Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: At Sea, bound for Stockholm

Guest lecturer John Pennycate
Guest lecturer John Pennycate

ONBOARD WIND SURF- ­ Last night¹s private ballet performance at St. Petersburg’s elegant Musical Comedy Theatre was a big hit with Wind Surf passengers.  Nearly everyone attended the three-act performance of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, performed just for us by one of the city’s top professional ballet companies. Wind Star offers a complimentary private event such as this one during each of Wind Surf’s voyages.  I think most passengers would agree that it’s a great gesture on the part of the company.

I’m not a big fan of ballet, but I really enjoyed this performance.  Nobody does ballet quite so skillfully and gracefully as do the Russians.  These dancers held my attention all night.  I didn’t doze for even a second.

Dozing seems to be the order of the day onboard, however, as we glide toward Stockholm for the final day of this most pleasurable and engaging Baltic voyage.  Things are pretty quiet, although there was a strong turnout as usual for guest lecturer John Pennycate’s final presentation, The Fall of the Romanovs.

John is a master storyteller.  His recount of events leading to the execution of Czar Nicholas II, his wife, five children and four servants by Lenin’s Bolsheviks in 1918 was as enthralling as an Agatha Christie murder mystery.

Crew show
Crew show

I’m skipping the pastry cooking demonstration this morning (don’t eat the stuff) in favor of firing up my blog ­ first to issue a couple of corrections and additions to earlier reports.

In my description of Wind Surf on day one as we departed Copenhagen, I said that with the exception of the two suites on Bridge Deck, staterooms are all located on decks 2 and 3.  That was wrong ­ there also are staterooms on deck 1.  I failed as well to mention that Wind Surf features two elevators. These lifts are a real plus for elderly passengers and anyone with mobility issues.

Guilty of another oversight, I failed to mention the crew show, performed by some of our talented Filipino and Indonesian crewmembers night before last. They danced, chanted and sang their way into our hearts.  I’ve posted a photo of them in action.

This afternoon we sat in on the “Captain Chat.” A talk and Q&A with our number one man onboard, Captain Gerald (he goes by Gerry) Hogan.  He’s a congenial fellow and he’s accompanied on this voyage by his wife Julia and 14-year-old son Talan.  They’ve all become part of the family, always in the mix of things onboard, and joining us on a number of shore excursions.

Gerry is a Brit, raised as a third generation sea captain.  He got his start manning ferries and cargo ships out of Canada ­ and he’s served as a captain with Windstar for 10 years.  He¹ll be leaving Wind Surf for a break at the conclusion of this cruise in Stockholm tomorrow.

Except for this evening’s Port Talk with Voyage Leader Steve Millar, to discuss the dreaded disembarkation procedure, that’s about it for today.  We’ll be exploring Stockholm tomorrow and I’ll follow up in the evening with a report on our activities in the Swedish capital.

September 1, 2016

Photos by Dave Houser

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