Saturday, May 2, 2015

Windstar Cruises' Star Breeze Inaugural Cruise - Part I

On Monday I will arrive in Nice, France for the Inaugural Celebration of the Windstar Breeze celebrating the Seabourn Spirit's rebirth and transition to an upscale more relaxed yacht.

Windstar Cruises' Star Breeze and her beautiful lines...
right before her highlight color was changed to Windstar Blue
What I am most excited about is that, unlike when it took delivery of the Seabourn Pride (now Star Pride) Windstar did not have all the time it really needed to design and have constructed all of the updates it wanted.  And, of course, one learns from experience and Windstar has learned from having the Star Pride in its fleet now for about a year.

Having previously sailed on the Wind Surf and the Star Pride I have a pretty good idea what the product is.  What I am excited to see is what improvements and modifications have been made on the Star Breeze.

You should know that I love the triplets when they were with Seabourn and remain enthusiastic as Windstar has made a real commitment to their revitalization, positioning them in the premium (rather than true luxury) market and keeping these fine yachts cruising throughout the world.

The Star Pride's Yacht Club.
Have there been any modifications on the Star Breeze?
Yes. Yes.  I know.  There are no sails on these yachts, so how can it possibly be Windstar?  It has to be a different, right?  To my mind:  Not really.  Windstar has quite effectively transferred just about all of its trademark amenities and activities from its sailing yachts to these power yachts.  From the music to the actually improved Deck Barbecue to some of the friendliest staff at sea there is a tradeoff:  Sails versus All Suites.   Knowing the sails are many times just for show and also knowing the sleek lines of the power yacht Star Breeze and her sisters, both play off of what is "sexy" but in different ways.

Windstar Cruises is providing a rather extensive series of events for this cruise.  But the ports highlight the benefit of cruising on a yacht the size of the Star Breeze.  On this short cruise we will be visiting small charming ports that will be anything but overwhelmed by either the number of guests or a massive ship blocking the view.  (This is where the fantastic lines of the Star Breeze really enhances a yachtie's experience!)

On Wednesday, May 6th, before being transferred to the Star Breeze, a group of us will enjoy Shopping with Windstar's Executive Chef, Michael Sabourin in a local market in Nice.  The purpose:  To show how Windstar Cruises' is committed to utilizing local products whenever possible.  When you are sailing with only 208 guests the opportunities are boundless; especially in this region of the Mediterranean.

After that will be a Pier-side Celebration, the Christening of the Star Breeze, a Gala Dinner and then a short sail over to Monte Carlo for an overnight stay...where I plan to disembark and head to some of my favorite night time haunts.  (Hey, it can't all be work, right?)

On Thursday, possibly a trip to Eze or St. Paul de Vence or Villefranche-sur-Mer.. I'll figure it out. There will be some evening festivities starting onboard ending up at Cafe de Paris before heading back to the yacht.

Friday  brings us to Portofino, Italy where I will - not surprisingly - partake in a Windstar hosted wine tasting and walking tour...and then, I am certain, a delicious lunch. Hopefully the Star Breeze's marina will be lowered so I can possibly do some kayaking around this beautiful area.

Saturday brings us to Portoferraio on the island of Elba, Italy.  It may be a bit cool to head to the beach, so I just might take advantage of the bicycles Windstar provides onboard and then wander this beautiful port town.

And then this short cruise is over as we arrive in Civitavecchia on Sunday.

If you are interested in booking a Windstar cruise, with sails or sleek lines, give me a call at (877) 2GO-LUXURY or email me at eric@goldringtravel.com