First time Windstar cruisers Lynn Eve Komaromi and Patrick Lazaro share their experience on board Wind Surf on their Flavors of the Caribbean cruise.
This past fall, my boyfriend, Patrick, and I realized that our work schedules would allow us both to get away for a vacation at the start of the year. How about an adventure trip such as a bike tour, I asked him. How about just laying on a beach somewhere, he countered. Thinking back to one of our favorite vacations – when a good friend hosted us and six other friends on a Turkish gulet for a week – I suggested a cruise. Patrick was skeptical, but when I told him we could probably find a company that had smaller, more intimate ships, he was game.
Neither one of us had been on a cruise before – and big ships with thousands of passengers are just not our idea of fun. But after a quick Internet search, we discovered Windstar – and it looked like it could give us the relaxation and adventure we both yearned for and within a budget we could afford. A voyage through the Panama Canal seemed ideal, but sadly, Windstar was fully booked for the dates we needed. So we “settled” for the Flavors of the Caribbean, excited to visit a part of the world we had never been to.
Our week aboard Wind Surf exceeded all of what we expected a cruise to be. The staff was always gracious and accommodating. Our cabin was not the closet I anticipated – instead, we slept well each night in our comfortable bed, and the cabin had all the amenities of a four-star hotel. There were plenty of spots around the ship to escape with a book – be it a deck chair with views of the isles drifting by, or a seat in one of the many bars and lounges where our drinks were constantly refreshed.
Shore excursions were a treat. Patrick and I marveled how the staff set up a delicious barbecue one day for all the passengers on a private beach, while the ship was anchored just a tender ride away. We loved visiting a new island practically every day – and having the time to either explore on our own, or to choose among the many organized offerings of Windstar. What we liked best was that we felt we were going off the beaten path. Because of the small size of the ship, we were able to go places the big ships can't. A favorite was the island of St. Lucia, where we were able to wander the island like locals, and I got to dust off my little-used French – merci bien!
The food was excellent, and we never tired of the ever-changing menu. The staff was particularly attentive. One night during dinner, I wasn't feeling well, so we headed back to the room – where dinner was then brought to us. The next night, feeling much better after a good night's sleep, one of the staff – who I hadn't even seen the night prior – asked me if I was feeling better. It was clear that it is the business of all the staff to know and care for the guests. Great touch.
Finally, we loved getting to know our fellow passengers. We befriended another couple from Washington D.C. – also first-timers on Windstar – whom we hope to see again later this year. And we met quite a few Windstar “regulars,” who as experienced cruisers, could attest that Windstar stands head and shoulders above the typical cruise experience.
Patrick and I are already plotting our next voyage in the next year or so. It will likely be Panama!
Lynn Eve Komaromi and Patrick Lazaro
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