Our favorite staff, Aladdin made our time onboard so very special as did Farid our cabin steward and Hari, Russ and Ada our servers. Anna at the tour desk and Anne at reception always had a smile and greeting for us as we walked by. Within a few days everyone knows your name and after 25 days on board, they really know all about you! Our opinion on the food is that it is very good. That being said, having been on board for 25 days, we learned that the rotation of the menus is about 5 days. With more and more Star Collector choices being offered, WS must rethink this policy. I enjoyed most everything on board during cruise 1 but by the time cruise 3 came along, I'd had enough of a few of the choices. The deck BBQ was wonderful and they have re-done the layout of where the food stations are since we last sailed with Wind Surf which made it seem roomier. I had originally booked a room on Deck 1 but the upgrade fairy came to visit several months later and we were upgraded to Suite 306. The location is towards the back of the ship and can be very noisy when the tenders are being used. But, it is so close to the Yacht Club and the Pool Deck, plus getting off the ship, we didn't let the noise ruin it for us. Plus, having 2 bathrooms in the suite saved my marriage after 25 days at sea! We were lucky to have the laundry service during our cruise and it was amazing! I did specify for cold wash and hang dry and just about everything came back perfect. One black sweater wasn't so black anymore but other than that, we were very pleased. We love Windstar and the port intensive itineraries. We love the smallness of the ships and the fact that you actually get to know other travelers and the crew on board. And after all the time we spent on board Wind Surf, she really became our home away from home. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had been on several Windstar cruises and loved them for the staff to passenger ratio; great customer service; small size; adults-only; extras like monogrammed Windstar slippers, beach bag, etc.; and their unique Windstar Destination ... Read More
We had been on several Windstar cruises and loved them for the staff to passenger ratio; great customer service; small size; adults-only; extras like monogrammed Windstar slippers, beach bag, etc.; and their unique Windstar Destination Discovery Events. Unfortunately, when we booked our most recent cruise on the Windsurf yacht, while the ship was beautiful, we found that the customer service was terrible, they no longer offered the Destination Discovery Event, there were no personal gifts in our cabin, and they seemed unable to accommodate the number of passengers on this ship (it is larger than the Windstar: 310 guests vs. 148). We ended up being redirected to a different restaurant twice for dinner due to the fact that they were unable to accommodate the volume of passengers eating around the same time. When we tried to eat breakfast, we often had to wait for a table and then wait even longer to get someone's attention. While the staff tried hard to please the guests, they appeared to be completely overwhelmed and understaffed. Additionally, we had a boarding issue in Italy and were almost forbidden to board the ship because we only had our ship's card (something the yacht's staff assured us was all we would need vs a driver's license or passport). Lastly, the biggest disappointment in this cruise line is the pricing. In all our experiences with them, we have questioned whether we got a good deal. The prices for their cruises change almost daily and I think they have had so many complaints, they have revised their policy for crediting customers the difference in price (I found that our cabin was almost $1,000 less two weeks after we booked, but still far enough out that they weren't trying to fill rooms at the last minute). And, if you book through anyone except them (i.e. American Express Travel, etc.) don't expect them to even talk to you. We expressed our disappointment with the company prior to departing and on board, we discussed our frustrations, but to no avail. We will no longer be Windstar customers. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We had seen most of the Med on previous cruises but had missed the North Italian coast and the French Riviera. This cruise fit the bill with 3 Italian ports ,Monaco and 3 French Riviera port stops. Unfortunately a week before the cruise my ... Read More
We had seen most of the Med on previous cruises but had missed the North Italian coast and the French Riviera. This cruise fit the bill with 3 Italian ports ,Monaco and 3 French Riviera port stops. Unfortunately a week before the cruise my wife became ill and needed a wheelchair temporarily to get around. I considered cancelling all of our excursions but the Destination Manager assured me they would get us on our excursion and get the most out of the cruise as we could. And they did exactly that going way out of their way to insure we saw everything we came for. Only had to cancel one excursion in Monaco that just couldn't be done in a wheelchair. Everywhere we went on the ship they went out of their way to accommodate us and make things easier. I can't say enough good things about the crew. The food on the ship was absolutely delicious and with 3 dining area on a small ship we never had to wait. The wait staff was efficient and quick with a recommendation. With just over 300 passengers the crew and passengers soon became very familiar with each other. I have never seen ship's officers so visible and everywhere on the ship. The Captain and all other senior officers seemed to be greeting passengers all over the ship including when we arrived and disembarked the ship. Staff interacted with guests at a crew talent show, line dancing and other events. The cabin, while not significantly larger than most cruise cabins, had a generous amount of storage. We usually are fighting over hangers and drawers but not this time. The bed was fine and the bathroom adequate. The ship is definitely showing it's age. At almost 30 years old you can tell it has undergone many paint jobs and renovations. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it but you could still see many things that would be designed differently today. Still, to be on a sailing ship with all the sails up through the Med was quite an experience. A great feature was the back swimming deck. With all the toys you could want you could swim, snorkel, kayak paddleboard or have the crew tube you around the ship. While the ports were very important and interesting, the ship and crew were the highlights of this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We had a wonderful time on the wind surf. We didn’t expect to.... We’re not “cruise people” - The idea of a cruise ship is just gross to us. We tried the Windstar cruise because a sailboat charter wasn’t able to get us to all ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on the wind surf. We didn’t expect to.... We’re not “cruise people” - The idea of a cruise ship is just gross to us. We tried the Windstar cruise because a sailboat charter wasn’t able to get us to all the places we wanted to go. What we found was the WindSurf was a lot more enjoyable than a sailboat charter. Much less work, great food, great staff. In terms of value, it was a really affordable way to go to some of our favorite places. What really set this ship apart was the staff. They were just amazing. It was delightful to have a room steward - thank you Bayu – who would clean up our cabin and even do our laundry every day. We got really spoiled. The bartenders were also great especially Maria. And the service staff for the onboard meals were just delightful especially Charlie. The itinerary for this cruise was great. It started in Rome, then went to Ellba, then Portovenere in the Cinque Terra, then Portofino, then Monaco, St Tropez, La Lavandou and ending up in Nice. These are great yachting destinations. The key thing about the WindSurf was the value proposition. We could’ve chartered our own yacht and spent 20 times more for the same itinerary, but this let us pretend we were Billioaires for a few days on a budget. Our fellow passengers were nearly all American and generally retired but we also met some people that were closer to our age (30s) and more active. The ship itself was very beautiful and interesting. It clearly is in need of an update, but don’t let that scare you away as it’s really something special to experience. The food was much better than we could’ve imagined. But we were a little disappointed with the wine selection. It would’ve been nice if they would have had more local Italian and French wines versus the California-centric wine list. (Especially because we couldn’t really bring any wine into the ship). But now I’m just sounding snobby. We must send a big aloha and thank you to the team members who made this trip so fun. Captain Gerry was great and we enjoyed our chats in the bridge with him. The bar and dining team was great with Naria and Charlie deserving special recognition and of course Bayu our room steward who completely spoiled us. Thank you WindSurf team for a great week in the Med. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Taking a Windstar cruse has always been a “bucket list” adventure for me. My husband has never been to Italy and I always wanted a reason to return, so the itinerary sold us and we could cross many travels off our list. So this is a ... Read More
Taking a Windstar cruse has always been a “bucket list” adventure for me. My husband has never been to Italy and I always wanted a reason to return, so the itinerary sold us and we could cross many travels off our list. So this is a first-time Wind Star cruiser review. I loved the idea of sailing on a smaller ship. I’m 49 and my husband is 59, so we weren’t looking for a large ship, nor all the hoopla of the large ship offerings. We knew going in the entertainment at night was limited, and the general age population was going to be a bit older and were okay with this. Upon getting to the port, the embarkation process was quick. We signed waivers for the water sports deck, a health questionnaire and shook hands with the captain and onboard we went! They collected our passports (they hold onto them for the duration of the cruise and provided us with our key cards. We were able to sign up for dining options (a couple of restaurants require reservations) at that time and then headed off to our room to drop off our hand luggage. The veranda was already opened for lunch, which was welcoming and had a good variety. The ship: The Windsurf holds 300 passengers and almost 200 crew. Good ratios for personalized service. The ship is beautiful, but you can see it’s going to need to be dry docked soon. Little things like seeing deep scratches in the wood floor, frayed carpet in areas, and rust and barnacles on the keel indicated this ship needs a bit of TLC. That being said, all these issues also leant itself to the charm of there’s no overdone grand staircase, neon lighting, grandiose or brass railings that you would see with the uber-larger ships, and we were perfectly okay with that. The deck chairs are in good condition, the bars are orderly (although I noticed the mirrors are in desperate need of cleaning) and the dining rooms are gorgeous. One of the best parts is the open door policy the bridge has for passengers to come in and see the controls and talk with the crew. They’ll close the bridge when going into port or leaving, for safety, but we went in at midnight one night and talked with the crew. They were just as inviting then as in the middle of the day. The room: We got a deck 1 room (room 129) mid ship. It was comfortable and tastefully decorated. There’s plenty of storage space, taking advantage of every nook and cranny. The bathroom is larger than most cruise ship bathrooms for a standard sized cabin. There was a double closet with plenty of hangers, a safe, a mini bar and fridge stocked with sodas and beer and a tray of fresh fruit. There were bathrobes and slippers for us, as well as L’Occitane bath products and soaps. Our room attendant was sweet and turndown and make up service was always quick. One day, I had to leave a note for additional soap and shower caps, which in my opinion should be automatic, but otherwise, she was pretty attentive. The dining experience: We didn’t eat in the French restaurant, the Stella Rose, so it wouldn’t be fair to comment, except to say the dining room is classily decorated. The AmphorA is the main dining room. The food was always outstanding and well proportioned. It’s open seating, so you have the ability to show up and either dine by yourself or join others at a larger table. My husband and I are pretty social, so we opted to join others on most nights and found ourselves meeting new people and making some great friends. They serve specialized courses each night, but also have some standards every night, in the event you didn’t like any of the specials. If you want a specific wait staff, you can ask the matre’d and they’ll seat you in that server’s section. If you have allergies, all you have to do is let them know and they’ll provide you with a menu for the following night’s meal and you choose your options. They’ll prepare that meal selection with respect to your allergies. The Veranda is the restaurant for breakfast and lunch. We only had a couple of lunches on the boat, so I won’t give a large review on this, but the breakfasts were amazing! There’s a full buffet, a omelet bar and an a la carte order menu where you can get eat waffles, pancakes, eggs Benedict and more. At night, the Veranda is converted to the reservation-based restaurant for dinner. Candles is Serves lots of specialized choices. We had filet mignonette or chicken and seafood skewers. Everything was delicious and prepared to perfection! Entertainment: By day, The Windsurf has a platform water deck and on certain days, the staff will open it up, for water sports like kayaking, water skiing and just swimming in the open water. By night, the entertainment is limited, but you make it your own. There is a small casino with tables and slots. The main lounge had a 4-person band, but their song choice was “sappy” so we headed over to a deck bar, the Compass Rose, where a duo, “Marci Gras” rocked the place until they closed every night. There’s a crew talent show one night, which is silly fun. We didn’t do any shore excursions. We researched the ports and did our own thing. Some ports we just walked around and explored, in other ports, I hired private guides (for much less than the private tours offered by WindStar) so we could get a customized taste of the ports. Many people we met did take the shore excursions and the reviews were mixed based on the expectations versus the reality, but overall, they seemed to have a good time. If you would like to know about our excursions, feel free to contact me directly. We had such a great time that we were saddened to disembark in Venice. There was nothing we would change about this cruise, and I haven’t been able to say that on most cruises. My husband and I agree that after this experience, we don’t ever see ourselves on a large cruise ship again. The experience of getting to know most of the passengers, the crew and the intimacy of it all really appealed to us. We would definitely consider another Windstar cruise and now that we’ve done the largest of the fleet, I’d be interested in trying the yacht/liner fleet as well....of course, it’s all dependent upon the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our third Windstar cruise, our second on Wind Surf. We chose the cruise for the itinerary, Italy, Montenegro, Croatia, and Slovenia. The ports did not disappoint! We enjoyed a wonderful variety of experiences, from discovering ... Read More
This was our third Windstar cruise, our second on Wind Surf. We chose the cruise for the itinerary, Italy, Montenegro, Croatia, and Slovenia. The ports did not disappoint! We enjoyed a wonderful variety of experiences, from discovering ancient history to sailing and exploring caves. The primary draw of Windstar’s small ships is the sense of community and friendship that develops over the cruise. The groups seems to come together after 3-4 days and, for this reason, we loved the longer duration of this trip - 11 days. We had a real sense of making friends and enjoying each other’s company. The ship is scheduled for a makeover in a few months and it will benefit from this. However nothing about the state of ship detracted from the cruise. The cabins and public rooms were all clean and welcoming. We booked the basic cabin for this trip, but were pleasantly surprised with the amount of storage available. We didn’t feel crowded at all. The staff on Windstar excels. Everyone onboard was friendly, knowledgeable, and easy to approach. All crew members, from cabin stewards to the captain himself, were out and available for any questions or requests. We really enjoyed seeing some people from past cruises who remembered us and treated us as long lost friends. Well done! Food was great! We appreciated the offerings and the portion sizes. Entertainment was great in one venue (Compass Rose) but OK in the other. Still fine for what we wanted. Only criticism - the Windstar has been acquired recently by a new company and many of us noticed a decline in some of the things that made the brand special. The new ownership seems quite focused on the bottom line and thus has cut back on lots of little things, like the welcome aboard gift for returning passengers, and the refreshing of bathroom amenities. But more frustrating to us was the lack of response to customer concerns from the home office. We had booked early and were assured a “best rate” but, when the inevitable price drops occurred, the customer service team were indifferent to our disappointment and didn’t offer any compensation. (In the past we’d been offered wi-fi or laundry services to offset the price drop) Other passengers we spoke to had similar experiences. Luggage tags, hors d’oeuvres etc. are small things, but with all the cruise offerings available, it is the Windstar experience that keeps people coming back. Let’s hope they return to their roots. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I have sailed on 7 different cruise lines on multiple cruises to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Russia, Alaska, and Europe. Wind Surf was launched for Club Med in 1989 (30 years old). Dry dock and total renovation and redesign cannot ... Read More
I have sailed on 7 different cruise lines on multiple cruises to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Russia, Alaska, and Europe. Wind Surf was launched for Club Med in 1989 (30 years old). Dry dock and total renovation and redesign cannot come soon enough! This is an old boat and feeling rundown and shabby (not chic). And the sails may wow folks in port, but there is a lot of hoopla over the "unfurling" of sails and playing the same Vangelis music every evening. First time was interesting, but come on folks, what's the big deal. The passenger demographic of this cruise line is well-healed seniors in their 70's who have more money than travel experience and are easily impressed. Overall, the value simply wasn't here. Some may feel they are part of an exclusive guest list of 300 passengers, but the ship is small, staterooms are very small, food service is adequate but average and entertainment is virtually nonexistent. Staff is under pressure to do their jobs and wanted little to do with passenger's requests or comfort. Overall the promise of Windstar's promotional website and literature does not match the promise of a personal and unique experience, an engaging staff, or amazing luxury cruise yachting experience. Boarding the ship in Rome (Civitavecchia), I was astounded that only one of the two elevator was functional at embarkation and the crew had that elevator tied up for hours delivering luggage to state rooms. No staff elevators on board this ship. I spoke with the Reception Desk and they promised each day that the second elevator would be fixed anytime. It took 3 days and constant reminding the desk that there are a lot of very senior passengers who have mobility issues and need the elevator. After repair and elevator started functioning again, they shut down the elevators several times during the cruise and placed an "out of order" sign on the doors. This old ship should never have left port without both elevators functioning. Our cabin was the smallest stateroom ever, with minimal closet and storage space. Bed linens were nice, but the beds were broken down and should have been replaced a year ago. But the bathroom was downright difficult and out dated. I'm 5'11", 185 lbs and it was close for me. Cannot imagine how some on board managed to shower or use the toilets as the space was so tight. Luxury Yacht? Not in my book. Each evening as passengers returned to the ship after a day of excursions, we would congregate on the pool deck expecting to watch the exit from ports during sunsets, relax, swim, chat and enjoy some bar beverages. At 6:00 pm, staff beginning removing all umbrellas, closing pool and jacuzzis, collecting all towels and bar glasses and shutting down the Pool Bar and Deck. Fresh towel bins were empty. Many passengers voiced their objections at this untimely closing of the large pool deck of the ship but staff had their orders and ignored the passengers requests. While reclining in swim wear, we were told to go upstairs and order our drinks at that bar. Then they collected and stacked the chaises to clear the deck. Stupid Ship and Bar Policy. After while, passengers gave up requesting to leave the Pool Bar and Deck open while we sail out of ports. The cruise itinerary was a major draw for us; visiting ports of east and west coasts of Italy, and the Dalmatian coast. Visiting the cruise ports was great fun, but certainly there were the other "mega ships" in port, also. So the idea that the ship is so "small" (700 ft isn't really small), we could sail into ports restricted to larger ships was false. And unfortunately for some, the rear ship "marina" was only lowered twice on the cruise. Many were disappointed that equipment was not in good condition and the kayaks were not available as they posed competition to the local businesses. Shore excursions? Unless you have money to burn, take time to research the cruise ports and figure out what interest you, rather than pay outrageous fees for Windstar excursions (yes, were talking several thousands extra for excursions). It seemed every time you turned around, there were extra charges, overpriced drinks, extra gratuity for staff (I'm glad to tip for extraordinary service), staff saying "no", not possible, cannot do that, sir. Certainly not the promise of the Windstar Cruises. One bright spot in the ships staff was the Gym Facilitor, Nathan from South Africa. Very knowledgeable in fitness and exercise and very aware of the age of his passengers. Well done! I will definitely sail more cruises in the future, but definitely not on Windstar ships. As a matter of fact, we've already booked a Viking River Cruise for 2019. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My wife and i sailed on the Wind Surf for 10 days from Civitavecchia to Civitavecchia. The itinerary was good, our cabin was good, the service was good and the food quality was good. We did three cruise shore tours which were very good ... Read More
My wife and i sailed on the Wind Surf for 10 days from Civitavecchia to Civitavecchia. The itinerary was good, our cabin was good, the service was good and the food quality was good. We did three cruise shore tours which were very good and within the price range that cruise companies charge. The whole cruise was to ports in Italy (apart from one day in French Corsica) which, as everyone appreciates, is one of the foundation of many western cultures and languages, has created countless artistic masterpieces, produced wonderful classical and modern music and musicians, and is renowned for its wine and food - we saw and felt evidence of that every time we set foot on shore. BUT once we boarded the ship we found only one officer was Italian; the general crew were primarily Indonesian and Phiiippino/a (which would be great if we were doing a cruse in Asia); the Captain, when addressing the passengers en masse, made no effort to pronounce Italian place names in other than an english accent; there was only one Italian red table wine and one Italian white (neither of which were better than average); there was close to zero Italian food dishes; no Italian live or background music (not even Dean Martin singing Amore); and zero cultural lectures which have been a feature of the other four small ship cruises that we have done over the last decade. For the record, there was an Italian cheese tasting one evening in which blocks of unnamed cheese were placed on cheese boards while the sommelier (who was European but not Italian) encouraged you buy the ship's red wine (one from Italy and the others from California, South Africa and South America). So would we sail Wind Surf and or Windstar Cruises again? Our answer is "NO". We would seek a better experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My friend and I chose this cruise because we really liked the itinerary and had read the reviews prior to booking. It was expensive, but had been on many cruises with other cruise lines and were happy to pay the cost for a luxury cruise. ... Read More
My friend and I chose this cruise because we really liked the itinerary and had read the reviews prior to booking. It was expensive, but had been on many cruises with other cruise lines and were happy to pay the cost for a luxury cruise. Ship - It didn't start well as, unlike other cruise lines the embarkation process was awful. At the terminal we had to initially wait off the ship on the quay in the sun for half an hour, then when we got onto the ship we had to wait another half hour in line to be checked in, this was about 2pm. We weren't allowed to register two credit cards (which was to prove to be a major problem later) as we wanted to each pay our own bills. The ship is 'tired' and really needs a refit, stained carpets, worn out chairs in the lounge etc. It just doesn't compare with other companies. Cabin - Our travel agent had booked twin beds and checked the day before that this would happen and was assured that this would be no problem. Nevertheless we didn't have twin beds, we went to reception and they assured us it would be dealt with, eventually at 6.30pm the beds were sorted. The cabin was fine, plenty of storage and clean, but basic. Dining - there are three restaurants, but you can only book to eat out in the French restaurant and the Candles restaurant (that is the only restaurant where you can eat on the deck). The food in all three was good, but not exceptional. The waiting staff were attentive and helpful. Entertainment and activities - The resident band and singer were talented and played a good variety of music, however if you wanted to dance they didn't start playing until 9.30pm which seemed late. We attended the fitness exercise classes at 7am and 5pm with Nathan, who was a lively instructor. We also went to a line-dancing class, that was rather a disaster because of no music and a temporary instructor. Service - though the staff were friendly, it felt that the whole trip was about 'selling' extras, unlike other cruises that we have been on everything was an extra. Drinks were very expensive unless you bought a drinks package! For example - if you wanted to drink wine it was $32 a day per person and with all drinks it was over $50 per day. There is no way that we would we drink that amount each day! The Spa treatments were also very costly and throughout treatments rather than being calm it was all about selling extras, cosmetics etc. Also we weren't aware that a service charge of 15% gets put on automatically everything - your fare, drinks, spa etc. We considered this was completely wrong, other cruise lines suggest what you should 'tip', gives you envelopes for cabin staff and all house keeping and then you can put it in a 'postbox' so that all staff can be included in any disbursements. In the small print when you get your bill they say that staff rely on the service charge money as part of their salary - this is wrong. I have a service business and there is no way would I put a compulsory service charge on my client's invoices. You can if you 'pressure' sign a form to have the service charges removed, which we did. Not having two credit cards registered proved enormously problematic and it took 5 long discussions with reception to try and obtain 2 separate correct bills despite us giving them all the information clearly laid out. It was extremely frustrating. Ports and shore excursions - All the ports were great and it was fun even when we had to use the tender. We did do some of the excursions, again expensive and certainly you could do the same things by going ashore and saving a lot of money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Hi Adventurers! We recently completed a beautiful trip on board the Windstar Wind Surf across Italy, Montenegro, and Croatia and we fell in love with the boat, its crew and the beautiful port of calls. During our journey, we had the ... Read More
Hi Adventurers! We recently completed a beautiful trip on board the Windstar Wind Surf across Italy, Montenegro, and Croatia and we fell in love with the boat, its crew and the beautiful port of calls. During our journey, we had the opportunity to visit Rome, the famous Amalfi coast, Sicily, Kotor, Montenegro and three port cities in Croatia. Our trip ended in Venice where we continued our vacation. It's evident that Windsurf spends significant resources in training their associates. The Wind Surf crew was able to provide a consistently high level of customer service in all aspects of the trip; onboarding, the restaurants and the cafeteria, boutique, and the cabins, etc. We truly enjoyed the company of the entire staff; however, we fell in love with Nadine, Aditthas, one of the restaurant supervisors and the big smile and sincere disposition of our cabin butler. These three individuals exceeded our expectations consistently during our 8-day trip. The Wind Surf is a fine old dame; a five-mast schooner that brings up memories of a romantic past and pirate encounters. As you look at the Wind Surf from the distance, its beautiful display of white sails become an attractive landmark in any of the ports of call that you visit. This is not the type of cruise experience, where you are expected to be entertained by a troupe of dancers, singers and all sorts of juggling acts. Instead, passengers get intimate dining experiences, the company of other passengers, romantic cocktail hours and impressive views from any spot on the boat. The available options of shore excursions are very interesting and affordable. We thought that crew and their excursions vendors did a great job in adapting the excursions to the American market. The restaurant options are limited; however, they compensate this by providing an exceptional array of breakfast, lunch and dining options for the American palate. Our first experience with Windstar was unforgettable and we know we'll be back next year to enjoy another exciting destination. Perhaps Japan, China or the Brittish Isles. We just want to thank the Wind Surf's crew for their attention to detail and exceptional customer focus. and to Windstar for sticking to their promise of delivering "180-degree-from-the-ordinary" experiences. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Let me start off by saying this was our 5th Windstar Cruise and was one of " the best". I did a lot of due diligence before our trip on Viator, TripAdvisor, NY Times Travel etc.regarding our cities we were visiting. You should ... Read More
Let me start off by saying this was our 5th Windstar Cruise and was one of " the best". I did a lot of due diligence before our trip on Viator, TripAdvisor, NY Times Travel etc.regarding our cities we were visiting. You should probably do this but the Yacht provides a write up on each stop ( places of interest, history etc.) which was fabulous information. You can pick these up as soon as you board near excursion desk. OK let's get started. I hope the information I provide you will make your trip easier and you take advantage of all my tips. We flew into FCO ( ROME) and I had contracted thru Viator a car ( 69 EUROS plus tip) to take us to Port of Civitavecchia. It was a pleasant hour ride and our driver gave us a history lesson on all the little towns we passed . We arrived before 1 pm check in so your options are to wait in lobby, walk around Port or take a free bus 10 minute bus ride to city. Once you can go onboard you fill out a few forms, have your picture taken, and give credit card for incidentals. My recommendation is to make your "special night" dinner reservations at Stella and Candles immediately after checking in. We love Stella and were able to go back 2 nights. Our "favorite restaurant" . Gede is the maitre' de and excellent in running the restaurant. For Candles ,I recommend at the end of the trip when your in a Port late and you sit outside for beautiful views and romantic dinner. The main restaurant is Amphora. It was very very good. Our maitre'ed was Hayruttin and a really nice guy. Our outstanding waiter was Andi ( hardest working guy on Yacht). Always smiling and so friendly. He was also our waiter for breakfast and lunch along with Aqil ( great smile and very hard worker). Eric was our Wine Steward. Extremely knowledgeable and a great guy. We've had Eric and Andi on 3 of our cruises and they are AWESOME. Look and ask for them. They really are the best at what they do. I have to tell you that ALL THE STAFF ( 192 people) are just terrific. So friendly and always looking to help out. It speaks volumes to Windstar for having such a great staff. There is a very full menu for all 3 meals but if you desire something else they will bend over backwards to accommodate you. One night there is the ' most incredible" BBQ on deck at night. You name they have it. Lobster, shrimp, fish, roast beef etc. Bring your camera . You won't regret it. Our cabin #320 : If you like 2 bathrooms, 2 TV'S, 2 large closets, plenty of great amenities with a sitting room then I highly recommend the Windsurf. Our room was awesome. Perfect location. Middle of yacht and completely accessible to main bridge and everywhere else. Our previous cruise we had Cabin #331 which was really good also. The bed, sheets and pillows are all first class. The rooms are cleaned in the morning and at night. On this Classic Italy trip being on the even side gave us great views of the coastline and Ports the whole trip. The Information desk is manned by 4 outstanding workers. I remember Mary and Kareem and apologize can't remember other 2 but all were extremely helpful answering any questions, wake-up or if there was a problem they were extremely attentive to passengers needs. In the morning there are 2-3 pages of current news everyday from Times Digest, USA Today and British News along with NY Times crossword puzzle, Suduko and Jumble. These are a lot of fun to do if you have time. Near the information desk is the Yachtsman Club where you can get coffee ( also specialty coffees), fruit, desserts , sandwiches and outstanding peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. Don't expect to lose any weight . After the 5th day it was getting embarrassing. I needed to wear all my shirts out I was eating so much. Again the food was really good . So if you have time there is a full "state of the art" workout facility. I walked around the ship 11 times ( 2.2 miles) and when your sailing on the Adriatic Sea it's like a bath tub. There a plenty of lounge chairs on 2 decks for just reading and relaxing and taking in the views. There is also the Compass Bar where you can lounge or get served awesome drinks by Eric. There are 2 hot tubs ( did not use) and small pool. When ship is docked in a Port you can use any of the water sports activities at back of Yacht which is run by BJ. He is a really cool guy, very athletic and runs a really good operation in water activities. These are not available if weather is inclement. Entertainment- There is entertainment starting at 9:15 pm in the main lounge. Wonderful singer and back up band( the guys are pretty good singers also ). they have Beatles Night and 50/60/70"s Night. There is a duo singing in the Compass Bar each night. One of the highlights of the trip is Crew entertainment night. You have no idea how talented some of the crew are. Wonderful singers but my favorite group was Men's Synchronized Swim group led by BJ. I couldn't stop laughing at the incredible performance these 8 guys did. There is also a Casino on board . Ports and Excursions- I did a lot of research thru Viator and TripAdvisor re: excursions. I will be honest with you. Don't waste your time. Every evening, Gonsalvo would give us a brief scenario of our next Port. He was extremely thorough and he and his assistant Joha were very helpful. First, the excursions the Yacht offers are fabulous. Prices vary but you should be able to find a price point for your needs. Second, the guides the Yacht provided at each Port were outstanding. Third, but most important the Yacht will provide you with the BEST DRIVERS anywhere. If you've been to Italy ( especially Sicily- the road to Mt. Etna is unbelievable) and all their drivers were the consummate professional and just outstanding. When you see them make impossible turns hairpin turns with these big buses you'll thank me. Plus if you should incur any trip problems it's mush easier dealing with Windstar than these other small travel companies. One word of advice: foreign buses do not have bathrooms . We took 5 excursions: (1) Boat to Positano ( view are magnificent and bring 2-3 credit cards you'll need it- great shopping)- (2) trip to Mt. Etna- the cruise line provides you with a free activity and after Mt. Etna we went to the Gambino Winery where we had a wonderful meal, sampled 4 good wines and serenaded with nice music. Also a wine cellar tour. All your morning excursions will end up at Gambino Winery so you don't have to worry about missing anything. (3) Historic Kotor on foot- wonderful excursion and town (4) Dubrovnik City Sights and Cable Car- awesome (5) Krka National Park Highlights- it's not Niagara Falls but pleasant trip. The last day was Rovinj and we did our own tour and it worked out well. This was a perfect city to just walk and walk. We stayed in Venice for 2 extra nights and there's nothing I can tell you about Venice that you don't know . I contracted thru Viator for pick up from Port in Venice to our Hotel ( Baglioni Hotel Luna- place is like a palace- highly recommend- it's magnificent ) and it ran 80 Euros. From hotel to airport it ran 120 Euros. I think I pretty much covered everything you'll need for this trip. Please reach out to me if you have any questions. Enjoy your next cruise . Ciao !!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We have been on the Windstar Line's smaller wind yachts and wanted to experience the larger Wind Surf. With about 190 crew and 350 passengers the facilities and service were above and beyond what we expected. The slightly larger ... Read More
We have been on the Windstar Line's smaller wind yachts and wanted to experience the larger Wind Surf. With about 190 crew and 350 passengers the facilities and service were above and beyond what we expected. The slightly larger format allowed a little more space and enabled the provision of three distinctly different dining experiences. The small size of the ship allowed it to anchor close to all the ports visited. The tender service was adequate with short trips due to the proximity to the docks. The cabins are typical Windstar pattern designed by the French in 1986 and seemed to have been recently refurbished. They have plenty of storage and a small desk. The unique bathrooms had all new plumbing fittings with a thermostat that actually worked on the shower. Entertainment was limited but adequate with two groups, one in the lounge and one on the back deck. The crew show was very good! Special functions such as a lunch at a winery in Taormina and the deck BBQ went well. Especially the BBQ which offered such a large variety of food from Lobster through Paella to Skirt Steak that it was impossible to try everything. Held as the sun set in the valley like space of Kotor it was a very special evening. As the port cities on the itinerary were interesting enough we declined the excursions. However we got good reports from those who took them. The meals in all restaurants were superb. Head Chef Eddie took about 10 of us to the markets in Kotor where he purchased some wonderful cured meats, olives and fruit which he served at the BBQ. He also arranged a tasting of meats and cheeses together with a sample of the local red wine Vranac. (not so good before lunch!) Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this trip as it went to ports that we had never been to before. Yes the Windsurf is old but the inside is really nice in every detail. The cabin is small compared to other cruises we have taken but there is adequate storage space ... Read More
We chose this trip as it went to ports that we had never been to before. Yes the Windsurf is old but the inside is really nice in every detail. The cabin is small compared to other cruises we have taken but there is adequate storage space for everything. The crew is truly wonderful. They know you name from the first day and what you liked and didn't like. Just loved everything. The trip skipped Gozo but we were still able to do the planned excursion. It also missed another port but we were able to make the best of it. There was also a free excursion to the Valley of the Temples which was great and included a free lunch at a hotel near by. Also had a free open bar. Not too shabby. Only one suggestion and I probably know it is not possible. Windstar should cut out the portholes and replace with a large window. Probably the cost ios too great Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Wanted to see Sicily, great experience but though the ship could do with some updating, carpets need replacing. Bathrooms a very good design. Plenty of storage space in the cabin. Food very good. Restaurant management and staff with a few ... Read More
Wanted to see Sicily, great experience but though the ship could do with some updating, carpets need replacing. Bathrooms a very good design. Plenty of storage space in the cabin. Food very good. Restaurant management and staff with a few exceptions could do with additional training. The BBQ dinner was exceptional heaps of lobster tails and prawns. We booked early and no consideration was given when the fares were dramatically reduced, trying to contact the shipping company for any kind of advice was like pulling teeth for us and our travel agent. Not a very easy company to deal with. I would not sail again on this ship as I believe the standard and service is better on other ships although the food was first class. Most ships these days provide wine with meals they did not. They wanted $54 US per day per person in a wine package, cheaper to buy wine by the glass US$10 approximately. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
9 days "Sicily Splendors" was purchased in June 2016. We cruised on Windstar (Windsurf) before and knew about the warm crew approach, amazing food, long staying in the ports and all the other things smaller ships can offer. We ... Read More
9 days "Sicily Splendors" was purchased in June 2016. We cruised on Windstar (Windsurf) before and knew about the warm crew approach, amazing food, long staying in the ports and all the other things smaller ships can offer. We were in the different parts of Italy many times but not in Sicily. So the decision was easy. Embarkation was smooth and easy. We were upgraded to a higher deck - which was a nice surprise. Cabin was clean and kept clean all the voyage. The dining on Windstar ships is the one of the best you can get on a cruise ship. All the time 5* - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, BBQ event - everything! The ports were interesting for us as I've mentioned. All around Sicily plus Malta and Gozo (small island next to Malta). Unfortunately due to the weather conditions in Gozo captain decided to stay one more night in Valletta so we couldn't see Gozo. But safety first and we spent a wonderful one more day in Malta - which was nice :) Special event was very well organized. Additional point to the Team. Miss the ship already and dream to come again! :) Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because of the small ship experience. We did not want to be on a big "floating city". We found Windstar to be a wonderful experience. the only thing I would change is for Windstar to allow complimentary ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the small ship experience. We did not want to be on a big "floating city". We found Windstar to be a wonderful experience. the only thing I would change is for Windstar to allow complimentary internet and to be more reasonable about the exorbitant alcohol package. That said, we loved the experience! The staff is very welcoming. We highly recommend the laundry service...outstanding. We do think that the shore excursions are overrated and very expensive. We found that we could do better just going on line and booking an excursion by ourselves. For example, the Blue Grotto tour was well over $100 and we booked a tour for $33. The planned, free excursion to the Gambino Winery was amazing! Totally enjoyable. We did not think Split was a particularly good stopover; the Diocletian Palace was filled with souvenir ships...not very interesting to us. Kotor and Roving were the highlights for us....well worth the stopover. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our experience on Windstar Cruises was excellent. We had originally chosen an itinerary from Istanbul to Athens. However, Windstar pulled out of Istanbul after the attempted coup, and gave us the opportunity to stay with the ship's ... Read More
Our experience on Windstar Cruises was excellent. We had originally chosen an itinerary from Istanbul to Athens. However, Windstar pulled out of Istanbul after the attempted coup, and gave us the opportunity to stay with the ship's new itinerary or change. We chose to change to an earlier sail date from Rome to Venice, with stops in Montenegro, Croatia and Italy. Windstar was very responsive to our requests and questions as we made these changes. We stayed in Rome for one night prior to the cruise, and took the train from Rome to Civitavecchia on our embarkation day. This ended up being slightly stressful (we missed the express train and ended up on a local -- cutting it very, very close to missing the all-aboard time). We made these arrangements independently, and might have been better off using Windstar to make the arrangements for us. That said, they welcomed us to the port and helped us get aboard. The registration process once on the ship was quick and easy, and we relished the opportunity to relax. The Wind Surf is a gorgeous ship. Upon leaving each port, she unfurled her sails and the ceremony was invigorating. The decks are very pleasant, with plenty of seating. The deck bars are responsive to your needs, but not pushy, which has not been our experience with other cruise lines. We had booked the least expensive type of cabin, but with Windstar's price guarantee, when the price lowered and it was too late to refund us, they granted us both a cabin upgrade and an onboard credit! Our cabin was well-furbished, comfortable and had more storage than we actually needed. Our steward was pleasant and unobtrusive, and we experienced no disturbing noises or even ship movement from our cabin. The dining onboard is excellent. Breakfast, with its choice of menu service or buffet, more than met our needs. The lunch buffet changed daily to reflect our different port stops, with some delightful cheeses, olives and interesting main dish choices, as well as a standard menu reflecting the more Americanized choices of burgers, hotdogs and pizza. Many guests chose to stay in port for lunch at each stop, but we travelled on a tight budget and were grateful that we could make it back to the ship and eat each day. Dinner was delicious, regardless of whether we ate in the main dining room or in one of the two specialty restaurants, although I must say that my experience in the Stella Bistro was truly remarkable. I need to find their recipe for lobster bisque -- I've never had one that good! If you are looking for a cruise ship with lots and lots of onboard entertainment, Windstar is not for you. There was a small casino (we don't gamble, so I can't speak to its quality), a few lounges, a library with books and games, but very little in the way of organized entertainment. Most of the guests chose to spend our day at sea reading by the pool, hanging out on the decks, or relaxing in one of the indoor areas. It was exactly what we like! Twice in port, we were able to use the sports deck on the back of the ship to swim in the Adriatic, and it was great fun! They have paddle boards and other water sports equipment, but we really enjoyed the opportunity just to get wet and take a dip in the sea. There is also a very nice workout room, and they offer daily exercise activities, but with the extensive walking we were doing in each port, I didn't see the point of taking advantage of these offerings. Speaking of in-port -- wow, our excursions were phenomenal! Our guides were terrific, transportation was clean and efficient, and the places we visited were...breathtaking, historical, panoramic, awe-inspiring, full of art and full of story. Our favorite stop was Istria (Rovinj) on the northern Croatian coastline. We took a full-day "Istria in-Depth" excursion and it was unmatched in the scenery we took in, the food we were provided, and the chance to truly explore some less-visited places in this gorgeous country. We had originally decided not to book excursions in two cities, but after wandering aimlessly in Capri, we decided this was not good planning and chose to use the Windstar excursion desk and book excursions for each of the other stops. Windstar prides itself on its personalized small-ship service. It was very good. Additionally, the small-ship is such a great place to make new friends. We truly enjoyed the chance to talk, dine, and explore with new friends from all over the world (although the majority of passengers are American). We will travel with Windstar again, and I hope it is sooner rather than later! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We have sailed Windstar 5 or 6 times in the past and always had a great experience. So when it came to going on a special trip with my Mom the cruise line was an easy choice. I left the cruise itinerary up to Mom to pick. She selected ... Read More
We have sailed Windstar 5 or 6 times in the past and always had a great experience. So when it came to going on a special trip with my Mom the cruise line was an easy choice. I left the cruise itinerary up to Mom to pick. She selected Glitter and Glam of the Riviera. We left from Rome and disembarked in Barcelona, both was very smooth. Great trip! Staff is excellent as is the food. The ports were great; best was Monte Carlo! The ship was Wind Surf their biggest at 310 pax but it wasn't full (sorry Windstar) that week so quite comfortable. It is also the one with elevators which came in very handy since Mom was in a wheelchair. All of the staff is just great but we had exceptional service from Allen and Larry dining room mgrs, Eric, Ruel, Ade, Lilik, Yusef and Nino! Just love Windstar and will cruise with them again... Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My husband and I chose this cruise because we wanted to go to the French Riviera, Monaco, Portofino, and Cinqueterre and this cruise covered all these locations plus additional ports. The cruise was also round trip from Rome ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because we wanted to go to the French Riviera, Monaco, Portofino, and Cinqueterre and this cruise covered all these locations plus additional ports. The cruise was also round trip from Rome (Civitavecchia) back to Rome. Most Riviera cruises left from a port in one country (ie, Italy) and ended in another country (ie, Spain). We wanted to fly in and out of Italy, so that after the cruise we could continue touring Italy on our own. Many passengers had chosen this cruise because it included 2 days in Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix and these folks bought tickets to see the race and made arrangements for special dinners, etc. We did not, although we saw the track and enjoyed the general festivities of Monte Carlo during that time. We have cruised on very large ships before and wanted to try a small ship, like the Windsurf. We were very glad we did. The ship only had 200 passengers (although it holds over 300) and the crew was almost 200. We were given excellent service by the crew. The food was generally outstanding. The dining rooms were lovely. There was food available throughout the day in different venues and there was free room service until late at night. Our room was compact, was exceptionally well designed and gave us sufficient space for clothes, suitcases, etc. The rooms all had portholes rather than picture windows and there were no balconies. However, this was not a drawback on this cruise. Although the Windsurf did not have the kinds of activities available on large ships (the in-water activities of the Windsurf were not part of this cruise), there was live music, a lounge, deck chairs, hot tubs, movie and book libraries, a gym and some fitness classes. There was a small casino, but I never saw anyone there. Dress was casual and nice casual for dinners. The cruise offered many side trips at ports and one free excursion. My husband and I went off on our own to see Grasse (from Cannes) and Nice (from Monaco). The Windstar line offered some extras with the booking and we chose 2 nights at a hotel in Rome plus free transport to the Rome port. We had poor weather, which resulted in changes to the itinerary (although all places listed were visited), and which created problems with the use of the tenders to and from ports. We did have some problems related to maintenance work that were eventually sorted out. The reception desk could have done a better job regarding information for port visits. We highly recommend the Windsurf for cruising. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We booked the trip based on the itinerary and the cruise line. After reviewing the online reviews of the ship we did not have very high expectations but figured that more people complain than praise plus, what the heck! We traveled with ... Read More
We booked the trip based on the itinerary and the cruise line. After reviewing the online reviews of the ship we did not have very high expectations but figured that more people complain than praise plus, what the heck! We traveled with our 24 year old son and our 78 and 82 year old moms. Our son was the youngest person on the ship including the staff. He did like the gym, the food and the water toys. The rooms were much larger than we are accustomed to from other cruises and very well laid out with a good sized bathroom. We were in the dungeon yet it was still very nice and easy to find our way around. The bed was very comfortable and the toiletries were of good quality. We did not avail ourselves of any of the excursions from the ship as they were all very expensive and we did not want to ride around with 50 of our closest friends en masse. We got our own rooms before and after the trip and hired our own transfers. The boat wanted $120 per person for the transfer from Rome to the port and I hired a very nice van for $180 EU. Same situation when we arrived in Venice. I hired a private water taxi which was virtually waiting for us upon arrival and the people going to the hotel through the boat waited 1 hour and 20 minutes. The ports were all fantastic and we had plenty of time in each port. They allowed us to bring as much wine as we wanted on the ship each time we arrived. The only restriction was liquor. The only negative for us was the activities on the ship- there were NONE! There was a nice little band each night but come on, EVERY night the same thing? We have been on mega ships, small ships and river cruises and every one of those had something at night to do. We went to our rooms after dinner (8:30) every night because there was no one out and nothing to do. One night they had the crew come out and put on skits and talents but while I applaud their enthusiasm it was awful. By the time it was over half the room had left. Even on the one day at sea they had essentially NOTHING to do. Towel folding, line dancing, tour of the kitchen... Could you not throw in some bingo, magician, hide and go seek, something ?? The food was very good. Usually by the end on a cruise you can see reconstituted food from previous nights and we did not find that to be the case. One night they had a 'bar-b- que'. I use the term lightly because it was AMAZING, nothing bar-b-que about it. They had lobster tail that they cooked on the grill, paella, stone crab claws, flank steak, desserts galore. It was the best food we have ever had on any boat. They had line dancing that evening from the practice during the day. It was the most festive thing we saw all week. The tv was great and had lots of channels. Lots of movies to borrow. The internet was surprisingly good. We paid the $250 for unlimited service. They gave us a code that we could use on one device at a time but found that we could put it on several devices. Boarding and disembarking was painless with no lines. All in all, we would definitely go again with Wind Star. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We booked two back to back cruises. The first cruise included the French Riviera, Monaco for the Formula 1 Race, Elba, and two delightful small Italian ports. The second cruise included Sicily, Malta, Sorrento, and Capri. The ship is ... Read More
We booked two back to back cruises. The first cruise included the French Riviera, Monaco for the Formula 1 Race, Elba, and two delightful small Italian ports. The second cruise included Sicily, Malta, Sorrento, and Capri. The ship is able to get into smaller ports and always has interesting itineraries. The ship is unique with sails which it uses frequently, although it has engines which assure that it arrives on time. The food is varied and excellent. The cabins are comfortable with adequate space. The dining room has open seating which assures one of meeting other guests and making interesting new friends. The dress is informal. The service on the ship is friendly and excellent. The shore excursions are varied and well planned. Water sports are available when the rear sports platform is opened and lowered into the water. This was our 4th cruise on the Wind Surf and 12th on the Windstar Line. The Wind Surf has only 250-300 passengers and avoids the crowds associated with larger ships. One can actually get to know the fellow passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 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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