I wanted to offer my take on Windstar, since there aren't many recent posts on this line. We were on the June 11th 2006 Rome to Nice trip.
Our cruise on the Windsurf was wonderful. Were there one or two things I could pick at? Sure - nothing's ever perfect but I have to say we all left the ship thrilled with our cruise and wanting to go back. The experience was great and we were very well satisfied.
We were a group of friends made up of 3 couples traveling together and all agreed that:
- service was excellent, with very friendly and attentive staff who remembered all our first names after our first interaction. Not once was anyone rude in the least and most all of the service was outstanding.
- food was excellent a lot of the time and at least good all the time.
- cabins were roomy and well-designed; we had room to easily store everything (and we packed heavily). NOTE: the bed linens and towels were great - they had recently done an upgrade in that respect and it definitely showed (I'm picky about sheets).
- the itinerary was excellent with no lame stops. We did a shore excursion through the boat and also did a few on our own...all were fun.
- the relaxed dress and free-style dining was a really nice feature...we enjoyed the restaurant but felt like the service in the Bistro was a little better and preferred it. One other small positive point: one of the couples in our group was a gay couple and we never experienced any taint of oddness or discrimination on the part of anyone on board at all, I'm glad to say.
We were very pleased with just about everything but there were minor things they could do to make a great thing slightly better. I did not think the couple who performed in the Compass Rose bar at night were any good at all (they sang cheesy songs to recorded tracks) until I was there at the cocktail hour - they sang relaxing songs with an acoustic guitar and were wonderful. I say DROP the tracks and stick to what you're good at.
I HIGHLY recommend Windstar.
P.S. - I also understand that this ship is being overhalled and upgraded during its dry dock this year.