Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Travel Topics > Cruises
Reload this Page >

Wind Surf - Nice to Rome - 1st time cruise - Help!

Wind Surf - Nice to Rome - 1st time cruise - Help!

Apr 23rd, 2004, 02:33 AM
  #1  
cat
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 113
Wind Surf - Nice to Rome - 1st time cruise - Help!

Hi everyone. I did something compulsive and need a little advice to assure myself I did the right thing. My husband and I wanted to go to Europe this fall, Italy/France. Had not yet chosen anything specific. By chance, I saw a great price for a Windstar cruise on Wind Surf from Nice to Rome with many interesting ports on luxurylink.com. We have always been opposed to cruises in the past, but this ship looks beautiful, ports are interesting and plentiful and small ship with sails lured me in. I've been on one cruise which was a nightmare, my own fault because booked last minute on a cheap cruise. My husband has never been on one.

Has anyone been on this trip? How is the itinerary? Too busy? Too slow? What is the weather like in this part of the Med. in late Sept.? Also, any tips on cabins? My husband is a fairly large person and we currently have a standard cabin on B deck which I think is the lowest. We can upgrade to a suite for substanitally more money. Is it worth it?

Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
cat is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2004, 05:01 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 138
Just returned from a trans-Atlantic crossing on the Surf. Two weeks at sea was heavenly. Europe in the fall is very nice - the temperatures are lower and the locals have finished their holidays. Generally, cruises will give you a highlight of an area vs. an in-depth experience. The ship is beautiful and very comfortable. We upgraded to a suite as soon as we came aboard. The A and B cabins are of identical size. We have previously sailed with Windstar - over 80% of the passengers on this crossing were repeat guests, one of whom was on her 19th crossing! Another couple was on their 27th Windstar cruise. Does that sound great or what? You will have a fabulous time - this ship can go places the big ships (shudder) can't. Dinner is open seating (the only way we'll cruise). Tips are not expected - the crew is great and they're more highly paid than on standard lines so they're not obsessed with tips. The itineraries should be interesting and you will have fun. More info if you want it!
wpcx2 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2004, 05:40 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 23
Hi Cat,
Well my husbandand I did a late June Rome to Barcelona last year. We had such a fantastic time, that we are doing two weeks for our 25th anniversary this June. The ship is fabulous. The crew are simply there to ensure that you have a fantastic time. The ship can visit ports that a lot of the larger ships cannot, and you actually learn to relax. We had a cabin similar to yours, but because of the small size of the ship,we spent lots of time meeting new people,and relaxing on deck in the evenings. It is perfect. We have also done the smaller Windsong in Tahiti, years ago and we have done larger cruises as well. I do not think you will be dissapointed. Ruth
parislady40 is offline  
Apr 24th, 2004, 11:39 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 52
Dear Cat,
My husband and I did this trip on this ship a few years ago. It is our favorite cruise of all time !! You are in for a wonderful experience as the ship is small and you will meet lovely people and run into them over and over.
The food and service are terrific and the ports are amazing. You get into the small, real thing. The night that the ship serves Cajun or Carribbean food, get a few couples together and eat at a cafe near the pier.

We had a driver in Monte Carlo and another one before we departed in Nice. Between those two days, we saw so much, including St. Paul de Vence, etc. I wouldnt go on the ship tours unless you want to hurry up and wait for everyone. A waste of time - you will see much more and maybe save some money by booking private transportation.

One thing: order a driver for the leg from Rome or into Rome, whichever way you are going. The bus costs the same, again you wait,wait wait. That was the best thing we did.

The waters are calm as you dont really get out far into an ocean. The ship stops each day, which means your days are very full , but then the ports are small, quaint and quiet, so the pace is perfect.

the cabins are ample , I dont think you need a suite.Each day we would come back to the ship around 4-5pm. sit on the back of it and have cocktails and drinks, dirty tho we were. They raise the sails, and you are in heaven. Around 6-6:30 everyone would dive for their cabins, reinvent themselves and come up for dinner around 8-8:30. If you ask for a large table the first two nights, you will find couples that you like, and groups form fairly quickly. After dinner, we would have a glass of wine and sail. The crowds should have thinned out by then and the weather would be delightful.
sjoantwe is offline  
Apr 24th, 2004, 12:47 PM
  #5  
cat
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 113
Thank you all so, so much! You have made me feel much better. I can't wait to go! The only reason I was so nervous was because I usually do at least 2 months of intensive research before booking anything. This time was totally impulse and I'm glad to know I made the right decision. Also, wpcx2, you said you upgraded to a suite when you went on board. Is this relatively easy to do last minute? Do you remember how much the additonal cost was? Luxurylink.com wants to charge us $2000 extra to upgrade! This is the only thing I am still grappling with. I'd like to make the decision last minute if it's possible and/or cheaper. Thanks again! Bon Voyage!
cat is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 05:41 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 138
Three days before we left, my husband called Windstar direct and inquired about suites. They were still available but at published rates. We arrived at the ship early, found out what time we could board, returned then and got checked in. Then my husband went to reception and got us upgraded. We paid about $500 apiece but got free laundry and a few other things as well. Remember, though, that the non-stop two week long repositioning cruises are very different than a seven day port-intensive trip such as you're taking (we have been on Windstar for those as well). On the latter, your days are pretty full and your cabin is pretty much for sleeping. The advice you received about the driver/car is spot on - we always do that.
wpcx2 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 09:34 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 689
We sailed on the late lamented Windsong from Istanbul to Athens in October 2001. Loved every minute of it.

Cabins on A and B are the same. Only difference is a few more stairs to climb from B, but after all the good food we thought that was a good thing... Sailing at night under a full moon was very memorable, and on B you are closer to the waterline, so you see the moon shining on the waves from your window. So romantic!

I would prefer to save $$ on the room (don't spend much time there anyway), and splash out for the shore trips. There's so much to see!
SB_Travlr is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 06:53 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,898
cat--

we actually did your identical cruise but in the reverse--from ROME to NICE..go onto cruise-addicts.com and read my review..It was an AWESOME ship- my hubs loved the idea of "casual elegance" and it was...we loved the open seating dining and got seated with the nicest people!
Cabins are not large but you are not in there a lot either....
Casino is very small but there is no push to get you to gamble like on larger cruise ships..

The ports!! WOW!! we loved Portofino and Monte Carlo ( we had been before so we knew you NEED a COAT and TIE to get into the Grand Casino ( where the James Bond movies were filmed-and yes, definitely go there!! there is a cover charge but pay it and head to the "american room" and play roulette-we won back our entrance fees and then some..)..We did the excursion into FLORENCE and used it just for the transportation as the drive is very long and we did not want to miss the ship)..Elba was nice but you do NOT need to do ANY of the ships excursions as you can walk to all the places-)--same with Corsica..If you do your homework and research all the ports, you will be prepared in advance to what is going on in each port..

Just a heads up if you post on Fodors Europe board- DO NOT say you are going on a cruise to get port info..those people are more land oriented..just post your question as if it were a land based trip and trust me, people will answer...

The ship is great- food was 1st class- and we want to go again..It truely spoils you for other ships after you have been on the Windsurf...........we do NOT really want to do larger ships but we seem to end up on them when we do the caribean...THE NICEST thing about the Windsurf ports is that the ship gets into some TOP QUALITY SMALL ports...

We esp loved St Tropez-- the art around the pier is wonderful- buy some and take it home!! And carry an extra suitcase for shopping in St Tropez- the stores are fabulous!

You DID NOT make a mistake--Take me with you!!
andy is offline  
Apr 28th, 2004, 04:03 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 33
Andy:

After 20 minutes I gave up attempting to find your review on ca.com - Please tell me how to navigate the site to find your report. I am doing Rome-Nice May 9 and would love to read your review.

Thanks.

Michael
michaelfreedman is offline  
Apr 28th, 2004, 08:07 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,898
Michael- I emailed the entire review to the address you posted above..

Enjoy the cruise and the wonderful ports!! We LOVED it!!

Andy
andy is offline  
May 12th, 2004, 07:26 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6
My husband and I just returned from the Nice to Rome cruise and loved it. We had a regular cabin on the lowest level and were happy with it. The suites just have an additional sitting area with a couch. Hopefully your weather will be nicer than ours, but despite that we had a great time. The service was exceptional!
Kmber is offline  
May 17th, 2004, 05:07 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 33
Just returned from the Rome to Nice cruise - it was the best of the 16 cruises we have done.

1. Upgrade to a suite - having 2 bathrooms and 2 sets of closets make him and her a lot happier. It really feels like home.

2. Great ports of call - only tour that is probably necessary is the Cinque Terre - other than that taxi or walk.

3. When in Portofino go to the Hotel Splendido for a look, a drink, or if you've been lucky in the casino, lunch. This is what great European / Riveria hotels are all about and the views , well they are splendid!

4. The Bistro is a nice alternative - the food is of the same quality but the Bistro is even more intmate than the Restaurant.

5. Fellow cruisers are well schooled, well travelled and very interesting - no need for shows and horse racing.

For the money this has to be the best small ship Med cruise - enjoy.

Feel free to e-mail me for any additional info.
michaelfreedman is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 02:09 AM
  #13  
cat
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 113
Michael,

Thanks for the report and thanks to you all for the input and advice. We are very excited about the trip and will probably upgrade to the suite. Michael, how far in advance did you upgrade? Would it be less expensive if waited until the last minute while boarding? Thanks again.

cat
cat is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 10:22 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,063
We won a bid at an auction for 7 day WindStar cruise. We were told it was anywhere that Windstar curised but after paying for it, we find out we have to use the Wind Surf and go where they cruise. We've been to Europe many times and would like to try somewhere else. Although your descriptions sound very tempting. Has anyone done Rome to Barcelona - never been to Spain so that might be anoption - what about a Caribbean cruise on Wind Surf. However,the 2005 schedule isn't too exciting Cancun/Cozumel.
Shar is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 05:09 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 33
we upgraded 2 weeks before sailing @ $500.00 per person - you could also upgrade on board at the same price - If you can swing it, do it!
michaelfreedman is offline  
Jul 29th, 2004, 07:26 AM
  #16  
FTP
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 103
Going in October, Rome to Nice. Any more feedback?
FTP is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 02:22 AM
  #17  
cat
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 113
Hi. It's me again. I have a development to report since I started this thread. We have decided to get married on the cruise. We are going to have the ceremony on the ship in Monte Carlo and spend the evening in the city having dinner and going to the casino. We are very excited and probably will attempted the suite upgrade upon embarking.

I have a question about shore excursions. The general consensus is that we should not book the excursions offered by the cruise line. But, how then do we get around? In which ports will we need a driver? Where do I find driver's in each port that we can trust. I also want to book a private transfer to Rome once we disembark, but don't know how to go about doing this. What are the logistics? Any advice would be great. Thanks again.
cat is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 12:52 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 689
Check cruisecritic.com -- but be warned, it's as addictive as the Fodors forums!

You'll find areas to post for Windstar cruises specifically, and also a very good "ports of call" section, where you might find answers to your questions already posted. It's a very active board, many helpful folks (just like Fodorites).
SB_Travlr is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 12:54 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 689
Oops, should have added that the forums there are under the Boards tab.

Have a wonderful romantic time. (We're cruising Windstar in Tahiti in November, very excited about that.)
SB_Travlr is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
louiss
Europe
9
Feb 15th, 2014 02:22 AM
PaulLanders
Cruises
8
Jan 11th, 2014 06:54 PM
Mocat
Cruises
6
Aug 28th, 2011 05:56 AM
vacation03
Cruises
6
Feb 7th, 2004 09:42 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:05 AM.