One of the most anticipated ship redos this year is the transformation of Seabourn Pride into Windstar Cruises’ Star Pride. Operator of three upscale sailing ships, Windstar bought the 212-passenger motorized yacht, along with sister ships Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend, last year. Star Pride will be the first to debut under the new ownership; an inaugural cruise is set for May in Europe.
I know the ship well – cruising in such luxury in the late 1980s convinced me to become a cruise writer. It was that good.
Among the additions under the new ownership will be a chic new hangout spot, a coffee bar on the top deck called the Yacht Club lounge – the type of space today’s cruisers require. But Hans Birkholz, Windstar’s CEO, says that’s just the beginning of the updates.
“Our enhancements include significant changes and stem-to-stern upgrades,” Birkholz said in a prepared statement. “The main theme is a casual elegant ambiance, with a warm contemporary style. The look and feel of the renovations will align with our sailing fleet.”
On Star Pride, public spaces will be modernized with a color palette combining sand and marine colors, the idea being a look of casual elegance. The new Yacht Club, with an open layout and windows overlooking the sea, will provide a spot for an espresso, snacks, reading, going online with your laptop or tablet, or just watching the view.
The ship’s former club space will turn into Windstar’s popular Compass Rose lounge, with contemporary furnishings including bar stools designed for socializing and live music nightly. An expanded outdoor Star Bar will offer casual drinks during the day and imbibing combined with stargazing at night.
Restaurants will reflect the line’s open seating, no-jackets-or-ties-required style. The venues will include Windstar’s complimentary specialty restaurants AmphorA Restaurant, serving a contemporary, international menu; and al fresco buffet Veranda, which at night turns into Candles, a romantically lit outdoor grill.
The ship’s 106 suites will be done up in new furnishings including leather headboards, while top-end Owner’s Suites will showcase the different destinations the ship sails – such as the Bora Bora Suite.
There will be much familiar to Windstar fans, from the watersports platform equipped with water skids, wakeboards, kayaks, paddleboards, and sailboats, to the open bridge policy, to the dramatic song “1492: Conquest of Paradise” played at sail-away – just without the sails rising on their masts.