31 St. Maarten Luxury Cruise Reviews

This was our third cruise onboard the Odyssey and we loved every moment of it! We embarked in St. Maarten after spending two days unwinding at the Holland House Hotel. The embarkation process was absolutely painless. Everything was run ... Read More
This was our third cruise onboard the Odyssey and we loved every moment of it! We embarked in St. Maarten after spending two days unwinding at the Holland House Hotel. The embarkation process was absolutely painless. Everything was run like a well oiled piece of machinery. We were in PH cabin 918, which was lovely. I'm afraid we were spoiled by the extra room and location of this cabin. We would definitely book a PH suite again. We found the food and service to be top notch and did not have one complaint about either. I did however miss the Patio dining for an occasional evening meal as I always loved their steaks and pork chops. Many passengers really enjoyed the recent change however and the food was quite good. As we have done the Caribbean a number of times, we elected to stay onboard for a number of ports. We preferred to enjoy the comforts of the ship at some of the ports. We did not do any of the ship's excursions so I am unable to comment on those. The beach BBQ was wonderful, as always. On our last day, Jost VanDyke, the water toys were brought out much to the pleasure of many of the passengers. It was great fun! We met some lovely new friends, Martin and Stella and were able to spend some quality time with them and some other friends, Debs and Mikey, that we had met on a previous cruise. We enjoyed this cruise and were not disappointed with anything! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We took a seven day Eastern Carribean cruise on the Ofyssey. Didn’t get off the ship much because we have discovered over the years that most Carribean Island adventures are pretty fungible. We took an upgrade opportunity for one of ... Read More
We took a seven day Eastern Carribean cruise on the Ofyssey. Didn’t get off the ship much because we have discovered over the years that most Carribean Island adventures are pretty fungible. We took an upgrade opportunity for one of the 4 spa suites on 10 accessible only via spiral staircase in the spa- a good pick. Great outdoor deck at the rear, plenty of inside space, huge bath and shower, lots of amenities. BUT broken and unfixed/unfixable blind in the BR and a fridge door actually fell off, but was timely fixed. We found the staff uniformly friendly and accommodating - more so than on the Encore. English not always so good. Lots of trpical drink trays in constant circulation. Top shelf liquor at all bars and restaurants. House wines OK but nothing special. Restaurant decor and some public areas could use refresher. More self-serv launderettes would be helpful. Restaurant/Keller selections good to excellent. Colonnade buffets generally pretty good. Room service- too slow and too cold. The coffee, like virtually every cruise ship we’ve been on, was bad - there must be some special secret and cheap robusto blend they all buy. Espresso sometimes OK and cappuccinos were tolerable. All in all, we liked this ship although my companion thought there too many smoking areas. We liked the Encore better even though it was larger and will probably try other Seabourn ships before we come back here. Wishing you clear skies and calm seas. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
First, we are a French Canadian couple in our early 50’s from Montreal. We sailed 5 times with Celebrity prior to sailing on Wind Surf for the first time in 2013. We have since sailed 7 times with them, all in the Caribbean with cruises ... Read More
First, we are a French Canadian couple in our early 50’s from Montreal. We sailed 5 times with Celebrity prior to sailing on Wind Surf for the first time in 2013. We have since sailed 7 times with them, all in the Caribbean with cruises on the Wind Star (1) Star Pride (2), Star Legend (1) and Wind Surf (3). What we love about Windstar is the small ships, the fact you can do things independently easily, the relaxed dress code, the food, which keeps getting better, and last but not least the great service staff which goes out of its way to make your cruise memorable. This was our first cruise back on a sail ship after 3 cruises on the motor yachts. We did Classic Caribbean itinerary from Feb 2nd to 9th as we had done the Yachtsman’s Caribbean itinerary twice already and did not like the fact they had changed some of the stops in the BVI. In the end we really enjoyed this itinerary with Barbuda and Dominica being new stops for us. The weather was just about perfect and seas were the calmest of all our cruises. We noticed the demographics of this cruise were probably a little older than our previous Windstar cruises with a good majority of guests over 70-75 but this did not hinder in any way our enjoyment as fellow Windstar passengers are all fairly active and well travelled. Finally, we travelled with another couple for which this was a first cruise on Windstar and likely not their last. Another great cruise with Windstar Booking: We booked just over 2 months ahead by pure accident as we typically wait for annual Christmas Sale as we feel prices get better closer to sailings (we always go for lowest priced cabin as location is not necessarily important to us). We called the company directly (we do not use a travel agent) to inquire about availability and they said that there was a promotion for Canadian residents with a $500 discount on the cruise price. I could not find this special on their website and the timing of my call was perfect as this special did not last very long. The 4 of us each got the $100 referral OBC which in our case was applied against our drink package purchased when we got onboard. We were assigned room 153 at front of ship and we were “upgraded” to 141 more in the center a few weeks later. Our friends were also upgraded from 103 to 122. Windstar also offered a 20% discount on the price of internet, drink package and laundry if all taken together prior to cruise which we did not take as we did not care for the ship’s slow and expensive internet (we had access to a good roaming package which we used most of time as we were always close to islands). Embarkation Although we typically fly in the day before, our schedule did not allow for such luxury this time around. Our plane landed in SXM at 16h30 on departure day (ship’s departure scheduled at 19h00) and we got out of the terminal around 17h15. Cabs were plentiful and we ended up sharing one with another Canadian couple on same flight that was also boarding the ship. Cab ride was $30 for the 4 of us and took 30 minutes. We boarded the ship at 17h45 and check-in was swift at front desk given our tardiness . Sail away was on schedule at 19h00. Not the ideal situation for travel but things worked out nicely. We were told our cruise was fully booked, so around 310 passengers on board. This was not an issue throughout the cruise as the Wind Surf remains very spacious with nooks and crannies for everyone. Cabin: We were in 141 and our friends in 122 (both added to Wind Surf stateroom sticky forum). Cabins are well designed with plenty of storage if required. 141 was quiet and had no issues although on 3 occasions, we had to call maintenance to fix our toilet as vacuum system had problems and toilet risked overflowing. In all 3 cases (one time at 3 am) the problem was fixed quickly by maintenance staff. Our room attendant was attentive although we did not have any special requirements. Reusable water bottles we refilled every day (one with flat water, the other sparkling) and our ice bucket was kept full with ice every day. Our friends in 122 complained about regular banging noise which we suspect was due to some gangway or tender equipment hanging above their room. We were also wondering how we would find going back to the smaller sail ship staterooms after experiencing the larger suites on the Star ships on our last 3 cruises. Well it wasn’t an issue as the rooms are very well designed and we were really only in our room to sleep or change over for dinner. We did not use room service nor laundry service this time. Bathroom was compact and well designed but starting to show its age. Occitane toiletries are provided in all rooms. Bars and Entertainment: Drinks were mostly taken outside at Compass Rose or Pool Bar. Did not go to Lounge except for Talent Show but band seemed competent. Bar service was always good. Duo at Compass Rose was OK and had guests dancing and when finished around 11pm, guests would come in to plug IPad playlists in system to keep party going a little longer. This happened a few evenings with people dancing a little past midnight. A lot of fun. Food: Again food was a highlight. We ate at Amphora 4 times, one time each Candles and Stella Bistro and Deck BBQ on the late night in St-Kitts. Menu was varied although gluten free items remain limited (our friend suffers from gluten intolerance and we were just more sensitized to his diet challenges throughout the cruise). Breakfast was good with buffet or a la carte items available. Couple of things we noticed were the poor quality of orange juice which in the past was freshly squeezed and now is a watered down Tropicana version and the fact there were no fresh peeled orange slices on the buffet whereas these were always on buffet in the past. We had good lunches at Veranda when we made it back in time from the island as the venue is only open from 12h00 to 14h00. We were late a few times and had to settle for food at Yacht Club. Lunch should be extended to 14h30 to accommodate those with dietary restrictions as the menu at the Yacht Club, while good, remains limited for them. Service in the dining rooms at dinner was fast and efficient (sometimes too fast) with meals lasting 1.5 to 2 hours. We mostly had dinner around 8pm and never had to wait more than a few minutes for a table and by the time we were finished, most of the time we were the last table in dining room. Menus were varied with several fish, meat and vegetarian dishes and all 4 of us were impressed by the quality and presentation of food. Deck BBQ food was great although lobster was a little chewy. We did not do the Dining Under The Stars (offered twice on our cruise) as it was not offered to us. This was a bit disappointing. Beach BBQ was held on Pigeon Island, which is our least favourite Windstar Beach BBQ location (the others being Mayreau and Virgin Gorda). While food was good, beach is too small and not necessarily the nicest. A couple of evenings, we were treated to canapés at Compass Rose before dinner. Usually had 2 different types of them but just one tray so these would disappear very fast with literally no chances for seconds. I suspect these were also served in the Lounge but we never went to the Lounge for pre dinner drinks so cannot confirm. We are a bit picky about our coffee and the caffe lattes at Veranda in the morning were good (regular coffee not so much) but even better at Yacht Club. We did try a few of the the latter’s sandwiches and sweets offered in the afternoon on one occasion and all were good. 3 of us were on the recently introduced TopMast Discoveries drink package at $49 while the 4th party was on the CaptainsExclusive package at $59. This created confusion with servers with several drinks (liquor) being charged to our room although drunk by our friend on the full drink package. All charges were reversed but this was a hassle as we needed to check bill daily to ensure charges were being reversed overnight and that no new ones were being added. Drink package probably makes sense if you have 5 or more drinks per day and even though we were drinking our quota, we generally felt that the value proposition of the drink packages had come down markedly from the previous iterations with price of package going up $7 and the wines offered having a price point no higher than $9.50/$10 vs a max of $11.50 under previous package. We will likely need to re-think this aspect on our next cruise. Marina We did not use the marina this time around but it was open in Barbuda, Les Saintes and St Barth. We saw several people using it when available. The water toys were also brought to the beach on Pigeon Island for the Beach BBQ Spa: Our friends each got a $50 spa voucher (good on port days) offered by Windstar to all first time cruisers which they used for a very relaxing hot stone massage. Gym: we did not use gym but it looked clean and well equipped and did not seem overcrowded Tenders: Tenders were used in all ports except Dominica where we were docked at the industrial dock, not the more central cruise ship dock (occupied by Silverseas on that day). While tender service was good, the tenders themselves are in need of a total overhaul. During our cruise we got to see the Seabourn, Club Med 2 and Star Clipper tenders and all of them were in substantially better condition than the Surf’s. They will be changing the tenders on the Motor Yachts, they probably should do the same with the sailing ships. Bridge Did not visit the bridge this time around and whereas in the past there was a photo opportunity at the bow of the ship, we did not see this on this cruise. Stops and excursions: We generally are not the type to book ship excursions as we feel they are overpriced and like to do things on our own. I typically like to do my own research and do not like to plan too long ahead. Barbuda: Nothing planned. Only tour offered was to view frigate bird sanctuary which did not interest us. We instead took a cab to Princess Diana beach ($30 each way). Very nice pink sand beach with nobody other than a few fellow cruisers on it. No facilities so bring water and some food if you are going to spend a long time. We were there for about 3 hours and got on the ship around 2pm just in time to catch lunch at Veranda. The ship leaves early at 3 pm on this day. Dominica: Again we stepped out of ship and hired a cab to go to Ti-Tou Gorge and Trafalgar Falls. Cost was $160 for the 4 of us and lasted 2.5 hours. Ti-Tou Gorge is not to be missed as you swim in a crystal clear river canyon up to a small waterfall. Very nice. The drive to both these spots is also spectacular as the road sits at the top of a high mountain ridge. We were back on the ship by 1h30 and had lunch at Veranda. Found a chair on deck for the remainder of day and used pool and hot tubs. Although the Island suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Maria in Sept 2017, the island infrastructure and vegetation is recovering nicely. Pigeon Island: This was our 4th time to Pigeon Island and it is our least favourite spot for the Beach BBQ. The beach is small and crowded although the area in the back where they actually serve the BBQ is nice. The water toys were brought to the beach, as well as paddle boards and kayaks. They also offered waterski and wakeboardings runs for those who wanted. Club Med 2 (Wind Surf’s twin) was also in port that day which made for interesting pictures. Les Saintes: This was our third time to Les Saintes and we continue to enjoy this stop. There is a quaint village with some interesting shops and a Fort (Fort Napoleon) from which the views of the bay and our sail ship are simply breathtaking. Note the Fort is only open until 12h30 and bring €5 cash if you want to get in. We rented a 4 seat electric golf cart (cost €75) from Green Car Rental to tour Island but you need to reserve it in advance as these get taken up very quickly (we had learned this the hard way the previous time we were there). Wanted to go to Pain de Sucre Beach but path is somewhat steep and rocky which required shoes we did not have. Instead went to Pompierre beach (no facilities). Nice beach but the palm trees have taken a beating as a result of hurricane Maria last year. Had a good lunch in town at Cafe de la Marina with a nice view of the port while the ladies shopped linen at Mahogany next door. Basseterre St-Kitts: Our initial plan was to get off ship, take the 9h30 ferry to Nevis ($16 each way/pers), hire a cab for a few hours to do tour of island, visit plantation and get dropped off at Pinney’s Beach. However we were a bit tired that morning and thus proceeded to a less intense plan B which was to take a cab ($30 each way) to go to Cockshell Beach at the far South end of the Island. We rented chairs ($5 each) and umbrellas ($10) at the Spice Mill and also had good lunch there. Beach is nice and was somewhat crowded, something rare on a Windstar cruise but there were another 2 ships in port, so this was to be expected. Ship left late at 10pm and this was night of deck BBQ. St-Barth: We had reserved a convertible Mini Cooper to tour Island ahead of time with Sixt Car Rental. Called them up 30 minutes prior to going to shore so they were there to pick us up and take us to airport to fill out docs. Cost was a bit steep at €105 but we had fun touring. Went to Saline and Gouverneurs beaches, did some shopping and had lunch at Nikki Beach in St-Jean. Lunch was good although this is St-Barth and everything is pricey. Returned the car at airport, got shuttled back to port and did some more shopping in Gustavia. Took tender around 6pm back to ship. Debarkation. Debarkation was trouble free. Had breakfast around 8am after picking up our passport and having face to face meeting with Immigration on board ship around 7h30 (this is new as we usually just picked up passport on ship and passed Immigration once on shore). Our flight was late (5pm) so we took a cab to Holland House, took up their day pass offer which for $25 includes 2 chairs, 4 drinks,use of shower, Wifi and facilities. Had good lunch at their restaurant and left at 2h30 for airport. Ride was $30 for the 4 of us and took just under 30 minutes and this concluded another wonderful Windstar cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We liked this cruise because we don’t typically want days at sea. This was a St. Maartin to Barbados. Cruise was 7 nights which is short but perfect for us, especially on a ship with few entertainment options. The food was outstanding ... Read More
We liked this cruise because we don’t typically want days at sea. This was a St. Maartin to Barbados. Cruise was 7 nights which is short but perfect for us, especially on a ship with few entertainment options. The food was outstanding but selection was pretty much exactly the same each day. Occasionally an extra different main dish was offered in most restaurants. We would have liked to have some local food recipes offered but this was not the case. We could have been sailing anywhere in the world and have the same menus. For example, none of the restaurants offered any spicy food , jerk recipes, etc, EACH OF THE Caribbean ports had beaches. Seabourn did not offer excursions on many of the ports. We did book a third party 7 hour snorkel, hike, swim option with Adventure Antigua which was terrific and less expensive than what was offered by the ship. We were in a V4 room near the bow of the ship. Rm 702. It was a lock off from a large suite at the bow, but we never heard any noise from them. The only noise issue we had was a couple of nights/early morning from raising or lowering the anchor. Obviously that didn’t last long. Even though the ship was fully booked we never felt crowded. There were lots of nooks and places to hang out where we were virtually alone. The only issue around this is that there’s is only one small pool and most of the time it was full of people standing in it with cocktails. Impossible for a swim. One thing that we liked was several hot tubs on different decks. We didn’t see any children on the ship except babes in arms and that would make sense as there was little for young children to do. Entertainment was adequate. The singer and dancers were surprisngly talented but the shows weren’t very well staged and didn’t take advantage of it. Ship staff and management were always available and frequently took the time to stop and chat. The first night we had issues wth getting waited on in a timely manner but on the second day when we were asked for our feedback, mentioned that, and never had a problem again. WiFi was quite good every day. We were offered free WiFi with our cruise price and we were happy to have it. There were also several computers on board in the library/ coffee shop area which were rarely in use but a great option. My husband was always able to get live football games that he didn’t want to miss. We would choose deck 7 again as it was convenient to everything. We would probably choose mid ship or the aft, given a choice again ,as it is closer to access to coffee bar, elevators to other restaurants, library and guest services.. but the ship is so small that the bow of the boat was fine. Room service is available all day and always arrived promptly and the food was hot. On our final day we were planning to stay at the last port. Since we had to,leave the ship early and couldn’t check in until late, we took a Seabourn excursión that ended at the airport that day because they carried our luggage. At the end of the excursion, we simply collected our luggage and took a taxi from the airport to our hotel. This worked really well as we were able to see the island that we were disembarking on during the gap and could just enjoy the beach on our last couple of days of vacation. We felt that there was good value for the money, especially after staying before and after in hotels in the Caribbean. We would take Seaborn again, but would probably stick to their shortest trips due to lack of variety in food and entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose the 7 day Yachtsman Holiday Cruise in the Caribbean aboard Seabourn Odyssey. Booked the Penthouse Suite on 10th floor. Hadn’t sailed with Seabourn in nearly 10 years...However, we’re seasoned cruisers: 14 cruises on Silver Sea, ... Read More
Chose the 7 day Yachtsman Holiday Cruise in the Caribbean aboard Seabourn Odyssey. Booked the Penthouse Suite on 10th floor. Hadn’t sailed with Seabourn in nearly 10 years...However, we’re seasoned cruisers: 14 cruises on Silver Sea, Viking, Holland America, NCL, Regent, QE2...other Cunard line ships, Windstar, Star Clipper, National Grographic, Private charters and cruised our own boat for many years. For this cruise (12/22/2018) We made our own flight reservations and arrived a day early to enjoy some time on St Maarten. Seabourn made the hotel & transfer arrangements. Hotel (Belmont de Samana, St Maarten) was pretty bad (no hot water, messed up the arrangements for transfer to ship, couldn’t sort out the dinner reservations and kept thinking we were different guests in a different room. Even so, beautiful location and we still enjoyed being there (though only being able to take cold showers was not that pleasant.) Embarkation went fairly smoothly- at first they couldn’t find us but then got us onboard and photos and told us our room would be ready in an hour or so. We had the buffet lunch and proceeded to our room. Penthouse suite was nice and roomy. Lots of drawers, big closet, luxurious bath. Room Steward offered champagne. I had arranged a dinner in KT Grill for first night to celebrate my husbands birthday. No mention of his birthday at restaurant or room ( I wasn’t expecting a big deal but perhaps a little candle would have been nice.) Dinner was ok - rather mediocre - very snooty attitude and you could observe disputes between the wait staff which didn’t add much of a pleasant environment. We use to love dining at The French Laundry - TK’s original restaurant in Yountville - I doubt he’d like what they’re doing under his name on this ship!! We won’t return. We also discovered there were no papers in our room with information about internet, itinerary, excursions, spa, in room dining or even a ship map. So, after dinner we went to the square and tried to track down some information. No staff were available and there seemed to be many passengers with the same problems trying to find out info. We gave up and strolled around the various decks trying to get oriented. The second day we were anchored off St Kitts. Planned to go ashore and do some exploring on our own. Stopped by the destination desk to get maps and some tips on taxis in to town, etc. Local woman was at desk and told us the only option was to stay at the Carambola beach club...saying everything was closed, no taxis, no shops, no touring, etc. we found out much later she was working for the Carambola Beach club and was not telling the truth but we never tried to go ashore because it seemed there would be no way to get into town. (She said it was not walkable). We decided to explore the ship and maybe have lunch at Pool Grill. Everything was closed except the buffet. Tried visiting the Spa - all personnel were at beach. In the end we had a quiet reading day in our suite. We got several phone calls in which various ship personnel kept asking my husband if he’d like to celebrate his birthday (since they had forgotten the day before). We decided we’d have his celebration with in room dining that night. So, when it was time to order, we called room service- there was no paperwork with a menu in our room so they couldn’t take an order so we had to track down our room steward to get the current menu. She insisted it was December 22 and gave us that menu (it was actually the 23rd) we called again to try and order. The kitchen said we had to use the menu from December 23rd. So we went back to the room steward and she gave us the menu for the 24th because she didn’t have the menu for the 23rd. Eventually we were able to order a couple of salads, a club sandwich and a cheeseburger. Food arrived about 40 minutes later. Cold burger & fries, barely edible salad, dry sandwich. 2 ice waters. Nothing indicating a birthday...we strolled the decks, nothing going on so returned to our suite, sat and watched the moon and had a quiet reading night. In general, I would say this is a rather boring cruise with very little information available to passengers. No announcements, no help with basics like internet, no orientation and late or nonexistent paperwork in the suite. We are fairly self reliant and creating our own shore excursions (there are NEVER any staff to help with booking). Since almost all the ports are anchor/tenders it is a bit more complicated than simply stepping off the boat on to the dock. We do miss the ship events, lectures, entertainment that we’ve enjoyed on other cruises (they seem to be nonexistent, cancelled at last minute or very badly organized on this cruise). A note on the (Penthouse Suite) on the 10th floor: DON’T BOOK it!!! Above our suite is the outdoor game area (shuffleboard, table tennis, etc. VERY NOISY starting early in the morning and lasting all day!! So in closing we are sticking with Silversea, Viking, Charters and anyone else but the CARNIVAL line and SEABOURN!! Cons: poorly organized, unprofessional staff, mediocre food and waste of time & money!! Pros: quiet, not too many activities, lots of time to yourself, some beautiful sunsets on this itinerary comfortable bed, spacious suite. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had been looking forward to something really special on this "Bucket List" cruise, and for the most part, we were not disappointed. Quality of food, service, ship, cabin and excursions was generally excellent. We ... Read More
We had been looking forward to something really special on this "Bucket List" cruise, and for the most part, we were not disappointed. Quality of food, service, ship, cabin and excursions was generally excellent. We especially loved the beach party and the deck BBQ (I love lobster!). Was it the definitive, earth shattering, "OMG, I'm never cruising mainstream again" experience? Probably not. In fact, I doubt we would go to the extra trouble and expense of sailing with Windstar again. For example: We live on the West coast of the US - Oregon to be specific. It was a long day flying to Miami (where we stayed for two nights for fun), then another 6 hour flight to Barbados. The return trip was very hard on us - long flight to Miami, then overnight, then early flight from MIA, transfer in DFW, then a three hour drive home from PDX. As far as I can tell, all of Windstar cruises involve a similar amount of air travel. If the Windward Islands had been an amazing paradise, it might have been worth the trouble, but they were just...more lovely Caribbean Islands. Very much uphill and downhill, with long bus rides to get to the places of interest. Snorkeling trips were just OK (maybe even less than that), and although the gardens were fabulous, we could have experienced a similar amount of beauty without going nearly so far. The small ship size SHOULD have resulted in happy social contacts, and to some extent it did (tip of the hat to the many lovely people whose company we really enjoyed - I hope you know who you are). Less positive is that the people we didn't enjoy (and there were a surprisingly high number of those) were pretty hard to stay away from. The least enjoyable part of our cruise was actually our stateroom. We had a lovely double room-suite that was spacious, comfortable and well appointed. Trouble is, we couldn't spend any real time reading and relaxing because there was a loud blower that ran constantly. We asked maintenance, and they said it couldn't be turned off, and other passengers mentioned similar situations in their staterooms and in staterooms on other Windstar ships. There were two thermostats in the room, but adjusting them made no impact on the actual climate in the room. There seemed to be a daytime temperature of too cold, and a night time temperature of too hot. One afternoon, we actually had to go on deck when we began shivering after an hour of reading in our lovely, but very much refrigerated, cabin. And on deck we found...the pervasive howling buzz of whatever equipment resides in that big stack on deck. You can't get away from it. So much for peaceful relaxation. So I gave five stars, but maybe don't really mean it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We are frequent Windstar cruisers especially in the Caribbean although our connection with Windstar began in the Med about 9 years ago. We have also cruised on Sea Dream Seabourn, and Silversea so we have experience with quality small ... Read More
We are frequent Windstar cruisers especially in the Caribbean although our connection with Windstar began in the Med about 9 years ago. We have also cruised on Sea Dream Seabourn, and Silversea so we have experience with quality small ship cruise lines.. Noted improvements on this cruise were the quality and variety of the food, the level and friendliness of the service, and the big improvement in the quality of the entertainment both in the main lounge and the bar. The on deck barbeque was fantastic. The food was terrific and amongst the best that we have ever experienced on any cruise line. The staff and the band provided great entertainment during the meal with the cooks dancing and adding to the festiveness of the occasion. We cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed this cruise. Added to all of this the captain and crew did their best to make sure that we could tender safely into the various ports notwithstanding the sometimes choppy water. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was our first voyage on a small luxury cruiser and it was excellent. The ship, crew, food, venues, cabins and majority of passengers were great. No mega pools, large outdoor TV screens or ice rinks here. I would not suggest this ship ... Read More
This was our first voyage on a small luxury cruiser and it was excellent. The ship, crew, food, venues, cabins and majority of passengers were great. No mega pools, large outdoor TV screens or ice rinks here. I would not suggest this ship for kids under 18 as it is adult oriented and I saw nothing that would entertain younger passengers. There were two 6 yr. olds on board, we saw them at various meal times but at no other time. Ideal for couples of all ages. It is a relaxing cruise ship, where within three to four days you have crossed paths with most of the passengers and as a result you should be the type that enjoy speaking to people. If you want to go on this cruise and be by yourself, you can do it but you'll miss the true spirit of what the experience is. Also, it is not for 'seagulls' - you know the people who grab a lounge chair, throw their towel and hat down and claim it for that day, whether they are using it or not. They scream 'mine, mine. mine' if someone comes near it. If you are, you'll be quickly identified and the rest of the passengers will be talking about you the entire trip. Yes we had a few of them - why do such people exist? Almost all passengers despise the large cruise ships and enjoy the relaxed sociable atmosphere on this ship. Many have cruised with the line many times. The ports of call are varied, some will be near the large cruise ship stops, other will be in smaller ports where the big guys can't get to - this makes the choice most appealing The open bridge policy is very interesting if you like to know how these ships steer and get where they are going. The bridge officers are very welcoming to visitors. When the sails are unfurled and you cast off, it is a great feeling. Be prepared though, in rough seas you'll be tossed around a bit. Entertainment is hit and miss - we had two groups -one was a hit the other most tired of after a night or two. Like all cruise lines, there are expensive add ons if you want them and excursion sales pitches but these are easily ignored. Would I go again - you bet ya ! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We picked this cruise because we are loyal repeat customers, but no longer. It was such a disappointment. The crew were rude and room had no air conditioning. The staff did nothing to help us, the higher up we went with our concerns the ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we are loyal repeat customers, but no longer. It was such a disappointment. The crew were rude and room had no air conditioning. The staff did nothing to help us, the higher up we went with our concerns the worse we were treated. We finally had to get wifi off ship and have the main company help us with the issues. It was so stressful. Many others aboard had similar troubles, poor food, rude comments from staff, poor communication and no maps or names to go with the scenery around us. The ship looked old, dirty and dated and lacked the water equipment they had advertised. With no flippers available, we got stung by sea urchins and cut up on coral. The cruise director said it was our fault for not packing flippers, but the advertisement for this particular cruise promised flippers available for "all". The food was so recycled, it became a bore after the third day. Lots of dry bread at dinner, bread pudding the next day, of course. Very sad experience, last sail for us with this company. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I chose this cruise because my usual island vacation had to be cancelled due to the hurricane damage. I thought I would never go on a cruise. The thought of a floating city with lines a mile long are not my kind of vacation. I like the ... Read More
I chose this cruise because my usual island vacation had to be cancelled due to the hurricane damage. I thought I would never go on a cruise. The thought of a floating city with lines a mile long are not my kind of vacation. I like the small quaint island with no more than 5 -6 people on the beach. Even though I have no other cruising experience to compare this to, I am a convert. Windstar spoiled me and I loved it. Rooms were great, food was great, entertainment was great, and staff were fabulous. The only thing I would change about it is the check out time on disembarkation. It is too early. It would be nice if they could bump it up an hour or two to 10:00 or 11:00 am. Most people have a long day of travel and having to get up early and put luggage outside your cabin at 6:30 AM in unreasonable. We did a two week cruise out of Barbados. The day passengers leave and more come on is not pleasant for the guests that are continuing on the second week. The pool area is cleaned, which is a good thing, but it really disrupts the guests that are staying. Not sure what the solution is as there is really no place else to go unless you leave the ship. We didn't leave because the weather was terrible and had we walked over to the beach, we would have been caught in the rain, which wouldn't have been fun. I can't wait to go again. Thank you for a great time! Boston Tia Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our 3rd time on the Windsurf. The cruise had been scheduled to embark and disembark in St. Martin. However, after Hurricane Irma destroyed St. Martin, the cruise was rescheduled to go RT Barbados. The ports changed again after ... Read More
This was our 3rd time on the Windsurf. The cruise had been scheduled to embark and disembark in St. Martin. However, after Hurricane Irma destroyed St. Martin, the cruise was rescheduled to go RT Barbados. The ports changed again after Hurricane Maria. Windstar cruises was very quick to change their itinerary to ports unaffected by the recent storms. As a result, we visited some new ports. Mayreaux, Bequia, Anse Matin, and Monserrat were all new to us. The excursions were well organized. Guides were excellent. We had a great time exploring small ports that are seldom visited by the big ships. We also enjoyed the included "unexpected OBC". The ship was beautiful. As an older ship, the care to details is amazing. Crew was constantly cleaning, polishing, painting, and fixing everything. The cabins are well arranged. Lots of storage space....drawers, shelves, and double closets were ideal. Cabin had good lighting, beautiful linens, and comfortable chairs. Bathroom had lovely L'Occitane toiletries. There are no cabins with verandas. As a small ship, it is easy and quick to get outside. Lots of public spaces indoor and out. Never had to go hunting for a deck chair. The small pool deck aft was a great place to relax. Non alcoholic drinks were included everywhere on the ship. The fridge in the cabin is restocked daily with your choice of beverages. Room service 24/7 was prompt and free. Dining was superb. Breakfast and lunch were served in the Veranda. Seating at linen covered tables indoor and out. You could select from the buffet or order from the menu. Choices were interesting with daily specials. The Yacht Club was open daily until 6pm serving drinks and small sandwiches and pastry. Yacht Club was my go to place for coffee. Diner was served in 4 places. No surcharge anywhere. The main restaurant Aamphora had different menu each night. The food choices were very good. If you wanted something off the menu, ask and usually it happens. No request was denied. The Stella Bistro had a set menu with a French flair. Candles and Dining Under the Stars were outside. Their menus were mostly grilled items. The fillet at Candles was delicious. The buffet salad bar at Dining Under the Stars was outstanding. Once each week, there is a beach party ashore with food and local entertainment. Once a week the regular restaurants are closed because there is a deck BBQ with fabulous food and entertainment. The highlight is grilled lobsters. We took 3 excursions which were excellent. The best was on the disembarkation day. We put our luggage out at 6:30 the day of disembarkation and enjoyed a full breakfast before leaving the ship. The captain and some staff members were at the gangway to help with hand luggage. Hugs all around. While our luggage was taken to the airport, we took a 4+ hour tour around Barbados in an air conditioned van. Great guide. After enjoying an included lunch at a beautiful plantation, we were driven to the airport. We were met by Windstar reps who assisted us with our luggage and checkin. We had a fabulous time and will return. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Chose this cruise because DH wanted to cruise on the ship with sails, and there were islands we had not yet experienced in the Caribbean-Barbuda, Isles de Saintes, and St Barths. Our cabin was 222 which was convenient to the stairs, ... Read More
Chose this cruise because DH wanted to cruise on the ship with sails, and there were islands we had not yet experienced in the Caribbean-Barbuda, Isles de Saintes, and St Barths. Our cabin was 222 which was convenient to the stairs, embarking / disembarking. For a small ship, our cabin was very comfortable and our steward was excellent - always had fresh ice and fresh linens. We were greeted with fresh flowers, fruit, and chocolates in our cabin - which were replenished during the cruise. There is no extra charge for the specialty restaurants which we enjoyed. For breakfast in addition to a buffet of great choices and an egg/omelette station, you also had menu items to choose from: tacos, waffles, french toast, a variety every day. Lunch was the same with a buffet, cooking station with a daily offering (roast pork, leg of lamb, salmon, etc) and the freshest ice cream - always an ice cream and a sherbert plus other desserts. The island beach BBQ was my least favorite although the food was plentiful and there was a band playing - nice atmosphere, just crowded feeling. We had lobster two nights; once in the Main Dining Room and once the night the staff grilled on deck. Best part of the cruise: there were no walkers or wheelchairs pushing their way around on deck and shore excursion numbers were small. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was my third Windstar cruise - second one on the Windsurf. I chose the BVI Yachtman's Caribbean as I remembered those islands from long ago sailing. Unfortunately, we couldn't snorkel or catamaran very often (excursions were ... Read More
This was my third Windstar cruise - second one on the Windsurf. I chose the BVI Yachtman's Caribbean as I remembered those islands from long ago sailing. Unfortunately, we couldn't snorkel or catamaran very often (excursions were cancelled) due to rough seas, so not a lot to do. There were then limited excursions left to take advantage of. I did swim with the Stingrays - that was cool. The best day was St Bart's - catamaran cruise. Josh Van Dyke - the beach trip , Whites Bay, was good and they had shopping huts. Foxys was a dud - morning visit, nothing open. We couldn't do the evening visit , due to rough seas. Sopers hole, Tortola it rained. St. John's Antiqua was the dolphin swim. I did the final day Americas cup sailboat racing and that was FUN! The ship is getting tired - wallpaper is peeling in the rooms and the lounge has an old vibe to it. I didn't stay up late to hear the lounge singers. I found the staff distant and the captain not often visible. It was a different crowd this time - maybe sell off prices attracts different travellers? As a single traveller , I pay a lot and I expected a more upscale group of guests. The other sailings had that. I do think there are last minute sell - offs that change the vibe of the ship. The crew seemed tired - not as friendly as other cruises, less attentive. Again, maybe due to the weather being not great - rocking ship at night, not a lot of sleep, tenders difficult in high waves etc. My room 230 - was noisey with a motor type noise and a drain outside my room, gurgling all night. I asked to change rooms but they had only a lower grade stateroom, that I thought might be rougher. Overall, I was disappointed with this cruise. I will go with this line again - perhaps In Europe. I won't sail on the Windsurf again. I think I prefer a smaller vessel. The Star Legend ship was lovely last year - ABC islands. No sails but we didn't get to use the sails in the Windsurf except for one time. Even the beautiful sail away was a disappointment as the sails didn't open. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We had a very enjoyable cruise with Windstar in February out of St Martin. As previous travellers with Star Clippers we were interested to see the differences between the two. In terms of cabin we had superior cabin on Windstar - ... Read More
We had a very enjoyable cruise with Windstar in February out of St Martin. As previous travellers with Star Clippers we were interested to see the differences between the two. In terms of cabin we had superior cabin on Windstar - which is actually two standard cabins knocked together, bringing the benefit of two bathrooms, and two separate wardrobe/dressing area which felt a real luxury! This cabin was very well appointed, with lots of useful storage, and was very quiet. Star clippers Deluxe cabin is very compact, but comes with the added plus of a bath, and balcony. In terms of dining, I would say the food was superior on the Windsurf, however the service in the restaurant was variable. If you ordered side dishes, they often did not arrive to coincide with the main dish - and often we had to chase them. One final major down point was that the main restaurant was very cold. We were in the caribbean and had packed accordingly. All the women were shivering under thick cardies (if they had thought to bring them!) or pashminas. Despite several complaints there was no improvement although they did try to sit us in a warmer section. This boat has recently been refurbished, it does not seem beyond the wit of man to achieve a more convivial temperature. The bar area was equally cold, which may explain why it was very quiet. Thankfully there was a smaller bar outside at the back, where we sought refuge most nights. There is an outside restaurant which was very good. On the Royal Clipper, the restaurant food is very good, as is the service which is consistently good and friendly. There is only restaurant which is indoor. The only bar is outside, lovely in warm weather. Overall the quality of the excursions etc is broadly comparable. In summary the star clippers are more suited to a more casual crowd, who like the sensation of sailing (vs cruising) and are prepared to forego any real evening entertainment. Having said that there was no real chance to dance on the Windstar, whereas on the clippers, the fact that you are all together ( not spread over 3 restaurants and two bars) makes for more of a party atmosphere so there is always some dancing. If you want a very smooth quiet cruise with good food, choose Windstar, but if you like the feel of the boat moving (and don't mind a bit of noise) go for the Clippers which really do sail as much as they can. The clientele on Windstar was 95% American, possibly due to the point of embarkation. Star clippers on the other hand, which usually goes from Barbados in the winter, is much more cosmopolitan with a good mix from Europe/AusNY/USA. Either of these cruise lines can provide you with an excellent holiday! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My wife and I just completed the Windsurf Yachtsman Cruise and it was awesome. First, dress was casual and don't overpack . These are my recommendations and thoughts for anyone taking or thinking about this Cruise. All the stops were ... Read More
My wife and I just completed the Windsurf Yachtsman Cruise and it was awesome. First, dress was casual and don't overpack . These are my recommendations and thoughts for anyone taking or thinking about this Cruise. All the stops were terrific. Antigua, Tortola, Virgin Garda, British Virgin Isles , St. Bart's. Each offered an opportunity to explore on your own or to take excursions. More on that later. My first recommendation when you board is to make a Reservation at Stella's and Candles- for Candle's try to make it last night as you are docked in St. Bart's and view while eating outside is awesome . Next walk around the ship and get familiar with it. The main deck, Amphora restaurant ( excellent ) , the pool, fitness center, reception desk ( Marianne and her co- workers are amazing ). Extremely helpful in everything and always smiling and great disposition. You can pick up daily newspaper, NY Times crossword puzzle, sudoku . Fun stuff. There are plenty of excursions and everyone seemed to enjoy the one's they took. We took only one the 8:30 ( 4 hours) - Jost Van Dyke Catamarran Snorkel and Hiking trip. 5 stars - the owner was our Captain and the whole experience was great ! For $79. Per person it was a real bargain - good snorting, great picture taking and overall perfect experience. Meals- breakfast was buffet or menu ( eggs Benedict , banana pancakes , French toast - all fabulous ---- Lunch - same buffet or off menu - hamburgers, hot dog and grilled chicken were awesome but you had many other choices. Dinner - too many choices to name - all excellent ! Wine list was excellent ! We had a Mossback Pinot Noir and Rutherford Hill Chardonnay all reasonably priced and saved for next meal if you like. Eric was excellent in the Compass Bar and as wine steward in Amphora- very knowledgeable and always had a great smile and it was great having him help us. The sports activities on the back of ship when tendered are great ! Try to take advantage of them if time avails. For exercise there is a fitness center but I walked around deck 11 times ( roughly 2.20 miles) so says Fitbit ! You can order food 24/7 . The beach barbecue was excellent. Fischer Cove had excellent facilities ( wi-fi yeah! ) and food , activities and plenty of chairs to relax. The ship barbecue was excellent. Tremendous preparation done so well. Bring camera to take pictures! You will not believe some of the carvings! Lobster, shrimp and filet were great ! Entertainment on board was fine . There was 2 sets of singers that will keep you occupied if you stay up late. Bed at 9:30 for me . Exhausting fun days ! I really enjoyed the Crew Talent show one night. One of the crew put on the best juggling act with liquor bottles you'll ever see. Also the crew during the barbecue did a fabulous YMCA version which I should post on YouTube. A classic ! The crew was absolutely awesome. So helpful and always smiling and greeting you by name if they recognized you. At 6:45 pm each night Steve ( head of guest services) gives an outstanding presentation of your next day port and excursions. He was excellent along with Jona. I have to give a special shout out to Cecep who took care of our room to perfection and his little towel animals each night. Really nice guy. So if your thinking of this Cruise or taking it enjoy - it really was special and Windstar did there best for us ! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
When I received an email that Windstar was offering a sizable discount on certain cruises during the holidays, I investigated their sailings to Tahiti and the Caribbean. Since Tahiti gets a lot of rain in December and January, we opted for ... Read More
When I received an email that Windstar was offering a sizable discount on certain cruises during the holidays, I investigated their sailings to Tahiti and the Caribbean. Since Tahiti gets a lot of rain in December and January, we opted for a Caribbean cruise. The Wind Surf sailing worked well with our schedule. We boarded in St. Maarten and noticed four cruise ships in the cruise terminal - P & O, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and then the Wind Surf. It was the smallest of the ships, yet the only one with masts to set sail. What makes a Windstar ship special is that they visit some ports that the big ships don't, so when you are in port it is not packed with cruise passengers. The embarkation was easy. There were no lines. We walked right up and gave the staff our information. Golf carts were nearby to whisk us to the Wind Surf, however we elected to check out the shops in the terminal before boarding the ship. Once we did, again without a line to wait in, we showed the crew staff our documents and passports. Then we walked over to the waiter staff to make reservations to the more intimate dining at Stella Bistro and Candles. Candles is so cool, because it is steak and seafood al fresco dining. We received our room card to check out our staterooms 255 and 253. Both were identical except 253 had two twin beds and 255 was made into a king. What was different is that 255 was next to the water tight metal door. At arrival to every port and when we sailed away, three buzzing alarms sounded and the doors came down right next to our room. Early in the morning, it woke us up. Another bug-a-boo about 255 was a constant rolling sound and boom when we were at sea. I had to sleep with earplugs and a pillow over my head, yet still would wake up to this sound. I called the reception desk three times. Our room steward Etti did everything she could to help soften the noise. She put pillows near the porthole covers and talked to the room steward who worked above our room. An evening steward checked out the sound and said it was the wake hitting the hull as we sailed. He said it was the sound he heard on the first level. The pound sound could be the waves, but not the rolling sound before the boom. Other than not sleeping well at night, I loved the cruise. Here is what I enjoyed - 1. BBQ lunch in St. Lucia's Pigeon Island. It's quite a spread. Sail, paddle board, snorkel, waterski and hike to the top of the fortress. 2. The yoga class with Jonathan at St. Lucia at the park while listening to the waves crash was memorable. His 6 pm Pilates class was also a good work out. 3. Pink Beach in Barbuda. Others enjoyed Coco Beach. 4. Free motion sickness pills at the reception desk. My daughter needed a pill at least once a day. 5. On Sunday The Veranda offers Brunch from 9 to 1 p.m. There is such a variety. 6. The crew are extremely friendly from Indonesia and the Philippines. Andi, Nova, Uud and Russ in the dining areas were terrific. Etti our room steward was wonderful. There was a blind couple on the ship and the staff were so helpful and accommodating. 7. Two juccuzi tubs on the back of the boat next to the pool. The tubs are small, ideal for two or family of four. At sunset when the ship is ready to set sail is the best time to be out on deck. 8. Taking the River Tubing Adventure in Roseau, Dominica. A bus picks up passengers and takes guests on a 20 minute drive to the forest. Each guest receives a yellow inner tube. There are seven guides that help guide guests down class one and two rapids. The guides sing and tell jokes at various stops. It's a sumner camp feel and fun floating down among bamboo trees, papaya, coconut. At the end of the journey, guests receive a cup of rum punch, water or Soda. They also have a plate of fresh fruit from the area - coconut, grapefruit, papaya and sugarcane. 9. Dining at Stella Bistro for a French dinner. Reservations are required and can be made on the first day of the cruise. The lobster Thermidore, escargot and Creme brûlée are delicious. 10. Popcorn and a movie. Guests can select a DVD from the media library and go back to their room to order room service. There is 24 hour room service. Popcorn comes warm, slightly buttered and salted in two separate bowls. They make crudités and dip and quesadillas too. 11. Be sure to see the crew talent show. It's very entertaining to see your cabin steward sing a Maroon 5 song, your favorite bartender juggle and pour colorful drinks, and the cruise director and four other crew members perform a synchronized swimming skit. 12. Dinner at Candles is quite an elegant al fresco affair. The grilled steak and seafood restaurant. 13. Al fresco BBQ dinner on deck. All the guests sit outdoors on the wood deck under the masts. There is a roasted suckling pig, lobster tails, king crab legs, chicken, salads, and a large dessert table. Sitting under the stars, while listening to a live band, we visited the buffet a few times. After the dinner, the crew encourages the guests to line dance out on the deck. Visiting St. Bart's and anchoring near the millionaire and billionaire yachts. 14. Playing board games after dinner or seeing the musicians perform in the evening. 15. Walking to Shell Beach in St. Barts and snorkeling near million dollar yachts. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was my 3rd Windstar cruise. Excellent staff, food, ship etc. I have seen some negative reviews and just don't understand why. Our room was great and always super clean as the whole ship was. They had one restaurant with open ... Read More
This was my 3rd Windstar cruise. Excellent staff, food, ship etc. I have seen some negative reviews and just don't understand why. Our room was great and always super clean as the whole ship was. They had one restaurant with open seating and you had to make reservations at the other two. The other two were a little better, but wish they would change that policy somehow. I'm not a hospitality manager, so I'm sure there's a reason it's done that way. Some people complained that they were "balcony people" and wouldn't sail again on windstar because of no balconies. Well I don't know why they would have booked this ship in the first place. This is an older crowd and things wind down relatively early. The entertainment somewhat caters to the older crowd (we are in our mid and late 40's and found the entertainment great). This is NOT a cruise for kids or probably even teens. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The Royal Clipper is a beautiful sailing ship. What excited us the most was the chance to see the five masted fully rigged ship from one of our excursions. Unfortunately, Captain Mariusz Szalek sailed the tall ship using mostly the ... Read More
The Royal Clipper is a beautiful sailing ship. What excited us the most was the chance to see the five masted fully rigged ship from one of our excursions. Unfortunately, Captain Mariusz Szalek sailed the tall ship using mostly the engine during the entire seven days in the Caribbean. We motored our way from Saint Maarten's to Barbados sometimes navigating in bad weather. Unfortunately, we succumbed to a lot of rain. When we took the tender to an island beach, either it was Antigua or Dominica, the beach was narrow and the water was murky. We were expecting white sands with turquoise beaches. Perhaps our expectation was a bit unrealistic. We don't fault the captain or the cruise director for the 4 days of bad weather. However, the cruise director, Gabor did not offer us opportunities to learn about the islands that we could not visit on those rainy days. We think it would have been very educational if they had films about the islands in the lounge. We could have learned about the culture, economy, history and what influenced The Royal Clipper to choose these islands to visit. Upon many occasions as we motored in the rain, clear skies and sunshine were only a few miles away, If weather reports showed socked-in conditions at the next port-of-call, a leisurely sail under sunny skies would be monumentally favorable to hovering under the rain tarps provided. When this alliterative was put to the captain, the response was that he was strictly prohibited from deviating his course. Is it more important to stay on a rainy track or to make the passengers happy and comfortable? One of the islands that we did visit was called Saint Barts. Unfortunately, it was Sunday and most of the stores were closed. It would have been great if we had some kind of tour guide to direct us to different landmarks on this island to see. To make matters worse, the captain on the ship wasn't very accessible to many of the guests when asked questions. We would think some public relations officer would be at hand here. Towards the end of the cruise, there was a gentleman walking around with a petition to sign complaining about the excursions and the poor communications between the captain and the guests. We found that very troubling. Overall, the food was very good. The dining room waiters and the cabin stewards worked very hard to help make our trip comfortable. They are the backbone of the Royal Clipper. There is always a possibility on any cruise, that inclement weather will put a damper on the journey. We think it's in the ship owner's interests to anticipate the possibility of inclement weather and provide alternatives to make the trip more enjoyable. After all, we are cooped up on a ship with no alternate activities. Most of the passengers like ourselves were bored and the only highlight of our trip was eating. You could go on any big ship for that! We did not feel we got our moneys worth. Lastly, the intercom system was very poor. Some of the speakers were inaudible, because the intercom system is only in the hallways. Having an effective intercom system allows the passengers to hear important information. Perhaps a closed caption line could be added to the TV to facilitate hearing announcement while in the room. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose Wind Star because it is described as a small, intimate and luxury cruise experience. The ship The Wind Surf is old and shows her age with being built in 1989. I believe the ship was originally a Club Med ship. It really needs a ... Read More
We chose Wind Star because it is described as a small, intimate and luxury cruise experience. The ship The Wind Surf is old and shows her age with being built in 1989. I believe the ship was originally a Club Med ship. It really needs a total makeover. When we were to board, embarkation was not at its usual dock but more of an industrial dock so check in was chaotic and very long. We sat here until 11:00 pm, sailing was to be at 7:00 pm but divers were underneath the ship repairing a part. Not a good start! We were told by a Wind Star cruise reservations agent that we could snorkel off the sports platform from the Ship since the ship is smaller 310 passengers, so that was a big selling point for us. This was not true as the ship would anchor at a 100 feet or more and snorkeling off the sports platform was not allowed anyway. We were also told no shorts in the main dining room the Amphora and no flip flops of any kind in the lounge in the evenings. We were not informed of this when purchasing the cruise or is not stated in any of the brochures or on the Wind Star web site. I advised the onboard Customer Service Manager of this and she informed me it is stated on the website, but not so.When sailing to the different islands we always tendered in, which we knew we would some of the times but every single time aboard old hot tenders. More like tin sweat boxes. The first day we stood in the hall with a line of people and waited an hour as only one tender was running. On day 7 the captain made an announcement that we would not be going to St Barts our last port because they had scheduled a time to finish the repair that was started on embarkation day so now our 9 day cruise that we paid for was an 8 day. I believe that Wind Star knew about this when we departed on day 1. We asked for a refund for the one night but our request was denied. The passengers stayed aboard the ship sitting at the pier in St. Maartin not what we signed up or paid for. We disembarked and went to a hotel. Very disappointing and not at all what was expected for the money we paid which is quite a bit more than other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
While this was not our first time cruising my wife and I are 51 and 45 both have lived in Europe, the US and South America, it was our first time on Windstar - WindSurf. In short, it was a fantastic cruise and I could not have asked for ... Read More
While this was not our first time cruising my wife and I are 51 and 45 both have lived in Europe, the US and South America, it was our first time on Windstar - WindSurf. In short, it was a fantastic cruise and I could not have asked for anything more. We selected Windstar because of the Conde Naste review articles describing the smaller more intimate ships and also the promise of getting into smaller ports. Our cruise was the "Yachtsman's Caribbean" which sailed out of St Maarten - Philipsburg. We got on the boat around 4pm and set sail at 7pm promptly. First port was Antigua we arrived early in the am and the captain intended to anchor at a smaller port near Shirley Heights but it was too windy for the tender boats to safely load passengers, so we went around the island to the city of St John and docked there in a protected harbour. The island excursions tour was fun - but I suggest taking a taxi on your own over to Shirley Heights for the Sunday BBQ party and stay as late as you can becasue the Sunday party was so much fun, we wanted to stay until they closed the place down. got back on board late around 10pm and were still hungry but the main restaurant had closed and we were sweaty from dancing - the Executive sous chef saw us looking hungry and came out and offered to prepare a meal for us - it was delivered to our room just as we got out of the shower. Just one of many examples of the excellent service we got on the cruise. The cabins appeared to have been recently remodeled and were very well appointed - like staying in a 5 star hotel; wood trim, granite counters in the bath and on the desk. Most of the service staff was Indonesian and they were so intuitive and responsive to anything you wanted, that yo had to be careful wheat you said. Once I casually mentioned to the cabin steward that the bed was a bit more firm than I liked and when we came back from lunch, they had swapped the mattress and put a pillow top on it. A rare level of luxury and care. next stop was Sopers Hole a very small harbor and a wonderful little island with long empty beaches straight out of the magazines THIS is what we came for ! The excursion tour guide was Donovan and he had lots of fun toting us around in the back of a 4x4 from beach to beach. He sidetracked to a local Rum distillery and we all got lubricated. next day was Jost Van Dyke which is a smaller island and the captain said there were more people on the ship than live on the island ! Another perfect score. The tender boats ran every 20 mins so you could come and go as you pleased and explore the island. That night while anchored nearby, The staff prepared a huge on deck bbg with lobster, ribeyes, ribs, paella and of course deserts. the dinner was followed by a line dancing party on the top deck and all the crew, officers and service staff (including some of the cabin stewards ) came out and did the Whip and watched me nay nay. : -) it was BIG FUN and it was a level of intimacy with the other passengers and crew that you just don't find many places. Nexts ports were Virgin Gorda - definitely go see the Baths and swim on the beach there, and then while there, the crew went over to the uninhabited island of Prickly Pear Beach and set up another bbq beach party for us and also some volleyball nets and took all the watersports stuff: kayaks, sailboats, etc etc so we could spend the day on the beach. Volleyball was crew and passengers again. One day/night was spent sailing at sea and we thought it might be a bit boring but the crew had plenty of activities if we were up for it or you could just hang out by the pool/hot tub and sip on a cocktail. We did both :-) The second to last port was a stop at St Barts and while the refined paris of the Caribbean was certainly beautiful and impressive, after spending a week on small undeveloped beaches and tiny ports, we were a bit disoriented by the sight of million dollar yachts, celebrities, hotels for $3200 a night and topless french models parading up and down the beaches. Many of us agreed, we would have traded that for a second day at Jost Van Dyke. If you do go to St Barts, and want to experience it, then head over to Nikki Beach which is a beach and 4 star restaurant by the Eden Hotel. For lunch at Nikki Beach, we spent about $125 per person - and I might offer that the food on the ship was every bit as good or better and the service was WAAAY better on board. Another place to go on St Barts is La Plage which is walking distance from Eden Rock as well. Overall I will say that Windstar is now our favorite and we will be returning for another cruise as soon as possible. I would describe it as an affordable luxury cruise for those who are looking for a more intimate or romantic experience and who want to see smaller ports with fewer people. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our 7th Windstar cruise, but first time on the Surf. Travelling with us was my mother (88 years old) and two of her friends (both in their 80's). For that reason, we decided the Surf was the best option since it had ... Read More
This was our 7th Windstar cruise, but first time on the Surf. Travelling with us was my mother (88 years old) and two of her friends (both in their 80's). For that reason, we decided the Surf was the best option since it had elevators. We chose the Yachtsman's itinerary because it was the least likely to experience any roughness. I can report that we only had one evening with slight rolling for a few hours. My mother, who can be prone to sea sickness did just fine! Pre-cruise we stay at Alicia's Inn in Philipsburg for one night. Based on price and only a one night stay, it was fine. Friday evening we ate at Toloula Mangos and Saturday's breakfast was at Barefoot Restaurant. Both had lovely views of the harbor. The breakfast at Barefoot was especially good and reasonably priced. Tip for any future cruisers. Just a short walk will take you to Caribbean Liquors & Tobacco, located at 8 W.G. Buncamper Road, Philipsburg, St.Maarten. Not an extensive selection, but what they did have was nice and very reasonably priced. We purchased five bottles to take on board with us. Boarding Time!!! The port area is just a short taxi ride. Checked in our luggage, wandered the shops, then caught a cart to carry us to the ship. Embarkation was as efficient and easy as expected and before we knew it we were shown to our cabin. Luggage hadn't arrived yet so we took a quick walk around the ship and made our way up to the Veranda for lunch. By the time we made our way back to our cabin the luggage had arrived. Our cabin was clean and comfortable. While I prefer the cabin design of the Wind Star/Spirit, it was very functional with more than sufficient storage space. Bedding was luxurious and the bed very comfortable. Always love the l'Occitane bath products. Our cabin attendant, Dian, was attentive and the best we have ever had on any cruise. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed the dining and selections offered. The dishes that didn't totally please were few and far between. In addition to the usual selections, one night there was an Indonesian entree and on another an Indian entree (Biryani). The Biryani was especially good and spicy!! We also dined in Stella Bistro and Candles. Again, both venues were great. While the beach BBQ was fine, the deck BBQ was especially good on this cruise. The daily selections for both breakfast and lunch in the Veranda were varied and fresh. If we had any complaint about the food, for some reason the deserts did not seem as good as we've previously experienced. Not bad - just not as good. The service, overall, was exemplary. The Veranda staff took my mother under their wing and treated her like royalty. This made the trip very special for her. I'd like to give a shout to Nova and Esther for their remarkable attention to my mom. Our cabin attendant Dian was also the best. The only Windstar excursion we participated in was the St. Bart's snorkel. The snorkeling was not very good, but the catamaran ride was great! So no complaint. Disembarkation was too quick and easy - we stayed aboard as long as we could. From there we took a taxi and spent the day at Mary's Boon Resort which is just a short taxi drive from the airport. Had a lovely lunch on the beach while trying to figure out if and when we would be able to get home - we were dealing with the East Coast snowstorm. In summary, we had a fantastic cruise! We were a little worried after our less-than-stellar cruise aboard the Legend last June - but Windstar came through with flying colors!!!!! This cruise showcased the Windstar experience we have come to know and love. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Want to start by saying our whole vacation was AWESOME! We started early Friday morning traveling to DCA to catch our flight to St. Marten. We managed an upgrade to first class seats between DC and MIA. Our connection was easy in MIA and ... Read More
Want to start by saying our whole vacation was AWESOME! We started early Friday morning traveling to DCA to catch our flight to St. Marten. We managed an upgrade to first class seats between DC and MIA. Our connection was easy in MIA and we arrived in St. Maarten early afternoon. The customs check took a while but went fine. We grabbed a cab and took a leisurely ride to the Holland House in Phillipsburg. We checked in and grabbed quick nap – later that evening we visited the bar and had a few drink and appetizers as our dinner. Departure day I got up early, ran the beach boardwalk for a few laps, and found a way to walk to the ship – yes it was there. We had a great breakfast, around noon checked out, and started our walk to the pier (this was a mistake) – the security folks were nice enough to point us to the Windstar luggage check tent (we found no signage) and we checked our bags and headed toward the ship. We passed though security check on the dock and within minutes, we had our room keys, beverage package and headed to our room. We dropped off the things we were still carrying and headed to the Veranda for some lunch. In spite of some of the reviews and comments on CC about the Veranda lunch, I found it to be more than adequate on departure day as well as for breakfast and lunch every other day – the chefs and the wait staff did a great job. If you wanted something made all you had to do was ask. Dining - The first night we ate our dinner in the Amphora. We walked up and asked for a table for two and within seconds, we were there. The Amphora has a comprehensive menu offering and we ate there three times on our cruise. We found the food, and service to be outstanding. The wait staff had some of the same crew members we had met in the Veranda so they already knew us the first night including our drink choices. Very personal service and we liked the familiarity. We were fortunate to be able to eat in the Stella Bistro twice during our cruise as the experience there was a couple of notches better than Amphora – the food, service was outstanding, and on our second night we invite a new friend we had made on the trip. We all had a great time. The other two nights for dinner, we had the ship wide deck barbecue. We secured a table outside the Compass Rose (one of the aft bars) and had a very good time eating under the stars. There was a wide choice of food including lobster tail, shrimp, snow crab claws, sucking pig, grilled pork, flat iron steaks, and a multitude of salads and veg. We saved the Candles experience for the last night anchored at St. Barts – we ate within the Veranda area on the upper deck because the weather was threatening. It did not detract from the experience and the great food and service. Beverage Package – worked well for us, probably drank too much. We found everything offered in the package was of good quality and very drinkable with the exception of the 187ml Cava, it was just terrible. Laundry package – a must have. We packed light and only one regulation carry-on bag each and did not run out of clothes and went home with most of them clean. Overall – AWESOME Trip, we will sail on the Wind Surf again. We had read it was like being on a private yacht and I can tell you that was our exact experience. The crew did an OUTSTANDING job and are the real driver behind the experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
You might notice that I have written several (read as "a lot") of cruise reviews, having been traveling with RCCL and Celebrity for years. We're fans of the "modern luxury" approach to cruising but have wanted to ... Read More
You might notice that I have written several (read as "a lot") of cruise reviews, having been traveling with RCCL and Celebrity for years. We're fans of the "modern luxury" approach to cruising but have wanted to try Windstar for years. So if you're like us and enjoy the amenities provided by larger ships but want to dip your toe into waters of smaller ships then read on...(WARNING: long review!) [I'm not going into the blow-by-blow detailed description of what we did every day (phew!), but instead will offer my opinion of how Windsurf differs from her significantly larger counterparts.] A (very little) background: We're in our 50's and work in the hospitality business. We cruise for the food, relaxation, itinerary and - most importantly - service, always booking a suite category cabin. We usually find the beverage packages a good value, but lately have been happy to find that our level of cabin includes a complimentary beverage package. We don't care much for the onboard entertainment, lectures, classes, art auctions, trivia, etc. We are nitpickers - we're on vacation - so if something is awry here and there we don't stress about it. We were sent an email offer from Windstar in the early Spring that we simply couldn't pass up. I booked over the telephone, which was easy and quick. Closer to our sailing date I also booked our shore excursions directly with Windstar as well, having the same positive experience. One of us was celebrating a birthday, which I let the booking agent know, and was informed that the information would be passed on to the ship (more on that later). Overall a very good experience with Windstar over the phone (note: the WS website is not great, so don't hesitate to contact them the old fashioned way). Less people means a better, more personalized vacation. Embarkation was a simple no muss, no hassle affair, and from the moment you board Windsurf every staff member (Windsurf features an almost exclusively Filipino crew) learns your name and greets you with it throughout the journey and every effort is made to provide you with a customized vacation tailored to your preferences. The service was exceptional. Unlike a lot of people who complain that the food on the large ships is not hot enough or well seasoned or too small, we find the food on the ships we have sailed to be good to excellent. The food on Windsurf is in another category altogether. There was not one single meal - breakfast, lunch, or dinner - that was not freshly prepared, visually well presented, and amazingly delicious. [I lie: The pizza at lunch in the Verandah sucks. Don't order it, it's a waste of calories and just, well, sucks!] The two "specialty restaurants" (included in your cruise fare) are equally excellent but dining in the main dining room AmphorA (yes, that's how Windstar spells it with the uppercase "A" at the end, and - no - I don't know why) is not a step down, more like a step to the side. Food on Windsurf was hands down superior to any "specialty" restaurant (that you pay for) on the bigger ships. For us this was a HUGE positive. There are two entertainment venues one (Compass Rose) featured a duet, the other (the Lounge) featured a band. We had cocktails before dinner each evening at the CR (lovely, outdoor seating). The duet there was good, but their playlist was bit outdated (no kidding, Tom Jones and the Carpenters!) but they were playing to their audience (average age on this trip was mid-60's). Again, entertainment isn't our thing so they could have had a CD playing and we would have been happy. Point is you don't cruise on Windsurf for the entertainment. A previous reviewer suggested guest lecturers, etc. If I'm on a sailing ship in the Caribbean (or Mediterranean) I don't want to sit inside listening to someone drone on about the history of pirates unless it's Johnny Depp talking about the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean. Seriously. Big ships are known for the (mostly mediocre) entertainment so if that's your thing stick with them. We booked a Suite at an awesome price and loved it! The suites are two cabins combined into one. The standard cabin might have been ok, but we preferred having the extra space. Love the L'Occitane bath amenities (yes, I stole some to take home) and our cabin was always spotless. For the size of cabin to ship ratio the Suite was on par with the big ships, albeit maybe a bit smaller. We thought we would miss having a balcony, but we didn't as there are tons of public areas inside and out to take advantage of. Again, who wants to sit inside when your sailing the beautiful seas? We didn't use the Spa or the Fitness Center. Both looked lovely: the Spa offered the same menu of services you would find in the big ships and the Fitness Center was state of the art, but our dance card was filled with snorkeling and zip-lining. An amenity you will NEVER find on the big ships is the Marina, Windsurf's water activities platform at the stern (that means back) of the ship that is opened for guests' use including kayaks, floating mats, sailboats, and more. It's awesome! As I mentioned earlier we booked our shore excursions through Windstar (i will review each port separately) and were very happy with each one. The price/value was much better than you would find on the big ships because you're not with 1000 others and having to wait for hours while this one finds the perfect tchotchke to take home and that one needs the bathroom for the bazillionth time. Smaller excursions meant more personalized attention from the tour operators as well and you got to meet and chat with more of your fellow cruisers, enhancing the fun factor of the excursion. The "Special Event" in St. Lucia (Windstar's signature event) was okay. We took a zip-lining trip that was a little far away, so we got back with a 1/2 to spare before lunch was taken away. However, the effort that went into putting on the event was clearly evident and the officers and staff are to be highly commended and congratulated for doing such a fantastic job of pulling it off. Herculean really. Two days later the second signature event, the on deck barbecue, was held and again the staff of the Windsurf hit it out of the park. Honestly there was more food than the 250+ guests could ever eat. This event, too, was phenomenal. [If you need to refill your coffee, now is a good time.] It's the little things on Windsurf, like learning your name and what soda you like, that differentiate this cruise from the larger ships. I mentioned earlier that one of us was celebrating a birthday. When we returned to our cabin after an amazing snorkeling trip we found a note wishing him Happy Birthday and signed by the Captain and Hotel Director. Later than evening (at the on deck BBQ) he was presented with a birthday cake (freshly made strawberry shortcake with fresh whipped cream and berries) and sung to (you've never lived until you've heard "Happy Birthday" with a Philippine accent!). So in the midst of putting on the event they took the time to recognize one guest's special day. For us that was priceless. Windsurf is 26 years old. Yes, she is showing her age here and there, but who cares? After 26 years on the open seas you would too, and when the Captain raises the sails to the dramatic music from Vangelis' "1492" (got goosebumps every time) and you set sail for your next port you realize it really just doesn't matter. You want brand new? Go to the bigger ships. You want authentic? With Windsurf you got it. When you go to bed and realize you don't hear the thrum of engines because the ship is actually sailing you understand THAT'S the reason you booked the trip in the first place. OK. Enough. We're hooked. Will we go back to the bigger ships? Sure. They serve their purpose too, but any concern we had of the Windsurf being "too small" were for naught. Windstar's motto "180 degrees from Ordinary" is spot on. You won't find an experience like this anywhere. Anywhere. p.s. - WiFi? Don't bother. No one has the technology yet. The big ships don't. Windstar doesn't. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
About us: We have been on 18 Windstar sailing yachts and we were leery of trying the motor yachts but we are so glad we did. What we learned: One can not compare motor yachts and sailing yachts, we are happy we tried the motor yacht ... Read More
About us: We have been on 18 Windstar sailing yachts and we were leery of trying the motor yachts but we are so glad we did. What we learned: One can not compare motor yachts and sailing yachts, we are happy we tried the motor yacht and would go again in a minute. Windstar has left their distinctive mark on the new ship and it made it very special. The ship: We enjoyed exploring the new ship and found that it has wonderful outdoor and indoor spaces. There are many nooks and crannies one can enjoy outside, from the bow in the am with shade and great sitting are and viewing, the lounge with a terrific space outside with comfortable couches and chairs with great viewing, the area around to pool is terrific for shade, the Star Bar wonderful again shade and sun and on the stern on deck eight there is a lovely sitting area mostly sun but terrific views. The inside spaces are lovely. The Yacht Club early morning with huge Windows, with an outside observation deck enjoyed terrific coffee at 6 am, we were there every morning, the Amphora restaurant was lovey and it was at the bottom of the ship and was very calm, no rocking and rolling, the Veranda has a great outside space covered by a large tarp to keep it shady as well at the entrance a shady garden space that was lovely to enjoy breakfast of lunch. All the spaces were ship shape. In the corridors going to the rooms there was quiet pipped in classical music which we enjoyed, very civilized. We had a French balcony room which we so enjoyed the fresh air. The rooms were beautifully laid out, spacious, more drawers than my entire house and since I travel with nothing I used one, cute little walk-in closet, great bed for my back, wonderful bathroom with great water pressure and hot water in addition L'Occitaine products. We enjoyed relaxing in the afternoon with our open balcony door. We did not notice any frayed carpets, or rust. We never notice that we just like to keep it positive but we felt the decor was fresh and lovely with the Windstar blues and brown. Pretty and nautical. Food: We felt it was one of the best we have had. We thought Candles was lovely, great food for me especially the lamb. Windstar, in my opinion, has always had outstanding lamb so I usually follow the lamb at the restaurants. Service: Windstar way Flawless,as always. Activities: This was a mini re positioning with 4 days at sea, which we love days at sea. We stopped at Aruba which is not our favorite but we did not care and Cartagena which was fascinating. It is a very poor and very wealthy city, very new and very old, what was remarkable it was so clean, no litter ( litter, hate it and always see it ). Warm, welcoming people, it was very hot that 100 degrees but it was a terrific port. We are not activity people we like to swim, read, nap, lookout over the sea, to us sea days are perfect. We enjoyed the afternoon live music around the pool. My only complaint was during the day around the pool area was dreadful pipped in loud music. I complained and they lowered the sound and I wrote head office about it. This music was not needed we had the sea to listen to. I did join a trivia team we won the first day and lost badly on the others, Fun yes and a nice way to meet nice people. Sail aways: Windstar was able to continue the tradition, which by the way we love. On the motor yacht they had a huge WS flag and 2 officers would get on the roof of the Star Bar and host the flag to the music, the flag would wave in the wind, almost like a sail. Some people thought it was hokey but we thought it was a creative way to continue an important Windstar tradition we liked it. The Captain was a very nice. He is a great cheerleader for the ship. He came over with her from the Seabourne and he loves the Star Breeze he was funny she was like a baby to him. When I mentioned we loved her grace he was impressed. We have sailed out whole life and grace on a ship is important and the Star Breeze has graceful lines. We are happy the motor yachts are carrying on the Windstar traditions with causal elegance and not ostentatious we like that way it is important to us. We like the informal ways. We are very happy we tried a motor yacht and will be on them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I have sailed previously on Royal Caribbean and Carnival since I had children and those lines were great for that purpose. My husband and I wanted to do something special for our 10 year anniversary so we booked with Seabourn. I regret ... Read More
I have sailed previously on Royal Caribbean and Carnival since I had children and those lines were great for that purpose. My husband and I wanted to do something special for our 10 year anniversary so we booked with Seabourn. I regret that we had not done this before since these small ships will be going to Windstar. Even though they will be the same ship I can't imagine that they could match the luxury we experienced. We arrived at the St. Maarten cruise port very early and wondered how we were going to deal with our luggage as we wanted to go into town. There were people there that took our luggage and locked it up, we then took a cab into town. When we got on the ship we were treated with Champagne and a small buffet then quickly shown to our room where a bottle of cold champagne was awaiting. Our Steward came and asked what type of soap we desired and I chose my favorite from L'Occitane! The min bar was well stocked and had our requested liquors. I was worried as we had the least desirable room on the boat, cabin 103. It was important to me that I have a bathtub so this is what we ended up with as we were in the GTY category. I had no problem with this cabin, I never felt cramped. This cabin may not be for everyone as you really feel the motion however, we have a sailboat and are used to the movement, so no issue for us. This cabin has a window that is deep and I would put pillows in it and sit, had a great forward view! The cabin was quiet, the bed comfortable. We do take white noise with us so we rarely hear anything at night. We were also right by the self serve laundry which we used over the two weeks, it was nice to be so close. The food was excellent we preferred to eat in Restaurant 2 as we like to be outdoors no matter the weather. One of the great things about this boat is that you meet most everyone on board. There were people from all over, most were Europeans and Canadians, fewer Americans. The drinks were great. Food choice was wonderful. The service was perfect for the most part, there were 2 times we had an issue with room service. Room service was great, I saw many people having glasses of champagne and caviar delivered in the afternoon. The problem I saw with service was during the afternoon tea, they would put out sandwiches which were done in 2 minutes and nothing more put out for 30 minutes. There were never any lines or waits, everything was low key, the entertainment was great, I really enjoyed the music provided by Judy and David along with all the others! Liars club was hysterical! My only suggestion is make your own shore arrangements the excursions offer by the line are limited and not the best options. We did put down a deposit for another trip, can't wait to travel with Seabourn again!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014

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