This is the first review of the newest ship in Windstar's fleet, the 212-passenger motor yacht "Star Pride", This 6-night inaugural cruise sailed on May 5, 2014 from Barcelona, with stops in Sete, Sanary sur Mer, Monte Carlo, Portofino, and Portoferraio, ending at Civitavecchia (Rome).
Most of the passengers were Windstar alumni cruisers, as well as many travel industry & media representatives. Also in attendance were owners Philip and Nancy Anschutz, Windstar CEO Hans Birkholz, and several members of his executive team. The ship's Captain was 15-year WIndstar veteran Alan MacAry, with whom I have sailed on several other occasions.
The cruise started with a gala pier-side fiesta, with music and dancers by a colorful and energetic Catalonian Rumba band. The dancers were very skillful in enticing some of the passengers to join in. Free-flowing Champagne, wine, and tasty tapas contributed greatly to a festive atmosphere. The ceremony culminated when Father Marto Rodriquez blessed the ship, its passengers and crew, and "Godmother" Nancy Anschutz snipped the ribbon releasing the bottle of champagne, which smashed against the bow to great acclaim from all, including the shipboard crew lining the decks.