Updated: Nov 15
Windstar Cruises is an amazing small cruise line. Their tall ships have around 128 passengers and their "larger" ships have around 300 passengers. They sail all over the world but an itinerary I really wanted to sail with them was French Polynesia/Tahiti.
This was our first but not last Windstar Cruise. We cruise for 7 nights in May 2022 around the French Polynesian islands. We left from the main island Tahiti, sailed to Mo'orea, Raiatea, Taha'a, Bora Bora and Huahine. They also have a 10 night itinerary that sails to the Tuamotu Islands.
Check-In and Muster Drills
Check-in was very easy as there was only 108 of us sailing! We arrived at the port in Papeete and were offered water and sat under a tent in the shade. Each group was called up to take the covid test and then wait on the other side of the tent for the results. After 15 minutes we were cleared and able to go on the ship.
Once on the ship we were given our room keys and our snorkel equipment (mask, snorkel and fins). After that we were able to explore the 4 floors of the ship, have lunch then go to our rooms once they were ready. In the afternoon we met at our muster station for a quick briefing.
Our rooms on Windstar were very clean and a pretty good size. We even had a small table/seating area next to the bed. There are no balconies on the Tallships as they're so close to the water. Many nights we had waves crashing over our window.
The ship is pretty quiet. During the day everyone is out on excursions and once back on the ship everyone hangs out at the pools or bars, plays boardgames or relaxes in the inside lounge.
In the evenings when we were sailing there was live music in the evening and one night there was a crew talent show. We also enjoyed the talk right before dinner where they gave you information about the next port and taught you Tahitian words.
When we were in Bora Bora the second night we went over to a Motu for a luau meal and Tahitian dancing/fire dancing show. It was just for Windstar guests and was completely free.
We also had a great BBQ lunch in Taha'a on Windstars private motu.
I highly recommend choosing a Windstar excursion for each port. It's not like Caribbean islands where you can get off the ship and find a taxi or excursion. Almost all of it needs to be pre-booked. Our tours had under 15 people on them which was amazing. For some of the islands we pre-booked private/local excursions. I'll do another blog on the excursions we did.
The food on Windstar was amazing. We enjoyed all of our meals as well as the beach BBQ and Luau.
Breakfast was served in the buffet area. There was always hot and cold items as well as a small menu you could order Eggs Benedict etc from. They had an omelet bar as well as cream of wheat and oatmeal. They also had tons of fresh fruit!
Lunch was also served in the buffet area. Each day there was some sort of meat like fish, pork etc as well as some sides. There was fresh bread, cheese, fruit as well as a small menu you could order from. They also had dessert and ice cream.
Dinner was served in the dining room. It was open seating where you could show up anytime from 7pm-9pm and sit with your group or join a shared table. The menu always had a wide range of items. As a picky eater, I was able to always find various items to try and they were all amazing. For dinner you could also make a reservation at Candles which was their Steak House. We opted not to eat there as I really enjoyed the dining room and their menus.
There was one small plunge pool on the ship as well as one hot tub. It was more than enough as it left plenty of space on the deck for lounge chairs.
I rate Windstar a 10/10 for the cruises we've been on. The crew was absolutely amazing! They knew our names and treated us like family. One evening in the dining room when my Husband wasn't feeling well from the waves, the waiter brought me green apples and ginger-ale to bring back to him. The next morning the waiter was in the coffee shop and asked him by name how he was feeling this morning. That doesn't happen on large ships! We also loved that since there was only 110 passengers, we met a ton of people and made really great friends.
I highly recommend Windstar for their ship size, food , service and itineraries. If you'd like more information about Windstar Cruises, send me a message or book a consult on my main website page.
If you have questions about cruising and want to book your next vacation, you can visitwww.thegypseatraveller.com and click on "Schedule Consult" to choose a date/time to zoom with Libbi, The Gypsea Traveller