As most of you know, I retired the end of April, 2016 and had wanted to take a retirement vacation. After searching, comparing and convincing the Colonel that a small, boutique cruise ship would be perfect, we were off on January 5, 2017. I love cruises and have been on several big ships but the Colonel didn’t want to be on a huge floating hotel with lots of people. Some very good friends spoke highly of the Windstar fleet of smaller yachts and sailing ships so we decided to give them a go. We were booked on the Windstar that sailed the Windward Islands from Barbados. It was nothing short of wonderful.
We flew to Barbados from Fort Lauderdale, the day before the shooting there. I swear, this was divine intervention. We spent 2 days at the Accra resort before boarding the ship on Saturday. Embarkation was easy and the ship was very easy to navigate. The staff was excellent and we met so many interesting people.
Windstar Cruises are for those who just want luxury, 5 star food, time to relax and read and yes, take advantage of the daily drink specials with only 148 other passengers and 95 crew members. No evening shows, tiny casino, one lounge, one dining room….all quietly elegant. Best of all, when the wind was just right, the captain put up the sails and we glided through the water with little engine noise.
Ports of call included smaller islands that the big cruise ships could not visit. Few shops in port but the scenery was breath-taking and the water was crystal clear turquoise. We were each issued snorkeling gear to keep for the entire cruise. Paddle boards, kayaks and other water toys were there for our use too. While anchored in port, the back of the ship would be open and huge floats were in the water, tied to the ship, to sun upon.
The Piton Mountains near St. Lucia Sunset at Sea
The pool deck was turned into the Candles Restaurant most evenings. You could dine there once during the voyage under the stars. The food was grilled on deck and the smell mingled with the salt air. No upcharge for this experience. We took advantage of this during our day at sea and found the steaks to be as good as or better than Chops or Ruth Chris.
We went zip lining in St. Lucia and after the first few runs, my heart slowed down and I enjoyed the ride rather than trying to slow myself down. So glad we did that excursion! I would try that sport again.
I came home relaxed, refreshed, happy and ready to face 2017. I would go again on one of their ships because of the unstructured time, beautiful destinations and time to relax. However, be forewarned that you will overly indulge and pay the price when you return. I’m back at Orange Theory Fitness 3 mornings per week, walking at least 3 other mornings, wearing my Fitbit and paying attention to my steps, abstaining from adult beverages for a while and eating less! My body is not happy! Oh, but the payback is so worth it.
Here is the Windstar website. Click on the word Windstar. Visit, dream and book a cruise with them!