12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
There are so many positive things to say about this cruise. At the risk of repeating previous reviews, the ship is good-looking, in good shape, and well-run; the staff is superlative (all knew our names by the second day); the food was ... Read More
There are so many positive things to say about this cruise. At the risk of repeating previous reviews, the ship is good-looking, in good shape, and well-run; the staff is superlative (all knew our names by the second day); the food was perfectly good, if not occasionally very good; the itinerary is great; with only one exception, we were hooked up with excellent excursion guides/operators (the one exception was an "anthropologist" who was uncomfortably overly-opinionated about everything); and the Windstar-provided events (deck BBQ, Polynesian dinner+entertainment on a private motu) are awesome. I would give this cruise a solid 5 stars except that I found the afternoons to be underprogrammed. I really wish Windstar would organize more afternoon excursions and activities; instead, almost all excursions take place in the morning, and afternoons were often dead time. E.g., on both Raiatea and Huahine, which have only tiny, dusty towns, we found it difficult to find things to do and ended up just wandering around. And the watersports platform would close as early as 3pm, and the last tender was as early as 4:30pm, with nothing to do until dinner at 7:00pm. I know a lot of people like to hang out at the bar and mingle, but we're more activity-oriented. I suggest you do your research beforehand, particularly for the smaller islands, and plan something in advance instead of thinking you can just walk on the island and find something to do. A few more tips. Candles: definitely book your complimentary dinner on the back deck. The food was excellent. Internet access: instead of using the ship's, we purchased a mobile hotspot (linked to the local Tahitian cell provider) on the Air Tahiti flight over for approx $80. A little confusing to set up at first, but it worked perfectly well. It comes with 1GB data, which is enough for reading email and light web browsing for a week. Signal strength was generally decent (from an outside deck, not from our cabin). Transfers: we did our own. A taxi from the airport into downtown Papeete is about $25-30. The Tiare Tahiti Hotel is very basic (no frills, but clean and functional) and well-located. The day before: it's inevitable that you find yourself in Tahiti for a day before the cruise. What to do? We booked a half-day excursion, which was just OK. That's not the tour operator's fault, there just isn't that much really interesting in Papeete or the surrounding area; that is, we tried to make the best of it, but it still felt like forced fun. (Perhaps it would be better to book a full-day tour that goes into the interior of the island? I don't know.) The day after: same problem, you get off the ship by 9am, and our return flight was not until midnight. Windstar said we could just leave our bags on the dock until 11:30am or 12:00pm at the latest, which we did, and that allowed us to wander aimlessly around Papeete for the morning. For the afternoon we got a pool day pass at the Intercontinental. It wasn't really worth the money. My review of that can be found on the Papeete forum on TripAdvisor. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We really enjoyed our WindSpirt Cruise. The staff and crew was 5 star all the way. The only thing I would caution about is that there are no elevators. The sleeping decks are on decks 1 and 2. Breakfast is on deck 4 and is only ... Read More
We really enjoyed our WindSpirt Cruise. The staff and crew was 5 star all the way. The only thing I would caution about is that there are no elevators. The sleeping decks are on decks 1 and 2. Breakfast is on deck 4 and is only accessible via outdoor stairs. Everything else in the way of eating, lounge, shopping, casino, and reception is on the deck 3. I only caution those who have difficulty walking or breathing issues. It appeared that most travelers were anywhere from late 40’s to early 50’s and mid 60’s. There were some older and a few younger I, unfortunately, had a shin encounter with coral while on a snorkeling excursion halfway through the cruise. However, the ships doctor took excellent care of my injury, which required the equivalent of 3 stitches, using surgical glue. She had me come in to see her everyday to redress the injury, put me on a weeks worth of antibiotics, and sent me home with enough supplies to tend my injury until I could see my personal physician. All at no cost! The only negative issue we had was with the reservation. We booked our cruise (2 cabins) almost a year ahead and picked out cabins on the first deck in the middle, which we we advised had the least amount of motion and noise. We also received email confirmation by WindStar of our reservation and the cabins we requested. However, about 1.5 months before the cruise our travel agent received word that “due to WindStar converting to a new computer system in the spring” our cabins were double booked and they had to reassign us to other cabins. The new cabins were smack in the area we did not want to be. Because WindStar downgraded us they did reimburse us for the cost differential. They also gave us a shipboard credit of $250 pp. That was all well and good, but they refused to honor our original booking. I still wonder why they inconvenienced us and not the guests who booked after us. Seemed very strange and very poor customer service. For this reason I cannot give WindStar 5 stars. Sorry. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife & I sailed on 9/14/17, 1st time on Wind Spirit, but our 5th Windstar cruise. Room 140. I feel that this had to be the absolute best way to visit these islands. You’re given just the right amount of time at each stop to ... Read More
My wife & I sailed on 9/14/17, 1st time on Wind Spirit, but our 5th Windstar cruise. Room 140. I feel that this had to be the absolute best way to visit these islands. You’re given just the right amount of time at each stop to visit and to grab an excursion. Then back to the ship. The ship – Wind Spirit – is showing its age in certain spots, but it’s still a great ship. The layout is very easy to navigate. The pool, gym, and casino are very small but surprisingly they were each able to accommodate everyone. The pool is just for a quick dip to cool off. The gym was just big enough to keep me doing a little something – which is fine for my vacation. The Casino has only 2 tables, I knew this, but only has 1 dealer… so only 1 table is ever open. But it’s all we needed. The entertainment was fine – consisting of a 2-person group. They were nice, friendly, always happy, and would play requests. The meals were all very good – especially Candles (it was our 1st time to eat outside at this venue). Candles has a grill setup by the pool and they prepare everything right there (I guess). Anyway I thought it was better than eating inside, but indoors at Amphora was very good too. I did hear 1 guy say that he thought everything was a little bland …. But he was always kind of grumpy, and I totally disagreed with him. Getting on and off the ship were always simple. The only long waiting period was day 1 during registration – a computer quit working and the guys using them aren’t PC experts so it took a while to reboot his. During sail away they did play the typical music and let the sails down each time (I think). That part is always nice. The people/fellow passengers seem to always consist of “my kind of people” unlike the larger ships. Almost everyone is friendly, classy, and talkative. Again, this was our 5th time and never have a problem with our fellow passengers. The crew, what can I say? The Windstar crew are the best of any ship we’ve ever sailed. Always. And these guys were no exception. And the girls too. The bar crew all knew my name by day 2… not that I have a drinking problem. I hope. Everywhere you walk, thru the ship, the crew will smile and say hello. It’s so comfortable. Room 140? I’d avoid it for now if possible. The location was actually fine (look at the deck plan). It’s not as far front as you’d think. However the air conditioning here was bad. And black soot would occasionally fall from the vent. The guys tried to fix it multiple times with no luck. Other rooms were quite different (fellow passengers showed us their rooms – which were very cool, and set to a much higher temp). So….. I’d not stay in room 140. But there is very little foot traffic by the door, so that was nice. May I suggest… Although every excursion seemed to get good reviews from everyone (so you can’t go wrong with any), the ones we missed and I wish for now are 1) snorkel and swim with the sharks & 2) Picnic (in the water!). Things we did which I recommend are: 1) Moorea – there are drivers waiting at the dock offering to drive you on a tour to a few spots for $40 pp, a private tour, consisting of 4 passengers. Do it. Then at the end have her drop you off at Sofitel for lunch (beautiful pool & wonderful place for lunch). 2)Bora Bora - Bloody Mary’s for lunch and/or dinner on day 1 of the 2 days here (dinner is best with reservations from the ship). Then on the 2nd day go to the Sofitel for a $50 pp day pass (includes large lunch). The pool is quiet with spectacular views, the beach is beautiful & calm with some toys to use, and the food was very good. Last recommendation – Bring your snorkel gear with you at every stop. You won’t regret it. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our first cruise EVER. We wanted something special to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and boy did we get something special. We stayed at the Intercontinental in Papeete for 3 nights prior and one after the cruise. Coming ... Read More
This was our first cruise EVER. We wanted something special to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and boy did we get something special. We stayed at the Intercontinental in Papeete for 3 nights prior and one after the cruise. Coming from Australia, this best suited our plans - but more on that later. We had a Cat 'A' cabin on deck # 2 (238) and that part of the ship (forward) is the way to go - least noise when gang planks and tenders are lowered and least rolling of the boat when there was any. The cabins are spacious and superbly laid out. Heaps of space for all your things, luxury toiletries and all modern and clean. The food was superb in quality and there were always loads of choices. Breakfast is on Deck # 4 and is basically like any 5-star hotel buffet including a made-to-order egg & omelet bar. Seating is inside or outside on the deck. You are not allocated a time - just come between 6am and 10am and there was always plenty of seating. Lunch is between 12 and 2 pm at the same venue. Dress is quite casual for breakfast and dinner (shorts/T-Shirts/Polos) but elegant casual for dinner which basically means what you want it to mean but excludes jeans and sandals/thongs and requires a collared shirt (Polo is fine). Dinner is again 5-star and you turn up at Amphora restaurant and are seated by the manager. You can choose to mingle or dine on your own. There's a drinks package you can buy but we think that unless alcohol is a big part of your life, it's better to just pay-as-you-go. For a cruise of this standard, drinks are very reasonably priced (all in USD) eg. $7 for a beer of maybe $8 for a wine by the glass. We did lots of excursions via the ship but we found that there were always options where you were offered similar excursions when you went ashore. To be honest we couldn't really fault it. We had a great time and so will you. Just for information, it's probably about 60% US guests, 30% Aust/NZ and then a few from here and there. Now for some tips. Papeete. My view is that it's a cross between a quiet island town and a bustling city but it's really neither. The markets are kind of a non-event. In summary, interesting but not essential. Hotels (Pre/Post).. The general consensus is that the Intercontinental is better than Le Meridian. These are really the only two high end choices. I say this because many of our fellow cruisers stayed pre cruise in Le Meridian but changed to the Intercontinental for the post cruise accommodation. Tip - ask about a day-room to use for after the cruise. It's a nice place to hang out waiting for that late night flight home. Wi-Fi. You can buy it on-board but the coverage was rating poor by most. If you need data for social media posts or surfing the web, I suggest you buy a VINI hotspot. VINI is the largest ISP in French Polynesia. You can buy the device which comes with 1GB data for about USD70 in Papeete or on-board your Air Tahiti Nui flight ex AKL. With this you generally get good coverage in the islands and it's the cheapest option and you can connect all your devices. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Always wanted to see Tahiti and Bora Bora so I decided that Windstar and their Tahiti itinerary would be a pleasant way to do so. In reflection now, after the cruise, I think that perhaps the ship itself was the primary highlight. The ... Read More
Always wanted to see Tahiti and Bora Bora so I decided that Windstar and their Tahiti itinerary would be a pleasant way to do so. In reflection now, after the cruise, I think that perhaps the ship itself was the primary highlight. The service, food, friendliness of the entire crew was simply phenomenal. I also anticipated a very small, maybe even cramped cabin, but found our cabin (112) to be more than adequate, lots of storage space, and a very fine bathroom size too. Cannot say enough good things about the onboard meals and outstanding service. While I did mostly private tours, I did take two Windstar sponsored shore excursions and they were also excellent, with small groups and wonderful tour leaders. Activities on the ship are somewhat limited but I loved being able to snorkel, swim, kayak, and even water ski off the back of the ship at several of the island stops. Most of all, in addition to wonderful fellow passengers, I was impressed with the friendliness and helpfulness of the entire crew on the Windstar Spirit. I thought, like many others, that Bora Bora would be the highlight of the ports of call. Myself, and others I heard, felt that actually Moorea was perhaps the real favorite port of call. Have no reservations about recommending Windstar. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We wanted to see French Polynesia but we extremely disappointed with the Wind Spirit. First the good part -- the crew were great! However, there are no elevators (which we knew belatedly) so with our small stateroom on deck 1 we had to ... Read More
We wanted to see French Polynesia but we extremely disappointed with the Wind Spirit. First the good part -- the crew were great! However, there are no elevators (which we knew belatedly) so with our small stateroom on deck 1 we had to climb to deck 4 for breakfast and lunch and deck 3 for dinner. On top of that, we had to climb to deck 3 to exit the ship for shore excursions, etc. and then climb down 24 steps to get to the tender/dock (most all tender stops). All rooms were dark and seemed to have little ventilation. Dining room was dark and very noisy. Food was nothing to write home about. Most shore excursions we did were for snorkeling and they were less than great. The best was one we booked privately in Bora Bora with Pure Snorkeling. By the end of the 11 days my hips were so painful I could hardly walk (from all the stairs). Forget this cruise, it is definitely not worth the time or money. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our fourth cruise on the Wind Spirit in Tahiti. We chose the Wind Spirit as the itinerary allows full days on four islands and two full days in Bora Bora. There are interesting shore excursions for those who want to be guided ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise on the Wind Spirit in Tahiti. We chose the Wind Spirit as the itinerary allows full days on four islands and two full days in Bora Bora. There are interesting shore excursions for those who want to be guided however we just choose to hang out at the ports and swim on the local beaches. There are three major events in the seven day cruise. The first special event is a dinner deck BBQ with the most amazing array of seafood and steaks to roasts and ribs. The evening ends with a crew line dance that is fun to join. The second event is a day on a private island where the crew set up a lunchtime buffet and a bar that fitted in with a day of swimming and snorkeling.The Captain and Hotel Manager participated in the greeting to the island and the food preparation. Amazing! The third and major event is on another private island in Bora Bora. Here the crew set up an evening buffet with local dishes such as the local Poisson Cru, a raw Tuna dish marinated in Lime and Coconut. The Tuna is purchased from local fishermen who deliver the fish directly to the ship.That night the festivities continued back on the ship for our sail away from Bora Bora headed for Huahine. While Windstar Cruises advertise one special event on this trip, I think that all three events are special and go far and beyond what one expects in this modern world of cruising. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We did the 7 day Tahiti experience two years ago and enjoyed it very much. We did the extended version to experience the Wind Spirit in Full Sail in the open sea. It didn't happen. The saile were never all put up and only a token part ... Read More
We did the 7 day Tahiti experience two years ago and enjoyed it very much. We did the extended version to experience the Wind Spirit in Full Sail in the open sea. It didn't happen. The saile were never all put up and only a token part sail went up briefly. Additional to this Windstar have cut back in many areas. The so called Watersports platform showing Skiing, Sailing ang Kyaking is no more. They have cut staff and the Sailboats never hit the water as they did every day on the last cruise the reason for this is not enough staff to man the area. The Kyaks are in a Pauling condition. The Dining experience is now reduced because Windstar Head Office have decreed that White Wine Glasses are to be removed and all Wine served in Red Wine Glasses. Refrigerators were broken so hot White Wine was served. Urns were broken so Tea was Luke warm at best. No Shampoo was available. Paid for Transferrs were forgotten and Passengers left stranded. Tenders were in poor condition with broken seats. I don't know how Certificates were obtained recently with the Tenders in this condition. The Past Cruisers drinks night was spent wondering where this line is going. The opinion was overwhelmingly down. Unfortunately a great cruise line in decline. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This was our first cruise on such a small ship. We have previously sailed on large megaships with Holland America, Princess and Celebrity and found Windstar to be far superior for experienced travelers who enjoy adventure and more unique ... Read More
This was our first cruise on such a small ship. We have previously sailed on large megaships with Holland America, Princess and Celebrity and found Windstar to be far superior for experienced travelers who enjoy adventure and more unique ports. The Tahiti ports are the south seas paradises we dreamed of and more than lived up to our expectations when we booked. They are still relatively unspoiled by hordes of tourists and far more relaxing than Hawaii. The food on Windstar was outstanding and there were no upcharges for specialty restaurants. The staff were uniformly professional and friendly and the food was far better than that we experienced on mass market cruiselines. My only caveats are that Windstar is not well suited for families sailing with children, elderly people with mobility issues and party people. Independent adults and couples looking for a very relaxing vacation will find Windstar to be an ideal and adventurous escape. Read Less
Wind Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 2.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family N/A 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.5 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates N/A 0.0

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