Wind Spirit Cruise Review by Lifesaboat
- Sail Date: March 2018
- Destination: South Pacific
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom
And so we decided to go to the other end of the spectrum, to a motor yacht than can carry up to 148 passengers (but which took only 133 on our cruise).
Not surprisingly it was an altogether different experience and one we much enjoyed. The downside, of course, is the lack of activities and entertainment. There was one duo who sang out on deck in the evenings. We enjoyed what they offered and appreciated the fact that the volume was subtle, allowing us to talk and think while they entertained us. The upsides were many: we got to know almost all the crew, we also met many of our fellow passengers and - on a small ship like this with a fairly 'active' itinerary - we also encountered people for whom cruising is not just a food-and-drink-fest. One of the things that amazed us about Princess Cruises was the number of people who seem to spend their entire day gravitating from breakfast to the bar to lunch to the bar and then to dinner (and the bar!). Surely there's more to life than this? Windstar's clientele seems a little more discerning, interesting and active, and although there was an element of the 'all you can eat and drink' type on board, there were also lots of others for whom the booze and food was secondary.
The Indonesian restaurant staff and Filipino catering staff were great and we had a lot of laughs with them. And our cabin crew were also friendly, polite, helpful and efficient.
The cabin exceeded our expectations although we met a couple of serial 'Wind-cruisers' who said they thought the cabins were small. We thought our cabin (BX) was more then sufficient for our needs with an amazing amount of storage. Even if my wife had bought 20 pairs of shoes there would have been enough room to stow them!
A note on cabins. It seems that BX and AX are both pretty much the same, except AX is one deck above BX. Given that all cabins have portholes I'm not sure why you would pay extra to be 2 metres higher?
We didn't bother with the shore excursions as none of them were of interest to us and in any case there are several local tour operators with whom you can book the same stuff at a much lower price. Instead we hired a car a few times, and a scooter, and drove around the various islands we stopped at. Huahine was the out and out favourite, a totally laid-back, low key South Seas destination that was infinitely more pleasurable than either Bora Bora or Moorea.
The food was pretty good. I would rate the Wind Spirit as a 4-star experience and the food was certainly to a four-star standard. In fact it was far far better than the 5-star Sofitel on Moorea, where we spent three nights after the cruise had finished.
The only downside was the fact you can't open the portholes to let in some fresh air. On our deck you probably would have got wet if you tried this, so I understand the reasons why. But to sleep under airconditioning is not good, and we both ended up with chest infections as a result. I would definitely travel with Windstar again, but would hope the bigger ships have windows that open!
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