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8 Night South Pacific Cruise from Lautoka

8 Night South Pacific Cruise from Lautoka

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Wind Spirit (Photo: Windstar)
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Lautoka
  • Day 2
    Fiji
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Port Vila
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Lifou
  • Day 8
    Mare
  • Day 9
    Noumea

Wind Spirit

Wind Spirit - Windstar Cruises

Pros

Small size and stellar service make you feel like you're on your own private yacht

Cons

No night life, with exception of a musical duo and a tiny casino

Bottom Line

A great fit for its home base of French Polynesia


Cruise Reviews

5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We booked this cruise to celebrate our 40th anniversary. This is our third Windstar cruise in the past 5 years and it was amazing. 140 passengers, 102 crew members that spoiled us for 11 days. Our trip included airfare and all the ... Read More
We booked this cruise to celebrate our 40th anniversary. This is our third Windstar cruise in the past 5 years and it was amazing. 140 passengers, 102 crew members that spoiled us for 11 days. Our trip included airfare and all the transfers during the trip. We were met at the airport and taken by bus to the Intercontinental Hotel for our overnight stay. This hotel is a lovely oasis with a variety of pools, a lagoon and beach with plenty of water sports activities. All the transfers were smooth and efficient. The check in process at the ship the next afternoon was smooth and fast. Our cabin was mid ship on the first level. The cabin is small, but very well appointed. Plenty of space for our bags, our clothes and snorkeling gear. The cabin steward kept the cabin clean and neat throughout the trip. We purchased the laundry plan and each morning a bag of dirty clothes were picked up and at the end of the day clean clothes were waiting for us in our room. It allowed me to pack all the clothes I need for an 11 day cruise including my snorkel and mask in a single carry-on suitcase! My wife has some food allergies and wait staff on board made sure that her food was prepared in a manner to not allow any cross contamination that might impact her health. Breakfast and lunch were served with the choice of indoor or outdoor seating. Breakfasat included a nice spread of fruits, fresh baked goods, buffet style eggs, bacon, sausage, etc or you could order a made to order omelet, or a choice of about a half dozen other entries that were varied each day. (Pancakes, french toast, eggs benedict, ....). Lunch included a choice of salads, a handful of buffet style entries and a fresh food station that varied each day (tacos, pasta, roast). The wait staff provided excellent service. Dinner was served most nights in the large indoor dining room, and one night on deck in the open air. Each night the menu offered an amazing variety of starters, main courses and desserts. The dinner on deck featured grilled seafood, steak, pork and chicken options. We took a number of tours that were arranged thru WindStar. The Blue Lagoon tour on Fakarava was sold out before the cruise, so we took the Snorkeling at Pufuna tour. There was a strong current that afternoon and this tour was probably our least favorite of the cruise. Book the Blue Lagoon if you can, the people that took that tour said it was very good. On Rangiroa we took the Snorkeling at the Aquarium Coral Garden trip. It was a short boat trip to the coral reef and water was teaming with colorful fish. That afternoon we took the tender into the dock and walked around the island. We had a very pleasant stop at Josephine's overlooking the pass. The day at Motu Mahaea was excellent. We did not do an excursion that day. We swam in the waters off the private beach, enjoyed the excellent bbq lunch and strolled around the island. It was a fantastic day. The two days at sea were a little rocky. I would recommend getting the seasick patches beforehand. On Huahine we took the Sacred Sites & Cultural Walk. Our guide Manu was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot about the Polynesian people. The hike up to one of the sacred sites was not for people with mobility issues. Bora Bora was fantastic. We booked a trip via Trip Advisor with Tohora Bora Bora that was outstanding. We also booked the Shark and Manta Ray encounter with WindStar. Swimming with the sharks and rays was a highlight of the trip! For my money, Moorea was the most beautiful of the islands. My wife booked the Dolphin outing and had a great time. I booked the photo tour with Eyes of Moorea. Reno took us up to Magic Mountain and the Belvedere lookout and gave us some great tips on how to shot interesting travel photos. Overall, the tours and excursions that we took really added to our enjoyment of the cruise. Since this ship is smaller than most, it can anchor in areas away from the larger cruise ships. In fact, we only had one day out of 11 where we saw another cruise ship at the same port as we were visiting! We enjoyed the back of the ship sports deck and equipment a number of times. My friend took out the sailboat and kayak and we found that swimming behind the ship was a great way to relax after a morning of visiting one of the islands. This cruise is a great way to see French Polynesia. Excellent service, food and activities. My wife and I have traveled extensively over the years and I have to say that this trip is one of the highlights of all our travels. I look forward to returing to these islands again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The windspirit, windstar cruise was brillant. Ive been on about 7 cruises and this surpassed them all. What a great way to see six islands in seven days without hassles of unpacking, travel time and moving. The windspirit only had 130 ... Read More
The windspirit, windstar cruise was brillant. Ive been on about 7 cruises and this surpassed them all. What a great way to see six islands in seven days without hassles of unpacking, travel time and moving. The windspirit only had 130 passengers and 100 crew. The food was fabulous - available 24 hours. The crew were so friendly and helpful. They were amazing at remembering names. Our standard cabin level 1 was spacious and comfortable. The shower was really good. And the clothes line got lots of use for drying our wet swimwear each day. We visited Moorea, Raiatea, Taaha, Borabora (2 days) and Huahine. Highlight tours included the stingrays in Moorea. Just do it. They are much much much better in Moorea than borabora (we did both). The motu (island) day in Taaha and borabora. These were fantastic with a great show in Borabora. Sailing away with music, sails and sunsets - magical. But the music is only played at the back of the boat so if you are standing at the front like us on the second day you will miss the music. Drinks were reasonably priced (us8 for a cocktail). But all non alcoholic drinks are free so if you wanted a mocktail they were all free. We booked a private charter in borabora with pure snorkelling. Totally recommend this. It was fantastic. The disappointments were Huahine. Locals just werent welcoming of cruise ships and expressed their displeasure numerous times. I also got tired of the male put downs by the “female” island tour guide. We did a snorkelling trip and dont recommend it at all. it was suppose to be three hours and was less than two with one stop. And the guide didnt even get in the water and point things out - too busy on her phone, Others didnt think their land trips were much better. So do your own thing in Huahine. The food was fantastic. We booked candles (outside deck) in bora bora and this was very nice (although we missed out on the seared tuna at the restaurant that night). Room service available 24 hours and we ordered nacho chips, salsa and guacamole a few times. Also once we were late back from our private tour so we had room service lunch. Variety at breakfast was very good - french toast our favourite. My other disappointment was the water platform. We did the sea biscuit in Moorea at the water platform on the boat. This was great fun. I tried to do it again with my son on other days but one family dominated the water platform water skiing. One day we were told they were closed for lunch for an hour, so we came back and they said they were packing up in half an hour and couldnt take us. The paddleboards were old and waterlogged. However, we did enjoy swimming at the water platform. I think they need a booking system for skiing, wave boards and sea biscuit I highly recommend a windstar cruise and a fantastic way to see so much. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our 7th WindStar cruise (over the last 14 years) -- the 4th on one of their sailing ships. We'd talked to lots of fellow cruisers over the years and asked what they'd recommend for seeing Tahiti, and WindStar seemed ... Read More
This was our 7th WindStar cruise (over the last 14 years) -- the 4th on one of their sailing ships. We'd talked to lots of fellow cruisers over the years and asked what they'd recommend for seeing Tahiti, and WindStar seemed the top pick. We're quite active and enjoyed the sporting options this itinerary and this ship provided. We found the food to be really good -- better than our second most recent cruise, a crossing on Seabourn. This Windspirit ship a very small ship and you do get to know the staff quite well. All staff did exceptional jobs. Special requests were handled with pleasure. The reception staff were the best I've ever seen on a cruise ship. All staff except for one waiter met or exceeded our high expectations; that one waiter, unfortunately, was consistently disappointing. Cocktails were also well done. We've sailed at least 3 times with this Bar Manager, Bien. The team is enthusiastic. We asked for several special mix cocktails and all were great. There is minimum entertainment on the ship -- so if you want dancers and musical shows, look elsewhere. I struggled ahead of the cruise with logistics -- what nights of the cruise were special items on offer, what time would be be allowed aboard, and what time are we kicked off at the end? I offer the following Day-by-Day rundown in case it's helpful to others. We try to pack minimally, and it would have been useful to know that we could wear shorts/jeans on 3 of the 7 nights. Tuesday -- arrive Tahiti from San Francisco on United. Overnight on our own Intercontinental. Wednesday -- Overnight Intercontinental Thursday -- Embarcation, starting at 1pm. We arrived at the pier at about 1:30 and waited about 30 minutes to board as there was a line. Biggest hold up seemed to be the physical inspection of luggage -- looking for bottles and confiscating bottles of Alcohol. We had 2 bottles of Champagne per cabin, which was allowed through. We booked Candles this night -- dinner on the back deck of the boat; so shorts/jeans allowed this night. Friday -- Moorea, via Tender. Saturday -- Raiatea, Docked. Deck Barbecue this evening, so shorts/jeans allowed. Sunday -- Taha'a -- all day on a private island, including lunch. You really don't go ashore to Taha'a, unless you're on a tour that goes there. Monday -- Bora Bora, via Tender. Tuesday -- Bora Bora, via Tender. Evening event is dinner with dancers on private island -- so shorts another night for dinner. This private island is available mid-morning to mid-afternoon for any guests who just want to be on a beautiful quiet beach. Wednesday -- Huahine, via Tender. Thursday -- Disembarkation. I believe we had to be off around 9am. Sofitel had a much better day-room option than the Intercontinental, so we arranged day rooms at the Sofitel and used taxis to get to/from the hotel. We flew out this same evening, on United. More details on what we did by day. Pre-Cruise -- we arrived in the evening 2 days ahead of the cruise, flying in on United from San Francisco. On arrival it was really hot, still, and very humid; I'd read this would be the case and I was still very surprised. I live on an island off the coast of South Florida -- so I'm used to warm days and nights -- this was downright hot. While we cleared immigration within minutes, others on our flight took about an hour to finally get through. There was a small group of singers/musicians welcoming the passengers to Tahiti. We'd rented a car from Avis to drive ourselves to the hotel for the night and to take us around the island the next day. The rental worked out well. Wednesday -- Full day on Tahiti. We'd arranged for a guide to take us on a 1/2 day hike to Fautaua Waterfall. The flora and fauna were spectacular, and the water was very refreshing. It was a pretty moderate to difficult hike given some of the roots and boulders we had to traverse, and we stopped short of the waterfalls given our pace and schedule. We did spend some time swimming in the river before we headed back down the trail. After the hike, we headed off toward some local sights including a great lookout, the Point Venus Lighthouse, and the Three Cascades Waterfall. We were about 1/3 of the way around the island at this point, and we decided to drive back / return the car as we'd only rented the car for one day. While the hotel is walkable to/from the Airport, it's quite a busy journey; we turned in the car and caught a taxi back to the hotel. Thursday -- We were out of our room by 11am and the hotel held our luggage until our departure at 1pm. Taxi from the hotel to the pier was about $25 USD. That was for 5 people and luggage. Once aboard the ship and after we'd unpacked, several of us went into Papeete to visit the Catholic Church and Market. The Church as interesting but incredibly warm. The market had some breeze blowing through it; none of the goods for sale spoke to us so we walked away having not purchased anything. Sail away was around 6pm. Some of our companions had never experienced a WindStar sailing ship sail away and they marveled at spectacle. We'd arranged for dinner on deck this evening, so we didn't need to change out of our shorts. It was a very short 2.5 hour sail to Moorea, where we anchored off shore for the night. We knew our sailing month, April, was near the end of rainy season, and we had a small shower near the end of dinner. Staff had anticipated this event and arranged all tables under cover. The shower was over quickly. Friday -- We'd arranged for a rental car on Moorea so that we could do two things -- hike the Three Coconuts Trail and drive around the entire island. Avis picked us up at the dock...but as we were 5 people and their car only fit 4, two of us had to drive to the rental office, get the rental car for 5 people, and drive it back. So we wasted some 45 minutes; this came back to haunt us as we tried to get some local fish (Poison Cru) at the highly rated beachside restaurant Snack Mahana; they had run out of food and closed early this day. Besides our Windstar ship, the Paul Gaugin was also on Moorea. The Three Coconuts Trail was beautiful; as it had rained the night before, some of the path was very muddy slippery. One of our folks abandoned the hike and headed back to wait for the rest of us. We didn't have a guide this day but did have a detailed GPS map that came in handy twice on the return as we somehow lost the trail. The drive around the island was mildly interesting; we were, however, tired and hungry. Saturday -- Raiatea. In the morning we'd planned to hike to the Mt. Tapioi, where the Communications Tower is located, for a great birds eye view of the island. The afternoon we'd booked a spectacular drift snorkel through the coral gardens -- one of the highlights of the trip. We were not successful on the hike as the path traverses private property and the property owners close the road to tourists on the weekend; we were in Raiatea on Saturday. I'd emailed the listed address on the sign asking permission to hike the trail on Saturday and the mailbox was no longer valid; some locals asked us to leave. We had a wander along the coast and visited a local market. The afternoon drift snorkel was arranged through Te Mara Nui Plongée. Cost was 8,000 CPF/person, payable day of, in cash. We were told to bring masks, snorkels, and water shoes; not fins. We had 3 or 4 runs through the coral gardens. It was surreal to see such beauty as you floated by in the current. The boat anchored off a little island and we waded ashore. We then walked the length of the island with the guides (there were 2 guides with us). The guides explained that we entered the current and floated back towards the boat. The float took maybe 20 minutes, where we waded back to the island and repeated. We saw lots of fish, some beautiful soft coral, some blue lipped clams, and even an octopus; the octopus was just as interested in us as we were in it. There were far less snorkelers this day than the ship's organized tour the next day to the same location. When we returned to the ship, some local ladies were instructing guests how to make outfits from local fabric and how to dance. The evening's deck barbecue was great -- I especially liked the suckling pig and the lobster. There was lots of line dancing, and then dancing under the stars. The last dancers left around 11pm. Sunday -- Taha'a. We enjoyed the private island all day. WindStar had all of the water toys at the beach for guests' use; there was a full bar set up, and there were tons of longers, both in the sun and in the shade. We stayed at the beach all day. Monday -- Bora Bora. We hadn't planned anything for the morning. For the afternoon, we'd arranged an island tour with Natura Discovery. Cost was $70 each, payable day of in cash. The met us at the dock, with an covered but open 4X4 vehicle. We took a trip around the island, stopping at the beach, a plantation, a WWII site, and several lookouts. First stop was at the famous Bloody Mary's restaurant and bar. It was a really nice tour. Once back at the ship, several of us tried wakeboarding with the Watersports crew. All of us got up on the wakeboard -- some of us for a few seconds and others for a few minutes. One other in our group loved lounging on the floating pads behind the ship. Tuesday -- Bora Bora. In the morning we'd arranged a single dive with Dive 'N Smile. Three of our group were certified divers and two were not. Cost was $100 for the certified folks and $110 for non-certified. Patrick was the Dive Master and he had a great casual way about him that relaxed everyone -- he was superb! The scenery was good, not great. We're very glad we did this as we wanted to say we've been on a dive in Bora Bora. Patrick brought us directly back to the ship. We grabbed a quick lunch and changed into our swimsuits as we were headed to the island where tonight's dinner was planned. The water toys were on the beach but no other services were provided (towels and drinks had to be brought with you from the ship). The evening dinner was really good. The food was good, the dancers were good. It was a pretty magical evening under the stars. Wednesday -- Huahine. We'd planning to rent bicycles and do a self tour around the island. Instead it rained quite hard for a few hours this morning. I understand some tours went as scheduled and some guests had a lovely picnic on a sand bar in the rain. Once the rain stopped, we did have a wander about the town -- drinks in the yacht club, a visit to the beach, a visit to the church, and a visit to the Distillery, where we purchased several local concoctions. Our "rent bicycles" plan seemed very flawed as there were no apparent places to rent bicycles. Huahine is quite a sleepy place, so make sure you plan ahead if you want a car, bike, or driver for wandering around. Thursday -- We'd booked day rooms at the Sofitel. They offered us day rooms for 18,000 XPF per room. We had the room from 9am - 6pm. I wrote to the concierge email address listed on their website to get his offer. The Intercontinental wanted us to purchase rooms 2 nights in order to use the facilities during the day from 9am-6pm. Hope this is helpful to others. I'd highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
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