We recently returned from the 3/18/07 Barbados Northbound sailing of Windstar's Wind Surf. We fell in love with the ship and had a terrific time. We were especially impressed with:
* Intimate environment, but not too small
* Top-notch service from all members of the crew
* Terrific food and very creative (and friendly) chefs
* Excellent itinerary
* Comfortable cabin (albeit small)
* A smooth ride just about all the time (leaving and returning to Barbados was rough, but not a big deal)
* The flexibility of open-seating dining
* No children on board and just a few (well behaved) teens
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To put our thoughts in perspective, we're an East Coast couple in our late 30s, don't have children, and enjoy vacations where we can relax, take a lot of photos, hike and swim, and enjoy gourmet food.
We were especially pleased with the quality of the food on Windstar. We sailed with Regent last fall and while the balcony suite we had was gorgeous, the service was excellent, and the itinerary was exciting, the food on Regent fell short.
Windstar met the challenge and we were consistently pleased with the meals. We loved the special parties the crew threw...the Caribbean Buffet was out of this world and the beach BBQ at Pigeon Island, St. Lucia rocked! A perfect day...we didn't want it to end. Oh, yes, and the Chocoholic Buffet was lovely as well.
We had worried that our Windstar cabin would feel cramped after staying in a penthouse suite on Regent's Mariner but that wasn't the case. The portholes didn't bother me and the layout of the cabin left us room for everything. The bed was comfortable and the shower was great (no tub).
The Wind Surf's crew is truly top-notch. Everyone was friendly and they seemed to enjoy their jobs.
And finally, the itinerary is ideal if you need to get away from it all for a few days. Iles des Saintes (Guadeloupe), St. Barthelemy, and St. Martin were our favorite ports. St. Kitts & Nevis were so-so. Next time we'd book a shore excursion or hope for better weather. (We had a bit of rain the day we went to St. Kitts/Nevis so that put a kibosh on some of our beach activities.)
We met a lot of nice people on this trip. The age range seemed to be from 30 to late 60s. Most people were active and spent their time on the islands or at the pool or marina.
We thought this cruise was an excellent value and would definitely cruise with Windstar again.
Windstar Wind Surf Barbados Northbound - March 2007
Regent Seven Seas Mariner Alaska to Russia to Japan - September/October 2006
Cruise blog: http://luxurycruisebible.blogspot.com/
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