This was an advertorial I wrote that appeared in AAA Going Places magazine that celebrates the benefits of a luxury cruise line.
*Please Note: The last name “Schlesman” in the above byline was my married name at the time this piece was published.
Imagine boarding a yacht bearing five majestic masts adorned in crisp white sails. Picture yourself sitting on a polished wooden deck as salt-tinged breezes caress your skin. A steward who knows your name and favorite drink hands you a fragrant plate of sorbet served in an artfully carved piece of tropical fruit.
The msy Wind Surf, a luxury motor-sail-yacht (smy), is one of four such vessels in the Windstar fleet–a cruise line offering experiences “180 degrees from ordinary.” The ship’s two-guests-to-one service ratio ensures that each guest receives individual attention equal to that experienced on a private yacht. A friendly staff member will greet you by name armed with morning coffee and a muffin on the Veranda or a refreshing, lemon-scented icy towel as you bask in the afternoon sun.
Savor a several-course meal of gourmet delights in your stateroom or enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail in the Wind Surf Lounge. Pamper yourself and a loved one with a couples massage at the Windspa, research the next day’s port in the ship’s library or relax in the main deck’s pool or hot tub. Take your chances at the onboard casino before slipping between Egyptian cotton sheets with a thread count so high you’ll swear they’re silk. Drift off to sleep to the sound of soft waves outside your window or turn on your flat screen TV and enjoy a movie.
Each stop on your itinerary offers a plethora of land excursions and adventure, with several hours to explore at your leisure. West Indies history provides a rich tapestry of culture interwoven into every port of the French archipelagos. Explore by bicycle along centuries-old sugarcane trails on the island of Nevis or on horseback along the scenic trails of Le Galion Beach on St. Martin. Wander the coves where pirates hid their booty or board a helicopter and take in an aerial view of St. Lucia.
Each island has its own breathtaking beach on which to sit, lie and dream, and watersports enthusiasts will be in their element. Each island boasts a coral reef with its own variety of colorful fish and tropical marine life. Among the coral reef options is Pigeon Island’s Cousteau Marine Reserve. Opportunities abound to hop aboard a catamaran or RIB boat for snorkeling and sun, or take an all-day dive trip hosted by the Wind Surf’s own watersports staff, who will prepare you for the adventure in the ship’s Watersports Platform pool.
And let’s not forget shopping. Every port offers specialty shops and boutiques or European-styled open-air markets where you can haggle with the locals to your heart’s content.
Whatever your deepest desire, this Windstar cruise is sure to leave you refreshingly blown away.
*Some of the information in this older article may be outdated.