2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was my second time on Star Flyer that sailed out of St Marten to the Leeward Islands, Nevis, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Antigua and St. Barth. I was solo and surprised that I was upgraded from category 6 to category 5 which was very ... Read More
This was my second time on Star Flyer that sailed out of St Marten to the Leeward Islands, Nevis, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Antigua and St. Barth. I was solo and surprised that I was upgraded from category 6 to category 5 which was very convenient to all areas, cabin 404. Ship routine was same as last year except the cruise director gave a talk on each port on the bridge before we got to the islands, this was helpful and don't think I missed it last year but anyway I was glad they did this. The lure of these trips is everything the large cruise ships lack, no crowds, small ports, very relaxed atmosphere. There were many from UK, Canada, Germany, and US on our trip. Food on Star Flyer is very good to my taste. I am not a gourmet but every meal I had was very good, only breakfast buffet I have seen that had crispy and non crispy bacon. Only negative is it took over two hours for dinner which is way longer than I am used to but this may be due to I was seated at table for 8 each night where last year I was at table for 4. They do a great job of seating you with other people and they were all very welcoming to me as a solo. We sailed over 80% of the time according to the Captain and only one night did it get "bumpy". I am not a sailor but am amazed to watch the sails and the sailors who operate the ship. I did only one ship excursion of a tour of Nevis which gave a tour of the entire island, I only wish we could have stayed longer on each island but understand time and sailing. I feel very fortunate to be able to sail on these ships due to specials where they sometime remove the single supplement and will be on the Royal Clipper in March out of Barbados. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This is our third and likely last Windstar cruise. There are many reasons we feel this way. First, the Windsurf is need of serious updates. There is surface rust visible throughout the exterior decks. Several warped deckboards, metal ... Read More
This is our third and likely last Windstar cruise. There are many reasons we feel this way. First, the Windsurf is need of serious updates. There is surface rust visible throughout the exterior decks. Several warped deckboards, metal step treads almost rusted through near the pool area. Interior wise carpets and fabrics are in very worn condition. Beds are uncomfortable and left us with back aches. The food quality is sub-par for the price. The excursions offered were super limited and overpriced. We had to do our own research and planning and found much better island experiences independently. Overall, the bar staff were the friendliest folks on the boat. The cabin stewards and food service were a close second. Other than that, no one else really spoke to us, except Andrew the beverage manager who tracked us down 2 different nights around 8:30 - 9:30pm (once sat down at our dinner table) to inquire bar charges on our beverage plan, which we had disputed. His tone and demeanor were accusatory and offensive to us which let to me raising my voice at him. It was definitely the straw that broke the camels back and made us decide to try new cruise lines going forward. We three out of four family members on the unlimited beverage package. The two family members sharing another cabin and one was not on it because he hardly ever drinks alcohol. The root of the problem is there systems can’t seem to keep straight who is buying what and charged a lot of drinks to the person not on the plan that we had to dispute. The whole situation was handled poorly, and you should not interrupt a guest in the middle of dinner to discuss these matters. The beverage package is pretty expensive at around $418 pp per week. You have to sign for every drink and many days you are in port most of the day, so you may think twice before signing up for this. One would think on an unlimited beverage package that you should be able to get any wine on the menu. However with this plan, only wines by the glass under 11.50 a glass are included (no bottles). We are wine people and were not happy to be served from a bottle opened the previous night, every day. The bar staff was pretty much very friendly with a few minor exceptions. In retrospect, we should not have got the beverage package at all. The appearance of the yacht, as I said above, was worn and tired. It's time to dry dock and overhaul this vessel asap. There is no way I would get back onboard the Windsurf until many changes were made. The Windstar in contrast, is in overall better condition, although not perfect, seems about 5 years fresher in terms of wear, tear and rust. The food quality is typical cruise fare. The plates were always too hot to touch indicating they had been under a heat lamp for an extended period of time and that was reflected in the taste and texture of the food. Getting reservations at any of the specialty restaurants is a frustrating game. The first day we went to guest services to make dinner reservations. We waited in a line. The couple of front of us high-fived that they got three reservations for the week. We called immediately after they hung up and were told all the reservations for the week were taken. We walked by 2 hours later and heard another guest securing reservations on the same phone. After that we complained to several staff members who referred us a dining room manager, he put us on a waiting list. We had to wait all week to see and were notified on very short notice that they were able to fit us in due to a cancellation. Having been a prior suite guest being able to come and go as we please, I know that there are always several extra tables and that are never used. I was happy that we got to eventually dine at Candles, but not happy with the process and level of frustration involved in simply making a dinner reservation. I said to one of them, maybe this wouldn't be so hard if we had booked in time to get the suite, which is the way it felt we were being treated, again 2nd class. Additionally, none of the ship's officers recognized us at all and we sailed on the same ship less than 6 months ago. The was our 3rd and likely last Windstar cruise. The first cruise was in Greece on the Windstar in the Owner's suite and it was great. The second one was on the Windsurf in the Bridge suite to the BVI’s and it was also good, but we had the best category cabin on the boat. This time we booked at the last minute and took the last 2 rooms available on the boat, which were on lower levels. Wow, what a difference not having a suite makes! It was like we were 2nd class citizens compared to the way we were treated before. We were also surprised and disappointed that we were not invited to the private party for returning guests. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We have been on the wind surf twice before on their 2 cruises out of st maarten. But this ‘jewels’ cruise was out of barbados and to mostly different islands, and over new years. We did excursions (by windstar) on all but one ... Read More
We have been on the wind surf twice before on their 2 cruises out of st maarten. But this ‘jewels’ cruise was out of barbados and to mostly different islands, and over new years. We did excursions (by windstar) on all but one island: all good. Tendered most of the time and did alot of walking in the stops. Played golf on st lucia which was neat. Nice rented clubs. Not crowded and only 3 others from the ship besides we 2. Cabin on lower deck very good, as remembered. Helda kept it nice. Ate in main dining every dinner. Tried to often sit in same area to have same good waiters(Wayme and Diana). Food always good to my taste. Met many new travellers/friends. Good weather; only one partly rainy day. Really like the no coat and tie casual dress on windstar. We wish that wind surf went a 4th route in the caribbean! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was our 2nd windsurf cruise out of st martin (2 yrs ago we did the class cruise). both were great; this one was the better. we enjoyed the choice of itinerary. always anchored at stops (except st martin) and tendered. seemed ... Read More
This was our 2nd windsurf cruise out of st martin (2 yrs ago we did the class cruise). both were great; this one was the better. we enjoyed the choice of itinerary. always anchored at stops (except st martin) and tendered. seemed like often we could actually see our next and last destinations in view. all except once did we have no problem boarding tenders (rough once, but made it). really like that was always not formal. cabin on 2nd deck fine. shower very good, big towels. bathrobe and slippers to use nice. steward fauzi very good; learned our habits so only met a few times. gala deck bbq on Wednesday and beach bbq on thurs both super (the latter, only less so because of the long line). cant say enough about how friendly all the staff were; always greeted with a smile, sometimes by name. especially bfast waiter faezal always energetic, and fun to kid with. food was always very good, and varied. bfast was a combo of buffet and ala carte; made to order omelets, etc. desserts of cookies and ice cream addictive for 7 days (have withdrawn ok since). didn't do laundry pkg, but individual; worked out to be enough compass rose duo 'mellow yellow' very good to listen to before and after dinner. wed night crew/staff and thurs night beatles talent very entertaining. definitely recommend... Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We booked the Windsurf to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The food was amazing and the service extraordinary, better than anything we’ve experienced on our other cruises. There were some snags along the way with the ports, but Windstar ... Read More
We booked the Windsurf to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The food was amazing and the service extraordinary, better than anything we’ve experienced on our other cruises. There were some snags along the way with the ports, but Windstar went out of their way to try to please us because of these. Would definitely book a Windstar cruise again, but due to the lack of balconies on the Windsurf ship, would choose a yacht with balcony next time. Although there were always seats and privacy available on deck, we really missed being able to sit out on a private balcony in the wee hours of the morning, early afternoons after visiting ports and watching the stars in the late evening. We did notice a sewer and occasional smoke odor by our cabin (Deck 1, #155, front). Think it would have been better to have chosen a front cabin on a higher deck. We met wonderful people on this cruise and due to the small amount of people onboard (about 220 passengers; 196 employees), we ran across each other frequently. We decided to fly in from Tampa to Miami to do our Global Entry interview (more about that later) and then connect to St. Martin. Grabbed a taxi ($25 due to late arrival time). The driver asked if we’d mind if he stopped in a local grocery store enroute. He was in there for about 10 minutes with some “quirky” people hanging outside the store which made me a bit uneasy. All turned out well and the driver gave us a brief “tour” as we headed to the hotel. Arrived at the Royal Pasanggahran Guest House on Front Street in Phillipsburg around 10:40pm. We were dismayed at the outside of the hotel from the Front St. entrance, but were pleasantly surprised at the inside of the hotel, entrance from beach and our fabulous room in the new section that was more like a suite. There was a 4 poster bed with nice mosquito net over it, a separate room for toilet, huge tub, shower, bathroom, outside huge balcony facing beach and ships. Next time we’d ask for a room higher up for more expansive beach view. Nice, hard mattress; very low quality sheets, pillows and beach towels. Only saw one mosquito in the room, but lots of small ones outside at dawn and dusk. Had our Deet on so no bites thankfully. Great Bay beach was nice enough although not as amazing as other BVI beaches. Free beach chairs and umbrellas outside of our hotel. Saw 4 ships come into St. Martin port from balcony as well as our Windsurf ship entering port and docked. I was a little uneasy about having to sign a blank credit card sheet at check-in (the type they slide through machine). When one checks out they put the expenditure amounts in. Went to breakfast at hotel restaurant overlooking beach…Amazing food and good service. Visited the Blue Bitch Bar/Caribbean restaurant on beach for lunch. Good wings, portabella mushroom wrap. Slow service. Caribbean band outside the restaurant was wonderful, interacting with passersby, etc. Great deals on Front St. for drinks, buckets of beers, chairs, etc. Usually about $20 - $25 for 2 chairs with various drink deals included. Timeshare salespeople annoying, trying to get us to do an hour presentation for freebees, etc. Had dinner at The Greenhouse on the beach across from a marina, easily walkable from our hotel. Food was great and they offered 2 for 1 drinks during a time period. This offer included huge, delicious drinks, any type liquor, frozen drinks, etc. Watched someone climbing up trees, cutting coconuts down right on Front St. to sell at his stand the next day. Returned to our hotel with nice music playing outside, but we were tired so went right to sleep. Day 1 of cruise After another great breakfast at hotel, we headed to Sang’s grocery for wine (2 bottles permitted per cabin on ship) and suntan lotion (couldn’t put in our carry-ons due to liquids rule/amounts). Had to cross busy road to get there, but prices reasonable and decent selection. Tip requested by person who didn’t pack our items at register, but offered to carry our groceries outside. We told him, “thanks, but we’re walking…He says “I work for tips sort of angrily. Maybe that’s how they do things there? We gave him a buck and left. We did carry-ons only this cruise due to connecting flights, coming back to Charlotte through customs and having a great laundry package onboard ship. $109 total for week. Laundry put out before 9am was back on hangers by 4 the next day. Sometimes even the same day. Can specify hand wash, don’t put in dryer, etc. That being said, when on direct flights or connecting flights in US only, we prefer checking a bag for return souvenirs and not having to lug carry-ons around with us. Arrived at ship at 12:30PM. Boarding commenced at 1pm…not a minute before! Waited outside (hot in sun!). Went through security in tent and boarded. Complimentary cocktail, greetings by ship’s staff. Found our cabin and were pleasantly surprised at the size and storage space. We knew that we’d only have portholes due to no balconies on ship. Fun seeing waves splash over them occasionally. Really missed balcony though. Linens and pillows were very good quality and comfortable. Cabin had l’occutaine (sp?) toiletries – wonderful. Bose unit nice. Unpacked and headed to buffet. Lots of choices and wonderful sitting outside on deck. By the end of the first day most personnel know your first names and greet you by them. Nice touch. A special thanks to Sherwin, Maria, Tissi, our cabin stewardess, and the cook for breakfast and lunch on veranda. One could order from menu or enjoy buffet. The food on this ship was the best ever. Our cabin was kept immaculate by Tissi although we hardly saw her. One night we returned to find a huge 2 kissing swan towel display with a bow and arrow made out of gold foiled chocolate candies on our bed. (25th anniversary) Didn’t feel like we were nickeled and dimed on this cruise at all and felt that the employees and officers really wanted us to have a great time. Their smiles were genuine. Announcement made that due to mechanical problems the ship was not leaving port at 7pm as originally scheduled to arrive in St. Barts in the morning. We were disappointed that we’d miss the first night’s sailing to St. Barts as well as the second night of our cruise, overnighting in St. Barts. So we stayed at the St. Martin Dock for the first 2 nights of our cruise. Windstar did provide free ferry passes the next day from St. Martin to St. Barts. We originally signed up for these. However, in the morning we thought about having to wait for groups to gather, wait for ferries and stick strictly to the ferry times we had chosen. Decided to go to Orient Bay Beach instead which turned out to be a great decision. Fabulous beach which we’ve always enjoyed. Spoke to people who had done the ferry to St. Barts and they really were upset at late ferries, etc. Windstar offered free water taxi rides to Front St. the next day. We took advantage of this offer and visited the shops. We were also told that the Beach BBQ with toys would not be a Prickly Pear Beach in Virgin Gorda, but had been rescheduled to Fischer’s Cove. Another disappointment, but it turned out well. More info on this below. On another note, we weren’t able to use the water toys off the back of the ship for the duration of our cruise. We were told the current was too strong. To make up for lost ports, in addition to the above-mentioned ferry and water taxi trips, Windstar extended a $300 per cabin on-board credit which could be used for everything except tips. Also gave us free drinks the first 2 days of the cruise. Since we already had a $300 OBC, that gave us $600 to use onboard. We were first told that we couldn’t use this for a future Windstar cruise, but when I expressed disappointment about that, I received a letter on my door staying we could use the $300 to do so. Unpacked and headed to pool deck. Comfortable deck chairs, lounges tables, umbrellas. Never had to look for empty lounges during trip. Had our usual cocktails around 6pm and attended an informative port talk around 6pm. My very fussy husband, who has his nightly martinis at home, a little dry and just a little dirty, claimed he didn’t get a good martini for the duration of the trip. Great OJ so my screwdrivers were wonderful. (Fresh squeezed OJ daily at breakfast also.) Delicious appetizers passed at the bar during cocktail hour. We were surprised that the bars never seemed to have much camaraderie barside before dinner. Dinner was fabulous. Seafood Risotto and fish dish, panna cotta and butter pecan ice cream for dessert. The food portions on this trip weren’t large, but more than enough to enjoy. Restaurant service excellent in all 3 restaurants. Still managed to put on some pounds during trip! Drink/wine prices about $8.50 each/$38.50 average bottle (and up, of course). The food displays on plates were impressive. Enjoyed the Compass Rose lounge in evenings. Nice atmosphere, opening up to outside seating area. Listed to music by Duo, Mellow Yellow. Girl singer very good; guy not a great singer, but good on keyboards. Danced quite a bit. There was also a band nightly in the lounge. Girl singer pretty good, but we really didn’t enjoy the band at all. Comfortable seating. We liked the nightly port talks, captain’s cocktail party, introductions to Officers etc. Library and DVD selection decent. Girls at reception desk pleasant and went out of their way to help. I had difficulty checking into AA at their computer for my return flight. She helped me do so and print my boarding tickets. Dinner second night – short ribs w/pasta, great; beef wellington just okay; shrimp cocktail soggy, escargot delicious. Impressed by offering us black napkins instead of white since we were wearing dark clothes. Never had to wait to be seated for dinner. Choice of seating for 2 or larger table. Although we weren’t looking for the hairy chest contest, etc., we were surprised that there were absolutely no activities during the day inbetween excursions and seeing ports. Seem to remember just one day of trivia. Perhaps it’s because most people are off the ship visiting ports. Hubby visited the fitness center a few times. Satisfactory based on size of ship. They also listed free yoga and stretch classes daily besides spa treatments, etc. Sailed to Sopers Hole, Tortola, the next day at 1pm. Finally got to see sails unfurl to music. Terrific. Took lots of photos. Fabulous lunch buffet, napped on deck. Dinner at Stella Bistro (need to make reservation upon boarding). Lamb shank, mussels, raspberry crème brulee…delicious. Watched a DVD movie – went to bed early. Tortola – Took ship’s snorkel excursion. Was supposed to go to Caves and Norman Island, but weather didn’t cooperate so visited 2 snorkel stops in Norman Island vicinity. Good equipment, fun crew, nice boat, rum punch after snorkeling. Not as many fish as I remember seeing there years ago. Lots more in Chankanaab, Cozumel. Coral better at Norman Island though. Stopped at Pirate’s Blight resort/beach on way back for about 45 minutes. Nice beach, excellent painkillers! Back at 12:30 or so. Went to Yacht Club for delicious sandwiches. They have various, delicious coffees, little cakes and sandwiches from 6am – 6pm. Windsurf’s coffee best we’ve ever had on cruises. Specialty coffees included in cruise cost unlike most other cruiselines. BBQ moved from deck to lounge area for dinner due to possibility of showers. Words cannot describe it. HUGE selection with everything from salads to wonderful king crab legs, big shrimp, paella (best I’ve ever eaten), lobster tails, whole pig, lamb, etc. Linedancing with crew in lounge afterward. Jost Van Dyke – Arrived in evening. We intended to go to Foxy’s, but just too tired to do so. Awoke to showers. Bored in cabin. Headed to Jost late AM. Thankfully the weather cleared around 1pm so we had a great day. Jost is much more commercialized than last time we visited, many years ago. Still lots of fun. Hendo’s Hideaway next door also looked nice. Had our share of painkillers and the best fish and chips at Jost beach. Dinner at Candles Outside restaurant. (make reso when boarding). Full moon over water, fabulous veal chop and perch dish, crème brulee. Received a nice cake acknowledging our 25th anniversary. Amazing night. The Crew Show took place in the lounge that night. Appreciated their enthusiasm, but not our thing. Virgin Gorda – Took 9:30 tender to another boat to a very pretty Fischer’s Cove beach (substitute for Prickly Pear). Great day using Windsurf’s SUP, kayaks, trampoline, raft, etc. Volleyball with staff, excellent Caribbean band amazing BBQ on beach etc. Others told us that Prickly Pear was nicer. Reasons for skipping that beach were varied. Not sure if Windsurf will ever visit there again. We were told that this was the ship’s first visit to Fischer’s Cove. Things seemed to go well except for having few beach chairs and lounges. They seemed to have worked this out though, bringing more chairs as needed. Antigua – Were going to do what I read was a short walk to Pigeon Point Beach. Guess we and other fellow cruisers missed the trail to do so. Grabbed a cab - $5pp….Short ride, but a lot easier. Very hot out. Decided to skip historic Dockyard and Shirley Heights. The beach wasn’t great, but a nice cove and atmosphere. Not many fish seen while snorkeling.Hubby went to Gertrudes for a pina colada and gave them a $20 bill. Wanted to give him change in their currency. He told them he didn’t want that. They gave in and he got $8 USD back. Have to say they made a great drink. There is a BBQ shack bar/restaurant, Bumpkins, down the other end. Very rustic, but nice people who called us a taxi back to ship later in the day. Someone told me that their beers were ridiculously expensive. We hadn’t done beer that day so not sure. Last night onboard – Captain and entire crew paraded into the lounge. The Stewards carried in towel animals, some very different and impressive. All departments recognized and everyone sang “That’s what friends are for”…Very nice. Since our return flight wasn’t til 3:25 and we had carry-on luggage with us, we decided to take a ship’s excursion the morning of debarkation. We met around 7:45am and were delayed til around 8:15 due to one couple’s not showing up. Tour guide asked if we wanted to skip stopping back at Phillipsburg due to delay. We all agreed to do so. Took a nice tour to Oyster Pond and Orient Bay areas for photos; shopped and had a wonderful peach tart and cappuchino at Seraphina’s bakery in Marigot (loved the French atmosphere!); had a terrific pizza and drinks at Sunset Grill area restaurant. Unfortunately, just 2 small planes passed overhead, but we had been there before so just sitting in the restaurant was fine for us. Got to airport on the tour bus about noon. Enjoyed the reasonably priced shopping and the Souliga lounge at airport though our Priority Pass. Complimentary drinks, light snacks, coffee, wifi, newspapers. Boarded our flight to Charlotte airport. Had burger and beers at Tequiliera restaurant there. Not good at all and expensive. Plane out of Charlotte to Tampa had to be de-iced so delayed. 32 degrees in Charlotte. Freezing to us Floridians. We hadn’t thought about it being cold so only had light clothing and sweaters with us. Economy parking/shuttle at Tampa airport was great. No waiting at all. We didn’t get home til 1:30am. Thanks to Windsurf for a wonderful cruise. Hope to sail another Windstar ship with balcony in the future! Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
I wasn't sure if I would be any good on a sailing ship but wanted to see the smaller island in the Virgin Islands...I was thrilled by how well appointed Star Clipper is....It's a newish ship built in a style one used to see in ... Read More
I wasn't sure if I would be any good on a sailing ship but wanted to see the smaller island in the Virgin Islands...I was thrilled by how well appointed Star Clipper is....It's a newish ship built in a style one used to see in films....Wonderful amenities when it came to dining, cocktail hours, two pools, comfortable cabins was a surprise yet basic. The variety and quality of food was amazing partly because unlike mega ships the Clipper food is cooked fresh for each meal, Whole Turkey, Lobster, Suckling Pig, Aso Buco, fresh veg and amazing deserts. Wine was amazingling cheap by comparison. The crew quickly became more good friends than crew and because it only holds 180 you get to meet so many others in the open seating plan. Everyday a different island, excersions or just fabulous beach days...mostly taken ashore by tender and there was a Sport crew who took all the toys ashore for you to play with. Casual all day and evenings were less formal but guys should wear long pants and short sleeve shirt or similar but some ladies did it all and looked fabulous....that's what its about....you do your thing and everybody loves it. There internet...can you beleive $6. an hour. Wine starts at $15. and a good bottle might be $35. Endless cocktail choices expertly made at the Tropical Bar on the open deck or in the Piano Bar and what a talented guy on the synthasizer. This is the first of more than 30 cruises where I felt posessive about the ship and didn't want to leave the crew and all...its great to know I can go back....I'm not a kid but nobody cared that it took me a bit longer on the stairs. I must add...we had two wonderful little girls on the ship...so sweet and sadly we mostly thought it was not a ship for children....there's nothing for them to do. Kids need to run, jump, twirl, hop, kick, spin and bounce all over so when the ship is doing the same thing and thee are so many stairs and obsticals we feared something would happen and finally one of the little girls when dashing off along and went head first down the stairs and we had to turn the ship around and rush her to hospital in St. Kitts. She was kept in but magically re-appeared the last night to all our applause. We were returned to St. Martin where we began, and our luggage was already ashore and waiting for us...Sad to say good-by...so I said..."I'll be back". Next time I expect to see the ghosts of Bette Davis and Peter Lorrie sipping a cocktail on deck ... it just that sort of great experience. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
This was the Classic Caribbean, St. Maarten, Barbuda, Pigeon Island, St. Kitts-Nevis, Isle de Saintes, St. Barts It took a couple of years to convince her to go on a sailing ship. I started with the Windjammer and worked my way up. It ... Read More
This was the Classic Caribbean, St. Maarten, Barbuda, Pigeon Island, St. Kitts-Nevis, Isle de Saintes, St. Barts It took a couple of years to convince her to go on a sailing ship. I started with the Windjammer and worked my way up. It was over dinner and a bottle of wine and some reviews and pictures of the Wind Surf that we would give it a try. This was our 15th cruise, the others have been on all the major lines, with Celebrity being our favorite. I like small and she likes big ships. We were able to get a direct flight from O'Hare to St. Maarten, which took the stress out of getting connecting flights or going a day early. We arrive at the dock and they proceeded to check us in very quickly as it looked like we were the last to board. The stateroom was a normal size for a cruise ship, not that you should spend much time in the room anyway. Let's get the only problem we had out of the way. We were in a stateroom mid ship. As we settled in for the night and the yacht had been underway for a few hours. Somewhere below us, in which I assume were the engineering spaces, all night long it sounded like a bowling ball in a metal tube rolling back and forth. Suffice to say I did not get any rest. In the morning I went to reception and asked them to check on what we heard. Of course had to wait till we were underway about lunch time to hear the noise reoccur. They sent an Engineering Officer down to check on the noise. She said she would check on it so we went up on deck to relax and have lunch. When we returned there was A NOTE saying that the noise was normal, but they would move us up one deck to another cabin. We took them up on the offer. Problem solved. Everything for the rest of the cruise was 1st rate, everything from dining, room attendants, etc. was excellent. The excursions we took were 2 snorkeling trips and a kayak trip. The vendors they lined up were great in all aspects of the tours. They paid attention to us when we were in the water, safety was always at the fore front of the trips. The day on the beach at Pigeon Island( actually a peninsula ) at St. Lucia was very well done. Everything was available to us, beach cabanas, chairs, towels, lunch was provided which was very good. From the crowd that was on the beach it looked like most of the passengers took advantage of the day. Being on a ship we did not expect much on the entertainment side. They had two bands, one in the main lounge and one in the bar aft. They split the time so if you went to dinner you could always see one before or after. They were fine, nothing great, be sufficient. The best night was the CREW entertainment night and they packed the lounge with the passengers, they were quite good and entertaining. Dining was above normal. Breakfast and lunch was served on deck either al fresco or you could sit inside. The menus usually consisted of 5/6 thing you could order or go to the buffet. More than enough choices. The fruit and cheeses were always plentiful. You could get omelets to order or roast turkey or beef at the carving station. The main dining room was fine, as were the two specialty restaurants, Stella Bistro and Candles (reservations required). Food and service was excellent. Service was not overwhelming just attentive enough. We wanted to order a bottle of merlot, but the wine steward suggested another brand, it was either a couple of dollars more or less I don't remember. It was an excellent choice, and later during the cruise we stopped at one of the bars and asked the bartender for recommendation and it was the same brand. We also had some port and took the recommendation of the server, which was also fine. We were able to find here at home and the reviews rated it highly. Disembarkation went smoothly as we took a tour before returning to the airport, which helped because we had 6 hours to kill before our flight. The tour was excellent given by an Expat from New York by way of Canada. She was very knowledgeable about St. Maarten. We would plan another cruise on Windstar either Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
Twenty-four strangers sailed out of Sint Maarten on 23 March 2014. Six days later, 24 friends bade each other an emotional farewell on the same dock, promising to see each other again. The Caribbean is a magic place. Seeing it on a small ... Read More
Twenty-four strangers sailed out of Sint Maarten on 23 March 2014. Six days later, 24 friends bade each other an emotional farewell on the same dock, promising to see each other again. The Caribbean is a magic place. Seeing it on a small three-masted schooner made it more magical. The crew of the Sagitta made it perfect. I was never interested in taking a cruise on a floating city. The only other cruise I had been on was an Alaska Inside Passage cruise on the sternwheeler, Empress of the North, with about 320 other passengers. When my wife said she and her sister wanted to go on a cruise together, I told her I didn't want a megaliner. In her inimitable style, she said, "You in charge, Bubba." There are a bunch of small ship cruises in the Caribbean. I had always wanted to take a trip on a sailing ship, so I started sorting through the windjammer cruises. I also wanted some stops at some of the more out-of-the-way islands. The two wants led me to a 6-day island-hopping jaunt along the Leewards aboard the Sagitta. So, let's run the checklist: Hotel: We stayed two nights at the Pasanggrahan ( pasa-grahn ) (you don't even want to know how badly I was butchering that one). Very nice. Simple, comfortable, great staff, right on Front Street and the boardwalk. Ship: The Sagitta is a 120-ft three-masted schooner with a 22-ft beam. It has cabins for 11 couples and two singles. There are two lounges, one on the main deck and one right below it, plus there are booths for dining and lounging on the aft deck. The fore deck had plenty of chairs and loungers. When a dinghy leaves a million dollar yacht and swings by your boat to get a closer look, you know you're something special. Activities: That would be you. And your fellow passengers. No rockwalls or hot tubs or tai chi classes. Lots of old-fashioned sitting and chatting, making new friends, telling all your best stories and listening to some really good new ones. There's a cooler of cold beer on the aft deck and wine in the fridge in the lounge to help with the story-telling. There is swinging from the yards on request. A rope swing from the yardarm of the main mast where you swing along the side of the ship and let yourself go into the incredibly blue waters of the Caribbean. You have to be plain foolish to try that when you're in your 70s, so I quit after my third swing. Service: Good service is unobtrusive. Ours must have been excellent, because I have little to comment on. Cabins were tidied every morning after everyone was out and about. The coolers and the fridge were always stocked. The lounge had a "magic sink" where any dirty dish or glass magically disappeared when put there. The meals were served promptly and efficiently. There were only 24 of us and we were a pretty low-maintenance crowd. Port and shore excursions: We stopped at Anguilla, Nevis, St. Kitts, and St. Barth. Leah, Sagitta's Operations Manager, had excursions lined up at each port for those who wanted them. Most were island tours at a fairly nominal charge. On St. Kitts, quite a few of the company took advantage of the opportunity to zip-line through the rain forest. Shoal Bay on Anguilla is touted as the most beautiful beach in the Caribbean. I don't have enough experience to compare, but I can't imagine one any more beautiful. Georgetown on Nevis is a small, unpretentious town with only a little shopping. Basseterre on St. Kitts is the largest town we visited with many nice shops and a modern shopping area. Gustavia on St. Barthelemy is very French, very chic, and very expensive. Most made a point to stop by Le Select which is relatively less expensive and is reputed to be the inspiration for Jimmy Buffet's Cheeseburger in Paradise. Wherever we were, the crew usually ran a dinghy to and from the boat hourly to shuttle us and our goodies. On St. Kitts, our dinner was a barbeque on the beach at the Shiggidy Shack with dancing to steel drums afterwards. Cabin: Small (10x10, or so). Double bed with a single bunk over it. Plenty of space to hang and stow your clothes and stuff. My wife has big boat experience and said the bathroom was the same size as most she had seen. Very comfortably air-conditioned with a small fan to keep the air moving. I have no complaints. How much room do you need to change out of your swimsuit into your shorts? Or, to take those off and flop into bed? Dining: I gained three pounds. What can I say? It's all Lenny's fault. Lenny- big, black, with a 1000-watt grin and a magician in the tiny galley. No really fancy food- roast pork, lobster tail, mahi-mahi, stewed pumpkin, conch salad, eggs benedict. Ok, a little fancy, maybe. All served with the Lenny touch. There were several in the crowd who were experienced chefs and one professional chef. They all took notes of the special little touches Lenny had worked with his dishes. Late afternoon was snacks in the lounge. Fish fritters, Fried plantain or breadfruit, thin as potato chips, great dips with fresh veggies. At St. Barth, Leah scored about a dozen baguettes and about half a dozen cheeses and pates as only the French can make them. This was a BYOW(ine) snack party and we sampled the variety that each had brought back from Gustavia. Lenny said he's working on a cookbook and we all will be looking for it. There's no non-stop eating here, but the meals are healthy and delicious. Disembarkation: Piece of cake. We all settled up with Leah the afternoon before we got back to Sint Maarten. On-board expenses were light, considering that the beer and wine were complementary the whole trip. A couple of excursions, some souvenirs, and tips for the crew. She helped arrange transportation for those who needed it. The next day, we got our passports and a hug and began our sad journey back to reality. Summary: If you've thought it would be fun to stand barefoot on the deck of a sailing ship with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face and the sails popping overhead, you're right. It is. On the Sagitta, you get the fun of the adventure without the discomfort. You need to be able to entertain yourself, to enjoy the company of friends you're still learning about, to roam the streets of small, quaint towns with a friend or two. I don't know about children. Our crowd were all older, many retired. The Sagitta is big enough to ride the waves in comfort. We had one night that was a little bumpy, but most everyone enjoyed the ride. She is small enough that you get the real feel of what sailing must have been like a couple of centuries ago. I would do it again in a heartbeat.   Read Less

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