5 Venice to Mediterranean Windstar Wind Surf Cruise Reviews

celebrating our 20th anniversary on Windsurf seemed the perfect present to each other. We can honestly say all our wishes and desires were exceeded. Wonderful crew, but especially Erickson, Eric, Maricelo, Charlie, who all looked after our ... Read More
celebrating our 20th anniversary on Windsurf seemed the perfect present to each other. We can honestly say all our wishes and desires were exceeded. Wonderful crew, but especially Erickson, Eric, Maricelo, Charlie, who all looked after our creature comforts to the highest standards, and Hasan, who kept our stateroom immaculate every day. The food was wonderful, whether in a French-style formal restaurant, or snacking at the Yacht Club. As for the drinks - what can we say. The best available wines, beers and spirits available, and great cocktails! Sailing into a sunset as the 7 sails were raised to the sounds of the theme from The Hunt for Red October is something we won't ever forget. Oh, and the on-board musicians were world class! The only disappointment was that our 15-day cruise was actually 2 separate cruises around the Barcelona stop , and around 85% of the passengers changed at that port. The ambiance changed somewhat with a younger group of passengers, and a sense that our lovely 8-day cruise had changed subtly. Just the luck of the draw we guess. But cruising with Windstar ruins you for any other cruise experience you may have, they are that good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have sailed on all of the Windstar ships at least once and some more than once and this was one of the worst sailing experiences we encountered on any cruise line including Princess, NCL, Carnival, or Royal Caribbean. The deck crew was ... Read More
We have sailed on all of the Windstar ships at least once and some more than once and this was one of the worst sailing experiences we encountered on any cruise line including Princess, NCL, Carnival, or Royal Caribbean. The deck crew was there but almost non-existent. When able to get their attention, they were curt/rude. Tables at breakfast most days were left un-cleaned while guest stood waiting for a place to sit. Getting a refill on coffee...non-existent...had to fend for yourself. The food was average at best. The rear deck & bar were closed about 5 - 6 each evening. This should have been the "hot spot" on the ship! Great venue went unused. Tours were "fair" at best. A couple of them a waste of time and money. Our experience on past Windstar cruise was that within two days most of the principle staff knew us by our names. On this cruise, only our room steward could address us by out names. We'll look for other small ships for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise as we were more interested in the destinations it sailed to than the onboard amenities. This was our first cruise and it exceeded all of our expectations. The staff was wonderful, they couldn’t do ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise as we were more interested in the destinations it sailed to than the onboard amenities. This was our first cruise and it exceeded all of our expectations. The staff was wonderful, they couldn’t do enough for us. The ship was beautiful, especially during the times the sails were up. The food was out of this world. It was the best we had during our entire European vacation. I really can’t think of anything that Windstar could have improved on as far as the onboard experience was concerned. The only downfall was that some of the ports weren’t as picturesque as we’d imagined. If we would have done our research beforehand, we would have booked excursions at those stops. Windstar lives up to its reputation and I met many passengers who were experienced travellers with the cruise lineIt wasn’t an inexpensive vacation but it was worth every penny. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I have always loved Venice and my dream was to leave Venice by a sailing ship. We chose the May 17 th date because we wanted to sail out in the early evening when the light of Venice is what you see in the magical paintings. . We were so ... Read More
I have always loved Venice and my dream was to leave Venice by a sailing ship. We chose the May 17 th date because we wanted to sail out in the early evening when the light of Venice is what you see in the magical paintings. . We were so fortunate because we had the perfect evening, clear, warm with a red sunset. Needless to say it could not have been more perfect. The reflections in the water especially when we saw the La Salute Church, across from St. Marks was, it remarkable. The Wind Surf docked at the Sam Bascilio terminal and could not be easier to get to, take the # 2 vaparotto from almost any stop, from the stop at San Bascillio go over a tiny bridge and you are at the terminal. Easy and does not break the bank by using a wAter taxi. As described above not only was the the sail away beautiful the entire cruise was full of sensual delights. Our first stop being Rovinj a beautiful seaside village with incredible Italian influence, lovely harbor, friendly people. Split was stop #2 with the palace and on the outside a beautiful market. I love markets because I do believe they are the heart and soul of a culture. We choose not to go to the unusual beach because it was 70 and sunny but not warm enough to swim. Dubrovnik was our least favorite stop because it was loaded with touists, imagine when it is quieter it must be lovely. The Destination Event was there and it was lovely. We were bussed to a hilltop outside the city, offered a lovely selection of wine and appetizers and then went to an ancient outside arena to see a song and dance cultural show which was very entertaining. The view from the hilltop was beautiful with spectuacular views of the Adriatic with the Windsurf floating below. Great evening well planned and managed by Windstar. Kotor was our favorite stop the sail in and out was spectacular with the hills and mountains. Lovely, historic town. We went to the market with the chef which was really fun, the venders were very generous. The chef bought many items for the ship including the best honey we have ever eaten and fantastic cheeses and olives.Again, our sail out we had the beautiful red sunset. Day at sea calm and warm what could be better. Sicily is where the port was changed due to security and the G7. We had a private guide and went to the historic market in Catania. Great authebtic day. That night was a highlight of the cruise for us. We chose Candles that night and to our delight we again had a red sunset that sat over the Aeolian Islands that was beyond georgeous as well as a thrilling sail near Stromboli watching the smoke come out of the volcano. That evening was something we will never forget. Since we only had 5 hours in Almafi at the last stop we chose the ship's excursion, a boat trip to Positano, beautiful ride along the coast and we spent a lovely time in Positano. Very well organized excursion. The sail away beautiful following the coast. The food on this trip exemplary, healthy, varied, interesting, delicious and beautifully presented. The crew and service always the best. The ship looked great, she is really beautiful especially from those hill towns along the Dalmation Coast, looking down on her. We were very fortunate to have had nearly perfect weather and calm seas for relaxing and touring. Since were were in Italy 10 days before the cruise I really appreciated the laundry service so I could be comfortable with just using a small carry on. I hate checking and lugging. Dream come true again with Windstar. They made it easy, beautiful and exciting for us. Perhaps I should say " red sunset at night a sailor's delight" . That was this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Up until this cruise, I would have said that the best cruise I ever took was in French Polynesia on the Paul Gauguin, back when that ship was part of the Regents Seven Seas line. This cruise, however (from Venice to Rome, with stops in ... Read More
Up until this cruise, I would have said that the best cruise I ever took was in French Polynesia on the Paul Gauguin, back when that ship was part of the Regents Seven Seas line. This cruise, however (from Venice to Rome, with stops in Croatia, Montenegro, Sicily and the Amalfi coast), may well have topped that one. This cruise was not inexpensive, but you definitely get what you pay for. EMBARKATION was smooth and painless. Since we were not using Windstar’s transfer offer, we did have a little bit of difficulty getting information about where and how to board. You do so at the San Basilio port, easily reached by the vaporetto, or water bus (riding this from the Rialto stop, as we did, is itself a pleasant and scenic experience). Once on board we had to spend about 45 minutes filling out forms, but then we were free to explore; an excellent lunch (carved prime rib) was already being served. THE SHIP is relatively small (a bit more than 300 passengers) and very nicely laid out. Cabins do not have balconies, but all have portholes, are spacious (by cruise ship standards) and are beautifully arranged for maximum flexibility. Every cabin has a TV with DVD player; DVDs are available for free checkout in the ship’s library. The TV has a variety of satellite news channels, both for liberals (MSNBC) and conservatives (Fox News); several movies also play repeatedly throughout the day. We never actually saw our cabin steward, but he was very accommodating when we left him notes. On our first day, he replaced, at our request, all the beer and other alcoholic beverages in our refrigerator and replaced them with complimentary cans of coke and diet coke. Our cabin was always kept spotlessly clean and of course there were the inevitable towel animals waiting us for when we came back from dinner. The ship has sails (a huge plus for my wife, who loves sailing) and although they are mostly for show, they are occasionally used. When they are unfurled, stirring music plays. Another huge plus: There is a marina at the rear of the ship from which you can check out kayaks and even a small Hobie sailboat (all for free). The marina is open (weather permitting) whenever you are in a port that requires tendering to shore, but my wife absolutely loved sailing on the Adriatic. There is also a huge float that makes for fun swimming. This is a high-end cruise and therefore attracts an older crowd; I’d say the vast majority of passengers were at least 50 and there were plenty of people over 70, though we did see a few honeymooners and other folks in their 30s and 40s. There are no youth or childcare facilities; the ship makes very clear that young children and teenagers are not preferred passengers. This was fine with us. DINING is superb. The principal breakfast and lunch venue is the Veranda, where you can eat either indoors or outdoors. The arrangement is “buffet plus”: a good buffet (in the indoors part), with a smallish menu from which you can order extra items if necessary. (One thing I appreciated at every breakfast was freshly squeezed orange juice, which was excellent.) Dinner is served primarily in the main dining room, the AmphorA, though one evening during the cruise there is an on-deck barbeque, including not only things like paella, ribs and steak but also lobster (and of course a ton of salads, appetizers, breads and desserts). All non-alcoholic beverages are always free at every venue (including the bars); a charge is made for alcoholic beverages. Food at dinner was usually first-rate, with a choice of five or six entrees. My favorites were the prime rib and beef Wellington. Dinner is open seating (just come when you feel like it; there may be a line), but on the second night we sat at a table with a great view and excellent waiters, so my wife and I made a point of requesting that table (#7) every night from then on, and always got it. In addition to AmphorA, there are a couple of specialty restaurants, for which a reservation is required (but there is no extra charge). We ate at only one, Candles. During the check-in, we were asked if we wanted to make reservations there that night, and after looking at the AmphorA menu and seeing nothing that we had to have, we said yes. This was a great decision, since Candles is outdoor seating and the views as we sailed away from Venice were wonderful. There is also complimentary room service, but as we never took advantage of this option, I can’t comment on its quality. THE PORTS ranged from satisfactory to memorable. Our three top ports were Dubrovnik, Kotor (in Montenegro) and Amalfi, all of which had great scenery. Gettting to Kotor requires sailing down a beautiful passage ringed by mountains; unfortunately we were a little late departing so we didn’t get the spectacular mountain views a second time, as the sun had already set. The captain did a good job of pointing out points of interest as we sailed, and one evening (I think it was after departing Sicily) he mentioned we would be passing Stromboli, which I had never heard of, but found out was an active volcano. We were lucky enough at one point to see lava not just glowing from the top of the volcano but actually shooting out in a spectacular eruption; sadly, neither my wife nor I got a photo of this. We were a little annoyed that the ship’s photographer did not have the foresight to set up her camera for the possibility of something like this happening; we would have been more than willing to pay for a photo of this event. If we were to do it all over again, we would book, in Messina, Sicily, the shore excursion to Mt. Etna. It’s expensive and time-consuming but Messina didn’t offer a lot of stuff to do; we spent about three hours walking around and then found a gelato place where we could get free wifi as well as gelato. (For some reason, gelato was not served on board, but regular ice cream was. I think it should be a law that a ship in or even near Italy must serve gelato.) ENTERTAINMENT on board is pretty minimal. That suited us fine; we are early-to-bed, early-to-rise types and wouldn’t have been able to partake of it in any event. Don’t count, though, on the typical comedian/impressionist/audience participation games that you find on the larger ships. DISEMBARKATION was mildly problematic, but that’s not the ship’s fault. Getting from the port where we docked to Rome takes some doing; we decided to kill two birds with one stone and booked a shore excursion to Rome, which left us off a short taxi-ride away from the Spanish steps, where our hotel (booked by us independently of the cruise) was. There was also a miscommunication between us and the shore excursion lady about what stops were made; both my wife and I were sure that at least one additional stop was promised, but the tour leader said no. As it is we stopped only at St. Paul’s Basilica Outside the Walls, and getting there on the tour bus took forever (traffic jams here are murder); there was no bathroom on the tour bus and I was in considerable distress when we finally arrived. I don’t know of any other reasonable and inexpensive way to get from the port to Rome, though. SUMMARY One or two minor glitches to the contrary, this was a great cruise. Both my wife and I will look forward to traveling with Windstar Cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
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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