Cruise Review: My Huge Crush on Windstar Yacht Cruising
Cruise Blogger: Stephy Cole from Cruiseabout Castlecrag. Stephy has spent over 1,000 nights at sea on multiple round the world luxury cruises!
I recently returned from the most exquisite cruising experience of my life. It wasn't actually cruising. It was yachting. In the most luxurious and relaxing form, on board the delightful and beautiful 140 passenger yacht, Wind Spirit, of the Windstar fleet of super yachts. For 7 days in early December, I yachted around French Polynesia, enjoying the ports of Papeete, Moorea, Raitea, Tahaa, Bora Bora and Huahine. It was the most relaxing experience of my life. Let me tell you why...
The Wind Spirit is a luxurious 4 masted super yacht, where the cabins are spacious, the cuisine is mouth watering, the decor is chic and elegant, the passengers are international, well travelled, friendly and fun, and the crew and staff are exceptionally attentive and provide intuitive service. It also has a very relaxed atmosphere where you can walk around the teak flooring in nothing but your bathers and bare feet, you can go to breakfast in your pyjamas (by day 3, this is what I was doing, I promise you.) and you never have to wear makeup if you don't wish to. I didn't even use my hair spray that week.
From the moment I stepped on board, after a swift and easy embark of no lines, a fresh cooling towel to greet me amongst the smiling crew and a nice cold champagne, I knew it was going to be good. I just didn't know how good.
The next sign that I was in for a treat was when, at dinner that night, my white napkin was unceremoniously switched out for a black one. I thought the waiter must have realised I was a messy eater. I asked him why the swap. "So your black pants do not get white fluff on them, Stephy." Oh my! Such observation and such attention to detail and care.
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The third sign that confirmed I was in heaven was due the intuitive service that came the next day. Day 2 in the afternoon, whilst reading in the shade of a pool deck umbrella, Kevin the waiter swings by with a ginger ale on his tray, offering me a cool drink. How did he know I liked ginger ale? And then it clicked. I had ordered such a drink the day prior. This happened with "routine" every beverage throughout the cruise. My morning macchiato would appear as soon as I did. My afternoon Strawberry Mojito would appear as I did. I loved not having to ask for anything. It would just miraculously appear.
And then there was the water platform, at the back of the ship. Open most days, all day. I was there every day, all day. Having direct access to the beautiful blue and green waters of French Polynesia was delightful. I am a true water baby, so the platform was my haven. You could go water skiing, wake boarding, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding from here. I simply jumped off into the waters, floated and played, then climbed back in, only to do it all over again. If tired, I would go up one flight of stairs, to the pool deck ( the pool is the size of an Olympic bird bath, but it does the job, and was never busy or full of people), and sit and read under an umbrella (again, never full, always enough personal space where you could leave your belongings and it would still be there when you got back) or if you were really tired, fall asleep to the sounds of the groovy lounge music whilst lying on a comfy lounge deck chair.
This experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity well suited for any traveller who likes to switch off and truly unwind, whilst also being treated like royalty. There we many couples and honeymooners onboard but this cruise would also be perfect for solo travellers as the ship was small enough to really meet nice and interesting people from all over the world.
The Wind Spirit is true casual elegance at its finest. I have a huge Windstar crush at the moment, and I cannot wait to get back on board and do it all over again.
Words: Stephy Cole, Travel Consultant and Assistant Team Leader, Cruiseabout Castlecrag, NSW.
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