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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise based upon the itinerary which started in Lisbon, ended in Barcelona, and included ports we were very interested in. It was our first time on Windstar and we had not chosen the line before they purchased the Seabourne ... Read More
We chose this cruise based upon the itinerary which started in Lisbon, ended in Barcelona, and included ports we were very interested in. It was our first time on Windstar and we had not chosen the line before they purchased the Seabourne ships because we believed the staterooms on the sailing ships would be quite small. We've stayed in larger rooms than those on Star Legend but none that were more well laid out. We had plenty of drawers, walk-in closet very efficiently arranged, nice-sized sitting area, and spacious enough bathroom. The beds were not particularly comfortable but okay. What made us very happy with this cruise was the staff. They are absolutely top notch. Every single person on that ship provided excellent service with a smile. I even had a medical issue and Dr. Rommel was amazing in doing everything he possibly could. Such excellence starts at the top. When we disembarked, the captain was standing onshore thanking us for sailing with him. I've NEVER seen that before! Other than the beds, there was one other con -- the plumbing. Nothing major wrong with the plumbing but not optimum. It is the reason, however, that I didn't rate the cruise 5-star. Food ranged from average to quite good but that's true on most of the ships we've sailed on which includes Silversea and Regent (before it sold to NCL). However, the staff simply makes up for any relatively minor deficiencies. Windstar also provided two special events that were excellent. They brought flamenco singers/dancers on board for a special show. They also arranged an afternoon private tour with entertainment, tapas, and wine at a palace in Palma de Mallorca. Very impressive. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
No children are allowed. Service and food were quite good. Ports were interesting and easy to walk around without an escort. There was a free two night stay in Lisbon which was a lovely way to end the cruise. Low key entertainment after ... Read More
No children are allowed. Service and food were quite good. Ports were interesting and easy to walk around without an escort. There was a free two night stay in Lisbon which was a lovely way to end the cruise. Low key entertainment after dinner consisting of flamenco dancers one night. Every night we enjoyed going to cocktail lounge with friends, chatting and listiening or dancing to a wonderful combo. No glitzy show with 2 thoushand people in attendance. Ambiance just what we like, low key. We booked this same cruise again for June 29th a only this time we are taking our adult children with us to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. When we arrive at Malaga, we booked Spain Day Tours to take us to Granada to see the famous Alhambra. We hope other from our ship will join us on this tour to make it even more memorable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We had just come off a 10 day amazing trip to Morocco so climbing aboard the Star Legend was quite the contrast. They have done a great job renovating the ship (although we did not see it before). Our rooms were fabulous. Lots of ... Read More
We had just come off a 10 day amazing trip to Morocco so climbing aboard the Star Legend was quite the contrast. They have done a great job renovating the ship (although we did not see it before). Our rooms were fabulous. Lots of seating space, closet space and bathroom space. We did get a room with sliding glass doors which we left open numerous nights to enjoy the fresh air. We travelled with another couple and all four of us said at the end of the trip that the trip was more about the yacht than it was about the ports. We had such a wonderful experience with all of the crew and passengers that we were quite happy to spend as much time on board as we were off. This was our third windstar experience and it exceeded our other two. Captain Richard was truly an open door captain and by the end of the trip most passengers were at the bow of the boat around the bridge whenever we were docking or leaving port. We felt very much a part of the experience (felt like we were captaining the ship so to speak). He was very visible and took such pride in his yacht. Clare who headed up the beverage area was also always hands on deck. She was a pure delight and while she was very friendly and particpated with us she also never hesitated to lend a helping hand to the staff if she felt there was a need. All staff on board could not have been more attentive. We were always relaxed and well taken care of and actually tried to stay a few more days into the next cruise (flight schedules worked against us) as we wanted to stay on!!! One comment I would make though, is perhaps instead of two live entertainers you have one live and one DJ so those that like to dance can do so. We cannot wait to return. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
7 day Western Mediterranean Cruise from Barcelona to Rome. Ports included: Collioure, Marseille, Monte Carlo, Cannes, Portovenere and Portoferraio. We stayed two nights at the Wilson Boutique hotel in Barcelona prior to the cruise. ... Read More
7 day Western Mediterranean Cruise from Barcelona to Rome. Ports included: Collioure, Marseille, Monte Carlo, Cannes, Portovenere and Portoferraio. We stayed two nights at the Wilson Boutique hotel in Barcelona prior to the cruise. This was the hotel that Windstar is affiliated with in Barcelona. Hotel was just ok, from speaking to others it seems like there was a big difference in the rooms in the hotel, some were large and comfortable, others were very small and cramped. Ours was somewhere in between. Really enjoyed the smaller ports, Collioure and Portovenere. This was one big advantage to cruising on a smaller ship, I don't think bigger ships would go into smaller ports like these. Overall we liked the Wind surf, beautiful ship, we were happy with our cabin and the service. We liked the small ship experience and getting to know many other passengers. The food was hit and miss and overall disappointing though. Breakfast and lunch were fine. Dinner was generally disappointing though and didn't compare well to a previous cruise we had done on Holland America. Most ports we anchored offshore and tendered in. This didn't really bother us, but it generally took a little longer to get on and off the ship. We had some rough weather at times which made some of the tender rides a bit of an adventure, but we ended up kind of enjoying it. The ship itself rocked back and forth quite a bit but we had no problems with seasickness and we didn't hear of anyone else who had problems. Because of rough seas we were unable to anchor at Portofino which was the original plan and instead anchored at Portovenere which was a more sheltered harbour. Was disappointing to miss Portofino, but Portovenere was lovely. We did a couple of excursions and enjoyed them all, particularly the Provence Wine Tasting from Cannes. Would consider doing another Windstar cruise, but will probably try a different cruise line next. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Cruised to Palma, Sardinia, Corsica, and Elba. OUTSTANDING Windstar-hosted complimentary shore excursion in Palma - wines, tapas, tour of museum - just great - highlight of the cruise! Not to be missed. Walked around on our own at the ... Read More
Cruised to Palma, Sardinia, Corsica, and Elba. OUTSTANDING Windstar-hosted complimentary shore excursion in Palma - wines, tapas, tour of museum - just great - highlight of the cruise! Not to be missed. Walked around on our own at the other ports and they were nice with good shuttles, dining, and shopping options. Didn't hear of any other outstanding tours and many were l-o-n-g. Great crew highlighted by hotel mgr Jeffrey Jack who is always all smiles. Nice fellow passengers though the number of smokers was high and trashed the starboard rear deck. Big business incentive group from Australia (half the ship) made it a younger crowd than usual for Windstar. Only serious beef was our cabin midships on Deck 1 was the noisiest cabin we have every had in 14 cruises on 7 lines. We have been on both the Windstar Wind Surf and Wind Spirit and never experience the VERY LOUD whining whenever the ship was underway. It would stop as soon as we docked so it was a generator or turbine. Very difficult to get more than 4 hrs sleep even with earplugs and the bottle of wine they comp'ed us. Many fellow passengers in the same area of the ship experienced same thing (including the free bottle of wine). But wine does not equal sleep. Would not cruise on this ship again until they get it fixed. Add to this the incessant banging and scraping of the crew working on the hull at mid-afternoon after excursions return when everyone is tired. Sounds like constant banging of a ball peen hammer outside your porthole. They can't do it when we're off the ship - has to be at naptime? Food was standard and after over 30 days cruising with Windstar we FINALLY convinced the chef to make some whole wheat, high fiber, multigrain bread to augment the bunny bread and white rolls they serve. Good for him and the baker - bread was great and fellow passengers loved it as well. Outstanding food and new expanded menu at Candles so eat there as often as you can and weather allows. We squeezed in 2 nights. Dining room food very good. The renovated cabins actually allow for a nice in-room dining experience if you are into that or need it because you are not feeling well. Buffet food always seems overdone at lunch - too many strange ethnic dishes and heavy stuff, salty soups, and sweet fruit soups (maybe crew likes these leftovers?). Salad bar could benefit from some riper tomatoes and lighter dressings - very heavy/mayonnaisey dressings. Lunch buffet needs more cold sandwich meats. We had mortadella and mortadella (Italian bologna) so you can make a sandwich. A neat light lunch trick is to order a sandwich or salad from room service and have it delivered to the pool bar/deck. The mid-afternoon/teatime offerings were pretty bleak. Breakfast buffet is good and plentiful though the bacon was consistently overcooked and corned beef hash undercooked (just warmed from can). You have to watch the omelet cook like a hawk to make sure he doesn't burn your omelet. They use way too much oil (like 3 TBSPs) to keep the omelet floating while it cooks without stirring until he flips it in the air. Poor, showy technique that results in an overdone omelet. Fried eggs or excellent scrambled eggs from buffet better and we added our own toppings from omelet station. We brought on 2 bottles of wine to enjoy in the cabin and ordered another. Wines and beer are fairly priced as you would pay in a fairly-priced restaurant or hotel ashore. The liquor packages are crazy expensive and I think you need to be a full-blown alcoholic drinking 10+ drinks a day to make the unlimited alcohol package any kind of value. The unlimited laundry package, on the onther hand, is a super deal and after a multi-day visit in Spain we came on with everything dirty and left with everything clean in Rome for the next 10 days in Italy. Used laundry package in transatlantic before as well and it saves an entire suitcase of packing and schlepping. Watersports platform was down for a couple of hours i Alghero but 59 degree water meant there were few takers. Still, nice they did it. Overall, we will try again if we can get a cabin we can get some sleep in. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
Could be your cruise of a lifetime, but I was expecting a bit more My wife and I recently completed the "Riviera" cruise from Rome to Barcelona during the period of June 19 to 26, 2014. We were celebrating our 5th wedding ... Read More
Could be your cruise of a lifetime, but I was expecting a bit more My wife and I recently completed the "Riviera" cruise from Rome to Barcelona during the period of June 19 to 26, 2014. We were celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary and were doing the trip "first class". As such, we booked one of Wind Surf's suites -- cabin #501 -- at a total cost of $9,000. I can honestly say we have never anticipated a trip more and very much wanted to enjoy every aspect of the Windstar experience and make it our preferred cruise line going forward. There are so many aspects of this cruise line that are really great. - We loved being at port each day of the trip. - We found the food to be quite good (with some exceptions I will note later). - The "on deck" dinner bar-b-q celebration was excellent and a true highlight of the week. - The size of the ship was wonderful for easily meeting new friends and quickly getting around. - The on-ship laundry service was very convenient and fairly priced. - The water sports platform off the back of the boat is fun after exploring a port all day. Note that I used the word “after” here. Despite all of these positives, there are some troubling negatives that really affect whether I will ever cruise with Windstar again. They are: - Suite #501 is unacceptably noisy. At the beginning of the trip we dealt with extreme vibrations from the mounted flat screen TV. While annoying, we solved the problem and were able to fall back to sleep. The last night was absolutely awful though. There is a metal track on the foot of the bed's head board. Extremely loud noises from elsewhere in the ship kept coming up through this metal track. It kept us up all night. For $9,000, there should be no problems with a room. - We had to take tenders at 5 of the 6 stops. This is the exact opposite of the "experience" that Windstar touts of being able to reach ports that other cruise ships cannot. The need for tenders was most annoying in Monaco and Cannes. At Monaco, most people dressed up at night to go to the Grand Casino. Wearing evening clothes on a tender is not very comfortable. At Cannes, our plan was to take a tour to a winery in the day and then go to a beach in the afternoon. I assumed a quick change would be possible if the ship was docked. However, the extra 45-50 minutes it takes to use the tender made this plan impractical. I suppose Windstar could say that tenders were used in order to have the water sports platform opened all day, but I suspect that more passengers would have preferred less time with the water sports platform if it meant being able to avoid tenders at least part of the day. - Further on the docking, the city of Monaco has awful taxi service yet the tenders had to dock a considerable distance from the Grand Casino. It would have been a nice extra touch to have a shuttle bus waiting for people in the evening to take them to the Grand Casino. - The welcome luncheon was very low quality. Our first experience on the ship should be top notch to set the correct tone. Instead, some of the lunch choices were Chicken-Al-a-King and Beef Lasagna. Really? This is what I would expect to see at a budget all-you-can-eat buffet -- not on a cruise ship charging top dollar. - The specialty restaurants -- Stella's and Candles -- had inferior menus to the main dining room. We discussed this with other passengers who shared a similar opinion. The main dining room was very good though. - We were unable to make any of the group talks about the next day's stop due to its scheduled time just when people are getting ready for dinner. However, given how little nearly every member of the Wind Surf staff knew about a stop, I question how much value these meetings could have been. We literally got no guidance on the best beaches to visit or wonderful little towns just outside of the port city. We got lucky to have found out about Eze outside of Monaco and Collioure outside of Port Vendres since the Windstar staff provided no guidance at all. - Port Vendres was definitely the worst stop by far. I have no idea why Windstar chose to tender there instead of Collioure, which was so much more scenic. We all joked that Port Vendres must have paid Windstar to stop versus the other way around (I am not sure it is so far-fetched though). - The explanation of the tipping service was very poor. I asked on the last night about the policy. The main desk gave an answer that suggested the base cruise fare included tips and anything I give specific cruise staff was in addition to this amount. As such, I proceeded to give out about $150 in "extra" tips. You can imagine my surprise (anger?) when I saw that gratuities were added to my on-board expenses. I gave Windstar an opportunity to respond to these criticisms before writing a review. I got a basic form letter response with a modest incentive to cruise with them again by 2015, which I will be unable to use. Despite this long list of “complaints” the ship and cruise experience could be really special if they just learn to pay a little more attention to details. I cannot say for sure I would rule them out for future travel, but I do know they missed the mark a bit too often on this past trip.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
I love cruising. Big boats, barges, small boats all have their pluses and minuses. The Windsurf is the big sister ship to the Windstar and the Wind Spirit. We traveled on the Wind Spirit and it was great. Close to the water, intimate, ... Read More
I love cruising. Big boats, barges, small boats all have their pluses and minuses. The Windsurf is the big sister ship to the Windstar and the Wind Spirit. We traveled on the Wind Spirit and it was great. Close to the water, intimate, a feeling of adventure without danger. The Windsurf felt big by comparison(not by comparison to Allure of the Seas), a little clumsy It had the drawbacks of small ships however. i.e. entertainment limited at best, no balconies, no speakers, not much activity. Windsurf has exceptional staffing and food. The excursions were well run and the ports made every day a new experience. I would recommend taking a cruise on Windstar if it goes where you want to go. I would choose the smaller ships however. They are more like sailboats. When you do book be aware that on board credits cannot be used for gratuities, and may only be used for excursions and items purchased on board (not precruise). Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
We just got back from a Windstar cruise from Barcelona to Rome. The ports were amazing - Mahon, St Tropez, Monte Carlo, portofino and Livorno (OK). The ship was OK too, not quite as nice as we expected - we saw wear and looked a bit dated. ... Read More
We just got back from a Windstar cruise from Barcelona to Rome. The ports were amazing - Mahon, St Tropez, Monte Carlo, portofino and Livorno (OK). The ship was OK too, not quite as nice as we expected - we saw wear and looked a bit dated. Everything was clean, tidy and nice, but just wasn't as luxurious as we expected. The food was the biggest dissapointment. Breakfast and Lunch were good, but dinner was awful. We really tried to have good attitudes about it because we wanted to love this cruise, but time after time our food was over cooked and/or side dishes were cold. We sent food back regularly. The only good dinner we had was the night they held a BBQ on deck. One evening I ordered surf and turf, the lobster was hard as a rock and the drawn butter had solidified (obviously left on the plate for a long time). I requested a new plate and they brought me another lobster cooked hard as a rock with two more things of butter that had also solidified. Not sure where these supposed awards for their food came from... I also took a yoga class which was a waste of money - I heard the teacher was also the manicure/pedicurist (which was accompanied by another bad story). The ship also offers a water sports deck which is great idea during some ports. We used the kayak and layed out on the water mat. This was definitely a plus of the ship. The only thing was that they also got us excited about using the wakeboard and water skiis and in the end their little boat was broken and we never got to take advantage of this. The liquor selection was really basic - don't expect to find something as simple as Maker's Mark. Its Jim Beam, Jack Daniels etc... The wine selection was OK too, but lacking creativity. All California. Overall, we had a good vacation. The service was very good, the cabins were nice, the ship size is wonderful and overall it was a really nice vacation... just disappointed that this cruise had the potential to be great and kept missing the mark. Not sure if the recent changeover has something to do with it... Read Less
Sail Date: September 2006
My first cruise on Windsurf  I have only cruised with the bigger ships before, like NCL so was looking forward to the same freestyle concept on a smaller ship Boarded in Barcelona after one night at the fantastic Le Meridian hotel ... Read More
My first cruise on Windsurf  I have only cruised with the bigger ships before, like NCL so was looking forward to the same freestyle concept on a smaller ship Boarded in Barcelona after one night at the fantastic Le Meridian hotel [recommended!] Caught a cab down the Ramblas to the pier  this cost 12¬ which is a lot cheaper than the $65 that Windstar wanted for the transfer. Boarding started at 2pm  a strange procedure  all the photos and credit card taking was done when we were on board sitting in the lounge. At least they served a glass of champers and some canapEs when we waited. We had a suite #337  port side forward  the suites are basically two back to back cabins with a hole knocked between them. No further alterations have been made so you are left with two vanity units, two cupboards, two fridges, two mini bars, four safes and best of all two bathrooms. New dEcor on the beds is a pretty gold/maroon colour  the beds seemed new and were very very comfortable. However the woodwork in the room was all chipped and scratched and looked rather tired. This was my impression of the whole ship  and I think it is going into dry dock shortly so perhaps they will give it a good revamp as it certainly needs it. On my previous cruises whenever we docked there was always some poor guy dangling over the side with a tin of paint painting the hull but this did not happen at all  and the poor hull was all scratched and marked as if the captain had had a few troubles in the past trying to park the ship!!! I took a peek into a normal cabin and these appeared to be very small with no seating area at all  unless you sat on the bed. Because the windows are portholes all the cabins are always quite dark. Food was generally very good  the breakfasts were vast spreads with separate omelette chef and the waffle chef areas. Lunches were often speciality buffets like Mexican or Greek or Lobster days and these were excellent. There was full afternoon tea at 4pm and on a few evenings they had canapEs at 6:30. Dinners were slightly disappointing  there are two restaurants and we ate every night in the smaller Bistro which requires booking on the day at 8am. Menus were simple. The dEcor in the Bistro was again rather shabby  again I am used to sumptuous dining rooms with chandeliers, ornate paintings, plush carpets, drapes and wallpaper  but the Bistro had faux wood walls, one picture and a few tired looking yucca plants! One evening they had a Indonesian theme evening which was very good and on another there was a Mediterranean themed buffet complete with suckling pigs. This was followed by the crew show which involved a few dances from their local countries [Indonesia and Philippines] and then a few more traditional show numbers like YMCA On board these smaller ships you tend to make your own entertainment. There is a small pool and 2 Jacuzzis - the chair hogs were in force and it was sometimes difficult to find a chair on sea days. In the evening there was a group who played in the lounge  the dance floor is so small though you could not really dance properly, and there was a duo who played in the Compass Rose bar  thought that the volume was rather loud for the size of the room. The ship had a casino and the usual art auctions  didnt try either. Ports of call were Ibiza, Palma, Malaga and Tangiers. I never take the ships tours and tend to do my own thing. In both Ibiza and Palma they laid on a courtesy bus to take you to the town  this ran every ½ hour. In Malaga they did not  caught a cab to El Corte Ingles [the department store] and then walked slowly back to the ship via coffee, the Cathedral and a leisurely lunch. The cathedral is spectacular and well worth a visit. In Tangiers we just took one of the local guides who met the ship  the cost was $20 for all four of us for a ½ day tour which seemed good value to me. Weather was good through out apart from a bit of rain in Palma. Even saw dolphins and a whale....! Read Less
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