All meals in all venues at all times are covered in your cruise fare, as are nonalcoholic beverages, espresso and cappuccino.
Dining is always open seating, a much-appreciated policy among Wind Star passengers. You pick your tablemates and eat when you want during dining hours.
The cuisine is excellent, and menus are accompanied by a well-rounded wine list.
AmphorA (Deck 3): Redesigned in 2012, Wind Star's main restaurant, now called AmphorA, has increased its chic appeal. The decor is warmed by rich wood tones, Murano glass chandeliers, fresh white linens with folded napkins, Riedel stemware, gleaming cutlery, golden charger plates and flowers on every table in silver vases.
Multicourse, gourmet dinners are served in AmphorA, usually between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. No reservations are necessary. There are many two-person tables for couples who prefer to dine alone and not join the larger four- and six-tops. (There are also larger tables that can be rearranged for big groups.) After the first night or so, the host will remember which table you prefer and aim to seat you there every evening, unless you ask for location variety. In the same way, waiters learn your likes (sparkling water, sauce on the side) and dislikes (no cream, no bread), pacing the meal to your cadence and never rushing the flow, even if you arrive 15 minutes before the dining room closes.
Wind Star's executive chef aims to please and surprises with a daily amuse bouche. AmphorA's changing daily menu features at least one meat (steak, pork, lamb), fish, poultry and vegetarian entree. Wind Star notates all vegetarian options menu-wide. The menu is divided into starters (such as an asparagus and brie tart), soups, salads and main courses (oven-roasted pork loin stuffed with ginger-apple chutney or spice crusted New York strip steak with buttermilk red-skin mashed potatoes). Always available are dinner classics like salmon, sirloin steak, chicken breast, spaghetti with marinara or basil pesto sauce, crispy fries with truffle oil and Parmesan, sweet potato fries, steamed vegetables and baked potatoes. Desserts might include banana Bailey's creme brulee or a passionfruit and raspberry mousse combo, as well as a selection of sorbets, sherbets, ice creams and a cheese plate.
If you have a specific dietary restriction and alert the chef, he will sit down with you at the launch of your trip to go over your requirements.
Veranda (Deck 4): This casual dining venue on Deck 4, midship, serves a full buffet breakfast from approximately 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (Exact times are influenced by tour departures.) A lunch buffet is offered between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. At both meals, an a la carte menu is available for hot items brought to your table. Veranda's floor-to-ceiling windows allow a lot of natural light; its wicker chairs are reminiscent of seafaring furniture of yesteryear. Wooden tables for two and four people are placed on the open-air deck outside Veranda, so you can enjoy breakfast or lunch outdoors on warm, sun-sparkled days.
At breakfast, a refrigerated buffet island in the center of the room is stocked with smoked salmon, sliced cheeses, cold cuts, fruit, yogurt, smoothies and milk. A second buffet along the back wall offers hot and cold cereal, breakfast meats, eggs, hash browns and cooked veggies. A variety of breads is presented in baskets, next to a self-serve toaster and spreads, while a separate rectangular table brims with pastries. If you'd like made-to-order hot breakfast, choose your ingredients at the omelet-making station, or order items like pancakes, waffles and smoked salmon Benedict off the menu. The omelets and a la carte dishes, as well as hot drinks and juice, will be brought to you by a waiter. The unlimited fresh-squeezed orange juice is a morning highlight.
At lunch, the two buffet stations are stocked with several salads -- traditional Caesar, mozzarella and tomato, Greek, seafood -- soups (often both hot and cold types), sliced cold meats, sandwiches and hamburgers, an array of cheeses and sliced fruit. A daily changing a la carte menu is available, featuring such dishes as grilled lemon fish, sauteed chicken in a mushroom sauce, turkey with dressing, and Reuben sandwiches. A pasta-making station is especially well liked, with different noodles, sauces and toppings every day.
Pool Bar (Deck 4): For early risers, a Continental breakfast -- coffee, tea, fresh fruit, yogurt, rolls, pastries -- is set up by the mahogany-paneled Pool Bar on Deck 4, aft, from 6 a.m. until approximately noon. Watch the sun rise there while sipping your wakeup caffeine.
In the afternoon, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., finger sandwiches, fruit, cake, cookies and beverages are served there.
Once per itinerary, a 7 p.m. outdoor barbecue commences by the pool area in lieu of regular dinner in AmphorA, which is closed. Amid festive decorations, the culinary extravaganza includes roasted whole suckling pig, jumbo shrimp, chicken, steak, lobster tails, cheeses, pates, salads and plentiful desserts. Save room for the Bananas Foster doused with Grand Marnier. This deck party features line dancing and DJ music, and many passengers give it a thumbs-up as their favorite evening event.
Candles (Deck 4): For an alfresco dining experience, book a table at Candles, a pop-up romantic restaurant with linen-topped tables positioned near the pool on most evenings, weather permitting. Watch the sunset and stars twinkle as you savor an outstanding menu, which includes dishes like tuna tartare, filet mignon, rack of lamb, chocolate flourless cake and creme caramel. There is no extra charge, but you must make a reservation with reception; dining space is limited to 30 passengers per day.
Room Service: Room service is available 24 hours a day at no extra cost. During breakfast hours, a Continental menu is available; make your selections on a menu card, and hang it on your cabin's doorknob at night for delivery the next morning. During lunch hours, you can phone room service to order directly off the Veranda menu and during dinner hours from the AmphorA menu. There is also a late-night snack menu.