The largest vessel in the Windstar Cruises fleet, the 14,745-ton, 312-guest Wind Surf is one part sailing yacht and one part upscale cruise ship — small enough to be intimate, large enough to offer a variety of onboard experiences. Launched in 1990 and renovated several times through the years, Wind Surf wears her years well, kept in beautiful condition by crews and officers who seem especially dedicated to her.
Long done up in traditional yachting decor, she’s currently in the midst of a major refurbishment that will completely update her interiors, starting with her staterooms and suites in fall 2011 and concluding with her public areas in fall 2012. Expect a more high-end boutique feel, emphasizing earth tones and elegantly clean lines.
Onboard life centers around the Main Lounge, the Compass Rose Bar, and the other outside decks. The spacious Main Lounge is the spot for dancing, cocktails, port talks, and occasional gala buffet dinners, plus gambling in the casino, which is located in a small adjoining room. The indoor/outdoor Compass Rose is the space in the sail-away / sunset / pre-dinner hour, when many guests wander back to have a drink, catch the breezes, chat amongst themselves, and wave good-bye to the day’s port.The tiny, wood-paneled Terrace Bar is located just next door, with big windows to take in the views. It functions as the ship’s cigar bar in the evenings.
Up top, the open-air Pool Bar faces one of the ship’s two small pools. Inside, on Main Deck, the Yacht Club is a combination Internet cafe, coffee bar, and sandwich shop, with snacks and picnic fixins available throughout the day. It also offers a library of books, CDs, and DVDs for checkout.
Other public spaces include a small spa and a surprisingly large, glass-walled gym. Joggers get a full-circuit track on the Bridge Deck; there are various exercise classes (aerobics, yoga, Pilates, stretching, abs, etc.) offered on the open decks; and sun-worshipers have a variety of attractive nooks, including several Balinese sun beds near the pool and hot tubs.
For dining, Wind Surf offers more variety than any other ship in the Windstar fleet. Dinners are served in the ship’s comfortable Restaurant, which operates on a casual, open-seating basis — just show up when you’re ready during mealtimes and the maitre d’ will seat you. As an alternative, guests can dine in the cozy Degrees, a reservations-only spot serving a Mediterranean menu. For alfresco dining, there’s Candles for steaks and skewers and Le Marché for seafood. Breakfast and lunch are served in the buffet-style Veranda Cafe.
Wind Surf Staterooms
Wind Surf offers two basic accommodation choices: standard outside staterooms and suites. Each standard, 188-square-foot stateroom offers a queen-size bed, TV, DVD/CD player, Bose SoundDock (for use with iPods, your own or one you check out onboard), wi-fi, a small refrigerator, L’Occitane toiletries, adequate storage, and nicely designed bathrooms with granite countertops and teak floors.
Suites are exactly twice the size of the standard staterooms, and add a comfortable sitting area, his-and-hers bathrooms, and an extra TV/DVD. At the top of the food chain are two 500-square-foot “Bridge Suites” on Bridge Deck, each offering a separate bedroom and living/dining area, a walk-in closet, and a marble bathroom with separate tub and shower.
Note that no accommodations on Wind Surf offer balconies: Instead, all staterooms and suites have traditional porthole windows.
As part of Wind Surf’s fall 2011 refurbishment, cabins and suites were all given an updated decor, with leather headboards, linen wall coverings, wool carpeting, and new armchairs, art work, lighting features, window coverings, bed cushions, and throws. The second phase of her renovation, in fall 2012, will restyle many of the ship’s public rooms, including the main restaurant, Degrees, the Compass Rose Bar, the Veranda buffet restaurant, the Pool Bar, the main lounge, and the corridors.
For the Avid Cruiser’s personal review of Wind Surf, click Ship Inspection: Wind Surf.
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