Exceptional 7 Day Wind Star Cruise Experience Around Tahiti

Wind Spirit Cruise Review to South Pacific - Tahiti

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 33

Overall rating:

4.3 out of 5
Wind Spirit

7 Night Dreams Of Tahiti (Papeete Roundtrip)

Sail date: February 21, 2019

Ship: Wind Spirit

Cabin type: Oceanview

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

My biggest disappointment with the island experience was that the coral was no longer as colorful as they were only a couple years ago. Warming ocean temperatures have bleached the coral so they are no longer as spectacular as they once were. Consequently, my snorkeling expeditions were not as exciting as I had expected. Moreover, the fish populations are no longer as prolific as they use to be. So on the whole, I found the cruise experience more interesting then the island excursions. I took this cruise at the end of February, which is technically their rainy season, but I really appreciated the partial clouds that hid the direct sun. Even with partial overcast skies it was still very warm (and very humid), but at least we didn't get sunburned. One of the attached photos shows the size comparison between the Wind Spirit with 138 passengers versus and the Paul Gauguin with 3,000. By comparison, the Wind Spirit looks so much more civilized.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
A little slow, so people had to stand in line about 30 minutes, sometimes in the sun.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The dining was the best part of the cruise. The food was creative and all three meals of the day were gourmet; meals could not have been better. With a maximum of 148 passengers, the ship felt more like a private yacht then a cruise. The sails actually provide between 12 and 20 percent of the propulsion, (with prevailing winds.) All of the passengers I meet had a story and were very engaging and fun to dine and have excursions with.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Really hard for me to judge because aside from dining with the other passengers I didn't really participate in the onboard activities. My brother and I struggled with colds the whole trip and did not stay up late. We saved what energy we had to making the most of the excursions, like snorkeling and touring the islands.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The lounge duo was very good and the crew put on a talent show (which I missed), but I was told they did a good job.

Children's Programs

No kids on this cruise

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The waiters made it a point of remembering your name and dining preferences by the third day. The entire crew was always friendly and willing to help. The captain set a good example for the crew by being extremely gracious and outgoing. The Destination Manager spent an hour every day explaining the following days excursions and what spaces were still available on each. They never over booked their excursions so you never felt like a sardine. They allowed only 6 to 8 people on each excursion so they were mostly booked up. The cabin stewards were friendly, efficient and worked their butts off. The laundry service went above and beyond by pressing everything, including my undershirts.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
A beautiful ship that was wonderfully engineered. The stabilization elevators that extended below the waterline, if the seas got choppy, kept the ship on an even keel with little side to side motion. The common areas were always kept clean. The crew/passenger ration was 101 crew to 138 passengers. It's no wonder the overall experience seemed so personal.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
For such a small room it was very efficient and didn't feel cramped. The bathroom was also laid out efficiently with no problem for two people. My only reservation was they should shampoo the carpets more frequently.

Ship tip

This cruise ship sets the standard for personalized cruise ship experience. I recommend getting a room on the lowest deck (Deck 1) and in the center of the ship. In rough seas these rooms experience the least motion and the water level outside the portal is exciting experience, especially in rough seas. Bring plenty of day and night cold medication; colds seem to spread easily.

Ports of call

Papeete, Tahiti

4 out of 5
The only excursion offered on the island of Tahiti was canceled. The port itself is busy with lots of traffic; difficult to walk around to find good restaurants so we tended to stay at the hotel which was nice but expensive. We had purposely booked an additional day in Tahiti at the end of the cruise so we could tour the island but with our colds we preferred to spend the day at the resort's beach and in their infinity pool. I can't honestly compare Tahiti to the other islands we had more experiences on.

Moorea, French Polynesia

4 out of 5
We rented a small two person jeep (apart from the Wind Star excursions), to drive around the island. The island is very lush, tropical and beautiful. The jungle's flora comes right down to the narrow two lane road that circles the island. There is very little commercial development on any of the islands so you fell like you are driving through a tropical jungle. We did our first snorkeling excursion here but after discovering the coral was bleached and not very colorful we canceled the Drift Snorkeling excursions for the following days and booked cultural tours instead; but we still got plenty of swimming and snorkeling in. Snorkeling with the friendly sharks was exciting.

Raiatea, French Polynesia

4 out of 5
Another lush tropical island with interesting vanilla and black pearl plantations. Interestingly, the plantations are all pretty much family run operations and don't feel like large agro-businesses even though the Society Islands supply 80% of the world's vanilla. The water and air temperatures throughout all of French Polynesia is perfect, at least when we were there. Water about 82 degrees and air 88 degrees. Only need to bring one pair of long pants for formal dining in the evenings.

Taha'A, Society Islands

4 out of 5
The cruise rented one of the small motus (islands), for a barbecue lunch which was delightful. The small motu islands have no vegetation except coconut trees, so you can see through the trees from one side of the island to the other (most of the motus are only a couple acres in size). The islands are all soft white sand. The water stays shallow out to 100 yards; good for swimming and snorkeling. The shallow reefs make the ocean surf break out a couple hundred yards so the water next to the beach is a calm as a lake.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

4 out of 5
Most of the over-the-water bungalows you see in pictures are a part of the different resorts so they are fairly hidden from view. The lagoons, over which the bungalows are built, are fun to swim in but can get boring because there isn't much coral or fish to see. The bungalows are expensive, like $1,000 or more per night. We did an Aqua Safari excursion on Bora Bora, which is diving with an air helmet. This allows you to go a little deeper then snorkeling, but again, with the coral rather drab in color and the helmet hose limiting your range, after 10 minutes it got repetitive. If I had to do it again, I would have taken the scuba diving excursions instead of the snorkeling.

Huahine, French Polynesia

4 out of 5
Another beautiful island. This island is where the natives go to vacation. We hired a taxi to show us around the island which I highly recommend. For about $150 he took us around the whole island and stopped at all the museums and points of interest - like the plantations tours. He even patiently waited and never made us feel rushed. It took about 4 hours to tour the island. The Polynesian people are generally good looking; very open, kind and gracious. The cruise rented another motu for the last evening and provided an extensive barbeque. They also included fire dancers for entertainment.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
It was as good as could be expected. The ships crew handled the luggage down to the dock so you didn't have to take it down the gangway.

Traveler Photos

Snorkeling With Sharks Fire Dancers Typical Motu Banquet on Deck View From Cabin Portal Aft Veranda Dining Room Cabin Cabin Prospective
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