Windstar or Radisson?

May 25th, 2001, 01:50 PM
  #1  
Sonia
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Windstar or Radisson?

We're planning an eastern Med. cruise in September, and Windstar was our original choice. Now Radisson has a more competitive deal, for a somewhat similar itinerary (Navigator and Diamond). Can you help us* choose? Any major pros or cons in terms of extra costs, facilities, shore trips, extra benes?
*"Us" is a 50's couple, love to travel, don't want stuffiness or formality or organized games. We love good food, places to explore, interesting company.
Thanks for any and all recommendations.
Sonia
 
May 27th, 2001, 09:31 AM
  #2  
Tammy
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My husband and I looked at both lines for our Greek Island cruise last year. We loved the itineraries on both. The rooms on the Windstar line are smaller with only portholes. We chose the Radisson Diamond. I know everyone says you're never in the room, but it was very special to awake to the sight of Santorini at sunrise. We stepped out on to our private balcony to take it all in. Drinks on the balcony at sunset were also very nice.

As for extra costs, there arenít any unless you want mixed drinks, beer and shore excursions. Radisson serves complimentary wine with dinner and there's a complimentary bar set up in your cabin. You can give them your preference for choice of alcohol in the bar. Tipping is not required.

The tours that are offered are good. We enjoyed the few private tours we had set up ourselves more.

On our 7-night cruise, there was one formal night. I didn't see any tuxedos. You can order anything from the regular menu in your cabin if you'd like to skip the formal nights. The food on our trip couldn't have been better. My husband and I frequent many of the States finest restaurants and would include this as one of them.

I wouldn't consider this ship stuffy, although there were a few passengers that might have been a little stuffy. The average age was about 50-55. If there were any organized games, I didn't see them. The Diamond has one of the largest space to passenger ratios. It is also the most stable ship afloat and the only one of it's kind. (Double hull design) It was just renovated and looks very good.

I'm sure you can tell we loved this ship and look forward to sailing on it again. If you have any more questions about the Diamond, just ask. I'm pretty thorough with obtaining details.
 
May 27th, 2001, 10:05 AM
  #3  
Tammy
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I pulled out my notes from ship comparisons. This information was accurate a year and a half ago. Windstar does not include air and drinks in their price. There are 150 passengers. You can dine alone. There aren't any formal nights. Tips are included. Cabins are 188 sq. ft. The ship was built in 1987.

The Diamond has 350 passengers and air is included. You can dine alone. Rooms are 243 sq. ft. with or with out a balcony. With out a balcony, the room space is larger with a picture window. The ship was built in 1992.

The Navigator has 490 passengers and air is included. You can dine alone. Rooms with out balcony are 301 sq. ft. With balcony they are 356 sq. ft. The ship was built in 1999.
 
May 28th, 2001, 09:34 PM
  #4  
Andy
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Sonia- we just got back from the Western Med on the WINDSURF yesterday. It was WONDERFUL---definitely not stuffy.In fact,coat and tie are NOT required in the dining room- most men wore POLO shirt and khaki pants or sports shirts and slax to dinner. Women wore nice sundresses,nice knit outfits, or linen/silk slax sets. NO TUXEDOS are required. The ONLY time you needed a jacket was to get into the Grand Casino in Monte Carlo. Dining was open seating-they either sat you in 2's or asked if you wanted to join other couples. We always opted to join other couples because we like to meet people. The ports ranged from ok to terrific---we went to Cosica (ok-but it rained),Elba(ok-but it rained)Portovenre (our destination for Florence-great)-Portofino (great),St.Tropez(great),Monte Carlo (great). The only shore excursion worth anything was the bus ride into FLorence-because we were in an out of the way port where the cost of a private car was prohibitive. FOOD was like dining in a 5 star restaurant-plates decorated with swirls etc-everything was delicious. Breakfast is buffet and also special order egg/eggs benedict/panckes etc. Lunches were buffets and were unreal. Dinners were off the menu. Have a separate 2nd dining room called the Bistro-quieter but food about same as regular restaurant we usually ate in. 4 pc band in lounge and good little casino-4 tables of blackjack,poker,roulette , and lots of slots. 2 pools--cabins were larger than normal US cruise ships to Caribbean that we'd been on. Rooms did have portholes. THe most incredible part was sailing out of Cittavecchia and watching the 5 masted sails go up!!!! A great romantic sight. Email me direct if you want any more info.....As for the Radisson- if you want larger cities to go to, then definitely go Radisson and definitely take a room with a veranda--it is very romantic. I would not hesitiate for a moment in recommending either ship but it's like comparing apples to oranges- a 5 masted sailing vesselw with 300 people vs. a cruiseliner with superb rooms,great dining and much more formal atmosphere. My husband for 1 was happy he didn't have to wear a coat and tie every nite like on a usual cruise-The Windsurf was upscale-average age 40-60,upper income,well travelled,sophisticated--truthfully, you can't go wrong on either ship-----And Windsurf DOES give 2 for 1 with FREE AIR on specific cruises--check with your travel agent.
 
May 29th, 2001, 04:22 AM
  #5  
Tammy
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Sonia, I was reading the last post and wanted to comment about the coat and tie issue. On our cruise, the nights we were in port late, the dress for dinner was casual. Half of the nights were informal, i.e. slacks, polo type shirts and a linen jacket. No ties were required on informal nights. In fact, I noticed a few men without a tie or jacket on the formal night.

We did have to pack more "informal" clothing than we normally would have if we had not been on this cruise. In the end, we found that we enjoyed dressing every evening for dinner.
 
May 29th, 2001, 09:29 AM
  #6  
Sonia
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Thanks to all for the very helpful responses -- conclusion seems to be that you can't go wrong either way! Which is good to know, but still leaves me to decide. Maybe a coin toss will help...
Sonia
 
May 30th, 2001, 12:36 PM
  #7  
Mary
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We just sailed the Radisson Diamond from Nice to Rome in late April. We enjoyed the cruise for the ports but would not sail that ship again. We sailed Windstar twice in the Caribbean in the past and enjoyed their ships far more.
The Windstar cabins are smaller, but fine. Although Windstar doesn't have balconies, you're actually more aware of being at sea because you're closer to the water and you can hear the waves against the side of ship--to me a very soothing sound. On the Diamond you're not supposed to leave your balcony door open because it interferes with the air conditioning (which you can't turn off), so you can't hear the sea at all. We also occasionally had a problem getting more than lukewarm water for showers.

The food on Radisson was OK but not great, and not as good as Windstar. We also felt the service generally was not nearly so friendly and willing. Perhaps because Windstar is smaller (we've only been on the 150-psgr ships), the staff gets to know the guests enough to joke with them or ask how the day went, to know that you always start breakfast with a double espresso or that you like a glass of water on the side with your cocktail--little attentions that make you feel special. Other passengers seemed more friendly too, and we found them interesting and very well traveled as a group.

We also felt the information about ports was better on Windstar. Besides printed information and a map available to everyone in the lobby, every evening one of the travel staff would give an informal presentation in the lounge before dinner with suggestions and recommendations. Radisson offered a TV version which consisted of the travel director reading the printed information everyone already had while photos of the ports appeared on the screen -- pretty feeble.

Just so this isn't totally negative--our stewardess on Radisson was very nice. The free in-cabin bar setup and wine with dinner was appreciated. Also Radisson does have actual production shows, albeit small; and the casino was well operated with blackjack, roulette, poker, and craps tables as well as lots of slots. Windstar usually has a combo playing for dancing, and may have a disco night or two, but nothing major--except for one night when they bring a local group onboard for a BBQ and informal show--tho whether they do this in Europe I don't know. The casino on the smaller Windstar ships is also definitely small-time, some slots and a couple of "live" tables.

Hope I haven't rambled on too much and that you find the information helpful. As you can tell, we really liked Windstar, but it's always fun to try something different--maybe Crystal next time. Let us know what you choose and how you liked it and have a wonderful trip!
 
May 30th, 2001, 06:57 PM
  #8  
Andy
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Sonia- Windsurf is part of the Windstar line. However, it is the bigger sailing yacht with approx. 300 people vs. Windstar and Windsong that carry approx. 120 people. The smaller Windstar ships have a very tiny casino-like 2 blackjack tables and some slots.The Windsurf had much more and you could always find a blackjack table to sit down at or a slot to toss you money away . Anyway-just wanted to clarify that there are 2 diff. size ships in the Fleet.
 

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