Charming vessel rejoins fleet after major redo
by Patti Pietschmann, Travel Diva
Windstar Cruises recently transformed its Star Breeze into a spiffy all-suite yacht. After slicing the vessel in half and lengthening it she now boasts 50 more suites, two new restaurants, a new spa/fitness center, larger pool and deck and more.
Star Breeze now has room for 312 passengers to carry into small ports and hidden harbors around the world. But she won’t be sailing until 2021.
Although Windstar isn’t operating now but it is still renovating three ships. Star Breeze is the first to emerge from a $250 million Star Plus Initiative that also includes sister ships Star Pride and Star Legend. The two ships will join the fleet later in 2021, after their Star Plus transformations.
“We’re delighted to take delivery of Star Breeze from Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo,” said Chris Prelog, president of Windstar Cruises. “These three Star Plus Class yachts offer additional amenities we know our guests want. The ships, are still small enough to travel the narrow waterways and visit the small ports we’re known for.”
New restaurants offer outdoor dining
There are now two new restaurants. One is an outdoor barbecue concept with grilling guru Steven Raichlen. Another is a Spanish small plates restaurant from Anthony Sasso, one of the youngest chefs to be recognized by the Michelin Guide.
Star Grill by Steven Raichlen embraces the al fresco setting and ocean views with drinks like Strawberry Pimm’s Cups and Raspberry/Melon Slushies. From the smoker, Tea Smoke Duck and Coffee-Crusted Prime Brisket with Chipotle Molasses Barbecue Sauce will impress guests, along with grilled selections such as Shrimp on Sugarcane with Mount Gay Rum Sauce. Vegetarians won’t be ignored, including choices like Planked Camembert with Pepper Jelly, Pecans and Grilled Bread, Mexican Grilled Corn, Falafel Burgers, and Grilled Eggplant Salad.
On Deck 6 at Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso, offers a collection of Spanish staples with a modern twist. Menu items range from Galicia’s Pulpo Gallego to Valencia’s Fideos Mar y Montaña, with decadent desserts including Madrid’s famous Churros y Chocolate.
A chef’s counter overlooking an open kitchen lets diners observe the cooking process, and a Spanish-centric wine and cocktail list completes the experience. The restaurant seats just 38 patrons at maximum capacity.
What’s new at Veranda
The Veranda restaurant, which offers breakfast and lunch daily, has a new coffee station, as well as more outdoor and ocean-view seating. At the venue changes to Candles, a reservation-only steakhouse.
Dinner at the Veranda featuring outdoor seating under the stars and candlelight (thus the name),weather permitting. A new menu debuts on Star Breeze with a jaw-dropping 40-ounce Beef Bone-In Ribeye Tomahawk Steak and a 30-ounce Bone-In Porterhouse Steak. Both are Linz Heritage Certified Black Angus and require a small upcharge. All other dining venues are free from additional fees.
Pampering and fitness
Star Breeze now has a completely re-imagined and larger spa and fitness center. The workout equipment is by Technogym, an Italian company known for its cutting-edge designs.
The spa menu features regional treatments and destination-themed therapies as part of the World Spa by Windstar program. Massage therapists and beauticians will be using products from Elemis, a luxurious British body and skincare line.
Increased deck space and amenities
Thankfully for those of us who enjoy swimming, the yacht now sports a large pool and hot tub on an elevated top deck. The deck space is also more expansive.
The suite life
The 50 new suites sport open floor plan configurations. There’s also two new, larger Owner’s Suites. These combine suites to create up to a three-bedroom, two-balcony suite – the first of its kind in the cruise industry. Every suite on board will feature all-new bathrooms.
Windstar is employing a new Beyond Ordinary Care program. This multi-layered strategy features hospital-grade elements such as HEPA filters and UV-C ultraviolet germicidal irradiation. There’s also electrostatic sprayers to sanitize all surfaces.
About Windstar Cruises
Windstar Cruises consists of a fleet of six boutique all-suite and sailing yachts carrying 148-342 guests. It offers itineraries throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, Asia, Alaska and British Columbia, Canada and New England, Tahiti and the South Pacific, Mexico and U.S. Coastal and Australia.