“I am the Captain, the master of the vessel… but I don’t do very much.ˮ
He clearly missed his calling as a stand-up comic. Myron gets the Indiana Jones theme. “Hotel Californiaˮ plays as Calvin takes a bow. “He came from a cruise line I can’t name for legal reasons but it has Caribbean in the name… He’s training to be a meteorologist. Now today was a training day. He took over at 10 o’clock and you saw the rainy results.. ˮ Chief Engineer Rick steps up to the accompaniment of the Mission Impossible theme. “I don’t do technical,ˮ Captain quips, “I say things like ‘put out the oars.’ˮ Chef Nilesh enters to the strains of “Cheeseburger in Paradise.ˮ “If your wife says you need to lose weight, blame Nilesh for your marital problems.ˮ And so on…
I opt for room service, hoping to get an early night’s sleep. The kitchen kindly prepares an appetizer-size portion of the marvelous beef short rib penne, then I segue into a glistening grilled cod with pineapple-mustard glaze and cilantro-mint chi michurri, beautifully counter-pointing sweet, sour and savory elements.
It feels like only minutes later that I’m gazing at the charming port of Gustavia on St. Barths. Windstar has organized a lovely snorkel trip around the point at Colombier. We then cruise to Anse St. Jean, where at my request we made reservations at the fabulous fabled Eden Rock, a longtime fave. I inhale the perfect truffle pasta and lobster carpaccio, washed down with an unimpeachable rosé de Provence.
When I return, I meet Chef Nilesh for an interview and galley tour (I’ll be exploring our next destination during the official group tour, scheduled for the next morning). He describes the market tour that he tries to organize at one port-of-call each cruise and some of the activities offered during a sea day, such as cooking classes and demos. He’s enthusiastic about the greater opportunity he has for interaction. “It’s important to share food knowledge and I encourage guests to eat healthily wherever possible. I tell them which food is good for which system… Asparagus is perfectly shaped: a spear that takes aim at carcinogens and free radicals (if you don’t mind the ammonia pee)… Blueberry is a great anti-oxidant, good for skin firmness and general detox.ˮ He’ll also offer cooking tips, such as which herbs to use in wood grilling, how to preserve oils, maintain fresh colors, and so on.
Windstar’s new 2016 Caribbean itineraries include our next stop, Montserrat. Windstar is the first cruise line to make regular calls to the port since the 1995 eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano that buried the island’s capital city of Plymouth (often dubbed the “Caribbean Pompeiiˮ). As Calvin notes proudly as we await our tender into Little Bay, “The beautiful thing is that we can visit destinations that you can’t on big ships.ˮ