Star Breeze in the Corinth Canal
Star Breeze in the Corinth Canal / Windstar Cruises
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Seafood Buffet
Seafood Buffet / Windstar Cruises
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Yacht Club
Yacht Club / Windstar Cruises / Timothy Baker
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Snorkeling / Windstar Cruises
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Ocean View Suite
Ocean View Suite / Windstar Cruises
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Star Breeze

Our Ship Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

Windstar Cruises had long been known as a line of sailing ships, geared toward those who love the sea and the whole “wind in your face, sun on your cheeks” experience. Buying the sail-less, 212-guest motor yacht Star Breeze and its two sister ships, Star Pride and Star Legend (all previously owned by Seabourn), in 2013 seemed a strange move at first — as did elongating each of them to add 50 suites and additional public space as part of its $250 million Star Plus initiative. But the ships proved complementary and now 312-guest Star Breeze offers an intimate, casually elegant, yacht-like cruise experience, with the addition of amenities such as the roomier suites and show lounge that Windstar’s three sailing ships lack.

What We Love

The Yacht Club: This contemporary lounge, with glass walls and cushy furnishings, is so comfy we have a hard time leaving. There’s even a long table designed for laptop users, and an espresso bar that also serves snacks.

Culinary Focus: As the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation, Windstar takes pride in its culinary focus and brings chefs onboard select theme cruises. Even on regular sailings Star Breeze’s chefs lead guests on shore excursions to markets, farms, and other food-and-wine-centric locales while the ship’s five dining venues (all complimentary) endeavor to focus on local and sustainable menu selections. Like its Star-class siblings, Star Breeze features two new restaurants: Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso for modern Spanish cuisine and Star Grill by Steven Raichlen for grilled and barbecued favorites.

Open-Bridge Policy: Those who enjoy exploring the navigational aspect of ships can hang out on the bridge any time, 24 hours a day. Unlike on other lines, you can get to know the captain and officers and watch them work.

Outdoor Parties: Once each cruise, weather permitting, there’s a lavish buffet on the two-level pool deck, with mountains of seafood on ice, a huge pan of paella, chefs grilling fish and meats, and a crowd that — after a few drinks — is very willing to join a conga line. 

Best Known For

All-Suite Accommodations: There’s no roughing it here. Everyone gets a decently sized suite (277 square feet and up) with an ocean view, walk-in closet, and marble bathroom with tub.

Sail Away Ceremony: As the dramatic strains of the theme from the movie “1492: Conquest of Paradise” play on the sound system, two members of the crew slowly pull ropes lifting a large flag emblazoned with a “W” logo into the sky. While not as dramatic as the raising of the sails on the original vessels, it is a memorable moment.

Water Sports: When the ship is anchored, a drop-down marina gives guests access to complimentary water toys, including sailboats, paddle boards, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment. You can also dive right off the platform into the sea.


Who It's Best For

Active Gen Xers and Boomers: The 40-plus crowd is well-heeled and well-educated.

Honeymooners: Couples are drawn to this all-suite ship for the comfortable accommodations and Candles, a romantic specialty restaurant where you can dine outdoors at a table for two. It also helps that as of early 2024, Star Breeze is homeporting in Papeete, Tahiti.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Few Verandas: If you’re set on having a private veranda with chairs, you’ll need to book one of the pricey Classic or Owner’s suites. The ship’s so-called “balcony” cabins have French balconies with glass doors that open, but the ledge isn’t big enough to step out on.

Fran Golden
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger