Windstar Cruises Wind Surf Review
BANANA BREEZE VACATIONS sailed on Windstar Cruises Wind Surf yacht, Sails and all. This our Description, Review & Photos. Windstar is Different!
So let's talk about our ship - the Wind Surf. This is the largest ship on the fleet, accommodating a maximum of 342-guests. The Wind Surf has one more restaurant than the others in the fleet. Despite the perception of being a small yacht-like ship the length is 535 feet, or more than 1/2 the length of a typical cruise ship. There are six decks, 122 ocean view staterooms (size 188 sq feet), and 31 - 376 sq feet Suites. The halls are roomy and feature photos of sailing ships and sailing destinations, an appreciated touch.
There are no balcony cabins but all staterooms have portholes or picture windows. Cabins are well designed for space, have a massage shower and provide L'Occitane bath products. You have use of waffle-weave robes, and are greeted with fresh flowers and fruit. The mini-fridge is well stocked with a sodas, juices and a generous variety of wines and beers i.e. Heineken, Amstel Light, Bud, Bud Light and Stella. Water is provided free of charge via a large canister which is refilled twice daily.
Real sails power the Wind Surf. "We've been here."
Here are some of the major differences between Windstar and major cruise lines. Alcoholic drinks are charged for like always. All other drinks are included - soft drinks, coffee, water, cappuccinos, and specialty drinks minus the alcohol i.e. virgin pina coladas, etc. Room service menu is generous and included. You can even order popcorn to watch the DVD in your room and even check out DVD's from the library.
Meals in restaurants are not available for quite as long as major cruise lines but you cannot go hungry. Typical dining hours for Breakfast are 7am - 9:30am. Breakfast is served at the Veranda where you can dine inside or on deck under shade. You have both a cold buffet and a hot buffet to select from. There is also an omelet station where you select the ingredients. But my favorite is ordering from the menu of outstanding selections like Tomato basil Benedict, Classic Eggs Benedict, Stuffed French Toast, Blueberry Pancakes, Waffles Your Way, and Ham and Cheese Crepe, all served with generous freshly prepared sides.
Beware, the menu is limited on the morning of departure. The hot and cold buffet as well as the omelet station is available, but the grill service is not.
For lunch 12:30pm - 2pm. Lunch is also served at Veranda with indoor and on deck seating available. Most days we missed lunch at Veranda because of the short window and being in port. We had a port every day, no days at sea. When we did have lunch it was excellent. Of course there was standard cruise fare but each day brought a different special, and delicious reliable like Fish & Chips.
The Yacht Club is in the main lobby on the Main Deck and has time-of-the-day appropriate snacks available from 6am until 6pm - deli sandwiches, salads, desserts, etc. along with coffees and cappuccinos.
Dinner is served between 7pm and 9pm. AmphorA is the main dining room, nautically themed with a rotating menu. We never tired of it. Everyone is entitled to dine at Candles, which is Veranda transformed to a beautiful on deck dining open air venue. This is a beautiful locale to catch the sunset or view the lights of the port and stars in the tropical sky. You can make your reservation for Candles as soon as you board the ship. We suggest you do.
And finally, a Wind Surf exclusive - Stella Bistro is the fine dining French-inspired venue. Once again, everyone is entitled to dine once at Stella Bistro, and this is the perfect opportunity to pair your entrees with wine. The desserts are absolutely fabulous.
Anyone who has cruised has experienced on deck buffets, but not like Windstar. One night per sailing the crew prepares a fabulous, I mean fabulous buffet. Of course there are seemingly unlimited salads, cheeses and appetizers, but the main dishes include lobster tails (as many as you want, as often as you want), suckling pig carved in front of you, ribs on the grill, paella, and much more. Plus desserts galore.
Our BBQ on deck was in St. Kitts, where we remained until 8:30. So we had the beautiful visual of lovely St, Kitts while we dined on deck, concluding with the traditional Sail Away celebration and followed by line dancing with the crew.