June 4th – 13th, 2004
When we began to plan this trip, we had wondered what would be the best way to see the Greek Isles. Since so much of Greece (and the coast of Turkey) had its history rooted in port cities and the Aegean sea, travel by ship seemed to be most appropriate. Fred’s brother Mike and his wife Pam had taken a similar cruise with Windstar, and they recommended it with high praise. So, we booked a 9 day cruise from Athens to Istanbul, Turkey with Windstar. We were not disappointed…….
Windstar’s Star Pride is considered a cruise yacht, and is motor driven, rather than a sailing vessel.
It holds about 200 passengers and the crew. Because of its small size, the Star Pride could dock in smaller ports, and we never had to fight the crowds, or to stand in line to disembark or wait in line for dinner. But, there was not the endless variety of shows or midnight buffets….but we enjoyed the quieter pace.
After we checked in and boarded the ship (a fairly quick and simple process) we went to our room to check it out……
Wow!, we were delighted! This was the most spacious room that we had ever seen on a cruise ship. A REALLY big improvement from the tiny little room that we had in January when we went to the Galapagos! : )
The Star Pride has all suites, with a sitting area and a nice big window to look out. And the bathroom! Let’s just say “Really, really nice!”
The central staircase links the decks. There was an elevator, but we were centrally located on deck 5, and all the activities were either one or two decks, up or down, so we got very familiar with these stairs.
Hanging out on the upper deck……..
The lower deck had lounge chairs and a couple of whirlpools. Note – I did not say ‘hot tubs’……the water in the small pool was ocean water and was freezing! And the whirlpools were just a bit warmer. We did not do any swimming on this cruise.
The lower open air deck went up to a bar and grill area…..
Where you could sit and have a drink (or a burger at lunch time).
As we left each new port in the evening, the Star Pride had a traditional ‘Sail Away’ ……
With the raising of the flags and very moving music.
We found cruising with Windstar to be very relaxing, with wonderful food, and an easy going style. It turned out to be the perfect choice for a cruise. We could have, as always, used several days, rather than the one full day in each port. And in the more popular tourist ports, we had to compete with the usual crowds that come with cruising. Still, it was awesome!