Idyllic Days in the Caribbean: Wind Spirit Cruise Review by Xoe

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Idyllic Days in the Caribbean

Sail Date: January 2008
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: St. Thomas
This is a belated review of our marvelous Wind Spirit Caribbean voyage round trip out of St. Thomas in January 2008. It was a wonderful travel experience in all respects.

I traveled with my sister, who flew to St. Thomas from her home in Hawaii; I live on Whidbey Island, WA, and flew out of Seattle. We arrived two days before our cruise began in order to have a rest after our long red-eye flights. We stayed at The Green Iguana, a small hotel up on the hill next to Blackbeard's Castle. It was a fine place to stay, from which you can walk into downtown Charlotte Amalie; it's an easy walk DOWN the "99 Steps", much harder back UP those many steps!

On our extra day between arrival at STT and our departure on Wind Spirit, we booked a private tour with T.J.'s Terrific Tours, and as it happened we had Thomas's entire safari-type open air vehicle to ourselves. This was great for us (but not so great for his budget, so we tipped him more than the cost of the tour) as More he would show us exactly what we wanted to see, and skip what did not interest us. He picked us up at The Green Iguana and returned us there at the end. At our request, he also stopped at a grocery store frequented by locals to buy wine to take on board with us. He's affable and knowledgeable, highly recommended.

The Wind Spirit was as wonderful as her sister ship, Wind Star, whose Costa Rica cruise I had loved a year earlier. The ship's size is wonderful, the passenger mix interesting, the food fine, the crew marvelous, and the itinerary is lovely. Our weather was perfect as well, always a big plus!

For photos with captions and descriptions, done as a "photo story", go to

and go down the page until you come to "Caribbean on Wind Spirit"; click on that, then click on "Slideshow" to see photos in large size with captions and explanations. This will give you a feel for the ship, the trip, and the islands we visited, and will tell you more than I can do with words in this report (remembering that a picture is worth a thousand words!).

It's a good idea when booking this cruise to plan on one or two hotel overnights in St. Thomas before the cruise, and an additional night after the cruise. This gives you a day for exploring St. Thomas, which is most enjoyable, and also, on the day the ship returns to Charlotte Amalie, saves you from finding yourself off the ship with your luggage, wondering how to amuse yourself until it's time to go to the airport. We solved it by taxiing to the Marriott for a leisurely lunch, after asking the concierge to keep our bags until it was time to go to the airport for our late afternoon flights. If you have a late morning flight, no problem, then just go to the airport from the ship. But it seems most flights out of STT leave mid- to late afternoon.

My plan for all future cruises is to have one or two overnights before the cruise (important to guard against your incoming flight being delayed, which could result in your missing your cruise), and one or two more after the cruise to avoid the problem of being stuck toting your luggage around between disembarkation and time for your flight.

Other specific recommendations from our experience: TJ's Terrific Tours on St. Thomas; Joyce Prince's private tour on St. Maarten/St. Martin; the ship's excursion to The Baths (it's very difficult to get there on your own, and it's a highlight site to visit); White Bay Beach for snorkeling on Yost Van Dyke. St. Barths was a favorite port, especially Shell Beach, an easy walk from the dock and a nice place for swimming and a GRAND place for hunting through the infinite number of shells on that beach, huge swathes of shells, sometimes 2 feet deep.

Spend a lot of time on deck with those glorious sails! Enjoy the crew, the sights, the sun, the sand, the cuisine, all of it!

I loved the experience so much that I'm booked on Wind Surf's southbound itinerary out of Barbados for January 2009, and as well, a cruise leaving just a week from today, on November 1 2008, from Barcelona to Lisbon. As you can see, I love Windstar ships. Less

Published 10/27/08
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