“So the opportunity to explore their homeland, now with Windstar’s own crew, makes this itinerary truly special.”
Our Storyteller: Steve Simao
Vice President of Sales
Steve Simao proudly proclaimed his intentions to work in the cruise industry at the tender age of 14 while disembarking his first voyage. For the past 25 years he’s done just that, serving as chief purser for Norwegian Cruise Line before rising to the top of the sales ranks at Seabourn and Holland America. He now oversees all sales for Windstar’s worldwide network, which continues to fuel his passion for travel on the high seas. His connection to Indonesia is fueled by another passion: He and his wife (who is of Indonesian descent) were married there, dressed in traditional garb, nearly a quarter-century ago. He regularly visits family in the region, and speaks fluent Bahasa Indonesia.
Sure, this Indonesian island hop features plenty of amazing sights and natural wonders — everything from Pantara Island’s unspoiled beaches to the UNESCO-designated temple complex of Borobudur. Yet what really sets the region apart is its people, says Steve Simao who, as a boy, often interacted with Indonesian crewmembers during family cruises. “Even then I realized there was something unique about their service – friendly, heartfelt, and quite genuine,” he recalls. “So the opportunity to explore their homeland, now with Windstar’s own crew, makes this itinerary truly special.”
You’ll encounter plenty of warm, welcoming smiles among the master carvers and batik makers on Bali, vendors hawking satay in Lembar, and members of the ethnic Tengger community on Java. The island also is home to Mount Bromo — one of four active volcanoes you’ll witness, along with Mount Batur on Bali, Lombok’s Gunung Rinjani, and the famous Krakatoa. Celukan Bawang’s black-sand Lovina Beach and the biodiverse reef system surrounding Pulau Menyawakan are perfect spots for complimentary snorkeling and kayaking off Wind Spirit’s watersports platform before arriving in Singapore. An overnight allows time to experience its Botanic Gardens — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — and thriving street food scene. Steve’s go-to: char kway teow, a popular stir-fried noodle dish “Slurping a bowl amidst the city’s buzz,” he says, “you’ll feel just like a local.”