3 Windstar Wind Surf Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean from Venice

WindStar WindSurf, booked 5/18, Dalmatian Coast and Italy. Terrific itinerary and lousy cruise. Staff was earnest at best and let's call it unresponsive at worst. Lack of planning at embarcations usually led to chaos. By all means, ... Read More
WindStar WindSurf, booked 5/18, Dalmatian Coast and Italy. Terrific itinerary and lousy cruise. Staff was earnest at best and let's call it unresponsive at worst. Lack of planning at embarcations usually led to chaos. By all means, do not purchase any of the excursions; as on so many cruises, these are considerably overpriced. On our trip, they were, well, rip-offs. Incompetent or disinterested tour guides (vendors) consistnetly failed to provide even the minimum offered in excursion descriptions. Worst of all on our cruise, and most surprisingly, service in main diningroom was more than once the worst we have experienced in almost 20 years of cruising up and down the price range: vanishing waiters, failures to deliver, missing follow-ups. Finally, we just left. Try another luxury line instead - even if, you guessed it, it costs a bit more. Based on our experience on this one trip, I'm disappointed to say: avoid WindStar. Service was so bad that I am motivated to post this review - my first anywhere, any place, about anything. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This cruise was our first one on Windstar and our 15Th overall . We had been to Croatia on a Costa cruise last November but it was pouring rain in Dubrovnik and what we saw of that city decided us to take whatever opportunity to come back ... Read More
This cruise was our first one on Windstar and our 15Th overall . We had been to Croatia on a Costa cruise last November but it was pouring rain in Dubrovnik and what we saw of that city decided us to take whatever opportunity to come back . Windstar provided it with a cruise on the Wind Surf at a good price . Our criteria of selection for a cruise are normally the following : 1) itinerary, 2) value ,3) ship . In this case , cruising on a sailship created an additionnal incentive. Embarkation port was Venice . We were impressed by the ship even before setting foot on it ! It did look magnificent with its tall five masts and being docked at the San Basilio terminal , on the Canale della Giudecca , did create a romantic effect . The embarkation process was very fast and within 20 minutes, we were in our cabin . At 188 square feet , it is one of the most spacious we have had so far . There is a lot of storage space and it is very easy to circulate in the cabin . The cabin was on on Deck 1 which means that our portholes were just 6 feet over the water level ! Having been on the Queen Mary 2 on our last cruise with a cabin at more than 60 feet above sea level , this was quite a different perspective and I have to say , much more interesting ! The few times that we had some waves made us appreciate how stable this ship is ! Service and food are well above average,in fact the quality of the preparation of the food is the best we have seen so far in the 8 cruise lines we have sailed with and both my wife and I are good cooks ! We have tried all the 4 restaurants on the ship for dinner and all had excellent quality ! The only minus side and it is a major one , was that 2 specialty restaurants are located outside and eating at 7.30 pm at 5 degrees Celsius ( 41 F ) is really cold even if your Fillet Mignon is perfectly cooked !!! The itinerary was quite port intensive so after walking for hours in Venice, Rovinj, Opatija , Trogir, Split and Dubrovnik and eating an elaborate dinner everyday , we did not go very often at the lounge for entertainement but what we saw of the Kool Blend group and the British singer was interesting . The choice of port of calls was very interesting ! The size of the ship enables it to go to ports that would not be accessible to other ships so Windstar was able to select ports with various points of interest in very different surroundings ! Information provided by the very knowledgeable excursion team also was very helpful to passengers wanting to visit on their own ! The time spent at each port was also more than the average spent by cruise ships ! Leaving the ports with all sails deployed also brought applause from people looking at the ship The passengers (there were 220 on this cruise) are mostly well travelled , with a majority of Americans but also coming from many different countries! On a ship of this size, it is very easy to establish contact so , after a few days , one gets the impression to know everyone aboard ! The crew knows most of the passengers by their family name and even the very young looking Captain Alan MacAry is very accessible to everyone. Disembarkation was very fast, in fact all the passengers were off the ship within 45 minutes ! We would not do a Trans Atlantic crossing on a Windstar sail ship as entertainment and speed are limited but we will definitely consider one of their vessels when we will be looking for an itinerary with original ports of call ! Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
This was our 5th cruise on Windstar and 10th cruise overall. We had sailed on Windsurf twice before and once of Wind Song (RIP) and Wind Spirit. Windstar appeals to a unique niche. If you want rock climbing, 30 restaurant and ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise on Windstar and 10th cruise overall. We had sailed on Windsurf twice before and once of Wind Song (RIP) and Wind Spirit. Windstar appeals to a unique niche. If you want rock climbing, 30 restaurant and pseudo-Broadway shows, this is NOT the ship for you. However, if you want a cruise to relax, meet people from all over the globe, eat very good food and go to ports many large ships cannot access, then Windstar is perfect. We embarked in Venice. Checking in and getting our Stateroom keys could not have been easier. It took us less than 15 minutes from the time we got on line to the time we stepped into our cabin. Luggage came about 10 minutes after that. Because Windstar is so small, it's easy to recognize the familiar faces of returning crew. As we boarded, there was a bit of a hard sell for spa services, but the staff was pleasant and it was not unlike other pitches on other cruises. It's easier to familiarize oneself with the ship. Walking the entire ship, on all decks takes maybe 20 minutes. I was pleased to see renovations and the addition of the "Yacht Club". Big screen TV where many watched the early rounds of the World Cup, a new free sandwich bar, library and great luxurious seats with headphones and ipod docs. The staterooms were pretty much the same, thought we were upgraded to a suite. In retrospect, we really appreciate the extra space and my wife loved the 2 bathrooms! There are not a ton of activities to describe on Windstar ships.Reading and talking are the main things to do. However, the rear sports deck is open when possible and kayaking and windsurfing are options. The Windsurf, the bigger of the 3 ships, added "specialty" restaurants. Degrees, was our least favorite. It says it is Mediterranean but it seemed more American/Continental and the menu doesn't really change during the week. the regular Restaurant offered more variety and was excellent. We also dined in Candles, a steak place. It was outside and accommodated only about 20 guests. Very nice setting and service. Our favorite was Le Marche, a seafood restaurant also for about 20 guests outside on the rear of the ship. Watching the sun set as you eat and drink wine was quite an experience. Service on Windstar has always been well-above average. The mostly Philippine and Indonesian staff work hard yet are always smiling. Our cabin steward, Agus, was friendly and charming and did a great job. The captain, John Clark, was very visible. Sort of the David Letterman of ships. Henri Lemay (?), the hotel manager is a long time Windstar veteran and was very attentive. Eric, in charge of entertainment, is new to Windstar. He actually performed a couple fo times and was absolutely charming. We stopped at Rovinj, Trogir and Dubrovnik in Croatia. All were wonderful and I'd strongly recommend doing these small towns on your own rather than paying for excursions. We had lunch in Trogir on a tethered barge that was absolutely romantic and charming and special. The next ports were Messina and Sorrento. Amongst the passengers, Messina got poor reviews. We didn't go to the town; rather we took the tour to Mt. Etna. We spent way too much time in the bus, but once there, it was very good. For some reason, the ship had to leave Sorrento early -at 2:30 in the afternoon. So all those who went on various tours just made it back in time. This was disappointing to all who had hoped to do the tour and get some shopping in. The traffic was unbearable (Italian roads were not built for tour buses). But our trip to Herculaneum was excellent. But again, 3 hours on the bus was not fun.Steve, the excursion director could have been more knowledgeable about the excursions, but he and his wife Amanda, were also new so I'd give him a pass. Disembarkation was as smooth as can be. The only complaint I had, and a did write directly to the company HQ, was that Windstar strangely does not acknowledge returning guests. I got a letter of apology in our room with a free bottle of wine, which was nice, but I still think a note on the computer when you check in should let the staff know who are returning guests and how often they've sailed with the cruise line. A simple, "Welcome back, we appreciate your business", would go a long way. Other than that, we will most likely sail with Windstar again. For our tastes, few other cruise lines offer what Windstar does. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Wind Surf Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.5 3.6
Public Rooms 4.5 4.3
Fitness & Recreation 3.5 N/A
Family N/A 4.1
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities N/A N/A
Service 3.5 4.7
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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