Windstar Cruises

Feb 8th, 2010, 06:29 AM
  #1  
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Windstar Cruises

Does anyone have first hand experience of cruising with Windstar Cruises anywhere in the Caribbean ?

I frequently see one off their multi-masted ships moored off Marigot in French St Martin, and we are considering a 7 day cruise leaving from Marigot - even though we have already visited some of the ports of call.

What we are looking for is complete relaxation, a bit of pampering, and no rampaging kids !

The shore excursions seem a bit expensive, but obviously living on St Martin, and knowing St Barts well already, we would certainly would not want an excursion on St Martin, and probably not on St Barts either.
DavidSXM is offline  
Feb 8th, 2010, 06:49 AM
  #2  
 
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We really enjoyed our Windstar cruise last year. I could find nothing to complain about. I don't think there were any kids on our trip (we did the Southern Caribbean cruise (Barbados, Bequia, Mayreau, Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada and Tobago). Because we had never seen these islands we were off the ship everyday so it was a bit tiring for us. (No at sea days either). But it was a relaxing, enjoyable trip! The staff were great.
Naveron is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 01:22 AM
  #3  
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Naveron, thank you for that. It sounds most encouraging. I am getting to like the idea, as the shore days are not so much of a big thing for us anyway - we just want to relax in a fair degree of comfort, and be well fed and looked after.

Was the accomodation reasonably spacious ? It's a bit difficult to figure from the Windstar website. I have ordered a brochure from which might be easier to get a better idea.

Is there anyone else out there with further comments ?
DavidSXM is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 06:14 AM
  #4  
 
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The accommodation size was good and the cabin comfortable. The windows are really portholes -- not big. The bathroom size was good as well. The bed was comfortable. On some nights, it was a bit "rolly" but not to the point where I felt uncomfortable. I liked the relaxed dress code and open seating policy. We never had trouble getting a table for 2 when we wanted. But if pampering is what you are looking for, Seabourn or SeaDream might be worth looking into. I did meet many friendly people on the Windstar who also enjoyed their trips and who had been on other upscale cruise lines and thought Windstar ranked right up there!
Naveron is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 11:49 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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We took a Windstar cruise several years ago. it was quite enjoyable.
Barbara1 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 05:52 PM
  #6  
 
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We've sailed both on the Windspirit and the Windsurf and loved both cruises. As stated above we liked the open seating policy with no formal nights, just country club casual. The food was outstanding as was the service.

We liked the feel of the ocean and all the stars out while on the deck at night.

Between the 2, we preferred the Windsurf----just a bit bigger (up to 350 guests). A little more deck space, several restaurants and pools, a bit bigger dance floor. The Windspirit was still good and we would sail her again depending on the itinerary. For us both of the cabins were spacious with a lot of amenities, room service, and very comfortable beds.

We also like Star Clipper sailboats. We have sailed on Star Flyer twice www.starclippers.com and someday will sail on the larger Royal Clipper.

On all 4 sailings we never encountered kids---no programs for them. You feel like you're on a private yacht instead of a cruise ship. Yes, you do feel pampered as the crew knows you and your likes quite quickly. They all have spa services,but we didn't use them.

We've sailed the upper and lower Caribbean. Our favorite ports being---St. Bart's, Ile de Saints, Virgin Gorda and Prickly Pear in the BVI's . The ships were so comfortable that we just stayed onboard some days.

Answering this brought back many nice memories.
TPAYT is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 02:10 AM
  #7  
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Hi Barbara.

Did you board in Marigot ?
DavidSXM is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 02:16 AM
  #8  
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Thank you TPAYT.

It looks like Windstar - as it seems that it is the only cruise line with DEPARTURES from Marigot, and we really don't want to have to fly somewhere in order to board a ship for a short cruise, which is all we are looking for.

Anyway, from the answers I have received here, and from the Cruise Critic reviews, it doesn't sound such a bad idea anyway !

Thanks everyone.
DavidSXM is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 09:05 AM
  #9  
 
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hi david
No, at the time we didn't board in marigot. I think we saield out of Guadeloupe if i remember correctly.
It was a long time ago but we really enjoyed it. we were on the Windspirit.
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Mar 27th, 2010, 11:33 AM
  #10  
MJT
 
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We have just booked out 4th Windstar cruise. We sailed around Tahiti many years ago. In 2009 we did the southern Caribbean on Windsurf and this January we did the Costa Rica trip on Windstar. We are booked Dec. 4 on the Windspirit from St.Martin. I agree with previous posters. Accomodations are very comfortable, open seating, no seat assignments for meals, no kids. You are free to do whatever you want. We have never been on a large cruise ship, not interested. We actually prefer the Windstar (148) passengers over the Windsurf.
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Mar 27th, 2010, 07:53 PM
  #11  
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Thank you MJT.

That is very helpful, and the fact that you have just booked for a 4th cruise is obviously a good recommendation.

The last thing we want is a big cruise ship, and the lack of other peoples rampaging kids is big plus - as is the departure point being from Marigot, as we live on the French side of St Martin.
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Mar 28th, 2010, 09:14 AM
  #12  
MJT
 
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DavidSXM, I forgot to add this about Windstar. Once you have sailed with them you are a member of the Formast Club which includes several discounted fares each year. The December 4th cruise is one of these and I expect there will be many Foremasters on board. This was the case in Costa Rica in January.
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Mar 28th, 2010, 10:50 AM
  #13  
 
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We to enjoyed the Windspirit trip in the british/US Virgin Islands in 2005 The cabims are of of sufficient size and comfortable. The food was surprisingly very good though not at the level of Seabourn,etc. but neither is the price and it is a very casual experience which we like best. The vendors they used for snorkeling were NOT very good. By that I mean they took us to some of the less desirable spots around St. John (we know the area having been there 4 times prior) as well as in the tortola/Jost Van Dyke area. Though the later and most of the Bristish Virgin Islands have only about 30%+ living coral the vendors went to places where the coral was not alive. For the same price they could have taken us to the better spots. While we did not take many land excursions I would say the same for the one on St. Marteen (we had been there 2 years prior). I hold the Windstar responsible for selecting the vendiors because they make a profit of about 25%-30% of what guests pay as a commission from the vendors as they do on most cruise ships.
The condition of the ship is very good for a 20+ year old ship but the 10 or 12 coats of paint are evident though the top coat is sparkling. Our only other issue was that in the 7 days of the cruise they actually used the sails without the motor once for a few hours and even called guests on deck to see it. The weather conditions were such that they could have sailed more often, in our opinion so it is a cruise ship not a sailing vessel if that matters to you. Overall we would give it a 7.5-8.0 out of 10.
StanKase is offline  
Mar 28th, 2010, 01:18 PM
  #14  
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Thank you both for your information.

In spite of the paintwork, and the snorkeling (which neither of us are interested in), I think we will still give it a try.

I had already formed the distinct impression that the sails were probably more for show than for actual use !!

What we are looking for is a relaxing experience with stops at a few of the islands which we have yet to visit.
DavidSXM is offline  
Apr 27th, 2010, 09:01 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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we just took the cruise in the mediterranean. the true i never liked cruise ships, but my experience in the windsurf was unbelivable, it was fantastic, the staff on board, the rooms, the restaurants, everything was execelent , the food was one of the best, what can i say. We are know planning to take a cruise in the caribean...
antonio_sanchez is offline  
Apr 27th, 2010, 09:32 AM
  #16  
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Antonio. Thank you very much for your comments. They only go to reinforce the general views which have been expressed in other postings.

I have seen no adverse statements by anyone, the information has been most useful, and has confirmed our desire to take a cruise with Windstar later this year.
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