Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf Ship Tour and Review 2019

Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf Ship Tour and Review 2019


As mega ship enthusiasts, we weren’t
exactly sure what to expect when we boarded the largest sailing vessel,
Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf for a seven night Caribbean Celebrations cruise. Well,
we’ve just returned, and we have a lot to report. I’m DB from EatSleepCruise.com,
and here’s our Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf cruise review. The largest Windstar
Cruises’ ship in the fleet, Wind Surf holds slightly over 300 passengers in
155 staterooms. Cruising on a ship of this size was a great departure for us.
Being on a more intimate vessel certainly had some perks. We were both acclimated to ship within hours of boarding. The public venues,
focused on deck four, are in close proximity to one another. With a total of
six decks, there’s plenty of outdoor space that you can enjoy. While a rather
simple layout, you can easily find nooks and crannies of the ship to call your
own. There’s still a gym, a spa, and the line’s signature marina. During our
seven-day voyage, we rarely encountered any lines or wait times. No matter the
time of day, there seemed to always be enough seating for popular events and
meals. Cruising on a vessel of this size is certainly an adjustment for us mega ship
fans but getting to visit the unique islands that larger ships can’t was
worth the trade-off. The seven night Caribbean Celebrations cruise had no sea
days. Originating from St. Maarten, we were lucky to secure a direct flight
from Boston, Massachusetts that landed early in the afternoon. With transfers
arranged by the cruise line, we were taxied to the ship which was docked next
to the other vessels in port for the day. From St. Maarten, we ventured to other
lesser visited islands including several British Virgin Islands. In both Antigua
and Tortola, we completed island tours to see some of the destinations’ most
significant landmarks. In Antigua, we visited the popular vantage point Shirley
Heights and spend an hour exploring Nelson’s Dockyard. In Tortola, our tour
included a scenic drive around the island and a quick stop at the Callwood
Rum Distillery, as well as a beach break at Cane Garden Bay Beach.
Being the only cruise ship still stopping in Barbuda, we had the island
all to ourselves. We were able to see the island’s main city Coddington while
also exploring the frigate bird sanctuary. Even though the natural
mangroves were partially destroyed by the hurricanes, it was still great to see
thousands of these majestic birds and to learn more about this rare species. We’re
glad to see that island is slowly bouncing back from all the devastation
in 2017. The lesser visitor islands of Norman Island and Jost Van Dyke were
perfect for beach breaks. Cruisers on larger ships can access the White Bay
Beach in Jost Van Dyke from Tortola. It’s home to the famous Soggy Dollar Bar.
Legend has it that the popular drink the painkiller was first crafted at this
location. Cruisers can also access Norman Island for some snorkeling via an excursion
from Tortola. During our stop at Virgin Gorda, the cruise line secured a section
of the coastline at Fischer’s Cove for an exclusive beach party and barbecue. This
is another signature Windstar event that occurs every cruise and it’s a nice
alternative to stopping at a cruise line’s private island. Finally, our last
stop was st. Barts. We should have booked a daytime excursion but instead
we just walked around the port for a little while and headed back to the ship.
We loved our evening sunset catamaran cruise excursion though. The weather was
beautiful, and the sunset was gorgeous. The entire experience complete with
snacks and a champagne toast made the sail even more special. As we mentioned,
the ship has a total of six decks with decks four, five, and six
offering outdoor areas. Like many cruise ships, there’s a small pool and two
whirlpools, three outdoor bars, and an outdoor dining area. There’s also plenty
of rail space with loungers and tables strategically located on both port and
starboard sides of the ship. Given the small nature of the vessel, the
percentage of outdoor space is actually quite impressive, and there was never an
issue finding a place to relax or soak up some sun.
You are able to circle the entire ship on deck five, walking right past and into
the bridge. That’s right, Windstar Cruises has an open bridge policy which
means you can stop in and say hi to the captain and view the navigational
systems while at sea. This is a pretty cool feature for those cruise nerds in all
of us. On a small luxury line, you would expect exceptional service. Luckily,
Wind Surf truly delivered with personal and friendly service. After only a day or
two, the staff will know your name and more importantly your preferred beverage
at the bar! Throughout the ship, the crew always had a smile on their
faces and seemed genuinely happy. While they do not have a dedicated dining staff, as
Wind Surf has an open seating at restaurants, the service we received
during meals was usually stellar. Our room attendant Ni Luh did a wonderful job
taking care of our cabin over the course of the week. Cruising with Windstar
Cruises is really about the destinations. With a new
port of call each day, sometimes even two ports of call in a day, the voyage is
truly about the onshore experiences. With that being said, there were virtually no
organized activities during the day. There were none of the typical cruise
activities like trivia or bingo. There were only a few scheduled events like
fitness classes, galley tours, and wine or rum tastings. So, we suggest taking a book
or your Kindle to keep you occupied while on the ship.
Exclusive to Windstar Cruises is the Marina. Located on Deck 2 behind the spa,
this watersports platform is open most days pending sea conditions. Here, you can
jump off the back of the ship, take out a kayak, snorkel, jump on the water
trampoline, or even wakeboard! If you’re feeling adventurous, we suggest you
definitely check out the mMarina on Wind Surf. At night, there are a few
entertainment options. Every evening, James, the destination manager, hosted a
port talk. Many evenings, there was also special sail away events with pass
drinks and appetizers. After dinner, the Lounge and Compass Rose
featured music from two musical acts including themed nights like Latin night,
Beatles night, and Rock-and-Roll nigh.t If you’re looking for a cruise with a
structured nightlife, this is certainly not for you. We did miss having something
to do in the evenings, but we could usually be found bouncing around the
open venues with the rest of the “late night” crowd. We did enjoy the crew talent
show which occurred one evening of the cruise. Overall, the food on Wind Surf
was on par with what we’ve come to expect from cruise ship dining. There were small
bites available at the Yacht Club for breakfast and lunch but those did
not change much. The Veranda on deck 6 is a hybrid casual restaurant/buffet for
breakfast and lunch. We enjoyed our meals here, and found the food quality to be
better than a typical buffet on other larger ships. The food selections here
were limited, but they did change everyday. You could help yourself to hot
or cold buffet items or order off a menu. For dinner, the AmphorA restaurant is
the main dining room with a different menu each night. Open from 7:00 to 9:00
p.m., the venue had an open seating arrangement with no set table
assignments or reservations required. The food here was pretty typical of cruise
ships. Likewise, there was also your traditional lobster night one evening of
the cruise. On another night, Wind Surf offers the line’s signature barbecue deck
party. This was some of the best food on the entire trip. With a wide selection of
premium options like seafood paella, grilled lobster tail, and even a roasted
pig, it was a great event and certainly a dining experience that sets Windstar
Cruises apart from contemporary cruise lines. In addition to the MDR, there are
two specialty restaurants. Both of these restaurants require reservations.
Unlike contemporary cruise lines, these venues are included in the price of your
cruise fare with no cover charge. Stella Bistro is the french-inspired
specialty restaurant, while Candles is an outdoor Steakhouse. Candles was our
favorite of the two specialty restaurants. We could have easily
completed our typical drink around the ship in a day on Wind Star. But don’t worry,
we didn’t try! All bars serve the same signature menu with a variety of
cocktail options. There were also a few themed
events like a whiskey and martini night. Located near the pool, the Pool Bar is
open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Lounge on deck 4 is the hub of
entertainment for pre-dinner and post dinner action. A live band played here most
evenings till about 11:30 pm. On deck 5, the Compass Rose was an indoor/outdoor venue
which opened in the mornings by 9:30 and stayed open usually close to midnight.
Offering great views and live music at night, this is one of the happening
places on the ship. There was also the Terrace Bar and a cigar lounge located
on deck six that was open most nights. We stayed in Cabin 252 an AX Deluxe
category stateroom. While the room was quite large in comparison to most cruise
ships, it certainly showed signs of wear and tear.
The ship is due for a four-week drydock in a few months. Along with changes to
some public venues, we hope the staterooms get some tidying up as well.
The decor in our stateroom was dated and tired, with the carpet and fixtures
showing their age. For a luxury cruise ship, we would expect more stylish and
high-end furnishings. Granted, we did not spend much time in the room, but it did
not live up to our expectations. During a Q&A session, the president of the cruise
line did hint at advancements coming down the line for the brand as a whole.
Sailing on a luxury yacht offered us the opportunity to spend several hours
exploring ports of call that we usually do not get to visit. With the very visible set
of officers and crew to guest ratio of 1 to 1.5, we certainly felt
pampered during this trip. There were also enough familiar cruise
elements and venues that we did not feel completely out of place on this smaller
vessel. For those who have never cruised before, this ship will introduce
you to the elements of cruising that we love. If you’re concerned about sailing
on the “monsters” (which is what Windstar affectionately calls larger ships), these
smaller yachts enable you to get closer to your destinations of interest while
still experiencing a cruise vacation. Wind Surf is entering a drydock next
month to undergo some maintenance, cleanup, and updates.
The ship could certainly use some cosmetic work in the public venues and
staterooms. She has a familiar layout and a dedicated staff, so with some touch-ups
and a few more entertainment options, we would consider sailing on this vessel in
the near future. The overall experience was engaging, relaxing, and enlightening.
Visiting Barbuda and speaking with the locals gave us a new perspective on life
in the Caribbean after the devastating hurricanes in 2017. So there you have it,
our Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf review. But of course, we’d love to hear from you.
Drop us a comment below to let us know about your experiences sailing with this
cruise line. I’m DB from EatSleepCruise.com, and if you enjoyed this video, we’d
appreciate it if you gave it a big thumbs up! If you’re new to the channel,
make sure to subscribe down below that way you get updated whenever we put out
brand new videos. You can also find us all over social media @EatSleepCruise and thanks again for watching!

Antonio Breitenberg

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6 thoughts on “Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf Ship Tour and Review 2019

  1. Donald Bucolo says:

    The largest sailing cruise ship in the world holds just over 300 passengers!

  2. Scott Eddy says:

    Great video!!!!!

  3. Christina Hunting says:

    Great descriptive review! You guys are amazing!

  4. Windstar Cruises says:

    Great review! Thank you, Don and Heidi!

  5. Mike B says:

    I have been on this sailing ship & just booked a 14 day trip early 2020 after the Nov refreshing up it will get. The crew was amazing & will cruise again. The rooms are larger than average & agree it needs to be updated, but was Always Kept Very Clean.

  6. Judith Pearson says:

    Looks wonderful.

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