to sea, come sail with me...
By Linda Coffman
any given weekend, Port Everglades is a beehive of cruise ship
activity. Surely the best vantage point for ship spotting is the observation deck atop Pier 66 and that's where we headed for
our first glimpse of the Wind Surf.
Making her first time call at Fort
Lauderdale, her five masts towered over even the mega-size cruise
liners berthed nearby. Dock-side,
the sleek "masted sail-yacht" MSY Wind Surf appeared much larger
than we expected. Even so, she is diminutive in comparison to other
cruise ships. Think royal yacht and come aboard.
thinking "yacht," our stateroom was a delightful surprise. Wind
Surf's 123 ocean view staterooms are a study in efficiency.
Thanks to their clever design, at 188 square feet they appear even
more spacious. On one wall, the hanging lockers ("closets"
to land-lubbers) are large enough for even the most aggressive
over-packer and contain shoe racks and shelves for gear. Next to open shelves containing the stereo and VCR are three small enclosed
cabinets; behind the bottom door is a personal safe. On the opposite
wall, the television is mounted on a swivel base, with more
shelves above it, and the vanity/desk contains drawers for ample
storage. Even the bedside table contains drawers. After a full day
ashore, there's plenty of space to accommodate the two
chairs and table for a quiet room service dinner en suite.
bathroom (okay... we're sailing, so it's called a "head") is
amazing—I can honestly say that two people can comfortably share
it and the shower is roomy enough for two.
Double the size of standard
staterooms, at 376 square feet, the 31 Wind
Surf suites have twice as much
storage, two bathrooms, and a generous sitting area. Three guests are easily
accommodated and the bedroom can be separated by a curtain for
touches in each stateroom are fresh flowers in a Rosenthal china vase,
plush terrycloth robes for use during the voyage, and bath amenities. All staterooms
and suites are equipped with a refrigerator/mini-bar and hairdryer.
Soothing sea, sky,
and earth tones dominate the Wind Surf's yacht club décor.
Nautical touches are found throughout, even woven into subtle carpet
patterns. The ingenious use of plants and unobtrusive partitions
create intimate spaces in the Wind Surf Lounge and adjacent Casino, yet leave sea views
unobstructed. Even more intimate and decidedly more romantic is
dancing under the stars on the deck adjoining the Compass Rose Bar.
Day or night, the
most enticing spaces on board are outdoors. What could be more
standing on a sun-warmed teak deck with billowing sails overhead and the sea
rushing by? Perhaps sipping a cool drink or unwinding in the hot tub
if that's your preference,
but let's not quibble here. As much as I admire the wood trimmed
interiors, ship models, and fun and funky artwork, I love the open
decks and lacy shadows cast by the intricate masts and rigging above
wind is therapeutic and the experience is nothing like that of a large
cruise ship, which towers above the ocean more than it sails on it."
Anita Potter of SmarterLiving.com
With only 308
guests on board, life is easy and sociable on Wind Surf. The
ship's size and atmosphere are conducive to friendly conversation.
This is unpretentious, laid-back cruising with style and flair. Leave
all your preconceived notions about "sailing" at home.
innovated the celebrity chef concept and has featured restaurateur
Joachim Splichal's creative cuisine for the past eight years. Dinner
takes on a new dimension for passengers accustomed to traditional
cruise ship practices—evening attire
is always casually elegant in the
Wind Surf Restaurant and Bistro and open-seating dining
mirrors the unstructured ambiance of a private club. Select one of
numerous tables for two or join new friends to compare the day's
experiences over a sumptuous meal prepared à la minute.
As an alternative,
the Sail Light selections created by chef Jeanne Jones are tempting. Fewer calories and
lower fat grams does not mean less satisfying.
fancy, may I suggest the Crème Brûlée for dessert... it's the best
I have ever tasted—on land or at sea.
Active by day and relaxed at night, Wind Surf guests enjoy exotic
ports of call, active adventures, and watersport activities followed
by restful evening pursuits. Attend a port lecture, enjoy cocktail and
dance music ranging from low-key to lively, and savor an after-dinner
cigar and brandy before retiring. Or do nothing at all, it's entirely
up to you.
Heady scents and
soothing sounds immediately put me in a mood to indulge myself.
WindSpa is an incredible
10,000 square feet devoted to sensuous pleasure, featuring treatments from head
(Indian Scalp Massage) to toe (Reflexology). In addition to the
pampering facials and massages, a full range of salon services are
offered by Steiner Leisure of London.
And if you just
can't leave your exercise routine at home, head to the fitness center
where there's a variety of equipment for a workout with a view.
What you WILL
activities and entertainment
passengers in all age groups; primarily active couples
not "required" but the service is so attentive that
passengers tip as they deem appropriate
Luxury cruises to popular destinations
near and far
sailing with a mere 2° lean
Center for group meetings
A library well
stocked with books, CDs, games, and videos
bridge" policy—guests are encouraged to join the Captain
and his officers at any time
pools and twin jacuzzis
What you WON'T
A lack of
choice—this is a small ship with some big ship options
for the physically challenged
activities for children
energy stage shows
BEST for last... ssshhhh!!!
Who needs a beach
when your ship carries her own private island? The best-kept
secret on Wind Surf is her elaborate water sports marina. Tucked away
aft, when Wind Surf anchors and the Water Sports Platform is
lowered the fun begins. Save your suitcase room for souvenirs, there's
no need to pack bulky snorkel gear—it's provided for your use during
the cruise. Water babies can participate in complimentary water
skiing, windsurfing, kayaking, and "banana boat" rides. The
only additional charge is for SCUBA diving.
A Windstar cruise
is a uniquely suited for couples who want to get away from it all at
sea without leaving shoreside comforts behind. It offers the very best
of both worlds.
Surf Photo Tour -->
(Click above for more than
two dozen photos)
self-furling, computer operated sails contain 26,881 square feet of
Dacron surface area and open in a mere two minutes
~ At 14,745 gross
registered tons, Wind Surf measures 535 feet in length, 66 feet
in breadth, and her five masts reach 222 feet above sea level
Wind Surf Fun Facts
2002 Linda Coffman
Photos--Courtesy Windstar Cruises & Mel Coffman