Considering Windstar but Hesitant

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Windstar Cruises
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#1
Orlando, Fl
30 Posts
Joined May 2016
Hello All,

I have cruised on the major lines before (RCI,Carnival,Disney) and my fiance and I are considering a Windstar for our honeymoon but I am a little hesitant due to the great itineraries and what seems like a great romantic option. I am just not sure what there is to do on the ship. What is the pool like? Are there planned activities? Etc. I see a lot of posts about food but I am curious about what activities there are on-board.

Thanks,

Sam
#2
Franklin, TN
24 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
I'm not sure how to answer this. The first things we noticed on Windstar was there no blaring announcement from the cruise director every 20 minutes. There is no roving photographer taking your picture at every meal or every time you step off the ship. It is a fantastic, relaxing cruise, typically free of anyone under 20 years old, with people who love to travel.

There is a pool but not many people are in it. There are lots of deck chairs all around the ship. They also have the water sports platform where you can kite surf or kayak for no charge when anchored. There are only 150-300 passengers so you don't feel crowded or rushed. There is a small musical duo that performs each evening but you're not going to get broadway style shows for 120 people. There is a small casino on board if you want to gamble.

The staff is hands down the best we have had on any cruise line. I guess it depends what you like about cruises, but we will never go back to the large ships unless we had kids with us. Windstar is our favorite line.


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#3
Central Maryland
17,035 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Generally, there are not a lot of planned activities on Windstar; people typically socialize, read, and so on. Just as a very rough idea here are the daily programs from my last Windstar cruise. From November 17 on it was a transatlantic which was VERY laid back (and Windstar TA regulars love it that way), but November 9-16 should be typical of what to expect on the sailing ships.

https://getawaysfrom21044.wordpress....transatlantic/

You didn't say if you were looking at a sailing ship or one of the motor yachts. They may be a little bit different.
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#4
Minnesota
413 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
One of the reasons we chose Wind Star in the beginning was the port intensive itineraries to small and unusually ports. We love exploring new places and will typically spend all day in port returning to the ship just in time for cocktails and dinner. After dinner we may spend some time with new friends listening to the musical guests or in conversation sharing our daily adventures over cocktails under the stars. Most evenings I would say ended around 11 pm which to me, if I was on my honeymoon, would leave plenty of time for "other activities!"

After experiencing Wind Star I don't have much desire to sail on those big cruise ships again. While I love Broadway type entertainment, I'll head to Broadway to see Hello Dolly or Hamilton and to Las Vegas to gamble instead. The places Wind Star sails, the folks you meet on board, and the kind and amazing crew draws us home to Wind Star. We are celebrating our 25 wedding anniversary and my husbands 65th birthday next September on our third Wind Star cruise!

Those our the reasons we love Wind Star and perhaps you will too. Congratulations!


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#5
Orleans MA
657 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Congratulations to you and your bride. Think of the small ships being more private and intimate. It is quieter and more personal. Dinner for two, no loud speakers going all the time, dining under the stars, no one badgering you to buy, increcible service. Most of the ports are small, large ships can not get into them, lovely excursions, no waiting in lines. Very few planned activities, no nightly shows, music in the lounge for dancing or listening, , great for reading, enjoying nature, the beauty of the sea. The pools are small, no lap swimimg but on the motor yachts the pools are like a large hot tub with forced water so you can simulate lap swimming, there are nice hot tubs as well. The gymns are small with the exception of the Wind Surf. Lovey spa treatments, no formal nights. Excellent food, nicely presented, great deck space on the sail boats. Very laid back would imagine very different than larger ships. I would say perfect for a honeymoon because the ships are romantic. Happy Sailing.
#6
Pittsboro, NC
175 Posts
Joined Apr 2015
Originally posted by rafinmd
You didn't say if you were looking at a sailing ship or one of the motor yachts. They may be a little bit different.
Thanks to rafinmd for the nice listing of daily itineraries, both while "in port" or on "sea days".

I agree with everything said so far. Our friend rafinmd is also quite right about the key differences between the sailing vessels and the motorized yachts. I've only been on one Windstar cruise so far, on the WS Star Breeze, so keep this in mind about the motorized yachts -- the suites are huge. I found it to be a big improvement over what the large cruise ships typically offer, unless you fork out major bucks for a large cabin.

If you decide to take advantage of Windstar, just consider the things that are most important for you. None of the fleet's ships will offer big-time entertainment, but they all will impress with the food offerings and personal service. You won't get "razzle dazzle" amped-up craziness, pool parties and belly flop competitions, and lots of people to meet and greet (and stand in long lines with at the buffet). You will get peace and quiet, and moments just being alone with each other. Big ports alongside other huge ships? Probably not. Small, out-of-the-way destinations? Oh yes.

If Windstar sounds good to you for that sexy, romantic honeymoon, prepare to have a low-stress, good time. Decide if you want the sails or the big suite, because that'll be your last decision when you select the ship.
#7
Quebec
973 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Just returned from Polynesia aboard the Wind Spirit. There were 4 of 5 young newlywed couple on board and they all seem to like the cruise. The destination was port intensive and many of them participated in water activities (seadoos, snorkeling, lagoon expedition.), some of them even stayed pre-cruise in the over the water bungalow for a few days .

We're probably all repeating ourselves, it's what you like that is important.. It's the big unknown that your questioning yourself, having done the other big boat.

Congratulation to both of you. :-)
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#8
Orlando, Fl
30 Posts
Joined May 2016
Thank you for all the advice information. I am still deciding if this is for us but it sounds nothing short of spectacular. I feel like being in our mid-20's we might be out of place.
#9
Orleans MA
657 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
What you do not see on WS often are young children for there is not much entertainment for them. In my 20 cruises I have seen everyone. I have seen lots if honeymoon people in their 20's, I have seen young married people who love the sea, 40-70 age range very common, married, single, traveling with friends and fantastic elderly people in their 90's with so much life still in them. Families multi generational, reunions, athletic people, sedintary people, people from other nations and cultures. People who go on WS cruises love small ships, good food, small ports and being so close to the sea. A very special experience. Whatever you choose happy sailing.
#10
Quebec
973 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
You know, a lot of people in their 50's, 60's and 70's think they're 20 again on Windstar

Cheers!
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#11
California
105 Posts
Joined Oct 2016
Windstar passengers are active people, since the ships (at least some of them) have only stairs, no elevators. Nobody is there to just sit around passively at the buffet; they are there to see the amazing destinations the ship is taking them to every day. Which Windstar cruise are you thinking of doing?
#12
Orlando, Fl
30 Posts
Joined May 2016
Originally posted by vlaurend
Windstar passengers are active people, since the ships (at least some of them) have only stairs, no elevators. Nobody is there to just sit around passively at the buffet; they are there to see the amazing destinations the ship is taking them to every day. Which Windstar cruise are you thinking of doing?
We are considering Tahiti but I am more interested in the Greek Isles
#13
143 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
I have been on both, and they are both fantastic. On the Tahiti cruise, the sheer beauty of the area is the highlight. On the Greece cruise you have the beauty of the Greek islands, plus lots of historical and archeological sites. We did both of these cruises on their smallest ships, the Star and the Spirit.
#14
williamsburg, VA
95 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
What you avoid by going on Windstar are all those days at sea- typically 4 on a 10-12 day cruise, going into ports with 2-4 other ships docked, missing out on some ports the big ones cannot go to, sometimes mediocre food, boring Las Vegas type shows, the constant peddling of something to buy and the lines almost everywhere. Oh did I forget the juvenile contests at the pool?


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#15
Tucson
14 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
I agree with everything said so far. We cruised from Barcelona to Lisbon on Windstar (a yacht, not a sailing ship--they have both) and it was fantastic. It's not Vegas, it's more like Palm Springs, which means you make your own fun (which I think shouldn't be difficult on a honeymoon!). It's laid-back and quiet. Not many balcony cabins on the yachts (and even those are more a "French window" with not much in the way of balcony space). But the staff is superb (they know they've got it good compared with the overworked crew on the mega-liners). I say, go for it if you want to spend time getting to know your new bride and forget it if you're looking for a big casino and a climbing wall.
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#16
Wyckoff, NJ and Chatham,MA
141 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
I have been reading the comments, and agree that you could not choose a lovelier place to spend a honeymoon than on a Windstar yacht....whether motor or sailing yacht. The experience with be personalized, with a small group of guests and service as good as it gets on a ship. The guests are well traveled and sophisticated. Did you know that Windstar has an open bridge policy? Imagine being outside on a moon lit night, walking along the deck after a dinner under the stars, and viewing the moon glistening on the ocean? We like to stop at the bridge and chat with the officer on duty at night as they plot their course to the next destination. It doesn't get more romantic than that!
#17
Southlake, Texas
1,162 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
We've just returned from a Barcelona- Lisbon cruise on the Wind Surf with our two children and spouses of two and years. They are all in their mid-twenties. All four loved it.

There were several other couples in their twenties who also seemed to be enjoying themselves. However, if you're looking for nightlife, pick a different honeymoon. Best wishes for many years of happiness together.
#18
3,882 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
I have cruised many times. Windstar is really different. I love it. The ships are very nice. Unlike the mass market ships, it is not crowded. It also has very few activities. Each ship has a small pool and whirlpool. In warmer places, it has the sports platform. It is very casual and relaxing. Food is really gourmet. service is excellent. No request is too much. Windstar treats guests like royalty. It would be a fabulous choice for a honeymoon. On my most recent cruise, Star Legend Glitter and Glam, we met honeymoon couples. They were really happy.
#19
Seattle, WA
49 Posts
Joined Oct 2016
Originally posted by Ski Mom 2
The places Wind Star sails, the folks you meet on board, and the kind and amazing crew draws us home to Wind Star.
THIS!

Having my first ever cruise be Windstar has spoiled me for others. I'm afraid. One evening I had the curry for dinner, asking hopefully, but not really expecting any, whether there was any chutney available? A dish of it arrived within two minutes. Another time, one of our party was deliberating whether to order something; no doubt the waiter was thinking "Please, just make up your mind!" but offered in a gracious tone "If it doesn't work out, I would be pleased to get you a replacement choice (promptly)" which worked perfectly (she liked it as it turned out).

The other passengers were a terrific lot, almost all if them exactly the kind of people I had hoped to meet.

One of the things about the smaller ships, that I hadn't really appreciated until after we got home, was that it doesn't take very long to disembark and reload for excursions.
#20
New York
8,404 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
We are looking for a circumnavigation of Iceland itinerary, and I see that Windstar has offered them recently (although fewer for 2018 than 2017). Everything I have read so far looks really interesting, but I have two questions:
(1) How do the yachts do in heavy seas?
(2) When will Windstar release their summer 2019 schedules?
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