Windstar Cruises

 

There’s Nothing Quite Like a Windstar Cruise

David Rentsch

President, Cruise Holidays

Picture sails raised and billowing in the wind with the only sound being the ocean lapping the side of the ship in a rhythm that can easily lull anyone to sleep; then listen to the purrs from the engines of the gliding luxury-yacht begin as it docks into harbors, coves and exotic ports-of-call where the large cruise ships cannot venture. What I am describing is the Windstar Cruise that my wife and I recently experienced in the Caribbean.

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The world is full of islands, some big, some small, some found in the Caribbean, some sprinkled around Asia and the Mediterranean, and Windstar can cruise them all in luxurious style. Mega-yachts are in vogue for the well-heeled traveler offering a more experiential vacation that is ideal for those who are tired of the long waits at the buffet line and tired of searching the ship for the spa or the place they are supposed to drop off the kids. What the big ships can’t do, a mega-yacht can; so it’s easier to hop around the Greek Isles or kayak right off the boat all while sharing the space with a minimal number of passengers.

Wind Surf

Windstar Cruises currently has three ships, two sisters (Wind Star and Wind Spirit) and a larger cousin (Wind Surf) with their majestic sails rising up over multiple tall masts, which makes for an inspiring impression. Our “Flavors of the Caribbean” cruise was aboard the Wind Surf ship. The ship is uniquely crafted with 25,000 square ft. of computer-operated sails and a water-ballast stabilizing system that keeps the ship level while in motion. With a passenger capacity of only 312, one would expect a small, cramped little ship.  Windstar Cruises' Wind Surf is surprisingly expansive, feeling much bigger inside than one would expect, and harbors amenities such as a large spa and an alternative eatery.

Staterooms

Not knowing quite what to expect on a yacht, our stateroom was a delightful surprise. Thanks to their clever design, at 188 square feet they appear even more spacious. On one wall, the closets are large enough for even the most aggressive over-packer and contain shoe racks and shelves for gear. Next to open shelves containing the DVD player are three small-enclosed cabinets with the bottom containing a personal safe. On the opposite wall, the flat screen television is mounted on a swivel base with more shelves above it, and the vanity/desk contains drawers for ample storage. The bathroom was a sufficient size and a lesson in efficiency containing abundant cabinet and shelf storage. Special touches in each stateroom are plush terrycloth robes for use

Passengers

Windstar Cruises is all about feeling as if you’re on your own private yacht, but you may be wondering, “Whom would I be sailing with?” Passengers tend to be well-traveled couples and active in mind and spirit with age ranges from 30 – 80. However, there were more families onboard with children, starting around age fourteen, than I expected. Towards the end of the cruise, when one of the children was asked how he liked the cruise and if there was enough for him to do, he answered that he “loved it and had not been bored at all.”

use during the voyage, a refrigerator/mini-bar, hair dryer and luxury bath amenities.


Though we were not able to see a suite, Wind Surf suites are double the size of standard staterooms, have twice the storage, two bathrooms, and a generous sitting area. Three guests are easily accommodated and a curtain for privacy can separate the bedroom.