The Star Legend sails in a galaxy far far away from her sister ship, the Star Pride. Windstar has done a superb job of updating the Star Legend, giving new life to an old beauty that was lacking in the Star Pride.
The suites are spacious and elegant, full of well-designed features for a pleasant cruise. A curtain divides the suite into a sitting area with sofa and desk, and a sleeping area with the bed and vanity. The TV is mounted in the middle of the suite, and swivels so that it can be viewed in either area. The bath has a marble tub/shower, sink set in a long counter, and lots of storage space. The walk-in closet is the best surprise - lots of hanging space and handy hooks, and a large safe set on top of a chest of drawers. Our suite was adjacent to the elevator, and we were concerned that it might be noisy - but we never once heard the elevator, and it turned out to be a really convenient location!
Many other areas of the ship have been thoughtfully redesigned. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style on the veranda at the stern of the ship. The indoor buffet area has been expanded to include a number of tables, while the open air tables at the rear have been covered with white sun shades resembling sails, creating an airy feeling. A new area with additional tables has been created at the entry to the veranda, open air and covered with the same attractive sun screens. It wasn’t used much during our cruise, but would be very welcome in wet weather.
There is a new raised jacuzzi and small plunge pool in the center of the ship, overlooked by an expanded Star Bar and sun deck. The many lounges and tables were often used during our Caribbean cruise. The forward Jacuzzi was also a favored spot for unwinding after a day of touring.
AmphorA - the main dining room - has been beautifully redecorated in a very light, open style. Dinner in AmphorA usually featured several appetizers, soup and salad, and a good selection of entrees and desserts. The food on Star Legend was very good and attractively presented, and servers were prompt and knowledgeable. At night, the Veranda transforms into the alternative Candles Restaurant, with reservations required and a steakhouse/fish menu. We especially appreciated the fresh vegetables available at both dining venues, and the great salad bar available for lunch. Windstar offers excellent food and makes healthy dining easy and painless.
Our main complaint on this cruise (and also on our previous Star Pride voyage) was the drinking water. There are large glass bottles of water provided in the suites, along with glass barware. During rough seas, we were worried the bottles would break when they rolled onto the floor at night. We always like to have plastic bottles of water at our bedside, and to take a bottle with us when leaving the ship. Plastic bottles of water were not provided. When I requested bottled water at the reception desk, I was told that bottled water was available only to guests on Windstar-sponsored shore excursions. There were plenty of soft drinks in our suite’s mini-bar - but water was hard to obtain, even by request. This issue is so easily corrected - why does it still exist? It would also be nice to have self-serve coffee and tea available in the Yacht Club. Room service provided water for my tea when requested, but it would be nice to get my own tea water in the evening, or a quick cup of coffee in the morning!
On the positive side, the crew and service are still wonderful. On our first WindStar cruise, we used to joke that by the end of the first day, the servers knew your name. On the second day, they knew what you wanted to drink and where and when you wanted to drink it. By the third day, they knew what you wanted to drink before you did! And this super service is still there on Star Legend. Windstar crews are still the friendliest at sea.
Our cabin was a standard suite with no balcony. Balconies on Star Legend are french balconies - very small with no seating - so we chose to select a less expensive suite without 'balcony'. The suite is very spacious. Location next to elevators is very convenient, with minimal ship motion.
We spent 2 nights in San Juan prior to the cruise and had a wonderful time. There's lots to see and do in Old San Juan; no tour is necessary. It's very walkable. We stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan, and could easily walk to Old San Juan. Star Legend was docked just across the street - it was quicker to pull our own suitcases to the ship than to take a cab.
St. Barts is as unwelcoming as ever to day visitors. It is very French, very expensive and quite snooty. We didn't expect much and St. Barts met our expectations. We walked around a bit. The Shell Beach was nearby and nice.
We had stayed on the French side of St Martin many times, but hadn't been there in about 20 years. So we rented a car and planned to shop in Marigot and have lunch in Grand Case. The traffic was bad 20 years ago; now it is absolute gridlock. Sadly, Marigot had really deteriorated, and there were few shops left - the whole are has become pretty seedy. St Maarten/St Martin used to be one of our favorite places, but we will not return.
Montserrat is a stunningly beautiful island. Over half the island has been decimated by volcanic eruptions. We booked a full day tour with Sun's Montserrat Tours and had a fabulous day touring the island including the Exclusion Zone and destroyed city of Plymouth. A simply wonderful place to visit!
Culebra is another wonderful island. We rented a golf cart from Jerry's Jeep Rental and drove all over the island. We especially loved Zoni beach and Mamacita's restaurant, and it was great fun driving around in the golf cart. Jerry's Jeep is not far from the dock - I had booked ahead and they picked us up and returned us to the dock when I called them. So much better than a ship excursion!
Foxy's is legendary and the Soggy Dollar is another must see. Not much else there - but who needs more than two amazing bars and sand between your toes?