After having been on over 20+ cruises all over the world, on various itineraries, multiple cruise lines, and ships – I have to say, Windstar is one of my top favorites. Back in the summer of 2019 I booked a cruise in Tahiti with Windstar and was completely blown away by .. everything. Especially the food.
I just got back from cruising on the Star Breeze in the Caribbean and it was incredible.
People tend to think cruises are all gross buffets, but this simply isn’t true. Food varies on cruise lines, but Windstar gets it 100% right. I have never had better food on a cruise ship than when I am on board a Windstar cruise.
Cruising is more than food though and I want to share with you my absolute best tips for cruising with Windstar so you can get the most out of your amazing trip.
Best tips for cruising with Windstar
1. Book early – rooms sell out
One of the best parts of cruising with Windstar is that the ships are smaller than most cruise lines. Max capacity of guests is between 148-342. With the number of rooms being so small and it being such an incredible cruise, the rooms move fast. If you see a cruise you want., book it up!
2. Ships are small, but that is a good thing
It is very personalized and you will make friends. You will never get lost in the sauce and all the staff will know you and know what you like and don’t like. Now there is not a casino on board or all the crazy extras you find on massive ships, but you will never be bored either. You make friends, you have incredible meals, explore the ports of call, there is nightly entertainment, and bars!
3. Book excursions before getting on the ship
Due to the nature of the ships being so small AND they tend to visit a lot of ports that bigger cruise lines cannot get into, the excursions have limited spots. Book what you want as soon as possible because it is first come, first serve.
4. Get the “all-in” package
Highly recommend getting the “all-in” package. You get unlimited laundry, wi-fi and alcohol. I send my laundry out every night so I never have dirty clothes just piling up. An added bonus is that you could get on board with just a carry-on and get clothes washed.
But also having the wi-fi and unlimited alcohol is a major bonus. Every meal, every bar, your own minibar (stocked daily) – you can drink anywhere.
5. Pack light or don’t ..
You have the option of doing daily laundry (and it is included in the all-in package) but even if you don’t want to pack light, the space for clothing and items you bring on board is massive. I was just on the Star Breeze and had a walk in closet in addition to drawers around the room. There was no shortage of space.
6. Enjoy the INCLUDED room service
Most cruise lines do not include room service and have a fee of sorts (usually under $10 per delivery) BUT Windstar includes it. Around the clock you can get food.
My personal favorite is getting popcorn late at night when watching a movie.
7. Bring your own wine!
If you have a wine you love, bring it! Each cabin can bring up to 2 bottles for a seven night cruise. You just pay the corkage fee.
I always bring my own to have with a nice meal. I bubble wrap it and check it in my luggage. I have never had any issues, it transports nicely and I like to share it on board.
8. Try the James Bear award winning chef’s meals on board in the main restaurant
I cannot say enough great things about the food on board with Windstar. In the main dining room, each night they are open, the menu changes. On each menu there is a couple dishes that were put together by James Beard award winning chefs and you just know those dishes are going to be incredible.
But ALL the food is incredible. try everything.
9. Plan to go to 1-2 BBQ’s
Windstar is popular for having a beach BBQ day. I did this in Bora Bora and in St. Lucia and its a big deal. The crew bring out absolute everything – all the food, drinks, you can get massages in a tent on the beach, swimming, snorkeling, etc.
There is also a BBQ on board with live entertainment. Do not miss these events – these are so special and unique.
10. Get excited about the destinations
Because the Windstar ships are so much smaller than the mega cruise liners, they can get to islands that most of them cannot. You get a really unique experience that you may not have gotten with a big cruise line or unless you went on your own.
It is a very special experience to see some of the smaller islands and meet locals when you can.