One of three motor yachts in the Windstar Cruises fleet, Star Pride brings the flavor of the laid-back line in a small-ship package. While Windstar has been traditionally known for its three-masted sailing ships, Star Pride and its two sister yachts carry on the line's signature traits: itineraries featuring small, interesting ports where larger ships can't go; fresh and delicious food; and a social onboard vibe.
Windstar plans to stretch Star Pride in July 2020, bringing the passenger count from 212 up to 312. The renovation will add 50 suites in a new configuration and new dining options (a steakhouse and a casual grill restaurant). It will also overhaul the currently underwhelming pool deck, creating a cascading water complex of a larger pool and hot tubs over two decks, expand the spa and fitness area, and modernize the decor. These changes will be welcome, as the ship seems dated in many areas.
One of the highlights of Star Pride are the suites; even the smallest cabins are 277 square feet, which is large for a small ship (and 100 square feet larger than what you'd find on the fleet's sailing ships). They boast walk-in closets, bathrooms with double sinks and a sitting area that can be separated from the bedroom with a curtain, creating a true suite situation.
Another highlight is the ship's maneuverability. Windstar is known for cruising into lesser-known and smaller ports, as well as calling on iconic destinations. The line is also known for pulling into ports very early in the morning and staying as late in the day as possible. You will get a full day and sometimes a full night in port, making Star Pride a great choice for active explorers.
The ship also has a water sports platform with complimentary water toys and kayaks. While deployment can depend greatly on weather and itinerary, it was open three times during our May Mediterranean cruise and was a hit with the teenagers onboard.
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Where the ship falls short is in its onboard nighttime offerings. Entertainment on Star Pride is contained to piano players, a crew show and an enthusiastic line dance party. If you're used to ships with lots of entertainment options, you might be bored at night.
All in all, Star Pride is a comfortable and classy small ship that is only bound to get better as it gets refreshed. We recommend it to cruisers seeking lesser-known ports and an intimate no-fuss atmosphere.
The majority of Star Pride passengers are American, with a fair amount hailing from Canada and Australia. You'll also find cruisers from Mexico, South America and a mix of European countries.
Most passengers are fit, or at least active. They are typically sophisticated, well-traveled and business-savvy folks in their 30s to 70s, with the majority in their mid-40s to mid-60s. Most are couples, though you might see some family groups (especially ones with older or grown children).
The dress code is casual and comfortable, with both men and women wearing shorts and jeans by day. At night, sneakers, jeans, tanks and tees are prohibited in AmphorA, the main dining room.
Outside of those restrictions, the dress code is pretty loose and casual, far more than we would have expected. Men wear slacks and collared or button-down shirts, while women wear cute tops with slacks or a skirt or a casual dress. Do not pack suits, ties or fancy dresses (although we did see several men wear sport coats at night).
All meals in all venues at all times, including the 24/7 room service menu, are free of charge. Also included in the fare are welcome cocktails on embarkation day, all onboard entertainment, unlimited use of the fitness center and water sports equipment and DVD rentals.
Alcohol, soda and premium coffees, shore excursions, airport or hotel transfers, spa treatments and Wi-Fi cost extra. Tips are $13.50 per person, per day, payable at the end of the cruise via your onboard account. (You can also prepay, with a package that includes drinks and laundry.) The spa and the bar automatically add on 15 percent for each service or alcoholic beverage ordered. Additional tipping is at your discretion.
The currency onboard is the U.S. dollar.
You get what you pay for, just manage your expectations