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Wind Surf Cruise Review

Page 5
Continued from page 4

photo LEFT: Jerry Zape, Wind Surf's legendary bar manager, has a second career as a lounge singer in the crew show.

Entertainment on Wind Surf

On the Wind Surf, much of the entertainment is do-it-yourselves: enjoying fresh air on the open decks, watching the shore through telescopes, visiting the bridge whenever the ship is out of port, or enjoying a snuggle on the new Eurotop mattress in your cabin. (If you're looking for the Cirque du Soleil, you made a wrong turn at the pier.)

Still, Wind Surf does offer more ship-sponsored entertainment than you might expect on a vessel of its size:

In the Lounge, a band with a vocalist performs each night before dinner and from 9:30 p.m. until closing. On my cruise, the group was "Crossroads," and its versatile musicians played everything from dance music to country-western.

The large, comfortable Library has a modest collection of hardcover and paperback books that range from a 1998 edition of The Biscay Pilot to dog-eared contemporary thrillers. Borrowing works on the honor system: You're asked to return hardcovers and to leave a paperback for each one that you take with you at the end of the voyage. (The Library also has several PCs and a long conference table where, during my voyage, a passenger was writing a book on his laptop.)

photoOther shelves in the Library hold hundreds of DVD movies that you can watch on the flat-screen LCD TV in your cabin. (See inset photo.) Just take the box to the reception desk, and the receptionist will give you the DVD.

The receptionist will also lend you an iPod Nano at no charge, and you can choose your own playlist from the ship's collection of MP3 files. Later, back in your stateroom, you can insert the iPod into a Bose SoundDock, which turns the iPod into a stereo with speakers.

Your cabin's flat-screen TV has a modest variety of satellite channels, such as BBC World, the Discovery Channel, and 24-hour text news. It also lets you pick from several movies that run continuously throughout the day.

Other entertainment choices include a small Casino and an Art Auction (the latter being one of Windstar's few concessions to hokey cruise-industry tradition). Special events are scheduled for sea days: e.g., a galley tour with the chef, cooking demonstrations, or dance classes.

Finally, a high point of each voyage is the Crew Show, which draws on the impressive talents of the Filipino and Indonesian crew members. On my cruise, the show ended with a wonderful bonding exercise between passengers and crew: an "angklung orchestra" featuring the angklung, a bamboo instrument that's made in various sizes and tones. Under the direction of the orchestra leader (who pointed to numbers on a large chart), staff and first-time volunteer anklung players rattled their instruments on cue to perform songs that concluded with a tinkly but rousing version of "God Bless America." The performance--and the show as a whole--had a charm that no ersatz Las Vegas production number could have matched.

Next page: Other amenities





Top photo copyright © Windstar Cruises.

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