Recommend July 2015 - (Page 35)

cruise Star Breeze guests have the opportunity to set their eyes on some stunning scenery such as Portofino. Windstar's Star Breeze "Where will you put the sails?" The question was directed to Joe Duckett, Windstar Cruises' vice president of marketing and sales, by a devoted, if somewhat confused, fan who was learning about the new entries in the fleet. Indeed, the sparkling newcomers-Star Pride, Star Breeze and Star Legend-sport no sails, and it's scarcely a surprise that the line's veteran cruisers might be caught momentarily off base. Windstar, after all, is famed for the seven snowy, graceful beauties that bloom across its previous trio of yachts-an eye-popping signature at sea. But then, sailing is not all about sails. Similarly treasured by longtime loyalists is Windstar's style, an intimate, upscale-but-lowkey approach to daily life at sea; and this is a trademark the recent arrivals possess in spades. Staff and crew, while professionally on point, are also noticeably relaxed, helpful, smiling. It's contagious. Both they and their guests are clearly enjoying themselves. Leading the pack of additions-three all-suite power yachts purchased from luxury line Seabourn-was Star Pride, bowing in May 2014 after a moderate makeover. (Some $3 million more will be invested in Star Pride in 2016.) Next up was Star Breeze, onboardreview M AY 2 0 1 5 vivian holley christened May 4, 2015, in Nice, soon followed by Star Legend, which debuted in Rome on May 25-each showing off a complete, $8.5 million transformation. Altogether, Windstar now lays claim to six vessels accommodating 300 passengers tops, making the small-ship fleet the largest in its 30-year history. Travel consultants and travel journalists, including Recommend, who attended the inaugural of the 212-passenger Star Breeze on a 4-day Nice-to-Rome itinerary, were updated on the line's new look by Hans Birkholz, Windstar's president and CEO. "We learned a great deal about our guests' preferences with the debut of Star Pride last year," he says. "We are taking their feedback and giving them what they want with the launch of Star Breeze and Star Legend." Among stem-to-stern changes in public spaces and dining venues: a Star Deck expansion of four ft. on each side (put to good use not only for deck-chair sunning by day but for choice tables overlooking entertainment on barbecue night); a new counter-current pool and whirlpool; transformation of the top july 2015 33

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend July 2015

Editor’s Notes
Hotel Desk: Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Loews Hotels & Resorts
Tour Talk: Goway’s IslandsEscapes
Adventures in North America
Romania: Superbly Scenic, Marvelously Medieval
Central Europe With Adventures by Disney
Get Off That Beach Chair!
Off-Beat Adventures
INDABA 2015 (With a Taste of Durban)
A Treasured Journey Into the Past
Small Boats & Big Tortoises in the Galapagos
Windstar Cruises’ Star Breeze
Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa 2

Recommend July 2015