by smmmarti guide
October 11, 2000
The staff to guest ratio on these ships is high, which puts everyone, staff included, into a good frame of mind. Though the hours are long and free time sparse for the ships' crew, at the end of each day in port we were consistently welcomed back at the gangplank by our favorite waiters and bartenders with their cheerful, sunny smiles, as if they had spent the entire afternoon waiting for our return.
Each evening as the ship draws up her anchor and sets to sea, the sails are unfurled to the theme music from the movie, "Christopher Columbus" as guests seem to sink into a more relaxed state with memories they are leaving behind from the day on shore at the same time imagining with anticipation what the next port will bring.
The chefs on Windstar create a nightly feast of exquisitely prepared continental and local cuisines, theme selections to correspond with the port of call and a "sail light" or vegetarian offering always available. The wine selection is extensive and a wine steward will make highly knowledgable suggestions. If you do not finish your bottle of wine, it will be corked and stored until the next evening's dinner.
Though it is not large enough to warrant any large production shows, talented musicians entertain nighly in the "show lounge" and the outdoor Compass Rose bar. A complimentary CD and video library is packed with great movies including the old classics and is a popular option for evening entertainment or days at sea. There are no formal nights but instead an air of "casual chic" (as described in the brochure)for both days and nights aboard.
On days when the ship is anchored and the conditions are right, a sports platform drops down from the back of the ship and the athletic or adventuresome are invited to water ski, wind surf, jet ski, scuba dive or ride the banana all under the guidance of the professional and low-key staff.
There is a salt water pool with hot tubs, a small but adequate fitness center, and on the fleet's larger ship, the Wind Surf, there is a full-service spa featuring the most luxurious treatments around. The casino is always the most interesting place to be after dinner and somehow the stakes and comraderie are much higher than one finds in Vegas, making it more fun than the typical roll of the dice.
I'm not sure I can think of anything I would change about the Windstar. Maybe make the bathrooms bigger and toilets more quiet. But this is life at sea, after all and about as good as it gets.
From journal Ephesus - Historical, Cultural Masterpiece