Star Pride Cruise Review by TCSpartan
- Sail Date: October 2016
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Ocean View Suite
I have sailed on Norwegian, Celebrity, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Costa. This was my first Windstar experience and it did not disappoint. The staff is truly unbelievable with their friendliness, attention to detail, and they clearly try to go out of their way to make your trip enjoyable. It was an amazing cruise, A+ job by the staff.
We took a 1 hour regional train from Rome (~7 Euros each) and arrived at the port of Civitavecchia around 12:00pm and they began to board at exactly 1:00pm. With under 200 guests on board it took about 30-45 minutes to board, fill out the necessary paperwork and receive your room cards. After reading the tips on here I carried on 2 bottles of wine to consume in our stateroom and that was not an issue. I should note that this limitation is very relaxed and throughout several other ports I was able to carry on an extra bottle of the local wine with no questions asked.
As for the condition of the ship, the public spaces were recently updated and the ship is in as good of condition as you would anticipate at this age. There were some areas of rust and the bathrooms were starting to show their age but that’s about all. Although we had the cheapest stateroom it was very nice.
The food was exceptional, probably the best of any cruise I have ever been on. The first thing we did when we got on board was to book a reservation at Candles, the rest of our dinners took place in the dining room and service was quick and attentive. The only option for lunch and breakfast is at the rear of the ship again it was very good with menu items, buffet items, and a made to order bar. We spent quite a bit of time at the “Yacht Club” at the top/front of the ship where you could enjoy cappuccinos, expresso, and tea along with snacks until 5:00pm each day. We were also very impressed by the DVD collection within the library. Due to the itinerary we were always up early and the first ones off the ship so we didn’t spend any time in the evenings listening to the entertainment so I can’t comment on the quality of that.
We were docked in Portoferraio, Monte Carlo, and Nice. Cannes, Portofino, and Portovenere had 2 ship tenders running all day long, it was never more than a 10-15 minute wait for a tender and many times we were the only ones on board. We were supposed to spend 2 days in Monte Carlo but after docking the first day we were going to be tendering the 2nd day but the seas were scheduled to be rough and a spot opened up in Nice so the captain moved us down the coast to dock and spend a day in Nice which was a nice surprise. The sports platform was open while we were anchored and we took the opportunity to go swimming in the Mediterranean in October! The water was actually quite pleasant. They had foam swim cushions, individual kayaks, and 2 person kayaks along with a skiing/wakeboard boat.
This was our first time on a small ship and we don’t know if we will ever go back to a big ship. The only time we ever waited in a line was when we boarded, that’s it. Definitely worth the slightly higher cost! Please keep in mind that our experience was based on a very affordable room that in October is the same price if not cheaper than many Caribbean cruises so we were not expecting a “luxury” experience, just a fun trip on a small ship.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
CannesWe walked around town and people watched in this port. The water was plenty warm enough to swim in the middle of October! Free wifi at the port is very nice!View All 422 Cannes Cruise Port Reviews
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ElbaWe didn't know what to expect in Portoferraio but this ended up being one of our favorite ports. We walked the old city streets and hiked up to the Fort. Friendly people and gorgeous scenery.View All 17 Elba Cruise Port Reviews
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La Spezia (Cinque Terre)We were anchored in Portovenere. I was excited because we were going to take the Ferry to visit Cinque Terre. The day of our visit the ferries were all shut down and not running although the weather didnt seem that bad. I wish we would have docked in La Spezia because it would have allowed us to take the train directly to the Cinque Terre towns but being in Portovenere meant that the tours (and us if we wanted to push it) had to take a tender to shore, 45 minute bus ride to La Spezia, walk the 15 min to the train station, and then take the train to the towns and get back for an early 4:30pm departure. We just didnt have enough time. Portovenere is a lovely town, but you only need about 90 minutes to explore it.View All 212 La Spezia (Cinque Terre) Cruise Port Reviews
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Monaco (Monte Carlo)What more can you say, lots of money and fame here. Lots of good areas to get out and walk and explore.View All 414 Monaco (Monte Carlo) Cruise Port Reviews
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NiceBeautiful town with open markets and good shopping. Easy town to walk around and sight see. If docked, there is a free shuttle bus that saves you a 20 minute walk towards downtown but beware the driver takes a long lunch and doesn't tell anyone so there are no buses running during that time.View All 142 Nice Cruise Port Reviews
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PortofinoFree wifi in the town square. Must do hike from downtown to the lighthouse. We also hiked the 3.5 miles from santa margarita to portofino and I would recommend that as well. It is all sidewalks and trails except for about 100 feet on the road.View All 64 Portofino Cruise Port Reviews
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