After researching the best way to see the islands of Tahiti my wife and I settled on a cruise as the best way to travel through the islands and also get to stay at and explore one of our dream destinations...Bora Bora!
The Windspirit ticked all the boxes, small ship, no sea days, no children, no lifts, perfect.
Now for a quick rundown on the ship, only around 70 cabins, so less than 130 guests as there were a few travelling on their own, the main restaurant Amphora was only used for dinner and had a great atmosphere coupled with excellent food, the second restaurant located on the top deck was where breakfast and lunch were served has tables inside and is air conditioned as well as more tables outside on the deck.
It only took a day or two for the waiters and bartenders to learn all our names and favourite food and drinks, amazing really and a very nice touch. Barrack looked after us superbly at the restaurants and Edmark mixed drinks like a pro.
There are also a few breakfast items and coffee from 6am on the pool deck where you just helped yourself if up early.
The cabins are on two levels, we booked level one as the rooms are all identical except the 2 owners cabins on the stern.
The cabin was well appointed with a huge amount of storage, we bought a suitcase each and even when fully unpacked there was enough storage left for at least another suitcase full or maybe more.We stowed the empty suitcases under the bed.
Boarding started at 1pm and was an easy exercise, with so few passengers it was a breeze, unlike the mayhem we have experienced when boarding on larger cruise ships.
After boarding and checking out our cabin we had lunch onboard which was a great introduction to the food onboard, lunch was excellent.
We then went ashore and wandered around Papeete township for a couple of hours where I purchased a local sim which had 30 mis of calls and 2gb data included from Vodafone for under US$50, however be aware data doesn’t work when at a couple of the islands, also I was unable to share the data with my hotspot on my iPhone even after being assured this would work.
Even after checking and sending emails daily I had only used 200mb of data at the end of the trip so was well covered with the 2gb.
Sail away is a big event on Windstar with loud music and sails unfurling, a truly great experience.
We opted not to buy a drinks package as we wanted to have cocktails sometimes, spirits and beer at others and wine with dinner and the only package that includes everything is US$50 per person per day so US$100 per cabin per day, we figured we wouldn’t drink more than $700 of drinks over 7 days as the drinks prices weren’t to bad, $5.50 for a Heineken, bottles of wine $30 to $40(some were more but we found good wine in this price bracket)
This proved to be the case with our drinks account being a little over $600.
We travelled with another couple and we rented a car at three of the islands and explored these independently, cost to hire a car ranged from $70 to $85 well worth it as we stopped at various attractions and resorts as well as swimming and snorkeling while circumnavigating each island.
I would highly recommend this option.
I only went on one Windstar organised excursion which was the coral drift snorkeling trip, this was awesome!
The 2 special events put on by Windstar, the BBQ lunch and day on a private Moto at Ta’ha is magical and the evening dinner on a private motu at Bora Bora are not to be missed.