Wind Spirit Cruise Review by vlaurend
- Sail Date: November 2017
- Destination: South Pacific
- Cabin Type: Oceanview Stateroom
We did the air + cruise package, which got us free transfers from airport to hotel to ship and back, including luggage handling. We also got plumeria flower leis upon arrival at Papeete airport and cowrie shell leis upon departure. The air package made this whole thing so convenient and easy.
The crew of this ship were simply amazing. The majority were Indonesian and Filipino, with a smattering of people from everywhere else, they were incredibly hard-working and efficient and never stopped trying to please us in any way possible. They knew our names and favorite drinks on the first day and remembered them for the entire week. Food was excellent as well. The chef actually went ashore to buy fresh vanilla beans when we were docked at Raiatea and he shaved them into his sauces and desserts, resulting in the best bread pudding and pineapple upside-down cake we've ever had! And don't hesitate to take advantage of room service for breakfast. That was awesome.
Cabins were roomy, considering how small the ship is, and space was very well designed. There's 12.5" of storage under the bed for your suitcases, as well as lots of drawers. The water pressure in the shower was great, too. And we loved the L'Occitane shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion they provided. We chose cabin 138, which was great. We felt that there was definitely less motion on deck 1 than the upper decks, and actually enjoyed watching the waves crash against our porthole a few times on our way out of Taha'a. Speaking of motion, I took one Bonine as we set sail from Moorea, Taha'a, Bora Bora and Huahine. No need to take any when leaving Tahiti or Raiatea, since there was little to no sailing on the open water.
The islands were all fantastic, each in its own unique way. We were fortunate to have been blessed with clear skies when we needed them the most, during the drift snorkel on Taha'a and the lagoon snorkeling tour on Bora Bora (we booked Lagoon Service for that one, not the Windstar excursion. They were amazing). Those were the times we were the most blown away by the amazing colors and clarity of the water. We attribute our good weather to our reverent pilgrimage to Marae Taputapuatea on Raiatea, the most sacred spot in the entire Polynesian triangle, and the launching point of the outrigger canoe expeditions that brought the Tahitian/Raiatean people over 2600 miles to settle Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island. Be sure to remove your shoes if you are going to step on any of the rocks, or you are defiling sacred marae.
The two special events on private motu (reef islands) were absolutely awesome. The crew set up a BBQ lunch on Motu Mahaea off the island of Taha'a and transported everyone there, along with the watersports equipment. The destination discovery event was an evening tamaaraa (Tahitian luau) on Motu Tapu off Bora Bora, complete with Tahitian dancers and fire dancers. We were also given access to the private motu from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. that day, and it was amazing to have the whole island to ourselves (just about 8 of us took advantage of it, not including the two watersports pros who were there with the kayaks and paddle boards).
This is not the cruise for you if you like to hang out on the ship and be passively entertained 24/7. Or if you need an elevator (there isn't one). But if you love tropical islands and snorkeling, you will have the best week ever!
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Matira BeachMatira Beach was a lovely place for lunch and an afternoon of swimming in clear, shallow water. Soft sand, too. No need for reef shoes. It's public, so you'll get to mingle with locals, but it is never, ever crowded. Great for sunset views, too.View All 4 Matira Beach Reviews
SnorkelingSnorkeled with stingrays and black-tipped sharks. Also saw more fish than we'd ever seen in our lives. The colors and clarity of the water in the Bora Bora lagoon are unmatched anywhere in the world, so this is the one thing you absolutely MUST do while in the Society Islands.View All 28 Snorkeling Reviews
Lagoon PicnicVery nice snorkeling spot and motu picnic in the water, but it was not as inclusive as the tour operator's lagoon tour that is offered independent of Windstar. The tour operator is Poetaina Tours, and their non-Windstar tour also included a stop at a vanilla farm and pearl farm, and I think a few of the top attractions on Huahine, like the sacred blue-eyed eels. I wish they hadn't watered down the Windstar version of their tour.View All 5 Lagoon Picnic Reviews
MooreaBeautiful island! We would love to go back! We rented a car from Albert's Transport and drove to the agricultural school, Belvedere Lookout, one of the marae just below the lookout, and then to Temae Beach.View All 139 Moorea Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Moorea Cruise Port Review
TaputapuateaWe rented a car through Hertz Raiatea. They have their own website, entirely separate from the main Hertz website. We drove down to Marae Taputapuatea and enjoyed seeing the island as well. This is the most sacred site for all Polynesian people, and a pilgrimage for all sailors. If you're going to step on the stones, take your shoes off first so as not to desecrate the site.View All 2 Taputapuatea Reviews