9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was advertised as a "sailing" ship," filling its sails with the tradewinds of Tahiti" in every advertisement, and we fell for it. As experienced sailors on a 40' sailboat, San Diego to Hawaii and back, ... Read More
This was advertised as a "sailing" ship," filling its sails with the tradewinds of Tahiti" in every advertisement, and we fell for it. As experienced sailors on a 40' sailboat, San Diego to Hawaii and back, pacific northwest, central america and panama canal, we know sailing. The feeble efforts to make this look like sailing consisted of releasing tiny pieces of storm jib type sails for photo purposes, playing a sailing song, and departing port. The Captain himself said one sail was missing, and a crew member said the hydraulics weren't working--however, on excursion days we could look back and see that once again those fragments of sails were set while at anchor strictly for photographic value. Rough nights on board could have been improved with stabilizing sails, and the winds of 25 knots would have provided a wonderful experience. But this ship doesn't sail. We gave up the option of a veranda and having the fresh tropical air waft through our cabin with the expectation there would be sailing. Instead, the ports were sealed (two 16" port holes per cabin) and our cabin was a snug air conditioned capsule with no outside contact. From deck 1 it required 4 sets of stairs to get to the pool deck and breakfast. (we were on deck 2--only 3 sets) To depart the ship, however, required maneuvering down and back a steep 25 step stairway which hugged the side on the hull. On the plus side, the cabin space was well designed , sparkling clean, the crew was fantastic and friendly and the food was good. The high priced excursions varied in quality, several required riding in truck beds with boards on each side for seats, others used small SUV's requiring a lot of crawling into them. There was one well narrated comfortable bus ride. Our excursions alone for two cost about $1700 dollars. The worst was one advertised as a "romantic sunset cruise" and it turned out to be a small runabout boat, that speeded around for about an hour, served tiny plastic glasses of champaigne, got several of us wet with spray--all for a price of $300 for two. Dining on deck in Candles was magical, but had to be reserved. Amphora was the main dining room, very large, extremely noisy. One of the most disappointing aspects was their failure to obtain return airline seating assignments for us, claiming all they promised was a seat. This problem was not made known until we had paid all fees. As a result we ended up in separate seats on the 8 hour return flight. I had tried to correct this well prior to departure,with multiple phone discussions with an unhelpful staff member, but could not get her manager to return calls or emails or provide access to their air department. We have taken tours with Viking and their customer service far exceeded the haphazard approach found on Windstar. Their sales staff, of course, was charming and helpful. Never again!!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
If you are seeking a cruise with Tahitian culture, history and dancing, this one is not for you. We have taken two other Polynesian cruises and the crews were Polynesian. We learned a lot about the islands and their culture and history. ... Read More
If you are seeking a cruise with Tahitian culture, history and dancing, this one is not for you. We have taken two other Polynesian cruises and the crews were Polynesian. We learned a lot about the islands and their culture and history. The shows featured Polynesians and their dancing. The crew on the Wind Spirit is Asian and Eastern European and knew nothing about the islands. It seemed the cruise director learned everything he knew of the islands from books.This ship should have been sailing in the Caribbean. The entertainment every night was Hot, Hot, Hot, YMCA, and rock, nothing Polynesian. Even the music on the speaker systems was devoid of anything Polynesian. The crew was exceptional in all other respects. the food was good but not great. You pay $9 for a small glass of wine. Tours were excellent but expensive. On two occasions we contacted local tour operators for equivalent tours at less than half the price. The sports platform included a small swimming area and a couple of kayaks. On first and last day we had rooms at the Meridien hotel in Tahiti. Breakfast was included but nothing else. A better choice is the Paul Gaugin where everything except tours is included. We would not take another Windstar cruise. There is much better value to your money elsewhere. 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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
My wife and I selected this cruise because it had good reviews and was in the area where we wanted to do a cruise, being Tahiti and French Polynesia. Our only other cruise experiences are just two, a 4-day Blue Lagoon cruise in Fiji and a ... Read More
My wife and I selected this cruise because it had good reviews and was in the area where we wanted to do a cruise, being Tahiti and French Polynesia. Our only other cruise experiences are just two, a 4-day Blue Lagoon cruise in Fiji and a 15-day Viking River Cruise in Europe, which were both much better than this one. We started the 10-day cruise in Papeete on 13 Jan 2017, Tahiti. It rained hard when we left Papeete and the first night was quite rough. The Wind Spirit is not very stable. We heard that several other passenger became sea-sick. Bad weather kept around us for 8 of the 10 days. Many of the shore expeditions and water-sport tours had to be cancelled. The highlight of the cruise was supposed to be the lagoon of Bora Bora, but because of the weather we saw very little of it. But a BBQ dinner and local show on small island were very nice. A few times, during sailing, the waves tilted the ship so far that food in the dining room slid of the tables and some people fell of their chairs, resulting in injuries. Our full glasses of wine fell of the table and to my surprise we had to pay for new ones, and I can assure you that everything is very expensive on board. In general the food was good and the service in the on-board restaurants was excellent. Evening entertainment was mainly (every evening) provided by a young couple that sang and played, with background music, popular Western songs. They were quite good but there could have been more variation in the entertainment. Because of the many cancelled excursions, life became very boring on this relatively small cruise ship. I also thought that the communication by the Ukranian activity director was often poor and his strong accent did not help there. Overall we found that Windstar did little to offer alternative entertainment for the cancelled excursions. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2011
Though we liked a lot about our cruise and the ship, the disappointment with some of the aspects outweighed the desire to ever take another cruise with Windstar. The good: 1. Small ship/yacht with only 148 well-traveled and friendly ... Read More
Though we liked a lot about our cruise and the ship, the disappointment with some of the aspects outweighed the desire to ever take another cruise with Windstar. The good: 1. Small ship/yacht with only 148 well-traveled and friendly passengers. 2. Early bird breakfast buffet (cold cuts, pastry and coffee/tea) on a desk at 6am on an open deck - feels like a yacht. 3. Staying in some ports later than big ships. 4. Breakfast and lunch buffet on a deck. 5. Boutique with useful items with the outstanding saleswoman. The bad: 1. Dinners started late at 7:30pm and took a very long time. Their kitchen is very small and can handle only 3 orders at a time. Each table counted as one order and all dishes in the order were cooked at the same time and then placed under a heating lamp for the duration of the dinner. The tables are for 8 and 4 people. Since each table counts as one order, it means that if you have three tables of 8 ahead of you, we have to wait for 24 full dinners ahead of you to be fully prepared before they start on your order. By the time you finish your dinner it is around 10pm and you go to bed on a full stomach. There was also no way to take a walk on this ship. Our stomachs rebelled and we had to skip dinners all together. Their room service for dinners was set up the same way - took long time and you had to wait in your cabin. 2. We used room service once. It took 40 minutes for the order to arrive and the food was not what we have ordered and not good at all. We could not eat it. 3. The cabin was small and dark with pothole windows which were advertised as the ocean view cabins. BWY, the cabins were BELOW the sea level and should never be advertised as the ocean view, pothole windows or not. It is a a false advertisement. 4. Their "Fitness Center" was so small that 2 people was a crowd. 5. We tendered at most of ports, even the ports where bigger ships where docked. Tendering so much was inconvenient. 6. Based on a high cost I expected much more decent experience and I would not return even for a small fraction of a cost. After this so-so trip we booked with another cruise company on a mid-size ship and had such an outstanding experience that we booked with them again while still on-board. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2000
Every time I go to the Cruise Critic homepage, I am amazed to see how highly rated this ship is by the members. Today, I decided to go to the individual member reviews because we had quite a disappointing experience on this ship in 2000. ... Read More
Every time I go to the Cruise Critic homepage, I am amazed to see how highly rated this ship is by the members. Today, I decided to go to the individual member reviews because we had quite a disappointing experience on this ship in 2000. I've been curious to see how things could have improved that much to give this ship such a good rating. I don't know how the ratings on Cruise Critic are arrived at, as it appears from the actual member reviews that many of the things that bothered us, are still unimproved in 2004. Our cruise began in Istanbul, and ended in Athens, and the itinerary was exquisite so certainly nothing to complain about in that category. Yes, as one member noted, there seemed to be big discrepancies in how much people paid for this cruise so one should strike a very good bargain when purchasing their tickets. It started off rather badly, when other cruise lines had people waiting in the lobby of the hotel to check people in. Windstar did not. We were never contacted by the cruise line and received a call at 8 am the next morning asking why we had not placed our luggage in the hallway the night before. We were still asleep and had absolutely no idea we were to do that. No one had contacted us at all. We hastily packed and went down to the lobby, where we sat in a group that waited a long time for our bus to arrive to take us to the dock. At the dock, we had to ask where to go. No one from the cruise line there to direct us. The cabins are very small, and we had the misfortune to be placed in one that we had to move out of on the second day. We didn't notice it when we first came on board, because the ship's engines were not running at the time. We spent most of our first evening exploring the ship, dining and later returned to our cabin where we discovered a deafening whine that apparently comes from the proximity of this cabin (and others) to the ship's turbines. We barely slept that night, but when we called guest services the next morning, they weren't at all polite and acted as if we were the first people who had ever complained of this. The steward who helped us move all our things told us this happens all the time, and that they are very aware of which cabins are problems. The food was very unsatisfactory almost all of the time. We lived in Europe at the time and were shocked at the lack of quality in the preparation of the food. No excuse for this. The open seating policy created an awkward situation several times, particularly at breakfast, when often there was no place to sit down. Don't go on this cruise if you expect elegance as portrayed in the brochure. Casual attire was the dress of everyday, every evening. Polo shirts and khakis at dinnertime. If that's what you want, that's great. But that was not what the brochure suggested. Yes, they close off the decks very early in the evening. We went out for a stroll one night before dinner and found them roped off and crews busy hosing them down. There are not a lot of places to go on a ship this small. If you get seasick, beware. We hit very rough seas going into Athens on our last evening and almost no one showed up for dinner. The worst I have ever experienced on a cruise ship. Our cabin on the lower deck had its porthole underwater (Yes, underwater!) It was creepy. Worst of all was a domestic disturbance that happened in the middle of the last night on board. I tried to help out, calling for assistance and could not reach anyone after hours. Couldn't even find a steward in the hallways. I ended up getting the ship's doctor out of bed. She wasn't at all pleased and her handling of the situation was less than appropriate. We left ship with a very bad taste in our mouths. We will not be travelling on Windstar in future. 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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