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22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was my first cruise, but my boyfriend's 5th. While I haven't cruised before, I've traveled extensively. My boyfriend has typically taken large ships on Royal Caribbean and Carnival. In his words, "This isn't ... Read More
This was my first cruise, but my boyfriend's 5th. While I haven't cruised before, I've traveled extensively. My boyfriend has typically taken large ships on Royal Caribbean and Carnival. In his words, "This isn't cruising, this is yachting. You can't even compare it to a large cruise ship." We took Windstar's Classic Caribbean itinerary, which visits Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, St. Kitt's, St. Barthelemy and St. Martin. We had a large suite on Deck 3 which was beautifully appointed and comfortable with a King-sized bed. From the moment we approached the ship we were treated like royalty. The check in procedure was seamless and we were quickly taken to our cabin by our stewart, who was wonderful the entire trip. Our cabin was spotless and stayed that way the entire trip, with fresh fruit every day. One of the nicest things about this cruise is you are not charged for soft drinks and if you don't purchase the alcohol package, the drinks are very reasonable with a great selection of wines by the glass for dinner. Little tip: Try the drink of the day! There were numerous dining options and the food was first rate at all of them. You can dine al fresco on the top deck, and there are three dining experiences: Candles (steaks), Stella (Upscale) and Amphora (dining room). We never had a problem with reservations for the first two, and we never had trouble with seating. Service was superior! The dining manager Allen went out of his way to make sure we enjoyed the food and service. In fact, when we suffered a bad sunburn, he send yogurt to our room and advised us to rub it on the sunburn to help with the pain (it worked great). "Daddy" supervised the wait staff and he was also fabulous. You got the sense that these folks really cared about your experience and they went above and beyond to make us happy. The fitness room on the ship was well appointed and not too crowded in the morning or afternoon. Each evening, we got a list of activities on board for the following day and the ones we did were really terrific (trivia/line dancing). One of the best things about this ship is the fact that they don't allow people to reserve lounge chairs (the same folks who then disappear and don't use them). So, we were always able to find a place to relax somewhere on the ship/any time of day. A couple of things not to miss are the beach party and deck BBQ...both were great fun and the food was fantastic. Also, the crew show was WONDERFUL. We really enjoyed it...there's some great talent on board. In the evenings there is a choice of a duet in the Compass Lounge and a band in the main lounge. Both were very talented and we really enjoyed them. We also give high marks to the Casino staff. The dealers and manager were so sweet and took time to educate passengers who didn't know how to play the games well. They were a lot of fun! The excursions were really great. Very well organized and on time. We did one each day and didn't have a single complaint. A couple of things to note...this is not a cruise for children. It's really very adult-oriented. Also, if you have physical limitations, you might find it hard to get on and off the tender to go ashore if it's rough. The ship moors in several locations, so there's not always docking for easy access to shore. There was one day when getting on and off the tender was a real challenge. Overall, I would recommend this cruise line HIGHLY. The service was excellent on every level...the staff was amazing. It will truly spoil you for any other cruise experience. In fact, we plan to try the Yachtsman's tour next spring. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
My travel partner is a large cruise ship enthusiast, and I don't enjoy it. I prefer the 37 foot boat I sailed in the Caribbean years ago. All this is to say that the Wind Surf was a perfect compromise - small enough to get into quiet ... Read More
My travel partner is a large cruise ship enthusiast, and I don't enjoy it. I prefer the 37 foot boat I sailed in the Caribbean years ago. All this is to say that the Wind Surf was a perfect compromise - small enough to get into quiet harbors and feel like you're sailing, but large enough to offer 3 great restaurants and plenty to do. Our cabin #217 was perfect in both location and size - didn't miss a balcony or a picture window. The service was excellent; very friendly, and efficient too. Then there was the food - can't say enough about how delicious it was! One night they had what they called a "barbecue" on the outside decks, but that was definitely an understatement. They served lobster tails, steak, shrimp, lamb chops and delicious side dishes on candlelit tables covered with white tablecloths. The tenders we took to ride into ports (which again, were small and uncrowded) were always available. There was a water sports deck which offered swimming, snorkeling, etc. which was also fun. One other notable activity was the outstanding kitchen tour and cooking demonstration. Seeing the cooks and sous chefs at work was a treat. The ambiance on the ship was amazing. The convivial atmosphere, from the crew to passengers, made our days even more special. Can't wait for another cruise on this ship! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Just returned from a week on the Wind Surf--my first WINDSTAR cruise. Overall, a really great experience. My cabin--128--was comfortable and well appointed. The bathroom was a surprise--plenty of counter space and outstanding water ... Read More
Just returned from a week on the Wind Surf--my first WINDSTAR cruise. Overall, a really great experience. My cabin--128--was comfortable and well appointed. The bathroom was a surprise--plenty of counter space and outstanding water pressure in the shower. The cabin was clean--my room steward Eri kept it well serviced. Boarding was pretty efficient--no long lines anywhere. I was traveling with friends and we were all checked in in about 10 minutes. Our itinerary was the Yachtsman's Caribbean. It was perfect--a different island every day! We only did one ship excursion--the Baths at Virgin Gorda. In every other port we found cab drivers to take us to a local beach. Less expensive than excursions and since we were really looking for R&R it was the best way to go. Spent a lot of time sunning and swimming. Re: the Baths excursion--we were really glad that we did it--truly amazing site--but very disappointed in the lack of a guide to take us through the boulders. It is not an easy trek--and we (and lots of others) got lost. Heard that someone in another group had a panic attack. So, to classify this as a "moderate" activity was very misleading. The common areas on the ship were great--always found a place to sit and relax--even o the sea day. We enjoyed cocktail hour at Compass Rose--though a few more tables there would be a good addition. Entertainment was weak. The duo in Compass Rose had the most depressing play list--it became a running joke--what memorial service song will they play next? The band in the lounge did their best, but they were just a tad too corny to really engage the passengers. That said, a highlight of the week was the crew show--that gets a "10" for sure! The crew was very pleasant and I have no complaints there. They work hard--all of them. Food--this is why this isn't a 5 star review. The food was fine, but not great. We ate at Candles our first night and that was just OK--disappointing. The main dining room was better. But the menu seemed stagnant and boring. My last cruise was Oceania so perhaps my expectations were too high. This wouldn't keep me from sailing WINDSTAR again--I definitely would--but with different expectations. Spa--worth every penny I spent there! The acupuncturist was amazing! Fixed a shoulder pain I'd had for months! My massage was excellent too. Water platform--we had access on two days only due to weather. It was really fun to swim off the back of the boat, but those currents are no joke. When they have it closed, it's for a reason. Other passengers--wonderful people! Everyone was friendly and pleasant and easy to be around. We made some great friends (and met several groups who had met on prior WINDSTAR cruises). Would I sail them again--absolutely! When you consider the itineraries, price and service, they offer a great value. Final note--do not book their airport transfer--much cheaper to take a cab Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
The entire experience was very good. From hotel to yacht to cabin was smooth. The cabin BX 124 was a very comfortable size, much bigger than standard cabin on celebrity or princess. We had room service several times and the service ... Read More
The entire experience was very good. From hotel to yacht to cabin was smooth. The cabin BX 124 was a very comfortable size, much bigger than standard cabin on celebrity or princess. We had room service several times and the service was excellent and choices very good. The entertainment in two areas were very good. We used the pool and hot tub. The casino was small. The staff were extremely attentive. Very clean ship. The food was good to great. The prices for drinks were reasonable. There was a cafe open till 5 daily which served small plates and specialty coffees - thus was very nice. Before choosing Windstar I searched many reviews and found not enough to really convince me either way but I am glad we took a chance. There were daily activities and the onboard gym were nice to have if you were interested. The port and shore excursions were well planned...you could be as active or lay backed as you wished. Cost were appropriate for each region. The tour directors were available for advise and suggestions if you wanted to do something on your own. Which we did following their tips. We did 3 excursions and we're happy with our choices. My only suggestion is you can transfer much cheaper yourself Windstar charged 60.00 per couple from airport to hotel and again 60.00 to transfer from hotel to yacht and again 60.00 to transfer to airport. So 180.00 was way to expensive can be done for half the price or less! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
First- We were informed a couple days before our vacation was to start that our cruise was cancelled. I asked to be switched to another ship at 9:00 am and by 5 pm I needed to call and be very demanding to make sure we had a cabin on a ... Read More
First- We were informed a couple days before our vacation was to start that our cruise was cancelled. I asked to be switched to another ship at 9:00 am and by 5 pm I needed to call and be very demanding to make sure we had a cabin on a boat going somewhere. Our excursions were of coarse cancelled as well as the loss of our pre and post cruise hotels and air fair. I had to scramble to make something of our Christmas Vacation the night before we were scheduled to leave. Overall the actual ship was okay. 1) The cabin was clean and a good size 2) The onboard staff was very accommodating and eager to please. 3) Entertainment on board is poor at best. 4) Food quality and choices are also poor. 5) Excursions are very un-organized. Transportation un-organized and excursions cancelled or times changed. Reception desk never seemed to know that was going on. At the end of the cruise I was overcharged and so far have not been credited and been given one excuse after another by the guest relations department at Windstar. I would not recommend a line that treats is passengers with such a carless attitude. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
The Starbreeze was perfect in every way. This cruise was a repositioning of the ship so we had several days at sea. Very relaxing but many activities were available. The crew was friendly and most efficient. Breakfast and lunch ... Read More
The Starbreeze was perfect in every way. This cruise was a repositioning of the ship so we had several days at sea. Very relaxing but many activities were available. The crew was friendly and most efficient. Breakfast and lunch were served in the Veranda restaurant where you could eat inside on on a deck outside shaded with a tarp. Both breakfast and lunch were expansive buffets with cold and hot offerings. Also menu items are offered. Dinner is served in the Amphora dining room. Each meal we had at dinner was remarkable. Any taste or dietary need is accommodated. The Beef Wellingron was the best I've ever had! I can't say enough about the wait staff. They were helpful and always served with a smile. There is a barbecue on deck with each sailing. It is phenomenal! Ribs, lobster tails, steamed shrimp, paella, etc. Top quality all around. My favorite part of sailing on a Windstar cruise is the "Sailaway." As you leave any port, "Conquest of Paradise" (the theme from the movie "1492") is played. On the sailing yachts, the sails are unfurled. On the Star Breeze, two officers raise the Winstar flag as the music plays. It is an amazingly moving experience. This was my second Winstar cruise and it will not be my last. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
My wife and I experienced our first cruise with Wind Star (Wind Surf was the ship). We have done all the big ships...RCL, NCL, Princess, Celebrity, Oceania etc. We wanted a different experience and we really got it. The whole ... Read More
My wife and I experienced our first cruise with Wind Star (Wind Surf was the ship). We have done all the big ships...RCL, NCL, Princess, Celebrity, Oceania etc. We wanted a different experience and we really got it. The whole experience from embarkation, sailing, ports and disembarkation was by far one of the best experiences we have ever had. The ship while older was in very good shape. I loved each evenings "sail away" experience. Watching the sails unfurled was part of each days highlights. The stateroom was very roomy and laid out very efficiently. The decks areas where roomy and I never felt claustrophobic. The public rooms were very comfortable and inviting and the dining areas were very nicely done. They had two "specialty" dining areas (Stella's and Candles). My favorite was Candles because you were able to eat dinner on deck. Food was excellent. Much better than RCL, NCL and Celebrity and almost on par with Oceania. Breakfast and Lunch was always buffet style but I never felt crowded. we were always able to find a table on deck and the selection was varied each day. they also had an ala carte menu for both meals if you wanted. Can't say enough about all the staff. The captain and the hotel manager were our greeting party on the dock and all the staff took time to learn our names and recognized us through out the cruise. They really made you feel special during your time on the ship. The beach party and the ship BBQ were highlights and was the sports deck. We will definitely sail again on this line Not recommended for small children but there were several teenagers on the cruise and they told us it was the best they have been on. I would not recommend for handicapped or folks who need wheelchairs or scooters to get around. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
This was our second Windstar cruise. We took Windstar's Western Med trip from Rome to Barcelona in 2013 and felt that Windstar experience was excellent. We have also taken several excellent European river cruises. This cruise ... Read More
This was our second Windstar cruise. We took Windstar's Western Med trip from Rome to Barcelona in 2013 and felt that Windstar experience was excellent. We have also taken several excellent European river cruises. This cruise featured excellent food, good entertainment, a great crew and fantastic weather. Over all would rate this experience as below expectations for several reasons. Internet - We were appalled by the ridiculous cost of the Internet services. In this age of the Internet, a connection should cost the same as meals, shipboard water and electricity We are immersed in a new "Connected" culture that Windstar needs to recognize and enable. This such a big issue that I will not be booking with Windstar until a more reasonable (free or reasonable ( ~$100) fee for unlimited use for the duration of the cruise) internet service is offered. This would require a technical investment just as the investment to supply, meals, fresh water and electricity. Excursions - We participated in most of the non-diving excursions. Other that a couple of excursions, we were disappointed. If Viking's excursions are rated a 10, then I would rate Winstar excursions for this cruise as low as 2 and averaging a 4 or 5 rating. Since Windstar charges for each excursion I suggest that they develop some standards for the tour companies and guides and work to insure that the excursions are consistent with the cost of the excursions and the cruise. The only crew member that I remember joining any of the excursions on our trip was the ship acupuncturist. Ship Condition - We also felt many of the public areas of the ship were deteriorated and in dire need of an upgrade. One particular problem was the dark carpet on the stairs which, combined with the low lighting level, resulted in a very dangerous situation.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
My wife and I just completed an 8 day 7 night cruise on Windstar's Wind Surf. What an incredible performance by the entire crew. This is the easiest boarding experience of the many cruises we have taken. We were actually greeted by ... Read More
My wife and I just completed an 8 day 7 night cruise on Windstar's Wind Surf. What an incredible performance by the entire crew. This is the easiest boarding experience of the many cruises we have taken. We were actually greeted by Captain Harris as we embarked. The Wind Surf is essentially a large yacht, which is engine powered but that also raises it gorgeous sails. When it departs a port, it plays "1492", which is very cool when your sitting on the aft deck of the yacht watching the departure, sipping a drink. The yacht is classy and understated. You can tell that everything is finely made, but not overstated or gaudy in its decoration. The crew from top to bottom is Windstar's greatest asset. They are the nicest, most decent people around who will do anything to help you relax and have a good time. Captain Harris is frequently available to chat with, as well as Jeffrey, the yacht manager. Props to Panos, Kristi, the Spa Manager who recently finished her contract; the girls at the reception desk, Lai Rachelle and Nieva, Clara, the ship store manager, Iman, our cabin steward and the myriad of servers who treated us so well: Daddy, Sunu, Anjur, Sony, Hans and many, many more. Since passenger capacity is only 300, many of the crew remember your names. Breakfast is either buffet or sit down, on the Veranda, which has an inside and an outside.There are three restaurants for dinner: Amphora, Stella's, a French Restaurant and Candles, the Steakhouse. They all have changing, creative and tasty cuisine. And, if it's not on the menu, they will go find it for you. If something tastes particularly good, you can have another. The wine stewards are helpful and liquor is very reasonably priced. They have some great wines that won't dent your budget. There is a nice fitness center too, along with a small casino with blackjack, roulette and machines. There is a pop/rock band every night called Top Society, a family band from the Phillipines that covers many songs from the 50's to the present. After they perform, the come out to the audience to greet you and introduce themselves. A special musical guest was Niki Evans from the UK. She is starring in Blood Brothers in the West End and was a semi-finalist in the UK on American Idol. She is a powerhouse vocalist that is amazingly talented and very friendly. She is a "human jukebox. We give Windstar our highest recommendation and we look forward to returning soon.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
We cruised Dec. 14 - 21, 2014 from St. Martin to Dominique, St. Lucia, des Santes, St. Kitts/Nevis, BasseTerre. I have to begin this by saying that I give Windstar high marks for its interest in providing a good cruise. Everything you ... Read More
We cruised Dec. 14 - 21, 2014 from St. Martin to Dominique, St. Lucia, des Santes, St. Kitts/Nevis, BasseTerre. I have to begin this by saying that I give Windstar high marks for its interest in providing a good cruise. Everything you read here I put in a letter to Mr. Birkholz, president of Windstar. He called me to follow up and thank me for the letter, apologize for the shortcomings, take action to fix them, and offer an incentive to cruise again with Windstar. You can't do better than that. The staff is great. They were always smiling, cheerful, and helpful. Our cabin steward, Suki, was a gem. It has to be a challenge to keep everyone that way cruise after cruise and my hat is off to the management staff who makes that happen. Among the staff, the captain is a standout for his comedic wit and could probably have his own show. The band we had (High Society) did a fine job of playing songs we could enjoy and dance to (we are over 65). We appreciated the security arrangements for leaving and returning to the ship and the card scan made it easy. The tender service to shore ran often and smoothly. The quietness of our cabin was remarkable. Rarely did we hear anything from outside or next door or even the ocean for that matter (we were mid ships on deck 1). The TV/DVD/Boise system worked smoothly and enjoyably (but we did miss CNN or a major US network). Our cabin was a decent size and nicely furnished with a comfortable bed. However, the mini-fridge would not chill very much at all and the cabin was 80 degree when we arrived the first day and it took half a day to cool down. The overall maintenance and cleanliness of the ship was excellent. The BBQ on the beach was very nice and the swimming area pleasant. The food service and food were very good with a few exceptions. The small number of passengers also makes for a more enjoyable cruise experience. It can be hard to find a shady spot on deck during the day if you are not a sun worshipper. There were small issues that clouded our enjoyment. First among those was our confusion over the application of a $200 credit we got through the travel agent. We assumed it would go against anything on our bill including the $12/day per person gratuity charge. Nope. Maybe it would pay for an island tour we had prebooked prior to the cruise. Nope. We did not discover the limits of the credit until I inquired about 4 days into the cruise. The money went toward drinks and items in the gift shop - neither would have been expenses we would have incurred otherwise. The staff tried to resolve our request but bureaucracy got the best of us. The water provided in the rooms had a baking soda taste to it. Not so bad you couldn't drink it, but you would never look forward to having a glass of water. No bottled water in the minifridge either. We eventually discovered we could get it at the bar and sandwich shop after we bought some onshore. The ports of call were nice, but sadly these little islands do not have much to offer with their tiny economies. The good news is the big ships don't stop at them (at least not when we were there) so you don't have crowds. We had a nice tour on Dominique to the waterfall and gorge, but not much fun snorkeling. As far as we could tell, the reefs you may find along the trip are not thriving and hardly scenic. Don't expect much. This is not the fault of Windstar, just something you should know. BasseTerre is nothing but a tacky tourist trap. des Santes is a quaint little town worth a stroll. You can find cheap WiFi in one of the cafes there. Shipboard WiFi is expensive and slow. Your biggest headache won't be on the cruise. It will be what to do after you depart in the morning when it is over and before you catch your plane if it leaves later in the day. There is NO service to check your luggage so you can leave it and wander the town. Windstar offers a "tour" that lasts until about noon before it drops you at the airport. That costs about $70/person. A taxi to the airport costs $20/person. We solved the problem by taking a taxi to "Mary's Boon" hotel/restaurant near the airport and hanging out for four hours including getting lunch. I recommend it highly for that purpose. The airport itself is nice and clean, but it is still an airport terminal. (Note: US Airways requires 3 hr. arrival before departure - don't believe it. We were there on a very busy day and 2 hours was way more than enough. I wouldn't arrive less than 90 minutes before because things are not handled efficiently.) You can get food to eat in the terminal gate waiting area.   Read Less
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