SHIP: Star Pride ROUTE: Panama Canal – Costa Rica DECK: Deck 5, Cabin 215 Watching a blood-red sunset streak the skies while the Windstar flag is hoisted to the stirring tune of Vangelis’ 1942 – Conquest of Paradise is among the many special moments on Star Pride. Others are experiencing the grandeur of the Panama Canal, a man-made masterpiece of modern engineering that reflects the vision, struggle and sacrifice that went into building the 77km waterway across the Isthmus of Panama and discovering Costa Rica. With a maximum of 212 passengers, the six-deck powered yacht is spacious enough to find a quiet spot on the eight-day cruise that stops at Costa Rican beaches with swaying palm trees, blue waters and villages with tales to tell. Our suite, one of 106 recently refurbished, has a large walk-in wardrobe, ensuite with L’Occitane products and a Juliette-style verandah to catch the ocean breeze.
Dining is an adventure with breakfast and lunch served in the indoor/outdoor Veranda restaurant. At night, it’s transformed into the romantic Candles restaurant with flickering lights, soft music and an excellent menu. Dinner is also served in the elegant downstairs restaurant AmphorA and is a grand affair with world-wide wine offerings and a menu featuring Lobster Thermidor. The weekly open-deck barbecue is a feast with prawns piled high, lobster, salads and barbecued meats plus delicious desserts. Coffee lovers are well taken care off with a barista manning the top deck Yacht Club lounge and yoga, Pilates, dance classes, lectures and cooking demonstrations are offered. Passengers can take an ocean dip or head out on kayaks, paddleboards and sailboats from the water sports platform or stretch out poolside – heaven. windstar.com.au