WINDSTAR: What Becomes a (Star) Legend Most?

There are activities galore. There’s choice of a mixology class or morning stretch (with Georgi whom I nickname Gumby; later, back on the ship, he’ll lead core conditioning Pilates). I could play bocce ball or challenge myself with a Steiner Fitness Program. There’s an Officer vs. Guest volleyball tournament; the sign-up sheet reads, “We do not take this lightly: This is a serious competition!ˮ Other options, of course, include snorkeling or simply sequestering yourself in one of the umbrella-shaded cabanas.
Back on the boat, I realize with a start that the week is about to end. The Captain gives a farewell address in The Lounge that evening, “I feel like Batman,ˮ he announces. “Three costume changes already and I’m exhausted .ˮ As he so aptly puts it, “Windstar: 180 degrees from the ordinary… We managed to escape the people from Cunard and Carnival, take you to destinations the big boys can’t get to.ˮ
True to form, he finishes with a bang: his version of Letterman’s Top Ten Lists. “I compiled a list of questions… Of the 120 or so some were quite intelligent, some were from out of left field…
1. Does the crew sleep on a yacht?
2. Has the ship ever sunk?
3. Does the sun always rise on the left side?
4. What do they do with the ice sculptures once they melt? (We’re proud of our commitment to the environment. We take the water as we collect it and place it in your bottles)
5. Is it fresh or saltwater in the toilets?
6. Is this island surrounded by water?
7. Does the yacht ever dock in the middle of town? (That would be a career-stopper for me)
8. Should I put my luggage outside the cabin before or after I go to sleep?
9. How do we know which photographs are ours?
10. When are you guys gonna get cable TV? (When they make cables long enough)
Later that evening, the executive staff hosts a complimentary cocktail party in the Star Bar to thank guests for their patience with the occasional tender problems. And Captain Reville makes yet another costume change and displays another talent: Reemerging sans jacket, guitar strapped on his back, he sings rock standards accompanied by Tori and Dave of Splash.
Afterward, I wander the deck and realize I hadn’t taken advantage of the Open Bridge policy: Guests can visit anytime except during maneuvering. It’s a rather eerie experience at night, dark save for the many consoles lit up in a rainbow of colors. The Officer on Watch is on his first tour from Newcastle, and we discuss the slight culture shock going from Britain to the Caribbean.
It seems a fittingly different, even intimate way to bid the Star Legend farewell. Granted, there are some things I’d change. There’s no lap pool, for one, rather an oversize plunge pool. The food and even the vaunted service can be uneven (though I suspect they’re still ironing kinks out from the overhaul). The forward cabins often experience turbulence during rough seas, despite stabilizers.
Nonetheless, Windstar’s high-style yet low-key approach promises a legend-in-the-making for Caribbean cruise aficionados.

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