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Star Pride Dining

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
113 reviews
8 Awards
See all photos
Editor Rating
5.0
Excellent
Dining
Melinda Crow
Cruise Critic Contributor

Food on Star Pride consists of a main dining room (Amphora) for dinner, an indoor/outdoor buffet and table service combo (The Veranda) for breakfast and lunch, plus three specialty eateries. There is no charge for room service and snacks are available 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Yacht Club.

Food at all restaurants is included in the cruise fare, but a few select menu items incur an upcharge. One evening during the cruise all restaurants are closed for dinner as the signature Deck Barbecue is served on Decks 7 and 8.

Restaurants on Star Pride

Amphora: This is the ship’s main dining room typically only open for dinner, situated on deck three. Reservations are not required but should be considered if you are putting together a group table. There are no set dining times; guests are free to dine when they wish during open hours. The menu changes daily and consists of salads and starters, soups, main dishes that typically include fish, beef, poultry, pasta, and vegetarian options, plus a short list of extra sides to choose from. There are three “classics” always available, all grilled: salmon, chicken or sirloin steak.

Through its close ties with the James Beard Foundation, Windstar includes a highlighted JBF chef-recommended starter, entrée and dessert each evening. Our experience was that these options are worthy of serious consideration, as were the soups. We found the truffle parmesan fries from the sides menu to also be worthy of a sample – we had them every night we ate in Amphora. Desserts are not to be missed; our favorites were the soufflés.

Tip: You can order from the room service menu while dining in Amphora (or almost anywhere, actually). One example is the Cobb Salad, which is only on the room service menu. If that’s what you want for dinner, order it from your Amphora waiter and make your fellow diners jealous.

The Veranda: The casual indoor and outdoor eatery on Deck 7 aft, serves breakfast and lunch daily via a combination of buffet and table service. At breakfast there is a custom egg chef, as well as hot and cold cereals, hot sides, fruits and cheeses, plus a pastry bar that we could not pass up. Ever. There is a barista on hand to prepare coffee, tea, or cocoa, ordered through the waiter. At both breakfast and lunch, there is also a small menu of items available to order from. The breakfast cooked-to-order menu included eggs benedict, waffles, pancakes, and French toast. Burgers and dogs were available cooked to order during lunch.

Star Grill: Outside (but covered) on Deck 8, this barbecue-inspired eatery adds a versatile (and popular) option for breakfast, lunch, and occasionally dinner. Breakfast is a grab and go affair, featuring pastries, meats, cheeses, toast and eggs on English muffins—perfect for those rushing off to port excursions or who are busy watching the captain dock the ship. Lunch consists of a global spin on all things grilled, from seafood to poultry and beef. The salad bar is a blend of fresh greens and the kind of pasta salads you’d expect to find at a neighborhood backyard barbecue. Thick, juicy burgers and hotdogs can be ordered from the waiters, with plenty of toppings available alongside the main buffet – including blue cheese crumbles.

Candles: Each evening the outdoor space of The Veranda is converted to a white tablecloth candlelight steakhouse, featuring a meaty menu that manages to please the pescatarian and vegetarian guests almost as much as the carnivores. Highlights are the gourmet salts and sauces to perfectly top your food. Reservations are required and should be made early in the cruise for this fleet-wide Windstar favorite. On our sailing, dinner was served indoors one evening due to high winds on the patio, so it’s best to be prepared for that possibility. Other advice we have to offer is that the lemon tart is a wonderful light finish to an otherwise heavy meal. Don’t skip it.

Cuadro 44: This cozy Spanish cuisine restaurant is open for dinner on most evenings featuring a menu heavy on seafood and pork. There are vegetarian options as well. The atmosphere and the menu lend themselves to sharing of both the large and small plates of food and cross-table conversation. Highlights include the marinated anchovies and olives on the tapas menu and the pork belly from the list of entrees. Even non-dessert eaters should give the spicy chocolate churros a try. Reservations are required. As with most of Star Pride’s food, if you enjoy wine with your meal, trust the ship’s sommelier to choose the wine to pair with your meal. We found the Spanish wines offered in Cuadro 44 to be an ideal accompaniment to the food.

Room service: There are three options for room service, one is a continental selection of breads and pastries with coffee or tea ordered via a hanging tag placed on your door before you retire. The second is a menu available on the television, and the third is to order from the full Amphora dinner menu each night. There are no additional charges for ordering room service.

Yacht Club: The coffee counter in the Yacht Club on Deck 8 serves a variety of snack food throughout the day, starting with pastries, yogurt, fruit, meats and cheeses, and smoothies for breakfast before transitioning to small sandwiches, fruit, and cookies and cupcakes for the rest of the day.

Cruise Critic Restaurant Picks on Star Pride

Our recommendation is to try them all. Candles tops our list, enough that we dined there twice in eight nights – once for the filet mignon and once for the chef’s fish of the day. Both were excellent in taste and presentation. Our second favorite food spot onboard was the breezy and casual Star Grill. The food choices were an ideal blend of international flavors and lunch favorites – always finished off with soft serve ice cream.

Dietary Restrictions on Star Pride

Every time we sat down to dinner, we were asked if we had food allergies or special requests. We found the waitstaff in all restaurants to be well-educated regarding ingredients, and in cases where they were not, they were quick to return to the kitchen to confer with a chef.

Windstar points out on each menu that their galley is not a “food allergen-free environment” so severe food allergy sufferers should discuss specific arrangements with the executive chef. Star Pride is also not able to provide Kosher meals. We sampled vegetarian dishes in each restaurant and were pleasantly surprised at the range of flavors and creativity among main dishes.

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