It’s not just a holiday (as they say in Europe) – a vacay- it’s an experience! It’s absolutely no ordinary cruise line; in fact, it is 180° from ordinary, as they say. There are several specialties that a cruiser can find aboard Windstar Cruises that are truly unique.
Do you love a cruise? You’ll be blown away (no pun intended) by Windstar.
Do you not like to cruise? You’ll still be a fan of Windstar (pun intended).
Oh, how we adore the wind and the stars, sailing on a Windstar Cruise. Let us count the ways!
>Small but mighty: Windstar’s fleet of six large yachts carry between 148 and 342 guests, and that’s all! For some Windstar cruises, there are just as many crew as guests on board. Talk about high class service!
>Live crew: You won’t find a friendlier crew. As Windstar says, these people were born with hospitality as their calling. Windstar’s crew sails far and above others. This is not the cruise for those who like to be incognito. When you arrive on board, the crew immediately begins calling you by name, which sets the tone for the friendliest cruise you’ve ever stepped aboard. At the end of a seven day cruise, you feel like you’ve known these friends forever and want to keep in touch with them. And while on board, guests are treated to one of the most entertaining crew talent shows: a night to remember.
>F&B for days: Windstar has a culinary program collaborating with the James Beard Foundation. Therefore, guests are guaranteed delicious dining options throughout each day. The breakfast buffet (much better than large cruise lines, believe me) offers a hearty meal to fill one up for a day exploring at port. Lunch is offered midday, however, most guests are out exploring an interesting port city or on an excursion. If you come back after lunch and still want to dine, because after all – unlimited food is included in the price of a cabin, you can simply order room service and even have it delivered to the pool deck. Dinners are exquisite from starter to dessert.
>Nonstop stops: There’s no easier way to visit many different islands or towns than aboard a Windstar Cruise. During the seven-day Greek Isles cruise, there are six ports of call, most of them stunning Greek islands, and a few of them sparkling coastal towns. Once you board your Windstar yacht and stow your bags, you’re visiting an array of unique destinations without even moving a carry-on.
>A++ Entertainment: Windstar creates nonstop entertainment for guests. Whether you’re coming back from a port or it’s a day at sea, you’ll find the daily schedule in your room which can include anything from a trivia game to cocktail piano music to the aforementioned crew talent show to nightly dancing and singing in the lounge. Windstar’s signature pool deck barbecue and deck dancing night is filled with memories to last a lifetime. There’s truly nothing like dancing to fantastic music on the deck of a cruising sailboat in the middle of the sea, surrounded by new friends.
>Sea it all: Excursions are offered at each port and provide the most convenient way to indulge in the history and the area’s most precious assets. This is an additional fee, so if you choose to not purchase an excursion, it is easy to explore a town on foot, by taxi, bus or even bike for hire. For those people who enjoy stretching their legs and getting out to have a local adventure, there’s just no more convenient way to dip in and be exposed to a new area.
>VIP all the way: Windstar is known for their complimentary Destination Discovery Events. During the Treasures of the Greek Isles cruise, guests are treated to an Evening in Ephesus in Kusadasi, Turkey. At this white linen catered dinner in front of the ancient Celsus Library, guests dine while listening to an orchestra amid candlelit ruins. There is absolutely no better way to get up close and personal to a very special destination, experiencing it like no other.
It’s Greek To Me
Let’s zero in on the Treasures of the Greek Isles seven-day cruise and the star-studded islands of port.
Mykonos– A gorgeous whitewashed island popping with bright colors, blue doors and burgundy bougainvilleas. Highlights include Little Venice, dotted with waterside restaurants and tiny boutique shops; a few public beaches that are easily accessible by foot; and the skinny walkways are exactly like the photos you’ve seen! Breathtaking!
Santorini– Just about everyone has heard of this Instagramable island. Perched high on the cliffs, the town of Oia (pronounced ee-ya) is the picturesque vision that many have seen in photos. Dotted with blue-domed churches, this island seems close to the sun. Very popular with tourists (more than 2 million per year, which is 90% of the island’s income), there’s an unforgettable photo op around every corner. Many of the restaurants overlook the deep blue sea and provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing midday lunch. You can either take the cable car (which only takes about three minutes and costs 6 euros) up to the top and back down again or walk the switchback road (588 steps) with the donkeys. Either way you choose, you will never forget your visit to Santorini.
Patmos– It’s the island where Saint John wrote the Book of Revelation, denoting it as the “Holy Island” in 1981 by the Greek parliament. Here, you can see the Monastery of Saint John and the Cave of Apocalypse, but you can also enjoy Skala Village and take a bus (2 euros per stop) to Kambos Beach, where you can enjoy the beautiful crystal clear water.
Nafplio– You might not have heard of this charming and clean seaside town, but you will revel in the chic boutique-lined cobblestone alleys and enjoy a row of restaurants that overlook the marina. Take a short walk to Arvanitia Beach where you can order a cold Greek draft beer and soak in the gorgeous Aegean Sea (you can float easily because of the high density of salt in the water).
This is just one of many experiences created by Windstar Cruises all over the world. Read more about their Land of the Midnight Sun cruise here. I’m on a mission to experience them all!
Ta leme (see you again in Greek)!
Cover photo from Windstar Cruises
Marika Flatt, Outstanding Austin Communicator 2021, is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She began her travel writing career in 2002 with Austin Woman Magazine and now writes their “The Texas Traveler” section. She can be seen as a contributor on TV shows across Texas, offering travel tips.