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19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
From the time we boarded the Wind Spirit until we disembarked 7 days later, we thoroughly enjoyed everything about this experience. The islands, the sky and the ocean, of course, are beautiful. But the ship, our cabin, the food, all of the ... Read More
From the time we boarded the Wind Spirit until we disembarked 7 days later, we thoroughly enjoyed everything about this experience. The islands, the sky and the ocean, of course, are beautiful. But the ship, our cabin, the food, all of the service and most importantly the crew, were outstanding. A highlight of the trip was the crew, starting with Martina, the activities manager. The fitness/massage team, especially Susan, the sport activity leaders, Bang Bang and Uus, the entire food and beverage group, the casino manager and our cabin steward, Indra, were all personable, excellent at their craft and worked hard to ensure that each passenger had everything that they needed or wanted. We met the ships captain and many of his staff. As we arrived safely and on time to each location, I assume that they too are excellent at their jobs. This cruise had 131 passengers and 100 crew. There were no children. The median age of the passengers was in the 50s. The boat was comfortable, safe and very clean. Each stop offered multiple shore or water excursions in and around that island or the nearby atolls or motus. We went ashore each day, either for a ship-sponsored excursion (we took 3) or to rent bikes or just hike around town or to a local beach. Many of the other passengers on this cruise seemed to be more seasoned cruise participants than us. All appeared to clearly be enjoying the trip. Certainly the ones who we met were having a great time. Although options existed on each island, we wanted to take every meal onboard the boat because the 3 meals a day were truly delicious; fresh fruit and vegetables, excellent seafood and beef cooked to perfection and plenty of beverages, non-alcoholic and alcoholic. The ship offered an alcohol package that we did not take but it appeared to be a good deal if you were inclined to drink a lot. There was also plenty of cheeses, deserts, salad options and soup. I focused on the main courses which were plentiful and excellent. There are many spectacular-looking trips on the Windstar itinerary. If I knew that this crew and this ship were leading another cruise anywhere else, I would consider that cruise next. Having said this, I assume that the culture of service and professionalism on the Wind Spirit is a hallmark of all Windstar cruises. We will definitely take another Windstar cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We did not expect such a great experience. Our room was spacious, the service was above and beyond, the food was excellent, and the side trips were exciting. I loved that we didn't have to get dressed up to have dinner. I ... Read More
We did not expect such a great experience. Our room was spacious, the service was above and beyond, the food was excellent, and the side trips were exciting. I loved that we didn't have to get dressed up to have dinner. I appreciated morning room service. My husband enjoyed visiting the Bridge and the entire Panama Canal passing. Being on a cruise with only 147 other people was great. We are truly spoiled. The Dining was open and we could choose to sit alone or with others. No assigned seating. There was a wonderful BBQ on deck and another picnic BBQ on a private Island. No little kids on the cruise. Just one special family. This is a great cruise for active people who enjoy paddle boards and swimming. Getting ashore is on a Zodiac and is not easy. The crew is very attentive and helpful about getting people on and off the boat safely. But it would not be a good cruise for someone who has mobility problems. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
What can corporate Windstar be thinking? Just got off the Star Legend, the most dangerous and old ship I have ever sailed on in 30 cruises. No safety signs (even for wet paint and varnish), tenders don't work, people are expected to ... Read More
What can corporate Windstar be thinking? Just got off the Star Legend, the most dangerous and old ship I have ever sailed on in 30 cruises. No safety signs (even for wet paint and varnish), tenders don't work, people are expected to climb dozens of stairs to tenders and hop onto poorly parked and operated tenders - both of which are now broken - and rubber dingies. A nice but in some cases inexperienced crew can do nothing with awful, unsafe, old equipment. And it was a rocky and sea sickening ride more than 1 night. Also, ship does not port where anyone else does and doesn't tell you before hand. No board games onboard or daily activities. What a nightmare. RUN AWAY from this "luxury" cruise. Most annoying things: Used balcomy stateroom next to mine to store and fold sheets. Left door open at night to bang open and close; also went in and out at all hours. WHAT? People were so bored, absolutely nothing was going on on this ship. Even movies and tv reception were lacking. Embarkation is a nightmare. Prepare to wait in the hot sun and wait a lot more before climbing 30 stairs to get onboard and get in another line to get your keys, etc. Tenders broken, waffle machine broken, ice cream machine broken, cannot make pancakes, cannot make a soft egg to save their lives (be it over easy or poached.) Huge markup if you take pre cruise hotel, excursions, or transfer to or from airport (transfer was 3 times more expensive than a cab.) One bbq and one shore party (where people got stranded for almost 2 hours) for lack of transportation does not make a good time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
During the end of September 2015 and the first week of October we were part of this fantasy. What a beautiful ship!! Everyone one the ship went out of their way to make our stay one to remember. We met so many new friends. We would party ... Read More
During the end of September 2015 and the first week of October we were part of this fantasy. What a beautiful ship!! Everyone one the ship went out of their way to make our stay one to remember. We met so many new friends. We would party until late at night. We would listen to music, and may I add...the duo Casey and Erick were stunning. Man...what a lovely voice. Cannot believe SA Idols let her slip through their hands. If ever you come across them, ask them to do Purple Rain and Bed of Roses. They absolutely made our tour. Well done Windstar!! Let me also not forget Harry our waiter at the restaurants. What a guy. The whole ship was talking about him. He should be the communications leader. He was witty, quick to assist, quick to let you feel welcome and even special. The rooms were excellent. Enough space and what a big bathroom. I am a big, very big guy and did not have any problem at all in the shower. The food at all the restaurants were superb. We will be going again and again and again...this I promised myself. I stayed in Room 243. When that door was closed during day or night it was peaceful and quiet. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Some background before I write this review - we have taken numerous cruises on all levels of ships around the world (small, medium, large, riverboats, etc.) so we have a lot of reference points on what we like and expect as a function of ... Read More
Some background before I write this review - we have taken numerous cruises on all levels of ships around the world (small, medium, large, riverboats, etc.) so we have a lot of reference points on what we like and expect as a function of the price point and the specifics of what the cruise line advertises and offers as compared to their competitors. Having recently traveled on Viking (river cruise in China which we absolutely loved!), we wanted to try another ship with a small number of passengers. After a thorough search, we decided to give Windstar (and the Star Legend) our business - per their advertisement - "fully refurbished boat, approximately 200 passengers, gourmet food and wine, world class gym, elegant staterooms and unique and memorable shore excursions'. So let's discuss what was accurate and what was off the mark - the pro's - very spacious stateroom, cabin attendant was excellent, on-board entertainment was very enjoyable, Candles dinning was great, majority of crew worked very hard to make the trip memorable, and select staff management (Elena and Bianca) worked very hard to listen to our concerns and to the extent practical within their control make our travels and pleasant as possible, and the people were so much fun to meet. The cons - (1) for a refurbished ship, the interior was in dire need of a fresh paint and varnish (age of the ship was not well hidden), the bathroom was not updated - pealing paint and wall tiles in shower were old and separating), (2) wine - not paired with dinner or the countries visited, wine tastings were poorly planned and executed (rushed so the room could be turned over for dinner, no wait staff to serve additional portions to the customers, and wine selections ran out during dinner, "wine expert" was not organized and could not keep the attention of the customers) - we stopped going after day four, quality of wines served were average to below average at best and had low Wine Spectator ratings, (3) on-board dinning service - very dis-jointed for the first three days - meals were late (i.e. not everyone was served at the same time), side dished were missing or wrong, and if you ordered fish it was guaranteed to arrive overcooked and dry, (4) food quality - got better as the days went by but serving three shrimps on top of rice is not gourmet, (5) bar service - with the exception of a few bar staff, very inconsistent service for mixed drinks - long wait (10 minutes), wrong order, glass half-filled - deferred to wine and beer to avoid the the hassle which was not our preference, (6) broken water system during seal day - no showers or running water - things happen at sea so my issue is not that this happened but how the ship handled the situation - the captain made an announcement at approximately 9 am and mentioned that the water system broke and we would make a stop at Brest for repairs - not apologetic in any form and tried to make a joke about it - not funny for the guests who were stuck on board without a bathroom or shower - in terms of compensation - NONE...we asked them to open the bar and provide free drinks and were denied....the system was repaired and then broke again around 10 pm (no notice from the captain) - I called the front desk and the staffer did not understand why I was mad as he did not get a chance to shower (paying customer versus employee....where is the training...), (7) off-board dinner in Bordeaux - very elegant, classical music, wine in the courtyard and then dinner - only one selection - a meat dish that was served raw to myself and three others at our table - after 15 minutes and sending it back twice I decided not to eat the dried out mass in front of me. Two wines were served of which one was a beautiful 2001 Margaux - we each had one glass and asked for another bottle - they "ran out" even then we observed other tables actively getting additional bottles, (8) world class gym - broken equipment and missing weights - need I say more, (9) excursions - unlike Viking or other high end cruise lines, Windstar only includes two free shore excursions and the guests have to pay for any other trips so desired - the selections were marginal at best with the most notable being a wine tour of a local vineyard in the Medoc region of Bordeaux - expected elegant wines and encountered less than marginal samples - would have expected a higher quality vineyard to be made available. We did email Hans (CEO) a note summarizing our experiences and have not received any reply as of this review - not terribly surprised since he already has our money and from the experiences listed above, apparently does not have a keen focus on customer service. Some final thoughts and impressions - we probably wont use this cruise line again unless Han's contacts us and don't recommend anyone else using them unless you do a full due-diligence on all high end cruise and read the review, the ship management fell flat on attention to details and building/maintaining a strong and consistent team to perform and execute their respective duties flawlessly every time, and if you are going to offer a marginal experience then charge a marginal price so expectations can be tempered with reality. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
We embarked at Papeete. Cruised for 7 days Moorea,Tahaa, Raiatea, Bora Bora two days, and Huahine. This is a magnificant Sailing Yacht. It is by far the best cruise we have done in 22 cruises. We have been on 6 star cruise lines that ... Read More
We embarked at Papeete. Cruised for 7 days Moorea,Tahaa, Raiatea, Bora Bora two days, and Huahine. This is a magnificant Sailing Yacht. It is by far the best cruise we have done in 22 cruises. We have been on 6 star cruise lines that don't come close to Windstar. With only 115 Passengers and 93 crew it was comfort at its peak. The food was the best we have ever had on a Cruise ship. The entertainment was great and the attractions visited were stunning. When you don't have an excursion you can jump off the back of the ship and go Sailing, Canoeing or just laze on a floating matress in the beautiful blue warm waters of Tahiti. Wind Spirit looks just stunning in full sail and gives me goose bumps just looking at it. We have booked again on a longer trip. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
We embarked from St. Maarten in early February on the Windsurf and from the start, it was a fabulous experience! Embarkation was fast and simple and very personalized and we were quickly escorted to our suite accommodations (we splurged), ... Read More
We embarked from St. Maarten in early February on the Windsurf and from the start, it was a fabulous experience! Embarkation was fast and simple and very personalized and we were quickly escorted to our suite accommodations (we splurged), which were very comfortable. We loved the relaxed atmosphere and were surprised at the number of dining options on such a small ship. The ship has all the amenities of a larger ship (pool, hot tubs, library, fitness room, spa, etc.), but the smaller number of passengers meant they were very accessible. The food was wonderful, with plenty of choice for those with dietary restrictions, and the service was excellent. Staff made an exceptional effort to remember our names and our favourite wines. The entertainment was provided by a band that had a very large repertoire and the members were all very talented. The itinerary was very interesting, taking us to places a larger ship wouldn't be able to go. The shore excursions were very well organized, with several choices in each port. We especially loved the trip to the native Carib village in Dominica, Touna Aute. I expected a "touristy" set-up, but this was the real deal - visiting the villagers at their homes and learning about their culture and history. The tour culminated in a visit to the tour leaders' home where we sat down to a lunch of their traditional foods at their table (just 8 people on this tour - can't get that on a big ship!). We were very sorry when the cruise came to an end and we had to return to the frozen north, but we'll be back! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2012
On these back-to-back cruises, there were 215-20 passengers or 70% occupancy. The positives are: 70% repeat passengers who only travel on small, luxury ships; superior service (waiters address you by name); you get to know other passengers ... Read More
On these back-to-back cruises, there were 215-20 passengers or 70% occupancy. The positives are: 70% repeat passengers who only travel on small, luxury ships; superior service (waiters address you by name); you get to know other passengers as there are no balconies and people socialize on deck; food is very good to excellent; ship may visit small, isolated ports; the five masts project a fine image; and the ship is great for relaxation. All suites have two bathrooms and more than enough storage space. There is over 300 sq. ft. We were in two cabins and 326 was superior to 318 as to ability to control temperature, quality of linens, and attendant service. There are no verandahs on this ship as it is over 20 years old although rooms were renovated in 2012. However, for a small ship entertainment and number of activities are limited, ship speed is about 10 knots so that time in port can suffer, the cruise line only owns three ships so it may not get competitive airline fares, it outsources planning of excursions, and parent company doesn't understand the industry. A greater concern is that at 70% occupancy in Europe during August, these cruises did not meet financial break even. I am concerned that this means Wind Star may cut expenses and mitigate a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
This was our third Windstar cruise, but we had not been on the Windsurf since 1998. I'm going to tag along with another review here by "c5Marine," because they did such a nice job of describing their cruise. First the ... Read More
This was our third Windstar cruise, but we had not been on the Windsurf since 1998. I'm going to tag along with another review here by "c5Marine," because they did such a nice job of describing their cruise. First the "BAD"... NONE Second the "GOOD"... Everything Even though we had been on the Windsurf in 1998 in the Mediterranean, my expectations were exceeded on this cruise. The ship had a recent refit, and the cabins and public rooms were beautiful. The food was off-the-charts, and even the coffee was great. We had done this same itinerary with Star Clipper a few years ago, and we just love the ports-of-call. The best part of this cruise, for us, was the crew. From Captain John to our cabin steward, Puji -- everyone was so pleasant and friendly. I never once felt like it was a front or a put-on, as I've seen on some of our other cruises. I feel the Windsurf was a very good value. We didn't get nickled-and-dimed for everything. Soft drinks, juice, sparking water, and fancy coffees were all included. Also there are very few ships that offer a galley and engine-room tour. Of course, the bridge is always open while at sea -- which is fantastic. In addition to the two music groups which were very good, the Windsurf also put on a great Superbowl party. After this Windstar cruise, I don't think we'll ever be on a large cruise ship again. Windstar has really upped their game and with the new ownership, I think they have a great future ahead. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
My wife and I just finished a 7-day Rome/Rome cruise on Wind Spirit. The ship is gorgeous. In spite of a dry-dock and extensive refit this past spring, the crew was constantly busy scrubbing, painting and polishing. Although the ship is ... Read More
My wife and I just finished a 7-day Rome/Rome cruise on Wind Spirit. The ship is gorgeous. In spite of a dry-dock and extensive refit this past spring, the crew was constantly busy scrubbing, painting and polishing. Although the ship is over 20 years old, she's aging beautifully. We saw neither a spec of grime nor any signs of deferred maintenance. Cabin was wonderful. Extremely comfortable bedding and pillows. Lots of storage. 110v and 220v power. Great bathroom layout. Plenty of light once we finally figured out the switches. That plus the hideaway table we didn't discover until day six causes me to recommend that you ask the room steward to show you the features of your cabin! Food was absolutely top notch (a Dutch chef with a degree from the Culinary Institute of America). The service was even better. In spite of open seating, the dining staff knew our names by day 3. The bar staff knew our names AND favorite drinks in the same period. A majority of the waitstaff we talked to started on big ships, and have been with Windstar for over a dozen years. Professional and attentive service in a relaxed setting. My wife enjoyed the watersports platform (she tried the kayaks and the small sailboat). We both thought the piano player was great --- an accomplished musician with a quick wit. My favorite feature? An open bridge with friendly officers! We are in our 50s. This was our 15th cruise. Have tried the bigger boats and don't much care for the crowds. It was interesting to arrive in a small port with the Wind Spirit. The quaint places we visited (Italian coast and Corsica) were only charming until one of the big cruise ships arrived to share it with us. As soon as their swarm of passengers descended, we found ourselves retreating inland or back to the ship. (When I was on one of those bigger ships, I never realized their profound effect on small ports.) We fell in love with the Wind Spirit, and have already booked another cruise on her next fall. Read Less
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