ULTIMATE VACATIONS REVIEW OF A WINDSTAR CRUISE
ULTIMATE VACATIONS sailed on Windstar Cruises flagship Wind Surf sailing yacht. This is our day-to-day review and personal photos of the ship and the Classic Caribbean itinerary from our personal experience.
Windstar Cruises advertises casually elegant yacht-like ships with fewer than 300 guest that sail into Old World villages, hidden coves and harbors off the beaten path. Well that sounds great for someone seeking a more exclusive sailing experience than what today's mega-lines deliver.
The idea of sailing on a Windstar yacht always intrigued me: Nice cabins, a level of elegance without over-the-top dress codes (resort-like, not stuffy), a water sports platform (complimentary) off the back of every yacht; actual sails furling (on three of their ships); and the ability to get into really cool, interesting ports larger ships simply cannot reach. I've always been tempted. So sign me up
Before the Caribbean sailing season concluded I was determined to sail on a Windstar ship. So I booked myself and my wife on the flagship Wind Surf for the last sailing of the season - The Classic Caribbean itinerary, roundtrip out of lovely St Maarten. Here's my story - and I'm sticking' to it.
DEPARTURE DAY FROM ST. MAARTEN
Arrive St Maarten | Windstar Wind Surf | Setting Sail
Traveling to the deep Caribbean requires a full day of airline adventures. We recommend arriving a day in advance for cruises to avoid unforeseen incidents. "Do as we say, not as we do" - in this case. A busy schedule (and a concert the night before) did not permit us this luxury.
Follow our first day report as we learn the yacht layout, meet the crew, learn what lies ahead this week, and sample our first Windstar dinner.
DAY 2 ON THE WIND SURF - IN BARBUDA
Barbuda | Scenic Sail Away | Wind Surf Nightlife
Good morning Barbuda. Our first view from the deck is of gorgeous blue skies, clear turquoise water and a long sliver of pink beach lined by trees behind it. After a few quick photos it is off to breakfast on the Star (top) Deck at The Veranda. There are a few seats inside with A/C but why settle for that when you can enjoy Caribbean breezes and gorgeous views.
Continue our Day 2 Review of the Wind Surf on tiny Barbuda and a nearly full afternoon and evening onboard. You will earn about the nightlife and the Drink of The Day. Cheers.
DAY 3 ON THE WIND SURF - IN DOMINICA
Roseau, Dominica | Excursions in Dominica
Dominica is scenic, lush and mountainous. Where we dock is about a 10-minute available shuttle ride away from town center. Dominica has the best variety of excursions on this itinerary.
There are a plethora of cool adventures in Dominica, including a visit to a terrifying scene from Pirates of The Caribbean. Continue reading to learn what our excursion of choice was, and of course the Drink of The Day.
DAY 4 ON THE WIND SURF - ST LUCIA
Pigeon Island, St Lucia | Hotel Inspection | Beach Party | Beatles
Windstar Cruises touts a private event on every itinerary. In the Caribbean it is a Private Island Experience in St Lucia. Of course you are free to explore St Lucia as you wish either independently or through a Windstar Excursion.
Continue reading to learn which new all inclusive resort we inspected, what all is included in the Private Beach Party, what The Beatles Tribute was like, and of course the Drink of the Day.
DAY 5 ON THE WIND SURF - IN GUADELOUPE
Iles des Saintes |Watersports Platform | Crew Talent Show
Woke up this morning offshore Iles des Saintes amidst sailboats and catamarans surrounded by picturesque Guadeloupe with mountainous scenery in every direction. hard to believe all this beauty we are surrounded by today.
Continue reading to learn about our perfect Caribbean day and the amazing Watersports Platform I took advantage of, the talented Crew Show and the Rum based Drink of the Day.
DAY 6 ON THE WIND SURF - IN ST KITTS
St Kitts | Conch Fritters | Windstar Signature Deck BBQ - Wow!
While St Kitts is not a new port for us, it is one of our favorites. St Kitts is definitely an island where you need to get out beyond the shops and explore the open spaces, great beaches, and scenic vistas only St Kitts can deliver.
Continue reading to learn about the Reggae Beach Bar & Grill, scenic St Kitts, and absolutely mouthwatering BBQ Deck Extravaganza and the Drink of The Day.
DAY 7 ON THE WIND SURF - IN ST BARTS
St Bart's car rental | Le-Select Cheeseburger in Paradise | Shell Beach
What a way and location to spend our last full day of this Classic Caribbean Windstar Cruise. Fabulous St Bart's as we American refer to it. As I have mentioned each day we awoke to a site to behold with sailboats anchored nearby along with the occasional cruise ship. Clearly the best has been saved for last! I could not contain my smile when I witnessed the flock of yachts basking in the sparkling blue Caribbean Sea. Truly St Bart's is the glamour capitol of the Caribbean and home of the rich and famous. If you want an example google Chopi Chopi yacht.
Continue reading about our day independently exploring St Bart's by car, including luxurious residential neighborhoods, Jimmy Buffett-made-famous Le-Select, Shell Beach, and the amazing selection of shops and adventures to be had in spectacular St Bart's.
WINDSTAR SAILING FINAL REFLECTIONS
Our final thoughts on spending a week on the Windstar Wind Surf.
To sail on a yacht of this magnitude and experience the furling of the sails, the service level only a vessel of this size can deliver, and essentially have all the amenities of a large cruise ship - minus the crowds . . . this experience fulfilled my every expectation.
I loved the Wind Surf and the entire ambiance. While there are various Caribbean itineraries offered by Windstar, I can not complain about the diversity and authenticity of the Caribbean vibe we experienced on these island - big and small. I am grateful to have experienced each of these tropical paradises.
I can't wait for my next Windstar Cruises experience. Europe, Iceland, Alaska, Costa Rica? I do love the Caribbean so we shall see.
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