People cruise for a multitude of reasons. Some enjoy experiencing the feeling of adventure on the high seas. Others want to forget the “real world” and be pampered for a few precious days, or weeks. Some see cruises as a convenient way to get from point A to point B. The list goes on and on!
One thing that almost everyone agrees though is that taking a cruise should be fun… and taking a great cruise should feel magical.
This is exactly how we would describe our first cruise with Windstar. Magical.
You Feel the Windstar Difference from the Moment You Step on Board
The cruise that we took on the Windstar Star Pride was anything but ordinary. It’s hard to put your finger on the Windstar difference, at first. You feel it in the focus that the crew puts on experiences and not itineraries. You experience it in the little details. You hear it in the stories that other passengers tell and the smiles that they share.
On a more practical level, you see the Windstar difference in the details throughout the ship – the spotless decks, the fresh flowers and the little treats that are prepared with love. On our cruise, the food was delicious and elegantly served. The ship was well-designed and luxurious. The shore excursions were executed flawlessly. And, perhaps most importantly, the staff were professional and caring.
Of course, not every moment registered with the same force. While the entire trip was comfortable, there were a few moments that stood out. I’d like to share these moments with you.
Traveling with Windstar Makes You Feel Like an Owner
Sailing with Windstar is luxurious in every sense of the word. But, it is the sense of ownership that first catches you off guard.
As we mentioned in our cruise review of Star Pride, boarding a large ship makes you feel like a passenger. Boarding a Windstar vessel makes you feel like an owner.
It’s not just the intimate size of the ship that makes it feel like a private vessel. It’s the way that the crew greets you and the respectful way that passengers interact with each other.
This sense of ownership sets the tone for the entire trip.
The All-Suite Experience Gives You as Much Privacy as You Want
On many cruise ships, even the “luxury” ones, you could be forgiven for feeling like a sardine. It’s almost as if the cruise lines make your room tiny to encourage you to spend more time in the casino. Now that I think of it, maybe they do!
Life on a Windstar ship is anything but ordinary. This is demonstrated by the fact that every single room on Star Pride is a suite!
I can’t overemphasize how having a super comfortable bed, living room, walk-in closet and bathroom made the experience feel intimate and relaxed. We had the option to be social. Or, if we chose, we could just relax alone. We chose the latter more frequently than not and just enjoyed the stunning views, well curated entertainment and, most of all, each other’s company.
Like so many busy couples, we often find it difficult to justify an hour of true relaxation time at him. The flexibility that our Windstar suite offered was priceless.
Here is a video that we recorded of our beautiful state room.
Windstar Brings You Closer to Mother Nature… and Each Other
There is something magical about watching a sunrise, while floating on the sea. It is a sensory experience, filled with sounds, scents and, of course, sights.
Every morning, my wife and I got up to watch the sun rise together. Sometimes we talked, but, more often than not, we simply held each other close and felt grateful for all of the wonderful people, places and things in our lives.
These moments of peace, when you turn off the noise and just allow nature to suck you in, surprise you with their intensity. I actually caught myself sighing more than once. It was as if I was breathing in peace and breathing out all of the troubles in my life.
The large windows in our suite, combined with the fact that we could move our comfy chairs right up to the balcony created unforgettable moments.
There Are Plenty of Opportunities to Spend Time Together
While planning our Windstar cruise, we looked at the long list of entertainment and shore options that were available. As we glanced through the materials that Windstar provided, we realized that, if we wanted to, we could be occupied with activities all day long!
Once we were on board, we realized that there were no expectations. We could be as busy as we wanted to be.
We did decide to go on several amazing shore excursions – including the “Ultimate Olive Experience.” But, we also spend plenty of time just hanging out in the public areas, or in our own cabin.
Amid the smell of salt and seaweed and the sound of seagulls and gentle waves, we reconnected with each other… and that is more important than anything in this world!
Windstar Excursions Are Different
Most cruises offer shore excursions or educational tours at each port. As we soon discovered, Windstar’s experiences go way beyond “normal.”
Our favorite excursion on our Mediterranean cruise was the “Ultimate Olive Experience.” As we walked through the hills above Cannes, France, we learned more than we thought possible about the art – and it is an art – of making olive oil.
Here is a video that we recorded of our experience. It was fantastic!
Any cruise can take you from point A to point B safely and in relative comfort. A few can take you there in style. But, only Windstar can take you there on your own private yacht!
To close, I would like to share a quick tour of the ship. It was a magical adventure that we will never forget.
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Have you ever been on a Windstar cruise? Which one did you take and what did you think of the experience? Let’s have a conversation!