Wind Spirit Entertainment
The highlight of each pre-dinner gathering in the lounge (and just about everybody comes) is the hostess' quite-comprehensive port talks, offering lively historic renderings of each island along with insightful tips on attractions, off-beat shops and cafes.
Otherwise, entertainment is not the ship's strongest point. One of the pluses of a small-ship experience like Windstar is the lack of planned activities - no bingo, no art auctions, no incessant ship-wide announcements. Socializing is a big attraction; our ship was friendly and there's was always someone asking you to join them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, etc. The conversation was consistently lively.
The postage-stamp casino, consisting of two blackjack tables and a few much-underused slot machines, drew a regular group of aficionados. The ship also spent several evenings in port, which allowed passengers to explore nightlife in port.
On each cruise the captain hosts a reception and while champagne is the standard drink, bartenders were happy to take individual requests - a nice touch not typically found on bigger ships.
Wind Spirit Public Rooms
There's a spacious atrium with fresh flowers and a cushy circular seating area. The main attraction of the lobby is the reception desk - a one-size-fits-all place to go for advice on shore excursions.
The library is tiny; there are a couple of tables for playing cards. There's a broad collection of both videotapes and CDs for borrowing at no charge, and a pretty skimpy book selection. There's also a computer for email but the tariffs are so high ($7.50 per outgoing message, $5 for EACH incoming message) that even ship's staff members go ashore to patronize cybercafes.
The Lounge, a generously sized room with bar, dance floor and a casino tucked into a glass-fronted side room, is the hub for pre- and post-dinner socializing. The Restaurant, where dinner-only is served (and other meals when weather is inclement), is elegant with teakwood walls and subtle lighting. It's large enough that there's no need for first or second-style seatings and the staff is happy to reconfigure tables - such as last minute drop-ins requesting a table for 8. Bigger parties are advised to arrange with the maitre d' in advance.
On deck four, the Veranda, the breakfast and dinner eatery, is a charming three-sided glass room with views from every table, round tables with wicker chairs and linen table cloths, and a handful of banquettes. There are also tables with umbrellas set up outside the restaurant for alfresco dining. There's a tiny plunge pool and a whirlpool (both salt water), a bar and scattered wooden tables along with numerous lounge chairs whose cushions are, delightfully, covered in cotton.
There's an infirmary and a beauty parlor, which offers massages as well as haircuts, styling, manicures and pedicures. There's no traditional spa.
Wind Spirit Spa & Fitness
There's a tiny fitness facility where there are free weights, a treadmill and stretching machines. There's also a sauna. One of our favorite things about the ship, however, was the Wind Spirit's "sports platform." Open only in selected ports (where the ship tendered, rather than docked), the watersports staff bring out all manner of toys, from water skis to kayaks. Snorkeling equipment is available to all passengers, free of charge.