Windsurf, a 312-passenger vessel, is truly a beautiful sight. Having been on many other top cruise lines, I found some very unique differences with Windstar Cruises. I must admit the part I truly enjoyed was the resort casual attire -- even in the dining room in the evening.
The dining room is not open for breakfast or lunch, only for dinner, which starts at 7:30 PM. You are not required to be there at any specific time. The Veranda is open for breakfast and lunch. In addition to the dining room, Windstar Cruises has three other options for dinner. Reservations must be made for Le Marche, Candles or Degrees. Le Marche and Degrees are outdoor dining, weather permitting. You can dine at one of the two outdoor restaurants during your one week vacation.
What makes Windstar one of the top cruise lines is the entire staff is truly gracious and the service is genuine. Many of the passengers commented on how sincere the staff was and their true desire to be sure you are having a good time. They also have the uncanny ability to remember everyone’s name. As it shoudl be on a luxury cruise ship, you will never be in a line on Windstar: No long line at the pier to get on the ship or at the buffet onboard.
Most Windstar cruise itineraries are port intensive. Since there is no bingo, pool games and endless speaker announcements, it creates a relaxing quiet environment on the ship. It was nice to have European style sandwiches and specialty coffees located on the main deck. Just the perfect thing to pack in a bag to take along while venturing ashore. While sandwiches are free, there is a small charge for specialty coffees. We were in the Caribbean and it was great to have use of complimentary snorkel equipment. If you don’t want to leave the ship, the Marina on the tail end of the ship at water level is always open.
We were traveling with a 12 year old, and the Marina was a lot of fun. There is a water trampoline and blanket. The trampoline had a slide that was fun for kids and 60 year-olds! They have a ski boat, and if you’d like to water ski or knee board, there are kayaks as well as windsurfing . Indeed, the Marina helped make this one of our best family cruise vacations. The cabins offer state-of-the-art flat screen televisions, DVD player, and Bose Sound dock for your ipod. For those that can't fathom not working while on vacation, there are a couple of options to purchase wireless internet packages. Warning: the connections are spotty at best and extremely slow. My suggestion, don’t work!
Other options are an alcohol or non-alcoholic drinking plan. An unlimited alcohol, water and specialty coffee plan is $49.50 per day. The same plan for non-alcoholic drinks is around $30 to $35 per day. Its simple to purchase the plan and order whatever you like, whenever you like, without worrying about the cost of each drink. If you are traveling light or with a child, there is a laundry package for $99 per week. This allows you to have unlimited laundry and ironing, but not dry cleaning. What would a vacation on a luxury cruise ship be without a spa treatment. There is a nice array of treatments available and the best part is there are no hard-core sales of products at the end, as on most of the mainstream cruise lines. Make your spa reservations early so you can get the times you want when you are at sea.
If you are looking for a relaxing vacation that also offers adventures in port, Windstar is a great choice. The age onboard ranged from honeymooners to older clientele. It is a perfect option for families as well. There are enough water sports for children and excursions while at port. You can make this vacation as active or relaxing as you want. Even better yet, as a preferred partner of Windstar's, you'll also enjoy exclusive amenities through our cruise agency.