Quick back round. This was our 37 cruise, the 6th to Tahiti, once on Princess, 2 on Oceania, 1 on Wind Star and 1 on Holland America. This 17 days on Wind Spirit were far and away the best for the following reasons.
Wind Spirit at most has only has 140 passengers. This cruise was really a 10 day followed by a 7 day cruise. Neither cruise was sold out and only 25 of us opted for the 17 day trip.
--Overview of the Wind Spirit--
The ship is small which makes it easy explore and the passengers range in age from mid 30's to around 70. No children, no scooters, no O2 tanks and no elevators, just lots of stairs to climb getting around the ship. All the cabins but the owners suite are exactly the same with two large port holes, no balconies or inside cabins. Lots of storage, nice sized bathroom. The only minor complaint is that the bed takes up most of the room on the port hole side, making getting into bed on that side a little tricky while at sea. Speaking of the port holes you get quite a show if you're on deck 1 when the seas are a little rough. Looking out as the waves crash against the glass port holes is something we have never experienced before!!
--Wind Spirit Staff and Crew--
Ok, every member from your cabin steward to the Captain are friendly, outgoing and somehow are able to remember your name after just one day onboard. Our waiter of choice was Achmed. The dinners are open seating and you can sit with other passengers or just as a couple. We always sat requesting Achmed's station. As for bar tenders John and Gerber were top notched. You only had to make eye contact with either of them and your favorite adult beverage soon appeared. We had 2 Matre'd, Rafi who left after the 10 days segment and Prasi who replaced him 7 days. Both gentlemen could not do enough and every request was met with a smile and a "No problem." Cabin stewart was great,reception desk with Nicola and Jenn were great at fixing the few minor problems we had. Reyni in the shop was very helpful and pleasant every time we stop in. Exploring the open bridge was fun, questioning the Chief Officer Paul about how the ship navigated and other workings that you don't normally have access to was interesting.
Didn't use room service, didn't need too as breakfast, lunch and dinner were fabulous.
Breakfast and lunch were in the Veranda. It's a hike from deck 1, up four flights of stairs. Dinner in the Amphora restaurant. Breakfast and lunch had a hot and cold buffet and every day there was a hot dish made fresh for you. Limited menu at both breakfast and lunch. Now dinner was wonderful. With the casual dress code there was no need to have fancy clothes, just a collared shirt and long pants for men and women to dress smartly. The food was excellent from start to finish. The dining room is a little loud but never crowded. Never had to wait more than a minute or two to get a table. On two nights, one for each cruise, they have a full scale buffet dinner outside on the top deck. Food there was great too.
This is easy, they only have a duo in the lounge for a few hours every night. No Broadway production, comedian, magician or animal tricks. Really didn't miss it. The one thing that was not mentioned about this cruise was that the casino had been removed and replaced with a coffee shop. Didn't bother me but my honey always likes to play the slots while cruising. That being said, I had lots and lots of extra cash on hand, a big chuck of it spent on black pearls!!
Didn't take many from the ship as we had seen just about every thing on our prior 5 cruises around Tahiti. Did do the stingray and shark snorkeling on Bora-Bora which was fun and do not miss the Faaroa River and Motu beach break if the guide is Tihoti. Tihoti is pure Tahitian, covered with tattoos and a wonderful story teller. His insight in the Tahitian life style that is now changing due to the internet and outside influence is both enlightening and sad. He is not to be missed!!
--Odds and Ends--
Didn't use the fitness center, it's very small. Used the swim platform at the rear of the ship several times and it's a great way to take a dip, go waterskiing, use the kayaks or the small sail boat. --Beverage Package-- Did not originally want it but since the casino wasn't there I took it for myself. It included all the top shelf hard liquor, Grey Goose, Chivas, Makers Make, all beers both imported and domestic, wine and also the mini-bar in the room!! They also discounted whole bottles of wine by 30% which you could share with the wife in the dining room. Pricing on the bottles of wine was crazy cheap considering it was on a cruise ship, a nice bottle of Napa Valley merlot was $26.00!! I know, if you buy the package you are going to drink a lot more than if you are paying for each drink but remember, you're on vacation, don't have to drive the boat and your cabin is just minutes away.
Getting to Tahiti from the east coast is a bear. We flew out two days before from NC, stayed overnight in LA. Flew Air Tahiti leaving at 4:15 pm and arrived in Tahiti at 10:00 pm. Stayed there in a BnB and met the ship the following afternoon.
This isn't an inexpensive vacation. The air fare is steep, around $4800 for r/t from NC. When you visit Tahiti and see just how beautiful it is, now friendly and honest the Tahitians I think you'll believe it was money all spent. So, suck it up and make plans to go to Tahiti. You will not regret it. We did shed a tear or two while leaving the ship as mostly likely this will be our last trip to the wonderful place. You should really make a point to get out and mingle with the Tahitians away from the crowds. They are honest, friendly and even thru we don't speak French or Tahitian they do like to spend time with you.
Lots of storage, port holes fun to look out on rough sea days with the waves completely covering the port hole. Bathroom a little tight for two persons at the same time. Bed comfy but a little hard to get around to the far side.
Nice trip rive trip highlighted by our guide Tihoti. Tihoti is pure Tahitian, covered with tattoos. His insight into the Tahitian way of life wonderful. Do not miss this trip if he is your guide.
Visited vanilla farm, several sacred sites. Paul was and excellent guide.
Lots of rays and sharks!! Water was crystal clear.View All 47 Shark & Stingray Encounter Reviews