Length: 613 ft
The larger of the three ships (which are otherwise identical) - a sail ship with nautical features and friendly serviceBest For People Who Want
Lot of fraternization between passengers and staff; casual attire; great food and service in a single open seating; water sports; long stays in ports.Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer
Extensive nightlife, dressing up at night; children's programs; two seating dining; a formal atmosphere; balcony cabins.
Wind Surf, though it was acquired from Club Med, belongs in the Windstar fleet as much as her little siblings. She was designed by the same French architect, and for the most part appears to be a nearly identical copy of them, albeit simply of larger proportions. She is the only ship in the fleet to have actual suites which were created by reducing the number of staterooms employed by Windjammer from 386 to 312. Wind Surf is the only Windstar ship with elevators.Onboard Experience
Those who enjoy informal attire at night, single open seating, and exemplary food and service will almost certainly revel in their experiences on these ships, which spend lots of time in ports inaccessible to bigger ships. Intimidated by the sails? Don't be; they're mostly just for show, though they may add three or four knots to the motorized speed if the wind is right. Given that the casino's approximately the size of a large beach towel, and that there's no glitzy entertainment in a main show lounge, many passengers happily head back to their comfortable cabins after dinner to phone room service for some popcorn with which to enjoy a movie.
Windstar has already completed the new initiative called Degrees of Difference on Wind Surf. Upgrades to dining, accommodations, service, destinations and activities were introduced in stages. Staterooms received upgraded soft goods, Shea Butter bathroom amenities from L'Occitane, flat screen TVs and DVD/CD players, and Bose SoundDocks for use with iPods, which can be borrowed at no charge from reception. Wireless connectivity in public areas is promised for all three ships.Decor
With lots of dark wood paneling and blue fabrics, what the decor says, over and over again, is, "Nautical."Public Rooms
Aside from the restaurant and a tiny lounge big enough for a combo and a small dance floor, there really isn't much to do. Nighttime is great for sitting outside at the tiny bar and making new friends. These are some of the most congenial ships afloat and people do make friends quite easily.Cuisine
The kitchen is small enough that everything arrives warm. The main courses and desserts are delectable - the salads and appetizers are a bit lacking in imagination.. But the service is what it makes the most pleasing, as the staff is aware enough to quickly learn who on board has made acquaintances and seat them at the same tables. The outside barbecues are events, with big steel drums rolled out to barbecue shrimp, steaks and even lobster tails. Both the breakfast and lunch buffets are events. One can sit at a table and order eggs Benedict from the waiter, or the signature peanut butter French toast, and have it delivered warm to your table the second it is ready.Restaurants
The cozy, wood-paneled main restaurant has plenty of tables for two and views of the sea. Single, open seating allows you to dine when and with whom you please, except that the maitre 'd will select a table for you, and if you do not like the company it may be too late to say so. Invite your tablemates to join you before you arrive at his station, or tell him in advance if you prefer to dine alone. Breakfast and luncheon are also served in the Bistro, but the Veranda buffet is a cozy, glass-enclosed room serving table-service dinners and buffet at lunch is where you will want to be. There is an awning covered food station poolside with burgers, hot dogs.
Degrees is an alternative dining venue with no additional service charge. Make your reservations early as it does fill up quickly, By most accounts, there was not much actual advantage to the regular restaurant, except that the accent was more on steaks and chops. For most nights the main restaurant was just fine.Service
Even though the line is now owned by Ambassadors International, crewmembers will still come from the same Indonesian and Phillipine sources as they did before. The mostly Dutch officers have sailed with Windstar for years; they're especially delighted by the sight of repeat customers. There's an unusual amount of fraternization between crew and passengers. At one time, passengers were allowed to walk into the bridge whenever you pleased, and the officer on board typically would give you a long lesson on charts and compasses. That privilege has been modified to the point where it is now best to seek permission to enter the bridge before you go there.Tipping
A hotel service charge of $11 per passenger per day is automatically added to your shipboard account. You are free to adjust this amount at the end of the cruise. A 15% bar service charge is added to all bar orders and dining room room wine purchases.Entertainment
The best show in town is watching the ship leave port from the large aft deck. Almost the entire contingent gathers to watch and be watched by envious onlookers agape at the ship strutting her full sails. The Wind Surf lounge, featuring a small combo and dancing, may be pretty well deserted most nights. The Compass Rose piano bar is for sing-alongs. Heading to your cabin with a DVD from the library is the best bet. However,Cabins
Staterooms are large -- a standard 180 sq... feet -- and handsomely decorated. Standard amenities include two large portholes, TV/DVD and CD player, large closets, and a desk/vanity. Bathrooms have showers, hair dryers, and ample space for toiletries. There is 24-hour room service. But the suites are the best deal of all. Little more than two mirrored staterooms with half of the middle wall taken out, the result is surprisingly commodious. You have two of everything important; dressing areas, desks, even two bathrooms. These suites are some of the most comfortable staterooms ever made.Fitness/Spa
The fitness center is much more elaborate than on the smaller ships, with an extensive array of spa services like massage and aroma therapy, plus a sauna and steam room. There is also a spa with massage, facial, pedicure and other services offered. One can actually get "resort" scuba certification aboard the ship during the course of a one-week cruise in the onboard swimming pool. There are two hot tubs on main deck.Attire
Windstar's brochure calls for "casual elegance" in the evening, which means pants and skirts for women and polo shirts for men at night. Daytime clothing is strictly casual.
To Whomever it may concern,
I was not going to send this email but after calling to try to get my rehearsal dinner dress back that I left in the ship and I was put on hold for 15 min and then transferred to a voicemail of who NEVER Called back. I am extremely upset that it has been 2 weeks and no one has even attempted to return my call. Not to mention we never got a call after the trip asking us why we chose to get off the ship- the only reason I can think this courtesy call never happened is because windstar must get unhappy people getting off the ship all the time.
My husband arranged our honeymoon with a travel agent and by looking at the windstar website, They told us it is a "high-end" special way of traveling with beautiful wind sails, special treatment of guests, and wonderful food, not to mention stopping at wonderful ports in Italy and Croatia. From the moment we stepped on this boat, we were dissatisfied (this is an understatement) They were working on the ship fixing it when wegot on the boat- we could not even see out our window for the first day, the wind sails were NEVER put up as described in the website, and it was an old rusty ship. as We walked in, we signed up for a free treatment head-massage and continued on to our room, of which the TV was broken and the guy just told us that he couldn't fix it.
We then went to have a bite to eat. I have never been so disgusted by food in my life, it was like pre-heated convolecent home food. I ate bread and butter for the first two days. A complete disappointment because we came to Italy to eat food! Then we come to find out that we can only eat in the "nice" restaurants only once or twice the entire trip.
That night we went to a raffle in the spa and I won a free head massage. I made an appointment for the next night. Our friends had also purchased a massage for us which I scheduled at the same time. The next day I was excited to get off the boat and see Italy and eat REAL food, we ordered breakfast- completely un edible once again. We went upstairs to meet our tour guide and the cheesy announcer says that because there is a union problem we would be circling the island of Capri all day long.
I was soo depressed I went back and slept all day and eat the most disgusting cheeseburger of my life- I don't understand how someone could even mess up something that simple.
We got our "free" 2 limit DVD's and watched scratched old movies. I was excited for a free scalp treatment- so I went. The guy was soo creepy and he put you in front of a mirror and told you to close your eyes. I was soo creeped out after this 15 minute treatment that I gave my free massage that I won at the raffle back and told them to give it to someone else at this point I cancelled my massage that our friends had purchased for us.
That night we ate one more disappointing meal at the supposed "nice" restaurant. Totally depressed, we went back to bed- in which our ship mate walked in on us 3 times the final walk in was at almost 10p.m. I can't believe that it would even be acceptable to any hotel to just barge in at that time.
The next day we watched pure Kaos waiting to get off the boat in Taoromina, the tour guides were yelling into their phones trying to find more tour guides, they were loading people onto the wrong places, and it was a complete mess. We met another couple who had had a similar experience and we decided to get off the boat, Our final experience was arguing to get our passport back without signing some poor form to not get your refund back, which makes us think this is a thing that is not out of the ordinary.
This experience is honestly nothing of what it portrays on the website and I am completely and utterly dissatisfied, with the whole experience even afterwards when I called to get a special dress back. We could have been on a much nicer ship for less with the best food and entertainment for less than half the price. working in an industry with membership and treating people with the best customer service- I am shocked that your company would not have a policy that gives people who get off the ship early a courtesy call to see how you can improve or ratify the situation- especially since it was so bad that people would let that much money be at risk.
With this email I am requesting it to be sent to the managers of your company and for someone to send my BCBG white Rehearsal dinner dress back to us- as well as to indemnify our ruined honeymoon.At this point in time, I would not reccomend WindStar to anyone who asked me- in fact I am so un-happy I would go out of my way to make sure someone I know did not get on any of their ships.
My wife and I just returned from 2 weeks on Wind Surf, sailing from Venice to Nice with stops at Rab and Dubrovnik in Croatia, Corfu in Greece, Taormina in Sicily, Sorento, Civitacecchia in Italy, Banifacio in Corsica, Portovenere and Portofino in Italy, St. Tropez, and Monte Carlo in France.
Having sailed on two of Windstar's smaller ships, the Wind Song in Tahiti and Wind Star in Costa Rica, we were familiar with their program of open seating and informal dress in the dining room , as well as the open bridge and no tipping policies. We were deligjhted to find all of these characeteristics in place on Wind Surf as well as a very friendly and communicative captain who gave informative talks throughout the cruise. Andres, the host, (Wind Star does not employ cruise directors) was especially helpful as he was well informed about alternatives to the excursions at each port of call.
The food program on Wind Surf was creative with many unexpected treats such as crepes for breakfast prepared to order on deck, lobster barbecue at lunch on deck, and a sushi bar at cocktail time.
With 300 passengers and 15,000tons, Wind Surf has amenities not available on the smaller ships, which include a very well equipped fitness bar, a third dining area, The Bistro for dinner by reservation, two pools and two hot tubs.
We were delighted with the ship, the very friendly and accommodating crew, and the outstanding itinerary.
Our family of five (two parents, three teenagers) just finished a week of cruising the Southern Caribbean on Windsurf and found the experience deeply disappointing. The ship is certainly presentable enough, but one has to question the five star rating. There is peeling paint and varnish all over, the teak is in serious need of attention, and the boat looks just a bit shabby.
As other reviewers (and even the cruise line) will tell you, nobody in his right mind boards the Windsurf for traditional entertainment. The only show is a once-a-week very hokey review put on by the cabin and mess stewards -- most high school talent shows are better staged.
The main activity unique to the Windsurf is its connection to the sea and the water through its sail propulsion and its watersports marina. At least last week, however, the boat wasn't sailing much of anywhere. In fact, only three of the ship's sails were in any semblance of operation and the crew was apparently ignorant of how to trim them. This ship was built with the world's most advanced computerized masts and booms by Club Med. Unfortunately, under the newmanagement, nobody knows how to use them, rendering Windsurf just another steamship.
More to the point, we learned to our horror that we were sailing to some of the world's prettiest islands and beaches, but our ship would take us only into some of the world's ugliest container ports. That's right -- no beaches, no anchorages, no watersports, unless you want to buy overpriced and poorly designed shore excursions. Try two hours in a bus and one hour of kayaking for $100/person. It would have been easy for the ship to lower some boats and take us to those gorgeous beaches we passed, but that was not on the agenda. In other words, we spent day after day tied to a dead ship in HORRIBLE commercial ports.
Since I know the islands pretty well, I got good at hiring a cab to take us to great resorts, where for the price of lunch we could actually take advantage of those gorgeous beaches. However, that's not what we paid Windsurf's prices for.
This cruise line clearly has little regard and less respect for its customers. They own a magnificent ship (with decent food and cabins), cruise through paradise, and drop their passengers in the middle of hell.