We booked this cruise in May 2014 when we were on the Windsurf through a program that is no longer available. I believe that the program was called destinations; it provided an additional 5% off of the 5% already given to pervious guests. However, throughout the year, the price was reduced and a call to Windstar enabled us to get the lower price. They have a a new program called Welcome Home that essential does the same thing for 60 days upon return.
We flew into Athens a few days before the cruise so that we could acclimate to the time difference and also visit the sites within Athens. We arrived at the port after taking the Metro from Athens. I would not recommend doing this since the Metro stop is a significant walk to the passenger terminal. If you still decide to do this, get a taxi from the Metro stop to the passenger terminal.
When we arrived, we were greeted by staff wearing Windstar tee-shirts, our luggage was tagged and taken to the ship. We went through a security check and boarded the Star Pride. Unlike previous sailings, where we waited a max of about 15 minutes, we waited for about 40 minutes before getting to the table to turn over our passports and credit card info. However, the bar staff kept us well hydrated with mimosas, water, etc. We received room keys, met up with our cabin stewart, and made our way to Cabin 123 on Deck 4. I'll write up our thoughts on the cabin in that specific section.
We had a standard Suite. We choose to be in the middle of the ship which is one upgrade from the standard fare. The location was great for us. It was only one deck down to the AmphorA dining room, one deck up to reception, and very close to the elevator if you don't want to take the stairs to the Veranda or Star Bar. We opted for the stairs most of the time.
Having only sailed on the Windsurf, not just for this cruise company, but for all our cruises, we were impressed with the additional room that the suit had. However, we felt that the desk would have been better placed away from the bed. If someone was at the desk, it was awkward getting around each other. The King bed was fine. Not as conformable as I had hoped but not too bad. The bath was large with double sinks and full shower/bath. The bath room was a little 'worn'; the chalk in the tub and around the mirror, and other areas was in need of replacement. The shower head was a little awkward as well. When using the tub as a shower, the shower head is in the corner and was difficult to direct the water flow to your body. I think that the piece that holds the hand wand should be moved from the corner to the end of the bath. Very easy fix that I mentioned on the customer satisfaction form. Our Cabin steward, Yukti, was excellent. We saw her frequently, but she was intrusive, and she took care of the room very well. Since we were on the beverage plan she even restocked our mini bar with the items that we like and removed others that we wouldn't use. The inclusion of a Bose sound bar is a nice touch and we listened to music from our iPhones while in the room. The room has a good size table in the sitting area. We had room service deliver our breakfast every morning at 7 since we had shore excursions just about every day. They were always at the door with our meal within 5 minutes of the time that we asked for. The walk in closet is very large and easily accommodated all of our clothes. We also placed our suitcases in there since they were just a little too tall to fit under the bed.
The room was very warm at times and the thermostat didn't seem to make any difference. We left it at 15degrees C but I know that it was never that cool At night, though, it was conformable. It just during the day when it was warm.