Windstar Cruises

Star Breeze

Overall Editor Rating
Dana Freeman June 14, 2023

Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

Windstar Cruises
Cruise StylePremium
Ship SizeSmall
Prince Range$$$$
Sails To

Ala... and Japan

Alaska, Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, and Japan
Sails From

Ala... and Japan

Alaska, Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, and Japan
Duration7 days

Initially built by Seabourn in 1989 as the Seabourn Spirit, Star Breeze was acquired by Windstar Cruises and christened the Star Breeze in 2015. The Star Breeze is one of Windstar Cruises’ three all-suite Star Plus Class Yachts. Read More

In 2020 the Star Breeze underwent a massive renovation to “stretch” the ship. First, the yacht was cut in half and then lengthened by inserting an 84-foot block in the ship’s center. The new section has 50 Star Balcony Suites bringing the total guest capacity up from 212 to 312 passengers. In addition, the new Grand Owner’s Suites are combinable with adjoining suites that result in the creation of a very large three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom suite.

The ship’s redesign also includes a much larger pool, hot tub, and a teak deck with more space for lounging, an enlarged full-service spa and fitness center, and two new restaurants bringing the total number of dining venues to five.

The Star Breeze spends the year sailing in Tahiti, Alaska, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. At only 156 suites, the yacht’s small size allows her to sail into smaller ports inaccessible to larger cruise ships allowing guests to visit more unique locations.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Pros
Cons
All suites have walk-in closets
The water platform includes complimentary access to kayaking, stand-up paddleboards, sailing, water skiing, windsurfing, and swimming directly off the back of the ship
The dress code is resort casual with no formal nights    
Live entertainment is limited 
Only six suites have actual private balconies called verandas  
WiFi is not included but is available for purchase

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins

Editor Rating
Cabins
Accessibility

The Star Breeze is an all-suite ship with no interior cabins. However, staterooms are large and well-appointed. The Star Balcony, Balcony, Star Ocean View, Ocean View, and Star Porthole suites are 277 square feet allowing for a sitting room and sleeping area. Outfitted with Egyptian cotton linens, most cabins have either one queen-sized bed or two twin beds that have been pushed together. There are also several triple-occupancy cabins, and select voyages offer reduced single supplements.

All the bathrooms on the Star Breeze were redesigned and renovated during the renovation. The spa-style bathrooms have double vanities, and large, tiled showers or bathtubs; some cabins have separate tubs. In addition, they feature bathrobes, slippers, and L’Occitane bath products. 

Cabins have flat-screen TVs with hundreds of movies on demand. In addition, staterooms are equipped with 110/220-volt eclectic outlets, a fully stocked mini-bar, and fresh fruit, which is replenished daily.

Four modified accessible suites include full-sized beds and “wheel around” space. The bathrooms in these cabins have a single sink, shower with a small lip, and a portable ramp. 

There are grab bars around the toilet and in the shower. Guests confined to wheelchairs must bring their own slim or low-profile size wheelchairs. Additionally, some port visits require going ashore via a small tender boat. This means walking down a set of stairs to board the tender and may also require stepping off the tender once on land the dock. This type of shore visit may be difficult for passengers in a wheelchair. Prior to travel, all passengers with disabilities or special needs will be asked to complete a Service Requirement Information (SRI) form.

Food & Drink

Editor Rating
Dining
Bars

The five restaurants on board have open seating so guests can eat when they want. There are plenty of tables for two or four; therefore, you are never forced to dine with other guests. In addition to the elegant Amphora, the main dining venue, Candles, an al fresco steak house, and the Veranda, which has indoor/outdoor seating and breakfast and lunch buffet, the ship’s renovation added two new restaurants. The casual Star Grill serves barbecue outside on the top deck, while Quatro 44 is an intimate tapas-style restaurant with seating for only 36 guests at a time. The Yacht Club Cafe is an all-day specialty coffee and snack bar. There is complimentary 24-hour room service as well.

All non-alcoholic beverages are complimentary. However, if you want to enjoy unlimited cocktails, which include domestic and imported beer, wines by the glass, cordials, liquors, and mini-bar items, consider purchasing the All-Inclusive Fare package. This comprehensive package includes unlimited beer, wine and cocktails plus Wi-Fi, and you can save if you order the package in advance.

With multiple bars onboard the Star Breeze there are plenty of places for passengers to gather and grab a drink. Enjoy refreshing cocktails al fresco at the Star Bar on the top deck (Deck 8) where there is ample seating around the bar or relax on the canopy covered couches. In the evening sip specialty cocktails while listening to the piano in the Compass Rose on Deck 6 or the Lounge on Deck 5 after dinner when the entertainment begins.

Entertainment

Editor Rating

You won’t find large-scale Broadway productions on this smaller-sized ship. Instead, the onboard band provides entertainment with live music on deck, in the Lounge, or at the Compass Bar. A talent show starring the crew takes place one evening, as does a poolside BBQ where the crew and guests come together on the deck for a dance party. Note: The casino was eliminated during the renovation.

Spa & Fitness

Editor Rating

One of the renovation’s highlights is the extra space allocated to the World Spa. The serene hub offers innovative treatments, including acupuncture and seaweed body treatments. Plus, a relaxation area — spa shower, steam, sauna, and heated tile lounge chairs — and a full-service salon and barbershop round out the spa’s offerings. Active passengers will appreciate the fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment and a studio, although some classes are held in the pool or on deck. Unfortunately, there is no jogging track, an increasingly standard ship feature.

Key cruising tips

Health & Safety

There is a physician and medical facility on board. If the doctor cannot care for you on the ship, you will be transferred to medical facilities onshore at your own expense. 

Current COVID-19 rules on Windstar require all passengers to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination prior to embarkation.  For some countries in Europe and Tahiti, the last COVID-19 shot must be within a specified time period. 

Guests are responsible for checking the current travel requirements for their return home. Additionally, in 2020 Windstar Cruises instituted the “Beyond Ordinary Care program making a multi-million investment in their ships by retrofitting them with HEPA Filters and electrostatic sprayers to sanitize all surfaces. 

Dress Code

The attire onboard is resort casual, similar to what one might wear to a country club or upscale hotel. During the day, shorts and nice T-shirts or sundresses are acceptable. Swimwear must be covered up in the restaurants and lounges. Women wear dresses or pants and a blouse at dinner while men wear slacks and linen pants with a polo or collared shirt. A jacket and tie are not necessary. Though there are no formal nights or costume parties, jeans, shorts, and athletic wear are not appropriate in the evening.

Junior Cruisers

Children eight and older are welcome on board, though Star Breeze has no kids club, specific programming, or activities geared towards kids. All guests under 21 must share a stateroom with a parent or guardian.

Service

With a smile on their face, Windstar’s highly trained crew will do anything to enhance your cruise experience. They strive for personalized service, and friendly staff members often recognize you by name within 24 hours of embarkation.

Tipping

Gratuities are not included unless you purchase the All-Inclusive Fare package. Windstar automatically charges $12/per person per day, and 15% is added to all bar tabs.

QUICK FACTS

SHIP STATS
Entered Service
1989
Refurbished
2020
Number of Cabins
156
Passenger Capacity
312
Crew Members
190
Passengers to Crew Ratio
1.64
Gross Tons
12995
Width
63 feet
Length
522 feet

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