Get the inside scoop on Windstar Cruises’ revamped Star Legend from Scott Anderson, cruise product and marketing director of Luxury Cruise & More, who enjoyed a voyage on the ship.
Windstar has spent $250 million transforming their three all-suite star-plus class ships, Star Breeze, Star Legend, and Star Pride, by adding in new mid-sections. The ships now have more space with the addition of 50 new suites, two new restaurants, a reimagined spa, and an enlarged pool and pool deck. Star Legend has increased to 159 metres in length, and from 212 guests to 312 guests. During the transformation, all of the existing suites were totally refurbished. I thought that the ship’s new profile was sleeker than before and I welcomed the extra deck space.
All of the suites were refurbished, including gorgeous new bathrooms during the dry dock, and the updated décor was modern with light woods, light blues and greys accenting the rich brown touches. The bed was super comfy, and there was a walk-in closet with plenty of storage space.
Windstar Cruises don’t include shore excursions in their cruise fare, but you can pre-book them or purchase them on board. On our cruise, they ranged from $55 per person for a three-hour walking tour in Trapani to $499 per person to drive a vintage Fiat 500 along the coast of Sicily. One of my favourite tours was called “In the Steps of the Godfather” and was a $105 person five-hour tour, which I thought was good value for money. We visited a private house called Bar Vitelli where Francis Ford Coppola filmed scenes of Godfather 2. The views over the valley were breathtaking and we had plenty of time to discover this pretty village. Other tours offered by Windstar on this cruise included a cooking class in Erice for $200 per person, and for the more adventurous, mountain biking up Mount Etna for $259 per person.
There are several places to dine on board Star Legend. The main dining room is called Amphora, and there’s also the Star Grill, the Yacht Club café, the Veranda restaurant, Cuadro 44, and Candles, which becomes the Veranda at night. The food in the main dining room was of a very high standard, and the service was excellent too. In fact, the food throughout the ship was very good. A foodie highlight was Cuadro 44, an eclectic Spanish restaurant designed in partnership with chef Anthony Sasso. The venue is a tapas sharing restaurant serving small plates such as jamon Iberico, potato tortilla, pulpo gallego (Portuguese octopus) and grilled chorizo. You don’t have to worry about which ones to order because the waiter just brings out all of the tapas so you get to sample everything, and of course if any really do take your fancy, you can always order some more!
There are two lounges on board – a show lounge where they have cabaret-style acts and another lounge where the house band plays. There’s also a duo that perform on the open decks. Entertainment is low-key, but the crew show was very popular and well received by all of the guests.
In Crete, we tendered which allowed for the marina platform to be lowered. This gave guests unlimited use of all water sports equipment, including stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkel equipment, sailing, swimming, water skiing, and windsurfing. A large foam flotation island was unfurled into the sea, allowing guests to lounge or swim.
I really enjoyed my time on board Star Legend. The crew were a particular highlight as they were genuinely friendly and were allowed to show their personalities. The food was another standout for me, with excellent quality fare in all venues. The ship itself has been well maintained and looks almost new. The dress code for the evening was smart-casual which was welcomed. I would recommend Star Legend for sophisticated travellers seeking different ports, who really enjoy exploring the destination; favour relaxed luxury in comfortable suites, with no stuffiness or formality; who appreciate good food and service served by a genuinely friendly crew members; and who enjoy the company of fellow guests after dinner rather than cabaret shows and casinos.