Windstar Star Pride Cruise – A Tour of this Ship

Windstar Star Pride Cruise – A Tour of this Ship

Let’s take a tour of the Windstar Star Pride cruise ship on one of its Baltic Sea Cruise from Stockholm, Sweden, to St. Petersburg, Russia. This Windstar cruise review includes the Star Pride cabins, itinerary, ship amenities, and photos. Whether you are planning your first trip cruise or you’re a long time cruiser, you’ve come to the right place.  Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel as I’m making a series which includes my Star Pride Itinerary and the Windstar Shore Excursions.

A Little Background about the Star Pride Windstar

Windstar Star Pride Cruises

It joined the Wind Star fleet in 2014 and it holds 212 passengers. There are anywhere between a 150 and 155 staff members, which is an amazing ratio that really makes you feel cared for. I have never seen a more amazing staff anywhere and it really was my favorite part about this Baltic Sea Cruise. They put so much care, effort, and energy into every single interaction. By the end of day one, the staff was coming up and saying “Hi Kim, how are you? Would you like your gluten-free bread? Would you like your milk with your coffee this morning?” They remembered my preferences from just one interaction and did not stop offering for my entire stay! Not only does the team give us five star service they are a true family you can see by the way they work together that they all love each other, and of course they’re spending six to nine months together.

 

About the Star Pride Vessel

If you’re interested in the intimacy of the Star Pride in its current form, definitely get on the Star Pride prior to mid 2020. At some point in the next 12 months, they are going to dry-dock the Star Pride, cut it in half, and add 50 cabins, more dining experiences, more lounge areas and a new pool and hot tub.

 

A Tour of the Star Pride Ship

The Compass Rose Room:  It is located on deck six at the back and aft side of the boat. The Compass Rose Room is where all the dancing is every night. They have a band playing and an open bar every single night. It’s a lot of fun!

The Library: Also on deck six at the far back and aft side of the boat. It’s more than just books, though they have a great collection which is perfect if you’re looking to curl up with a new read. It’s a quiet space with computers in case you need one and there are also a collection of DVD’s.

Getting up and Down: There are elevators both in the center and on the aft side of the decks. There are also lots of stairs including spiral staircases. You have to make sure to hold on to the rails at all times – remember, you’re on a moving ship!

Reception Desk: They really do have everything you need including your daily programs, newspapers and crosswords, as well as all the paperwork that you get in your cabins every day. Additionally, if you lose anything or need any help whatsoever, the staff at reception will help you out.

Game Room:  There are board games and a large chess table in the back of the game room. There are also video games so if you’re a gamer, this is definitely the ship for you!

The Spa: As soon as you board the Star Pride Ship, make sure to go to the Spa and book all of your services during your entire trip. Things booked up fast and it’s no wonder; the ladies in the spa provide a 5 star relaxation. My favorite treatment was called “The Perfect Day” which is a 50 minute massage followed by a 25 minute facial.

The Gym and Sauna: The complimentary gym area has floor to ceiling windows, free weights, treadmills, elliptical machines and even complimentary exercise classes. I didn’t spend any time in the gym… I was too busy eating! But if you’re interested, it’s a nice space and there’s a sauna for after you get your sweat on.

Windstar Star Pride Vessel deck

Pool Area: There is one rectangular swimming pool, two whirlpools on platforms and a 3rd whirlpool at the ship’s bow (which is actually my favorite spot on the whole ship!) There are plenty of chairs for sunbathing and even some shady areas if you’d like to stay out of the sun.

The Star Bar:  A great area for an evening glass of wine outside on the top deck. There is live entertainment and more dancing!

Yacht Club: a lot of people in here reading doing puzzles this is where you get snacks and coffee during the day when they’re actually about serving a real meal in

Lounge: This is where all of the lectures were held along with the Staff talent show. It is the ship’s theatre and a great space to gather and learn or be entertained!

The Bridge: Windstar has an Open Bridge Policy – not all ships allow this. This means you can take a tour of the Bridge with the captain. I was too afraid to ask to sit in the captain’s chair but next time!

 

Windstar Star Pride cruise ship Photos

I want to say a big heartfelt thank you to the entire crew. I have thoroughly enjoyed my Windstar Star Pride Cruise and I am going to preach Windstar to the entire world! If you want to be notified of my new videos, join the travel tribe.

Stockholm Vacation Guide | Things to Know Before You Go to Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm Vacation Guide | Things to Know Before You Go to Stockholm, Sweden

This week I’m sharing my top tips things to do and everything that you need to know about Stockholm, Sweden for your first visit.

Going to Sweden soon?

These are my best tips for your first visit to Stockholm. Let’s start with some things to know before visiting Stockholm:

Sweden is moving towards a cashless society.

Even the famous coffee shop, Espresso House, doesn’t even allow cash. In the two days that I spent in Stockholm, I never had to exchange one euro or one dollar into Swedish kr. You can tip in Euros or dollars but everyone takes credit cards!

Where to Stay in Stockholm

I recommend that you stay as close to Gamla Stan, or the old city, as possible. Why?

Because that’s where the great restaurants and shopping are, not to mention the beautiful Swedish architecture. I stayed in at the Sheraton Stockholm just across the bridge from Parliament. (Check out the hotel here!) It was a great location because it was just a five minute walk to Gamla Stan.

How Long Should You Stay in Stockholm?

I would recommend staying in Stockholm for two days. It you’re a museum goer, you probably want to stay for at least three.

There are some incredible museums here including the National Museum, the Viking Museum, and the Vasa Ship. You also want to stay long enough so that your trip doesn’t overlap the entire time with the cruise ships.

You want to make sure to stay at least a couple of nights so that you miss some of the crowds from the cruises.

What to Pack?

It’s always important to know what to pack when you’re traveling anywhere in the world and that’s especially true in Stockholm.

The weather is rather unpredictable so it’s best to be prepared. I recommend bringing both short and long sleeves, open-toed shoes and weather proof shoes, long pants, and a light down jacket.  We visited in August by the way and I wish I would have brought a raincoat and travel umbrella.  It rained heavily, out of the blue, on a couple different occasions, so be ready for anything! 

8 Things to Experience in Stockholm

#1 Visit the Vasa Ship

It is probably the number one thing to do when you’re in Stockholm. I don’t know anywhere else you’ll see such a spectacular ship from the 1600’s! It sank in and was salvaged in 1961 and it’s definitely worth the visit. A very important tip for your visit:

The way to avoid the long lines at the Vasa Museum is to get your ticket at the little kiosk on the right. You can use a debit card that has a PIN number and buy your ticket straight away. Even though there are lots of tourists at the Vasa Museum, it is well worth coming. 

#2 Take a Ferry

Most cities have a tram or a bus system but what a better way to get around inthe middle of Stockholm than on a ferry? I decided to leave Vasa Museum and head back to Gamla Stan in the old town on the ferry instead of taking a bus or going for a walk.

#3 Get a Souvenir Dala Horse

Maybe you didn’t know this about me, but I’m a major horse girl. The Swedish Dala horses have been around since the 1800s as toys. They are probably the numbe chotchke thing you should buy when you’re in Sweden. The color and symbols on the horse are all representative of the town they were made in. 

#4 Visit the Narrowest Street in Sweden

You have to take a wander down Mårten Trotzigs Gränd, the narrowest street in Sweden. It’s only 35 inches wide at its narrowest point. They say you’re supposed to make a wish as you’re walking down the 36 steps. It’s a very cool experience. 

#5 Go on  a Walking Tour

I went on two walking tours during my 48 hours in Stockholm and both were with Stockholm free walking tours. I did the modern town tour and the old town tour. If you go with this company, make sure to ask for Joe. He’s a Brit who has been in Stockholm for two years now going to University. Joe was fun, knowledgeable and very clever.  I learned so much about the city on my tours.

#6 Get your Fika On!

A must-do while you’re in Stockholm is to get your fika on. What does that mean? Stopping for coffee! Supposedly, the Swedes drink half a litre of coffee a day! It’s not like the Italian espresso, it’s more watered-down and so they can drink more!

#7 Try the Traditional Swedish Food

One of my favorite meals in Sweden was at a quiet restaurant in Gamla Stan where I had a “smorgasbord” of items. This included pickled herring, meatballs, cured salmon, Västerbotten Cheese, and boiled potatoes, to name a few.

#8 Watch the Swedish Changing of the Guard

The last thing I did before leaving Stockholm was see the changing of the guard. It’s one of the most popular attractions for visitors to Stockholm. The royal guard ceremony begins at 12:15 p.m. on weekdays in the outer courtyard of the royal palace. On Sundays, the event takes place at 1:15 p.m. I have a great tip about where to get the best view: the best place to be is against the palace as close to the little guard house as possible. I only got there about 10 minutes before the changing started and I was still able to see everything!

I hope you found this Stockholm Sweden guide helpful! If you’re traveling to Europe and you’re looking for more tips and tricks make sure to check out my videos about what to know before you go to Spain as well as London. I’ll see you on the next adventure!