Star Legend's captain joked that on his ship, you're giving up sails but gaining a walk-in closet. And it's true: If you've traveled aboard Windstar's sailing ships, you will be pleasantly surprised the first time you walk into your Star Legend suite. Balcony and ocean-view suites measuring 277 square feet are much more spacious than the sailing ships' comparable cabins, which are just 188 square feet. Not only are Star Legend's suites larger, they are well designed, with a color palette in hues of gold, beige, gray and nautical blue, plus a clever use of mirrored panels to make the cabin seem even more spacious.
The sitting area by the picture windows or balcony includes a comfy sofa, coffee table and two armchairs with an occasional table and lamp positioned between them. There's a complimentary mini-bar stocked with nonalcoholic beverages (just ask your steward if you'd like different selections than what was initially included). Above it, there's a cabinet with an assortment of glasses to accommodate everything from wine to bourbon. Suite attendants keep an ice bucket replenished, and bottles of water on hand. The sitting room can be screened off from the bedroom with the help of a curtain.
Beds are queen size but can be converted to two twins. They don't have the cushy pillowtop treatment popular with some cruise lines, but we found them to be quite comfortable. Pillows are foam, but our steward brought us fluffy down-alternative pillows on request. Atop the beds are duvets, encased in covers that match the sheets. On either side of the bed, attached to the wall, there's a reading light, as well as a pinpoint light that enables night owls to read without disturbing their mate. The bedroom area also includes a desk/vanity with six drawers (the powerful hair dryer is stashed in one), and there are two bedside tables with drawers, as well.
Electronics include an LCD flat-screen TV, DVD and CD players, telephone and a Bose Bluetooth SoundDock system. You'll find one standard U.S. 110- and European 220-volt socket above the desk/vanity and another European socket next to the bed. You might want to bring your own power strip or USB charging hub if you need to charge multiple devices. There's a thermostat (in centigrade) to control the room temperature; however, in our experience, it wasn't particularly sensitive to subtle adjustments. There's also a classy nautical-style brass wall barometer next to a matching brass wall clock, which we found much more useful than a tiny digital clock.
The suite really shines when it comes to the massive walk-in closet (complete with a safe, waffle-weave robes and slippers) and a long L-shaped hang-bar equipped with 30 wooden hangers. There are also triangular-shaped corner cubby-shelves and four drawers in the cabinet housing the safe. Pegs along the wall are handy for hanging scarves, hats and ties.
The spacious marble-lined bathroom features a shower/tub duo (or a large shower, in a handful of suites), magnifying mirror, L'Occitane Verbena products (hand soap, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, lotion, shower cap), facial tissues and white cotton bath towels, hand towels and washcloths. There is a razor-only plug next to the bathroom vanity. Shelves on either side of the vanity mirror provide good storage for toiletries and makeup. There's also a mirrored cabinet in another corner that provides shelves for even more storage.
Despite their generous size, the bathrooms are the one aspect that reveal the ship's age. In some places there are hairline cracks or slight discolorations in the marble, and years of cleaning have dulled the shine on the marble walls and floors. In the shower-only baths, the marble appears to have been replaced more recently. Our main complaint with the bathrooms was the lack of water pressure and use of soft water; our showers usually took twice as long as they normally would.
When entering your suite, you first pass through a doorway from the corridor, traverse a short entryway and then face doors to two cabins, set at a 90-degree angle to each other. In addition to avoiding a long, wasted entry corridor inside the suite, it also sets cabin doors back from any noise in the corridor -- though you might hear your neighbor's door slam on occasion. For families, there are 10 pairs of adjoining suites.
Oceanview Suites: These well-designed suites are downright roomy at 275 square feet; couples will not feel as if they are stepping on each other's toes while getting ready in the morning or while freshening up for dinner. The large picture window affords stunning views while in port and allows for plenty of light to enter the suite, making for a bright sitting area. Four such accommodations, conveniently located near elevators and Reception, are modified accessible suites -- however, there is a small step up to enter the bathroom. There are four sub-categories of Oceanview Suites, depending on the deck and location on the ship. With the S1-designated Oceanview Suites, you receive upgraded toiletries, including cotton balls and swabs.
Balcony Suites: For a slight upgrade, book one of the 36 Balcony Suites -- but be aware that you won't get a traditional balcony. Instead, these 277-square-foot suites are outfitted with French balconies, which simply means you can open the doors and step out onto the balcony but there is not enough room for a chair or table. Still, if you enjoy ocean breezes, it might be worth it to book this suite category.
Classic Suites: There are four Classic Suites on Star Legend: two are on Deck 5, forward, near one of the hot tubs (400 square feet) and two are midship on Deck 6 (530 square feet). While the forward suites are more private, they are also 130 square feet smaller than the midship suites. However, the downside to the midship suites is that views from some windows are impacted by lifeboats. All Classic Suites offer a separate living room and bedroom, plus a dining area (seating four in the midship suites and only two in the forward suites) and a true balcony with loungers and a table.
Owner's Suites: Decorated in the same vein as the Classic Suites but larger, the Owner's Suites are 575 square feet with a private balcony equipped with loungers and a table, and dining area seating four. These suites offer impressive, sweeping views to the front and side of the ship. Passengers can certainly entertain in the ship's two Owner's Suites (Deck 6, forward) that also feature a separate living room and bedroom, a full bath plus a half-bath and two walk-in closets.