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On board Wind Spirit now...I am SOLD on Windstar

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Well, the cruise came to an end this morning. It was a rocky ride last night and I miss the roll of the ocean already. Right now we are at the Manava resort in Papeete staying over night before taking Air France back to LA tomorrow morning. It has been quite overcast today but I hope the folks on board Wind Spirit this week has the weather we had last week. We are enjoying a beautiful view of Moorea from the Oceanside loungers. Perhaps we will see the Wind Spirit sail by. 


Dinner last night was a delicious lobster thermador followed by some great vanilla bean panacotta. 


We noticed that they have truffle garlic fries on the everyday menu so we had those also. A strange combination but delish. 


We woke this this morning and packed our bags so they were outside the door by 645 AM to be taken off the ship. Due the rain breakfast was brought to the Amora dining room. 


I absolutely loved this cruise so much. For those that have been, you understand. For those on the fence about going, you will not be sorry. I started this thread a few days ago whilst on the yacht saying I am sold on Windstar; I still feel the same. Such a great value. The extras thrown in (motus rented by cruise, bbq on island, bbq and candles onboard, included soft drinks and cappuccino) make this line a really strong value. 


We don't really drink alcohol and aren't 'cheapskates' but our final bill was $194 I think. For the gratuities. As far as costs go (not to be offensive as some don't like to discuss pricing, but to help others budget): cruise cost $2,000 each, air $1,200 each.  We booked private excursions and prepaid those along with our pre and post hotels ($300/night). I would guess that our excursions were about $900 total, car rental Moorea ($120) and we probably spent another $500 on souvenirs, gifts and tips. We exchanged $500US at the airport in Tahiti for $470 French francs and still have $150 left. All in cost was about $8500 for two. Yikes! I think that's the first time I've put all the pricing together. Airfare is what stings the most so use points if you can. Glad we paid as we went along. 


In the market place in Papeete (second floor) there is a pearl shop where you choose your pearls and they make jewelry for you in about an hour. My wife chose her pearls and had a bracelet made of the 14 pearls she chose. The pearls are about 12mm and not perfect but she finds them pretty. The pearls are in baskets based on individual pearl price. From $2 to $150 each. She chose $4 pearls and the bracelet is actually lovely! All in cost was around $58. Crazy. Price of costume jewelry and makes for a nice inexpensive keepsake. 


Taxi cost from port to Manava hotel was $27; $23 for taxi and $1 for each bag. Cost for taxi to the airport in the morning is about the same. 


Thanks for hanging out with me during this fabulous cruise. My wife always says for every trip "it's the trip of a lifetime!". She was right. 

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19 hours ago, Kate-AHF said:

Oh my.... that is SO up our alley!  Bookmarked, and notation on the spreadsheet already done.  Many thanks! 


One good turn deserves another... so in case you will be stopping in Barcelona sometime in the future, I will share the best wine & tapas tour in the area: https://www.wineventuresbarcelona.com/ 


If you can work it in DO IT. The trip on the ferry across the the Asian side was fascinating, completely different feeling. In addition, the bakery they stop at early in the tour is amazing we bought stuff and made the rest of the ship jealous! for a first short trip I'd do one of the central  Mosques,  the cistern (which is on the way and doesn't take long) and if you possibly have time the archeological museum which is also right there - they have a great terrace for lunch.

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I will try very hard to make that tour Milepig.  It really sounds wonderful.  This cruise for us is the annual "Culture and Cuisine" cruise our TA puts together every year for 8 client couples (usually on Seabourn, but for 2020 its Windstar for the first time).  I will need to see what he has up his sleeve for us while in Istanbul before I can contact the tour operator to try to set it up. 


I will also look into the tours you mentioned for the next time we are in Barcelona.  But you should consider David for his Penedes tour  as well.  Not only were the wineries private and stunning settings, the tiny tapas restaurant he took us to will live in our memories.  Just Mom and Dad, with Mom in the kitchen.  The little dishes just kept coming, and when Mom found out I was a fanatic about octopus, she made yet another couple of dishes just for me.

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THANK YOU so much Cruise addict, for your enthusiastic review. You really captured the essence and wonder of cruising FP on Wind Spirit. BTW you were quoting prices....for 17 days in Nov/Dec our cruise was $12k including air and gratuities, but not including what we spent on independent excursions of which there were a lot. Thought for that length of time basking in perfection it was an amazing bargain.


It's tough coming down from this kind of nirvana. Thanks again and wishing you the very best.

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Forgot to mention that while in Huahine we did go to the water platform. We saw that some folks were tubing and being pulled by one of the zodiacs. Asked Shane if we could take it for a spin and he said it would be ready in ten minutes. I asked how much was the cost and he smiled and said it was included. Nice! It was a blast. 


Also saw saw some people wakeboarding with another zodiac. Noticed they have mountain bikes and other toys also. The kayaks were in the water along with some large foam sun beds. Think 16'x16' giant foam rafts. These were popular with several on each chatting away. 


We we brought our own snorkel gear but my friend used a snorkel and fins from the ship for the week and this is where she signed for it and returned it. 


Here is a a photo of a small part of the on deck bbq spread. The grilled lobster and lamb is the last area you get to past the suckling pig so save room on your plate. Other photo is of us during dinner in Amphora one night and at the island bbq. 




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Thank you Cruiseaddict1971 for including the info on the water platform and snorkel usage. I was wondering if I should bring my old worn gear but now I won't. I look forward to using those toys at least once during our cruise in July. Glad you had a great time and it looks like someone got a beautiful pearl necklace for a souvenir!

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Great read Cruiseaddict! Like you, we've also done 30+ on the larger lines; we got hooked on Windstar during our January cruise on the Surf. About an hour after setting foot aboard the Surf and adjusting to the smaller size, we felt at home and didn't want to leave. We didn't hesitate to book two more including a San Diego to Puerto Vallarta sailing in Oct. Sincr we live in SD so it will be nice to sail from our home port! If I could just get some of my cruise buddies to try Windstar....

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