Surf's up! Hayley and Susan review Windstar's Wind Surf

Trip Reports
By

Entering the crescent bay of Dun Laoghaire we soon spotted the five iconic masts of Windstar's beautiful 310-guest sailing yacht Wind Surf, standing tall and proud above the harbour. The ship is not new by any means, built in 1989, but she has been very well looked after, and was looking great in the unexpected Irish sunshine.

85% of Windstar's guests are American, but the few British guests that have discovered this fantastic cruise line are usually fans for life. Guided by Amanda, the Guest Relations Manager, we headed out on deck to see just how much outdoor space Wind Surf has to offer, from the Pool Bar right up to the Terrace Bar.

The outside of the yacht is dominated by the masts and has a small pool and a couple of hot tubs. The pool was a very nice size, and I could just imagine sitting there with a glass of Champagne, looking up at the huge white sails against a clear blue sky in the Med or the Caribbean!

Inside the ship there are colonial style shutters to keep out the sun in hot weather, and the polished wooden floors, patterned carpets and comfy sofas lent a truly luxurious feel to the public areas. We were impressed by the amount of space on board, especially in the lounge and AmphorA Dining Room, which is the ship's main restaurant. The Candles outdoor restaurant is transformed at night for a romantic meal under the stars, and the French-style Stella Bistro can be pre-booked on board for a change of scenery. Al fresco lunches are served in the Veranda restaurant on deck, and non-alcoholic beverages, tea and coffee are included in the cruise fare, along with a Champagne welcome reception on arrival.

There is a small fitness centre and spa offering beauty treatments and a hair salon, and as we made our way towards the aft of the ship we came to the marina, which we were keen to see. Wind Surf is well equipped with two jet skis, paddleboards, seven fold-up bikes and plenty of watersports equipment, and this would definitely be a popular area of the ship on a Caribbean voyage. Complimentary kayaks, a bouncy trampoline, paddle boards and snorkelling gear are all available for guests to use when the yacht is at anchor in calm water.

For entertainment the yacht has a five piece band, during the day there are trivia games and quizzes, and the Captain has an open bridge policy, so it is possible to watch the yacht being manoeuvred and ask questions. If you're celebrating a special occasion during your cruise then you can renew your vows or perhaps have the photographer capture a 'Titanic moment' as you pose at the prow of the yacht, and a complimentary private event is also included in each cruise to give guests a unique local experience.

I'm deliberately saving the best until last though, the staterooms! Both Susan and I loved each of the three cabin grades on board. We were shown the Bridge Suites first, where each room led through to another; in a full circle you enter into a large lounge which led into the queen-size bedroom with walk-in wardrobe, into the bathroom, equipped with a Jacuzzi bath tub, shower and his and hers sinks, then into a separate toilet and back through to the lounge - a luxury home on board a yacht!

We found the lead-in staterooms to be just as good. I loved the nautical design throughout the ship - staying true to the style of a sailing yacht - and this continued in the Deluxe staterooms, with cupboard doors featuring finger holes instead of handles. The compact bathrooms meant there was space for a living area and a plush double bed, with plenty of light from the large picture window.

Our favourite rooms, however, were the Suites. These consist of two lead-in staterooms joined together with the middle wall removed, and give you your very own 'his and hers' bathrooms, lots of storage space and a large lounge. If your other half wishes to sleep whilst you relax in the lounge, simply pull the curtain across to partition it off!

Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Wind Surf, and were pleasantly surprised by the size and space of this wonderful sailing yacht.

Hayley Meades
Meet the author

Hayley is a Cruise Consultant at Mundy Cruising

More about Hayley

Get Cruise News, absolutely free.

The UK's most authoritative magazine about the world of luxury cruising. New ships, new destinations, new experiences and new offers. Be more informed, every two months, with Cruise News.

Order your copy