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Cruise Ship Information

Introduced in 1988, Windstar Cruises’ Wind Spirit is one of two virtually identical four-masted sailing megayachts (msy) in the fleet  but the designation belies the vessels unique rigging. Unfurling in two minutes at the push of a button, billowing white sails reach to the sky. All functions are operated from the bridge by computer microchips and navigational devices. The unusual “open-bridge” operation allows guests to drop by and acquaint themselves with the veteran captains and officers who demonstrate the ship’s intriguing capabilities to modern day explorers.
 
The msy Wind Spirit is a motor sailing yacht, sailing as a cruise ship for Windstar Cruises. She is one of an unusual class of only three vessels (msy Wind Star, msy Wind Spirit and msy Wind Song), designed as a modern cruise ship but carrying an elaborate system of computer-controlled sails on four masts
 
Wind Spirit 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 an update of the public rooms’ décor with new furnishings, upholstery, art, lighting, wall coverings, carpeting, ceiling finishes, window treatments, and floor coverings. 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. The 148-passenger Wind Star was joined by sister ships the msy Wind Song in 1987, and msy Wind Spirit in 1988. A new era in luxury cruising was now being pioneered by Windstar Cruises. Wind Song/Spirit/Star Passenger Capacity: 148 passengers (based on double occupancy). Wind Spirit Destinations Baltic Sea, Greece & Turkey,
 
 Italy, Spain, Monacco, Trans-Atlantic,  during winters Caribbean, Tahiti and South Pacific.
 
Atmosphere on board 
As chic, trendy and sophisticated as the people who sail on it, Wind Spirit is a 148-passenger cruise ship with lovely white sails on deck. It was built in 1988, but when Xanterra Parks and Resorts acquired the Windstar line in 2011, it gave the ship -- along with sisters Wind Star and Wind Surf -- an $18 million refurbishment in 2012 to keep it fresh and youthful. In the cabins, creaky old bathrooms have been spruced up with granite countertops, high-piled towels and fancy showerheads. New combination DVD/CD/iPod players have upped the ante in the tech toys department, too.
 
During the refurbishment, The Restaurant was redesigned and renamed AmphorA, and a new menu was implemented. The Pool Bar was revamped to create additional alfresco seating for sunset dining at Candles Grill, with a new awning and deck furniture. The reception area was updated, and The Lounge got new hardwood flooring and a new AV system.
 
What hasn't changed, however, is the onboard experience. The cruise line has stuck to its core concept: a balance of small-ship features -- low passenger occupancy, high guest-to-crew ratios, personalized service -- and more big-ship ones, particularly where pricing is involved. Excursions and alcoholic beverages are additional charges, though water and soft drinks are included. The onboard atmosphere is just the right mix of upscale and laid-back; Wind Spirit combines the highest levels of food and service with a single open seating and casual attire.
 
If you're seeking a romantic escape, these ships are sublime. The sails are computerized and not really necessary for navigation or power, but who cares when the effect is exquisite? (When conditions are perfect, the engines are cut, and the ships are completely wind driven.) If your fantasy is making a spectacular entry into some of the best ports of the Caribbean or Eastern Mediterranean while sipping a glass of bubbly on deck, this may be your cruise experience.
 
Plus, beyond the romance of cruising on a real sailing vessel, you benefit from the small ship's access to otherwise unreachable ports. Wind Spirit offers unique itineraries that include ports of call both on and off the mainstream grid, as well as plenty of active adventures ashore. During a recent cruise to the Greek Isles and Turkey, most of the time Wind Star cruise places and only the ship in port in the majority of the destinations, allowing passengers to explore without being harangued by thousands of passengers from the mega-ships. Many of Wind Spirit's passengers wouldn't be caught dead on a conventional cruise ship, opting for bonding with other well-traveled couples and enjoying the excellent water sports offered right off the ship
 
Family with Kids/Teens
Windstar's cruises are typically considered voyages for adults. As such, there are no children's programs or facilities onboard their vessels. In fact, on Windstar's website is says "children, especially infants and toddlers, are not encouraged aboard Windstar cruises. The intimate ship size and unregimented atmosphere are adult in orientation and do not provide for the care, supervision, or entertainment of children...Windstar will not accept reservations for infants who will be 24 months or younger at the time their travel with Windstar commences."
Past Passenger Programs
Windstar. Multi-tiered programs provide all repeat guests with newsletters and a "welcome onboard" cocktail reception or free drink but then set milestones for additional awards. Most of the major lines among others -- Windstar offer this type of past passenger setup.The Foremast Club is Windstar Cruises' past passenger loyalty program. Please see below for Foremast Club member benefits.
Foremast Club Benefits (you become a member after your first cruise):
 5% member-only discount on all voyages
 Private cocktail reception with ship officers and Foremast members
Invitations to dine with the Captain and officers
Exclusive member-only private sales throughout the year
Members-only onboard events and private receptions
 
Fitness And Spa
All the way aft on Deck 2 is the Wind Spirit’s Fitness Centre.  Although it may be small, it’s unusually well-stocked, and should be able to accommodate any type of workout.  Of course, you can also opt to take your workout ashore: bicycles can be rented from the ship in most ports at a cost of $35 per half-day. Located portside, aft on Deck 2, the Fitness Centre may be small, but it still boasts a vast array of equipment.
 
Wind Spirit’s spa is tucked away on the starboard side of the lounge, all the way forward.  In fact, it’s remarkably easy to miss, but you’ll want to pay close attention if you’re looking to indulge yourself on your cruise.  While not as elaborate as some of the mega-spas found on the mega-ships, all the popular treatments are available here, from traditional massages to acupuncture to facials and beauty treatments.
 
Food & Dining
The Veranda One of the prettiest rooms aboard Wind Spirit, The Veranda offers up both breakfast and lunch in an attractive space surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows.
 
Both meals can be taken as a buffet, or by ordering individual menu items from your dedicated server.  Guests can also sit indoors or at one of the ample tables just outside, within view of the sea and surrounded by the sounds of the ocean and the gentle flapping of the sails in the wind.During the evenings, The Veranda and its outdoor seating area are transformed into Candles, Windstar’s fantastic, no-surcharge specialty restaurant. In fact, during the seven days cruises not many passengers prefer to eat inside at the Veranda; almost all passengers choice outdoors.  Great service and excellent food are on the menu here!
Aft Pool and the Pool Bar. While the pool itself is a touch on the small side, it serves its intended purpose well, and is wonderfully refreshing when sailing to hot climates.  Flanking the pool, the hot tub is also well utilized and features a small waterfall that empties into the pool.
 
Entertainment
Entertainment onboard Wind Spirit begins each evening with before dinner cocktails and appetizers in the Lounge. All the way aft on Deck 3 is the Wind Spirit’s attractive Lounge. Relatively quiet during the day, the Lounge comes alive at night, when soft mood lighting and refreshing nightcaps are accompanied by the ship’s resident pianist. Most cruise itineraries  musical and vocal entertainment  provided live music before and after dinner and at tea time. The music was varied and featured songs from several eras. The Wind Spirit Lounge has a small dance floor.
 
Staterooms
74 total staterooms 73 deluxe ocean-view staterooms and 1 deluxe owner’s cabin with queen beds (converts to 2 twins), and dining/sitting area. Some staterooms offer a 3rd berth and some side-by-side staterooms offer an adjoining private door (see reverse page).
Wind Spirit Accommodations -- Suites: deluxe ocean-view suites, with queen beds (converts to 2 twins). All suites offer 2 bathrooms, a separate dining/sitting area and a 3rd berth.
Staterooms: ocean-view staterooms, with queen beds (converts to 2 twins), and a sitting area. Some offer a 3rd berth.
Cabin Amenities: Closed circuit color television, videocassette and CD players, personal safe, refrigerator, mini-bar, international direct-dial phones, private bathrooms with shower toiletries, hair dryer, vanity and plush robes. Each stateroom is equipped with one standard U.S. 110 and European 220 volt (converter recommended), 60 cycle AC electric outlets.
 
Tipping
Windstar automatically charges each passenger a Hotel Service Charge, in the amount of $12 per person per day. This charge is automatically applied to each passenger's onboard expense account. This charge is used to compensate the various crew members that service you during your cruise, such as beverage servers, your wait staff, room stewards, laundry staff and galley staff. You are free to increase or decrease this charge, if you choose to do so (at the end of your cruise). You can do this by going to the main desk and requesting this to be done.
 
Windstar also adds a 15% Beverage Service Charge to any bar charges and dining room wine purchases
Fellow Passengers
Wind Spirit passengers are sophisticated, urbane and well traveled. Many still work full-time, and shorter Caribbean itineraries especially attract a younger, more active crowd. The average age is about 50, with half of them in the 35 to 55 age range. Many families also travel on the ship with older teens and college-age children.
 
Our recommendation
During the day, shorts and T-shirts are appropriate. At night, jeans, shorts, T-shirts, tank tops and tennis shoes are "forbidden" in the main dining room. (But we did see a few neat jeans slip through.) The written code is "casual elegance": Men generally don button-down shirts or collared shirts with dress pants, and women wear sundresses or capris with light sweaters or blouses. Bottom line: Leave tuxes and evening gowns at home. Otherwise, pretty much anything goes.