wind surf yacht reviews

Windstar Cruises Wind Surf Review

The romance and allure of the seven seas are alive and well aboard this five-masted sailing yacht..

Anonymous Cruise Editor

Updated February 20, 2016

On any horizon, Wind Surf cuts a fetching profile. With bright white sheets enveloping more than a half-acre of surface across five masts, a trim hull that slices gamely through the sea, and a bow that looks sharp enough to parry with an iceberg, this elegant motor-sail yacht slinks into the smaller ports of the Caribbean and Europe that bigger cruise ships can only dream about. It’s not a cruise for everyone, and our journey wasn’t perfect, but—spoiler alert—we fell in love with Wind Surf.

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About Our Cruise

Down below deck, our cabin: oceanview, cabin amenities, other cabins, amphora restaurant, the veranda, stella bistro, candles grill, barbecue dinner, in-room dining, compass rose, terrace bar, wind spa & fitness center, other recreation, shows & entertainment, other venues, kids programs, ship communications, internet facilities, dress codes, laundry facilities, general health & safety, accessibility, smoking policy, tipping and service charges, alcohol policies, loyalty program.

Originally launched in 1984, Windstar Cruises has been owned by various entities, including at one time Holland America Line/Carnival Corp. In 2011, Windstar’s three-ship fleet was acquired by Xanterra Parks and Resorts, a company that manages several storied National Park Service properties. Privately held by Denver-based billionaire Philip Anschutz, Xanterra may have been an ideal match for Windstar. The company set about refurbishing the fleet—$18 million for the three vessels—and in 2013 Xanterra announced it was expanding Windstar by acquiring the three 208-passenger luxury power yachts of Seabourn Cruises, to be phased into the fleet in 2014-15. Suddenly, Windstar Cruises has become a major player in the boutique ship category.

Built in 1990, Wind Surf is the largest and youngest member of the Windstar fleet of tall ships, offering a unique cruising experience for just 312 passengers. In fact, with its twin, Club Med 2 (owned by the Club Méditerranée all-inclusive resort chain), Wind Surf is the largest sailing cruiser at sea. The ship offers Caribbean voyages out of St. Maarten in the winter and spends the balance of the year in the Mediterranean and northern Europe.

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Obviously, a cruise aboard Wind Surf is not exactly comparable to one on today’s modern cruise ships that carry 10 times as many guests. There are a number of things you won’t find: no showroom productions, no Bingo sessions, no children’s facilities, and onboard activities are limited. Though there are elevators, the ship is not very wheelchair-accessible. There’s not even a cruise director—how would we manage?

But there were more similarities than we initially expected. There’s a pool, a gym, a spa and a casino. We had multiple dining options, a DVD library, and bikes were available for rent—perfect for exploring smaller ports. Uniquely, there’s even a marina that unfolds from the stern with kayaks, a Zodiac and windsurf equipment. (On our cruise the marina emerged at one tender port but not at two others, perhaps restricted by local regulations.)

None of Wind Surf’s cabins have balconies, though all have an ocean view. Our quarters were comfortable, with a fresh and contemporary veneer following a December 2012 renovation of the ship. Similarly, the restaurants got a facelift and we found dining to be solid, both better and more diversified than we expected. Entertainment, though limited, was fine for the size of the ship—we particularly enjoyed the vocal/guitar duo with a serious affinity for Mark Knopfler that kept us entertained at the convivial Compass Rose bar.

Alas, there were some areas of our cruise that should have been better. Repairs were conducted on one top deck area during lunch, meaning loud sawing sounds and dust were inescapable for anyone dining at the Veranda (the only restaurant available for lunch). We were disappointed that non-smoking areas were not always enforced. The port side of the pool deck was a designated smoking area, but when several smokers congregated the starboard side was also usually flooded with cigarette smells.

Although service overall was very good, and we appreciate a staff that can recall names and preferences, sometimes it was a bit too informal. This would be a deal-breaker for anyone expecting white-glove coddling. Inappropriate presumptuousness was particularly a problem for one crewmember.

Now almost a quarter-century old, Wind Surf is getting up in her years. Fortunately, most areas of the ship did not appear in bad shape, though the teak decks up top definitely show their age.

Overall, our cruise aboard Wind Surf was a delight, stirring romantic seafaring notions and delivering us to choice, small ports. True yachties may scoff at Wind Surf’s sea cred—the sails aren’t hoisted by hand, and itineraries are port intensive (sea days are rare, except for trans-Atlantic crossings). But we loved the abundant teak decks, were pleasantly surprised by the dining, and we appreciated the easy-going ambience and attitude of fellow guests. Although it’s not suited for most families with young kids, we’re hard-pressed to think of a better cruise option for a honeymooning couple.

Windstar Cruises is overpromising a bit when they position their line as “the leader in small ship luxury cruising.” Both Seabourn Cruises and Silversea Cruises—for starters—offer a more refined (albeit much more expensive) product. The standard cabins aboard Wind Surf were fine relative to oceanview cabins on mainstream cruise lines, but the accommodations didn’t compare to the entry-level cabins on true luxury ships. It will be interesting to watch how Seabourn’s three smaller ships fare as they are integrated into the Windstar fleet in 2014-15.

But marketing quibbles aside, our Wind Surf journey offered a refreshing change of pace from typical cruises. While some of the service issues we encountered should be addressed, we wouldn’t want stiff, formal ministrations in place of the personalized attention we received from a crew that has been with this line for many years.

We look forward to our next Windstar experience with pleasure, perhaps aboard one of the fleet’s smaller, four-masted ships, Wind Spirit and Wind Star.

Lead photo credit: Danita Delimont/Alamy Of the 158 cabins aboard Wind Surf, 79 percent are Oceanview , which is what we stayed in (described below). All are identical in size and view, the only difference in pricing is based on location (Deck 1 forward and aft being cheapest, Deck 3 being most expensive). There are no Inside or Balcony cabins.

There are 31 Suites located on Deck 3 (except for once unit located on the Bridge Deck). All of the suites were created by combining two standard cabins, and each has two bathrooms. There are also two Bridge Suites located on the Bridge Deck. None of these units have balconies; the units on the Bridge Deck are fronted by public walkways.

Bright white and gleaming like Wind Surf’s sails, we were fairly happy with our cabin, which benefited through the the ship’s December 2012 renovation. We had a pair of porthole-style windows, each 15 inches wide, and fronting the windows was a sheer, which provided adequate privacy when pulled (when we were docked), and there was a curtain that blocked out all light. Our cabin was located on Deck 1, and our cabin floor was even with the outside water level—we felt very close to the sea.

We measured our cabin at about 178 square feet, slightly smaller than the 188 square feet shown on Windstar’s website. With a swank, padded headboard, our bed was a very comfortable mattress, or rather—two mattresses joined together. The seam was concealed by a pillowtop. There were adjustable pillow-level reading lights on either side of the bed—these were like spotlights, perfect for reading when a partner is sleeping. Atop the reading lights were lamps, and additional lighting included fluorescent fixtures above the windows, and recessed ceiling lights—in all, plenty of illumination.

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Next to the bed was a wall cabinet that had a shelf for an alarm clock, and additional empty enclosed shelves for storing small items like books. To the left was another set of shelves that included a phone (out of reach from the bed), a Pioneer DVD player, and a Bose docking station and speaker for an iPod or other compatible accessories (an iPod Nano could be borrowed front the front desk, pre-loaded with a customized playlist). Below was a stocked minibar and fridge; there was an ice bucket, sporadically refilled by our cabin attendant. Left of the cabinet was the closet, which was two compartments, each 22 inches wide. There were 18 wood clothes hangers, two of which had robes for our use; there were also pairs of slippers. While not as large as the closets on most cruise ships, combined with various drawers and shelves it was adequate for two (especially considering the ship’s relaxed dress code). Another pair of cabinets ran along the ceiling facing the bed.

On the opposite wall next to the cabin entry was another built-in feature, a desk with a large mirror above; there were two comfy leather chairs for sitting. There were six drawers, a couple more shelves above, and the TV—a 22-inch Samsung—was mounted here (an array of DVDs was available from the Library to play on the cabin DVD player). There was a single 110-volt (U.S. style) outlet and two 220-volt (European) outlets, all at the desk area (below the TV). On the second day of the cruise we noticed that the U.S. outlet was dead—we reported this to the front desk and it was fixed within a couple hours.

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Though not large, the bathroom had an unusual layout that worked well for us, and had a handsome, polished teak floor. There was a round chamber for the toilet, and facing it was a matching compartment for the shower. Between these chambers was the vanity, a sink set into a granite counter and shelving units on either side of the mirror; there was also an illuminated makeup mirror. An outlet for shavers was above the sink, convertible to 115-volt or 230-volt. The floor of the round shower was 35 inches across, larger than many we’ve encountered on mainstream cruise lines; there was a synthetic fabric curtain fronting the shower and there was a retractable clothesline. There were two Hansgrohe showerheads, one in a fixed position, the other a handheld—both had adjustable sprays.

Our bathroom was stocked with fine L’Occitane amenities—soap bars, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion. A hair dryer was found in one of the desk drawers (where the outlet was located). There were two pair of slippers and a couple bathrobes in the closet. At embarkation, a bowl of fresh fruit was set on the desk—replenished at least once during our cruise—as well as a vase with a tulip. Chocolates were delivered each evening at turn-down.

Our cabin had a Pioneer DVD player and a Bose docking station and speaker for an iPod or similar accessories. The cabin safe was actually two—stacked, old-school Futura units. Both were too small for anything like a laptop or midsized camera (actual dimensions of the opening for each was 4 by 6 inches). The all-beverage minibar was stocked within the mini-fridge, with nip bottles of spirits on a pullout rack. The selection included sodas, beer (alas, no more provocative than Heineken), wine, and a good range of spirits including Beefeater gin, Smirnoff vodka, Jack Daniel’s bourbon, Kahlua, etc.

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We did not stay in these other cabin options, but we have summaries here provided by Windstar Cruises. Note that any photos below have been provided by the cruise line and not our reviewer.

Suites All staterooms have ocean views, queen beds, flat-screen TV with DVD player and Bose SoundDock speakers for Apple iPods. Suites include an extra bath and TV along with sitting area and his-and-her bathrooms. 376 square feet.

Bridge Suites All staterooms have ocean views, queen beds, flat-screen TV with DVD player and Bose SoundDock speakers for Apple iPods. Bridge Suites offer the additional luxury of a spacious private living room and relaxing whirlpool spa. 495 square feet.

Considering the size of Wind Surf, we expected certain limitations with the scope of meal service, and yet this never posed a problem on our seven-night voyage. Wind Surf did an excellent job with the dining—it was as good or better than what we receive on most of the mainstream lines. Even the room service menu was more extensive and varied than what most ships offer.

Breakfast and lunch are limited to room service and The Veranda , which offers both a modest buffet spread and a menu. Alternately, continental breakfast and sandwiches are available in the Yacht Club . For dinner, AmphorA served as the ship’s main dining room, while Stella Bistro offered an alternative, somewhat more intimate environment. Candles Grill was the ship’s steakhouse, located on the pool deck under the stars (weather permitting). For Stella Bistro and—especially—Candles, reservations are strongly advised. On one night of the cruise all of these venues were closed and a deck-top Barbecue Buffet Dinner was organized.

At all of Wind Surf’s restaurants there are plenty of two-seat tables, which meant we were never forced to share with other guests.

Wind Surf’s main dining room is an elegant venue that was completely revamped during the December 2012 renovation. Located on the Main Deck, forward, AmphorA is named for the tall, two-handled ancient Greek/Roman jars (there’s one displayed at the entry). Open only for dinner, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., there are no set seating times. But since AmphorA can seat 216 guests—roughly two-thirds of Wind Surf’s capacity—there is almost never a wait for seating (including the ship’s two other restaurants virtually every guest can be seated at one venue or another at the same time). Further, there are 26 two-top tables, so we never had to share.

Amid sophisticated décor AmphorA has well-spaced tables, beautifully set with handsome gold glass chargers. Alas, the chargers had an uneven surface and they remained on the table for the starter course, which meant our appetizer dishes rocked and rattled as we ate. But the chargers were removed for other courses, so this is a minor quibble.

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The menu changes nightly, offering eight starters and six or seven entrées. Mains that were always available were grilled or broiled sirloin steak, chicken breast, salmon and penne marinara. Appetizers we enjoyed included fried calamari served with a garlic-lemon aioli; an antipasto platter with meats and grilled vegetables; a Portobello mushroom gratin stuffed with crab; the pear and goat cheese salad with a slice of prosciutto; a “tunatini”—raw ahi tuna marinated and served in a martini glass; and a hearty lobster bisque with a good amount of flesh poking through. On the other hand, we found salads to be fairly rudimentary.

For entrées we like the sautéed pork tenderloin and we thought the prime rib was a good, juicy cut. The wild forest mushroom and truffle risotto was excellent, perfectly cooked, while the surf and turf one night included a small, succulent lobster tail and petite filet mignon, also nicely done. The chicken piccata was in an egg batter, heavier than we are accustomed to, but it was satisfying. Among the standout desserts was the After Eight Surprise, a mint mousse atop chocolate sponge cake, and a scrumptious banana cream pie. The chocolate lava cake and a warm pear Tatin were unsurprising but delicious.

Located on the Star Deck with tables both inside and out, this was Wind Surf’s main breakfast and lunch option. There was both a modest buffet selection and a menu available, with much of the food cooked to order at an outdoor grill right at midship. We found most of our meals here to be just fine, and we enjoyed eating here except for the afternoon when construction immediately below carried on until multiple guest complaints brought a senior crewmember to stop it.

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At breakfast, the buffet selection included bagels with smoked salmon and fixings, Greek yogurt and honey, packaged cereals, a nice selection of sliced fruit plus stewed (compote) fruits such as pear and peaches. Hot buffet offerings included scrambled eggs, bacon (soft or crispy), oatmeal and cream of wheat, sausage (chicken or pork), fried potatoes, etc. But we were happier ordering off the menu, which included a variety of eggs Benedict-style preparations (California, Spanish, Messina), plus poached eggs over corned beef hash or salmon hash, a breakfast burrito, or omelets to order with hash browns.

The lunch selection changed daily and would include cold choices from the buffet such as seafood, curried chicken or pasta salad, cold cuts, cheese and fruit, marinated vegetables. There was a hot and cold soup of the day—it might be papaya bisque or gazpacho for cold, Portuguese bean or corn chowder for hot. Among the hot buffet items were pork schnitzel, salmon escalopes, baklava spiced lamb, fish and chips, or chicken satay with spicy peanut sauce. But the menu also offered a half-dozen entrées cooked to order, such as Black Forest sandwich, leg of lamb, fontina and mushroom burger, a pasta of the day such as fettuccini carbonara or bami goring with pork and veggies, and a Caesar salad with a topping of the day like seafood or roasted chorizo.

The main alternative to AmphorA for the evening meal was this equally attractive dining room located on the Star Deck, just forward of the Veranda. Open only for dinner, there was no surcharge for dining here. Whereas AmphorA offered Continental fare, Stella Bistro has a French menu—actually two, which alternated. Although reservations were suggested, with 82 seats for Wind Surf’s 312 passengers, there were ample tables for all guests to dine here at least once. Like AmphorA, the fixed tables were nicely spaced—the smaller room was quite comfortable and well appointed.

Among the starters we tried, the Napoleon of portobello mushroom was a treat, a goat cheese soufflé was satisfying, and escargots bourguignon was done in classic style. The salads here were more to our liking than what we had at AmphorA—a simple arugula salad with marinated boiled potatoes and a wedge of goat cheese, and frisée with shredded duck breast. There were also soups: bouillabaisse, lobster bisque, classic French onion soup.

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For entrées we tried the roasted chicken “grand mère,” a succulent and crisp quarter bird with rosemary, lemon and a red wine sauce—wonderful. The coquille St. Jacque Provençale offered a quartet of scallops on the half shell with a dollop of eggplant mousse; the dish was fine, but somewhat small for a main course. By contrast, the slow braised osso bucco appeared in a bowl like a yin and yang of polenta wrapped around the meat—a decadent and hearty dish.

The dessert menu trotted out predictable but welcome standards such as tarte tatin, crepes Suzette and chocolate fondue. We enjoyed these, but the cheese plate was our favorite, selected from a cheese trolly with accompaniments such as dried apricots, cashews and walnuts.

We so wanted to love Candles Grill, an al fresco steakhouse sitting next to the pool, on the aft deck. We arrived just before sundown and the open-air setting was unique—one can certainly take in the fresh air and sunset colors, with the waves lapping gently at the boat. But there’s no kitchen here, just the grill, and so most of the food (if not everything) that is not grilled is pre-prepared; alas, this constrains the results. That said, if we were lucky to be dining with a friend on their personal yacht and this was the meal they offered, we wouldn’t have any complaints. But compared to what Wind Surf does at its other dining venues, Candles doesn’t seem to aim very high.

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The seafood cocktail, served in a martini glass, was fine, as was the Caprese salad (what could go wrong?). The Caesar salad was garnished with a healthy anchovy specimen. We ordered the lamb chops, which were serviceable, while the New York strip was not the best cut. Other entrée options included filet mignon and marinated sea bass (both of which looked better than what we had). Despite the food being our least interesting meal aboard Wind Surf, the setting was magical—we’d still rate this venue as a don’t-miss, but don’t forget to bring a jacket or wrap.

We were seated at a small table set against one of the Jacuzzi tubs. There are four of these, and we’d recommend requesting a table along the outer railings. But don’t be too choosy: On a seven-day cruise there are barely enough tables (23) available for all guests to dine here once, and not enough if inclement weather shuts the venue down for a night. Reservations are strongly recommended on embarkation day, and for a night early in the cruise (in case of weather). Select the day and time of your seating carefully. It’s nice to be dining at Candles while under sail, but the tables are all exposed to the wind; an evening with a late departure from port might be better.

One night of our cruise was dedicated to the top-deck Barbecue Dinner. A tasty buffet was set out at dusk and Wind Surf nuzzled up to the base of the erupting volcano Stromboli. The skies darkened and we were mesmerized by incandescent lava sparking from the summit like a Roman candle.

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The spread included salads and appetizers such as roasted marinated vegetables, poached shrimp, hearts of palm salad, grilled eggplant and chipotle corn salad, avocado stuffed with seafood, and various breads. Hot dishes included moussaka, spanakopita, pineapple fritters, baked potatoes, paella, and an Asian style suckling pig with applesauce. At the grill we could order jerk chicken drumsticks, wahoo fillet, baby pork ribs, lamb loin chops and lobster tails.

No one went away hungry—in fact, overall the food was better than what we experienced at Candles. The tables were covered and napkins were linen, and there was live music. All other venues were closed on this evening, and in the event of rain, the event is moved indoors.

In addition to serving coffee, the Yacht Club is an alternative buffet option for quick meals, though most of it is served cold. Although only a small percentage of Wind Surf's guests seemed to use this spot, there are only just a handful of tables, and we found them full for periods during breakfast and, especially, lunch. Fortunately, few tend to linger long, so finding an open seat wasn’t too difficult the times we were here.

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At breakfast the selection included individual plates of fruits, cereals including muesli and low-fat granola, yogurt and berries served parfait-style, and a nice selection of rolls, such as organic tomato and basil or organic carrot and sultanas, served with mango-lime or apricot-nectarine jam. At lunch there were nine different sandwiches, along with a soup of the day. We took our sandwich ashore with us one day and made our own island picnic.

We were pleasantly surprised by the breadth of Wind Surf’s 24-hour room service selection. The only drawback is that there was no real table for dining on in our cabin, just the built-in desk, at which only one person could eat at a time.

The breakfast menu, available from 6 a.m. till noon, included hot items such as eggs Benedict, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, French toast, and pancakes, all of which could be ordered with sides of sausage, bacon, ham or hash browns. Cold fare included a fruit plate, various juices, bread, rolls and pastry, and a smoked salmon and bagel feast.

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We called to request breakfast one morning and the order was delivered just 19 minutes later. Food arrived topped with plastic lids or with plastic wrap. Our order included eggs Hollandaise with sides of hash browns, and an omelet that was folded with peppers, onions, tomato, cheese and bacon. Both arrived hot, and the taste was just fine.

There are two menus for the rest of the day—the main one being available from noon to 10 p.m. On it, we found everything from crudités with ranch dressing and vegetable samosas, to burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches and Cobb salad. Entrées included grilled New York strip, sesame-crusted tuna, Thai chicken curry and vegetable lasagna. The short list of desserts featured apple pie, chocolate cake and a cheese plate. The late night menu, available from 10 p.m. till 6 p.m., was streamlined and included a few sandwiches, salads, Bircher muesli and popcorn, along with the same dessert selection. Wind Surf had a full cocktail selection, a decent wine list and five bars spread around the ship. Unlike most of the mainstream lines, bottled water, soft drinks, cappuccino, espresso, coffee, iced tea, juices and milk were all included in the cruise fare. However, unlike most of the luxury cruise lines, alcoholic drinks were additional.

Cocktail prices ranged $7.75 for Cosmopolitans and Margaritas to $10.75 for martinis made with Grey Goose vodka. A beverage package was available, for $108 per cabin, per day, plus 15-percent service charge. The package covered unlimited alcoholic drinks (except top shelf spirits such as Remy Martin and Hennessy x.o. cognac), beer and wine priced under $12 per glass. Guests were asked to sign up for the package by the end of the first day onboard.

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Wines by the glass started at $6.50 for an “early muscat” from an unidentified Oregon winery or merlot from Round Hill vineyard. Other options for a dollar or two more included Rutherford Ranch chardonnay, Firestone sauvignon blanc, Seghesio pinot grigio, La Valentina from Montepulciano d’Abruzo, Barnard Griffin syrah; Veuve Clicquot Champagne was $18. The list had a selection of modestly priced (under $30) wines by the bottle—mostly European wineries we weren’t familiar with—plus such offerings as Frog’s Leap sauvignon blanc ($37), Rodney Strong chardonnay, Chalk Hill ($47), Artesa merlot reserve ($45), King Estate signature pinot noir ($41), and Scott Harvey old vine zinfandel ($49); Champagne started at $70 for Mumm Cordon Rouge brut.

The constrained selection of beers included the usual American name brands for $5.45, or $6.45 for imports—Grolsch was the most exotic label we encountered.

As the ship’s de facto coffee bar, the Yacht Club was open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily serving standard espresso and cappuccino drinks. The bar opened onto the Library, where there was seating, but most days we didn’t see many gathered here.

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This was our favorite watering hole aboard Wind Surf, and it had the longest operating hours of any venue on the ship. Located on the Bridge Deck, overlooking the aft, Compass Rose had a decent amount of tables outside with faux wicker chairs and a few umbrellas (it was one of the few outdoor areas that had much shade, another plus). The bar itself was indoors, and there was a good amount of seating here as well. At night a vocal-guitar duo performed here, and on a couple nights engaged us in a very competitive pop music trivia contest.

The full cocktail menu was available. Each morning, coffee, tea and a light continental breakfast was set out here, along with cookies and tea from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

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Located on the Main Deck, aft, the Pool Bar faced the ship’s small pool, naturally, and it was a good spot for afternoon cocktails, whether we were swimming or not. One caveat: The port side of the seating area was designated for smokers, and when several congregated, the whole area was plagued with cigarette smells. This bar closed each evening at 6 p.m. as the space was converted into Candles Grill.

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This was the ship’s largest bar, open only in the evening. The full cocktail menu was available, and there was seating on chars and couches. Most nights this was also Wind Surf’s primary entertainment venue, with a stage barely raised a couple inches above the floor. A group called Top Society played here, a set the promoted light dancing. The Lounge was also used for check-in during embarkation, various presentations (shore excursions, captain’s cocktail reception), a wine tasting program, etc.

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Located on the Star Deck, this little cubbyhole, with seating for about a half-dozen, was the ship’s one interior space where smoking was allowed. While the door was always open, it was inconsistently staffed—it seemed to open sometimes when a guest requested service from elsewhere on the ship. We were told that the ship’s full bar menu was available here, but we suspect some drinks would be procured from another bar. The Terrace Bar counter extended outside, and at night this area was called “Cigars Under the Stars,” with a few leather chairs, a table and Oriental rug put out for effect. Cigars were available for sale.

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The ship’s spa facilities on Deck 2 aft are operated by Steiner Leisure, the dominant player in spa services for the cruise industry. There were just three treatment rooms (each appeared to be converted from a former cabin), but appointments didn’t seem particularly hard to come by on short notice. Prices were in line with Steiner services on other ships, which are somewhat higher than at most quality resorts. But there were specials each day, announced in the ship’s daily newsletter.

With a somewhat reduced staff the list of services was a bit shorter than we find on most ships, but they included a variety of massages, starting at $79 for the 25-minute deep tissue massage ($129 for a 50-minute treatment). Facials started at $119 for a 50-minute treatment. Also available were acupuncture and salon services for men and women.

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The Fitness Center was beautifully located up on the Star Deck, offering sea views port and starboard. There were 8 cardio machines by Technogym, along with various machines for weightlifting and resistance. The gym was never crowded when we visited, though with just three treadmills and two bikes, it wasn’t hard for the specific equipment we wanted to be in use at peak hours. Complimentary morning stretch, abs training, Pilates and Yoga sessions were available (one in the morning, one in the late afternoon), but the ship’s one trainer was more than 10 minutes late for the stretch session we attended. Personal training was offered at $85 for a one-hour session. The Fitness Center was open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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Located on Deck 2 aft, Wind Surf has just one, square swimming facility, and it's not much more than a plunge pool, but it is appealingly positioned, and adequately sized for a small ship. The pool was flanked by two Jacuzzi tubs. The relatively few loungers surrounding the pool were often at a premium. Swimming hours were 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (Candles Grill opened at 7 p.m. nightly, preventing evening access for bathers).

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Wind Surf offered a few unusual recreational opportunities outside the Fitness Center. Accessed from Deck 2, a small Watersports Marina unfolded from the back of the ship. From the watersports platform, kayaks, small sailboats, windsurfers and snorkel gear were available for guest use, along with an inflatable water trampoline island. The platform is opened when the ship is at anchor (presumably never at docks), but it did not emerge at two of our tender ports (due either to sea conditions or local regulations). The equipment didn’t get much use by guests that we saw (the water wasn’t exactly warm), but by afternoon a few crewmembers were enjoying it.

Jogging was possible on the Star Deck (five-and-half laps equaled a mile), but one did need to content with diners at the Veranda Restaurant as well as sun loungers. Just above the marina was also a collection of bikes that could be rented for exploring ports. The rate was $15 for four hours, $25 for 8 hours.

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One of our favorite things about Wind Surf was all of the teak exterior decks. For a small ship there seemed to be lots to explore. The lowest exterior deck was the Main Deck , or Deck 4. This was where the lifeboats were located (preventing much of a view) and, to the aft, the pool. The forward section of this deck culminated in stairs that lead up to the Bridge.

The Bridge Deck , Deck 5, was more open, a great place for strolling and taking in the nautical experience. The actual bridge was open to visitors, there was various nautical equipment to peruse, and a few loungers were available at midship. Just above, the Star Deck was a wonderful space. This is where the barbecue dinner was conducted, it’s where The Veranda restaurant is located, along with the Fitness Center and a couple dozen loungers with a towel station. A small sign said five-and-a-half laps equaled a mile, but during breakfast and lunch hours this wasn’t necessarily the best place for a jog. One additional level, Deck 7 , is a flying bridge that has its own steering station—it was great for photos.

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Located midship on the Main Deck, The Lounge served as the ship’s primary entertainment venue. The stage—such as it was—was a platform raised a couple inches above the rest of the space. But it was big enough for a quartet, and the group Top Society played here most nights of our cruise. There was also a guest vocalist who performed on a couple evenings. The entertainment was okay, but so was gazing out at the stars. There was also a talented guitar-vocal due that performed in the Compass Rose bar nightly.

The ship’s DVD library was located next on the Main Deck next to the (book) Library. We found about 1300 titles available—a pretty eclectic collection that ranged from “Smokey and the Bandit” to “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party.” Something for everyone, you might say.

{{photo_gallery "Windstar Wind Surf p5 g6"}}

A galley tour was offered on one afternoon, and it was fairly interesting to see how our satisfying meals were prepared under Wind Surf’s constrained conditions (much smaller than what most cruise ships work with). The chef also organized a visit to a local market at one port, where he stocked up on fresh fruit, produce and other goods for the evening meal. There was no charge to join the short tour.

Of course, Wind Surf’s casino was smaller than we usually see on cruise ships, but it was bigger than we expected it to be, with 27 slot machines, 3 card tables and a Roulette table. There were different themes each night—the first night was Straight Night, then Blackjack Attack, etc. While the slots were open soon after leaving each port, the tables opened as late as 8:30 p.m. on a couple nights. Overall, the casino didn’t see a lot of traffic on our cruise.

{{photo_gallery "Windstar Wind Surf p5 g7"}}

The size and layout of Wind Surf created a number of unique spaces. The Reception Desk was found on the Main Deck (aka Deck 4), and was staffed 24 hours a day. Around the corner was the Library , which was shared by the Yacht Club (the ship’s café). Although there were a couple hundred books here—many of them reference-oriented—there were a lot of empty shelves soon after embarkation (we’re not sure they were quite full before casting off). This area had comfy couches and handsome Scandinavian chairs, some mismatched, along with a large TV monitor that was usually tuned to news or sports. We also found Backgammon and Chess sets, and there were two pairs of headphones to listen to music, though our fellow guests weren’t good about hanging them up properly on the charging stations.

Deck 5 was the Bridge Deck and the Bridge was open to visitors pretty much any time, except during sailaway. There were always at least two officers present, happy to answer questions about the ship. One venue on this deck that got little use during our cruise was the Nautilus Room , a conference room with chairs to seat about 50. The facility was perfunctory, but included a rear-projection TV screen for presentations.

{{photo_gallery "Windstar Wind Surf p5 g8"}}

There are no children’s facilities aboard Wind Surf. More specifically, the Windstar website states: “Children, especially infants and toddlers, are not encouraged aboard Windstar cruises. The intimate ship size and unregimented atmosphere are adult in orientation and do not provide for the care, supervision or entertainment of children.”

While we think a sailing-oriented teen might find a Wind Surf cruise pretty cool, pre-teens would largely be left to their own devices and might be miserable for the lack of playmates.

The Signature Shop was Wind Surf’s one and only boutique, but it was packed with merchandize, more eclectic than what we typically see on cruise ships. We found Wallaroo and Tilley hats, Gretchen Scott cover-ups, ladies Gittex swimwear, Patagonia clothing, watches by Fossil, Citizen and Michael Kors, blown glass ornaments, neoprene laptop sleeves, flip-flops, jewelry from Roman Glass and Antica Murrina. Captain’s uniforms for toddlers were charmers.

In addition to Windsurf logo items such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, sunglasses, visors and key chains, there was a small selection of sundries—sun block, pain relievers, batteries, memory cards, etc. CDs of the Wind Surf’s sail-away theme song by Vangelis (aka the “1492: Conquest of Paradise” soundtrack) were also available.

Wind Surf had a photographer with a Photo Gallery . Prints were priced $15 for 6x8 or $20 for 8x10, with discounts for orders or five or more (or all photos on CD for $200). On one afternoon, the Bowsprit—that pointy thing at the front of the ship—was opened for photos, a pretty unique cruise photo op, we’d say.

{{photo_gallery "Windstar Wind Surf p6 g1"}}

Most of the service we received aboard Wind Surf was excellent, friendly. Many of the crewmembers had been with Windstar for a number of years and they were proud of the ship. However, we found one crewmember to be overly familiar and forward—to the point that we deliberately avoided his stations during meals. We also noted, in contrast to most cruise lines, that we almost never saw our cabin steward, who breezed in and out of our quarters quickly each day. While we can’t say there was anything unattended to, we were surprised to not meet him until the third day of our cruise.

Wind Surf’s normal compliment of crew is 191 and the number of guests at full occupancy is 310. This equates to a ratio of 1.6 guests for each crewmember, a relatively high level of staffing for the industry.

The ship’s daily one-page newsletter arrived in our room each evening, revealing the schedule of activities and hours of operation for the following day. Passports were collected from guests during embarkation and returned at the end of our cruise.

Located on the Main Deck next to the Yacht Club, there were just two PCs available for guests to check email or websites. The basic rate for internet access—using the ship’s computers or our own laptop anywhere on the ship—was $50 for 75 megabytes of data, or $100 for 160 megabytes. There was a usage meter (in a second browser) that indicated how many megs had been consumed. The internet station was not staffed.

{{photo_gallery "Windstar Wind Surf p6 g2"}}

The attire on Wind Surf was comfortably relaxed. Windstar recommends that guests dress as they would at an elegant resort, but we’d say the dress was a little less refined than that. On sea days, the ship’s breezy outdoor atmosphere is conducive for light fabrics such as cotton, linen and silk.

The strictest dress was for dinner, when a casual-elegant dress code takes effect; the requirements were no shorts, jeans, T-shirts, hats and tennis shoes. There are no formal nights. The Windstar website also specifically states: “No suits or ties.”

There was no laundry room for guests to do their laundry, but basic laundry and pressing service was available (no dry cleaning). Items received before 9 a.m. were to be returned within 24 hours. Prices ranged from $1.80 for underwear to $3.30 for a blouse or sports shirt, and $3.80 for a sweater or sweatshirt to $6.45 for a suit or dress skirt. Most pressing was priced under $1; a suit or dress was $1.70.

An unlimited laundry package was available for $109 per cabin for the week ($54.50 for single-occupant cabins). Guests were asked to sign up for the package by the afternoon following embarkation.

The mandatory safety drill was conducted prior to embarkation and guests were required to bring life jackets from their room for the demonstration. Hand sanitizers were present in the dining areas, though we observed no special emphasis on using them.

Although the smaller Wind Star and Wind Spirit ships operated by Windstar Cruises do not have elevators, Wind Surf has two—one forward, one aft. However, no cabins or bathrooms are considered wheelchair-accessible, and the ship does not have elevator access for boarding. Guests with limited mobility should be aware that a number of doorways have raised thresholds to step over.

There was an infirmary on Deck 1, staffed by a doctor. The facility was open 8 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. daily. A charge was applied to the cabin account for any services rendered or medications provided. Meclizine tablets for seasickness were available from the infirmary at no charge.

Designated smoking areas were the port side of the Compass Rose and Pool bars, and indoors at the Terrace Bar (the latter was also the location for cigar and pipe smoking). Smoking was otherwise not permitted inside the ship, including cabins and the casino. However, we observed guests smoking in other, non-smoking exterior areas of the ship in front of the crew, including the outdoor dining area of the Veranda restaurant. We were disappointed that the policy was not enforced while we were dining outdoors.

A $12 per day, per guest gratuity was added to our checkout bill, to cover wait staff, our cabin steward as well as behind-the-scenes crewmembers. Additionally, a 15-percent service charge was added to all bar charges and wine purchases.

Guests were allowed to bring aboard wine and Champagne; bottles consumed in the restaurants or bars were subject to a $15 corkage fee. Other spirits were not allowed in cabins; Windstar offered to stow them until the last day of the voyage.

The minimum drinking age was 21.

Windstar Yacht Club is the frequent-cruiser program for guests. Formerly called the Foremast Club, the program was revamped in November 2013 with improved benefits that start following the first sailing.

Among them: A 5-percent discount on standard cruise fares for most voyages; upgrades to the next highest cabin category (or an upgrade from a standard cabin to a premium suite starting at $500 per person based on availability during onboard check-in); private member cocktail party; dining with the Captain or other ship officers; a Welcome Aboard gift; and savings of 10 percent on gift shop purchases. Additionally, a $100 shipboard credit is provided for each confirmed booking members refer to Windstar Cruises.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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6 Ships in the Windstar Cruises fleet

Ship:  .

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Wind Surf Overview

The Wind Surf is perhaps the most impressive of Windstar’s sailing yachts, and with space for 310 guests, she’s certainly the largest. However, the 191 crew members – and nearly 2:3 crew to guest ratio – guarantee that the Wind Surf’s service remains as astounding as would be found on Windstar’s smaller ships. Onboard, take advantage of the Wind Surf’s stunning public spaces – like the watersports platform, fitness center, WindSpa, pool, Terrace Bar, Compass Rose and more – or retreat to your luxurious suite for some rest and relaxation. Recently refurbished, the beautiful Wind Surf is primed to carry you and yours to unique destinations around the world. Contact one of our cruise experts to learn more about the Wind Surf and to find the perfect itinerary for you and yours.

  • Passenger Capacity: 342 (double occupancy)
  • Year Built: 1990
  • Last Refurbished: 2019

Wind Surf Cruise Destinations

Visit unforgettable destinations in 50 different nations with Windstar Cruises. Enjoy memorable and enlightening experiences in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Asia, the South Pacific, the Caribbean and Central America. With Windstar’s smaller ships, you’ll call at ports that larger cruise ships can’t reach – giving you unique access to these regions’ hidden gems. Continue below to learn more about each of Windstar’s destinations or contact one of our expert cruise consultants to start planning your unique small-ship voyage with Windstar.

Wind Surf Caribbean Cruise Destination

Sail away to the sun-soaked islands of the Caribbean for a unique tropical retreat with Windstar Cruises.

Wind Surf Expedition Cruise Destination

Dining in elegance on a James Beard Foundation Culinary cruise, attending VIP events at the Monaco Grand Prix, or skipping the lines to the Sistine Chapel are all possible on a themed cruise or cruise tour with Windstar Cruises.

Wind Surf Mediterranean Cruise Destination

Mediterranean

Explore lands of Old World charm and never-ending beauty with a Mediterranean cruise aboard Windstar Cruises.

Wind Surf Mexican Riviera Cruise Destination

Mexican Riviera

Pristine beaches, picturesque palms and vibrant cultures welcome Windstar Cruises to the Mexican Riviera.

Wind Surf Northern Europe Cruise Destination

Northern Europe

Delight in the treasures of the Baltics – regal castles, ornate palaces, windmill-lined waterways, gigantic fjords and welcoming cultures.

Wind Surf Transatlantic Cruise Destination

Transatlantic

Sail across the Atlantic Ocean with Windstar Cruises' luxurious yachts or sail ships and enjoy a relaxing voyage like no other.

Wind Surf Departure Ports

Windstar Cruises’ unique small ships sail all over the world from a wide array of departure ports. For instance, you can depart from some of the world’s most distinguished cities like Athens, Dubai, Singapore, London, Stockholm, Hong Kong, Rome and Venice. You’ll also find smaller or more exotic departure ports, such as Papeete, Bridgetown, Philipsburg and Colon. But no matter where your cruise embarks, you’ll always know what you’re sailing towards – an unforgettable and totally unique small-ship experience.

Wind Surf Port Of Oranjestad, Aruba, Caribbean Departure Port

Port Of Oranjestad, Aruba, Caribbean

Enjoy pristine beaches, lots of fun activities and perfect weather year-round in the Dutch island of Aruba.

Wind Surf Bridgetown, Barbados Departure Port

Bridgetown, Barbados

Barbados, where the weather is impeccable, the beaches are beautiful and the food is fantastically fresh.

Wind Surf Piraeus (Athens), Greece Departure Port

Learn about the Greek gods and the early philosophy of Socrates when you visit the incredible ruins left in Athens, Greece. At night, go out and take in the culture with the modern Athenians.

Wind Surf Cozumel, Mexico Departure Port

Cozumel, Mexico

Wind Surf Lisbon, Portugal Departure Port

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon has deep cultural roots that are exposed through ruins and museum artifacts. Cruise to Lisbon and discover the culture and history of Portugal in its capital city.

Wind Surf Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy Departure Port

A cruise to Civitavecchia is a chance for you to hop a quick train to Rome and explore the enormous history through ruins, galleries and The Vatican museums.

Wind Surf Venice, Italy Departure Port

Experience the serene, romantic splendor of Venice, but don’t forget to check out its wonderful museums and neighborhoods located off the Grand Canal.

Wind Surf Barcelona, Spain Departure Port

Discover imaginative architecture, impressive Spanish dishes and beautiful excursions into nature when you cruise to Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia.

Wind Surf Colon, Panama Departure Port

Colon, Panama

Colon, this historically important city is a gateway to the Panama Canal and full of Latin charm and New World history. 

Wind Surf Philipsburg, St. Maarten Departure Port

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Offering both French and Dutch experiences, St. Maarten is a leading destination in the Caribbean. You can always find exciting and interesting activities for everyone on this friendly island.

Wind Surf Cernobbio, Italy Departure Port

Cernobbio, Italy

Discover the wonder of Lake Como and the mountains of Italy when your cruise or cruise tour departs from Cernobbio, Italy.

Wind Surf Deck Plans

Bridge deck, wind surf staterooms.

Wind Surf Oceanview Stateroom

Oceanview (A)

Stylish comfort and ocean views welcome you in 188 square feet of beautifully designed comfort. Your queen bed (which can be separated as twins if you prefer) is swathed in luxurious Egyptian cotton linens. Before or after you enjoy an invigorating massage shower with soothing L'Occitane bath products, wrap up in your waffle-weave robe, have a snack from the fresh fruit bowl, or simply stretch out and smell the flowers.

Oceanview (AX)

Oceanview (b), oceanview (bx), oceanview (tx).

Wind Surf Suite Stateroom

The ultimate in space and style surrounds you in 495 square feet of pure indulgence. Separate bedroom and living room with an in-suite dining area is an invitation to relaxation. And possibly best of all, your expansive bathroom features both a whirlpool spa tub and a massage shower.

Wind Surf Suite Stateroom

With 376 square feet, you'll find the perfect space for time together - and plenty of room for time to yourself. You'll even enjoy two full separate bathrooms. All the amenities of the staterooms await you, plus a beautiful sitting area, and two flat-screen television sets with DVD players.

Photo Gallery for Wind Surf Cruise Ship

Enjoy a preview of the completely unique and utterly luxurious Windstar cruising experience in the following photo gallery. You’ll quickly see that Windstar Cruises’ fleet is like no other, with some ships boasting towering masts with billowing sails. You’ll also catch a glimpse of Windstar’s amazing destinations, many of which can only be experienced by the fleet’s intimate yachts.

Windstar

Windstar's Wind Surf

Sundeck aboard Wind Surf

Sundeck aboard Wind Surf

Suite aboard Wind Surf

Suite aboard Wind Surf

Accommodations aboard Wind Surf

Accommodations aboard Wind Surf

Service aboard Wind Surf

Service aboard Wind Surf

Lounge Stage aboard Wind Surf

Lounge Stage aboard Wind Surf

Lounge Bar aboard Wind Surf

Lounge Bar aboard Wind Surf

Compass Rose Lounge aboard Wind Surf

Compass Rose Lounge aboard Wind Surf

Corridor aboard Wind Surf

Corridor aboard Wind Surf

Open Bridge aboard Wind Surf

Open Bridge aboard Wind Surf

Fine dining aboard Wind Surf

Fine dining aboard Wind Surf

Exterior of Windstar

Exterior of Windstar's Wind Surf

Windstar

Top 10 Wind Surf Cruises

  • Wind Surf Adriatic Archipelagos & Greek Goddesses 9D PIR-VCE (Jun 24 2024) Departing From Piraeus (Athens), Greece (Jun 2024)
  • Wind Surf Stories of Italy, Croatia & Greece 17D PIR-CVV (Jun 24 2024) Departing From Piraeus (Athens), Greece (Jun 2024)
  • Wind Surf Classic Italy & The Dalmatian Coast 8D VCE-CVV (Jul 3 2024) Departing From Venice, Italy (Jul 2024)
  • Wind Surf Cultures & Charms of Italy & Croatia 18D VCE-CVV (Jul 3 2024) Departing From Venice, Italy (Jul 2024)
  • Wind Surf Sicilian Splendors 10D CVV-CVV (Jul 11 2024) Departing From Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy (Jul 2024)
  • Wind Surf Cruising on the Rivieras 17D CVV-BCN (Jul 11 2024) Departing From Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy (Jul 2024)
  • Wind Surf Enchantment of the Western Med 15D CVV-LIS (Jul 21 2024) Departing From Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy (Jul 2024)
  • Wind Surf Yachtmans Harbors of the Rivieras 7D CVV-BCN (Jul 21 2024) Departing From Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy (Jul 2024)
  • Wind Surf Spanish Symphony 8D BCN-LIS (Jul 28 2024) Departing From Barcelona, Spain (Jul 2024)
  • Wind Surf Riviera Rhapsody 23D LIS-VCE (Aug 5 2024) Departing From Lisbon, Portugal (Aug 2024)

Learn More About Windstar Cruises

Wind Surf Accessibility Vendor Experience

Accessibility

Learn about Windstar Cruises' handicap accessible cruises and accommodations for guests with disabilities or special needs, including mobility issues.

Wind Surf Dining Vendor Experience

Savor dining aboard Windstar Cruises, including Star Grill , AmphorA , Stella Bistro , Candles Grill and more—all included with your cruise fare.

Wind Surf Entertainment Vendor Experience

Entertainment

Enjoy Windstar Cruises' onboard entertainment, including live music at Compass Rose, informative port lectures, destination briefings, dancing and more.

Wind Surf Onboard Activities Vendor Experience

Onboard Activities

Engage in Windstar Cruises' onboard activities, including an onboard Watersports Platform, WindSpa, pool, library, fitness center and duty-free shopping.

Wind Surf Service & Awards Vendor Experience

Service & Awards

Learn how Windstar Cruises' staff and crew take care of your every need with an extensive list of onboard services. Plus, view Windstar Cruises' awards.

Wind Surf Spa & Fitness Vendor Experience

Spa & Fitness

Unwind in Windstar Cruises' fitness center and WindSpa, offering massages, facials, herbal wraps and more.

Wind Surf Special Events Vendor Experience

Special Events

Learn about Windstar Cruises' special themed cruises. Themes include wine and food, the Grand Prix and more.

Wind Surf Staterooms Vendor Experience

Explore Windstar Cruises' ship staterooms, including suites, deluxe balconies and deluxe oceanviews staterooms, as well as the luxurious Owners Suites.

Wind Surf Youth Programs Vendor Experience

Youth Programs

Learn about cruising with children aboard Windstar Cruises' intimate ships.

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Surf's up! Hayley reviews Windstar's Wind Surf

Published 9th September 2016 in Trip Reports By Hayley Hogan /cruise-news/trip-report/windstar-cruises-wind-surf-review

Windstar Cruises - Wind Surf review

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Entering the crescent bay of Dun Laoghaire we soon spotted the five iconic masts of Windstar 's beautiful 310-guest sailing yacht Wind Surf, standing tall and proud above the harbour. The ship is not new by any means, built in 1989, but she has been very well looked after, and was looking great in the unexpected Irish sunshine.

85% of Windstar's guests are American, but the few British guests that have discovered this fantastic cruise line are usually fans for life. Guided by Amanda, the Guest Relations Manager, we headed out on deck to see just how much outdoor space Wind Surf has to offer, from the Pool Bar right up to the Terrace Bar.

The outside of the yacht is dominated by the masts and has a small pool and a couple of hot tubs. The pool was a very nice size, and I could just imagine sitting there with a glass of Champagne, looking up at the huge white sails against a clear blue sky in the Med or the Caribbean !

Windstar Cruises - Wind Surf review

Inside the ship there are colonial style shutters to keep out the sun in hot weather, and the polished wooden floors, patterned carpets and comfy sofas lent a truly luxurious feel to the public areas. We were impressed by the amount of space on board, especially in the lounge and AmphorA Dining Room, which is the ship's main restaurant. The Candles outdoor restaurant is transformed at night for a romantic meal under the stars, and the French-style Stella Bistro can be pre-booked on board for a change of scenery. Al fresco lunches are served in the Veranda restaurant on deck, and non-alcoholic beverages, tea and coffee are included in the cruise fare, along with a Champagne welcome reception on arrival.

Windstar Cruises - Wind Surf review

There is a small fitness centre and spa offering beauty treatments and a hair salon, and as we made our way towards the aft of the ship we came to the marina, which we were keen to see. Wind Surf is well equipped with two jet skis, paddleboards, seven fold-up bikes and plenty of watersports equipment, and this would definitely be a popular area of the ship on a Caribbean voyage. Complimentary kayaks, a bouncy trampoline, paddle boards and snorkelling gear are all available for guests to use when the yacht is at anchor in calm water.

Windstar Cruises - Wind Surf review

For entertainment the yacht has a five piece band, during the day there are trivia games and quizzes, and the Captain has an open bridge policy, so it is possible to watch the yacht being manoeuvred and ask questions. If you're celebrating a special occasion during your cruise then you can renew your vows or perhaps have the photographer capture a 'Titanic moment' as you pose at the prow of the yacht, and a complimentary private event is also included in each cruise to give guests a unique local experience.

I'm deliberately saving the best until last though, the staterooms! I loved each of the three cabin grades on board. We were shown the Bridge Suites first, where each room led through to another; in a full circle you enter into a large lounge which led into the queen-size bedroom with walk-in wardrobe, into the bathroom, equipped with a Jacuzzi bath tub, shower and his and hers sinks, then into a separate toilet and back through to the lounge - a luxury home on board a yacht!

Windstar Cruises - Wind Surf review

We found the lead-in staterooms to be just as good. I loved the nautical design throughout the ship - staying true to the style of a sailing yacht - and this continued in the Deluxe staterooms, with cupboard doors featuring finger holes instead of handles. The compact bathrooms meant there was space for a living area and a plush double bed, with plenty of light from the large picture window.

Our favourite rooms, however, were the Suites. These consist of two lead-in staterooms joined together with the middle wall removed, and give you your very own 'his and hers' bathrooms, lots of storage space and a large lounge. If your other half wishes to sleep whilst you relax in the lounge, simply pull the curtain across to partition it off!

Windstar Cruises - Wind Surf review

Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Wind Surf, and were pleasantly surprised by the size and space of this wonderful sailing yacht.

wind surf yacht reviews

Hayley is a Cruise Consultant at Mundy Cruising, having worked with the company for 7 years and in travel for over 9 years. Most recently she's cruised on Seabourn and has also sailed with Windstar, Hebridean Island Cruises, Ponant, Royal Caribbean, Silversea, SeaDream, Regent, Uniworld, Scenic, AmaWaterways and Tauck. Her favourite destination is South Africa however she's also enjoyed cruises in the Mediterranean, Norwegian Fjords, Rhine, Main & Moselle, Danube, Southern Africa, North Africa, Indonesia, Australia, Arctic and Svalbard. When she’s not travelling she loves watching football, supporting her favourite team, Newcastle!

wind surf yacht reviews

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Staterooms on Wind Surf (Review Compilation)

By MNgardens , December 29, 2017 in Windstar Cruises

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Cool Cruiser

I have been spending time jotting down cabin remarks in order to aid choosing a cabin for us and several family members who will be traveling with us. I thought I might as well post this for others new to this ship. It was super useful to read about the potential for smoke smell as I have asthma. The good people on the Azamara thread have an amazing spreadsheet going.

I was not looking at suites so that info is not in there. If others would like to add to the list, please do.

107-convenient

107-good and rebooked for next cruise

110-my mom says it was fine; could get to elevator when sea doors closed

122-noise from what may have been stabilizer

124-good x 2

128-comfortable

129-no noise

129-smoother in rough seas

134-good x 3

140-comfortable x 2

140-no issues from someone who had other issues

147-perfect

150-this and forward cabins may smell smoke in hall

155- ok only one night stand

155-sewer and smoke smell

157-may smell smoking

217-comfortable

223-no noise good

224-excellent

225-comfortable

233-tender noise

235-excellent

238-midship good for rough seas

267-very quiet

midlevel 2-no motion

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Howellmc

We were in cabin 146 last May. We were very happy with it. No noises or strange smells.

146- happy, no strange noises or smells

Added deckplans

https://www.cruisecritic.com/wind-surf-deck-plans/dp/

minidonuts85

minidonuts85

Thank you!!!!

elklemi

In cabin 102 which is all way aft and was quiet and no smells,

The deckplan link above was pretty poor. Sorry.

Here is the plan from the Windstar webpage https://d2xks5907lvzsh.cloudfront.net/media/yachts/deck_plans/Surf-Deck-Plan.5.22.17-LowRes.pdf

102- quiet, no smells

https://d2xks5907lvzsh.cloudfront.ne....17-LowRes.pdf Deckplans

Lynnewob

Room 112 has the tender platform right outside. It was a surprise to see a crew member coming down on the platform on ropes the first morning we woke up and were at a tender port.

People don't walk past as it's a crew only section - I would imagine you could see passengers legs if you were in 110.

Griller

As we have 102 booked its good to know there at least there are no smells there............................thanks

I see from the deckplan we are B grade, that seems to be the lowest, but at least its near the elevator.

We are used to travelling steerage.

Do Windstar ever upgrade passengers before sailing if the ship isn't full or for any other reason?

Griller: I'm not sure if it's the same on the sail boats, but on Star Pride, I did not get any sense of "class" distinctions. Everyone had basically the same size room, except for a couple of suites. There was no special dining, etc. It was one of the things I really liked about Windstar. It seems that while other lines have gone for the extra charges for space, balconies, service, Windstar treats everyone the same on the ship. We only upgraded a bit for location more mid-ship.

112-tender platform outside, may see crew member through window

new_cruiser

For anyone who's moving from the motor yachts to the sail ones, something to note is that the sail ship cabin numbers go from aft to bow.

On the motor ships, it's the opposite.

So, 102 on Wind Surf is an aft cabin. On Star Legend it is forward.

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  • 2 weeks later...

128 had a leak on the 12/23/17 cruise and was being repaired on the 12/30/17 one. Those folks in 128 were moved to 126 where they experienced a leak and their AC didn't work. I would avoid those 2 cabins for the time being.

Was the leak along the lines of a sink/toilet leak (bummer) or a sea water leak (yikes)?

Not sure where the leak was happening but it may have to do with the A/C unit. The maintenance men were in the hallway outside those cabins trying to repair something.

Just booked 107 on the Windsurf..thanks for the helpful post!

Cruze4Ever

Thanks for posting the list!

  • 7 months later...

Host Walt

This thread has just been "pinned" (made into a "sticky") to provide a reference source for cabin details for the Wind Surf sailing yacht.

I cross-referenced my research against MNgardens' most recent, updated list (12-31-17), & can add the following:

Noisy: 121, 123, 125, 139

Quiet: 126, 127, 137, 138, 142, 219, 228, 234, 246, 254

My research showed 124 to be noisy, which is different than what MNgardens found, so I don't know what to tell you there. MN gardens had 2 votes for it being a good cabin, so maybe we should go with that.

I believe there was one post that mentioned that folks in cabins 154, 155 & 157 might hear chatting from those waiting for the elevator. Someone who's stayed in one of those cabins may want to weigh in on that.

Also, those in cabins 222 through 230 may be bothered by people lining up for the tender in the hallway.

I cross-referenced my research against MNgardens' most recent, updated list (12-31-17), & can add the following:   Noisy: 121, 123, 125, 139   Quiet: 126, 127, 137, 138, 142, 219, 228, 234, 246, 254   My research showed 124 to be noisy, which is different than what MNgardens found, so I don't know what to tell you there. MN gardens had 2 votes for it being a good cabin, so maybe we should go with that.   I believe there was one post that mentioned that folks in cabins 154, 155 & 157 might hear chatting from those waiting for the elevator. Someone who's stayed in one of those cabins may want to weigh in on that.   Also, those in cabins 222 through 230 may be bothered by people lining up for the tender in the hallway.

In January, 2018 we stayed in Cabin 235 and it was quiet.

I have to say we have been on 23 cruises with WS all except 1 on the sail boats mostly in the B level 100’s we like being down there due to the gentle rocking. We have our best sleep on WS always have. We have been in the bow area, stern, middle. Maybe twice on the A level. We like B level and because we have been on so many times we are often offered “ up grades “ which we refuse. Never a problem, noise, smells etc. I think it is luck, on sail boats something always go wrong, my opinion simply luck.

We love the mattresses and the water pressure we are in our rooms to sleep only and sleep well we do. Otherwise we are on deck. We did accept an upgrade on the Breeze because of the balcony which we loved. Would I want one on the North Atlantic no, but Caribbean and the Med. Absolutely.

Again quiet, we were in deck 5 in the middle, was great. We can’t wait for 1/5, 2 weeks in the Surf heaven. Happy Sailing

Petoonya

Just booked a cruise on Wind Surf and what a joy to know I could come here and instantly know which cabin I want and don't want. Thanks MNgardens. This is great.

It is a great idea :p

Funny, no comments on Wind Surf Deck 3, (TX, not suites). I'm looking at 301 or 302 aft, are they that bad? Anyone know how curved the walls are, and if that's a dead-end hallway? I would love to be able to climb outside without passing any cabins. Guessing we have to stroll down the hall to the inside stairs, yes? no? Good thread, thanks!

  • 1 month later...

:classic_biggrin:

Didn't see 230 on the list above, but 228 was reported as quiet which is right next door.

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wind surf yacht reviews

Windstar's Flagship Sailing Ship

On any day, our 342-guest flagship, Wind Surf , the world’s largest sailing ship, draws admiring glances as she glides majestically into port with her tall sails billowing. And her beauty is far more than skin deep. During their cruise, you will find the perfect setting for ‘making an entrance’ in the beautiful reception area – and, appropriately, that’s only the beginning.

When you return to your stateroom, the luxury gets personal. Windstar’s signature bowl of fresh fruit will still be waiting for you, along with rich tufted headboards, soft seascape colors, beautiful new upholstery, and fine count Egyptian cotton linens welcome you to an oasis of relaxing indulgence.

Wind Surf underwent a significant renovation of public spaces and suites, including an expanded lounge with new lights and sound for upcoming stage performances. Relax into the destinations you’re visiting at the new World Spa by Windstar , which will offer regional spa treatments, including massage styles like Swedish, Japanese Shiatsu and Hawaiian Lomi Lomi. An Officer’s Suite, which might be the only one of its kind, provides you with the chance to stay in the heart of the officer quarters tucked right behind the Bridge.

Everything about Wind Surf speaks of welcome. Come aboard and see it for yourself.

Windstar has always been known for our iconic sailing ships, and now we are embarking on a multi-year refresh of the Wind Class ships. The initiative, Setting Sails: A Wind Class Refresh , brings the tight-knit connection of the Windstar community to the forefront through the redesign of public spaces and staterooms. From a revamped lobby to a new pool and larger pool bar, new World Spa by Windstar to a redesigned lounge, this initiative also includes intricate details like new teak decks and décor for a timeless and welcoming experience. Wind Surf will complete her redesign in 2024 and 2026.

wind surf yacht reviews

Queen Size Bed with Luxurious Linens Waffle Weave Robe and Slippers TV with DVD Player Fully Stocked Mini Bar/Refrigerator Safe L'Occitane Bath Amenities Fresh Fruit Hair Dryers and 110/220 outlets Wi-Fi (internet cards can be purchased at reception) Bathroom with granite countertop and shower Granite vanity with magnifying mirror

wind surf yacht reviews

  • CAPACITY: 342 Guests
  • STATEROOMS: 150 deluxe ocean view staterooms
  • SUITES: 18 deluxe ocean view suites
  • BRIDGE DECK SUITES: 2 deluxe ocean view bridge suites
  • OFFICER'S SUITE: 1, located in the officer's quarters
  • DECKS: 6 decks
  • CREW:  210 international staff
  • SHIP'S REGISTRY: Bahamas
  • LENGTH: 535 feet (162 meters) at waterline; 617 feet (187meters) including bowsprit
  • DRAFT: 16.5 feet (5 meters)
  • TONNAGE: 14,745 gross registered tons (grt)
  • BEAM: 66 feet (20 meters)
  • SAILS: 7 triangular, self-furling, computer-operated sails with 26,881 square feet (or 2,600 square meters) of Dacron surface area
  • MASTS: 5 at 221 feet (67.5 meters)
  • ENGINES: 4 diesel electric generating sets, 2 electrical propulsion motor
  • SPEED: 10 to 12 knots with engines only; up to 15 knots wind and engine assisted

The Roaming Boomers

Review: sailing windstar cruises wind surf.

Posted by David Porter on Thursday, December 29, 2016 · 17 Comments  

wind surf yacht reviews

Our group of Roaming Boomers aboard the Windsurf

Our Personal Experience Sailing Aboard the Windstar Cruises Motor Sailing Yacht: Wind Surf

Note: click all photographs for larger views.

One of the missions of our website is to expose our readers and clients to off-the-beaten-path experiences. As we see it, why travel with the hordes if you can have a fabulous travel experience far from the madding crowd.

When it comes to ocean cruises, if the idea of sailing with an army of 6,000 people makes you feel icky, then thankfully, today’s evolving cruise industry is providing wonderful alternative options.

Carol and I recently sailed with Windstar Cruises on a 9-night sailing in the Caribbean and really enjoyed the experience.

Windstar Cruises offers a fabulous blend of luxury, value, and intimate small-ship cruising that deserves your rapt attention!

wind surf yacht reviews

Carol and I, along with a group of 7 other “roaming boomers” that came with us, sailed aboard the Wind Surf which Windstar Cruises bills as the world’s largest motor sailing yacht.

I’ve been sitting here staring at my computer screen for about 20 minutes trying to figure out how to best describe our 9-day experience in an article that is informative, valuable to our readers, but yet not so large that you lose interest part-way through.  Therefore, I’ve decided to keep our review article limited to the major categories that folks would first want to know about, and create shorter deep-dive pieces in the future about our various experiences.

So that we don’t bury the lead, would we sail with Windstar Cruises again?  Yes.  Absolutely!

Now, let’s get into the good stuff…

The Ship: Windstar Cruises Wind Surf

wind surf yacht reviews

This ship has 6 passenger decks, and holds a maximum of 310 guests with 122 deluxe ocean-view staterooms, 31 deluxe ocean-view suites, and 2 deluxe ocean-view bridge suites.

As you can see, the ship (part cruise ship, part yacht) features five massive computerized sails that reach 221 ft. above sea level. And important to me, the Wind Surf has a passenger space ratio of 47.5, which is nearly double the passenger spaces that many of the large cruise ships feature.  That means you won’t be fighting over a place to park yourself with a good book on deck.

As most of our sailing was done at night, we didn’t really get to experience the sails much.  However, each night the ship featured a “sail-away” event which resembled a Disney-like atmosphere with dramatic music playing throughout the ship as each of the sails was unfurled to the setting of the sun.

wind surf yacht reviews

In this photograph, you can see that one of the unique features of a yacht-cruise is a marina on the back of the ship.  As the ship was generally moored at most of our locations, those who wanted to play in the warm Caribbean waters had great fun using the ship’s complimentary water sports equipment.

wind surf yacht reviews

I snagged this photograph (below) showing one of our sunset sail-aways.  Looks fun.  Right?

wind surf yacht reviews

Windstar Cruises Wind Surf Staterooms

Windstar Wind Surf Ocean View Suite

Carol and I enjoyed one of the deluxe ocean-view suites (pictured above).  Our suite was 376 sq. ft. and was essentially two of the ship’s standard staterooms combined to make one suite.  As a result, we had two bathrooms, two desk areas, loads of storage space, and being able to draw the curtains when I rose in the morning before Carol was a plus she enjoyed.

Some of the folks traveling with us opted for the 188 sq. ft. deluxe ocean-view stateroom.  Inquiring about these staterooms, their comments were that they were small, but they didn’t feel squished, had ample storage, a nice desk area, and as they weren’t spending much time in their rooms anyway, they felt completely satisfied.

If you take a peek at our ocean-view suite above, you’ll notice that there is no balcony.  With rare exceptions, this is standard on a yacht cruise.  Behind each of the curtains in our stateroom were two portholes giving the illusion of two large picture windows.  There was ample natural light, and like our guests commented above, we didn’t spend much time in our stateroom anyway as there were ample common spaces above to sneak away and relax.

I know that some of you reading this will simply put yacht cruising out of your minds because there are no verandas.  But to me, the other benefits of our sailing yacht experience far outweighed the fact that we had no balcony. Keep in mind, there were only 300 of us on board.  I would happily give up a veranda to not be around 5,000 other people.

Dining Aboard the Windstar Cruises Wind Surf

wind surf yacht reviews

I grabbed this photograph one morning and I think this pretty much says it all. Granted, these were the first people to be seated on this delightful morning, but dining on the Wind Surf is akin to dining on your own private yacht.  We enjoyed breakfast and lunch in this setting every single day, and loved it.

At night, this area is transformed into what they call Candles Restaurant where guests can enjoy steaks and fine seafood under the stars.  AmphorA, the ship’s main dining room served wonderful dining experiences each night with standard American cuisine available along with regional specials each night.  One night we enjoyed a massive BBQ under the stars on the top deck, and when we were in St. Lucia, Windstar gave us a fabulous beach BBQ.

wind surf yacht reviews

With Windstar Cruises, all meals are complimentary in all venues at all times, including the room service menu available 24 hours.  We ordered breakfast in our room a few mornings, and several times enjoyed a simple sandwich, cookie, and cappuccino in the Yacht Club Sandwich & Espresso Bar.

Overall, our group gave the cuisine aboard ship 4.3 stars out of 5, with 5 being a Michelin-star rated restaurant.  You should also know that our group gave the staff aboard ship a 5 out of 5 rating.  They really were remarkable.  In just a few days, most of the staff that we interacted with knew our names, knew our wine preferences, and really made us feel at home.

wind surf yacht reviews

Here’s two guys enjoying the pool one lazy afternoon in port. And I snagged the photograph below while on a fun-filled shore excursion at the world-famous frigatebird sanctuary in Barbuda.

wind surf yacht reviews

I grabbed this photograph during one of our sunset sail-aways.  Can you picture yourself here?

wind surf yacht reviews

Yacht Cruise or Mega-Ship

wind surf yacht reviews

When we were moored in St. Martin, I was enjoying a good book on the back of our yacht when I spied this behemoth to the right coming into port. I was flabbergasted by its size.  I quickly grabbed my flip-flops and ran off the Wind Surf determined to get a photograph that might compare these two completely different cruising options.

The ship on the right carries 5,400 people and once they competed the docking process, people started streaming out of the belly of this thing like ants out of an ant hill.  I went to the very front of the monstrosity to capture my photograph, but from that vantage point, you could hardly see the Wind Surf.  So, I opted for a photograph that compared roughly half of said monster-ship against the elegant Wind Surf.

I don’t know.  You tell me.  Which would you rather sail the ocean blue upon?  It’s a no brainer for us.  We prefer smaller ships and no crowds. Monster-ship is very limited in where she can go.  Where our nimble sailing yacht could moor nearly anywhere in the world.  Nuff said?

It’s all about the ship.  Really?

Carol and I were meeting with the sales rep for the company that represents the ship to the right, and she made a comment that “ocean cruising is all about the ship”.  And I’ll admit, if I were 30 years old and single, or perhaps doing a multi-generational trip with my family, I would be drawn to something more like the ship on the right.  But when we’re traveling, the ship is certainly important, but for us, it’s all about the destination.  And the ship on the left is going to allow me to experience destinations far away from the crowds.

So, ask yourself, when you contemplate an ocean cruise, do you want to come home and boast about the ship you were on, or would you rather boast about the off-the-beaten-path destinations you visited?

wind surf yacht reviews

Carol pretending to steer the ship.

Summing it all up

Carol and I really enjoyed our sailing experience aboard the Windstar Cruises Wind Surf.  When we asked our group of “roaming boomers” to rate the total experience, 0 being get me off this tub, and 5 being the most luxurious and best of the best ever, they gave the Wind Surf a 4.3.

Windstar Cruises isn’t trying to compete against the ultra-luxe yacht cruises that are now becoming available in the marketplace.  They have a unique niche in the 4+star market, we really enjoyed it, and would happily do it again.  Plus, when I share with folks that our 10-day sailing started at only $1,795/person, they are generally shocked as they expected a much higher price tag.

So.  Bottom line?  Carol and I highly recommend that you consider getting far away from the madding crowd on your next ocean cruise and try a peaceful, elegant cruise aboard the Windstar Cruises Wind Surf.

We promise, you’re going to enjoy it greatly.

And Lastly, a Shameless Commercial Plug

Now that you’re ready to book your own sailing on the Wind Surf, you can call Windstar Cruises or you can call our travel agency.  Either will get your cruise booked for the exact same price, but we have a lot of hand’s on experience that the very nice 30-something sitting in a cubicle can’t really bring you.  Plus, as we’re also affiliated with the $15 billion/year Virtuoso Travel Network, we are likely to also have some nice complimentary VIP perks for your booking as well.

Either way, we highly recommend that you experience a sailing with Windstar Cruises.  After this sailing, Carol and I have put one of their even smaller motor yachts on our bucket list.  I’m thinking that a cruise of the Greek Isles aboard one of their 200 passenger luxury motor yachts would really be the cat’s meow.  Don’t you agree?

Again, to book your Windstar Cruise, call our travel agency at (480) 550-1235, or use our convenient online information request ( click here ) and we’ll reach out to you.

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Category: Barbuda , Blog , Guadeloupe , St. Lucia , Windstar Cruises · Tags: Luxury Cruises , Windstar Cruises

17 Comments on “ Review: Sailing Windstar Cruises Wind Surf ”

We do Windstar every year…truly, a one of a kind voyage with minimal “cruisers” on board – the Windstar intellect know the vast difference between large cattle boats and the intimate yachts at Windstar! A special kind of “medicine” that no doctor can prescribe – good for the soul !!!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your love of Windstar. When we were sailing with Windstar, we met a guy named Bill who has sailed with Windstar 93 times and is looking forward to his 100th Windstar sailing soon. We’re going to put Windstar in the special part of our brains for “want to do again” and look forward to another Windstar experience, perhaps in the Med next time. Again, thanks for sharing! 😀

Hi, sounds fabulous.

Hi Rich. It was, and we’d happily go again. 🙂

Well said! Been there done that since 2004! Due number 7 on Star Pride seond on her

Doing our 9thTrans Atlantic on the Surf in November then staying aboard for the Caribbean cruise and really looking forward to another great crossing ! Twenty days of the best ! Did Barcelona -Lisbon last year and really enjoyed it however we prefer the crossing.

Is the weather rough on the Atlantic crossing? Thanks.

How was the T/A? We are booked for this April 2019 on the Surf.

For those fans and readers of the Roaming Boomers – I must say that doing trans-Atlantic crossings and the Caribbean are great…however, as an alternative, sailing with Windstar in Tahiti / French Polynesia is tantamount to sailing on your “private” yacht in paradise on earth. Only 148 privileged guests aboard the Windspirit yacht is a true bucket list journey – that will turn your wanderlust dreams into a precious lifetime memory!

We just did that Windstar Tahiti/French Poynesia trip this summer and we loved it! We are now going to the do a 7 day on the Star Legend in the Caribbean in December. We couldn’t wait to get back on a Windstar cruise.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your love of Windstar. Have fun on your next cruise.

We just finished a cruise of the Riviera on Silver Seas. I was surprised how dressed up all the people were – we are from New England and live in blue jeans and sneakers. Of course, many of the passengers were European, not American. Do Windstar Cruises have that kind of atmosphere or are they more casual in dress and atmosphere?

Does Windstar go to Alaska?

Yes. Here’s a link: https://www.windstarcruises.com/destinations/alaska/ And when you find a cruise you like, be sure to check with u as we may well have some complimentary perks to add to your booking.

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Former name: Club Med 1

Wind Surf cruise ship

Cruise line Windstar Cruises

  • Philipsburg St Maarten (Netherlands Antilles)
  • Civitavecchia-Rome (Italy)
  • Venice (Marghera, Italy)
  • Barcelona (Spain)
  • Lisbon (Portugal)

Wind Surf current position

Wind Surf current location is at Adriatic Sea (coordinates 42.42514 N / 18.76776 E) cruising en route to HR DBV > ME KOT. The AIS position was reported 57 minutes ago.

Current itinerary of Wind Surf

Wind Surf current cruise is 17 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Piraeus-Athens . Prices start from USD 6699 (double occupancy rates). The itinerary starts on 07 Jun, 2024 and ends on 24 Jun, 2024 .

Date / TimePort
07 Jun 16:00     from hotels
08 Jun 08:00 - 17:00    
09 Jun 12:00 - 18:00    
11 Jun 09:00 - 22:00    
12 Jun 08:00 - 17:00    
13 Jun 08:00 - 16:00    
14 Jun 09:00 - 19:00    
15 Jun 07:00 - 16:00    
16 Jun 09:00 - 17:00    
17 Jun 08:00 - 15:30    
18 Jun 08:00 - 23:00    
19 Jun 07:00 - 20 Jun 11:00    
21 Jun 08:00 - 16:00    
22 Jun 09:00 - 17:00    
23 Jun 10:00 - 19:00    
24 Jun 07:00     in hotels

Specifications of Wind Surf

Year of build1990  /  Age: 34
Flag state Bahamas
BuilderAteliers et chantiers du Havre (Le Havre, France)
Class5-masted motor sailing ship
Building costUSD 65 million
Speed15 kn / 28 km/h / 17 mph
Length (LOA)187 m / 614 ft
Beam (width)20 m / 66 ft
Gross Tonnage14745 gt
Passengers376
Crew178
Passengers-to-space ratio39
Beds312
Decks6
Cabins171
Decks with cabins4
Last Refurbishment2019
Former namesClub Med 1
OwnerXanterra Parks & Resorts Inc
OperatorWindstar Cruises
  •   Itineraries
  •   Review
  •   Wiki

Wind Surf Itineraries

DateItineraryDeparture PortPrice from
2024 May 21 17 days, one-way from Barcelona to Civitavecchia-Rome Barcelona
2024 May 28 10 days, round-trip Sicilian Splendors Civitavecchia-Rome $3299
2024 May 28 18 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Venice Civitavecchia-Rome $6899
2024 Jun 07 8 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Venice Civitavecchia-Rome $3399
2024 Jun 07 17 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Piraeus-Athens Civitavecchia-Rome $6699
2024 Jun 15 9 days, one-way from Venice to Piraeus-Athens Venice $3199
2024 Jun 24 9 days, one-way from Piraeus-Athens to Venice Piraeus-Athens $2499
2024 Jun 24 17 days, one-way from Piraeus-Athens to Civitavecchia-Rome Piraeus-Athens $4299
2024 Jul 03 8 days, one-way from Venice to Civitavecchia-Rome Venice $2899
2024 Jul 03 18 days, one-way from Venice to Civitavecchia-Rome Venice $6099
2024 Jul 11 10 days, round-trip Sicilian Splendors Civitavecchia-Rome $3099
2024 Jul 11 17 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Barcelona Civitavecchia-Rome $7189
2024 Jul 21 7 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Barcelona Civitavecchia-Rome $2499
2024 Jul 21 15 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Lisbon Civitavecchia-Rome $5299
2024 Jul 28 8 days, one-way from Barcelona to Lisbon Barcelona $2699
2024 Aug 05 8 days, one-way from Lisbon to Barcelona Lisbon $3399
2024 Aug 05 15 days, one-way from Lisbon to Civitavecchia-Rome Lisbon $5599
2024 Aug 05 23 days, one-way from Lisbon to Venice Lisbon $8699
2024 Aug 13 7 days, one-way from Barcelona to Civitavecchia-Rome Barcelona $3299
2024 Aug 13 15 days, one-way from Barcelona to Venice Barcelona $5699
2024 Aug 20 8 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Venice Civitavecchia-Rome $3499
2024 Aug 20 16 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Piraeus-Athens Civitavecchia-Rome $5499
2024 Aug 28 8 days, one-way from Venice to Piraeus-Athens Venice $3399
2024 Sep 05 8 days, one-way from Piraeus-Athens to Venice Piraeus-Athens $5999
2024 Sep 05 16 days, one-way from Piraeus-Athens to Civitavecchia-Rome Piraeus-Athens $10399
2024 Sep 13 8 days, one-way from Venice to Civitavecchia-Rome Venice $4999
2024 Sep 13 18 days, one-way from Venice to Civitavecchia-Rome Venice $9099
2024 Sep 21 10 days, round-trip Wine Cruise Sicilian Splendors Civitavecchia-Rome $4999
2024 Sep 21 18 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Venice Civitavecchia-Rome $8599
2024 Oct 01 8 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Venice Civitavecchia-Rome $4399
2024 Oct 09 8 days, one-way from Venice to Civitavecchia-Rome Venice $4499
2024 Oct 09 16 days, one-way from Venice to Civitavecchia-Rome Venice $5999
2024 Oct 17 8 days, round-trip Romance on the Rivieras Civitavecchia-Rome $2799
2024 Oct 25 7 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Barcelona Civitavecchia-Rome $2799
2024 Oct 25 15 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Lisbon Civitavecchia-Rome $5699
2024 Nov 01 8 days, one-way from Barcelona to Lisbon Barcelona $3999
2024 Dec 07 14 days, one-way from Lisbon to Philipsburg St Maarten Lisbon
2024 Dec 21 7 days, round-trip Classic Caribbean Philipsburg St Maarten $2999
2024 Dec 21 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten $5199
2024 Dec 28 7 days, round-trip Beach Fun Sun A Remote Caribbean Getaway Philipsburg St Maarten $3499
2024 Dec 28 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten $5199
2025 Jan 04 7 days, round-trip Classic Caribbean Philipsburg St Maarten $2599
2025 Jan 04 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten $4599
2025 Jan 11 7 days, round-trip Beach Fun Sun A Remote Caribbean Getaway Philipsburg St Maarten $2799
2025 Jan 11 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten $4799
2025 Jan 18 7 days, round-trip Classic Caribbean Philipsburg St Maarten $2799
2025 Jan 18 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten $4599
2025 Jan 25 7 days, round-trip Beach Fun Sun A Remote Caribbean Getaway Philipsburg St Maarten $2599
2025 Feb 01 7 days, round-trip Beach Fun Sun A Remote Caribbean Getaway Philipsburg St Maarten $2699
2025 Feb 01 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten $4699
2025 Feb 08 7 days, round-trip Classic Caribbean Philipsburg St Maarten $2899
2025 Feb 08 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten $4699
2025 Feb 15 7 days, round-trip Beach Fun Sun A Remote Caribbean Getaway Philipsburg St Maarten $2699
2025 Feb 15 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten $4499
2025 Feb 22 7 days, round-trip Classic Caribbean Philipsburg St Maarten $2599
2025 Feb 22 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten $4399
2025 Mar 01 7 days, round-trip Beach Fun Sun A Remote Caribbean Getaway Philipsburg St Maarten
2025 Mar 08 7 days, round-trip Beach Fun Sun A Remote Caribbean Getaway Philipsburg St Maarten $2699
2025 Mar 08 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten $4299
2025 Mar 15 7 days, round-trip Classic Caribbean Philipsburg St Maarten $2699
2025 Mar 15 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten $4199
2025 Mar 22 7 days, round-trip Beach Fun Sun A Remote Caribbean Getaway Philipsburg St Maarten $2599
2025 Mar 29 14 days, one-way from Philipsburg St Maarten to Lisbon Philipsburg St Maarten $2499
2025 Mar 29 22 days, one-way from Philipsburg St Maarten to Barcelona Philipsburg St Maarten $5299
2025 Apr 12 8 days, one-way from Lisbon to Barcelona Lisbon $4199
2025 Apr 12 15 days, one-way from Lisbon to Civitavecchia-Rome Lisbon $5699
2025 Apr 12 23 days, one-way from Lisbon to Venice Lisbon $9099
2025 Apr 20 7 days, one-way from Barcelona to Civitavecchia-Rome Barcelona $2999
2025 Apr 20 15 days, one-way from Barcelona to Venice Barcelona $5699
2025 Apr 27 8 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Venice Civitavecchia-Rome $4199
2025 May 05 8 days, one-way from Venice to Civitavecchia-Rome Venice $4199
2025 May 05 15 days, one-way from Venice to Barcelona Venice $6399
2025 May 13 7 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Barcelona Civitavecchia-Rome $3499
2025 May 13 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Racing for the Prix du Monde Along the Rivieras Civitavecchia-Rome $13549
2025 May 20 7 days, one-way from Barcelona to Civitavecchia-Rome Barcelona $10299
2025 May 20 17 days, one-way from Barcelona to Civitavecchia-Rome Barcelona $15099
2025 May 27 10 days, round-trip Sicilian Splendors Civitavecchia-Rome $5399
2025 May 27 18 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Venice Civitavecchia-Rome $8179
2025 Jun 06 8 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Venice Civitavecchia-Rome $4399
2025 Jun 06 17 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Piraeus-Athens Civitavecchia-Rome $6399
2025 Jun 14 9 days, one-way from Venice to Piraeus-Athens Venice $3599
2025 Jun 23 9 days, one-way from Piraeus-Athens to Venice Piraeus-Athens $3299
2025 Jun 23 17 days, one-way from Piraeus-Athens to Civitavecchia-Rome Piraeus-Athens
2025 Jul 02 8 days, one-way from Venice to Civitavecchia-Rome Venice
2025 Jul 10 10 days, round-trip Sicilian Splendors Civitavecchia-Rome $3999
2025 Jul 10 17 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Barcelona Civitavecchia-Rome $5599
2025 Jul 20 7 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Barcelona Civitavecchia-Rome $2999
2025 Jul 20 15 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Lisbon Civitavecchia-Rome $5199
2025 Jul 27 8 days, one-way from Barcelona to Lisbon Barcelona $3499
2025 Aug 04 8 days, one-way from Lisbon to Barcelona Lisbon $3499
2025 Aug 04 15 days, one-way from Lisbon to Civitavecchia-Rome Lisbon $5199
2025 Aug 04 23 days, one-way from Lisbon to Venice Lisbon $8599
2025 Aug 12 7 days, one-way from Barcelona to Civitavecchia-Rome Barcelona $2999
2025 Aug 12 15 days, one-way from Barcelona to Venice Barcelona $5799
2025 Aug 19 8 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Venice Civitavecchia-Rome $4199
2025 Aug 19 17 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Piraeus-Athens Civitavecchia-Rome $6199
2025 Aug 27 9 days, one-way from Venice to Piraeus-Athens Venice $3599
2025 Sep 05 9 days, one-way from Piraeus-Athens to Venice Piraeus-Athens $4599
2025 Sep 05 17 days, one-way from Piraeus-Athens to Civitavecchia-Rome Piraeus-Athens $7599
2025 Sep 14 8 days, one-way from Venice to Civitavecchia-Rome Venice $4399
2025 Sep 14 19 days, one-way from Venice to Civitavecchia-Rome Venice $6999
2025 Sep 22 11 days, round-trip Sicilian Splendors Civitavecchia-Rome $4399
2025 Sep 22 18 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Venice Civitavecchia-Rome $6699
2025 Oct 03 7 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Venice Civitavecchia-Rome $3999
2025 Oct 10 8 days, one-way from Venice to Civitavecchia-Rome Venice $3999
2025 Oct 18 8 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Venice Civitavecchia-Rome $3999
2025 Oct 26 8 days, one-way from Venice to Civitavecchia-Rome Venice $3999
2025 Oct 26 15 days, one-way from Venice to Barcelona Venice $5399
2025 Nov 03 7 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Barcelona Civitavecchia-Rome $2799
2025 Nov 03 15 days, one-way from Civitavecchia-Rome to Lisbon Civitavecchia-Rome $4599
2025 Nov 10 8 days, one-way from Barcelona to Lisbon Barcelona $2999
2025 Nov 18 19 days, one-way from Lisbon to Philipsburg St Maarten Lisbon $3599
2025 Dec 02 5 days, round-trip Barefoot Break in the British Virgin Islands Philipsburg St Maarten $1999
2025 Dec 02 12 days, round-trip Star Collector Ivory Beaches Sapphire Seas of the Caribbean Philipsburg St Maarten $3399
2025 Dec 07 7 days, round-trip Classic Caribbean Philipsburg St Maarten $2299
2025 Dec 07 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten $3699
2025 Dec 14 7 days, round-trip Beach Fun Sun A Remote Caribbean Getaway Philipsburg St Maarten $2399
2025 Dec 14 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten $3999
2025 Dec 21 7 days, round-trip Classic Caribbean Philipsburg St Maarten $2699
2025 Dec 21 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten $4299
2025 Dec 28 7 days, round-trip Beach Fun Sun A Remote Caribbean Getaway Philipsburg St Maarten $2699
2026 Jan 04 55 days, round-trip Star Collector Grand Caribbean Adventure Philipsburg St Maarten $16599
2026 Jan 04 28 days, one-way from Philipsburg St Maarten to Oranjestad Aruba Philipsburg St Maarten $7899
2026 Jan 04 21 days, one-way from Philipsburg St Maarten to Bridgetown Philipsburg St Maarten $5999
2026 Jan 04 14 days, one-way from Philipsburg St Maarten to Bridgetown Philipsburg St Maarten $3799
2026 Jan 04 7 days, round-trip Beach Fun Sun A Remote Caribbean Getaway Philipsburg St Maarten $2499
2026 Jan 11 14 days, one-way from Philipsburg St Maarten to Bridgetown Philipsburg St Maarten $3999
2026 Jan 11 7 days, one-way from Philipsburg St Maarten to Bridgetown Philipsburg St Maarten $2499
2026 Jan 18 14 days, one-way from Bridgetown to Oranjestad Aruba Bridgetown $4099
2026 Jan 18 7 days, round-trip Jewels of the Windward Islands Bridgetown $2499
2026 Jan 25 15 days, one-way from Bridgetown to Colon Bridgetown $4699
2026 Jan 25 7 days, one-way from Bridgetown to Oranjestad Aruba Bridgetown $2699
2026 Feb 01 16 days, one-way from Oranjestad Aruba to Cozumel Oranjestad Aruba $5099
2026 Feb 01 8 days, one-way from Oranjestad Aruba to Colon Oranjestad Aruba $3199
2026 Feb 09 19 days, one-way from Colon to Philipsburg St Maarten Colon $5599
2026 Feb 09 8 days, one-way from Colon to Cozumel Colon $3199
2026 Feb 17 18 days, one-way from Cozumel to Philipsburg St Maarten Cozumel $4799
2026 Feb 17 11 days, one-way from Cozumel to Philipsburg St Maarten Cozumel $3799
2026 Feb 28 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten $3699
2026 Feb 28 7 days, round-trip Classic Caribbean Philipsburg St Maarten $2299
2026 Mar 07 7 days, round-trip Beach Fun Sun A Remote Caribbean Getaway Philipsburg St Maarten
2026 Mar 14 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten
2026 Mar 14 7 days, round-trip Beach Fun Sun A Remote Caribbean Getaway Philipsburg St Maarten
2026 Mar 21 14 days, round-trip Star Collector Caribbean Explorations Philipsburg St Maarten
2026 Mar 21 7 days, round-trip Classic Caribbean Philipsburg St Maarten
2026 Mar 28 7 days, round-trip Beach Fun Sun A Remote Caribbean Getaway Philipsburg St Maarten

Wind Surf Review

Review of wind surf.

The 1989-built (as "Club Med 1") cruise ship Wind Surf is the last of the three Windstar sailing yachts, together with the fleetmates Wind Spirit and Wind Star . These cruise ships are 4-masted schooners, uniquely designed for tall sailing cruises.

The vessel (IMO number 8700785) is currently Bahamas- flagged (MMSI 309242000) and registered in Nassau .

History - construction and ownership

Windstar Cruises is a luxury brand operating a fleet of smaller-sized ships (mega-yachts) with capacity up to 310 passengers. The company call at 150 ports throughout the Caribbean, Central America, South Pacific, Asia, Europe. Currently, Windstar is a subsidiary of Xanterra Parks and Resorts (USA's largest national and state park concession management company).

Windstar Wind Surf cruise ship

The 310-passenger ship Wind Surf was built as "Club Med I" and served as a "motor sailing yacht" alternative for the French resort company. It is amazingly crafted with 2320 m2 (25000 ft2) of computer-controlled sails and a ballast-water stabilizing technology that keeps the vessel leveled during navigation.

When Windstar Cruises acquired the ship in 1998, its passenger capacity was reduced to 78 to make room for new onboard facilities, such as a large spa and an alternative dining venue. These additions are not available on the company's smaller ships Wind Star and Wind Spirit.

The following YouTube drone video shows the ship approaching Portrush Northern Ireland on June 26, 2017. Unfortunately, the sails are down.

Decks and Cabins

Wind Surf staterooms (171 total, in 7 grades) include 21x Suites and 150x Oceanview Deluxe cabins. All staterooms are with modern amenities including fully-stocked minibars, Wi-Fi Internet, smart HDTVs (infotainment system), spacious wardrobe (with electronic safe box), phone (direct dial), large bathroom (single-sink granite countertop vanity, WC-toilet, L'Occitane bath products, rain showerheads, luxury towels), premium bedding sets (top-quality pillows and linens), fresh fruits and flowers.

The boat has 6 decks , all of which are passenger-accessible and 4 with cabins.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

The speciality restaurant on Wind Surf was transformed into an elegant French Bistro. During the day, dress on board is casual. In the evenings, expect "country-club casual" attire, with men wearing collared shirts and women in pantsuits. There are no formal nights onboard Windstar Cruises ships. No tank tops or bathing suits are allowed at dinner.

Follows the complete list of Wind Surf restaurants and food bars.

  • AmphorA Restaurant (ship’s dining room, open-seating; offers 5-course gourmet dinner menu which is changed daily; along with onboard-made bread, in all ports of call the executive chef goes to the local markets to shop for fresh ingredients)
  • Candles Cafe & Veranda (a smaller “dining room” which offers buffet-style breakfast and lunch, as well as a la carte menu through the wait staff; its indoor area is called “Candles Cafe” and features floor-ceiling panoramic windows; the outdoor seating area is called “Veranda” - in the evenings, it transforms into “Candles Grill” al-fresco steakhouse).

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

One would think that a "motor sailing yacht," full with 5 masts and 7 sails, and with a guest capacity of only 308, would be a small and comfortable little cruise vessel. But Windstar Cruises' Wind Surf cruise ship is surprisingly large, feeling much bigger inside than any passenger would expect. To make finding a way around simple, all entertainment and dining areas are on the top three decks.

Restaurants are located forward, indoor and outdoor bars are facing aft. The casino and main lounge are midship on the Main Deck – there is the famous Yacht Club, functioning as a coffee bar, library and Internet cafe. The Surf ship’s fitness centre is a deck higher. Most of the public areas feature expansive sea views, though the spa, which is an exception, is tucked away on Deck 2 aft.

Windstar Wind Surf cruise ship

Follows the complete list of Wind Surf lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.

  • The Marina (retractable water sports platform for water skiing, windsurfing, snorkeling, kayaking; the ship provides a banana boat, waterski boat, sea kayaks, Sunfish sailboats, wakeboards, boards for windsurfing, paddleboards, scuba diving and snorkeling equipment, plus Zodiacs; the steel cage forms a swimming pool in the sea)
  • Lounge (ship’s theatre/main show lounge for live evening entertainment); Library
  • Stella Bistro; Compass Rose Bar; Terrace Bar; Nautilus Room
  • Yacht Club Sandwich & Espresso Bar
  • The Signature Shop/Boutique Shop (sells duty-free luxury fashion clothing and accessories)
  • The Casino (with blackjack/roulette gambling tables, slot machines)
  • WindSpa (operated by Steiner; has a treatment room, Sauna and Beauty Salon. “Spa Under the Stars” program offers spa treatments out on the deck)
  • The Fitness Center (with free weights, exercycles and treadmills; offers complimentary exercise classes)
  • Pool Area (with one swimming pool, two whirlpools, the sunbathing area served by the Pool Bar).

Itineraries

Wind Surf itinerary program is based on Caribbean cruises leaving roundtrip from St Maarten Island (Port Philipsburg) and also Mediterranean and Baltic Sea cruises, with Transatlantic repositioning crossings between Europe and the Caribbean Sea.

Wind Surf - user reviews and comments

Photos of wind surf.

Windstar Wind Surf cruise ship

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Other Windstar Cruises cruise ships

  • Star Breeze
  • Star Legend
  • Wind Spirit

Wind Surf Wiki

Wind Surf cruise ship was built with a modern design, but still features sails on masts that are handled via a sophisticated computer program. This is relatively bigger tall ship with 5 masts, while Wind Star and Wind Spirit have 4 masts each.

Windstar Wind Surf cruise ship

Wind Surf has a complicated history in and out of Windstar. The company had plans to order two sailing ships with two times bigger passenger capacity. However, Holland America Line (the previous owner of Windstar Cruises) cancelled these plans. The building project, supported by the French government, resulted in two new ships for the Club Med cruise line under the names Club Med I and Club Med II. In 1998, Windstar bought back Club Med 1, and renamed it to "Wind Surf".

The yacht's design is based on smaller 5,350-ton motor sailing yachts constructed by the French shipbuilding company "Societe Nouvelle des Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre". Among those are the Windstar sail ships Wind Spirit and Wind Star and also Club Med 2 .

In 2012, Windstar Cruises completed an extensive (18-month long) ship refurbishment project for renovations of company's all three sail yachts - Wind Surf, Wind Star and Wind Spirit . Works included overhauls of all passenger staterooms, dining venues, public spaces, as well as new sails.

In 2018, Windstar Cruises offered booking of a 51-day "Grand Mediterranean" back-to-back cruise (itinerary July 7 to August 27, 2019) from Lisbon to Barcelona. The itinerary combined 6 smaller itineraries (7- to 10-days each) and visited a total of 40 Mediterranean ports (in Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, Malta, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, Turkey, Monaco and France). The cruise was listed as one of the company's "Star Collectors Voyages" combining shorter itineraries. These deals are inclusive of complimentary laundry package (per stateroom) throughout the voyage.

Wind Surf drydock refurbishment 2019 review

During the ship's 20-day long drydock refurbishment (November 8-28) at Navantia Shipyard ( Cadiz, Spain ), the vessel's passenger capacity was increased from 310 to 342. The project also included suite modifications (decks 3 and 5) and redesigning the wellness complex (spa and gym).

On Deck 3, the 12x aft-facing suites were resized (halved) as on Club Med 1. All the 3x Bridge Deck suites were redesigned and fully renovated. The forward-starboard Bridge Suite was renamed "Officer's Suite". The WindSpa was moved from Deck 2 (aft) to Deck 5 (midship).

The 2 classes of Windstar ships, explained

Erica Silverstein

Windstar Cruises has a surprisingly varied fleet for a cruise line with only six small ships.

The cruise line was known for years for its fleet of three-masted sailing yachts (imagine a hybrid of a small cruise ship and a large four- or five-masted sailing vessel). But in the mid-2010s, in a bid to expand without building new ships, the line acquired three small, aging cruise ships from luxury line Seabourn and completely refurbished them.

Windstar's fleet is now equal parts sailing ships (known as the Wind class) and yachts (the Star Plus class), tied together by a casual-yet-upscale vibe, friendly crews and port-intensive itineraries.

While Windstar loyalists happily cross from masted yacht to regular ship, depending on the itinerary, newcomers will want to understand the differences between the line's two classes of ships because the onboard amenities are different enough to affect your vacation experience.

For more cruise guides, news and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

An introduction to Windstar ships

wind surf yacht reviews

Windstar Cruises specializes in small ships carrying between 148 and 342 passengers each. Though the line calls them yachts, the ships are structured more like tiny cruise ships with indoor lounges and communal dining rooms.

The Wind-class sailing ships come in two sizes: the 5,307-ton Wind Spirit and Wind Star and the 14,745-ton Wind Surf. The non-sail motor yachts are all identical at 12,995 tons.

Most of Windstar's fleet was not originally built for Windstar. Wind Surf originally sailed as a Club Med cruise ship. The motor yacht trio started their lives as Seabourn vessels.

That does not mean you should expect worn-out ships. Windstar recently spent $250 million to not just update but also lengthen the three motor yachts of its Star Plus class. The ships were cut open and a new midsection was added to create more space for additional cabins (Windstar calls them suites, even if they have only one room), new dining venues and expanded outdoor deck areas.

The ships function more as a comfortable home base than destinations by themselves. Onboard attractions are limited to a few restaurants, a small spa and fitness center, a pool and hot tub, and a tiny boutique. You'll find two or three bars, rather than a large assortment. There's no kids club because children younger than 8 aren't allowed onboard.

Related: 5 cruise lines to try if you just can't stand being around kids on vacation

The biggest difference between the classes, besides the sails, is that cabins on Star Plus-class ships are marketed as suites. While most aren't true, multiroom suites, the cabins are spacious with separate living and sleeping areas, French (step-out) balconies on most rooms and good-size bathrooms. The cabins on Wind-class ships are more compact and nautical in design, with porthole windows and small living spaces tricked out with hidden storage to maximize space.

What all the ships have in common is a water sports platform. On select days when the ship is anchored (not docked at a pier) and the weather and government regulations align, crew members can offer water sports, such as swimming and kayaking, right off the back of the ship.

Ships in class: Wind Surf (1989), Wind Spirit (1988) and Wind Star (1986).

Size: 5,307 tons (Spirit and Star) to 14,745 tons (Surf).

wind surf yacht reviews

Technically, Windstar's Wind-class ships comprise two different types of ships, but the line categorizes all of its ships with sails together.

The 148-passenger Wind Spirit and Wind Star are the only ships in the current fleet custom-built for Windstar. Each has four decks and as many masts for sails. The ships each feature one 220-square-foot Owner's Suite, and the rest of the cabins are 188-square-feet rooms. Each cabin, including the suite, features a window; you will not find a private balcony on these ships.

Most of the public areas are found on the upper two decks with cabins on the lower two, with the exception of a small gym and the exit to the water sports platform on Deck 2. Deck 3 features the majority of the indoor spaces, including the Amphora main restaurant, boutique, reception desk, library, tiny spa, main lounge and a cafe serving coffee drinks and small snacks.

The topmost deck features the indoor-outdoor buffet restaurant Veranda, which transforms into the waiter-served Candles restaurant in the evening. A pool, hot tub and pool bar round out the alfresco offerings.

The 342-passenger Wind Surf joined the Windstar fleet in 1998 after sailing for Club Med. It follows the same basic idea as its two sailing sisters, but with more space and a few more attractions.

It's got six decks, five masts and four types of cabins (again all with windows only, no balconies). These include 188-square-foot regular cabins and 18 suites measuring 376 square feet, which are essentially double cabins with two bathrooms, two vanities and a sitting area where the second bed should be. These rooms are found throughout decks 1 through 3.

One 242-square-foot Officer's Suite and two 495-square-foot Bridge suites are located on Deck 5 (Bridge Deck).

Like its smaller sisters, Wind Surf contains the Amphora Restaurant and Veranda/Candles, main lounge, Yacht Club Cafe, pool and hot tubs, boutique, spa and fitness center. In addition, the ship adds a third dining venue – Stella Bistro – and the Terrace Bar, both on the ship's top deck.

Windstar deploys its sailing ships to destinations with more concentrated routes, where the romance factor is high (to complement the ships' beautiful sails). These include Tahiti and French Polynesia , Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, and Greece.

Related: 5 things to love about Windstar's stretched and refurbished Star Pride

Star Plus class

Ships in class: Star Legend (1990), Star Breeze (1988) and Star Pride (1988).

Size: 12,995 tons.

wind surf yacht reviews

The Star Plus-class ships are all pre-owned cruise ships. They debuted in the late '80s and early '90s for luxury cruise line Seabourn and Windstar purchased them and brought them into the fleet 25 years later in 2014 and 2015.

The trio came to Windstar as 212-passenger, 9,975-ton cruise ships. Windstar refurbished the ships to clean them up and add the line's branding before they debuted but quickly realized more was needed to bring the ships in line with modern standards, both under the hood and in passenger-facing venues.

So the line announced a $250 million refurbishment project that included lengthening the ships by adding a new midsection. Extensive below-decks work was done to replace the existing engines with more efficient ones, as well as improve environmental standards. Above decks, each ship received 100 new cabins and suites, additional restaurants and expanded deck space to host a new infinity pool and more space for the line's famous deck barbecues.

Work on the project began in 2019, with the renovated ships debuting in 2021 and 2022.

Similar to Wind Surf, the Star Plus-class ships feature six passenger decks, a water sports platform, Amphora and Veranda/Candles restaurants and a boutique.

Each ship has a lounge that serves as an excursion assembly station and a theater for live entertainment and talks, as well as the large Compass Rose bar and lounge for dancing, drinking and whiling the evening away. Dining venues exclusive to this class include the alfresco Star Grill by Steven Raichlen and the Spanish Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso.

The spa and fitness center is much larger on these ships, featuring a complimentary thermal suite with heated lounges and saunas, as well as a separate workout room and fitness studio for group classes. A tiered infinity pool and hot tub are the focal point of Deck 7, but there's a somewhat-secret hot tub on Deck 5 forward, as well.

The Yacht Club is a gorgeous circular hangout and library space with board games and a little cafe area, and the Star Bar is surrounded by comfortable patio furniture one deck above the pool. There's also a screening room on Deck 5.

Related: Everything you need to know about Windstar Cruises' loyalty program

Cabins come in nine varieties. Five of them are the same size — 277 square feet — with two key differences. The first is whether the room offers a porthole, picture window or French balcony (which is big enough for one person to step out onto, but too small for a seating area); the second is whether the room has the original furnishings and the bed by the bathroom or is a newly built cabin with more modern furnishings and the bed by the window.

You can tell which style of cabin you're getting by the name. Star porthole, ocean-view and balcony suites are the new suites; plain ocean-view and balcony suites are the originals.

All cabins have updated bathrooms, some with tub-shower combos and others with shower only.

True suites range from 400 to 820 square feet, and include the Classic, Deluxe, Owner's Suite Forward and Owner's Suite Midship. The latter can be combined with surrounding standard suites to transform into a three-bedroom, 1,374-square-foot Grand Owner's Suite.

Related: The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship

The Star Plus-class ships are the line's traveling class, taking the longer, more sightseeing-focused routes in places like Alaska , Asia, Australia and northern Europe. With more indoor space, these ships can better handle destinations like Iceland and Alaska where the weather may prevent passengers from spending large amounts of time outdoors when sailing.

Bottom line

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Windstar's two classes of ships can be quickly summarized as either sailing ships with smaller cabins and limited public spaces or upscale small ships with spacious cabins and more choices of restaurants and hangouts.

No matter which you choose, you'll get a similar experience. That's because each of the six ships honors the brand's themes of a casual onboard vibe with adult-focused upscale touches, fine dining in partnership with the James Beard Foundation, low-key outdoor fun, destination exploration and a friendly, helpful crew.

Windstar's fleet is so small that many cruisers find that the destination guides their vacation choice more than the ship. As the line carefully matches ship style to the itinerary, you'll likely find yourself content with whichever class of ship you find yourself sailing.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

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IMAGES

  1. Wind Surf Cruise Review: Yachtsman's Caribbean

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  2. Wind Surf Cruise Review: Yachtsman's Caribbean

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  3. Windstar Cruises Wind Surf Cruise Review

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  4. Windstar Wind Surf Cruise: Expert Review (2023)

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  5. Wind Surf Cruise Review: Yachtsman's Caribbean

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  6. All-Inclusive Upgrade Offer For Windstar Summer Europe 2022

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VIDEO

  1. PREQUEL WIND SURF MED CRUISE

  2. Windrush 14 Sailing Denmark

  3. WindSurf Cruise 2023

  4. WIND SURF CRUISE: INFORMATION AND TRIVIA

  5. It's Almost Like Windsurfing in A Pool 🤩

  6. Windstar Cruises

COMMENTS

  1. Windstar Wind Surf Cruise: Expert Review (2023)

    Wind Surf Review. 4.0 / 5.0. Editor Rating. 261 reviews. 40 Awards. Write a Review. ... In the evening, don't be afraid to embrace the yacht-club feel of Wind Surf and invest in boat shoes ...

  2. Windstar Wind Surf

    Windstar Wind Surf. 47 reviews. 1-855-408-7161 Website. All photos (1,403) Traveler ( 111) Common Areas ( 701) Dining and Bars ( 441) Itineraries for this ship. Itinerary.

  3. Wind Surf Reviews from Travelers

    This was our second time aboard Wind Surf & it was a terrific experience. Wind Surf is a gorgeous yacht, welcoming and comfortable; tender staff to the Captain are attentive & genuninely care about your safety, food & beverage can not be beat, wait-staff are knowledgable and make every effort to make your dining experience the very best it can be; and every single WindStar staff person is ...

  4. Windstar Cruises Wind Surf Review

    The romance and allure of the Seven Seas are alive and well aboard this five-masted sailing yacht. Written and Tested by Anonymous Cruise Editor. Updated February 20, 2016. On any horizon, Wind Surf cuts a fetching profile. With bright white sheets enveloping more than a half-acre of surface across five masts, a trim hull that slices gamely ...

  5. Windstar Wind Surf Cruise Reviews

    First, we are a French-Canadian couple in our late 50's/early 60's from Quebec. We have sailed numerous times with Windstar since 2013 (4 Star Yacht Club members). All our cruises have been in the Caribbean with cruises on the Wind Star, Star Pride, Star Legend and Wind Surf.

  6. Windstar Wind Surf Cabins & Staterooms on Cruise Critic

    Windstar Wind Surf Cabins: See what cruise experts had to say about Windstar Wind Surf cabins and staterooms on Cruise Critic. ... 150 reviews. Find a Wind Surf Cruise from $1,999. Departure Month.

  7. Wind Surf, Windstar Cruises

    Review: Wind Surf. Wind Surf. St. Maarten to the BVI: The white sails of this majestic five-mast schooner—all 26,881 square feet of them—make an impression on guests the moment they step on ...

  8. Wind Surf Overview

    The Wind Surf is perhaps the most impressive of Windstar's sailing yachts, and with space for 310 guests, she's certainly the largest. However, the 191 crew members - and nearly 2:3 crew to guest ratio - guarantee that the Wind Surf's service remains as astounding as would be found on Windstar's smaller ships. Onboard, take advantage of the Wind Surf's stunning public spaces ...

  9. Wind Surf Cruise Review by elizmak

    Read the Wind Surf review by Cruiseline.com member elizmak from December 30, 2023 of the 14 Night Star Collector: Caribbean Explorations (Philipsburg Roundtrip) cruise. Cruise review , rated 4.6 out of 5 stars by member elizmak. ... Wind Surf is a gorgeous yacht, welcoming and comfortable; tender staff to the Captain are attentive & genuninely ...

  10. Windstar Wind Surf Cruise Ship: Review, Photos & Departure Ports on

    Windstar Wind Surf Cruises: Read 261 Windstar Wind Surf cruise reviews. Find great deals, tips and tricks on Cruise Critic to help plan your cruise.

  11. Windstar Cruises Review: Windstar "Star Pride ...

    The 342-passenger Wind Surf is larger (617 feet long). She sports five masts and seven triangular, self-furling sails. The Windstar "Star Plus" ships. Windstar Cruises' Star Pride, Star Breeze and Star Legend are luxurious, all-suite power yachts.(See our Star Pride review.). In a recent $250 million refurbishment, all three ships were stretched (they're now 522 feet long).

  12. Wind Surf Reviews, Ship Details & Photos

    Wind Surf overview. Discover elegant and intimate cruising aboard the Wind Surf. Onboard 312 privileged guests experience amenities found on larger cruise lines but service one would expect from an intimate ship. Enjoy free rein over the restaurants, library, salon, two pools, fitness center, sports deck and open bridge where the crew shows you ...

  13. Surf's up! Hayley reviews Windstar's Wind Surf

    Wind Surf is well equipped with two jet skis, paddleboards, seven fold-up bikes and plenty of watersports equipment, and this would definitely be a popular area of the ship on a Caribbean voyage. Complimentary kayaks, a bouncy trampoline, paddle boards and snorkelling gear are all available for guests to use when the yacht is at anchor in calm ...

  14. Wind Surf

    The largest vessel in the Windstar Cruises fleet, the 14,745-ton, 312-guest Wind Surf is one part sailing yacht and one part upscale cruise ship — small enough to be intimate, large enough to offer a variety of onboard experiences. Launched in 1990 and renovated several times through the years, Wind Surf wears her years well, kept in ...

  15. Windstar Wind Surf

    We returned to the Wind Surf after 24 years and found the staff and crew even better than before. Shout out to our cabin steward, Ronald, dining staff Dwi, Michela, Rachel, ex. chef, reception, excursion staff - Yan and Aimee and just about everyone else!!! Dwi's attention to our food allegies was over the top. We were able to enjoy almost ...

  16. Windstar Cruises Wind Surf Cruise Review

    The largest in Windstar Cruises' fleet of six luxury yachts, the Wind Surf is the world's largest sailing cruise ship. The ship holds slightly over 300 passengers and has 155 staterooms. ... The Ship - Windstar Cruises Wind Surf Cruise Review Outdoor Spaces. The ship has a total of six decks, with decks 4, 5, and 6 offering outdoor areas ...

  17. Staterooms on Wind Surf (Review Compilation)

    June 2, 2003. Sacramento, California. #12. Posted December 31, 2017. For anyone who's moving from the motor yachts to the sail ones, something to note is that the sail ship cabin numbers go from aft to bow. On the motor ships, it's the opposite. So, 102 on Wind Surf is an aft cabin.

  18. Wind Surf

    Windstar's Flagship Sailing Ship. On any day, our 342-guest flagship, Wind Surf, the world's largest sailing ship, draws admiring glances as she glides majestically into port with her tall sails billowing.And her beauty is far more than skin deep. During their cruise, you will find the perfect setting for 'making an entrance' in the beautiful reception area - and, appropriately, that ...

  19. Windstar Cruise Reviews

    1 - 10 of 863 Windstar Cruise Reviews. Great Introduction to Windstar. Review for a Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise on Wind Surf. ddpe. 10+ Cruises • Age 60s. Read More. Sail Date: May ...

  20. Review: Sailing Windstar Cruises Wind Surf

    The sailing yachts carry a maximum of just over 300 people: Wind Surf (310 guests), and the Wind Star and Wind Spirit both carry a maximum of 148 guests. The motor yachts (Star Pride, Star Breeze, and Star Legend) all carry a maximum of 212 guests.

  21. Wind Surf Itinerary, Current Position, Ship Review

    Wind Surf Review. Review of Wind Surf. The 1989-built (as "Club Med 1") ... In 1998, Windstar bought back Club Med 1, and renamed it to "Wind Surf". The yacht's design is based on smaller 5,350-ton motor sailing yachts constructed by the French shipbuilding company "Societe Nouvelle des Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre".

  22. The 2 classes of Windstar ships, explained

    The Wind-class sailing ships come in two sizes: the 5,307-ton Wind Spirit and Wind Star and the 14,745-ton Wind Surf. The non-sail motor yachts are all identical at 12,995 tons. Most of Windstar's fleet was not originally built for Windstar. Wind Surf originally sailed as a Club Med cruise ship.

  23. The New WALLYWIND110: A Bluewater Cruiser With A Masterful ...

    This racy 110-footer (33.42m) is designed for seasoned sailors who want to spread their wings and make light work of ocean crossings. Its vast scale provides a superior level of comfort at sea and yet boasts exhilarating cruising performance credentials. It is easy to handle, maneuverable, and safe, with high bulwarks enabling the crew to work ...

  24. ONE 4 YACHT (Vancouver)

    One 4 Yacht. Ver todas las cosas que hacer. One 4 Yacht. 65 de 86 Recorridos en barco y deportes acuáticos en Vancouver. Alquiler de barcos. Escribir una opinión. Acerca de. Vancouver, Columbia Británica, Canadá. Información de contacto.