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Is Windstar the way to go to see and enjoy the smaller Carribbean Isles ?

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Mar 23rd, 2009, 10:30 AM
  #1
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Is Windstar the way to go to see and enjoy the smaller Carribbean Isles ?

I have been on the larger cruise ships and getting off and on for shore excursions have been the worst part of the trip. I want to be able to spend as much time on the islands and mainly on our own - I don't want the "touristy" bus tours !! We are thinking about the Windstar Barbados route - any comments ??? Also, we chose Windstar because we don't need the glitz and cheezey shows. First time on Windstar so any comments from recent cruisers will be greatly appreciated before we spend our life savings
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Mar 24th, 2009, 11:53 AM
  #2
 
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We have sailed on both the "Windspirit" and the "Windsurf" and enjoyed every minute of our cruise.

We did the "Windspirit" in the Virgins from St. Thomas and the "Windsurf" in the Southern Caribbean out of Barbados. We preferred the "Windsurf" as it was just a bit larger with more deck space and 2 restaurants for dinner and another 1 for breakfast & lunch.(350 passengersas opposed to 150)

Both far surpassed larger ships for just the things you listed. Very easy to get on & off(we saw the lines of people trying to get back to their ship in St. Martin---not for us). We went into smaller ports the larger ones can't get into. The cabins were excellent. But the best part was being on deck at night with all the stars---you can't get that feeling on a huge ship.

We loved The Virgins, very picturesque. We also loved St. Bart's and went there on both sailings. The food was excellent as was the service. The only tour we took was in St Martin to race the America's Cup boats---outstanding.

Now for the bad part. Recently there have been some bad reviews on Cruise Critic. I guess they have new owners. Read the reviews on Cruise Critic and this site and decide for yourself.

We won't hesitate to sail with them again, and are planning to do the Transatlantic crossing from Barbados to Lisbon in the next 2 years.

You could also look into www.starclippers.com
We sailed on "Star Flyer" in the Virgins and again in the Mediterreanan.Similar experience but the sailing was better.

Don't spend your life savings. Watch all the discounters like www.vacationstogo.com Then when we sailed once, we keep getting 2 for 1 offers. That's how we ended up in the Med.
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Mar 24th, 2009, 01:51 PM
  #3
 
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Try also Canadian Sailing Expeditions...have friends who have sailed and have had nothing but great things to say.

www.canadiansailingexpeditions.com
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Apr 1st, 2009, 09:41 AM
  #4
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Thanks TPAYT !
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Aug 9th, 2009, 08:03 AM
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We used to go on the big cruise ships for years until we discovered the Windstar and we haven't gone back.... We've now been on about 6 or 7 (both windtar and windspirit)...We look forward to our "private sailboat" every year where we cruise in the Caribbean. The staff remember you from previous years and wait on you hand and food. They can't do enough for you and genuinely want you to have the best time possible. It is like no other cruiseline. As TPAYT said, it's easy to get on and off the boat, there are lots of fun excursions and you get to visit islands you never would have been able to visit....There are no cheezy shows at night, but someone who plays the piano and sings while you enjoy a drink or do some gambling in the little casino. It's easy to meet people if you want to, or if you want to enjoy alone time you can do that too. The food is delicious and there is no "dinner time" when you have to go. You can go whenever you want..Also, when the ship is docked, you can go down and do water sports off the back of the boat. (kayaks, sunfish sailboats, etc.). If you have any questions let me know.
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Aug 9th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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wee have taken many windstar/surf/spirit cruises....yes, they have degraded some (no internet service is a drag when you are on for 2 weeks and can't connect with family). They used to have an entire section of the ship dedicated to this, but now they have another lounge or restaurant...can't exactly remember.

food is still good, staff friendly, beach towels tatty, etc...both the good and the bad...it is what it is.
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Sep 28th, 2009, 04:14 PM
  #7
 
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We are also considering the Barbados WINDSURF cruise for DEC 2009 and have never been to the Carribbean. We just want some R & R as we usually do more sightseeing trips and have been on 2 other WINDSTAR cruises doing this. Can you go to the beaches, snorkel, swim & explore the islands on your own? Is it hard to get around these places? We don't particularly care to take the excursions and are indeependant travelers. Are those necessary? Thanks!!
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Sep 28th, 2009, 05:21 PM
  #8
 
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My thoughts: I love the windstar/surf..the experience is worth a life time of memories...pros...small ship, great cusine, good staff, personal, clean, intimate.

cons: don't like to go on any cruise for less that 10 days...too much trouble and expense to fly that far for only 7 days. takes that long to get orientated, and know your fellow cruisers...why don't you try an transatlantic...we like them the best of all.

But if you don't like that idea, try taking a back to back, you'll love it....we have done almost all that they offer and have not had a bad experience, although some were better than others.
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Sep 30th, 2009, 08:29 PM
  #9
 
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The islands are small & getting around on your own is very easy. Most of the time we rent a car and go off on our own and swim, snorkel, & explore. Tell us what islands and we can give you a hint of what we enjoyed.

If you're going in Dec. I would stick to the lower Caribbean because the weather will be better. Just my opinion and not all years, but the northern islands can be a bit cool in Dec., Jan., and most of Feb.
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