Suzi Hunter, Windstar’s Product Marketing Manager, recently sailed on the Culinary & Wine Delights of Spain voyage through Lisbon, Cádiz, Málaga, Almería, Cartagena, Valencia, Mallorca, and Barcelona. She came back with great stories and dozens of photos, some of which she’s shared below:
I recently returned from our wine-themed cruise to Southern Spain. As a product marketing manager for Windstar Cruises, I was lucky enough to have landed such an adventurous and fun-filled opportunity to help design this program. So to be able to attend on board and see it come to fruition was exciting to say the least. Sure, we executed all of the planned wine tastings, wine lectures, wine pairing dinners, local entertainment, culinary and wine-themed shore excursions, and Spanish cooking demonstrations — and don’t get me wrong, they were fantastic — but surprisingly that wasn’t exactly what left me with my biggest take away…
As soon as I returned to the office, I was greeted by eager colleagues from various departments wanting to know how Windstar’s wine cruise went. I responded that overall it went well and of course we learned some things to apply to future wine cruises. But what I struggled to put into words was the magic that transpired onboard Wind Surf during the week of April 19th. This was not a standard cruise. It was an 8-day party with good friends sharing fine wine and food, interesting conversation, and dancing—lots of dancing … before and after dinner!
Everyone met daily prior to dinner for wine tasting and to catch up on the day’s events. During the wine pairing dinners, guests sat at tables mixed with others outside of their traveling parties. Early on I realized that this was the ultimate social experience. These guests were lively and ready to exercise their palates while enjoying the company of others and making new friends. This themed cruise drew not only those who have cruised Windstar often (one couple was on their 27th Windstar cruise!) but also those new to Windstar. And best of all, through the entire group the level of camaraderie was palpable and I feel honored to have been a part of it.
Seamus Mullen, guest chef with SAVEUR Magazine, gives his first cooking demonstration. During the voyage, guests enjoyed two cooking demonstrations with Chef Mullen.
From left to right, Windstar Chef Eddie leads a market tour in Cádiz, and Victoria Ordonez, wine expert and a member of Spain’s largest wine exporting family, leads a wine lecture in Málaga. Pictured below, Flamenco dancers take to the stage for a night of entertainment in Almería.
The daily collection of wine glasses set out for guests.
Windstar CEO Hans Birkholz joined the voyage in Valencia, and he is pictured here speaking with Jorge Ordonez. Jorge is one of the United State’s largest importers of Spanish wines, and he hosted two special dinners and lead guests through two wine lectures during the voyage.
Guests mingle during a wine pairing dinner. The first course served during the dinner featured Mission figs with blue cheese, Serrano ham cones with migas, quail eggs, crispy Cabrales, and a phyllo sandwich.
Jack from Jorge Ordonez’s office discusses wines during the pairing dinner.
SAVEUR Guest Chef Seamus Mullen prepares Paella while guests enjoy a wine tasting during our final Sail Away.