Wind Surf Cruise Review to Europe - Mediterranean

Contributor Level: Second Mate

Experience
7+ cruises

Reviews
6

Helpful Votes
34

4 out of 5

What exactly does '180 degrees from Ordinary' mean ?

Sail Date: June 06, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Oceanview

Cabin: AX 248

Having just sailed into Rome on Cunard after staying in The Grills for 9 nights I suppose Windstar had a lot to live up to. But if a cruise company has a motto of 180degrees from Ordinary then expectations are high.

The Windsurf is a motorised sailing yacht and she is an attractive vessel especially when the sails are out on sailaways and occasionally when she is at anchor the sails are raised so that from the shore she can be admired. The same Vangelis music is played on all Windstar ships as the ship sails' out of port which is a quaint touch. Even now if I hear that tune I think of Windstar fondly.

Embarkation was quick although they hold you on dockside until 1pm in a tent with toilet facilities and beverages, so if you expect to board early it wont happen. Arrive as near to boarding time as you can to avoid having to wait around. Some larger cruise ships boarding starts much earlier but apparently not on Windstar.

The bags are taken from you by porters and take 100 yards to be put through the dock security scanners. The porters wait for a tip which I was surprised with as boarding Cunard in Southampton the porters gladly took your baggage as that is their job without the expectation of a tip.

Once on board after minimal paperwork the cabins were ready. Although again surprisingly passports are taken from passengers for the duration of the cruise and were only released whilst in Monte Carlo if you planned a visit to the casino as part of the special event put on by Windstar.The passports then had to handed back to reception and kept again until we disembarked on the morning of arrival into Barcelona.

We were disappointed there was no wine package available although a drinks package of 116 US$ per day per stateroom plus 15% service charge was available  which we considered to be really expensive. I do understand that some cruise companies are no longer offering the wine package which is a shame as it is nice to be able to choose a wine for your particular taste preference and match it with what is on the menu and not just have what is available on the drinks package. We chose to have wine by the glass but again were left disappointed as a glass of wine size was not mentioned on the menu i.e. 125 or 150 ml so when buying a glass I always noted that we were served a small serving where as the customers on the drinks packages were always being poured a larger serving.

We were pleased that we brought two bottles of wine onboard during embarkation to drink in our cabin. However we were pleasantly surprised that on three occasions the Windsurf did give free drinks at the Captains cocktail reception, an invite to a returner drinks reception and the night of the special event in Monte Carlo the wine flowed freely in the dinning room. In hindsight we were glad we didn't commit to a wine package has it really wasn't necessary as we are not big drinkers. Soft drinks are all included in the basic cost of the cruise which did include fresh juices and virgin cocktails for example.

The ship is well maintained. We were lucky the weather was beautiful for the duration of the cruise so we were able to spend a lot of time on deck sunbathing, in the Jacuzzi or cooling down in the pool. The Jacuzzi and pool are both salt water which was an added bonus. The only negative comment were the lack of towels on the sun beds. The crew did their best to keep the supplies topped up but everyone always seemed to be waiting for fresh towels which appeared to come directly from the laundry so maybe more towels need to be provided generally onboard the ship. Top tip are spare towels are kept hidden under the bar area.

Apart from the main restaurant the Amphora there are two speciality restaurants on the Windsurf the Stella Bistro and candles which is the outdoor area of the veranda restaurant where breakfast and lunch are served. We were not advised that we needed to book our reservations for these two speciality restaurants immediately otherwise there may be difficulty obtaining reservations for them even by the next day. Luckily we saw a queue of people gathering and realised what was happening so we managed to secure a reservation in both restaurants. However it was obvious that some people didn't manage to get reservations and daily we heard complaints at the reception desk.

Not quite sure Windsurf lived up to the 180 degrees from ordinary.

 

Cruise Photos

Food and Dining
The Stella Bistro was the highlight. Both the venue and food were outstanding.
Service and Staff
Dining staff and housekeeping are Philopeno and Indonesian so very service orientated.
Entertainment
Onboard Activities
Marina off the deck platform was used and enjoyed by all ages.
Destinations and Excursions
Ship Quality
Constant maintenance throughout discreetly.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Embarkation as mentioned. Disembarkation do remember to collect your passports. Luggage is collected at dockside even if you are doing your own transfers.Use public transport to get to airport as ships transfers are always very expensive.
Cabin / Stateroom
Oceanview cabins appear to be exactly the same on all decks but costs vary depending what deck and where the cabin is located.
The cabin is quite small and not ideal to spend alot of time in. The hanging space is limited and a safe recently added to the wardrope effects the hanging drop for the clothes.A circular shelf near the TV is at head level for the taller cruiser so beaware. Water is provided in the cabin in carafe type bootles but I think this was tap water rather than bottled water. There are two port holes.
Portoferraio, Elba A beautiful picturesque old port. The day we vsiited an iron man competition was taking place. Visited Napolean residence.
Portofino, Italy
Portofino is too commercialised and attracts hordes of tourists. For a more relaxing time visit Santa Margarita 1.80 Euro one way; 15 minute bus ride along the coast.
Marseille (Provence), France
Take the metro (one stop ) to main railway station St Charles to Visit Aix En Provence by train. Cost 8 euro return for 45 mins journey.
Barcelona, Spain Took taxi to airport 36 Euro including 4 large luggage. If you are departing from Terminal 1 gates E or D make sure you go through duty free first in the direction of gates A B or C as once you go through passport control you cannot visit the huge duty free area that is available in Terminal 1. At Gates E or D there is limited facilities and shops available.

Tip

Bring your own swimming goggles and snorkling gear as they are not available on board the ship.



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