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Windstar Cruises: Wind Star

  • Windstar Cruises
  • Windstar Cruises
  • Windstar Cruises
  • Windstar Cruises
  • Windstar Cruises
  • Windstar Cruises
  • Windstar Cruises

Wind Star Review

Launched in 1986, Windstar Cruises’ Wind Star is one of two nearly identical four-masted sailing megayachts in the fleet. Wind Star features wide open, teak decks—over 10,000 square feet of space, quite generous for a ship this size—and 21,500 square feet

of new sail overhead. Renovations in 2012 included a head-to-toe update of the public rooms’ decor. Newly enhanced staterooms have chic leather headboards, arm chairs, linen wall coverings, new lighting features, window coverings, carpeting, new art work, and stylish bed cushions and bed throws.

Comfort is the element that ties these ship’s interiors together. Blue and cream, echoing hues of the sea and sandy beaches, predominate in the cozy main lounge, where you'll find a tiny casino tucked into a corner. With its large windows and a skylight, the lounge is flooded with natural light during daytime hours.

Public spaces are proportionately small on such a diminutive vessel and feature yacht-like touches of polished wood shipwide, as well as abundant fresh flower arrangements. The library contains books, movies to play in your cabin, and a computer center.

Passenger accommodations and public areas are all found in the aft two-thirds of the ship, with dining and entertainment located on the top two decks.

Are they cruise ships with sails or sailing ships designed for cruises? Since 1986, these masted sailing yachts have filled an upscale niche. They often visit ports of call inaccessible to huge, traditional cruise ships and offer a unique perspective of any cruising region. Though Windstar ships seldom depend on wind alone to sail, if you're fortunate and conditions are perfect, as they sometimes are, the complete silence of pure sailing is heavenly. Stabilizers and computer-controlled ballast systems ensure no more than a mere few degrees of lean.

When you can tear yourself away from the sight of thousands of yards of Dacron sail overhead, it doesn't take long to read the daily schedule of activities on a typical Windstar cruise. Simply put, there are few scheduled activities. Diversions are for the most part social, laid-back, and impromptu. You can choose to take part in the short list of daily activities; borrow a book, game, or DVD from the library; or do nothing at all. There's never pressure to join in or participate if you simply prefer relaxing with a fully loaded iPod, which you can check out on board.

Multimillion-dollar upgrades in 2012 enhanced each ship from stern to stern with chic new decor that mimics the colors of the sky and sandy beaches. The Yacht Club, which replaced the library on Wind Surf, is designed to be the social hub of the ship, with computer stations, a coffee bar, and a more expansive feel than the room it replaced. You will be able to join other passengers in comfortable seating around a large flat-screen TV to cheer on your favorite team during sporting events. In addition, all accommodations and bathrooms have been remodeled with updated materials; new weights and televisions were added to the gym; a couples massage room enhances the Wind Surf spa; the casual Veranda was expanded; the decks now have Balinese sun beds; and cooling mist sprayers are near the pools.

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What You Should Know

Pros

  • Ships have an extensive DVD collection
  • Socializing is effortless on these intimate ships
  • Mist sprayers near the pool offer a refreshing way to keep cool

Cons

  • The aft pool and hot tub are popular and apt to feel crowded
  • The water-sports marina can open only when the ship is at anchor
  • Ways to entertain yourself are sparse—the gym and library are tiny, and the casino is small
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 90
  • Entered Service 1988
  • Gross Tons 5,350
  • Length 440 feet
  • Number of Cabins 74
  • Passenger Capacity 148
  • Width 52 feet

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