Star Pride Entertainment
Broadway-style shows are not Windstar's style. With Star Pride, the cruise line inherited a dedicated theater space but uses it only in the evenings, when a small combo performs dance tunes. There is, however, no bar service.
Nightlife was much more active in the ship's Compass Rose Lounge. This space, a signature on all Windstar ships, got a major overhaul and has a lovely tropical and genteel feeling to it, complete with plantation shutters. A small casino is tucked to one side. One downside of the Compass Rose on Star Pride is that unlike the sailing ships, it does not lead out to an open deck.
The best fun onboard each day was the ship's sailaway from port when, in homage to the fleet's tradition of raising actual sails, flags are hoisted to the tune of the theme song from the film "1492".
Star Pride Public Rooms
During the refurb, most of the public areas were updated in colors of black, beige, blue, and gold, with lighting installed that is stylish, as well as softer and more flattering to passengers.
There is a small casino near the Compass Rose with a few table games -- such as roulette and blackjack -- and slot machines, as well as a tidy library where you can borrow a wide array of authors and DVDs.
On the top deck is an indoor forward observation room known as the Yacht Club (formerly Constellation Lounge). It contains a Euro-style coffee bar that offers espresso, cappuccino, sandwiches and pastries -- at no extra charge. There are tall, curved, see-through bookcases filled with nautical art and books, as well as world maps to peruse. You can walk outside from there for a sweeping view, but there are no chairs outside.
The Signature Shop on Deck 6 stocks clothing and other goods from brands such as Gucci, Bulgari and Tommy Bahama.
The outdoor curved Star Bar (formerly the Sky Bar) on the top deck has new stools, lighting and an awning. Nearby tables and chairs were cleaned up and given new cushions.
A computer center is near the winding staircase atrium. If you've brought your smartphone or laptop, note that there is ship-wide Wi-Fi, but the connection is slow and the per-minute fee is steep (for example, $100 for 250 minutes). At that monetary ratio, forget Web surfing. You'll find that checking emails and uploading Facebook and Instagram photos can quickly eat up the allotment.
The elevators are small and the ship is not, as a whole, wheelchair-accessible.
Star Pride Spa & Fitness
On a top deck, near the Veranda restaurant, the ship has a small rectangular swimming pool in a somewhat shaded area. It's not large enough for workout laps nor is seating nearby. There are two inviting whirlpool baths raised on platforms (and a third whirlpool located at the prow). The Sun deck is a better go-to gathering spot with lounge chairs and wide-open-air views to snooze and socialize under the sun or to sit under a shady spot.
WindSpa features two treatment rooms, with plans to open up another, as well as a steam room and a beauty salon for hair and nails. The small fitness facility has ample free weights, treadmills, ellipticals, and exercise classes and yoga are offered.
The real fitness dazzler is at the aft, however, where -- weather permitting -- a water sports platform opens up when the ship is at anchor. Use of wakeboards, kayaks, paddleboards, sailboats, and snorkeling equipment is complimentary. A steel mesh cage forms an in-the-sea swimming pool.
Windstar's parent company, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, uses its VBT Bicycling operator to rent two-wheelers on shore -- a big plus, especially for those who enjoy peddling around small ports and towns. Plans are also in the works to create cruise/bike tours in Europe.