Cruise Editor Erica Silverstein is currently sailing the Mediterranean aboard Windstar’s Wind Surf. If you have any questions about Windstar, the ship in particular, or Mediterranean cruising, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The three most important things to know about any cruise ship are what the cabins are like, what the food is like, and what the entertainment is like. Now that I’ve been on [% 11985 | | Windstar %]’s Wind Surf for 24 hours, here’s my take on all three.
For a luxury cruise line, the standard cabins are relatively small, but they make good use of space. The two porthole windows give the room a nautical feeling, as opposed to other lines that try to mask the fact that you’re on a ship. The beds are quite comfortable, with soft duvets, and each guest gets her own reading light.
The front half of the cabin features a desk with multiple drawers and a flat screen TV on one wall, and the bathroom, closet doors, more shelves, and a mini-fridge on the other. This arrangement leaves a wide space for moving about the cabin. The bathroom has a circular shower that is surprisingly roomy (read: the shower curtain does not cling to your body as you try to lather up), and the sink area offers plenty of storage space for toiletries. The bathroom is stocked with L’Occitane luxury bath products.
Each stateroom comes equipped with a CD/DVD player and an iPod docking station (if you don’t have your own iPod, you can borrow one from the ship). Other nice touches include a fresh fruit basket and a bamboo plant.
Unlike other ships with designated main, specialty, and buffet restaurants, the Wind Surf seems to serve food everywhere. Casual meals, such as breakfast and lunch, are served buffet style in the Compass Rose indoor/outdoor bar area and the Veranda buffet by the pool. Afternoon snacks are served in the Compass Rose and in the Lounge, and guests can eat dinner in the Restaurant or in Degrees, the reservations-only specialty restaurant.
So far, I’ve been very pleased with the food aboard the Wind Surf. Dinner in the restaurant gives a choice of five courses (appetizer, soup, salad, entrée, and dessert) with several vegetarian selections. Everyone seemed happy with their meals and I heard no negative comments about any dish.
The continental breakfast offered a large selection of cereals, baked goods and breads, meats, fruit, and juices. At lunch, guests could pick and choose from a small buffet, as well as order grilled items and other entrées off a lunch menu (my spinach quiche came out pleasantly hot and was very tasty). This is an excellent strategy because buffet meals on other cruise ships tend to offer fewer options for guests with dietary restrictions. Tonight, I hope to try out Degrees, and I expect its food will live up to the high standards set by the other meals I’ve eaten onboard.
There’s not too much to say about the onboard entertainment, as there’s very little. You won’t find production shows or a disco. In the evenings, musical groups perform in the Lounge and Compass Rose. Guests can also play card games or slot machines in the smallest casino I’ve ever seen on a cruise ship. As the casino is right next to the Lounge, it doesn’t ring and jingle like most Vegas-style gaming rooms and the hush is refreshing.
The Wind Surf does offer a library of books and videos for evening entertainment. But, with such a port-intensive itinerary as well as a bunch of jet-lagged cruisers, I bet many folks do what I did, and go to bed immediately following dinner.