To Whomever it may concern,
I was not going to send this email but after calling to try to get my rehearsal dinner dress back that I left in the ship and I was put on hold for 15 min and then transferred to a voicemail of who NEVER Called back. I am extremely upset that it has been 2 weeks and no one has even attempted to return my call. Not to mention we never got a call after the trip asking us why we chose to get off the ship- the only reason I can think this courtesy call never happened is because windstar must get unhappy people getting off the ship all the time.
My husband arranged our honeymoon with a travel agent and by looking at the windstar website, They told us it is a "high-end" special way of traveling with beautiful wind sails, special treatment of guests, and wonderful food, not to mention stopping at wonderful ports in Italy and Croatia. From the moment we stepped on this boat, we were dissatisfied (this is an understatement) They were working on the ship fixing it when wegot on the boat- we could not even see out our window for the first day, the wind sails were NEVER put up as described in the website, and it was an old rusty ship. as We walked in, we signed up for a free treatment head-massage and continued on to our room, of which the TV was broken and the guy just told us that he couldn't fix it.
We then went to have a bite to eat. I have never been so disgusted by food in my life, it was like pre-heated convolecent home food. I ate bread and butter for the first two days. A complete disappointment because we came to Italy to eat food! Then we come to find out that we can only eat in the "nice" restaurants only once or twice the entire trip.
That night we went to a raffle in the spa and I won a free head massage. I made an appointment for the next night. Our friends had also purchased a massage for us which I scheduled at the same time. The next day I was excited to get off the boat and see Italy and eat REAL food, we ordered breakfast- completely un edible once again. We went upstairs to meet our tour guide and the cheesy announcer says that because there is a union problem we would be circling the island of Capri all day long.
I was soo depressed I went back and slept all day and eat the most disgusting cheeseburger of my life- I don't understand how someone could even mess up something that simple.
We got our "free" 2 limit DVD's and watched scratched old movies. I was excited for a free scalp treatment- so I went. The guy was soo creepy and he put you in front of a mirror and told you to close your eyes. I was soo creeped out after this 15 minute treatment that I gave my free massage that I won at the raffle back and told them to give it to someone else at this point I cancelled my massage that our friends had purchased for us.
That night we ate one more disappointing meal at the supposed "nice" restaurant. Totally depressed, we went back to bed- in which our ship mate walked in on us 3 times the final walk in was at almost 10p.m. I can't believe that it would even be acceptable to any hotel to just barge in at that time.
The next day we watched pure Kaos waiting to get off the boat in Taoromina, the tour guides were yelling into their phones trying to find more tour guides, they were loading people onto the wrong places, and it was a complete mess. We met another couple who had had a similar experience and we decided to get off the boat, Our final experience was arguing to get our passport back without signing some poor form to not get your refund back, which makes us think this is a thing that is not out of the ordinary.
This experience is honestly nothing of what it portrays on the website and I am completely and utterly dissatisfied, with the whole experience even afterwards when I called to get a special dress back. We could have been on a much nicer ship for less with the best food and entertainment for less than half the price. working in an industry with membership and treating people with the best customer service- I am shocked that your company would not have a policy that gives people who get off the ship early a courtesy call to see how you can improve or ratify the situation- especially since it was so bad that people would let that much money be at risk.
With this email I am requesting it to be sent to the managers of your company and for someone to send my BCBG white Rehearsal dinner dress back to us- as well as to indemnify our ruined honeymoon.At this point in time, I would not reccomend WindStar to anyone who asked me- in fact I am so un-happy I would go out of my way to make sure someone I know did not get on any of their ships.
My wife and I just returned from 2 weeks on Wind Surf, sailing from Venice to Nice with stops at Rab and Dubrovnik in Croatia, Corfu in Greece, Taormina in Sicily, Sorento, Civitacecchia in Italy, Banifacio in Corsica, Portovenere and Portofino in Italy, St. Tropez, and Monte Carlo in France.
Having sailed on two of Windstar's smaller ships, the Wind Song in Tahiti and Wind Star in Costa Rica, we were familiar with their program of open seating and informal dress in the dining room , as well as the open bridge and no tipping policies. We were deligjhted to find all of these characeteristics in place on Wind Surf as well as a very friendly and communicative captain who gave informative talks throughout the cruise. Andres, the host, (Wind Star does not employ cruise directors) was especially helpful as he was well informed about alternatives to the excursions at each port of call.
The food program on Wind Surf was creative with many unexpected treats such as crepes for breakfast prepared to order on deck, lobster barbecue at lunch on deck, and a sushi bar at cocktail time.
With 300 passengers and 15,000tons, Wind Surf has amenities not available on the smaller ships, which include a very well equipped fitness bar, a third dining area, The Bistro for dinner by reservation, two pools and two hot tubs.
We were delighted with the ship, the very friendly and accommodating crew, and the outstanding itinerary.
Our family of five (two parents, three teenagers) just finished a week of cruising the Southern Caribbean on Windsurf and found the experience deeply disappointing. The ship is certainly presentable enough, but one has to question the five star rating. There is peeling paint and varnish all over, the teak is in serious need of attention, and the boat looks just a bit shabby.
As other reviewers (and even the cruise line) will tell you, nobody in his right mind boards the Windsurf for traditional entertainment. The only show is a once-a-week very hokey review put on by the cabin and mess stewards -- most high school talent shows are better staged.
The main activity unique to the Windsurf is its connection to the sea and the water through its sail propulsion and its watersports marina. At least last week, however, the boat wasn't sailing much of anywhere. In fact, only three of the ship's sails were in any semblance of operation and the crew was apparently ignorant of how to trim them. This ship was built with the world's most advanced computerized masts and booms by Club Med. Unfortunately, under the newmanagement, nobody knows how to use them, rendering Windsurf just another steamship.
More to the point, we learned to our horror that we were sailing to some of the world's prettiest islands and beaches, but our ship would take us only into some of the world's ugliest container ports. That's right -- no beaches, no anchorages, no watersports, unless you want to buy overpriced and poorly designed shore excursions. Try two hours in a bus and one hour of kayaking for $100/person. It would have been easy for the ship to lower some boats and take us to those gorgeous beaches we passed, but that was not on the agenda. In other words, we spent day after day tied to a dead ship in HORRIBLE commercial ports.
Since I know the islands pretty well, I got good at hiring a cab to take us to great resorts, where for the price of lunch we could actually take advantage of those gorgeous beaches. However, that's not what we paid Windsurf's prices for.
This cruise line clearly has little regard and less respect for its customers. They own a magnificent ship (with decent food and cabins), cruise through paradise, and drop their passengers in the middle of hell.
Our cruise on the Windsurf was wonderful. Were there one or two things I could pick at? Sure - nothing's ever perfect but I have to say we all left the ship thrilled with our cruise and wanting to go back. The experience was great and we were very well satisfied.
We were a group of friends made up of 3 couples traveling together and all agreed that:service was excellent, with very friendly and attentive staff who remembered all our first names after our first interaction. food was excellent a lot of the time and at least good all the time. cabins were roomy and well - designed; we had room to easily store everything (and we packed heavily). NOTE: the bed linens and towels were great - they had recently done an upgrade in that respect and it definitely showed (I'm picky about sheets). the itinerary was excellent with no lame stops. We did a shore excursion through the boat and also did a few on our own...all were fun. the relaxed dress and free-style dining was a really nice feature...we enjoyed the restaurant but felt like the service in the Bistro was a little better and preferred it. One other small positive point: one of the couples in our group was a gay couple and we never experienced any taint of oddness or discrimination on the part of anyone on board at all, I'm glad to say.
We were very pleased with just about everything but there were minor things they could do to make a great thing slightly better. I did not think the couple who performed in the Compass Rose bar at night were any good at all (they sang cheesy songs to recorded tracks) until I was there at the cocktail hour - they sang relaxing songs with an acoustic guitar and were wonderful. I say DROP the tracks and stick what you're good at. I HIGHLY recommend Windstar.
A Solid 8.5 - 9.0
Just returned from the Wind Surf, traveling from Cozumel to Honduras and Belize. A good mix of mostly US passengers, where average age was around 55 or so. This was a very good mid-level to semi-luxury cruise, with exceptional food and service from a continually smiling crew. With two restaurants, they served excellent tasting food (A solid 10), with a flair for presentation and options. The Bistro offers a nice alternative, although somewhat difficult to get a reservation there since some passengers book there every night on their first day, leaving few daily openings per the posted regulations. Also, it seemed to us and others that starting dinner service at 7:30 was a little late since it took about 2 hours to complete.
Rooms were larger than expected, with plenty of closet and bathroom space, and well appointed. The bed was fairly hard, although we slept well most nights. The hot tubs were great, but the pools were small and rarely used. Exercise room was very functional and the spa was nice. Several bars to choose from and great food during happy hour.
Main complaints were around the shoreexcursions, as the ship enjoys charging about double what you can book them for on your own. Also, choices were limited in Honduras, or very expensive ($400 pp for one tour to see some Mayan ruins that included air). Diving was $120 for most 2-tank dives ($200 for some specialty dives), although local operators typically charged $50-60. Some pasengers seemed irked by traveling to a 3rd world country like Honduras, but we thought it to be interesting. Also, if you are not on one of their pricey shore excursions, you are not allowed on the first tender to shore each day, even if you are waiting first in line. Also, we left port each day around 5:00, meaning we had limited time to visit a port after an excursion, and were contantly looking at the watch.
Drinks were also fairly pricey ($5 for a US beer), small and some tasted watered down. Room service was very fast with same great food as the restaurants. The Internet service only worked for one day, which presented other inconveniences.
A nicely laid out ship with two elevators for the elderly or tired. Casino was nice but not used much. Some of the senior level crew seemed to have an attitude to passengers, but others were truly great and made it clear they enjoyed their job.
Made lots of new friends, and did enjoy our vacation, but will likely try their smaller ships or Star Clippers as that is more our style.