Paul & Heidi Stenner- Windstar Yacht Club Members Profile

We’re kicking off the launch of our newly enhanced loyalty program by celebrating our past guests during Yacht Club Member Appreciation Week. Each day we’ll be profiling a Yacht Club Member to showcase the member’s Windstar experiences and memories.

Number of Windstar Cruises: 40 cruises; 500+ days aboard

We have crossed the Atlantic 34 times. We also enjoyed a 28-day passage from St. Maarten to Papeete years ago on Wind Song with only 35 other passengers on board.

Our first Windstar cruise was in the late 80’s, sailing on one of the three sister ships from St. Thomas to Lisbon. I remember getting up early in St Thomas and walking down from the hotel to see the arrival of the ship at her berth. The ship was only a few years old then and looked wonderful! We boarded later in the day and were met by Captain Henning at the gangway with the hotel manager, a Dutch chap.

We have also done quite a number of 10+ day cruise voyages, in the Caribbean either prior to a crossing or after arriving from Europe. Our favorite destination is probably either Barbados or Lisbon, as they were always the port of arrival after an Atlantic crossing. We enjoy the sea days offered on a crossing, no ports to visit, just 14 days at sea enjoying the peace and quiet that the ocean offers.

Paul relaxing on the deck
Paul enjoying some relaxing time on board 

We fondly remember the various captains from the very first Captain Henning, a most charming Dane who made us very welcome and feel at home.  Henning went on to become the master on Paul Allen’s mega yacht. Other captains include Chris Turner, now a senior master with Holland America, and of course Mark Boylen the jovial Englishman. Then there was the charming Jan-Ove Lidal, the Norwegian who enjoyed playing Wii Golf and sunbathing. One of the mates was a most amusing English officer who made hilarious noon reports and had a wooden dog on wheels, aptly named “Woody,” which he towed behind on a leash when walking on deck.

The Open Bridge policy is something quite unique in the industry today and it is always nice to watch the sunrise with a coffee and chat with the officer of the watch, and often the master.

Heidi preparing to set sail
Heidi preparing to set sail

We continue to sail on Windstar Cruises because we have made so many friends, both passengers, officers and crew, in the 30 plus years that we have sailed with them. We are always delighted to be greeted by crew members who remember us and greet us by name when boarding. Some have retired, some passed away, but we remember them for the friendliness and good service that they offered over the years. The ships, although getting on in years, are well maintained and have been extensively upgraded.  The menu is always exciting and we never tire of the quality and freshness of the meals prepared aboard. The three sister ships that were bought from Seabourn have given Windstar Cruises a new lease on life. These are beautiful ships and the new mid-section addition will make them even nicer with a choice of more dining venues and deck space.

We will continue to sail on Windstar Cruises, looking for ocean passages that offer extensive days at sea for time to relax, read books, play Wii Golf and enjoy the great cuisine aboard!!

As for suggestions for newbies, we suggest you book early in order to avoid disappointment! Try an ocean crossing cruise and learn how to relax.

Read about Carol & Richard, who took 43 voyages with Windstar Cruises and are sharing their favorite moments.

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