Taking a Windstar Cruise is truly “180 degrees from ordinary”.
The itineraries are unique because these are smaller ships that can dock in ports that larger ocean liners are unable to. On the last Windstar Cruise that we experienced we visited the following ports: Nafplio Greece, Monevasia Greece, Gythion Greece, Katakolon Greece, Corfu Greece, Kotor Montenegro, Dubrovnik Croatia, Zadar Croatia and Rovinj Croatia.
In Nafplio we climbed to the Palamidi Castle and walked the cute town. In Monevasia we explored the castle ruins and the meandered the alleys for food and souvenirs. In Gythion we experienced the Dyros Caves. Traveling via a row boat we went through the gorgeous caves! In Corfu we drove uphill to a traditional village and were in awe of the driving on these incredibly narrow streets. In Kotor don’t miss the Lady of the Rocks tiny island and lunch in Perast was so romantic. Dubrovnik is always a favorite destination. From Dubrovnik by speedboat we went to Kolocep Island and tried some local beer! Of course, no cruise would be complete without a day of sea. Great opportunity to sleep a bit later, have a massage, and catch up on some reading. Not to mention relaxing in the pool and chatting with our fellow cruise mates. Zadar was a fun day to jump in the ocean from the pier with the locals! Rovinj, we can create a private tour for our guests that was just wonderful filled with wine and olive oil tasting, cities of Pula and Porec and Old Town Rovinj. In Rovinj you actually need the kuna to buy ice-cream!
Windstar is one of three large sailing vessels on the high seas…intimate with a maximum of 150 people and you can visit the bridge and chat with the captain at any time!
Let’s chat about the food on board. The words that comes to mind are delicious, plentiful and beautifully served. Breakfast can be ordered from the menu or picked up from the buffet. You can enjoy your breakfast inside or sit on the gorgeous patio and watch the scenery go past.
In Katakolon Greece we went on a tour from the ship (always interesting and well ran). During the tour we experienced Greek dancing, authentic Greek food and toasting with some ouzo. Fun was had by all of our new friends sailing on Windstar with us.
For dinner, there are two options on board. Candles, which is an outside venue and the main dining room. Both with spectacular food and wine list. At Candles (steakhouse), one can watch the sunset while being served a spectacular dinner. Service on board is truly special. Within 24 hours of being on board crew members know your names, what you like and how you like your food (and coffee) prepared!
A special night on board is the Deck Barbeque. It is truly unbelievable. I am embarrassed to say that the lobster is so delicious on one cruise I devoured 13 of them! The flank steak is perfectly prepared and the side dishes are always being replenished. After this delicious bbq there is a dance party. The fun on board truly is continuous. There is nothing like seeing the crew dance to YMCA!! A sight you truly do want to see.
One of the crew suggested if we are up early (who sleeps anymore) then we should be on deck at 6:23am to see the sun rise. So of course, we thought why not? It was a chilly morning and so quiet (everyone else was sleeping). And there was the most magnificent sun rise on the open sea. Just breathtaking. Again, another very special entity of being on a Windstar cruise. To have a crew member suggest this, be up with you, and bring you coffee while a few of us quietly watched the sun rise. Truly a special moment.
Later that morning, we were able to pretend we were on the Titanic (not the sinking part) the part where you climb to bow spirit off the front of the ship. A bit scary, but so worth the view…not so much the picture due to the wind but beautiful to see the sea from the vantage point!
I never thought that I would participate in the water sports off the stern of the ship. They literally open the back of the ship and it becomes the marina. You can just jump off in the middle of the ocean and swim to a trampoline, or go on a paddle board or kayak. Another unique experience on a Windstar Cruise.
The sail away on Windstar is emotional while listening to Vangelis 1492: Conquest of Paradise. Google it…but being on board while listening and sailing away from a port is just so special. Not to mention while sipping champagne with your new friends! I could go on and on about how special and unique a Windstar Cruise is, but to experience it is something beyond words.