CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Windstar Cruises Wind Surf by DC Cruiser Southern Caribbean December 28, 2008

Our family of five (two parents, three teenagers) just finished a week of cruising the Southern Caribbean on Windsurf and found the experience deeply disappointing. The ship is certainly presentable enough, but one has to question the five star rating. There is peeling paint and varnish all over, the teak is in serious need of attention, and the boat looks just a bit shabby.

As other reviewers (and even the cruise line) will tell you, nobody in his right mind boards the Windsurf for traditional entertainment. The only show is a once-a-week very hokey review put on by the cabin and mess stewards -- most high school talent shows are better staged.

The main activity unique to the Windsurf is its connection to the sea and the water through its sail propulsion and its watersports marina. At least last week, however, the boat wasn't sailing much of anywhere. In fact, only three of the ship's sails were in any semblance of operation and the crew was apparently ignorant of how to trim them. This ship was built with the world's most advanced computerized masts and booms by Club Med. Unfortunately, under the new management, nobody knows how to use them, rendering Windsurf just another steamship.

More to the point, we learned to our horror that we were sailing to some of the world's prettiest islands and beaches, but our ship would take us only into some of the world's ugliest container ports. That's right -- no beaches, no anchorages, no watersports, unless you want to buy overpriced and poorly designed shore excursions. Try two hours in a bus and one hour of kayaking for $100/person. It would have been easy for the ship to lower some boats and take us to those gorgeous beaches we passed, but that was not on the agenda. In other words, we spent day after day tied to a dead ship in HORRIBLE commercial ports.

Since I know the islands pretty well, I got good at hiring a cab to take us to great resorts, where for the price of lunch we could actually take advantage of those gorgeous beaches. However, that's not what we paid Windsurf's prices for.

This cruise line clearly has little regard and less respect for its customers. They own a magnificent ship (with decent food and cabins), cruise through paradise, and drop their passengers in the middle of hell.

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