Just back from Wind Spirit 3/26/05

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#1
17 Posts
Joined May 2003
We just returned from our first Wind Star cruise on the Wind Spirit (7 days out of St. Thomas). It was a terrific cruise and we will definitely be back.

The food was outstanding, specially the barbeque dinner and the Al Fresco dining up on the top deck.

Embarkation/debarkation was a breeze. Very informal and fast.

The St. Thomas itinerery was great (St. Johns, St. Martin, St. Barts, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda).

Service was top notch and the staff was very pleasant and gracious. Most of the staff seemed to be long time employees of Wind Star (5, 10, 15 years) and they really went out of their way to serve you.

The scuba program and instructors were very good. They were safe and the ship offered a wide variety of dives (including a night dive).

I enjoyed the open bridge policy and the ease in which the Captain and his staff interacted with the passengers.

The only suggestion I would offer Wind Spirit (and I did) would be to change their mattresses. Our bed was like sleeping on a rock.

If anyone has any specific questions they would liked answered about this cruise, I'll be glad to respond..........GP.
#2
Oregon
32 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Just read your post. My son just returned from the same trip. He got married on the cruise. Maybe you remember them. Tony and Jennifer...

I read all these posts as I am going on an Alaskan cruise in June. It was unusual to read a post about the Wind/Spirit as there are hardly any at all. They had a great time...
#3
Southlake, Texas
1,202 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
GP-

Thanks for posting your review. How difficult was it to sign up for the dives? Was there enough room for all who wanted to go? Were the discover dives separate from the certified dives? We have a mixed group on the Windstar and want to be together.

Beth
#4
17 Posts
Joined May 2003
Beth........it was no problem to sign up for dives. The first night onboard the dive staff conducts an orientation meeting and explains their program, how to sign up for dives, etc. I believe they had room for 8 divers per trip but I think they could probably accommodate more if they had enough advanced warning. I don't think you will have any problem getting everybody in your party signed up. They do have a discover scuba program but since I was already certified, I did not attend that part of the meeting and can not offer any information about the program. I only dove one day (2 tank dive on the wreck of the Rhone in the BVIs). That's a good dive because of the visibility, large amount of fish life and you actually get to enter part of the wreck if you want (saw one of the biggest lobsters I'd ever seen inside that wreck). Entering the wreck is totally optional.
#5
Lawrence, KS
183 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
How was the condition of the overall ship *and* your cabin? I have heard some varied reports after its most recent dry dock. Anything that comes to mind that needed some real TLC? Thank you.
#6
Glen Rock, NJ
18 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
gp,
We were also on the March 26th cruise. Just wondering if we met. I was easy to remember, walked around with a cane and you may have seen my husband carry me up and down the gangplank onto the tenders. I agree with all the good things you said about the Windspirit.
One note to others would be to bring conditioner, they only supplied shampoo in the rooms.

JudyO,
Sorry, my husband and I did not meet anyone who got married on the cruise.

Stines,
The ship and cabins were in good condition. Nothing we noticed that needs any attention (except matresses as gp already noted).

-Barbara and Jim from NJ
#7
17 Posts
Joined May 2003
Stines (condition of the ship/cabins).......I thought the condition of the Wind Spirit was very good, considering the ship is 17 years old. The crew has done a great job with the maintenance. Our room (209) was spacious and had plenty of storage space. Excellent water pressure in the shower and plenty of hot water (however I did hear one couple say they had a problems with the hot water turning cold and then back to hot again). Two small items regarding the room...........the in-room safes still utilize keys instead of combinations and the room key was only a room key and did not double as a charge card or security card to exit and reboard the ship. On most cruise ships we've been on lately, your room key did everything and that was the only thing you had to keep track of. However, these were very minor nuisances and would in no way keep us from traveling on the Wind Spirit again.

Barbara......I'm sorry we didn't meet but I probably saw you. It seems to me I saw 3 people on board that had walking difficulties (I wife was one of them........broke a toe the night before leaving when she triped over her suitcase in the dark).

I do not remember meeting any newlyweds onboard however I did hear one couple got engaged during the voyage.
#8
Lawrence, KS
183 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
gp, thank you very much for taking the time to share the information. I am worried about traveling on a ship that is 17 (!!!) years old, but your feedback as alleviated those concerns.
#9
Sacramento, California
1,080 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
All three ships were refurbished last year. JohnnyCruise and I were on the Wind Surf sailing right its update. New carpets, new soft goods, etc. They were still putting some of the finishing touches on as we sailed. It also had some new safety features like a new fire sprinkler system. On our cruise they were working out some bugs - hot/cold water issues in a few cabins supposedly due to having made plumbing changes when putting in the new sprinkler system. The cabin next to us had the problem which they fixed during the cruise. It seemed pretty isolated as our water was just fine.

The mattresses issue is probably a matter of personal preference. I liked the ones on the Wind Surf but I prefer a very firm mattress.
#10
1,299 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Maybe they put a different brand of mattresses on the WindSpirit, because I recall sleeping very well on the WindSurf, too. I thought the ship's refurbishment made it look ten years younger than what it was. I'm a little surprised people with mobility problems would choose WindSpirit/WindStar because I thought those ships did not have an elevator.

We also had an al fresco deck barbeque the last afternoon while docked off Isla Culebra (a very quiet little Puerto Rican dependency but with a TERRIFIC, long white-sand beach). I look at the HAL board and occasionally someone has a curious thread about "how many lobster tails do you eat?" Well, I was not a pig but I certainly could have been at that barbeque - dozens of them baking on the grill. Even better were the baby lamb chops, ribs and chicken!

Now seriously contemplating the Greek Isles itinerary ...
#11
USA
893 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Hi gp! Thanks for writing the review. It sounds like you had a great time. My husband and I are planning to go on the Windspirit next January. I know it has been a while since you returned from the Windspirit, but I do have a few questions if you don't mind.

First of all, what type of cabin did you have and what would you recommend? We are debating on spending the extra money to have a "A" cabin.

Is there a specific cabin you would recommend to stay away from ship noise? I have read a few reviews where people complained about the noise.

It sounds like the food was great. Any other comments you could share would be appreciated.

Do you have any pictures from the trip that you could share?

Did you take ship excursions or venture out on your own?

Did you spend a night or two in St. Thomas before or after the cruise and would you recommend this?

Could you please share any other tips for us or general information that would be helpful?

I really do appreciate any information you could provide. There are a very limited number of older reviews out there for the Windspirit so unfortunately, there are no helpful resources available to future cruisers.

Thanks again!!

Mary in Overland Park, KS
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Carnival Miracle...........11/04/17 Mexican Riviera, L.A.
Carnival Imagination....03/07/17 Ensenada/Catalina
NCL Jewel...................04/10/16 Mexican Riviera, L.A.
Pacific Princess...........06/08/15 Alaska Southbound
NCL Sun......................05/25/15 Alaska Northbound
Carnival Inspiration......04/27/15 Ensenada/Catalina
Carnival Inspiration......01/23/15 Ensenada, Mexico
NCL Epic......................01/04/14 Eastern Caribbean, Miami
Carnival Elation............01/17/13 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Crown Princess............02/04/12 S. Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
NCL Spirit.....................03/21/10 Exotic W. Caribbean, New Orleans
NCL Pearl.....................10/31/09 Eastern Caribbean, Miami
Carnival Fantasy...........08/22/09 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Carnival Splendor.........01/10/09 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
NCL Pride of America...05/17/08 Hawaii inter-island, Honolulu
Caribbean Princess.....02/04/07 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
Caribbean Princess.....02/04/06 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
Caribbean Princess.....09/03/05 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
Carnival Valor...............05/22/05 Eastern Caribbean, Miami
Carnival Conquest.......11/28/04 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Carnival Celebration....10/03/99 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Carnival Fantasy..........09/06/93 Nassau/Freeport Bahamas, Miami

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page." - Augustine
#12
Akron, Ohio
105 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Hi Mary! I saw your post..when you are going on the Wind Spirit? My hubbie and I along with 2 other couples will be on her Jan. 28th! We can hardly wait..We are definitely staying in St. Thomas 1 night before, although I don't know where yet. Hotels are very pricey! This trip is going to be awesome..
#13
87 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
A couple of comments for mfinn:
We've been on 2 Windstar cruises (Istanbul to Athens , and Polynesia ), not the Caribbean.

Our preference for a cabin is the B deck -- it's the one closest to the water, and it's great on a moonlit night to see the water right outside your window! On one big-sea night passage in Polynesia, those Pacific waves were rolling right over the porthole, and it was hypnotic and fun to watch. (Of course, not much likelihood of that in the Caribbean! ) We don't see any reason to pay for a A cabin (the cabins are identical) unless you have a problem with stairs (one more flight down to B deck).

Also didn't have a problem with "noisy cabin locations". There are no elevators to contend with, and with a smaller passenger load, folks just don't seem to be that rowdy!

We love the food, and the fact that we can choose from night to night whether we want a table for 2 or to make up a group, or join some folks we haven't met yet. The restaurant staff are very good, and want you to enjoy your table as well as your meal.

We'll be on Windstar again soon, maybe next year. I can feel it coming on...
#14
USA
893 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Hello Lisa616. We are planning to go either next Dec. '06 or Jan. '07 on the Wind Spirit St. Thomas itinerary. I would much prefer to go this Dec. or Jan., but we already have another cruise planned with my in-laws. We love the Caribbean so much that this will be our 3rd cruise in 9 months. I am so excited about going on the Wind Spirit that I am gathering information already. We look forward to trying something other than the larger ships. You mentioned the hotels are pricey in St. Thomas. I know there are a lot of small, privately owned rental cottages you might try. You also might try Priceline. They have 2 and 3 star properties listed. Best of luck to you - have a wonderful time on your cruise!

Hello Sebayn. Thanks for the information. I really appreciate it. There isn't much out there for those of us who are planning a Windstar cruise. Thanks again!

Mary
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Carnival Miracle...........11/04/17 Mexican Riviera, L.A.
Carnival Imagination....03/07/17 Ensenada/Catalina
NCL Jewel...................04/10/16 Mexican Riviera, L.A.
Pacific Princess...........06/08/15 Alaska Southbound
NCL Sun......................05/25/15 Alaska Northbound
Carnival Inspiration......04/27/15 Ensenada/Catalina
Carnival Inspiration......01/23/15 Ensenada, Mexico
NCL Epic......................01/04/14 Eastern Caribbean, Miami
Carnival Elation............01/17/13 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Crown Princess............02/04/12 S. Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
NCL Spirit.....................03/21/10 Exotic W. Caribbean, New Orleans
NCL Pearl.....................10/31/09 Eastern Caribbean, Miami
Carnival Fantasy...........08/22/09 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Carnival Splendor.........01/10/09 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
NCL Pride of America...05/17/08 Hawaii inter-island, Honolulu
Caribbean Princess.....02/04/07 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
Caribbean Princess.....02/04/06 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
Caribbean Princess.....09/03/05 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
Carnival Valor...............05/22/05 Eastern Caribbean, Miami
Carnival Conquest.......11/28/04 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Carnival Celebration....10/03/99 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Carnival Fantasy..........09/06/93 Nassau/Freeport Bahamas, Miami

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page." - Augustine