Cruise editor Donna Tunney is on Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf for a Caribbean cruise. Her second and final dispatch follows. Click to read Donna's first dispatch.
The 312-passenger Wind Surf emerged from a December drydock with its new stateroom and suite designs firmly planted in nautical roots.
Earth-tone color schemes with splashes of royal navy; dark wood furniture; leather headboards and chairs; and sea-related artwork combine to provide a yacht-like ambience.
New lighting features, window coverings, carpets and upholstery round out the refit, which also spiffed up hallways with linen wallpaper and plush carpeting.
Suites were outfitted with furniture for lounging, dining or accommodating a third occupant.
All of these upgrades were completed in the first phase of the Wind Surf’s renovation. In November, a second renovation will revamp the dining venues, outdoor decks and indoor lounges.
A preliminary look at the blueprints for those designs revealed new color palettes such as various shades of plum, a trend toward rounded booth seating in the restaurants and new furniture designed to bring a more stylish atmosphere to the outdoor seating areas.
Some of the dining venues will be altered, but no definite details have been revealed.
So, at the close of 2012, the Wind Surf will have been completely renovated. But it isn’t as though the existing public areas look dull right now.
The main dining room, called the Restaurant, doesn’t show any obvious signs of wear and tear. Neither does the indoor space of the Verandah, where breakfast and lunch are served.
However, I’m noticing that some of the existing decor looks slightly dated, such as wicker chairs and bright (some might say garish) carpets in the stairways. The outdoor decks could use some polish, too.
It’s obvious that the ship’s management is making good use of its available spaces. The pool deck at night is transformed into a romantic, al fresco dining venue called Candles.
The Verandah becomes the Le Marche seafood restaurant, and the open deck outside the Compass Rose lounge turns into an open-air nightclub where passengers can listen to live, but not ear-shattering, music.
Windstar will renovate its two other ships, the Wind Star and Wind Spirit, when those vessels enter drydock this spring, just before they are deployed to Europe.
The line is investing $18 million in the refits.
Follow Donna Tunney on Twitter @dttravelweekly.