Our Windstar Experience Aboard the Star Pride – The Ship


The Star Pride, one of Windstar Cruises luxury yachts, was recently our home away from home for a week as we traveled south from San Juan, Puerto Rico to embark on a new adventure. We’d taken many cruises before on larger ships, but we were really looking forward to experiencing a cruise on a much smaller luxury yacht.

Well, we were not disappointed. Our week with Windstar was wonderful and it was quite different in many ways than other cruises we’ve taken. From absolutely seamless transfers to and from the airport to walking right on the ship during embarkation (no lines at all!), our embarkation was effortless. The relaxation began the moment we arrived.

Here are just a few of  the reasons why we enjoyed our Windstar Experience.

Rooms, or should I say suites? The Star Pride is an all-suite yacht. There are 64 Ocean Suites with large picture windows, 36 Balcony Suites with French style balconies, 4 Classic Suites with private verandas and 2 Owners Suites with private verandas. We were able to preview all suite categories on board the Star Pride and all were spacious and comfortable.


We had a balcony suite for the week and it was spacious, well appointed and relaxing. Amenities in our room included a Queen size bed with luxurious linens, a stocked mini-bar/refrigerator, a flat screen TV and DVD player, a safe, robes & slippers, a full sized bathtub and L’Occitane Bath amenities.


Sitting area in our suite
Plenty of room in the walk in closet
Spacious bathroom
Chocolate covered strawberries awaited our return from a fun day in Les Saintes, Guadeloupe

We loved opening up the sliding glass door to the balcony to hear the waves, feel the breeze and watch the wildlife (we saw a large pod of dolphin swimming alongside our ship the first morning!).

Morning on Martinique from our balcony

Size and guest to staff ratio.
The Star Pride can accommodate 212 guests and has a staff of 151. With a ratio like that, you definitely feel pampered and taken care of. Our cruise was slightly less than full due to cancellations after the hurricane and an itinerary change (valid concerns after hearing about the destruction Irma and Marie left behind, but alas, the guests that cancelled missed out – the Caribbean IS open!).

Star Pride in St. Barts – one of the islands hit hard bay the hurricanes, but recovering very well

Potentially another benefit to the high guest to staff ratio – many of the staff members greeted us each time they saw us by name after meeting us for the first time and even remembered our food and drink preferences. I’m not sure how they do it, but the personalized touch did not go unnoticed and it made us feel a bit like celebrities!

Open Bridge Policy. Windstar Cruises has an open bridge policy while at sea, and we really enjoyed being able to stop by the bridge to talk to Captain Ricardo Pinzon or his crew, see the charts, pinpoint our location and have the crew identify different islands in the distance.

Tuna Tartare appetizer prepared by Chef Mario Pagan

Dining experiences. Yep. We’re foodies and the Star Pride offered some of the best cuisine we’ve had on vacation. AND on our particular cruise, Puerto Rican Chef  extraordinaire, Mario Pagan, spent the week aboard as part of the James Beard Foundation collaboration with Windstar, offering a cooking demonstration on Puerto Rican influenced dishes and preparing one of the entrees each evening. The menu on Star Pride changed daily and we’d have a hard time finding something to complain about with anything we ordered.

Delicious Bison Salad

Another dining highlight was the on-board deck BBQ. Offered one evening towards the end of the cruise, the staff assembled an incredible smorgasbord of delectable delights, including Caribbean lobster, other seafood delicacies and delicious grilled offerings prepared right on the deck under the stars.

A look from an upper deck at just a few of the watertoys available at the Watersports Marina 

On board Watersports Marina. The Star Pride has a retractable water sports platform off the back of the boat. From the private platform, guests can enjoy a variety of watersports including kayaks, SUP boards, Hobie Cats, waterskiing snorkeling, jumping on the over-sized water trampoline and lounging on the water mats.

Private beach for the Windstar Beach Party

BEACH PARTY! Windstar features a private beach party on all of its Caribbean itineraries and during our cruise, it was on the island of St. Lucia.


Excited for this event, we headed out early to a pretty beach close to Pigeon Island State Park to enjoy the festivities and were some of the first guests to arrive. The Star Pride crew pulled out all of the stops on this one. We spent a lovely afternoon enjoying the St. Lucia sun and sand, food, drinks from the bar, and watertoys brought over from the ships watersports marina. It was a beautiful day of fun in the sun.


Size DOES matter. Truly a big benefit in our book is that due to the size of the Windstar yachts, they can sail into smaller ports and hidden coves so that you can really experience the destination, but not necessarily experience the crowds.

Enjoying live music and champagne

Do as much – or as little – as you like. Whether we wanted to spend the day lounging in the sun on the deck, or wanted to try a bit of everything including yoga classes, trying every piece of equipment at the watersports marina, getting a seaweed wrap at the Windspa, working off some calories at the Fitness Center, listening to live music on deck at sunset or checking out a late night movie and ordering room service popcorn, we could do as much or little as we wanted.

Happy Hour in the Star Bar before our sail-away from St. Lucia

Enjoy happy hour on the deck during the sail-away parties. Each evening, when the Star Pride pulled away from port, we would assemble in the Star Bar on the upper deck for happy hour with new friends we’d met on the cruise and to enjoy the sail away song, Conquest of Paradise, as we said that last goodbye to another beautiful island.

We’ll be covering a few other highlights of our Windstar Experience (such as the itinerary and excursions) in upcoming posts, so stay tuned for more. Would we sail on Windstar again? Absolutely. In fact, we think the Tahiti cruise may be calling our name…

Did you miss Our Windstar Experience Aboard the Star Pride Part 1?

To find out more about this and other Windstar itineraries, contact Windstar Cruises.

We thank everyone at Windstar Cruises for inviting us to sail with them on the Star Pride. Although we were sponsored by Windstar to take this cruise, the views are solely our own and we only recommend products or services we believe our readers will enjoy.

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