when I was a kid: Celebs like BARBRA STREISAND, LAUREN BACALL AND BETTE DAVIS swaddled in mink, the memorable tagline asking simply, “What becomes a Legend most?” Which might seem an incongruous way to lead off an article about a Caribbean cruise. And yet, Windstar’s stylish $8.5 million stem-to-stern re t of its 106-suite Star Legend (acquired last year from Seabourn) recalls the glamour of the old seafaring days, minus their stodginess. The ship itself is, as Katharine Hepburn memorably said in The Philadelphia Story, “yar:” sleek lines, quick to the helm, “everything a boat should be…” An oversize yacht rather than a leviathan liner, her interiors gleam with brass, chrome, hardwood and marble accents. The beautifully understated cabins (the smallest so large at 277 square feet that Windstar justi ably terms them suites) subtly recall bygone days with touches like crystal stemware in glass cabinetry, a palette of deep blues and earth tones, granite-clad bathrooms and handsome nautical artwork. And the public spaces have just the right touch of grandeur, most memorably the Yacht Club on deck 8 right above the Bridge… its cushy, vaguely Deco furnishings take advantage of stunning 180-degree views through door-to- ceiling picture windows.
“Everything made to order. Personalized attention and attention to detail are our mantras.”
Yet a delightful lack of pretension and formality prevail. In every aspect, the experience is much less structured than on larger cruise ships. For example, there’s no set seating – or time – at meals. (Which does create a brief logjam when the doors at the re ned AmphorA open for dinner). Bianca, the charming guest services manager con rms in her lilting South African accent, “Yes, you can sit where you want when you want.” “What if you’re alone?” I retort with a mock comic sigh. “Well, we don’t quite run a dating service but we’ll match you up.”