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Wind Spirit Review

Wind Spirit (Photo: Windstar)
Wind Spirit (Photo: Windstar)
2019 Best Overall
2019 Best for Cabins
2019 Best for Dining

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Wind Spirit
4.0 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
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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


About

Passengers 148
Crew 101
Passenger to Crew 1.47:1
Launched 1988
Shore Excursions 72


Ellen Uzelac
Cruise Critic Contributor

Wind Spirit Overview

With its dramatic sails and yacht-like feel, the four-masted Wind Spirit is a natural fit for Tahitian waters, which it cruises year-round. There's a relaxed, feel-good vibe to this ship, in large measure due to the iconic destination and passengers who are there to chill.

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Wind Spirit has a modest profile, 360 feet long at the waterline, and with just 148 passengers, the onboard experience is more river ship than ocean ship. What does that mean? You will never feel crowded, whether it's waiting for a tender to shuttle you to shore or lining up for the breakfast buffet. And with a staff-to-passenger ratio of 1 to 1.5, service across the ship is top-notch. You won't be watching movies under the stars or Broadway-style shows that are hallmarks of the large ocean ships -- but you will likely enjoy sail-away every afternoon.

Not surprisingly, these are active itineraries with an emphasis on water sports, although shore excursions and enrichment programs also highlight the culture and sacred spaces of the islands. Wind Spirit also knows how to throw a party, French Polynesian-style. Its "destination discovery" events on tiny, private islands called "motus" -- ranging from beach parties to feasts followed by fire-walking performances -- rival the best its competitors have to offer.

Polynesians use the word "mana" to refer to the spirit of their islands. The aptly named Wind Spirit does a terrific job bringing that mana to the passenger experience. 

Fellow Passengers

Due to the ship's active itineraries, most Wind Spirit passengers are in their 50s and early 60s. You will also find young honeymooners and retirees. Passengers are seasoned travelers, largely from the United States, New Zealand and Australia.


Windstar Wind Spirit Dress Code

Life onboard is casual -- no need for suits or fancy eveningwear. During the day, weather- and activity-appropriate clothing includes swimwear, shorts, T-shirts and tank tops. At night, jeans and shorts are not permitted in the main dining room although black or white jeans seem to get a pass. It's recommended that men don trousers with collared shirts or Polos and women wear sundresses, pants or casual cocktail attire. Also make room in your suitcase for lightweight rain gear or a travel umbrella. After all, it's the tropics.

Wind Spirit Inclusions

The cruise fare includes complimentary "discovery destination" events, nonalcoholic beverages, all meals in all venues, 24-hour room service, water sports off the marina platform, fitness classes, market tours with the chef, a Champagne welcome reception and afternoon in-cabin canapes upon request. On the 17-night itinerary, laundry is also included.

Wind Spirit charges a per-passenger gratuity of $13.50 per day. Gratuities are shared by crew members who serve you directly, such as waiters and stewards, as well as those whom you may never meet, such as galley and laundry staff. If service exceeds or fails to meet your expectations, you may adjust the amount accordingly at the conclusion of the cruise.

In addition, a 15 percent service charge is automatically added to all spa and bar charges, dining room wine purchases and beverage packages. Beverage packages, featuring wines, beers, cocktails, cordials and liqueurs, cost $32, $42 or $52 per passenger per day.

The U.S. dollar is the onboard currency.


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Deck:
Deck 1
Deck 2
Deck 3
Deck 4
Flying Bridge

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More about Windstar Wind Spirit

Where does Windstar Wind Spirit sail from?
Windstar Wind Spirit departs from Tahiti (Papeete).
Where does Windstar Wind Spirit sail to?
Windstar Wind Spirit cruises to Tahiti (Papeete), Moorea, Bora Bora, Raiatea, Huahine, Rangiroa, Noumea, Suva, Lautoka, Port Vila, Mare and Lifou.
How much does it cost to go on Windstar Wind Spirit?
Cruises on Windstar Wind Spirit start from $1,399 per person.
Is Windstar Wind Spirit a good ship to cruise on?
Windstar Wind Spirit won 13 awards over the years, including Best Overall, Best for Cabins, Best for Dining in 2019.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2019 Best Overall
  • 2019 Best for Cabins
  • 2019 Best for Dining
  • 2019 Best for Embarkation
  • 2019 Best for Entertainment
  • 2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2019 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2019 Best for Service
  • 2019 Best for Value
  • 2018 Best for Embarkation
  • 2018 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2018 Best for Service
  • 2018 Best for Value

Windstar Wind Spirit Member Reviews

Wind Spirit
waggie1856
Sail Date: Dec 2019
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....Read More
Wind Spirit
loripars
Sail Date: Sep 2019
The Wind Spirit ship and crew are equally as amazing. We enjoyed all aspects of this cruise and bar none it was the best of the four cruises (Disney, Royal Carribean, Celebrity) we done so far....Read More
Wind Spirit
Ditsyblitzy
Sail Date: Aug 2019
Wind Spirit has only 130 passengers and 100 crew and our experience was so different - we loved it....Read More
Wind Spirit
elklemi
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Spirit was the perfect to experience Tahiti and fully recommend it to those who are debating this trip....Read More

Windstar Cruises Fleet