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Windstar Cruises


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Description
  • Unique opportunities to travel on masted sailing ships
  • Intimate yachts sail to destinations bigger ships can't
  • Attentive service, with a passenger-crew ratio of 1.5 to 1
  • Casual atmosphere with fine dining


Once known solely for its masted ships, Windstar features itineraries that mix marquee and exotic ports, a variety of dining venues with top-notch cuisine, superb service and the intimacy of small ship cruising.

Whether it's 148-passenger Wind Star and Wind Spirit, 310-passenger Wind Surf, or just-added 208-passenger power yacht Star Pride (to be joined by near-identical siblings Star Breeze and Star Legend in mid-2015), all ships also feature a luxury-minded 1.5-to-1 passenger-to-crew ratio. On the sailing ships, recently refurbished cabins include Bose SoundDocks, flatscreen televisions, L'Occitane amenities, indulgent bedding, and fresh fruit and flowers.

Each of these vessels also has a sports marina where, in ports in which the ships are anchored, passengers can engage in water sports like kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, windsailing, paddle-boating and water skiing.

Before joining Windstar in 2014, Star Pride, which previously sailed as Seabourn Pride before Windstar's acquisition, underwent a major revamp. Cabins were refurbished, and the line's trademark venues, from its AmphorA main restaurant to its Compass Rose lounge, were installed.

One of the biggest changes for the line, across the fleet is its dining upgrade. Cuisine aims to highlight the local fare of the regions visited, including the Mediterranean, Costa Rica, Asia and the Caribbean. The food is high quality, and extra attention is paid to those with special dietary needs. AmphorA, the ships' main restaurant, serves Continental-focused cuisine in an open-seating setting. Candles Grill offers a steakhouse-style menu, and Stella Bistro is a reservation-only French inspired venue. For breakfast and lunch, the intimate Veranda, Windstar Cruises' buffet venue with indoor and outdoor seating, combines made-to-order grilled items with food stations.

The most significant difference between the trio of sailing ships and the newly acquired series of yachts is stateroom size. On Windstar's Wind Song, Wind Spirit and Wind Surf, standard cabins measure a cozy 188 square feet and have no balconies. Views are from porthole-style windows. Bathrooms are compact and shower-only. Wind Surf does offer 360-square-foot suites (essentially two standard cabins put together); one side is a dedicated living room, while the other is a bedroom.

Star Pride, along with its siblings, has more spacious standard cabins, each measuring 277 square feet, with large marble bathrooms that include bathtubs. Thirty-six staterooms have French verandahs -- essentially large picture windows that open. (There's no step-out balcony.)

In all cases, Windstar's small ships create a cozy, intimate cruise experience, but its a la carte pricing strategy -- unlike luxury lines, you'll pay extra for shore excursions, airfare, cocktails, fitness classes and the like -- means cruise fares fall in the somewhat moderate category. "Casual elegance" is the designated dress code, and that idea permeates the onboard vibe. Passengers leave ties and formalwear at home in favor of country club casual sportswear, day and night. There are few organized activities and none of the typical cruise line Vegas-style revues.


Content Source from http://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/cruiseline.cfm?CruiseLineID=42


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