106 Windstar Wind Spirit Cruise Reviews

I have nothing but nice things to say about WindStar. First, the disclaimers- if you are YOUNG, this might not be for you. We've been on 3 Windstar cruises and they are typically older folks who don't want evening entertainment. ... Read More
I have nothing but nice things to say about WindStar. First, the disclaimers- if you are YOUNG, this might not be for you. We've been on 3 Windstar cruises and they are typically older folks who don't want evening entertainment. There isn't much- a small casino, some music and some WS cruises (not Tahiti) have dancing. WS offers very personal attention- as many waitstaff/etc aboard as guests (less than 150). The food at every meal is delicious, well prepared and unique. If you get the laundry package you will have laundry nicer than anything you can do yourself. The servers know your name and want to make you happy. Your room attendant wants your room to be clean and beautiful, leaving cute animal folded towels. Everything is done with YOU, your comfort, your convenience in mind. When leaving ports the sails are hoisted and beautiful music is played. It is just lovely. The shore excursions are varied and fun (and cost more). WindStar is expensive but it is worth every single penny. We loved every moment of our 11 day cruise in the South Pacific. We saw places and did things we will never get to do again. And you would never have the opportunity to do these things if you didn't go on a cruise ship. The 11 day cruise takes you to Fakarava, a World Heritage Site. On two days of the trip they rented private islands for special events. It was so fun. We had so much fun I cried because I didn't want to leave. The worst part is having to fly on Air Tahiti Nui which is the worst airline in the history of air travel. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We had sailed on the Aegean Cruise with the Wind Spirit and wanted to go to Polynesia with them. We loved every minute! Our cabin was constantly tidied with fresh towels provided, and our meals were superb - expertly cooked from scratch ... Read More
We had sailed on the Aegean Cruise with the Wind Spirit and wanted to go to Polynesia with them. We loved every minute! Our cabin was constantly tidied with fresh towels provided, and our meals were superb - expertly cooked from scratch (freshly made breads every day) and served so beautifully by polite, attentive waiters. Breakfast and lunch always had freshly cut fruits that were so delectable. Our two private events on nearby motus couldn't have been more beautifully planned with phenominal buffets and local singers and dancers for entertainment. Simply breathtaking. They served my husband and me tea and cookies every afternoon, since they knew we loved to have it, even though it wasn't part of the program. The tenders went ashore every 15 minutes all day when we were moored, so we were free to wander around at our own pace. If I could, I would leave again tomorrow to take the exact same cruise with the exact same crew. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
It was always my dream to cruise the Tahitian islands and it was my chance to try the Windstar Cruise Line. I was not disappointed in taking this cruise! I have limited experience in cruising, having only been on an Oceania Cruise before ... Read More
It was always my dream to cruise the Tahitian islands and it was my chance to try the Windstar Cruise Line. I was not disappointed in taking this cruise! I have limited experience in cruising, having only been on an Oceania Cruise before this. I think Oceana sets a high bar and this cruise met that bar. The cabins on the Wind Spirit are all the same size. There is a price difference between level 1 and level 2 and cabins in the mid-ship. I do not see any real difference in these cabins other than a few extra stairs and the water level outside your 2 port holes. I would avoid cabins 205, 207 and 209, which are right by the tinder. The people in the cabins will look out at the tinder but to be honest, can't say when I was on the tinder, that I could see in these cabins. The cabins had a ton of storage. Sufficient hanging space, 4 drawers and more under the seats of the banquette. Shelves in the bathroom both above the sink area and below. There were shelves next to the bed for night reading and other items. Outlets were US compatible. The TV in the room was adequate. There were a variety of movies that played during the week and a ton of DVDs in the library. We only watched the news when getting ready for the day. We had a standing order of coffee delivered each morning, which was wonderful. The breakfast had a nice buffet as well as different al a cart items each day. I only had lunch a few times but it also had a changing buffet and al a cart items. Dinner in the dining room was fabulous each evening we ate there. For one evening we had a buffet on a motu- good food, another, a BBQ on deck which also had good food. Candles was an option for one evening and it good as well. We heard from others they had a great meal at Candles, but our steaks were a little tough. We ordered room service on the pool deck a few times and once in the room. The staff was wonderful and accommodating. Everyone was cheerful, went out of their way to be helpful and extremely polite. They knew our names by the first evening! Several of the wait staff were more than welcoming and were more like friends by the end of the cruise. We can not say enough about the level of service on this ship! Embarkation was quick and easy. The work out room was really small and a little warm. There was yoga and stretching on the upper deck each morning. Snorkel gear is available for use for the week, just go to the marina to check out the items. You can kayak, swim or SUP from the back of the ship. You can also use these items from the motus in Ta'haa and Bora Bora. You can not use these from the ship when it is docked in Raiatea. I used the ship's excursions for a discovery dive in Raiatea and a snorkel safari, as well as a catamaran tour in Bora Bora. The other excursions I booked myself directly with the tour companies. I used Marc's Combo Tour in Huahine, Francky Franck's in Moorea, We took a taxi bus for an island tour on Bora Bora. We also did an impromptu boat tour of the river in Raiatea. We stayed at the Intercontinental pre and post cruise. There is more rocking in this sailboat than the larger ships. I was on a relatively small ship on Oceania, the Regatta, but it had much less rocking than this ship. If you have sea sickness, be sure to bring your meds. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise firstly for the destination, then for the small number of passengers & finally because the ship was different with its sails. The ship & staff were excellent & although the cabins are a little dated they ... Read More
We chose this cruise firstly for the destination, then for the small number of passengers & finally because the ship was different with its sails. The ship & staff were excellent & although the cabins are a little dated they were very clean & comfortable. We could not fault the selections for breakfast & lunch but found the evening meals were sometimes not quite up to the high standard anticipated. "Candles", on the back deck was a standout as was the other night there. The suckling pig & some of the salads were excellent. The meals on the private islands were good but it is difficult to maintain the standard of hot food without electricity. The local entertainers provided on 2 occasions were excellent. We found that all of the islands visited were very much the same with little in the way of shopping or souvenires & unless you are into diving or snorkelling the excursions are somewhat uninteresting, & very expensive if you book through the ship. Embarkation, bisembarkation were smooth & shore transfers to the islands were well handled. Overall very relaxing, pleasant & recommended. I cannot understand why cruise lines charge gratuities on a daily basis. If it is an important part of the crew renumeration, as they point out, then please add it to the fare. Pay your staff what they are worth. And the staff on Wind Spirit were definitly worthy of being looked after. I will continue to complain about this practice & hope that it will be discontinued sometime in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Water activities around the Society islads was the aim. That was great. The ship itself is sufficient but limited. One bar one restaurant (ok there is the so called "candles) but actually that is just setting the tables on the pool ... Read More
Water activities around the Society islads was the aim. That was great. The ship itself is sufficient but limited. One bar one restaurant (ok there is the so called "candles) but actually that is just setting the tables on the pool deck with table clothes. No good in poor weather. The ship doesnt actually "sail". It operates by engine power. The sails are just for show and the "sailaway" is impressive but after the first couple of times wears a bit thin. But hey what else is there to do before dinner? Dont choose a cabin in the middle of the boat or you will be directly above the engine room. Impossible to sleep. Amazing how they get away with it. People dont like to complain and when they said "no one ever mentioned it I almost burst out laughing, but I was too tired;) This is not a wide ship so dont expect smooth sailing its rocky. If you are on the lower deck then expect to see the fishies out of you porthole. Who would guess you get a free aquarium??? The crew and the passangers were great. Sadly, apart from the lagoons Tahiti is sad. Its crumbling before your eyes and the Tahitian people have some social issues to tackle. McDonalds has them held good and tight. The buildings and roads are in disrepair mostly. 50% of the population is under 25. With no obviouse means of future income goodness only knows what the future holds for them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Sailed on Windspirit Tahiti August 2016. It is the one cruise experience we hope to do again. Loved it. Thought a couple of tips might help others. 1 if arranging own transport to the ship don't arrive before the scheduled time as ... Read More
Sailed on Windspirit Tahiti August 2016. It is the one cruise experience we hope to do again. Loved it. Thought a couple of tips might help others. 1 if arranging own transport to the ship don't arrive before the scheduled time as you will not be allowed on until 1pm. 2. When you get on board book your dinner on deck at candles the first day 3. On the day you are in Tahaa there is a motu booked by the ship and they set it up with deck chairs and lots of activities and there is a picnic on the motu all complementary so don't book an excursion for that day 4. The signature event in Bora Bora is on the 2nd day. You can also go across during the day for snorkelling and water sports on motu. 5. Snorkelling gear and fins are provided on board for the week. 6. You tender each day except when in Raiatea, advice would be to organise an excursion this day can do it from the ship or from the tourist office in port. 7. Best excursion we took we organised privately with a local company while in Huahine, Poetenia circle island tour, it was fantastic day, you eat on tables in the water, learn how to cook island style, snorkel 2 different spots , visit pearl farm and sacred eels. But best are the local people who run the excursion, their sense of fun and immersion in true local culture. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I may be the only person who didn't enjoy this cruise and i accept some responsibility for this. The ship itself is beautiful; if you are a couple or family travelling together, it is perfect. if you are single and don't drink ... Read More
I may be the only person who didn't enjoy this cruise and i accept some responsibility for this. The ship itself is beautiful; if you are a couple or family travelling together, it is perfect. if you are single and don't drink and aren't american then you will feel sorely left out. My travelling companion cancelled at the last minute due to hospital admission, so I was left on my own to enjoy French Polynesia. My cabin AX209 had the gangway outside it every day. I thought this should have been advised to me prior to booking at over $8000AUD. I found the food, except for breakfast, to be not overly suitable for vegetarians. I did not participate in the BBQ events so cannot comment on these. The best island culturally was Huahine and for scenery Moorea. i enjoyed watching Mutiny on the Bounty for historical reference. I wish that the private event at Bora Bora did not cancel out touring the island that evening. I would have preferred to spend more time on Bora Bora itself and more time also on Moorea. I did not do any tours at Tahaa due to motion sickness, so I have no idea the merits of that island. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise ship firstly because of its destinations (Tahiti & French Polynesia) and secondly because we liked the idea of a smaller boat that offered the feel of a "private yacht" without being surrounded by ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship firstly because of its destinations (Tahiti & French Polynesia) and secondly because we liked the idea of a smaller boat that offered the feel of a "private yacht" without being surrounded by thousands of other passengers, and we were not disappointed. We had high expectations from the start and all of our expectations were far exceeded. We don't think we could ever go on a large ship after our Windstar experience. The ship itself is stunning, especially at "sail away" time each night when the sails are hoisted to an amazing piece of music. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, and even when sign-on started to get busy the staff suggested we could have lunch upstairs first and then sign on later - with embarkation commencing at 1 pm we certainly did not expect to be provided with lunch. The crew were top class and no request was too much trouble. The crew we had regular contact with all remembered our names right from the start. Our stateroom & ensuite were very comfortable and had plenty of room and storage space. The food was exceptional - breakfast and lunch were a choice of a' la carte or buffet with dinner being a set menu with multiple choices (at least 5 per course) in the beautiful AmphorA restaurant. There are no set dining times or allocated tables - just turn up and you will be seated in a 5-star restaurant - with your choice of dining alone or on a share table. Our cruise also included two private on-shore BBQ events on small "motus" (islands) which were terrific - the crew goes to an enormous amount of work to ensure these events go off without a hitch to provide a very memorable event for the passengers. Our destinations were some of the most beautiful places on earth and transfer ashore to do excursions or just explore were quick & hassle free by means of the tender boats. With such a small amount of passengers we hardly ever queued or waited for anything! Most of the sailing/travelling was done at night but we hardly noticed the gentle rock of the boat - some people might not like it but it is hardly noticeable after a couple of days. The sails were generally just for show as mostly there is not enough wind in this area to enable them to move the vessel alone. We also loved the idea of having a swim deck at the back where you could kayak, water ski, swim or paddle board. Shore excursions were well organised and lots of fun. There were usually several to choose from in each location although we did find some were already booked out before we sailed as many people had booked them on-line. Some excursions could only accommodate small numbers of guests due to the limited number of operators in the smaller destinations. We did the jet-ski tour around Bora Bora and although it was our first time on a jet-ski it was so much fun and exciting and provided a much better look at the whole island. Because it is a small ship we were aware entertainment would be limited and that was not a problem. Various types of entertainment were provided by Grace & Lee - a very talented couple - although many people tended to retire early to bed after a late dinner and active day exploring beautiful French Polynesia. Windstar offer a beverage package but unless you are big drinkers it is probably not worth it. We didn't buy the package as we would generally only have a couple of drinks per day. Most drinks were quite reasonably priced considering we were on a cruise ship. In summary, we would DEFINITELY cruise with Windstar again but explore a different location, probably the Mediterranean. Windstar is expensive when compared to other major cruise lines, but the experience is described as "180 degrees from ordinary" and that is certainly the case. Our cruise had 10 spare cabins so if you have the luxury of booking last minute then I would suggest that option as they tend to offer pretty good discounts for those who book late. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was the best trip ever! The location is dreamy. The boat is fantastic. The food was delicious and I mean every last bite. The crew is 5 star all the way. Major plus if you like sunsets and sea life! We liked it so well we ... Read More
This was the best trip ever! The location is dreamy. The boat is fantastic. The food was delicious and I mean every last bite. The crew is 5 star all the way. Major plus if you like sunsets and sea life! We liked it so well we signed up for another week!! Would recommend this ship and this itinerary to anyone who likes sparkling waters and beautiful islands, Would go back in a minute. Don't go if you don't like smaller boats with under 150 people. We thought it was lovely to make friends just by sitting out on the deck or riding on the tender. Everyone was warm and certainly not fussy or pretentious. Loved seeing Manta rays and beautiful sea live under the pristine waters of Tahiti. The service on the boat was excellent and attentive. The feel of the ship is like a private sailing yacht and could not have been more comfortable. We have sailed with Winstar before in Europe, the Baltics, etc. This was our favorite trip. We think it has something to do with the amazing scenery of the South Pacific. Can you really beat Moorea and Bora Bora for all that God's creation has on display? I think not! Here are a few tips: Snorkeling will get the job done in Tahiti even if you are a Scuba diver. The island beach days provided on a "motu" was so much fun. It truly is like being in a dreamy private island. So much to do and explore and excursions are going on all around. Love this boat and the generous people who make it all happen. From Jason the hotel manager and lovely Nicola running things. Everyone from dining to the bar to the tenders gets 5 stars from me. The could not have been nicer or more generous. In Tahiti all creation speaks with a lovely assist from the Wind Spirit. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This cruise was selected based the variety of destinations included in the cruise and the fact that the ship was a four masted sailing yacht. The ship did not disappoint. The crew was fabulous and treated each passenger with amazing care ... Read More
This cruise was selected based the variety of destinations included in the cruise and the fact that the ship was a four masted sailing yacht. The ship did not disappoint. The crew was fabulous and treated each passenger with amazing care and attention to detail. For my wife and I, this was a "bucket list" destination/cruise and we were able to see both the Society and Tuomotu islands at a leisurely pace. This is a laid back environment and you are even welcome on the bridge during the daylight hours while at sea. There is a very cool ritual as the sails are unfurled to the music of Vangellis' "Conquest of Paradise". It made for are very memorable sunset! Food was excellent and the relatively small amount of passengers gave us the feeling we extra special on board the Wind Spirit. Each day offered a variety of activities to choose from, including just swimming off the stern of the boat. But, I recommend immersing yourself in the local cultural experiences in the islands. We met a total stranger on the island of Rangiroa who gave us a tour of the island and even let us stop by her house to use the restroom Her husband gave us both fresh coconut water. The cost? Notthing! This lady is exactly what you might imagine and lovely islander to be. We insisted she be compensated for her kindness and she reluctantly accepted. I would travel on Wind Star again in a heartbeat.. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our first ever cruise but we have stayed at various resorts (all-inclusive and non-all inclusive) and I am basing the experience on those stays. This trip was our honeymoon in Tahiti and also included stays in Papeete and Moorea. ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise but we have stayed at various resorts (all-inclusive and non-all inclusive) and I am basing the experience on those stays. This trip was our honeymoon in Tahiti and also included stays in Papeete and Moorea. In short, this was the highlight of the entire honeymoon ... by far! Getting on the boat and getting the ID cards was quick and effortless. The staff took the time answer any and all questions. The boat is in great shape and is easy to navigate since it is smaller than the bigger cruise line boats. If you have challenges with stairs or require elevators you should look elsewhere. The room was small but we found it had a lot of storage. It was very comfortable and has everything needed for the trip. In comparison, it has far more storage than the rooms we stayed at during the rest of our trip. There is a safe and a fridge and they have free non-alcoholic drinks already in the fridge along with alcoholic drinks that you pay for. They have the option of a drink package for those that partake more than others. It seems to be a fair price and is based per cabin, not per person. Communication of events, activities, etc. is very good on the ship. They have a nightly review of the next day's excursions. Bottles of water are provided for those excursions before you leave and they provide enough information so you know what to bring and what to expect on the excursion. A daily 4 pager was provided that included news for the days, schedule, hours for the various operations on the ship, weather, etc. Being Canadian they even delivered a 4 pager of Canadian news headlines on a daily basis (nice touch). Snorkel gear was provided for free for the entire trip which was a nice touch. The food was great. Compared to the resorts we stayed at in Tahiti it was also all included in the price unlike the resorts where the food is extra and was nowhere near as good at the food on the cruise. The menu changed on a daily basis and the buffet items were fresh and delicious. Even in room dining is included with a simple late night menu. The staff are top notch! They get to know the guests by name and are incredibly friendly and will go out of their way to help you. This may be a function of a smaller boat but it was definitely a differentiator from all other trips. The excursions were well planned and they requested feedback after each one to ensure that they were providing relevant and quality excursions. The onboard shop was limited in its selection but did not differ from the stores you would have on a resort. The spa was small but provided great service. I had a haircut that was easy to schedule and my wife got her nails done and they did a better job than the shops back home. The staff provide turndown service which was quite nice and they keep your ice bucket topped up at all times (no need to go find ice or call rooms service for it). We are in our mid to late 30's which put us on the younger side for most guests. There were several other honeymooning couples that were in the age range of late 20's to late 30's. The other guests ranged in age from 40's to 70's. The guests we had on our trip were all very friendly and chatty. There was a sense of class on the trip as well. People dressed nice for cocktails and dinner but a jacket is not required. It made for a very comfortable but classy atmosphere. Maybe I am snobby but it was nice not having people that are just boozing it up and being loud and obnoxious. Most people are partaking in the excursions during the day but you certainly don't have to. We took a couple days to relax and hang out on the ship. Rides to the islands to do your own trips are available all day long. Kids? Nope. There was two adult children (a couple) that came with their parents and that was all. This was very welcome for us. Onboard entertainment was good. The duo that provided live music during the evening cocktails and after dinner were quite good and played appropriate music. The casino was open for those that wanted a bit of gambling and the dealer was very friendly and helpful for beginners. For those that want to relax in their rooms the tv has a built in dvd player and the library has lots of dvds available to borrow for free. Popcorn will be delivered by room service for free too. Leaving the ship at the end of the cruise was quick and easy. Now for the not so good elements. The pool is quite tiny. Its a small ship and it has a small pool. If you just want to take a quick dip to cool off it is fine but no one hangs out in the pool. Find a deck chair and thats where you will be most of the time. You can definitely feel the waves on the open ocean. The boat typically sales after dinner till the early morning hours. If you have issues with motion sickness it can be a bit of an issue. Be prepared. Only once did they leave before dinner which is unfortunate since those people will lose their appetites quickly with the movement. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
FIVE STARS! Just back from a ten day Windstar sail through Tahiti. Can’t say enough good things about the super friendly crew, the food, the itinerary, the fellow passengers, and the incredible beauty of French Polynesia. As close to ... Read More
FIVE STARS! Just back from a ten day Windstar sail through Tahiti. Can’t say enough good things about the super friendly crew, the food, the itinerary, the fellow passengers, and the incredible beauty of French Polynesia. As close to touring on a private yacht as it comes. Our second time on Windstar and the trip met or exceeded every expectation. Diving and snorkeling were spectacular and the beauty of islands exceeded our expectations. We landed in Papeette at night and where shuttled to Le Meridien Tahiti for an overnight stay. Staff was friendly late at night with a large crowd and move people efficiently to their rooms. Room were comfortable and the beach and view were excellent. Next day breakfast buffet was excellent with a large choice of foods. We were shuttled to the Windstar Spirt for our 10 day cruise. We visited Rangiroa and drift snorkeled not far from the Pier. Excellent fish and shark viewing. On Huahine, we did a cultural walk and visited the sacred sites. Guide provided an excellent overview of the areas history. On Raiatea, we visited the Anapa Pearl Farm where we got an overview of the pearl process. We could then snorkel outside the house over the water to see the pearl farm itself. Wonderful snorkeling. In Bora Bora, we did the snorkeling safari and sting ray encounter. Very Cool. On Moorea, we did the island tour featuring the Belvedere lookout which provided a good history of the island. Then it was back to Papeette where we had a day room again at the Le Meridian Hotel. Very relaxing day before we boarded Air Tahiti Nui back to LAX late at night. Would definitely do it again. Greg A. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We arrived in Papeete Thursday night, and began the trip of our life time. Windstar picked us up and took us to the Hotel Les Meridien were we spent the night. The next day after a bountiful breakfast we were taken to the docks to board ... Read More
We arrived in Papeete Thursday night, and began the trip of our life time. Windstar picked us up and took us to the Hotel Les Meridien were we spent the night. The next day after a bountiful breakfast we were taken to the docks to board the beautiful Wind Spirit. This yacht is everything that we hoped for. We were able to get the Owners Cabin which is larger than the standard cabins. This cabin also includes little perks like not having to make reservations for dinner, champagne upon arrival and fresh fruit daily. The crew will know your names by the end of the first day, and be ready for the most fantastic service on earth! The entire trip you will be catered to. Tahiti, Moorea, Tahaa, Raiatea, Bora Bora, and Huahine are magical as are their names. The Tahitian people are friendly, entertaining, and caring that you understand their culture and lifestyle. Every island had a different feel and experience from the Vanilla plantation and snorkeling with sharks and stingrays on Tahaa, the winding Faaroa river of Raiatea, which is the only navigable river in the islands, the little shops and restaurants of Vaitape, Bora Bora and last snorkeling with the beautiful fish of Huahime and lunch at you guides home. Extras abound at Windstar like the private islands or Motus, which offer a relaxing breaks and a vibrant Luau complete with fire dancers and the swaying hips of Tahitian ladies. Windstar Cruises and the crew of Wind spirit made our first cruise unforgettable. To all of at Windstar and the crew of Wind Spirit, Thank You for a trip of a life time, We will be back! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We embarked at Papeete. Cruised for 7 days Moorea,Tahaa, Raiatea, Bora Bora two days, and Huahine. This is a magnificant Sailing Yacht. It is by far the best cruise we have done in 22 cruises. We have been on 6 star cruise lines that ... Read More
We embarked at Papeete. Cruised for 7 days Moorea,Tahaa, Raiatea, Bora Bora two days, and Huahine. This is a magnificant Sailing Yacht. It is by far the best cruise we have done in 22 cruises. We have been on 6 star cruise lines that don't come close to Windstar. With only 115 Passengers and 93 crew it was comfort at its peak. The food was the best we have ever had on a Cruise ship. The entertainment was great and the attractions visited were stunning. When you don't have an excursion you can jump off the back of the ship and go Sailing, Canoeing or just laze on a floating matress in the beautiful blue warm waters of Tahiti. Wind Spirit looks just stunning in full sail and gives me goose bumps just looking at it. We have booked again on a longer trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Just got home from my third Windstar cruise (twice previously in the Med). I love the smaller yachts which appeal to better clientel and few if anyone under age 18. Windstar is not a cruiseline that people take children on and let them ... Read More
Just got home from my third Windstar cruise (twice previously in the Med). I love the smaller yachts which appeal to better clientel and few if anyone under age 18. Windstar is not a cruiseline that people take children on and let them run around unsupervised! We bought the flight and hotel package from LAX to Papeete along with the cruise. I priced the flights and hotel seperately and doing it as a package was about the same and included all transfers. It worked out very conveniently. Ship was clean and comfortable. The service was excellent, food great, staff very responsive. I would not recommend the drink package as we debated it and ended up spending less than a third on drinks than the cost of the package. The "sail away" ritual each evening is awesome when the music plays and each sail unfurals. All of the islands were beautiful and the water was bluer than blue. I went scuba diving four times and it was great. Bought The Wife a nice black pearl on Bora Bora. This is a cruise for relaxing, romancing, and enjoying the beauty of the islands of the South Pacific. It is not a cruise for sightseeing, partying, etc. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We booked the inaugural 10-day voyage of the Wind Spirit in French Polynesia as our wedding venue, accompanied by our teen-and-older boys and my bride’s parents. The ship had just returned to Tahiti from extensive renovation, and was in ... Read More
We booked the inaugural 10-day voyage of the Wind Spirit in French Polynesia as our wedding venue, accompanied by our teen-and-older boys and my bride’s parents. The ship had just returned to Tahiti from extensive renovation, and was in immaculate condition. The state rooms were perfect in both décor and layout. The common areas were perfect. Most importantly, they accommodated our wedding ceremony on board beautifully, for which we are grateful. The staff, particularly Monge, gave us guidance but was accommodating. The spa staff Daniela and Lan took excellent care of my bride, detailing her hair with flowers. She looked stunning for the wedding. It was perfect – dream come true. The itinerary was terrific as the boat first sailed from Tahiti to the Tuamotus – remote islands to the northeast of the Society Islands. Unfortunately we missed the first landing because the sea was bit rough for the tenders to dock (more on that below.) but the other islands were interesting and somehow we managed to have perfect weather the entire rest of the trip. Sailing into the lagoons in the early morning was a thrill. The afternoon or evening “sail-aways” were dramatic (accompanied by Vangelis music!) with the unfurling of the sails once we cleared the reefs. The food and beverages were excellent almost without exception. They even had coffee and pastries ready on deck at 6:00 am to accommodate those of us obsessed with sunrises (they were always dramatic). Breakfast and lunch could be by menu or buffet. Dinner was “formal” (meaning “long-pants” on men) and each patron was given one evening “candlelight” meal on deck. The service was attentive and the food quality was very high. We did a combination of ship-arranged and self-arranged shore excursions. The ship-arranged excursions were a bit pricy, shorter and less adventurous (as you might expect). We had no trouble with the self-arranged ones (like a wave-runner/ATV combination tour that was longer more adventurous than the ship tour), which can be arranged through the internet. We rented a car one day and others rented scooters and bicycles (not recommended – one group did end up in a non-injury collision) and this was relatively easy (except the Europcar guy disappeared for a while making return problematic). We also enjoyed swimming and kayaking off the “marina” on the back of the ship. We liked the line-dancing lessons and the Wii and trivia contests that were scheduled on the days at sea. A few negatives of course. Getting on the boat initially was a pain – over an hour waiting in three different lines. They allow smoking on the deck where there were ash-trays (which meant everywhere because the ash trays could be moved). Not a big problem because there were only a few smokers aboard, but, honestly, why not just prohibit smoking. Internet access – touted as available for a “nominal charge” -- was ridiculously expensive. (There was rarely internet access anywhere on-shore.) The biggest negative for us was the lack of attention by the telephone staff when we had questions after we booked – we never got called back by the person we booked with despite several messages we left. Others tried to be helpful but honestly most were not very knowledgeable. Windstar could certainly stand improvement in this area, although on-board the staff was helpful and knowledgeable. Some practical tips: The flights to Tahiti are all by a government-monopoly airline called Tahiti Nui, which code-shares only with god-awful – “no legroom for you” – American Airlines. The Tahiti Nui plane was relatively comfortable (an Airbus 340) but the schedule is inconvenient (arriving and departing at times that are hard to accommodate). The wait to check-in for the return is simply ridiculous (in line over an hour and a half). Not much Windstar can do about this other than to pressure the government to improve this situation. The way we handled the air schedule was to arrive at 10 pm from LAX and check into the Airport Hotel across the street from the airport – this place was fine for this purpose -- then did a day and night in an overwater bungalow at Intercontinental Tahiti. Quite pricy but very nice – we loved swimming and snorkeling ten feet from our bed! As you may know the ship is relatively small for a cruise ship – only 148 passengers – this led to a lot of friendly interaction with others on board. This is a nice feature. However, by no means is this ship like an adventure travel ship – it is a scaled down traditional cruise ship. Thus there are no naturalists, historians, or cultural experts on board, and no lectures about the culture or natural history of the islands. Also unlike an adventure cruise ship, when the scheduled landing became difficult there was no way to accommodate an alternative. We were, however, able to get local food served to us on occasion – one in conjunction with a special show (OK a bit touristy but still fun) on a private motu in Bora Bora. But we were aware that this was not adventure travel from the beginning – and Windstar by no means touts itself as adventure travel company – so it was really not disappointing although I much prefer adventure travel cruising (we have cruised in Antarctica, Galapagos, Greenland and Iceland). But all in all Windstar met or exceeded our expectations once on board, and was a very nice cruise and a fabulous venue for our wedding! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I had always wanted to visit the Panama Canal since I was born there while my father served in the US Navy. The Windstar cruise fit our needs very nicely. Our pickup from the Panama City airport was exactly on time - and our short stay at ... Read More
I had always wanted to visit the Panama Canal since I was born there while my father served in the US Navy. The Windstar cruise fit our needs very nicely. Our pickup from the Panama City airport was exactly on time - and our short stay at the Bristol was excellent. I wish we could have had more time to explore this fascinating city. The bus ride to the port was informative as a young man described what we were seeing along the way with a short description of Panama's colorful history. This vessel is very nice and well-maintained and operated by some of the best staff available. The food is excellent and plentiful while the service is tops. All the staff are very motivated and carefully concerned with your comfort and safety. The range of activities selected at the various stops is very good and carefully selected with quality guides and equipment as needed. If I had one complaint, it is the WiFi service offered. I paid an add'l $50 for 3 hours service and it was slow and intermittent with an awkward log-on/log-off procedure. This is becoming more important now since people want to check and send e-mails regularly. My other minor gripe is the AmphorA dining room - low-ceilinged and noisy, covered by a dress code mandating long pants in a tropical climate. The outdoor dining (Candles) was lots more fun with the same great food. Overall a great cruise with an excellent company in a beautiful region. Thanks Windstar! Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was the first smaller cruise we have done (roughly 120 passengers on this cruise) and we really liked it in comparison to the larger cruise ships we have taken. The service provided by the staff was exceptional. I don't know how ... Read More
This was the first smaller cruise we have done (roughly 120 passengers on this cruise) and we really liked it in comparison to the larger cruise ships we have taken. The service provided by the staff was exceptional. I don't know how they do their hiring but they clearly know how to hire (and train and motivate) well. The excursions that the Wind Spirit offered were also very good, although very pricy. Still, we expect that (the high prices of excursions) on a cruise. Because the number of guests on the cruise is small, you really do get to know others cruising with you; that is one of the key benefits of being on a cruise of this size. I will say that while the food at dinner was great, breakfast could be improved. The omelets were tasteless (always available but tasteless), the Eggs Benedict great one day and not so great the next. Even the bacon left something to be desired. More challenging was the lack of wifi and the weak TV programming. The Wind Spirit sold a wifi package for the cruise but it was at best sporadic and worked only for the phone, not the computer. A number of people asked for their money back on this purchase within a day of buying it once they realize that it didn't really offer the service they thought that they had purchased. TV programming can sometimes compensate for lack of wifi by providing good movies, shows, and news programming but the programming on the TV was so bad that this did not happen either. It would be advisable for Windstar Cruises to bring their TV/wifi/digital service to 21st century standards. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My husband and I recently returned from our first Windstar cruise celebrating our 45th Anniversary. From start to finish, we can not say enough good about our experience. The staff and crew on the Wind Spirit were top notch and waited on ... Read More
My husband and I recently returned from our first Windstar cruise celebrating our 45th Anniversary. From start to finish, we can not say enough good about our experience. The staff and crew on the Wind Spirit were top notch and waited on us continually with cheerful attitudes. This was in spite of unusually cloudy/rainy weather for Tahiti this time of the year. Almost all of their planned activities had to be moved, rearranged and brought on board - no easy task, but they made the most of it. We would be hard pressed to find anything to complain about. The one inconvenience on this ship over a larger cruise ship is the gangway - a steep stairway rather than the ramp we are used to. It is a lot harder on older knees, but someone was usually there to carry our gear and towels etc to allow us two hands to grasp the rail. There is no elevator on this ship - it would have been nice at times, but they often carried our snorkel gear etc to our room for us. And the only other item of complaint we had was at our Candles outdoor dinner (also moved under cover because of rain), our table was right next to the serving/cooking area. As we were finishing our dessert, the wait staff was disassembling the serving area, removing table cloths etc which dampened the ambiance. We felt they could have waited a few minutes on that. So that being the only items we could criticize, we loved our entire week. Everyone was friendly, learned our names and used them, offered help, just all around great service in every area. Our weather was the only downer and that couldn't be helped. We met many new friends on board, and could not have had a better week. We now love Windstar. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Celebrating 40th. Had a great time - super cruise. Very well taken care of every step of the way. Had about 100 guests on board (max is 148). Very easy to meet folks - lot of really nice people. This size vessel was terrific for us. We ... Read More
Celebrating 40th. Had a great time - super cruise. Very well taken care of every step of the way. Had about 100 guests on board (max is 148). Very easy to meet folks - lot of really nice people. This size vessel was terrific for us. We will use WindStar again - maybe different location although French Polynesia is magical. Some specific thoughts: ATM in towns - very easy to use - have option of directions in French or English. Only problem - when I asked for 15,000 French Polynesian Francs (about $170 or so) I got one 10,000 (about $110) franc bill and one 5,000 (about $55) franc bill - no smaller bills. Not easy to use in local vendor markets. Beverage package on board. We didn't use it (had used it on a previous cruise) and it worked out well for us. Beer on board started at about $8 (after tax and service charge added in) for Hinano (local beer) or Stella (I think) and went slightly up from there. Mixed drinks and wine started at $9.50 or $10. I had three tropical rum drinks - two were way too sweet/syrupy and one tasted like pure alcohol - but the beer was good. Sails - if you are looking for a "sailing" voyage, this is not it. Sails are just for show (IMO) - they may add a knot or two to speed, or save some fuel, but they are really there just to look at - and they do present a very romantic, attractive look for the vessel. Entertainment in lounge before and after dinner. Roxanne and Reb - duo - covered a lot a popular, fun songs. Really enjoyable. Really nice voices. Some dancing by guests. Ask Roxanne (from Quebec ?) to do the Edith Piaff song on their playlist - I thought she did a phenomenal job - and I didn't even understand the words as I don't speak French. Reb does great James Taylor. Took shore excursions most days. "Full island tour with Belvedere lookout" in Moorea and "Sacred sites and Cultural Walk" in Huahine were both super, primarily because of the quality of the guides - funny, knowledgeable, very personable. On both of these, particularly Huahine, you might consider bug spray as you spend some time near or in lots of vegetation (if there is a mosquito/other bug flying around, it will find me, but I got no bites). US Customs Global Entry Program. Wow. On returning to the U.S., we landed at LAX Saturday morning with a zillion other people coming in from China, Japan, Australia, who knows. At Immigration we walked directly up to one of about 8 to 10 empty kiosks (bypassing several hundred people standing in lines), scanned our passports, fingerprints, took a photo, and got a ticket, presented it to the Immigration Officer (all in about two minutes), and went on through to Customs. We then got our bags and went to a Global Entry line for Customs that had one person in front of us. We waited about a minute, maybe less, walked up to the Customs agent, and we were through. It was amazing. Highly recommend the Global Entry Program. Final thought - probably the best vacation my wife and I have ever had - due primarily to the location, the cruise line, and being with my wife. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Just came off the Windspirit. My 3rd windstar cruise. It was an amazing week, but I will offer one caveat. The cruise is designed to allow you to snorkel or scuba in some of the most beautiful waters. If however you are not into water ... Read More
Just came off the Windspirit. My 3rd windstar cruise. It was an amazing week, but I will offer one caveat. The cruise is designed to allow you to snorkel or scuba in some of the most beautiful waters. If however you are not into water sports it may not be the right destination. The ship is amazing but unlike many other destinations, this is not a "sight seeing" or "all day excursions" trips. We did many, but most were over by 1 pm. That left us with most of the day to entertain ourselves. Unlike the big ships, there is just not a lot to on board and the ports of call are limited in things to do. We started the trip with 2 days at the moorea hilton. That was great, but after 2 days, there was not much else to do there. Then, your first stop on the cruise is a day at moorea. Again, unless you enjoy water activities, not much to do. I would not do horseback riding. That was very disappointing The only other negative I could say is that the seas were rough and we had a tough time sleeping due to the rough sea....but I can't blame the cruise line for that To write all the positives would take me days to finish. The trip is as fun, elegant, romantic and relaxing as could be. The staff could not do a thing more for us. Every single waiter bartender , server, cabin attendant we met knew are name, favorite drink, where we were from etc. it was so enjoyable After dinner we would enjoy drinks at the pool bar and then end up in the lounge. The duo there, "souljorn" provided great nightly music fun and two nights of trivia games. The last night we got to dance while the boat pitched and yawed. Gave dancing a whole new meaning The cabins are small but amazingly functional. Food was plentiful, tasty and we managed to eat healthy... We did the alcohol package and what a great idea. My glass was never empty and the quality served was top notch Also would suggest the laundry package for a $100 you get great laundry service After a few days, we had made many new friends, and left with lots of email addresses to plan our next vacation with new friends we made So to recap A great trip, great value and just fun But...if you are not a scuba or snorkeling person, you may get bored...consider the same cruise line, but more of a sight seeing trip like Greece and Turkey The staff was amazing and I can't wait to plan my next cruise with them Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Wind Spirit Cruise in Tahiti - week of June 20th We are a snorkeling couple in our early sixties, with 35 cruises under our belts (or because of overindulging on cruise food, maybe I should say over our belts), including seven on ... Read More
Wind Spirit Cruise in Tahiti - week of June 20th We are a snorkeling couple in our early sixties, with 35 cruises under our belts (or because of overindulging on cruise food, maybe I should say over our belts), including seven on Windstar, all but one of those being on Wind Spirit in the Caribbean. We took a late night flight from Minneapolis to Los Angeles on Wednesday night. We stayed at a nearby airport hotel, which promptly picked us up with their shuttle that night, and took us back to LAX the next morning. The car traffic trying to get to the departing flights level was unreal. Later a woman we were talking to told us our hotel was in a dangerous neighborhood (which explained the modest room rate) but since we only slept there, we were oblivious to all that. When we got to the airport, there was an awful ruckus of noise coming from a hundred or so airport workers who were on strike. They continually blew ear-piercing whistles along with their chanting. We got to the Air Tahiti Nui counter four hours before our flight and there was already a line of people waiting. Air Tahiti Nui opened their counter an hour later. We got our boarding passes and started the trek to the assigned gate. It turned out our gate was only a gate to get on a bus, which took us to another gate where the plane was actually located. The eight hour flight to Papeete was long but uneventful, and the plane looked to be only half full. It was a wide-body Airbus, so every few hours we got up and walked around a bit. Two meals were served, neither very memorable. After we landed late on Thursday night, picked up our luggage, and went through customs, Windstar staff met us. They took us in a bus to the Meridien Hotel, where we got our room assignment. When we got to our room it took us several minutes to figure out how to turn on the lights. We finally realized you had to put the room key in a slot behind the front door light switch. We thought they could have told us that when we checked in. The next morning (Friday) we had a nice breakfast and saw how beautiful the hotel and its location were. Then we got back on the bus to get to the ship. After checking aboard in the lounge and getting our room keys/boarding passes, we got to our cabin, and headed upstairs to have some lunch. The lobby and dining room on the Wind Spirit have been redone and are beautiful. They have not refurbished the cabins yet, but I believe that will be done soon. There's still a small library on board as well as a signature gift shop. The library has a couple of Internet terminals. I would not advise anyone to purchase the Internet package, because the speeds at sea are so slow. (If you must get on the Internet, most of the islands have at least one cafe that has Internet access.) The library also has a collection of movies on DVD which you can watch on TV in your cabin. The only one we borrowed was "Hitchcock," which was pretty good. There a several channels on the cabin TV, one of which kept showing the different movie versions of "Mutiny on the Bounty." Every evening on the yacht (which is how Windstar wants us to refer to their ships) a duo named Souljorn performed in the lounge, followed by a short talk by Steve, the destination manager, on the port and activities coming up the next day, which was then followed by dinner. Steve said the weather during our week's cruise was the best since they started sailing this itinerary in Tahiti in May. Dinner is open seating. Some nights we got to join other people, but most nights we were seated at a table for two. Every meal on the ship was excellent, as were the waitstaff, especially Kris and Jati. My only complaint was that at lunch and dinner, sometimes there was quite a wait to get your water glass refilled. Breakfast and lunch are buffets, but you can also order a few dishes from a menu on the table. The first port was Moorea, a beautiful island. We did the stingray and snorkel safari. For those people in our group who had never experienced a stingray encounter before (like the well-known one off Grand Cayman), there was quite a bit of trepidation and some screaming from a few of the ladies. Because the tour guides feed the stingrays, the rays are quite accommodating to being held, stroked, and picked up. There were also some black tip reef sharks swimming around, which were also fed, and thus quite safe. After this, we went to an area nearby for some nice snorkeling. It was pointed out to us that the latest remake of "Mutiny on the Bounty" - the one starring Mel Gibson," was largely filmed on Moorea. When we were departing, we sailed past a very picturesque view of its mountains, and then when we returned to our cabin to get ready for dinner, I turned on the TV, and that very minute, the same view of Moorea came on during the movie. That evening we were one of three couples invited to have dinner at the captain's table. One of the women at the table said she had been on 27 Windstar cruises! Captain Griffiths was very good company, very down to earth, and witty. We had a great time. Second port was Tahaa. We did the drift snorkel, but because the water levels were low, they was no drifting involved. You had to propel yourself with your fins. The coral gardens were beautiful, as were the fish. We snorkeled through the coral gardens twice. The tour guides, especially Vai, were very friendly, and also took us to a spot where we got our first look at the distant peaks of Bora Bora. She had earlier showed us how to squeeze together leaves from a local bush to produce a soapy liquid that was a perfect defogger for our snorkel masks. Later that afternoon, Wind Star had set up lunch and water sports on a nearby motu. Motus are the many islets that are part of the barrier reefs encircling many of the Tahitian islands. After we left port, we had a nice sail up the coast, and witnessed a beautiful sunset (but no green flash). Third stop was Raiatea. This was the only island where our yacht actually docked. On the other islands we took tender boats to the shore. We did the pearl farm excursion. They take you by van to an area of the lagoon where one of the pearl farms is located, and then by boat to the small workshop and boutique on stilts in the middle of the lagoon. The lady who explained the whole black pearl making process was named Summer, and was very nice. One of her technicians showed us the surgical process of implanting the genetic material and seed into the oysters. It takes two years for the pearl to grow, and they can sometimes use the same oyster up to four times, producing a bigger pearl each time, although fourth generation very large pearls are unusual. We bought a nice pearl necklace there and then did a little snorkeling in the lagoon. The water had gotten somewhat choppy, but we got a cool look at the strings of cultured oysters hanging down underwater in the lagoon. In the evening, Wind Spirit had an ondeck, outdoor barbeque around the "pool." It included suckling pig, shrimp, lobster tails, lamb, and lots of decadent desserts. The only downer was that after we had sat down at a table, had our water glasses filled, and unfolded our napkins and took out our silverware, while we were standing in line to get our food, some other passengers decided to take our table away. We thought that was pretty low (certainly not what I expected from passengers on a Wind Star cruise) but we eventually found another place to sit. Let me add that everyone else on the cruise was very polite and friendly. The fourth day was the first of two in Bora Bora. It deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. The lush green island with two towering volcanic peaks is also surrounded by a barrier reef with many motus, and the different shades of blue and turquoise water in the shallow lagoon are amazing. The first day we chose to do the 4x4 off-road adventure. There were six of us plus Mario, the driver and guide, who was a joy. The vehicle was a modified Land Rover. We sat in the back on benches on both sides. Part of the tour was on the paved road around Bora Bora, but three times Mario took us on extremely bumpy (and sometimes muddy) trails up the mountains. The first stop included a couple of the big guns the USA installed during World War Two. The second stop overlooking the shallow lagoon, with its different shades of blue water, was breathtaking. Just like a scene on a postcard. The third and last trip up the mountain, the vehicle broke down. Mario backed down the trail, told us to wait a few minutes, and then drove up with another vehicle! On the way back to our tender, We also made quick stops at a beautiful beach, and the famous "Bloody Mary's" bar and restaurant. That afternoon Wind Spirit gave its guests the opportunity to circle around the yacht (in a Zodiac) while its sails were up so we could get pictures of the ship in its glory. We had to wait an extra 30 minutes because so many people wanted to do this, and the boat only held about 12 people at a time. But It was well worth the wait for the unique views of the yacht with the sails up. Late that evening we noticed three small boats, each containing one man, circling around quite close to our first floor porthole. It was kind of creepy. We came to the conclusion they were local fisherman taking advantage of the ship's lights on the water, which probably were attracting the fish or squid they were fishing for. I know it was French Polynesia, but as far as ship security goes, we were surprised in this day and age that the boats were permitted to come so close to our ship. The second day in Bora Bora we did their stingray/black tip reef shark encounter, followed snorkeling in the coral gardens. The snorkeling was great, and the corals were beautiful. In the afternoon we went back into town to buy some postcards, and then I finally gave in and visited an Internet cafe after being off the grid for seven days. A short walk from the pier to your left is a little shopping mall that contains Cafe Aloha which gives you Internet access with your purchase of food or drink. In the evening a catamaran took us to Motu Tapu for the special Windstar ahima'a (like a luau in Hawaii). After they removed the pig from the underground earth oven, there was a buffet of traditional Tahitian foods, which were all good. The food included the roasted pig, poisson cru, taro, grilled tuna, and other dishes. The only complaint was nobody ever came around to pour water in any of our glasses. After dinner a team of young people put on a Tahitian show with traditional dancing and then fire dancing, which was pretty spectacular. Don't miss it! Last port was Huahine. This was the only day that we had some off and on rain showers. We did the motu picnic excursion and had a blast. First was some snorkeling off the boat, then over to a motu for some more snorkeling on its other side. Then the crew made us a delicious lunch. One of the young ladies split open a coconut, shredded the inside to get all the meat, then squeezed the meat to make coconut milk, which was used on raw pieces of tuna that along with vegetables comprised the main dish. There was also rice, some beef stew, and bread, and coconut-coated bananas for dessert. Our tables were set up with their legs in the water, and we sat on our chairs in the water while we enjoyed a delicious lunch. A young man of the crew serenaded us on his ukulele, and we cleaned off our dishes in the water, to the hundreds of juvenile fish happy to eat the crumbs. On the way back, the young lady guide showed us several ways to fold and wear the traditional Tahitian Pareo. Finally on Friday we woke up to heavy rain as docked back in Tahiti (about 6:00 a.m.). If it had to rain during our cruise, coming at the very end was OK. Our Air Tahiti flight back to LAX was scheduled for 11:05 p.m., so we had plenty of time to kill. We disembarked the ship, and did their 3-hour Tahiti east side excursion, followed by spending most of the day back at our day room at the Meridien Hotel, before transferring back to the airport in the evening. Our flight to LAX was on time, with two more forgettable meals. Then we had to drag our luggage outside from the international terminal to the Delta terminal. The only hiccup was after using the self-service kiosk to print our boarding passes, there was an incredibly long line to drop off our luggage. It took about 30 minutes. Finally our flight home from LAX took off on time and we made it home. Even though the Tahiti east side excursion was all in the rain, we found it very interesting. Our guide and driver for the tour was named Cookie, and the first stop was the James Hall home. Hall was the author of "Mutiny on the Bounty," and the home was turned into a museum of his interesting life and his books. Our guide was a very nice lady named Vivian. After educating us about his life and work, we were served pineapple upside down cake and lemonade which were both very good. Then off to Point Venus and the lighthouse for a short stop because of the rain. There was also a handicrafts market at the lighthouse. All of the ship's crew were friendly and efficient, including the cabin stewards. Ours was named Ceppy. Starting the second night of the cruise, we would get back from dinner to find a new towel animal on the bed next to our two chocolates. It seemed that most of the passengers were from California or Arizona, a few from Canada, a few from Colorado, one couple we met was from Thailand, and another from Brazil. Shopping for souvenirs, other than black pearls, was very limited on the islands, and many items were quite expensive. All in all a great cruise, great food, beautiful islands, and friendly Tahitians.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We‘re just back from the Windstar Panama Canal to Costa Roca cruise on the Wind Spirit. This was our third and probably last cruise with Windstar. First the good news. The on board staff is wonderful; friendly, hardworking and ... Read More
We‘re just back from the Windstar Panama Canal to Costa Roca cruise on the Wind Spirit. This was our third and probably last cruise with Windstar. First the good news. The on board staff is wonderful; friendly, hardworking and professional. They do a great job given the deep cuts put in place by the new owners. The kitchen staff works wonders with the poor quality supplies they are provided. But even they can’t make up for the lack of quality food or the minimal quantity of pricier ingredients. Compared to our previous Windstar cruises, the lunch buffet was bare bones. No seafood salads or other interesting items. Instead we had lots of pasta’s and stewed/braised meats, the better to tenderize lower quality cuts. The afternoon teas were simply embarrassing. Dinners were usually better but the seafood was dreadful. One does not expect frozen fish as an entrée when visiting ports filled with local fisherman delivering wonderful fish daily. It is clear that Xanterra is cutting corners which has impacting bookings. Our cruise was only 78% occupied (125 passengers). At the Yacht Club (frequent cruiser) reception I discretely chatted with several other Windstar regulars who noticed the decline and wanted to share notes on other lines for future cruises. The staff at the corporate booking office worked to minimums and couldn’t care less about our past loyalty. Xanterra specializes in extracting maximum revenue from a captive audience. As operators of facilities within US National Parks, they serve visitors who rarely come back for repeat visits. So their modus operandi is maximum prices with minimal value. We sailed on the Seabourn Odyssey last year and the difference between the Odyssey and Wind Spirit is dramatic even though the Windstar line costs about the same. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Wind Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 2.5 4.4
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family N/A 3.8
Shore Excursions 4.5 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.5 4.8
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

Find a Wind Spirit Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click