39 Rome (Civitavecchia) Windstar Wind Surf Cruise Reviews

My wife and I have now sailed on Windstar 4 times, the last being the Classic Italy/Dalmatian Coast cruise on Wind Surf that May 3 -11. Sadly, because we really have loved the small ship, casual and comfortable style of Windstar in the ... Read More
My wife and I have now sailed on Windstar 4 times, the last being the Classic Italy/Dalmatian Coast cruise on Wind Surf that May 3 -11. Sadly, because we really have loved the small ship, casual and comfortable style of Windstar in the past, I think this is likely our last Windstar sail. I have some specific comments but I must say that the Windstar feeling seems to have changed. The marketing is slicker but the service actually seems a little more rote and less personal. I was surprised that the meals in the dining room were not better - I had heard they had improved but I did not find that. Not that they were bad, they certainly were acceptable - but one comes to expect more of Windstar. As a point of comparison, the food in Amphora and breakfasts at the Verandah were consistently excellent - so the company can do it. The excursion and tour selections were extremely disappointing - you could get 1/2 day or full day private cars or vans or book ordinary walking or bus tours for twice the price that you have to pay if you book directly. And, there was, at least to me, a significant overemphasis on food and wine experiences. The Sicily private event was a waste of a day. But the most unpleasant experience was disembarkation in Venice. The actual point where we leave the ship was a long walk from the terminal - a long long walk. We were staying at an apartment in Venice so did not need Windstar transfers. But we did need directions, etc. to get started. The Windstar staffer at the terminal had little time for us - after all we were past customers and not paying for a transfer so she just pointed out the door and said get a taxi over there. We walked - there was no taxi stand - we ended up walking 30 minutes from the terminal to Piazza Roma for vaparetto connections (and it turned out if she had helped there was a vaparetto stop not 5 minutes from the terminal in the other direction). This was not just a lack of service; it was specifically disservice. Summary - ship is still fun, food good but not great, cabin comfortable, ports good, shore excursions mediocre. All in all, not the world's best small ship line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
While we enjoyed portions of our recent vacation/cruise, the Windstar Wind surf (Sicilian Splendours itinerary) failed to meet expectations and would be reluctant to book Windstar in the future. The most appealing aspect of this Line/ship ... Read More
While we enjoyed portions of our recent vacation/cruise, the Windstar Wind surf (Sicilian Splendours itinerary) failed to meet expectations and would be reluctant to book Windstar in the future. The most appealing aspect of this Line/ship was its size, the small number of passengers was the most welcome part of our experience. While seemingly marketed as a premium line it squarely delivers a mass market product more akin to the large ships albeit on a smaller vessel. This specific Itinerary offered and interesting set of ports however, it did seem a bit late in the season, even for the Med. • The stateroom While small, the room was efficient, with plenty of storage, more so than on larger ships in larger rooms. The bedding however was horrendous, frayed and threadbare, the bed was easily the most uncomfortable we've experienced on a ship. The carpeting in the room was stained, the shower curtain filthy, and the porthole disgusting. The wallpaper pealing at the seams. A premium room experience I think not. • Dining The food, while looking impressive on the menu was far from impressive on the plate. Mediocre at best. Everything was bland, apparently seasonings, herbs and spices were not part of the kitchen. • Dining service In the main dinning room— Amphora service was hit and miss mostly miss. One evening we were out in a half hour, we never expressed a need to be anywhere else—we were at sea. Another night we sat at a table nest to a senior officer and dinner companion and watched as they progressed through their meal, they were done before we even received our mains—which was close to an hour between salad and main course. The food in Stella bistro again was mediocre to poor we tried once at the beginning and never returned. • Service and Servers While the servers tried extremely hard they seemed disorganized, often being asked our orders by multiple servers, other times finding it impossible to get wine or water refilled. Sparkling water was often refilled with the wrong type of water and then replaced with bottled sparkling water which was not ordered. The wine steward was so entertaining and friendly and familiar, that I doubt I’d be able to take his wine suggestions seriously—too bad as he was worked very hard—familiarity is not a substitute for proper service. • Food facillities The Terrace buffet seemed the best effort on the ship, credible breakfasts the occasional local food table with market offerings at lunch. Friendly hard-working servers, but again seemingly disorganized. The coffee bar again was a hit the server took the time to learn my name—one of the few on board. However it never seemed to be open, hours were very limited. • Public Areas and facilities Despite an extensive makeover in the last few years there were a lot of spaces and finishes that looked long in the tooth. It appears this older ship needs considerably more attention than it got two years ago. When asked about its upcoming drydock, was informed there were some decor items being addressed but it was primarily a structural dry dock concerning things that keep the ship going, which I’m sure is considerable with a ship this age. • Spa Seriously this facility needs to be ripped out and started all over. It was old, dark and dingy—far from refreshing and serene. You looked around and could see how the space was originally configured as staterooms, now with partition walls simply removed. • Shore excurions Aside from a positive food experience in Gozo, most excursions seemed not to offer anything different than any other line—except the price which seemed steeper than many other lines. • Communications The daily newsletter seemed to miss almost everything going on, on the ship. Friday afternoon I wandered past what appears to be a meeting room, and realized there was a sabbath service in progress. I would never have known from the daily. There just seemed to be a lack of communication in general, no buzz on the ship. On the plus side the relentless sales and sales pitches and the like of other lines were thankfully missing. The captains apology for the daily update wore thin quickly, once a day is no inconvenience to be updated about the route its progress or deviations is not unwarranted. As an aside out of the control of this or any cruise line—when will cruise operators stop being held hostage to poorly managed ferry/port authorities in Capri and vote with tourist dollars (euros) and stop going there? This port was missed again on this voyage and we have now missed Capri, as a scheduled port or shore excursion 3 of the 4 times in the region on cruises. At a certain point its misleading marketing to suggest you can go to Capri on a cruise. This time we were told repeatedly that we could have tendered with the ship’s tenders, even though the seas were somewhat rough, but the local authorities wouldn’t permit it. Cruise lines just need to say no to Capri and perhaps the authorities will try harder if enough lines bypass it. In conclusion it seems size alone should not be relied upon to carry this ship (cruise line) forward forever, as it seems to now. We spoke to many passengers who were clear devotees of Windstar and the only thing that they could offer was their love of the size of the ship and nothing else of any substance. If this is the flagship of the line, Xanterra, the parent company needs to up its game considerably—there are far smarter options and competitors out there. The number of things that failed to meet expectations far outweighed the positives and am unable to recommend Windstar to friends or family let alone travel Windstar in the future. Too bad as it's a great concept and full of potential. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I was particularly excited about the evaluations mentioning the uniqueness of the Wind Star ships. Wind Surf is indeed a pretty sailing ship, small yet very comfortable and with 300 guests and 200 crew. Very promising! Stateroom / ... Read More
I was particularly excited about the evaluations mentioning the uniqueness of the Wind Star ships. Wind Surf is indeed a pretty sailing ship, small yet very comfortable and with 300 guests and 200 crew. Very promising! Stateroom / bathroom were very good, comfortable, well designed and with enough cabinets and small storage places to organize your goods. However, the safe is too small. It was generally well kept, but occasionally we found empty water carafes (they do not keep water bottles in the minibar) and used glasses at bed time. Wifi never worked, but at least we were properly refunded. What really bothered me was the lack a lounge to stay protected against the sun and wind in the upper deck with expanded forward and side views. The internal lounges were not comfortable and had no view. The pool area – aft – is too small, with limited view and always packed. In my previous cruises I always enjoyed such a lounge for reading or enjoying a drink with a nice view, specifically when departing, approaching the port or sundown. Outside in the top deck there is a very limited space – or not at all – to enjoy an open shaded area with some protection against the wind. We always had pretty sunny days, but I wonder where to stay in a day at sea in a rainy day. Breakfast and lunch at the Veranda were very nice, a lot of buffet and a la carte options and great service. Dinner had a lot of high and lows: the Amphora - the standard, daily restaurant – was reasonable, but occasionally we found some food – such as the Alfredo pasta – totally tasteless. Candles – the small outside restaurant that must be booked – was the best option, with good main courses and great service (they even provided blankets when it was too chilly). Seafood spear and steak were superb, but the “shrimp and salmon carpaccio” was simply a thin, round smear of paté. The biggest disappointment is the supposedly top French bistro, Stella’s: portions were ridiculously small: the escargot appetizer was small and we got just a few in a big pastry; the scallops were only 4 small ones, smaller and less than any regular seafood restaurant; rack of lamb was small (the rack and the lamb itself). I know one can order more, but it was never offered. I know what a French restaurant is and how small their portions may be (not in a bistro, usually more generous), but Stella was simply ridiculous! The menu also did not reflect what the food was, fancy names and poor food. The espresso and sandwiches bar was nice and a good option for a drink or snack. Entertainment was poor: a small band with a singer also with high and lows, but she really improved during the cruise. No other decent options, on top of 1 evening with a crew show: entertaining and funny, even when they performed poorly! Shore excursions were limited and expensive for what they delivered. Many were cancelled due to lack of attendees. They made daily presentations of the next port of calls in the evening. It would be nice, but they presented the port of the day after, and it was confusing: even the presenter said “tomorrow” when she meant “the day after tomorrow”. Probably they wanted to give some more time for guests to think about and buy packages, but at the end of the day a presentation and a vrief recap of the last one was simply confusing. Services, generically speaking, were great: the waiters and supervisors, reception, tender, and so on. To my great disappointment, the last dinner – survey had been delivered and tips settled – was simply awful: no one paid attention to us, the smiling faces were gone, the beverage steward never showed up and I had to order cocktails to the waiter. After a long, long time they arrived: wrong order and exactly when they served dinner and the bottle of wine I had in storage. Even the waiter we had dearly recommended in the survey could not manage to keep our water glasses filled. Even with the “Ups” we experienced more “Downs”, and it was certainly the worst cruise we experienced. WindStar, never again!   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I am a little late writing this review but we sailed summer on Windsurf's Classic Itlay and the Dalmation Coast cruise. It was fantastic from start to finish. This was my second time sailing Windstar and I loved it again. The surf is ... Read More
I am a little late writing this review but we sailed summer on Windsurf's Classic Itlay and the Dalmation Coast cruise. It was fantastic from start to finish. This was my second time sailing Windstar and I loved it again. The surf is bigger than the Windstar and for me the largest ship I'd sailed on. This was my third cruise - al on small ships - which I love. I'm not a big entertainment fan - just a few drinks some nice copmany and conversation after a long day of touring is just fine by me. The best things about this cruise: - Small ship like this means you know almost everyone by the end ofthe week. The staff around the ship all know you by name. - Great food, laid back resort casual atmosphere - Swimming off the back of the ship and also other water sports - No lines for anything ever Honestly the only thing I think could be done better on Windstar Cruises - I wish they would incorportae more local food specialties and local wines each day to reflect the areas where we're stopping. I can't wait for my next Windstar Cruise... the question is when :) Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We took the Rome-Venice cruise (Capri, Messina, Kotor, Dubrovnik, and Hvar as ports of call) as a 5th wedding anniversary. I had read reviews, which gave me opposite opinions, so I was certainly worried about the condition of the boat. ... Read More
We took the Rome-Venice cruise (Capri, Messina, Kotor, Dubrovnik, and Hvar as ports of call) as a 5th wedding anniversary. I had read reviews, which gave me opposite opinions, so I was certainly worried about the condition of the boat. There was nothing to worry about! Everything was excellent, and as a traveling machine (I spend more time in hotels, planes, boats, and trains than at home), I am really picky. First, the condition of the boat: It was sparkling. They clearly were paying attention to keeping the varnish new, and everything clean and dusted. The carpets had a stain here or there, but seriously, that's the worst of it. The stateroom: WAY bigger than I expected, but it's still a cruise ship. Still small, but very functional, and for a Category B, very spacious, and the bathroom was very fancy, with marble and L'Occitane products. The bed was incredibly comfortable, moreso than the hotels that followed, sadly. My husband loved that our portholes (remember no balconies on this ship) were down close to the water, but I know some may not like that. We did - it was a unique perspective. The decks: For 300 people, you have so much room on the decks, there's no reason for a balcony! We really enjoyed how uncrowded the ship was (it wasn't quite full, but probably 3/4 capacity), and every afternoon and evening we enjoyed cocktails on the deck. If we'd had a balcony, we wouldn't have used it. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Super easy, and fast. We took a private car (split with some new friends - thanks, CruiseCritic!) from Rome to get there, which was very easy. Keep in mind that there are shuttles at Civitavecchia now, and you can't go right up to the boat even in your car. Thanks for the welcome drink, Windstar, and so grateful we could sleep in just a touch on the last day (no long lines like the big ships). However, be forewarned that once you're off the ship, it can be crazy - Venice is a nightmare. Not their fault, but important to know. The clientele: We are in our early thirties, so were were afraid there'd be no people our age. In fact, we found a pack of about 3 other couples to join in our fun, in addition to a few more couples on their honeymoons who came and went. There were truly groups of all ages (except children - none of those). We loved meeting others on the boat - mostly American, but a healthy dose of Aussies, Kiwis, South Americans, and a few Europeans. What great fun finding dining companions each night - a different experience with different groups! The service: Impeccable - everyone remembered our names after about a day or two. Wine you don't finish is corked, and though your drinks are not included, I found that the difference (versus an inclusive cruise, and also versus the inclusive package they offered) was in my favor with Windstar. However, I am a young, petite woman (read: don't drink huge amounts, and also haven't ventured into extremely pricy wine snobbishness yet) - so some may not find this true. Excursions: Skip 'em. I planned all my own, and they were so fun that we wound up with an immediate line of people joining on to our own excursions. The options are limited through the ship, but you will find fun by planning your own. Great ports, and loved using the ship's tenders. Great ports! The food: Delicious, every meal - it is a cruise, so you expect excellence. The food was not 5 star, but decidedly 4-4.5 star. I enjoyed every meal, and nothing was too fussy. Breakfast was available for on-demand griddling, lunch was delicious with broad options, and dinner (four restaurants on such a small ship - amazing!) rivaled some of my favorite restaurants. Keep in mind, though, I prefer a *fun* dining experience - not a *fine* one. It is NOT casual dining, but not quite up to the Ritz Carlton, which makes it more relaxed and not so fussy. Do wear pants, gentlemen. The entertainment: Music every night, in two locations. Nice to have the backdrop, but the best parts were definitely the staff shows! Hilarious! And yes, they have STAFF SHOWS!! Overall: I never want to cruise with any other line again. There's nothing better than sitting on the deck with a few of your new best friends, watching those sails unfurl, with a cocktail in your hand, and Croatian mountains as the backdrop. Stop worrying, just book with Windstar...and take me, too! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
This was our first Windstar Cruise. I must say that I have talked to several folks that have sailed with Windstar multiple times and love it. I can't say I'd been in that category. Would I sail with Windstar again, maybe, based ... Read More
This was our first Windstar Cruise. I must say that I have talked to several folks that have sailed with Windstar multiple times and love it. I can't say I'd been in that category. Would I sail with Windstar again, maybe, based on the route and ports of all.What we liked. The room was very comfortable and there was more than enough room for clothes and toilietries. Our room steward was very polite and took wonderful care of your room and laundry. We got the $99 laundry package for unlimited service. The food was plentiful at breakfast and lunch buffets and the waitstaff was for the most part friendly and most of the time were there to get you whatever you wanted. Diner in the main dining room and Degrees was very nice, but I would have preferred to be seated with some couples rather than the 2 of us by ourselves. That wasn't an option that was presented to us, but on the last night we were asked if we would like to be seated with a gentleman and his daughter and I really enjoyed that. Guess that we could have asked. The food was very good. One dish I had was so over powered with Thyme that I sent it back. The young couple that sang and played guitar were wonderful very talented and knowledgeable...he is just an encyclopedia of modern music. In general the common areas are kept clean and are well appointed.What we didn't like. First impression of the hallways was old needing to be updated. The Veranda, restaurant for breakfast and lunch, old needing to be updated. The dinning rooms indoors could stand a bit of updating as well. Ask to be seated away from the kitchen as the noise can be pretty loud. The big lounge entertainment was too loud and imposing. If you want visit with new friends, this is not the place. The main lounge was usually about the temp. of a meat locker!Don't order lemonade! it is $6.00! and its a lemon juice in sprite. Ask if there is a charge first.Internet service! OMG can you believe $29.50 for 30 minutes! Your computer or theirs! and it is terribly slow. I little disappointing when it is in the Windstar literature that Wifi is available in your cabin and in the common areas...the missing piece is that you l have to pay dearly.OUr next door neighbors had cash taken from their cabin on the first day. A safe is provided for valuables. The other unfortunate experience was to watch someones luggage get put on the conveyor but not all the way and plush, it was in the water. No equipment to retrieve it either. One of the dockworkers fished it out. That was one very unhappy passenger.First day the reception desk personnel was rather curt. It got better. The hotel manager is a Frenchman, so I was expecting wonderful croissants when I saw them on the breakfast buffet. They are dry and tasteless. I called this to his attention and he replied that he doesn't eat breakfast, but thanks for letting me know. Wonder if he will make any improvements? I'm not filled with confidence! So in summary most of the cruise was enjoyable but compared to a recent river cruise we took, I'm underwhelmed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
BACKGROUND This was my 6th cruise on the Wind Surf, first 3 times were when it was the Club Med 1 (Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Polynesian itineraries). I have also cruised several times on the Wind Star and Wind Spirit, most recently ... Read More
BACKGROUND This was my 6th cruise on the Wind Surf, first 3 times were when it was the Club Med 1 (Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Polynesian itineraries). I have also cruised several times on the Wind Star and Wind Spirit, most recently in Costa Rica. This was also my 3rd time sailing out of Civitavecchia, once on the Club Med 1, later on a (now defunct) Renaissance ship, and now again on the Wind Surf. Although the experiences were similar (all of them GREAT), there were some notable differences. First, the Wind Surf Review that was written by Cruise Critic contributor Jana Jones is very comprehensive and accurate, so I will try not to repeat any of this basic information. I love the Wind Surf, and small ship luxury cruising in general. I cannot imagine enjoying one of those mega-sized cruise ships with thousands of passengers. If you have ever been in St. Thomas when a large ship is in port, and seen the throngs of passengers wandering the streets at 10 AM in the morning, with beers in hand, you may understand my viewpoint. TRAVEL TO THE PORT We chose a Rome-Rome itinerary because of the fantastic price we got from Windstar via the Foremast Club (previous Windstar cruisers), and the reasonable air fare resulting from flying into and out of Rome (no 3-way itinerary). We got a great Delta airfare of $649 out of the Baltimore-Washington airport, connecting through New York. Unfortunately, the trip both ways was a real nightmare, mostly due to routing complications caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland. Or flight from NY to Rome was delayed 4 hours, then cancelled due to mechanical problems with the plane. We then got on an Alitalia flight to London, which had to turn around and return to NY mid-flight due to another mechanical problem. As a result, we arrived in Rome over 12 hours late, thoroughly exhausted and frazzled. Luckily, we choose to travel with carry-on bags only, which really saved our bacon on more than one occasion. More on that later. One fellow traveler offered this observation about Delta --- DELTA = Doesn't Ever Leave the Airport, or alternatively, DELTA - Don't Expect Luggage to Arrive. In Delta's defense, their customer service staff was overwhelmed by the many schedule disruptions, but did their best to re-schedule flights, and otherwise accommodate their customers. After our return, my wife and I each received a nice letter from Delta, along with 17,500 complimentary frequent flier miles. HOTEL INFO Because we had visited Rome twice before, we chose to go directly to Civitavecchia from the airport. We booked a room at the Hotel Bramante, which I researched via the Travel Advisor website, and Expedia. The hotel arranged ground transportation for us (nice Mercedes van). We previously had travelled to Civitavecchia by means of the train, and since there is a train terminal right at the airport, this would have been very economical and convenient. However, since we actually arrived so late, it was nice to have a driver waiting for us, with a relaxing 45 minute drive to the hotel. The hotel is small, but sparkling clean, and very comfortable. There was a nice continental breakfast, and complimentary shuttle service to the dock. The hotel is not located in a very scenic part of town, so we did no strolling about. Checking in at dockside was a breeze, and we were soon aboard. STATEROOM We were in Cabin # 148, very convenient to the forward elevator and stairs. No surprises there --- the cabin was clean and comfortable. We unpacked, went right up to the Veranda to enjoy some lunch. SHIP INFO Again, no surprises for us. The crew was installing brand-new fitness equipment, and the bar staff was replacing all of the crystal and stemware, so it was obvious that Windstar is serious about maintenance and upkeep. One thing I did notice on this and other cruises on the Wind Surf, is that the sails were never up for more than a few minutes, despite some fairly steady breezes. I am suspecting that this may be due to some sort of mechanical problems, and also because the larger size of the ship compared to its smaller sisters. Last year in Costa Rica, the ship got up to 14 knots on sail power alone. That REALLY got everyone excited! DINING As usual, the food was excellent, without being over the top. We took breakfast and lunch on deck whenever possible, weather permitting. I really enjoyed the fresh-squeezed OJ, ripe melons, and smoked salmon for breakfast, and looked forward to the cold soup of the day at lunch, along with the brad pudding. It was too cool in the evening to eat on deck, so we didn't get to try Candles or Le Marche. There was also no BBQ night, again possibly due to the coolish weather. Highlight of the cruise was having dinner with the captain, along with Fran Bigelow (Guest Lecturer) and her husband. Low spot for me was the coffee --- too strong and bitter (I DO like my Starbucks). Also, in my opinion, the wine list is pretty average. ACTIVITIES There were only 140 passengers on board, so many of the activities were very lightly attended. There was a Wii tournament, which was fun, and also a Blackjack tournament which I missed (I have won several times on previous occasions). CHILDREN'S CLUBS There were no children on board, and I don't ever remember seeing any on a previous Windstar cruise. SERVICE Excellent, as usual. Several staff recognized me from previous cruises, and vice versa. ENTERTAINMENT This is an area where Windstar definitely needs to improve. The Wind Surf almost always has a large combo playing in the main lounge before and after dinner, and a guitarist/vocalist playing in the Compass Rose for Happy Hour, and after dinner. The Phillipino musicians in the combo were skilled, especially the lead singer, who must have watched a lot of Tom Jones videos. But they were extremely laid back, with no spark or energy --- a real snoozefest. In contrast, the Compass Rose had Callen & Joyce, who were outstanding. Callen is a gifted guitarist, and he does his own computerized arrangements, which allows him to sound like a full combo, with bass, drums, keyboards, etc. Joyce is only an average vocalist, but makes up for it with an infectious, sparkly personality. They have an extensive playlist, and do requests as well. They filled the bar up every night, especially when they had a "Name That Tune" contest, with a bottle of champagne as a price. It was so popular they did it again on our last night, to everyone's enjoyment. Another highlight was the Guest Lecturer, Fran Bigelow, who has a gourmet chocolate business based in Seattle, Washington. Her presentation on the history and joys of chocolate was both entertaining and informative. One night she hosted a "tasting" of high-cocoa dark chocolates paired with vintage port. WOW! The rest of the entertainment was dreadful. One night there was a comedy magic act that was really cornball. Another night Mark, the "Cruise Director" performed his cabaret act, which was also mediocre. He has a fine voice and is a polished performer, but the material is mostly show tunes, some of which featured "specialty" lyrics. If you like the Catskills in the '50's, you'd probably like his act. The rest of the cruise, he was almost invisible, which makes one wonder what his role was. The weekly show put on by the staff and crew is OK, but after you've seen it a few times, the novelty of seeing the waiters perform their line dance gets a little old. In general, it seems that Windstar has been trying in recent years to broaden their entertainment offerings, but without much success. For me, I would much rather listen to a good guitarist than watch a second-rate comedian or magician. PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS We visited 5 ports --- Porto Vecchio, Corsica; Messina, Sicily; Sorrento, Italy; and the Italian islands of Capri and Ischia. In general, I find many of the shore excursions to be very average and a bit overpriced. In many ports, renting a car and/or hiring a cab will allow you to see the same sights at a lower cost. In Corsica, we took the tour to Bonifacio, which is incredibly scenic, well worth the visit. It's only about a on-hour drive from Porto Vecchio. In Messina, we stayed on the ship, and I didn't hear anyone raving about their time ashore. In Sorrento, my wife took the tour of Herculaneum, near Vesuvius, and greatly enjoyed it --- as the site is much better preserved than Pompeii. In Capri, we visited Anacapri, and took the chair lift to the top of the island, with spectacular views of the Faraglioni rocks below. I was greatly disappointed that when the ship set sail (speaking figuratively) from Capri that evening, it did not sail over by the rocks, which are not only scenic, but have been featured in so many movies. There was plenty of time, since Ischia is only a few miles away --- go figure. Unfortunately, the Blue Grotto was closed due the combination of rough water and high tide. In Ischia, we saw the "La Roca" castle, and visited a small fishing village on the other side of the island --- very scenic. Again, we could have done this very easily by taxi, at much lower cost. DISEMBARKATION AND RETURN HOME We shared ground transportation (another nice Mercedes van) back to Rome with another couple, probably could have done it just as easily and much cheaper via the train. Our flight back home was delayed 9 hours, then was routed North of Iceland, so we could look out the window and see that pesky volcano belching smoke and ash. Arrived in NY around 11 PM, but were able to breeze through Customs and baggage check (no checked luggage), got in the head of the line at the Delta Service Desk. We then lucked out when Delta decided to put us up for the night at the local Doubletree. After 4 hours sleep, and a flight through Atlanta back to Baltimore, we go home just about a full day late. SUMMARY Another GREAT Windstar cruise! Can't wait until the next one. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
We were very impressed with the WindSurf. It was nice and clean, the staff was really friendly and the food was excellent. WindStar advertised themselves as being "clean and elegant" and we found that they more then met these ... Read More
We were very impressed with the WindSurf. It was nice and clean, the staff was really friendly and the food was excellent. WindStar advertised themselves as being "clean and elegant" and we found that they more then met these expectations. The service in the restaurant and the menu had a wide variety of dishes. Embarkation and debarkation was efficient everything was very well organized and professional. We find that on the smaller ships that you are mostly left to your own devices for entertainment. There are two jacuzzis and a small pool and the two hot tubs in the back of the ship are a nice way to unwind after long days sight-seeing and the jacuzzi were a nice place to interact with your fellow cruisers. But one detraction was that if we wanted to get away and soak up the sun and get away from it all that was a near-impossible possibility. Chair hogs were in full force and sometimes it was hard to find a chair on sea days. In the evening there was a group who played in the lounge but we found the dance floor to compact to really dance properly. If you enjoy gambling or you are a art enthusiast there are casinos and art auctions the ship. The cabins and bathroom provided a nice amount of comfort and found the storage space for the overall Sq Ft. One issue I did have was that the pillows were too small but I just know that next we'll bring our own. The fitness room is in a big all-glass room so it is so beautiful for your workout. Weight machines as well as free weights, cardio machines and mats are all you need. For after your work-out towels and chilled water are available, as well as antiseptic wipes for the equipment. Ports of call were Ischia, Palma, Capri, Amalfi, Ajaccio Livorno and Rome. I never take the group tours and tend to arrange everything trough my travel agent, but this time I decided to organize private ship excursion and tours in Rome with a Tour Company called Easitalytours.com, which was higly reccommended to us from a friend of mine who did some tours with them last year. We did some pre-cruise tours with them in Rome before our cruise, and private tours in Amalfi, visiting Positano and Pompeii, where Antonela gave us a wonderful two-hour tour in the ancient city. Our Driver Philippo was so nice and informative too, and he took us to Chez Black, a water front restaurant in Positano where we tasted some delicious seafood appetizers and a great white wine. In Livorno we met Marco, what a great experience! He was able to take us to see the best of Florence, including the David. Marco was very knowledgeble, and he took such wonderful care of us! The highlight of our trip was indeed the time we spent in Rome with Fabio. This man has a beautiful spirit and his knowledge impressed my husband as well, who studied art history. With his passion Fabio made Rome to come alive to us. We enjoyed our time with him so much that we decided to book him for our post cruise in Rome. He took us in a gorgeous location called Castel Gandolfo, just outside Rome where we had a great wine tasting in a old wine cellar, and there we had also the best meal of the entire trip in a restaurant called "Pagnanelli", which is next the Pope's summer residence overlooking a beautiful lake. You could not ask for better cuisine and scenery! Our guide for the Vatican Julia was a beauty! Her explanations about the Sistine Chapel were quite impressive, she gave us the perfect tour, between precious information and funny anecdotes. Her knowledge, her beautiful Italian accent, and endearing charm made our visit so amazing. My husband and I will have beautiful memories about our cruise and the tours we did in Europe! We traveled throughout the world but we never had such attentive people taking fine care of us in a special and professional way. I definitely recommend Easitalytours.com to all who want to have private tours in Italy. They have brand new Mercedes vehicles and the drivers and tour guides we had spoke all a perfect English. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
Five stars!  We just returned from a 7 day Wind Surf cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Nice. The ship had just 135 passengers on board (capacity is about 200 more than that), so, as you can imagine, our experience may not be the norm, ... Read More
Five stars!  We just returned from a 7 day Wind Surf cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Nice. The ship had just 135 passengers on board (capacity is about 200 more than that), so, as you can imagine, our experience may not be the norm, but it was a delight. We have nothing but the highest praise for the crew and staff whose friendly attitudes enhanced our overall trip experience. We arrived about 4pm for a 6pm departure and were among the last to arrive since we had spent as much time as possible in Rome. We took a train from Termini in Rome and I agree with other posts that note the walk from the rail station in Civitavecchia to the port entrance dragging bags is not something everyone will want to do, especially if it's hot out. We did that, however, and then caught a bus inside the Port entrance to our ship. Cabs are available at the train station and will drop you right at the luggage tent. Check-in was a breeze with drinks and hors d'oevres offered. We were escorted to our cabin and our luggage arrived at the door within 30 minutes. The cabin was a standard (not suite), which was more spacious than we had envisioned....we were glad we had not opted for the higher priced suite. There was more than enough storage space, the suitcases fit under the bed, and we settled in quickly. The bathroom was modern, clean, very nicely lit and well stocked with wonderful L'Occitane shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and lotion. I would have liked an exhaust fan, but you can't have everything! The room had an Ipod dock (Ipod rentals available, though we had our own. Note that it DOES NOT charge the Ipod while in the dock, but the front desk staff graciously recharged our Ipod twice) and DVD player - great to have since there was little in the way of television programming available. With just 135 passengers our experience was certainly one of ample access to all aspects of the ship. We dined in each of the evening restaurant venues - 2 indoor, 2 outdoor - somehow managing to select the perfect nights to dine outdoors when several evenings were a bit too windy or were hampered by a late afternoon shower. We found the food to be consistently excellent and the service just outstanding throughout. We actually preferred the main dining room menu to the other venues, though they were also good and offered a nice change of scene.  The waiters, wine stewards, and bar staff could not have been more delightful or accommodating. The dining rooms were never full, so every night everyone had a lovely window view to enjoy. With a port stop every day we never enjoyed a lunch aboard ship, but the breakfast spread was tremendous, with hot made-to-order items (omelets, crepes, French toast, etc.) available as well. In chatting with other passengers there was some agreement that a casual, available anytime, restaurant would be a nice addition to the ship, since the dinner period (7:30-9:30) was open seating, but was like dining in a very nice restaurant - not someplace you could drop in to grab a hamburger if you're tired from a long day of touring. Room service was available, but it was inconvenient to eat in your room since there was only one chair that tucked in under the desk/vanity. If you're looking for entertainment or after dinner activities, you're pretty limited here - but you probably wouldn't be considering this cruise if you wanted the big after-dinner show and bingo! The DVD library seemed to be popular and offered quite a large selection. After a long day in port many passengers seemed very happy to just take a movie back to their room and relax. That's not to say there wasn't some nightlife available if you wanted it. There are two lounges - one offered a 6 piece group playing dance tunes suitable for couples dancing, and in the other, smaller Compass Rose bar, a duo playing more contemporary rock n roll. With such a reduced passenger load we found that few people spent time after dinner in the larger lounge - those who wanted to drink and socialize mostly spent time in the Compass Rose. The casino is small with just 4 tables and about 25 slot machines, however, that drew an enthusiastic blackjack group each evening - and I'm happy to report my DH's winnings were able to finance the tab at the end of the trip - so, yes, some folks came out ahead. The tables were $5 minimum for blackjack, which makes it an affordable diversion. The joviality of the shipboard casino was in sharp contrast to the port casinos (Monte Carlo, Nice), where gambling is quiet and serious. Note that the casino did not open until the ship had sailed from port - so with an 11pm sailing time each evening, gambling was a late night activity. I can imagine that with a full ship the casino could seem too small, but that was not an issue on this sailing. The crew show on Friday night was charming and fun, and was a very nice way to see another side of these hardworking crew members, almost all from Indonesia.  Our itinerary required tendering service in LaSpetzia, Portfino and St. Tropez. We found that service to be quick and efficient - we never waited more than a few minutes in either direction. The advantage of the anchorage was that the water sports deck was then opened - in this case, in Portofino and St. Tropez.  So some passengers were swimming, sailing and kayaking. We did not avail ourselves of spa services, but those who used the services were very complimentary. As you can imagine, there were "specials" offered during the week to entice passengers to indulge. The daily newsletter and evening briefing on the next port of call were both very helpful. We did not go on any ship sponsored excursions, preferring to extend our days and take the excellent public transportation available. Those who did go on the excursions seemed to like them very much and the photographs taken by the ship photographers certainly seemed to show happy groups. Several excursions were cancelled due to lack of adequate enrollments. We saved A LOT of money using the trains instead of excursions, but recognize that some will opt for the convenience value of just hopping on the bus on the dock. Having done a lot of research about our ports of call ahead of time, however, we felt very confident going it alone - and it paid off with unique experiences that only come when you're on your own and not in a large tour group. (special shout out to fodors.com forums and tripadvisor.com - a wealth of information available that helped immensely in planning for each port of call)Our itinerary was wonderful. A nice combination of the big city and the small villages. The only disadvantage to this itinerary was Monday in Florence since the Uffizi and Accademia museums are closed on Mondays. We knew that ahead of time and decided there is much to see in Florence, so we focused on the positive and will save those visits for another trip. As hiking enthusiasts the highpoint for us was the stop in LaSpetzia and visiting the Cinque Terre. We hiked between 4 of the 5 towns and took the train to the 5th - a long day, but one filled with natural beauty, fantastic food (ask me about panna cotta in Vernazza!) and little glimpses into the lives of the 5Terre residents that will be long remembered. It didn't hurt that the weather was nearly perfect throughout the week (high 70's/low 80's and sunny 90% of the time) and we hit just before the peak season, so crowds weren't an issue. We would certainly choose June again, as the water was warm enough for swimming, but the heat of the summer not yet uncomfortable. Evenings were cool enough to require a sweater on deck...and always in the ship's public areas, which were kept very cool (too cool in my opinion, but my DH liked it fine). Overall, we had a excellent cruise experience, enjoying our traveling hotel room and the congeniality of other passengers and the crew. This is not the ship for those who are looking for constant entertainment, glitz or buffet extravaganzas. But if you're looking for a low key, more casual, and romantic cruise with a focus on providing a comfortable backdrop to your port adventures, this could be the ship for you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2009
We finally convinced 3 other couples to sample samller ship and compre it with their Mega ship experience and I truely think their choice in the future cruising will be on smaller ship. They were relaxed and enjoyed not having to deal with ... Read More
We finally convinced 3 other couples to sample samller ship and compre it with their Mega ship experience and I truely think their choice in the future cruising will be on smaller ship. They were relaxed and enjoyed not having to deal with masses throughout the cruise.We arrived in Rome 3 days in advance of embarkation and had enough time to enjoy the historical city and on the day of embarkation, we decided to hire a van to take us direct to the port, rasther than taking the train from Terimini. Spliting the cost 4 ways certainly made a difference in keepint the cost down and the fact that we would be taken direct to the dock. My wife and I have taken the train which is very inexpensive, but made a mistake of walking to the dock from the station, because it looked so close. Not worth it, Take a taxi!Embarkation was quick as usual, but we did wait in a holding tent for a while, since we arrived early, embarkation started right on time at 1pm. Our suite 331 was very comfortable, approximately 356 sqf, it is about the size of mid range suite with balcony on Mega ships. What WindStar had put their 2 standard cabins together which resulted in two of everything in the suite. Loved the double bathrooms and closets. I have cruised on Regent Mariner and their smallest cabin with balcony equaled our suite.We sailed on Surf to Western Med in 2007 and also on Star from Athens to Istanble 5 years ago which was our intro to cruising and we have not stopped. We definitely prefer small ships which includes SeaDream with 100.We sailed on time from Chivitavecchia for Capri which was our first ports of call, but when we returned to our cabin, after our dinner, there was a note fron the Captain that Capri was changed to Sorrento. Weather palyed a part in this change, because it was too windy for safe anchorage at Capri. It certainly was a disappointment, but we under stand how dangerous tender operation can be in bad weather. We arrived in Sorrento and some of us decided on Positano visit by  traveling through beautiful Amalfi coast. It was a wonderful day to remember.Our next port was Taorimina, Sicily and it was truely a hidden jewel not often mentioned among travelers I know. It was our favorite and would like to return one day to stay longer in this lovely city. It was a subject of conversation at the dinner table by many.Surf has 4 different dinning options, two of which were open air dinning. But because of windy weather with few sprinkles, it was only opened 1 or 2 nights I believe. Needless to say were not able to obtain reservation for neither.We had our dinners in the main dinning room which was fine, although we had one dinner in set menu dinning room and it was fine. But main dinning room menu selection was much more in variety and changed daily.Service was excellent.I puchased some bottles of wine in Rome and had no problem taking them onboard and $15 corkage was charged, when I took them into dinning room.We had one day at sea, on our way to Corfu, I must say it is not my favorite pass time, since i don't read much. But I managed to keepyself occupied. One word about all inclusive cruise compared to non. I have done both and really prefer non, now that I have done both. It is true, you're not nickled and dimed to death on inclusive ships, once you've paid the set amount. But can you justify the fare difference which on all inclusive can be up to $600-800 pp per day? Just how much alchoholic beverage can you drink? The dinning options are more elegant and of higher quality, even at that the difference is excessive. I don't mind signing for every drink or bottle water and soda, because I am not a heavt drinker or demand gurmet meals 3 times a day. Back to Surf. The windy condition resulted in some ideal anchorage spots not available for use and required shuttle transportation at couple of ports, but it was fine. One thing I did notice is that some passengers were complaining that cruiseship personnel were not organized with shuttle service. There should have been staff members present at both ends, rather than just the departure point. We were left to fend for ourselves, dealiing with contracted vendor who provided the transportation.After Corfu, we headed for Duvrovnik, Croatia, again we had to give up the best anchorage due to weather and shuttled in and had to find our tour guide who was waiting at the old port docking area. But we enjoyed our visit to this historical or once war torn city with very little signs of damages we witnessed on the news. Life goes on!Our final ports of call was Havar, Croatia, charming little island which easily can be mistaken for one of the Greek islands. Very short stay and it started to sprinkle as we left.I failed to mention earlier that the group of musicians who were onboard back in 2007 had just renewed their contract and were performing onboard. They remebered us and our favorite song and played it for us almost every night, very small thing, but to be recognized and renew friendship means a great deal for customer relationship and for repeat clients. On our final morning, we entered main channel for port of Venice, San Marcos Square was in full view and everybody was on deck for an amazing viewsDisembarkation was delayed a bit due to luggage handling delay, but other than it went smoothly. Our ship docked at the main channel dockage, rather than one of those slips at the main terminal. So we were further away from everything.We had to walk few blocks to the termianl and had very few options for hotel transfer. Main terminal had a free shuttle to Piazza Rome which was sort of centeral point for various transportation options, but non where we were, only very expensive water taxi. In hind sight, it turned out to be the best option, especially with bags. Venice is not baggage friendly city with bridges and uneven roads. So, if you decide to take care of ground transfer yourself, spen a few extra euros and save yourself a major headach. Take a water taxi and have them deliver you to your hotel, right to their front step. Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
Trip to the shipThe cruise line does not furnish transportation to and from the ship. That can be costly. To the ship was e150.00 for 2. From the ship was $120.00 U.S. each. Embarkation was fairly smooth. One surprise was that X-ray and ... Read More
Trip to the shipThe cruise line does not furnish transportation to and from the ship. That can be costly. To the ship was e150.00 for 2. From the ship was $120.00 U.S. each. Embarkation was fairly smooth. One surprise was that X-ray and metal detectors are used on the ship each time you enter. What they are looking for is beyond me. I doubt any terrorists would ride that boat so it became obvious to many that they are primarily looking for alcohol. Note  They do not allow passengers to bring liquor on board. The rooms  Even though they are small in square footage, they are extremely adequate. The showers are fantastic (plenty of water.) Staff  Exceptional people. Most are from Malaysia, hard workers and very friendly. Food Adequate, nothing special, it all looks great but all is mass produced and lacks seasoning, many small portions and courses to deal with. Ports of call Most are accessible only by the ship's old tenders. They need replacing, are noisy, smelly, and slow. Several stops were obviously poorly planned as there were three-five other cruise ships in port at the same time and the crowds were nerve racking and overwhelming. (Much like being at a football game.) Seaworthiness of ship  Due to the smaller size (compared to large luxury liners) the ship doesn't fare well with rough seas. One day we were at sea all day with 10-15 foot swells, many including me got sea sick. It was so rough all the water sloshed out of one swimming pool on deck. I was in bed most of the day. The ship is also very slow and the sails couldn't be used due to wind direction. I noticed most other ships readily passing us while at sea. Entertainment None to speak of and that's good. The water sports platform on the rear of the ship is excellent for kayaking. They don't allow swimming off of the platform but you can get in a kayak and go out a short distance and swim off of it. The "Help Desk" or Reception desk They are not very helpful unless it's very simple. They refused to convert Euros to U.S., don't appear to really want to help, unable to give any alternatives to issues such as alternatives for travel/transportation off the ship, not extremely helpful. Most of the crew were friendly and helpful but not this group. Disembarkation The ship required bags to be packed and outside cabin at 1 a.m. night before disembarking so packing becomes an issue. It was a pain standing in long lines awaiting for return of our passports, awaiting baggage to be delivered off ship, etc. and ship charged $120.00/each for a bus ride to the airport from dock. Overall It's really just another cruise. The sailing sounds so romantic though. (It's not really.) Too far to travel (from U.S. to Rome and Venice back to U.S.)for the ports of call. We should have just stayed in Rome or Venice for a week and seen more interesting sites/places. On board they will nickel and dime you to death. Beers are $6.00-$9.00 each, mixed drinks are $6.00, wine corkage is $15.00 if you bring it on board and as mentioned, they do not allow passengers to bring liquor on board. (You can slip it through if you're careful. Use your imagination.) Read Less
Sail Date September 2008
First cruise ever. We had a great time but were in for a few surprises. First few minutes, a passenger (pax) complained she wanted a welcome gift. The poor crew had no idea what she meant , nor did we. She suggested a bagel? We found the ... Read More
First cruise ever. We had a great time but were in for a few surprises. First few minutes, a passenger (pax) complained she wanted a welcome gift. The poor crew had no idea what she meant , nor did we. She suggested a bagel? We found the wait staff to be wonderful while the pax were demanding, greedy, selfish to distraction. Be prepared for many from the "Big Apple". The surrounding boroughs were well represented. Pax ran the staff around like dogs. It was so embarrassing. They ordered multiple entrees at meals. They grabbed all the DVDS as we left port; they hogged all of the lounge chairs (which was really bad while at sea)....and they booked the restaurants largely day one. We didn't realize it was "Survivor" mentality. I decided I rather sink that be stuck with anyone of them on a life boat. I start with this because they were rude and obnoxious and it truly affected us. The boat was a bit shabby. The fumes of paint was apparentas they touched up the ship. We weren't looking for the QE 2 but I was a bit disappointed at how shabby it looked on the exterior. I felt that I was on the Nantucket steamship ferry. As a kid, you could run around on the big steam ships. This boat was casual and lended itself to fun. It's not a cruise for more senior folks largely due to the need to board tenders to go to shore. The state rooms were just fine. The beds very good. Water pressure excellent...room kept very clean except aged fruit wasn't removed. In our room, the steward was outstanding. The staff worked like dogs and as stated, were treated accordingly much to our dismay. The ships staff was great . The captain seemed truly distant and indifferent. We didn't run aground nor hit an iceberg so he gets a passing grade. It wasn't fancy but we didn't want fancy. It was the perfect boat for us. Small. No crowds. I felt the staff tried to please us and went over board to do so. No pun intended. The staff in The Veranda was a bit more reserved and less tolerant of the pax antics but still worked very very hard. The food was a mix of truly awful to ok. The room service food was so bad they should omit it. Nachos were broken chips with a little cheese. A grilled ceasar was worse. The breakfasts were great in the Veranda but the dinner fare was awful.I think they could relax the dress code as this isn't a formal affair (Ok I was dying to wear jeans. I'll admit it). It was my first cruise and I would do it again on this small ship. It was perfect for my interests, which was travel...rather than formality. If you want elite, formality ;don't get around well or require a balcony , don't take this ship. PS If you are a complainer , take another ship please. I had the time of my life. Its what YOU make of it and this was fun. We give the service a 5 out of 5 and a 10 out of 5 for working as hard as they do and dealing with pax. The ships boat staff was wonderful and friendly. The reception desk worked hard to please as did cheryl. Geno, Alladin and Raphael had indelible smiles and made our time wonderful on board. Embarking was so easy as was leaving the boat. The ports were a lot of fun and beautiful. We made our our plans in port. The buses were very clean and timely that took you to town. The whole endeavor was well run. All in all, we were affected by the grab while it lasts mentality but the staff made our trip outstanding. Of note, the ROme toVenice trip is amazing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
Our cruise on the Windsurf was wonderful. Were there one or two things I could pick at? Sure - nothing's ever perfect but I have to say we all left the ship thrilled with our cruise and wanting to go back. The experience was great and ... Read More
Our cruise on the Windsurf was wonderful. Were there one or two things I could pick at? Sure - nothing's ever perfect but I have to say we all left the ship thrilled with our cruise and wanting to go back. The experience was great and we were very well satisfied. We were a group of friends made up of 3 couples traveling together and all agreed that: - service was excellent, with very friendly and attentive staff who remembered all our first names after our first interaction. - food was excellent a lot of the time and at least good all the time. - cabins were roomy and well-designed; we had room to easily store everything (and we packed heavily). NOTE: the bed linens and towels were great - they had recently done an upgrade in that respect and it definitely showed (I'm picky about sheets). - the itinerary was excellent with no lame stops. We did an excursion with the boat and a few on our own...all were fun. - the relaxed dress and free-style dining was a really nice feature...we enjoyed the restaurant but felt like the service in the Bistro was a little better and preferred it. We were very pleased with just about everything. I did not think the couple who performed in the Compass Rose bar at night were any good (they sang cheesy songs to recorded tracks) until I went at cocktail hour - they sang relaxing songs with an acoustic guitar and were wonderful. I say DROP the tracks. Also, one of the couples in our group was a gay couple and there was no taint of oddness or discrimination on the part of anyone on board at all, I'm glad to say. I HIGHLY recommend Windstar. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
We sailed Rome to Nice Oct 31, 2004, and never having cruised before I will offer my opinion on WindSurf. Four of us travelled and none of us has ever cruised before so I am unable to compare ships but will offer you my opinion. FABULOUS! ... Read More
We sailed Rome to Nice Oct 31, 2004, and never having cruised before I will offer my opinion on WindSurf. Four of us travelled and none of us has ever cruised before so I am unable to compare ships but will offer you my opinion. FABULOUS! Yes you get a porthole instead of a balcony, but the size of the ship is why I chose WindSurf. I never had a desire to sail on a large ship and this was the perfect way to travel the intimate ports of the Mediterranean without hauling luggage, and knowing your accommodations were consistent. Sea sickness: one of us felt unwell on our first night, the rest of us were fine. It was quite amazing how quick you adjust. You felt some movement on the ship, but talking to other passengers, few we spoke with were ill from the movement. Sea sickness pills were available at reception and the infirmary, and you are supposed to take them 4 hours before sailing. Staterooms were really nice and serviceable. Our porthole looked directly at the ocean, that was cool. They do your rooms twice daily which was a treat. The staff were amazing, and yes, within a couple of days, they do know your names. Food was also fabulous, lots of choice without the buffet mentality, choices of salad, appetizer, soup and usually 4 - 5 entrees to choose from...excellent in both quantity and presentation. We had room service breakfast every morning, ate lunch in port and dinner on ship. Excursions: we chose to entertain ourselves and rented a car one day and took our time around the island we were on. 50 Euro for the car for the day for 4 people. Arranged all our own transportation and transfers via email prior to leaving. Our room was 118 on the lower deck and you really felt very little movement there. Room 220 on the upper deck is adjacent to where everyone gets on and off in port each day so avoid it. The noise of everyone on the stairs at 8:00 a.m. is terrible. The wonderful thing about this ship is you never have to wait for anything. The tender to and from the port would take 2 people if you were the only ones waiting to come or go! Casual Elegance is the motto and it is correct, everyone was usually dressed nicely for dinner, your choice as to how much you want to dress up, common sense seems to prevail here. Entertainment: the crew did a show one evening that was really cute, the 2 bands were excellent (played every evening) and there were a lot of people dancing. Besides, it is the others on the ship usually providing the entertainment!! Casino is small but adequate. There are casinos in port in the large cities in Nice, Monte Carlo, etc. Spa was excellent, lots of people using it, and the gym always seemed to have people working out. We worked out walking in the ports, putting on miles just walking around. The ship provided you with written material everyday on the next port, so you had some idea what to expect and what were the highlights. Overall it was 1st class, very comfortable, relaxing. You could be as organized as you wished, or simply take it day by day. Average age? 45-50 ish....in the Mediterranean. Rating...5 star in my mind! Only thing I would change is more time in Rome before we sailed!  Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
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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