Windstar has been on my radar for awhile. We are pretty adventuresome travelers and not big cruise people but theidea of a sailing yacht exploring the iskands in French Polynesia sounded like fun. After a rough year we were looking forward to a trip where we didn’t have to think or plan too much.
Windstar and The Wind Spirit completely exceeded all of our expectations. I woukd call this line “ high end casual”. If you like mice things ( great food, nice wines, high level of service) but enjoy being sporty and casual this is a great choice. Most people enjoyed nice things but appreciated being able to live in shorts, swim suits and sun dresses for the cruise.
I cannot say enough good things about the staff. We interacted with numerous staff and members of manager throughout the cruise and everyone was impressed with the level of service. Everyone was friendly and helpful, taking pride in knowing your name and anticipating your needs.
The rooms was were way larger than I was prepared for based in past reviews. We were on the second floor which is above the water line which was a good choice for us. Our friends on floor one at the water line made me a little queasy but they said they were fine. Plenty of US electrical outlets , bathroom and shower was fine for my 6’6” husband. Lots of storage and a comfy bed you could actually walk around.
The food was incredible, every meal every day. I took a galley tour and was impressed that everything is fresh, the only frozen item is ice cream. Plenty of fresh fruits and veg eatables with every meal. Loads of healthy choices and plenty of unhealthy ones but plenty of choices. We ate outside almost every breakfast and lunch. The main restaurant is lovely and changes the menu every night. The Candles restaurant option on the deck offers more of a steakhouse menu with grilled meats and fish. The onboard bbq was incredible with a suckling pig, lobster and other delights. The motu special event was not to be missed with a great show and meal on a private island.
We loved the activities ( snorkeling in Moorea, jet skis in Bora Bora and a not to be missed snorkel and picnic in lovely Huahine). We also enjoyed the private motu day where we did yoga and massages on the beach. The sport deck was a blast . We took kayaks out for a while then floated on the dock for a relaxing time.
We enjoyed getting up early to catch a sunrise and coffee on deck each morning. We saw some beautiful rainbows and dolphins on a few mornings. Rainbows and dolphins! Can’t get better than that.
Other special touches included the cultural activities that were available onboard and in special activities. The staff takes great care to research and recruit authentic and interesting people to interact with guests. We made leis onboard one afternoon while we learned traditional dance and heard some great music . One night a local came on to tell us Tahitian history and tradition. He was fascinating.
This cruise would not be good for people who have mobility issues. Lots of stairs and no elevators. The boat gets rocking and would be miserable for people with mobility issues. The crude would probably not appeal to younger people who want a party scene. With 136 passengers it is pretty chill. People were having a great time but if you want a noisy club scene then a big cruise line might be better.
Pro tips- if you think you will be snorkeling a lot bring your own mask and snorkel . The masks get used a lot on the boat so some people were frustrated because they leaked. Bring shoes like Tevas that strap on for water, hiking around etc. don’t miss a sail away or sunset
I would take another Windstar cruise without hesitation