Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wind Star Closing Thoughts

Now for some final words about Windstar to help you determine if it’s a good line for you to experience. This is basically a sailing ship. You DO feel the waves a bit more...sometimes. For the first time in many years I took Dramamine a couple of times and then felt just fine. But if you are really susceptible to motion sickness, you’d want to prepare well prior to sailing. Like any sailing, motion can depend on the weather.

Neither the Wind Star nor Wind Spirit have elevators. Of course, the ship is not large with only 4 main decks accommodating just 148 passengers, so getting around is easy—as long as you do not have mobility issues. The Wind Surf is larger, however, with six main decks and elevators.

Windstar itineraries are not about covering a region; instead, they allow you to really savor a destination. If you’re interested in hitting as many ports of call as possible across the Mediterranean, stick to the larger, faster vessels. (Azamara and Oceania offer more time in port and some overnight stays if you want a little of both features.)

Windstar is also not about production shows and all-day buffets, but rather about great conversations with interesting people and a touch of local entertainment. It’s about right-sized dining and ports of call where the big guys can’t even think of approaching. It’s about sitting on deck as the captain hoists the sails and announces the ship is now cruising under full sail power, while the theme from Vangelis’ 1492 blares from the speakers. It’s about walking into the bridge whenever the ship is sailing and talk with the captain and crew. And it’s about sensing the passion and pride a local naturalist displays as he offers interesting information about his country and his people.

Call it an unpretentious upscale line. No suits, ties, or gowns. Resort casual by evening, jeans and shorts by day. We were glad we packed our hiking boots for both the nature walks and horseback ride.

Would we sail a Windstar ship again. You bet we would! A 14-night Greek Isles cruise sounds kinda nice, don’t you think?