Choosing a cabin is actually quite easy on Wind Spirit -- they're all exactly the same, with the exception of one Owner's Cabin. On Decks 1 and 2 are 73 regular cabins that measure 188 square feet, each with an ocean view via two side-by-side portholes; there are no balconies. The Owner's Cabin, on Deck 1, is just slightly larger at 220 square feet. The additional space accommodates an extra sitting area. The ship offers no wheelchair-accessible cabins, nor does it have elevators.
Though the cabins are on the small side by industry standards -- and are one of the few areas in which the 20-plus-year-old ship shows wear (scratches on the furniture, worn carpeting, etc.) -- upgrades and creature comforts make them special.
The bathrooms, a major focus in recent refurbishments, are a perfect example of this compact-but-luxurious concept. Wooden flooring adds to the yacht-like feel onboard. Lots of shelves flank both sides of the mirror above the sink in each bathroom, and there's a full complement of bath goodies, including soap, shampoo, conditioner and bath gel from L'Occitane; shower caps; and a canister bursting with cotton balls and swabs. There is a pull-out mirror with a magnifier on one side that is great for putting on jewelry or make-up. In a separate, circular alcove to one side is the toilet and, to the other side, a standup shower with both fabric and plastic curtains, which add a touch of class and prevent flooding accidents. The shower features both an adjustable showerhead and a handheld sprayer -- great for shaving -- with excellent, powerful water pressure.
In the cabins themselves, heavenly, sleep-inducing twin beds with plush Euro-top mattresses combine to make a queen. The beds are covered with Egyptian cotton linens and backed by leather headboards with reading lights, in addition to regular lighting. The beds face a flat-screen television that's mounted flush to the wall. Though this means it can't be swiveled and viewed well from elsewhere in the cabin, it helps to maximize space. (It's a tight squeeze between the foot of the bed and the wall.) The TV receives several channels, including CNN International, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC, CNBC and Sky Sport News. There is also a channel that describes shore excursions. Three movie channels each show different titles daily in a loop.
In a cabinet between the bed and the desk are the mini-bar, the telephone, an alarm clock and a DVD/CD player that's also an iPod dock with Bose SoundDock speakers. (Remote controls are available at reception.) You can borrow movies and preloaded iPod Nanos from the library, free of charge. Fluffy robes and slippers await all passengers in side-by-side narrow closets. A tip for the ladies: One side features a wire, pull-out shoe rack -- handy, yes, but you'll want to call dibs on the other side so you have more vertical space for hanging sundresses. Note: The beds are high enough to store suitcases underneath.
Before cluttering up the generously sized desk with personal affects, know this: secret compartments abound. It's actually a clever way in this cozy space to make one piece of furniture multitask as a table and bureau. The countertop is divided into three sections. The leftmost section lifts up to reveal a lighted makeup mirror -- too bad we discovered this on the last night of the cruise! -- which is helpful because the lighting above the general area is poor. In the middle section, the countertop lifts up to reveal the safe, which locks with a key, and a panel pulls outward to create a tabletop for room service meals. Finally, the countertop of the rightmost section lifts to reveal a shallow cubby for storage. The desk also features shelves for extra storage behind hinged doors: two on the left, two on the right.
Two U.S. outlets are available; they're located to the right of the desk and mini-bar, and they're easy to find and use. A 1,675-watt hair dryer is provided.
A bowl of fresh fruit is restocked daily, as is the mini-bar. The ship offers a laundry service, $109 for a week, per cabin, and you'll get your laundry washed, ironed and returned to you each day.