Windstar Cruises Wind Surf Review
The romance and allure of the Seven Seas are alive and well aboard this five-masted sailing yacht.
Wind Surf had a full cocktail selection, a decent wine list and five bars spread around the ship. Unlike most of the mainstream lines, bottled water, soft drinks, cappuccino, espresso, coffee, iced tea, juices and milk were all included in the cruise fare. However, unlike most of the luxury cruise lines, alcoholic drinks were additional.
Cocktail prices ranged $7.75 for Cosmopolitans and Margaritas to $10.75 for martinis made with Grey Goose vodka. A beverage package was available, for $108 per cabin, per day, plus 15-percent service charge. The package covered unlimited alcoholic drinks (except top shelf spirits such as Remy Martin and Hennessy x.o. cognac), beer and wine priced under $12 per glass. Guests were asked to sign up for the package by the end of the first day onboard.
Wines by the glass started at $6.50 for an “early muscat” from an unidentified Oregon winery or merlot from Round Hill vineyard. Other options for a dollar or two more included Rutherford Ranch chardonnay, Firestone sauvignon blanc, Seghesio pinot grigio, La Valentina from Montepulciano d’Abruzo, Barnard Griffin syrah; Veuve Clicquot Champagne was $18. The list had a selection of modestly priced (under $30) wines by the bottle—mostly European wineries we weren’t familiar with—plus such offerings as Frog’s Leap sauvignon blanc ($37), Rodney Strong chardonnay, Chalk Hill ($47), Artesa merlot reserve ($45), King Estate signature pinot noir ($41), and Scott Harvey old vine zinfandel ($49); Champagne started at $70 for Mumm Cordon Rouge brut.
The constrained selection of beers included the usual American name brands for $5.45, or $6.45 for imports—Grolsch was the most exotic label we encountered.
As the ship’s de facto coffee bar, the Yacht Club was open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily serving standard espresso and cappuccino drinks. The bar opened onto the Library, where there was seating, but most days we didn’t see many gathered here.
This was our favorite watering hole aboard Wind Surf, and it had the longest operating hours of any venue on the ship. Located on the Bridge Deck, overlooking the aft, Compass Rose had a decent amount of tables outside with faux wicker chairs and a few umbrellas (it was one of the few outdoor areas that had much shade, another plus). The bar itself was indoors, and there was a good amount of seating here as well. At night a vocal-guitar duo performed here, and on a couple nights engaged us in a very competitive pop music trivia contest.
The full cocktail menu was available. Each morning, coffee, tea and a light continental breakfast was set out here, along with cookies and tea from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Located on the Main Deck, aft, the Pool Bar faced the ship’s small pool, naturally, and it was a good spot for afternoon cocktails, whether we were swimming or not. One caveat: The port side of the seating area was designated for smokers, and when several congregated, the whole area was plagued with cigarette smells. This bar closed each evening at 6 p.m. as the space was converted into Candles Grill.
This was the ship’s largest bar, open only in the evening. The full cocktail menu was available, and there was seating on chars and couches. Most nights this was also Wind Surf’s primary entertainment venue, with a stage barely raised a couple inches above the floor. A group called Top Society played here, a set the promoted light dancing. The Lounge was also used for check-in during embarkation, various presentations (shore excursions, captain’s cocktail reception), a wine tasting program, etc.
Located on the Star Deck, this little cubbyhole, with seating for about a half-dozen, was the ship’s one interior space where smoking was allowed. While the door was always open, it was inconsistently staffed—it seemed to open sometimes when a guest requested service from elsewhere on the ship. We were told that the ship’s full bar menu was available here, but we suspect some drinks would be procured from another bar. The Terrace Bar counter extended outside, and at night this area was called “Cigars Under the Stars,” with a few leather chairs, a table and Oriental rug put out for effect. Cigars were available for sale.
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