Paradise Found: A Windstar Tahiti Cruise Review

windstar tahiti cruise review

Trust our travel advisor Steve Gulko when he recommends a cruise – most likely, he has been there and back! This time, we asked him to write us a Windstar Tahiti cruise review. In his over 45 years as a travel advisor, he has had the pleasure to visit Tahiti once and is planning to come back soon, as there is no cruise line he would recommend more for this dream voyage. 

Alright, alright, so you want to learn about this little piece of paradise? Because let me tell you, that is exactly what it is! Crystal-clear waters, beaches straight out of a postcard, and the friendliest people you will ever meet – yes, Tahiti is all that and so much more.

Let me tell you all about an experience I could do over and over again – Because I actually am! In only a few months, I will be going on my second Windstar Tahiti cruise, that is just how much I love it and I can tell you will do too. 

But first, let’s start with Tahiti

As a destination, this is truly one worth every penny. As the largest of the islands that make up the French Polynesia, Tahiti is only one in a collection of 118 islands and atolls spread across the South Pacific. 

While it may seem like a faraway destination, you would be surprised to know it is only an eight-hour flight from Los Angeles, in the same time zone as Hawaii.  

When booking your Windstar Tahiti cruise, make sure to also take advantage of their air and hotel packages. If I were to recommend something I’d say you should take their three-night pre-cruise package with a stay in Papeete. The capital of Tahiti and where your airplane will arrive is a hidden gem with its bustling markets and laid-back vibes. Trust me, you won’t regret spending some extra time there.

Speaking of not regretting things, remember to book a day-room hotel for after your cruise. Flights out of Papeete usually leave at night, and that day room is a lifesaver – a place to stash your bags, relax by the pool, and recharge before heading home, without paying for the full-night fare. Don’t worry, with a travel advisor by your side this is a simple operation that will add up positively to the value of your vacation. 

Now let’s get to it and talk about what you came here for…

Windstar Tahiti Cruise Review: A 5-Star Trip All-Around

Many cruise lines are sailing to Tahiti, but if I’m recommending Windstar as the one to choose it is for a reason: They are, without a question, the experts in cruising this little corner of the world, operating for over 36 years in the region.

With itineraries sailing all year round, and one dedicated yacht for that purpose, this is the cruise line you want to confide in, as they know these waters better than everyone and are capable of offering a complete experience. 

Unlike most other cruise lines that just pop in for a visit, Windstar spends the whole year sailing Tahiti. This means their crew knows the islands inside and out, providing a much more authentic experience.

Choose between 7 to 10 to 14-day itineraries across French Polynesia, reaching places most cruise lines don’t have access to, and offering shore experiences you will not find anywhere else.

On my first Windstar Tahiti cruise, I had the pleasure of taking a guided tour around Moorea with a local guide – hands down, one of the most interesting fellas I have met on my travels. Tihoti, a noted tattoo master and historian, told us everything about the meaning of tattoos in Polynesian history, amongst many other traditions and data we could have only learned about from a true local.

I also loved spending time on secluded beaches with no one but the staff and fellow Windstar guests around. While some shore excursions have an extra fee, they do include a complimentary evening in Bora Bora with a local dance group and a beach barbecue – a fantastic way to experience the real Tahiti.

windstar tahiti cruise review
The All-Suite Star Breeze cruises Tahiti all year long

The Ships

I know you want to read all about what to expect onboard, and the ships in which Windstar sails to Tahiti, so let’s get to it.

As I mentioned earlier, there is one designated Windstar Tahiti cruise ship: The all-suite and newly renovated Star Breeze, fitting up to 312 passengers, full ocean views, and at least 277 square feet of pure comfort and luxury. 

I was surprised at how spacious the cabins are, especially considering this is a small vessel. Expect ocean views from each one of them, as they all have either a private balcony or wide open windows. I would recommend though, that if a balcony suite is your dream, you better book early as these are the first ones to go – and with a reason!

After completing a wonderful renovation, the Star Breeze has been making Papeete her homeport since February 2024, offering a new category of Star suites, two new dining venues, a new spa, an infinity pool, and a fitness area.

Expect a Queen-sized bed with luxurious linens, L’Occitane bath amenities, a fully stocked mini-bar in every suite, plus complimentary gym use and 24-hour room service. 

For those seeking ultra-luxury, the Owner’s Suite Midship is the most spacious and elegant room onboard. With 820 square feet, it features two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a private veranda, and enough space to entertain fellow guests.

Take a look at the ship’s interiors in the video below:

The Dining

Onboard dining on a Windstar Tahiti cruise is in itself a truly world-class dining experience. Expect fresh, local ingredients coming from the markets and fishing ports in every town visited, culinary shore excursions visiting local markets and tasting their fresh flavors, plus a choice of venues to dine in, all of them with open seating.

Enjoy dinner under the moonlight at the fantastic Candles restaurant, lunch alfresco at Veranda, or a multi-course dinner with a fine wine selection at Amphora. 

The Star Breeze also features two brand new restaurants, only available on Star Class Ships: Cuadro 44, with a menu designed by ten-time Michelin-starred Chef Anthony Sasso where to savor flavors of Spanish local culture, and the Star Grill, created in partnership with global grilling authority Steven Raichlen. 

Plant-based and healthy food lovers will be glad to know there are options available to them as well, since Windstar is the official cruise line of the National Health Association, offering a rotating selection of salt, oil, and sugar-free plant-based dishes. 

According to their website, wherever you sail, whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or have any other specific dietary needs, you can still go onboard without compromising on your food choices. 

If this interests you, let me suggest their special plant-based cruise itinerary as well. The first of them will be sailing from Papeete in February 2025 and is already sold out! Turns out, this is only one of many culinary and wine cruises the brand offers, featuring guest chefs, market tours, and more. Sailing in November 2024, their 11-day Wine cruise around Tahiti and the Tuamotu Islands is one for the books!

What’s Included In A Windstar Tahiti Cruise?

First off, the service on these ships is unreal. It’s like having your own personal concierges – seriously! On my last trip, I had a bit of an accident, and the Windstar crew took care of everything. They even helped me get dinner outside while everyone else was ashore – talk about going the extra mile! 

That, of course, is included in your fare, as well as all non-alcoholic beverages, meals, and entertainment, including a complimentary water sports program, which in Tahiti is a beautiful addition, as you get to snorkel, kayak, and paddle board in the clearest waters you will ever see.

Aside from that, I recommend all guests booking a Windstar Tahiti Cruise either one of two packages: Their Air + Hotel + Cruise Package, which covers everything from the flight from Los Angeles or Seattle to Papeete and back, with at least one overnight stay in Papeete, and the day room I mentioned previously.

The other package I suggest you get includes gratuities, Internet service, and beverages, including spirits. If you are one to enjoy their cocktails, wines, and beers, better book one of the various beverage packages the brand offers, as it will save you money and surprises with the final bill.

windstar tahitii 6

What to pack for a Windstar Tahiti Cruise?

This question is quite easy to answer, as Tahiti is all about casual elegance. Leave the fancy suits at home and pack comfy clothes like button-down shirts, polos, slacks, and sundresses. 

Sunscreen, a hat, and your bathing suit are a must, of course. Remember, it’s a tropical paradise, so pack light with breathable fabrics and maybe a few long-sleeved options for those cool evenings. (Hey, even paradise gets a little chilly sometimes!) Pro tip: they have a shop onboard that sells these cool plastic phone holders so you can snap underwater photos without getting your phone soaked.

No matter when you go, Tahiti’s weather is amazing. I went in February on my first trip, and my next will be in June. Here’s the thing: most cruise lines skip out on Tahiti during the summer months, but Windstar is there year-round.

Overall, I would say a Windstar Tahiti cruise offers a greater value for your money than any resort ever would. So, if you are planning on visiting this paradise, there is no option I would better recommend as a travel advisor with 45 years of experience in the field. 

Eager to book your cruise? Give me a call soon and let me help you plan this unforgettable getaway. Remember, with Luxury Cruise Connections and an expert travel advisor by your side, you have access to top exclusive deals and amenities, plus a myriad of recommendations to make your vacation an even better experience.

steven gulko
Steve Gulko
Sr. Luxury Cruise & Travel Specialist at Luxury Cruise Connections | + posts

I have been in the industry for 45 years, and have sailed on over 100 cruises to many “bucket lists” and just fun locations around the world. My career as a travel advisor has taken me to work with cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Azamara.

As a Sr. Founding Member and luxury cruise specialist at Luxury Cruise Connections, I promise to research the best available rates and promotions for any vacation, doing my best to try to match and actually beat any offer. I look forward to assisting you with the best value and my vast experience in luxury cruise vacations, land packages, and beyond.

Reach me directly at +1 305-914-3041 / steven.gulko@luxurycruiseconnections.com